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    Offenders With Warrants Can Avoid High Fines, Jail Times

    Pastor Raymond Turner, founder of the Inland Empire Concerned African American Churches, tells Community Relations Officer Norm Nunez, Deputy Chief Ron Cochran and another member of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department administration about new programs his organization offers to the community. One of these new programs is an expansion of its existing Community Plea Program, which is now helping offenders at the Rancho Cucamonga Courthouse as well as San Bernardino. Photo by Chris Sloan

    (SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) People who have failed to appear at the Rancho Cucamonga San Bernardino County Superior Courthouse for misdemeanors and lesser violations now have another option besides high fines and jail time.

    The Inland Empire Concerned African Churches will debut its Community Plea Program at the Rancho Cucamonga Courthouse on Friday, Aug. 27. This program duplicates one the Inland Empire Concerned African Churches created for the San Bernardino Superior Courthouse six years ago that has already helped more than 600 people.

    “People who have a misdemeanor or traffic violation and have failed to appear in court can work with us,” said Pastor Owusu Hodari, Chairman of the Legal Affairs Committee for Inland Empire Concerned African American Churches. “We will go to court with them, and arrange with the Public Defender and District Attorney for them to do community service for a church instead of paying a fine.”

    Offenders can perform their community service for any church approved by the Inland Empire Concerned African American Churches, which does not limit service to those that are part of the organization.
    The Inland Empire Concerned African Americans Churches can work with most people who have failed to appear for misdemeanors and violations at either the Rancho Cucamonga or San Bernardino courthouses. The San Bernardino County District Attorney and the Public Defender must approve all the clients before they appear.

    People who are arrested on their Failure to Appear warrant, anyone else not coming to court voluntarily to clear their case, anyone accused of a felony or violent offense, and those the District Attorney deems a repeat, serious, or non-cooperative offender are not eligible.

    The Inland Empire Concerned African American Churches takes the cases it is representing to the San Bernardino Courthouse on the third Friday of every month, and will take them to the Rancho Cucamonga Courthouse on the fourth Friday of every month.

    To receive assistance from the Inland Empire Concerned African American Churches, eligible offenders must contact the organization by calling (909) 474-7036 and leaving a message. The Inland Empire Concerned African American Churches can help offenders the same month, provided they call no later than the first Friday of the month if appearing in San Bernardino, and no later than the second Friday of the month if appearing in Rancho Cucamonga.

    To be eligible for assistance when the Inland Empire Concerned African American Churches begins in Rancho Cucamonga, offenders must contact the organization no later than Friday, Aug. 13.
    San Bernardino County Public Defender Doreen Boxer, San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos and the judges and clerks of San Bernardino County Superior Court are co-sponsors of this program.


    FHLB San Francisco Holds Foreclosure Prevention Workshop in San Bernardino

    SAN BERNARDINO, CA—Hosted by the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco (FHLBank San Francisco) and NID Housing Counseling Agency, a foreclosure prevention workshop today provided information and financial counseling to residents faced with losing their homes or buying their first residences. According to RealtyTrac, a foreclosure listing service, foreclosure filings in San Bernardino County are declining, but the Inland region still has the fifth-highest rate of filings in the nation.

    Rep. Joe Baca (D-Ca.) was delayed in Washington and could not attend as scheduled. The congressman sent a video message, expressing his concern for troubled homeowners.

    “The foreclosure crisis hit the Inland Empire hard. This workshop offered valuable assistance to many of those facing foreclosures. We hope that as families learn more about the foreclosure process and the willingness of lenders to work with them, many families will be able to keep their homes,” said Rep. Baca.

    The biggest mistake homeowners make is not communicating with their lending institution as soon as they recognize their inability to make their mortgage payments. Attendees at the workshop had the opportunity to talk with lenders and learned about available resources. Among the institutions participating in the workshop were CHASE, Wells Fargo, FHLBank San Francisco, NID Housing Counseling Agency, Housing Opportunity Collaborative of Inland Empire, and NeighborWorks America.

    FHLBank San Francisco has hosted 12 foreclosure prevention workshops in the past two years, as it seeks to help homeowners during the current housing crisis.
    “Our goal is to provide families with the information that they need to keep their homes,” said Lawrence H. Parks, Senior Vice President of External Affairs for FHLBank San Francisco. “Oftentimes, homeowners are not aware of the options available to them. These workshops give them the opportunity to learn what options are best for their families.”

    The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco

    The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco delivers low-cost funding and other services that help member financial institutions make home mortgages to people of all income levels and provide credit that supports neighborhoods and communities. The Bank also funds community investment programs that help members create affordable housing and promote community economic development. The Bank’s members—its shareholders and customers—are commercial banks, credit unions, savings institutions, thrift and loans, and insurance companies headquartered in Arizona, California, and Nevada.
    Contact: Kevin Blackburn, 415.616.2572, blackbur@fhlbsf.com


    23 Kids Will Be Stylin'

    All children should be able to go back to school looking as stylish as Brianna. Target is providing 23 other children the opportunity. It’s donating gift certificates that will allow these children selected by The Salvation Army to purchase $80 each in clothes and school supplies. Photo by Carl Dameron

