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Listen To Your News Friday, July 26, 2013 News Archive
     

CONGRESSMAN COOK INVESTIGATES CADIZ WATER PROJECT
Representative Paul Cook wants the Federal government to take a close look at the Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery, and Storage Project, which would ship water from desert aquifers to Orange and Los Angeles Counties. Reporter Dan Stork tells what Cook has asked for...
In a June 12th letter, Representative Paul Cook (R-Yucca Valley) asked Interior Department Secretary Sally Jewell to reevaluate the impact of the Cadiz Project on his 8th District constituents. Citing both environmental and economic concerns, Cook's letter requested a two-prong approach. First, he asked that the project's plan to use existing railroad rights-of-way for its pipeline be subject to federal analysis of its impact on adjacent public lands. Second, he called for a hydrological study by the U.S. Geological Survey to determine whether the water yields planned for the project are sustainable. The letter went on to cast doubt on justifications and claims by Cadiz, Inc. in both areas.

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JOSHUA TREE HOME BURNS AGAIN
A Joshua Tree home that was saved in a fire in March, burned to the slab in another fire early this morning. About 4 a.m., firefighters from the Joshua Tree, Yucca Valley, and Yucca Mesa fire stations were called to a fire in the 60900 block of Prescott Trail. The owners were rebuilding the home after a fire March 26. The structure was fully involved when fire fighters arrived, and they focused strictly on keeping the fire from spreading. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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MOUNTAIN FIRE CONTAINMENT EXPECTED TODAY, CAUSE RELEASED
Fire investigators say the Mountain Fire was caused by electrical equipment failure on private property, a nearly 20-acre parcel of land along Highway 243 in Mountain Center owned by Tarek M. Al-Shawaf, of Saudi Arabia. Because a fire originated on a property does not mean the owner was involved. The wildfire, which burned 27,531 acres, is expected to be fully contained today. The cost of fighting the fire now stands at $25.2 million. More than 3,400 firefighters assisted in efforts to contain the blaze, which was repor¬ted at 1:43 p.m. July 15 at Highway 243 and Highway 74. It burned from east of Mountain Center, through the Apple Canyon and Bonita Vista areas, and then along the Desert Divide and southern portion of the San Jacinto Wilderness. Seven homes and 15 other structures were destroyed. The fire led to the evacuations of several mountain communities, including Mountain Center, Idyllwild, Fern Valley and Pine Cove, and the temporary closure of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.

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LARGE MARIJUANA FARM BUSTED IN LUCERNE VALLEY
The Sheriff's Marijuana Enforcement Team raided an illegal marijuana farm in Lucerne Valley Wednesday. Investigators served a search warrant on a home in the 10200 block of Baker Street where they found a large marijuana cultivation on the five-acre property. The marijuana plants were growing within an area enclosed with a six foot tall plywood fence. A well on the property supplied water to the plants. A total of 191 mature marijuana plants, ranging from 2 to 4 feet tall, and all in the budding stage, were seized. Investigators also recovered a 12-gauge shotgun and a 22-caliber rifle. Miguel Ortega, 35, was arrested and booked for cultivation of marijuana, being a convicted felon in possession of firearms, and on a warrant for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Miguel Ortega is being held without bail at the West Valley Detention Center.

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WORK SET TO START SOON AT YUCCA VALLEY GOLF COURSE
After a lot of time and effort, the former Blue Skies Country Club in Yucca Valley is finally on the road to restoration. Managing editor Tami Roleff says early paperwork has been filed with the planning Department...
Owners of the former Blue Skies Golf Course in Yucca Valley submitted grading plans to the Town's planning department last week, as well as plans for the demolition of the old clubhouse. Rough grading of the golf course is expected to start no later than November 1, and it's hoped that the golf course will be open for business in very early 2015. The project is anticipated to include a new 12-hole golf course and a new club house.

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COUNTY APPROVES LOCAL MILITARY MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
The County Board of Supervisors approved a new contract at their meeting Tuesday to provide mental health services for military members and their families. Pacific Clinics will provide prevention and early intervention (PEI) military services and family support services for military members and their families in Twentynine Palms and Yucca Valley. The PEI Military Services and Family Support Project includes in-home screening and assessment for active duty, reserve, National Guard, and recently retired military and their families; and case management, early intervention services and referrals for those identified as needing more extensive mental health services. Pacific Clinics is located at 5910 Adobe Road, Suite E, in Twentynine Palms. For more information, call 760-361-7124.

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SCIENCE SATURDAY TOMORROW AT HI-DESERT NATURE MUSEUM
The Hi-Desert Nature Museum offers another Science Saturday program tomorrow. Reporter Taylor Thacker invites you to learn about genetics and fingerprints...
The Hi-Desert Nature Museum's popular Science Saturdays program continues on Saturday, July 27, from 11:00 to 11:30 a.m. at the Hi-Desert Nature Museum. This Saturday, children of school age are invited to learn about genetics and fingerprints. Our genes determine a variety of our characteristics but fingerprints are particularly interesting because while they are genetic, they are unique to each individual. Join museum educator Crystal Mason to determine which dominant and recessive genes you have and to solve a mystery by studying fingerprints. This program is free and requires no pre-registration. For more information call 760-369-7212 or go online to www.hidesertnaturemuseum.org. Come out and learn something new this Saturday!

