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A man who was beaten by San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputies has already settled with the Board of Supervisors. In order to avoid litigation expenses, the San Bernardino County Supervisors reached an agreement with Francis Pusock, 30, who was beaten by at least 10 Sheriff’s deputies April 9 in the High Desert. The supervisors unanimously approved in a closed session this morning a $650,000 settlement in connection with the arrest of Francis Pusock. Under the terms of the agreement, the county acknowledges no wrongdoing and settles all potential claims from Pusock that could stem from the incident. The beating was broadcast live on video by a KNBC helicopter, in which  deputies gather around Pusock after he falls from a horse he was riding to flee from them. The video shows deputies using a stun gun on him and then repeatedly kicking and hitting him. Following the beating, Sheriff John McMahon placed 10 deputies on administrative leave. The beating is being investigated by the FBI.


They call it the sound of freedom. Residents around the Morongo Basin can expect some louder-than-usual noise Wednesday, April 22, as Marines training in explosive ordnance disposal will detonate bombs and other explosive devices. Ammunition technician Marines will be taking part in their annual Emergency Destruction Training on board the Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center. The base has set up a website to report noise from the exercise.

or call the G-5 Operations Officer at 760-830-3735


Twentynine Palms firefighters made quick work of a fire at a Southern California Edison substation yesterday afternoon. According to Fire Captain Robert Marquez, just before 6:30 p.m, a malfunction ignited a transformer at the substation located on the highway at Hendys Road, on the west end of Twentynine Palms. SoCal Edison workers arrived on scene prior to the firefighters and de-energized the site, allowing them to safely put out the fire using a mixture of foam and water. Edison crews re-routed the power, and no customers were affected by the fire.

Photos courtesy of 29 Palms Fire Department

Photos courtesy of 29 Palms Fire Department

29P elec fire 4-20-15

Photos courtesy of 29 Palms Fire Department



The Yucca Valley Town Council meets in regular session tonight. Managing editor Tami Roleff says tonight the council will discuss potential uses for the old PFF building…

Among the items on the consent agenda at tonight’s meeting of the Yucca Valley Town Council, the council will be asked to approve a final parcel map for properties near Yucca Trail and Cherokee Trail; authorize a request for proposals for median island maintenance; and approve a contract amendment with the county for the animal shelter. The council will then hear a report on transportation and bike and pedestrian trail projects that may be suitable for grant funding. Next up is an update on the vacant PFF building on the corner of the highway and Joshua Lane, and potential town uses for it. Finally, the council will be asked to revise a town ordinance concerning residency restrictions for sex offenders so that it matches state law. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the Yucca Room of the Yucca Valley Community Center.


LifeStream will conduct a community blood drive today, April 21, in the Helen Gray Center at Hi-Desert Medical Center, from 10 to 2. Donors will receive incentives. In addition, Desert Blood Services now offers donors free cholesterol screening with every blood donation. All prospective donors should be free of infections or illness, weigh at least 110 pounds, and not be at risk for AIDS or hepatitis. To make an appointment to donate blood, call 800-TRY-GIVING.


The Joshua Tree Clean Team will be out tomorrow morning, April 22, at Alta Loma and Olympic and April 29 at Highway 62 and Yucca Mesa Road (north side). The scheduled time is from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. There will be grabber sticks, trash bags and gloves available to all volunteers. The Joshua Tree Clean Team meets at various sites in Joshua Tree to clean-up unsightly trash every second, fourth, and fifth Wednesday. Their co-sponsors are Park Rock Café, Z107.7, Joshua Tree Outfitters, Joshua Tree Recreation and Park, County of San Bernardino Waste Management, Cal Trans and staff, and the Hi-Desert Star. For more information call 760-366-8415.


The Copper Mountain Community College Board of Trustees has narrowed the field down to four finalists for the superintendent/president position The board will hold a special closed session meeting at 8 a.m. tomorrow in the library meeting room to discuss the candidates. Reporter Mike Lipsitz says the public can meet the candidates later this week…

The Copper Mountain College Board of Trustees has narrowed the pool of candidates for president/ superintendent to four finalists and now turns to the community for input. Plan to attend one of four free community forums to meet the finalists and ask questions tomorrow and Thursday at 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. in the Bell Center Community Room on the CMC campus. The finalists are Dr. May Chen, Vice President for Student Services at Berkeley City College; Jeff Cummings, presently the Interim Superintendent/President for CMC; Stephen Eaton Vice President of Academic Affairs for Barstow Community College; and Dr. David Smith, Vice President of Instruction and Student Affairs at Colorado Northwestern Community College. Trustees aim to announce their pick at the regular trustee meeting May 14. The projected start date is July 1. For more information, contact the District’s Human Resources Office at 760-366-5267.


