From the daily archives: Friday, April 30, 2010

By Bob Hurst

Tampa Bay’s start to this season is even better than its start in 2008, when the Rays went to their first World Series. Although it doesn’t guarantee another trip to the Fall Classic, the Rays have served notice that they’ll be in contention.

Going into this week, Tampa Bay was 14-3, with just one series loss, in the first week to the New York Yankees. The Rays went 9-1 on their first road trip, winning seven straight to tie a franchise-record, including a four-game sweep at Boston.

“We really stayed focused, which translated into a lot of wins,” said first baseman Carlos Pena, who was second in the American League with 18 RBIs going into Tuesday’s game. “It’s part of our maturity. Regardless of where we are, regardless of the weather, to focus the way we did, having good at-bats, our pitchers grinding it out…I like what I see.”

Although the Rays had their seven-game win streak snapped against the White Sox in Chicago, they came back to win the final two games of the series by a combined score of 22-2.

That run production is typical of this year’s team, which led the AL with 113 runs (nearly six runs per game). Tampa Bay had scored seven or more runs eight times.

Some of the big bats in the Rays’ order other than Pena include Evan Longoria, who was batting .324 with three home runs and 14 RBIs; B.J. Upton, who had four homers and 15 RBIs, and Carl Crawford, hitting .319.

Others, like Jason Bartlett, are contributing too. Bartlett drove in two runs for the second consecutive game in Sunday’s 6-0 home win against Toronto.

The pitching hasn’t been bad either, with the Rays ranked second in the AL with a 3.21 ERA. Dave Price, who is 3-1 with a 2.20 ERA, pitched his first career complete game and shutout on Sunday, allowing four hits with nine strikeouts and one walk. At one point, Price retired 12 in a row.

Matt Garza started this week with a 3-1 record and 2.17 ERA.

The Rays began the week in first place in the AL East, leading the Yankees by 1 1/2 games. Their pace is better than the 2008 AL pennant-winning club that went 97-65, and is helping to erase the bad taste of an 84-78 record last season.

“Our group is very hungry,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “They’re not satisfied. We did not like last year. We’re very motivated.”

Brewers dominate Pirates: Last week’s 20-0 drubbing by Milwaukee was hard for the Pittsburgh Pirates to swallow. It was the most lopsided defeat in the Pirates 124-year history.

“Lots of times, I felt like I was throwing batting practice to them,” said Pirates pitcher Daniel McCutchen, who gave up six runs and eight hits in 3 2/3 innings.

Milwaukee pounded out 25 hits, and 10 Brewers batters had at least one RBI. The Brewers outscored the Pirates 36-1 in the three-game series in Pittsburgh.

“They came in and kicked our butt,” Pirates manager John Russell said.

Milwaukee tied a team record for margin of victory and set a record for its biggest shutout win.

After losing three in a row at Houston over the weekend, the Pirates picked up where they left off, on the losing end of a 17-3 beating by the Brewers in Milwaukee. Going into Tuesday’s game, the Brewers had outscored the Bucs 53-4 this season.

“At some point it’s got to turn around,” Russell said. “It’s a young team, and they need to decide when they want to do that. It’s not just Milwaukee — everyone’s kicking us right now.”

The Brewers were 37-12 against Pittsburgh since 2007, with 22 straight victories at Miller Park through Monday’s contest.

A taste of their own medicine: The baseball gods have a way of punishing teams who have regaled in battering fellow teams. Milwaukee, riding a four-game winning streak going into a three-game set at home over the weekend, was crushed by the Chicago Cubs.

The Cubs outscored the Brewers 25-4, including Sunday’s 12-2 score.

“The Pittsburgh series, we not only hit the ball, but we pitched very well,” Brewers manager Ken Macha said. “This series we did neither.”

Diamond Notes: Tampa Bay’s win on Sunday had only one negative aspect. The Rays became the first team since 1978 to be caught stealing in four consecutive innings. Toronto catcher Jose Molina threw out each runner…In a game last week at Oakland, the Yankees turned their first triple play since 1968. With runners on first and second, third baseman Alex Rodriguez caught a grounder by Kurt Suzuki and stepped on the base to force the runner. Then he threw to second baseman Robinson Cano for another force, and Cano relayed the ball to first baseman Nick Johnson, beating Suzuki for the third out…After losing a series at Washington, the Los Angeles Dodgers are now 7-11 in games in D.C.

Copyright © 2010  Bob Hurst. All Rights Reserved. Distributed by Hurst Sports Media.


