The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in San Bernardino County is higher now than it ever has been, according to data released by the state Friday (Nov. 27). The newest data shows 656 coronavirus-positive patients in county hospitals on Thanksgiving, the previous record was 638 on July 25 as part of a summer surge. Out of those hospitalized, 167 are in the ICU, which is lower than the max of 197 people on July 22. In a county newsletter, Dr. Troy Pennington, an emergency care physician at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton, said the county and hospitals have been preparing for this surge. Plans include adding surge beds including in non-clinical spaces like conference rooms, and in temporary structures in parking lots; and curtailing non-urgent procedures.


Unfortunately, fraud reports have spiked due to uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and scammers exploiting the crisis to find new ways to cash in at the expense of residents. Hilary Sloane offers these examples from the Federal Trade Commission of common frauds and tips on how to recognize them to avoid being scammed…

Learn how to tell the difference between a real contact tracer and a scammer. Legitimate tracers need health information, not money or personal financial information. Ignore offers for vaccinations and home test kits. Scammers are selling products to treat or prevent COVID-19 without proof that they work.

Hang up on robocalls. Scammers are using illegal robocalls to pitch everything from low-priced health insurance to COVID-19 test kits and vaccines to work-at-home schemes.

Do your homework when it comes to donations. Never donate in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money.


It’s Cyber Monday, when people start their online holiday shopping in earnest. And with the spending season comes an upswing in identity theft. Managing editor Tami Roleff offers the following tips on how to reduce your risk of identity theft due to online shopping…

To reduce the possibility of identity theft, use just one credit card for online purchases, and make it one that has a low limit. Rotate and change your passwords on all online accounts monthly or more often. Monitor your credit and debit card activity on a daily basis, paying attention to balance amounts. Enroll in a credit-monitoring service, but understand, that loopholes still allow your identify to be cloned without you even noticing. And most important, never give out personal information over the phone or via e-mail, including any and all unsolicited phone calls or e-mail offers. Protect yourself this holiday season, and don’t let the cyber thieves steal your hard-earned money.


Two major road projects begin today in Yucca Valley: the Palomar Avenue Widening Project and the Yucca Trail Safety Improvement Project.  

The Palomar project consists of widening of Palomar Trail from south of Yucca Trail to north of Yucca Trail, removal of the existing traffic signals including selected pole bases, and installation of new poles and selected bases, pavement striping and signal timing and detection in the Town of Yucca Valley. Construction is set to be complete in January of 2021.

The Yucca Trail Safety Improvement Project consists of widening Yucca Trail from Warren Vista Avenue to the west side of the Avalon/Palomar Avenue intersection to provide 8-foot shoulder on both the sides of Yucca Trail, 12-foot travel lanes, and a 12-foot center striped median with left turn movements into intersections of Warren Vista, Bonita, Chula Vista, Victoria, Alaba, Frontera, Balsa, Emerson, Hanford, La Habra, Rubidoux, and Palomar. The project also includes the widening of Warren Vista both north and south of Yucca Trail to include left hand turns at intersections and through lanes. That project is also set to be complete in January of 2021.

Changes in schedules may be necessary due to equipment failures, weather, and many other factors. The Town will provide additional updated project schedule information as the project moves forward.


The Town of Yucca Valley is hosting a festive ugly sweater photo contest this holiday season. Reporter Andrew Dieleman says participants are encouraged to get creative: the uglier, the better…

Get festive this holiday season with the Town of Yucca Valley Recreation Department’s Ugly Sweater Contest. Participants are encouraged to submit a creative, family-friendly photo of themselves in their tackiest, ugliest, most festive holiday sweaters. First-, second-, and third-place winners will receive a festive prize and all submissions will be entered into a drawing to win a Nintendo Switch. The deadline to enter is Monday, December 16. To enter, submit your name and photo to Recreation Coordinator Megan Stueckle at Entries will be displayed on the Town of Yucca Valley website and social media site.