ZachNews: Goodbye 2021!

By: Zachary Lopez (ZachNews):

The year 2021 was another year to remember and has changed us all in many different ways, putting us all through a rollercoaster ride of emotions as well as affecting lives locally, countywide and statewide as well as nationally, and internationally.

Here are a few of what occurred over the past 12 months in 2021 (More news stories from 2021 are still being added) ranging from bad, sad and good, but all real news that affected real people’s lives.

  • January 2021:

On Wednesday, January 6th, 2021; thousands of Trump rally attendees walked to the United States Capitol building in Washington, District of Columbia, and later stormed the building as the United States Congress began reviewing the Electoral College votes. After the United States Capitol Insurrection, five people died either during or after that day; including one person who was shot by armed security, another died of a drug overdose, and three people died from what medical examiners said was “natural causes,” including the United State Police Officer who died on the night of the insurrection at the United States Capitol building. Many protesters and members of law enfacement were injured on that day, including 138 police officers, including 73 Capitol Police officers, 65 Metropolitan Police Department officers; and four law enfacement officers who responded to the United States Capitol building died by suicide within seven months. Authorities arrested 68 arrests on that day of the storming of the United States Capitol, but more arrests would later be made thanks to videos that were posted online by protesters and from news coverage from that day. As of Thursday, December 14th, 2021, 727 people have so far been charged in their involvement in the Insurrection on the United States Capitol building.

On Thursday, January 7th, 2021; the United States Congress in Washington, District of Columbia finalized the Electoral College certifying Joe Biden as President and Kamala Harris as Vice President of the United States of America.

On Thursday, January 7th, 2021; firefighters from San Bernardino County Fire Department and Mohave Valley Fire Department are on scene of a residential structure fire that is burning at 511 Bazoobuth Street just west of B Street in Needles, California. A few days later, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department’s Colorado River Station confirmed in a press release that the residential structure fire took the lives of two children and that the father was arrested. The lost of two children in a residential structure fire had residents and the whole community in shock and in mourning.

On Thursday, January 7th, 2021; the Los Angeles Dodgers and Major League Baseball announced that Hall of Fame Los Angeles Dodgers Manager Tommy Lasorda died after suffering a sudden heart attack at his home in Fullerton, California, and resuscitation attempts were made on the way to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

On Wednesday, January 13th, 2021; the United States House of Representatives in Washington, District of Columbia has voted in favor of impeaching again United States President Donald Trump. The United States House of Representatives voted 232 to 197 in favor of the article of impeachment against President Trump for the “incitement of insurrection” of the Storming of the United States Capitol back on Wednesday, January 6th, 2021.

On Wednesday, January 20th, 2021; the inauguration of Joe Biden as United States President and Kamala Harris as United States Vice President was held outside the United States Capitol Building in Washington, District of Columbia.

On Saturday, January 23rd, 2021; broadcasting legend for half-century Larry King – known to many as the hosted “Larry King Live” on CNN for over 25 years interviewing thousands of people in his lifetime including celebrities, politicians and newsmakers – died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California.

On Monday, January 25th, 2021; California Governor Gavin Newsom officially announced that the regional “Stay-At-Home” order for COVID-19 has been lifted, and will be returning to a county based COVID-19 restrictions.

On Tuesday, January 26th, 2021; the community of Needles, California as well as across the Colorado River in Mohave County, Arizona woke up to snow on top of the desert mountains from overnight passing winter storms; beautiful view by many people throughout the Colorado River Tri-State of snow in an area that rarely receives snow.

On Friday, January 29th, 2021; California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed legislation extending California’s eviction moratorium and providing rent relief to support Californians struggling as a result of COVID-19.

 

  • February 2021:

On Saturday, February 6th, 2021; Customers of multiple internet and phone service providers lost internet and phone service from Needles, California to Bullhead City, Arizona. Customers for Golden Valley Cable and Communication and Z-Fiber began reporting their internet service was down, and customers for Frontier Communication reporting their internet and phone service was down. Bullhead City Police Department confirmed that their 911 Dispatch Center was experiencing problems due to a Frontier Communications issue, and all 911 calls were being diverted to the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office; handled calls and dispatching appropriately for police, fire and emergency medical assistance. Internet service at ZachNews was also affected by only the internet service outage, only relaying on mobile internet service to provide news updates. ZachNews later learned that crews have found the fiber optic line cut 500 feet east of Ocotillo Avenue and Landon Drive in Bullhead City, Arizona, and the cause of the cut was is a construction boring rig that cut into the fiber optic line. Bullhead City Police Department later confirmed that their 911 Dispatch Center was back up and were able to received 911 calls again.

On Sunday, February 7th, 2021; Super Bowl LV was the championship game of the National Football League (NFL) for the 2020 NFL season. The National Football Conference (NFC) champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Kansas City Chiefs, 31-9. The game was played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, the home stadium of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, marking the first time a team played a Super Bowl in its home stadium. Due to COVID-19 protocols limiting the stadium’s seating capacity to 25,000 fans, it was the least-attended Super Bowl.

On Wednesday, February 18th, 2021; Groundbreaking ceremony for a new Hampton Inn was held along Needles Highway near O Street in Needles, California. According to the City of Needles, the new Hampton Inn and Suites will be a three stories hotel will be 45,000 square foot with 80 rooms, a meeting room and laundry facilities, all accessible from the inside of the building will outdoor there will be a swimming pool for the hotel and 83 hotel parking spaces with associated landscaping along the property; and the new hotel will bring between 30 to 50 new jobs to the community and will bring between $350,000 to $500,000 in new hotel tax into the community. Needles City Manager Rick Daniels said that completion of the new Hampton is set for April 2022.

On Friday, February 19th, 2021; the United States on Friday officially rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement, an international treaty aimed at limiting global warming.

On Tuesday, February 23rd, 2021; California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed the COVID-19 relief package that includes $600 stimulus payments after the state lawmakers have approved on Monday, February 22nd, 2021 the COVID-19 relief package that includes $600 stimulus payments for 5.7 million Californians.

On Friday February 26th, 2021; the Kingman Police Department and the Mohave County Division of Emergency Management confirmed that the City of Kingman became aware of a cyber attack throughout the entire computer system in Kingman, Arizona. According to the Kingman Police Department, the City of Kingman has no access to email and can work with customers through phone calls and in person only. Some operations will be manual only, and some operations will not be able to be completed until systems are back up and running; at this point it is unknown when all systems will be fully functional. The Kingman Police Department told the public that the Municipal Court were unaffected by the cyber attack. Officials from the City of Kingman confirmed in April 2021 that they had fully operational and computer systems have been restored. An investigation into the cyber attack was conducted, and was complete in August 2021. In a press release on Tuesday, August 24th, 2021, the City of Kingman confirmed that the city’s investigation and forensic analysis found information related to a “limited number” of people who may have been impacted by the cyber incident, and that those potentially impacted individuals will be notified. The City of Kingman said they did not lose control of the network due to the cyber incident and the city did not “pay any criminals for any information.” The cybersecurity specialist hired by the City of Kingman was unable to officially determine how the city’s systems were breached. To continue the commitment to the privacy and safety of information, the City of Kingman reviewed existing policies and procedures, enacting employee training protocols to prevent future incidents, and a variety of technical and policy changes have been implemented to help with the safety of the city’s systems.

