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Full Newscast

SUMMER CLOUDS

We’ve seen plenty of them lately.  Ranger Pam Tripp waxes poetic about summer clouds…

They gently move in, sometimes from the east, sometimes from the west.  And sometimes they just seem to stall and gather off in the distance.  They cast long graceful shadows on the mountain ranges and valley floors, providing a respite from the brutally hot sun.  They can let loose and pour rain in some areas and skip over and spit in others.  At night, they provide a spectacular light show as they slowly move around us.  At sunrise and sunset, they paint a breath-taking vista filled with warm hues of reds, oranges, and purples. These puffy, white cumulus clouds are usually met with different reactions. They can bring the promise of much needed rainfall or the dread of a jump in humidity that causes most of us to wilt. But this cyclic weather pattern has its benefits.  High humidity will cause morning dew to develop on the desert surface, where animals, insects and birds can take advantage of the moisture. For more information on our desert climate and current weather conditions, contact the Visitor Center at 367-5500.


SUMMER SPLASH IN JOSHUA TREE

Joshua Tree’s Summer Splash is back, after being rescheduled due to excessive heat and smoke from the Lake Fire in June. Set for 9 to 2 on Saturday, August 22, at the Joshua Tree community center, vendors, crafters, and non-profit organizations are being sought for the event. Outside booths are free for community service organizations; all others are $25 for an outside booth or $35 for a booth inside the community center. To request a booth, email JTRotary@yahoo.com. Vendor applications are also available from the Joshua Tree Recreation and Parks and the Joshua Tree Rotary Club’s Facebook pages.  Activities at the summer splash include the water park, live music by “On Tapp,” kids’ games, face painting, dance demonstrations, car and tractor show, hoop classes, military displays, a dunk tank, barbecue, and an art show. New this year is a residential e-waste collection and residential tire recycling (with a limit of nine tires). For more information about the event, call Tammie Moore at 760-366-8415.


CALL FOR ART FOR JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK EXPOSITION

Entries are now being accepted for the third annual Joshua Tree National Park Art Exposition, to be held in November at the Oasis of Mara in Twentynine Palms. A panel of jurors will select about 50 artists for inclusion in the show. Entry is open to all artists 18 years and over; the artwork must be original and created within the last five years. Cash prizes will be awarded. The deadline for submitting entries is September 1. The entry fee is $35, and artists may submit up to three images. Complete guidelines and an entry form are available at jtnparts.org. The art show will hang at the 29 Palms Art Gallery November 6 through November 29, with a gala opening, reception, and opening events November 13 through November 15.


PET ADOPTION

The Animal Control Department of Twentynine Palms took in over 1000 animals last year.  ROP Broadcasting student Alyssa Evans says that Palms N Paws also operates a pet adoption service…

If you’re thinking of adopting a pet then come and get it from Palms N Paws animal shelter, located at 7086 Bullion Avenue in Twentynine Palms. Their hours are Monday through Friday from noon to  5 p.m., and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. They are a small animal shelter and animal control facility run by the city of Twentynine palms. They handle all kinds of animals from house pets to livestock. It is a first-come, first-serve pet adoption; they do not reserve the animals. To adopt an animal it is a total of $123 for a dog, and for a cat it is a total of $83. If you want more information call 760-367-0157.

Reporting for Z107.7 news, I am a ROP broadcasting student, Alyssa Evans


YUCCA VALLEY MAYOR OFFICE HOURS

Yucca Valley Mayor George Huntington holds “office hours” at the Town Hall every Monday from 4 to 5 p.m. This is an opportunity for residents to meet with the mayor to discuss concerns, ideas for the community, or to learn more about the activities going on in the town. Meetings are on a first-come, first-serve basis. To schedule an appointment outside of regular office hours, call the town clerk at 760-369-2709 extension 226.


“HOUSE PARTY” AT THE YUCCA VALLEY SUMMER CONCERT TONIGHT

The Yucca Valley Summer Music Festival continues this Saturday night with a live outdoor concert. Reporter Rebecca Havely has all the details …

The town of Yucca Valley is pleased to present their popular concert series. The dance band “House Party” will perform live this Saturday night, August 1, at 7:00 p.m. “House Party” is the ultimate dance band. They cover everything from pop, rock and soul to funk, Latin and R & B plus your favorite top 40 hits. They go from Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” to Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger.” The outdoor concert is held at the Yucca Valley Community Center ball field is at 57090 on Twentynine Palms Highway. The gates will open at 6:30 p.m. and the concert is from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Bring the whole family, blankets, lawn chairs and your dancing shoes and prepare to dance the night away.


