The County Update publishes once a week on Fridays and also as needed to share important news and resources.

Quick Read: Click on a headline below to go straight to the story.

In Today’s Update:

• Probation Department wins statewide award for improving quality of life for youths

 San Bernardino County receives $12 million in federal funding for key projects

• Protect your family and property during an emergency with Community Connect

• Free VITA tax services available for eligible county residents

• Old West Days moseys into Victor Valley Museum  

• Join the Hesperia Library branch for its New Book Festival featuring Batman, Spiderman, face painting

• Public Health fighting rise in congenital syphilis with award-winning program

• Groundbreaking held for Interstate 10/Cedar Avenue interchange

• Organization launches hotline for flooding victims to get aid with cleanup

• Looking for work? Advice from San Bernardino County’s human resources director

• Jobs of the Week


Probation Department wins statewide award for improving quality of life for youths

An African-American probation officer Marshe Marshall stands in a building hallway.

The San Bernardino County Probation Department’s A.R.I.S.E. Program won a 2022 California State Association of Counties (CSAC) Challenge Award in the category of Administration of Justice & Public Safety.

A.R.I.S.E., which stands for A Restorative Integration for Successful Engagement, provides support and improves the quality of life of youths through therapeutic services, extended education, and quality training while housed in a secure youth treatment facility.

The program was developed as a result of the realignment of the Division of Juvenile Justice from the state to the County. A.R.I.S.E. has been in operation for one year and several youths have been successfully released. They continue to be supervised in the community by probation officers and upon completion of the program, were assisted with securing gainful employment and provided guidance in continuing their college education. The focus of A.R.I.S.E. aligns with the vision of the Probation Department to protect the community and improve the lives of those they serve.

Since 2018, San Bernardino County departments have won 16 awards from the California State Association of Counties.


San Bernardino County receives $12 million in federal funding for key projects

A landscape of a lake with mountains in the background and a hill grass area on the left under a blue cloudy sky.

San Bernardino County has been awarded $12 million in federal community project funding as part of the omnibus appropriations bill passed by Congress at the end of 2022. This funding will support the planning, design, and construction of five major community projects across the county that will greatly improve facilities in regional parks, rural fire stations, unincorporated areas, and the county flood control district. The new funding was awarded by Reps. Pete Aguilar, Norma Torres, and Jay Obernolte as well as by California U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

“We are grateful to our Congressional representatives for this extraordinary funding,” said Board of Supervisors Chair Dawn Rowe. “The County will use this new federal funding to complete important infrastructure projects that will significantly improve facilities and amenities for local residents.”

Aguilar (D-Redlands) directed $2.56 million to make significant street and pedestrian improvements in Little Third Street, an unincorporated pocket within the City of San Bernardino. This project has been a top priority for Supervisor Joe Baca, Jr., who included it in his Fifth District Roadmap to Revitalization. The project includes paving 3,700 feet of roadway, widening 2,670 feet of roadway, improving 13 disability ramps and building 5,650 feet of sidewalk.

Feinstein directed $3.75 million to the County to repair and expand the Mt. Baldy Fire Station. This rural station deep in the San Gabriel Mountains is an aging facility built nearly a century ago. Expansion is critical for the station, to allow it to house modern fire engines and accommodate the need for fire crews. This remodeled facility will enhance County efforts to protect residents from the dangers of wildfire, especially in isolated rural communities.

Torres (D-Pomona) made two funding awards to the County. The first provides $2.28 million to renovate and improve the food court at Prado Regional Park. This critical park facility was badly damaged by flooding several years ago and is unable to accommodate the high demand by park visitors. The renovated facility will significantly improve kitchens and restrooms, meet ADA standards, and expand dining options for patrons.

The second award from Torres directed $1.5 million in new funding to build Safe Routes to School in unincorporated Fontana. Many parts of this community do not have adequate sidewalks, crosswalks, or ADA-accessible ramps. This project will install traffic calming infrastructure near schools, to better protect children and pedestrians.

Obernolte (R-Big Bear Lake) awarded the County $2 million to begin the design and planning for the Desert Knolls Wash Phase IV flood control project near Apple Valley. This multi-phase project is a major undertaking for the County to expand the capacity of the Desert Knolls wash to protect High Desert communities against catastrophic floods.


