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2014 Local Archive Stories

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  • No ‘tolerance’ for Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s criticism of Islam — or for intelligence, either By: Richard Reeb
    Brandeis University’s decision to rescind conferring an honorary degree on undoubtedly the most intelligent critic of Islam, who has transcended the faith she was born and bred to, is only the latest example of the moral and intellectual confusion of the notion of religious tolerance. For while it is wise — and even just — to o
    Wed Apr 23, 2014
  • Rifle-toting woman campaign sign sparks interest By: SHEA JOHNSON, STAFF WRITER
    Assembly candidate Michelle Ambrozic on Tuesday said she’s received a mostly positive response to her campaign signs depicting the silhouette of a woman aiming a rifle equipped with a scope, but she also revealed that her staff was forced to file a police report after two men in Apple Valley were spotted taking them down. Spread th
    Tue Apr 22, 2014
  • Costs rising for off-road poker run By: MIKE LAMB, STAFF WRITER
    BARSTOW • Winning a off-road poker run, according Mel Wessel, is all in the cards. But Wessel is facing the reality that officials in Washington don’t see that way. Reacting to the 2010 California 200 racing disaster that killed eight spectators in Lucerne Valley, the Bureau of Land Management has changed requirements on holdi
    Tue Apr 22, 2014
  • EPA penalizes Molycorp Minerals By: STAFF REPORTS
    LOS ANGELES • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Tuesday ordered Molycorp Minerals LLC, to pay a $27,300 penalty for improper management of hazardous waste at its Mountain Pass mine and mineral processing facility. The violations were discovered as part of unannounced EPA inspections in October 2012. Mountain Pass is located o
    Tue Apr 22, 2014
  • STEM Academy to prepare students for 21st century jobs By: JOSE QUINTERO, STAFF WRITER
    BARSTOW • As the Barstow Unified School District prepares to open its Barstow STEM Academy, Principal Mark Hassell said he feels it’s an exciting time to work for the district. Hassell said he is honored to be the academy’s inaugural principal. He said he’s also excited because the district is progressing into the
    Tue Apr 22, 2014
  • Sheriff’s Department to host Drug Take Back Day By: STAFF REPORTS
    The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department will host the eighth Nationwide Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday at various sites throughout the High Desert. The event, in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration, aims to prevent prescription drug abuse and theft by encouraging residents to dispose of expired
    Tue Apr 22, 2014
  • Renewable energy workshop set for Wednesday at City Hall By: STAFF REPORTS
    San Bernardino County is creating a plan for renewable energy and is looking for comments from Barstow residents. The San Bernardino County Partnership for Renewable Energy and Conservation will be holding a workshop at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Barstow City Hall. SPARC is working on a framework for renewable energy development while p
    Tue Apr 22, 2014
  • Man accepts plea deal in brawl stabbing case By: JOSE QUINTERO, STAFF WRITER
    BARSTOW • The Barstow man accused of stabbing a man during a large brawl in February has entered into a plea deal. Andrew Perez withdrew his not guilty plea in a Victorville courtroom Friday and pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon, court records show. Perez was sentenced to serve one year in jail minus 60 days for time se
    Tue Apr 22, 2014
  • Officials: Rimrock Road project finished By: MIKE LAMB, STAFF WRITER
    BARSTOW • A long overdue Rimrock Road project was officially declared finished by city of Barstow officials on Friday. “City staff is glad it’s over,” consulting city engineer Brad Merrell said. “We are thankful to the city residents for being patient and cooperative. We can now concentrate on other city-wide
    Tue Apr 22, 2014
  • Lady Gaga’s stage unicorn to inspire Doss, others in Creature Shop By: MIKE LAMB, STAFF WRITER
    Lady Gaga’s stage unicorn takes a break from touring the world to visit the Creature Shop and serve as inspiration for this week’s Creature Brief. And Fort Irwin’s Melissa Doss will be among the contestants challenged to design and build creatures that will come to life in the SyFy reality TV show that airs at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
    Tue Apr 22, 2014
  • New guy learns about Barstow By: MIKE LAMB, STAFF WRITER
    I’m the new kid on the block. I started three weeks ago as the city editor/senior reporter at the Desert Dispatch. I spent the past 20 years at the Daily Press in Victorville — designing pages for most of that time. I supervised the copy editors and page designers as news editor for a long time. My new boss, Steve Hun
    Tue Apr 22, 2014
  • Mayor: Plant on China tour not ready for visit By: MIKE LAMB, STAFF WRITER
    BARSTOW • The decision to postpone a trip to China by city officials was made after it was discovered one of the aluminum plants the group was to visit is not online yet, according to Mayor Julie Hackbarth-McIntyre. City spokesman Anthony Riley released a statement on Friday announcing that a weeklong trip to review plants similar t
    Tue Apr 22, 2014
  • Keeping track of time By: MIKE LAMB, STAFF WRITER
