Menifee in Pictures: More of the Signs of Spring


The trees are in bloom along Tate Road as one looks westward. That's the direction Linda Denver was heading when she snapped this photo.

"Menifee in Pictures" is a daily feature on Menifee 24/7. Readers are invited to contribute photos for publication. Email your photos as a .jpg file to doug.spoon@gmail.com and we'll select one for publication each day, along with your name as the photographer. Please include your full name on the submission and any explanation about where and when the photo was taken. We do not publish photos that have a personalized name signature or any promotional information within the photo.






'Guns n Hoses' Event Tonight Honors Police, Fire Officials





Menifee in Pictures: A Hillside View With Great Symbolism


Today, Good Friday, we feature a scene that can found on the hill behind CC Vision de Dios church on Menifee Road, just south of McCall Blvd. As Jews continue to celebrate Passover, Christians prepare to celebrate Easter with worship services this weekend.

"Menifee in Pictures" is a daily feature on Menifee 24/7. Readers are invited to contribute photos for publication. Email your photos as a .jpg file to doug.spoon@gmail.com and we'll select one for publication each day, along with your name as the photographer. Please include your full name on the submission and any explanation about where and when the photo was taken. We do not publish photos that have a personalized name signature or any promotional information within the photo.








Enter to Win a Portrait of Your Dog From Crazy Rebels


Crazy Rebels is a local online dog boutique specializing in cool custom art for dog lovers and their canine companions. Drawing up detailed portraits, custom canvas paintings, and cartoon style illustrations of your dog, their mission is to capture your dog's lovable qualities in artistic form.

Right now Crazy Rebels is giving away one of their custom 8" X 10" hand-drawn portraits to a lucky winner, valued at $150. Contest ends this weekend, so enter right now!

How to enter:

1.) Like Crazy Rebels on Facebook.

2.) Submit your name and email through our ENTER TO WIN tab on Facebook!

3.) Share our giveaway post on your Facebook page, be sure to tag @crazyrebels so we can see you shared. Tell all your friends!

It's that easy!

How the winner will be selected:

Every entry will be “entered” into a random drawing. The winner will be selected at random on April 1, 2013 and announced on their blog and Facebook page!

Terms and conditions: Contest ends March 31, 2013, 11:59 p.m. PST. Winner will be selected at random and must claim their prize within 7 days from time of notification. Contest is open to anyone 13 years of age and older, and is open worldwide.

Website: Crazy Rebels





High School Students of Month Honored by Local Chambers

Pictured left to right are Dr. Jonathan Greenberg, Superintendent, Perris Union High School District; Dorothy Wolons, President, Menifee Valley Chamber of Commerce; Ikeya Adams, Perris High School; Nathifa Rose, Paloma Valley High School; Danielle Lemus, Perris Lake High School; Alejandro Partida, Paloma Valley High School; Mayor Daryl Busch, City of Perris; Mayor Pro-tem Mark Yarbrough, City of Perris; and Councilman Julio Rodriguez, City of Perris.
Outstanding local high school students were honored recently by the Menifee and Perris Chambers of Commerce and the Perris Union High School District as Students of the Month for March.

Nathifa Rose is Paloma Valley High School’s Student of the Month. According to Principal Brian Morris, Nathifa is everything Paloma Valley stands for and is a leader in everything she does. Nathifa’s teacher, Ms. McNicolas, shared that Nathifa is outspoken, kind, has a great sense of humor, and an incredible young woman. Nathifa’s father, Gregory Moore, stated that Nathifa has a love for learning and thrives on being involved in multiple activities. Nathifa thanked everyone in attendance for the recognition. She went on to share that she enjoys helping people and plans to attend UCR to study bio chemistry or psychology and enter into the medical field.

Heritage High School’s Alejandro Partida is a quiet, shy, and determined young man, according to Principal Julie Zierold. He has spent the all of his four years of high school in wrestling and has grown both athletically and as an individual. Alejandro shared that he was surprised on receiving the recognition. He admitted to struggling with most everything. He shared that he has always looked up to his mom and his older brother, who used wrestling to break through some of his struggles. Alejandro plans to attend Cal State San Bernardino and study psychology to become a counselor.

Perris High School Student of the Month is Ikeya Adams. Ikeya is currently involved in ASB, National Honor Society, athletics, and other organizations on campus. She is described as an outspoken and vivacious individual who loves to accept a challenge. Her Spanish teacher, Ms. Tejeda-Van Rensburg, stated that Ikeya is well respected by her peers. She is also a scholar athlete and a phenomenal young lady. Ikeya shared that she was honored to receive the recognition, and that she will be attending Cal Baptist University and major in political science. She plans to further her education and become an
attorney practicing family and juvenile law.

Perris Lake High School’s Danielle Lemurs, is described by her teacher, Mr. Benson, as a pleasure to have in class. She comes in motivated to learn and currently holds a 4.0 in his class. Danielle shared that she has been in and out of the foster care system and there are not too many that make it through high school. She was determined not to be a part of those statistics. Danielle’s foster mom, Roxana Loria, stated that she was very proud of Danielle. And along with working hard in school, Ms. Loria shared that Danielle also has a heart to help other people. Danielle plans to attend Everest College and study criminal justice.

The students are nominated by their teachers and staff at their respective school sites and are chosen for their character, integrity, love of learning, ability to persevere and overcome challenging circumstances, community service, and how
they make a difference on their high school campus.

March’s students and their families attended a luncheon sponsored by the Perris and Menifee Chambers of Commerce along with local businesses and organizations. Principals and teachers from each high school shared stories about the students and they each received certificates of recognition, numerous gifts, congratulations and encouragement from local, county, state and federal dignitaries.




Office Suites Available for Rent at Rilynn Professional Building

The following is paid advertising content:

 
For more information call Jennifer Walker @ 951-309-1032




Enjoy Easter Brunch at Menifee Lakes Country Club

 
Reservations are required.
 
Call 951.672.4842 ext 115 to reserve you seat today!
 
29875 Menifee Lakes Dr.
Menifee, Ca. 92584




Menifee in Pictures: CVS Store Begins to Take Shape


Workers are beginning to erect the walls of what will soon be a CVS store at the corner of Newport Road and Bradley Road in Menifee. The location is across the street from an ARCO gas station and down the street from the strawberry stand, which has recently re-opened.

