Needles, CA: Summary and voting results from the Needles City Council and Needles Public Utility Authority Meeting.

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Needles, CA: Summary and voting results from the Needles City Council and Needles Public Utility Authority Meeting.

A Needles City Council and Needles Public Utility Authority Meeting was held on Tuesday, February 28th, 2017 inside the Needles City Council Chambers in Needles, California.

** Here is a summary and the voting results that occurred during the meeting: **

**** Executive Session: ****

N/A

 

**** Public Appearances: ****

Nobody spoke during Public Appearances.

 

**** Presentations: ****

– Agenda Item #1:

** Video from ZachNews on YouTube: **

PowerPoint presentation by Ruth Musser-Lopez regarding the importance of preserving the Patton Cabin along Route 66 National Old Trails Highway including the various locations that General George S. Patton used for training maneuvers in Needles.

Background:

** Agenda Packet (Agenda Item #1): **

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Ruth Musser-Lopez gave her report regarding a cabin that may have been General George S. Patton that is currently hidden in trees and located near the City of Needles’ Public Works Yard between Desnok Street and East Broadway (Route 66 National Old Trails Highway) in Needles, California.

 

**** Public Hearings: ****

** Videos (Agenda Items #2-#3) from ZachNews on YouTube: **

– Agenda Item #2:

Public hearing noticed to consider all evidence and testimony for or against changing the General Plan designation for 3515 Needles Highway from High Density Residential to Highway Commercial located on the west side of Needles Highway near Rainbo Beach RV Park APN 0660-162-06.

Ordinance No. 590-AC approving a proposed General Plan Amendment from a Residential Medium Density (RM) designation to a Highway Commercial (CH) designation for the parcel located at 3515 Needles Highway, APN 0660-162-06 (1st reading-post).

Background: In order to permit the operation of the proposed cultivation facility (Refer to attached Conditional Use Permit Staff Report and Resolution), the Applicant has submitted an application for a General Plan Amendment for parcel APN 0660-16206 (See Attachment A). The size of the Parcel is approximately 2.09 gross acres. Under the General Plan Amendment, APN 0660-162-06 would be redesignated from a Residential Medium Density (RM) designation to a Highway Commercial (CH) designation to be consistent with the zoning designation of Commercial Highway (C-3) for the site (See Attachment B-2).

On December 13, 2016, the City Council adopted Ordinance No. 588 AC, allowing marijuana cultivation in zones C-1, C-2, C-3, M-1 and M-2 with the approval of a Conditional Use Permit and a Regulatory Permit. The project site is located in the C-3 Zone.

A Planning Commission public hearing was held February 15, 2017 for the General Plan Amendment. Public testimony was given and a general discussion with the Public, the applicant and the Commission occurred.

One comment was received from the public Concerning the application of pesticides and how that may affect employees. The applicant explained that the project is required to comply with OSHA requirements, and that the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) explaining handling procedures and hazards, are posted for employees. MDS sheets are also required to follow the chemicals during shipping.

Once testimony was closed, the Planning Commission discussed the General Plan Amendment. Staff explained that there are a number of sites in Needles where the General Plan and Zoning Designations are inconsistent, and these are being reconciled as development projects are proposed.

The Planning Commission voted 5-0 to approve Resolution No. 0215-2017-1 PC, recommending approval of the General Plan Amendment for the subject parcel APN 0660-162-06.

General Plan Amendment Findings

The following Goals and Policies contained in the City’s General Plan are applicable to the proposed GPA to redesignate the project site from Residential Medium Density (RM) designation to a Highway Commercial (CH) for APN 0660-162-06.

A. That the amendment or plan is consistent with the intent of the goals and policies of the General Plan as a whole, and is not inconsistent with any element thereof,

FINDING: The proposed General Plan Amendment from a Residential Medium Density (RM) designation to a Highway Commercial (CH) designation would be consistent with the elements, goals and policies of the General Plan related to Highway Commercial uses.

This because currently the site’s RM designation would permit uses (i.e., residential development) that would otherwise not be permitted under the subject parcel’s Current Zoning designation Highway Commercial (C-3). Within the area bounded by Park Road, Needles Highway and Interstate 40 (including the subject parcel), totaling roughly 451 acres, there are a number of sites where there is an inconsistency between the General Plan land use designation (RM) and the current Zoning designation (C-3). The project site is currently developed with a commercial use (RV and boat storage). Therefore, the GPA is appropriate for this site.

A General Plan Amendment for any parcel in this area where a proposed use is allowed within the C-3 zone, would result in consistency between the General Plan and The Zoning Code. Therefore, the proposed General Plan Amendment would not be inconsistent with the intent of the goals and policies of the General Plan as a whole, or with individual elements.

B. That the amendment or plan is necessary to prescribe reasonable controls and standards for affected land uses to ensure compatibility and integrity of those uses With other established uses.

FINDING: The proposed General Plan Amendment is necessary as the Subject parcel’s current designated land use (RM) conflicts with its current Zoning designation (C-3) and its current land use – RV and boat storage. The proposed General Plan Amendment would eliminate this conflict by providing matching permissible land uses found in the C-3 Zoning designation.

Furthermore, and hypothetically, if the Applicant were to instead propose a Zone Change to a residential designation (i.e., RM), the end result would be consistent between General Plan and Zoning designation, however would create an island of spot Zoning in the entire 451 acre area of land as discussed in Finding A as the rest of the area is zoned for Commercial uses. Therefore, the proposed General Plan Amendment is necessary in order to prescribe reasonable controls and standards for its affected land use.

C. That the amendment or plan is necessary to provide reasonable property development rights while protecting environmentally sensitive land uses and Species,

FINDING: The proposed GPA, is necessary in order to provide reasonable property development rights in a commercial zone, where the land use is already commercial (RV and boat storage). As discussed in Finding B, the subject parcel Would be restricted to commercial development under its current C-3 Zoning designation and does not permit residential development even though the General Plan designation is currently RM. Furthermore, the subject parcel is developed and under its current use (RV and boat storage) is heavily disturbed from Onsite activities and with little to no vegetation onsite. Therefore, the proposed GPA would not have any effect on the protection of environmentally-sensitive land uses and Species.

Fiscal Impact: None.

Environmental impact: This project is categorically exempt under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) under Section 15303(c), whereby in urbanized areas, the exemption applies to up to four new commercial buildings not to exceed 10,000 square feet in floor area on sites zoned for such use if not involving the use of Significant amounts of hazardous substances where all necessary public Services and facilities are available and the surrounding area is not environmentally sensitive. For the project site, the applicant is not proposing any new buildings, only tenant improvements to the existing three buildings, as well as new pavement, landscaping, and a block wall along the street frontage.

Recommended Action: I make a motion to: Approve City Council Ordinance 590-AC, Approving a proposed General Plan Amendment from a Residential Medium Density (RM) designation to a Highway Commercial (CH) designation for the parcel located at 3515 Needles Highway also KnOWn as APN 0660-162-06.

** Agenda Packet (Agenda Item #2): **

http://www.cityofneedles.com/2017%20WEBSITE%20FILE%20POSTING/1%20CITY%20COUNCIL/02%20FEBRUARY/Mtg%202/cc_022817-2-generalplan.pdf

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Public comment was held and a near by resident spoke against the project being close to her property and was concern over how will this property do on their property taxes.

Members of the Needles City Council unanimously voted to approve the Findings and Facts, and approve Ordinance 590-AC.

 

– Agenda Item #3:

Public hearing noticed to consider all evidence and testimony for or against a Conditional Use Permit for a medical marijuana cultivation facility in the Highway Commercial (C-3) Zone at 3515 Needles Highway, APN 0660-162-06; Applicant Matt Bates, MSB Cultivation LLC.

Resolution No. 2017-29 approving a Conditional Use Permit for a Medical Marijuana Cultivation Facility located at 3515 Needles Highway, APN 0660-162-06.

Background: An application was recently received from MSB Cultivation LLC, represented by Matt Bates (property owner) to develop a Cannabis Cultivation Facility on a 2.09-acre site located at 3515 Needles Highway (See Attachment A), within the Commercial Highway (C-3) zoning designation. The site is currently being used as an RV and boat storage facility (Needles Boat and RV Storage). The applicant is in the process of removing stored boats and vehicles to accommodate the change of use. The site is currently developed with two storage buildings and an office building totaling 9,130 square feet. The Applicant proposes tenant improvements to the existing 5,506 square foot storage building for proposed cultivation operations (See Building A in Attachment B). Tenant improvements are not proposed for the existing 2,280 square foot storage building (See Building B in Attachment B), or for the existing 1,350 square foot office/storage building (See Building C in Attachment B). Only office and storage activities are proposed for Buildings B and C.

Currently, the site is enclosed by a chain-link fence. Because Cultivation operations require additional security, the applicant is proposing a gated security access that will be from Needles Highway with a six foot slump stone block Wall topped with barbed wire along the street frontage, and chain link fencing augmented with oleander bushes (fast growing dense vegetation) along the remaining three sides of the site. During the Planning Commission public hearing, the Applicant agreed to Wrap the block wall around either end of the site fronting the street for the length of 20 feet to enhance the aesthetics of the site (see revised Condition 25).

As shown in Attachment C, Building A will be internally partitioned to accommodate a Vegetation Room for the sprouting and growing of cannabis plants, three (3) Flowering Rooms for the budding and flowering of cannabis plants, a Packaging Room, and a Loading Area Room for distribution of packaged medical marijuana and for receiving of materials and supplies. As shown in Attachment D, minor alterations to the building’s exterior will involve the removal and sealing of nearly all roll up doors with the exception of one roll-up door at the building’s western end that will remain for entry into the Loading Area Room. This will also include the sealing of the roll up door at the building’s eastern end to be replaced with a man door.