Protect your family and property during an emergency with Community Connect

A graphic of a house on fire on the right with a firefighter and woman standing on the left near a fire hydrant with water hose.

A safe and secure program, Community Connect, is now available for residents and businesses in San Bernardino County to use to create profiles that first responders can access at the time of response.

The information stored in the platform will inform the San Bernardino County Fire Protection District with critical property and occupant information, such as the number of family members or pets inside a home, or if people with disabilities reside on the property or speak another language.

Business owners can provide emergency plans, employee, property and contact information. Community Connect will help your local emergency personnel ensure that in the event of an emergency, everything you care about is protected to the best of their ability.

Watch this video to learn more and click here to sign up.


Free VITA tax services available for eligible county residents

A photo of a income tax refund check.

Beginning Jan. 23, the County Transitional Assistance Department is partnering with the IRS to provide free tax preparation and e-filing services to eligible low- to moderate-income taxpayers throughout San Bernardino County. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)/Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) program provides free services to eligible individuals and families whose combined household earned income was less than $60,000 in 2022. If you worked in 2022, you may be eligible to receive the California Earned Income Tax Credit, for a refund of up to $3,417 or the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit for a refund of up to $6,935.

“VITA ensures eligible taxpayers have access to the EITC and other federal and state credits that put money back into the pockets of San Bernardino County’s working families and individuals,” said Transitional Assistance Director Gilbert Ramos. Federal and California state returns are prepared and e-filed by IRS-certified tax preparers. Day and evening appointments are available Monday through Friday, as well as Saturday appointments. For more information and to schedule your appointment at a location near you, please visit wp.sbcounty.gov/tad/resources/ or call (909) 421-4091 or (909) 421-4093.


Old West Days moseys into Victor Valley Museum

Step back in time to the days of the American West! Round up the family and join us for Old West Days, a family-friendly event taking place at the Victor Valley Museum this Saturday, Jan. 21 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Uncover the history of America’s western frontier, a unique landscape of converging cultures.

The museum has rounded up the following partners that will be on-hand, including the Inland Empire Handweavers Guild, UCCE Master Gardeners, Mission Inn Museum, San Bernardino County Regional Parks, Pico Pistolero, and the Heritage Trails Association to provide a little history, cultural traditions, and artistry of the American western frontier.

This is an event not to miss as we were the recipient of the 2020 National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Award in the Arts, Culture and Historic Preservation category.

The Victor Valley Museum is located at 11873 Apple Valley Road, Apple Valley. The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. General admission is $10 (adult), $8 (military or senior), $7 (student), and $5 (child ages 6 to 12). Children five and under and Museum Association members are admitted free. Parking is free. The museum is accessible to persons with disabilities. Read more at https://museum.sbcounty.gov/event/old-west-days-2


Join the Hesperia Library branch for its New Book Festival featuring Batman, Spiderman, face painting

A graphic with a circle in the middle surrounded by water drops on an yellow to green gradient background with splash dots. There are four smaller circles with two on each side of the larger circle. The smaller circles contain stock photos of face painting activity, Legos, kids dancing and an adult silhouette advertising the Hesperia Library branch date Jan. 28, 2023 and time 3 p.m to 7 p.m.

The San Bernardino County Library invites residents to the Hesperia Branch Library for the return of the Annual New Book Festival, Saturday, Jan. 28 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.  Visitors should bring their library card. Every 15 items checked out during the event earns visitors an opportunity drawing ticket for a chance to win awesome prizes.  All activities are free and open to all ages.

Thousands of new books will be available for patrons for the very first time. Don’t forget to take pictures with Batman, Spider-Man, Rapunzel, and Detective Pikachu! Build memories in our Jumbo Block play area, create fun crafts, enjoy face painting and balloon artists, dance to a live DJ, and much more.

The Hesperia Branch Library is at 9650 7th Avenue in Hesperia. For more information on the San Bernardino County library system, please visit sbclib.org or call (909) 387-2220.


Public Health fighting rise in congenital syphilis with award-winning program

Over the last five years, California has seen a dramatic increase in syphilis and congenital syphilis cases. Between 2017 and 2020, San Bernardino County experienced a 135% increase in congenital syphilis and a 54% increase in syphilis prompting an intensive response from the Department of Public Health.

