Cajon High School alumnus Jayden Daniels was honored by the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday for winning the 2023 Heisman Trophy as America’s top college football player.

A resolution honoring Daniels was brought forward by Supervisor Joe Baca, Jr., whose Fifth District includes Cajon High School and San Bernardino, where the football star was born and raised.

A senior quarterback at Louisiana State University, Daniels, 22, is the 89th winner of the fabled Heisman Memorial Trophy following a 2023 senior season in which he also won the Walter Camp Player of the Year and Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Awards.

Daniels’ passer rating of 208.01 is a Heisman best and his 4,946 total yards is tied for the third-most by a Heisman winner. His 50 total touchdowns are the seventh most in Heisman history and his 3,812 passing yards is 12th most.

A native of San Bernardino, Daniels was a four-star recruit out of Cajon High School. He was ranked number two in the nation for dual-threat quarterbacks, meaning he can menace his opponents with both his throwing arm and his running abilities.

Pro Football Focus ranks him as the fourth-best quarterback in the 2024 NFL Draft behind USC’s Caleb Williams, North Carolina’s Drake Maye, and Oregon’s Bo Nix.

San Bernardino County joined the City of San Bernardino in launching a countywide billboard campaign congratulating Daniels.

A new, long-awaited, state-of-the-art San Bernardino County Animal Care Center came closer to becoming a reality on Tuesday when the Board of Supervisors formally accepted a $45 million grant from the State Department of Parks and Recreation for construction of the facility in Bloomington.

The 61,000-square-foot shelter and care facility will offer top-level onsite veterinary care, dedicated dog and cat enrichment areas, and spacious kennels for pets as they await their forever homes.

The project cost estimate is $45 million, which includes the demolition of existing obsolete facilities and construction of the new building. Completion is expected in spring 2026.

San Bernardino County currently offers animal care services at the Devore and Big Bear animal shelters. Since the beginning of 2023, more than 4,200 dogs and cats were taken into the Devore Animal Shelter.

For more information about animals available for adoption in San Bernardino County’s Big Bear and Devore shelters, please visit or call (800) 472-5609. To make a donation to assist animals at the shelter, please visit

Federal assistance and private insurance have not covered the costs for all of the work needed to repair the homes of many mountain residents following the 2023 winter storms. That’s why the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a proposal by Board of Supervisors Chair Dawn Rowe to allocate $50,000 to the non-profit Rebuilding Together Mountain Communities to assist with costs for home repairs for low-income families.

Rebuilding Together Mountain Communities is a non-profit whose purpose is to provide home repair and maintenance services to low-income or elderly and/or disabled homeowners free of charge.

“It has been an honor to work with this non-profit to assist our low-income and elderly residents,” Rowe said.

In the same action, the board approved a separate $50,000 allocation proposed by Rowe for the Lytle Creek Community Center to provide funding to purchase fire shelters, safety vests, and trash pick-up devices, and to make facility improvements to the community center, providing a safe place for the community and volunteers to continue gathering for disaster preparedness events such as community cleanups, reducing the threat of wildfires.

Lytle Creek is a rural community that faces various challenges due to its remote location, increased tourism causing trail wear and litter, and a high risk of wildfires. In response, the Lytle Creek Community Center is spearheading initiatives like community cleanups, trail maintenance, wildfire readiness programs, and educational projects.

The allocations come from the Board Discretionary Fund – District Specific Priorities Program, which provides resources for each of the county’s five supervisorial districts for projects that meet a public purpose and support services to citizens that promote health, safety, economic well-being, and other initiatives that enhance quality of life and meet the needs of county residents.

The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday named a garden within the county’s Mojave Narrows Regional Park for Celeste De Blasis, a successful author of historical romance novels and a staunch advocate for the park.

Prior to her untimely passing in 2001, De Blasis walked in the park daily, enjoying the birds and other wildlife. She also provided advice to the park staff regarding wildlife habitat and other subjects.

The Friends of Mojave Narrows Park has raised $5,000 to create the garden, which will be approximately one acre in size with a short nature trail, including bird feeders, observation benches, and educational signage.

Plantings of native shrubs, trees, pollinator plants, and butterfly larval food plants will create and enhance bird and other wildlife habitats. The garden will also include a water feature for attracting birds and wildlife. The Friends have also committed to maintaining the garden.

The County Regional Parks Department operates and maintains eight regional parks, including Mojave Narrows, which is located within the City of Victorville.

De Blasis grew up at the Kemper Campbell Ranch in Victorville. She continued to live on the ranch until her death from complications associated with lupus erythematosus on April 13, 2001.

She was published in a number of poetry magazines. In 1975, De Blasis published her first novel, The Night Child. It was followed the next year by Suffer A Sea Change (1976). Her third book, The Proud Breed (1978) was about the pride of being a Californian. The book became a Doubleday Book Club selection. In 1981, De Blasis published The Tiger’s Woman. The book became Doubleday Book Club and Literary Guild selections. De Blasis then embarked on her most ambitious and successful work, the Wild Swan trilogy. The first volume, Wild Swan was published in 1984 and was quickly followed by Swan’s Chance in 1985. The final volume of the trilogy, A Season of Swans was published in 1989.

Her final book did not follow her proven historical romance formula. It was a biographical work titled Graveyard Peaches, about her life at the Kemper Campbell Ranch.

This garden will continue her work in educating individuals, families, home school, and public-school groups about birds and other species in nature. Individuals, families and groups can study the signage to find out more about the habits and ecology of native bird species, learn about species of limited distribution that occur there, and access an introduction to the Mojave River ecosystem.

Visitors to the garden can also learn about some historical aspects of the park, such as the uses of native plants by indigenous people and geological processes that affected the development of the Mojave River.

Chair Rowe and the Board of Supervisors are helping to bring pickleball to the Town of Yucca Valley.

The board on Tuesday approved a $1.6 million contract with the town utilizing American Rescue Plan Act funding for the design, engineering and construction of courts and fixtures for the Yucca Valley Community Center Pickleball Courts Project.

The allocation was initiated by Rowe, whose Third District includes the Morongo Basin.

The Yucca Valley Community Center Pickleball Courts Project involves a pickleball court complex consisting of an estimated 12 to 16 courts in a centralized location and will incorporate pertinent infrastructure elements.

This project will provide active and safe outdoor recreational opportunities for residents of the Town of Yucca Valley and the greater Morongo Basin by allowing for the improved health and wellness of residents through active recreation.

Additional County Update News – January 11, 2024

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