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ICE accusations, South African COVID-19 variant, Calexico crime sprees and store closures

Catch up with this week's Weekly Review

IMPERIAL, Calif. (KYMA, KECY) - Calexico captivated much of the Valley's attention this week with everything from a burglary spree to the arrest of multiple sex offenders occurring in the border town.

Proprietors have grown frustrated due to an alleged lack of "carry through" from Calexico Police Department after crime reports were made.

Expect an update from News 11's Arlette Yousif as she speaks with additional business owners this week.

Based out of San Diego, the Minority Humanitarian Foundation accused the Imperial Regional Detention Facility (IRDF) of releasing a dozen detainees whom tested positive for coronavirus.

The IRDF is being used to house undocumented immigrants and refugees held by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

After complaints with the detention center, the IRDF said it would no longer release COVID-19-positive immigrants in public. Instead, ICE said agents would turn over immigrants to health officials, such as the Imperial County Public Health Department.

Metropolitan Theatres opened its Calexico location Friday, March 26. Temperature checks, masks and social distancing are required in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines.

Calexico 10 Theatres added a new booking option where an entire theatre can be reserved for a private screening; additional fees apply. Contactless ticketing is provided for moviegoers' safety.

CBS 13's Alexandra Rangel reported on a parcel of land in early March, which caused quite the dispute amongst the Calexico City Council. Plans for a second border wall on the property have since been put to a halt.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers confirmed that new directions from the Biden administration have axed all plans for further border wall construction along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Criminal activity was prevalent, including a Sureño gang member whom was arrested a mile east of the Calexico Port of Entry after illegally entering the U.S.

Border Patrol detained the 44-year-old male and transported him to the nearest rally point. Agents processed the man criminally for violating Title 8 U.S.C. 1326, Reentry After Deportation.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection also arrested two sex offenders on separate instances within an hour of each other.

The first man was found at about 35 miles east of the Calexico Port of Entry around 8 p.m. Agents located the second one approximately 5 miles west of the first.

Record checks revealed both have prior convictions, including sex with minors, narcotic violations and grand theft.

Capping off the Calexico controversies, Yum Yum Chinese Food, Inc. followed Rainbow Retail and 5-7-9 is closing it's doors to the public.

We reached out to the City of Calexico for more information on renewed business licenses this year. That number is unclear, but according to City Manager Miguel Figueroa, the city has seen about a 26% loss in sales tax revenue due to the pandemic.

Officials were able to counteract the fiscal impact by cutting costs in Calexico's other sectors.

Now before we go, we have a coronavirus update for you like never before.

Last week's numbers displayed the total cases in Arizona at 836,253. Of the 3,635 new cases accounted for, two sample tests were found to be a South African COVID-19 variant.

According to the Center for Disease Control, currently approved vaccines seem to be effective against this particular strand. This strain allegedly spreads faster than other variants.

Per the Arizona Department of Health Services, this discovery is another reminder that Arizonans should consider getting vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as they possibly can.

Crime / DSW Living / Imperial County / Imperial County Coronavirus / Local News / Top Stories / Yuma County / Yuma County Coronavirus
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Caleb Fernandez

Caleb Fernández has always had an affinity for creative collaborations. Throughout his early education, he was actively involved in musical theatre. Upon earning his Bachelors degree from The Pennsylvania State University in Advertising/Public Relations, Caleb went straight to New York City where he learned the necessities of production assistance, photography and art direction.

Most recently, his work in strategic social media management has allowed him the blessing to work remotely while utilizing his skill sets of shooting still and moving images, retouching, scripting, editing, event management, and brand representation.

As a native of the Imperial Valley, Caleb looks forward to serving the KYMA/KECY-TV team in one of the most rewarding ways: by giving back to the Valley which helped raise him.

Please reach out via email at if you’re interested in collaborating.

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Alexandra Rangel

Alexandra Rangel joined KSWT in March 2019 as a multimedia journalist.

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Arlette Yousif

Arlette Yousif joined KYMA in November 2020 as a Multi Media Journalist. She holds a BA in Journalism with a minor in Film. In 2019, she completed her internship at KLAS, a CBS affiliate station in Las Vegas.

While Arlette’s first love is writing, she is no stranger to the camera. Her background consists of acting, singing, hosting and even working for a major music producer. Even still, Arlette has worked in many different fields ranging from food service to hospitality and property management. Her first job was at her family restaurant when she was 14 years old. She danced around outside dressed as a clown waving a pizza box for the grand-reopening.

Arlette was born and raised in Southern California and spent about 6 years in Nevada before moving to Yuma.

You can reach out to Arlette for inquiries at

Brandon Mejia

Brandon Mejia joins the news team as the evening anchor for KSWT. You can catch him weeknight at 6 and 10 p.m.

Christian Galeno

Christian Galeno joined KYMA/KSWT in July of 2019 as a Weekend Anchor and multimedia journalist.

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Mercedes Martinez

Mercedes Martinez joined the KSWT team as anchor/producer in October 2020. You can catch her on 13 On Your Side at 4:00pm.

Mercedes was born in San Diego and raised in the border-town of Calexico, California. She is an Imperial Valley native and definitely no stranger to Yuma county.

Mercedes began her journalism career at San Jose State University as she was a part of their campus newscast that aired every Friday, joined “El Espartano Noticias,” and was an on-air talent for the San Jose Film Festival in 2017. Her highlight during that time was the opportunity to interview actress, Jane Lynch.

Mercedes then continued her journey to CSU Sacramento and received her B.A in Journalism and minor in Communication Studies. She did an internship with Telemundo in Sacramento, which allowed her to gain experience and build relationships.

Mercedes believes that everyone has a story and should use their voice to tell it and inspire others.

Outside of work, Mercedes spends time with her friends and family. She is passionate about cooking, baking, traveling, playing guitar and writing songs.

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Sumiko Keil

Sumiko Keil has served as the Digital Content Producer since March 2019.


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