From the daily archives: Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Son-Shine Counseling Center will be offering a free summer seminar entitled “Is it a Good Gamble?” on Saturday, July 12 at 10:00 in the Ross Wellness Center, 1073 Ross Avenue, #C in El Centro. Participants will have an opportunity to learn about problem gambling, its causes, consequences and normal concerns of family members. Individuals will hear about helpful community resources and how to change problem gambling to healthy recreation. The program will be presented by Jim Shinn, LCSW who is associated with the UCLA’s Gambling Treatment Program. For more information about the seminar, please call 353-5059. For additional gambling related information call 1-800-GAMBLER.


EL CENTRO, Calif. – July 5, 2010 –  Robert J. Westcott Memorial Lab in El Centro Regional Medical Center (ECRMC) has been awarded national accreditation by the Accreditation Committee of the College of American Pathologists (CAP).

Established in the early 1960s, the CAP accreditation process involves a full inspection of laboratory records and quality control of procedures for the preceding two years. In addition, reviews of laboratory staff qualifications, laboratory equipment, facilities, safety program and overall management of the lab is done to ensure laboratory patients are provided the highest standard of care.

“We feel achieving the CAP accreditation is very important,” said David Mohlenhoff, senior director of Laboratory and Radiology for ECRMC. “We are committed to our community and part of that is maintaining a standard of care above and beyond average. The lab is one of over 7,000 CAP-accredited laboratories in the world, it’s an honor to be among them.”


El Centro Regional Medical Center (ECRMC) is a licensed 165-bed general acute care facility located in El Centro, Calif. ECRMC is committed to providing the community with high quality healthcare as reflected in its mission statement: “To Provide Healthcare Excellence For The Imperial Valley.”

ECRMC is moving forward with the planning and development of the hospital expansion project that will replace the older portion of the hospital. In addition, the hospital is developing a state-of-the-art facility to meet the needs of the Imperial Valley and provide an advanced healthcare facility and service, helping ECRMC continue to achieve it’s goal of providing excellence in healthcare.

Recent additions to the hospital include the opening of the Wound Care Center; the implementation of the Hospitalist Program; the Asthma and Diabetes Program; and the Children’s Specialist Program. A new Outpatient Center is planned in order to continue excellent service within the local community.

ECRMC has also recently announced a collaboration with the Oncology and Hematology Center of Imperial Valley to create the El Centro Regional Medical Center Oncology and Hematology Center. Maintaining its commitment to medical technology advancement, the hospital has invested in the da Vinci Si HD Surgical System. The surgery system allows for safe and less intrusive procedures in various surgical fields, including urology, cardiology, obstetrics/gynecology and more.

About the College of American Pathologists

The college of American Pathologists (CAP) is a medical society that serves more than 17,000 physician members and the laboratory community throughout the world. It is the world’s largest association composed exclusively of Board-certified pathologists and is widely considered the leader in laboratory quality assurance. The CAP is an advocate for high quality and cost effective patient care. More information about the CAP can be found at


A lucky California Lottery player in Westmorland will be seeing plenty of fireworks this 4th of July. That’s because they matched all six numbers in last night’s SuperLotto Plus draw, and their ticket is worth a hot $7 million.   The winning ticket was sold at Imperial Valley Stop, which is located at 300 West Main Street in Westmorland. The winning numbers are 32, 9, 29, 25, 13 and the Mega number is 9.   For selling the jackpot-winning ticket, Imperial Valley Stop will receive a bonus of one-half percent, or $35,000. Jackpot winners have 180 days from the date of the draw to claim the jackpot prize. The estimated cash option amount for this ticket is $4.4 million.   This is the ninth SuperLotto Plus jackpot hit this year. The last SuperLotto Plus jackpot was hit in Corona Del Mar just last Wednesday and was worth $9 million.   If you are the winner, the Lottery wants to remind you to sign your ticket, put it in a safe place and contact Lottery officials or visit your local Lottery District Office as soon as possible. Lottery offices will be closed Monday in observance of Independence Day, so the earliest the winner can claim the ticket is Tuesday morning.   The California Lottery is celebrating 25 years of enhancing education and supporting local communities. More than 94 cents of every dollar spent by our players goes to public schools and colleges, prizes and retail commissions. Since 2000, Lottery players have contributed $1 billion to public schools each year, and, since we began in 1985, Lottery players have contributed more than $22 billion to education.


