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Listen To Your News Monday, October 8, 2012 News Archive
     

MAJOR YUCCA VALLEY ROAD CONSTRUCTION STARTS TODAY
Motorists driving through Yucca Valley for the next month may experience road delays. Starting today, CalTrans is scheduled to start work on the Highway 62-Old Woman Springs Road intersection. The quarter-million dollar project includes raised median islands, an extended left turn lane pocket for turning north onto Highway 247 from the eastbound highway; and a dedicated left-turn signal for Joshua Lane and 247. Construction is expected to last until about November 9, and motorists should expect delays during construction.

Other projects that are expected to start in the near to intermediate future in Yucca Valley include sidewalks, curbs, and gutters on Sage Avenue from the high school to Highway 62; sidewalks, curbs, gutters, raised medians and street lighting on Highway 62 from Apache Trail to Palm Avenue; a traffic signal at Church Street; and medians, sidewalks, and drainage improvements on the highway from La Honda to Dumosa Avenue.

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GERMAN TOURIST KILLED IN AMBOY ROAD MOTORCYCLE CRASH
A German tourist was killed Saturday in a motorcycle crash just East of Twentynine Palms. According to the County Coroner, at 1:10 PM, a 911 call was received reporting a single motorcycle crash off Amboy Road at the top of Sheep Hole Pass. County Fire from Wonder Valley responded and found a German citizen dead at the scene. His death was pronounced at 1:35 p.m. Witnesses said the driver was traveling westbound on Amboy Road when he failed to negotiate a right turn in the road. The motorcycle left the roadway and the driver was ejected. The name of the driver is being withheld pending notification of the next of kin. The California Highway Patrol is investigating that crash.

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WE START OUR SPECIAL LOOK AT LOCAL CANDIDATES: TWENTYNINE PALMS CITY COUNCIL PART 1
Today Z107-7 starts a series of in-depth looks at the candidates running for 20 seats on 8 locally elected offices. This week and next our reporters will take an in-depth look at the issues and the candidates to help you be an informed voter, in our first, reporter Dan Stork posed a set of questions to Cora Heiser, John Cole, and Joel Klink, the three candidates for the two available Twentynine Palms City Council seats. Today: Project Phoenix, commercial solar development, and the use of financial reserves. Tomorrow: fire department divestment, farmers markets, the biggest issues facing the city, and why they are running. With regard to Project Phoenix, Cora Heiser liked the earlier, smaller plans, but not the enlarged plan, of which she says, "This was all just a bum's rush, because of Jerry Brown shutting down the Redevelopment Agency." She singled out for disapproval the workforce housing component, because it competes with the private housing industry. John Cole expects that, at best, funds for downtown revitalization will be reduced, but added, "I think this is the last time we will have a significant number of capital dollars to attract people." Joel Klink noted that he voted against issuing bonds, but said, "It's our money now, and we have to use it the way it was intended to be used." Concerning commercial solar fields within the City, Cole said "I'm really interested to see what the Planning Commission has to say to us." Klink suggested a joint workshop with the Commission to set guidelines, but said, "I would favor fields that they have in industrial areas." Heiser said she does not have a position on the issue yet.

All candidates said they would consider infrastructure projects individually. Heiser would concentrate on streets, lighting, sidewalks, and senior center improvements. "I think we should stay focused on the very top economic priorities, until we weather this economic storm." She wants to keep reserves intact as a precaution. Cole singled out projects that attract people as good investments. Klink said he supports using last year's surplus, plus going into the fund balance, although not to the full extent originally proposed. "I would probably go into the reserves down to the $900,000 we had cut it down to."

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YUCCA VALLEY TOWN COUNCIL CANDIDATES PART 1: WHY ARE YOU RUNNING?
Two candidates are on the ballot for two open seats on the Yucca Valley Town Council, with a third candidate running a write-in campaign. Managing editor Tami Roleff interviewed the three candidates, who explain why they're running for Town Council…
Councilmember George Huntington is running for re-election to his seat on the Town Council. Huntington said residents should vote for him because of his experience. "Because of the changes to the Council in the last year, I feel it was imperative that I continue in my role if possible because of my institutional knowledge and my longevity on the planning commission and council. Well, I hope to see a bunch of our projects completed that that we have in the works." Robert Lombardo, who was appointed to his seat following the resignation of Frank Luckino last year, explained why he hopes voters will elect him to the Town Council. "I want to see projects get completed here in Yucca Valley that we've been talking about for all the time I've lived here, 27 years. Most of them are in the sewer system, water reclamation, they'd be roads and improvements and that sort of thing." Long-time Yucca Valley resident Bob Leone said it wasn't his idea to run for the Town Council in November. "It's the first time that only two people are running. Normally in all the times, we've had four, five, six people running for two spots. I had no intention of running, but the people called me." Leone realizes that winning as a write-in candidate will be tough, but says that as a 12-year member of the Council and three-time former Mayor, he has name recognition. "If I don't make it on the write-in ballot, I will run in March." The Town is holding a special election in March to fill the seat vacated by Isaac Hagerman, who resigned in July.

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REGISTRATIONS NOW OPEN FOR 16TH ANNUAL CLIMB SMART EVENT
Registration is now being taken for the 16th annual Climb Smart 2012, to be held at the Joshua Tree Lake campground. Climb Smart is three full days of clinics and climbing for all levels October 19 through 21. Friday night entertainment includes the amazing magician Raguzi, a slide show by Todd Gordon, and a star show by Desert Video astronomers. Saturday is a spaghetti dinner, raffle, auction, and star show. Climb Smart is a major fundraiser for Joshua Tree Search and Rescue. Tickets for the entire event are $59, with camping extra. Register online at friendsofjosh.org.