"Menifee in Pictures" is a daily feature on Menifee 24/7. Readers are invited to contribute photos for publication. Email your photos as a .jpg file to doug.spoon@gmail.com and we'll select one for publication each day, along with your name as the photographer. Please include your full name on the submission and any explanation about where and when the photo was taken. We do not publish photos that have a personalized name signature or any promotional information within the photo.







Man Arrested in Suspicion of Phone Scam of Menifee Seniors

Menifee Police Thursday arrested and booked a Hemet man on seven counts of extortion for a telephone scam in which he tried to trick senior citizens into giving him money.

Michael Cross, 51, was booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center after invetigators served a search warrant at an address on Inez Street in Hemet. He was also booked on 11 counts of attempted extortion and seven counts of elder abuse.

According to police, Cross randomly called numerous senior citizens in Menifee, Perris, Beaumont and Cabazon and tricked them into believing he was their nephew or grandson who was in desperate need of money. Cross would tell the victim he needed money to get out of trouble and arrange for them to meet him at an ATM machine or restaurant parking lot. Cross would claim to be the nephew/grandson's friend when he met the victims to collect the money.

Investigators believe there are several more victims who are unaware they were victimized or possibly embarrassed they were conned by Cross. The Sheriff's Department urges anyone who believes they were victimized by such a ruse to contact Investigator Jason Trudeau at the Perris Station by calling 951-210-1000, or email the Perris Station PerrisStation@RiversideSheriff.org.

Citizens may also submit an anonymous tip using the Sheriff's CrimeTips online form.




Video: Heritage, Paloma Valley Co-Host Softball Camp




Investigation into Murder of Temecula Store Clerk Continues

The Temecula Police Department continues to seek information related to the robbery and murder of a man in a Temecula music store last Friday, March 22.

Police say Larry Robinson, 64, of Fallbrook, was found bound and beaten about 7:30 p.m. Friday. A semi-retired local musician, Robinson was working as a clerk in Pete's Music and Guitar Shop, located in the 28700 block of Old Town Front Street.

Robinson was transported to a local hospital and died from his injuries Saturday morning. Officers from the Southwest Station and Riverside County Sheriff Department's Central Homicide Unit are conducting the investigation.

Wednesday night, an open mic night was held at Sorrel Restaurant/Bistro to raise funds for Robinson's family.

Anyone who may have information regarding this incident is encouraged to call Investigator Baeza at the Central Homicide Unit at 951-955-2777 or Investigator Williams at the Southwest Sheriff's Station at 951-696-3000. Citizens may also submit an anonymous tip using the Sheriff's Homicide Tipline online form.




Police Release Sketch of Suspect in Kidnapping Attempt

Police have released a composite sketch of a man suspected of an attempted kidnapping in Canyon Lake last Friday.

The suspect is described as a white male, 25-35 years of age, brown hair, unknown color eyes, approximately 6-foot-2, 180-190 pounds, wearing a plain black T-shirt and blue jeans. The suspect was driving an unknown make or model 4-door black car, possibly resembling a Toyota.

Police said that on Friday, March 22, at 8 p.m., an unknown male drove up to a female and attempted to coax her into his car. The suspect subsequently approached the victim, grabbed her arm, and attempted to pull her into his car. The victim fought back, broke free, and fled the scene. The victim reported the incident to the Canyon Lake Police Department.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to call Sergeant Tejeda of the Perris Police Department at 951-210-1093, or call anonymously at 951-210-1000.

Citizens may also submit an anonymous tip using the Sheriff's Department crime tip hotline.






Menifee in Pictures: Modern Facilities, Plenty of Activity


The Marion V. Ashley Community Center, named after the local County Supervisor, is a modern facility and a hub of activity for youth baseball and softball teams, basketball programs and many other community events. The center includes a large banquet room and many other meeting facilities as well as outside athletic fields. The center is located at 25625 Briggs Road, down the street from Heritage High School.

"Menifee in Pictures" is a daily feature on Menifee 24/7. Readers are invited to contribute photos for publication. Email your photos as a .jpg file to doug.spoon@gmail.com and we'll select one for publication each day, along with your name as the photographer. Please include your full name on the submission and any explanation about where and when the photo was taken. We do not publish photos that have a personalized name signature or any promotional information within the photo.





Oasis Maids Helps Tackle Spring Cleaning

The following is paid advertising content:


Spring cleaning is one of those tasks we feel obligated to carry out, but generally dread doing. The monumental undertaking of floor to ceiling cleaning to eliminate a year's worth of dust and dirt build-up is nothing short of overwhelming. Whether you need to catch up on months of cleaning or just need a little assistance with an ultra thorough deep whole house clean, Oasis Maids specializes in making your house shine.

Their signature service offers consistently scheduled maintenance cleaning at your specified frequency. Oasis Maids provides clients with recurring service once a week, twice a month, or once a month to help keep your cleaning under control. The initial visit includes a detailed deep clean and regular cleaning thereafter. With Oasis Maids caring for your home, you can rest assured they will deliver a quality cleaning each and every time.

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Like them on Facebook for daily deals and online-only specials!





There's More Than One Way to Build a House, Right?

A note from the Junior Editor:

Hey guys, this week I made a house out of paper for my cousin Blake. I took four sheets of paper and drew on the doors and windows and stuff. Then I taped them together for the walls. I cut a square and stapled it to the bottom for a floor. Then I cut papers into triangles and stuck them on for a roof. Like the picture of me with my house? Pretty neat, huh? What kind of stuff can you guys make?

On page 2 and 3, you can see more drawings from Natalie, who likes to send us stuff. This time she drew Ariel the mermaid and the Easter Bunny. See you next week!

-- Kaylee

There are two ways to submit content for Menifee 24/7 Kids Edition. One, items may be mailed to this address:

Menifee 24/7 Kids Edition
31026 Fair Hill Court
Menifee, CA 92584

Two, submissions may be emailed to menifee247kids@gmail.com. If your child drew something, scan it or take a picture of it and attach it to the email. If your child wrote something, we'd prefer to receive it in the original handwritten form. If it is typed into the email by the child, let us know it's their original work. If a parent retypes the work, assure us that your child dictated the content or wrote it out first.