    (SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) Twenty-three needy children will go back to school this year with brand new clothes, backpacks and classroom essentials, donated by Target to The Salvation Army, San Bernardino Corps.
    The 23 children range from kindergarten through 12th grade, and have been identified by The Salvation Army as in families who need help with the expense of back to school shopping. Some of them are occupants of Hospitality House, the shelter maintained by The Salvation Army of San Bernardino for the area’s homeless families.
    Along with the help of a volunteer personal shopper for each one of them, the children will go shopping at the Target Store on Orange Show Road at E Street, 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 10.
    At Target, each child will each receive an $80 Target gift certificate to select new clothes, new underwear, new shoes and socks for school. They’ll also get new best tactical backpacks and school supplies.
    “They will have the basics,” said Nancy Ball, Co-Director of the San Bernardino Corps” said. “Some them are homeless, and have never had brand new shoes or a brand new shirt. It has always been hand-me-downs from an older brother or sister.”
    “Here at the Salvation Army, we appreciate all donations,” she added. “This one is especially appreciated because it is for our kids, and is much needed.”
    About the Salvation Army San Bernardino Corps
    The Salvation Army may be able to provide emergency services including food; lodging for homeless or displaced families; clothing and furniture; assistance with rent or mortgage cresa cluj and transportation when funds are available. The Salvation Army Team Radio Network assists rescue workers and evacuees in such disasters as fires.
    The Salvation Army is an evangelical part of the Universal Christian Church, and also offers evangelical programs for boys, girls and adults. One of the largest charitable and international service organizations in the world, The Salvation Army has been in existence since 1865 and in San Bernardino since 1887, supporting those in need without discrimination. Donations may always be made online at www.salvationarmyusa.org <http://www.salvationarmyusa.org>  or by calling 1-(800)-SAL-ARMY.


    Stop Whooping Cough With Immunizations

    Keep your baby happy and healthy like Alondra by making sure she has the proper vaccinations. DTap, which prevents whooping cough, is an especially important vaccination as California is experiencing an epidemic of the disease and already one baby has died from it in San Bernardino County. Photo by Carl Dameron

    (SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) – “Pertussis is now an epidemic in California’,” states the San Bernardino County Public Health Department website.
    Statewide, there have been 910 cases of pertussis, which causes “whooping cough,” reported from January through June 15, the county health department reports. This compares to only 219 cases in the first six months of 2009.
    Five infants – all under three months of age – have died from the disease since January. One death was in San Bernardino County this spring.
    “But, there is a way to prevent this disease from spreading,” said Dr. Albert Arteaga, president of LaSalle Medical Associates. “That is by making sure all children are immunized against this sometimes deadly disease.”
    Babies should receive immunization against pertussis at 2 months, 4 months, and 6 months of age, according to the Center for Disease Control. Young children should receive booster shots between 15-18 months, and again at ages 4-5 years.
    Pertussis, which is administered with vaccines for diphtheria and tetanus, is one of the required immunizations children must have before they begin school. The vaccine given to children age 6 and younger is known as DTaP.
    “With many schools in the Inland Empire returning to a new year in August, parents should schedule back-to-school immunizations immediately,” Dr. Arteaga said. “If they wait until only a few days before school starts to make the appointment, we may not be able to see them before their new school year begins.”
    “Pertussis is a very serious threat this year,” Dr. Arteaga added. “Children can avoid it and many other diseases simply by staying current on immunizations.”
    Four booster immunizations – including DTaP – are needed for all kindergarteners before entering school for the first time, said Dr. Cheryl Emoto, director of medical services. And, as they grow older, children need additional immunizations.
    “Children entering kindergarten should receive boosters for DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis), polio, MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) and Varicella (chicken pox),” Dr. Emoto said. “Fortunately, there is a combination vaccine that is available that allows for only three injections instead of four.”
    If parents have kept up with their child’s immunizations from birth, only the above booster immunizations are needed. However, if the child is behind on their other required immunizations, they may need several doses of immunizations to get “caught up.”
    New this year, says Dr. Emoto, is an updated pneumococcal vaccine (Prevnar 13). This vaccine includes added protection as compared to the older version (Prevnar 7) and all children between 15 months and 5 years of age should have one additional dose of the newer Prevnar, “even if your doctor previously told you that your child was up-to-date.”
    When children turn 11, they should receive the meningitis vaccine for the first time, and a Tdap booster, Dr. Emoto said Tdap covers the same diseases (Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis). The Tdap vaccine is particularly important this year because of the pertussis epidemic.
    Parents should schedule these vaccines shortly after the child’s 11th birthday, but they also can be part of a back-to-school immunization routine for any student, even those over 18.
    “Children older than 11 who have not received these vaccines should also come in to get them,” she said. “And if you have a teenager who is enrolling in college, planning to live in a dormitory, and hasn’t been vaccinated for meningitis and Tdap, they should be vaccinated now.”
    The LaSalle Medical Associates clinics are at 17577 Arrow Blvd. in Fontana, 1505 West 17th St. and 565 N. Mt. Vernon Ave. in San Bernardino, and 16455 Main St. in Hesperia.
    For additional information about LaSalle Medical Associates, call (909) 890-0407.