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Listen To Your News Wednesday, September 7, 2011 News Archive
     

ATTEMPTED MURDER IN YUCCA VALLEY SUNDAY IS MURDER-SUICIDE
More information today on an attempted murder in Yucca Valley Sunday with investigators now saying it was a murder-suicide attempt. John Smith, 51, was arrested after he shot an occupied house in the 56000 block of Navajo Trail and then shot himself as deputies approached him. It appears that Smith was trying to shoot his former girlfriend, who lives in the home, detectives said, no one else was hurt in the shooting. John Smith was taken to a hospital for treatment and then placed under arrest for investigation of attempted murder and shooting at an occupied dwelling, bail was set at $1 million.

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SUNDAY'S YUCCA VALLEY STABBING IS ATTEMPTED MURDER
Another attempted murder in Yucca Valley on Sunday. Sheriff's officials report that just after 7:30 Sunday morning, they received a call that a man had been stabbed in the 7400 block of Church Street. The victim, Marshall McCoy, 26, said he had been stabbed, for unknown reasons, by a Hispanic male out by his mailbox. The investigating deputy determined, however, that McCoy's story was not exactly truthful, that he had been actually stabbed in the kitchen, and the suspect was Cheryl Dvorecak, 22, of Landers. Dvorecak was arrested for investigation of attempted murder after a traffic stop at the intersection of Old Woman Springs Road and Highway 62. Cheryl Dvorecak was booked into the Morongo Basin Jail with bail set at one million dollars. Marshall McCoy was taken to Desert Regional Hospital in Palm Springs for treatment.

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FIRE TAX IS REVISED, OPPOSED BY COOK
The unpopular fire tax—which would affect many area property owners—is back, and even worse. Reporter Dan Stork says the new revision is being vigorously opposed...
California's annual fire-protection fee on rural property owners would rise from a maximum of $150 to a minimum of $175 under legislation proposed Friday by Gov. Jerry Brown, who is seeking to fix a law he signed less than two months ago. Additional taxes would be imposed based on the number of structures and acreage and could reach as high as $3,000 annually. He also wants to ensure the revenue can be used by the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. The Associated Press reported last month that the law could end up draining $50 million from the state's firefighting budget this year, and as much as $200 million in future years, unless the wording was changed. Democratic sponsor Bob Blumenfeld of Sherman Oaks said in a statement, "This is about restoring fairness for most Californians. It's not fair that they pay the entire fire protection bill for people living in fire prone areas. We are simply asking those residents to pay part of this cost." Assemblyman Paul Cook of Yucca Valley denounced the Governor's plan saying, "It's bad enough that many homeowners are already being double-taxed for their fire protection because of June's illegal fire tax. Now, the Governor and his allies in the legislature are proposing even steeper taxes on struggling rural homeowners." Cook and fellow Republican Kevin Jeffries of Lake Elsinore have introduced another bill that would repeal the fire tax altogether.

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MARINE HELD FOR DUI AND EVADING AFTER SPEEDING OVER 130 MPH
Just a little more than a month after two Marines were killed street racing a Nissan 350-Z sports car in Twentynine Palms, the CHP has arrested another Marine, suspected to be driving under the influence, driving a 350-Z through the Morongo Basin at speeds in excess of 130 miles per hour. CHP Spokesman Levi Miller said Sunday morning at 6:11, CHP Officer Simon Miller was on patrol on SR-62 in Morongo Valley when he observed a black Nissan 350Z traveling eastbound in excess of 130 miles per hour. Officer Miller caught up to the high speed Nissan and activated the patrol car red lights and siren to affect a traffic top. The driver, Private Tyler Dunkle, 20, accelerated to over 100 miles per hour in an attempt to evade arrest. Dunkle led Officer Miller on a high-speed pursuit through the town of Yucca Valley for a considerable distance. As Dunkle approached the curve in the roadway at Sage Avenue, he lost control of the Nissan and it collided into the curb and several road signs before it came to a stop. Dunkle, and the owner of the Nissan, Private First Class Jonathan Paredes, 19, and a passenger during the pursuit, were both taken into custody. Both Marines are students at the Marine Corps Communication and Electronics School in Twentynine Palms. Tyler Dunkle was booked for investigation of evading arrest and driving under the influence. There were no injuries. Just July 31, Driver Lance Corporal Christian Mogrevejo, 20, and passenger Private First Class Jeffrey Kendall, 19, were killed in a horrific high speed crash street racing the same type of vehicle adjacent to Luckie Park in Twentynine Palms.

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YUCCA VALLEY TOWN COUNCIL ADOPTS DEVELOPMENT PRINCIPLES
The Yucca Valley Town Council met last night with their main focus being on how to form an updated development code. Managing Editor Tami Roleff was at that meeting and files this report...
Yucca Valley's development code is one step closer to being updated. At last night's meeting of the Yucca Valley Town Council, the council discussed a revised draft of guiding principles for the development code. The guiding principles are based on feedback from the joint Town Council-Planning Commission workshop held last month. The Council agreed on four guiding principles: The development code should have clear, specific standards that require a minimum of interpretation. There was some discussion about requiring businesses and industry to contribute toward infrastructure. The Council was reminded that if it doesn't require new business and industry to contribute toward the cost of new infrastructure, the town will have to pay that cost later. The third guiding principle is to transform Yucca Valley in the Morongo Basin's economic hub to meet the social and economic needs of the region. And finally, the fourth guiding principle is to reinforce the Town's desert character—of establishing development standards that provide greater setbacks, have less infrastructure requirements, and more animal uses.