San Diego — A courtroom full of Border Patrol agents was present on Thursday morning at U.S. District Court for the sentencing of a teenager who was involved in the murder of Border Patrol Agent Robert Rosas.

Christian Daniel Castro-Alvarez, 17, pled guilty on November 20, 2009 and was sentenced to 40 years in prison for his role in the murder. The arrest and conviction of Castro-Alvarez was made possible through the efforts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California and the FBI San Diego Field Office.

The presence of Border Patrol agents at the sentencing was meant to support the family of Robert Rosas and send a message to the defendant that his brutal act also victimized the larger law enforcement community.

“This brutal act of violence on a U.S. Border Patrol agent cannot and will not be tolerated,” Acting Chief Patrol Agent Richard A. Barlow, of the U.S. Border Patrol’s San Diego Sector, said. “Although Mr. Castro-Alvarez has well earned this long custodial sentence, his punishment will never repay the debt he owes to those he has affected and who grieve the murder of Agent Rosas.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Border Patrol Agent Robert W. Rosas, Jr. was Killed While on Routine Duty on the U.S. – Mexico Border in July 2009

SAN DIEGO—Christian Daniel Castro-Alvarez, 17, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge M. James Lorenz to serve 480 months in federal prison based on his guilty plea in the death of Customs and Border Protection Border Patrol Agent Robert W. Rosas, Jr., U.S. Attorney Karen P. Hewitt for the Southern District of California announced today. Agent Rosas was shot and killed on July 23, 2009, while he was on a routine patrol near San Diego. The defendant previously pleaded guilty to the murder of a federal officer committed in perpetration of a robbery.

U.S. Attorney Hewitt said, “Agent Rosas was tragically murdered in the line of duty as he protected the border and our nation. His proud career as a federal law enforcement officer stood for seeking justice and upholding the rule of law. Because of today’s sentence of imprisonment, the next 40 years the defendant serves in prison shall also echo those important principles—justice and the rule of law—for which Agent Rosas paid the ultimate sacrifice.”

According to the plea agreement, Castro-Alvarez admitted that during the evening of July 23, 2009, he illegally entered the United States for the purpose of robbing a Border Patrol agent of government property. While Agent Rosas was engaged in the performance of his duties, Castro-Alvarez and his co-conspirators lured Agent Rosas out of his vehicle for the purpose of robbing him. During the course of the robbery, Agent Rosas and the defendant struggled over a firearm and Agent Rosas was shot multiple times by the defendant and one or more of the co-conspirators. Agent Rosas died as a result of the shots fired. According to court documents, Castro-Alvarez was a minor at the time the offense was committed, and he voluntarily surrendered to the United States to face criminal charges. The defendant also agreed to transfer proceedings from juvenile disposition to adult criminal prosecution.

“This brutal act of violence on a U.S. Border Patrol agent cannot and will not be tolerated,” Acting Chief Patrol Agent Richard A. Barlow of the U.S. Border Patrol’s San Diego Sector said. “Although Mr. Castro-Alvarez has well earned this long custodial sentence, his punishment will never repay the debt he owes to those he has affected and who grieve the murder of Agent Rosas.”

FBI Special Agent in Charge Keith Slotter commented, “Agent Rosas was a brave man who gave his life defending our nation’s borders. Without thoughtful investigative work and cooperation of law enforcement agencies on both sides of the border, today’s sentencing would not have come. Though the death of Agent Rosas was tragic, I am pleased to see this individual brought to justice.”

The investigation was conducted by the FBI. U.S. Attorney Hewitt noted that the agents of the FBI San Diego Field Division deserve special thanks for their swift, professional, and comprehensive action in investigating Agent Rosas’ death. The investigation was assisted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection – U.S. Border Patrol, and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. The case was prosecuted in San Diego federal court by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michelle Pettit and Seth Askins.


City of Holtville


April 26


Someone called police to report a subject on a dirt bike speeding around roads on the outskirts of town and driving recklessly. The caller was advised of his options.


A female subject called police to report that the family dog was missing after she had left the gate open during the night. She was advised to contact animal control.


Someone called police to report two siblings having an argument on their front lawn. Both subjects were gone when officers arrived. The caller was advised of their options.


April 27


A male subject called police to report that his girlfreind is causing trouble and refusing to leave. An officer was able to make contact with the girlfriend and advised to stay off the property. The caller was advised to obtain a restraining order against her.


Somone called police to report that a stereo faceplate and a subwoofer had been stolen from their SUV. The caller was advised of his options. A full report was taken of the incident.


