Rialto Schools Go All Out With Red Ribbon Pride

We got a chance to ride along in a plain white van with judges and dignitaries as Local Rialto Schools vied for a chance to place in the top three in their region (North, Central & South) to show off their school spirit and celebrate the benefits of living a drug free life. We rode in the Southern Region van this year and had the pleasure of joining Rialto Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Cuauhtemoc Avila, Board President Dina Walker, Director of Communications Syeda Jafri, Police Lt. Dean Hardin and Rialto Unified School District Security Chief Leary who drove us around.

Carter High School students greet the judging vehicles with cheers – Photo Provided by Rialto USD

Dr. Avila stated, “I echo our Board of Education’s sentiments that participating in this annual drug-free contest makes all our students, staff and parent-volunteers winners, but to keep the contest fair, I wanted make sure that each of the schools; the north, central and south sections, had their own sets of scoring. Again, the feedback from the judges was positive, and reinforces my faith that great things continue to happen at our schools. It was another proud moment to show the community that our schools have their focus on safety and promoting a drug-free lifestyle for our students.”

Each year has a Nationwide theme and this year the theme is “Your future is key, so stay drug free”. Each school that we saw that participated really took the theme and turned it into a visual representation of the overall message. Some schools really went all out which included a miniature version of District Superintendent Dr. Cuauhtemoc Avila (Garcia Elementary) a life size game of Life (Jehue Middle) or even tombstones of celebrities who died from drug and alcohol abuse (Milor High).

Some schools like Simpson Elementary you could see from a mile away and they made sure to get the judges out of the van and on their feet as they danced the Drug Free theme. Rialto Unified is one of the few school districts that has such a strong level of participation because of the importance that the District puts behind the annual event.

First place winners, Hughbanks Elementary School – Photo Provided by Rialto USD

“For years, Red Ribbon Week, here in Rialto, has become a pretty big deal, and that’s great,” said Rialto Police Lieutenant, Dean Hardin. “It was a fantastic commemoration and I was proud of the way that our students, led by staff and parents, participated. Drug use is a real issue, a serious issue for the younger generation and along with addiction, it can lead to anti-social behavior and lack of focus on education. The Police Department was happy to participate and we thank the District for making sure students understand the dangers of substance abuse.” As the South judging van pulled away from Simpson Elementary Lt Dean Hardin could be heard saying out the van window “Be Drug Free” and each time he said it the whole school repeated the mantra.

Schools earned points from 1 to 10 based on creativity, visibility and message. Judges were warned against giving out 10’s too freely as to help district officials from having to deal with tons of tie’s in the point totals. The Red Ribbon Decorating Contest ended in three-way ties for all three places — first, second and third — as well as a “Spirit” award initiated by Dr. Avila. Prize money is $1,000 for first; $750 for second; and $500 for third. The new “Spirit” award is also $500. Cash awards go to each school and are discretionary for each school.

The winning schools are:

1st Place Winners

Northern: Hughbanks Elementary School – $1,000

Central: Casey Elementary School – $1,000

Southern: Garcia Elementary School – $1,000

2nd Place Winners

Northern: Carter High School – $750

Central: Henry Elementary School – $750

Southern: Jehue Middle School – $750

3rd Place Winners

Northern: Kolb Middle & Kordyak Elementary Schools – $500

Central: Bemis Elementary School– $500 

Southern: Kelley & Simpson Elementary Schools– $500

Honorable Mentions

Milor High School – $250

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Rialto Top Officials Skip Out On Fallen Officer Remembrance Event’s

On Wednesday October 18th a Memorial and Remembrance Luncheon was held for fallen Rialto Police Officer Sergio Carrera Jr. who lost his life in the line of duty 10 years ago. Both the Graveside Memorial and Remembrance Luncheon were put on and put together with the hard work and support of Rialto Police Benefit Association without the police union this event would have never happened. Source tell us that if the Rialto Police Benefit Association had not stepped up nothing would have been done to honor this 10 year anniversary.

Those in attendance said that the event was a great way to remember a great officer who was taken away from his family and co-workers too soon. You may remember we called out the Mayor for not attending another event to honor Rialto’s fallen officers and Mayor Robertson got very upset with us and even Ed Scott barked at us for even suggesting that the Mayor and her council don’t support our fallen officers. Well actions speak louder than words and sources tell us that the council’s lack of actions speak louder than any words they may speak.