Other security measures are related to employee access. Employees will be required to use a key card at the driveway gate and at the main entrance to Building A. The security card will also be required for the existing 1,350 Square foot office/storage building and the smaller, 2,280 square foot storage building. All employees are to be issued these key cards to provide access to Work areas within the Cultivation building. Non-employees, such as agency staff inspecting the facility will be required to be buzzed in and accompanied by a security officer.

The exterior to Buildings A, Building B, and C, will be illuminated from dusk till dawn with external lighting mounted on all corners and sides of all buildings (See Attachment F-1). Cameras will also be mounted on all exterior buildings, but with a majority of interior cameras to be located along interior corners to door entrances and interior rooms within Building A cultivation operations (See Attachments F-2).

As shown in the Front Elevation of Attachment D, a roll-up door at the western end of the building will remain in place for the delivery of materials and supplies for the Loading Area Room and a secured man door will be installed at the eastern end of the building. To match with the general color of surrounding soils and topography, a condition has been included (Condition 52) for all buildings, including the block wall, to be painted with a matching earth-tone color These improvements will provide the aesthetic integrity of the area and not degrade the value of adjoining properties.

For Building A, the operator will implement best management practices to reduce the potential for plant odors to be detected outside the building, and to include the use of charcoal filters to be incorporated into exterior ventilation equipment.

The project will provide onsite parking. The Site Plan (See Attachment B) currently shows 6 parking stalls and 1 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) stall.

The applicant is proposing to link the Cultivation Building (Building A) and Office/Storage Building (Building C) with a concrete sidewalk. Currently, the driveway access including the surface area between Building A and Building C consist of a non-paved and compacted dirt surface. To protect existing soils and water quality from vehicular traffic entering to- and -from the project site, the Applicant will be required to pave the driveway access and the area between Building A and Building C where vehicle movement is most likely to occur (Condition 28).

The facility is planned to employ eight (8) employees operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week and will operate in shifts of three (3).

A Planning Commission public hearing was held February 15, 2017 for the Conditional Use Permit. Public testimony was given and a general discussion with the Public, the applicant and the Commission occurred.

Two comments were received from the public; one comment concerned the application of pesticides and how that may affect employees. The applicant explained that the project is required to comply with OSHA requirements, and that the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) explaining handling procedures, hazards, sheets are posted for employees. These sheets also follow the chemicals during shipping. The second comment concerned the proximity of the site and its proposed use for cannabis cultivation, next to an existing park site. Another comment was received regarding the city park that abuts the applicant’s property, which does not contain any children’s playground equipment, and therefore, the 200′ separation requirement doesn’t apply.

Once testimony was closed, the Planning Commission discussed the proposed project including: 1) the Will Serve Letter from the City that will allow the applicant to use the existing site allocation of one-acre foot per year. If additional Water is required then the applicant will participate in jointly funding the water and sewer line extension, and 2) the use of a combination of chain link fencing and a block wall around the perimeter of the site. For this issue, Condition No. 25 was revised to read as follows (new text is double underlined)

Condition 25. All structures, building walls and the 6 foot perimeter block Wall along the front of the site (Needles Highway) and 20 foot return at the Corners open to public view shall remain free of graffiti or other extraneous markings, drawing, or signage that was not approved by the City, unless directly related to the business being operated on the premises or otherwise providing pertinent information about said premises. The block Wall Shall be Coated with an anti-grafitti Coating. The remaining three sides of the perimeter will be fenced with an 8-foot chain link fence. In the event graffiti or other extraneous markings occur, the Applicant shall remove or cover said markings, drawings, or signage within 24 hours of notification of such occurrence, weather permitting. Paint utilized in Covering such markings shall be of a color that matches, as closely as possible, the Color of the adjacent surface.

The Planning Commission voted 5-0 to approve Resolution No. 02-152017-2 PC, recommending approval of the Conditional Use Permit for the subject parcel APN 0660–162-06.

The Planning Commission voted 5-0 to approve Resolution No. 02-15-2017-2 PC, recommending approval for the medical marijuana cultivation facility.

Fiscal Impact:

1. The 10% of gross sales of medical marijuana business tax (voter approved (2012).

2. Valuation of new buildings – added to city tax rolls.

3. NPUA – electric/water/sewer usage revenue.

4. Recurring business license and permitting fees.

5. If the new initiative passes this November, a 25% State tax – a portion of which will be passed to local government.

6. Statewide 10% sales tax, the city’s share is 1%.

Environmental impact: This project is categorically exempt under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) under Section 15303(c), whereby in urbanized areas, the exemption applies to up to four new commercial buildings not to exceed 10,000 square feet in floor area on sites zoned for such use if not involving the use of significant amounts of hazardous substances where all necessary public Services and facilities are available and the surrounding area is not environmentally sensitive. For the project site, the applicant is not proposing any new buildings, Only tenant improvements to the existing three buildings; as well as new pavement, landscaping, and a block wall along the street frontage.

Recommended Action: I make a motion to: Approve City Council Resolution 201729, Approving a Conditional Use Permit for a Medical Marijuana Cultivation Facility located at 3515 Needles Highway also Known as APN 0660-162-06.

** Agenda Packet (Agenda Item #3): **

http://www.cityofneedles.com/2017%20WEBSITE%20FILE%20POSTING/1%20CITY%20COUNCIL/02%20FEBRUARY/Mtg%202/cc_022817-3-CUP.pdf

Members of the Needles City Council unanimously voted to approve the Findings and Facts, and approve Resolution No. 2017-29.

 

– Agenda Item #4:

** Video from ZachNews on YouTube: **

Public hearing noticed to consider all evidence and testimony for or against prioritization of eligible projects to be funded with 2017-2018 Community Development Block Grant Funds.

Resolution No. 2017-11 approving eligible activities for the Community Development Block Grant Funding in Fiscal Year 2017-2018.

Background: This is the public’s opportunity to comment on the city’s eligible Community Development Block Grant project proposed for funding in 2017-2018. The proposed projects are:

  1. Continuation of Needles Senior Citizen’s Transportation Services – $7,900.00.
  1. Remodel Recreation Center-Ceiling, Side wall Sound Proofing, Upgrade the Lighting and replacement of gymnasium floor-$23,385.00.

Allow staff to request additional CDBG allocation to be received as an advance towards four years worth of future CDBG funding disbursement, to allow completion of the capital project.

The rehabilitation plan’s cost is projected to be approximately $109,426.00. The plan is attached as Exhibit “A”. Utilizing the City’s current CDBG allocation of $23,385.00 reduces the amount of the funding request to $86,041.00.

Each year we are asked by the County to prioritize eligible projects for funding. This year we have been requested to limit our funding priorities within CDBG allocation of $31,285.00, this allocation is subject to change per San Bernardino County Department of Community Development.

Fiscal Impact: No known fiscal impact to the City.

Recommended Action: I MOVE to waive the reading and adopt Resolution 2017-11 Prepared By:prioritizing and approving the dollar amount of Needles eligible projects for the Community Development Block Grant Funding in fiscal year 2017-2018.

** Agenda Packet (Agenda Item #4): **

http://www.cityofneedles.com/2017%20WEBSITE%20FILE%20POSTING/1%20CITY%20COUNCIL/02%20FEBRUARY/Mtg%202/cc_022817-4-cdbg.pdf

Members of the Needles City Council unanimously voted to approve Resolution No. 2017-11.

 

**** Joint Needles Public Utility Authority / Needles City Council: ****

– Agenda Item #5:

** Video from ZachNews on YouTube: **

NPUA ACTION: Approve the minutes of December 13, 2016 and January 10, 2017.

Background:

** Agenda Packet (Agenda Item #5): **

Members of the Needles Public Utility Authority unanimously voted to approve the minutes.

 

– Agenda Item #6:

** Video from ZachNews on YouTube: **

NPUA ACTION: Resolution No. 02-28-2017-1-NPUA authorizing funding in an amount not to exceed $82,000 for the replacement of an undersized transformer at the Topock Substation and the upgrade of jumper connectors at the No Name Substation to allow for additional electric capacity in the City.

COUNCIL ACTION: Resolution No. 2017-25 authorizing funding in an amount not to exceed $82,000 for the replacement of an undersized transformer at the Topock Substation and the upgrade of jumper connectors at the No Name Substation to allow for additional electric capacity in the City.

Background: The recent increase in demand for electric capacity on the City’s utility System has necessitated the need for additional capacity, thereby requesting that the City’s electric provider, Western Area Power Authority (WAPA) determine the feasibility of receiving additional electric power.

A recent system study completed by WAPA concluded that two improvements need to be completed on the 69kV power line connecting the Topock Substation in Arizona to the Firehouse Switchyard located in Needles to allow the increase in Capacity.

Project one requires the replacement of an undersized transformer used for metering the electric at the Topock Substation. This piece of equipment is owned by a private transmission company called “APCO”.

Project two requires jumper connectors at the No Name Substation on Tribal property to be upgraded to handle the increased electric flow. This work can be performed by the City of Needles electric crew, working in Conjunction with the Tribal electric utilities Crew.

These two projects will be completed simultaneously in the same Switching procedure and the requested funding of $82,000 covers the Costs of both projects.

This item was presented to the Board of Public Utilities at their regular meeting of February 21, 2017, and was approved.

Fiscal Impact: APCO requires that we pay in advance for the purchase of this specialty electrical equipment so that they can replace it.

