Rialto Middle School Holds Annual Career Day

On Wednesday February 27th Rialto Middle School held their annual career day where fifty three different presenters came out to expose the students to a wide variety of potential careers. Many were your traditional careers like law enforcement, teaching and the medical field. Yet there were many presenters that were from career fields we may not think of when we are preparing kids for their future!

One presenter was John Merchant a local voice actor, professional beat boxer and a radio DJ personality. John Merchant showed off his latest project he worked on was the Missy Elliot Project where musician Christina Hall pays homage to one of the most influential female rappers of the 20th century. John also spoke to the kids about how to be successful in life with something you are passionate about. John Merchant didn’t talk at the students he spoke with them.

We came to this interview unprepared because we thought that Kenny Landreaux just worked for the Dodgers organization in the front office. We were not aware that he played professional baseball. Kenny came to speak to the filed of being a professional athlete and working in other facets in the professional sports arena. It was pretty cool to see that Rialto Middle School had him out to speak to the kids.

We wanted to see Mike Kindrich’s presentation just because of our knowledge of what his employer Mercy Air does. Mercy Air operates private air ambulance service helping get critically injured people to a care facility as quickly and safely as possible. When we found out Mike was a helicopter mechanic that was even better. Mike spoke to his body of work and the many different opportunities that existed in the field he worked in. Mike is a A&P Mechanic this A&P license has given Mike the ability to work as a civilian for the army, a ride mechanic for Disneyland and now a Mechanic for Mercy Air.

One thing that was clear at this career day was that the staff were invested in seeing the students succeed now in school and in the future. This career day event was inventive, exciting and totally an out of the norm type of event for a public school. This event was something you normally see in a private school not a public school setting. I was honored to be able to get a chance to attend and cover this event.

Big thank you has to go out to Mr Rod Campbell who invited us to this event, the principal who was so welcoming, school counselors for going the extra mile and the school security staff that always had a smile each time we saw them on campus!

 

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Double Homicide Rocks Flores Park Neighborhood

Rialto Police Detectives working on incident scene – Photo by Jennifer Maher

On February 25th around 5pm a shooting was reported to Rialto Police on Baseline just East of Cedar. When Rialto Police arrived on scene they discovered two victims shot in a vehicle that was facing Westbound. Witnesses said that the victims vehicle was approached by the suspects vehicle and while in motion and while side by side shot into the victims vehicle numerous times striking the two occupants.

Rialto Fire arrived on scene and transported the victims to Arrowhead Regional where life saving treatment but both victims passed away due to thier injuries. Still at this time Rialto Police do not have any suspects. The official statement from Rialto Police Public Information Officer Lt Stella is that they still do not have a motive in this case. The incident shook the quiet community of Rialto known as the Flores Park Area and snarled traffic for hours as Rialto Police worked late into the night investigating this tragic event.

Rialto was once known for violence like this in the 90’s but has seen a sharp decline in violent crimes especially car to car shootings. To make matters worse one of the victims of this crime was a High School Student from Carter High School Jaylen McClain. Parents and staff from Carter High School said that this week counselors were on hand to help students and staff deal with this tragic loss. Officers speaking to students also spoke about first getting to know Jaylen when he was 9 years old and say that it is tragic that something in his life led him to be killed this way.

Witness statements posted to our Facebook page spell out what happened that evening:

Stayc PaulI was on my way to take my Grandbaby to softball practice about 4:50pm. I was headed down baseline. I was at the light, as I crossed cedar ppl were honking at a gray 2 door Honda Civic because he was half in one lane half in the turn lane. Looked like he was shot in the head. He was in the driver seat, and his head was slumped back. It must’ve just happened when I passed. I didn’t see a second person though”.

What is sad is 10 years ago this community was dealing with gangs, drugs and graffiti coupled with a lot of home invasion robberies. A group of residents banded together to help Rialto Police deal with the unwanted crime in their neighborhood. A lot of good work was done for a few years and crime in this area was down dramatically. When Rialto Police started giving up on resident outreach in this area because some in the community were not comfortable with corruption going on inside the department and city things have taken a sharp decline. Just one week prior to this shooting an armed robbery and suspect pursuit ended behind the communities elementary school prompting school officials to hold an brief lock down. Drug activity has been on the rise in this community along with personal property theft and graffiti.

