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Listen To Your News Wednesday, November 28, 2012 News Archive
     

TWO PEOPLE MISSING IN JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK SINCE SATURDAY FOUND LAST NIGHT
Two people reported missing Sunday night in Joshua Tree National Park were found and rescued in good condition early this morning. Family members of Tony Nosow, 59, of Landers, and Helen Melnyk, 56, of Lakewood, reported the couple missing Sunday night. It was believed the couple intended to drive some of the back roads inside the park about 11 a.m. Saturday morning. Rangers searched all the back country roads in Joshua Tree National Park without finding Nosow, Melnyk, or the truck. The California Highway Patrol, Riverside Sheriff's Department, the Marine Corps, and the San Bernardino Sheriff's Department all sent aircraft Monday to help in the search. A Sheriff's spokesman said Nosow and Melnyk were able to get cell range shortly before midnight this morning in a rugged area in the northeast portion of the park and called in their location. Their location was triangulated from the cell phone and they were picked up by a Sheriff's helicopter and brought back to Joshua Tree and then driven home. They were in good condition with no injuries.

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SERIOUS INJURIES IN TWENTYNINE PALMS MOTORCYCLE CRASH YESTERDAY
A motorcyclist sustained major injuries after the car behind crashed into him in Twentynine Palms yesterday afternoon. Sheriff's Deputies said Sean Pickard, 24, was riding his 2000 Yamaha motorcycle south on Adode Road at Amboy Road at about 3:35. Right behind him was Jared Glover, 30, of Joshua Tree in his 2010 Chevy Impala. For unknown reasons, Glover hit Pickard in a rear-end collision and pushed the motorcycle and Pickard 100 to 150 yards. Twentynine Palms Fire Captain Matt Helmkamp said the cycle's fuel tank ruptured and the motorcycle and Pickard caught on fire. Bystanders were able to extinguish the flames before fire fighters arrived. Helmkamp said the military jumpsuit Pickard was wearing protected him somewhat from the flames, but estimated that he probably suffered burns to about 30 percent of his body. Sean Pickard was taken to Desert Hospital in Palms Springs with serious injuries.

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SCHOOL BOARD HONORS RETIRING BOARD MEMBER
At the Morongo Unified School District regularly scheduled meeting last night, the community honored Board Member Phyllis Swinnerton for her many years of service. Reporter Kristy Lockhart was there and has more…
After 16 years as a Board member for the Morongo Unified School District Phyllis Swinnerton is retiring. Parents, teachers and educators attended the board meeting to honor Swinnerton for her service and dedication. Dr. Deborah Turner is the Director of Curriculom and Instruction for the district. "Phyllis has been the guiding light for our district. She has been an advocate for student, parents, teacher and administrators. She has been the Leader for the past gazillion years on this board and it's just a privilege to know her." Swinnerton has dedicated her life to the education of children. Her retirement marks 58 years in education.

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CROSSWALK AND CELLPHONE CRACKDOWN IN TWENTYNINE PALMS THIS WEEK
Don't say you were not warned. Twentynine Palms police will be focusing this week on pedestrian cross-walk violations. Motorists are cautioned to watch for pedestrians crossing the roadway. Police will also be watching for drivers who are texting or talking on a cell phone without a hands-free device, which is required while driving. They remind residents that distracted driving is a major cause of collisions.

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PLEA BARGAIN FOR TWENTYNINE PALMS MAN AFTER MARINE STABBING
A Twentynine Palms man who was arrested in July for attempted murder agreed to a plea bargain in court Monday. Joseph Farhat, 23, was arrested July 14 after he stabbed a Marine during an early-morning brawl in the Twentynine Palms Denny's parking lot. Witnesses said the Farhat had fled. Deputies pursued and pulled over a pick-up truck driven by Farhat. Farhat agreed to a plea bargain in Joshua Tree Court Monday morning in which the charge of attempted murder was dropped in exchange for guilty pleas to participating in a criminal street gang and assault with bodily injuries. Joseph Farhat is scheduled to be sentenced December 27.