Please have your child keep written submissions brief. Include the child's first name only, and his or her age. We will not publish last names, the school the child attends or any other personal information.








Rural Business Owners Battle Menifee Officials on Use Permits

Jack McGrath, who has operated an auto repair shop in Menifee for nearly 40 years, says he was told he would never again need a conditional use permit.
In some ways, Menifee could be described as the extreme example of the inherent struggles present when the old meets the new.

Rural charm? Sure, we want that -- some more than others. Modern housing and business development? Yes, we want to grow; we're just not sure how much.

Before 2008, Riverside County told us what to do. Since then, the City of Menifee has told us what to do. But wait; the city folks' hands are tied in some cases because of pre-existing County action that can't be undone.

We have farmers. We have soccer moms. We have bumpy dirt roads. We have crowded, narrow freeway overpasses.

And in the middle of all this, you have situations like the one pitting J & A McGrath Auto against City Hall.

OK, so it's not really McGrath vs. City of Menifee. This isn't a boxing match, or even a court battle. But it does show what can happen when Menifee's old guard meets the constantly evolving governmental structure of one of the county's newest and fastest growing cities.

Jack McGrath opened his auto repair business in what was then unincorporated Menifee in 1976. A third-generation member of a family that has lived in the Menifee Valley since the 1930s, McGrath takes pride in his belief that J & A McGrath Auto is the oldest continuously family operated business in Menifee, if not all of Riverside County.

But today, McGrath and his wife Ann say they are being wrapped up in red tape by the City of Menifee, which has notified them that they must pay thousands of dollars in order to have a current conditional use permit and make any improvements the city code enforcement department deems necessary.

City council member Tom Fuhrman, who represents the district in which McGrath Auto is located, estimates that as many as 300 small businesses in Menifee's rural area could face code violations and fees because of codes that were not enforced during the transition period from county to city jurisdiction.

Scott Mann

City officials say that while they are respectful of the status of longtime business owners, they are simply upholding the laws that apply concerning zoning ordinances, business licenses and building permits.

"Tom Fuhrman and I are very supportive of the rural business owners," Mayor Scott Mann said. "If possible, there needs to be a transition phase in all this. The McGraths are a stalwart family in this area. There's no need for City Hall and the McGraths to be fighting.

"But at the same time, our code enforcement department is required to uphold the law. We want to work with local businesses, but if a business changes or expands in any way, they must re-apply for a permit. We need to find a happy medium."

That may be easier said than done.

According to McGrath, he did purchase a conditional use permit from the county when he first opened his business in the 1970s. Years later, he renewed it as required. But more than 10 years ago, he said, the county changed the zoning ordinance covering the stretch of Murrieta Road where his business stands. The zoning was changed from "rural residential" to "scenic commercial highway."

McGrath said he was told by then-County Supervisor Kay Ceniceros that he was no longer required to have a conditional use permit for his property. Everything was peaceful after that, with McGrath continuing to operate his business on a small piece of land at the corner of Murrieta Road and Corson Avenue. In 2008, Menifee became a city and took over code enforcement from the county. Then came the first letter, dated March 25, 2012.

In that letter from Lisa Gordon, senior planner for the City of Menifee, McGrath was informed that a check of his records indicated two previous CUPs had expired and that he must apply for a new permit at a cost of $4,791.96. That fee would only begin a process in which city officials would inspect his business and determine what improvements must be made to his decades-old business. The cost of compliance could end up being much more.

"I said, 'What the hell are you talking about? I've been in business here 39 years,' " McGrath said Tuesday as he sat in his office. "They said the CUP expired under Riverside County, but now the city has code enforcement. I would have never known if I hadn't received that letter.

"I told them I was told years ago by Kay Ceniceros that I no longer needed a permit. They said, 'Do you have that in writing?' No, I don't. They were just making the change, and I took her at her word. Nothing was said about it until this letter."



Tom Fuhrman

It's difficult to determine whether these older businesses made significant changes that required new permits or exactly how much confusion there was during the transition from county to city jurisdiction. Another small business owner in the same rural area -- Troy Helton of Helton Hay & Feed on Scott Road -- also received a letter from the city requiring new permits and fees, according to Fuhrman.

Helton did not return a phone call seeking comment.

"These businesses are coming to the attention of the city through the business license registration program," said Carmen Cave, City of Menifee commmunity development director. "When a business applies for a license, the city checks to see that they are in compliance with all codes and permit requirements.

"In some cases, no proper permits were applied for or issued. In other instances, the permits have expired. Each time a letter goes out from the City, we explain a way that the business can come into compliance with the law so that they can decide how and when to apply for permits, and what kinds of applications they will be required to complete."

McGrath says if extensive improvements were required to make him compliant, the cost could put him out of business after almost 40 years.

"If they require us to put in curbside, sidewalks, gutters, things like that, it could soon be $100,000," McGrath said. "That would bankrupt us.

"If they have it for anyone, I would think there would be a grandfather clause for us. You know, they could say, 'You're OK, Jack. You are Menifee.' But when I talked to Lisa (Gordon) three weeks ago, she said there is no other avenue I can take."

Many business owners in the local rural area such as Jack McGrath have received requests for compliance from the city.




No Sludge Evidence Provided; Mayor Says It's Time to Move On

Menifee Mayor Scott Mann released a statement Tuesday afternoon declaring Menifee Valley "safe" and urging residents to move on after Planning Commissioner Mark Matelko failed to produce documents regarding the application of sludge to agricultural lands in Menifee.

Mann had given Matelko a deadline of 5 p.m. Tuesday to produce documents the commissioner said prove the application of biosolids (sludge) on many more sections of Menifee than is shown in Riverside County maps. Matelko and his wife, Janine, have been vocal advocates for additional testing of the soil, alleging there has been ongoing application of sludge on local agricultural lands -- a practice banned in 2001 -- that is a dangerous health threat to residents.