The request is for an amount not to exceed $82,000 from the Developer’s Deposit to be used to fund the APCO improvements.

Recommendation: N.P.U.A. Action: Adopt Resolution No. 02-28-2017-1-NPUA authorizing an expenditure in an amount not to exceed $82,000 from the Developer’s Deposit for the purchase of equipment in support of the two projects identified above.

CITY COUNCIL Action: Adopt Resolution No. 2017-25 authorizing an expenditure in an amount not to exceed $82,000 from the Developer’s Deposit for the purchase of equipment in support of the two projects identified above.

** Agenda Packet (Agenda Item #6): **

http://www.cityofneedles.com/2017%20WEBSITE%20FILE%20POSTING/1%20CITY%20COUNCIL/02%20FEBRUARY/Mtg%202/cc_022817-6-topoc.pdf

Members of the Needles Public Utility Authority unanimously voted to adopt Resolution No. 02-28-2017-1-NPUA.

Members of the Needles City Council unanimously voted to adopt Resolution No. 2017-25.

 

– Agenda Item #7:

** Video from ZachNews on YouTube: **

NPUA ACTION: Resolution No. 02-28-2017-NPUA authorizing funding in an amount not to exceed $82,000 for the completion of a capital improvement project to construct a new electrical circuit from Eagle Pass Substation to Columbus Drive (ACT) COUNCIL ACTION: Resolution No. 2017-26 authorizing funding in an amount not to exceed $82,000 for the Completion of a capital improvement project to construct a new electrical circuit from Eagle Pass Substation to Columbus Drive.

Background: The funding request is for the purchase of three (3) 500 KVA voltage regulators and one breaker relay control, as well as conductor and conduit, to Complete the project.

Fiscal Impact: N.P.U.A. action: Adopt N.P.U.A. Resolution No.02-28-2017-NPUA authorizing an expenditure in an amount not to exceed $82,000 from the NPUA Capital Improvements Fund for the construction of a new circuit from Eagle Pass Substation to Columbus Dr.

Recommendation: Council action: Adopt Resolution No. 2017-26 authorizing an expenditure in an amount not to exceed $82,000 from the N.P.U.A. Capital improvement Funds for the construction of a new circuit from Eagle Pass Substation to Columbus Dr.

** Agenda Packet (Agenda Item #7): **

http://www.cityofneedles.com/2017%20WEBSITE%20FILE%20POSTING/1%20CITY%20COUNCIL/02%20FEBRUARY/Mtg%202/cc_022817-7-eagle.pdf

Members of the Needles Public Utility Authority unanimously voted to adopt N.P.U.A. Resolution No.02-28-2017-NPUA.

Members of the Needles City Council unanimously voted to adopt Resolution No. 2017-26.

 

**** Adjourn Needles Public Utility Authority / Needles City Council and Reconvene Needles City Council: ****

**** Needles City Council Consent Calendar: ****

** Video (Consent Calendar) from ZachNews on YouTube: **

All matters listed on the Consent Calendar are Considered to be routine and will be enacted by one motion in the form listed. The Mayor or any member of the Needles City Council may pull an item from the Consent Calendar for discussion. Prior to Needles City Council action, a member of the public may address the Needles City Council on matters Scheduled on the Consent Calendar. A 3 minute time limit per person applies. Recommended Action: Approve items #8 through #24 on the Consent Calendar by affirmative roll call vote.

– Agenda Item #8:

Approve the warrants register through February 28, 2017.

Background:

** Agenda Packet (Agenda Item #8): **

– Agenda Item #9:

Approve the minutes of December 13, 2016 and January 10, 2017.

Background:

** Agenda Packet (Agenda Item #9): **

– Agenda Item #10:

Waive the reading and adopt Ordinance No. 589-AC an Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Needles approving a proposed General Plan Amendment from a Residential High Density (RH) designation to a Neighborhood Commercial (CN) designation and a proposed Zone Change from a Multiple Family Residential (R-3) designation to a Neighborhood Commercial (C-1) designation for the parcel known as APN 0186-191-50; and for a proposed General Plan Amendment from a Residential Medium Density (RM) designation to a Neighborhood Commercial (CN) designation and a proposed Zone Change from an Open Space (OS) designation to a Neighborhood Commercial (C-1) designation for the parcel known as APN 0186-191-53; located north of the Lilly Hill apartment complex, between Lilly Hill and the I-40 (2nd reading – publish).

Background: (See Agenda Packet #10)

** Agenda Packet (Agenda Item #10): **

http://www.cityofneedles.com/2017%20WEBSITE%20FILE%20POSTING/1%20CITY%20COUNCIL/02%20FEBRUARY/Mtg%202/cc_022817-10-ord589.pdf

– Agenda Item #11:

Waive the reading and adopt Resolution No. 2017-15 accepting a Utility Easement from City of Needles and direct staff to file the easement deed with the San Bernardino County Recorder’s Office, APN 0185-351-25 Clary Drive.

Background: This grant deed will provide a legal forty foot wide underground public utility easement located on the West Property line of APN 0185-351-25 (Clary Drive), for the extension of city utility lines and protection of the 16″ water main from Lillyhill Booster Station to Storage Tanks on San Clemente in conformance with Needles Municipal Code’s Terms and Conditions for utility extensions.

Fiscal Impact: None

Recommendation: MOVE to waive the reading and adopt Resolution No. 2017-15 accepting an Utility Easement from City of Needles and direct staff to file the easement deed with the San Bernardino County Recorders Office.

** Agenda Packet (Agenda Item #11): **

http://www.cityofneedles.com/2017%20WEBSITE%20FILE%20POSTING/1%20CITY%20COUNCIL/02%20FEBRUARY/Mtg%202/cc_022817-11-2017-15.pdf

– Agenda Item #12:

Waive the reading and adopt Resolution No. 2017-16 accepting a Utility Easement from City of Needles and direct staff to file the easement deed with the San Bernardino County Recorder’s Office, APN 0185-351-24 Clary Drive.

Background: This grant deed will provide a legal forty foot wide underground public utility easement located on the West Property line of APN 0185-351-24 (Clary Drive), for the extension of city utility lines and protection of the 16″ water main from Lillyhill Booster Station to Storage Tanks on San Clemente in conformance with Needles Municipal Code’s Terms and Conditions for utility extensions.

Fiscal Impact: None

Recommendation: MOVE to waive the reading and adopt Resolution No. 2017-16 accepting an Utility Easement from City of Needles and direct staff to file the easement deed with the San Bernardino County Recorders Office.

** Agenda Packet (Agenda Item #12): **

http://www.cityofneedles.com/2017%20WEBSITE%20FILE%20POSTING/1%20CITY%20COUNCIL/02%20FEBRUARY/Mtg%202/cc_022817-12-2017-16.pdf

– Agenda Item #13:

Waive the reading and adopt Resolution No. 2017-17 accepting a Utility Easement from City of Needles and direct staff to file the easement deed with the San Bernardino County Recorder’s Office, APN 0185-351-26 Clary Drive.

Background: This grant deed will provide a legal forty foot wide underground public utility easement located on the West Property line of APN 0185-351-26 (Clary Drive), for the extension of city utility lines and protection of the 16″ water main from Lillyhill Booster Station to Storage Tanks on San Clemente in conformance with Needles Municipal Code’s Terms and Conditions for utility extensions.

Fiscal impact: None

Recommendation: MOVE to waive the reading and adopt Resolution No. 2017-17 accepting an Utility Easement from City of Needles and direct staff to file the easement deed with the San Bernardino County Recorders Office.

** Agenda Packet (Agenda Item #13): **

http://www.cityofneedles.com/2017%20WEBSITE%20FILE%20POSTING/1%20CITY%20COUNCIL/02%20FEBRUARY/Mtg%202/cc_022817-13-2017-17.pdf

– Agenda Item #14:

Waive the reading and adopt Resolution No. 2017-18 accepting a Utility Easement from City of Needles and direct staff to file the easement deed with the San Bernardino County Recorder’s Office, APN 0185-351-27 Clary Drive.

Background: This grant deed will provide a legal forty foot wide underground public utility easement located on the West Property line of APN 0185-351-27 (Clary Drive), for the extension of city utility lines and protection of the 16″ water main from Lillyhill Booster Station to Storage Tanks on San Clemente in conformance with Needles Municipal Code’s Terms and Conditions for utility extensions.

Fiscal impact: None

Recommendation: MOVE to waive the reading and adopt Resolution No. 2017-18 accepting an Utility Easement from City of Needles and direct staff to file the easement deed with the San Bernardino County Recorders Office.

** Agenda Packet (Agenda Item #14): **

http://www.cityofneedles.com/2017%20WEBSITE%20FILE%20POSTING/1%20CITY%20COUNCIL/02%20FEBRUARY/Mtg%202/cc_022817-14-2017-18.pdf

– Agenda Item #15:

Waive the reading and adopt Resolution No. 2017-19 accepting a Utility Easement from City of Needles and direct staff to file the easement deed with the San Bernardino County Recorder’s Office, APN 0185-351-28 Clary Drive.

Background: This grant deed will provide a legal forty foot wide underground public utility easement located on the West Property line of APN 0185-351-28 (Clary Drive), for the extension of city utility lines and protection of the 16″ water main from Lillyhill Booster Station to Storage Tanks on San Clemente in conformance with Needles Municipal Code’s Terms and Conditions for utility extensions.

Fiscal impact: None

Recommendation: MOVE to waive the reading and adopt Resolution No. 2017-19 accepting an Utility Easement from City of Needles and direct staff to file the easement deed with the San Bernardino County Recorders Office.