Public Health staff are using innovative ways to improve the prevention and treatment of syphilis and congenital syphilis in the county and winning an Achievement Award for their efforts from the National Association of Counties (NACo) in 2022. One method is the Manifest Medex Notify tool, which sends real-time notifications of patients with syphilis who visit hospitals and emergency departments in the county. This tool has been successful in improving the coordination of testing and treatment at delivery.

As of December 2022, approximately 52 pregnant patients have had encounters at a hospital or emergency department in which DPH has been able to provide coordinated care for those who may have otherwise not received syphilis treatment.

The County’s Department of Public Heath staff receive requests from other counties and the state’s Department of Public Health and external partners to share best practices. The department is also re-launching the mobile clinic to increase access to testing and treatment for syphilis and other sexually transmitted infections in the county. Beyond these innovative approaches, Public Health staff continues to engage in comprehensive provider outreach and education, case management of pregnant patients diagnosed with syphilis and cultivates partnerships with internal and external stakeholders with a goal of reducing the rates of syphilis and congenital syphilis in the county.


Groundbreaking held for Interstate 10/Cedar Avenue interchange

A closeup photo of a map of the I-10/Cedar Interchange Project with a shovel on an easel and people in the background.

The San Bernardino County Transportation Authority broke ground on the I-10/Cedar Avenue Interchange Project in partnership with San Bernardino County, the City of Fontana, and the City of Rialto. The project will improve Cedar Avenue between Bloomington Avenue and Orange Street in the unincorporated community of Bloomington. The project is designed to relieve congestion, enhance safety, and improve traffic operations at the I-10/Cedar Avenue Interchange.

The project will:

•             Widen Cedar Avenue from six lanes to 10 lanes

•             Provide new bridge railings and sidewalks on Cedar Avenue

•             Replace Cedar Avenue over the train tracks

•             Add additional lanes at the on- and off-ramps

For additional information about the project, visit goSBCTA.com/i10cedar.


Organization launches hotline for flooding victims to get aid with cleanup

The State of California announced several relief agencies are staffing a free hotline until Jan. 27 for the public to request help cleaning up from the recent flooding. The Home Cleanup Hotline number is (844) 965-1386. All services are free, but service is not guaranteed due to the expected overwhelming need. 

This hotline will connect survivors with reputable and vetted voluntary relief agencies that will assist in debris cleanup and mucking out, as they are able. The Crisis Cleanup’s mission is to help volunteers help more people after disasters.


We are hiring. Join an award-winning workforce

A collage of people posing for the camera in professonal dress attire with a video play button in the middle.

Looking for work? Advice from San Bernardino County’s human resources director

County Human Resources Director Diane Rundles makes an appearance in this month’s issue of Inland Empire Magazine to discuss the challenges of hiring candidates for jobs throughout the County organization due to record-low unemployment.

She also offers tips on how job candidates can stand out during the interview process.

Read the article “Open for Business” on page 113 of the magazine here. For more information about working for the County and why opportunity lives, works and plays here, visit Opportunity.sbcounty.gov.

Watch this video to learn more about job openings throughout the County.

Visit our human resources website at hr.sbcounty.gov.


Jobs of the Week and other hiring events

San Bernardino County has jobs that will open on Saturday, Jan. 21.

We encourage you to apply and share these job openings with those who may be interested in them. Recruitments listed are subject to final department approval.

Check sbcounty.gov/jobs for the most up-to-date recruitments.


A purple box with the words Monkey Pox Information on it. there is a vial of medicine with a needle on an angle at the top.

San Bernardino County has jobs that will open on Saturday, Jan. 21.

We encourage you to apply and share these job openings with those who may be interested in them. Recruitments listed are subject to final department approval.

Check sbcounty.gov/jobs for the most up-to-date recruitments.

A teal box with the words COVID-!9 Vaccine Information on it and a injectable needle on the left.

For all COVID-19 related information, including case statistics, FAQs, guidelines, and resources, visit the County’s COVID-19 webpage at http://sbcovid19.com/. Residents of San Bernardino County may also call the COVID-19 helpline at (909) 387-3911 for general information and resources about the virus. The phone line is NOT for medical calls and is available Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you have questions about social services, please call 211.

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