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Text-To-911 Saves Lives in the City of San Bernardino

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- At approximately 1 p.m. Monday afternoon, the San Bernardino Police Department received a 911 text from a woman having a heart attack and was able to dispatch fire personnel to her in time to save her life.

The text came from a 52-year-old woman who lives alone in her San Bernardino home and is hearing impaired. With this new system, which was officially rolled out just two weeks ago on December 10, the woman was able to summon immediate assistance and fire personnel transported her to St. Bernadine’s Medical Center where she is expected to make a full recovery

“This is a huge step toward ensuring the safety of the speech and hearing impaired residents of our communities and also represents a vital mechanism toward getting help to those whose safety would be further jeopardized by audibly calling 911,” said San Bernardino Police Department Lieutenant Mike Madden.  “The ‘Call when you can – Text when you can’t.’ Text-to-911 technology possibly helped in saving a life today.   We are also immensely thankful to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department for spearheading this project and making our region the driving force in the Western United States in text-to-911.”

The San Bernardino County law enforcement agencies that can accept the 911 texts are Barstow, Chino, CHP Barstow and Inland Empire, Colton, Cal State San Bernardino, Fontana, Mon       tclair, Ontario, Redlands, Rialto, San Bernardino City, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Valley and Desert Dispatch Centers, and Upland.

Local Area Talent Invited to Participate in the Annual Palm Springs Black History Month Gospel Fest

PALM SPRINGS, CA- Gearing up for another outstanding season of cultural festivities, the Palm Springs Black History Committee invites members of the community to participate in its yearly ceremonial Gospel Fest. The event, which heralds the official kickoff of the year’s Black History Month celebrations, is scheduled to take place Sunday, January 31, 2016.

Promising to be an afternoon rooted in culture and tradition, the Gospel Fest will set the pace for the 2016 Black History Month theme “Hallowed Grounds of African American History.”  It aims to highlight the rich cultural legacy upon which the Palm Springs African American community has forged here in the desert region.

“Gospel music has always been important to our community,” says Linda Gray, Gospel Fest committee chairperson and long time Palm Springs resident. “It has been a means by which we gather and communicate to express our spirituality along with our connection to each other.”

According to Gray, the Gospel Fest has traditionally held a very significant role in the Black History Month celebrations. It first started out as an all community choir made up of desert residents from across the Coachella valley.  The choir, which sung at the grand opening celebration, became the official launch to the season’s programming.  This tradition soon evolved into an event all within itself allowing the Gospel Fest to garner the position as the official opening of Black History Month for the Desert residents. It serves as a catalyst to gather the community and set the tone for the festivities to come.

Members of the community of all ages are invited to participate as we gather to celebrate and share the vast talent represented in our region. The event is scheduled to take place United Methodist Church 1555 E. Alejo Road in Palm Springs from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.  Admission to the general public is $2. The deadline for talent to apply is Friday, January 15, 2016. For more information contact Linda.gray@palmspringsca.gov or visit www.Palmspringsblackhistory.org

Riverside Fraternity Spreads Holiday Cheer to Inland Empire Families


RIVERSIDE, CA- On Sunday, December 20, the Riverside Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. held its annual “Shop with a Kappa” gift giving event for Riverside County children.  The shopping extravaganza was held in partnership with the Riverside Wal-Mart on Canyon Springs Parkway, where children and their families shopped the aisles for much needed items.

“Giving to families and enhancing the lives of children is what Christmas is truly about,” says Polemarch Demarius Carmichael.  “I think our fraternity members had as much fun giving as the children had receiving.”

Each child received a $100 store gift certificate from a Kappa sponsor, which enabled him or her to purchase toys and essentials.  Upon checking out, the Wal-Mart management team greeted children with goodie bags and snacks.

“The children seemed very excited about the event,” says parent Angela Coggs, whose son Yonathan is a youth Kappa League member.  “Many of them were selfless and wanted to select gifts that would not only benefit them, but their entire families.”

Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. is an international Greek Letter fraternity that was founded in 1911.  It has more than 150,000 members with 721 undergraduate and alumni chapters.  The Riverside Alumni Chapter is actively involved in community service and youth mentoring.  Its annual scholarship fundraisers and charitable events, which include an annual Thanksgiving food drive and Shop with a Kappa, enable families to receive much needed support.

To learn more about the Riverside Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and its programs, please visit www.rackapsi.com.