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COMPASSIONATE FRIENDS GROUP MEET WEDNESDAY
The Morongo Basin Chapter of the Compassionate Friends, a support group for parents who have experienced the death of a child, announces their monthly meeting. The support group, which meets every second Wednesday of the month from 4:30 to 6 p.m., will hold its meeting at the Helen Gray Education Center located on the campus of the Hi Desert Medical Center in Joshua Tree this Wednesday, October 10. The group is facilitated by Kristin Martin, for more information, please contact Martin at 760-250-7295 or visit the Hi Desert Medical website at www.hdmc.org.

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MORONGO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT CANDIDATES FORUM TONIGHT
If you have children in the Morongo Unified School District, you're invited to attend a candidate forum tonight put on by the Morongo Teachers Association and California School Employees Association. Reporter Kristy Lockhart has more…
The candidates' forum allows the four candidates vying for the three open seats for MUSD School Board to express their views so audience members can understand their positions and make informed voting choices. The candidates are Ron Palmer, Ed Will, Karalee Hargrove and Ralph George. Candidates will make brief statements and answer audience submitted questions posed by the moderator. The forum is tonight at Friendly Hills Elementary School from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The public is encouraged to attend.

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COUNTY FIRE STATION WINS POKER TOURNAMENT AT FIRE FIGHTER APPRECIATION DAY IN MORONGO VALLEY
When it comes to fire fighters playing Texas Hold 'Em, Fire Station 41 in Yucca Valley has the best poker player who knows when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em. The fire fighter challenge during this year's Fire Fighter Appreciation Day in Morongo Valley yesterday was poker. Three fire fighters each from the Combat Center, Morongo Valley, and the County, represented by Yucca Valley's fire station, played poker for about two hours Sunday. The final two players were Wayne Gianinni from the Combat Center and Engineer Richard Drumright from Station 41, who won the last hand. Other activities at the Firefighter Appreciation included an appearance by a Mercy Air helicopter and military working dogs from the Combat Center, who gave drug and bomb-sniffing demonstrations, as well as attack training.

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SPONSORS AND CONTESTANTS SOUGHT FOR ARM-WRESTLING EVENT
Twentynine Palms Youth Club is having its Annual Bucky Bucklin Arm Wrestling Tournament again this year. The tournament will be from 3 to 6 p.m. during Pioneer Days, on October 20. Anyone interested in sponsoring an arm wrestler or being an arm wrestler can call 760-367-5776 for all the details.

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PIONEER DAYS EVENTS START THIS WEEKEND
The first of a series of annual Pioneer Days events kicks off in 29 Palms this weekend. ROP Broadcast student Ashlyn Buckley says it starts with a dance this weekend…
Come and spend your pioneer days with Twenty-nine Palms chamber of commerce at the Country Elegance dinner dance on October 13 located at the Smith's Ranch. Tickets cost $40 and can be purchased at the chamber office, Splash, Farmers Insurance, and the Desert Trail. There will be a parade on October 20 at 10 a.m. down Highway 62 and other events such as the Pioneer Day booths, outhouse races, Bucky Bucklin arm wrestling tournament, and an alumni barbecue. A carnival will also take place October 25-28.

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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL SCORES AND SPORTS
The Twentynine Palms High School Varsity Wildcats football team knocked off the fifth-ranked Big Bear Bears 22-7 Friday night. Head Coach Ernest Martinez said, "Our defense played an outstanding game, and we are really excited about the total team effort, we were able to make big plays this week, and finally had a week without turnovers." The defense held the Bears to only 20 yards rushing in the third quarter and 47 total yards in the fourth. Nate McClain, Darren Murphy, Marcus Chestnut, and David Haney all had interceptions for the night, holding the Bears to 41 yards in the air with five interceptions. Offensive leaders for the Wildcats were quarterback Jake Culver was eight of 14 passing for 122 yards and a touchdown pass. Marcus Chestnut had four receptions for 46 yards and David Haney had two for 50 including a touchdown. Talo Wilson and Cody Hall teamed up for over 115 yards on only 12 carries. The offensive line led by Chris Taliu, Tyler Herrera, Jayson Nomura, David Falifitu, and Jamal Devers played outstanding on the night. With the victory, the Wildcats jump to the front of the De Anza league with a 1-0 record, while Big Bear falls to 1-1. The Twentynine Palms High School Frosh-Soph remains undefeated with a 12-0 victory over Big Bear.

The Yucca Valley High School Trojans scored two touchdowns with less than three minutes left Friday night to beat Shadow Hills 31-28 and start out in league 1-0. On special teams, Brian McGowan returned a kick-off 90 yards for a touchdown. Edgar Radilla recovered an onside kick in the final minutes of play for the comeback. On defense, Joey Rutherford had 20 tackles, a half sack and knocked a crucial pass down. Alex Corbin added 11 tackles and one sack. On offense, Logan Vallo ran a one yard touchdown. Quarterback Bradley Soares threw two touchdown passes. One to Jimmy Kieffer and another to Brian McGowan for the the winning score. The junior varsity lost their game to Shadow Hills.

Coming up in high school sports tomorrow, the Joshua Springs Christian School volleyball team travels away to Palms Springs to play the Desert Chapel Eagles. First serve is at 5 p.m.

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