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TWO ARRESTED FOR TWENTYNINE PALMS BURGLARY
Two Twentynine Palms residents were arrested Sunday afternoon, suspected of burglary, after a homeowner saw them leaving her home. A resident in the 5900 block of Baileya Avenue in Twentynine Palms left her home for about an hour Sunday morning and when she returned at 10:40, she saw Retsel Alvarez, 21, driving away in a red vehicle. Deputies located Alvarez, and a search of her home located a television stolen from the other home earlier. Retsel Alvarez was arrested on suspicion of burglary, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, with her bail set at $25,000. After an investigation, Darkise Gorman, 29, was also arrested and is being held without bail at the jail on a parole hold.

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JOSHUA TREE VFW FUNDRAISER SATURDAY TO KEEP DOORS OPEN
The Joshua Tree VFW offers not only delicious dinners, breakfasts, and tacos, but it's also active in discussing issues with government agencies that affect veterans. And the VFW post gives veterans a place to socialize. The VFW is holding a fundraiser to raise money to help it keep its doors open. Managing editor Tami Roleff fills in the details…
The Joshua Tree VFW Post 7264 will hold a fundraiser Saturday afternoon to raise funds to help keep the post's doors open. There will be $2 draft beer, food, raffle items and live music, featuring "Miss Guided" and "Rambling George and the Way Back Ramblers." The public—especially active duty military and veterans—are invited to attend to show their support for our military and veterans and for all they do. The event will be held from noon to 4 at the VFW Post, 6402 Veterans Way in Joshua Tree. For more information, call 760-366-2717.

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TWENTYNINE PALMS CEMETERY DISTRICT BOARD MEETS TOMORROW
Twentynine Palms Public Cemetery District Board meets in regular and closed session tomorrow at 5350 Encelia Avenue. During a closed session at 5 p.m., the directors will discuss employee performance evaluations. The regular meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. Among items of interest are: consideration of special district workshop classes for board members; notice of intent to adopt or amend a conflict-of-interest code; revisions to the employee benefit package; revisions to the policy manual; and discussion of current district status and requirements of LAFCO based on a November 11 meeting.

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BIGHORN-DESERT VIEW WATER AGENCY GETS A GOOD FINANCIAL REPORT CARD FROM AUDIT
The Bighorn Desert View Water Agency Board had a very busy session last night. Reporter Mike Lipsitz was there and said they got some good marks on their finances...
At last night's meeting of the Bighorn-Desert View Water Agency, the board received and filed the financial audit for fiscal year 2011-2012. In his report, the representative from Mayer Hoffman McCann noted that Agency's records were found to be in order, that revenue exceeded expenses by more than $300,000, that expenses were down 4 percent from the prior year, and that a healthy $880,000 is held in investments. In other business, the board approved a plan to amend the employee handbook in order to establish policy and procedure for COLA increases, holiday provisions, adjusting job descriptions and establishing organizational structure. Also last night, the board received and filed various permits and notices associated with the 15-acre Groundwater Recharge and Storage Facility destined for Pipes Canyon in the area of Winters Road and Warren Vista. And finally, the board approved a motion to continue pursuit of a revision to Agency Law as recommended by the Local Agency Formation Commission.

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TWENTYNINE PALMS WATER DISTRICT MEETS TONIGHT
The Twentynine Palms Water District holds its regularly scheduled meeting tonight. The board will discuss the financial state of the District as well as current and future staffing levels. In the Fire Department portion of the meeting the board will receive an update on the hand-over of the fire department to San Bernardino County. The meeting is held at the water district offices on Hatch Road at 6 p.m.

