Many local federal employees would feel the pinch if the federal government shuts down tomorrow. If the U.S. government has to shut down tomorrow, about half of the Defense Department’s 800,000 civilian workers will be furloughed until an appropriations bill is passed. Civilians who are furloughed would be paid retroactively only if a law is enacted providing the authority to pay them. Military personnel and contractors will continue to work as normal, but would be paid retroactively once the funds are appropriated. Training and travel for military and civilian workers would have to stop until after the furlough ends. Other activities affected by the furlough include no payment of death benefits to those who die on active duty during the lapse, stateside commissaries would be closed, military promotion boards would be disrupted, and companies who do business with the Defense Department would also be affected; new contracts can’t be signed and old ones can’t be extended.


A Yucca Valley paramedic accused of stealing morphine from a County ambulance had his license revoked by the state earlier this month. According to the California Emergency Medical Services Authority, Blake Attaway, a firefighter-paramedic with Station 41 in Yucca Valley, stole morphine from the fire department on 20 to 30 occasions between October 2012 and February 2013, when the thefts were discovered by a battalion chief and reported to law enforcement. Attaway admitted that he injected himself with the drug while on duty in order to get high. Attaway said he extracted the morphine from vials, replaced the morphine he stole with saline, replaced the vial caps with glue, and then returned the vials to the ambulance’s stock. Attaway’s colleagues would then unwittingly use the adulterated morphine to treat patients who required emergency medical care. Attaway also admitted to falsifying patient care records, and forging a nurse’s signature to cover up his thefts. The order states Attaway’s paramedic license was revoked because he demonstrated poor personal and professional judgment, lack of trustworthiness, disregard of protocol, disrespect for laws regulating dangerous drugs, absence of self-control, and contemptuous disregard for patient welfare. Attaway’s paramedic license was temporarily revoked July 2, and permanently revoked August 28; the revocation took effect 20 days later. Blake Attaway was arraigned in Joshua Tree Superior Court September 12 on a charge of embezzlement of property by a public official; he was not present at the arraignment and court records label him as a fugitive.


Make plans to bring the whole family to this week’s Joshua Tree Gem and Mineral Show. Managing Editor Tami Roleff says the 38th annual show opens this Wednesday…
Dazzling gems and geodes are sparkling in the desert sun. The 38th Annual Gem, Mineral, and Craft Show will be at the Joshua Tree Sportsman’s Club October 2 through the 6 from 9 a.m. until dark. More than 50 vendors will have geodes, crystals, jewelry, crafts, and gems from around the world. Learn how to pan for gold, and then keep what you find! There will be games and hourly raffles, food, barbecue, and drinks, and best of all, admission is free.


A Yucca Valley man who was wanted for shooting at another man last month was arrested Saturday. According to Sheriff’s Sergeant James Porter, on August 26, Joseph Huffman, 44, got in an argument over money with another man in the 5200 block of Elata Road in Yucca Valley. Porter said Huffman fired two rounds at the victim, and hit him in the face with the pistol. Then Huffman and his wife, Maryann Huffman, fled in a vehicle, which was later found abandoned. Inside was a revolver that had had its serial number filed off. On September 13, a warrant was issued for the arrest of Joseph and Maryann Huffman. On Wednesday, September 25, detectives were performing surveillance on a home in the 62000 block of Canterbury Street in Yucca Valley, looking for Joseph Huffman. Huffman fled in a Toyota truck, and lost deputies during a pursuit, but his vehicle was located the next day in the Van’s Ranch Wash area of Landers. On Thursday, Maryann Huffman was arrested for harboring a fugitive and tampering with the identification of a firearm. She was released on $100,000 bail. On Saturday, Joseph Huffman surrendered to a private investigator, who took him to the West Valley Detention Center where he was arrested for investigation of assault with a firearm and shooting at an inhabited vehicle. His bail is set at $325,000.


An argument over beer pong led to an arrest of one Twentynine Palms man, and the hospitalization of two others Saturday night. According to Sheriff Sergeant James Porter, Mitchell Stewart, 21, Shane Miller, 25, and Tyler Murphy, 23, were drinking and playing beer pong at a residence in the 74700 block of Joe Davis Drive, when they started arguing over who won at about 10:30 p.m. Porter said the argument turned physical, and Stewart suffered numerous injuries, including lacerations, bruises, and a minor concussion. Stewart was taken to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs. Tyler Murphy, 23, was interviewed and released due to his injuries; he was taken to the Naval Hospital on board the Combat Center. Shane Miller, 25, was arrested for investigation of assault with serious injuries. He was booked at the Morongo Basin Jail with his bail set at $100,000.