Wellton, Ariz. — Border Patrol agents arrested 10 suspected smugglers and seized more than a quarter million dollars of marijuana in two unrelated incidents in the Wellton, Ariz. area this week.

On Sunday, Border Patrol agents assigned to Camp Grip detected the illegal entry of 10 suspected smugglers about 15 miles west of Lukeville. Customs and Border Protection pilots initially spotted the group and guided agents on the ground to their location.

Agents apprehended eight suspected smugglers with two returning to Mexico to avoid arrest. Agents also seized six makeshift backpacks filled with marijuana weighing a total of 260 pounds with an estimated street value of $208,000. The contraband and illegal aliens were transported to the Wellton Border Patrol Station for processing in accordance with sector guidelines.

On Thursday, Border Patrol agents assigned to Camp Grip detected the illegal entry of an all-terrain vehicle west of Lukeville. Agents tracked the ATV and with the assistance of a CBP pilot and intercepted the ATV and two riders.

The ATV was loaded with bundles of marijuana weighing 165 pounds with an estimated street value of $132,000. One of the smugglers, a Mexican juvenile, was transported to the Wellton Border Patrol Station along with the ATV for processing. The other smuggler, an 18-year old Mexican citizen, and the seized marijuana were turned over to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation’s borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.


By Mario Conde

Three months after the Easter Sunday earthquake, Downtown Calexico is still working its way to recovery from the damages made to downtown.

The 7.2 Earthquake cause more damaged to an already weak economy hitting the downtown area the hardest since most of the buildings within the boundary are unreinforced type of construction. The intensity of the earthquake tested the structural strength and integrity of those older commercial and residential structures. The City closed down and red-tagged several building while the downtown area was closed for ten days causing a dramatic effect on the City’s largest single revenue source, retail sales tax. Downtown is now in the process of reconstruction and improvements and trying to develop a new face for Calexico.

Last Wednesday, Planning Inspector Ralph Morales gave a report the Calexico Business Improvement District about the status of building on the downtown area. Morales reported that on First Street they completed the shoring of Gran Mercado that allowed the neighboring business to open. Plans to conduct permanent repair of the Gran Mercado are under review.

On Second Street, the Fallas Paredes store is currently under construction, replacing parapet wall and repairing arcade. The T.C. Worthy store on Second Street was demolished that included the Arias Restaurant. The store next to them, Sony is submitting application for demolition of arcade. Top & More roof collapsed and are submitting application to repair and remove arcades.

The other demolished buildings in downtown Calexico are the property that hosted Payless, Casa Bonita, and the legendary Hot Dog Stand.  However, the property owners are planning to start reconstructing that building in two months and will have those same stores. One of the buildings that were severally damaged was Melrose and its property owners are submitting plans to reinforce the frontage were it cracked the top front side of the store. The Rainbow store had to take away its façade after the earthquake its now submitting plans to renovate the arcades and put a new sign soon.

One key store that didn’t came back after the earthquake is Rite Aid on Third Street who shut down its operations in downtown and relocated to its second location next to Food 4 Less. The property needs to renovate bearing interior columns.  The City will be removing chain link enclosure that surrounds the store soon. On Imperial Avenue, 1001 Novedades is under construction, renovating the parapet wall and Yturralde constructed temporary shoring for the parapet wall.

The VIP Adult Book Store and the building next to the Donut shop were destroyed. Morales said that in the area were the VIP Adult Book Store was located, there is a proposal to have strip mall but nothing is set as of now.

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