Volunteers needed for May’s Operation Ride for the Red

The American Red Cross’ Operation Ride for the Red cycling event isn’t until May, but volunteers and donations are needed now to assure preparation is completed.

The May 18 event begins and ends at the Camarillo headquarters of the American Red Cross in 30, 50 and 100 mile rides through Ventura County with an expected 250 cyclists. This year’s celebrity host will be Olympic gold medal in cycling winner Steve Hegg.

Money raised from the event benefits American Red Cross Service to Armed Forces, which supports active duty military members, veterans and their families in handling the challenges of service.

“We need over 100 volunteers to put on this ride, we expect 250 riders, we’re going to have seven stations out in Ventura County,” said David Mirisch, event consultant. “We can’t wait until the last minute because it’s too big of a project and we hope to raise a lot of money from this event.”

Last year, the event brought in up to $40,000 for the Red Cross. Entry fees range from $75-95. For more information, visit https://www.redcross.org/local/california/central-california.html.

Earthquake early warning app may come to Ventura County

Don’t worry, Ventura County residents, if an earthquake strikes Los Angeles, someone will tell you. That’s because our neighboring county has unveiled Shake Alert LA, a mobile app that promises a 20-second head start to take cover prior to the arrival of an earthquake.

The app, linked to the U.S. Geological Survey’s Southern California network, would send an audio alert to users if an earthquake of magnitude 5.0 or greater strikes nearby, stating “Earthquake! Earthquake! Expect strong shaking. Drop, cover, and hold on. Protect yourself now.”

While no similar app is currently available to Ventura County residents, a 5.3 magnitude earthquake off the Ventura coast near the Channel Islands triggered an early warning system developed by CalTech, giving a three-second heads up to researchers. The same system is what is being used for the Shake Alert app. Ventura County currently does not have a similar Shake Alert app, but does have useful information available at https://www.readyventuracounty.org/stay-informed/earthquake/.

T.O. hospital agrees to $2.95 million settlement over labor violations

A lawsuit alleging Los Robles Hospital shortchanged employees and discouraged lunch breaks, among other labor violations, has been settled for $2.95 million.

The lawsuit was introduced by Jeanette Munden, a registered nurse who worked for the hospital for six years beginning in 2009. The suit alleged that her hourly pay was artificially shortened by cutting off times at the beginning and end of her work day and that she was discouraged from taking breaks for meals.

The settlement includes $1.9 million for 3,046 employees to cover lost wages for current and former employees who would receive between $618 and $3,700. Another $973,500 would go toward lawyer fees as well as a $10,000 state labor code penalty.

Man found dead at Ventura County jail

An inmate at the Ventura County was found unresponsive on Saturday, Jan. 5, and would later die at a local hospital. Andrew Ricardez, 31, had been imprisoned since Nov. 24 on assault with a deadly weapon charges, to which he had plead not guilty.

The cause of death is under investigation and pending an autopsy by the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s office. Ricardez was in his cell alone at the time, according to authorities.