Nobody wants to see Rialto slip back into crime and unrest but nobody knows how to stop the slide?

The Rialto Police Investigations Unit was contacted and is currently conducting an investigation into the double homicide. Anyone with information concerning this investigation is asked to immediately contact Detective Ralph Ballew at (909) 820-8055 or via email at Rballew@rialtopd.com

Fire Tears Through Closed Rialto Business

Rialto, CA – Victim Rescued in Vacant Building Fire

Rialto Firefighters were dispatched to the 400 block of W. Foothill Blvd. shortly after 10:30 a.m. this morning. The first unit arrived on scene approximately 5 minutes after dispatch to find a vacant building with heavy smoke coming from a side door. The building was formerly Inland Empire Sewing & Vacuum repair shop and had been had been boarded up. One man who didn’t give us his name claimed that he was living inside this building. (see photo below)

Bystanders on scene reported one victim trapped inside of the building. Crews made quick entry to the building to perform an interior search. A female was discovered and a rescue was performed. The patient was in full arrest and brought to paramedics waiting outside of the building. Resuscitation efforts were started immediately and the patient was transported to local ER in critical condition.

 

The building a business that had been closed for some time now seems to have become a haven for homeless people. Shuttered businesses along the portion of Route 66 that runs through our city have become a common sight sadly.


Fire was knocked down 17 minutes after the first unit arrived on scene. Rialto Fire Arson Unit is on scene to conduct an investigation in coordination with Rialto Police Department. Two arrests have been made.


Crews were able to keep the fire to one alarm with assistance from San Bernardino County Fire and Rialto Fire. No other injuries were reported. Monetary loss from the fire is still being tabulated. The cause of the fire remains under active investigation.

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Rialto Police Track Down Hit & Run Suspect

Photo from Rialto Police Facebook Page

On January 27th at approximately 9:05 a.m., the Rialto Police Department received several 9-1-1 calls from citizens reporting that a young female was struck by a car in the 1500 block of Rialto Ave, in the City of Rialto.  After the 14 year old pedestrian was struck, the driver in the suspect vehicle fled the scene without stopping.  Rialto police officers arrived on scene within minutes and found the young girl lying in the roadway.  The Rialto Fire Department arrived on scene and she was transported to Loma Linda University Hospital with severe head injuries. She is currently receiving emergency medical treatment.

Through an initial investigation which included witness statements, the suspect vehicle was described as a dark colored Jeep last seen eastbound on Rialto Ave, and then northbound Cedar Ave. Rialto Police Officers responded to the area and began their investigation.  During an area check for the vehicle, officers were able to locate it in the Walgreens shopping center on the corner of Cedar and Foothill Blvd. Further investigation led officers to conclude the registered owner of the vehicle (Jesus Quinonez-Garcia), was the driver. Officers were quickly able to locate Quinonez-Garcia and place him under arrest.

After obtaining his statement and conducting a DUI investigation, Quinonez-Garcia was found to have a blood alcohol level of almost four times the legal limit.  He was later booked into West Valley Detention Center under the charges of Felony DUI and Felony Hit and Run causing injuries.

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Rialto Las Colinas Residents Breath a Collective Sigh of Relief

On Tuesday night at around 9:30 pm a brush fire broke out in North Rialto where Sierra Ave and the 15 freeway meet. With winds gusting to 45 M.P.H the fire quickly took off and became an instant hazard to Las Colinas residents.

By 11:00 pm the fire had grown to 20 acres and when it was all said and done the fire consumed 140 acres. On the news residents could be seen pouring out of the Las Colinas community. Many people worried about people that they knew living in the Las Colinas area. On ABC 7 news shots of palm trees and backyard fences on fire had people on the edge of their seats as they watched this wind driven fire began to try and jump across Riverside Ave.

