Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia, D-Coachella, and the Coachella Valley Water District announced legislation Friday geared at expediting water infrastructure projects serving disadvantaged communities.

AB 2060 seeks to revise state law regarding how much funding can be advanced for water and wastewater projects serving grant-eligible disadvantaged communities, particularly those in the Eastern Coachella Valley.

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PALM SPRINGS(CNS) – Palm Springs’ sales tax rate will increase by 0.5 percent starting Sunday, an increase approved by voters last fall to generate $7 million annually for police and emergency services.

Effective Sunday, city sales taxes will increase from 8.75 to 9.25 percent as a result of last fall’s approval of Measure D, a measure touted to put more police officers on the streets, improve 911 response times, address homelessness and increase access to mental health and substance abuse treatment programs.

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DESERT HOT SPRINGS (CNS) – Desert Hot Springs police Friday warned residents that rattlesnake season has arrived, punctuated by two sightings in the last 24 hours.

The two rattlesnake reports came from the northeastern section of the city, with officers capturing the snakes both times and relocating them to the desert. Both snakes were juvenile Speckled Rattlesnakes, the most commonly encountered venomous snake in the Desert Hot Springs area, according to police.

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CATHEDRAL CITY (CNS) – Cathedral City police Friday said the recent death of a beloved local Jiu-Jitsu instructor was the result of a shooting.

Officers were dispatched at 9:44 p.m. Wednesday to the 31300 block of Whispering Palms Trail, where 47-year-old Cathedral City resident Ramon Diaz was found “suffering from trauma to the body,” according to Cathedral City Police Department officials on Thursday.

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DESERT HOT SPRINGS (CNS) – A man who allegedly set off illegal fireworks and led Desert Hot Springs police on a short car and foot chase was released from custody Friday.

Jorge Gilbert, 33, of Desert Hot Springs, was arrested following the Thursday afternoon pursuit. Police said he had a loaded handgun and “illegal aerial fireworks which have been confirmed to be some of those detonated in the city,” according to Det. Christopher Saucier.

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RIVERSIDE (CNS) – An 18-year-old Riverside man suspected of committing multiple armed robberies in Jurupa Valley and Riverside was arrested Friday.

Samisoni T. Akauola was booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside on suspicion of robbery and conspiracy. He’s being held in lieu of $60,000 bail.

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PERRIS (CNS) – A fire erupted Friday in the garage attached to a Perris home, damaging the property and temporarily displacing a family of four.

The non-injury blaze erupted for unknown reasons shortly after 4 p.m. in the 700 block of Cornflower Way, near Tamarind Drive, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.

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RIVERSIDE (CNS) – A pit bull was found near Murrieta with a severe leg fracture that appeared to be weeks old, prompting the Riverside County Department of Animal Services to conclude the injury was more than likely the result of mistreatment and seek the public’s assistance Friday in finding the person responsible.

According to agency spokesman John Welsh, the 3-year-old male canine was spotted by a resident of La Cresta, an unincorporated area west of Murrieta, hovering in bushes near Hombre Lane and Vista de Montanas. Because the dog appeared hurt, the good Samaritan became concerned for his welfare and called animal control.

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MORENO VALLEY (CNS) – The lineup for next week’s March Air Reserve Base Air & Space Expo was confirmed Friday, promising two days of supersonic jet demonstrations, mock dogfights, aerobatics, vintage warbirds and other low-flying, high-speed entertainment.

The air fest is set for April 7 and 8 at the Moreno Valley base, which holds air shows every two years but is making this event the centerpiece of its centennial celebration, looking back on 100 years of military aviation — and forward to what the future holds for air power.

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PERRIS (CNS) – Two convicted felons suspected of robbing a Perris store, shooting at a security guard while making their getaway and later attempting to evade sheriff’s deputies were behind bars Friday.

David Joseph Esparza, 28, and Jose Rangel, 27, were both arrested Thursday on suspicion of robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. Esparza was additionally booked for alleged probation violations, while Rangel was additionally booked for felony evading, being a felon in possession of a firearm and parole violations.

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MORENO VALLEY (CNS) – A pedestrian was seriously injured Friday when he was struck by a car on a Moreno Valley street.

The man, whose name was not disclosed, was hit about 3:30 a.m. in the 25000 block of Sunnymead Boulevard, near Perris Boulevard, just south of the Moreno Valley (60) Freeway, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

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