On October 19th sources close to the event reported that not one of the cities elected leaders even stopped by to say hello to the family or even give their condolences. Sources tell us that Captain Andy Karol from the command staff attended the Remembrance Luncheon on behalf of the Department. Also officers who stopped by the Luncheon that was in the city limits to remember their fellow fallen officer were scolded for doing so.

We reached out to those on Council and got a response from Councilman Andy Carrizales:

 “The Carrera family and our police officers were on my mind yet I was unable to attend due to being out of town”
When we asked Councilman Carrizales his thoughts on nobody from the city showing up to either event all he said was “wow”.

This is one of the many reasons local election advocates urge the community to look for sincere elected officials that will take these moments to show care and concern about their communities needs. As a son of a Military and Law Enforcement professional I can tell you that the pain of losing a loved one in the line of duty is a fear I am glad my family never had to endure.

 

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Changes coming to Rialto Police Department Leadership

Information sent to us today indicates that changes to the top leadership rolls will be coming to Rialto Police Department.

As of October 1st former Police Chief Mark Kling will come on as a “Consultant” to help transition current Police Chief Deanda into “Retirement”. Police Chief Deanda should be well versed in the retirement process as he regularly tells the story of how he was needed so much in the city of Rialto that he was asked to return to work three times after filing for retirement.

In the communication from City Administrator Mike Story he laid out the struggles a quick departure like this will bring “As the city administrator, I must ensure there is a smooth transition of leadership and place leading up to and after chief Deanda retirement. Ideally, organisations have about 1 year to plan the transition of executive leadership. Chief Deanda will be retiring from public service and three short months on December 28th 2017 there for once Chief Deanda submitted and I accepted his notice of retirement, plans for executive leadership transitioning were set into motion. As an organization, filling the position of a retiring police chief is Paramount to community safety, department operations, and intergovernmental Affairs across departments so there are minimal service interruptions”.

Earlier today the Chief was witnessed briefing his command staff on the coming changes in his Department. Those pictured with the Chief at Mimi’s in North Fontana were Captain Andy Karol, Lt Robert Smith, Lt Dean Hardin and Paul Stella. Staff could overheard the chief talking about the memo from Mike Story and the impending changes.

Nobody will ever know the true story on why we have such a quick departure since past leadership has made sure a replacement was already on the ground before major changes took place. For example:

  • When Chief Kling left he had vetted and prepared Captain Tony Farrar for the promotion.
  • Fire Chief Matt Fratus knew he was not going to work forever so he hired Sean Grayson our current Fire Chief to eventually replace him.
  • When Police Chief Tony Farrar was on his way out he secured the promotion and placement of Chief Deanda.
  • Even City Administrator Mike Story announced months ago of his coming retirement at the end of this year.

So when something is outside the ordinary you have to ask yourself what is the real story? What we do know is that the city has found itself under more legal action brought by staff that claim they were fired, discriminated or retaliated against without merit and some of those cases have began to settle out of court. The latest claim was made know yesterday September 26th 2017 when a $125,000 claim was filed claiming misconduct by a former employee of MHM & Associates.

Answers that will need to be answered are:

  • How much is the city going to pay 2 police chief’s?
  • Will Deanda’s removal begin to bring the lawsuits to a close?
  • How do you attract a quality Police Chief in a Financially Strapped city like Rialto?

There are more questions than answers.

Today we got some of the answers from City Administrator Mike Story who said that Mark Kling will be working on a $15,000 dollar contract for three months to help during this transition. Mark Kling is one of the brighter spots in Rialto Police Department history as he led the Police Department out of the scandals of the past and the poor public trust of the police department. City Administrator Mike Story said that this money came out of the city administration budget already earmarked for consulting.

We will update as more information comes in.

Have a story you think people should know about? Email Rialtosnow@gmail.com

Keep up to date via social media by following #rialtonowcovers

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Police Chief Deanda Named in $110 Thousand Claim against the City of Rialto

There are three people and organizations that keep circulating through the Rialto News cycle (that is if any news outlet covered Rialto). Rialto Police Chief Deanda, Rialto Mayor Robertson and MHM & Associates. As you may already know MHM CEO Luvina Beckley a close personal friend of the Mayors was found to have been Federally Disbarred from working on Federal Grants for the next two years. We found out later that this also puts into jeopardy her ability to work on any State Grants as well. As hard as Mayor Robertson tried to get Luvina Beckley to keep her $100,000 dollar contract to manage the cities Prop 47 grant program in the end the city choose to find another grant program facilitator.

