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MONSOON SEASON BRINGS CHALLENGERS TO DRIVERS

Monsoon season has arrived in the desert and mountains of Southern California. Caltrans maintenance crews need your help to keep the roads safe. Here’s reporter Rebecca Havely with some driver safety tips…

After a monsoon event, watch out for Caltrans clean up crews on the highway. Give them plenty of room and slow down. Before planning to travel check the weather and traffic on Z107.7 radio and on social media. For long distance trips check your tires, brakes, fluids, wiper blades and leave with a full tank of gas. Bring plenty of water, some snacks, medications, blankets, sturdy shoes, a fully charged cell phone and car charger. Flood dangers are difficult to see at night so be especially cautious. Follow directions by road work personnel, law enforcement or emergency responders. In the event of a road emergency cal 9-1-1. If you come across flash flooding or running water, turn around, don’t drown.


ONE ARREST AFTER DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN JOSHUA TREE

A Joshua Tree man was arrested for spousal abuse after he got into a physical fight with his boyfriend Friday evening. According to a Sheriff’s report, Rocky Powell, 51, of the 61800 block of Morningside Road, was arguing with his boyfriend about 5 p.m. when the two men began pushing and punching each other. Powell is accused of biting his boyfriend’s arm, and the other man allegedly hit Powell repeatedly in the head. The deputy determined that Rocky Powell was the aggressor in the fight, and he was arrested for investigation of felony spouse abuse, booked at the Morongo Basin Jail, with his bail set at $50,000.


VANDALS HIT MORONGO VALLEY'S COVINGTON PARK AGAIN

Vandals struck once again at Covington Park in Morongo Valley over the weekend. Community Services District General Manager Donna Munoz told Z107.7 News that vandals knocked over trash cans, wrote graffiti, and most disturbing of all, they knocked off and stole the snake head that was carved by artist Dan Redmon in a tree trunk. “Someone has the snake head,” Munoz said. She urged residents to call the Sheriff’s Department or the CSD office if they know anything about the vandalism, or if they see anything suspicious. She added that a committee will meet this week to address the recent vandalism.

Dan Redmon Snake Carving

Dan Redmon Snake Carving


HI-DESERT WATER SPECIAL MEETING TONIGHT

The Hi-Desert Water District Board has called a special meeting for tonight. Managing Editor Tami Roleff tells us why…

The Hi-Desert Water District Board of Directors will hold a special meeting at 6:00 tonight. Among the items on the agenda, the board will be asked to establish appropriation limits; adopt a budget for 2015/16, and hear an update on the wastewater project. The meeting takes place in the board room of the water district on the corner of Inca Trail and Highway 62.


TWENTYNINE PALMS PLANNING COMMISSION LOOKS AT A SIGN AND A PERMIT

The Twentynine Palms Planning Commission returns to business tonight. Reporter Dan Stork says they will take up a signage request and a construction equipment permit…

The Twentynine Palms Planning Commission will hold two public hearing at its June 30 meeting. The first is on a request from Sky’s the Limit for approval of an oversized sign. The other is about a temporary use permit for a trailer and associated equipment for a construction project at the Vista Del Sol housing complex. After those hearings, the commission will hear from the development director about development code updates. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. in City Hall on Adobe Road.


FINAL RESULTS OF HI DESERT MEDICAL CENTER'S MEASURE “Y” VOTE

The Registrar of Voters has released the final election results Monday for the mail-in ballot for Measure Y, which approves a 30-year-lease agreement between Hi Desert Medical Center and Tenet Healthcare. With an additional 307 ballots counted, and a total of 26.86 percent of the eligible voters voting, Measure Y passed 90.59 percent to 9.41 percent.


THIRD OF JULY FIREWORKS PLANNED FOR LANDERS

While big public fireworks shows are planned for both Twentynine Palms and Yucca Valley this Fourth of July, the community of Landers will get a jump start on the holiday with a Third of July celebration. Reporter Mike Lipsitz has your invitation…

The public is invited to celebrate Independence Day on July 3 at the Homestead Valley Park fireworks spectacular in Landers. Admission is free and activities include live entertainment from the California Celts, Marine Corps Color Guard and military vehicle display, a bounce house, beer garden, shaved ice, kettle corn, and food vendors, contests, face painting, fun and games, and a spectacular display of up close fireworks. Gates open at 5:00 p.m. Grand finale fireworks spectacular at about 9:00 p.m. Bring a blanket, lawn chairs, family, and friends, but leave outside food and drinks, coolers and pets at home; they’re not allowed at the event. Homestead Valley Park is at 1501 Belfield Blvd. in Landers. Plenty of free parking available. Donations and vendor applications are still being accepted and volunteers are still needed; call 760-333-2707.


