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Listen To Your News Tuesday, January 15, 2013 News Archive
     

MORE DETAILS ON JAILHOUSE DEATH, CHILD WITH METHAMPHETAMINE
An update on two stories we ran yesterday… In the first, a Wonder Valley man who was arrested in April for attempted murder was found dead in his cell in the Morongo Basin Jail Sunday afternoon. Karl Hoyer, 48, was accused of stabbing and shooting Patrick Bidol, then 65, near a private airstrip in Wonder Valley east of 29 Palms April 21. A Sheriff's press release says that deputies found Hoyer hanging in his cell with a bed sheet tied around his neck. Hoyer was alone in his cell at the time. Deputies began CPR and he was taken to Hi-Desert Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

In the second story, two Joshua Tree parents were arrested Friday after their young daughter tested positive for methamphetamine. According to Sheriff's Sergeant Steve Wilson, Johnnie Koranda, 32, and Michelle Beamer, 30, brought their 7-year-old daughter to the Hi-Desert Medical Center's emergency room late Thursday night because she was acting strangely. Preliminary tests indicated that the girl had methamphetamine in her system. Investigators now say the child ingested the powerful drug because she thought it was sugar. She was airlifted to Loma Linda hospital in critical condition. Her parents, Johnnie Koranda and Michelle Beamer were booked for investigation of felony child abuse with bail set at $100,000 bail each.

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A FULL HOUSE HEARS PROS AND CONS ON TWENTYNINE PALMS FIRE TAKEOVER
An overflow crowd sat attentively through a 3-hour meeting in Twentynine Palms City Hall, as they heard presentations from city staff, diverse public comment, and Q&A with county officials – all dealing with the past, present, and future of the Twentynine Palms Fire Department. Reporter Dan Stork has broken his report into two parts. Today: The staff presentations. Tomorrow: Public and county comment…

City Manager Richard Warne set the tone for his analysis of what it might mean for the City of Twentynine Palms to help in the support of the financially-strapped Fire Department: "The City cannot put its finances in jeopardy by taking on an open-ended, labor-intensive, ever-increasing obligation that is financially unsustainable." He supported his point with details about falling revenues, increases in fire department expenses that outstrip consumer price index increases, state raids on city funds, potential pension liability, as-yet untapped funds available to the water district, unequal cost-benefit ratios for fire service recipients inside and outside city boundaries, and benefits to the city in the county's model for providing fire service.

City attorney Patrick Munoz reviewed three scenarios: A contract between city and water district for provision of fire services by the city, which was considered jointly by city and water district in the past, and rejected; a Joint Powers Authority, with many details to be worked out; or annexation by the city of non-city areas of the water district, followed by turnover of fire services to the county.

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TWO FIRES IN TWENTYNINE PALMS EARLY TUESDAY MORNING
Twentynine Palms firefighters responded to two fires within 30 minutes early this morning. The first fire was called in at 12:10 a.m. Tuesday in the 7500 block of Persia Avenue. The garage at the residence was fully involved with flames when firefighters arrived, and a small travel trailer parked next to the garage was also on fire. The garage, the travel trailer, and a car and at least one ATV parked inside the garage are a total loss. The house was saved. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Then at 12:36 a.m., firefighters were called to a small electrical fire in the 5100 block of Encelia. A lamp had caught on fire and the flames spread up the wall to the ceiling. The resident used a fire extinguisher to put out the fire before the firemen arrived.

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SHERIFF'S FOCUSING TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT ON EAST YUCCA VALLEY
Throughout the week, Sheriff deputies will be conducting traffic enforcement operations in Yucca Valley on the highway between Hilton Avenue and Old Woman Springs Road. Deputies will be focusing on speeders and other various vehicle code violations.

