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Listen To Your News Tuesday, May 22, 2012 News Archive
     

WONDER VALLEY HOME BURNS TO GROUND
A home in Wonder Valley burned to the ground Sunday evening, possibly as the result of arson. At 8:43 p.m., Wonder Valley firefighters received a call of a house fire in the 6100 block of Steeg Road. By the time firefighters arrived, the small, vacant house had burned to the ground. It took firefighters just a few minutes to put out the remaining embers and about a half hour to mop up afterward. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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HEAT OVERCOMES TWO HIKERS IN JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK
A husband and wife hiking in Joshua Tree National Park Monday afternoon were rescued after they both exhibited symptoms of heat-related illnesses. According to Fire Captain Jay Hausman, Joshua Tree firefighters, Morongo Basin Ambulance, and Park Rangers were called about 2:40 to rescue the wife, identified only as a Californian, on a hiking trail about a mile from the Hidden Valley Campground. The woman was determined to be suffering a heat-related illness and needed to be carried out about a mile to the trailhead. While paramedics were treating the wife, her husband also became ill from the heat and the rescuers determined his condition was more serious than his wife's. Rescuers carried him out first, and then returned to carry out his wife. Both victims were taken to Hi-Desert Medical Center for treatment. Captain Hausman reminds everyone that by the time a person starts to feel thirsty, the body is already dehydrated. Anyone traveling or hiking in the desert should carry AND DRINK at least a gallon of water per day.

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TWENTYNINE PALMS CEMETERY BOARD TRIES TO EXPLAIN LAFCO CONCERNS
The Twentynine Palms Cemetery Board had some explaining to do when they met last night. City and County officials were on hand as they tried to give the circumstances which brought them to the verge of being disbanded by LAFCO, the county agency which oversees County Government agencies. Managing Editor Tami Roleff was there and files this report...
It was a love-fest at the Twentynine Palms Cemetery District Special Board meeting last night, as board members, Twentynine Palms Mayor John Cole, county supervisor field representative Alan Rasmussen, and members of the public all expressed support for the Cemetery District's Board of Trustees and how they are handling the concerns expressed by the Local Agency Formation Commission. Board member Sandra Gray ticked off items one by one that the Cemetery District either agrees with the Local Agency Formation Commission needs fixing or disputes LAFCO's findings. The Board insists that all its budgets have been approved and adopted at Board meetings, and will forward the meeting minutes to LAFCO. It agrees that its audits are late, but explains it was due to illnesses of its staff and the auditor, and says the 2009-10 audit will be completed by mid-June. It also points out that when the county audited its accounts, the 2007 books weren't completed until May 2008. The Board explained the large decrease in funds is due to a major project of four burial walls and a memorial wall it recently completed, which cost nearly $100,000. The cemetery expects to recoup the money when niches and names are sold. The Board expects the salaries and benefits of its staff to decrease by $16,000 to $20,000 this fiscal year due to a change in insurance carriers. As for the bounced check charge, the Cemetery secretary says it was due to a misunderstanding about how long it would take to transfer money from one account into another. But as for one of LAFCO's most serious charges, that the Cemetery is operating under a deficit budget, the Board counters first that it's concerned as well, then expressed surprise that the County would accept a deficit budget, and then when questioned further about the deficit budget, board members stated that they'd have to work on it, and that the District doesn't have that much of a deficit, although since they just found out about LAFCO's charges on Thursday, they haven't had a chance to look at the budget and see how much red ink they are bleeding. The Board plans to send LAFCO a response to its charges by certified mail and hopes to send a board member to LAFCO's June 20 meeting.

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FOUR ARRESTED IN YUCCA VALLEY PAROLE CHECK
A parole check on a residence in Yucca Valley resulted in the arrest of four people on various charges. According to the Sheriff's Department, deputies made a parole compliance check on a home in the 6400 block of Camarilla Avenue about 6:30 p.m. Saturday. During the search, Emma Giron, 47, of Yucca Valley, was arrested on warrants for possession of a controlled substance, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail with her bail set at $25,000. Lawrence Howard, 44, also of Yucca Valley, was arrested on warrants for possessing drug paraphernalia, and trespassing, with his bail set at $25,000. Daniel Greene, 30, of Joshua Tree, is a parolee at large and was booked into the Morongo Basin Jail and is being held without bail. And finally, Crystal Ries, 21, of Big Bear, was arrested for investigation of resisting arrest, cited and released.