"The deadline for Commissioner Matelko to produce additional sludge records has come and gone," Mann said in a prepared statement. "The City of Menifee stands on the expert testimony provided at the City's Biosolids Workshop on March 5, 2013. Going forward, we know which parcels in the City that permitted Type A sludge was applied for agricultural purposes and we have in our Municipal Code a mechanism for additional soils testing should those areas be developed in the future.

"As previously stated by several regulatory agencies and press accounts, the Menifee Valley is safe -- your homes, schools, and parks are safe and always have been. It is now time to focus our time, energy and resources on other pressing issues, such as improving traffic circulation in our city."

In the March 5 biosolids workshop, several experts from Riverside County and elsewhere testified that there was no health danger to residents from any sludge that may have been applied in years past. That hasn't stopped the Matelkos and other concerned citizens from disputing the experts' testimony, as well as the sludge application map.




Menifee in Pictures: Which Billy is Really King of the Hill?


It's dirty, it's noisy, it's smelly, it's ... Goat Hill?

That's what it looks like alongside this rural stretch of Holland Road in West Menifee. The goats have this set of boulders all to themselves. If you approach the hill, they let you know about it. And who could blame them?

"Menifee in Pictures" is a daily feature on Menifee 24/7. Readers are invited to contribute photos for publication. Email your photos as a .jpg file to doug.spoon@gmail.com and we'll select one for publication each day, along with your name as the photographer. Please include your full name on the submission and any explanation about where and when the photo was taken. We do not publish photos that have a personalized name signature or any promotional information within the photo.




Menifee 24/7 Dives 'Camera First' Into the Video World

Today, Menifee 24/7 adds an extra layer to our expanded, multidimensional coverage of everything happening in and around Menifee.

We now offer pre-recorded video broadcasts as a supplemental feature of our website, both as an extra medium for event coverage and a powerful marketing tool for our advertisers.

Using the state-of-the-art equipment and creative talents of our contracted videographers, Menifee 24/7 now has the capability to produce quality video presentations as a supplement to our text and still photo coverage of local events.

Think of how much more appealing a post would be if the story and pictures were accompanied by a video clip featuring an interview of a key subject or an exciting play from a sports event. Imagine seeing a three-minute video profile of an interesting person in the community, professionally edited and narrated to capture the essence of the moment.

In addition, Menifee 24/7 advertisers now have the capability to appear in "TV commercial' quality ad spots. With this technology, you could see Provecho Grill, Elevate Fitness or Menifee Lakes Country Club featured in animated sound and video presentations. Potential new advertisers now have a valuable tool to introduce themselves to the local market.

Want to see what we're talking about? Check out this introductory video. Crank up the sound and click on the "full screen" square in the lower right corner of the screen when the video starts playing:



So join us as we grab our video cameras and shout "action." If you see us out in the community, camera and tripod in hand, stop and say hello. Whether we're filming a professional-grade commercial in the studio or capturing video of a Little League game on a minicam, we're on a mission to live up to our new slogan: "News with a byte."

If you would like to invite us to shoot video of a local event or a have an idea of a video presentation that would be of interest to others, email your suggestions to menifee247video@gmail.com.

For information on video advertising rates, email shellstovall@gmail.com.




Blevins, Atkins Honored as Heritage High Athletes of Month

Heritage High Athletes of the Month Lexi Blevins and Torrey Atkins accept their awards from Menifee 24/7 editor Doug Spoon.
Heritage High School's first Menifee 24/7 Athletes of the Month are softball standout Lexi Blevins and track and field star Torrey Atkins.

Blevins and Atkins were honored for their athletic accomplishments in March as well as their overall performance in school. Nominations and final selections were made by Heritage High coaches and Athletic Director David Drake. Each athlete received a certificate and an iTunes gift card.

Atkins, just a sophomore, has already made a name for himself in the first few weeks of the track season. A transfer from Long Beach Poly, Atkins runs the 110 high hurdles, 300 intermediate hurdles and the first leg of the school's 4x4 relay team.

When he first tried out for the track team at Long Beach Poly as a freshman, Atkins was a sprinter. He soon fell in the love with the hurdles. His dedication has paid off; the sophomore already holds the school record in the 110 HH (14.70) and the 300 IH (39.86).

"I love that race," said Atkins, who broke the meet record at the March 2 Saddle Up Invitational at Vista Murrieta High with a time of 14.90 in the 110 HH. "It's more competitive to me than the sprints."

Atkins said he has a set of hurdles at home and practices daily to achieve his goal of qualifying for the CIF state meet in June.

How did he first get started in track at Poly?

"I was in PE class one day and it felt like it was just for lazy people," he said. "They said, 'OK, try out for the track team.' "

Blevins, a junior, has already made an oral commitment to attend Tulsa (Okla.) University. She has been on the Patriots' varsity softball team since she was a freshman and has dominated as a pitcher, posting a 0.91 ERA so far this year.

"I have really enjoyed coaching Lexi this season," said Angela Ramiro, Blevins' coach. "She is extremely focused and a natural athlete. Her hard work and dedication to the game are admirable."

Blevins grew up in Menifee, developing her softball skills in the city's ASA program. She said the technique she has improved over the years is the secret to her success.

"I've always had the speed, but not the form," she said. "I've worked hard on both speed and more movement of my pitches. But the key is to keep my confidence. I don't think about my form when I'm pitching."




Menifee in Pictures: Round and Round We Go...


You've probably seen this manueverability challenge located at the end of the second entrance to Countryside Marketplace off Haun Road. It's a traffic circle -- sometimes called a roundabout -- that apparently is supposed to slow and regulate traffic heading in different directions. It can also be confusing if you're not paying attention. Roundabouts: Like 'em or not?

"Menifee in Pictures" is a daily feature on Menifee 24/7. Readers are invited to contribute photos for publication. Email your photos as a .jpg file to doug.spoon@gmail.com and we'll select one for publication each day, along with your name as the photographer. Please include your full name on the submission and any explanation about where and when the photo was taken. We do not publish photos that have a personalized name signature or any promotional information within the photo.




Barn Dance Raises Funds for Community Cupboard





Local Author PS Wagstaff Set for Book Signing April 14





The Big Announcement Comes Tomorrow!





