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Inland Empire

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Presenting the 2017 Nubian Pearls of Distinction

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Eta Nu Omega Chapter is proud to present its 2017 Debutante Candidates. These eight “Nubian Pearls of Distinction” are all leaders in their schools and communities and represent the Inland Empire with grace, service and scholastic achievement.

Eta Nu Omega bi- annually sponsors a Debutante Cotillion program to provide opportunities to empower young women to be successful. The process requires participation in workshops geared towards skill enhancement, confidence building and knowledge acquisition.

The Debutantes participate in service projects to develop their talents and skills by serving their communities and creating a real impact in the lives of others. The Debutantes are also introduced to various enrichment activities by attending cultural events, college fairs, and by building lasting friendships with other young ladies. The Debutante experience culminates with an elegant and memorable Debutante Cotillion Ball where the young ladies are introduced into society.

This year Eta Nu Omega is proud to present the following Nubian Pearls of Distinction: Miss Lauren Bennett is a junior at Vista Murrietta High School. Lauren is a student track athlete as well as a member of the student council. Miss Kharizma Darden is a senior at Valley View High School where she plays basketball, and has received scholastic achievement and leadership awards. Miss Celeste Gaynair is a senior at Sultana High School in Hesperia where she is on the Honor Roll and has been recognized by the National Honor Society for academic excellence. Miss Ariella Houston of Redlands where she is a senior at Citrus Valley High School. Ariella is a Girl Scout Cadet and received the award of excellence from the Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders. Miss Kennedy Hutton is a senior at Oak Hills High School, in Oak Hills where she is a student leader and scholar. Miss Genesis Jones is a senior at Victress Bower School in Norco where she has been student of the month and is a Kiwanis Award recipient. Miss Amani Moxley is a junior at Valley View High School where she plays Varsity basketball and is in the AVID program. Miss Jericka Roshell is a senior at Martin Luther King High School in Riverside where she has served as captain of the track, basketball, and cross country teams.

Eta Nu Omega is the San Bernardino/Riverside Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the first Greek Letter organization for college educated African American Women founded at Howard University in 1908. For over 50 years, Eta Nu Omega has been engaged in service to the community through various programs geared to support families, foster academic success fir young people, and impact communities through service. The Cotillion will be held on March 25, 2017 at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario.


New Director of Food and Beverage announced for Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California

Monday, March 13, 2017 (Ontario, California) Citizens Business Bank Arena has announced the position of Director of Food and Beverage has been filled. Don Hanson has taken on the day to day duties of Food and Beverage operations as of March 7, 2017. “We are pleased to welcome Don to Ontario and look forward to his expertise in the culinary world to continue our goal of taking the food and beverage offerings at Citizens Business Bank Arena to a new standard of excellence” said Michael Krouse, Regional Vice President of SMG Worldwide.

Don Hanson graduated with high honors and a Bachelor’s of Science in Hospitality Management from Florida International University. He brings with him over 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry where he worked at Hyatt Hotels in Kansas City, Cambridge Miami, New York and Long Beach California. Prior to his employment with Hyatt Hotels, Don spent ten years working in a variety of culinary capacities, eventually rising to positions of sous chef and head chef at several high volume restaurants. These included The Tavern Room Restaurant in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Horatio’s Restaurant in Miami, Florida, and Sapphire Beach Resort on St. Thomas in U.S Virgin Islands.

In his new role at Citizens Business Bank Arena, Don will oversee all the Food and Beverage activities including Concessions, Premium Seating Luxury Suites, Premium Seating San Manuel VIP Club, and Catering. Under Don’s direction the food and beverage team will provide outstanding and memorable experiences to guests.

Don enjoys the great outdoors, playing golf or bike riding. He has three children and is engaged to be married.


Citizen Scientists are Needed to Count Bald Eagles in the Inland Empire

SAN BERNARDINO, California, March 6, 2017 – Citizen Scientists are needed to help count bald eagles in the annual winter bald eagle counts in and near the San Bernardino and San Jacinto Mountains. Concurrent bald eagle counts are held at Big Bear Lake, Lake Arrowhead, Lake Silverwood, Lake Perris, and Lake Hemet. Some of these sites have held winter counts since 1978!