WILD WEST REENACTMENT SHOWS IN PIONEERTOWN

Free wild west re-enactment shows are held Saturdays and Sundays in historic Pioneertown. The Mane Street Stampede Wild West Show pokes some fun at how the Old West “could” have been with their own twist on comedy, each Saturday at 2:15 until 3:00 p.m. in front of the Pioneer bowl on historic Mane Street, one block west of Pappy and Harriet’s. On the first four Sundays, also at 2:30, the “Gunfighters for Hire” perform Western skits and demonstrations. The western reenactment groups perform their shoot ’em up cowboy shows right where Gene Autry and the Cisco Kid performed back in the 1950s. For more information on the Mane Street Stampede Wild West shows go to Manestreetstampede.com or call Paden at 760-366-3333. For more information, to plan a Wild West Wedding, or have a birthday recognized at the Sunday shows go to gunfightersforhire.com


FROM THE SHERIFF'S LOG: GUNSIES, GRAFFITI, AND MORE

DRUG ARRESTS IN YUCCA VALLEY

Two people were arrested in Yucca Valley Wednesday on warrants and drug charges. According to a Sheriff’s report, deputies stopped a vehicle near Borrego and Papago Trails about 3:30 p.m. Inside the vehicle were Krystle Eberhart, 31, and Martin Mendoza, 27. Eberhart was arrested for possession of narcotics, cited and released. Krystle Eberhart had also been arrested Tuesday afternoon in the 58700 block of 29 Palms Highway for petty theft, and two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia. She was cited and released on those charges. Martin Mendoza was arrested for two warrants—felony assault with a deadly weapon, and misdemeanor possession of methamphetamine. Mendoza was booked at the Morongo Basin Jail and is being held on the $75,000 warrants.

ASSORTED MAYHEM IN TWENTYNINE PALMS

Two people were arrested Wednesday following an altercation in Twentynine Palms. According to a Sheriff’s report, a witness called about 6:40 p.m. Wednesday to report that a resident of a mobile home park in the 4500 block of Adobe Road was driving drunk in the park, hit a home and almost hit his vehicle. The caller said the driver, later identified as Rochelle Buchanan, 46, acted like she was going to hit her boyfriend with her car, and the man then jumped on the car’s hood before getting in the car, which the caller said took off at a high rate of speed. After an investigation, Rochelle Buchanan was arrested for driving under the influence, hit-and-run, and driving on a suspended license. She was cited and released. Also arrested was Donnye Henderson, 31, of Twentynine Palms, on suspicion of false imprisonment, felony spouse abuse, being drunk in public, probation violation, and driving under the influence. Donnye Henderson was booked into the Morongo Basin Jail with his bail set at $57,500.

GRAFFITI VANDALISM IN YUCCA VALLEY

Deputies are investigating at least three cases of graffiti in Yucca Valley that were reported Thursday. The graffiti, which appears to be gang-related, were found on tables at the community center, on street signs at Church Street and Tamarisk Avenue, and on a building at Mohawk Trail and Highway 62. Anyone with information should call the Sheriff’s Department at 760-366-4175.

TAKE A “GUNSIE”, GO TO JAIL

A Twentynine Palms woman who took a photo of herself holding a gun was arrested Wednesday for violating the terms of her probation. According to a Sheriff’s report, Amber Smallwood, 20, went to a party at a friend’s home in the 4500 block of Adobe Road  in Twentynine Palms July 24. She and resident’s girlfriend took the Smith and Wesson 9-mm handgun out of its case and started taking photos with it. After the party, the resident realized his gun was missing. Deputies contacted Smallwood, who denied stealing the gun, but admitted taking her photo with it. Smallwood was convicted of grand theft in 2014, and her probation, prohibits her from being in possession of a handgun. Amber Smallwood was arrested for violation of her probation, booked at the West Valley Detention Center, and is being held without bail.


MENTAL HEALTH INTERVENTION SERVICES

Mental health problems can start at an early age.  Reporter Mike Lipsitz tells about a local program designed to respond when it counts…

Untreated mental health problems impact children, families, schools and communities. Assessing and addressing problems at a young age improves a child’s quality of life and his or her chance to succeed. Early Identification and Intervention Services, promotes

policies and programs to prepare others to recognize and respond sooner to a child’s signs of emotional, behavioral and mental health concerns. These problems can emerge early in childhood and may become progressively worse if not treated. Early Identification and Intervention Services are provided to Medi-Cal and non-Medi-Cal children by Desert Mountain Children’s Center in the Monterey Business Center in Yucca Valley. Call 760-369-3130 for more information.

Reporting for Z107.7 news, this is Mike Lipsitz.


COOK PUSHES VETERANS HIRING INCENTIVES

Together with Tulsi Gabbard, a Democratic congresswoman from Hawaii, Representative Paul Cook has introduced a bill that promote private sector recruiting, hiring, and retaining of veterans through an awards program recognizing verifiable efforts undertaken by  large and small to hire and retain veterans.  the HIRE Vets Act would allow businesses to display “HIRE Vets Medallions” on products and marketing materials.  the Secretary of Labor would be required to provide Congress with annual reports on the success of the program with regard to veteran employment and retention results.  The program is said to be “self-funded”.


