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Mountain Center evacuated for Bonita Fire

By Melissa Diaz HernandezEditor The Bonita Fire started at 1:16 a.m. Friday forcing the evacuation of Mountain Center.Photos by Jenny Kirchner            Update from Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department at 6 p.m. Friday: "FINAL CAL FIRE UPDATE FRIDAY 1/15/2021 6:00 P.M. The Bonita Fire is 715 acres and is now 20%...

CHP has a new captain

California Highway Patrol (CHP) San Gorgonio Pass Capt. Mike Alvarez took a new job at the CHP headquarters in Sacramento. While he’s still holding his captain position, he is now a commander at the Office of Special Representatives, which is the liaison between the CHP and the U.S. Congress. Capt. Aaron Knarr has stepped...

Acting postmaster at Idyllwild Post Office

Last week, Lorraine Sonoqui became the acting postmaster of the Idyllwild Post Office. The former postmaster, Mark Smith, abruptly resigned earlier last month, leaving staff inundated with work during the holiday season. “We do not comment on personnel issues,” wrote Eva M. Jackson, strategic communications specialist for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), in response...

New year begins with missing people still not located

As we begin 2021, five people, who went missing last year, have not been located. As the holidays were upon us, the Town Crier spoke to the families of the missing people to get their stories. Roy Prifogle was the first to go missing in March of last year. Prifogle’s daughter, Kendra Johnson, told...

Local sculptor takes talent to the sand and snow

As heavy snow covered the mountain a couple of weeks ago and many people retreated inside to the warm comfort of their homes, Rick Emmons, on the other hand, spent many hours in the thick of it, all in the name of artistry. Emmons took his tools and braved the cold to make a...

AAI 2021 events

By Art Alliance IdyllwildContributed Many of the Art Alliance of Idyllwild’s (AAI) usual events were canceled during 2020 because of the pandemic. However, the AAI was able to safely stage certain events by holding them outdoors and complying with all health requirements. Providing the virus is under control in 2021, the AAI plans the...

Election update

Here are the local election results as of 6 p.m. Monday. The Riverside County Registrar of Voters has approximately 1,000 vote-by-mail and 2,000 provisional ballots left to process. The next update is scheduled after the newspaper goes to press. Idyllwild Fire Protection District BoardChristina Reitz: 990 votesDennis Fogle (appointed incumbent): 686 votesDan Messina (appointed...

Election update Nov. 26

Here are the local election results as of 6 p.m. Saturday. The Riverside County Registrar of Voters has approximately 1,000 vote-by-mail and 5,000 provisional ballots left to process. The next update is scheduled after the newspaper goes to press. Idyllwild Fire Protection District Board Christina Reitz: 986...

Caltrans gives culvert update to PCPOA

The culvert work on highways 243 and 74 is now complete. Terri Kasinga, public and media affairs chief for Caltrans District 8, reported the news at the Nov. 7 Pine Cove Property Owners Association meeting. “Culvert work was holding up traffic and was a big inconvenience to folks going up and down from Idyllwild,”...

Nov. 3 election update

Here are the local election results as of Monday evening. The Riverside County Registrar of Voters has about 215,000 vote-by-mail and 25,000 provisional ballots left to process. The next update is scheduled after the newspaper goes to press. Idyllwild Fire Protection District Board Christina Reitz: 544 votes

Woman found after missing in Anza

The Town Crier contacted the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department (RCSD) media information bureau over the weekend after learning that another woman had gone missing. Just before the newspaper went to press, RCSD sent an email saying the woman had been located, but did not give an update on her condition. The newspaper asked over...

New restaurant opens its doors

Stevie Davis and Jennifer Muir have spent most of their adult lives in the restaurant business. They’ve worked their way from working at other restaurants to owning their own catering company. Now, they have taken the next step — opening their own restaurant. While they are only in the...

Idyllwild Arts senior publishes in top-tier literary journal

By Idyllwild Arts AcademyContributed The publication this month of Idyllwild Arts Academy (IAA) twelfth-grader Rome Smaoui’s short story, “Days of Summer,” in Narrative (www.narrativemagazine.com/) is a startling achievement for a high school student. Narrative is a top-tier literary journal and it is free to register. The number of Narrative...

Flashback to the first edition in 1946

See how it all started below.

Mayor Max for president?

