"Did someone from your office die yesterday?" the young woman on the phone began. "Well," I answered, "three of the four people who work here are at their desks and the other is on vacation. I think we're all accounted for."


Then she explained why she had asked the provocative question.


The woman, Lindsy McKinley, was working her shift at Sonic restaurant on Amargosa Road last Tuesday, when a driver honked several times. She was one of the first to go to his car. It turned out that the man, Robert "Cowboy" Jones, 66, was having a emergency episode, perhaps a heart attack, and was in severe distress. With San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department dispatch on the phone, McKinley and other first-responders did what they could to assist the man until fire department paramedics got there. She learned later that Jones, who was taken to a nearby hospital, didn't make it.


The experience had shaken McKinley, who is training to be a manager of the eatery, and she wanted to know more about the man. She noticed he had bundles of newspapers with "Hesperia" in the banner in his Kia car. That's why she called us.


After the Star news staff investigated, it turned out that, yes, Jones was part of the Hesperia Star family. Actually he was an independent contractor for the Daily Press and had delivered papers for more than 10 years. The bundles of Stars in his car were enroute to readers in Hesperia.


Although our office staff didn't know Robert "Cowboy" Jones personally, we certainly felt sadness when we learned of his passing. Every week he made sure our product got to our readers. We're grateful for that. We're also grateful that Lindsy McKinley was there when one of ours needed assistance. Thank you for stepping up.


***


Remedying the lack of a crosswalk at Ranchero Road near Hesperia' newest elementary school, Krystal, isn't as easy as it may seem.


Because the school is located three-quarters of a mile away from the Ranchero and Farmdale interesection, the school district likely won't qualify for state funds. Intersection improvement cost money. So where would the money come from?


But we're not talking about growing class sizes, trimming busing routes or cutting other school services. We're talking about the lives of school children.


Certainly studies must be done and resources scoured to find a viable solution, but hopefully the project won't be put on the bureaucratic back burner. Let's hope the city and school district find a reasonable solution, sooner than later.