Donations are still being accepted for the Third Annual Art Auction benefit for Reach Out Morongo Basin, set for May 2. Not an artist? Donations of pre-owned artwork from the community are also welcome. Past auctions have featured jewelry, photography, paintings, etchings, metalwork, gourds, ceramics, textiles, and even furniture. There will be food and beverages, and live entertainment by local artist Kristina Quigley, the Luminators, and Nathan Rivera and Jessie Andra. The auction will be held from 2 to 7 p.m. May 2 at ArtFx and Furnishings in Old Town Yucca Valley. The deadline to donate to the auction is April 27. Bring donations to ArtFx, 55836 29 Palms Highway, Yucca Valley. For more information, call Reach Out at 760-361-1410, or ArtFx at 619-990-5683.


The St. Joseph’s Players community theater troupe announces the cast of its next production, Neil Simon’s “Biloxi Blues.” Reporter Rebecca Havely has the complete cast list…

Biloxi Blues” is the second play in Neil Simon’s Eugene trilogy. The first of the series, “Brighton Beach Memoirs” was produced earlier this season by The St. Joseph’s Players. All the plays in the trio stand alone, but seeing them all in succession is a theatrical treat. The troupe hopes to produce the final play of the trilogy, “Broadway Bound” next season. “Biloxi Blues” has been cast and is in rehearsals now. Jericho McWilliams will portray Eugene, Simon’s alter ego in the piece. Abe Daniels is cast in the role of Sergeant Toomey. Arnold Epstein will be played by Ryan Fleishman. The other soldiers in the company will be played by Jared Phillips, Beau Stoker, Kory Fleishman and Adam Redmon. The role of Eugene’s love interest, Daisy, went to Liyan Lajevardi and Rowena, the southern lady of the evening, went to Bianca Stoker. Ensemble members include, Cathy Inscore, Kristine “KJ” Smith, Bob Noble, Kaylin Moffitt, Chalise Kunz and Joe Turner. The troupe hopes to produce the final play of the trilogy, “Broadway Bound” next season.

Biloxi Blues” will run from Friday, May 15 through Sunday June 7, with two Friday evening performances, four Saturday evening shows and two Sunday matinees, with tickets from $9 to $11 dollars. For more information and to make reservations call 760-362-9319, leave a message and your call will be returned.


The Joshua Tree American Legion Post 761 recently announced that seven area juniors have been named as the 2015 Boys’ State delegates. Delegates from Twentynine Palms High School are Jacob Gutierrez, Daniel Adams, and Hayden Shupp, with Shane Estrada as an alternate. From Joshua Springs Christian School are Kavanaugh Clow and David Marvel. And from Yucca Valley High School, Cole Inman and Trystan Gunkel were selected, with Jamal Robinson as an alternate. Boys’ State is a week-long leadership and citizen project of the American Legion, in which participants learn about the political process from the local to the state level. This year’s Boys’ State will be held in June on the campus of Sacramento State University.


The Rotary Club of Yucca Valley is sponsoring a new service club at Yucca Valley High School. The Interact Club has grown to more than 25 members in its first two months; its faculty advisor is Merl Abel. The club recently held its first elections. Elected as president is Rachel Green; treasurer, Christopher Gilmore; and secretary, Sadie Mecham. The students will help with local projects, such as the annual food drive, the Fourth of July fireworks show, the Christmas light parade, as well as other Rotary projects, such as collecting items needed for villages in Mexico.

President, Rachel Green;
Treasurer, Christopher Gilmore;
Secretary, Sadie Mecham;
Activity Service Officer, Fernanda Macias;
Club Service Officer, Gauge Hill;
Community Service Officer, Eva Evans;
Historian Service Officer, Jacob DeMorrow;
International Service Officer, Marissa Mercado; Public Service Officer, Carly Jacobs;
Social Media Officer, Eva Evans.

Pictured: left to right – Natlalie Garcia, Fernanda Macias, Eva Evans and Carly Jacobs who attended conference.