RAIN AND LIGHTNING BRING FIRES, FLOODS, AND POWER OUTAGES

Monsoonal rain and lightning storms slammed parts of Morongo Basin again yesterday, flooding roads, sparking fires, and causing power outages. Thousands of residents in Twentynine Palms, Joshua Tree, and Yucca Mesa were without power for 10 hours or more, starting about 1 p.m. In Twentynine Palms, Adobe Road, Utah Trail, Two Mile Road, Valle Vista, Amboy Road, Hatch/Sullivan Road, and Highway 62 at Godwin Road were flooded, and residents scrambled to find alternative routes home. Witness reported the rain was blowing sideways at some times. Twentynine Palms firefighters received requests for help from residents whose homes on Sherman Hoyt and Diamond Bar were being inundated with flowing water. Twentynine Palms Fire Chief Jim Thompson said the Sunmore Estates area was heavily impacted, with up to 15 homes damaged with mud, flooding  and downed trees, one on a house. The Twentynine Palms CERT team was activated and two County Hand crews—one an inmate crew—were called in to fill and place over 1,000 sandbags, cut down trees, and help with water and structure damage. Thompson said they finished at about 3:00 a.m. this morning.

Twentynine Palms firefighters divert water away from 10 homes that suffered flooding yesterday.

Twentynine Palms firefighters divert water away from 10 homes that suffered flooding yesterday.

Twentynine Palms firefighters plan how to divert water away from 10 homes that suffered flooding yesterday.

Twentynine Palms firefighters plan how to divert water away from 10 homes that suffered flooding yesterday.

In Joshua Tree, a lightning strike hit a power pole on Commercial Street. Highway 62 was covered with mud and debris in low spots, and several dirt roads were described as “rivers.” The highway was quickly plowed clear thanks to the efforts of road crews. In Joshua Tree National Park, heavy rains forced the temporary closure of several roads, and left rocks, sand, and other debris on some dirt roads. Shortly before 3 p.m., firefighters were called to a small grass fire on Dennis Avenue in Joshua Tree. Remember, if you happen upon water flowing across a road, turn around, don’t drown.


TWENTYNINE PALMS CITY COUNCIL PART 3: REINVESTMENT, PENSION DEDUCTION, STREET RENAMING

At its July 28 meeting, the Twentynine Palms City Council dealt with a lengthy list of presentations and discussions. Reporter Dan Stork broke his report into three parts. Today in part 3: The Community Reinvestment Program, a pension deduction, and a street renaming…
Community reinvestment program
Council agreed to set a six-month deadline for businesses that have qualified for participation in the Community Reinvestment Program to complete the application process. Last year, 28 applications were submitted for the total $250,000 reimbursement program; 17 applicants were judged qualified, but only three completed applications, and just $38,000 in reimbursements has been committed.
CalPERS deduction
The Council voted to complete an earlier commitment to city employees related to Cost of Living adjustments, by authorizing a 2 percent pre-tax deduction for public employee pension fund contributions.
Street renaming
The Council directed staff to prepare, for a future meeting, all the details related to renaming a very small segment of El Paseo Drive leading to Veterans Park, to Veterans Way.


TWENTYNINE PALMS WATER DISTRICT TO HEAR COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENT PLAN: A SPECIAL REPORT

It’s déjà vu all over again, as the Twentynine Palms Water District will hear how San Bernardino County Fire might take over responsibility for fire protection services at a special meeting of the Water District Board 5 p.m. Wednesday, August 5, at the District Offices.
Operations of the local fire department have been funded by a special tax of $80 per parcel. In the summer of 2012, the voters in the Water District rejected an increase to $120 plus annual increases beyond the first year.
In response, the Water District invited County Fire to propose a takeover plan, to which the Water District, with concurrence of the Twentynine Palms City Council, was initially agreeable.  But when it became known that the County takeover would not relieve the District of existing pension obligations, some current firefighters would not be offered County jobs, and the County would likely close the Lear station, the District backtracked in November 2012.
Following a projection by Fire Chief Jim Thompson and then-Finance Director Wayne Jones that the District would be able to carry the load (albeit at a reduced level of service), and very vocal public outcry, the District stopped the annexation procedure. The District looked to the City for financial relief, but the City was not receptive. During 2013, a Citizens Advisory Committee, under the tutelage of Chief Thompson, came up with a proposal for a tax increase very much like the one the voters had rejected in 2012.  The voters repeated their disapproval.
During 2014, the Water District was informed that the Fire Department would imminently start operating in the red. So the Water District has gone back to where it was three years ago, and has asked the County to offer up a solution.


