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Listen To Your News Friday, December 7, 2012 News Archive
     

TWENTYNINE PALMS MARINE CRITICALLY HURT IN DHS CAR TO CAR SHOOTING
A Marine stationed at the Combat Center in Twentynine Palms was shot and critically injured early Thursday morning in Desert Hot Springs. About 2:14 a.m., a Marine, whom police are identifying only as being in his early 20s, assigned to a unit of the 1st Marine Division, was a passenger in the back seat of a 4-door sedan on Indian Canyon Road, north of 20th Avenue. Another car pulled up behind and someone fired several shots through the back windshield. One of the rounds hit the Marine, critically injuring him. He was taken to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries. The shooting is under investigation. He's the second Marine based at Twentynine Palms who has been shot in the Coachella Valley in the last month. Cpl. Allan DeVillena, 22, was shot and killed about 2 a.m. November 10 after Palm Springs police say he hit one officer with his car while a second officer hung out of the passenger-side window trying to stop him. Anyone with information related to this crime is asked to call Detective Raul Sandoval at 760-329-6411 extension 330 or Crime Stoppers at 760-341-STOP.

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EVADING DRIVER MAKES IT WORSE BY CLAIMING CAR THEFT
A Twentynine Palms man thought he'd try to get out of trouble with the Highway Patrol by telling the Sheriff's Department his car had been stolen. According to the CHP, two vehicles were speeding northbound on Adobe Road, apparently racing. One driver pulled in behind a gas station near Amboy Road, and the other driver, identified as Alexander Staggs, 21, turned off his car's lights and took a dirt road, ditched the car and headed toward the Combat Center on foot. Staggs called the Sheriff's Department from Himalaya Plaza about 9:50 to report that his 2004 Dodge sedan had been stolen. After Staggs had completed and signed the stolen car documents, the deputy discovered that CHP was looking for Staggs for failure to yield. Alexander Staggs was arrested for investigation of perjury for filing a false report, and for failure to yield and giving a false identification to law enforcement. He was booked at the Morongo Basin Jail with his bail set at $50,000.

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ONE JOSHUA TREE COURTROOM SET TO BE CLOSED
San Bernardino County continues to cut services, in the ongoing effort to accommodate the fiscal squeeze. Reporter Dan Stork says that court operations in Joshua Tree are one of the latest targets…
The Superior Court of California, County of San Bernardino, intends to close one courtroom in the Joshua Tree District and reassign the civil caseload. Effective Monday, February 4, 2013, Department M-3 of the Joshua Tree District, located in Joshua Tree, will be closed. Only Unlawful Detainer (Landlord-Tenant), Small Claims, Civil Harassment and Civil Name Change cases arising out of the Joshua Tree District will continue to be filed and heard in the Joshua Tree District. All other civil matters arising out of the Joshua Tree District will be filed and heard in the San Bernardino District, Civil Division at 303 West Third Street, San Bernardino. Parties with existing Joshua Tree civil cases set for hearing on or after February 4, 2013, will be notified by mail of the reassignment to a department at the San Bernardino District, Civil Division, except for those cases, as noted above, that will continue to be filed and heard in the Joshua Tree District. The notice announcing the change cites extreme financial circumstances as the cause, and says that the intent in the decision was to impose "as minimal an impact as possible on our commitment to providing the citizens of San Bernardino County with equal access to justice under the law." Public comments will be accepted up to January 28 via e-mail to the Presiding Judge of the Superior Court at joshuatree@sb-court.org.

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YUCCA VALLEY FRESH AND EASY STORE VICTIM OF CHAIN CLOSURE
It hasn't been easy for the British neighborhood grocery store, Fresh & Easy, which was slated to build a new store in the Warren Vista Center in Yucca Valley. Five years after the neighborhood market's parent company, the British supermarket chain Tesco, opened 200 stores on the West Coast, the business's CEO said it's likely—but not certain—that the Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market grocery stores will be sold, as the company's American stores have never made a profit. The Fresh & Easy stores are smaller than most grocery stores, at 10,000 square feet, and offer fresh produce and convenient prepared foods. Associate Town Planner Robert Kirschmann told Z107.7 News that the Warren Vista Center developer is looking for other businesses to bring into the Fresh & Easy site in the shopping center. He added the developer has signed several new tenants to the center: Asian and Vietnamese restaurants, and a beauty salon. Construction the second phase of the center will most likely start next year.