Pictured: left to right – Natlalie Garcia, Fernanda Macias, Eva Evans and Carly Jacobs who attended conference.


The United Methodist Church of Twentynine Palms will have an exciting, fun weekend. This Saturday, April 25, there will be a parking lot sale at 6250 Mesquite Springs Road in the Church parking lot from 9 a.m. till noon. A variety of merchandise will be on sale. All the proceeds of the church’s sale will go to Twentynine Palms Elementary School to help support their arts program. If you have items for them to sell, please bring them to the church between 9 and noon Friday. If you would like to set up a table to sell your own merchandise, spaces are available for a suggested donation of $10 for one space, and $15 for two spaces.
On Sunday, April 26, the church will host a Spudtacular dinner. For a $5 donation, you get a baked potato dinner. Load up your potato with chili, real bacon bits, fresh grated cheese, butter, sour cream, broccoli, and onions. Fix a salad with a variety of dressings and choose from an assortment of drinks. The meal will be served from 5 to 6 p.m at the United Methodist Church at 6250 Mesquite Springs Road in Twentynine Palms.


A golf tournament in Yucca Valley is for a good cause, raising funds that allows high school students to job shadow, participate in internships, and earn a scholarship worth $1,000. Tax-deductible contributions for sponsorships are available. Managing editor Tami Roleff has more information about the Yucca Valley High School Career Pathways Foundation Golf Tournament…

Golfers, mark your calendars for the ninth annual Yucca Valley High School Career Pathways Foundation Golf Tournament. The date is set for Friday, May 1, at Hawks Landing Golf Club in Yucca Valley. Registration is at 7 a.m. with an 8 a.m. shotgun start. The $80 individual registration fee or $320 team sponsorship covers greens fees, a golf cart, the awards presentation, breakfast and lunch. First, second, and third prizes will be awarded in both championship and hacker divisions, in addition to special awards for a hole in one, the longest drive, and closest to the pin, plus raffles and drawings. In addition, sponsors for tees and greens are still needed. For more information playing in the tournament, or sponsorship opportunities, contact Jeff Drozd at 760-365-3391, extension 3106, or 760-447-4015.


The Yucca Valley High School Trojan baseball and softball teams will host the Shadow Hills High School Knights at home tomorrow. Both games start at 3:30.
Also tomorrow, the Trojan swim and track teams will both compete against Desert Mirage High School. The swim meet is at home at 3:15; the track meet is in Thermal, also at 3:15.

The Yucca Valley Trojan tennis team will host the Twentynine Palms High School Wildcats at home tomorrow. The match begins at 3:15.

And finally, the Twentynine Palms High School track and swim teams will travel away tomorrow to compete against the Rancho Mirage High School Rams. Track begins at 3, the swim meet at 3:15.


A lost hiker was rescued by a Sheriff’s helicopter crew Saturday night in Morongo Valley. Sheriff’s Sergeant Mike Landavazo said Bonnie Smith, 65, from Riverside county had been hiking in Big Morongo Canyon Preserve Saturday afternoon with two bottles of water. Family and friends reported her missing to the Bureau of Land Management, who in turn, notified the Morongo Valley Fire Department at 7:42 p.m. Morongo Valley Interim Chief Andrew Arthen said firefighters from Morongo Valley and CalFire hiked into the preserve, while a Sheriff’s helicopter searched from the air using a forward-looking infrared imaging system. The Sheriff’s helicopter crew located Smith at 9:15 p.m. about four miles south of the Canyon Trail. Arthen said the helicopter landed to pick up Smith, and brought her back to the parking lot at the preserve. A little weak and dehydrated, Smith was taken by ambulance to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs as a precaution.


A Yucca Valley family is homeless following a fire Friday morning. According to County Fire Captain Jay Dimoff, Yucca Valley firefighters were dispatched at 11:22 a.m. to a medical aid call in the 6300 block of Richard Drive, but on their way there, it was changed to a structure fire. Dimoff said smoke was pouring from the bedroom windows at the back of the front unit of a triplex there. A Sheriff’s deputy, who arrived prior to the fire department, confirmed that no one was inside the unit. Dimoff said firefighters from Yucca Valley, Yucca Mesa, and Joshua Tree started an aggressive interior attack on the fire and confined it to the bedroom. An investigation revealed that a young boy lit some clothes on fire inside a bedroom closet. Dimoff estimated damage to the triplex at about $20,000, and said the unit is not habitable.


