Riverside County Superior Court judge imposes sentence on gun battle case

■ Chronicle News Staff In February, a Murrieta jury convicted Rafael Rodriguez Diaz, 30 of attempted murder of a peace officer, assault on a peace officer, two counts each of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and felony evading, resisting arrest and sentence enhancing allegations of committing a crime while on bail and use of a firearm during a felony. According to court records, Diaz had prior convictions for criminal street gang activity, burglary and vandalism to a power or telephone line. Diaz was sentenced on Friday to 54 years in state prison. According to the prosecutor, Deputy District Attorney Scott Mason, Diaz had several issues with the (more…)

Pesticide training for marijuana farmers

<strong>Pesticide training  for marijuana farmers</strong>
County, state to train cannabis cultivators about pesticide compliance Pixabay.comUnder state law, cannabis cultivators and employees who apply pesticides must comply with relevant pesticide laws and regulations. ■ Riverside County Agricultural Commissioner Riverside County and the State of California are teaming up to train the local cannabis industry how to comply with laws regulating pesticide use. The training by the county Agricultural Commissioner’s Office and state Department of Pesticide Regulation is geared toward licensed cultivators operating in cities that allow cultivation. Ordinances prohibit cannabis cultivation in all unincorporated areas of Riverside County but registrants will not be required to show a license in order to attend the training. Under state law, (more…)

Tinsel Triathlon races to Hemet

<strong>Tinsel Triathlon races to Hemet</strong>
33rd annual triathlon to be held at West Valley High School Connie Hall, Certified Race Director & Triathlon MakerLast year’s triathlon was a major success with the help of local volunteers and law enforcement. ■ Connie Hall / Tinsel Triathlon The 33rd Annual Tinsel Triathlon is headed to West Valley High School in Hemet in less than 100 days. With over 90 percent of participants coming from outside of the San Jacinto Valley, the Tinsel Triathlon is the largest reverse pool sprint triathlon in the nation. Bob Babbitt, co-founder of the Challenged Athletes Foundation & Competitor Magazine, Ironman Hall of Fame Inductee, USA Triathlon Hall of Fame Inductee, and Host and (more…)

The opioid epidemic

<strong>The opioid epidemic</strong>
Fatalities rise as big pharma profits Pixabay.comWhile drug companies may prey on suffering, the betrayal costs more than just our paychecks. ■ Muriel Dufresne, Golden Era Productions / Contributed On July 19, San Bernardino County filed a lawsuit, joining Riverside County and several municipalities nationwide, against multiple drug companies, distributors and pharmacies alleging that their “aggressive and fraudulent” marketing and distribution practices of prescription opioid painkillers have led to a crisis plaguing our nation. Nearly 1.2 million prescriptions were written in San Bernardino County last year for opioid medications. Officials said at least 35 people died in 2017 from opioid overdoses, and there were at least 259 non-heroin opioid overdose emergency (more…)

Operation Valley Vigilance leads to more arrests

<strong>Operation Valley Vigilance leads to more arrests</strong>
Gang impact team in Hemet area makes 58 arrests and seizure of six firearms Hemet Police DepartmentHemet Police Chief Robert Webb gives a statement at a press conference announcing a Hemet gang impact team’s success. ■ Riverside County District Attorney / Contributed More than 50 people were arrested and six weapons were seized on Aug. 30 during Operation Valley Vigilance II, the second phase of an ongoing investigation by the Riverside County Gang Impact Team, which is supervised by the DA’s Office. The operation in the Hemet and San Jacinto Valley areas saw 30 teams of local, state, and federal law enforcement officers serving 41 arrest warrants and 21 search warrants. (more…)

National Preparedness Month

Weekly action plans to implement in September for emergencies ■ Servpro Industries, Inc. / Contributed Hemet-area Servpro disaster recovery specialists offer property owners tips for preparing for, surviving, and recovering from the unexpected. Disaster restoration specialists with Servpro remind Hemet-area property owners that September is National Preparedness Month. This annual event, sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), provides families and businesses with the information and resources they need to plan for, react to, survive, and recover from an emergency, before the emergency happens. For National Preparedness Month 2018, themed “Disasters happen, prepare now, learn how,” FEMA has prepared a week-by-week calendar of recommended actions property owners can take to (more…)

Staff promotions mark HPD reorganization

<strong>Staff promotions mark HPD reorganization</strong>
Chief thanks command team for department loyalty Photo by Cindy Boeing / The Valley ChronicleThe newly promoted command officers at the Hemet Police Department flank Chief Rob Webb, center, during a ceremony in city council chambers announcing the department reorganization and top-brass promotions. From left, Capt. Edward Pust, Lt. Nathan Miller, Chief Webb, Sgt. Michael Hall, Capt. Glen Brock, Cpl. Art Paez. ■ Chris Smith / Advisory Editor It was a day filled with pride as five top-performing officers received promotions and new badges to go along with enhanced levels of responsibility designed to help the Hemet Police Department fulfill its sworn duties to the people of Hemet. “Today we officially (more…)

Labor Day: Tips to stay out of the ER

<strong>Labor Day: Tips to stay out of the ER</strong>
Biking and driving are two risky activities on Labor Day Metro ServiceLabor Day traditionally is the number one holiday for greatest number of trips to the emergency room. ■ Darria Long Gillespie / MD/contributed It’s Labor Day! One last hurrah of a holiday before autumn, last chance to wear white (or so grandmother says) and—the number one holiday for the greatest number of injuries and trips to the emergency room—especially for children. Follow these tips for a safe holiday weekend: Biking More kids on bicycles over the last warm-weather holiday of the year plus more cars on the road equals a dangerous set-up for bicycle injuries. Keep your children safe by (more…)

Fire chief comes under fire from union

<strong>Fire chief comes under fire from union</strong>
Members of Hemet Firefighters Association point finger at Chief Scott Photo courtesy of Hemet Fire DepartmentChief Scott Brown is under fire after a HFFA statement was released to the public claiming the fire department morale is unsatisfactory. ■ Chronicle News Staff The Hemet Firefighters Association (HFFA) has released survey results claiming that, “More than 90 percent (of their members) indicate the chief prioritizes his own career over Hemet’s emergency response needs.” Chief Scott Brown, meanwhile, has remained mum in the face of this public attack by the union. According to the press release statement from HFFA, President of HFFA David Prietto said, “working conditions and morale have continued to deteriorate,” in (more…)

Writers unite for poetry

<strong>Writers unite for poetry</strong>
Diamond Valley Writers Guild meets at Hemet Library Photo by Cindy Boeing / The Valley ChronicleNineteen members of Diamond Valley Writers Guild who read their poems. Back row, l to r: Jim Hitt (ball cap), Suzanne Saunders, Eve Gaal (brown blouse in far back), Valerie Eitzen (blue floral blouse), Karen Robertson (orange top), Judie Mare’ (tall brunette), Jenois Harris (black lady), Greg Porterfield (plaid shirt at end of row).Front row: Bob Nickerson (glasses tucked in shirt front), Esther Feigenbaum, Lynette Tucker (long brunette hair), Howard Feigenbaum (seated), Mary Jo Bradley (blond with pink floral blouse), Beth Camarillo, Letty Flood (hand in pocket), Daniel Kuttner (“M” on tee shirt), Ellen Barker, Katherine (more…)