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WE CORRECT A STORY ABOUT DAMAGE FROM THE EXTREME COLD
This correction today on yesterday's report on damage caused by extreme cold over the weekend. Monday, we reported that County Fire told Z107.7 News that Joshua Basin Water District Workers discovered that water was running into the highway in front of the Hi-Desert Cultural Center, determined that pipes had broken again inside the playhouse, and turned the water off to prevent further damage. That information was incorrect; Hi-Desert Cultural Center President Jarrod Radnich informed us it was an outside pipe owned by the Water District in the middle of their parking lot which ruptured. Radnich said there was no damage to the Theater. Radnich said a new state-of-the-art heating and cooling system is programmed to prevent any frozen pipes in the interior of the building, which is in the process of being restored after a similar accident.

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A CONVERSATION WITH CONGRESSMAN PAUL COOK PART
After almost two weeks in office, Congressman Paul Cook, the former mayor of Yucca Valley and State Assemblyman, had already come back home again, saying he's making it a priority to come back to California every weekend to visit with his constituents and hear what's on their minds. Last week, he sat down with managing editor Tami Roleff. In the first part of a 3-part series, Cook talked about what it's like to be a congressman in our nation's capitol, his first impressions of being a congressman, and working with Congress. Today, his first impressions…

Paul Cook, the former mayor of Yucca Valley and state assemblyman, was sworn in as a U.S. Congressman January 3, in Washington, D.C. Cook said he's still not used to being a Congressman, and in some ways, he hopes he never gets used to it. "I'll be in a group and someone will say, 'Hey, Congressman.' I look around like who are they talking about? It hasn't quite sunk in, and I really don't want it to sink in." He said compared to Sacramento, where he served as a state assemblyman for six years, working in Washington, D.C. was "chaotic." "It's tough working with a group of 435 in Congress. It's like herding cats, but in Congress, it's almost giving cats a bad name." But he's still excited about the opportunity. "I'm actually looking forward to the challenge of getting something done. I don't want to sit on the bench and twiddle my thumbs or read my e-mails." Tomorrow, we'll talk about some of the things he hopes to accomplish in Congress.

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MOJAVE DESERT LAND TRUST CLEANING UP JOSHUA TREE'S COYOTE HOLE AREA SATURDAY
Mojave Desert Land Trust will be hosting a volunteer land restoration and clean-up event in the Coyote Hole area of Joshua Tree this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. MDLT recently received its first land donation of 111 acres adjacent to the treasured and historic Coyote Hole of Joshua Tree. Coyote Hole is known for its large granite boulders and canyon walls adorned with a high concentration of ancient petroglyph drawings. Incompatible uses have degraded the unique features of this historic and natural area. The property is located within the Joshua Tree North Linkage and several species of mammals, reptiles, and birds use this linkage to migrate, forage, and nest. MDLT staff and volunteers will restore habitat in a camping area and remove solid waste and fire debris. Participants will meet at the corner of Alta Loma Drive and Alturas Drive and are encouraged to bring water, lunch, snacks, gloves, sunglasses, long sleeve shirt, long pants, sunscreen, wide brim hat, and hiking boots. RSVPs are required, so please contact Mizuki Hanford at 760-366-0542. For more information contact Kimberly Bowers at 760-366-5440 or visit www.mojavedesertlandtrust.org.

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A NEW FINANCIAL OFFICER FOR HI-DESERT MEDICAL CENTER
There is a new chief financial officer at the Hi-Desert Medical Center, Reporter Mike Lipsitz welcomes him to the neighborhood…

Hi-Desert Medical Center announced yesterday the appointment of a new chief financial officer. Robert Tyk brings 35 years of healthcare CFO experience to the post, most recently as CFO for New Mexico's Roswell Regional Hospital. Tyk replaces Tom Duda, who announced his retirement early last fall. Duda has served the District for eight years. "I am very pleased that we have been able to recruit someone of Bob's exceptional caliber. His background will be crucial as we work to uncover opportunities to enhance reimbursements and stem the expenses that contribute to our negative bottom line," said Lionel "Chad" Chadwick, CEO. Chadwick added, "We are grateful for the leadership provided by Tom Duda." The incoming Tyk says he looks forward to working collaboratively with District leadership and staff to uncover opportunities for improving the financial bottom-line. Outgoing Duda will stay on into February working with Tyk to help insure a smooth transition.

