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Joe Nelson, Staff Writer
Posted: 02/18/2013 02:59:46 PM PST
Updated: 02/18/2013 09:01:20 PM PST

Recent court closures in San Bernardino County and resident transportation problems arising from them will be the topic of a special meeting of the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

The meeting begins at 11 a.m. in the board chambers, on the first floor of the San Bernardino County Government Center located at 385 N. Arrowhead Ave., in San Bernardino.

Budget constraints have prompted the closures of courts in Big Bear Lake, Barstow, Chino and Needles.

Residents in Needles, a city that lies along the Colorado River at the California/Arizona state lines, will have to drive 212 miles for court appearances in San Bernardino, or 146 miles into Joshua Tree, the court closest to Needles in California.

Supervisors James Ramos and Robert Lovingood, whose districts include the High Desert and Morongo Basin and whose residents are most affected by the closures, are working with local and state officials on how to address the transportation issues that have sprung in the wake of the closures. They are also pushing for more state funding for the courts.

Ramos said Monday the issue is all encompassing – from those who must appear before a judge for criminal cases to those paying traffic fines to those summoned for jury duty.

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