Get those ballots in. Managing Editor Tami Roleff reminds Yucca Valley property owners that the sewer assessment vote deadline is approaching…

The deadline for returning ballots for the assessment district for the Yucca Valley sewer project is just over three weeks away. The ballots will be opened and counted following a public hearing, set for 9 a.m. Wednesday, May 13. At the public hearing, the public may comment on the assessment district. After all public comments are heard, the hearing will be closed and an outside agency will open and count the ballots in the open for the public to view. In order to be counted, all ballots must be returned prior to the close of the hearing. If you have not yet received your ballot, or want more information about the election or sewer project, contact the Hi-Desert Water District at 760-365-8333, extension 3, or email and ask for a replacement ballot.


The Yucca Valley Chamber of Commerce is accepting nominations for its annual awards dinner. Award categories are Yucca Valley Chamber Member of the Year; Business of the Year; Boss of the Year; Unsung Hero, and Heart and Soul of the Morongo Basin. Nominations must be received by May 7. Winners will be announced at the Chamber’s installation dinner June 12 at Hawk’s Landing Golf Course in Yucca Valley. To receive a nomination form, call the chamber at 760-365-6323 or email


This is National Park Week and Joshua Tree National Park is celebrating. Reporter Taylor Thacker tells you how to participate…
Join Joshua Tree National Park in celebrating National Park Week, this April 18-26, with special celebrations for kids on National Junior Ranger Day, April 25. Visit Joshua Tree National Park on April 25 for lots of fun and adventure with many ranger programs for the entire family. A few of the activities planned for the day include a tour of the cactus garden, a session to meet the rangers, an oasis walk, and much more. For more information call 760-367-5507.
9:00 a.m. “I Speak for the Trees” at Echo T Parking lot
9:00 a.m. The Sound of the Desert with Arizona State University Listening Project at Barker Dam
10:00 a.m. Patio Talks Cottonwood Visitor Center, Joshua Tree Visitor Center, Oasis Visitor Center
10:00 a.m. Cholla Cactus Garden
10:00 a.m. Barker Dam Hike
10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Meet the Rangers
Law enforcement rangers at Cap Rock
Maintenance Rangers at Oasis Visitor Center
Fire Fighter Rangers at Black Rock
Park Nursery Rangers at Park Nursery at Oasis Visitor Center
1:00 p.m. Oasis Walk
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 pm Meet the Rangers
Law enforcement rangers at Cap Rock
Maintenance Rangers at Oasis Visitor Center
Fire Fighter Rangers at Black Rock
Park Nursery Rangers at Park Nursery at Oasis Visitor Center
1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. Wilderness Jr. Ranger Program – Oasis Visitor Center
1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. Paleontology Jr. Ranger Program at Joshua Tree Visitor Center
2:00 p.m. Story Time with a Ranger at Joshua Tree Visitor Center
2:00 p.m. “In the Shadow of the Mountain” Hike at Turkey Flats Backcountry Board
8:00 p.m. evening programs at Cottonwood, Indian Cove, Jumbo Rocks, and Black Rock Campgrounds
Stories in the Stars – Cottonwood Campground Amphitheater
Room to Roam: Exploring the Value of Wilderness in Joshua Tree National Park -Jumbo Rocks Campground
Discover the Ancient Giants of Joshua Tree National Park at Indian Cove Campground Amphitheater
The Listen Project: Encouraging Environmental Stewardship through Acoustic Ecology and Sonic Awareness in American Southwest Deserts at Black Rock Nature Center.


This year’s Yucca valley Grubstake Days Parade theme “Patriotic Parade – Celebrating the Past, Present and Future” creates an opportunity for any Hi-Desert student to participate in the parade. The parade on May 23, starting at 10 a.m., will travel down the highway 1.6 miles from Inca Trail in Old town to Sage Avenue. The Chamber of Commerce extends an invitation to any group that wants to organize friends and families for an entry. Red, white and blue color scheme will fit the theme for this year’s Grand Marshal, The U.S. Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms. Entry forms are available at the chamber office, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday thru Friday, inside the California Welcome Center at 56711 29 Palms Hwy. Deadline is 3 p.m. May 8. For more information call the Chamber at 760-365-6323.

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