Stagecoach fire nears containment

Stagecoach fire nears containment

By BRIAN COSNER News Review Staff Writer After burning across more than 7,700 acres, the Stagecoach Fire is 64% contained thanks to the efforts of nearly 1,000 personnel from the Kern County Fire Department, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, CalFire, Kern County Sheriff’s . . . Read Full Story >>

Concerns about  ‘replenishment’  fee continue

Concerns about ‘replenishment’ fee continue

By BRIAN COSNER, News Review Staff Writer While the impending groundwater replenishment fee was not on Wednesday night’s Ridgecrest City Council agenda, a member of the public raised concerns about the significant burden it will place on local ratepayers. “I’m a little disappointed this subject . . . Read Full Story >>

Convalescent plasma comes to RRH

Convalescent plasma comes to RRH

Rebecca Neipp

In the absence of an FDA-approved treatment for COVID-19, local healthcare providers are encouraging those who have recovered from the illness to consider donating plasma to others coping with the disease. “This is really a ‘good news’ story, of sorts,” said Celia Mills, administrator of . . . Read Full Story >>

RRH offers lung cancer screening

RRH offers lung cancer screening

Rebecca Neipp

In conjunction with the international observation of August as “Lung Cancer Awareness” month, Ridgecrest Regional Hospital unveiled a new screening program starting this week. The RRH Cancer Center now offers low-dose computed tomography scans that can help detect earlier onset in lung cancers. The latest . . . Read Full Story >>

Stagecoach Fire still growing

Stagecoach Fire still growing

By BRIAN COSNER News Review Staff Writer Multiple agencies and nearly hundreds of personnel are working around the clock to contain the Stagecoach fire, which originated Monday, Aug. 3 near the Kern County community of Havilah, about nine miles south of Lake Isabella. “As firefighters . . . Read Full Story >>

Community resources move forward

Community resources move forward

By BRIAN COSNER News Review Staff Writer Two local community resources – the Ridgecrest Community Garden and Ridgecrest Restoration Ministries – moved forward Tuesday when the Ridgecrest Planning Commission approved their conditional use permits. The Ridgecrest Community Garden is being organized by non-profit organization Holistic . . . Read Full Story >>

Kern numbers soar, IWV cases stabilize

Kern numbers soar, IWV cases stabilize

By REBECCA NEIPP News Review Staff Writer The number of COVID-positive residents in the county continues to increase, with the average number of new daily cases averaging in the hundreds, according to Kern County Public Health Department Director Matt Constantine. He told the Ridgecrest City . . . Read Full Story >>

Water District: replenishment fee is premature

Water District: replenishment fee is premature

By BRIAN COSNER, News Review Staff Writer Valley residents can expect numerous increases to their water bills in the coming months and years due to the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority’s sustainability efforts. The GA has hundreds of millions of dollars worth of potential projects . . . Read Full Story >>

Health officials give mosquito warning

Health officials give mosquito warning

The Kern County Department of Public Health issued a warning that, as warm weather persists, residents should take appropriate precautions to protect themselves and their neighbors from mosquitos. “The first confirmed West Nile Virus-carrying mosquito of the year has been confirmed within Kern County,” said . . . Read Full Story >>

USDA offers COVID assistance to farmers

USDA offers COVID assistance to farmers

Farmers and ranchers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic can now apply for USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, which provides direct payments to farmers and ranchers to offset impacts from the coronavirus pandemic. Applications will be accepted through Aug. 28. USDA now has the application form . . . Read Full Story >>

Ongoing flux strains us all

Ongoing flux strains us all

Rebecca Neipp

The constantly changing status of operations, and shifting state guidelines, is a source of frustration for businesses, services providers and citizens as Kern County numbers drive Ridgecrest and other communities back to the penalties for landing on the state’s “monitoring list.” Months ago, Gov. Gavin . . . Read Full Story >>

The testing paradox

The testing paradox

Rebecca Neipp

Counties that report dramatic increases in positivity rates for COVID-19 infection are subject to closures and restrictions in order to help contain outbreaks. But new guidelines for screening, in light of a nationwide shortage of test kits, mean that only those presenting symptoms will qualify . . . Read Full Story >>

GA  approves  fee hike

GA approves fee hike

By BRIAN COSNER News Review Staff Writer Valley water users will see another increase to their water bills, with more increases to come, after the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority approved a groundwater extraction fee increase – from $30 to $105 per acre foot – . . . Read Full Story >>

State adopts new testing guidelines

State adopts new testing guidelines

Rebecca Neipp

As California cases of COVID-19 surge to 350,000, with nearly 250,000 of those identified as active, state officials adopted new guidelines prioritizing who should be tested. The burgeoning screening numbers have triggered delays in the ability of labs to process test results. About a month . . . Read Full Story >>

GA to discuss “massive” fee increase

GA to discuss “massive” fee increase

By BRIAN COSNER News Review Staff Writer Valley groundwater users could see their pumping fees increase from $30 to as much as $225 per acre-foot, according to a proposed ordinance of the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority. The GA will hold a public hearing Thursday, . . . Read Full Story >>

Our year since the earthquakes

Our year since the earthquakes

Rebecca Neipp

As citizens of our nation, and the world, collectively muse over the seemingly cataclysmic events of 2020, our community approaches the one-year anniversary of the day our lives were literally and figuratively shaken to the core. After nearly two decades of relative seismic inactivity in . . . Read Full Story >>

Dine-in  option  revoked  in Kern

Dine-in option revoked in Kern

Rebecca Neipp

Citing an increase in the number of positive cases for COVID-19, as well as the rate of positivity in testing, Gov. Gavin Newsom held a press conference Wednesday to say that he was modifying the public health orders that restrict gatherings in California. “The bottom . . . Read Full Story >>

GA pursues exploratory projects in Rose Valley

GA pursues exploratory projects in Rose Valley

By BRIAN COSNER News Review Staff Writer The Indian Wells Groundwater Authority is pursuing more than $600,000 worth of projects with the help of the Navy-Coso Royalties Fund. In 2018, lawmakers helped secure some of the royalties from Coso Geothermal Field’s energy operations – which . . . Read Full Story >>

Hospital officials urge caution amid outbreak

Hospital officials urge caution amid outbreak

Rebecca Neipp

As of Wednesday morning, the number of positive results for COVID-19 gathered at Ridgecrest Regional Hospital had leapt from 11 to 33 in the space of a week. And 468 test results, out of 1,697 samples collected, are still pending. Officials of both Immanuel Child . . . Read Full Story >>

Mask up or stay shut down

Mask up or stay shut down

Rebecca Neipp

Updated on July 2, 2020 —————— The best way to contain COVID-19 outbreaks while allowing people to move as freely about the community as possible is to adhere to state mandates for wearing masks while in public. Although healthcare and government officials continue to urge . . . Read Full Story >>