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Listen To Your News Thursday, July 18, 2013 News Archive
     

TWO MORE ARRESTS IN TWENTYNINE PALMS BRAWL, MORE ON THE INVESTIGATION
In an update to a story we ran Tuesday about a weekend brawl in Twentynine Palms, two more people have been arrested. Sheriff's investigators said shortly before 2 a.m. Sunday morning, deputies were called to a fight in the 6000 block of Ocotillo Avenue, where they found a Marine who had been stabbed in the right chest and hit in the head with a tire iron. The unidentified victim was taken to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs with serious injuries and subsequently released. During the investigation, deputies determined that a party had been held at a home in the 73800 block of Sun Valley Drive. A fight had broken out between two different groups of men at the party, resulting in one group of men being chased down Ocotillo Avenue by the second group, armed with a tire iron and a baseball bat. The second group of men confronted the victim and several other men on Ocotillo Avenue, and assaulted him. After initial investigation, Melvin Peters, 23, was arrested for warrants and booked into the Morongo Basin Jail. Later that day, deputies served a search warrant on homes in the 73800 block of Sun Valley Drive where the party and fight occurred, and on a home in the 5300 block of Daisy Avenue. They recovered a sawed-off shotgun and handgun; evidence led to the arrest of Davon Felton, 20, on outstanding warrants and violation of a restraining order, and Christine Brown, 18, for resisting arrest. The Sheriff's Department stresses that neither race nor any other outside issue has been identified as a factor in the assault. Anyone with information about the assault should call Detective Marcel Silva at 760-366-4175.

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COFFEE WITH RAMOS PART 3: COURTS, RETAIL AND MENTAL HEALTH
In the final installment on the meeting of Supervisor James Ramos with local media on Monday, reporter Dan Stork reports on responses to questions about court services, retail development guidelines, and mental health services…
When asked about the future of local court services, Ramos said he has been working with county and state officials to bring about a fairer court funding formula. He said that up to now, different counties get different levels of support from the state for their court systems, with San Bernardino County historically getting the short end of the stick. With regard to local standards for retail development, Ramos said that the Specific Community Benefit Plan for Joshua Tree is slated for an update of its 2007 version. Having heard that there is opposition in the Landers area to a Dollar General store announced for that community, Ramos responded that this is another issue subject to regional discussion. He also defended the reassignment of assorted mental health services, while entertaining the idea that old service sites might be utilized by new providers. His chief of staff wondered if better public information on the new service providers is in order.

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MOUNTAIN FIRE THREATENS IDYLLWILD, NOW ALMOST 20,000 ACRES
The Mountain Fire, bringing thick smoke into the Morongo Basin at times, was at almost 23,000 acres as of this morning and is 15 percent contained. Rapid movement of the fire has prompted an evacuation order of Idyllwild, Trails End, and Fern Valley. More than 4,100 residences and 100 commercial properties are now threatened by the fire. Fire officials say steep terrain, congested winding highways, and hot and dry weather continue to confront firefighters. After the evacuations are accomplished, State Highway 243 and portions of State Highway 74 between the Pepper Trees and the intersection with State Highway 371 will be open to local residents only. Some 3,000 fire personnel including 51 crews, 228 engines, 15 dozers and 17 helicopters are now on the fire lines; 23 structures have been destroyed by fire including seven residences during the first day. The cost of fire suppression so far is $5.5 million. A smoke advisory for Yucca Valley, Morongo Valley and surrounding communities remains in affect. If you see or smell smoke in the air where you are, be cautious and use common sense to protect your family's health. Everyone—especially people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children—should limit time spent outdoors and avoid outdoor exercise when smoke is in the area. Levels of smoke and particles will depend on changes in winds and the containment of the fire. The smoke advisory will be in effect as long as conditions warrant.

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UFO CONFERENCE AUGUST 9-11 AT JOSHUA TREE RETREAT CENTER
An upcoming UFO conference at the Joshua Tree Retreat Center will feature top UFO authors and researchers. Managing Editor Tami Roleff says tickets are now available…
A best-selling author on UFOs and aliens will give a special presentation at a UFO conference in Joshua Tree. Jim Marrs, author of "Alien Agenda," will give a lecture on ancient astronauts and man's future during Contact in the Desert, a weekend of exploration into ancient aliens, human origins, UFO sightings, and the need to know. Marrs is just one speaker of many who will discuss whether aliens live among us, and if so, what do they want? He will trace ancient visitors to Earth to the current efforts to create a New World Order. The UFO Conference will be held August 9-11 at the Joshua Tree Retreat Center. For more information or to buy tickets, visit contactinthedesert.net.