** Agenda Packet (Agenda Item #15): **

http://www.cityofneedles.com/2017%20WEBSITE%20FILE%20POSTING/1%20CITY%20COUNCIL/02%20FEBRUARY/Mtg%202/cc_022817-15-2017-19.pdf

– Agenda Item #16:

Waive the reading and adopt Resolution No. 2017-20 accepting a Utility Easement from City of Needles and direct staff to file the easement deed with the San Bernardino County Recorder’s Office, APN 0185-351-29 Clary Drive.

Background: This grant deed will provide a legal forty foot wide underground public utility easement located on the West Property line of APN 0185-351-29 (Clary Drive), for the extension of city utility lines and protection of the 16″ water main from Lillyhill Booster Station to Storage Tanks on San Clemente in conformance with Needles Municipal Code’s Terms and Conditions for utility extensions.

Fiscal Impact: None

Recommendation: MOVE to waive the reading and adopt Resolution No. 2017-20 accepting an Utility Easement from City of Needles and direct staff to file the easement deed with the San Bernardino County Recorders Office.

** Agenda Packet (Agenda Item #16): **

http://www.cityofneedles.com/2017%20WEBSITE%20FILE%20POSTING/1%20CITY%20COUNCIL/02%20FEBRUARY/Mtg%202/cc_022817-16-2017-20.pdf

– Agenda Item #17:

Waive the reading and adopt Resolution No. 2017-21 accepting a Utility Easement from Commres Financial, LLC and direct staff to file the easement deed with the San Bernardino County Recorder’s Office, APN 0185-011-17 Shell Station on Needles Hwy.

Background: This grant deed will provide a legal ten foot wide underground public utility easement located on the West Property line of APN 0185-011-17 (Needles Hwy), for the extension of city utility in conformance with Needles Municipal Code’s Terms and Conditions for utility extensions.

Fiscal impact: None

Recommendation: MOVE to waive the reading and adopt Resolution No. 2017-21 accepting an Utility Easement from Commres Financial, LLC and direct staff to file the easement deed with the San Bernardino County Recorders Office.

** Agenda Packet (Agenda Item #17): **

http://www.cityofneedles.com/2017%20WEBSITE%20FILE%20POSTING/1%20CITY%20COUNCIL/02%20FEBRUARY/Mtg%202/cc_022817-17-2017-21.pdf

– Agenda Item #18:

Waive the reading and adopt Resolution No. 2017-22 accepting a Utility Easement from San Bernardino County and direct staff to file the easement deed with the San Bernardino County Recorder’s Office, APN 0650-362-02 Safari Drive.

Background: This grant deed will provide a legal ten foot wide underground public utility easement located on the West Property line of APN 0650-362-02 (Safari Drive), for the extension of city utility lines to serve said property and beyond. The costs of utility improvements have been borne by County of San Bernardino while building the new Fire Station in conformance with Needles Municipal Code’s Terms and Conditions for utility extensions.

Fiscal impact: None

Recommendation: MOVE to waive the reading and adopt Resolution No. 2017-22 accepting an Utility.

** Agenda Packet (Agenda Item #18): **

http://www.cityofneedles.com/2017%20WEBSITE%20FILE%20POSTING/1%20CITY%20COUNCIL/02%20FEBRUARY/Mtg%202/cc_022817-18-2017-22.pdf

– Agenda Item #19:

Waive the reading and adopt Resolution No. 2017-23 accepting a Utility Easement from Michael F. Heitman Trustee and direct staff to file the easement deed with the San Bernardino County Recorder’s Office, APN 0660-261-29 near My Place Road.

Background: This grant deed will provide a legal five foot wide underground public utility easement located on the South of the North Property Line and commencing for a distance of 200 feet following underground electric on and across property for the extension of city utility in conformance with Needles Municipal Code’s Terms and Conditions for utility extensions.

Fiscal Impact: None

Recommendation: MOVE to waive the reading and adopt Resolution No. 2017-23 accepting an Utility Easement from Michael F. Heitman, Trustee of the Michael F. Heitman Trust and direct staff to file the easement deed with the San Bernardino County Recorders Office.

** Agenda Packet (Agenda Item #19): **

http://www.cityofneedles.com/2017%20WEBSITE%20FILE%20POSTING/1%20CITY%20COUNCIL/02%20FEBRUARY/Mtg%202/cc_022817-19-2017-23.pdf

– Agenda Item #20:

Waive the reading and adopt Resolution No. 2017-24 accepting a Utility Easement from Section 19 Trust (Steven Farmer) and direct staff to file the easement deed with the San Bernardino County Recorder’s Office, APN 0660-081-30 near Columbus Drive.

Background: This grant deed will provide a legal forty foot wide underground public utility easement located on the West Property line of APN 0660-081-30 (near Columbus Drive), for the extension of city utility lines along the West Property line of said property in conformance with Needles Municipal Code’s Terms and Conditions for utility extensions.

Fiscal Impact: None

Recommendation: MOVE to waive the reading and adopt Resolution No. 2017-24 accepting an Utility Easement from Section 19 Trust (Steven Farmer) and direct staff to file the easement deed with the San Bernardino County Recorders Office.

** Agenda Packet (Agenda Item #20): **

http://www.cityofneedles.com/2017%20WEBSITE%20FILE%20POSTING/1%20CITY%20COUNCIL/02%20FEBRUARY/Mtg%202/cc_022817-agenda_LINKED.pdf

– Agenda Item #21:

Waive the reading and adopt Resolution No. 2017-27 establishing a fee for the processing of an initiative petition for any municipal measure(s).

Background: Elections Code section 9202(b) provides that any person filing a notice of intent with the elections official shall pay a fee to be established by the legislative body not to exceed two hundred dollars ($200) to be refunded to the filer if, within one year of the date of filing the notice of intent, the elections official certifies the sufficiency of the petition.

Staff has prepared a cost estimate based on the amount of time it takes to review a filed notice and provide the required ballot title and summary of the proposed measure. Staff estimates that the City Clerk and City Attorney spend approximately three and One half hours to receive and process each notice of intent at an approximate cost of $700.00 and is recommending setting the fee at $200.00 which is the maximum amount allowable by the Election Code.

Attached is Resolution No. 2017-27 establishing a $200 fee to file a notice of intent to circulate an initiative petition, which would be refunded to the filer if, within one year of the date offiling the notice of intent, the elections official certifies the sufficiency of the petition, in accordance with Elections Code section 9202(b).

Recommendation: Waive the reading and adopt Resolution No. 2017-27.

** Agenda Packet (Agenda Item #21): **

http://www.cityofneedles.com/2017%20WEBSITE%20FILE%20POSTING/1%20CITY%20COUNCIL/02%20FEBRUARY/Mtg%202/cc_022817-21-initiative.pdf

– Agenda Item #22:

Continue the hearings on the subpoenas issued to River Road Resort and Acharya Corporation dba America’s Best Value Inn and their respective representatives to March 28, 2017 at 6 p.m. at 1111 Bailey Avenue, Needles, California 92363 and the subpoenaed parties are hereby ordered to appear at that date and time and produce the subpoenaed documents unless excused in advance in Writing by the city manager.

Background: Transient Occupancy Tax Subpoenas

City Attorney’s Recommendation: At the January 24, 2017 Council meeting, the Needles City Council authorized the issuance of two legislative subpoenas. The subpoenas were directed to two businesses and their representatives requiring production of documents related to Transient Occupancy Taxes. After the subpoenas were served, representatives of the subpoenaed businesses produced some of the requested documentation to City staff. Both businesses are currently cooperating with the City’s efforts to gather sufficient documents to calculate Transient Occupancy Taxes due. Given the cooperation of the representatives of the two businesses, staff is recommending that the hearing on the subpoenas be continued until to the March 28, 2017 Council meeting. This should provide the subpoenaed parties with sufficient time to produce additional documents needed to determine outstanding Transient Occupancy Taxes. If the subpoenaed parties receive written confirmation from the City Manager that they have complied with the subpoenas prior to the March 28, 2017 Council meeting, they will not be required to appear at the Council hearing. If the subpoenaed parties cease to cooperate or fail to comply with their obligations to the City, the hearings on the subpoenas will move-forward on March 28, 2017.

Fiscal Impact: None

Proposed Action: I move that the hearings on the subpoenas issued to River Road Resort and Acharya Corporation dba America’s Best Value Inn and their respective representatives be continued to March 28, 2017 at 6 p.m. at 1111 Bailey Avenue, Needles, California 92363. The subpoenaed parties are hereby ordered to appear at that date and time and produce the subpoenaed documents unless excused in advance in writing by the City Manager.

** Agenda Packet (Agenda Item #22): **

http://www.cityofneedles.com/2017%20WEBSITE%20FILE%20POSTING/1%20CITY%20COUNCIL/02%20FEBRUARY/Mtg%202/cc_022817-22-tot.pdf

– Agenda Item #23:

Accept the work completed by Rutt Fence for the Public Works Yard Fencing in the amount of $54,910 and authorize staff to issue a Notice of Completion to send to San Bernardino County for recording.

Background: On January 24, 2017 a Notice to Proceed was issued for the Public Works Yard Fencing Improvements to replace the old dilapidated fence with new privacy fencing.

The fencing portion is complete except for the last 50 feet due to the obstruction from the massive trees on the vacant property next to the Public Works yard. City Crews attempted to trim back the trees and found a small house and other trees that were hidden from view and the trees are encroaching in the path of the fence placement. Rutt Fence has completed the project except for where the trees are located. Staff discovered that the South rolling gate was omitted accidentally and a change order would be needed to add this gate back into the project. Marc Richards, Director of Public Works, decision to have the contractor add the 20′ rolling gate that was omitted in exchange for the labor & re-mobilization charges to return to finish the fence once the trees were removed. The contractor left all materials and hardware to complete the fencing and the Public Works crew will set and pull the last 50 feet of fence once the obstructions have been removed from the property line.

