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Listen To Your News Monday, November 12, 2012 News Archive
     

JOSHUA TREE WOMAN FINDS DYING MAN IN HER CAR
A grisly find for a Joshua tree woman Saturday night. Investigators say the unidentified woman in her 30's discovered about 7 p.m. that her car had a broken window and she found an unknown man unconscious in the back seat. She drove the car with the man in it to the Morongo Basin Ambulance offices on Park Blvd in Joshua Tree. MBA Paramedics transported the man to Hi-Desert Medical Center where they attempted emergency resuscitation efforts. Doctors there pronounced the man dead at 7:38 pm. The responding deputy was able to identify the dead man by his tattoos and prior booking photos. The County coroner responded and took possession of the body to perform an autopsy. Investigators said the cause of death at this time appears to be consistent with a drug overdose. The name of the man is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

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POLICE SHOOT AND KILL MARINE IN PALMS SPRINGS
Palm Springs police are investigating why a Marine was fatally shot by police early Saturday. Palm Springs Police said the officers were on routine bicycle patrol about 2 a.m. when they heard a disturbance coming from two vehicles in a downtown parking structure according to a Palm Springs police news release. A public affairs officer with Camp Pendleton said the Marine was with the 1st Marine Logistics Group, but they are not releasing the Marine's name until his family has been notified. Palm Springs police Sergeant Mike Kovaleff would not say what occurred between the officers and the driver of one of the vehicles, a black Chrysler 300, but the two officers fired on the Marine, shooting about four rounds. The Marine was hit by an unknown number of bullets and died at the scene. The officers, who each have been with the department for nearly five years, were treated at a hospital for unspecified injuries. Their names also were not released. A male passenger in the Chrysler was not injured. He was detained for questioning regarding his actions before and during the incident, police said.

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CAMPFIRE BLAMED FOR FIRE IN JOHNSON VALLEY
Some off-road enthusiasts who were spending the weekend in Johnson Valley lost everything they owned in a fire early Sunday morning. According to Fire Captain Rick Denison, a large group of off-roaders were camping at an old homestead cabin site near Bodick and Wright Roads. Denison said it appears the people went to bed in their fifth wheel, and left a campfire burning. The wind was strong that night, and about 1 a.m., the homestead cabin, a fifth wheel, two trucks, and a toy hauler caught on fire and were fully involved in flames by the time firefighters arrived about a half hour later. Other off-road vehicles that were parked farther away from the campfire and the homestead cabin escaped the fire unharmed.

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TWENTYNINE PALMS WATER DISTRICT FINANCIAL DIRECTOR QUITS, CRITICAL OF BOARD
The Twentynine Palms Water District Board of Directors has called a special meeting for Tuesday, to deal with yet another senior staff vacancy. Reporter Dan Stork has the background story…
The Twentynine Palms Water District, which recently concluded its search for a new General Manager by selecting Operations Manager Ray Kolisz for that position on an interim and potentially permanent basis, is faced with filling another senior staff position. In a letter dated October 27, Financial Director Wayne Jones gave Board President Phil Cisneros his 30-day notice. In that letter, Jones said he would be "pleased to terminate sooner" if the Board desires. Jones went on to write "The reason for my reluctance to extend that final date [of November 26th] is based on what I have seen recently with some board members who do not seem to have a sense of timing and duty to do what it takes to fill senior management vacancies with qualified individuals in a timely manner…" Jones closed his letter with words of appreciation for Cisneros personally. The Board of Directors has called a special meeting for 5 pm on Tuesday November 13th, to deal with the resignation and to make plans for finding a replacement.

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TWENTYNINE PALMS CITY COUNCIL ELECTION UPDATE
Here is an update of Election Results. The election results for the Morongo Basin's closest race, the Twentynine Palms City Council, remain close, but the order is unchanged from the previous report. This includes touch screen voting machine results, duplicated ballots, designated mail ballot districts and vote by mail ballots. These results are not yet final as the count continues during the canvass period. The top two vote-getters will take seats on the Council. Last Thursday, challenger Cora Heiser led incumbent Joel Klink by 27 votes, with incumbent John Cole 13 votes behind Klink. As of 5 p.m. Friday, it's Heiser still in the lead with 1831 votes, with Klink 23 votes behind Heiser. In third place and falling further behind is Cole, 37 votes behind Klink and 60 behind Heiser. The County's election web site still describes the posted results as "unofficial." The County Registrar of Voters said they will update the results again at 5 p.m. on Thursday, November 15.