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TEN PEOPLE FIGHTING BRINGS DEPUTIES TO MORONGO VALLEY
A fight in Morongo Valley led to the arrest of one man Sunday afternoon. According to a Sheriff's report, about 10 people were fighting in the 10800 block of West Drive in Morongo Valley about 3:20. A woman said Dennis Gilbert, 59, grabbed her 17-year-old daughter by the throat and punched her in the face. There were also allegations of waving a hammer at people. Dennis Gilbert was arrested for investigation of threatening a crime with intent to terrorize. Gilbert was booked into the Morongo Basin Jail with his bail set at $50,000. The District Attorney will determine whether Dennis Gilbert should also be charged with assault.

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TWENTYNINE PALMS CITY COUNCIL TO DISCUSS SPHERE OF INFLUENCE, PROJECT PHOENIX BONDS
The Twentynine Palms City Council meets in regular session tonight. Reporter Derwood Andrews says the Council will look at a LAFCO-suggested change in sphere of influence, oversaturated businesses, and the bond situation for Project Phoenix...
The City Council meeting tonight begins with a Closed Session and potential litigation, also property acquisition. The regular meeting begins at 6 p.m. with Buck-A-Bag Awards and a look at pertinent correspondence between the Successor Agency Staff and the County, Department of Finance and League of California Cities. The Action Agenda includes a LAFCO consideration of a change to the City's sphere of influence, a discussion of over-concentrated types of businesses and an agreement between the City and themselves as the Successor Agency, regarding Bond Proceeds for Project Phoenix. Tomorrow evening at 5 p.m., they will review the same items regarding Bond Proceeds, the pertinent correspondence and former Redevelopment Agency assets, in their role as the Successor Agency.

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TRAFFIC STOP RESULTS IN DRUG BUST
A traffic stop for not wearing a seat belt resulted in the arrest of a Palm Springs man for allegedly selling speed. According to a Sheriff's report, shortly before 4 p.m., Blair Foster was pulled over in his 2005 Nissan near Apache and Onaga Trails in Yucca Valley for not wearing a seat belt. The deputy then determined that the car's license plate tabs were false. During a search of the vehicle, the deputy found money, a digital scale, methadone pills, methamphetamines, and heroin. Blair Foster was arrested for investigation of unlawful sale of speed, booked at the Morongo Basin Jail, with his bail set at $50,000.

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JOSHUA TREE WOMAN ACCUSED OF ATTACKING HER HUSBAND
A Joshua Tree woman was arrested Sunday, accused of attacking her husband. According to a Sheriff's report, Amy Shore, 21, of the 63400 block of Single Tree Road, attacked her husband, broke things, and smashed holes in the walls. The report states her husband tried to walk away from Shore, but she continued to follow him. After an investigation, Amy Shore was determined to be the aggressor and was arrested on suspicion of domestic battery. Shore was booked at the Morongo Basin Jail with her bail set at $25,000.

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BIGHORN-DESERT VIEW WATER BOARD TO WEIGH IN ON AD VALOREM TAX LEVY, BENEFITS
The Bighorn Desert View Water Agency Board meets tonight. The Board will look at their preliminary budget and an ad valorem tax, among other items. Reporter Mike Lipsitz checks the agenda...
The Bighorn-Desert View Water Agency Board of Directors meets at 6:00 tonight at Agency offices on Cherokee Trail in Landers. Among the items on tonight's agenda, the Board will consider when to post appropriation limit calculations for this fiscal year. That information must be posted at least 15 days prior to adoption of the limit. Directors are also likely to weigh in on the preliminary fiscal year budget and the proposed Bighorn Mountains Improvement District 1 Ad Valorem tax levy. Also tonight, directors will consider adding themselves to the vision and dental benefits employee pool. Other medical and life insurance benefits enjoyed by staff are not under consideration for extension to the board. And finally, the board is expected to receive and file a Certificate for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association for the Agency's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the last fiscal year.

