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Listen To Your News Tuesday, March 26, 2013 News Archive
     

MURDER SUSPECTED IN DEATH OF 80 YEAR OLD YUCCA VALLEY MAN
An 80-year-old Yucca Valley man was found bludgeoned to death in his home Saturday afternoon. According to a press release from the Sheriff's Department, deputies went to the home of Mike Koyounian, of the 59100 block of Lisbon Drive, off La Contenta Road, about noon Saturday, following a report of a dead man being found there. Koyounian was found dead from apparent blunt force trauma injuries. Homicide investigators have been called in to investigate the death. Anyone with information is asked to call 909-387-3589.

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FOOTPRINTERS HONOR LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS OF THE YEAR
The Morongo Basin Chapter 71 of the International Footprint Association, an organization that fosters civilian cooperation with law enforcement, will present their 2013 Officer of the Year Awards at the Yucca Valley Sizzler tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. This year's recipients are: Joshua Tree National Park Service: Ranger John Lauretig; San Bernardino Probation: PO ll Camryn Marinello; San Bernardino Sheriff Courts: Deputy Clinton Miller; United States Marine Corps PMO: Officer Kennith Charles; California Highway Patrol: Officer Joan Griffin; San Bernardino Sheriff Morongo Station: Deputy Erik Smoot; US Naval Criminal Investigative Service: Special Agent Clifton Randolph Jr.

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TWENTYNINE PALMS CITY COUNCIL MEETS; MURAL, SOLAR ENERGY AND PROJECT PHOENIX
The Twentynine Palms City Council will re-visit solar energy, Project Phoenix bonds, and the mural project, and the Planning Commission roster. Dan Stork previews the agenda…
The 6 p.m. open session of the March 26 meeting of the Twentynine Palms City Council begins with two presentations: one by resident Aaron Kyle on solar energy, and another giving an overview of the current status of Project Phoenix and the Series A and B bonds that were issued in an effort to keep the state from taking away redevelopment agency funds. Three other discussions are also scheduled, concerning: the Mural-in-a-Day Community Art Project; the status of Planning Commission appointments; and a Team Building program. There is also a 5 p.m. closed session, to discussion a performance evaluation of the City Clerk. The meeting takes place in Council Chambers in City Hall on Adobe Road.

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YUCCA VALLEY TOWN COUNCIL DISCUSSES $300,000 FOR EARLY RETIREMENTS
Prior to tonight's Yucca Valley Planning Commission meeting, the Town Council will hold a special meeting to discuss and approve an early retirement incentive program. The early retirement is being offered to senior members of the Town staff and the Council will allocate up to $300,000 in incentives. The special meeting will be a teleconference meeting at 5 p.m. in the Yucca Room of the community center.

Tonight, the Yucca Valley Planning Commission will meet to discuss and review the draft development code. The meeting is set for 6 p.m. in the Yucca Room of the community center.

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JOB FAIR SET AT COPPER MOUNTAIN COLLEGE NEXT MONTH, PARTICIPANTS SOUGHT
Employers and community organizations are being urged to participate in a community resource and job fair at Copper Mountain College next month. Managing Editor Tami Roleff has more…
The County Workforce Investment Board will hold a free job and community resource fair, Thursday, April 25, at Copper Mountain College. Employers and community organizations will be at the college's Bell Center from 10 to 2. Job seekers will be able to meet with employers in the retail, clerical, warehouse, health care, law enforcement, and military fields. Job seekers should bring their resumes and dress professionally. Representatives from community resources for pre-natal care; Medi-Cal; senior and youth services; counseling; and nutrition, CalFresh, SNAP and WIC, will also be available. Employers and community organizations who would like to be a part of the job and community resource fair should call Shanna Williams at 909-383-9937.

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CHP SAYS ALCOHOL A FACTOR IN OFF-ROAD VEHICLE CRASH
The California Highway Patrol has said alcohol was a factor in a sand-rail crash Friday night that sent two men to the hospital with major injuries. About 10:20 p.m., John Shackleford, 46, of Twentynine Palms, was driving in the open desert of the Sunfair Dry Lake Bed at a high rate of speed when he lost control of the sand rail making a turn, the dune buggy rolled over, throwing Shackleford and his passenger, Jason Humenik, 35, of Yucca Valley, from the vehicle. Neither man was wearing a helmet or the sand rail's five-point harness. Humenik lost consciousness in the crash and suffered severe head and spinal injuries; Shackleford also had major injuries. Both men were airlifted to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs. Shackleford is expected to be arrested for felony driving under the influence.

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DOG STOLEN FROM YUCCA VALLEY SHELTER EUTHANIZED
The dog that was stolen from the Yucca Valley Animal Shelter last week was found Sunday and euthanized. Thor, an 85-pound pit bull-mastiff mix, had been seized by animal control officers March 1 after Yucca Valley Animal Control declared him a dangerous dog for threatening people and then biting a woman last August. During the night of March 18, someone jumped the fence of the animal shelter and broke the lock on Thor's kennel and stole him. Thor was missing for a week before he was found tied up outside the Morongo Basin Humane Society Sunday, with a note written on an old Christmas card asking staff to find a good home for him. After verifying Thor's identity through his microchip, Thor was brought back to the Yucca Valley Animal Shelter where he was humanely euthanized.

