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

Rialto Leadership Lacks The Ability To Lead ALL of Rialto

With homeless population increasing every single day and the core of the city falling into disrepair many of the regular unconnected people in Rialto are asking if our leaders still have what it takes to lead all of Rialto. There is development happening in the North and South ends of the city but as you move closer to the city center the decay becomes quite evident. This question isn’t just something whispered about in quite circles but people are asking it out loud in public forums and there really isn’t any answer to the questions.

At the Rialto Unified School Safety Seminar the question was asked multiple times about what the city and schools are doing to deal with homelessness and the crime and consequences that come with them. Rialto Police Lt. Cameron Nelson said that the police departments hands are tied by new public camping laws (nobody ever references a specific law). The problem has become so bad that parks and schools are now dealing with homeless living in the or near them. One are that was brought up at the school safety seminar was the walking trail behind Rialto Middle School and Warner Elementary School. Both of these schools have access gates that open up into this trail. This BLOGGER brought up many concerns with this trail and having access gates to the schools. The powers that be said I was crazy and just trying to get in the way of progress. Now we have unstable people living where kids walk to school and have access to the schools. Does a child have to be hurt or go missing before anyone listens?

When it comes to what our leaders it seems that most of them are ok with Rialto becoming an homeless magnet. Mayor Deborah Robertson seems on a fast track to begin opening housing shelters in Rialto. When new laws are thrown in the public’s faces as the reason that more isn’t being done to fix the problem I wonder what benefit we get from the HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of $$$$$ we spend on lobbyists and having our elected officials travel with our tax dollars to Washington and Sacramento.

Some if the worst areas of our city are the main corridors that people travel every single day! Areas like Route 66 that are full of shuttered businesses, graffiti and homeless are far from the beacons of progress and prosperity that our leaders preach about.

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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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Election Rules Changed To Favor Incumbents & Silence Latina Challenger

Rialto may seem like a Left leaning city but when it comes to politics, but all sides come out to make sure that honest hardworking voices are silenced.

After the 2016 election where nine different people all were seeking to occupy one of the two vacant city council seats Ed Scott wanted to make sure that the playing field was leveled when he ran for re-election. A city ordnance was put into place banning regular people from being able to promote their intentions of seeking public office. Everyone forgot about the 2017 ordnance and apparently the City Clerks office and Police department were unaware.

On Tuesday August 7th Mayor ProTem Ed Scott witnessed Ana Gonzalez who was seeking to occupy one of the two seats up for re-election with a campaign booth at the cities annual National Night Out witnesses said he came unglued. Mayor ProTem Ed Scott apparently directed Intern Chief of Police Mark Kling to kick Ana Gonzalez out of the event. What happened next was mind blowing the Chief of Police went over to remove Mrs Gonzalez’s booth from the event!

Now the Police Chief doesn’t respond to calls for service, he doesn’t go out on patrol and most chiefs delegate enforcement duties on other officers in their department. Well in this case when Ed Scott says jump the Chief jumps! Witnesses said that the Chief went over to Mrs. Gonzalez and forced her to remove anything about her campaign or leave. When we reached out to Chief Kling this was his response”

I understand that the City accepted the application from Ms. Ana Gonzales to have a booth at this year’s National Night Out in August, without recognizing that campaigning activities would be conducted or in violation of the City’s enacted policy from 2017. When the application was accepted PD staff did not notice the description of informational postcards about her political campaign. PD staff did recognize that she would also give candy and school supplies to children visiting her booth. No other council candidate was allowed to distribute campaign literature from a booth at the event, pursuant to Resolution 7084. 
 
Nevertheless, at the event, when Rialto Police Department staff members learned of the activities being conducted at Ms. Gonzales’ booth in violation of the city’s policy, Ms. Gonzales was asked to cease passing out campaign literature, but she was encouraged to continue passing out candy and school supplies to children attending the city sponsored event. At no time was Ms. Gonzales asked to leave the event.

Nobody stopped Ed Scott or councilman Joe Baca Jr. from addressing the public or having city resources taking photos of them at the event but the Latina Woman running to oppose them she was shutdown?

The question is why such an ordinance even exists and why both city staff and police staff are not aware of a city ordinance?

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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.

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