From the daily archives: Tuesday, January 24, 2012

IMPERIAL, Calif. – On January 20, 2012, Border Patrol agents from the El Centro Sector disrupted a criminal operation that intended to utilize a Cessna airplane as a means to smuggle illegal aliens out of the Imperial Valley.


The incident occurred around 2:30 p.m., when Border Patrol agents conducting surveillance near Imperial, Calif, arrested three illegal aliens after they were dropped off in a vehicle at the Imperial County Airport and attempted to board a Cessna airplane waiting on the runway.


The pilot, a U.S. citizen, was placed under arrest for suspected alien smuggling.  In addition, Border Patrol agents seized the Cessna airplane.


Since fiscal year 2010, the El Centro Sector Border Patrol has seized four airplanes in connection with alien smuggling.


The city of Holtville California is getting ready to transform from the small quaint little city to a city booming with activity. For the last 20 years the Holtville Athletic Club has been organizing a Rib Cook off and which has become the largest single day event in the Imperial County. Over the next few days Samaha Park in Holtville will be transformed form a baseball field to a smoking barbeque paradise. This year’s event is scheduled one weekend prior to the Super Bowl. These Rib Cook-Off promises to be the largest in History. Organizers are preparing for a crowd that will approach 15,000 by reserving 12,000 pounds of fresh pork ribs, and making preparations to serve 250 gallons of Old Fashion homemade ice cream for the single day event.


This year’s marquee event will have prizes and awards that will top $ 10,000.00. The top prize of $ 1,000.00 will go to the judge’s choice for best BBQ Ribs. Additional categories include best side dish, homemade pie, and best booth contest.


With all net proceeds of the event earmarked to benefit area youth activity education and athletic groups, the majority of the 600 event volunteers are comprised of area athletic, youth organization, and educational groups and their leaders.


Three bands have will be performing live at the Rib Cook-Off: Big Joy Wow from Yuma, Safety Orange from San Diego and local favorite Latin Fuse on the main stage.


The non-profit organization The Holtville Athletic Club has become a major benefactor to Imperial County organizations and causes. The 28 member group is primarily known by the Rib Cook-Off and it’s ambassador Old Fashion Ice Cream machine capable of turning out in excess of 40 Gallons an hour of delicious old fashioned ice cream.  Since inception the Holtville Athletic Club’s mission has been to financially assist regional youth groups and athletic activities through non-profit fund raising efforts. The efforts include member’s personal commitments to the organization as well as seeking corporate assistance. The Holtville Athletic Club’s future will be guaranteed by the continued dedication of volunteers and the future presence of deserving sports associations, students, and local children. Today’s beneficiaries will become tomorrow’s volunteers just as today’s volunteers were yesterday’s beneficiaries. Evidenced by the hundreds of thousands of dollars and in like kind work put into the local communities by the organization.


New for 2012:  Fish Tacos


Major event sponsors include:

KXO Radio, IID,  Fox 9, LaBrucherie Irrigation Supply, ABC 5, Cleartalk, KYMA News Channel 11, Lucky Supermarket, CW and Telemundo.


For additional information please visit




By Mario Conde
The Calexico Planning Commission approved an ordinance banning Medical Marijuana Dispensaries this past Monday night.
The approved ordinance would create a total ban on medical marijuana collectives and cooperatives. It would not keep individuals who are qualified from getting medical marijuana, and would not prevent that user from having the assistance of a single other person to help them cultivate marijuana. The ordinance would, however, make any significant sales establishment illegal. Deputy City Attorney, Morton Park, said that this approached could be met with hostility by proponents of medical marijuana.
However, Council has had four public discussions on this topic and few, if any, resident medical marijuana proponents have attended the discussion. On the other hand, he said, this approach will likely not create any problem with the federal government over this issue.
The Calexico City Council studied various options, evaluating other cities; ordinances, evaluating changes in legislation and court cases involving medical marijuana issues. Council gave direction on its August 16th meeting to prepare an ordinance prohibiting dispensaries for the Council’s consideration. City Staff presented an ordinance banning medical marijuana dispensaries facilities for consideration at the December 6, 2011 Council meeting. The City Council then approved a resolution submitting the proposed Ordinance for review by the Planning Coming as required by California law and Municipal Code when a City seeks to change its zoning codes.
The Council referred to the Planning Commission for review a ban on medical marijuana distribution facilities. By law, this commission must notify the Council of its recommendations and reasons supporting those recommendations. Deputy City Attorney Morton Park gave a presentation to the City Council about regulating medical marijuana.
In 1996, voters approved the Compassionate Use Act which said that a person who had physician’s recommendations for medical marijuana use a primary caregiver who assists that person with cultivating marijuana will be immune from prosecution under California law. Legislation implementing this initiative authorizes people to work cooperatively or collectively to grow marijuana for medical purposes, although it has since been amended so that cities can decide where and whether to allow dispensaries to be located in their boundaries.
The Federal Government, however, has been cracking down on large scale medical marijuana dispensaries, and some United States Attorneys have even threatened to sue or prosecute state or local government officials who actively permit and facilitate distribution of medical marijuana by large-scale dispensaries.
The ordinance passed 5-0 and it now goes to the City Council for final approval.

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