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MORONGO BASIN HISTORICAL SOCIETY LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS
The Morongo Basin Historical Society needs volunteers to help with filing, research, and data entry. Volunteers do not need to be a member of the Historical Society in order to help. Learn about the area history while you volunteer. For more information call Angela at 760-369-4505.

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LA CONTENTA MIDDLE SCHOOL PREPARING FOR EMERGENCIES
In light of many recent tragedies at school around the country La Contenta Middle School is asking parents for help to prepare for possible emergencies such as earthquakes or floods. Reporter Kristy Lockhart has details…

The parents group at La Contenta Middle School is asking for donations for emergency kits to be placed in each classroom. Blankets and 12-hour glow lights have already been ordered but they still need donations of: 5-gallon buckets with lids; travel size baby wipes; jars of peanut butter; plastic cups (9 oz.); gallons of water; duct tape; Saltine crackers; plastic kitchen bags; toilet paper; bandages /gauze pads. All supplies need to be unopened in order to be accepted (except for buckets). Please drop off donations at the school. For more information call Kellie Hill at 760-401-2079.

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HI-DESERT HOMEGROWN POULTRY ASSOCIATION MEETS TOMORROW
High Desert Homegrown Poultry Association will hold its inaugural meeting this Wednesday from 2 to 4 p.m. at Yucca Mesa Improvement Association community center at 3133 Balsa Avenue. This organization is for people who want to raise their own chickens and other poultry for eggs, meat or just for FUN. A segment from the video "Regarding Chickens: Essentials for the Flock Owner" will be shown. In addition, there will be a raffle for books on chicken raising. A list of poultry regulations will be provided. For more information call Charla Shamhart at 760-401-0689.

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JOSHUA BASIN WATER DISTRICT CELEBRATES 50 YEARS AT MEETING TOMORROW
The Joshua Basin Water District will celebrate 50 years of service at their meeting tomorrow. Reporter Mike Lipsitz lights the birthday candles...

The next meeting of the Joshua Basin Water District Board of Directors will be preceded by an open house celebration commemorating 50 years of service. It all happens on Wednesday, January 16, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at District Offices on Chollita Road in Joshua Tree. The public is invited to enjoy light refreshments and take part in the activities which include a "tap water versus bottled water taste test," a historic display, a Water Wise Calendar give away, mini tours of the District Office and a chance to meet "Tank The Tortoise." The regularly Board Meeting will follow at 7 with an official reading of the 50th Anniversary Resolution from Third District County Supervisor James Ramos.

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HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS: SCORE AND SCHEDULES
The Yucca Valley High School Trojan boys' soccer team out-shot Imperial High School 20-9 and out-scored Imperial 6-2. Coach Tee Vallo said Sr. Midfielder Diego Martinez had two goals and one assist and junior Bradley Soares, senior Haemish O'Donnell, junior Logan Vallo, and senior Robert Duran all recorded one goal each. Bradley Sores, Caleb Woods, Logan Vallo and Robert Duran all had one or more assists on the night. The defense and keeper again had a very solid night with numerous steals and blocked shots. The Trojan boys are now 5-3 overall and 1-0 in League.

The Yucca Valley High School Girls' Soccer team traveled to Imperial to take on the Lady Tigers Monday and came away with the victory 5-3. Coach Scott Phillips said Scoring goals were senior Chaylin Couzens with 2 goals, juniors Amy Priest and Savannah Rogers with one goal each, and freshman Krista Schroeder scored the first goal of her high school career.

In high school sports today, the Joshua Springs Lightning boys' and girls' basketball teams will host Desert Christian Academy at home. The girls' games starts at 5 p.m.; the boys at 6:30.

The Yucca Valley and Twentynine Palms High School boys' and girls' basketball and soccer teams will play each other in Yucca Valley. For soccer, girls at 3:15, boys at 5:00. In Basketball the girls' game starts at 6; boys' at 7:30.

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