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Listen To Your News Thursday, November 8, 2012 News Archive
     

TWENTYNINE PALMS CITY COUNCIL RACE STILL TOO CLOSE TO CALL
One day after early election results were released, the closest race, Twentynine Palms City Council, is still too close to call. The top two vote-getters will take seats on the Council. As of this morning challenger Cora Heiser leads incumbent John Cole by 16 votes; incumbent Joel Klink follows closely behind by only two votes. While all precincts have reported, additional votes including late absentee and provisional ballots still have to be counted. The County Registrar of Voters said they will update the results again tonight at 5:00 pm.

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HI-DESERT WATER OFFICIALS REACT TO DEFEAT OF MEASURE "U"
Residents have spoken—Yucca Valley's proposed one percent tax measure, Measure U, was defeated. This was not welcome news for Town and Water District Officials. Reporter Kristy Lockhart tells us what this means for the High Desert Water District…
The Hi-Desert Water District was hoping to get $70 million from the Town through Measure U to help off set the cost of the new Wastewater Treatment plant and sewer conversion. Board Director Sheldon Hough expected the Measure to pass. "I'm saddened it didn't pass, but I don't know what the future holds and I think that's what really concerns me." The total cost of the Wastewater Plant and sewer hookup is not yet known, but Phase One is estimated to be $125 million. Now that Measure U has failed, Board President Sarann Graham doesn't know where the money will come from. "We've got to find dollars to help our rate payers, our property owners with connection fee. We have to build this plant and strategize how best to do it now." The water district plans to meet with Town representatives to discuss other options.

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COUNTY SHERIFF ROD HOOPS ANNOUNCES HIS RESIGNATION
San Bernardino County Sheriff Rod Hoops announced yesterday he will be retiring next month. Hoops has been with the County Sheriff's Department for 34 years, and has been the County Sheriff since February 2009, when he was appointed to replace Gary Penrod. Hoops was elected as sheriff in 2010, and his term does not expire until 2014. Hoops said he has accepted a position in Washington, D.C., with the Police Foundation, the country's oldest, non-partisan policing research organization. Hoops said in a press release that he is leaving on his "own terms, with peace of mind, in good health, and with no regrets." Hoops informed the County Supervisors at their meeting Wednesday that he was leaving and recommended Assistant Sheriff John McMahon as his replacement. Hoops started as a deputy in 1978, became a sergeant in 1986, a lieutenant in 1989 and captain in 1995. He became deputy chief in 2003, assistant sheriff in 2005, before his appointment as sheriff in 2009. Among his challenges as sheriff were several high-profile scandals. Last year, seven current and former sheriff's employees were indicted on suspicion of falsifying training documents that allowed them to receive unjustified pay raises and retirement benefits. Two months later, three deputies in two weeks were accused of having sex with teen girls in the Explorer program. Between June and September, three inmates escaped from Glen Helen Rehabilitation Center in Devore, including one who allegedly shot and wounded a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy two days after his escape.

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THEATRE 29 OPENING NIGHT TO BENEFIT RELAY FOR LIFE
The opening night of the hilarious holiday season musical at Theatre 29 will benefit the local Relay for Life, raising funds for cancer research. Managing Editor Tami Roleff has more on how to get tickets for the gala…
The opening performance of "A Don't Hug Me Christmas Carol," at Theatre 29 on Friday, November 16, will benefit the American Cancer Society's Morongo Basin Relay for Life. The opening gala will feature a catered sit-down dinner at 6 p.m., featuring good ol' Midwestern cuisine. The curtain rises at 7 p.m. The show, directed by Marty Neider, is a musical parody of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," only in Bunyan Bay, Minnesota. A silent auction will be held before the show and during intermission. Relay for Life is soliciting donations for the auction. Show tickets are $25 for the opening benefit, with all proceeds going to Relay for Life. To buy tickets for the opening gala, or to donate an item for the silent auction, call 760-218-4584 or 760-898-5979. The show runs weekends through December 15.

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CAR ROLLS OVER TWENTYNINE PALMS MAN'S LEGS
A Twentynine Palms man was trapped under his car when it rolled over his legs yesterday. According to Twentynine Palms Fire Captain Matt Helmkamp, Binh Vo, 64, of the 7300 block of Desert Dunes, was lying on the ground, working under his Ford SUV about 11 a.m. when for unknown reasons, it started to roll backward. Vo tried to do a barrel roll to get out from under the vehicle but didn't quite make it, as the wheels pinned him to the ground. Paramedics pushed the car off Vo's leg, while a Sheriff's patrol car was positioned behind the SUV to keep it from rolling into the street. Helmkamp said after the car was rolled off his legs, Vo popped up onto his feet like nothing had happened, and declined medical treatment.

