A U.S. Marine from Indio who was one of the service members killed in last month’s bombing in Afghanistan will be remembered during a memorial service Saturday in Palm Springs.
Cpl. Hunter Lopez, 22, was one of three Southern California Marines, including two from Riverside County, who were among 13 service members killed in a suicide bombing at Hamid Karzai International Airport on August 26.
Saturday’s memorial begins at 11 AM at the Palm Springs Convention Center, located at 277 N. Avenida Caballeros. It concludes a three-day-long remembrance by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department for the fallen Marine who was the son of Riverside County sheriff’s Deputy Alicia Lopez and sheriff’s Capt. Herman Lopez.
“Hunter was devoted to serving others and perfecting himself in order to be the best Explorer and Marine possible,” the Sheriff’s Department said in a news release Thursday. “Whether at work or at home, Hunter strived for perfection, seeking knowledge and experience from those he respected and admired.
“He lived life to the fullest and was often the reason why family and friends would bend over backwards to get together when he was around.”
In order to comply with COVID-19 restrictions, officials said the Oasis Room in the convention center will be open to the public to watch the ceremony via media screens. The service will also be live-streamed via the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department’s YouTube and Facebook pages. A total of 1,000 members of the public will be permitted to attend, and facemasks will be required.
Lopez’s body was flown back to the Coachella Valley on Thursday. A procession followed, passing the Palm Desert Sheriff’s Station on Gerald Ford Drive and ending at St. Francis of Assisi in La Quinta. Today’s public viewing starts with a procession at 9 AM from St. Francis of Assisi past the three schools Lopez attended in the Coachella Valley: Amelia Earhart Elementary School and John Glenn Middle School in Indio and La Quinta High School. The procession will then loop back to St. Francis of Assisi, where there will be a public viewing from Noon until 7 PM.
At the conclusion of Saturday’s service in Palm Springs, a procession will travel to Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside, where Lopez will be laid to rest.
Complete details and maps of all of the processions are available here. Sheriff’s officials advised members of the public who wish to view the processions to stay on the sidewalks and out of roadways for safety.
Donations: The Lopez family suggested that donations in honor of Cpl. Lopez be made to the Riverside County Deputy Sheriff Relief Foundation. Information about how to donate to the family can be found here.
Let’s Talk Community News
On September 21, you’re invited to join the editor of The Palm Springs Post and the publisher of the Coachella Valley Independent at Talk of the Town, presented by ONE-PS. The timely and informative virtual session starts at 5:30 PM and will focus on how independent publishers are working to build personal connections in their Coachella Valley communities by bringing them local news.
STATUE DECISION: The Palm Springs City Council plans to hold a joint meeting with the city’s Human Rights Commission on September 29 to discuss a proposal to remove the statue of former Mayor Frank Bogert in front of City Hall, and the public is invited to weigh in. The meeting, scheduled via Zoom at 5:30 PM, could culminate with a final vote on the proposal after years of discussion over whether it was right to honor Bogert. The actor served as mayor twice, including during one of the ugliest periods in city history in the late 1950s through the mid-1960s. Click here for the complete story.
ARRAIGNMENT: Arraignment is scheduled today in Indio for a 31-year-old Palm Springs man accused of killing two city residents during separate break-ins this year. Luis Cantor was arrested in the 2200 block of Caliente Drive in Palm Springs on August 25. During the arrest, Palm Springs police said they found what they deemed “substantial evidence” linking Cantor to the July killing of 80-year-old Joseph Rajczi. The evidence, along with “multiple similarities” between Rajczi’s death and that of 59-year-old Jennifer Dillon, led investigators to suspect Cantor of both killings. He is charged with two counts of murder, three counts of burglary, and one count of assault on a person causing great bodily injury, all of which are felonies.
SHRED EVENT: You can bring confidential and sensitive documents to shred during a Shred Day Saturday from 12 PM until 3 PM at 610 S. Belardo Rd. Donations will be accepted during the event, which is being sponsored by Platinum Star Properties to benefit Sanctuary Palm Springs.
5K EVENTS RETURN: The Palm Springs Marathon Runners are once again planning to hold a series of runs this fall. The organization’s traditional events — the Run for Ike 5K, Wild Turkey Trot 5K, and Santa Paws 5K — were canceled last year due to COVID-19. This year’s events will be held on November 13, Thanksgiving morning November 25, and December 18, respectively. Registration is now open here. Participants will be rewarded with medals for each 5K they complete. A special medal is awarded for completing all three events.
SCHOOL COVID: As of this morning, the Palm Springs Unified School District is reporting 43 cases of COVID-19 among students and staff — a number that is unchanged since Thursday. Schools in Palm Springs account for nine of those cases, including seven among students and two among staff. Two schools in the city — Palm Springs High School and Cielo Vista Charter School — accounted for the majority of the reported cases.
MIZELL EVENTS: Wii bowling and fitness classes are among programs being offered today at the Mizell Center, 480 S. Sunrise Way, starting at 8 AM. Today’s complete schedule can be found here.
BOOK CLUB: The Friends of the Palm Springs Library Book Club meets at 2 PM today. This month they are discussing My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell. To participate, please contact Scott Biegen by email at [email protected]. Most titles for the club are available as downloadable audiobooks or e-books from the library.
AT POST 519: Prince Fleet Easton performs at American Legion Post 519, 400 N. Belardo Rd., tonight at 6 PM. The Post is open to all veterans and their guests. Dinner will be served from 5 PM until 8 PM.
FOOD DISTRIBUTION: Well in the Desert distributes food every Saturday at 6 AM and 10 AM at 181 N. Indian Canyon Dr. For the early distribution, guests typically begin lining up at 5 AM and must show proof of residency (a rent receipt, utility bill, etc.). For both distributions, guests are asked to bring a box, bags or other containers to transport food items. More information is available by phoning the Well’s office at 760-656-8905. The Well also offers hot lunches Monday through Friday at 11 AM and 1 PM at various locations throughout the city. A complete schedule of those services is available here.
CREEK CLEANUP: The Tahquitz Creek Yacht Club is once again holding its monthly creek cleanup on Saturday. The “welcome back” event is scheduled to begin at 8 AM. Participants can meet next to the Camino Real bridge. The Yacht Club is a nonprofit group made up of neighbors from multiple neighborhoods around the creek. It typically holds a cleanup of the creek bed and surrounding areas on the third Saturday of every month.
INDOOR MARKET: The Palm Springs Certified Farmers’ Market is open Saturdays from 8 AM until 12:30 PM and has moved indoors through September. The market is located inside the Palm Springs Pavilion, 401 S. Pavilion Way.
FLEA MARKET: A flea market and food fest is held Saturdays in September at 675 Crossley Rd. from 8 AM until 2 PM. Information can be found here.
MOVIE TIMES: The Regal Theater, 789 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way, and Camelot Theatres, 2300 E. Baristo Rd., offer first-run, fine art, independent, and foreign films in Palm Springs. Showtimes for the Regal are listed here. Showtimes at Camelot are here.
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