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Listen To Your News Friday, September 28, 2012 News Archive
     

MARINE CONVICTED OF KILLING TODDLER IN TWENTYNINE PALMS
A Marine accused of killing a toddler after hitting her to "make her stop crying" was convicted of murder in Joshua Tree Superior Court yesterday. Investigators said on November 19, 2010, Joshua Kruzik, now 23, was at the Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center for training and agreed to babysit Audrey Allen, 18 months, while her parents, Timothy and Melissa Allen of Twentynine Palms, who were fellow Marines, went out. Sometime during the night Melissa started crying. Kruzik initially told San Bernardino Sheriff's detectives he fell on Audrey while holding her, but then admitted, in a recorded interview that was played in court for the jurors, that he had hit Audrey in the head three to five times, knocking her unconscious. He then told detectives he tried to wake her by putting his hand over her mouth and putting frozen food on her. When she didn't wake up, he gave up, and went to sleep. Audrey's parents did not discover their daughter's injuries until the next morning. She was taken to Loma Linda Medical Center where she died due to severe head trauma. Jurors in the trial started their deliberations Wednesday afternoon and reached a verdict Thursday of second degree murder and assault on a child resulting in death. Joshua Kruzik will be sentenced November 30. Prosecutors say he could receive up to life in prison.

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TWO INJURED IN ROLLOVER CRASH IN JOSHUA TREE THURSDAY
Two Yucca Valley residents were injured in a roll-over crash on the highway in east Joshua Tree Thursday morning. About 8:20, Sheldon Keisling, 20, was driving a Ford pick-up westbound on the highway. According to CHP Officer Eric Brewer, Keisling drifted onto the right shoulder, then over corrected. The truck then rolled over and hit the guardrail on the north side of the highway, landing on the passenger side, facing east. The passenger in the truck, Desiree Russell, 19, suffered minor injuries in the crash and was taken to Hi-Desert Medical Center. Sheldon Keisling suffered serious injuries and was taken to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs.

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TWENTYNINE PALMS CITY COUNCIL PART 3 OF 3: TRAFFIC AND ROAD IMPROVEMENTS
A busy Twentynine Palms City Council meeting this Tuesday saw Managing Editor Tami Roleff break her report into 3 parts. Today we finish up our report with part 3, Traffic and Road Improvements…
The intersection of Encelia Avenue and Highway 62 in Twentynine Palms has been a source of concern for residents for several years. City Engineer Richard Pederson told the City Council at its meeting Tuesday night that a traffic study from 2010 found that the intersection didn't meet any of the criteria established by CalTrans to have a traffic signal installed there. Encelia Avenue needed to have at least 100 cars per hour for eight hours a day, or at least five traffic accidents in the last 12 months that could have been prevented if a signal had been in place. When council members pressed Pederson, he admitted that it may be possible for the City to install a traffic light, but the city would have to bear the estimated cost of $300,000 plus $10,000 to $15,000 for a traffic study of its own.

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BRING UNUSED PRESCRIPTION DRUGS TO SHERIFF'S TOMORROW
The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), are sponsoring the Fifth National Drug Take Back Day tomorrow. These Take Back Days give the public the opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, or unwanted prescription drugs. Previous methods used for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards by polluting the ground and water supplies. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. Bring your medications for disposal tomorrow, Saturday, September 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to the Morongo Basin Sheriff's Station in Joshua Tree. No appointment is necessary.

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COPPER MOUNTAIN COLLEGE PRESENTS AWARD TO Z107.7 RADIO
The Copper Mountain College Board of Trustees recognized Z107.7 Radio at their meeting yesterday. The "Commitment to Excellence" award was awarded to Community Radio Z107.7 for, "Contributions and support to the students and the college." The "Patron of the Quarter" certificate notes dedication to Copper Mountain College and appreciation by the Board, management, faculty, and Staff. In remarks given at the presentations, College President Dr. Roger Wagner noted that Z107.7 Radio consistently supports the college by donating a weekly College News segment, providing valuable marketing and public relations services, actively promoting the value and importance of the college to the community, airing of important public service announcements and actively participating in the annual art auction, Holiday Festival of the Wreaths, CMC Day activities, and many other functions. The award was presented to me by Board of trustees President Dick Rogers and Dr. Wagner.

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LAFCO MEETS IN JOSHUA TREE, MORE LOCAL CONTROL UNLIKELY
About 50 Joshua Tree residents heard expert opinion on how the unincorporated village might get some hold on influencing its own destiny. What they heard was stunning—in the sense of a slap upside the head. Dan Stork reports…
In the wake of controversies surrounding a prospective Dollar General store, a casino, and commercial renewable energy projects, the Joshua Tree Community Association invited Kathleen Rollings-McDonald, the Executive Director of the San Bernardino County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO), to comment upon different forms of organization that might give locals control over land use decisions. She addressed three possibilities: incorporation, a Community Services District, and a National Conservation Historic Preserve.

Incorporation would move land use decisions from the county (where they are now) to a newly-formed city. But the sustainability of a city depends upon revenues that are increasingly being usurped by the state of California. Rollings-McDonald said, "In San Bernardino County, incorporation is pretty much off the table, because we can't make the finding that it would be sustainable, unless people agree to new taxes."