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JOSHUA TREE WOMAN ARRESTED AGAIN FOR MAKING THREATS
A Joshua Tree woman who threatened to blow up a county building two weeks ago, was arrested early Tuesday morning after she threatened her roommate. According to a Sheriff's report, 911 received a call from a resident in the 61700 block of Oleander Drive in Joshua Tree that Kelli Kimmel, 23, was drunk and throwing things around. Kimmel told the responding deputy that she was going to slit her roommate's throat. Based on that statement, Kelli Kimmel was arrested for investigation of making terrorist threats. Kimmel was booked into the Morongo Basin Jail with her bail set at $50,000. On October 26, Kimmel was at the County building on Pima Trail in Yucca Valley and told employees that if she could, she would blow up the building and everyone inside. Kelli Kimmel was arrested and has a court date next week for resisting arrest.

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LECTURE FRIDAY ON THE HISTORY OF THE MOJAVE RIVER
The Friday night lectures continue at the old Schoolhouse Museum in Twentynine Palms. Reporter Dan Stork says this week it is about the long history of the Mojave River…
The next lecture in the Old Schoolhouse Lecture Series for the 2012-2013 season is on Friday, November 9. It is titled "A Brief 750-Million Year History of the Mojave River," and will be given by Dr. Norm Meeks. The lecture is at the Old Schoolhouse Museum, 6760 National Park Drive, Twentynine Palms, and begins at 7 p.m. Lectures are open to the public for a fee of $5 per person at the door. There is an optional dinner at 29 Palms Inn starting at 5 p.m. with the speaker prior to each lecture; diners are responsible for their own meal. For more information about the dinners, contact Marion Gartner at 760-361-1202 or desert29palms@yahoo.com.

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LOCAL FOOD PRODUCERS SOUGHT BY TRANSITIONS JOSHUA TREE
Anyone who grows food, or makes food products that can be sold locally, is invited to list their products for sale in the Transition Joshua Tree newsletter. Transition Joshua Tree is a local initiative that is trying to promote better food security and economic security for the Morongo Basin. Keep your food dollars local by buying local. To list your products, send an e-mail with your phone number to TransitionJoshuaTree@gmail.com.

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HI-DESERT WATER PASSES MEDICAL PLAN SAVINGS ON
At the High Desert Water District board meeting last night, Board members voted to pass on savings to employees through their new medical plan. Reporter Kristy Lockhart has more...
The board voted last month to change medical plans effective January 1, 2013. The savings to the district will be about $50,000 a year. Last night the board voted to create a reimbursement plan with that money to assist employees with the higher deductibles. General Manager Ed Muzik explains. "We will have that money in a fund to pay for the people that have a deductible over a $1,000. The current deductible is $1,000, so they will still pay that; anything over that we will reimburse them for." The Board also reviewed the districts Emergency Operations Plan.

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PARKING LOT SALE AT TWENTYNINE PALMS UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
This Saturday, the United Methodist Church of Twentynine Palms will be holding a parking lot extravaganza. Spaces are available. Donations would be most gratefully accepted. If you are looking for an excuse to shop for bargains that are priced to sell, stop by the church at 6250 Mesquite Springs Road, next to the Twentynine Palms High School from 9 to 12.

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TWENTYNINE PALMS HIGH SCHOOL LOOKING FOR GIRLS SOCER PLAYERS
The Twentynine palms High School Girls Soccer team is getting ready for their season. ROP Broadcast student Amaris Cooper says they are looking for players...
Twentynine Palms High School girls' soccer team is looking for girls to play on the team. Their first game is on November 27 and it is a home game. Girls' high school soccer team practice is located at 72750 Wildcat Way, Twentynine Palms. You can find updates and other information on their website www.29wildcats.com or Twitter page @29wildcats.

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ADULT TENNIS PROGRAM STARTS SATURDAY IN YUCCA VALLEY
The Morongo Basin Tennis Association announces the start of a new adult tennis program, Drop-In Tennis, Saturday mornings, November 10 through December 22, 9 to 11 a.m., at Jacobs Park in Yucca Valley. No pre-registration required, just show up with a can of tennis balls. The format of play is one set of doubles or singles. It's an informal way to meet new friends, get fit and have fun. For more information call, 760-365-3851.

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