Counting eagles is fun, easy, and only takes a couple of hours. Participants meet at 8:00 or 8:30 for a brief orientation, coordination, and instructions. Participants are stationed at vantage points around the lakes, where they watch for bald eagles from 9:00 to 10:00 am. During that time, participants record their observations on maps and data sheets. At 10:00, participants return to the meeting location to report their findings. This is a wonderful opportunity to catch a glimpse of our breath-taking national symbol.

Ten bald eagles were observed during the February counts but foggy weather conditions likely hid some eagles from the eagle searchers. If you are interested in bald eagles but cannot attend a count, check out the live-streaming camera ( provided by the Friends of Big Bear Valley. The web camera is on a nest on San Bernardino National Forest land near Big Bear Lake. While they have not laid eggs yet, the pair has been very active adding to and improving the nest. The area around the nest is closed to the public to help protect the eagles.

The last bald eagle count for this winter is Saturday March 11th. No experience is needed. Signing up ahead of time is unnecessary – just show up at the designated time and location, dress warmly, bring binoculars and a watch. Meeting locations and time are listed below.

· Big Bear Lake area participants meet at 8:00 a.m. at the Forest Service’s Big Bear Discovery Center on North Shore Drive for orientation. Contact Robin Eliason (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 909-382-2832) for more information. Please call 909-382-2832 for cancellation due to winter weather conditions. If the count has to be canceled due to mountain road/winter conditions, an outgoing message will be left by 6:30 am on the morning of the count. Contact the Discovery Center (909-382-2790) for information about Eagle Celebrations. There will also be a free slideshow about bald eagles at 11:00 after the counts.

· Lake Arrowhead/Lake Gregory participants meet at 8:00 a.m. at the Skyforest Ranger Station for orientation. Contact Robin Eliason (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 909-382-2832) for more information. Please call 909-382-2832 for cancellation due to winter weather conditions. If the count has to be canceled due to mountain road/winter conditions, an outgoing message will be left by 6:30 am on the morning of the count.

· Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area participants should plan to meet at the Visitor Center at 8:00 a.m. for orientation. Contact Kathy Williams or Mark Wright for more information about volunteering or taking an eagle tour (760-389-2303 between 8:00 and 4:00; or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

· Lake Hemet participants should plan on meeting at the Lake Hemet Grocery Store at 8:30 a.m. for orientation. Contact Ann Bowers (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 909-382-2935) for more information.

· Lake Perris State Recreation Area participants should plan to meet at the Lake Perris Regional Indian Museum at 8:00 for orientation. For more information call Lake Perris SRA at 951-940-5600 or the Lake Perris Regional Indian Museum at 951-940-5657.


2017 Beautillion Knights Represents 50 Years of Service To The Community and Mentorship By The Social-Lites

Christopher Fulton

Akil Cooper

Jonathan Rodgers

Julian Houston

Steven Henderson

Vonte Walker

The Social Lites are an impressive group of women from various professions who have steadfastly dedicated themselves to the youth in the Inland Empire Community. Over the last 50 years, the Social Lites have made many worthwhile contributions to the needs of the community through various charitable enterprises.

The Social Lites Inc., Scholarship Foundation of San Bernardino will present their 50th Annual Beautillion Ball, on Saturday March 11, 2017 at the National Orange Show, 689 South “E” Street, San Bernardino, CA 92408. The Beautillion Scholarship Program is an event geared to recognize and honor young men within the Inland Empire striving toward greater accomplishments in academic achievements.

The theme for the 2017 Beautillion Scholarship Program is “Men of Tomorrow Pushing Forward”. This year the young men have demonstrated personal, business growth, development, and community presentations. The six young men vying for the title of Sir Knight 2017 are Christopher Fulton of San Gorgonio High School, Akil Cooper, Jonathan Rodgers, Julian Houston, and Steven Henderson, all four Knights attends Cajon High School, and Vonte Walker of Arroyo Valley High School. They all have participated in various seminars and workshops including Strategic Planning/Goal Setting, Cultural Proficiency, Social Justice, Self Determination, and Business For Profit and Non Profit sessions and the Black College Expo.

The young men have experience the value of community service through donations of holiday food baskets, donations of Christmas bicycles to the Boys and Girls Club of San Bernardino, also they have participated and volunteer as an usher at the Christmas Kwanzaa Event, the Martin Luther King Breakfast Event, and the 2nd Annual BCCIE Black History Super Expo. These young men have canvassed the community soliciting support through the sale of ads from family, friends, church family, and businesses throughout the Inland Empire. The ads generated for this year Beautilion Scholarship Ball will provide funds for scholarships and gifts to be awarded on the night of the Beautillion Scholarship Ball.