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NEW RETAIL APPEARING IN YUCCA VALLEY, $252 MILLION SPENT OUT OF TOWN
There's a reason why communities, Chambers of Commerce and local businesses tell residents to shop local. A portion of the tax proceeds go to the local communities. Managing editor Tami Roleff breaks down where Morongo Basin dollars are going, and how they could be helping the local economy if they'd been spent local…
After a slow year for new retail businesses, new retail stores are starting to appear in Yucca Valley. The Dollar General on the west end of Town recently opened, breaking the trend of new businesses opening on the east end of Yucca Valley. Ground-breaking started for the Super Walmart this summer. A report by noted local economist John Husing found that Morongo Basin residents spend only 20 percent of their clothing dollars locally, and other spending categories are similar. More than $30 million in clothing sales, $44 million in auto sales, $41 million in restaurant and bar sales, and $30 million in gas sales, are spent by Morongo Basin residents "down the hill." All told, $252 million is being spent outside the basin, and the Town is losing out on sale tax revenue from those sales. Town manager Mark Nuaimi explained that many of those expenditures are being made because the options don't exist in the Morongo Basin. He added that if those purchases had been made in Yucca Valley, the Town would have an additional $2.5 million in sales tax revenue.

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TWENTYNINE PALMS LETTER CARRIERS COLLECTING FOOD TOMORROW
The Twentynine Palms Letter Carriers are having their Christmas food drive tomorrow in Twentynine Palms. Just leave non-perishable food in or near your mailbox.

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FILL A FIRE TRUCK FOR TLC IN YUCCA VALLEY TOMORROW
The Morongo Basin Old Car Club is inviting residents to come fill a fire truck with food and gifts. The fire truck is a 1946 Mac fire truck which will be manned by the Grinch and little helper elves. Donations of canned and boxed foods will go to Tender Loving Christmas for its annual free Christmas dinner. The toys will go to the California Highway Patrol to distribute to needy children in the Morongo Basin. The "Fill a Fire Truck" event will be held Saturday, from 8 to 2 at the Route 62 Diner, 55405 29 Palms Highway in Yucca Valley. For more information, call 760-821-3618.

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TENDER LOVING CAUSE OPENS DONATION CENTER
This year's Tender Love-ing Christmas donation collection center is at 56425 Twentynine Palms Highway, between the Hi-Desert Star and Cinema Six. The center opens Monday and will remain open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Christmas Eve.

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"A DON'T HUG ME CHRISTMAS" AT THEATRE 29
The hilarious quirky Christmas musical, "A Don't Hug Me Christmas Carol," continues its run through December 15. Reporter Mike Lipsitz says make plans to bring the whole family for some holiday fun…
In "A Don't Hug Me Christmas Carol" at Theatre 29, it's Christmas Eve in Bunyan Bay, Minnesota, and bar owner Gunner Johnson has an argument with his wife, says he's skipping Christmas, goes snowmobiling across the lake, falls through the ice, and goes into a coma. Only to spend an evening with, you guessed it, the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future. The Musical offers hilarious tunes such as, "Gunner Fell Into An Ice Hole," "Grandma Cut the Christmas Cheese" and "The Wheel is Turning But the Hamster is Dead," it's great fun, don'tcha know! This is a family show but does have some light adult innuendo. " A Don't Hug Me Christmas Carol" runs mostly weekends through December 15th. Tickets are $8 to $12; available at theatre29.org, or by calling the box office at 760-361-4151. Theatre 29 is at Sullivan and Adobe roads in Twentynine Palms.

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WINTER PLAY "IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE" AT TPHS
Twentynine Palms High School theater students are having their winter play, "It's a Wonderful Life" December 7th 8th 14th and 15th opening at 6:30pm tickets will be sold at the door, tonight only active and retired military is free. There will be a live band during the play and free swing dance lessons from 6:30 to 7 p.m. then a half hour after the play there will be dancing.

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HI-DESERT CHORUS HOLIDAY CONCERTS THIS WEEK
The Hi-Desert Chorus will be performing its holiday season concert on Saturday and Sunday, December 8 and 9 at 2:30 pm. Doors open at 2:00 pm at the Senior Center in Yucca Valley. Selections include : "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas," "Hanukkah Shalom," "Baroque Noel," and the "Hallelujah Chorus," from Handels,' "Messiah." The Chorus, under the direction of Bill Barrett, will be joined by the Belcanto Ringers of the United Methodist Church and the Select Choir from Yucca Valley High School. Clyde Grabski will accompany, with Joanne Sayers assisting at the keyboard and presenting some sing-a-longs. Admission to the concert is free, but there will be a 50-50 drawing, as a fundraiser.

