County News 2012

December 13, 2012
Fire Department Offers DrivingTips for Fog/Night Conditions

When winter arrives in the Central Valley, so does the Tule fog. This type of fog in the San Joaquin Valley is considered a ground fog. It forms at night and in the early morning when the ground cools, lowering the air temperature near the ground to or below its initial dew point. In the valley, during the late fall and winter months, usually after the first significant rainfall, Tule fog will form and create one of the leading causes of weather-related traffic fatalities in the San Joaquin Valley.

Thick fog can reduce visibility and create extremely dangerous driving conditions. There may be patches of fog that can appear without warning, and are often times so dense that motorists are blinded by the reflection of their own headlights. During the fog season, motorists should expect and prepare for foggy conditions and adjust their driving accordingly.

Motorists are being urged to look for roadside message boards and listen to local radio stations for the up-to-date fog information. Fog conditions may change quickly, and all motorists should slow down and drive with extreme caution.

November 26, 2012
Probation Department Receives Grant to Combat DUIs
Probation Department Receives Grant to Combat DUIs

The Tulare County Probation Department has been awarded a new traffic safety grant for a year-long program aimed at preventing deaths and injuries resulting from driving under the influence (DUI).  

The $75,000 Intensive Probation Supervision for High-Risk Felony and Repeat DUI Offenders grant awarded by the Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) to Tulare County will aid in the county’s ongoing effort to improve traffic safety and the quality of life. Special probation supervision measures will target high-risk, felony and repeat DUI offenders in Tulare County.  The Probation Department will also work with other local law enforcement agencies on anti-DUI efforts as part of an on-going commitment to keep roadways safe through both enforcement and education.

Tulare County Chief Probation Officer Christie Myer said the intent of the Tulare County DUI Probation Supervision Program is to respond quickly and aggressively to felony DUI offenders through the assignment of a full-time Probation Officer.

“Felony Driving Under the Influence is a serious offense and convicted offenders require close probation supervision to ensure compliance with the terms of their release and immediate consequences for violations - including re-arrest,” Chief Myer said. “Probation Officers have been working DUI checkpoints with local law enforcement agencies for several years.  Involvement by the Probation Department has resulted in the arrest of probation violators, increased program involvement, greater collaboration among law enforcement and safer communities.”

November 19, 2012
County Librarian to Retire in December

Longtime Tulare County Librarian Brian Lewis announced today that he will retire after 39 years of public service. Lewis’ last day will be Saturday, December 29, 2012.

“On behalf of the Board of Supervisors, I would like to thank Brian for his decades of dedicated public service,” said Allen Ishida, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors. "We appreciate that Brian worked tirelessly to bring and maintain critical services to Tulare County and believe the county benefitted under his leadership.”

The County Librarian is responsible for planning, directing and evaluating the operation of Tulare County Library services. The Tulare County Library operates 15 branches countywide and provides library services, including reader’s advisory, information retrieval, and programming. The Library’s collection includes more than 300,000 volumes of books, magazines, newspapers, videos, and audio books.

November 8, 2012
D.A.'s Office Raises Funds, Donates Food to FoodLink

Inspired by Make a Difference Day, the annual call for volunteerism, which takes place on the fourth Saturday in October, the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office raised $1,261 and 530 pounds of food for FoodLink for Tulare County. 

The District Attorney's Office used a lively competition to raise the most funds and food among the individual units and office.  The Family Protection team took top honors by bringing in the most food per person.  The Major Crimes team came in a close second.

November 2, 2012
Teapot Dome Landfill to Operate With Reduced Hours Starting Next Week

Tulare County residents and local agencies that need to dump their solid waste at the Teapot Dome Landfill, located just south of Porterville, will need to use alternate options starting next week due to a reduction in operating hours.

Past operating hours of the Teapot Dome Landfill were 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. Starting next week, the Teapot Dome Landfill will be closed Monday through Wednesday.

The closest location for southeast Tulare County residents and agencies that need to use a solid waste facility is the Woodville Landfill, located on Rd. 152 at Ave. 200. The Woodville Landfill is open 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.

October 29, 2012
Tulare County Reports Increase in Registered Voters

Tulare County Registrar of Voters, Rita A. Woodard, would like to announce the success of voter registration collection efforts for the November 6 General Election.

