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Students awarded iPads for countywide reading achievement

bakersbookclubbakersattachment Two local students were awarded with iPad Minis on Wednesday from Supervisor Josie Gonzales as winners of the Baker’s Book Club, San Bernardino County Library’s first fall reading program.

The prizes were presented to Citlaly Placencia, 12, of Muscoy, who read a total of 5,667 pages during the 49-day reading program, and Dilshad Singh, 14, of Muscoy, who read a total of 2,827 pages. From the 7,430 students who signed up for the book club, Placencia, a 7th grader at Chavez Middle School, and Singh, a freshman at Cajon High School, each read the most pages in their respective age categories.

The iPad Minis were donated by Supervisor Gonzales in hopes of motivating students to read more books during the Baker’s Drive-Thru sponsored book club.

“Today we celebrate two students who dedicated themselves to achievement through reading,” Supervisor Gonzales said during the award presentation.

“This valuable partnership made possible by Baker’s Drive-Thru and the San Bernardino County Library aims to instill a love for reading in our young children. Giving students that passion to read gives them a key to academic success and personal achievement,” Supervisor Gonzales said.

“Reading is one of the most important skills a child needs in order to succeed in life,” County Librarian Leonard Hernandez said. “Our libraries are proud to partner with Baker’s Drive-Thru and Fifth District Supervisor Josie Gonzales in creating a reading program that motivated so many young people to exercise this important skill.”

The program, which ran Oct. 6–Nov. 23 at all county libraries, is the first fall reading program of its kind in San Bernardino County. Children ages 4-17 were incentivized with prizes from Baker’s Drive-Thru ranging from free milkshakes and hamburgers to a grand prize drawing for a Kindle Fire. Parents were required to monitor their children’s reading progress and sign off on their page logs.

For more information on the Baker’s Book Club, visit www.sbcounty.gov/library or call (909) 387-5720.

Click here for more event photos.

Public Works continues to improve National Trails Highway

#32 WORK IN PROGRESS.jpg 6 #32 WORK IN PROGRESS.jpg 7Publi#32 WORK IN PROGRESS.jpg 2c Works crews continue working hard to get National Trails Highway reopened after incurring damage from the September 2014 storms.

The storms in September damaged sections of National Trails Highway from Hector Road to Amboy. The most extensive damage was along National Trails Highway where approximately 40 bridges were damaged along with major portions of the roadway.  Sections between Hector Road to Crucero Road (Newberry Springs/Ludlow area), Crucero Road to Amboy Road, and Cadiz Road to Mountain Springs Road at Interstate 40 have been closed pending roadway repairs, shoulder repairs and bridge evaluations.

Public Works crews reopened the first stretch of the road, Hector Road to Crucero Road, in November. The photos above are on National Trails Highway, three miles east of Ludlow. The crews are anticipating opening this next section from Ludlow to Amboy sometime in January 2015.

Airport Mobil hires employees using Workforce Investment Board

sb_cologo-full_colorLast spring, Ontario towing company Airport Mobil won two new contracts; one from the Automobile Club of Southern California (AAA) and one from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. Although the small business welcomed the new contracts, the challenge of having to hire 10 additional drivers quickly proved to be a daunting task.

Jereas Musharbash, who runs Airport Mobile with his brother, recalled a message about an On-the-Job training program through the San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board (WIB). He called the WIB immediately.

“I called and said, ‘My workload has skyrocketed and I need to hire employees,’” said Musharbash. Airport Mobil’s fleet of tow trucks runs on compressed natural gas, an alternative fuel, Musharbash said. That requires extra training, so the On-the-Job Training program was a perfect fit for the company’s immediate need. “They went to bat for me. I really like the fact that they went above and beyond.’’

On-the-Job Training (OJT) is part of the suite of services the WIB provides to local businesses. Through the OJT program, the WIB reimburses up to 50 percent of a new hire’s salary, allowing companies to hire and invest in training them.

“The OJT program has grown quickly as more local businesses discover how useful it is,” said Janice Rutherford, San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Chair. “During the most recent program year ending in July, 259 people were placed into OJT, up from 214 the prior year.”

The OJT program is just one of the WIB’s services for businesses; customized training programs, no-cost recruitment assistance and business consulting are also offered.

“The OJT program has been among the most popular for our businesses,” said Sandy Harmsen, Executive Director of the San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board. “Just in the past two months, the program has placed about 90 employees through OJT.”

To learn more about how On-the-Job Training can help your business, please call (800) 451-JOBS or visit www.csb-win.org.


New exhibit sheds some light at the County Museum

Shed Some Light exhibitA new interactive exhibit at the San Bernardino County Museum invites visitors to learn the science behind hydroelectric power with hands-on activities and informative text panels. The display, funded by a grant from the Edison Foundation, enhances the current exhibit of hydroelectric power in the museum’s Hall of History. The exhibit is included with paid museum admission and will continue indefinitely.