April 28


A female subject called police to report finding her trashcans in the alley. The caller stated that the trash cans were left in the garage overnight, so the wind isn’t to blame. She was advised of her options.


Someone called police to report an unknown male subject repeatedly knocking on their window. The subject was not in the area when officers arrived. The caller was advised on how to deal with the situation.


Someone called police to report that the driver’s side window of their vehicle had been broken during the night. The caller believes that a stone was used to shatter the window. Nothing was found missing. A report was written on the incident and the caller was advised of his options.


Someone called police to report a group of unknown, suspicious males walking through an alley in the area. The caller was advised to keep his lights on. The group was not found in the area.

City of El Centro


April 23


It was reported, that the neighbors are having a very big party down the road, the caller along with his closer neighbors are being kept up due to the large amount of ruckus, the host was contacted by an officer, he complied to keep it down.


It was reported, that a male subject has his sound system turned up extremely high, and though it isn’t a party, he does have a small gathering whom are on the front lawn by the system in the vehicle, the subject was contacted, he was advised to keep it down or to turn it off, he complied to keep things civil.


April 24


It was reported, that the caller’s husband is under the influence of alcohol and is being aggressive towards her, the caller has locked her self in their bedroom, both her and her husband were counseled and advised to seek help.


It was reported, that the caller’s vehicle has been vandalized, the caller had found that his four tires had been slashed with an unknown object sometime last night, the total value was estimated by $300 dollars, a report was made.


April 25


It was reported, that a few teenage subjects are loitering in the area and smoking marijuana, the subjects were last seen in the alley, but were long gone before an officer could arrive, the caller was advised to call back, should they return


It was reported that two male subjects were in the area attempting to break into his neighbors vehicle, the two subjects failed in breaking into the vehicles, an officer did arrive on the scene, though the subjects were long gone, a report was taken.


It was reported that the caller’s Blue Taures had been broken into, the stereo was taken from the vehicle, it was not known what else may have been taken, the caller is advised of his options.


April 26


It was reported that the caller had found his shop opened this morning, the caller is noticing that a few things are missing, though it isn’t known what is missing he was advised to make a list, the caller was advised of his options.


It was reported, that the caller’s black SUV has been stolen, the caller was unsure if he had left the keys inside or if he left it unlocked, but he is sure that he saw it late last night before bed, a report was written of the incident, the caller was advised of his options.


It was reported, that a vicious k-9 had attempted to attack the caller, this has happened before and the caller is really starting to get worried that he may get mauled next time, the dog’s owner was contact and advised to keep the dog on a leash.


April 27


It was reported, that two males were in the alley behind the callers home sitting down, the only problem is that they were smoking marijuana,  the two subjects were gone before an officer arrived,  the caller was advised on his options.


It was reported, that a purple pickup truck was driving recklessly, the driver was cutting off vehicles and cutting corners, the caller stated that he was also cutting it close and that a crash seemed inevitable, the subject was not found.

City of Brawley


April 23


It was reported that a teenager in the area had tried to break into the caller’s property, the teenager is now disturbing the peace. The young man was not found in the area, the caller was advised to call back should he return to the area.


It was reported that a group in the neighborhood is having loud music playing while they drink and relax, when they turned down their music, the group then began to talk loudly, the subjects were asked to take it inside, they complied.


It was reported, that a male and female  sibling couple were arguing in plain view of the public which quickly escalated into a pushing and shoving fight, both were counseled and asked to separate, from which they did.


April 24


It was reported, that two females were seen having an intense argument, it turned out that the caller is being accused of damaging the subject’s vehicle when she opened her door, the situation was handled, both were referred to a civil court.


It was reported, that the caller’s parents are shoving and pushing themselves around, the caller who is a young kid is worried that they may actually get hurt,  the caller’s parents were under the influence, they were counseled.


April 25


It was reported, that a male subject was loitering at the local gas station, the subject would also walk around and ask for money, the subject refused to leave, he was soon sent on his way


It was reported, that the caller’s brother is causing some trouble at her place. Her brother is on probation and shouldn’t be at her residence, an officer arrived and was able to handle the situation.


It was reported, that the caller’s son is being very aggressive, though the caller does have a restraining order against him, he wishes to not enforce it, the caller just wants him gone, the young man was sent on his way.


April 26


It was reported,  that a few kids on skates were bothering customers, skating on rails and jumping in and out of the streets, though they refused to leave when asked, they did leave as soon as an officer asked them too, the kids were asked not to come back.