YUCCA VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL LOOKING FOR A GIRLS SOFTBALL COACH

Yucca Valley High School is now accepting letters of interest for the vacant girls’ softball position for the 2015-16 school year. Those interested should contact Yucca Valley High School Athletic Director Dustin Howard at 760-365-3391 or email dchoward@yvhs.net.


LOOK UP IN THE SKY AT VENUS AND JUPITER TONIGHT

The two brightest planets that can be seen from Earth will come this close to one another tonight. For anyone looking at a clear sky in North America, Venus and Jupiter will be just one-third of a degree apart in a phenomenon known as a conjunction and will have the appearance of a double star to the naked eye. The stunning sight will be the culmination of the planets’ movement over the past few weeks, as they have been slowly creeping toward one another.


ONE HOME LOST, EVACUATIONS LIFTED, LAKE FIRE OVER 30,000 ACRES

One home burned, as well as three outbuildings, were confirmed burned in the Lake Fire this weekend. The home and outbuildings, owned by Diane Best on Burns Canyon Road, burned Wednesday when the illegal drone flying in the area grounded all the firefighting aircraft with fire retardant and water. Sheriff’s Sergeant Mike Landovazo said he received photos of the burned home from the Command Center in Big Bear, which he showed to Best about 2 p.m. Saturday, and she confirmed that it was her home that burned. As of Sunday evening, the Lake Fire is at 30,726 acres burned, and is 60 percent contained. All evacuations—including the Burns Canyon and Rimrock areas—have been lifted, and Pioneertown Road and Highway 38 have been reopened, although areas affected by the fire, including campgrounds and the Pacific Crest Trail, are still closed for recreational use. More than 2,250 personnel have been assigned to fight the fire, at a cost of $30 million. On Friday, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors unanimously ratified an emergency proclamation during an emergency meeting. The proclamation will enable the county to seek state and/or federal reimbursement for the cost of fighting the fire.

Very little smoke can be seen from PIoneertown from the Lake Fire Saturday.

Very little smoke from the Lake Fire  can be seen from Pioneertown Saturday.


COUNTY WILL CRACK DOWN ON ILLEGAL FIREWORKS

The National Fire Protection Association says that Fourth of July fireworks cause more fires in the U. S. than all other causes combined. All fireworks, including “safe and sane” fireworks, are illegal in Twentynine Palms, Yucca Valley, and unincorporated areas of the Morongo Basin. Reporter Rebecca Havely says the Sheriff’s Department will be vigilant in enforcing the county’s fireworks’ laws…

With San Bernardino County facing a dangerous wildland fire season, the San Bernardino County Fire Department has increased its vigilance in enforcing fireworks laws. “Safe and sane” fireworks are allowed in some San Bernardino County communities; however possession of any type of fireworks, including “safe and sane” fireworks is against the law in any unincorporated area of San Bernardino County. In fact, if a fire occurs because of the unsafe use of fireworks, the person responsible is likely to face criminal charges and held liable for damages. Fines for illegal firework use can go up to $1,250. Residents are encouraged to watch aerial firework displays at community events to protect public health and safety. Have a safe Fourth of July celebration.

Public Fourth of July fireworks displays are planned in both Twentynine Palms and Yucca Valley.


TWO SOUGHT AFTER SHOTS FIRED IN YUCCA VALLEY YESTERDAY

The Sheriff’s Department is searching for two male juveniles after one of them shot at a vehicle in Yucca Valley Sunday afternoon. According to Sheriff’s Sergeant Mike Landavazo, the boys, described as Hispanic, were in the 7300 block of Valley Vista about 1 p.m. when they attempted to steal a hookah pipe from a home. One of the home’s residents confronted the boys, who fled. Then the homeowner got in his pickup truck and drove up the street looking for the boys. He saw one of the boys and confronted him, and the boy took out a handgun and fired two shots into the truck’s door and then fled. The driver was not injured. Anyone with information should call the Sheriff’s Department at 760-366-4175.


YUCCA VALLEY CRASH CAUSES POWER OUTAGE

A man who crashed a stolen vehicle into a power pole on the north side of the highway across from Walmart in Yucca Valley in the early hours Saturday is responsible for a power outage that affected parts of the Morongo Basin. According to Sheriff’s Sergeant Mike Landavazo, about 12:30 a.m., Gregorio Apodaca, 32, of Palm Springs, stole his girlfriend’s vehicle and started doing donuts in the dirt median between the highway and Paxton-Outer Highway North when he lost control and the vehicle crashed into a power pole. The vehicle burst into flames, and Apodaca fled the scene of the crash. Firefighters were able to douse the vehicle fire within minutes. Power was out for hours from Morongo Valley to Joshua Tree. Deputies pursued Apodaca, and he was captured in the 6400 block of Camarilla Avenue. Gregorio Apodaca was arrested for investigation of robbery, booked at the Morongo Basin Jail, with his bail set at $100,000.


