About Kate McGinty

Kate McGinty has worked as a public safety watchdog on the iSun investigative team. She is now The Desert Sun’s digital editor of engagement. Follow her on Twitter at @TDSKateM and on Instagram at @kjmcginty.

C-SPAN to film TV show in Palm Springs

Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs circa 1954.

Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs circa 1954. (Courtesy of Palm Springs Historical Society)

C-SPAN will spend a week filming in Palm Springs to record a TV special on the city, the public affairs network announced this week.

As part of a series that explores the literary life and history of selected cities, C-SPAN will drive specially made “local content vehicles” around Palm Springs.

They will also interview “local historians, authors and civic leaders.”

Mayor Pro Tem Chris Mills and Director of Tourism Mary Jo Ginther will be among those speaking when C-SPAN starts filming in Palm Springs on Monday.

The network will announce more details then about which stories and segments will be explored, according to a press release sent out.

The footage will be aired during a special Palm Springs weekend June 1 and June 2 on the non-fiction book channel BookTV (on C-PSAN2) and on American History TV (on C-SPAN3).

Other featured cities include Providence, R.I.;  Santa Fe, N.M., Mesa, Ariz. and nd Bakersfield, Calif. (See the full list and air dates here.)

RELATED: See our historical coverage of Palm Springs, which was published in honor of the city’s 75th anniversary this year.

Koffi opens Rancho Mirage location

Koffi Rancho Mirage

Koffi opened a Rancho Mirage location on Monday (courtesy photo).

Koffi opened a new location in Rancho Mirage on Monday — and it has the first coffee roasting facility of its kind in the Coachella Valley.

The coffee shop, which has in-café coffee roasting, is at at 71380 Highway 111, across from Desert European Motorcars.

It’s open from 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

The new Koffi is the third of the popular, locally owned Coachella Valley chain that was founded in 2002.

The original location is at 515 N. Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs. It added a second location at 1700 S. Camino Real in 2008.

The chain employes 48 people.

Thermal breaks heat record, Palm Springs ties record — again

Thermal broke a heat record Monday, and Palm Springs tied the record for hottest-ever April 29.


The temperature peaked at 106 degrees in Thermal by about 2:30 p.m. That beats the previous heat record for the day, which was 105 degrees set in 1959.

It hit 106 degrees in Palm Springs — the second weather measuring station in the Coachella Valley — as well. That tied the day’s record of 106 degrees, also set in 1959.

The National Weather Service shows the temperature as dramatically warmer than the normals for the day — 88 in Palm Springs and 91 in Thermal.

It continues an unusually hot stretch of weather, which included records being broken on Sunday and the hottest-ever Stagecoach Festival.

The valley will see a slight cooling down starting Tuesday, with projected highs between 92 and 97 degrees.

HBO releases trailer for Liberace flick filmed in Palm Springs

HBO has released its first trailer for “Behind the Candelabra” — the bio-pic about Liberace that was shot, in part, in Palm Springs last year.

“Directed by Steven Soderbergh, the movie is based on Thorson’s autobiography, Behind the Candelabra: My Life with Liberace, which was published in 1988, a year after Liberace’s death,” according to Vanity Fair.

Nearly 900,000 people have watched the trailer in the last 72 hours.

The movie stars Michael Douglas as the flamboyant piano man and Matt Damon as his lover Scott Thorson.

Hundreds of Liberace fans and wannabe actors lined up at the Palm Springs Convention Center in July 2012 for a chance to be an extra in the flick.

It was slated to be shot in Palm Springs in late August 2012. Liberace had two homes in Palm Springs.

About 100 extras were needed to play fans, medical personnel and likely other parts, casting director Rich King told The Desert Sun at the time.

Douglas’ father, actor and author Kirk Douglas, had a home in Palm Springs for years and his brother Joel lives only a few blocks from Liberace’s home near Alejo Road.

‘The Bachelor’ Sean Lowe planning wedding in Palm Springs?

Bachelor Sean Lowe wedding in Palm Springs?“The Bachelor” Sean Lowe and his fiancée Catherine Giudici have announced they are planning a TV wedding — and it could be in the Coachella Valley.

“Sean is planning on spending $1 million dollars on his Palms Springs [SIC] wedding to his secret Bachelor fiancée and it will be ‘more romantic’ and ‘more special’ than any other wedding,” Hollywood Life wrote.

Lowe would be the first Bachelor ever to walk down the aisle with his winner. He is now competing on “Dancing with the Stars” with pro Peta Murgatroyd.

Bachelor Sean Lowe wedding in Palm Springs?

Photo from Life and Style magazine (March 2013 issue)

If the couple makes it to “I do,” Life and Style magazine claims the wedding could be at Miramonte Resort and Spa in Indian Wells (see picture to the right).

That’s not far from where “The Bachelorette” Trista Sutter married her winner, Ryan, in what’s considered the franchise’s most successful relationship.

Their reported $4 million TV wedding took place in 2003 at The Lodge in Rancho Mirage (now the Ritz Carlton).

In related rumors, there was this “burning question” from In Touch Weekly:

“Did Sean Sneak Away to Palm Springs With His Fiancée?” In Touch Weekly asked. The answer:

YES! “They met there for a romantic rendezvous on Feb. 23,” says an insider. “They stayed at a private house so no one could find them.”

First Powerball sales in California sets national record with $3.1 million


This November 2012 file photo shows a Powerball form and purchased ticket (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

Powerball lottery tickets went on sale in California for the first time on Monday — and the state broke a national record for sales.

Players bought the record-setting $3,101,816 in tickets in 24 hours, the California Lottery announced.