Fiscal Impact: This City Council approved the use of the restricted fund from the surplus property sales. The contingency of $5.989 was not used resulting in a project cost of $59,891. These funds can be applied to the tree and structure removal.

$1,817 Bid Prep 8. Design

$54,910 Construction

$3,164 Quality Assurance / Control

$5,989 Contingency

$59,891 Estimated Project Costs

Recommendation: Accept the work completed by RUTT FENCE in the amount of $54,910 and authorize to issue a Notice of Completion to San Bernardino County for recording.

** Agenda Packet (Agenda Item #23): **

http://www.cityofneedles.com/2017%20WEBSITE%20FILE%20POSTING/1%20CITY%20COUNCIL/02%20FEBRUARY/Mtg%202/cc_022817-23-fence.pdf

– Agenda Item #24:

Authorize the city manager to sign the Needles Rodeo Association Daily License Application for the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control for their Annual Colorado River Round Up Rodeo Event on March 29 – April 1, 2017 at the Needles Rodeo Grounds.

Background: Ordinance No. 514-AC was adopted in January 2010 and amended Section “15A-6 Possession and use of alcoholic beverages in city parks and/or city recreational facilities” which reads as follows:

“No person shall possess or use any alcoholic beverages on the premises of any recreational area without the express written approval of the city council.” Prior to Ordinance 514-AC the city code included “or city manager.”

The Needles Rodeo Association has provided city staff with the required documents and is waiting for their ABC Permit which will be processed 30 days prior to the event date of March 29 – April 1, 2017. The Association will provide a certificate of liability which includes liquor liability prior to the event.

Critical Timeline: The Association will submit the application to ABC 30 days prior to event date.

Fiscal impact: The Needles Rodeo Association has provided receipts of upgrades/repairs in lieu of paying the rental fees.

Recommendation: Authorize the city manager to sign the Needles Rodeo Association Daily License Application for the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control for their Annual Colorado River Round Up Rodeo event on March 29 – April 1, 2017 at the Needles Rodeo Grounds.

** Agenda Packet (Agenda Item #24): **

http://www.cityofneedles.com/2017%20WEBSITE%20FILE%20POSTING/1%20CITY%20COUNCIL/02%20FEBRUARY/Mtg%202/cc_022817-24-rodeo.pdf

Members of the Needles City Council unanimously voted to approve items #8 through #24 on the Consent Calendar, and to pull Agenda Items #10, #21, and #23 for discussion.

  •  Regarding the discussion on Agenda Items #10:

** Video (Agenda Items #10) from ZachNews on YouTube: **

Needles City Council Member Louise Evans spoke about concern that was raised over the times of hauling the “merchandise” from the facility along an area that is a “Safe Routes to School” zone.

Needles City Council Member Louise Evans asked if the hauling of the “merchandise can not be done when kids are walking to school and when kids are walking back home from school; a 2 hour window in the morning and a 2 hour window in the evening.

Mr. Matt Bates, the applicant, said, “I think we can probably  a company that idea… that’s easy to do.”

There was then a short discussion crime, what could be coming into Needles, California, and making sure that things are safe and security so that nothing bad happens.

Applicant representative Josh Stewart said that “Absolutely, we’re not going to do high traffic when kids are walking home from school”.

As for safety and security, applicant representative Josh Stewart said, “It will be a safe place and you will not know what’s going on.”

After discussion, members of the Needles City Council unanimously voted to approve item #10.

  • Regarding the discussion on Agenda Items #21:

** Video (Agenda Items #21) from ZachNews on YouTube: **

Concerns was raised to members of the Needles City Council by the public regarding the fees and how the fees is in a way a deterrent for somebody to do an initiative petition for any municipal measure or measures.

After hearing the public’s concerns; members of the Needles City Council did not act on this the agenda item and so the agenda item died due to a lack of an motion.

  • Regarding the discussion on Agenda Items #23:

** Video (Agenda Items #23) from ZachNews on YouTube: **

The question on if the project is completed was raised to members of the Needles City Council by the public regarding the new Public Works Yard Fencing; because of fencing that still needing to be done, but trees were encroaching in the path of the fence placement. 

The massive trees that is located on a vacant property next to the Public Works yard and City of Needles crews attempted to trim back the trees and found a small house, as well as other trees that were hidden from view.

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels explained why the project is “Completed”; because of a “Change Order” with the contractor to add the 20′ rolling gate that was omitted in exchange for the labor & re-mobilization charges to return to finish the fence once the trees were removed.

After discussion and explaining the why the project is “Completed”, members of the Needles City Council voted 5-1 to approve the agenda item; the project being completed. Needles Vice City Mayor Jeff Williams voted “No” on Agenda Items #23.

 

**** Regular Items: ****

– Agenda Item #25:

** Video from ZachNews on YouTube: **

Resolution No. 2017-28 pledging support for the rule of law and declaring opposition to nullification of the law and further pledging allegiance to the flag of the United States and affirming its sworn duty to preserve, protect and defend the Constitutions of the United States and the State of California.

Background: At your last meeting held on February 14, direction was given, through Council consensus, that a letter be prepared for the Mayor’s signature on behalf of the Council to be mailed to our representatives and directed staff to prepare a resolution for consideration.

The “Yes California Independence Campaign” is an American political action Committee that promotes the secession of the State of California from the United States. The organization is promoting a proposed initiative to be placed on the 2018 California state ballot, which, if passed, will then require an independence vote of all the members of the electorate to be held in March 2019 on the question of California’s independence. It would require an amendment to the United States Constitution.

California Senate Democrats recently moved to become the first “sanctuary State,” advancing bills that would create a statewide sanctuary for illegal immigrants, provide money to pay lawyers for immigrants facing deportation and hamper any attempts by the Trump administration to Create a Muslim registry.

Fiscal impact: None

Critical Timeline: None

Recommended Action: Resolution No. 2017-28 pledging support for the rule of law and declaring opposition to nullification of the law and further pledging allegiance to the flag of the United States and affirming its sworn duty to preserve, protect and defend the Constitutions of the United States and the State of California/

** Agenda Packet (Agenda Item #25): **

http://www.cityofneedles.com/2017%20WEBSITE%20FILE%20POSTING/1%20CITY%20COUNCIL/02%20FEBRUARY/Mtg%202/cc_022817-25-sanctuary.pdf

Members of the Needles City Council unanimously voted to approve Resolution No. 2017-28.

 

– Agenda Item #26:

** Video from ZachNews on YouTube: **

Discussion to consider changing the City Council/NPUA/SARDA and NPFA meeting day to Monday.

Background: Attached is a request from the Needles Desert Star to consider changing the City Council / NPUA / SARDA and NPFA meeting day. Monday was the traditional meeting day and in 1997 it was changed to Tuesday.

Fiscal impact: None

Critical Timeline: None

Recommended Action: Discretionary Options: Take no action or direct staff to prepare a resolution for Council’s Consideration.

** Agenda Packet (Agenda Item #26): **

http://www.cityofneedles.com/2017%20WEBSITE%20FILE%20POSTING/1%20CITY%20COUNCIL/02%20FEBRUARY/Mtg%202/cc_022817-26-meetiing.pdf

The agenda item was requested by Robin Richards of the Needles Desert Star to consider changing the City Council / NPUA / SARDA and NPFA meeting day to Monday so that the newspaper can report on the results of the Needles City Council’s actions. 

Concerns were raised regarding how that day is use to get staff reports as well as getting questions answered after studying the agenda packet over the weekend, and concerns over federal holidays that land on Mondays.

For those reasons, members of the Needles City Council did not act on this the agenda item and so the agenda item died due to a lack of an motion.

 

**** Needles City Attorney’s Report: ****

** Video from ZachNews on YouTube: **

Needles City Attorney John Pinkney talked about a variety of items, including what the United States of America President said about his administration planning to have greater federal enforcement of laws against the use of marijuana for recreational purposes.

 

**** Needles City Manager’s Report: ****

** Video from ZachNews on YouTube: **

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels talked about a variety of items, including:

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels talked about an old development project named “Rusty Acres”, that has 78 lots there. A developer wants to pick up those lots and finish up those lots to build a subdivision, building homes. Needles City Manager Rick Daniels said that he will be meeting with that developer will happen later this week.

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels then talked him beginning to work with Bureau of Land Management and the United States Bureau of Reclamation on the Bureau Bay Project, and what it will take for the City of Needles to do to move forward on that itself or having somebody else to do the project.

 

**** Needles City Council Requests: ****

– Needles City Council Member Shawn Gudmundson:

** Video from ZachNews on YouTube: **

Needles City Council Member Shawn Gudmundson talked about a variety of items.

Needles City Council Member Shawn Gudmundson talked about the Interstate 40/ Arizona Highway 95 Connector Project and the sudden placement of a stop sign at the intersection of West Broadway and L Street.

The concern is that there is no traffic change ahead of the sudden placed stop sign right at the button of the West Broadway bridge.

Since the West Broadway closure (a.k.a., Needles Jam) began, there has been vehicles that didn’t stop at the newly posted stop sign along eastbound West Broadway.

Before the West Broadway closure, there was no stop sign was posted there, but only a pedestrian crossing sign was posted before the intersection; which was posted on the eastbound side of West Broadway but was missing a pedestrian crossing sign along westound West Broadway which ZachNews has repeatedly raised that question regarding why there wasn’t no replacement pedestrian crossing sign during meetings on the Interstate 40/ Arizona Highway 95 Connector Project.