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JOSHUA TREE SUNBURST PARK MURAL DESTROYED BY VANDALS
An iconic Joshua Tree mural was vandalized over the weekend, and damage was so extensive that restoration of the mural has been deemed impossible. The American Pride Mural at the community center in Sunburst Park was covered with offensive graffiti and was painted over by Park District employees Monday. The 66-foot long and 13-foot high mural was inspired by Sherri Sullivan and was painted with the help of volunteers over a two week period in 2005. Frank Haggard of the Joshua Tree Park District is asking for the public's help in replacing the mural. The district is looking for design sketches from Joshua Tree artists, and needs volunteers to help paint the mural. Sketches should be submitted by 5 p.m. May 31, in order to be considered. For more information, call the Joshua Tree Park District office at 760-366-8415.

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BIGHORN-DESERT VIEW WATER AGENCY BOARD MEETS TONIGHT, RECHARGE AGREEMENT ON TAP
The Bighorn Desert View water Agency meets in regular session tonight. Reporter Mike Lipsitz says recharge authorization, cost of living, adjustments, and new equipment are all up for approval…
The Bighorn-Desert View Water Agency Board of Directors holds the regular monthly meeting at 6:00 tonight at Agency offices under the old water tower on Cherokee Trail in Landers. Tonight, the board is expected to authorize the general manager to execute the Ames/Reche Groundwater Storage and Recovery Program Memorandum of Understanding between Bighorn-Desert View Water Agency and Mojave Water Agency. The Board is also expected to establish a policy for the approval of the expense of bad debt and consider cost-of-living adjustments both for director's per diems and Agency employees. Also tonight, the board will consider the purchase of a $56,000 hydraulic valve exerciser and vacuum-water jet system. Following those possible actions and others the board will hear reports, and consider items on the consent agenda.

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BLOOD DRIVE IN YUCCA VALLEY TOMORROW
Desert Blood Services will conduct a community blood drive in Yucca Valley Wednesday, March 27. Blood donations will be taken at Vons in Yucca Valley, from 2 to 6 p.m. 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 877-827-4376.

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JOSHUA TREE CLEAN TEAM AT ALTA LOMA AND OLYMPIC TOMORROW
The Joshua Tree Clean Team invites everyone that lives and commutes in the Friendly Hills area to meet at 8 a.m. tomorrow morning at Alta Loma & Olympic. There will be trash bags, grabber sticks, gloves and water available to make the job manageable.
The Joshua Tree Clean Team can always be seen picking up trash along Alta Loma, Highway 62 and around the village of Joshua Tree, on the 2nd, 4th and 5th Wednesday of every month.

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LEARN ABOUT LANGUAGE AT HI-DESERT NATURE MUSEUM SATURDAY
The Hi-Desert Nature Museum Science Saturday program is this Saturday at 11:00 am. Reporter Taylor Thacker tells us what the subject is…
Have you ever wondered why language is the way it is? During this Science Saturday on March 30, from 11 to 11:30, at the Hi-Desert Nature Museum, children of school age are invited to come learn about the reasoning behind language. Children will learn about why the English language is so complex, even though it seems simple because we speak it every day. Scientists that study language are called linguists, and by the end of the day, your children will be little linguists! Come out and enjoy this fun time.

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RESULTS OF 55TH ANNUAL TWENTYNINE PALMS BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT
The City of Twentynine played host to the 55th Annual Boy's Basketball Tournament this past weekend. Thirty-one teams from all over Southern California competed for championships in four divisions. In the third- and fourth-grade division, our local Twentynine Palms All-Stars came in second place. Jacob Hueso and Carson Estrada were named to the All-Tournament team. The fifth- and sixth- grade boys also took home second. Cezar Hueso and Brett Hope were named to the All-Tournament team. In the seventh-grade division, the hometown boys marched their way to the championship game by beating teams from Yucca Valley and Needles. D'Shaun Barrett and Adam Bell were named to the All-Tournament team, while Tajmere Carr was named Most Valuable Player for the seventh-grade division. The 10-team eighth-grade division was exciting from the first tip off. With more than half the games coming down to the final buzzer, the boys from Twentynine Palms played well enough to get themselves into the championship game. In the very exciting back and forth game, Needles was able to take home the championship trophies leaving Twentynine Palms with second place. Caleb Roy and Ian Duhon were named to the All-Tournament team.

The annual tournament concludes with the naming of the Hugh "Chief" Jones trophy; an eighth-grade boy is recognized for outstanding sportsmanship, attitude and excelling in school. Ian Duhon was the recipient for the 2013 Hugh "Chief" Jones award.
The John Bass Award is also presented annually to the athlete who showed superior sportsmanship on and off the court. This year's recipient was TJ Shelton from Twentynine Palms

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HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS: YUCCA VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL TO DEDICATE NEW BASEBALL FIELD
In high school sports tomorrow, the Yucca Valley and Twentynine Palms High Schools will compete against each other in track, softball, baseball, and tennis. The track meet, softball, and baseball games will be held in Yucca Valley; the tennis match will be held in Twentynine Palms. Track starts at 3; tennis at 3:15, and softball and baseball at 3:30. Yucca Valley High School will hold an opening ceremony at 3:00 to celebrate their first game on a new varsity baseball field. The Twentynine Palms High School golf match and swim meet against Xavier College Prep have been cancelled.

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