More than 5,000 additional voters registered between the June Primary and the October 22 deadline for the upcoming General Election. Elections’ official say the boost in voters can be attributed to online registration, modified registration hours, and general interest in the upcoming Presidential election.

October 29, 2012
Walnut Season to Begin; Tulare County to Crack Down on Nut Thieves

Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner Marilyn Kinoshita announced today the walnut-buying period will begin November 1 and the County’s newly amended nut theft ordinance will be enforced.

“Commercial production and handling of walnuts constitute an important industry here in Tulare County.” Kinoshita said. “Unfortunately, some people steal them from orchards and sell the walnuts illegally on the streets. County staff has been actively enforcing the nut theft ordinance by conducting compliance checks at places where walnuts are sold to ensure that this practice stops.”

October 25, 2012
Growing Health Leaders Career Conference Set for Friday

The Health Care Sector Committee of the Workforce Investment Board of Tulare County (WIB), in partnership with the Tulare County Office of Education, College of the Sequoias, and the Central Valley Health Network (CVHN) is hosting the third annual Growing Health Leaders Career Conference on Friday, October 26, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the College of Sequoias.

October 22, 2012
Deadline to Register to Vote is Midnight Tonight

Tulare County Registrar of Voters, Rita A. Woodard, is reminding all Tulare County residents that the upcoming General Election will be held on Tuesday, November 6, 2012. As an accommodation, the Elections Office will be open until midnight on the last day to register, Monday, October 22, 2012.

October 9, 2012
Tulare County District Attorney Announces Retirement at Board of Supervisors Meeting

Tulare County District Attorney Phil Cline today formally announced at the Board of Supervisors meeting his intentions to retire from office on December 15, 2012 and made a recommendation to fill his position for the last two years of his current four-year term.

“I’m very, very proud of all of the people who have worked for me as District Attorney and who I’ve worked with as District Attorney. It’s been something that has made me a success. It’s not due to my efforts as much as it is to their support of me. I honor this Board and thank this Board for supporting me,” said District Attorney Cline as he addressed the Board of Supervisors.

District Attorney Phil Cline’s current term began on January 3, 2011 and was set to expire January 5, 2015. The District Attorney’s position will be up for reelection in 2014. District Attorney Cline began his career in this elected position when he was appointed in 1992 to complete the term of his predecessor, Jerry Sevier.

October 8, 2012
Step Up Youth Challenge to Kick Off This Week

Tulare County’s Step Up Youth Challenge program will kick into full gear this week with an event that aims to inspire hundreds of youth.

More than 290 youth representing 29 middle, junior, and high schools from throughout Tulare County will participate in a summit to kick off the Step Up Youth Challenge from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday at the Visalia Convention Center.

The Step Up Youth Challenge is a seven-month program designed to engage a diverse group of junior high and high school students in a service learning-based Challenge Project that impacts their school culture and community. Schools completing a project will compete in a challenge to win grants for their school. The program is sponsored by the Tulare County Gang Prevention Task Force, whose goal is to decrease gang activity and support the growth of positive options for youth throughout Tulare County.

October 8, 2012
Supervisors Thank District Attorney Cline Upon Retirement Announcement

Today, Phillip Cline, who has served as District Attorney for the last 20 years, announced that he will retire from office on December 15, 2012, the day after his 65th birthday.

Tulare County Board of Supervisors Chairman Allen Ishida issued the following statement:

“On behalf of the Board of Supervisors, I would like to thank District Attorney Phil Cline for his years of leadership and public service. District Attorney Cline held the position with honor, integrity, and performed at the highest level. We wish him the best upon his retirement.”

October 2, 2012
Important Dates for Nov. 6 General Election

Tulare County Registrar of Voters, Rita A. Woodard is reminding all Tulare County residents that the upcoming General Election will be held on Tuesday, November 6, 2012. As an accommodation, the Elections Office will be open until midnight on the last day to register, Monday, October 22, 2012.