In a claim letter attached to tonight’s city council agenda Rialto Police Chief has put the city in yet another financial loss due to poor decision making and may have bought himself a criminal charge. Here is a short list of the litigation Chief Deanda is responsible for dragging the city into:

 

  • Officer Brayshaw – Discrimination Lawsuit settled out of court amount unknown.
  • K9 Officer Anderson – Wrongful Termination Lawsuit Multi Million Dollar Suit
  • Officer Jones – Wrongful Termination Lawsuit amount unknown.

It seems as though Chief Deanda seems to have forgotten the rules when running a persons name through criminal databases. His running Annette Kelly-Whittle’s name through public databases was only the tip of the iceberg. According to the complaint Chief Deanda was speaking negatively in regards to Mrs Whittle’s employment with MHM and her ability to work on Police grants. According to the complaint Chief Deanda spoke negatively to Mrs Whittle’s Probation Officer, BSS Program director and other people.

In regards to the possibility of criminal charges being filled it is a Misdemeanor to run someone for personal in the way the complaint claims.

This item is hidden inside the consent calendar so lets see if it is pulled for discussion. Sources close to the department have came in with new information on this claim from Mrs Whittle. According to sources close to Rialto Police the information in question came up as Mrs Whittle changed residences and that action alone creates a notification to be sent to Police and probation. What is still unclear is the issue of Police Chief Deanda had issues with Mrs Whittle working on grants for Rialto Police.

Sources close to former Councilman O’Connell said that prior to his passing he was concerned about the way MHM was handling Police Department Grants yet he failed to go into detail over what exactly he was concerned about.

We will update as more information comes in.

Have a story you think people should know about? Email Rialtosnow@gmail.com

Keep up to date via social media by following #rialtonowcovers

 

 

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Fatal Hit & Run in Rialto on Route 66

On September 22nd the residents living around the area of Cedar and Foothill in Rialto were treated to a lot of sounds that are now all too common in our small bedroom town. Loud police sirens followed by Police Helicopter and then the Fire Engine sirens that almost always follow.

Two women were hit by a driver on Foothill Blvd (Route 66)  in between Linden & Cedar Avenues. One woman was killed and the other is in serious condition in the hospital. The Driver a 38-year-old Rialto man has been arrested in a hit-and-run crash Friday night.

According to Rialto police, two women were crossing Foothill Boulevard, near Cedar Avenue, at about 8:35 p.m. when they were struck by a car traveling east on Foothill. After hitting the pedestrians, the car continued on Foothill before turning south onto Cedar, police said.

Both victims were rushed by ambulance to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, where one of them was pronounced dead. The second remains in grave condition, police said Saturday.

Rialto police located the suspect’s vehicle at a nearby apartment complex. Desmond Ashley was later found in a motel in Fontana. He was booked into the West Valley Detention Center on felony hit-and-run charges.

The identities of the victims were not immediately disclosed.

Stay tuned to Rialto Now for more information.

For video go to http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2017/09/23/rialto-man-arrested-hit-run/

Rialto Relay for Life event kicks off tomorrow with a Celebrity Guest

Below is a list of events and some of the awesome things in store for tomorrow. The local celebrity that can be seen in Rialto regularly showing off what is cool to do and see right here in our little town is pretty popular. The exact time for the local celebrity arrival with his ever so popular live video stream that is seen by hundreds of thousands of Facebook users hasn’t been announced but as soon as we find out you will know so stay tuned/

Join Joel Greene as he helps to kick off the Rialto Relay for Life event. This year the Rialto event is looking to raise $30 Thousand to combat cancer. If you would like to help them hit that mark you can donate any amount by clicking here.

Relay For Life is the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Relay is staffed and coordinated by volunteers in more than 5,200 communities and 27 countries. Volunteers give of their time and effort because they believe it’s time to take action against cancer.

Join us at these events to bring communities together to remember loved ones lost, honor survivors of all cancers, and raise money to help the American Cancer Society make a global impact on cancer.

Time: 9:00am

We’ll kick off the event by celebrating everyone who’s been affected by cancer. Whether someone’s been diagnosed for 10 days or been cancer-free for 10 years, they gather together for the crowd to cheer them on.