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TRAFFIC STOP LEADS TO DRUG ARREST
A traffic stop in Morongo Valley led to the arrest of one man for possession of methamphetamine. About 4:30 Sunday, a Sheriff's deputy made a traffic stop near Lanning Lane and Twentynine Palms Highway in Morongo Valley. During a subsequent search, the deputy found methamphetamine in the possession of Vincent Fisher, 36, of Yucca Valley. Fisher, who has been convicted of drug and battery charges, was arrested for investigation of the unlawful sale of a controlled substance. He was booked in the Morongo Basin Jail and held without bail due to a violation of his parole.

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YUCCA VALLEY MAN ARRESTED AGAIN FOR DRUGS
A Twentynine Palms man who was arrested a week ago for being under the influence of drugs, was arrested again Saturday for possession of methamphetamine. Quinton Umphress, 21, was arrested August 27 when his landlord reported him to the Sheriff's Department for doing drugs in his rental house in the 5400 block of Encelia Avenue in Twentynine Palms. Saturday, Umphress, along with a companion, Storm Ogle, 29, also of Twentynine Palms, was arrested again, this time in the 6800 block of Alpine Avenue in Twentynine Palms for investigation of possession of dangerous drugs. Quinton Umphress and Storm Ogle were booked into the Morongo Basin Jail with bail set at $25,000 each.

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SCHOOL BOARD HEARS A GRIM FINANCIAL REPORT
It was not a pretty financial picture for the Morongo Unified School Board last night. Reporter Dan Stork was at the School Board meeting and files this report...
The major item on the action agenda of the Morongo Unified School District Board of Education meeting was approval of the unaudited actuals financial report for the last school year. Assistant Superintendent Dave Price preceded the vote with a presentation that gave the big picture on financial constraints. These included: Federal stimulus and jobs money was a one-time shot in the arm, and will not be available to offset future shortfalls. The state can withhold planned contributions, on 60-day notice, so the district works to maintain a $14 million reserve fund, to cover two months of payroll. There are potential automatic cuts, which could be triggered by bad economic news on the state level, that could cost the District up to $3 million after January 1. In response to these ongoing funding uncertainties, Price said that the District has reduced staff, issued no raises, and has bought no new textbooks. There is no deferred maintenance being done, with only emergency repairs to facilities being done. No District vehicles are being replaced, and all supervisors have been directed to hold down expenses wherever they can. Assistant Superintendent Doug Weller reported the hiring of six teachers, three of whom have been assigned to Condor Elementary. A parent of a student at Joshua Tree Elementary complained about a late reshuffling of classes at that school. Assistant Superintendent Tom Baumgarten explained to Z107.7 that the move was done to avoid a severe imbalance in class sizes.

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TWENTYNINE PALMS PLANNING COMMISSION APPROVES TWO ACTIONS, STUDIES SOLAR FIELDS
At last night's meeting, the Twentynine Palms Planning Commission voted to change its meeting nights from the first and third Tuesdays to the first and third Wednesdays. The Commission also approved a Conditional Use Permit to allow Verizon to add panel antennas to its existing communications tower on Cactus Drive. It also gave its consent to a Site Plan Review to allow a satellite college classroom in the former Hollywood Video building on Buena Vista Drive. Finally, the Commission discussed creating a new development code section to address standards and criteria for establishing solar farms within city limits. The discussion was continued to the Commission's meeting on October 5.

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HI-DESERT WATER DISTRICT MEETS TONIGHT, LOOK AT SEPTIC TANK MAPPING
The Hi-Desert Water District Board meets tonight. Reporter Derwood Andrews says septic mapping is on the agenda along with a wastewater project update…
The Hi-Desert Water District Board of Directors meet tonight at 6.00pm. On the agenda is the first in a series of employee introductions to the Board, tonight the Production Department. Then an addition to the RBF Survey contract to include the location and mapping of individual property owners septic tanks, at a cost no more than just under $60,000. A Wastewater Project update, and a closed session on real property negotiations.

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STAR TWIRLERS OFFER SQUARE DANCE CLASSES TOMORROW
The Star Twirlers Square Dance Club is hosting a Beginners square dance class and line dance class starting September 8. The class will be held at the Elks Lodge in Yucca Valley located at 55946 Yucca Trail. The line dance class runs from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and the square dance class from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Students can participate in either or both of the classes if they wish.

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HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS SCORES AND SCHEDULES
The Yucca Valley High School Lady Trojan Volleyball Team opened pre-season play on Tuesday against the powerful Victor Valley Jackrabbits. The Jackrabbits, defeated the Lady Trojans, 13-25, 18-25, 12-25. The Lady Trojans were led by Lindsay Sullivan with 7 kills and Whitney Rodriguez with 3 blocks. Jamie Hayward added 4 kills to the offensive attack and also had 2 blocks The junior varsity also lost to Victor Valley 20-25, 25-20, 11-15.

The Twentynine Palms High School Ladycats Volleyball team played the Indio Rajahs at home yesterday and beat them in 3 games. The team was lead by junior Johnette Brown with 10 kills followed by sophomore Cherokee Turner with 5 kills. Katherine Mount lead the team in assists and senior Cierra Peterson out dug all players while sophomore Tusia Brown served up 4 ace serves. The Ladycats are 1-0 overall and travel to Banning to take on the Broncos on Thursday.

Twentynine Palms High School Lady Cats Tennis Team competed yesterday against the visiting Indio Rajahs and defeated the Rajahs 15-3...
In local high school sports tomorrow, the Twentynine Palms girls' volleyball team travels away to Banning. The Junior Varsity team plays at 3:15 with the varsity girls following at 4:30. The Twentynine Palms girls' varsity tennis team will also be at Banning tomorrow. Matches start at 3:15. And the Twentynine Palms Co-ed Varsity Cross Country team travels away to Xavier College Prep School. The races start at 5:30. The Joshua Springs High School girls volleyball team hosts AAE at 5:30 tomorrow in the Thunder Dome.

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