From the daily archives: Wednesday, August 15, 2012

One person in America could be $320 million richer Wednesday night.

That’s when the Powerball drawing will be held in 42 states as well as the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands, with a jackpot worth an estimated $320 million.

CBS Station WCBS New York notes no one has won the top prize since June. This current jackpot is reported to be the fourth biggest in Powerball’s 20-year history. In order to win the game, the five white balls and the red Powerball drawn has to match. the odds of winning the entire jackpot is 1 in 175 million, according to the Powerball Web site.

This past April, 81-year-old Louise White of Newport, Rhode Island won a Powerball jackpot worth $336 million. And in June, workers from Quaker Oats won a $241 million Powerball prize.

Video: Powerball jackpot up to $320M

What do some Powerball players hope to do with their winnings if they hit the jackpot?

“I’d hire a chauffeur to drive me around so I don’t have to walk,” said Henry Lewandowski, of Clifton, N.J.

“I’d buy a house and pay my daughter’s college off,” said another person from the Tri-State area.

In Philadelphia, newsstand owner Steve Ricchini bought some tickets for himself and said he would retire if he won.

“What would I do? I would not be up at 4 o’clock in the morning, I can tell you that. Unless I was still awake from the previous night,” he said, as reported by CBS affiliate KYW Philadekphia. He gets also gets a bonus if the winning ticket is purchased from his newsstand.


Meanwhile, CBS Station WBBM Chicago reported that while sales via lottery machines in Illinois have been brisk, online sales have not met expectations.

“We still do $60-70,000 a week in sales over the Internet but, our research suggested that between 600,000 and a million people would begin playing the lottery when the prize was $100 million or more,” said Michael Jones, director of the Illinois Lottery.

Although the price of a Powerball ticket went up to $2 as of this January, Minnesota State Lottery’s John Mellen thinks the increase is beneficial for the lotteries and the players.

“Because the jackpot now starts and $40 million but it grows faster and it grows bigger,” Mellein said, as reported by CBS affiliate WCCO Minneapolis. “And that’s what players have said they wanted in this game.”


EDITORIAL by Maria Lopez

  “Some problems are more serious than others,
but all children face challenges that can affect their learning and behavior. Mental health services provided by schools can help prevent or reduce the immediate and long term effects of children’s mental problems.”

A few days ago a good friend of mine Leticia Iten wrote on the importance of Proper Training in Mental Health issues for for Social Workers. This and the recent Aurora, Colorado shooting got me thinking of the lack of mental health services in the Imperial Valley school system,  as well as the lack of community interest in this particular topic. Stories have surfaced that the theater shooter, James Holmes, had been seen by a school Psychiatrist at the University of Colorado.
It is very likely that Holmes voiced his violent intentions to harm others to his psychiatrist.  It was later revealed that the psychiatrist had expressed concern to the crisis team about Holmes state of mind, however no action was taken and Holmes carried out his plan.
The number of children and young adults suffering from mental illness creates a public health crisis in this country and Imperial Valley is no exception.  Untreated mental health problems in children can cause negative and often times tragic long-term consequences. These consequences are; dropping out of high school, substance abuse, health problems, acts of violence and suicide.  School counselors, psychiatrists, social workers and teachers are not properly trained to conduct proper assessments for threats at schools.  My question is, could it be that we are not interested in this issue as a community, that we do not train and prepare our school authorities to provide the proper assessment and training interventions?
Degree programs only include one, or maybe two courses that focus on dealing with students with mental health disabilities and challenging behaviors. Schools play a major role in promoting the healthy emotional development of all children. Effective and integrated school based mental health services are the key ingredient in the current transformation of children’s mental health services in America, and schools should be the primary institution providing support. Schools can play a major role in identifying children who suffer from emotional, behavior, and mental health problems.
They can ensure that children receive proper assessments and proper interventions. Many children attend school with serious underlying problems such as learning disabilities, physical health problems, or have suffered trauma, social stress or problems at home.
Whatever the issue might be these are all major reasons for school professionals to be alert.  Because children spend most of their time in school, school based programs can provide opportunities to identify, refer and support children who might be at risk of acting out in a way that can be harmful to themselves or others. Most schools in Imperial Valley are not equipped with school psychologists or counselors who have the training to understand and work with these hard to reach students   Surgeon General estimates that one in five children and adolescents will experience a significant mental health problem during their primary school years.
Some problems are more serious than others, but all children face challenges that can affect their learning and behavior. Mental health services provided by schools can help prevent or reduce the immediate and long term effects of children’s mental problems.
Mental health services are an important resource that schools must provide to help students benefit from education.
Mental health services for children and youth must be accessible.  Schools are the ideal settings to provide mental health services to children and youth and their families.  Schools should be held accountable for the proficiency of all students, including the ones who suffer from mental illness. Obstacles such as the lack of access to quick, pre-screened and organized information that supports interventions that effectively address mental health problems is a serious issue the Imperial County.
Let us make an effort to have a better community by encouraging our local educators and mental health professionals to be prepared and sensitive to the mental health needs of our children so that we can prevent an incident like the recent Colorado tragedy.

