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Listen To Your News Thursday, September 13, 2012 News Archive
     

MISSILE CONTRAIL LIGHTS UP THE EARLY MORNING SKY
Some early morning celestial phenomena created quite a sight in the easten skies early this morning. The contrail from a missile launch near Gallup, New Mexico, lit up the eastern sky. A spokesman for the Missile Defense Agency at the White Sands Range said the contrail was left from a test missile launch near Fort Wingate, New Mexico. The mysterious plume of vapors was illuminated by the rising sun and noticed just before 5:30 a.m. The spectacular sight caused dozens of phone calls to Z107.7.

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LIGHTNING INJURES TWO MARINES TRAINING IN TWENTYNINE PALMS
A lightning bolt injured two Marines during a Twentynine Palms training exercise and led to a nighttime hoist rescue by a sheriff's helicopter. Sheriff's aviation officials said the lightning hit during a thunderstorm shortly after midnight Wednesday, on a mountainside in the eastern portion of the Marine base. Sheriff's Sergeant Al Daniel said both victims were standing together when the lightning bolt hit one of them. It went through his arm," Daniel said. "His partner was next to him, and the force of the lightning knocked them both down a very steep rocky slope. A Navy corpsman tried to help, but also lost his footing and tumbled down the slope, resulting in three victims. The crew of a civilian medical helicopter tried to rescue the men but couldn't reach them because that helicopter lacked a mechanical hoist. So a hoist-equipped sheriff's helicopter was summoned and rescued the two Marines. They were flown to Desert Regional Medical Center where they were treated for shock and non-life-threatening injuries, a statement from the U.S. Marine Corps said. Both were released back to the base Wednesday morning. The sheriff's helicopter crew returned at dawn and picked up the Navy corpsman, who Daniel said was less seriously injured.
Marine Corps officials said the corpsman was treated at the naval hospital on base and released Wednesday afternoon.

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MORE HOME SAFETY TIPS FOR DISASTER PREPAREDNESS MONTH
You can never be too prepared for the unexpected. Reporter Mike Lipsitz has more Disaster Preparedness month safety tips...
September is "Disaster Preparedness Month." Your actions can save lives and property when disaster strikes. You'll want to have a disaster plan and calmly put it into action. Check for injuries; give first aid and call for help if anyone is seriously injured. Tune to Z107.7 for emergency alerts and instructions. Check for damage and fire in your home. If you smell gas, turn off the main valve, open windows and get out. Shut off damaged utilities. Check on neighbors, especially the elderly and disabled. If advised to evacuate, do so. Leave a message on the door telling others where to reach you. Leave the road clear for emergency vehicles; do not use your vehicle unless absolutely necessary. And be prepared for aftershocks. More information is available at this link: http://tinyurl.com/9xq9htv.

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SHERIFF LOOKING FOR VANDALS WASTING YUCCA VALLEY WATER
The Sheriff's Department and the Hi-Desert Water District are asking for the public's help. Several times during the past few weeks, vandals have gone to various businesses along Highway 62 in Yucca Valley during the middle of the night and turned on outside water faucets and let the water run all night long. Sometime Tuesday night vandals struck again, turning on water faucets on businesses on the north side of the highway from Acoma to Deer Trail, and even at a residence on Church Street. Mike Hayward of the Water District said that the water flow in some water faucets can be up to 25 gallons of water per minute. With the vandalized faucets, water had been running for several hours. The businesses' water meters have not been read yet, so he doesn't know how much water has flown into the street. As for whether the businesses will have to pay for the extra water, he said that insurance usually covers the costs of vandalism, but typically, the water district doesn't write off the costs of excess water usage. If anyone has any information about the vandals, contact the Sheriff's Department at 760-366-4175. For questions about vandalized water faucets, call Jennifer Poland at the Water District at 760-365-8333.

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VANDALS CUT FUEL LINES OF TWENTYNINE PALMS VANS
In at least the third incident in a week, two more vehicles had their fuel lines cut. According to a Sheriff's report, employees of the Twentynine Palms Park and Recreation office reported about 3 p.m. yesterday that two vans had their fuel lines cut, most likely for the suspects to steal gasoline. Tuesday, the Reach Out Morongo Basin offices in Twentynine Palms also reported that a fuel line had been cut on one of its transport vans.

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TWO INJURED IN TWENTYNINE PALMS CRASH
Two Twentynine Palms residents were slightly injured in a rollover crash Wednesday afternoon. According to a Sheriff's report, a 17-year-old girl was driving her 2006 Mazda SUV southbound on Utah Trail, just north of Highway 62, just after 3 p.m. when she said she swerved to avoid an animal in the road. She lost control of her car, which slammed into a dirt berm and rolled over. The girl and her younger sister were taken to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs with minor injuries.