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MONDAY DEADLINE FOR PAYING PROPERTY TAXES WITHOUT PENALTY
There's not much time left to pay your property tax without a late penalty. Reporter Dan Stork tells how to get it done...
December 10 -- Monday! -- is the last day to get your first property tax installment for the current tax year in, in order to avoid a 10 percent late penalty. The easiest way to do it at this point is online, at www.MyTaxCollector.com. You just enter information about your property -- just the parcel number from your bill will do the trick -- and your bill pops up. You can also pay by phone at 909-387- 8308. Online or on-phone, you can pay electronically, either from a bank account, or with a credit card. But note that there is an additional "convenience" fee for using a credit card, while an electronic payment from a checking or savings account is free. If you're old school, you can pay by mail. The address is 172 West Third Street, San Bernardino, CA 92415, but the letter must be postmarked December 10 at the latest. Finally, you can pay in person at that same address.

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HOLIDAY ARTS AND CRAFTS AT THE 29 PALMS ART GALLERY
The annual Holiday Art and Crafts Fair will be held on tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the historic Twentynine Palms Art Gallery off National Park Drive. More than two dozen artists and artisans will be featured. Shoppers can also enjoy hot dogs, chili, sodas, coffee, and muffins on the patio. The Gift Shop will also be open, and the December art show featuring photography and mixed media by Michelle Mark, paintings by Scott Monteith, and miniature works by Guild members will be on display in the gallery. For directions or more information, contact Twentynine Palms Art Gallery at (760) 367-7819 or visit www.29palmsartgallery.com.

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JOSHUA TREE LIBRARY SELLING CANDY AT VONS TOMORROW
If you were planning to buy your See's Christmas Candy at the Joshua Tree Library this Friday, you can't do it, because the Library is closed on Friday. But wait! The Friends of the Joshua Tree Library are coming to Yucca Valley, in front of Von's supermarket, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, December 7. See's Candy will continue to be available at the library during regular business hours until December 22. Proceeds from the Friends' Candy fundraisers at Christmas and Easter are used to fund children's programs at the library including the Summer Reading Program. For more information contact the Joshua Tree Library at 760-366-8615.

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JOSHUA TREE VFW HAS A BUSY KITCHEN THIS WEEK
The Joshua Tree VFW will be having a fish and shrimp dinner tonight from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the post on Veterans Way in Joshua Tree. Sunday breakfast is pancakes, eggs, omelets, bacon, sausage, breakfast burritos, and quesadillas from 8 to 11. And don't forget Taco Wednesday from 11 to 1.

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FREE MEAL IN TWENTYNINE PALMS TOMORROW
Breaking Bread Ministry and Desert Congregational will offer a free meal and fellowship tomorrow from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Little Church of the Desert Community Hall. On the menu is chili, salad, and dessert.

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FREE BREAKFAST IN JOSHUA TREE TOMORROW
Joshua Tree Community United Methodist Church will provide a free community breakfast buffet Saturday morning from 9 to 10 a.m. Used clothing, shoes, coats and blankets are free to those in need as supplies last. The community is invited. The church is located at 6213 East Parkway.

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LETTERS TO SANTA AT THE YUCCA VALLEY COMMUNITY CENTER
If you have a child who wants to write a letter to Santa, the Town of Yucca Valley can help get it to him. Assignment reporter Taylor Thacker tells you how to make sure Santa receives your child's Christmas list…
Make sure Santa knows exactly what you want for Christmas! Santa's elves will soon be visiting Yucca Valley to pick up children's letters to Santa. Letters can be dropped off in the special mailbox in the Yucca Valley Community Center lobby, Monday through Friday between 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., or mailed to Santa Claus c/o Town of Yucca Valley, 57090 Twentynine Palms Highway, Yucca Valley, CA 92284. The elves will make sure Santa knows to write back. Please enclose a self addressed stamped envelope. Letters must be received by Monday, December 17. For more information please call the Community Services Department at 760 369-7211, Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS: SCORES AND SCHEDULE
The Yucca Valley Lady Trojans basketball team picked up a 51-20 win over host Hesperia Christian in a first round game of the Patriot Holiday tournament last night in Hesperia. Sophomore Yvonne Tran led the girls with 14 points while junior Hannah Hughes chipped in 9 points and senior guards Bailey Francis and Savanah Spitz each added 8 points. The team plays a second round game today at 3pm.

The Yucca Valley High School Girls' Soccer team hosted Xavier Prep in a non-league contest. The Lady Trojans showed great effort but the Lady Saints proved to be too strong and won by a score of 3-0. Junior goalkeeper Lizzye Bushong led the defense with ten saves

In high school sports tonight, the Twentynine Palms boys and girls basketball teams travel away to Indio. The girls start at 6; the boys at 7:30.

The Yucca Valley High School girls' basketball team will play in the Hesperia Christian Holiday Classic tournament tonight and tomorrow.

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