MEETING SET AS JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK STUDIES ANNEXING EAGLE MOUNTAIN AREA

Morongo Basin residents will be able to give their input in person at a meeting held by the National Park Service on whether it’s appropriate and feasible to add the Eagle Mountain area back within the boundary of Joshua Tree National Park. Managing editor Tami Roleff explains how the public can weigh in on the proposal…
The National Park Service is conducting a study to explore whether the Eagle Mountain area should be added back into the boundary of Joshua Tree National Park. Park service officials will explain the study process, answer questions, and receive public input, at a meeting 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, August 5 at the Joshua Tree Community Center. To participate in the online meeting, and to submit comments, contact David Smith, Superintendent, Joshua Tree National Park, Phone: 760-367-5500. Or e-mail the study team at JOTR_study@nps.gov.
View the project web site at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/eaglemountain. The introductory newsletter, maps, and more information are available on the project website.


ONE ARRESTED, TWO SOUGHT, IN JOSHUA TREE CAR THEFT

One man was arrested Wednesday, and Sheriff’s deputies are searching for two other suspects in an attempted vehicle theft. According to a Sheriff’s report, about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, a neighbor saw a man acting suspiciously around a Chevy pick up truck parked in the 62200 block of Verbena Road in Joshua Tree. Arriving deputies interrupted two men and a woman who were trying to steal the truck. One man and the woman fled in another vehicle, but deputies were able to detain Jeffrey Thomas, 27, of Bonair Road. The fleeing suspects left evidence behind, and deputies are searching for them. Jeffrey Thomas was arrested for investigation of attempted grand theft auto, and on a warrant for drugs, booked at the Morongo Basin Jail, with his total bail set at $50,000.


CAR VS. FIRE HYDRANT HIT-AND-RUN IN TWENTYNINE PALMS

The California Highway Patrol is asking for assistance in a hit-and-run that sheared off a fire hydrant in Twentynine Palms early Thursday morning. About 12:30 Thursday morning, CHP officers and Sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of a sheared fire hydrant at Indian Trail and Meldora Avenue. Law enforcement determined that the hydrant had been struck by a vehicle, which subsequently fled the scene, with assistance from another party. Anyone with information is asked to call the CHP at 760-366-3707


FRIENDS OF COVINGTON PARK FORMING IN MORONGO VALLEY

A centuries long symbol of intelligence, the owl is also revered for excellent night vision. There is no such thing as a flock of owls because when owls gather, it’s known as a “parliament.” Morongo Valley is seeking a parliament of sorts; they’re calling it, “Friends of Covington Park.” Reporter Mike Lipsitz explains…
Considered the heart of Morongo Valley, Covington Park has recently been the site of destructive and costly acts of vandalism. In response, the Community Services District there formed an ad hoc committee to investigate and institute deterrents. Chaired by Park Commissioner Chuck Osborne, the committee has taken a number of steps, such as improved lighting to enhance park security. Another measure is formation of a neighborhood-watch style effort to be “eyes on the park.” Operating under the name “Friends of Covington Park,” local volunteers willing to make random checks of the park are being sought. This could be as simple as a drive through. Osborne and the committee has adopted a set of guidelines and procedures for the Friends of Covington Park with volunteer safety a key element. The “Friends” logo? That keen nocturnal hunter, an owl, this one sporting a heart on its chest. To volunteer, call the CSD office at 760-363-6454.


A DAY AT THE FARM AT HI-DESERT NATURE MUSEUM TOMORROW

Spend a day on the farm and enjoy farm country games and activities!. Come enjoy a petting zoo, face painting, scarecrow contest, crafts, sack races, hay rides and much more.  The free family fun day is set for Saturday, August 1, from 10 to 3 at the Hi-Desert Nature Museum in Yucca Valley. The rules for the scarecrow contest can be picked up at the Hi-Desert Nature Museum or the Yucca Valley Community Center, or downloaded from the Hi-Desert Nature Museum website, hidesertnaturemuseum.org.


COPPER MOUNTAIN MESA BREAKFAST TOMORROW

Saturday is August 1 and that means Five Buck Breakfast at the Copper Mountain Mesa Community Association will be served from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. All of your breakfast favorites, including biscuits and gravy, are prepared and served by the friendly Mesa all volunteer staff. Join them at the Center 65336 Winters Road in North Joshua Tree.


SUNDAY BREAKFAST, TACO WEDNESDAY, AT THE JOSHUA TREE VFW POST

Sunday breakfast of eggs, potatoes, biscuit and gravy, in addition to its regular menu, from 8 to 11. Don’t forget Taco Wednesday from 11 to 1. And new, starting next week, is Thursday night dinners, prepared by Chef A.C., from 4 to 8 p.m.


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