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MOJAVE CROSS STANDS AGAIN IN MOJAVE NATIONAL PRESERVE
After more than a decade of First Amendment court battles, a cross stands again in the Mojave National Preserve, for the first time with the legal blessing of the U.S. Supreme Court. Sunday, more than 100 people watched as the seven-foot-tall iron cross was hoisted onto and then bolted into Sunrise Rock, 12 miles off Interstate 15 about halfway between Barstow and Las Vegas. Then, the commander of the California Veterans of Foreign Wars formally rededicated it.

The Veterans Day ceremony occurred 78 years after World War I veterans erected the cross in honor of their fallen comrades, and 11 years after a lawsuit backed by the American Civil Liberties Union sought to remove it. After two federal courts agreed with the ACLU, the Supreme Court in 2010 ruled that a land exchange, under which the land around the cross was converted into private property, passed constitutional muster. The VFW now owns the acre under and around the cross. The land exchange was formally completed November 2.

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YUCCA VALLEY TO CHOOSE PARK'S NEWS NAME
The Town of Yucca Valley has a new park, but it doesn't have an official name yet. Tomorrow, the Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Commission will meet to discuss name suggestions from residents. Managing editor Tami Roleff has more…
Yucca Valley's newest park will soon have an official name thanks to residents who have offered suggestions. The Town of Yucca Valley recently opened its first new park since incorporation—a dog park, playground, and picnic area on the corner of Joshua Lane and Warren Vista. The new park was temporarily dubbed South Side Park because of its location and the necessity to provide a name on grant applications as construction funding was being sought. The Town solicited name suggestions from residents, and received more than 100 names. On Tuesday, the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Commission will review the proposed names and forward a recommendation to the Town Council for a final decision at its November 20 meeting.

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TWENTYNINE PALMS COUPLE ARRESTED AFTER DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
A Twentynine Palms couple was arrested early Friday morning after an argument turned physical. According to a Sheriff's report, Tracy Davis, 51, and Ryan Dietrich, 28, of the 6500 block of Oasis Avenue, started arguing shortly after midnight Friday, allegedly over Davis's drinking. The report states that Davis became angry after Dietrich locked her out of the house, and so she broke out a window, after which Dietrich slapped her. After an investigation, both Tracy Davis and Ryan Dietrich were arrested on suspicion of felony spouse abuse, booked into West Valley Detention Center, with their bail set at $50,000 each.

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TRAFFIC STOP OF PAROLEE RESULTS IN DRUG ARREST
Driving without headlights sent a man to jail early Friday morning, after deputies found drugs in his car. According to a Sheriff's report, deputies pulled over Mark Hines, 25, near Church Street and Highway 62, for driving without headlights about 2 a.m. Friday. Deputies determined that Hines was driving without a license and was released early from prison and was on probation. During a search of the vehicle, a baggie of methamphetamine and meth pipes were found. Mark Hines was arrested for investigation of transporting a controlled substance. He was booked at the West Valley Detention Center with his bail set at $50,000.

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COPPER MOUNTAIN COLLEGE FESTIVAL OF WREATHS THIS SUNDAY
It's not yet Thanksgiving, but the Copper Mountain College Foundation is gearing up for the holiday season. The Foundation will hold its third annual wreath auction next week. Assignment reporter Mike Lipsitz gets his bidding paddle ready…
The Copper Mountain College Foundation's 3rd Annual Festival of Wreaths is this Sunday, November 18. The popular event begins 2 p.m. at the Bell Center on campus and starts with a wine and cheese reception and viewing, followed by a live auction with CMC President/Superintendent Dr. Roger Wagner presiding. The custom wreaths—which are sponsored and decorated by local businesses, service organizations and individuals—are elaborately decorated. Many come with valuable gift certificates or in some cases gifts incorporated into them. Get a sneak peak online at cmcd.edu. Tickets are $5 and on sale at Libby's Realty in Twentynine Palms, the Joshua Tree studios of Z107.7 Radio, Hi-Desert Publishing in Yucca Valley and at the CMC Foundation Office. For more information call 760-366-3791 ext. 5012.