Green, Haro Honored as First Paloma Valley Athletes of Month

Miranda Green and Dario Haro accept their Paloma Valley High School Athlete of the Month awards from Menifee 24/7 editor Doug Spoon.
Basketball player Miranda Green and baseball player Dario Haro have been selected as the first honorees in the new Menifee 24/7 Athlete of the Month award program for Paloma Valley High School.

Green and Haro were honored for their athletic accomplishments in March as well as their overall performance in school. Nominations and final selections were made by Paloma Valley coaches and Athletic Director Michael Pfeiffer. Each athlete received a certificate and an iTunes gift card.

Green was one of the top players on the Wildcat girls basketball team, which finished the regular season with a 14-12 overall record, advancing to the first round of the CIF-SS playoffs before losing to Miller High of Fontana. The 5-foot-8 senior shooting guard was one of three co-captains on the team, providing valuable experience for a young squad adjusting to a new head coach.

"Miranda has unwavering dedication to the basketball program and her education," said head coach Romeo Galbreath. "She led the team in 3-three pointers (35), served as vice president on the girls basketball club and was team captain."

Green said she received valuable experience as she served as sort of an unofficial assistant coach to the younger players.

"We were young," she said. "We had a lot of talent, but not as much experience. I was counted on to teach some of the younger players.

"I'm a pretty patient person, but this was a good test for me."

Green will attend Pt. Loma Nazarene University and study to become a physical therapist.

Haro, a senior third baseman for the Wildcats, is off to a good start this season, and so is his team. Haro and the Wildcats are 3-0 in Sunbelt League play after beating crosstown rival Heritage on Friday, 4-1. At the plate, Haro is batting .421 with 4 RBIs.

Haro is especially proud of his performance against Heritage in his three seasons on the varsity team. Two years ago, he singled in the winning run in the last inning; last year, he did it again. Now this season, the Wildcats started off strong against the Patriots.

"Last year was a disappointing season," Haro said. "We won eight in a row, then lost six in a row. This year, we have a new attitude."

Haro was promoted to captain of the team this season. His college plans are not decided, but he plans to work with his father in a general contracting business after graduation.

Haro's head coach, Chuck Kemp, believes Haro has made a big difference, both with his play and his leadership.

"Dario is a tremendous team leader, both on and off the field," Kemp said.

Coming tomorrow: The first Menifee 24/7 Athletes of the Month for Heritage High School.






Paloma Valley High Program Provides Free Formal Wear

Through a special program, Paloma Valley High School is supplying formal wear free of charge to students and staff for Prom, NJROTC Military Ball and other formal events.

The Wildcat Formal Exchange is sponsored by the PTSA, which is accepting donations of male and female formal wear, new or gently used. Students come and shop like any other boutique. Some of the dresses may need cleaning or some minor alterations, but most of the shoppers leave with suitable formal wear.

The exchange is in great need of bow ties, cummerbund, and white shirts for the males. Please contact PTSA President Jennafer Griswold at jennaferl@aol.com or Program Coordinator Robin Seeley at osopup2@yahoo.com.





Crohns & Colitis Foundation Meets Thursday in Menifee

The Crohns & Colitis Foundation of America (with a regional office in San Diego) hosts a monthly support group the fourth Thursday of each month. The next meeting takes place this Thursday, March 28, at 6:30 p.m. at the Menifee Community Center at Wheatfield Park, 30627 Menifee Road.

Crohn's disease, named after Dr. Burrill B. Crohn, who first described the disease in 1932, belongs to a group of conditions known as Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD). Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract. Ulcerative colitis is a chronic disease of the large intestine, also known as the colon.

For questions and additional information, contact Ann Butler at annbutler225@verizon.net.




Two More Days Until the News is Revealed!





Gang Sweep in Hemet Area Results in 15 Arrests

A gang sweep conducted by various local law enforcement agencies resulted in the arrest of 15 individuals in the nearby San Jacinto Valley, primarily for parole violations and drug possession.

The sweep was conducted Thursday by members of the Hemet/San Jacinto Gang Task Force, the San Jacinto Police Department Special Enforcement Team, California Highway Patrol, and additional Riverside County Regional Gang Task Force teams, according to the Hemet Police Department. Approximately 20 law enforcement officers participated in this event, conducting high visibility saturation patrol in areas frequented by gang members.

All 15 arrested are residents either of Hemet or unincorporated areas east of Hemet. Officers also conducted predetermined probation and parole compliance checks targeting documented gang members.

Those arrested were:

Matilda Colazo, 32, parole violation

Chesre Deckard, 40, fraud warrant

April Dennis, 26, possession of a controlled substance

Daniel Deluna, 42, post-release community supervision violation

Joey Brooks, 43, parole violation

Ricardo Ramirez, 19, vandalism warrant

Ben Lamantia, 26, possession of a controlled substance

Roshell Scott, 26, possession of a controlled substance and a switchblade knife

Ronald Schaffer, 55, possession of a controlled substance

Carlos Lopez, 19, possession of a controlled substance

Michael Perry, 55, possession of a controlled substance, community supervision violation

Ozzy Van Dyke, 23, possession of a controlled substance

Aaron Smith, 29, post-release community supervision violation

Sandra Jones, 44, post-release community supervision violation

Rashan Price, 36, parole violation

Anyone with non-emergency information regarding gang activity who does not wish to come forward should use the online Gang Task Force Tip Form or call 951-922-7601. This allows you to send information anonymously to the Riverside County Gang Task Force. Any information you provide can serve as a voice for the community and play a significant role in making your neighborhood and Riverside County a safer place to live.

If you would like more information about the Riverside County Regional Gang Task Force, please visit www.riversidecountygtf.org.




Menifee in Pictures: Institution of Higher Learning


The clock tower, beautiful architecture and palm trees are only the face of Mt. San Jacinto College, Menifee Valley campus. The heart of the college, located at Antelope Road and La Piedra Road, is the instruction given there and the dedication of its student body.

"Menifee in Pictures" is a daily feature on Menifee 24/7. Readers are invited to contribute photos for publication. Email your photos as a .jpg file to doug.spoon@gmail.com and we'll select one for publication each day, along with your name as the photographer. Please include your full name on the submission and any explanation about where and when the photo was taken. We do not publish photos that have a personalized name signature or any promotional information within the photo.