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OPEN SPACE GROUP RELEASES CONSERVATION REPORT
The Morongo Basin Open Space Group has issued their latest report aimed at identifying and protecting sensitive lands here in our region. Reporter Dan Stork tells us more and we provide a link to the report...
The Sonoran Institute, in partnership with the Morongo Basin Open Space Group, has released recommendations for protecting lands in seven key of the Morongo Basin. These areas include lands in Pipes Wash; the Copper Mountain checkerboard; community gateways and corridors along State Highway 62; the proposed Sand to Snow National Monument area; Pinto Mountains and Basin gateway community hillsides, and Wonder Valley. In addition to its priority recommendations, the "Morongo Basin Conservation Priorities Report 2012: A Strategy for Preserving Conservation Values" also includes maps and photographs that summarize the results of the conservation priority setting workshops and offers considerations for the protection of community values. It also urges actions such as buying land for conservation and establishing conservation easements. Stephanie Weigel, Regional Land Use Planner for the Sonoran Institute, explained that the effort to set conservation priorities was undertaken to help to define specific areas of focus for future conservation efforts. The work started in 2006, with included public meetings form 2008 to 2011 to gather community input. Morongo Basin Open Space Group planning partners included many conservation groups and government entities. The full list of partners is: Basin Wide Foundation, Bighorn-Desert View Water Agency, California Department of Fish and Game, Mojave Desert Land Trust, Morongo Basin Conservation Association, Morongo Valley Community Services District, National Park Service-Joshua Tree National Park, National Parks Conservation Association, Sonoran Institute, The Wildlands Conservancy, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center. For more information on the publication or to obtain copies of the report, contact Stephanie Weigel at 760-367-5567 or sweigel@sonoraninstitute.org. A digital version of the report can be downloaded here.

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BIGHORN-DESERTVIEW WATER AGENCY MEETS TONIGHT IN SPECIAL SESSION
The Bighorn-Desert View Water Agency Board of Directors meets tonight in special session beginning at 6 p.m. at Agency offices on Cherokee Trail in Landers. Tonight, the board will consider a $31,000 agreement with the Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee to purchase and preserve six acres of mitigation lands for the Ames/Reche Project, and an estimated $3,000 for review of documents associated with the transfer of other lands to the California Department of Fish and Game. Also this evening, the board will consider its position on a proposal to increase the road grading tax in Flamingo Heights in exchange for increased road maintenance services.

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LEARN ABOUT ASTRONOMY AT HI-DESERT NATURE MUSEUM SATURDAY
Kids can find out more about astronomy at the Hi-Desert Nature Museum Saturday. Reporter Kristy Lockhart invites you to "Science Saturday"...
The Hi-Desert Nature Museum brings hands-on learning and the thrill of scientific discovery to children with "Science Saturdays." The series of science programs is designed to ignite curiosity by presenting information and performing experiments relating to biological and physical sciences. September 15, school-age children can learn about Astronomy. From 11 to 11:30 a.m., Museum Educator Crystal Mason will help children discover the joys of observing the desert sky and how to identify certain constellations. Classes are offered free of charge. No pre-registration is required. For more information regarding the exhibit contact the Hi-Desert Nature Museum at 760-369-7212.

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REPUBLICANS TO HOLD REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE MEET AND GREET
The Yucca Valley Republican Women Federated will hold a meet and greet for Morongo Basin residents to meet and hear from Republican candidates who are running for various offices. The event will be held 5:30 p.m. Monday, September 17, in the gym at the Evangelical Free Church in Yucca Valley, 6804 Mohawk Trail. Candidates, or their representatives, who will be in attendance are Elizabeth Emken, Paul Cook, Greg Imus, Dick Rogers, Martie Avels, Patricia Cooper, Bob eone, George Huntington, Sarann Graham, and Bob Stadum.

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LIVING TRUST SEMINAR IN YUCCA VALLEY TUESDAY
Morongo Basin Senior Support Center will host a 1-hour living trust seminar on Tuesday, September 18, at 9 a.m. Topics include: probate, wills, home transfer to heirs, trust privacy, dangers of joint tenancy, providing for grandchildren, estate tax reduction or elimination, guardianship, living trust. All homeowners, married or single, should attend. Contact Jeri Reed at 760-365-9661 for reservations.

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MORONGO BASIN SENIOR SUPPORT CENTER PLANNING RUBBER DUCKY RAFFLE FUND-RAISER
You will quack up at the fun fund-raiser being planned by the Morongo Basin Senior Support Center later this month. Managing editor Tami Roleff has more on the upcoming Rubber Ducky Raffle and Dinner Extravaganza...
The Morongo Basin's Senior Support Center is gearing up again for the annual invasion of yellow ducks. These quackers are not for eating, but are little yellow duckies with the worthy objective of raising money for the Senior Support Center. The Rubber Ducky Raffle will take place in the Center's only enclosed, warm-water pool on Friday, September 21, from 6 to 9 p.m. The grand prize is a $1000 Visa gift card. Tickets are $25 each, or a Quack-Pack of five for $100, and besides a numbered entry for a rubber ducky, each ticket includes a carne asada or pollo asade barbecue dinner. The evening will also feature live entertainment by Henry Fence Post and a live and silent auction. Assemblyman Paul Cook of Yucca Valley will be the master of ceremonies. Tickets may be purchased in advance or at the door. For more information, call 760-365-9661.

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BACK TO SCHOOL NIGHT AT 29 PALMS HIGH SCHOOL TONIGHT
Twentynine Palms High School will be holding its annual Back To School Night tonight from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Parents will travel to their students' classrooms, meet their teachers and view the textbooks and curriculum in use for each course. Parents should meet in the multi-purpose room at 6 p.m. for a brief welcome and instructions.

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YUCCA VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL CROSS COUNTRY IN ACTION TOMORROW
The Yucca Valley Trojan Cross Country team will participate in the Woodbridge Invitational meet tomorrow at Estancia High School. The event starts at 5 p.m.

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