Recovery Act to Expand Local Broadband Internet Service

U.S. Commerce Secretary Locke today, joined by Senator Jeff Bingaman, Senator Tom Udall and former New Mexico Governor Toney Anaya on a press conference call, announced a $11.2 million Recovery Act investment to help bridge the technological divide, boost economic growth, create jobs, and improve education and healthcare in eastern New Mexico and west Texas. The grant will bring high-speed Internet access to more than 200 community anchor institutions — including schools, public safety organizations, healthcare facilities, and government agencies — and lay the groundwork for bringing affordable broadband service to thousands of homes and businesses in the region.

Tucson Woman Arrested Smuggling Marijuana

Naco, Ariz. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized $95,000 of marijuana concealed in a spare tire of a vehicle being driven by a Tucson woman.

Early Monday morning, CBP officers were screening traffic coming from Mexico, at the Naco port of entry. The officers decided to look further at a Chevy Tahoe being driven by a 28-year-old woman from Tucson, Ariz. Utilizing high-tech detection equipment, officers discovered packages of marijuana concealed in the spare tire of the SUV. The total weight of marijuana was more than 40 pounds with an estimated street value of $95,000.

Border Patrol in California Rescues Stranded Illegal Crosser

El Centro, Calif. – The U.S. Border Patrol’s Border Patrol Search, Trauma and Rescue unit was called out for a search on Monday, resulting in the rescue of one individual.

At approximately 4:20 p.m., radio dispatchers received a call from Imperial County Sheriff’s Office stating that a person had called requesting help. The person stated that he had been left behind after illegally crossing the border into the United States through the mountains near Ocotillo, Calif.

Skate Park Funds Might Be Gone After PSB, City Applies For Grant

By Luke Phillips
The Holtville City Council voted last Monday, Feb. 22nd,  to put a safety net in place for the city’s proposed skate park.
City Manager Laura Fischer warned them that there may not be enough money left over for the park after the city’s new public safety building is constructed.
The council voted unanimously to approve a resolution that authorizes the city to submit an application for a grant from the Statewide Park Development Community Revitalization Program of 2008 to fund the park.
According to Fischer the grant is only available for new park projects, so current plans to build Holtville’s skate park at the Samaha Park tennis courts would have to be scrapped in favor of a site located at 4th Street and Pine Ave.
Applying for the grant does not preclude the city from going back to the original plan if there are capitol improvement funds left over after the public safety building is finished, but the city would lose a non-refundable application fee of up to $7,000.
The grant program provides up to $5M for each community park project, but Holtville will only be applying for $800,000  – the estimated cost of the skate park project if it is built at the 4th Street site.
Grant applications are scored using a points system based on certain criteria in the community. According to a report from Holtville Grant Manager Virginia Medoza, the city meets or exceeds all of the requirements. The scoring criteria include:
– Critical Lack of Park Space
– Significant Poverty
– Type of Project
– Community Based Planning
– Sustainable Techniques
– Fees and Hours of Operation
– Youth Outdoor Learning Employment or Volunteer Opportunities
– Community Challenges and Project benefits.
Deadline for the grant application is March 1 and grants will be awarded in September of this year.

Red Cross Introduces Humanitarian Law Class

The San Diego/Imperial Counties Chapter of the American Red Cross is partnering with the United Nations Association of San Diego to offer a FREE 4-hour teacher training course, Exploring Humanitarian Law (EHL).  The workshop is designed to introduce upper level middle school, high school and college educators to the American Red Cross EHL curriculum and prepare them to effectively and easily integrate the EHL curriculum into existing lesson plans.
Exploring Humanitarian Law is an innovative, international program that builds critical-thinking skills and character through understanding human dignity: instilling respect, fairness, caring and the responsibilities of global citizenship.
It will be offered on Saturday, March 27, 2010 from 10am to 2pm at the UN Association Building, located at 2171 Pan American Plaza in Balboa Park.
The American Red Cross is an authorized provider of Continuing Education Units through the International Association for Continuing Educations and Training (IACET).
The local chapter of the American Red Cross also regularly offers a class on International Humanitarian Law (IHL), which provides a framework for protection of civilians and combatants alike in a world where warfare and civil strife are a daily reality for millions.  This FREE 4-hour introductory course is intended to raise awareness among local community members and leaders about the Geneva Conventions of 1949, the basic rules of IHL and the role of the Red Cross to implement IHL during armed conflict.   All classes are held at the local Red Cross chapter headquarters located at 3950 Calle Fortunada in Kearny Mesa.  Upcoming training dates are as follows:
Thursday, February 25, 2010 from 1pm – 5pm
Saturday, February 27, 2010 from 1pm – 5pm
Saturday, March 13, 2010 from 3pm – 7pm
For more information regarding these classes or to register, please visit www.sdarc.org/internationalservices or contact Christine Seisun at 858-309-1338 or christine.seisun@sdarc.org.