    Walking in to Brunner’s Tiny Time Shop is like walking into a time machine. Well, sort of. Time does keep ticking away inside this shop, and Robert Brunner is the timekeeper. I walked into the downtown Main Street shop Thursday afternoon. Business was kind of slow, so I found Robert passing time with Leonard Schrein
    Mon Apr 21, 2014
  • Community wears jeans to support sexual assault victims By: STAFF REPORTS
    FORT IRWIN • The Fort Irwin community recently sported jeans in a Denim Day Walk to raise awareness of sexual harassment and assault. The walk, held on April 10, was part of an Army-wide program that is implemented at Fort Irwin called Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention. According to Fort Irwin public affairs
    Mon Apr 21, 2014
  • Prison officials search for missing inmate By: STAFF REPORTS
    YUCAIPA • California prison officials are searching for a minimumsecurity inmate who walked away from the Riverside County prison camp while serving a four-year burglary sentence. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation says 49-year-old James Steven Murray was last seen in his dorm room at Oak Glen Conservation C
    Mon Apr 21, 2014
  • Administrators from County Schools office to receive regional awards By: STAFF REPORTS
    SAN BERNARDINO • San Bernardino County Superintendent Gary Thomas will be among four representatives of the County Schools’ office to be recipients of this year’s Association of California School Administrators’ Region 12 spring awards at a ceremony on April 21 at the San Bernardino Hilton. Thomas will receive two
    Sat Apr 19, 2014
  • Ratepayer group takes issue with gas rate hike figures By: STAFF REPORTS
    The Office of Ratepayer Advocates takes issue with Southwest Gas Corporation’s interpretation of how much more customers can expect to pay each month if the California Public Utilities Commission approves the company’s proposed rate hike. The CPUC will vote on the rate increase at its May 1 meeting. The ORA, which is
    Sat Apr 19, 2014
  • GOP still dominant regionally By: SHEA JOHNSON, STAFF WRITER
    VICTORVILLE • In a state of mostly Democrats, this region has historically been a rare pocket of majority Republicans. Data released this week by the San Bernardino County Elections Office — specific to local-level districts and cities — only reaffirms that the area’s votership continues to buck the statewide trend.
    Sat Apr 19, 2014
  • Newly hired firefighter relishes dream job By: JOSE QUINTERO, STAFF WRITER
    BARSTOW • Graham LaBarge said he narrowed his career choices to two professions after high school: Professional soccer player or firefighter. On Monday, LaBarge began his first shift as a recently hired limited-term firefighter with the Barstow Fire Protection District. LaBarge, 27, is in his third year as a full-time firefi
    Fri Apr 18, 2014
  • Casino’s final impact statement released By: MIKE LAMB, STAFF WRITER
    BARSTOW • A proposed $160 million casino and resort off Lenwood Road near Interstate 15 has been cleared of any major negative impact on the environment by the U.S. Department of Interior. The final environmental impact statement released Friday, which must proceed through a 30-day comment period, represents a major hurdle cleared i
    Fri Apr 18, 2014
  • Officials’ weeklong trip to China postponed By: MIKE LAMB, STAFF WRITER
    BARSTOW • A weeklong trip by city officials to China to review sites similar to the $1.5 billion aluminum plant proposed south of a defunct golf course has been postponed. Two council members, two staff members and an economic development representative from San Bernardino County planned to get on a plane Sunday, with their return s
    Fri Apr 18, 2014
  • Escapee found, arrested in Las Vegas casino By: JOSE QUINTERO, STAFF WRITER
    The Barstow man who escaped from local authorities after being arrested in March was found and arrested in Las Vegas on Wednesday, police said. Diante “Butchie” Yarber was located walking in the Planet Hollywood Casino by detectives from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department at approximately 2:45 p.m., according to Bar
    Fri Apr 18, 2014
  • Website listing salary information expanding By: GARY BRODEUR, STAFF WRITER
    A state website that offers a look at public employees’ salary and retirement information is being expanded, a spokesman for Controller John Chiang said. The website — — was launched two months after the August 2010 disclosure that former Bell city manager Robert Rizzo and other staff members were grant
    Thu Apr 17, 2014
  • BCC promotes tech education to create jobs By: MIKE LAMB, STAFF WRITER
    BARSTOW • Barstow Community College has a plan, according to Vice President of Administrative Services George Walters, to get the institution in compliance with the California 50 percent law. At the same time, the process of evaluating its budget priorities appears to have reinforced its mission. “I believe our new hires need
    Thu Apr 17, 2014
  • Barstow police officers to sport body cameras in coming weeks By: JOSE QUINTERO, STAFF WRITER
    BARSTOW • Barstow Police Department patrol officers will soon sport body-worn cameras, becoming the third agency in San Bernardino County to do so. On Thursday, police officers began training, outfitted with the body cameras to prepare for the implementation of the cameras in the coming weeks. The only other agencies in the county t
    Thu Apr 17, 2014