Provecho Event Raises Funds for Breast Cancer Resources





Menifee Easter Spring Fest is Going on Right Now!





Three Days Until the Big Announcement!





Menifee 24/7 Adoptable Pet of the Week: Gallute


Name: Gallute

Age: Estimated 2 years

Breed: Guessed to be some sort of Pit bull mix

Gender: Male, neutered

Gallute’s story: “The day I found Gallute he was following a kid who was throwing rocks at him and trying to chase him into the busy street. I immediately turned my car around and pulled over to see what was going on. When the boy taunted the dog again I approached him and intervened. The dog was not his, but had been following him on his walk home. So I picked up the collarless dog and took him home with me.”

This good Samaritan has been fostering Gallute for several months now but will have to turn him over to a shelter at the end of the month. He really needs a big yard to play in and someone who can exercise him regularly. She took it upon herself to have him neutered, dewormed, and up to date on all his shots so he is all ready to go.

Temperament: He is the sweetest dog, very playful, spunky, and affectionate. He is wonderful with people and children and would make a great family dog.

Location: Southern California

If you are interested in adopting or fostering this sweet boy or would like more information, please email lauren@laurenjewel.com or call Barbara at (951) 347-3174.




Officials Release Name of Woman Dead in Apparent Suicide


A woman who was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in a parked car at Paloma Valley High School Friday has been identified as Roggena Hunsaker, 59, of the Sun City community of Menifee.

Menifee Police announced Friday that the woman's body was found seated in a red Toyota Corolla parked in the school parking lot, which is also used as a parking lot for the Riverside County Public Library branch located on campus. According to Lt. Charles Wilhite, the gun was found in the vehicle. He said the body was discovered by a relative who had come to the site looking for Hunsaker because of fears she was going to harm herself.

Hunsaker worked as a librarian at the site. At least one student reported that Hunsaker said the day before she had been fired from her position.

According to police and school officials, the shooting appears to have occurred between 7 and 7:30 a.m., shortly before students arrived on campus. It is unclear whether anyone witnessed the shooting or whether students actually saw the crime scene. Students were immediately put on lockdown for about 15 minutes and messages were sent by phone and email to all parents.

The body of the deceased was removed about 11 a.m. and the on-site investigation had concluded. Classes continued for the rest day of the day, although several students went home before the school day ended.

District Superintendent Dr. Jonathan Greenberg said that by the end of first period, students were informed of the reason for the lockdown and it was lifted.

"At the end of first period, it was my decision to inform the students," Greenberg said. "The students had started inventing their own stories based on the lockdown and were using social media to send messages. I felt it was better to get them the facts as soon as possible."

Greenberg said he also appreciated the efforts of the Menifee Police Department to clear the scene as soon as possible.

"We have kids who leave at lunch," he said. "This is their student parking area. The police are in charge and if they needed more hours, I certainly can't make them leave. But they understood our need and they were fairly certain of what happened here.

"This brings up thoughts of suicides and upsets our children. It's a tragedy for the woman and her family, but I also see it as a tragedy for the school. Students learn a lot about life here. Unfortunately, they also learn lessons in life that are painful."

Riverside County Library officials did not return calls seeking comment.





Paloma Valley Student: Librarian Hugged Her, Said Goodbye

Police, school officials gathered outside the library on the Paloma Valley High campus after Friday's shooting. The scene has since been cleared.
Story updated at 4:10 p.m. with identity of the deceased:

The county librarian who died in an apparent suicide Friday morning on the Paloma Valley High School campus told a student library volunteer "goodbye" Thursday, explaining she had just been fired.

The deceased was identified by the Coroner's office late Friday as Roggena Hunsaker, 59, of Sun City. The student, who asked not to be identified, said Hunsaker did not say why she had been fired, but that she hugged the student and told her goodbye. According to the student, the woman did not seem particularly upset at the time.

"She said the woman was always nice and very easy to talk to," said Joelle Regnier, the student's mother. "She just told my daughter she wouldn't see her anymore because she was just fired. Then she gave her a hug."

The Riverside County Library system has a public library at the front of the high school that is used by both students and the public. Hunsaker was a county employee and not connected with the school district. The library was closed Friday.

Calls to the county library administration about Hunsaker's employment status have not been returned.

The student was on campus Friday morning when the school was put on lockdown after the discovery of the woman's body in a car in the school parking lot. Before a general announcement was made to the student body about what happened, the student was pulled aside by her teacher and informed of the situation. Parents had already been informed of the situation via email and voice mail.

"My daughter had told her teacher a couple days before that she was working in the library for school credits," Regnier said. "That's why the teacher wanted her to know first."

Regnier's daughter said she didn't know whether any students witnessed the shooting, which reportedly occurred sometime between 7 and 7:30 a.m. She did say some students said they passed by the car and noticed some activity there and that a windshield shade was pulled down.






Apparent Suicide Victim Found in Car at Paloma Valley High


Update at 4 p.m.:

The Riverside County librarian found dead Friday in an apparent suicide at Paloma Valley High School has been identified by the Coroner's office as Roggena Hunsaker, 59, of Sun City.

Update at 11:40 a.m.:

The body of the deceased was removed about 11 a.m., the yellow tape is gone and the on-site investigation has concluded. Police have left the school. Classes are continuing on this, the last day before spring break.

District Superintendent Dr. Jonathan Greenberg said that immediately after the body was discovered, the school was put on lockdown. An email was immediately sent to teachers and parents, informing them of the situation. By the end of first period, students were informed of the reason for the lockdown and it was lifted.

"At the end of first period, it was my decision to inform the students," Greenberg said. "The students had started inventing their own stories based on the lockdown and were using social media to send messages. I felt it was better to get them the facts as soon as possible."

Greenberg said he also appreciated the efforts of the Menifee Police Department to clear the scene as soon as possible. After the body was removed, a red compact car was towed from the scene.

"We have kids who leave at lunch," he said. "This is their student parking area. The police are in charge and if they needed more hours, I certainly can't make them leave. But they understood our need and they were fairly certain of what happened here.

