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Probe: February 14, 2001

February 14, 2001

QUESTION: I understand the Family Resource Centers in Brawley, El Centro and Niland will close June 30. Who is supposed to pick up these programs when the state money runs out?

Do they just use the money to build or remodel buildings and then walk away? What about the people who need and depend on the program? — Program User, El Centro

All the programs will continue, according to Rita Brogan, who coordinates the effort from the county Office of Education.

Local school districts will sponsor the programs. It won't cost much money. The function of the centers is to pull together programs that already exist with their own funding sources.

The school districts will not be in unfamiliar territory. They will follow the lead of the San Pasqual School District, which maintains the resource center in the Winterhaven area.

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When funding ran out for the Calexico center, the school district picked up the tab for the program, now operating from Neighborhood House.

QUESTION: How high is Mount Signal? Has it ever snowed on the mountain? — Shivering, Calexico

Snow doesn't fall often in this area and almost never stays on the ground below 4,000 feet. It must have snowed atop Mount Signal once or twice.

It wasn't easy to find the elevation. Neither the El Centro or Calexico chambers of commerce had the information. Nobody at the U.S. Bureau of Land Management knew.

Folks at the El Centro Library dug it out for us. Mount Signal is 2,260 feet high, according to a report in the January 1937 issue of The Mineralogist, a magazine for rockhounds.

Bernadette Boisvert, an El Centro library employee, found the article by Eva May Hyde on the Internet.

Snow may have capped Mount Signal in 1932. There was enough snow to shovel in Brawley on Dec. 10 of that year.

Brawleyites brought us pictures of snow piled around town. They were reacting to a PROBE report of a best-selling book that falsely claimed an early City Council passed a law banning snow in the city.

When the San Juan Bautista de Anza party pulled out of Yuma in 1774, they expected to battle heat and thirst. Instead they ran into a winter snowstorm that left a blanket of the white stuff on the ground.

The band of settlers suffered from the bitter cold as they hiked through the mountains in their history-making journey to find a land route to the coast.

TOO YOUNG TO FIGHT — I read PROBE every night but you sure missed the mark Monday. If a 70-year-old man tells you he fought in World War II, you should doubt his story. He was 13 or 14 years old during the war.

Most WWII vets are getting close to 80. I joined the Navy when I was 17 and I'm 74 years old. — Old Vet, El Centro

You're right. If we had it to do over again, we'd say we would not argue with a 74-year-old man telling us war stories.

But you know how it is. Some of those 70-year-olds look 75. When we're dealing with people older than us, we always shave a few years off their age. They appreciate it.

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