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LA LECHE LEAGUE MEETS TOMORROW IN TWENTYNINE PALMS
La Leche League is a mother-to-mother breastfeeding support group. Leaders are trained and accredited by La Leche League International to support breastfeeding mothers and answer questions. The group welcomes all breastfeeding mothers, mothers interested in breastfeeding, and mothers who have breastfed. Babies are welcome. LLL of Twentynine Palms meets 6 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at Palms Baptist Church on Adobe Rd. For more information, call Christine at 252-626-7343.

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COMPASSIONATE FRIENDS MET 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 pm to 6:00 pm, 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. This month the group will watching a DVD entitled "Handling the Holidays." Facing the holidays without your child can be very challenging. The DVD will give you practical and warm ways to celebrate the holidays and your child. For more information, please contact 760-250-7295 or visit the Hi Desert Medical website at www.hdmc.org.

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LOCAL SCHOOLS CONCENTRATE ON ANTI-BULLYING
This week is anti-bullying week at local schools. Morongo Unified School District officials are trying to bring awareness to parents and students. Some are even coordinating parent meetings to bring awareness to the problem. Reporter Kristy Lockhart has more…
Long gone are the days when bullying was just considered a part of growing up. Assistant Principal Eboni Kemp at Twentynine Palms and Onaga Elementary School says the district has a zero tolerance policy against bullying. "We do suspend because we have to let it be known as a school it's not tolerable, it's not acceptable." Kemp says the tough stance has made a difference. Bullying incidents have gone down over the past two years. "I want to make sure it stays that way."

Kemp wants all students to know they don't have to live in fear and if they have a problem with another person the first step is reporting it to a teacher or a parent. "Sometimes there is a fear of reporting, if they are afraid of retaliation. There are different options. They can even slip a note to a teacher." As Kemp walks the halls of Onaga she talks of one student who used to be a bully that now watches over some of the younger kids. "She has seen second and third graders being bullied or look like they are scared and will help them." For more information on anti-bullying programs you can access schools websites through MUSD.org.

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PARENT CONFERENCES AT SOME LOCAL SCHOOLS TOMORROW
Yucca Valley and Twentynine Palms High Schools will hold parent conferences on Tuesday, November 13, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. All conferences will be held in the teachers' classrooms. No appointments are necessary. Parents may visit one or all of their children's teachers. Conferences are limited to 10 minutes. The school's front office will have student progress report cards available to parents.

La Contenta Middle School invites parents and students to attend Parent Conferences tomorrow 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. They encourage our students to attend the conferences with their parents. Parent Conferences will be held in teachers' classrooms. Conferences are on a first-come, first-served basis. No appointments are necessary.

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LOSSES END SEASON FOR TWENTYNINE PALMS AND YUCCA VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
The Twentynine Palms Wildcats, the De Anza league's number one seed, fell to Mountain Valley power Rim of the World in the opening round of the CIF East Valley playoffs 35-3. The Wildcats trailed only 3-7 at the end of the first half. The Wildcats and two other De Anza league teams all were matched in the opening round against Mountain Valley teams. Shadow Hills and Yucca Valley also fell in tough games against the league whose on campus population is much larger than the De Anza league teams. Big Bear won their home game late with a score in the final three minutes to keep the De Anza league alive in the playoffs. Outstanding performances were turned in by Morgan Cole, Talo Wilson, and sophomore Chris Taliu, Quarterback Jake Culver connected on 14 of 29 passes for 115 yards. David Haney, Marcus Chestnut, and Talo Wilson each had four receptions on the night. The Wildcats finished the season with a 6-5 overall record and a 4-1 league record. The Frosh-Soph team ended the year with an outstanding 9-1 season record.

The Yucca Valley High School Trojan football team lost to Citrus Valley 17-0 Friday night. The Trojans kept things close at 7-0 until midway through the fourth quarter. Coach Tim Cannavo said the defense played phenomenal, holding Citrus to 92 yards rushing and 121 passing. Senior Forrest Cowley had 10 tackles and one sack. Joey Rutherford added 12 tackles. On offense, quarterback Bradley Soares completed 60 percent of his passes. Logan Vallo caught five passes and senior Brian McGowan caught four.

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