5 Things to Know: Thursday, November 19

Welcome to 5 Things to Know – a daily rundown of things you might want to be aware of if you live in, visit, or just like being aware about what’s going on in Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley. As always, thank you for your continued support of Cactus Hugs.

1) The Coronavirus

Riverside County reported 373 new cases and 13 new reported deaths since Tuesday. There have been 1,396 reported deaths from coronavirus this year in Riverside County.

Here is the latest on what’s going on in the desert:


  • Due to the surge in cases and hospitalizations, county health officials are urging residents to keep their holiday gatherings “smaller, shorter, safer.”

  • The state of California has imposed a “limited stay-at-home order” which includes a 10 pm – 5 am curfew for counties in the purple tier (which is almost every county at this point):

  • Nationally, things are pretty bleak:

Be safe.  Wear a mask. 

2) Suspected home intruder fatally shot in DHS

A man who police say was a suspected home intruder was fatally shot in Desert Hot Springs on Wednesday night.  Police were called to a home on Hacienda Heights Drive and arrived to find a man with at least one gunshot wound.  The man was pronounced dead at the scene.

The shooting was reported by the man who opened fire.  Police have are investigating whether self defense played a role.

3) The Indian Wells City Council is fighting with each other

Things are getting weird in Indian Wells, as the outgoing Mayor Ty Peabody took over five minutes to list off complaints against the Mayor Pro Tem Dan Reed during Wednesday’s city council meeting, then adjourned the meeting, leaving no time for anyone to respond.

In his rant, Peabody accused Reed of bullying fellow council members, being rude to residents, and violating the Brown Act.

In an email to The Desert Sun, Reed called Peabody’s allegations “poppycock.”

4) Props to Ernie Ball

Back in April, Ernie Ball announced it was transforming part of its Coachella plant to produce cotton face masks that would be given away for free in the Coachella Valley.  The company announced this week it has donated 55,000 of its handmade face masks to local residents, charities and organizations.

“The Coachella Valley is our home and we wanted to help the community in any way possible,” Brian Ball, CEO of Ernie Ball, said in a press release. “Throughout the pandemic, our primary goal has been to establish a safe, controlled working environment for our team members and employees. When the mandate for masks was announced, our team came together and decided we had a unique opportunity to support not just our employees, but all residents of our Valley by distributing masks to all free of charge. I really couldn’t be more proud.”

5) Gift Guide: Day 4

What the??  It’s already time to start shopping for the holidays!…even though it was 90 freakin’ degrees today in the Coachella Valley!  2020 is quite a year.   Over the next couple of weeks, Cactus Hugs will feature a few items you might want to pick up for yourself or as a gift for a loved one.  Some items will include affiliate links, which would mean that Cactus Hugs gets a small commission if you happen to buy something, but the price is still the same.

I took some time to celebrate the Instant Pot back in four years ago and, if I didn’t convince you then that everyone should have one, I am taking another shot now.

These things are rad.  They slow cook, they make yogurt, some versions sanitize, and, the best part, the easily pressure cook, meaning quick and easy meals for you in almost no time.

They wash out easily, they won’t take up much space on your counter or cabinets, and, when the inner silicone ring starts to get a little stinky, you can replace it for a little more than ten bucks, which you should, because these things last a long time.

If you have one, you know what I am talking about and, should you know someone who doesn’t, it makes a great gift, especially for those who aren’t all that great at cooking, seeing as how we are cooking more at home these days.

You can grab an Instant Pot Duo on Amazon…bonus: it’s on sale for $20 off right now.

Stay safe.  Stay smart.  Practice Social Distancing.  Wear a mask.