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HI-DESERT WATER SPECIAL MEETING TONIGHT
The Hi-Desert Water District has called a special meeting tonight. Reporter Kristy Lockhart tells us what's on the agenda…
On the special meeting agenda, the board will vote on a proposal to purchase a geographic Information system. The board will also discuss the transfer of $500,000 from the water reserves fund to the wastewater fund to fund grants for the new wastewater treatment plant. Finally, the board will look at disinfection methods and alternatives. The meeting is tonight at the Water Districts office on 29 Palms Highway at 6 p.m.

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JOSHUA BASIN WATER DISTRICT IN JOINT MEETING WITH CITIZEN ADVISORS TONIGHT
There are many details that need to be seen to in case of a major disaster in the Morongo Basin. One of them is checking how the area's water reservoirs fared. Assignment reporter Mike Lipsitz says tonight's meeting of the Joshua Basin Water District Board of Directors will discuss how to check the status of the reservoirs…
A joint meeting of the Joshua Basin Water District Board and the District's Citizen's Advisory Committee convenes at 7:00 tonight at District offices on Chollita Road in Joshua Tree. Tonight's joint meeting will allow both groups to hear a presentation on an emergency "phone tree" that would go into effect in the event of a major disaster where directors, committee members, and possibly others would be assigned to check the status of the District's 17 reservoirs, a task that would normally take a half day for regular staff to conduct in person. The emergency phone tree will save staff a great deal of time and allow them to concentrate on the most urgent priorities. The joint meeting will discuss all aspects of the phone tree system. And on tonight's action agenda, the Board will take up a grant proposal in connection with the Groundwater Recharge Project, as well as some human resource matters.

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SINGLE PARENTS CAN REGISTER FOR CHURCH CHRISTMAS PARTY
The Twentynine Palms Assembly of God Church will hold a Christmas party for children of single parents, Saturday, December 8, from 1 to 4 p.m. There will be goodies, presents from Santa, crafts, prizes, and more. The party is limited to the first 50 children, age 10 and under, who register by December 1. Parents must accompany their children. For questions, or to register, call 760-367-9973 by December 1. The church is located at 73331 Sullivan Road in Twentynine Palms.

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SEE'S CANDY AT THE JOSHUA TREE LIBRARY
The Joshua Tree Library is holding a fundraiser for the next few weeks. Reporter Dan Stork fills in the delicious details…
See's holiday candy is available now at the Joshua Tree Library, from the Friends of the Joshua Tree library. To see the full selection, click the Events tab on the Friends website at joshuatreefol.org or drop into the library. This See's Candy fundraiser will continue through December 22 while supplies last. For more information call the Joshua Tree Branch Library at 760-366-8615.

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HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS: SCORES AND SCHEDULES
The Yucca Valley Lady Trojan basketball team overcame a cold shooting first half to steal an exciting 42-41 victory over Hemet High School in a second round game at the West Valley Mustang Tournament in Hemet last night.

Down 23-6 at halftime the Yucca Valley squad crawled back to trail 41-40 with 8 seconds left in the game when junior Alyssa Carter rebounded a missed Yucca Valley shot and put it through the basket as the final horn sounded.

Carter finished the game with 11 points while senior Savanah Spitz scored a game high 13 points and junior Hannah Hughes chipped in eight points. The team is now 1-1 on the season.

The Yucca Valley High School Girls' Soccer team started their 2012-13 campaign with a game against Garey High School on Tuesday in Trojan Stadium and came away with a 4-1 victory. The Lady Trojans outshot the visiting Vikings twenty to two as senior Chaylin Couzens led the way with 3 goals and 1 assist. Sophomore Jennifer Luersen added a goal and junior Amy Priest had an assist.

Coming up in high school sports tomorrow, the Yucca Valley girls basketball team will compete in the last day of the four-day West Valley Tournament.

Also tomorrow, the girls Trojan soccer team will participate in the Beaumont Winter Classic tournament.

Coming up in high school sports for Twentynine Palms High School, the basketball girls will be in the third day of the Mustang classic tournament.

In soccer, the Twentynine Palms High School boys and girls soccer teams will travel away to Loma Linda Academy. Girls start at 4; boys at 6 p.m.

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