The quick work of the San Bernardino County Fire Department, a total of 26 engines, seven hand crews, three bulldozers, Rialto Fire and one sheriff’s department patrol helicopter made quick work of this fire and brought it under full containment in a matter of hours.

Rialto Police Department took to the streets of the area making voluntary evacuation notices and securing the area so fire personnel could easily move about and get the work of fire protection done. Alexis and Jessica Alverez residents of the Las Colinas area said that Police were only evacuating residents that lived North of Alder. Alexis Alvarez said “I remember the last fire we had up here my daughter (Jessica) was little and that one was scary so we had no idea what to think with this fire, were glad the Fire Department worked so fast!”

Another resident was in the evacuation area but had nowhere to go with their pets and stuff so they waited it out to see if things would turn for the worse. Steve a person that works in the utility industry pointed out the charred power poles and still smoldering hot spots being addresed by fire personnel at 11:00 am Wednesday. He said “we were lucky they jumped on this so fast”.

Another worry was for two Elementary Schools and one Middle School in the Las Colinas area. School District Spokeswoman Syeda Jafri said that the schools never had to look at shutting down the following day because “Fire Chief Sean Grayson let her know that all the schools were safe and that the fire would not be affecting the schools or community”. Sydea Jafri did say that the schools were on inclement weather schedule due to the strong smell of smoke in the area.

House Fire In Bloomington Brings Out Multiple Agencies

 

A house fire on 9th and Cedar Ave in South Bloomington brought out multiple agencies and police units around 11:45 am on Thursday October 25th.

Primary reports were that there was a person trapped inside but thankfully the person feared to be trapped inside was working in the backyard of the residence. He was unable to signal his family to let them know he was OK but was reunited with them shortly after the fire department arrived on scene.

In the picture below the man in the blue shirt was the family member that was reported to be inside the home during the fire. Were glad to report that there were no reported injuries or loss of life!

The fire reportedly began in a dryer in the rear house and quickly spread to a car and then the rear of the home. Smoke could be seen from as far away as Devore. Rialto Fire, San Bernardino County Fire and Colton fire all responded to the scene and made quick work of the blaze.

The quick response from all the local fire agencies limited the loss of property as it appeared that the fire was contained to the rear of the property. Even with the amazing response from the fire agencies neighbors were on thier roofs spraying the smoldering, burnt building to avoid any flare ups that would spread to their homes.

Community Meeting Scheduled For New Rialto High Density Development

If there is one area of the city that has been more neglected in the city of Rialto it is the center section of Rialto on the West side of the city known to those who live there as the Flores Park Community. The name of the community comes from the central location of Flores Park to the communities self created boundaries.

There will be a meeting on October 18th at 6:00 pm at Dollahan Elementary School to discuss a proposal to develop a private residential neighborhood on Foothill Blvd. between Larch and Spruce Avenues.

Christopher Development Group, Inc. proposes to develop a private residential neighborhood with 70 single-family residences and 116 attached townhomes on 15.95 acres. The project site is located on the north side of Foothill Boulevard between Larch Avenue and Spruce Avenue.

On June 27, 2018, the Development Review Committee reviewed the project plans and the applicant will prepare revisions based upon the comments received. The Planning Department asked the developer to return with a select set of changes. Non of these changes were ever made available to the public. Yet that hasn’t stopped the Mayor from already getting in cozy with this Orange County developer positioning herself to receive campaign contributions in exchange for a favorable nood to this project.

Even Councilman Rafael Trujillo who’s mother lives right next to this proposed project refuses to engage with the community about the impacts of this project.

There are rumors that this project will be more dense than other projects in the city. Also some of communities in Rialto that have density issues are rife with crime and have become something Rialto try’s not to talk about. Also a large majority of Rialto’s multi family complexes are full of unchecked crime.

If you live in the area or just care to watch how a MASSIVE rich Orange County Developer will tell Rialto what it is going to do come on out and be a part of the circus!

 

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