September 28, 2012
District Three Supervisor Phil Cox to Host Community Meeting

Residents who want to have an open dialogue about the services or issues within Tulare County are invited to meet in a group setting with District Three Supervisor Phil Cox at 6 p.m. on Thursday, October 4 at the Visalia Senior Center.
“I want to take the extra step in making myself available during the evening so that District Three constituents have the opportunity to have their voices heard,” Supervisor Cox said. “The doors to my office are always open, but many of my constituents have busy day schedules and are unable to make an appointment from 8 to 5.”

September 26, 2012
Board of Supervisors to Hold Special Meeting at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 27

Several years of negotiations between Tulare County and the Council of Cities related to land use and the process for the possible collection of development impact fees could wrap up this week.

The Board of Supervisors will hold a special meeting at 10 a.m. on Thursday to consider staff recommendations to review and approve memorandums of understanding (MOU) with seven incorporated cities.  The MOU’s cover items such as: future challenges to Tulare County’s 2030 General Plan Update; revenue sharing; and development impact fees. The City of Dinuba has already reached an agreement with the County on the matters to be considered.

September 26, 2012
Christie Myer Appointed as Tulare County Chief Probation Officer

The Tulare County Superior Court announced today Christie Myer has been appointed as Tulare County Chief Probation Officer.

The appointment of Chief Probation Officer is based on recommendations and approval by the Tulare County Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Commission and Tulare County Superior Court Juvenile Presiding Judge.

Tulare County Superior Court Juvenile Court Presiding Judge Juliet Boccone said Myer was selected based on her many years of experience with Tulare County Probation, her work ethic and the many contributions she has made to the community by serving on various boards and committees.   

“Christie has worked in the Tulare County Probation Department for over 35 years.  Throughout her lengthy career she has worked with many public and private agencies in and around Tulare County. She has built strong professional relationships and is highly regarded by the local justice partners and the Superior Court bench.  Christie will do an excellent job in her new role and we look forward to working with her," Judge Boccone said.

September 20, 2012
Tulare County Receives Statewide Recognition for Step Up Youth Challenge Program

The California State Association of Counties (CSAC) honored Tulare County’s 2011 Step Up Youth Challenge program with a Merit Award in the 2012 CSAC Challenge Awards Competition.

The 2012 CSAC awards were announced September 14. The statewide awards program honors innovation in county government. Overall, 18 counties were selected as recipients for 37 awards from 225 entries, which were evaluated by an independent panel of judges.

Tulare County received one of three Merit Awards that were awarded to counties with populations ranging from 200,001 to 700,000 people.

September 14, 2012
County Offers $100,000 to Local Non-Profits

The Tulare County Youth Commission is accepting applications for the 2013 Step Up Youth Activities Grant Program. The grant program provides $100,000 in grants for 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations that operate within Tulare County. Please visit on Monday, Sept. 17 to download all Step Up Youth Activities Grant Program documents.

The Step Up Youth Activities Grant Program is designed to provide financial support for non-profit organizations that provide programs and services aimed at improving the quality of life for at-risk youth under the age of 18.  Preference is given to programs working with youth that are in a gang or are exposed to the gang culture in an underserved area, start up programs, programs that leverage other funds, and programs that work with underserved populations.

“The Board is committed to providing positive activities for youth,” said Allen Ishida, Chairman of the Tulare County Board of Supervisors. “This funding empowers our non-profit organizations to provide services to youth that better their lives.”

September 11, 2012
Tulare County Animal Control Shelter to Close on Sept. 17

Tulare County’s Animal Control Shelter will be closed to the public on Monday, September 17, due to a comprehensive technical information system upgrade.

The animal control shelter, located at 14131 Ave. 256 in Visalia, will reopen on September 18. The shelter provides kenneling and holding services for stray, sick, and injured animals that have been picked up or brought into the kennel.

September 10, 2012
County to Bolster Traffic Safety at Local Schools

A number of traffic safety tools will begin to be put in place within the next week to ensure that students and parents at Hope Elementary School are safe when crossing a heavily used unincorporated road.

“Public safety is the Board of Supervisors number one priority,” said Mike Ennis, 5th District County Supervisor, who represents the Porterville and surrounding communities. “Installing traffic safety measures is just one way Tulare County strives to meet that goal. We want our children to be as safe as possible at all costs.”

County officials say the Hope Elementary School project is just one of four road safety projects that will be implemented near schools in the unincorporated areas in the next few months.