Needles City Council Member Shawn Gudmundson talked about a property owner, who contacted him, regarding a property along Chestnut Street that was damaged in a fire over 8 months ago and the building is still standing there. Also, the building at the concern of Market Street and North L Street; another burned property still standing. Code Enforcement is a huge issue addressed at past community clean up meetings and we need to keep up on things.

Needles City Council Member Shawn Gudmundson then talked about somebody bringing up to him about trees into utility lines at the corner of Cibola Street and B Street.

 

– Needles City Council Member Louise Evans:

** Video from ZachNews on YouTube: **

Needles City Council Member Louise Evans didn’t have anything to speak of.

 

– Needles City Council Member Clayton Hazlewood:

** Video from ZachNews on YouTube: **

Needles City Council Member Clayton Hazlewood didn’t have anything to speak of.

 

– Needles Vice City Mayor Jeff Williams:

** Video from ZachNews on YouTube: **

Needles Vice City Mayor Jeff Williams didn’t have anything to speak of.

 

– Needles City Council Member Tona Belt:

** Video from ZachNews on YouTube: **

Needles City Council Member Tona Belt talked about the vision of the town in the next few with this current Needles City Council.

Needles City Council Member Tona Belt also mentions that we’ve officially approved 9 medical marijuana cultivation centers.

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels spoke saying that we have began working with the Needles Planning Commission on starting the process on the new General Plan.

 

– Needles City Council Member Robert Richardson, M.D.:

** Video from ZachNews on YouTube: **

Needles City Council Member Robert Richardson, M.D. thanked City of Needles Staff, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and the San Bernardino County Fire Department for their work int eh community.

Needles City Council Member Robert Richardson, M.D. then talked about a report in their agenda packet called, “Lessons Learned After 4 Years of Marijuana Legalization” and how this report creates concerns and points out that we should be prepare just in case things start to change in our community. 

** Report: “Lessons Learned After 4 Years of Marijuana Legalization”: **

https://learnaboutsam.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/SAM-report-on-CO-and-WA-issued-31-Oct-2016.pdf

 

– Needles Mayor Edward T. Paget M.D.:

** Video from ZachNews on YouTube: **

Needles Mayor Edward T. Paget talked about the car show over the weekend; saying that he thinks there were at least 5,000 people there.

Needles Mayor Edward T. Paget also talked about the golf course and how it’s really great, and thanking the Needles City Manager Rick Daniels for his work.

 

**** After the Needles City Council and Needles Public Utility Authority Meeting: ****

** Video from ZachNews on YouTube: **

ZachNews Photojournalist Zachary A. Lopez talked to Needles Mayor Edward T. Paget about the Needles Lady Stangs of Needles High School winning the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association (N.I.A.A.) Class 2A State Basketball Championship Final 2017.

The Needles Lady Stangs of Needles High School won against Agassi Prep Stars on Saturday, February 25th, 2017 inside Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas, Nevada.

ZachNews Photojournalist Zachary A. Lopez asked Needles Mayor Edward T. Paget about inviting the Needles Lady Stangs team to the Needles City Council Meeting to thank them for their work and suggested bringing the win home to our community.

Needles Mayor Edward T. Paget thinks that would be a good idea and will look into what to do.

 

**** You can view the full Needles City Council and Successor Agency to the Redevelopment Agency Meeting agenda packet at the following City of Needles website address: ****

http://www.cityofneedles.com/2017%20WEBSITE%20FILE%20POSTING/1%20CITY%20COUNCIL/02%20FEBRUARY/Mtg%202/cc_022817-agenda_LINKED.pdf

**** You can view other City of Needles meetings agendas at the following City of Needles website address: ****

http://cityofneedles.com/Pages/Departments-Services/Boards/

For more information regarding the Needles City Council Meetings, please contact Dale Jones in the City Clerk’s Office at the City of Needles at: 1 (760) 326-2113 Ext. 345.

News Alert!!: Washington, DC: United States of America President Donald Trump address the joint session of United States Congress Live!!

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News Alert!!: Washington, DC: United States of America President Donald Trump address the joint session of United States Congress Live!!

United States of America President Donald Trump will be delivering his first address to a joint session of the United States Congress in Washington, District of Columbia starting at at 9:00pm ET/6:00pm PT on Tuesday, February 28th, 2017.

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United States of America President Donald Trump will be outlining his budgetary and economic priorities.

** You can watch the live broadcast of the United States of America President Donald Trump address the joint session of United States Congress at the following website addresses: **

– The White House on YouTube:

– NBC News on YouTube:

– Noticias Telemundo on YouTube:

– Univision Noticias on YouTube:

**** The live broadcast of the United States of America President Donald Trump address the joint session of United States Congress will also be on Roku, FireTV, and AppleTV. ****

** Pictures from NBC News: **

Traffic Update!!: Downtown Needles, CA: Needles Jam: Latest Information: West Broadway Closure.

zachnews-traffic-update.jpg

Traffic Update!!: Downtown Needles, CA: Needles Jam: Latest Information: West Broadway Closure.

ZachNews will be reporting on the latest information regarding the West Broadway Closure, as part of the Interstate 40 / Arizona Highway 95 Connector construction project, happening between J Street and L Street in Downtown Needles, California.

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“Motorists, Welcome to Needles Jam!!”

**** 10:40am PT on Friday, April 21st, 2017: ****

As of 10:40am PT on Friday, April 21st, 2017, Needles Jam along West Broadway and J Street is over.

** Reopened: **

– West Broadway between L Street and J Street is open; 1 southbound and 1 northbound.

– J Street between Third Street and Front Street is open; all lanes.

– West Broadway between I Street and J Street is open: all lanes.

– L Street between West Broadway and Eagles Pass Road is open; all lanes.

– North K Street Underpass is open. Do not use if you’re a semi truck or tall camper.

** Closures: **

– K Street at West Broadway intersection. Soon to be reopen.

**** Coming Soon: Needles Jam 2!!: ****

According to Michael Stewart with W.S.P. Parsons Brinckerhoff, there will be “various road closures throughout the next 4 weeks.”

As for the next set of road closures and detours related to the Interstate 40 / Arizona Highway 95 Connector Construction Project, Michael Stewart tells ZachNews that the next step after J Street and K Street will be Needles Highway from West Broadway to North K Street, and finally North K Street from Needles Highway to the Needles Bridge; each leg will take approximately a week.

According to the City of Needles, the project is 39% complete and completion date revised to Thursday, May 25th, 2017.

**** 12:00pm PT on Thursday, April 20th, 2017: ****

Road closures, reopens, detours, and traffic control on West Broadway Bridge for the Interstate 40 / Arizona Highway 95 Connector Construction Project.

** Reopened: **

– West Broadway between L Street and J Street is open; 1 southbound and 1 northbound.

– J Street between Third Street and Front Street is open; all lanes.

** Traffic Control/Pilot Vehicle Escorts: **

– West Broadway (West Broadway Bridge) between Market Street and L Street. Motorists must wait for pilot vehicle to escort you over the West Broadway Bridge. Paving work ongoing.

** Closures: **

– West Broadway between I Street and J Street. Soon to be reopen.

– K Street at West Broadway intersection. Soon to be reopen.

– L Street between West Broadway and Eagles Pass Road. Paving work ongoing. Use J Street to Bailey Avenue to get to Needles High School. When paving is done, road will be reopen.

**** 9:00am PT on Wednesday, April 19th, 2017: ****

West Broadway between I Street and L Street in Downtown Needles, California remains closed for the Interstate 40 / Arizona Highway 95 Connector Construction Project.

Paving along J Street and West Broadway is being done and traffic control is in effect along J Street between Third Street and Interstate 40; traffic merged into a single lane for both directions, as construction crews do paving work.

Paving work along the West Broadway Bridge will be done in the next few days.

Motorists should prepare for possible lane restrictions, lane closures, and traffic being escorted by pilot vehicles are possible.

With all of the construction going on in the Downtown Needles, California area, motorist should use Needles Highway to Interstate 40 to J Street as a detour.

As for the next set of road closures and detours related to the Interstate 40 / Arizona Highway 95 Connector Construction Project, Michael Stewart tells ZachNews that the next step after J Street and K Street will be West Broadway from the B.N.S.F. bridge to Needles Highway, about 4-5 days, then Needles Highway from West Broadway to North K Street, and finally North K Street from Needles Highway to the Needles Bridge; each leg will take approximately a week.

**** 7:00am PT on Tuesday, April 18th, 2017: ****

According to Michael Stewart with W.S.P. Parsons Brinckerhoff, there will be “various road closures throughout the next 4 weeks.”

Grinding out existing asphalt on J Street near Interstate 40 was happening on Monday, and paving along J Street and West Broadway will begin on Tuesday.

As for the next set of road closures and detours related to the Interstate 40 / Arizona Highway 95 Connector Construction Project, Michael Stewart tells ZachNews that the next step after J Street and K Street will be West Broadway from the B.N.S.F. bridge to Needles Highway, about 4-5 days, then Needles Highway from West Broadway to North K Street, and finally North K Street from Needles Highway to the Needles Bridge; each leg will take approximately a week.

According to the City of Needles, the project is 39% complete and completion date revised to Thursday, May 25th, 2017.

**** 9:00am PT on Monday, April 17th, 2017: ****

West Broadway between I Street and L Street in Downtown Needles, California remains closed for the Interstate 40 / Arizona Highway 95 Connector Construction Project.

