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Listen To Your News Friday, February 22, 2013 News Archive
     

MARINE ARRESTED FOR MAKING MOONSHINE IN TWENTYNINE PALMS
In a case of life imitating art, a Twentynine Palms Marine was arrested Wednesday, accused of making moonshine, like on a popular reality TV show, "Moonshiners." Shortly before noon Wednesday, Sheriff deputies were called to a home in the 5400 block of Cahuilla to deal with a domestic dispute. While there, deputies found what appeared to be the remnants of a still, and other evidence that Christopher Cagle, 23, had been brewing moonshine. While it is legal to brew beer or make wine for personal use, it is illegal to distill spirits, both because the federal government wants the taxes on spirits—which are 13 times higher than wine and 26 times higher than beer—and because of the health risks due to contamination of the equipment. Sheriff's Sergeant Randy Warfield said the popular reality TV show "Moonshiners," which depicts men making moonshine and federal agents tracking them, may be influencing people to try to distill their own white lightning. Christopher Cagle was arrested for investigation of manufacturing alcohol without a license, and released. A report will be forwarded to the district attorney's office for possible criminal prosecution.

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NEW STATE SCHOOL FUNDING PLAN GOOD FOR OUR LOCAL SCHOOLS
This week, the California Department of Finance released a report on what Governor Brown's Local Control Funding Formula means for individual school districts. Dan Stork takes a look at what it may mean for the Morongo Unified School District…
For many months, Governor Jerry Brown has been pushing the Legislature to implement the Local Control Funding Formula, or LCFF. One feature of the LCFF is to take many of the special funds that are earmarked for specific programs—collectively called "categorical funding"—lump them together, and let districts decide how to best allocate those funds locally. Among the features of the LCFF are that it will take several years to be fully implemented; no school district or charter school will receive less than it did in 2012-13, with the vast majority of school districts and charter schools receiving moderate to significant funding increases; cuts made to general-purpose state funding of education over the last five years will be restored. According to a chart in the report, MUSD gets $6161 per student from the state in the current school year. That is projected to rise to $6451 next year, $6894 the year after. Districts will receive substantial additional funding based on the number of English learners, students eligible for free and reduced-priced meals, and foster youth they serve. These criteria will result in big differences among school districts in per-student funding when LCFF is fully implemented, some years down the road. That number is projected to be $10,133 for MUSD, which is about $2100 less than San Bernardino City Unified, and $1400 more than Temecula Valley. 56% of Morongo Unified students are eligible for free and reduced-priced meals. The DoF cautions that the numbers in the report are estimated projections from the formula proposal and can and will vary as refined 2012-13 data becomes available. MUSD Assistant Superintendent Dave Price has relayed to the Board of Education a message he's been told: that getting LCFF through the Legislature is Governor Brown's "only" priority this year.

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SCHOOL BOARD IN SPECIAL CLOSED SESSION MONDAY
The Morongo Unified School District Board of Directors will hold a special closed session meeting 1 p.m. Monday, in District offices on Utah Trail in Twentynine Palms. The sole item on the agenda is a public employee performance evaluation.

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TWENTYNINE PALMS FIRE OFFERS DISASTER RESPONSE TRAINING CLASS
When a disaster strikes—whether it's one that makes the national news, or is a house fire that affects only one family—the American Red Cross is there to help. Volunteers respond 24 hours a day to provide shelter, clothing, food, and health services. If you would like to help in times of a disaster, the Red Cross and the Twentynine Palms Fire Department offer a basic disaster response training session on the second Saturday of each month. The next class will be held March 9, from 9 to 4 at the Lear Fire Station in Twentynine Palms. The class will cover new volunteer orientation, disaster services overview, and disaster action team response training. For more information call 888-831-0031.

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A NEW MURAL IS COMING TO DOWNTOWN JOSHUA TREE
A new outdoor mural will be coming to Joshua Tree. Managing editor Tami Roleff says the focal artwork will be that of a local artist…
Starting Monday, the mother-daughter team of Echo Westover and Linda Shrader, of Larger than Life Murals, will start painting a mural on the side of the Natural Sisters' Café building, on Sunset and the Highway. The mural will feature local artist Marcia Geiger's jackrabbit portrait as the focal point of the mural. A map and listing of Joshua Tree businesses will also be represented on the wall alongside the mural. The mural is expected to be completed by March 1, and will have an official unveiling 5 p.m. March 9, in conjunction with the Second Saturday Downtown Art Walk.