It was reported , that the caller is worried about a mom and son couple who seem to be arguing, though it isn’t known what the problem was, the only issue is that it was too loud, the couple were counseled.


It was reported, that there is a subject throwing rocks at the location, and at other things around, the subject was last seen headed east bound, the caller was asked to call back should he return for another round.


April 27


It was reported , that the caller had arrived at her vacant home to find that she had been robbed, the caller waited outside until an officer arrived, the area was checked, no one was found though it isn’t know what was stolen a report was taken.


It was reported that a couple who is in the middle of a loud argument are starting to throw items one of which was a remote control will hit the male half  and broke on him, the two were asked to separate for the night.

City of Calexico


April 23


It was reported, that the caller’s tool shed had been vandalized, the caller stated that someone spray painted his tool shed with an unknown name on it, the incident was documented, the caller was advised of his options.


It was reported, that a female subject is refusing to leave the caller’s home, it was unclear as to whether this female was an ex-girlfriend or any other relation, the female subject did in fact refuse to leave several times, she was finally sent on her way by an officer.


It was reported, that a few subjects were sleeping in front of the apartment complex, though they have been asked to leave, they refused, the subjects were contacted while they dug thru trash, they finally complied to leaving the area


April 24


It was reported, that the caller’s vehicles was vandalized, the caller noticed when he tried opening his driver side door that the lock had been tampered with, it is believed that this happened sometime last night, the situation was handled.


It was reported, that the caller’s neighbor was causing a disturbance, the caller couldn’t pin point the noise that he was hearing, all he knew is that it came from his neighbor’s property, the neighbor was contacted everything seemed fine.


It was reported, that a male and female couple were having an intense argument, which disrupted the peace in the neighborhood, both subjects were contacted and counseled, the male half complied to sleeping elsewhere for the night.


April 25


It was reported, that the caller’s son and husband are having an argument, the caller did not know what they fought over but she does know that her husband is under the influence, all parties were contacted and counseled.


It was reported, that the caller is having an intense argument with her ex-husband which seems to be making a lot of noise, the  ex-husband left the area before an officer  arrived.


It was reported, that an unknown male subject was loitering by a few trash cans, the caller was afraid that it might have been an identity theft attempt, when inspected, it turned out to be the trash man.


April 26


It was reported, that a the caller has lost a few boxes of Clothing and Shoes, the caller stated that he left the boxes on the front yard, a report was taken, the caller was advised to keep his belongings inside.


It was reported, that a city owned building has been spray-painted from within and from the outside, the paint was documented a report was taken, the caller was asked to call back should it happen again.


April 27


It was reported, that a male subject in a motorcycle, was driving over the speed limit and being reckless while doing it, the subject was not found in the area, the caller was advised to call back should he return.


It was reported, that the an unknown subject is calling him, the subject tells him to stay away from his girlfriend, yet the caller is not seeing anyone, the caller was advised on his options


By Betty Predmore
During the past few weeks, Holtville Middle School has experienced  a lot of damage brought on by the Easter quake and the recurring aftershocks.
The initial damage was to the underground electrical wiring.  One of the aftershocks that followed that initial quake caused the conduit containing the wires that fed to 12 of the classrooms to collapse. That left those classrooms without electricity.  The wire damage repair cost approximately $79,587.
Electrical work performed by D.W. Hibbert totalled $55,002 and there was a cost of $25,585 for concrete work done by AM Desert Storm.
These repairs were approved at an emergency school board meeting on April 12th.  Once this repair project got underway, it became clear that much of the asphalt around the concrete areas was damaged by the quakes and by the process of some of the repairs.
Last week the School Board held their regular meeting, at which time they approved an additional $46,400 to replace the remainder of the quad area with concrete.
The school is requesting disaster relief funding, and $38,800 of that additional money has been included in that request.
The remainder of the $46,400 will come from the capital improvement funds, which has been designated for maintenance and replacement of school facilities.
Although there is no guarantee that the disaster relief funds will be provided, the School Board found the repairs necessary to provide a safe environment for students and staff.
Students and staff alike at HMS are anxiously awaiting the completion of this project.  It will provide an excellent lunch and assembly area.
There are six tree cutout areas with sprinklers placed in the concrete that will allow some greenery to be added to the area.
In addition to providing a great space for students and staff, replacing the asphalt with concrete also made the area compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, which was a concern expressed by one of the state’s structural engineers who inspected the school after the initial rounds of earthquakes.

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