County News 2012

January 31, 2012
Grant Applications Sought from Southeast Tulare County

The Tulare County Indian Gaming Local Community Benefit Committee (IGLCBC) is seeking grant applications from interested parties.

Senate Bill 621, which became law on January 1, 2004, makes grant funding available to counties, cities and special districts impacted by tribal gaming from the Indian Gaming Special Distribution Fund.  Gaming tribes that operated 200 or more gaming devices on or before September 1, 1999 contribute a variable portion of their net winnings into the Fund.  In Tulare County, the Tule River Tribe contributes winnings. The seven-member Tulare County Indian Gaming Local Community Benefit Committee is responsible for selecting these grants.

In Tulare County $268,177.87 in grant funding is available. The Tule River Tribe must sponsor the grants and affirm that the proposed grant projects have a reasonable relationship to the impacts of their gaming facility. 

“We are anxious to begin this process,” said Tulare County Supervisor Mike Ennis, the IGLCBC committee member. “We are very pleased to have more than $260,000 to allocate to projects in Southeastern Tulare County and we look forward to reviewing the grant applications.”

January 30, 2012
Earlimart to Host Step Up Event

Earlimart will host its first Step Up anti-gang summit in February.

The Step Up Earlimart Gang Awareness Event will be held from 4:40 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. on Thursday, February 2 at Earlimart Middle School, 785 E. Center Ave. in Earlimart.

Supervisor Pete Vander Poel, who represents Earlimart and southwest Tulare County, said the free event is designed for community members who are concerned about gang violence, drug activity, and keeping youth involved in positive activities.

“Our hope is that by encouraging a sense of community and by providing families with information on available resources, Earlimart will be empowered to address problems including gangs and graffiti,” Supervisor Vander Poel said.

January 24, 2012
Tulare County Unveils Economic Development Website

Tulare County unveiled a new economic development website at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting.

County Administrative Officer Jean Rousseau said the Board of Supervisors has had a longstanding vision for the county to develop an economic development website that pulls together relevant industry information about local agribusiness, workforce development partners, site selection, zoning assistance and other factors considered essential to implement an effective campaign to foster increased economic development in Tulare County.

Board Chairman Allen Ishida made economic development a focal point when he delivered his State of the County speech on Tuesday.

“We will actively market the many benefits Tulare County has to offer businesses that are ready to expand or relocate,” Chairman Ishida said. “We have a young workforce; 30 percent of our population is 18 years old or younger, and eager to find meaningful work.”

The website,, will go live on Wednesday.

January 24, 2012
Supervisors Appoint HHSA Director

The Board of Supervisors today announced the appointment of Dr. Cheryl Duerksen as director of Tulare County’s Health & Human Services Agency.

Dr. Duerksen will fill the position previously held by John Davis, who retired January 20 after serving as HHSA’s director since 2006. In total, Davis served Tulare County in various roles for more than 30 years, including Director of Human Services and the Director of the Kings/Tulare Area Agency on Aging (K/T AAA).

Davis released this statement regarding his retirement:

"I am truly grateful that the Board gave me the opportunity to serve as Director of the Agency for these last several years. We built an exceptionally strong leadership team, and I retire knowing that I leave the Agency in very good hands."

Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Allen Ishida said Tulare County is pleased to appoint Dr. Duerksen to the HHSA Director position.

“John’s public service career in Tulare County is second to none and the Board appreciates his dedication and leadership,” Chairman Ishida said. “We are confident Dr. Duerksen will do an excellent job in her role as HHSA’s top official.”

January 24, 2012
2012 State of Tulare County Speech

2012 State of the County Address
By Allen Ishida, Chairman
Tulare County Board of Supervisors

Good morning and thank you for your attendance at today’s meeting. It is an honor to serve as Chairman of the Tulare County Board of Supervisors for the second time.

I would like to publicly thank past Chairman Mike Ennis and fellow Board members, elected officials, our CAO and his staff, and County of Tulare department heads and employees for their collective efforts, contributions, and leadership during 2011. Tulare County government truly has a diverse and highly skilled workforce.

This morning I would like to touch on Tulare County’s financial situation, share some success stories from last year, and focus on a few of Tulare County’s key issues moving forward.

January 23, 2012
Movie makers preparing to shoot film near Porterville

A film crew begins transforming the rolling hills above Porterville into a small village English village this week – all in preparation for The Devout.

This new film, written and directed by Mairin Hart takes place in the 1400’s in England, when the plague was ravaging though Europe and infecting and killing everyone in sight. The film follows one woman, as she must risk everything to save her friends and family from the horrible disease of the Black Death.

Currently the film is in its final stages of pre-production, and is looking for a number of key essentials for production.
• 20-30 local actors, willing to be in the film
• 2-4 horses, with owners willing to be in the film
• A number of different farm animals, Chickens, Goats, and Sheep
• Catering, for crew and cast during filming
• Security to have on set, during production
• Assistants with the construction of the medieval village
• RV’s, generators, firewood, weathered wood for construction