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SOLAR PANELS STOLEN IN TWENTYNINE PALMS, JOSHUA TREE
Solar power, the energy of the future, is also the newest target for thieves. The Sheriff's Department received two reports this week of stolen solar panels, with a total value of nearly $13,000. Monday, Solar World, which has a solar field on Morongo Road near Twentynine Palms, reported an entire pallet of about 30 solar panels, worth about $12,000, had been stolen. The next day, a local internet service provider reported someone had stolen solar panels, locks and cables, valued at $700, from a remote mountain site in Joshua Tree. Anyone with information about the stolen solar panels is asked to call the Sheriff's Department at 760-366-4175.

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MORONGO VALLEY COMMUNITY SERVICES DISTRICT BOARD RETAINS GENERAL MANAGER, APPROVES BUDGET
The Morongo Valley CSD Board met in regular session last night. Reporter Mike Lipsitz was there and says they approved of both their General Manager and the budget……
Morongo Valley Community Services District General Manager Rick Lebel stays on for another year. That came out of last night's meeting of the CSD board. Lebel received a closed session performance evaluation summarized as "outstanding" and a 12-month contract extension. And in open session the board voted a 2.5 percent merit pay increase. Director Chuck Osborne opposed both actions based on budgetary concerns. Also last night, following a public hearing and extended board discussion, the fiscal 2013-2014 budget was approved with Director Osborne casting the opposing vote saying, "we should cut harder." Also last night, in an item added to the agenda at the start of the meeting, the Board approved a motion requesting the County Board of Supervisors to extend the temporary moratorium on commercial solar energy projects pending further review.

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CAT ADOPTION DAY SATURDAY AT TWENTYNINE PALMS ANIMAL SHELTER
Palms-N-Paws Animal Shelter in Twentynine Palms will host its second annual cat adoption day on Saturday, July 20, from 11 to 3. All adoptions on this day will include a first set of vaccines, a coupon for spay or neuter fees, a Home Again microchip, a cat carrier, and a starter kit with coupons and information. There will also be face painting, a food drive, raffles and a bake sale. Palms-N-Paws is located at 7086 Bullion Avenue, one block south of Sullivan Road, in Twentynine Palms. For more information or directions, contact the shelter at 760-367-0157.

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SWIM LESSONS START MONDAY IN TWENTYNINE PALMS
Twentynine Palms Recreation is offering swim lessons at the Luckie Park Pool. Reporter Taylor Thacker says two sessions will be offered starting this Monday…
Swimming can be tons of fun if you know how to do it. The City of Twentynine Palms Park and Recreation Office are now having registration for swim lessons. Two different sessions are being offered for both beginner and advanced swimmers. The first session takes place during July 22 through August 1, and the second session will be held on August 5 through 15. Classes run Monday through Thursday starting at 6 p.m. Each session fee is $28 for beginner levels and $30 for advanced levels. To sign up, go to the Park and Recreation Office located at 74362 Joe Davis Drive in Twentynine Palms. For more information call 760-367-7562.

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BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB GET MUCH-NEEDED DONATION
The Boys and Girls Club of the Hi-Desert has new kitchen equipment thanks to a donation from The Community Foundation of Riverside and San Bernardino counties. The Boys and Girls club received a donation of more than $9000, which the club used to buy a new commercial refrigerator, freezer, and ice machine. Board president Tracy Stockman said the club's previous refrigerator was outdated, and it had been without a freezer and ice machine for some time. The club needed space to store the food and drinks it provides to the 125 children who come to the Boys and Girls Club every week day for educational activities, sports, games, arts and crafts, and water activities.

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FREE FAMILY MOVIE AT LUCKIE PARK TONIGHT
Grab the family and come on down to Luckie Park tonight to take part in Movies in the Park, a free event sponsored by Twentynine Palms Recreation Department and Z107.7. Chanda-Lyn Fraschetti has the details…
"The Little Rascals" is a hilarious comedy for the entire family. Full of your favorite little mischief-makers, you'll laugh out loud as Spanky and the gang find out their most trusted member, Alfalfa, has betrayed them and fallen in love with the enemy: Darla! The movie starts at 8:30 p.m., so bring your blankets and lawn chairs and have a great time. Also help sponsor the Twentynine Palms Swim Team and purchase refreshments.

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