Supervisors approved the purchase of a Vote by Mail sorting system

By Mario Conde

The County Board of Supervisors approved the purchase of a Vote by Mail sorting system to count absentee ballots faster on Election Day.

Registrar of voters Sylvia Bermudez said that ever since she took over the responsibilities of the office, she has look for innovative and proven ways in which to improve the efficiency of the office, while continuing to improve the voting experience for the voters of Imperial County. Bermudez said that after evaluating the current procedures for processing mail ballots, she determined that a tremendous amount of staff time was spent sorting, opening and verifying all mail ballots rather than on critical duties during an election.

Farm Bureau Awards 26 Students With Scholarships

By Candace Nelson
After reviewing stacks of applications, essays, transcripts and letters of recommendation, the Farm Bureau scholarship committee has selected 26 deserving local students to receive scholarships.
In both the number of scholarships given and total amount of money distributed – nearly $25,000 – this is the Farm Bureau’s largest year yet for scholarships, thanks to the many individuals and companies in the Imperial Valley who either supported the Farm Bureau BBQ or offered direct donations toward one of the five scholarship funds the Farm Bureau manages.
Scholarship recipients range from freshmen just embarking on their college careers to graduate students who are already deeply involved with hands-on research projects that will have meaningful effects on the agriculture industry.
Since the program began, Imperial County Farm Bureau has distributed nearly $100,000 in scholarships to local students. As of 2012, Farm Bureau manages five scholarship funds, with a sixth scheduled to be introduced in 2013.
The Imperial County Farm Bureau Scholarship is funded by the annual Farm Bureau Scholarship BBQ, with net proceeds from the April event distributed each summer to local students pursuing college degrees. The Matt LaBrucherie Memorial, Vern Highley Memorial and Raul Rodriguez Memorial Scholarships are funded by individual donations in memory of each of these men. And the Jim Kuhn Memorial Farmer of the Year Scholarship is funded by Farm Credit Services Southwest in honor of the current Farmer of the Year (currently Neal Jack). Each student who applies for a Farm Bureau scholarship is applying to all of the Farm Bureau’s scholarship programs.
In June, the Farm Bureau also established a Jack and Pauline McConnell Memorial Scholarship. The first scholarships from this fund will be distributed in 2013 using donations received in honor of this highly respected couple.
Applicants must complete a questionnaire with details about their academic, community and agricultural activities and experience, financial information, GPA and other statistical details. Then they are required to write a brief essay touching on a few key questions about themselves, including their plans for the future, their proudest achievement, and challenges they expect to face over the course of their education.
Students are selected based on their academic achievements, community involvement, leadership qualities, written expression, and involvement with the agriculture industry. Scholarship amounts this year ranged from $500 to $2,000 based on each student’s achievements and financial need.
Students interested in applying for a Farm Bureau scholarship can watch the Farm Bureau web site at or call the Farm Bureau office at 760-352-3831. Applications are usually distributed in February of each year, with completed applications due in late April or early May.
Anyone who is interested in donating toward one of the Farm Bureau’s scholarship funds can contact Farm Bureau at 760-352-3831. Donations go wholly and directly into scholarships for local students.

Home / business / news Philanthropist Dennis Avery, 71, dies in San Diego

Dennis Avery, an international philanthropist and heir to the Avery Dennison fortune, has died. He was 71.

His wife, Sally Tsui Wong-Avery, tells U-T San Diego ( ) that Avery’s health began to deteriorate about a week ago and he died Monday at a San Diego hospital.

Avery, whose family owned the Avery Dennison label and packaging empire, bought 3,000 acres in the San Diego County town of Borrego Springs to prevent its development and opened it to the public. He filled the land with open-air sculptures, including metal works of prehistoric animals.

‘Play How You Practice’: WMD Training Tests Massive Response

A protective mask was among the gear on display during a three-day training workshop in New Orleans that focused on how well local, state, federal, and even international emergency responders would coordinate and communicate in the fog of an unfolding terror plot.On May 18, a carrier ship bound for the Port of New Orleans left a Caribbean nation weighted with 12,000 tons of ammonium nitrate. Intelligence later revealed that two of the ship’s crew members were on terrorist watch lists. Meanwhile, a few miles outside New Orleans, police received a report of someone suspiciously circling a chemical plant in a car while taking pictures.