"This brings up thoughts of suicides and upsets our children. It's a tragedy for the woman and her family, but I also see it as a tragedy for the school. Students learn a lot about life here. Unfortunately, they also learn lessons in life that are painful."

The identity of the woman has not been released.

Update at 10:10 a.m.:

Menifee police have confirmed the death by apparent suicide this morning of a former employee of the Riverside County Library branch located on the campus of Paloma Valley High School.

According to Lt. Charles Wilhite, the body was discovered in a car parked outside the library in the school's parking lot about 7:30 a.m. The school was briefly in lockdown, but that was soon lifted and classes have resumed with counselors on site.

"Apparently a relative came looking for her and found her here," he said. "It appears some students saw some of this."

Jonathan Greenberg, superintendent of the Perris Union High School District, joined school officials in greeting concerned parents as they pulled up in front of the school. Some parents said they had received cell phone calls from their children during the lockdown.

"The school is no longer in lockdown," Greenberg said. "That is standard procedure for the safety of the students. Classes have resumed and counselors are on site. This was not a district employee."









Alleged Shooter in Apparent Murder-Suicide Identified

The Riverside County Coroner's Office Thursday released the identity of the alleged shooter in the apparent murder/suicide that occurred Sunday night in Menifee.

The 68-year-old man found dead at the scene has been identified as Gerald Pace of Menifee. Police believe Pace shot 49-year-old Debra Vandyke to death, then turned the gun on himself. Both bodies were discovered in the front yard of a residence in the 33000 block of Merritt Road after deputies responded to a domestic disturbance call.

Anyone with information concerning this investigation is encouraged to contact Investigator Espinoza at the Sheriff's Central Homicide Unit at 760-393-3500.




Menifee in Pictures: Is This the Road to Nowhere?


Does anyone recognize this dead end? Or is it really supposed to be a dead end? Check out all the surroundings, then tell us where you think this is and what controversy surrounds the site.

"Menifee in Pictures" is a daily feature on Menifee 24/7. Readers are invited to contribute photos for publication. Email your photos as a .jpg file to doug.spoon@gmail.com and we'll select one for publication each day, along with your name as the photographer. Please include your full name on the submission and any explanation about where and when the photo was taken. We do not publish photos that have a personalized name signature or any promotional information within the photo.





Funds From Menifee Rotary Event Benefit Local Programs

One of the sponsors of the Red Carpet Affair was Menifee 24/7, represented by owners Doug and Kristen Spoon and Shelli and David Stovall.
More than 120 people joined State Senator Bill Emmerson and State Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez for a “Red Carpet Affair” earlier this month to support Rotary Club of Menifee’s 50th Anniversary Celebration.

The event, which took place on Saturday, March 9, raised funds from corporate sponsors, silent auction, and ticket sales to sponsor the club’s on-going efforts to support education and youth programs throughout the greater Menifee Valley.

Both Emmerson and Melendez presented Rotary Club of Menifee with a proclamation honoring the club’s 50 years of “service above self”. Tom Fuhrman, Menifee City Council, and Jonathan Greenberg, Perris Union High School District, also attended.

Generous donations came from the following corporate sponsors: The Children’s Dental Practice, Too Much Tina Media, Rilynn Company Insurance Services, Eastern Municipal Water District, Menifee 24/7, Hope Plaza Pharmacy, Elevate Fitness, Rancho Family Medical Group, eHealthSupplies, Hire The Stache, Boomerang Boutique, Menifee Lakes Optometry, and Brown, White & Newhouse LLP.

“We wish to thank everyone who attended and contributed to the Red Carpet Affair for making it a success,” said Rotary member Ruth Bol, DDS, who coordinated the event. “It’s from the support of our community that we’re able to help children succeed.”

Hosted at Aces Comedy Club in Murrieta, comedian Tom Wilson, best known for playing “Biff” in the "Back to the Future" movie trilogy, anchored the night’s entertainment.

Founded in 1963, Rotary Club of Menifee is celebrating 50 years of service in the local area, through school library book donations, Student-of-the-Month programs, high school senior scholarships, and student citizenship awards. It supports the Menifee School District Spelling Bee, has a Cub Scout Pack, provides scholarships for MSJC, offers a leadership camp for high school juniors, and makes donations to Menifee Valley Community Cupboard.

Rotary Club of Menifee, in conjunction with the Give Kids A Smile program, enhances the oral health of needy children. In addition, they are working with The Society of American Indian Dentistry to encourage under-represented minorities to explore the medical and dental fields.




Menifee 24/7 Teacher of Month Award Goes to Connie Roybal

Jennifer Broderdorf of Massage Envy and Menifee 24/7 editor Doug Spoon present the Teacher of the Month award to Connie Roybal (center).
Several years ago, when Connie Roybal decided to give up a career in children's psychiatric care to become a teacher, her father was not pleased.

"Dad really had no respect for teachers," Roybal said. "He said, 'Don't ever tell me it's hard.' "

Roybal has never said her job is easy, but she readily admits it's fun. And it's that perspective on education that helped earn her this month's Menifee 24/7 Teacher of the Month award, sponsored by Massage Envy.

A third grade teacher at Southshore Elementary School, Roybal is loved by the students in her class and praised by their parents. The key, they say, is her ability to make school fun and interesting.

"Connie keeps her third graders excited by engaging them in challenges and intriguing information," said Keri Wisdom, a parent volunteer in the class. "Connie promotes intrinsic motivation in her students. She strives to foster responsible, independent learners."

Another parent in the class says she is grateful for the time Roybal spends giving individual attention to each student. Her son, she says, has learned to feel comfortable in new surroundings this school year.

"He likes her because she is nice, she is fun, and she is a good teacher," the boy's mother said. "She lets them play games and teaches him a lot."

This mother also sees great value in the way Roybal prepares her students for advancement. Although she's always finding fun activities for them to do, she makes sure they are meeting academic requirements -- and beyond.

"She sees where they are struggling and puts in so much extra effort to make sure she helps them catch up and succeed," the mother said about her son's teacher. "Her students do not just get passed through third grade. She makes sure they are getting prepared for fourth grade so they can excel when they get there."