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SCHOOL BOARD MEETS TONIGHT
At the meeting of the Morongo Unified School District Board of Education tonight, a closed session at 6:20 p.m. will deal with student expulsions and reentries; negotiations with Morongo Teachers Association and the California School Employees Association; and an evaluation of the superintendent. On the docket at the 7 p.m. open session is a public hearing on the use of Tier III Categorical Funds. After routine items on the consent agenda, items on the action agenda include CAHSEE waivers for special education students; and a price increase for school meals. The meeting will take place at Friendly Hills Elementary School.

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JOSHUA TREE CLEAN TEAM OUT TOMORROW
The Joshua Tree Clean Team invites everyone to come to their next scheduled clean-up tomorrow morning 8 a.m. Volunteers will gather on the north side of Sunny Vista and Hwy. 62. There will be trash bags, grabber sticks, gloves and water available to the workers. For more information call 760-366-8415.

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TWENTYNINE PALMS CHURCH OF THE NAZARENE SHOWING NARNIA MOVIES
A Twentynine Palms Church is hosting a special movie showing. The last two movies in the "Chronicles of Narnia" series will be at the Church of the Nazarene. Reporter Lenore Roberts gets out the popcorn...
The last two movies in "The Chronicles of Narnia" series will be presented this spring in the Sanctuary Theatre at the Church of the Nazarene. Both shows will take place at 7 p.m. on a Friday. "Prince Caspian" will show May 25, and "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" June 22. Admission is free, and snacks and water will be available. Families, friends, and neighbors of all faiths are invited to enjoy this inspiring cinematic adventure. The church is located on 72603 Juanita Drive in Twentynine Palms. For more information call the church at 760-367-7025 or go to nazarene29.org.

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12 SELECTED TO YUCCA VALLEY HEAT DANCE TEAM
After a week of try-outs, 12 local high school students were selected for the 2012-2103 Yucca Valley Heat Dance Team. Many dancers are returning, with juniors the majority. Elise Kelley and Katja Reynolds return for their fourth year, Madison Benstead, Erin Clay, and Adrianna O'Connor for their third year. Returning for their second year are seniors Kenzie Collins and Paige Petrie and junior Shannon Perry. Joining the team are senior Sarah Fleishman, junior James Kendall, and freshmen Jordan Edwards and Sydney Rieman. Collins and Kelley were selected to serve as co-captains. The Heat team perfoms at many local events. If your organization is seeking volunteers, contact the Yucca Valley Heat at yvheat@gmail.com or on Facebook. Each dancer has a goal of a minimum of 30 hours of community service.

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PLAY FAMILY KICKBALL OFFERED AT GRUBSTAKE DAYS SATURDAY
Kickball is like baseball except a big, rubber ball is kicked into play. The sport has caught on across the nation and is among Grubstake Days tournaments offered this year. Even those with no experience and minimal athletic skills can master the basics of kickball. The Tournament takes place on Saturday, May 26, beginning at noon at the Yucca Valley Community Center soccer field. Teams are coed with 8-11 players in the field and a maximum of 16 players on a team. Team members must be age 12 and up. Awards will be given for first and second place. A "Team Spirit" award will go to the team with the most. There is no cost to participate but space is limited. Interested teams can register at the Yucca Valley Community Center or online at www.yucca-valley.org.

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FORMER NBA PLAYER ON COLLEGE RECRUITING AT JOSHUA SPRINGS HIGH SCHOOL TONIGHT
Joshua Springs will host college recruiting expert and former NBA player Lamond Murray tonight as he explains what it takes to become a collegiate athlete. Murray will explain how the recruiting process works for all sports, not just basketball. The event will be 7 p.m. at the Joshua Springs Thunderdome. For more information call Joshua Springs at 760-365-3599.

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