Shops, restaurants reopen Friday

Shops, restaurants reopen Friday

A groundswell of advocates from our community, county and state appear to have been successful in gaining approval from the office of Gov. Gavin Newsom to accelerate the next phase of “Stage 2” reopenings, which means that dine-in restaurants and small shops could be receiving . . . Read Full Story >>

Schools  face 10-  percent  slash in funding

Schools face 10- percent slash in funding

Rebecca Neipp

California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced earlier this month that COVID-19 measures yielded a projected $52 billion deficit in the state budget. Following analysis of his May Revise, public schools are expecting that shortfall to translate into a massive loss in funding. Proposition 98 requires that . . . Read Full Story >>

Fairgrounds facing dire options

Fairgrounds facing dire options

Rebecca Neipp

Desert Empire Fairgrounds may be the next economic casualty of COVID-19 restrictions, if social distancing limitations continue as anticipated in California. Across the state, fairground associations — including DEF — are lobbying Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office to provide $300 million to offset losses that threaten . . . Read Full Story >>

What is happening at China Lake?

What is happening at China Lake?

Rebecca Neipp

For 10 weeks the news cycle has been dominated by the crisis of a lifetime. What began as drastic lockdowns ordered by public officials in order to reduce outbreaks of the COVID-19 pandemic has morphed into a debate about how to mitigate risk without killing . . . Read Full Story >>

Council meeting moved to Friday

Council meeting moved to Friday

By BRIAN COSNER News Review Staff Writer The Ridgecrest City Council rescheduled this week’s regular meeting to 1 p.m. today at City Hall. Wednesday’s meeting was interrupted because of recording equipment failure caused by a power outage. Due to COVID-19 measures, members of the public . . . Read Full Story >>

Kern OKs $25m in relief funds

Kern OKs $25m in relief funds

Rebecca Neipp

While the federal government approved $2 trillion in coronavirus relief funds in March, many small businesses did not qualify for the Payment Protection Program and other available resources. But on Tuesday, the Kern County Board of Supervisors approved $25 million to help local proprietors left . . . Read Full Story >>

Board seat to go on Nov. ballot

Board seat to go on Nov. ballot

Rebecca Neipp

The unexpected death of Amy Castillo-Covert, a longtime trustee on the Sierra Sands Unified School District Board of Directors, leaves a vacancy that would otherwise not be filled until late 2022. Dr. David Ostash, district superintendent, said he learned recently from SSUSD attorneys that given . . . Read Full Story >>

Urges support for 5G

Urges support for 5G

At the May 5 Ridgecrest City Council meeting the topic was raised on the public safety of the 5G cellular networks technology. 5G is the fifth-generation technology standard for the cellular telephone industry. It is the planned successor to the 4G/LTE network standard on which . . . Read Full Story >>

Hospital joins in request to reopen county

Hospital joins in request to reopen county

From RIDGECREST REGIONAL HOSPITAL RRH announced today that it is one of t28 signatories, including all ten Kern County acute care area hospitals, who have joined forces in seeking additional flexibility for reopening in a letter of request sent to Governor Gavin Newsom dated Friday, . . . Read Full Story >>

Pandemic yields historic state budget deficit

Pandemic yields historic state budget deficit

Rebecca Neipp

California is facing the highest unemployment rate and the largest budget deficit since the Great Depression — and it could get worse, as financial hardship associated with COVID-19 continues on an unknown timeline. The historic crash comes on the heels of a high-flying economy, which . . . Read Full Story >>

‘Drive-through’ ceremony set

‘Drive-through’ ceremony set

Rebecca Neipp

After weeks of monitoring state directives regarding COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings, Sierra Sands Unified School District announced that any option for even a modified assembly has been ruled out. “While operating within the latest and foreseeable state and county guidelines, our graduation committee has . . . Read Full Story >>

Newsom grants tax extension

After numerous discussions with State Board of Equalization leaders, business groups and others, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced last week that he is granting extensions and making payment plans available to qualifying property taxpayers. The governor issued two executive orders, the first of which allows homeowners . . . Read Full Story >>

Police arrest suspect afer shots fired

Police arrest suspect afer shots fired

By BRIAN COSNER News Review Staff Writer The Ridgecrest Police Department arrested a suspect after responding to a report of shots fired on Thursday, May 7. After numerous 911 calls, officers responded to the 200 block of East La Mirage Lane where they arrested James . . . Read Full Story >>

City 
explores 
temporary 
sales tax

City explores temporary sales tax

Rebecca Neipp

As communities throughout the nation are feeling the negative financial impacts associated with COVID-19 closures, City Manager Ron Strand told Ridgecrest City Council at its May 6 meeting that the Finance Committee is exploring a temporary half-cent sales tax to offset potential losses. “We’ve had . . . Read Full Story >>

GA owes $500K to Stetson

GA owes $500K to Stetson

By BRIAN COSNER News Review Staff Writer The Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority has an unpaid balance of some $500,000 with Stetson Engineering, one of its consulting firms. The news came from IWV Water District General Manager Don Zdeba, who also acts as GM for . . . Read Full Story >>

Taking a moment for reflection

Taking a moment for reflection

By DR. DAVID OSTASH, Supervisor Sierra Sands Unified School District As a lifelong public educator, I have always believed that schools serve as a “hub of the community.” We are an asset for all in the community – there is something for everyone. From academics . . . Read Full Story >>

Council suggests limiting 5G

Council suggests limiting 5G

By BRIAN COSNER News Review Staff Writer The Ridgecrest City Council spoke at length last week on how the city could take action to limit the installation of towers that would utilize 5G millimeter radio frequency waves. Councilmembers cited health and aesthetics concerns, pointing out . . . Read Full Story >>

Free COVID-19 testing comes to Ridgecrest

Free COVID-19 testing comes to Ridgecrest

Rebecca Neipp

Free drive-through testing for COVID-19 begins Friday, thanks to a partnership between Ridgecrest Regional Hospital and Kern County. “The ability to expand testing for Ridgecrst and our surrounding residents is what we have been pushing for,” said Jim Suver, president-CEO of RRH. As Californians groan . . . Read Full Story >>

Community mourns the passing of trustee, advocate, friend

Community mourns the passing of trustee, advocate, friend

Rebecca Neipp

On Monday morning, local social media pages were awash with expressions of grief from those mourning the sudden passing of Amy Castillo-Covert. Hundreds of stories, memories, photos and tributes began cropping up when news of her death went public. These messages came from politicians, educators, . . . Read Full Story >>

Mystery film crew comes to IYK

Mystery film crew comes to IYK

Rebecca Neipp

While residents across the nation shelter in place in hopes of reducing COVID-19 outbreaks — choosing to endure financial hardship and isolation in exchange for protecting human life — many point to the difficulty in finding any associated silver linings. But V/SPEED co-founders Mike Knockenhauer . . . Read Full Story >>