Inland southern California was a pioneer in hydroelectricity. Mill Creek No. 1, built by the Redlands Electric Light and Power Company, began operating on September 7, 1893. It was the first commercial use of 3-phase alternating current generators in the United States. The power was transmitted more than seven miles to the city of Redlands as well as to a nearby ice house. The demand for electricity was so great that an additional generator was added less than 3 years later.

Among the hands-on components in the display is a demonstration of how magnets work with motors; how direct current flows; and how falling water can turn a Pelton wheel to generate electricity. Text panels explain electricity vocabulary, offer hints on saving energy, and present a map showing the variety and distribution of various power sources throughout the state of California. There’s even a panel to introduce visitors to the “Current Wars”—Edison vs. Tesla!

“Very fun – kids loved it,” “The kids like making energy with water,” “Easy to understand and very informative,” and “It is a very interesting exhibit” were among the comments from museum visitors during the exhibit’s opening weekend.

The San Bernardino County Museum is at 2024 Orange Tree Lane, at the California Street exit from Interstate 10 in Redlands. The museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 9 am to 5pm. General admission is $10 (adult), $8 (military or senior), $7 (student), and $5 (child aged 5 to 12). Children under five and Museum Association members are admitted free. Parking is free. For more information, visit www.sbcountymuseum.org. The museum is accessible to persons with disabilities.

Reminder: Volunteers needed for count of the homeless

Homeless PersonThe 2015 Point-In-Time Count of the Homeless will take place Thursday, Jan. 22, from 6 to 10 a.m. 

Volunteers will be grouped in teams of three and assigned to a deployment center in the city of their choice within San Bernardino County.

Team members will count homeless individuals and families in assigned areas throughout the county.

The purpose of a Point-in-Time count is to determine risk factors contributing to homelessness and understand the number and characteristics of people sleeping on the street, or in other places not meant for human habitation.

Please visit  www.sanbernardinocountyhomelesscounts.com for more information. Click here for more details.

Reserve now for Santa’s PJ Party at the Victor Valley Museum

C_SANTAFamilies can celebrate the holidays at the Victor Valley Museum in Apple Valley at Santa’s Pajama Party on Saturday, December 13 from 6 to 8 p.m. Reservations are required.

Families will play holiday games, hear holiday stories, make winter crafts, enjoy refreshments, and have a photo op with Santa. Kids can wear pajamas and bring their favorite teddy bear to keep them company. Guests should arrive by 6 p.m. to enjoy the whole party.

“Families love this program and return year after year,” said Jolene Redvale, curator of education at the San Bernardino County Museum. “Our relaxed, seasonal atmosphere gives everyone a chance to enjoy each other’s company while they take part in long-held holiday traditions including story time, snacking, craft-making and, best of all, the thrill of talking to Santa Claus himself.”

Cost is $10 per person. Under age 1 is free with paid adult. Each admission includes all holiday crafts and activities, a chat with Santa, and refreshments. Space is limited and fills quickly. The museum is unable to give refunds for this program. Call (760) 240-2111 for more information. Registration forms are available at the museum or online at www.sbcountymuseum.org.

The Victor Valley Museum is a branch of the San Bernardino County Museum located at 11873 Apple Valley Road in Apple Valley. Parking is free. For more information, visit www.sbcountymuseum.org. The museum is accessible to persons with disabilities.

Law enforcement night coming to the Ontario Reign

ontario reignThe San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department has partnered with the Ontario Reign for the first ever law enforcement night on February 22 benefiting the Southern California Concerns of Police Survivors.

There will be static display of various law enforcement vehicles around the arena as well as in game special intermission tributes.

To get tickets, visit the Ontario Reign website and under Promotions and look for law enforcement night on February 22. Use promo code ENFORCE to purchase tickets.

County’s crisis walk-in center in Victorville is moving

valley starValley Star High Desert Crisis Walk-In Center is moving to 12240 Hesperia Rd. (north of Bear Valley Road) in Victorville as of Dec. 8. The new center is just four miles away from the current location in a larger and newer building in a more central location. The Crisis Walk-in Center (CWIC) is for those needing immediate access to crisis mental health services, is open 24 hours, 7 days a week, and is available to those of all ages experiencing significant emotional or psychological stress. It is operated by Valley Star Community Services under a contract with the County of San Bernardino Department of Behavioral Health.

The CWIC (pronounced “The Quick”) provides important services to children, adolescents, adults, and older adults in need of immediate crisis intervention and stabilization. It is an alternative to psychiatric inpatient hospitalization, emergency rooms, and even jail. The center helps to stabilize the vast majority of individuals, preventing the need for hospitalization and/or involuntary treatment. It serves an estimated 4,000 individuals each year, and it can serve as many as 12 people at any given time.

