From the daily archives: Monday, March 8, 2010

Border Patrol agents near Nogales, Ariz. seized more than 5,000 pounds of marijuana in two separate incidents Friday at the Interstate 19 checkpoint.

Agents from the Nogales station working the Interstate 19 checkpoint Friday seized the bulk of marijuana in a single load after a Border Patrol canine team alerted to a tractor-trailer truck at the primary inspection.

Agents referred the truck for a secondary inspection and using a Non-Intrusive Inspection system (NII) discovered an anomaly not consistent with the truck’s cargo. Upon further inspection, agents found 5,061 pounds of marijuana with an estimated value of $4 million stashed among produce in the trailer. The driver, truck and marijuana were taken to the Nogales station for processing.

Bundles of marijuana weighing in at more than 5,000 pounds.
CBP Border Patrol agents seized 2.5 tons of marijuana from a tractor-trailer and a pick-up Friday.

Another load, slightly more than 108 pounds, was discovered hidden in a pick-up truck after another Border Patrol canine team alerted to the vehicle. Agents inspected the vehicle using the NII and found marijuana hidden in multiple compartments within the truck’s interior. The value of the marijuana is estimated to be more than $86,000.

“These seizures are proof that our agents will continue to remain vigilant as we continue to foil smugglers’ attempts to bring contraband into the United States,” said the Nogales Station’s Patrol Agent in Charge Alan White. “The Border Patrol continues to use the right mix of technology and personnel to strengthen our ‘Defense in Depth’ strategy for combating the flow of contraband into the interior.”

Since the beginning of Fiscal Year 2010 (October through February), the Tucson Sector has seized more than 460,000 pounds of marijuana. Technology, such as high-tech scanning equipment and canines at the checkpoints has proven to be invaluable assets in the Border Patrol strategy.


By Chris Furguson

Guitarist Brian Eldridge (left) mugs for the camera as he joins Matt Barrett in a song. Chris Furguson Photo.

The 2010 California Mid Winter Fair & Fiesta went into its final weekend.with huge energy thanks to a strong performance from one of the numerous bands at the grandstand area
“Life in the Fast Lane – The Songs of the Eagles Musical Journey” rocked a near capacity Grandstand Arena with a show
With lead vocals from Mark Dana and drummer Myra Luv,  Life In The Fast Lane also included lead guitarist Rick Ricketts, guitarist Matt Barrett, vocals, guitar and keyboards from Brian Eldridge and bassist Lonnie Garcia.
“I’ve heard these guys before,” said KXO General Manager Gene Brister.  “They really put on a great show.
With a strong catalog to choose from, the
The group began with several early Eagles hits, like “Witchy Woman” and “The New Kid In Town,” and “Peaceful Easy Feeling” before going into their namesake song “Life In The Fast Lane.”  Myra Luv also sang a version of “Desperado” that moved many in the crowd.
Later in the concert, the band delved into the Eagles’ solo efforts with Don Henley’s “All She Wants To Do Is Dance” and Glenn Frey’s “The Heat Is On.”
At the end of the show, the band finished their main set with “Get Over It” and “Hotel California,” before coming back with a high energy performance of Don Henley’s “Dirty Laundry,” that sent the crowd home excited.
“That show was awesome,” could be overheard from several members of the audience.


Haley Hamby stands with her 2010 FFA Supreme Grand Champion Calf during the auction that was held on Sunday March 7th

Imperial Valley has come through again for the 4-H and FFA animal projects. The results of the Friday and Saturday Junior Livestock Auction: 614 animals, ranging from rabbits to steers, sold for a total of $998,919. This is one of the best auctions in the fair industry and it was proven once again. Thank you buyers!


By Mario Conde

The City of Calexico will soon implement State funding for the Safe Routes to Schools program here in Calexico.

The California Department of Transportation awarded $48.5 million for 106 Safe Routes to Schools projects to help reduce injuries and fatalities among children in grades K-12 who walk and bicycle to school. The City of Calexico received $393,300 for this program and had to put 10% of matching funds of $437,000 for the total project cost.  This funding will be used to install curb ramps, constructing new crosswalks, fix sidewalks, striping, installing new signs, installation of radar speed displays, and bike lanes.

The Schools that are going to be benefited by this funding will be Main Elementary School, William Moreno, Dool Elementary, De Anza Junior High, and Vincent Memorial Junior High. The improvements will be done in various locations within ¼ mile of the schools.

“Safety is Caltrans’ number one priority,” said Director Will Kempton in a press release. “Nothing is more important than safety of our children as they travel to and from schools.” Caltrans chose each safety project based on need, its effectiveness, and how quickly it could be delivered.

City Engineer Veronica Atondo said that there will be a joint work between the Calexico Police Department and the Calexico Unified School District to motivate students to walk to schools.

Other cities in the Imperial Valley that received funding for State Routes to School are El Centro that received $300,600 in funding to improve Louts Ave. between Main Street and Adams Avenue adjacent to Sunflower Elementary School. The City of Westmorland also received $370,520 in funding in order to improve various segments and intersections along major routes traversed to Westmorland Union Elementary School.

California was the first state in the country to legislate its own Safe Routes to School program with dedicated funding in 1999. This program encourages more children to walk and bicycle to school, resulting in healthier children, improved air quality, reduced fuel consumption and green house gas emissions, and less traffic congestion near schools.

To date, the state program has awarded $243.5 million for safety projects, and the federal Safe Routes to Schools Program has awarded $91.5 million.


By Mario Conde

San Diego State University inaugurated last Friday the Confucius Institute that aims in promoting Chinese culture and education.

We are the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, a non-profit institute with Xiamen University as our partner university in China. Their mission is to present Chinese culture, make Chinese language and cultural resources available to the public, and to promote cultural diversity and harmony.

SDSU Dean Stephen Roeder said Friday having the Institute partnering with the Calexico Campus is step in the right direction in improving the education quality in the Valley and announced that Mandarin will be taught at SDSU Calexico very soon.

Dr. Paul Wong, Dean of the College of Arts and Letters and Executive Director of the Confucius Institute said that this Institute is one of the most important initiatives the Republic of China bring the education world internationally. Wong announced that another Confucius Center will be opened in Mexicali, a city that has a long history with Chinese culture.  He said that the partnership of San Diego, Mexicali, and the Imperial Valley will make it easier to make people learn Chinese.

Also, Dr. Lily Cheng, Managing Director of the SDSU Confucius Institute at the main campus, said that last year she took three students to China and when they submitted their report they changed her life. Cheng announced that this year they will take seven students from the Imperial Valley. She stated that by working with Mexicali universities they are training the global students of the 2st Century.

Also at the ceremony was Dr. Fernando Leon Garcia, Rector of CETYS in Mexicali and Aaron Bernal, Vice Rector of the Autonomous University of Baja California. Both Universities will work with the Confucius Institute in cultural and educational exchange.

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