CALEXICO, Calif. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Calexico downtown port of entry arrested a male Mexican citizen yesterday after they discovered 157 pounds of marijuana  hidden in the vehicle he was driving.
The incident occurred on Monday, August 13, at about 8:00 p.m. when officers with the port’s Anti-Terrorism Contraband Enforcement Team were conducting inspections and a canine alerted to a green 1996 Ford Ranger.  During the inspection, officers lifted the hood of the pick-up truck and discovered seven wrapped packages of marijuana on top of the engine compartment.
An intensive search was conducted in secondary where officers discovered additional packages concealed in the vehicle’s passenger door panel, dashboard and undercarriage.  A total of 20 wrapped packages were retrieved with a combined street value of approximately $94,200.
The driver, a 60-year-old Mexicali resident, was turned over to the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents who in turn transported him to the Imperial County Jail where he awaits arraignment.
CBP seized both the vehicle and narcotic.

By: Jorge Villalobos

EL CENTRO – It’s rare when a local club be it Boxing, Mixed Martial Arts or even Grappling travels out of state to compete but that’s just what Sparta Boxing did earlier this month. The El Centro based boxing club endured a 23 hour trip to Kansas City MO to compete in the 12th Annual Ringside World Championships which was held at the KCI Expo Center.

 Sparta boxing took a total of nine kids (six girls and three boys) to compete in the event. But before they could step into that ring, they had to endure what most children won’t ever have to, a 23 three hour travel by road. “It was long, like, it was really long. We got to see different states and all that thing,” smiled Samantha Enriquez who took this time to bond with her teammates during the trip.

 Once things got underway and Sparta Boxing made their way safely to Kansas, it was time to fight. “I was really nervous at first, but then as soon as I got into the ring I got over it and I didn’t pay attention to anything except my opponent,” shyly states Destiny Navarro who won her bout. “My opponent was big, she was tough. I was very, very nervous before the fight and even thru ought the fight,” states Clarissa Hernandez who lost her match by points. “It was complicated because he fought way different,” recalls George Munoz who lost his match but knows he needs to train harder.

 Despite win or loss, the major consensus of the team is that they want to train hard and return next year and with the support of local sponsors in the Valley, they may just get a chance to do that.

 “We raised close to $10,000 dollars,” explained Fernando Lara, Boxing Director for Sparta Boxing. “Some of the kids did most of their work, one of the things I like to teach here is the value of a dollar.” Lara exemplified to his boxers that you have to work hard to get something you really want, in this case competing in The Ringside World Tourney. “Each kid was taught to raise $600 dollars on their own and that being by fundraising.”

 Between the kids raising their own money, the gym also helping to raise funds Lara states that one third of the proceeds came from local sponsors whom he is really thankful for. Along with thanking the sponsors Lara also extends his thanks to his coaching staff. “I’d like to thank George Munoz, Ignacio Sanchez, Juan Lopez and Diana Samora and Brenda Velasquez for going with us.”

 Sparta Boxing is currently getting ready to compete in San Francisco later this month.


The FBI and the Medical Board of California are announcing the arrest of Kathleen Ann Helms, also known as Catherine Bright-Helms, age 57, of Encinitas, California, on Monday, August 13, 2012.

Helms was arrested at approximately 4:45 p.m., Monday, August 13, 2012, near the 5600 block of El Camino Real in Carlsbad, California. Helms was taken into custody without incident by investigators from the California Medical Board and FBI agents.

Helms was arrested on state charges of practicing medicine without a license, which resulted in the infliction of great bodily injury and grand theft. Following her arrest, Helms was booked into the Las Colinas Jail and is expected to be arraigned on Wednesday, August 15, 2012, at 1:30 p.m. in Department 12, State Superior Court.

Investigation into this matter was initiated based upon complaints made to the Medical Board of California. The complaints alleged that Helms had been practicing as a doctor without a license in California and representing herself as a doctor of naturopathy with offices located in Encinitas, California, and Oak Park, Illinois. Helms operated a business called BrightHouse Wellness, located at 317 North El Camino Real, Suite 112 in Encinitas, California. Helms allegedly had been diagnosing patients with Lyme disease and advising them to undergo a treatment plan that involved the infusion of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), injections of animal cells, and taking vitamins.

According to the affidavit filed in this matter, in April 2012, Helms diagnosed a patient with Lyme disease after examining a sample of blood under a microscope. Helms prescribed a treatment plan that consisted of injections of bovine stem cells from Germany and DMSO in a solvent through IV. Helms directed the patient to have a peripherally inserted central (PICC) line installed in the patient’s arm so Helms could give the DMSO treatments through IV.

Helms directed the patient to go to a hospital in Tijuana and meet with a man to have the PICC line installed. The patient agreed to pay $300 for the insertion of the PICC line and pay Helms an additional $30,000 for the treatment Helms recommended. The patient suffered multiple complications with the insertion of the PICC line and had to return to Tijuana three times to make the line functional.

The patient subsequently returned to Helms’ office, where the patient was hooked to an IV and infused with four bags of DMSO and two stem cell injections with a syringe in the stomach. This treatment session took approximately seven hours. The patient returned to Helms’ office three more times and underwent a similar regime of care that included infusions and injections. The evening of the last treatment the patient became seriously ill at home and was taken to a local emergency room and immediately placed in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the medical facility. The patient was told she only had hours to live because her organs were shutting down. The patient was hospitalized a total of six weeks and then placed into a skill nursing facility and later in an assisted living facility.

Investigators believe there are other victims in this case and are asking the public to come forward with any information they may have concerning this case. Anyone who believes they may be a victim in this matter is encouraged to contact the FBI at telephone number (858) 565-1255 or submit a tip online at

You may also contact the Medical Board at or call the Consumer Information Line at (916) 263-2382 or file a complaint by calling (800) 633-2322.

This case is being prosecuted by the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office.

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