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Listen To Your News Monday, August 26, 2013 News Archive
     

SEVERE WEATHER CLOSES GRADE, FLOODS ROADS, BRING POWER OUTAGES
Monsoonal downpours, remnants of Tropical Storm Ivo, created flash flooding that wreaked havoc on area residents and motorists Sunday. Highway 62 in Morongo Valley was closed for hours Sunday evening due to flash flooding that left two feet of mud on the highway, and stranded vehicles near Valley View Road. After a river of mud flowed across the highway and took out a power pole, the CHP closed the road between East Avenue and Valley View at 6 p.m., saying the closure could be up to 5 hours long. The eastbound road was reopened at about 9 p.m., and westbound lanes about 10:30 p.m. Sheriff's Sergeant Rick Millard said one motorist tried to drive through the flooded road and became stranded shortly before 6 p.m. when his mini-van became stuck in the mud. Motorists had to wait for CalTrans to send plows to clear the road of mud and debris and a tow truck to remove the stranded vehicle. East of Twentynine Palms, CHP closed Highway 62 east of 177 to Needles as the road was completely washed out by flash floods on Saturday. The Wonder Valley area and eastern parts of Twentynine Palms received heavy rains that caused additional flooding. The CHP also reported that several vehicles had become stuck in the road on Amboy Road in the Sheephole pass about 7 p.m. Sunday. Callers reported that the water was rising over the road and the road was not passable. Millard said a woman was killed in Needles when the vehicle she was in was swept downstream about a mile by rising flood waters. And near Ludlow, crews from two trains were stranded when flash flooding undermined the train tracks and the embankment. A storm-related power outage left parts of Tte City of Twentynine Palms without power from 5:30 Sunday afternoon until shortly after 9 pm. Scattered thunderstorms, at times heavy, are expected in our Morongo Basin area throughout the entire week.

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FIRST HAND REPORT FROM Z107.7'S MANAGING EDITOR ON SCENE
Among the many residents stuck by the closure of the highway in Morongo Valley was our own Managing Editor Tami Roleff, who had responded to the mudslides and power pole failure only to find herself waiting along with hundreds of others…
The sound from the river of mud in the ditch of the Morongo Grade was nearly deafening. You had to shout to be heard. A friend and I returning home to the Morongo Basin saw the raging river rushing down the eastbound side of the Morongo Grade and had to stop and marvel at its power. Little did we know we'd be stuck in Morongo Valley for the next three hours. The flash flooding started in Morongo Valley about 5:30 Sunday evening. The raging water carried debris, such as branches, rocks, and mud. So much water flooded the highway in Morongo Valley that a driver who tried to drive through the torrent crossing the road at North Start stalled and then became stuck in mud two feet deep. CHP asked the Morongo Valley Fire Department to shut down the highway and there we sat for hours, trapped, waiting first for the flood waters to subside, and then for CalTrans to arrive and start clearing the highway. Finally, about 9 p.m., eastbound traffic was escorted up the grade. Westbound traffic had to wait another hour or two before being allowed to proceed. I always wondered what people did who had to wait out highway closures, and now I know. You sit and wait. If you're me, you vow to never again leave home without your car charger for your phone.

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ELDERLY TWENTYNINE PALMS MAN ROBBED AT GUNPOINT, ONE IN CUSTODY
A Twentynine Palms man was arrested after he robbed an elderly man at gunpoint Saturday. According to a Sheriff's report, the 82-year-old man had gone to his mailbox in the 5000 block of Adobe Road about noon when he said Randy Ragsdale, 31, approached him with a handgun and demanded his wallet. Ragsdale then allegedly fled, running into the desert. After an investigation, Randy Ragsdale was arrested on suspicion of armed robbery, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, with his bail set at $100,000.

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TREAT BAT BITES QUICKLY
With the warm moist weather, bats are more common in ore Morongo Basin Desert area. Reporter Taylor Thacker says, while they are welcome, they can bring some danger…
Bats may look cute and cuddly, but these animals can actually carry infectious diseases that can make humans and other animals sick. People often know when they've been bitten by a bat, but most types of bats have very small teeth which may leave marks that disappear quickly. If you are bitten by a bat, you need to wash the affected area thoroughly and get medical attention immediately. If you think your pet has been bitten by a bat, contact a veterinarian or your health department for assistance immediately. Whenever you see a bat, leave it alone, don't pet it or touch it. Remember to keep vaccinations current for cats, dogs, and other animals. By doing these things, you can keep yourself and pets safe from the diseases bats carry. For more information go online to www.kcdzfm.com and visit the link in this story. http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/bats/education/index.html

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PLANS MADE TO EUTHANIZE 700 DESERT TORTOISES ON RESERVE
For decades, the vulnerable desert tortoise has led a sheltered existence. Developers have taken pains to keep the animal safe. It's been protected from meddlesome hikers by the threat of prison time. And wildlife officials have set the species up on a sprawling conservation reserve outside Las Vegas. But the threatened desert icon now faces a threat from the very people who have nurtured it. Federal funds are running out at the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center and officials plan to close the site and euthanize hundreds of the tortoises they've been caring for since the reptiles were added to the endangered species list in 1990. Officials expect to put down more than half the 1,400 tortoises at the research and holding facility in the coming months in preparation for closure at the end of 2014.