Survivors & Caregiver Lap

Time: 9:30am

Survivors define courage and inspire those facing a cancer diagnosis. Their strength is honored with each step they take around the first lap. If you know anyone who’s overcome cancer, invite them to join.

Caring for others is such a selfless act, which is why we honor caregivers with a lap. They often walk with the person they’ve supported.

Fight Back Ceremony

Time: 10:00am

Have you ever wanted to see a cement truck up close? Climb inside a cherry picker? Explorer a firetruck? Join us for a second annual Touch-A-Truck event.

Kids Corner sponsored by Target with games, crafts and activities for kids of all ages.

Be your own builder. Join us for a kids workshop sponsored by the Home Depot where kids can use tools to build their own creations.

Time: 4:00 pm

We will talk about what we can do beyond the event to fight back against this horrible disease.

Time: 9:00 pm

Each Luminaria bag represents a loved one lost to cancer, brings support to those affected by it, and honors survivors. This powerful moment gives people the opportunity to grieve but also offers hope and comfort.

Closing Ceremony

Time: 10:30 pm

We celebrate all that we’ve accomplished together and remember those we’ve lost. Together, we commit to take action and help end the pain and suffering of cancer.

Communities Concerns Lead to Attempted Kidnap of a Girl at Flores Park

Photo credit SB Sun
George Molina-flores, 26, of Rialto, was arrested for suspicion of attempted kidnapping at Flores Park Tuesday.

Residents of Flores Park and Parents of Dollahan Elementry have been concerned with the illegal and questionable activities taking place outside the school and park that are only seperated by a single 5 foot chain link fence.

Parents of Dollahan Elementary spoke at recent school meetings with Rialto Unified School District Security officers and School Safety Chief Leary (meetings Rialto Police were absent) about creepy guys harassing moms walking in the park, homeless people sleeping and drinking in the park as well as people being witnessed preforming sexual acts in the park in broad daylight.

Residents say that more drugs and sex go on in the park restrooms than anything else. At a recent Safe Routes to School meeting at Dollahan (meetings Rialto Police were absent) parents marked multiple problem houses on maps where drugs are sold, kids are used as drug mules, gang related and former felons sit in open garages and drink all day and a group home full of mentally disturbed right across the street of a park and elementry school are located all around the school. One attempt to create walking groups to school failed because of a concern that pedophiles were targeting the walking group.

Local resident Marie said “that she has lived in the community for over 10 years and there was a time that we felt like Rialto PD cared about our safety. Now they have removed any officers that wanted to help us keep this neighborhood clean what is worse is a council member and officers still have family living here and we get no help”. Marie is right there were dark times where Lt’s like Burkholder, Crispin and Karol all worked very hard to make sure that good people were taken care of and evil did not prevail. These leaders with a community mindset brought in aggressive officers and staff that made things much safer in the Flores Park Community. Then people like former Captain Joe Cirilo that was witnessed multiple times yell at and threatening residents that were looking for help for their community.

Flores Park Neighborhood Watch now has a new Area Commander who acts a lot like former Area Commander Joe Cirilo. Rialto Police Lt. Paul Stella is the current Area Commander and the leadership among the Neighborhood Watch group have expressed a lack of confidence in his ability to lead the Northern portion of Rialto. Neighborhood Watch leadership asked Lt Stella last summer at a promotion ceremony for officers if they could sit down with him and he barked “why would I meet with you?” When they said we would like to give you a insider look into our community and the ongoing issues. Lt Stella said “I know all about your community and your group I don’t need your help.”

The recent Kidnap attempt at Flores Park after school dismissed yesterday it leaves one to ask does he really know what is going on in the community if these concerns preceded the incident the other day? School Safety officers walk the park when they are on campus and identify people not in the park for valid reasons and multiple people have been removed from the park but not by Rialto Police but by School Safety officers according to sources. Now that this incident has happened Rialto Police will have additional patrols after school and cameras have been looked at and any that are not working have been marked to be fixed according to Sgt Nelson form Rialto PD.

Sgt Nelson said that its sad that sometimes it takes incidents like these to move police into action even though it is the desire and goal to place resources to keep them from ever happening. Sgt Nelson also said that now its vital to remain vigilant in alerting the police to any suspicious persons.

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