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 >>

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 >>

‘Essential part of  any community’

‘Essential part of any community’

By BRIAN COSNER News Review Staff Writer The Ridgecrest City Council took time during its May 6 meeting to recognize National Public Works Week, which falls this year on May 17-23. National Public Works Week recognizes governmental employees, consultants and contractors who provide public-works services . . . 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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

City OKs  additional  school  resource officer

City OKs additional school resource officer

By BRIAN COSNER News Review Staff Writer The Department of Justice has awarded Kern County Public Health with a tobacco grant, $286,092 of which will come to Ridgecrest. Police Chief Jed McLaughlin presented the information to the Ridgecrest City Council last week and reported that . . . 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 >>

Managing risks of reopening

Managing risks of reopening

Rebecca Neipp

While government officials continue to lobby for a relaxing of state mandates that shut down many commercial operations in an attempt to reduce COVID-19 outbreaks in California, the stewards of public health for the Indian Wells Valley are hoping that relief does not carry with . . . Read Full Story >>

County adds more detail to COVID-19 dashboard

County adds more detail to COVID-19 dashboard

Rebecca Neipp

Officials of Kern County Public Health Department have once again added more layers of detail in their reports for COVID-19 results. The new dashboard unveiled Monday now includes breakdowns by race, gender and zip code. The Kern County Board of Supervisors directed county counsel to . . . Read Full Story >>

Family displaced by fire

Family displaced by fire

By BRIAN COSNER News Review Staff Writer An apartment complex on the 800 block of South Norma Street caught fire last Saturday, May 2. While a speedy response from firefighters prevented the flames from spreading beyond the first building, the damage displaced a family of . . . Read Full Story >>

RRH begins reopening clinics

RRH begins reopening clinics

Ridgecrest Regional Hospital CEO Jim Suver announced Monday that the facility will begin a phased reopening of clinics and outpatient services, in anticipation of relaxed restrictions relating to attempts to reduced COVID-19 outbreaks. “We plan to do this very slowly, performing time-sensitive and urgent elective . . . Read Full Story >>

Officials  hear  public  input on shutdown

Officials hear public input on shutdown

Rebecca Neipp

The practical considerations of re-opening the economy — as well as a philosophical quandary about state authority and application of lockdown orders — highlighted a two-hour Town Hall meeting Wednesday evening to discuss impacts of relaxing restrictions aimed at reducing COVID-19 outbreaks. City officials noted . . . Read Full Story >>

Real  estate  market staying strong

Real estate market staying strong

Rebecca Neipp

As industries across the country take stock of the impacts of shutdowns, restrictions and other precautions aimed at reducing COVID-19 outbreaks, the Ridgecrest Area Association of Realtors reports that they are currently surviving — and still poised for a thriving future. Back in January, incoming . . . Read Full Story >>

Planning Commission denies long-term stay hotel development

Planning Commission denies long-term stay hotel development

By BRIAN COSNER News Review Staff Writer The city’s Planning Commission denied the development of a proposed long-term stay hotel during it’s regular meeting on Tuesday. While commissioners acknowledged the city’s need for such a project, they deemed the development incompatible with the M-1 light . . . Read Full Story >>

RRH ponders path forward

RRH ponders path forward

Rebecca Neipp

For most health care providers, the focus on public health for the last several weeks has emphasized taking precautions to limit spread of COVID-19 and preparing for the surge in demand that accompanies outbreaks. But Ridgecrest Regional Hospital is now facing more nuanced threats on . . . Read Full Story >>

GA accused of ‘targeting’ ag

GA accused of ‘targeting’ ag

By BRIAN COSNER News Review Staff Writer Mojave Pistachios, an Indian Wells Valley grower and representative of large agriculture for the IWV Groundwater Authority’s Policy and Technical Advisory Committees, was removed from its post last week in a 4-1 vote by the GA Board. The . . . Read Full Story >>

RRH to begin serology antibody testing for COVID-19

RRH to begin serology antibody testing for COVID-19

RIDGECREST REGIONAL HOSPITAL — RRH has announced plans to begin serological blood testing, to detect the COVID-19 antibody. An order has been placed by the RRH Laboratory for the serologic test kits, which will be shipped by the distributor in May and made available to . . . Read Full Story >>

Emergency, urgent care remain open

Emergency, urgent care remain open

RIDGECREST REGIONAL HOSPITAL — RRH is reminding the community that both the Emergency Department and Urgent Care remain open, fully operational and prepared to serve all of the community’s emergency and non-emergency medical needs. “Although we are in the midst of the coronavirus or COVID-19 . . . Read Full Story >>