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Detectives on Wednesday arrested a 21-year-old Mentone man suspected of setting three fires at Redlands school district facilities and burglarizing a classroom and a nearby church.

Police arrested Robert Aaron Trujillo at about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, at the residence where he was staying in the 3000 block of Mill Creek Road in Mentone.

While investigating a burglary and vandalism Wednesday at the Church of the Nazarene, 1307 E. Citrus Ave., police discovered forensic evidence linking Trujillo to that burglary, two fires set early Wednesday morning at the Redlands Unified School District transportation yard and the burglary and arson of a classroom at the Redlands High School campus.

Council Members Paul Barich and John James will meet with the public for the March Coffee with the Council beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 21, at Stell Coffee & Tea, 1580 Barton Road, Suite A.  

The monthly Coffee with the Council was begun in February 2011 as part of the City’s continuing efforts to increase interaction with residents and promote transparency in City affairs.

The informal meetings are held from 9 to 10:30 a.m. on the third Saturday of each month, rotating among three local restaurants – Olive Avenue Market, 530 W. Olive Ave; Cuca’s Mexican Food, 1752 E. Lugonia Ave.; and Stell Coffee & Tea Company, 1580 Barton Road, Suite A. Council members rotate attendance, with no more than two members at each meeting.

Council members have held the meetings for the past four years as a way for residents to ask questions or share concerns outside the formal setting of a City Council meeting.

The schedule for this year’s Coffee with the Council meetings is included below.

Redlands Fire Department arson investigators are investigating three suspicious fires that took place early Wednesday morning at a school district transportation yard and nearby high school classroom.

Redlands Firefighters responded to a 911 call of fire at the Redlands Unified School District transportation yard on Central Avenue just north of Citrus Avenue at about 4 a.m. Wednesday, March 18. Firefighters arrived to find a school bus and a utility trailer engulfed in flames.

It took crews about 15 minutes to control the blazes which destroyed the bus and trailer and damaged another bus and trailer.

While firefighters were fighting the blazes at the transportation yard they received another call of a fire in a modular classroom a half block away on the Redlands High School campus.

The Redlands Human Relations Commission invites residents of Redlands and surrounding communities to attend its 13th Annual César Chávez Scholarship Breakfast, beginning at 7 a.m. Thursday, March 26.

The annual scholarship breakfast recognizes and provides awareness of the efforts of the late civil rights and farm labor leader, celebrating César Chávez’s legacy of compassion, education, and equality for all Americans. Last year’s event raised enough funds to provide $1,000 scholarships to several Redlands Unified School District students that the committee felt exemplified the spirit of Chávez.    

This year’s breakfast will be held from 7 to 9 a.m. Thursday, March 26, at the American Legion Post 650, 1532 North Church St. A stirring program is planned, followed by an auction of various goods, including art work, and community business packages.

Four people were arrested for furnishing alcohol to a minor, during joint Minor Decoy and Shoulder Tap Operations with Redlands Police and California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control officers last week. The operations are  designed to help reduce youth access to alcohol.

On Thursday, March 12, police and ABC agents visited 22 licensed alcohol establishments in the City conducting a Minor Decoy Operation, which uses minors under the direct supervision of a peace officer to enter a licensed establishment and attempt to buy alcohol. During decoy operations, minor decoys are required to answer truthfully if asked their age and to provide valid identification indicating they are underage to buy alcohol.

Local residents and businesses will be seeing signs of positive change popping up downtown and throughout the City as the Redlands Police Department launches an education campaign designed to address the problems of panhandling while offering vital services to the City’s homeless and needy population.

Posters bearing the message “Positive Change Not Spare Change” are being distributed to local businesses, encouraging residents and visitors to support local organizations that provide services to the needy and homeless instead of handing out cash to panhandlers.

The posters include a link to the Redlands Charitable Resources Coalition website at www.rcrchelp.com. The coalition is made up of local churches, service agencies, the Redlands Police and others who provide services to help the homeless and those in need.

The coalition recently updated its “Guide to Local Resources – People in Redlands Helping People in Need.” The guide provides a comprehensive list of services available to those in need, listing everything from shelter and clothing to meals, medical services and family support to a haircut and a hot shower. The guides are designed so that they can be provided to those in need. All resource information is also available on the coalition website.

St. Patrick’s Day one of deadliest days of the year because of drunk driving

St. Patrick's Day brings to mind shamrocks, leprechauns, pots of gold, and good luck. But no amount of luck can save you from a drunk-driving crash. So whether you’re buzzed or drunk on St. Patrick’s Day, it doesn’t matter. NHTSA wants to remind everyone that Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving—drive sober.

The Redlands Police Department will deploy roving DUI patrols this St. Patrick’s Day looking to stop and arrest drivers who are impaired by alcohol or drugs.  These DUI patrols are, in addition to regularly scheduled patrol officers, all looking for the tell-tale signs of an impaired driver behind the wheel.

Construction is set to begin next week on the next phase of the City’s PARIS Resurfacing Project.

The project will include resurfacing of approximately 90 lane miles of streets throughout the City. At the completion of the estimated six month project, the City will have completed nearly 200 miles of lane resurfacing, or approximately 48 percent of the PARIS project. Work will occur in phases over the six-month period throughout various portions of the City. Completion is anticipated in October 2015.

The City will hold two public forums to outline and discuss the upcoming phase of street resurfacing. The forums are scheduled for 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday, March 16, in the Redlands City Council Chambers, 35 Cajon St. Anyone who is interested in the street resurfacing program is invited to attend either of the meetings.

The City of Redlands Development Services and Quality of Life Departments are pleased to continue the popular Movies in the Park, this month featuring “Guardians of the Galaxy” on Friday, March 20, at Ed Hales Park on the corner of 5th and State streets in Historic Downtown Redlands.

This free event begins at 6 p.m. and will include free activities for children and entertainment provided by the Memoirs. The movie begins at dusk. Feel free to bring your own blanket and chair.

The City of Redlands will present the sixth Downtown Redlands Art Walk from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, March 29, in Historic Downtown Redlands.

The event will feature a community madonnari – or street painting – festival, hosted by the Redlands Cultural Arts Commission; Art on State Street, sponsored by the Redlands Art Association; Augie’s Alley Gallery; live street art, hosted by A Shop Called Quest; and an outdoor art gallery at the Civic Center Plaza Walkway off of Citrus Avenue opposite Fifth Street.

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