This is strictly a “ Formal Attire” event, the no host social hour beginning at 6:30pm and the presentation of these young men will begin at 8:00pm. For more information, go to or contact Lisa Blacksher, Beautillion Chairperson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Bettye Brewster, President at (951) 204-0022 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and Joyce Smith Vice President at 909-534-2929


The North Fontana Black Awareness Committee Present The 49th Annual Black History Monty “Unity In CommUNITY” Expo

The North Fontana Black Awareness Committee present the 49th Annual Black History Month “Unity In CommUNITY” Expo on Feb. 25th, 16005 Sierra Lakes Parkway and Citrus Ave. at the North Fontana Home Depot parking lot from 11a.m. to The day’s scheduled events include the school district wide “What’s In A Name” essay competition winner announcements, food, fun, kid zone, drill teams, bands, dance crews, live entertainment, music, and a host of vendors.

The Concerned Citizens for the Development of North Fontana, for Black History Month would like to introduce

Mr. John” Ham” Williams 6ft - 170lbs. New Yorker, known as the amazing court magician that came to the Clowns directly from his New York City high school. “Ham” was a great all-around player, with 20 points a game he was a top scorer for the Clowns. With his uncanny passing technique and dribbling ability, he become the most valuable back court man and the brightest star of the Clown organization.

The Harlem Clowns was a African American show team based in Chicago that toured the world during its several decades of existence for 1934-1983


Inland Empire Economic Partnership Recognizes 2017 Honorees For Exemplary Leadership In The Region

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CA — The Inland Empire Economic Partnership (IEEP) is pleased to announce its 2017 Honorees. These are individuals and organizations that have demonstrated exemplary leadership in bettering the business climate and quality of life in the Inland Empire. By using their talents, expertise and influence, these honorees stand out among those who make the area a better place to live for the 4.4 million people of the region. The honorees will be recognized at the IEEP’s annual Meeting and Awards Dinner on Wednesday, Jan. 11 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Ontario.

“The people we are honoring contribute every day in making the Inland Empire a better place to live and a better place for businesses to thrive,” said IEEP’s CEO and President Paul Granillo.

The 2017 winners are:

Non-Profit of the Year

Mary’s Mercy Center

Business of the Year


Education Partner of the Year

Loma Linda University

Chairman’s Award

Council Member Alan D. Wapner, City of Ontario

President’s Award

Supervisor Janice Rutherford, San Bernardino County

Public Partner of the Year

Supervisor Marion Ashley, Riverside County

The Larry Sharp Inland Empire Leader of the Year

Al Arguello, Bank of America

For sponsorship opportunities and event information, contact Tyler Booth at 909-944-2201. Tickets can be purchased online at or

The IEEP Executive Board for 2017 is comprised of: Chairman of the Board, Marco Robles of Cardenas Markets; First Vice Chairman Peter Villegas of The Coca-Cola Company; Second Vice Chairman Evelin Martinez of Wells Fargo Bank; Immediate Past Chair Brett Guge of California Steel Industries; Treasurer Eric Dowd of UPS; At-Large Member Mark Olson of Gerdau; and Secretary Paul Granillo of IEEP.


Inland Empire Economy Grows Faster Than Expected

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( — The Inland Empire’s Gross Metropolitan Product (GMP) grew more than previously estimated, according to a report released today by the UCR School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development. The region’s economic output grew by 2.6 percent annually through the third quarter of 2016, an upward revision from the 2.2 percent growth reported earlier.

The revision, which is in line with the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis’ recent revision of U.S. GDP, was due partly to continued strength in the Inland Empire’s leading sector, but also due to upward revisions to the region’s construction industry output, which did not decline as much as previously estimated. This aligns with recent data from the California Employment Development Department that shows strong job growth in the Inland Empire’s construction sector—up by 5.3 percent year-over-year in November.

However, the new UCR School of Business report points out that the construction of residential properties has moved at a disappointing pace in recent years with fewer than average building permits filed in the Inland Empire. This could degrade the region’s affordability advantage over neighboring coastal areas. “More residential construction activity is needed to help keep housing costs in check,” write the report authors.

