NEW YEARS SAFETY TIPS FROM THE SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT

For many of us, wrapping up the year that was and ringing in the year ahead is a time to think about resolutions and to plan on some celebrating. The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department offers some tips to help assure a safe and happy new year free of any unexpected misfortune. Reporter Mike Lipsitz puts on his party hat…

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department advises … observe local ordinances prohibiting all fireworks in the Morongo Basin. Don’t shoot firearms into the air. Remember, what goes up must come down. Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings at all times. If you are drinking alcohol, arrange for a designated driver or call a taxi. Do not leave drinks unattended anywhere for any amount of time. Always maintain a fully charged cell phone in case of an emergency. If driving, allow ample travel times, stay alert, observe traffic laws, and be prepared for winter road conditions. And lastly, report suspicious activity. For emergencies call 911, and for non-emergencies call the Sheriff’s Department Desert Dispatch at 760-956-5001.

MINIMUM WAGE GOES UP TOMORROW

California’s minimum wage will is set to increase January 1. For employers who have at least 26 employees, hourly wages will increase to $14 per hour. Businesses with 25 or fewer employees, the minimum wage will increase to $13 per hour.

NEW LAWS ARE AFFECTING THE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM

More new laws will take affect in California as of Friday. Due to the passage of Proposition 17 in the November election, individuals on parole may now vote.

In addition, several new laws will affect juveniles in the criminal justice system. Juveniles who act out in school will be referred to community support systems instead of being referred to probation or becoming a ward of the court. The state is phasing out juvenile prisons beginning July 1. And another new law will make it easier for minors in police custody to get legal counsel before being questioned.

MBTA BUSSES NOT RUNNING TOMORROW

The Morongo Basin Transit Authority will NOT operate bus services on Friday, January 1, 2021 in observance of New Year’s Day and will resume its regularly scheduled service on Saturday, January 2, 2021.

CHP ON MAXIMUM ENFORCEMENT OVER THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND

Although Californians are supposed to celebrate the new year at home, some will be traveling to celebrate the end of 2020. Hilary Sloane says if you do decide to join a party, be sure to designate a sober driver, as the California Highway Patrol will be out in force…

Although residents are urged to celebrate the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021 at home, many will be joining parties. All available officers of the California Highway Patrol will be out on the roads for enhanced enforcement efforts, focusing on impaired drivers, distracted drivers, and other infractions such as not wearing seatbelts. The maximum enforcement period will be from 6 p.m. Thursday, December 31, through midnight, January 3. The CHP urges residents to buckle up, avoid distractions, keep to a safe and legal speed, and always designate a sober driver.