The CWIC is voluntary and offered in an unlocked setting, with a stay of up to 23 hours. Individuals admitted into the crisis stabilization unit will be provided with services and supports to ensure their safe transition to the next level of care, or back to the community. Services include crisis stabilization and intervention, individual counseling, medication management, substance abuse treatment, family counseling, and education.

Those coming to the center may reside in the High Desert, but the center will not exclude any resident of the County of San Bernardino in need of immediate access to crisis mental health services. Services will be offered to people who walk in, call, who come in with emergency responders or law enforcement or who are brought in by friends or family.

For referrals, call (760) 245-8837 or for information, email HDCWIC@starsinc.com. TTY users please dial 7-1-1.

Property tax deadline approaching on Dec. 10

buisnessSan Bernardino County Tax Collector Larry Walker is encouraging property owners to pay the first installment of their property taxes by Wednesday, December 10 to avoid the 10 percent penalty.

Making a payment is simple for taxpayers who have the option of paying online, by mail, or in person. Payments can be made online at www.MyTaxCollector.com, 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week, free of charge, using a checking or savings account. Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover credit card payments are also accepted, and include a convenience fee charged by the issuing bank.

If using online bill pay through a banking institution, taxpayers should contact their bank regarding procedures for ensuring timely payment of taxes and their bank’s use of USPS cancellation marks. These transactions often result in a mailed check, and payments received after December 10, 2014, without a USPS cancellation mark are considered late and incur a penalty.

Mailed payments should be sent to SBC Tax Collector, 172 West Third Street, First Floor, San Bernardino, California, 92415. Only payments with a USPS postmark cancellation on or before December 10, 2014 are considered timely. Payments in person can be made by cash, check, credit card, or money order at 172 West Third Street in San Bernardino, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Payments by check or credit card will also be accepted at the High Desert Government Center, 15900 Smoke Tree Street in Hesperia, from December 1 through December 10, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

“Property tax dollars are used to fund key public services that enhance the quality of life for our residents,” said Walker. “I want to encourage property owners to do what they can to pay their property taxes by the December 10 due date to prevent incurring costly penalties that come with late payments. Taxpayers can take advantage of our online payment option at www.MyTaxCollector.com – it’s easy, secure, and Simply A Better Way To Do Business®!”

Property tax revenues collected by the Tax Collector are distributed to local government entities, including school districts, cities, libraries, special districts, and the County. These tax dollars are used to fund key public services including education, police and fire protection, social and public health services.

Workforce Investment Board: Jobs available for healthcare grads

Nurse Behind Intravenous TubeThe County of San Bernardino Workforce Investment Board announced today that it still has paid internship vacancies available for recently qualified healthcare students.
This will allow medical graduates with no previous experience to gain the training and skills they need to be offered a permanent position and establish a career. The internships are On-the-Job Training positions designed to become full-time, regular positions after 90 days.
The Workforce Investment Board was awarded the Dislocated Worker Training National Emergency Grant from the California Workforce Investment Board in the amount of $266,150 to help place 40 individuals in professional level positions in a growing industry.
The grant is designed to assist dislocated workers who have lost a job due to a layoff or company closure. The goal is to provide paid work experience for those who have earned certification in the medical field but are finding it difficult to get back to work.
The key medical professions of focus include, but are not limited to, Registered Nurses, Sonographers, Licensed Vocational Nurses and X-Ray Technicians. Traditionally, these jobs would be offered to candidates with more work experience.
“This is an excellent opportunity for newly licensed candidates to get their foot in the door at a local medical facility,” Workforce Investment Board Executive Director Sandy Harmsen commented. “This grant funding provides a connection to employers that these candidates need.”
Tina Soto, 42, from Victorville, is a great example of the program benefits. She was unemployed for three months before the Workforce Investment Board placed her in an On-the-Job Training position with Bright Now! Dental Center in Barstow this summer.
Dr. Hector Magpayo was impressed with her skills and work ethic and offered Tina a permanent job after 90 days.
“I’m so happy to be working again,” said Tina. “Even though I am a qualified Registered Dental Assistant, it was difficult for me to find a job. I am so grateful for the assistance I received.”
Dr. Magpayo said the program works well, “Sometimes small offices like ours cannot take the risk of spending the time and money on training a new employee. Tina is an excellent fit for our practice and that was an important factor – the applicant was matched well with our business.”
San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Chair Janice Rutherford added, “This healthcare grant is another example of how the Workforce Investment Board is placing residents in excellent jobs, while meeting the needs of demand industries.”
Licensed medical professionals hoping to take part in this opportunity should contact the County of San Bernardino Workforce Investment Board at 1(800) 451-JOBs or visit www.csb-win.org.

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