 

  • March 2021:

On Monday, March 1st, 2021; California Governor Gavin Newsom, Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon highlighted a new $6.6 Billion package to reopen schools and deepen student supports following the COVID-19 pandemic. In a press release from the Office of the Governor of California Gavin Newsom, an agreement on a $6.6 billion budget package to accelerate the safe return to in-person instruction across California and empower schools to immediately expand academic, mental health and social-emotional supports, including over the summer.

On Wednesday, March 3rd, 2021; a freight train derailed near the National Trails Highway railroad crossing in Ludlow, California. The San Bernardino County Fire Department reported 25-35 Burlington Northern Santa Fe rail cars derailed with some of the rail cars carrying hazardous materials, and no fire find at the freight train derailment. Freight train service as well as Amtrak passenger train service between Barstow, California and Needles, California was delayed due to the derailment incident. Crews were able to clean up and removed the wreckage removal as well as repaired the damaged railroad tracks repairs at the site of a freight train derailment. Freight train service and Amtrak passenger train service later returned to service.

On Thursday, March 11th, 2021; United States President Joe Biden in Washington, District of Columbia signed into law o the COVID-19 Relief Package after the United States House of Representatives on Wednesday, March 10th, 2021 voted 220-211 to approve the COVID-19 Relief Package just four days after the United States Senate passed the bill.

On Thursday, March 11th, 2021; family, friends and officials from the City of Needles dedicated a sporting complex that is located at Nikki Bunch Memorial and Franz Flowers ballparks in Needles, California the “JoJo Garcia Memorial Sports Complex” during ceremony in honor of a great community and sports volunteer Joseph “JoJo” Garcia who passed away on the evening of Thursday, November 14th, 2019.

On Friday, March 26th, 2021. the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to ZachNews that a male dead body was found in the Friday morning along East Dike Road in Mohave Valley, Arizona. The Mohave County Sheriff’s Office later confirmed that a male deceased body found is that of 19 year old Anthony Maracle from Needles, California.

On Friday, March 19th, 2021; a driver has been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence after crashing a white SUV into building along the 6800 block of West Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California injuring several people, including a Fox 11 reporter and a photojournalist. Fox affiliate KTTV Channel 11 confirmed that reporter Hal Eisner and photojournalist Joab Perez were among those injured, and were taken to the hospital. Reporter Hal Eisner and photojournalist Joab Perez slowly recovered for several weeks and months in the hospital from the injuries from the crash. As for the man arrested in the crash, Los Angeles Police Department identified the man as 55 year old Carlos Alan Gale, and on April 6, 2021 was in court where he pleaded not guilty to felony DUI charges that may carry enhancements in this case. Not only were the injuries severe enough that some of the victims remain in hospitals or recovery centers, but investigators also say Gale blew a .15 on a breathalyzer that day; that’s almost twice the legal limit that usually is the cutting-off point indicating someone is too drunk to drive. At that time, Carlos Alan Gale was not in custody and was released thanks to COVID-19 health restrictions in California jails, but his release was with the promise to not drive, drink and return to court, and was ordered to wear an ankle monitor. The next court date was scheduled for Thursday, May 6th, 2021, but since that date no further information could be found on this case. On Monday, June 28th, 2021, Hal Eisner and Joab Perez reunited back at work, and since the crash so many people continue to show their love and support for Hal and Joab, via social media post or well their reporting on the news.

*** You can watch the interviews with FOX 11’s Hal Eisner and Joab Perez discuss their road to recovery at the following Fox 11 Los Angeles News websites: ***

https://www.foxla.com/news/hal-eisner-shares-his-emotional-journey-back-to-work-after-being-struck-by-suspected-dui-driver

https://www.foxla.com/news/fox-11-photojournalist-joab-perezs-road-to-recovery-showing-promise

https://www.foxla.com/news/reunited-christine-devine-catches-up-with-hal-eisner-joab-perez-after-horrific-crash

On Friday, March 12th, 2021; officials with the County of San Bernardino have announced that San Bernardino County, California will transition from the State’s most restrictive Purple Tier, where it has been since August 2020, to the more open Red Tier on Sunday, March 14th, 2021 thanks to vaccination rates rising and COVID-19 cases declining.

 

  • April 2021:

On Friday, April 2nd, 2021; An United States Capitol Police Officer died after being rammed by a vehicle at a United States Capitol security checkpoint in Washington, District of Columbia. According to the United States Capitol Police, “Just after 1:00 p.m. ET, a man in a blue sedan rammed his vehicle into the North Barricade at the U.S. Capitol, striking 2 USCP officers. The Department immediately locked down the Capitol Campus. The man exited the vehicle with a knife and ran toward our officers. At least one officer, drew their weapon and shot the suspect. One USCP officer was transported by a USCP cruiser to the hospital. The second USCP officer was transported by DC Fire and EMS. The suspect was also transported by DC Fire and EMS to the hospital where he succumbed to his injuries around 1:30 p.m. ET.” The United States Capitol Police later confirmed the identity of the United States Capitol Police Officer as William “Billy” Evans, who has been a member of the agency for 18 years.

On Tuesday, April 6th, 2021; the City of Needles hosted a ceremony for the long awaiting start of repair work along a bumpy stretch of Needles Highway near David Drive in Needles, California. In a press release from Needles City Manager Rick Daniels, the City of Needles will begin the $217 thousand dollars in major road repairs to North Needles Highway from 800′ North of Palm Rd for approx. 1/2 mile North. “This is a much needed and long overdue road project that increased Measure I (1/4 % sales tax for road maintenance) revenues, and we are excited to improve the traveling public’s safety,” said Needles City Mayor Jeff Williams. The City of Needles is using Christensen Brothers General Engineering Inc of Apple Valley to conduct the work. The project continues efforts to rebuild Needles Highway that first began in 2002.

On Monday, April 12th, 2021; the City of Needles announces work has begun on replacing and repairing water lines along Washington Street and Fairmount Street, and repaving along East Broadway. According to Needles City Manager Rick Daniels, today the Needles Public Utility Authority began replacing and repairing 8 water lines in Washington and Fairmount Streets and repaving a 1525’ portion of East Broadway from Smith Road to Ice Plant Road. The funds are provided by water user fees paid by water customers. The work on Broadway finalizes a State of California Water Department funded addition ($325,000) of a second pressurized water main from the well fields along the Colorado River to the reservoirs on the southern hills of the City. The new water main was necessitated by the D Street blowout in January 2020 which closed the only pressurized water main. The second line increases water security for the City of Needles. Once the water lines are completed Washington Street will be rebuilt with a new layer of asphalt. The paving is funded by the Marijuana Tax approved by the Needles voters in 2012. These projects are part of an overall $3M road and water program to upgrade the City and NPUA infrastructure approved by the City Council. “These infrastructure investments are long overdue and exciting to watch being completed” said Mayor Jeff Williams.

On Tuesday, April 20th, 2021; Former Minneapolis Police Department Officer Derek Chauvin was found “Guilty” on all charges in the death of George Floyd. The verdict comes after closing arguments and jury instructions was held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and after two weeks of testimony from witnesses and experts during the Minnesota versus Derek Chauvin Trial. Derek Chauvin was charged in the death of George Floyd on Monday, May 25th, 2020.

