Drought yields severe fire season

Rebecca Neipp

With nearly 100 wildfires burning in the western United States, the historic drought has been identified as a factor in this year’s calamitous fire season. Tyler Townsend, information officer for the Kern County Fire Department, noted that although county resources have been deployed to help . . . Read Full Story >>

Deficit is more than $742K

The discovery of a deficit in the recently passed city budget turned out to be higher than originally reported, with the Ridgecrest City Council learning at Wednesday night’s meeting that the city is $742,000 in the red. Tyrell Staheli, who has been performing the duties . . . Read Full Story >>

IWVWD awarded for transparency

INDIAN WELLS VALLEY WATER DISTRICT — IWVWD has been approved for renewal of the District Transparency Certificate of Excellence, awarded by the Special District Leadership Foundation in recognition of efforts to promote transparency and good governance. The district first received the certificate in 2013. IWVWD?General . . . Read Full Story >>

Council stunned by $600K deficit

By BRIAN COSNER, News Review Staff Writer During the home stretch of last week’s meeting of the Ridgecrest City Council, City Manager Dennis Speer delivered some alarming news, surprising both the council and the public. “We learned last week that our budget is not balanced,” . . . Read Full Story >>

Tech committee launches survey

Rebecca Neipp

In an effort to form a comprehensive understanding of the need for reliable and adequate Internet connections in the Indian Wells Valley, the Broadband Action Team has launched two surveys to establish the user input that will help drive community solutions. “The main goal of . . . Read Full Story >>

Cadillac run-in with new medians

Cadillac run-in with new medians

What was once a familiar left turn from Felspar Avenue onto North China Lake Boulevard left the driver of this Cadillac stranded on the partially constructed median. The driver, an elderly woman, received medical attention as a precaution, but it is unknown if she sustained . . . Read Full Story >>

IWVWD board to meet Monday

The Indian Wells Valley Water District Board of Directors will have their regular monthly meeting this Monday, Aug. 10, 6 p.m., at the water district office. The meeting is open to the public and the agenda will be available today at the water district’s website . . . Read Full Story >>

Boulevard construction to drags on

Boulevard construction to drags on

By BRIAN COSNER News Review Staff Writer After more than six months of construction on China Lake Boulevard, the Median Island Improvement Project is nearing its estimated fall completion. But the project has not been without its hiccups. On two occasions freshly laid concrete had . . . Read Full Story >>

City announces $600K deficit

City Manager Dennis Speer announced near the end of Wednesday’s meeting of the Ridgecrest City Council that the general fund was unexpectedly almost $600,000 in the red. Speer and Finance Director Tyrell Staheli will return to the council’s next meeting to discuss the issue further. . . . Read Full Story >>

McCarthy to visit IWV Tuesday

Rebecca Neipp

Rep. Kevin McCarthy will be here Tuesday to address the community, tour the base and hear from local leaders about upcoming issues. “This is a significant opportunity for our community,” said Mayor Peggy Breeden. “I feel grateful for the respect he is showing our residents . . . Read Full Story >>

City begins process to build new sewer plant

By JAMES SIMMONS New Review Correspondent The city of Ridgecrest closed its comment period Wednesday on the first step of the process that could lead to the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant. City staff had issued on June 30 a notice of preparation . . . Read Full Story >>

Patin – why we water during the day

Patin – why we water during the day

By BRIAN COSNER News Review Staff Writer As the California drought continues, the state’s citizens are required to conserve more water with more restrictions. Ridgecrest residents are currently required by Governor Brown’s emergency mandate to conserve water by 36 percent. Among the strict water regulations . . . Read Full Story >>

Investigation closes on SpaceShipTwo crash

Nine months after a high-profile crash that killed the co-pilot of SpaceShipTwo, the National Transportation Safety Board confirmed that initial reports of pilot error did in fact cause the crash of Virgin Galactic’s commercial spaceship. The craft exploded shortly after being launched from Mojave Air . . . Read Full Story >>

Gleason: ‘Everything is upbeat’

Gleason: ‘Everything is upbeat’

Rebecca Neipp

County officials attending the July 16 meeting of the Indian Wells Valley Cooperative Groundwater Manage-ment Group outlined the timeline for standing up the Groundwater Sustainability Agency, the new state-mandated oversight group tasked with managing the local groundwater basin. The proceedings also set a markedly more . . . Read Full Story >>

Assessor reports impact of plummeting oil prices

By REBECCA NEIPP News Review Staff Writer While the steep decline in oil prices resulted in a 9-percent decrease in the total value of Kern County properties, local realtors are reporting that local property values are stabilizing. Kern County Assessor-Recorder Jon Lifquist announced July 1 . . . Read Full Story >>

Staheli returns to city position

Tyrell Staheli, former city employee, has stepped back up to the plate to serve as the city’s provisional finance director, according to City Manager Dennis Speer. The director position was left vacant after former director Rachelle McQuiston took a job in Tracy, Calif., at the . . . Read Full Story >>

Super Walmart moves ahead

By BRIAN COSNER News Review Staff Writer Rumors regarding whether residents will ever actually see the opening of a Super Walmart continue to surface. However, Economic Development Manager Gary Parsons confirmed that the project is still slowly moving forward. “I hear a rumor about Walmart . . . Read Full Story >>

Companies up for next round of TAB funds

By BRIAN COSNER, News Review Staff Writer Ridgecrest is scheduled to renew its agreements with three of the four economic development tax allocation Bbond recipients next month – Monarch, Inc., Pertexa and EH Group. The fourth company, World Economic Development Alliance, already renewed its contract . . . Read Full Story >>

Plans for Dragonfly Placer mine denied

CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY — Responding to environmental groups’ requests for review, the California director of the Bureau of Land Management has overturned the agency’s approval for plans to develop the Dragonfly Placer Gold mine in the Mojave Desert. In reversing the Ridgecrest Field Office’s . . . Read Full Story >>

Water district reminds users to check water timers

The Indian Wells Valley Water District put out a public notice this week reminding users to check their irrigation timers. “Over the July 18-19 weekend, some parts of the IWV experienced power outages,” she said. “Occasionally, power outages can reset automatic irrigation sprinkler timers to . . . Read Full Story >>