According to the City of Needles, concrete pouring continues in various locations, and the grinding of the asphalt and paving has begun with the first section to be completed is West Broadway between J Street to L Street.

Paving work along the West Broadway Bridge will be done this week meaning possibly lane restrictions, lane closures, and traffic being escorted by pilot vehicles are possible.

Motorist should prepare for more traffic in and around the West Broadway Bridge between Needles Highway and I Street and should use Needles Highway to Interstate 40 to J Street as a detour.

Good news, the intersection of Needles Highway and North K Street have been reopened, but the North K Street Underpass remains closed despite somebody moving the barricades over the Easter weekend.

**** 11:00pm PT on Wednesday, April 12th, 2017: ****

West Broadway between I Street and L Street in Downtown Needles, California remains closed for the Interstate 40 / Arizona Highway 95 Connector Construction Project.

Cement work, work along the sidewalk for new lighting and traffic signal lights, and pavement of roadway work continues in the closure area.

The continuing construction work and closure along West Broadway and J Street will continue for another few weeks.

The closure area includes West Broadway between J Street and I Street as well as on and off closure of J Street between Third Street and Front Street.

Overall best detour, especially for semi trucks and tall campers, is Needles Highway to Interstate 40 to J Street.

If need to drive into the Downtown Needles, California area, the detours around the West Broadway closure is L Street to Front Street to I Street to Third Street.

Businesses along the closed portion of West Broadway as well as J Street remain open for business.

The North K Street Underpass is closed between Needles Highway and Front Street near the North K Street Underpass.

According to Needles City Manager Rick Daniels, due to traffic congestion along North K Street as well as tall vehicles; semi trucks and tall campers, using the North K Street and the North K Street Underpass as a detour to get by the closure along West Broadway, the City of Needles closed the North K Street Underpass for the duration of the project along West Broadway; until the project along West Broadway is completed.

In additional to the North K Street Underpass, North K Street between Market Street and Needles Highway as well as Needles Highway between North K Street and River Road is closed also for construction work related to the Interstate 40 / Arizona Highway 95 Connector Construction Project.

Also utility crews have been seen working on utility poles and lines along Needles Highway as part of a power upgrade project.

**** As of 9:00am PT on Wednesday, March 29th, 2017: ****

ZachNews has learned that traffic in both directions on the West Broadway Bridge, between L Street and Walnut Street, near Downtown Needles, California is being escorted by pilot vehicles into a single lane because of lane closure for construction work along the roadway on the bridge all day on Wednesday, March 29th, 2017.

Only for Wednesday, March 29th, 2017 the North K Street Underpass is open, but not for semi trucks or tall recreational vehicles due to the height restrictions at the underpass.

After today, the North K Street Underpass will be closed until the West Broadway Project is completed.

But, on North K Street at Needles Highway, the roadway is also closed for construction work.

Traffic there is being detoured onto Chestnut Street or Market Street to L Street to Needles Highway.

As for the West Broadway Closure, detours around the West Broadway Closure are still in affect; J Street (If Not Closed) or I Street to Front Street to L Street in Downtown Needles, California.

Construction work still continues as well as the closure along West Broadway, between I Street and L Street in Downtown Needles, California for possibly 10 more days.

Construction work is going on at the intersection of Needles Highway and North K Street in the roadway and utility poles.

Traffic having to go around the closure onto River Street before the Needles Bridge to get the Jack Smith Memorial Park.

Prepare for traffic in the area as motorists wait at the West Broadway Bridge and as traffic gets around the West Broadway closure.

**** Overall best detour around all the construction for all motorists, including semi trucks and recreational vehicles, is Needles Highway to Interstate 40 to J Street. ****

All of the construction work being done is part of the Interstate 40/Arizona Highway 95 Connector Project.

**** As of 1:46pm PT on Tuesday, March 21st, 2017: ****

West Broadway between L Street and J Street in Downtown Needles, California remains closed for the Interstate 40 / Arizona Highway 95 Connector Construction Project.

Cement work, work on the retaining wall, and other roadway work continues in the closure area.

** Update!!: Closures Time: **

– The work and closure along West Broadway and J Street will continue for another few weeks.

** Update!!: New Additional Closures: **

– The closure area includes West Broadway between J Street and I Street.

– Closure along J Street between Front Street and Third Street is on and off depending on was work is still needing to be done at that intersection.

– Semi trucks as well as tall campers are being asked to use Needles Highway to Interstate 40 as their best detour route.

– Businesses along the closed portion of West Broadway as well as J Street remain open for business.

** Update!!: New Detours Route: **

– L Street to Front Street to I Street to Third Street is the new detour route.

** Update!!: North K Street Underpass Closed: **

– The North K Street Underpass is closed between Needles Highway and Front Street near the North K Street Underpass.

According to Needles City Manager Rick Daniels, due to traffic congestion along North K Street as well as tall vehicles; semi trucks and tall campers, using the North K Street and the North K Street Underpass as a detour to get by the closure along West Broadway, the City of Needles closed the North K Street Underpass for the duration of the project along West Broadway; until the project along West Broadway is completed.

** Updated: Upcoming Construction Work Information: **

More construction work related to the Interstate 40 / Arizona Highway 95 Connector Construction Project will begin in the next few weeks along West Broadway and Needles Highway.

Utility crews are moving utility poles along Needles Highway ahead of the work along Needles Highway.

**** As of 6:12pm PT on Monday, March 13th, 2017: ****

** Pictures from ZachNews: **

West Broadway remains closed between J Street and L Street.

Work on the waterline, retaining wall, curves, and sidewalks have been done and more work is continues.

Work appears to be going on the sidewalk corners at the intersection of West Broadway and J Street.

Work on where the new sidewalks are going to be lay as well as where the new traffic signal lights are going to be installed.

Meanwhile, the retaining wall along J Street, just across the street from Jack In The Box, appears to be completed and just have to lay out the new sidewalk next to the retaining wall.

**** As of 1:44pm PT on Tuesday, February 28th, 2017: ****

** Pictures from ZachNews: **

Some on and off traffic along Front Street near the K Street Underpass.


**** As of 1:40pm PT on Tuesday, February 28th, 2017: ****

** Pictures from ZachNews: **

View from a near by hill of the construction area along West Broadway.
**** As of 1:36pm PT on Tuesday, February 28th, 2017: ****

** Pictures from ZachNews: **
Work continues along West Broadway on Day 2.
**** As of 4:25pm PT on Monday, February 27th, 2017: ****

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** Pictures from ZachNews: **

Construction crews have removed the roadway at the intersection of West Broadway and K Street.

 

**** As of 9:32pm PT on Monday, February 27th, 2017: ****

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** Pictures from ZachNews: **

Construction crews continue work on digging up the roadway at the intersection of West Broadway and K Street as motorists pass by along J Street and rain falls.

 

**** As of 9:14am PT on Monday, February 27th, 2017: ****

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** Picture from ZachNews: **

Construction crews continue digging up the roadway at the intersection of West Broadway and K Street well K Street is closed for thru traffic, but businesses remain open during construction work.

 

**** As of 9:12am PT on Monday, February 27th, 2017: ****

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** Picture from ZachNews: **

Motorists get detoured onto L Street from West Broadway.

 

**** As of 9:00am PT on Monday, February 27th, 2017: ****

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** Pictures from ZachNews: **

Construction crews begin digging up the roadway at the intersection of West Broadway and K Street.

 

**** As of 8:58am PT on Monday, February 27th, 2017: ****

 

** Picture from ZachNews: **

Construction crews move in the their equipment to begin digging up the roadway at the intersection of West Broadway and K Street.

 

**** As of 8:24am PT on Monday, February 27th, 2017: ****

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** Pictures from ZachNews: **

Construction crews move the barricades across West Broadway official stating the closure of West Broadway.

 

**** As of 8:04am PT on Monday, February 27th, 2017: ****

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** Pictures from ZachNews: **

Construction crews begin setting aside the barricades soon to be closing West Broadway.

 

**** Interstate 40 / Arizona Highway 95 Connector: ****

** Pictures from the City of Needles: **

The Interstate 40 / Arizona Highway 95 Connector project will include new curbs, gutters, and sidewalks, and will be replacing paving and striping, utility relocation, drainage devices, retaining walls, and 3 actual traffic signals (Green, Yellow, and Red Lights) which will be located at the intersections of J Street and West Broadway, West Broadway and Needles Highway, and Needles Highway and North K Street.

The Interstate 40 / Arizona Highway 95 Connector project will also include the widening of the road to ease turns at intersections for RVs and semi-trucks and to alleviate congestion in the traffic hours.

The project was awarded to Hal Hays Construction out of Riverside, California in the amount of $3,312,577.00 and Construction Management will be completed by Persons Brinckerhoff also out of Riverside, California.

**** More Information regarding the closure of West Broadway, detours around the West Broadway closure, and about the Interstate 40 / Arizona Highway 95 Connector construction project is at the following website address: ****

https://zachnews.wordpress.com/2017/02/27/traffic-alert-downtown-needles-ca-needles-jam-west-broadway-closure-and-detours-for-the-interstate-40-arizona-highway-95-connector-construction-project-starts-today/

** Stay tuned to ZachNews for the latest information regarding Needles Jam. **

 

 

News Alert!!: Riverside, CA: Plane crashes into 2 homes igniting a devastating fire and killing several people.

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News Alert!!: Riverside, CA: Plane crashes into 2 homes igniting a devastating fire and killing several people.

A plane crashes into 2 homes near Central Avenue and Streeter Avenue in Riverside, California at around 4:45pm PT on Monday, February 27th, 2017.