 

  • May 2021:

On Wednesday, May 5th, 2021; Elon Musk’s SpaceX saw their successful splashdown of the first operational spaceflight by a private company. The flight comes after NASA awarded SpaceX a $2.9 billion contract to develop Starship to land astronauts on the moon. The Starship spacecraft, known as Serial Number 15 (SN15), lifted off from SpaceX’s launch site near the U.S.-Mexico border in South Texas, firing its three Raptor engines to an altitude of about 6 miles. It then turned itself sideways in a “belly flop” maneuver and headed back to Earth before righting itself, reigniting its engines and touching down softly. “The Starship has landed,” John Insprucker, SpaceX principal integration engineer, said during the live broadcast. With another human spaceflight success, SpaceX turns toward flying private citizens to space, and the spaceflight marked the second time SpaceX has landed Starship.

On Sunday, May 9th, 2021; San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department announced a search for missing 84 year old Robert Miller in Needles, California. According to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, Robert Miller went missing at 5:26 p.m. PT on Saturday, May 8th, 2021 from the area of the Beach Drive. Robert suffered from dementia and serious medical needs, and was last seen Saturday in the area around Needles Marina RV Park and Jack Smith Memorial Park. A command center was set up near Jack Smith Memorial Park on Sunday as deputies and volunteers launched through the desert by ATV vehicles and patrol vehicles, along the Colorado River by patrol boat and over the community by helicopter but no signs of missing Robert Miller. Since the morning of Monday, May 10th, 2021, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department’s Colorado River Station said they are continuing their search for missing Robert Miller despite their command center and ATV vehicles was no longer being used and was put away in their back parking lot at the sheriff station. Sadly on Monday, May 24th, 2021, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department confirmed that a deceased male subject that was found has been identified as missing Robert Miller. According to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, “at approximately 8:52 a.m., deputies from the Colorado River Station/Needles Police Department responded to the area of River Road and River Street in Needles regarding a deceased male subject. The male subject was identified as the missing person, Robert Miller, and the next of kin has been notified.” Officers from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department’s Colorado River Station have to ZachNews that they had searched the area of vegetation along River Road and River Street; the street that leads to the old railroad crossing, on the initial days of him being reported missing. A candlelight vigil was held for Robert Miller on Friday, June 18th, 2021 with family, friends, officials from the City of Needles and the community.

On Monday, May 31st, 2021; a sergeant from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department’s Morongo Basin Station has died after being shot by the suspect at the end of a motorcycle police pursuit in Yucca Valley, California. San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department John McMahon said via video message on Twitter, 43 year old Sergeant Dominic Vaca was airlifted to the hospital but succumbed to his injuries. Dominic Vaca was a 17 year veteran of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and was a sergeant at the Morongo Basin Station. According to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, shortly after 12:30 p.m. Monday, deputies attempted to conduct a traffic stop after spotting the motorcycle without a license plate near the intersection of Paxton Road and Imperial Drive. The man on the motorcycle refused to pull over and a chase ensued. During the pursuit, the suspect bailed out of the vehicle near Dumosa Avenue and Sunnyslope Drive and ran into the desert. A short time later, they located the motorcycle and the rider was gone. As deputies approached the motorcycle and attempted to find the rider, he started firing at responding deputies, striking Vaca. A short time later, the suspect was located and he started shooting at the additional deputies. They returned fire and the suspect is deceased. A handgun was found at the scene. A memorial service was held for Sergeant Dominic Vaca on Friday, June 11th, 2021 at the Glen Helen Amphitheatre located in the hills of Glen Helen Regional Park in San Bernardino, California. Family, friends and many members of the law enforcement community were in attendance, and the memorial service was broadcast live was streamed live.

 

  • June 2021:

On Tuesday, June 1st, 2021; a shooting occurred at Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Station 81 in Agua Dulce, California. An off-duty firefighter came to the fire station, and shot a firefighter and wounded a fire caption. The firefighter who was shot and killed has been identified as 44 year old Tory Carlon who worked for the Los Angeles County Fire Department for more than 20 years, and was married with three daughters. The off-duty firefighter shooter has been identified as 45 year old Jonathan Patrick Tatone of Acton, California, and his body was found in a pool outside the home by responding deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. A memorial service to remember and honor the life of Firefighter Tory Carlon of the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Station 81 was held on Thursday, June 17th, 2021 inside The Forum in Inglewood, California. Family, friends and many members of the fire department community were in attendance, and the memorial service was streamed live.

On Friday, June 4th, 2021; a fiery wrong-way collision on Interstate 5 in San Ysidro, California took the lives of 32 year old Ryan Park from Escondido, California and 33 year old Jamie Huntley-Park from Escondido, California. The two police detectives, who married in 2016, were not on duty at the time of the crash and were following up on cases they were working on in a city-owned car. Several family members joined more than 100 officers to honor the couple as their caskets were escorted to the Featheringill Mortuary in preparation for their funerals. The couple was remembered by Chief David Nisleit as a pair of “rising stars” of the department. Also killed in the crash was the driver of the other vehicle, 58 year old Sandra Daniels of Ramona, California. Authorities haven’t yet said what they believe caused Daniels to drive on the wrong side of the freeway.

On Tuesday, June 8th, 2021; the Goff’s General Store and another structure is on fire in the area of Lanfair Road near Goffs Road in Goffs, California. According to the San Bernardino County Fire Department, while firefighters fought the commercial fire, they visualized an additional plume of smoke. Firefighters broke from the fire to attack the new fire, finding multiple out buildings and piles well involved in fire. In approximately 30 minutes, firefighters knocked the fire down. According to the San Bernardino County Fire Department, both fires are under investigation and suspicious in nature.

On Friday, June 11th, 2021; Poet Natalie Diaz won the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in New York, New York for Poetry  for her book, “Postcolonial Love Poem,” an anthem of desire against erasure. Natalie Diaz’s brilliant second collection demands that every body carried in its pages―bodies of language, land, rivers, suffering brothers, enemies, and lovers―be touched and held as beloveds. Through these poems, the wounds inflicted by America onto an indigenous people are allowed to bloom pleasure and tenderness: “Let me call my anxiety, desire, then. Let me call it, a garden.” In this new lyrical landscape, the bodies of indigenous, Latinx, black, and brown women are simultaneously the body politic and the body ecstatic. In claiming this autonomy of desire, language is pushed to its dark edges, the astonishing dunefields and forests where pleasure and love are both grief and joy, violence and sensuality. Diaz defies the conditions from which she writes, a nation whose creation predicated the diminishment and ultimate erasure of bodies like hers and the people she loves: “I am doing my best to not become a museum of myself. I am doing my best to breathe in and out. I am begging: Let me be lonely but not invisible.” “Postcolonial Love Poem” unravels notions of American goodness and creates something more powerful than hope―in it, a future is built, future being a matrix of the choices we make now, and in these poems, Diaz chooses love. Before winning the 2021 Pulitzer Prize, “Postcolonial Love Poem” was a finalist for the 2020 National Book Award, the 2020 Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the 2020 Forward Prize for Best Collection as well as was also shortlisted for the 2020 T.S. Eliot Prize. Natalie Diaz winning the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry had people cheering with excitement in the small Colorado River desert community of Needles, California. Natalie Diaz is Mojave and an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Tribe. Natalie Diaz was born on September 4th, 1978 in the Colorado River desert community of Needles, California where she was raised in the Fort Mojave Indian Village. People who know Natalie Diaz were expecting on social media their congratulations and how proud they were of Natalie Diaz winning the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

On Tuesday, June 15th, 2021; California’s economy will reopen after over a year of public health restrictions, color-coded tier systems and mask mandates due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The City of Needles also reopened their recreation, aquatics, and senior centers that day as well as Needles City Mayor Jeff Williams said “Finally, we are seeing the end of the statewide shutdown of much needed programs and activities. The state’s approach has been too restrictive and has led to isolation of our youth and seniors. People need to be with people.”

