The Pentagon is bringing back to work at least 90 percent of the estimated 350,000 defense civilian employees who were furloughed in the government shutdown. The decision announced Saturday by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is based on a Pentagon interpretation of a law called the Pay Our Military Act, that was passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama shortly before the partial government shutdown began Tuesday. Hagel said the law does not permit a blanket recall of all DoD civilians. But government attorneys concluded that the law does allow the Pentagon to eliminate furloughs for “employees whose responsibilities contribute to the morale, well-being, capabilities and readiness of service members.” The Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Public Affairs Office has notified Z107.7 that MOST civilian Department of Defense employees should return to work this morning. According to the announcement from the Combat Center’s PAO, a limited number of employees will remain on furlough; employees who will remain on furlough will be contacted today by their command and told not to return to work. All others should return to work TODAY for their regularly scheduled shift.
The Sheriff’s Department is investigating after a woman said she carjacked at gunpoint Friday night in Twentynine Palms, and forced into her vehicle’s trunk. According to Detective Erik Smoot, about 9 p.m. Friday, a woman, whose identity was not released by the Sheriff’s Department, called 911 to report she was locked in the trunk of her Honda Accord. Responding deputies located the woman locked in her car’s trunk in the area of Mesquite Springs Road and Indian Trail, in the unincorporated area of Twentynine Palms. The woman said she had picked up a hitch-hiker near Indian Trail and Adobe Road in Twentynine Palms about 8:45 p.m. According to the victim, the man held her at gunpoint and demanded she drive to the Mesquite Springs Road. Once there, he forced her to partially undress, locked her in the trunk of her car, and then fled on food. The hitch-hiker is described as a light-skinned black male in his mid- to early 20s, with a thin mustache and a scar above his right eye. The woman said he was wearing a white shirt, with a white hoodie, and black pants. The investigation is ongoing; anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Department at 760-366-4175.
A woman who shot and killed her abusive boyfriend in 2011 pleaded guilty Friday in a plea bargain that will give her 17 years in prison. According to court and Sheriff reports, Jeanne Rosser, now 65, and her 52-year-old boyfriend, David Wenzel, both of Yucca Valley, had “on-going domestic disturbance issues,” which culminated in Rosser shooting Wenzel to death December 27, 2011. Rosser then called her daughter and told her she had shot Wenzel; the daughter called her brother in California who went to the home in the 6800 block of Palm Avenue and found Wenzel dead on the couch. Wenzel had felony convictions for spousal abuse in 2004 and 2009. The murder charge against Rosser was dropped in exchange for guilty pleas to voluntary manslaughter and assault with a firearm; Rosser’s formal sentencing is set for November 7, where it’s expected she will be given a sentence of 17 years in prison.
The 29 Palms Art Gallery is holding one of its biggest fundraisers of the year next week, and tickets are now on sale. Reporter Taylor Thacker says get your tickets now for the annual chili dinner…
Tickets are now on sale for the 29 Palms Art Gallery’s Pioneer Days Chili Dinner. The dinner, part of the Twentynine Palms Pioneer Days festivities, is one of the biggest fund-raising events of the year for the art gallery, and is set for Saturday, October 19. The chili dinner will be served under the stars on the gallery’s patio, accompanied by live music by the Luminators. Bruce’s Coyote Kitchen will prepare both vegetarian and meat chili, along with all the trimmings, and corn bread, plus salad, desserts. A no-host bar, serving wine, beer, and sodas, opens at 4:30 on the gallery’s patio, and the chili dinner will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Tickets for the Chili Dinner are $13 individual, $25 couple, and $8 children under 10. Tickets may be purchased in advance at the 29 Palms Art Gallery. Advance tickets are also available at The Silk Purse Art & Antiques, and at the 29 Palms Chamber of Commerce. Tickets will also be sold at the door. The art gallery is located at 74055 Cottonwood Drive, off National Park Drive in Twentynine Palms.
There is an item of local interest on the consent agenda for tomorrow’s meeting of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors. The Supervisors will approve the appointment of the 9-member regional Municipal Advisory Committee for the unincorporated area of the Morongo Basin. The appointees are: Jack Dugan, Elizabeth Karman, Z107.7 reporter and Landers Honorary Mayor Mike Lipsitz, Mark Lundquist, Larry Parrot, David Peach, Max Rossi, Gail Swart, and Mary Helen Tuttle. The Supervisors’ meetings can be attended remotely at the County Government Center in Joshua Tree, and can also be viewed live on the Internet at http://www.sbcounty.gov/main/countydirect.asp. The meeting starts at 10 am.
Copper Mountain College’s Christine Proudfoot Student Activity Center has received another generous donation from a Morongo Basin resident. Retired Marine Colonel Bud Garret’s donation of $25,000 will allow for the design and designation of an area in the Center to be named “Bud and Betty’s Place for Veterans” and will be a special place for those who have served in the armed forces. About 8 percent of CMC students are military veterans. The Christine Proudfoot Student Activity Center, which will provide a gathering place for students, still needs about $220,000 to meet its goal of $500,000. For more information about the student center, or to make a donation, call 760-366-3791 extension 4200, or go online to www.cmccd.edu/Foundation.