They were purchased at the 21,000 retail locations in the state now selling Powerball tickets.

A $60 million jackpot is up for grabs in Wednesday’s drawing. The estimated cash value is $38.9 million.

The drawing will take place in Sacramento – instead of the usual Tallahassee, Florida –  at 7:59 p.m. Wednesday.

“We were able to kick the game off in style with launch events in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and you could feel how excited our players were to finally be able to play POWERBALL,” Lottery Director Robert T. O’Neill said in a statement.

Powerball is now played at in California and 42 other states, as well as Washington, D.C. and the Virgin Islands.

Find a complete list of retailers here.

‘Who’s the Boss’ star gets engaged in Palm Springs

“Who’s the Boss?” child star Danny Pintauro’s boyfriend popped the question during a trip to Palm Springs this week, Us Weekly reported Friday.

The couple got engaged over dinner on Wednesday night.

“He made a video, and in the video held up the box [with the ring],” the magazine quotes Pintauro as saying. “I looked up and he had it in his hand!”

Wil Tabares posted a photo from the dinner table after his proposal.

Jonathan Bower — er, Pintauro and his fiance live in Las Vegas and plan to move to California “once Prop 8 is overturned.”

“Who’s the Boss” ran from September 1984 until April 1992.

Throwback Thursday: See Palm Springs headlines from 1963

“Incorporation ‘hot’ in two desert areas,” was the news of the day on April 4, 1963.

See the The Desert Sun’s front page from April 4, 1963, on our Facebook page.

Desert Hot SprinIn the top local story of the day, petitioners who wanted to incorporate Desert Hot Springs garnered enough signatures to launch the process.

The city was incorporated later that year on Sept. 17, 1963.

Miles away, questionnaires circulated in Palm Desert to raise the issue of incorporation.

The circular was widely distributed to the 5,000 residents of the community, according to the news report.

It would be more than a decade before they were successful, though.

Palm Desert was incorporated  Nov. 26, 1973.



The Desert Sun. April 4, 1963.The Women in the Desert column offers a quaint throwback.

“College — past, present and future — will be at the center of interest on April 11 when the Coachella Valley Panhellenic group presents a tea at the home of Mrs. Cornelius Maffie, 835 Avenida Palmas.”

Judging was eliminated from an annual flower show:The Palm Springs Garden Club will return to its original concept of floral exhibition when it stages its 12th annual Flower Display on Saturday.”


April 4, 1963, The Desert SunDaughter of local couple to wed in Rockford, Ill. Equally as quaint.

Golfers showed up in force: “March broke all-time records, chalking up a total of 6,704 players at the Palm Springs Municipal Golf Course, tumbling a record which had stood since March 1961.”


Desert Inn ad from 1963And finally an ad from The Desert Inn offers a glimpse into 50-year-old dining prices.







Palm Desert High School third valley school to launch app as part of Digital Natives

Palm Desert High School's The SpearPalm Desert High School has launched its student news app — making it the third valley school that’s part of Digital Natives.

The app showcases The Spear’s student journalists, who work to provide stories, photos and videos from their own school.

You’ll find the latest about their campus — clubs, college prep, graduation, homecoming, prom, sports, theater and everything in between.

Download The Spear app via iTunes or Google Play, or you can access the content at www.DigitalNatives.net/pdhs.

The Desert Sun’s Digital Natives started at Cathedral City High School in October 2011.

The brainchild of then-Cathedral City teacher Matt Hamilton and staff at The Desert Sun, CCNews was designed to deliver school news and information to parents, teachers, neighbors, abuelas and segundos — anyone — with a mobile phone or tablet.

The Blackhawk News app from La Quinta High School launched in April 2012.

Find Cathedral City and La Quinta high schools’ apps in the app markets (or find direct links to the apps at the sites linked to above).

Supreme Court: Drug-sniffing police dogs unconstitutional without warrant

Drug sniffing dogsWhile most of the nation focuses on The Supreme Court’s hearings on gay marriage, the high court made a different interesting ruling Tuesday:

Police cannot bring drug-sniffing police dogs onto a suspect’s property to look for evidence without first getting a warrant for a search.

It’s a decision which may limit how investigators use dogs’ sensitive noses to search out drugs, explosives and other items hidden from human sight, sound and smell, Associated Press reporter Jesse Holland writes.

It’s the second opinion this year on the use of drug-sniffing dogs by police.

The court unanimously ruled earlier in another Florida case that police don’t have to extensively document the work of drug-sniffing dogs in the field to be able to use the results of their work in court.


Highlights from the AP coverage of Tuesday’s decision:

The high court split 5-4 on the decision to uphold the Florida Supreme Court’s ruling throwing out evidence seized in the search of Joelis Jardines’ Miami-area house. That search was based on an alert by Franky the drug dog from outside the closed front door.

Justice Antonin Scalia said a person has the Fourth Amendment right to be free from the government’s gaze inside their home and in the area surrounding it, which is called the curtilage.

“The police cannot, without a warrant based on probable cause, hang around on the lawn or in the side garden, trawling for evidence and perhaps peering into the windows of the home,” Justice Antonin Scalia said for the majority.

Dissenting Justice Samuel Alito argued that it’s not trespassing when a mail carrier comes on a porch for a brief period.  And that includes “police officers who wish to gather evidence against an occupant,” Alito said.

“According to the court, however, the police officer in this case, Detective Bartelt, committed a trespass because he was accompanied during his otherwise lawful visit to the front door of the respondent’s house by his dog, Franky. Where is the authority evidencing such a rule?”