On Thursday, June 17th, 2021; United States President Joe Biden signed in Washington, District of Columbia the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act making Juneteenth a federal holiday in the United States. The signing comes after the United States House of Representatives voted 415-14 on Wednesday, June 16th, 2021 to make Juneteenth, or June 19th, as the 12th new federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the nation. The United States Senate passed the bill a day earlier under a unanimous consent agreement that expedites the process for considering legislation, and took just one senator’s objection to block such agreements.

On Thursday, June 24th, 2021; Champlain Towers South residential condominium highrise building has partially collapsed in Surfside, Florida. Many first responders as well as many search and rescue crews worked non-stop and even battling storms to search for any survivors in the rubble as many worldwide watched news coverage hoping for survivors to be found alive. Rescue and relief operations lasted for 13 days before sadly transitioning to recovery operation. The collapse took the lives of 98 people, including the lives of 9 children ranging from 1 year old to 10 years old. The cause is still under investigation, but the main contributing factor under investigation is long-term degradation of reinforced concrete structural support in the ground-level parking garage under the housing units, due to water penetration and corrosion of the reinforcing steel. The problems had been reported in 2018, and was noted as “much worse” in April 2021. A $15 million program of remedial works had been approved before the collapse, although no main structural work had been undertaken. Other possible factors being still under investigation includes land subsidence, insufficient reinforcing steel, and corruption during construction.

 

  • July 2021:

On Monday, July 5th, 2021; a man has set off on a mission to raise money for multiple charities by walking from California to New York dress as Bearsun. The man identified as 33 year old Jesse Larios, a.k.a. ‘Bearsun,’ began his walking journey across country in the Little Tokyo area of Downtown Los Angeles, California. Jesse has walked through the California communities of Upland, Rancho Cucamonga, Hesperia, Victorville, Barstow, Newberry Springs and Ludlow in San Bernardino County, California before he entered into the Colorado River Tri-State area on Sunday, July 18th, 2021. Only ZachNews was there as he arrived along eastbound Interstate 40 in Homer, California heading towards Needles, California. As Bearsun continued his walk through Needles, California; Mohave Valley, Arizona and Oatman, Arizona with only ZachNews bringing continuing live news coverage and updates. Bearsun completed his journey to New York City, New York on Sunday, November 14th, 2021. Initial reports that Bearsun’s long trip across America brought in $85,287 for charity, including Villa Esperanza services, a disabled community, $17,000; National Breast Cancer Foundation, $16,000; “Active Minds”, a mental health organization, $19,000; Autism Society of America, $19,000; and for the environmental defense fund, $15,000.

On Friday, July 23rd, 2021; the opening ceremony of the 32nd Summer Olympic games in Tokyo occurred, and the games lasted until Sunday, August 8th, 2021 with the closing ceremony. The 32nd Summer Olympic games comes a year after being postponed in 2020 due to COVID-19 Pandemic. There was 206 teams, 11,417 athletes and 339 events in 33 sports. According to the Olympic  website, the United States topped the medal count with 113 total medals, followed by People’s Republic of China with 88 total medals; National Olympic Committee (NOC) with 71 total medals; Great Britain with 65 total medals; Japan with 58 total medals; and Australia with 46 total medals.

 

  • August 2021:

On Tuesday, August 10th, 2021; Palo Verde College Needles Center in Downtown Needles, California held the grand opening of their new mezzanine. Officials from the Palo Verde College Needles Center as well as City of Needles officials were in attendance for the grand opening of the mezzanine area that’s been under construction for a while.

On Tuesday, August 10th, 2021; Timothy Terral that he has resigned from the Needles City Council for personal and business reasons.

On Monday, August 30th, 2021; the Pentagon said the United States finished its withdrawal efforts from the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, effectively ending a two-decade conflict that began not long after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. In a statement after the Pentagon’s announcement, United States President Joe Biden thanked the American military and said he would address the nation Tuesday afternoon about his decision not to prolong the U.S. mission in Afghanistan beyond Aug. 31. “The past 17 days have seen our troops execute the largest airlift in U.S. history, evacuating over 120,000 U.S. citizens, citizens of our allies, and Afghan allies of the United States. They have done it with unmatched courage, professionalism, and resolve. Now, our 20-year military presence in Afghanistan has ended,” said United States President Joe Biden in his statement.

 

  • September 2021:

On Tuesday, September 7th, 2021; the City of Needles in Needles, California accepted a BHHS Legacy Foundation Duke Watkin Park Grant for $110,000 during the adjourned regular meeting of the Needles City Council and Needles Public Utility Authority. According to the City of Needles, in June 2021, the City of Needles submitted a grant application to the BHHS Legacy Foundation (“Legacy”) to partner together to complete much needed improvements at Duke Watkins Park. The City of Needles has received $181,116 from proposition 68 from per-capita funding opportunity for park improvements or enhancements. The City of Needles submitted an application to utilize those funds to install nine (9) field lights for the field area, which the existing park currently has no lighting which limits the use of the park and reduces outdoor recreational sporting events, and by installing lights sports such as youth soccer, flag football, softball can be played in the evenings verses the day light hours in extreme heat temperatures. To expand the park project scope, the City of Needles submitted an application to the Legacy foundation to include much-needed rehabilitation of the existing playground area. The park requires ADA improvements to be in compliance with current AD standards and to make the park accessible for residents requiring ADA supportive measures. Currently, the playground equipment is sun damaged due to no shade and missing pieces, including a kid’s slide, due to vandalism. The City of Needles’ proposed project is to replace the existing equipment with a new main structure, swings, two free standing structures, shade, benches, and ADA compliant mulch ground covering. The City of Needles has secured multiple partners in the community include Robinson Electric, Phillips Excavating, Needles Unified School District, Colorado River Medical Center, Tri-State Community Healthcare, San Bernardino County Sheriffs Office, St. Vincent De Paul and the Needles Chamber of Commerce. Each partnership recognizes the safety, recreational, health and wellness benefit of the proposed Duke Watkins Project. On August 10, 2021 the Legacy awarded the City of Needles with the $110,000 grant funding to support the project. During the presentation of the check, those project partners for Duke Watkin Park were thanked, including Rainie Torrance at the City of Needles for putting together the packet and submitting what the Legacy call an “outstanding presentation” to their board, as well as project partners Needles Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Mary McNeil, Sandy Chandler with Robinson’s Electric, Captain Ross Tarangle with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department’s Colorado River Station and Wade Phillips. Also during the check presentation, Needles City Manager Rick Daniels gave thanks and recognition to a local hero name Sayla, who was so impress about the need to create this children’s play equipment that she sent out cans for donations at a number of different businesses. Sayla told members of the Needles City Council, “a while back ago, I came up here to seek for donations for Pennies for the Playground, and a lot of people gave in dollars and money, and we ended up getting a lot of money so thank you – businesses for letting us put up these Pennies for the Playground; we brought in $365.00 for the playground. Needles City Manager Rick Daniels told members of the Needles City Council that the money Sayla raised was done in two weeks; people in the crowd applauded for her act of kindness and caring for other kids who needed a place that they can play.