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TRANSITION JOSHUA TO SCREEN DOCUMENTARY TUESDAY
Transition Joshua Tree will hold a free screening of a documentary film, "I Am," Tuesday, February 26, starting at 6:30 p.m. Directed by Tom Shadyac—the same man who directed "Ace Ventura" and "American Beauty"—"I Am" explores two questions: "What's wrong with our world?" and, "What can we do to make it better?" Making appearances in the film are Desmond Tutu and Noam Chomsky. The movie will be screened at JTopia, 61850 Chollita Road in Joshua Tree. Bring finger foods, snacks, or beverages to share, and your own plates and utensils.

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RELAY FOR LIFE EVENT AT "SPLASH" IN TWENTYNINE PALMS SATURDAY NIGHT
Some fun at "Splash" in Twentynine Palms Saturday for a good cause. Reporter Diana Jones invites you to come out tomorrow night and support Relay for Life…
Three community leaders will be competing for tips, with all proceeds from their tips going to Relay for Life Morongo Basin. Dr. Roger Wagner, the superintendent/president of Copper Mountain College, Luis Barraza of Twentynine Palms High School, and a surprise mystery guest, will be serving up frozen yogurt, smoothies, specialty coffees, and other treats Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m. at Splash in the Stater Brothers center in Twentynine Palms. As you are enjoying your delicious treat, you'll be supporting Relay for Life Morongo Basin.

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YUCCA VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL THEATER COMPANY PRESENTS A THRILLER NEXT WEEK
The Yucca Valley High School Theatre Company will put on what the London Gazette calls "a first-rate thriller" next week. "I'll Be Back Before Midnight" is a comically dark thriller, ala "Deathtrap," in which a married couple rents a haunted house from a farmer in the countryside, and a meddling sister pays a visit. The wife wonders if her husband and sister-in-law are deliberately trying to frighten her, or is the house really haunted, and what IS that scratching at the window? The play is directed by Sarah Fleischman, and features Cody McBride, Cody Paquin, Sarah Fleischman, Hunter Stepp, Vivian Chow, and Courtney Freeman. The play will be performed in the Yucca Valley High School's multi-purpose room at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday, with an additional 1 p.m. matinee Saturday. Tickets are $5 for adults, $4 for students, and children under 12 are free, and are available at the door.

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TWENTYNINE PALMS HIGH SCHOOL TALENT SHOW SATURDAY NIGHT
The talented students of Twentynine Palms High School will showcase their talents tomorrow night. Assignment reporter Taylor Thacker invites you to the annual school talent show…
This Saturday, at Twentynine Palms High School in the MPR, the students for Twentynine Palms will be showing off their talents for your entertainment! Organized by Lori Cosgriff, the show starts at 6 p.m. and many talents will be presented such as singing, dancing, and musical artistry. There are a total of 15 acts, and in between talents your MC will be Mr. Gary Daigneault keeping you forever entertained. Admission is $5 for everyone 12 and over, and free for everyone under 12 years of age. Tickets are available at the door, and a snack bar will be provided during the show. Ms. Cosgriff says all the money raised will go towards scholarships. Come out and support your talented peers and future scholars!

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JOSHUA TREE VFW SERVING SPAGHETTI DINNER TONIGHT
The Joshua Tree Veterans of Foreign Wars post will serve up an all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner this evening from 4:30 to 6:30. No Sunday breakfast is scheduled, but don't forget Taco Wednesday from 11 to 1.

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FREE BREAKFAST IN JOSHUA TREE TOMORROW
Joshua Tree Community United Methodist Church will provide a free community breakfast buffet Saturday morning from 9 to 10 a.m. Used clothing, shoes, coats and blankets are free to those in need as supplies last. The community is invited. The church is located at 6213 East Parkway in Joshua Tree.

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CELEBRATION OF LIFE FOR LIAM SPAKOWITZ SUNDAY
Liam Allen Spakowitz died Sunday, February 17. He was 37 days old. Liam is survived by his parents, Sam and Paulina Spakowitz, and his sister, Audrey Spakowitz, all of Twentynine Palms. A celebration of life will be held at the Twentynine Palms Inn Sunday, February 24 at 2 p.m. Flowers or donations can be sent to the family at 71916 Sunnyslope Drive, Twentynine Palms.

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