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AUDITIONS FOR "HALLOWEEN HAUNT" AT THEATRE 29 NEXT WEEK
Auditions will be held next week for the 10th annual Halloween Haunt at Theatre 29. Reporter Mike Lipsitz has the details on the event and the try-outs…
Theatre 29, and Creator/Producer Eric Ross and Director Frances Wright have announced auditions for the 10th anniversary "Halloween Haunt." This year's scary offering, entitled "Nightmares," comes to life beginning Friday, October 18 through Halloween night. Auditions are on Tuesday, September 3, beginning promptly at 6 p.m. at Theatre 29 at Sullivan and Adobe Roads in Twentynine Palms. Please be advised the Halloween Haunt production is a very physical show, and auditions will be as well. Be prepared and dressed to move (no skirts, low waist pants, shorts, or open-toe shoes). You may be asked to perform a cold reading, or improve. The Theatre 29 building will again be transformed and adventurous souls will be self-guided, through the depths of a disturbed dream world. For those up to the challenge, the production team seeks at least 20 performers and behind the scenes technicians, ages 16 and up.

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MARINE CORPS TO ALLOW WOMEN INTO INFANTRY TRAINING
The Marine Corps will allow enlisted women to participate in basic infantry training beginning this fall as part of ongoing research to determine what additional ground combat jobs may open to female personnel. According to the Marine Times, new female enlisted Marines will volunteer for spots in the service's Infantry Training Battalion, mirroring a related effort allowing new female lieutenants to enroll in the Corps' Infantry Officer Course, according to an official planning document obtained by Marine Corps Times. Titled "Assignment of Women in Combat Units," the document is dated August 16. "Female Marines will have the opportunity to go through the same infantry training course as their male counterparts," the document states. However, as with the research involving female officers, "female enlisted Marines who successfully complete infantry training as part of this research process will not be assigned infantry as a military occupational specialty and will not be assigned to infantry units." It's unclear whether any enlisted women have volunteered yet. Marine Corps officials were not immediately available to discuss the plan.

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JEWISH NEW YEAR SERVICES IN DESERT HOT SPRINGS
Rosh Hashanah–the Jewish New Year--comes early this year, in the first week of September. Reporter Dan Stork urges Jewish residents of the Morongo Basin to reserve their places at the High Holy Day services offered by the Jewish Federation…
Religious services for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and for Yom Kippur, will be held in Desert Hot Springs, at Mission Lakes Country Club. The Jewish Federation of Palm Springs and the Desert Area, is sponsoring these observances during the High Holy Days. Admission is free to Jewish residents of the Morongo Basin and Desert Hot Springs, and includes a break-the-fast meal in the facility's dining room following the end of Yom Kippur. The times and dates are 7 p.m. on Wednesday, September 4, and 10 a.m. on Thursday, September 5, for Rosh Hashanah, and 7 p.m. on Friday, September 13, and 10 a.m. on Saturday, September 14, for Yom Kippur. Memorial Yizkor and concluding services start at 4 p.m. on Yom Kippur. RSVP is required if you want to attend services or the break-fast. To RSVP, or for more information, call Sandy Durham at Jewish Federation of Palm Springs and the Desert Area, 760-324-4737.

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HI-DESERT COMMUNITY CHORUS LOOKING FOR LOCAL SINGERS
The Hi Desert Chorus will begin rehearsals for "Sounds of the Season," its annual winter concert. The performances will be held December 14 and 15. At this time the chorus is in need of all voices: soprano, alto, bass and tenor. Reading music is helpful, but not mandatory. Rehearsals are held 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Mondays at Valley Community Chapel located at 59025 Yucca Trail beginning September 2. A $25 membership donation helps offset the cost of music, printing and other chorus needs. If you love to sing give Rosemary Lane a call at 760-228-1683 to reserve a music book.

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PIONEER PASS GOLF CHALLENGE RECRUTITING EXTREME GOLFERS
The traditional Pioneer Pass Golf Challenge is next week. Managing Editor Tami Roleff said extreme golfers are still being sought…
The Pioneer Pass Golf Challenge is extreme golfing at its best. Golfers start in Big Bear and golf down the mountain to Yucca Valley. The two-day event starts Friday September 6, with 18 holes of golf at Mission Lakes Country Club in Desert Hot Springs. Then on Saturday, September 6, comes the challenge of extreme golfing down the mountain. If you're not up for extreme golfing, there's a golf scramble Friday at Mission Lakes Country on Friday. The last day to register is Tuesday, August 27. For more information, call Debbie at 760-365-3315 or Shelly at 760-228-3447.

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