On Saturday, September 11th, 2021; the Needles Eagles Aerie 2599 in Downtown Needles, California along with the nation held remembrance ceremonies for the 20th remembrance of the terrorist attacks on 9/11. Members of the Needles Eagles Aerie 2599 gathered in the parking lot of the Needles Eagles Aerie 2599 to remember the victims and gives thanks to emergency responders. Remembrance ceremonies were held at the 9/11 Memorial, the Pentagon where United States President and First Lady of the United States attended, and at the Flight 93 National Memorial. Memorial services, tributes, ceremonies and community events were also held across San Bernardino County, California on Saturday for 9/11.

On Tuesday, September 14th, 2021; voters across California went to the polls to decide whether they want their current Governor Gavin Newsom to remain in office or be recalled and vote for somebody else to become their next California governor. After the votes were totaled up, Gavin Newsom remained as governor after receiving substantial margin of “No” votes to recall him during California’s Gubernatorial Recall Election 2021.

On Thursday, September 16th, 2021; California Governor Gavin Newsom signed several housing related bills into law to fight California’s housing crisis. According to a press release from the Office of California Governor Gavin Newsom, the governor signed bipartisan legislation to expand housing production in California, streamline housing permitting, and increase density to create more inclusive and vibrant neighborhoods across the state. The suite of bills also will help address the interrelated problems of climate change and housing affordability by promoting denser housing closer to major employment hubs – a critical element in limiting California’s greenhouse gas emissions. The Governor also highlighted the state’s ongoing work to spur more housing production, tackle barriers to construction and hold local governments accountable.

On Tuesday, September 28th, 2021; Statue of Peanuts’ comic strip character Spike has a new home inside the Needles Regional Museum in Downtown Needles, California. Spike is Snoopy’s brother who lives outside of Needles, California and is a character in Charles M. Schulz comic strip Peanuts with Woodstock, Snoopy, and Charlie Brown. The life size statue of Spike was introduced to the community during the Needles Chamber of Commerce Awards and Dinner back in October 2014 thanks to business owner Joe Jones. Spike stood on display at the Subway sandwich shop inside the shell gas station off of Needles Highway near Interstate 40 for a couple of years before moving to the Needles Regional Museum. You can come say hello to Spike and learn about the Peanuts’ comic strip characters and Charles M. Schulz, as well as learn about the community’s history inside the Needles Regional Museum, located at 929 Front Street, which is opened from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. PST Monday through Saturday.

On Tuesday, September 28th, 2021; the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department’s Colorado River Station’s Marine Enforcement Unit received an award for their work during Operation Dry Water 2021 at an awards ceremony during the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) Annual Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. According to the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, the 2021 Operation Dry Water Small Category Top Agency is awarded to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department from the state of California. The award was presented during the 2021 NASBLA Annual Conference to Deputy Eric Blackard from the Colorado River Station located in Needles, California. Over the course of the three-day heightened enforcement weekend, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department deployed three officers who made 17 boating under the influence arrests. The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department’s Colorado River Station is dedicated to providing a safe boating atmosphere for the public and urges everyone to boat sober and wear their life jackets.

On Thursday, September 30th, 2021; a semi truck with livestock trailer has overturned along eastbound Interstate 40 just west of River Road Cutoff in Needles, California. ZachNews was on scene throughout the day reporting live on the overturned crash. California Highway Patrol telling ZachNews that there are 29 cattle inside the overturned livestock trailer, and efforts are underway to help get the live cattle out of the overturned livestock trailer. Initial reports from the San Bernardino County Fire Department stated that 7 cattle were “D.O.A.” dead on arrival. Many resources responded to help get the cattle out and cleaning up the aftermath of the overturned crash.

On Thursday, September 30th, 2021; California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law several police reform efforts. Alongside legislators, community leaders and families of victims of police violence, Governor Gavin Newsom signed:

  • AB 26 by Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) – Peace officers: use of force.
  • AB 48 by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) – Law enforcement: use of force.
  • AB 89 by Assemblymember Reggie Jones Sawyer (D-Los Angeles) – Peace officers: minimum qualifications.
  • AB 481 by Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco) – Law enforcement and state agencies: military equipment: funding, acquisition, and use.
  • AB 490 by Assemblymember Mike Gipson (D-Carson) – Law enforcement agency policies: arrests: positional asphyxia.
  • AB 958 by Assemblymember Mike Gipson (D-Carson) – Peace officers: law enforcement gangs.
  • SB 2 by Senator Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) – Peace officers: certification: civil rights.
  • SB 16 by Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) – Peace officers: release of records.

SB 2 by Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) and Senator Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) which creates a system within the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) to investigate and revoke or suspend peace officer certification for serious misconduct, including excessive force, sexual assault, demonstration of bias and dishonesty. This legislation creates the Peace Officer Standards Accountability Division and the Peace Officer Standards Accountability Advisory Board within POST to review serious misconduct cases. legislation creating a system to decertify peace officers for serious misconduct well at Rowley Park. The California Governor also signed SB 16 by Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) which increases transparency of peace officer misconduct records pertaining to findings of unreasonable or excessive use of force, discriminatory or prejudiced behavior, failure to intervene when witnessing excessive use of force by a peace officer, or participation in unlawful searches and arrests. California Governor Gavin Newsom also signed AB 26 by Assembymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) which creates guidelines for police officers to intercede and immediately report if another officer is using excessive force; AB 89 by Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles) which raises the minimum age to become a police officer to 21 and will enhance education requirements; and AB 490 by Assemblymember Mike Gipson (D-Carson) which bans technique and transport methods that involve risk of positional asphyxia.

 

  • October 2021:

On Thursday, October 7th, 2021; the Prescott Valley Police Department and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department’s Colorado River Station have recently announced in a press release that the vehicle of missing Brian Harris from Prescott Valley, Arizona was located near the small Colorado River desert community of Needles, California, but Brian wasn’t located. Prescott Valley Police Department confirmed to ZachNews that the vehicle was towed to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department which only ZachNews had a picture of, and was in the process of being sent to their department. According to the Prescott Valley Police Department, on Friday, July 16, 2021, 38 year old Brian Harris was reported missing by his mother, who stated he went camping alone on Sunday, July 11th, 2021, and wanted to go somewhere cooler and higher in altitude. Brian Harris hasn’t been heard from since, Brian’s mother believes he may have gone to the Big Lake area southwest of Springerville, or somewhere around Flagstaff. According to the Prescott Valley Police Department, Brian Harris is described as a white male, short buzz cut, brown hair, blue eyes, 5’7”, 140 pounds, and normally wears glasses, and was last driving a 1983 brown and white Chevrolet Suburban with Arizona license plate tag “CRZ-8112.” The Prescott Valley Police Department also said Brian suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from two combat tours in Iraq, and is believed to be armed but hasn’t been involved in any crime. If anybody has seen or known the whereabouts of Brian Harris, please contact Prescott Valley Police Department at: 1(928) 772-9267, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department’s Colorado River Station at: 1(760) 326-9200, or Yavapai County Silent witness at: 1(800) 932-3232. As of Friday, December 31st, 2021, there has been no further information on the whereabouts of missing Brian Harris.