The analysis also finds that technology industry growth in the Inland Empire continues to lag the state but notes intensifying local efforts to develop a skilled high tech workforce in the region. On the other end of the spectrum, the local manufacturing industry has bucked trends elsewhere in the state and continues to be a source of regional strength, increasing its employment counts.

“Overall, the numbers in this report reflect what is happening on the ground in the Inland Empire economy,” said Robert Kleinhenz, executive director of research at the UCR School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development. “Logistics, manufacturing, and healthcare have been the mainstays of the local economy throughout 2016, and will continue contributing to the region’s growth in the year ahead.”

The December Inland Southern California Gross Metropolitan Product Report is now available.


Inland Empire Adds 9,900 Jobs in November

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( —The Inland Empire added 9,900 jobs in November on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to a report released today by the UCR School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development. This increase builds on the 1,200 nonfarm positions added in October, reflecting continued solid growth for the region.

“The IE’s monthly job gains accounted for nearly three-fourths of the increase at the state level in November, a sign of the ongoing strength of the region’s job market,” said Robert Kleinhenz, director of research at the Center for Economic Forecasting and Development. “Many of the job gains are coming from growth in industries that serve local residents and businesses, but the region’s drivers, such as logistics and manufacturing, have also added jobs throughout much of the year.”

In addition, the Inland Empire’s unemployment rate fell to 5.5 percent in the latest numbers, but this was largely due to a decline in the region’s labor force; although household employment rose by 2,500 this month, 6,600 people left the workforce. Year over year (Nov 2015-Nov 2016), household employment expanded by 2.5 percent and the local labor force grew by 1.8 percent.

The Center for Economic Forecasting and Development cautions against reading too much into any single month’s numbers, especially near year’s end. Nonetheless, this month’s employment estimates are another indication the local inland economy is continuing to expand.

Read the release here:


JC Penney Returns To San Bernardino With New Store At Inland Center

Location to showcase Disney, Sephora inside JCPenney, The Salon by InStyle™ and major appliances

PLANO, Texas – (Sept. 8, 2016) – JCPenney is giving shoppers in San Bernardino, Calif., the opportunity to get their Penney’s worth of style, quality and value in the convenience of their own backyard. The Company is opening its only all-new location for 2016 at Inland Center on Oct. 21, featuring the latest JCPenney brands and concepts in a sleek and modern store environment.

“JCPenney first opened in San Bernardino in 1916, and although we departed for a brief period, we’re proud to become reacquainted with the city we first met 100 years ago,” said Paul Mutshnick, JCPenney general manager. “Our team is thrilled to reward loyal customers – and surprise new shoppers – with an all-new store experience featuring an unparalleled merchandise assortment and excellent customer service.”

Sought-After Brands and Attractions

The 119,000-square-foot, two level store will display bold red JCPenney logos on its exterior, drawing customers to the most engaging store environment in the Company’s fleet. Easy-to-navigate aisles, vivid LED lighting and impactful graphics will highlight compelling merchandise from popular private brands such as Arizona®, Worthington®, Stafford®, and St. John’s Bay®; exclusive brands such as Liz Claiborne®, Collection by Michael Strahan™, and Boutique+™; and sought-after national brands such as Nike®, Levi’s® and Carter’s®.

If customers are unable to find a color or size they need in store, friendly associates can quickly order an item on Customers can also utilize the JCPenney mobile app for Apple or Android to locate and apply coupons at the register, as well as view special promotions. Additionally, the app enables users to scan an item’s barcode to access product information, read customer reviews or determine item availability online. San Bernardino shoppers can also complete their purchases with a variety of convenient shipping and pickup options, including ship to store and same-day store pickup.

The Magic of Disney

The store will also include the Disney shop inside JCPenney, offering over 300 exclusive toys, collectibles and children’s apparel featuring some of Disney’s most beloved characters, including Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and more. Customers can find an affordable selection of Disney-themed plush toys, dolls, figurine sets, sleepwear, role-play and fashion apparel for kids sizes 2-10. The Disney Collection inside JCPenney will continually be updated to reflect new merchandise from recently released animated films

The Best in Beauty

The San Bernardino store will reveal a full-service Sephora inside JCPenney, the ultimate beauty destination. Located prominently within the center of the store, the 2,000-square-foot beauty paradise offers a wide assortment of prestige cosmetics, skincare, fragrance and accessory products in an open-sell environment. Customers are encouraged to touch, smell and sample products while specially trained beauty consultants offer a non-biased approach when recommending products.