Community Service Districts are formed for either of two purposes – as a transitional step to incorporation (which now seems unlikely), or to take local control for specific services, such as water, roads, lighting, or parks and recreation. But with regard to land use, "The CSD can provide the funding for the county to install a local area planning commission. You can fund it–you will not be it, and the county will retain control of land use planning."

A National Historic Reserve would be a Federal creation. Although at least one of these has had some success in Washington State, there are none in California, and Rollings-McDonald cautioned that there is no way to know how the concept would meld with states-rights issues in general, and California law in particular. In summary: three swings at the ball of local control… three strikes, or maybe one strike and two foul tips.

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CACTUS SEWABLES QUILT GUILD MEETS MONDAY IN YUCCA VALLEY
The general meeting of the Cactus Sew-ables Quilt Guild will take place on Monday, October 1, in the Yucca Room of the Yucca Valley Community Center, doors open at 12:30 pm; meeting begins promptly at 1 p.m. Highlight for the afternoon will be a silent auction of handmade items, "UFOs" (unfinished projects) and "talents." Members will be auctioning their talents, such as instruction for finishing a quilt, hand quilting, etc. Guests are welcome. A $3 donation is requested.

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FREE BREAKFAST IN JOSHUA TREE TOMORROW
Joshua Tree Community United Methodist Church will provide "God's Gift of Love" FREE Community Breakfast Buffet EVERY Saturday morning 9-10 AM. Used clothing, shoes, coats & blankets are free to those in need as supplies last. The community is invited. The church is located at 6213 E. Parkway in the heart of Joshua Tree.

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WILD WEST FAMILY FUN DAY AT HI-DESERT NATURE MUSEUM TOMORROW
Fun for the whole Family at the Hi-Desert Nature Museum in Yucca Valley tomorrow. Reporter Kristy Lockhart invites you to bring the kids to Wild West Family Fun Day"…
Dust off your cowboy boots and head down to the Hi-Desert Nature Museum for Wild West Family Fun Day, Saturday, September 29th from 10 to 4. There's something for the whole family. You can learn about the California Gold Rush, pan for gold and see an old-fashioned Wild West shootout. There will be a bouncy house for kids, along with western themed crafts and face painting. Country music group Ghostlight Trio will perform. The event is FREE for the entire family.

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TWENTYNINE PALMS HIGH SCHOOL MURDER MYSTERY DINNER THEATER OPENS TONIGHT
The Twentynine Palms High School Thespian Society will present its 7th Annual Dinner Theatre this weekend and next weekend. This audience-participation play, "You Have the Right to Remain Dead," has the cast and audience questioning each other as they try to catch the bad guy, but wait—don't be too sure the murderer is male! The evening includes dinner and dessert. Tickets for "You Have the Right to Remain Dead" are $12 and are on sale at the activities office. Dinner starts at 6 p.m. in the Twentynine Palms High School multi-purpose room. The play runs Friday and Saturday, September 28 and 29, and October 5 and 6.

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"THE CLEAN HOUSE" OPENS AT GROVE'S THEATER IN MORONGO VALLEY
The Grove's Cabin Theatre, known for their multi-award winning selection of dramatic theatre offerings, will open a play tonight. Managing editor Tami Roleff tells you how to get tickets for "The Clean House"…
Groves Cabin Theatre in Morongo Valley will open its 2012 – 2013 season on Saturday, September 29, with Sarah Ruhl's award-winning comedy "The Clean House." Lane and Charles hire a Brazilian woman to clean their house, only Matilde hates to clean. But Lane's sister Virginia loves to clean. Together they find a pair of black lace panties and discover that Charles is cheating on Lane. "The Clean House" won the 2004 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, awarded yearly to the best English-language play by a woman, and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2005. The show will be performed Saturdays at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. through October 21. Wendy Cohen directs an award-winning cast, including Vicki Montgomery, Joy Groves, Julie Scott, Dennis Priest, Anja Homberg, and Lorrie Brandon. Reservations are a must. Tickets are $12. For more information and reservations call 760-365-4523.

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YUCCA VALLEY CAR WASH BENEFITS LANDERS ELEMENTARY SCIENCE CAMP
Landers elementary school sixth graders will hold a car wash to help with fundraising efforts for science camp, tomorrow from 10 to 2, at Jack in the Box parking lot. Cost is $5 per car.

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HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS FOR TONIGHT AND TOMORROW
In high school sports tonight, the Twentynine Palms High School Wildcats will host the Cathedral City Lions at home. The Joshua Springs Lightning football team will host the Thacher School Toads at home. Game time for both teams is at 7 p.m. Yucca Valley High School has a bye week.

Coming up tomorrow, the Yucca Valley High School volleyball team will participate in the tournament in Carpenteria, starting at 8 a.m. The Trojan cross-country team will travel to Yucaipa for an invitational meet starting at 9, and the Trojan tennis team will host the Big Bear Bears at home, starting at 3:15.

The Twentynine Palms Wildcat volleyball team will travel to a tournament at Loara High School.

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