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Listen To Your News Wednesday, December 5, 2012 News Archive
     

SHERIFF'S ASK FOR HELP IN FINDING MISSING YUCCA VALLEY MAN
The Morongo Basin Sheriff's Department is asking for the public's help in finding a missing man from Yucca Valley. Ricky Held, 46, was last seen about 6 a.m. Monday morning when he left his residence in the 7300 block of Palomar Avenue on foot, without identification, money, or a phone. Held is 6 feet, 180-200 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes, and was last seen wearing a blue sweatshirt and blue sweatpants. He has a partially disabled left arm and left leg and a brain injury from an earlier car accident. His previous residence was in Apple Valley. Anyone with information about Ricky Held should call the Sheriff's Dispatch at 760-243-8941.

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CRACKDOWN ON SPEEDING, TALKING AND TEXTING IN TWENTYNINE PALMS
If you have a lead foot, you better work on changing it to a feather foot while driving in Twentynine Palms. Twentynine Palms police will be looking for speeders this week, as well as cracking down on drivers who text or talk on cell phones while driving. The Sheriff's department reminds residents that a hands-free device is required while driving, and that speed and distracted driving are a major cause of collisions.

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YUCCA VALLEY TOWN COUNCIL HEARS STATE OF TOWN, ABEL NAMED MAYOR
The Yucca Valley Town Council heard the State of the Town last night as they named a new mayor. Managing Editor Tami Roleff was there and files this report…
Before passing the gavel to incoming mayor Merl Abel, outgoing mayor Dawn Rowe gave a State of the Town address at last night's meeting of the Yucca Valley Town Council. Over the last year, Rowe said the Town took two steps forward and one step back. She cited some of the accomplishments of the past year: General Plan Update, a healthy retail interest; senior housing project; Essig Park; road improvements at Highways 62 and 247; and paving Church Street. The step backward, the failure of Measure U to pass, and what that means for the Town. "We have a structural deficit; so unless we decide to deficit spend, we will be unable to maintain our budget and fully fund public safety, road maintenance, and absorb the impacts of RDA dissolution…. And finally, sewer funding will remain a significant challenge that this community needs to tackle in the coming year." Then later in the meeting, Congressman-elect Paul Cook of Yucca Valley gave the oath of office to newly elected Council Members George Huntington and Robert Lombardo, who was also named as mayor pro tem.

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COUNTY SUPERVISORS TO SCREEN SHERIFF APPLICANTS
The County Board of Supervisors formed a committee, Supervisors Josie Gonzales and Gary Ovitt, to screen applicants for sheriff yesterday. Gonzales wants to have Sheriff Rod Hoops' successor appointed by December 31 and is pushing reforms for a special election when an elected official leaves office in the middle of a term. Gonzales also wants a policy requiring elected officials to provide at least three months' notice if they plan to quit or retire in the middle of a term. Hoops announced he would retire on November 6, the day after the general election. The county has come under fire since Hoops' retirement announcement over how it appoints people to succeed elected officials. Supervisor James Ramos asked that county staff research the cost of a special election versus the cost of deciding the matter in a General Election. Paul Schrader, a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy who ran against Hoops, said he received roughly 40,000 votes in the 2010 election, which he believes entitles him to the job. Hoops has recommended Assistant Sheriff John McMahon. Also vying for the post is Keith Bushey, a former deputy chief for the department who served as county marshal before the office merged with the Sheriff's Department in 1999.

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MODERNIZATION ONGOING AT TWENTYNINE PALMS HIGH SCHOOL, JOSHUA TREE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL BUILDING BEHIND SCHEDULE
Twentynine Palms High School is undergoing a modernization and expansion, and a whole new facility is being built for Joshua Tree Elementary School on a new campus. Reporter Dan Stork spoke with Morongo Unified School District Facilities Director Ron Smith, and has the details…
We spoke with MUSD Facilities Director Ron Smith about the status of two construction projects. He told us that the new 8,000 square foot administration building at Twentynine Palms High School will house the office staff, speech therapist, and all the counselors. Science facilities will be modernized, particularly the chemistry portion, which last was modernized in 1991. Another building will be getting fresh lighting and dropped ceilings. Updates must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act; this will affect bathrooms and locker rooms. There's more: "We're actually putting in an 8-lane rubberized track at the site, so that they can actually have some kind of sports facility at the site, and track can start using that area." Expanded parking is also in the works. Smith said that the project is just getting off the ground, but it is expected that the track will be ready for track season, and the administration building will be complete by the end of summer. The contractual deadline is November, but Smith is hopeful that almost all features will be ready by the end of September 2013. With regard to the other big project in progress, Smith said "Joshua Tree is looking really good. We're probably about 50 percent completed to 60 percent completed right now." He added that work is about 60 days behind schedule, due to bad weather this past summer and county delays related to street improvements. But he says there is a chance that the new school will be ready for move-in before the end of the current school year.