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The plane crash igniting a devastating fire and killing several people.

At least 4 people onboard the plane were killed and a fifth teen passenger of the plane was taken to a hospital for treatment, and at least 2 people in a neighboring home were pulled out.

According to the Riverside Fire Department, the upon impact of the crash split the plane in half and a female teenager was ejected from the plane.

NBC affiliate KNBC Channel 4 is reporting that the Cessna 310 crashed under “unknown circumstances” about a half-mile northeast of Riverside Municipal Airport, landing on at least two homes.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the plane had departed from Riverside, California for San Jose, California.

According to Riverside City Fire Department Chief Michael Moore, the Cessna’s occupants, a husband, wife and 3 teenagers, were returning to San Jose, California after attending a cheerleading conference at Disneyland.

As part of the investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board, at least 40 homes on the block were evacuated.

** Pictures from NBC affiliate KNBC Channel 4: **

 

Breaking News!!: Kramer Junction, CA: Bus crash kills a person and injures dozens of people.

Breaking News!!: Kramer Junction, CA: Bus crash kills a person and injures dozens of people.

According to San Bernardino County Fire Department Eric Sherwin, shortly after 12:00pm, firefighters responded to a traffic collision with injuries on Highway 58 east of Highway 395 near Kramer Junction, California.

Callers advised that the accident involved a bus and 2 other vehicles.

Firefighters arrived on scene to discover a charter bus and two passenger vehicles off the roadway on the north side of Highway 58.

All 3 vehicles appeared to have rolled over at least once.

With the first priority of triaging the victims to get an accurate patient count, firefighters ultimately determined that 9 patients were classified as “Immediate”, or having life threatening injuries; 16 patients were “Delayed”, suffering from non-life threatening injuries, and a patient was deceased.

ZachNews has received a picture (Pictured Above) from Photojournalist Alex Vasquez from NBC affiliate KNBC Channel 4 showing the aftermath of the crash.

As additional units arrived on scene, firefighters were able to extricate one trapped victim from a vehicle and begin treating and stabilizing the patients.

Due to the remote area, critical patients are typically transported via helicopter to regional trauma centers, however weather between the scene and the hospitals prevented helicopter transport.

As a result, additional ground ambulances were dispatched.

Ultimately, 26 patients were transported to 4 different hospitals.

Highway 58 east of Highway 395 was closed during the patient care and transport phase.

The highway is now open to one lane with alternating traffic.

At least 6 engines, a patrol, 14 ambulances, and 3 chief officers were assigned to the incident.

San Bernardino County Fire Department received assistance from Kern County Fire Department, Marine Corps Logistics Base Fire, Naval Weapons Center – China Lake Fire Department, as well as the National Training Center – Fort Irwin.

California Highway Patrol’s MAIT unit remains on scene for their investigation.

San Bernardino County Fire dispatches a “1st Alarm” mass casualty incident (MCI) to all incidents involving buses.

This begins moving resources into the area should the bus be occupied or injuries present.

In this case, the call was balanced to a 2nd-alarm MCI to bring additional manpower to the scene.

**** ZachNews sends our thoughts, prayers, and condolences to the family and friends of the victims in the tragic crash in Kramer Junction, California. ****

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ZachNews also had received a picture (Pictured Above) from Photojournalist Alex Vasquez from NBC affiliate KNBC Channel 4 showing a jacket that was found next to the wreaked cars which had the writing, “Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Team Needles”.

ZachNews contacted the California Highway Patrol regarding the jacket, but was told that the investigation is still ongoing and wanted to see the picture so they can check if the jacket had any connection to the crash.

ZachNews contacted by phone Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway as well as visited the local Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway building in Downtown Needles, California to find out any information regarding the jacket, but got no answers.

** Update!!: **

Just moments ago, ZachNews has received some good news from K Charles Anderson and Shawna Covey that the “Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Team Needles” jacket was left by a railroaded, who was deadheading home from Bakersfield, California, and who stopped to help.

ZachNews has also learned from Shawna Covey that there was a couple Burlington Northern Santa Fe employees along with her husband that were there to help.

Shawna Covey tells ZachNews that, “My friends husband who’s jacket that was is. They live in Mohave Valley”.

**** ZachNews sends a big thanks to the Good Samaritans who came to the aid of the victims in the tragic crash in Kramer Junction, California. ****

** Pictures from Photojournalist Alex Vasquez from NBC affiliate KNBC Channel 4: **

Traffic Alert!!: Downtown Needles, CA: Needles Jam: West Broadway closure and detours for the Interstate 40 / Arizona Highway 95 Connector construction project starts today.

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Traffic Alert!!: Downtown Needles, CA: Needles Jam: West Broadway closure and detours for the Interstate 40 / Arizona Highway 95 Connector construction project starts today.

ZachNews has received information from Mike Stewart, Principal Supervising Inspector with WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff, that the West Broadway closure and detours for the Interstate 40 / Arizona Highway 95 Connector construction project will begin on Monday, February 27th, 2017.

The West Broadway closure, named “Needles Jam”, will have both directions of West Broadway, from J Street to L Street, in Downtown Needles, California closed for possibly 2 weeks for construction.

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** Picture from the City of Needles: **

The map (Pictured Above) from the City of Needles shows the closure area and detours.

The closure was to start back on Monday, February 6th, 2017 but was delayed from removing water and gas line as well as for a event’s parade.

Construction crews will be working on retaining wall, cross gutters, utility work along West Broadway as well as work to replace the flashing red signal traffic light at the intersection of West Broadway and J Street with new traffic signals which will include green, yellow, and red lights and pedestrian crossing signals.

The current flashing red signal traffic light at the intersection of West Broadway and J Street will be taken out and be off, but temporary stop signs or temporary stop signal will be placed until the new new traffic signals are installed and activated.

**** Detours around West Broadway Closures: ****

Motorists who use West Broadway will be detoured around the closure onto Front Street from either J Street from the east or L Street from the west.

Semi trucks, recreational vehicles, and campers are being ask to use Interstate 40 and Needles Highway as a detour around the closure.

If coming from the Needles Bridge and Mohave Valley, Arizona, make a right turn off North K Street onto Needles Highway; stay on westbound until you pass Wagon Wheel Restaurant; and make a right turn onto eastbound Interstate 40 to get by the closures on West Broadway and J Street.

If coming from the Interstate 40, do not exit at J Street and instead, exit at West Broadway / Needles Highway (Exit #141); make a right turn onto Needles Highway; stay on eastbound Needles Highway to North K Street; and make a left turn onto North K Street to reach the Needles Bridge and access to Mohave Valley, Arizona.

**** Temporary Traffic Change with Stop Sign: ****

** Picture from ZachNews: **

As work beings along West Broadway, between J Street and L Street, in Downtown Needles, California, motorists should be aware of a temporary traffic change with a stop sign along Eastbound West Broadway at the intersection of L Street.

Motorists should slow down before the intersection and use caution crossing the intersection.

**** Businesses In West Broadway Closure: ****

Businesses along West Broadway will remain open during the closure and detours.

An access roadway for businesses affected by the closure of West Broadway is being worked on so people can get to those businesses along West Broadway.

Motorists should plan ahead for Needles Jam and drive safely through the construction area and intersections.

**** Interstate 40 / Arizona Highway 95 Connector: ****

** Pictures from the City of Needles: **

 

The Interstate 40 / Arizona Highway 95 Connector project will include new curbs, gutters, and sidewalks, and will be replacing paving and striping, utility relocation, drainage devices, retaining walls, and 3 actual traffic signals (Green, Yellow, and Red Lights) which will be located at the intersections of J Street and West Broadway, West Broadway and Needles Highway, and Needles Highway and North K Street.

The Interstate 40 / Arizona Highway 95 Connector project will also include the widening of the road to ease turns at intersections for RVs and semi-trucks and to alleviate congestion in the traffic hours.

The project was awarded to Hal Hays Construction out of Riverside, California in the amount of $3,312,577.00 and Construction Management will be completed by Persons Brinckerhoff also out of Riverside, California.

**** Contact for Information on Project: ****

For more information, please contact the Tammy Ellmore with the City of Needles at: 1 (760) 326-5740 Ext 150.

** Needles Jam: Latest Information: West Broadway Closure: **

https://zachnews.wordpress.com/2017/02/28/traffic-update-downtown-needles-ca-needles-jam-latest-information-west-broadway-closure/

** Stay tuned to ZachNews for continuing news coverage of Needles Jam. **

Los Angeles, CA: Retired judge Joseph Wapner, who famously presided over televised court cases on “The People’s Court”, has died.

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Los Angeles, CA: Retired judge Joseph Wapner, who famously presided over televised court cases on “The People’s Court”, has died.

The retired judge who famously presided over televised court cases on “The People’s Court”, 97 year old Joseph Wapner, has died on Sunday, February 26th, 2017.

A family member says Joseph Wapner died at home in his sleep.

Joseph Wapner was hospitalized a week ago with breathing problems and had been under home hospice care.

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From 1981 to 1993, “The People’s Court” was one of the granddaddies of the reality court shows of today, deciding real small-claims cases on the show.

Joseph Wapner auditioned for the show soon after retiring from Los Angeles, California courts, where he had been a judge for more than 20 years.

His affable, no-nonsense approach attracted many fans, putting the show in the top five in syndication at its peak.

Joseph Wapner retired as judge in November 1979, the day after his 60th birthday.

Joseph Wapner is survived by his wife of 70 years Mickey, and 2 daughters-in-law, 4 grandchildren and a great-granddaughter.

** Pictures from NBC affiliate KNBC Channel 4 and NBC News: **