The fashion and beauty experts at InStyle have partnered with JCPenney to create a cutting-edge salon experience called The Salon by InStyle, and the Inland Center store is among the first JCPenney locations to house the concept. The salon will dazzle San Bernardino customers with a modern color palette, engaging wall graphics and an extensive assortment of hair care products from Matrix®, Paul Mitchell®, Redken® and more. The Salon by InStyle stylists are trained to deliver an advanced approach to cuts, color and client service.

The San Bernardino store will also feature the Company’s updated center core environment. The space offers accessories, handbags, fashion jewelry, footwear and more in a distinguished and modern setting. Contemporary mannequins and displays elevate the visual presentation of the area, enticing customers to complete their look effortlessly, all in one place.

A Destination for Home

JCPenney is re-entering the major appliance business by introducing kitchen and laundry appliances to over 500 locations nationwide, including the new San Bernardino store. The Inland Center store will have over 100 models on display, showcasing refrigerators, ranges, dishwashers, washers and dryers from great brand names such as Samsung, LG and GE. Appliances will be located adjacent to other popular home categories, with select display models styled in inspiring lifestyle vignettes to help customers visualize how it could look in their homes.

Additionally, the San Bernardino JCPenney will have an extensive window coverings selection to serve customers looking to refresh their homes. A trained staff of window coverings experts will assist shoppers with a wide range of products, including a broad selection of ready-made curtains, blinds, shades and decorative hardware.

Energy Efficient by Design

The San Bernardino store furthers the Company’s efforts in energy conservation by being certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as “Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR.” The store will incorporate features such as:

Energy-saving, long-lasting LED lighting throughout the store, as well as LED exterior signage.

Occupancy sensors to automatically dim lighting in stockrooms, offices and restrooms for increased energy savings.

A high-efficiency HVAC central plant, utilized to maximize energy conservation in both cooling and heating modes.

JCPenney has operated stores in California since 1914. The first San Bernardino JCPenney store opened in 1916 in downtown, and relocated to Central City Mall in 1973, where it operated until 2003. Inland Center JCPenney hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday.


NRCS Announces New District Conservationist in Redlands

REDLANDS, Calif., Oct. 4, 2016– The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is pleased to announce the appointment of Tomas Aguilar-Campos as the new district conservationist at the NRCS field office in Redlands, Calif. Aguilar-Campos began serving in his new role in Redlands on Oct. 3.

“My first goal as district conservationist is to expand the outreach to private forest landowners in the neighboring mountains to inform them of the technical and financial resources available,” says Aguilar-Campos. “Combating the effects of the California drought on our forests is imperative to ensure the safety of the forest communities from wildfires and ensure the crucial environmental services forests provide for all in the Santa Ana Watershed.”

Aguilar-Campos comes to Redlands from Merced, where he has most recently worked as a soil conservationist for NRCS. He has also previously worked as an agricultural aide for the California Dept. of Agriculture and as a landscaper for Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. He graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a Bachelor’s degree in Plant Science with emphasis in Soil Science in 2012.

The son of migrant farm workers, Aguilar-Campos grew up in Mecca in the Coachella Valley of Southern California. His first job was picking table grapes in the summer heat. Having been involved in agriculture from his earliest days, he is a strong supporter of outreach to underserved agricultural communities.

“I’ve served as Hispanic Special Emphasis Program Manager for NRCS in California for the past three years,” Aguilar-Campos said. “In that role, I’ve worked to identify and promote innovative approaches to improve delivery of NRCS programs and services for this historically underserved group.”

Aguilar-Campos says that outreach to urban farmers and consumers is also important. “Promoting an understanding of the challenges of growing locally sourced food and how food, fiber, and feed production is interconnected with people’s everyday life is in everyone’s interest,” he said. “I’m also a strong advocate for soil health education, to ensure our soils’ longevity and productivity to meet the food production demands of an ever-increasing world population.”

NRCS is a federal agency the works in partnership with resource conservation districts. With the mission of “Helping People Help the Land,” NRCS provides products and services that enable people to be good stewards of the nation’s soil, water, and related natural resources on non-federal lands. More information on NRCS’ products and services can be found on the NRCS California web site at

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