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SANTA CLAUS AND A MOVIE AT JOSHUA TREE COMMUNITY CENTER SATURDAY
Visit with Santa and watch a holiday Saturday at the Joshua Tree Community Center. Beginning at noon, find your seat and get ready to watch a holiday movie on the new surround sound theater system! The movie will begin promptly at 12:20 p.m. After the movie, journey over to Santa's visiting area. There you may enjoy some hot chocolate, apple cider, and participate in an activity or two. When it is your turn to visit with Santa, parents will have the opportunity to purchase pictures. The whole family can get in on the picture too! Pictures will arrive back in time for holiday giving. For movie details and questions, contact the Joshua Tree Community Center at 760-366-8415.

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RADIO VERSION OF "IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE" AT TWENTYNINE PALMS HIGH SCHOOL
Twentynine Palms High School Theater students will be putting on the radio version of "It's a Wonderful Life". ROP Broadcast Student Carin-Rae Connor tells you how to get tickets…
Twentynine Palms High School would like to invite you to come see the International Thespian Society's upcoming play, a radio version of "It's a Wonderful Life." The play is based in the 1940s, as if it was a live radio show. Come to the show early for a free swing dance lesson, stay after the show to try out your newly learned moves to the live band and chorus that will be performing at the play as well. The show opens on the 7th of December and will run on the 8th, 14th, and 15th at 7:00. Doors will open at 6:30 for those who want to take that free dance lesson. All tickets will be sold at the door. Also, in honor of Pearl Harbor Day, the International Thespian Society would like to extend a complimentary ticket to all active duty military and to all veterans to come see the show December 7, opening night. Hope to see you all there, and remember "It's A Wonderful Life."

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YUCCA VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL FINANCIAL AID NIGHT FOR SENIORS TONIGHT
Yucca Valley High School will be hosting a Financial Aid night for seniors, tonight at 6:30 p.m. in the Yucca Valley High School Library. The presentation will help seniors and their parents with filling out the FAFSA for college. Any questions please call the Counseling office at Yucca Valley High School, at 760-365-1138.

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FRIDAY IS THE LAST DAY TO SIGN UP FOR TOYS FOR TOTS
The Toys for Tots campaign is in full swing supported by the Marine Corps Reserve. Managing Editor says parent need to gets their kids' names in to get toys by this Friday…
The last day to sign up for Toys for Tots is this Friday, December 7. To sign up for a toy for your children, go to http://29-palms-ca.toysfortots.org/local-coordinator-sites/lco-sites/request-toys.aspx
Toys will be distributed at the Yucca Valley Community Center on Friday, December 14, from 8:30 to 2; and at the Twentynine Palms Community Center on Tuesday, December 18, from 8:30 to 2. Toys will be distributed on base for military personnel only on Thursday, December 20, from 9 to 2. On distribution day, a valid driver's license will be required, as well as birth certificates for children who will be receiving toys. For more information, call 760-830-0966.

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DESERT WRITER'S GUILD MEETS AT TWENTYNINE PALMS LIBRARY SATURDAY
Friends of the Twentynine Palms Library are hosting the Desert Writers Guild at the Twentynine Palms Library, this Saturday. Critters and Other Desert Dwellers is the Desert Guild's latest publication. Not everything that dwells in the desert has two legs. Come join them for a fun afternoon. The anthology will be available for purchase and signing. Light refreshments will be served. For more information about the Desert Writers Guild library program, please call the Twentynine Palms Library Branch Library at 760-367-9519.

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TWENTYNINE PALMS PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING SHORT AND SWEET
The last meeting of 2012 for the Twentynine Palms Planning Commission was short and sweet. Reporter Dan Stork tells how they disposed of the agenda…
Within ten minutes of the start of its regular meeting, the four members present of the Twentynine Palms Planning Commission granted developer Frank LaChapelle a 3-year extension on a tract map for a subdivision at the corner of Nicholson and Datura that has been lying fallow since 2006. Then they authorized staff to prepare a report -- to be presented at a public hearing at the next Commission meeting -- on whether Jameson Auto Sales is in violation of its Conditions of Use, by way of having an excessive number of signs. This matter was presented to the Commission as a land-use issue; it is also being pursued by Code Enforcement as a city code violation. Twenty minutes gone, total, and time to go home.

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ELKS NATIONAL HOOP SHOOT CONTEST SUNDAY
The Twentynine Palms competition for the annual Elks National Free Throw Shooting Contest for youngsters age 8 through 13 will be held at the Twentynine Palms Junior High School gym Sunday, December 9, at 1 p.m. Over three million youngsters from throughtout the country entered last year's competition for boys and girls in age categories 8-9; 10-11, and 12-13. Each contestant has 25 shots at the hoop. The boy and girl in each age group with the best scores advance through four tiers of competition to qualify for the national finals. Contestants' age groups will be determined by their age as of April 1, 2013. For more information, visit www.elks.org/hoopshoot or e-mail hoopshoot@elks.org.

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TOMORROWS HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS SCHEDULE
In high school sports tomorrow, the Yucca Valley and Twentynine Palms High School girls' basketball teams will travel away to Hesperia to play in the Holiday Classic tournament.

The Trojan girls' soccer team will host Xavier Prep from Palm Desert at Yucca Valley High School; game time is 5 p.m.

The Twentynine Palms High School boys soccer team will host Marywood-Palm Valley at home. Tip-off is 3:15.

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