One of the cutest events during Twentynine Palms’ Pioneer Days festival, set for next weekend, is the Little Miss and Little Master contest. ROP broadcasting student Crystalfaith Rickman joins us with the details for signing up your child for the event…
The annual 2013 Pioneer Days needs children between the ages of 3 and 5 to participate in the Miss and Master Contest. Your child can sing, dance, or show off a special talent to win. Space is limited to the first 20 children that enter. The contest is being held at the 29 Palms Elks Lodge #2134, off of Highway 62 in Twentynine Palms on October 17 at 6 PM. For more information call the 29 Palms Chamber at 760-367-3445 or go to their website at www.29chamber.org. Don’t miss out on all the fun and sign up your child today!
Middle- and high-school students who are interested in attending a military academy are invited to attend a free event tonight to learn more about the country’s five service academies. Representatives from the U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Military Academy, and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy will be on hand to answer questions regarding requirements and qualifications for entrance to an academy, Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarships, military prep schools, and congressional nominations. U.S. Service Academy Nights will be held 7 p.m. tonight at the Yucaipa Community Center, 34900 Oak Glen Road, and 7 p.m. October 15 at the Victorville City Hall, Conference Room D, 14343 Civic Drive. High School seniors who reside in Representative Paul Cook’s 8th Congressional district, and who are seeking admission to the military academies for Fall 2014, must submit a completed nomination packet to Cook’s district office by December 1. For nomination forms, visit Cook’s website at cook.house.gov. For more information about the service nights, call Jan Leja at 909-797-4900.
Bus ridership is down slightly since the new Super Walmart opened in July. Reporter Dan Stork talked with the Morongo Basin Transit Authority General Manager Joe Meer, who offered a couple reasons why that might be…
Z107.7 asked Morongo Basin Transit Authority General Manager Joe Meer if the opening of the Walmart Supercenter at Avalon has had a noticeable effect on bus ridership. He told us that there has been a little dip. He speculated on two reasons: Residents in the Paradise Valley area can now walk to shopping; Riders who use the bus to shop can now make one stop for most shopping needs.
On Saturday, the Morongo Basin Special Olympic soccer teams traveled to San Diego to participate in San Diego Regional Games. The Green Mojaves took two teams to represent the Basin and earned silver and bronze medals. Some of the players who scored were Robert Edwards, Kenneth Barkhuff, Malacky Chiu, and Anthony Cooper. Strong defensive play was performed by Jason Copper, Patric Johnson, Andrea Garica and John Foster. Chase Neibeger and Martin Stanovich performed great goalkeeping skills by blocking, diving and stopping shots on net. For more information about Special Olympics, call Greg Johnson at 760-464-3863.
The Yucca Valley High School Trojan Football concluded its preseason schedule Friday night by shutting out the Rosamond offense and scoring 38 first half points. This puts the Trojans at a perfect 5-0 mark. Logan Vallo had a combined 337 total yards on the night with three touchdowns and two 3-point conversions. Bradley Soares completed six passes for 96 yards and one touchdown pass. On defense, Josh Tierney led the team with 13 tackles. The defense as a whole held Rosamond to 150 yards, recovered four fumbles and forced three turnovers. League play begins Friday for the Trojans as they travel to Shadow Hills.
Playing in front of a tremendous homecoming crowd, the Cathedral City Lions used a 33-point second half outburst to smack down the visiting Twentynine Palms High School Wildcats football team, 46 -0. The Wildcats stayed close during the entire first half to the undefeated (5-0) and much larger school; and even had a chance to take the lead early in the second quarter as the ’Cats marched 60 yards down to the 4-yard line, but an incredible leaping interception by Cathedral City stopped the Wildcats from taking the lead. Key players in Friday’s loss to the Cathedral City Lions were Richard Williams with 11 tackles, and Alonzo Tate, who tallied 10. Offensive leaders, were Talo Wilson with 3 catches for 47 yards, and Jake Culver who ran and threw for over 102 yards of offense. Dominic Santanelli blocked a field goal attempt and had a solid game at corner. David Falefitu had two solos and two sacks on the evening. The Frosh-Soph team will also look to rebound as they lost for the first time on the season in a hard fought battle 12-8.
In high school sports tomorrow, the Yucca Valley High School girls’ volleyball team will host the Big Bear Bears at home at 4:30.
The Twentynine Palms High School girls’ volleyball and tennis teams will host Shadow Hills High School at home tomorrow. Tennis starts at 3:15, volleyball at 4:30.
Also tomorrow, the Joshua Springs Christian School volleyball team travels away to play Mesa Grande Academy; their match starts at 5 p.m.