On Sunday, October 10th, 2021; A celebration was held in a small Colorado River desert community of Needles, California for the National Day of the Republic of China with a 10-10 flag ceremony. The ceremony was broadcast live at ZachNews on Facebook (https://fb.watch/8z5gakT42s/) and included a flag ceremony in which the United States of America flag and the Republic of China get raised as their national anthems get played, as well as speakers talking about the history of the National Day of the Republic of China, a proclamation from the Mayor of the City of Needles, speeches and presenting of gifts. The ceremony of the National Day of the Republic of China 10-10 commemorates the start of the Wuchang Uprising of Tuesday, October 10th, 1911 (10-10 or Double Ten), which led to the end of the Qing Dynasty in China and establishment of the Chinese Republic on Monday, January 1st, 1912. During this year’s ceremony, Deputy Director Ming-Shy Chen with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Los Angeles gave a formal speech as a government office on behalf of the Republic of China – Taiwan Government. Also during this year’s ceremony, a scholarship was awarded to the Needles High School Band, which Dr. Mary McNeil, Superintendent of the Needles Unified School District, excepted on their behalf, and a gift was given to the Needles Chamber of Commerce, which George DeLeon accepted on their behalf. After the ceremony, there was a luncheon inside the newly furnished and improved Panda Garden restaurant and many of those who attended purchase local honey from Mystic Maze Honey, buying them in boxes until they were all gone.

On Tuesday, October 12th, 2021; members of the Needles City Council approved Ordinance No. 644-AC banning cultivation of industrial hemp and terminating Urgency Ordinance No. 641-AC imposing temporary moratorium on cultivation of industrial hemp in Needles, California during the regular meeting of the Needles City Council and Needles Public Utility Authority.

On Saturday, October 23rd, 2021; the community enjoyed a glorious parade along West Broadway in Downtown Needles, California during the 45th Annual Fort Mojave Indian Days.

On Friday, October 22nd, 2021 and Saturday, October 23rd, 2021; the community celebrated “Mojave Strong” and coming back together as a community for the 45th Annual Fort Mojave Indian Days celebration and parade in Needles, California after last year’s COVID-19 pandemic. Each year, the community gets to learn about history, customs and traditions of the Fort Mojave Indian Tribe well enjoying all of the many activities and entertainment that occur at the Tribal Village Park on the Fort Mojave Reservation as well as a glorious parade along West Broadway in Downtown Needles, California, but last year much of the celebration had to be trimmed down and go virtual well the parade had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Wednesday, October 27th, 2021; the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department’s Colorado River Station hosted their 2nd Annual Trunk-or-Treat in the parking lot near the Needles Recreation Center in Needles, California.

On Saturday, October 30th, 2021; the 2nd Annual Trunk or Treat was held near Santa Fe Park and El Garces Train Depot in Downtown Needles, California.

 

  • November 2021:

On Monday, November 1st, 2021; the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department’s Colorado River Station’s Marine Enforcement Unit in Needles, California recently took possession of a remotely operated vehicle or ROV. The ROV, a BlueLink SARbot, was purchased after the Marine Enforcement Unit was awarded a grant provided by the California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways. The SARbot is equipped with sonar, a high-definition camera, LED lighting, and a gripper. The ROV can reach depths over 200 feet deep. The Marine Enforcement Unit, based out of the Colorado River Station, responds to numerous boat accidents every year where victims drown, and search operations are conducted. The Sheriff’s Dive Team responds throughout San Bernardino County, as well as other counties in Region 6 of the California Office of Emergency Services, to assist other departments on their waterways with the recovery of drowned victims. The SARbot will be a valuable tool to assist in locating and recovering victims as well as providing evidence documentation while increasing diver safety by reducing diver fatigue during long operations. Marine Enforcement Unit personnel received training on the use of the ROV last week and are very excited about its potential. The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department would like to express its gratitude to the California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways for their great partnership. Boating Safety Equipment Grants provided by Boating and Waterways helps the Marine Enforcement Unit provide a safe boating environment for the public.

On Tuesday, November 2nd, 2021; the Atlanta Braves won their fourth World Series in Game 6 held at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas, defeating the Houston Astros four games to two.

On Tuesday, November 9th, 2021; members of the Needles City Council has voted in majority against a conditional use permit for a retail cannabis business in Downtown Needles, California. Voting via teleconference, Needles City Council Member Campbell vote “Yes” well Needles City Council Members Evans, Merritt and Belts voted “No” well present inside the Needles City Council Chambers.

On Tuesday, November 9th, 2021; ZachNews first reported that Needles City Manager Rick Daniels confirmed to members of the Needles City Council that there is a signed lease on a new grocery store in Needles, California. When asked by Needles City Council Member Ellen Campbell on any updates regarding a grocery store coming into the community, Needles City Manager Rick Daniels said, “On the grocery store, there’s a signed lease so we’re expecting that announcement to come shortly on construction schedule.” Needles City Manager Rick Daniels didn’t release publicly the name of the grocery store, but sources telling ZachNews that The Market in Laughlin, Nevada was looking into coming into the community, and that a few months ago viewed the property at the old Bashas grocery store building located at the Needles Towne Center which is owned by Atlas Properties based out of Laguna Hills, California with a leasing office in Moreno Valley, California.

On Thursday, November 18th, 2021; the City of Needles held General Plan Community Meetings inside the Needles Recreation Center in Needles, California. The General Plan is an important documents for the City of Needles, consists of a statement of development policies, and includes a diagram or diagrams as well as text setting forth objectives, principles standards, and plan proposals; and serves as a blueprint for the future of Needles, California; a comprehensive long-term plan for the physical development of the city, and is a state mandate for the city to do a General Plan. Unfortunately, the last General Plan that has been done for the City of Needles in which the citizens and the city council approved was back in 1986; a long awaiting updated needing to be done as the vision back in 1986, and so the City of Needles scheduled these community meetings to begin the process to updating the General Plan. Initially there was to be two sperate community meetings for the General Plan, a kids session and an adults session, but for a moment those meetings came together. Kids and adults shared their ideas, suggestions and comments in writing, and even voting with sticker dots at some booth stations, all being collected as part of putting together the updated General Plan for the community. Needles City Manager Rick Daniels and Needles Assistant City Manager Patrick Martinez tells ZachNews that their hope to have more meetings and put all of the inputs to be put together, and placed in front of the Needles City Council to vote on approving the updated General Plan for the community hopefully by the end of August 2022.

On Sunday, November 21st, 2021; multiple people are dead and dozens of people injured after a speeding sport utility vehicle drives through Waukesha Christmas Parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin. The incident involving the sport utility vehicle, and was recorded by the city’s livestream and onlookers’ cellphones. The Waukesha Police Department Chief Daniel Thompson confirmed the arrested suspect as 39 year old Darrell E. Brooks, a resident of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Darrell Brooks appeared in court on Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021, and was charged with five counts of first-degree intentional homicide, the charges carries a mandatory life sentence if Brooks is convicted. Authorities confirmed 6 people died in this incident, including five adults victims and a young boy. Brooks’ bail was set at $5 million dollars, and a preliminary hearing was scheduled for Friday, January 14th, 2022.

On Wednesday, November 24th, 2021; a jury in Brunswick, Georgia found three men – Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan – guilty of murder in fatal shooting of 25 year old Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed black man. Back in February 2020, Ahmaud Arbery was chased by the men in vehicles through a Brunswick neighborhood, and shot and killed by the younger McMichael.

 

  • December 2021:

On Saturday, December 4th, 2021; the Needles Chamber of Commerce held a tree lighting ceremony of the Needles Community Memorial Christmas Tree in Downtown Needles, California. People came together as a community for the lighting of the community memorial tree, located at the corner of West Broadway and G Street, all decorated in lights and tree ornaments put up from the community in memory of loved ones and veterans.

