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VVTA donates new handicapped equipped transit van to the Trona Community Senior Center

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Sandra Spouse (left) and Priscilla Benadom (right) of the Trona Community Senior Center with a donated 2020 Transit Van from Victor Valley Transit for their Specialized Transportation Program.

VICTOR VALLEY, Calif. — Over the past year, the residents of Trona, CA have been hit hard. The July 2019 earthquakes caused significant damage to essential services, and now with the COVID-19 pandemic closing more businesses, transportation for the residents is needed more than ever.  

Recently, Victor Valley Transit’s CTSA Division, working in conjunction with the County of San Bernardino, donated a new 2020 Dodge Caravan with wheelchair accessibility to the Trona Community Senior Center for their Specialized Transportation Program.

The program, funded by San Bernardino County Measure I funds, allows Trona residents, aged 60 years or older, as well as ADA disabled passengers, transportation to essential medical appointments, shopping, airport pick up & drop off, and to various locations throughout Southern California.  

On its maiden transport, a Trona resident was taken to Loma Linda Medical Center in San Bernardino for medical testing.

“Having a brand-new vehicle will allow the Trona Community Senior Center to have more flexibility in providing transportation options to the Trona community in a comfortable, reliable, and satisfactory fashion,” stated Ashley Palmer, CTSA Program Manager for Victor Valley Transit.

The 5-passenger 2020 Dodge Caravan Transit Van also includes space for two wheelchairs with commercial side entry, manual loading ramp, Q’Straint tie-downs, roll out co-pilot seat, rear storage area, and a foldaway double seat. On the technology side, the vehicle is equipped with an Ecolane Mobile Data Tablet and mount, allowing the driver to accept trips from any location.

As the Program Coordinator for the Senior Center for the past 15 years and local historian, Priscilla Benadom stated the van could not have come at a better time, “I am so excited that we have a new vehicle for our transportation program. With the help of our volunteer drivers, we have logged thousands of miles on our vehicles, providing transportation to our senior citizens and disabled clients.  Since two of our current vehicles have logged over 100,000 miles, the new vehicle makes it possible to provide reliable transportation for the coming years and expand our services to meet the needs of the community.

With a working relationship surpassing five years, Victor Valley Transit and the Trona Community Senior Center have worked together previously on a Trona to Ridgecrest Transportation Program. Following the earthquakes last year, weekly transportation services were added for transporting any Trona resident to Ridgecrest for needed essential services, including shopping and medical appointments.  

Now with the Specialized Transportation Program in place, many more opportunities are available. According to the Center’s President Sandra Spouse, “We really appreciate what the VVTA team has done for Trona since our earthquakes last year. They have worked hard to help our seniors and disabled people in our community.  By providing this van, we are now able to grow our program to include public transportation.”

While the population in Trona has dwindled since the 2019 earthquakes, the area still has a large senior population and Victor Valley Transit has been happy to assist the needs of the community and provide transportation solutions. Trona area seniors and ADA qualified individuals may call 760-995-3571 to book transportation today.

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(VVTA news release)

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State and San Bernardino County OK resumption of youth sports – with restrictions

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SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — The State Department of Public Health has issued long-anticipated guidance allowing youth sports and physical education – including school-based, club, and recreational programs – to resume, as long as they are limited to groups of participants who regularly gather, such as a class or organized team, and only when physical distancing of at least six feet can be maintained.

Activities should take place outside to the maximum extent possible.

Sporting events, assemblies, and other activities that require close contact or that would promote congregating, such as tournaments and competitions, are not yet permitted either indoors or outdoors.

“This is an opportunity for young people to stay healthy, stay in shape, and be ready when the State allows team and other group activities to resume,” said San Bernardino County Public Health Director Corwin Porter. The County Health Officer has approved implementation of the guidance within San Bernardino County.

(San Bernardino County Health news release)

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18-year-old U.S. Army Reservist Stationed at Ft. Irwin arrested on child porn charges

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FORT IRWIN, Calif. (VVNG.com) — An 18-year-old reserve with the United States Army National Guard stationed at Fort Irwin was arrested for possession of child pornography Wednesday, officials said.

Detectives from multiple agencies conducted a joint investigation involving the suspect, Neal McCoy, a resident of Fridley, Minnesota, and subsequently arrested him on Wednesday, August 5, 2020.

McCoy was booked at the High Desert Detention Center for PC 311.11(A) Possession of Child Pornography with a bail set at $100,000. McCoy is scheduled for arraignment on August 7th.

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, Specialized Investigations Division Crimes Against Children Detail (CAC), Barstow Sheriff’s Station, and the United States Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID) worked together in their investigation.

In January 2020, VVNG reported on similar arrests after Steven Berg, 38, was arrested by investigators who determined that child pornography was distributed from a home within the base at Fort Irwin.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact Detective Brian Arias of the Specialized Investigations Division, Crimes Against Children Detail at (909) 387-3615. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call the We-Tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463) or you may leave information on the We-Tip Hotline at www.wetip.com.

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18-year-old out on bail arrested again after a pursuit in Victorville

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VICTORVILLE, Calif. (VVNG.com) — An 18-year-old out on bail was arrested again after leading Victorville deputies on a pursuit.

At about 2:28 AM on August 6, 2020, a deputy from the Victorville Police Station observed a vehicle run a red light at Amargosa and Palmdale Roads and attempted a traffic stop.

The driver, identified as Antoine Jackson, of Victorville, failed to yield and led deputies on a pursuit for approximately 7 miles, officials said.

During the pursuit, Jackson drove at high speeds, exceeding 100 mph at times. He also drove in opposing traffic lanes and ran several red lights and stop signs.

The pursuit came to an end in the 12500 block of Terrano when Jackson crashed into a parked car.

Jackson, who was out on bail from a July 28, 2020 arrest, was arrested and booked at High Desert Detention Center for VC2800.2(A) Evading a Peace Officer with disregard for safety and PC12022.1(B) New Felony Offense while on bail.

His bail is set at $100,000 and is scheduled for arraignment in a Victorville courtroom on August 10, 2020.

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