Roybal says she enjoys using the latest technology in the classroom, utilizing Power Point presentations to present material. At the same time, however, she makes sure the students learn to work with their hands, making crafts that relate to their studies.

"We're real blessed with the high tech equipment we have," Royal said. "Sometimes the kids teach me. Overall, I just try to make everything fun for them. I have my own personality and sense of humor."

Roybal received a $50 gift card from Massage Envy, located in the Countryside Marketplace in Menifee.

If you would like to nominate a Menifee teacher for Menifee 24/7's next Teacher of the Month award, email us at menifee247info@gmail.com. In 200 words or less, tell us why you believe this person should be the Teacher of the Month. Please include your name, name of the teacher, and any other pertinent information about the nominee.






Two Motorcyclists Injured in Collision With Bus in Menifee

The following information comes from a press release issued tonight by the Riverside County Sheriff's Department:

Today at 2:08 p.m., a motor officer from the Menifee Police Department witnessed a collision at State Route 74 and Palomar Road. The officer was on the side of the road completing an enforcement stop.

The collision consisted of a Palm Springs resident (54-year-old male) riding a Harley Davidson motorcycle that collided with a public transportation bus. The bus driver was coming to a stop behind congested traffic in the eastbound number one lane of State Route 74.

The rider of the Harley Davidson locked his rear wheel in an attempt to slow down. The rider lost control and was ejected along with his passenger (28-year-old male). Both subjects appear to have struck the rear of the bus. The motorcycle slid on its side into the rear of the bus.

Both subjects were transported to a local hospital for treatment, with the rider suffering major non-life-threatening injuries. The passenger suffered minor injuries. Their condition is unknown at this time. Nobody in the bus was injured.

Both subjects appeared to be wearing DOT approved helmets. It does not appear there was any intoxication involved. State Route 74 had the center lane in each direction closed for approximately one hour for the investigation.

The investigation is continuing and anyone who may have witnessed the collision or may have further information is asked to call the Menifee Police Department Traffic Division at 951-210-1000.




City Council Accepts $250K Grant for Road Improvements

Menifee City Council members voted unanimously Tuesday night to accept a grant to use recycled materials in two upcoming road improvements.

Valued at $250,000, the grant provides funds to finance both a 3.5-mile road widening and a 4.5-mile stretch of road repaving project along Newport Road, using recycled materials.

CalRecycle, or California's Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, is the issuer of the grant. The agency works with recycling and waste management organizations to support and promote projects in keeping with the state’s waste reduction and recycling initiatives. Grants are offered by the agency to local governments, non-profits and other organizations.

The sole condition of the grant is that the City use Rubberized Asphalt Concrete (RAC) in place of standard asphalt in the road improvement projects. In addition to being environmentally friendly, RAC has been shown to be more durable than conventional materials – thus reducing the overall maintenance cost.

Upon hearing these benefits, Councilman John Denver queried, “Why don’t we use (this material) more?” The answer, as provided during the motion’s Q&A phase, boiled down to cost: RAC is 10–15 percent more expensive than standard asphalt. However, given its overall benefit, council members appeared open to considering its use in future projects, as well.

The two road projects chosen by CalRecycle had previously been approved by the City with funds allocated to use standard asphalt. By accepting this grant, the City Council has freed up these funds for use on a future project, making the true value of the grant a benefit of $500,000 for the citizens of Menifee.




Women's Club Schedules Fashion Show for April 27




Menifee City Council Postpones Appointments to Task Forces

Members of the Menifee City Council Tuesday delayed action on requests to join two task forces designed to address important issues being faced by local families: Autism and youth health and safety.

The Southwest Riverside Autism Task Force – a regional agency joint task force created by the cities of Temecula and Murrieta – seeks to educate residents about the disorder, as well as address the special needs of families with autistic children. It is comprised of officials from the cities of Temecula, Murrieta, Lake Elsinore, Hemet, Perris, Wildomar and Canyon Lake, as well as from Riverside County and the County Board of Supervisors

Past representation from Menifee was made by former council member Sue Kristjansson, but the position has not been filled since she lost her seat in the 2012 election to Greg August.

August said he did not feel qualified to fill Kristjansson’s role on the task force, suggesting instead that the council appoint a citizen with more experience on the subject. His view was echoed by the other council members, though some leaned toward appointing a qualified member of the city staff. Councilman Tom Fuhrman asserted that the volunteer position should be opened up to all interested citizens of Menifee.

“We want to be sensitive to these matters” and not make a hasty decision, said Councilman John Denver, before recommending that the decision be postponed to a later date.

A similar conversation was held in response to an invitation to join the newly-created Youth, Family and Health Regional Task Force. According to the invitation letter, this joint task force seeks to “discuss and raise awareness of concerns that face many households, seek solutions, and help to provide youth, parents and families with resources so that they are better able to cope with modern-day influences, including social media, virtual gaming, mental health, and drugs and alcohol.”

These goals are to be achieved by gathering members of city and county government and their respective school districts, with additional input by law enforcement, educators, doctors and county professionals. At this time, the task force is requesting representation by two council members each from the cities of Temecula, Murrieta, Wildomar, Perris, Lake Elsinore, Canyon Lake, Hemet and Menifee, as well as a representative from each city’s school district and two Riverside County Supervisors.

The council is also still weighing who will provide representation from Menifee for this particular task force; a decision on the matter has been postponed to a later date.




Menifee in Pictures: To Whom Should We Pay Tribute?


Perhaps we're too new in town to know the story behind this, but we're hoping someone does. Can anyone tell us what happened to Tabitha and Christopher, whose names appear on these crosses at the side of Lindenberger Road? The site is a blind curve just south of El Dorado Park, so it appears likely there was some sort of traffic accident there. What can you tell us about these individuals, what happened to them and when?

"Menifee in Pictures" is a daily feature on Menifee 24/7. Readers are invited to contribute photos for publication. Email your photos as a .jpg file to doug.spoon@gmail.com and we'll select one for publication each day, along with your name as the photographer. Please include your full name on the submission and any explanation about where and when the photo was taken. We do not publish photos that have a personalized name signature or any promotional information within the photo.







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