Despite COVID-19, Mayor Max has still been busy. While he’s not out greeting visitors in the center of town as he did pre-COVID, he has had visitors to his home. A group of ladies visit Mayor Max at his home.PHOTO BY PHYLLIS MUELLER Chief of Staff Phyllis Mueller said, “We...

Idyllwild’s Richelle Gribble heads to Mars

Artist Richelle Gribble spent her childhood in Idyllwild. She attended Idyllwild School from kindergarten through eighth grade, then went to Idyllwild Arts Academy for high school. The arts have paved her way through her career so far, expanding her understanding of how she can share it with the masses. Hawaii Space Exploration Analog...

One fateful moment turns paramedic into an artistic carver

Idyllwild local Cory Lavy wasn’t always the artistic type. While he was born and raised in Idyllwild, Lavy was more interested in the fire and medical world than he ever was with the arts. Cory Lavy with his most intricately carved piece to date.PHOTO BY HALEIGH LAVY While in high...

COVID-19 Local Update: Recovered numbers rising, confirmed numbers slowing

As of press time, there are still a total of 22 reported COVID-19 cases since the outbreak and one death reported for the area of Idyllwild-Pine Cove, according to the Riverside University Health System – Public Health (RUHS) website. Totals for Riverside County as of Tuesday, Sep. 15. For updated numbers click here.Image Courtesy...

Readers Write: January 14, 2021

Trash in town Dear editor:I am saddened by the condition of trash left all over town. I used to walk to work and pick up 30-plus pieces of garbage each day.I don’t do that now because of the pandemic. We so appreciate the presence of our tourists, but do not appreciate their trashing this...

A Healthy Idyllwild: Cervical Cancer Awareness month

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness month.First take-home fact: Most cases of cervical cancer and related deaths occur in women who have not been adequately screened or treated.Second take-home fact: Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the main cause of cervical cancer.Last take home fact: Prevention is possible.Remember the old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of...

News of Record: January 14, 2021

Idyllwild FireThe Idyllwild Fire Protection District recently responded to the following calls.• Jan. 4 — Medical aid, 8:16 a.m. Manzanita Dr.• Jan. 4 — Walk-in medical aid, 11:37 a.m.• Jan. 5 — Police matter, 10:43 a.m. Village Center Dr.• Jan. 5 — Medical aid, 3:09 p.m. S. Circle Dr.• Jan. 5 — Medical assist, 3:58 p.m. Acorn...

Idyllwild grinding facility to resume normal operating hours

By Riverside CountyContributed Following a temporary closure due to staffing demands, the Idyllwild Grinding Facility will resume normal seasonal operation starting Wednesday, Jan. 6. Under winter seasonal hours, the facility will be open on Wednesdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed noon to 1 p.m.) until June.The facility is located at...

PSPS and medical devices

PHOTO COURTESY SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EDISON In early December, Southern California Edison (SCE), the largest subsidiary of Edison International, invoked a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) in the area. Most locations lost power by 9 a.m. Monday (Dec. 7) with power being restored to areas Tuesday evening. Power was not restored in Pine Cove...

The Town Crier’s tasks

Over the past two months in this column, we’ve elaborated on our statement of the Town Crier’s tasks, i.e., serving as a community watchdog that publishes the good news with the bad, warns of danger, advises of opportunity, challenges authority, praises accomplishment, investigates irregularity, marvels at art, exposes abuse, celebrates lives and publishes its readers’ letters.Doing all...

How changes to California’s property tax system could affect reassessments

By Riverside CountyContributed Changes are coming to Prop. 13, California’s paramount property tax limitation measure that caps taxable property value increases, and homeowners who are over the age of 55, disabled, or victims of a natural disaster stand to benefit the most. Transfers between family members will also be affected.On Nov. 3, 2020, California...

County emergency alert system update

The county of Riverside Emergency Management Department (EMD) told the newspaper the emergency siren alert system for the areas outside the Idyllwild Fire Protection District (IFPD) is in the stage of requesting proposals from vendors.IFPD has its siren at the station and hopes the siren will be up and working by the end of January.The pandemic has...

Fire restrictions lowered on the San Bernardino National Forest

By U.S. Forest ServiceContributed Fire restrictions were lowered last week on the San Bernardino National Forest. Recent winter storm activity, cooler temperatures and a significant decrease in recent wildfire activity contributed to the decision.Officials, however, urge continued vigilance when partaking in any activity that could spark a fire.“California is always in fire season, as...
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