On Saturday, December 4th, 2021; the community celebrated return of Dance Trax 51 and lighted parade during Needles Holiday Fun Fair and Lighted Parade 2021 in Downtown Needles, California following COVID-19 Pandemic cancellations in 2020. Organizer Melody Jones announced to the local press, including broadcasted live at ZachNews on Facebook, the official winners of the lighted parade inside the beautiful Peace A-Work located at 821 West Broadway.

  • First Place: Best Float: City of Needles (Decorated Utility Truck and Trailer)
  • First Place: Best Group: VFW sponsored by Needles Chamber of Commerce
  • First Place: Decorated Vehicle: Needles Regional Museum
  • First Place: Matching Band: Fort Mojave Indian Tribal Marching Band
  • First Place: Best Equestrian: Walter (Orphaned Donkey and Mayor of Oatman, Arizona)

The 40 minutes of fun and joy was the longest parade for the event, and had a lot of lighted as well as decorated vehicles and trailers as well as music entries from the Fort Mojave Indian Tribal Marching Band, Dance Trax 51 and Needles High School Matching Band; parade entries from the Fort Mojave Indian Tribe, Route 66 Broadband, Set Free Church of Needles, Fort Mojave Indian Tribal Police Department, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department’s Colorado River Station, San Bernardino County Fire District, KTOX 1340AM/104.1FM Radio, Needles Chamber of Commerce, Needles Regional Museum, City of Needles and Needles Unified School District; and even a visit from Walter, the orphaned donkey and Mayor of Oatman, Arizona just to name a few.

On Sunday, December 5th, 2021; United States Senate leader and presidential candidate Bob Dole died in Topeka, Kansas. Bob Dole was a longtime lawmaker who overcame life-threatening injuries during World War II to become a shepherd of the Republican Party. Bob Dole died in his sleep at the age of 98 years old. In a statement, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation confirmed Bob Dole’s death saying, “It is with heavy hearts we announce that Senator Robert Joseph Dole died early this morning in his sleep. At his death, at age 98, he had served the United States of America faithfully for 79 years.” Bob Dole’s family also released a statement about Bob Dole’s death saying that they have lost their rock, adding that they shared Dole with Americans “from every walk of life” over the decades. “Bob Dole never forgot where he came from. He embodied the integrity, humor, compassion and unbounded work ethic of the wide open plains of his youth. He was a powerful voice for pragmatic conservatism, and it was that unique Kansan combination of attributes and values that made him such a giant of the Senate,” Bob Dole’s family said in their statement. Bob Dole was a former United States Senate majority leader and the 1996 Republican nominee for president, the native of Russell, Kansas, represented an earlier version of the GOP that had come through the Great Depression and did not shy away from a muscular use of government at home and abroad. He championed expanding the federal food stamp program, bringing awareness to disabilities, and sending United States troops to foreign conflicts. Bob Dole came from humble beginnings. He was born Robert Joseph Dole on July 22, 1923, in Russell; his father sold dairy products and his mother was a traveling saleswoman, selling sewing machines and other products. Bob Dole grew up wanting to become a doctor but that changed after World War II, which nearly killed him and left him permanently disabled, earning him two Purple Hearts and two awards of the Bronze Star. Bob Dole registered for the United States Army in 1942 and was a second lieutenant when he was sent to Italy in 1944. The following year, while attempting to rescue an army radioman, Bob Dole got caught in a German machine gun attack that cost him a kidney, shattered his right shoulder and damaged his neck and spine, leaving him temporarily paralyzed from the neck down. In a letter to his parents at the time, the United States Army wrote, “At the present time it would appear that his recovery is somewhat questionable.” Bob Dole was able to beat the odds, and after years of treatment, had regained much of his movement. Bob Dole’s arms never fully recovered – his left remained partially numb for the rest of his life, and he never got back the use of his right arm, and the injuries had a lasting effect. Bob Dole told The New York Times five decades after the attack that he allowed 50 extra minutes in the morning to get dressed, and that he tried to avoid any clothing with buttons. Bob Dole first entered politics when he returned to school in Kansas after the war in the 1950s, winning a seat for the Kansas state Legislature as a Republican. He received a law degree and became county attorney for Russell County, before a successful run for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1960. He went on to become elected a senator and served in the Senate from 1969 until 1996; he was also the Republican national chairman in 1971. As Bob Dole’s political career was taking off, his first marriage fell apart. Bob Dole and his wife, Phyllis Holden, with whom he had one daughter, Robin, were divorced. Bob Dole married his second wife, Elizabeth Hanford, in 1975; Elizabeth Dole later was elected a senator in North Carolina, in 2002. Bob Dole’s politics were characterized by a commitment to the disadvantaged, whether it was spearheading the passage of the landmark 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act or combating hunger and poverty. After retiring from politics, Bob Dole continued to work for the international law firm Alston & Bird. He met with veterans at the National World War II Memorial, which he had led a campaign for that brought in more than $170 million before it opened in 2004.

On Wednesday, December 8th, 2021; the City of Needles has announced in a press release that they have been awarded a $3.96 million dollars grant for improvements to Duke Watkins Park in Needles, California. According to Needles City Manager Rick Daniels, “Today Armando M Quintero, Director of the California Department of Parks and Recreation announced that the City of Needles is being awarded $3,965,400 to make improvements to Duke Watkins City Park on J Street. The grant comes from Statewide Park Development and Community Revitalization Grant Program funded by a $2.4B statewide ballot measure approved by the voters in 2018 to renovate and build new parks.” Some of those improvements include:

  • BMX type bicycle track on the east side of the street,
  • Kids Splash Pad in the shape of the Route 66 logo,
  • New children’s playground equipment,
  • New lighting for the ball fields,
  • Renovate the existing basketball court,
  • New Parking lot,
  • New restroom near the aquatics center,
  • Shade structures, picnic tables, benches, drinking fountains, etc. and
    Small Dog Park.

“The City couldn’t be happier. Our children and residents deserve a great space for outdoor activities to relax, exercise and enjoy their families,” said Needles City Mayor Jeff Williams. This grant is the product of a collaborative effort with the community that began in 2019 where the City facilitated multiple community meetings, including on-site meetings to envision what Duke Watkins Park could become. Those meetings involved adults, but special consideration was given to children to determine what they wanted in a park. “Much credit goes to Rainie Torrance, Tammy Ellmore, Jennifer Valenzuela, Jesse Fragoso and a multitude of citizens, kids, and the NUSD who gave of their time and effort on this project. This is a great day for recreation in the City of Needles,” said Needles City Manager Rick Daniels. Congratulation to the City of Needles and everybody involved in this work.

Between Friday, December 10th, 2021 and Saturday, December 11th, 2021; tornadoes ripped through the South and Midwest. Tornado activity began in northeastern Arkansas, before progressing into Missouri, Illinois, Tennessee, and Kentucky. A total of 70 confirmed tornadoes occurred, causing 90 people were confirmed dead and 126 people were reportedly injured.

On Tuesday, December 14th, 2021; the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health has confirmed the first case of Omicron variant of COVID-19 detected in San Bernardino County, California. According to the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health, the variant was detected in a male resident of Redlands who was fully vaccinated and had obtained a booster shot, and he had traveled to a conference out of state and returned with COVID-19 symptoms. The man is isolating at home and is recovering from the virus, and the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health is working on contact tracing to help mitigate any spread. “Discovering the Omicron variant in our county is a concern, but not a surprise, No matter the variant, we are still in the middle of a pandemic and we need to continue to protect ourselves and others from spreading and contracting COVID-19. The good news is we have vaccines, and we know they are highly effective against this virus,” said San Bernardino County Public Health Director Josh Dugas. San Bernardino County Public Health Director Josh Dugas urged people to get vaccinated and get a booster. He also encouraged parents to get their children ages 5 to 11 vaccinated because they are also eligible for the vaccines. “We are gathering again with our friends and family members this holiday season and we want to make sure everyone does their part to avoid the virus. The County remains prepared and ready to address this and all variants, and any future challenges the pandemic brings,” said San Bernardino County Public Health Director Josh Dugas. To get vaccinated, get a child vaccinated or obtain a booster vaccine, visit MyTurn.ca.gov or vaccines.gov.