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HIGH ACHIEVEMENTS FOR A LOCAL SERVICE MEMBER
Today we recognize high achievement for a local service member. Mike Spear, son of former Twentynine Palms City Councilman Steve Spear and his wife Laura, was officially listed for promotion to rank of sergeant major in the United States Army yesterday. He will be promoted in 2014 after attending the Army Sergeant Major's Academy at Fort Bliss, Texas. Spear, 31, is a graduate of Twentynine Palms High School. He has been in the Army for 13 years, serving four tours in a combat zone, three tours in Afghanistan and one tour in Iraq. He served with the 82nd Airborne Division and the 25th Infantry Division, the same battalion that his deceased uncle served in. His uncle, Edward Spear, was killed in Vietnam in October 1968. Mike Spear has been awarded four Bronze Stars for his combat tours, one of those awards has the prestigious combat "V" for valor. Spear is married to Tiffany Moore, daughter of Rocky and Ginger Moore, of Twentynine Palms. Steve Spear told Z107.7 News, "Laura and I, as well as Rocky and Ginger, are very proud of him and are appreciative of Tiffany's support in assisting Michael in his career."

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TWENTYNINE PALMS CITY COUNCIL: PART 3 OF 3, TOURISM
A long Twentynine Palms City Council meeting Tuesday night covered a wide range of topics. Reporter Dan Stork broke his report into three parts. Today: Tourism marketing initiatives...
During a long and varied meeting, the Twentynine Palms City Council heard a multi-part presentation on Economic Development and Tourism Activities. It began with Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Cynthia Truitt making a spirited and well-received pitch for accepting "Joshua Tree Gateway Communities" as the marketing brand for the region. She acknowledged that we will lovingly and proudly continue to refer to our area as the Morongo Basin among ourselves. But she said that, to the outside world, "Morongo" means a casino down the hill, and "Joshua Tree" stands a better chance of being an iconic designation for the entire Basin, on a level with images conjured up by "San Diego" or "Disneyland." Council deferred acting on her recommendation. Former council member John Cole described a juried art fair, with a Joshua Tree National Park theme, that is in the works for December. It is being pitched to attract submissions and visitors nationally and internationally. He asked for three thousand dollars to help with marketing the event, to which the Council was amenable. Vickie Waite, the City's Community and Marketing Specialist, listed and showed slides of materials she has used to market the city as a tourist destination. She emphasized the growing dominance of Internet-based marketing, followed by travel expositions, with print bringing up the rear for die-hard traditionalists.
An idea advocated by one of the city's innkeepers during public comment was a "Tourism Marketing Assessment District," in which the hotels would assign a percentage of revenues to joint marketing, and the City would match it.

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STAR TWIRLERS SQUARE DANCING IN YUCCA VALLEY TONIGHT
The Star Twirlers Square Dance Club is hosting a plus level square dance at the Yucca Valley Elks Lodge, at 7:30 p.m. tonight. Brent Lively will be doing the calling. Lines will be cued at 7 p.m. and between tips. For further information, contact Dennis at 760-366-8626.

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JOSHUA TREE VFW BUSY
The Joshua Tree Veterans of Foreign Wars Post will hold Christmas in July tonight when they serve up a full turkey dinner from 4:30 to 6:30. Proceeds from the $7 cost of dinner will go toward the post's building fund. No Sunday breakfast is scheduled, but don't forget Taco Wednesday.

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PHAT CAT SWINGER AT YUCCA VALLEY SUMMER CONCERT TOMORROW NIGHT
Bring your family and friends down to the Yucca Valley Community Center ball field tonight to enjoy the free Summer Music Festival, sponsored by Yucca Valley Ford, Yucca Valley Chrysler Center, and Z107.7. Chanda-Lyn Fraschetti has the details...
Come enjoy a swinging good time and listen to the music of Phat Cat Swinger, a swing band that delivers upbeat music that will force you to get up and dance. Phat Cat Swinger has toured and performed with Big Voodoo Daddy and have also been featured in Christina Aguilera's video, "Candy Man." The concert starts at 7 p.m., so bring your chairs and blankets for a great evening!

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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 to10 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.

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FREE MEAL IN TWENTYNINE PALMS TOMORROW
Food for Life is a non-profit ministry feeding the hungry in Twentynine Palms. The meals are served at Little Church of the Desert Community Hall from 3 to 5 p.m. each Saturday. Tomorrow, volunteers from Desert Congregational Church in Twentynine Palms will serve up chef's choice.

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