MARINE VOLUNTEERS TO HELP AREA SENIORS

Reach Out Morongo Basin, the local people-helping-people organization, has helped over 100 senior homeowners with yard work and other home repairs. Reporter Dan Stork says that Reach Out is looking for more people to help…

Reach Out Morongo Basin is seeking senior and disabled persons needing home repairs or yard work for upcoming service projects. Labor for these projects comes by way of volunteers from 1st Tank Battalion and naval chiefs from the Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital aboard the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center. The next round of service projects is scheduled for August and September. The naval chiefs are new to this endeavor, and the 1st Tank Battalion will be participating for the fourth time. Organizers are seeking 20 homes in the Morongo Basin. Requests for home repairs such as painting, light carpentry and other repairs not requiring permits, as well as yard work projects, are being sought. Homes must be the primary residence and owned by the senior or disabled person requesting the assistance. All requests will require inspection to evaluate the scope of work required. For more information or to sign up for this program, please call Robin Schlosser at Reach Out Morongo Basin 760-361-1410.


VA ON THE MOVE AT THE TWENTYNINE PALMS SENIOR CENTER TOMORROW

VA on the Move will be at the Twentynine Palms Senior Center on June 30, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Mobile Vet Center, along with multiple VA and state personnel, will be able to answer questions and provide information and services to local veterans, active duty military, and their families. A readjustment counselor will also be on hand. Some of the services provided are: readjustment and supportive counseling for veterans, and military sexual trauma supportive services. In addition, counseling will be available on services through the Department of Veterans Affairs, information on Loma Linda VA Medical Services, and the Women Veterans Health Program, Veterans Benefits counseling, Cal Vet Benefits and Employment Education Development Resources. For more information contact Reach Out Morongo Basin at 760-361-1410.


KEEP YOUR PET SAFE ON THE FOURTH OF JULY

The fifth of July is the busiest day of the year for many animal shelters, as many dogs panic due to the loud bangs from fireworks celebrations, run off, and get lost. Managing editor Tami Roleff has some tips on how to keep your dog safe this weekend…

Many dogs are terrified of the noise from fireworks, whether they are the professional fireworks or just bottle rockets being shot off down the street. To keep your dog safe, don’t leave it out in the yard when fireworks are going off; bring it inside your house or garage. Have your dog properly identified, ideally with a microchip and a collar with ID tags, or at least, a collar and tags. Never shoot off fireworks around pets; besides scaring them with the loud noises, the fireworks could cause burns or trauma to the face or paws. Other items that are harmful to pets include glow jewelry and insect repellent not designed for animals (including citronella).


BLOOD DRIVE AT THE TORTOISE ROCK CASINO TOMORROW

LifeStream will conduct a community blood drive on Tuesday, June 30, at Tortoise Rock Casino in Twentynine Palms from 10 to 3. Donors will receive incentives. In addition, LifeStream now offers free cholesterol screening with every blood donation. Those aged 18 to 44 years may register for Be the Match bone marrow screening free of charge. To make an appointment to donate blood, call 800-TRY-GIVING.


REV DR. LOU GERHARDT’S NINE-WEEK SEMINAR STARTS THIS THURSDAY

Local Reverend Dr. Lou Gerhardt will start a nine-week seminar series this week. Reporter Mike Lipsitz has more…

“In The Time of Your Life, LIVE!” that’s the title of the Rev. Dr. Lou Gerhardt’s free nine-week seminar beginning at 10 a.m. this Thursday, July 2, at St. Joseph Episcopal Church, corner of Onaga and Church Streets in Yucca Valley. This series of motivational talks includes titles such as “Discovering The Joy In Meditation and Prayer,” “Larry, Joan and Their 65 Years,” “You Are My Sunshine,” “He Ain’t Heavy Mister,” “Feeling Good,” and “This Is The Day.” Gerhardt’s Thursday talks conclude August 27 with a talk entitled “The Soul of Man Never Dies.” This is not a Bible study or discussion group, but a presentation of practical aids for developing or maintaining a positive outlook. Each week there will be music by Paul Gerkin and others. Call Dr. Gerhardt at 760-367-4627 or Joe or Jananne Turner at 760-365-5695 with any questions.


“SHADE AND SHADOWS” ART SOUGHT FOR TWENTYNINE PALMS VISITORS CENTER

The theme for the summer art show at the Twentynine Palms Visitor Center and Art Gallery is “Shade and Shadows.” Desert artists are invited to submit one piece of original art for possible inclusion in the show. Artwork can include painting, watercolor, mixed media, photography, and three-dimensional work such as assemblage, ceramics, sculpture, and fabric art. Artwork should be delivered Friday, July 3, between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. An opening art reception is planned for Friday, July 10, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m., with music and refreshments. The Twentynine Palms Visitor’s Center and Art Gallery is located at 73484 29 Palms Hwy. in downtown Twentynine Palms. The show will be on display from July 3 to September 25.


ENTRIES SOUGHT FOR JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK ART 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.


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