On Wednesday, December 15th, 2021; the City of Needles in Needles, California announced that “Mask Are Required” entering buildings after the California Department of Public Health issued a mask mandate across California. According to the California Department of Public Health, the mandate will last through Saturday, January 15th, 2022, and comes after a 47 percent increase in COVID-19 case rates and a 14 percent increase in hospitalizations after Thanksgiving Day 2021. The California Department of Public Health will reassess the mask mandate after Saturday, January 15th, 2022 and make new recommendations in response to the pandemic.

On Tuesday, December 14th, 2021; at long last, a small desert town without a grocery store for years will soon have a new grocery store to shop at locally. ZachNews first reported that Needles City Manager Rick Daniels confirmed to members of the Needles City Council during the regular meeting of the Needles City Council Meeting that “The Market” is the new grocery store coming to the Needles Towne Center in Needles, California. “I had the chance to meet with Darin Hill, who is owner of the Laughlin ‘Market’, and he visited with me and ensured himself that he wouldn’t get caught in the California permitting quicksand. I informed him that we have issued him the only land use permit he would need for that grocery store; and that our building official has establish a report with a County Environmental Health Department so all of the food handling – for the butcher shop, the deli, the vegetables – that we will help him fill out the permit application. Also Jeff (Needles City Mayor) is going to ensure that he communicates with Supervisor Rowe (San Bernardino County Board of Supervisor Dawn Rowe) to make sure she understands that how important this is to us and the need to get a grocery store right here so we’re not a food desert. I felt very good about that, I had the chance for Councilors Belts, Longacres and Campbell to meet with him (Darin) just by chance; and not only that, he got a standing ovation as he walked through city hall, piratically from the Finance Department. He is still experiences… I think he came away understanding better and how easy we’re gonna make it, but he also understood how important this is to this community to be able to have a grocery store,” said Needles City Manager Rick Daniels. After the regular meeting, Needles City Manager Rick Daniels confirmed to ZachNews that The Market – located in Laughlin, Nevada – is the name of the new grocery store; which has been known for months but finally has been made public. The only full functioning grocery store, Bashas grocery store at the Needles Towne Center, closed back on Friday, May 9th, 2014 and a new 99 Cents Only Store came in a few months later, but they would closed a few years later on Friday, January 26th, 2018, and since the closing the building has sat vacant awaiting any potential grocery store to come occupy the building. For years after the closings, the community has been asking for a new grocery store to come into town, and the issue has been a hot topic for discussion and debates, especially when the City of Needles vote on anything cannabis related. Now with a new full functioning grocery store coming into Needles, California hopefully starting work in March 2022, the City of Needles hopes that people shop at the new grocery store when they open so that the community doesn’t loss the only grocery store again.

On Wednesday, December 15th, 2021; the 3rd Annual State of the City was held inside the Wagon Wheel Restaurant in Needles, California. During the State of the City, ZachNews first reported that Needles City Manager Rick Daniels confirmed that not only The Market is coming into the Needles Towne Center in Needles, California, but also Ace Hardware. A slideshow pictured behind Needles City Manager Rick Daniels showed The Market and Ace Hardware is coming to the Needles Towne Center in 2022. Needles City Manager Rick Daniels hopes of starting work in March 2022.

On Tuesday, December 28th, 2021; the community came together to give thanks and happy retirement wishes to Doctor Edward Paget during a surprise gathering at his clinic in Needles, California. Dr. Paget is retiring after many decades of serving the people of the community of Needles, California and surrounding communities as a doctor and surgent all well also serving as the mayor and current vice mayor of the City of Needles.

On Tuesday, December 28th, 2021; John Madden, legendary football coach, broadcaster and video game icon, has died in Pleasanton, California. According to National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell, “Earlier today we received the sad news that the great John Madden died unexpectedly this morning. He was 85. On behalf of the entire NFL family, we extend our condolences to Virginia, Mike, Joe and their families.”

On Tuesday, December 28th, 2021; Harry Reid, former United States Senator and longest serving senator in Nevada, has died. In a statement, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak said. “I am heartbroken by the news of his passing. Kathy and I extend our deepest condolences to his family, friends and loved ones. We are especially thinking of Harry’s forever love, Landra. Perhaps what I appreciate most about Senator Reid’s legacy is he never forgot who he was or where he came from. From humble beginnings in Searchlight, he became one of the state’s most powerful and fiercest advocates in Washington, DC. He spent his life and his career fighting the good fight for all Nevadans. I feel lucky to have known him.”

On Thursday, December 30th, 2021; tens of thousands of homes in Boulder County, Colorado are under mandatory evacuation orders due to the Marshall Fire burning. the fire was first reported just after 11:00 a.m. MST in the area of South Foothills Highway and Marshall Road, and has burned an estimated 1,600 acres as of 5:00 p.m. MST. Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle said more than 500 homes have been destroyed by the fire. The cause of the fire has not been confirmed, but Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle said downed power lines were reported in the area. The fire continues to burn as of Friday, December 31st, 2021.

On Friday, December 31st, 2021; Betty White, beloved award winning actress, comedian, longtime animal welfare activist and American’s sweetheart and icon to many people, died in Brentwood, California just days before she would have celebrated her 100th birthday in Monday, January 17th, 2022.

COVID-19 Result Totals as of 7:00 p.m. PST on Friday, December 31st, 2021:

  • Needles, California: The County of San Bernardino reports Total Cases: 514, Outbreak Cases: 3, Community Cases: 511, Total Deaths: 5, Total Tests: 5,898 and the city is under a “Moderate Risk” tier (Daily New Cases: 2 – 5.9 and Positive Tests: 2 – 4.9%) as of Wednesday, December 29th, 2021.
  • San Bernardino County, California: The County of San Bernardino reports 383,706 COVID-19 Positive Cases, 370,785 COVID-19 Recovered Cases (Projected) and 6,010 COVID-19 Deaths as of Wednesday, December 29th, 2021.
  • California: The official California State Government Website reports 5,191,438 total cases, 15,806 daily avg.; 75,847 total deaths, 45 daily avg.; and 64,792,572 vaccines administered, total 139,863 daily avg. as of Friday, December 31st, 2021.
  • United States: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 53,795,407 total cases in the last 30 days, 820,355 total deaths in the last 30 days as of Friday, December 31st, 2021.
  • Internationally: The World Health Organization reports there have been 281,808,270 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 5,411,759 deaths as of Wednesday, December 29th, 2021; and a total of 8,687,201,202 vaccine doses have been administered as of Tuesday, December 28th, 2021.

May you all say goodbye to the year 2021, learn from what occurred in 2021, remember the many people we loss in 2021 and give thanks to the many people who helped, cared for, protected and saved lives in 2021.

ZachNews thank all of our great supporters, and wishes everybody a happy, fun, delicious, healthy, safe, respectful and responsible New Year 2022. 

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