It wouldn’t be November without the Twentynine Palms Weed Show. Dan Stork has the call for entries…
This November, the Twentynine Palms Historical Society will again host its Annual Weed Show at the Old Schoolhouse Museum, Twentynine Palms, on Saturday, November 2, from noon to 4 p.m. and Sunday, November 3, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is no fee to enter your creation in the competition or to come view the show. The theme this year is “California Gold,” honoring the memory of Huell Howser, with each category bearing the name of a local landmark—Sugar Bowl, Sheep Hole Pass, Historic Plaza, Oasis of Mara, Luckie Park, the Marine Base, and so forth. Entries in the various categories must use purple glass, or be of a specified size, or relate to mining or education or transportation of other guidelines. Awards will be granted in 12 categories, with a People’s Choice award to be decided by visitors to the exhibition. Entries will be accepted Friday, November 1, between 4 and 6:30 p.m., and Saturday, November 2, between 7 and 9 a.m., at the Old Schoolhouse Museum, 6760 National Park Drive, Twentynine Palms. For more information visit the Historical Society website,, or send an email to


Law enforcement, fire and rescue personnel, and medical and safety experts will all be on hand at a Safety Open House in Yucca Valley tomorrow. Visitors will be able to learn about disaster preparedness and response. Fire engines, ambulances, and Sheriff patrol cars and motorcycles are just a few of the items that will be on display. The American Red Cross, the Community Emergency Response Team, and the San Bernardino County Office of Emergency Services will have informational booths and equipment on display. The Safety Open House will be held in the north parking lot of the Yucca Valley Community Center from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, October 1. The event is free and the public is encouraged to attend.


Tickets are still available for Copper Mountain College Foundation’s Annual Fall Dinner on the evening of Saturday, October 5, in the Community Room of the Bell Center at Copper Mountain College. Chief Glenna Wallace will be the keynote speaker following the evening’s theme of Celebrating Milestones. Chief Wallace, a 38-year veteran of Crowder Community College in Neosho, Missouri, has dedicated her career to the humanities as a college professor, a communicator, a storyteller and the first female chief of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma. She has not only exposed her Shawnee heritage to the world, developing exhibits and sharing their stories and dances, but has also integrated the modern world with her tribe, supporting education and economic development.  Tickets are $75 and includes dinner, entertainment and a hosted bar. The traditional raffling of a quilt will also be held this evening.  Contact the Foundation Office at 760-366-3791 extension 4200 or for reservations.


The Annual Bucky Bucklin Memorial Arm Wrestling tournament is coming up and signups are being taken. Reporter Taylor Thacker says the fun event benefits the Twentynine Palms Youth Club…
The Twentynine Palms Youth Club is looking for sponsors for the 2013 Bucky Bucklin Memorial Arm Wrestling Tournament. The sponsorship fee is $200 which includes five entries into the tournament, your business’s name announced during the tournament, and your name on the back of the t-shirts! You can also sponsor a single arm wrestler for $50 and have your business name mentioned once during the weekend. The last day to sign up for a sponsorship is today, September 30. The Arm Wrestling Tournament takes place on October 19 at 3:00 p.m. Sign ups take place through October 19. For more information call 760-367-5776.


Yucca Valley High School Trojan Football improved to 4-0 Friday night when the Trojans dominated the Indio Rajahs 39-20. The offense rolled up 605 total yards, 430 rushing and 175 passing along with scoring six touchdowns. The starting defense held Indio to 95 total yards through the first three quarters and zero points. Coach Tim Cannavo said standout performances were by Logan Vallo with three touchdowns and 136 yards rushing, 55 receiving. Gabe Sosa had one touchdown, 109 yards rushing and 58 yards receiving. Bradley Soares threw two touchdown passes. Shayne Saiza led defenders with 13 tackles and a pass defense. Joey Rutherford added 10 tackles and caused two fumbles.

The Twentynine Palms Varsity Wildcats used a 21-point third quarter outburst to take a 35-22 first victory on the season over Barstow. Coach Ernest Martinez said senior Jake Culver got the team on the board with long run up the middle. Cody Hall had a big night as he rushed for 140 yards and scored four touchdowns on the night. Talo Wilson snared six receptions for 124 yards as well as with 10 tackles, a forced fumble and a sack. Junior fullback Dylan Martinez had six carries for 42 yards. Senior Cole Estrada blocked a punt to put the Cats in the red zone. Sophomore Alonzo Tate and Senior Darren Murphy combined on 20 tackles and two forced fumbles. Standouts on the defensive front line included seniors David Falefitu, Tristen Thiers, and juniors Jayson Nomura, Josh Alderson, and Matt Pierce.


In high school sports tomorrow, the Twentynine Palms High School girls’ tennis team travels away to Desert Hot Springs to play the Golden Eagles. First serve is at 3:15.

Also tomorrow, the Joshua Springs Christian School volleyball team travels away to Lucerne Valley. Game time is 5 p.m.


Joshua Springs Christian School needs a varsity boys’ basketball Coach. Contact Israel Hagerman at 760-365-3599. Resumes need to be turned in by tomorrow.


Rep. Paul Cook (R-Yucca Valley) plans to host a “Heroes of the 8th” Veterans Recognition Ceremony to honor residents of his district who currently serve or have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. The ceremony is scheduled to take place on Friday, November 8.  Cook is seeking nominations for veteran honorees from the public. The purpose of the event is to honor past and present members of the military for their distinguished service, community involvement, or advocacy for veterans’ causes.  Nominations for honorees can be submitted via Cook’s official website at Submissions will be accepted until Friday, October 18. Any questions regarding the event can be emailed to Cook’s Deputy District Director Jeremy Smith at


A reminder to participating artists: The Hwy 62 Art Tours Collective Show Drop-Off is September 30 at the 29 Palms Art Gallery in Twentynine Palms. The Art Tour Collective Show, an annual event featuring participating artists in the Hwy 62 Art Tours open studios, will be on exhibit Wednesdays through Sundays from noon until 3:00, October 2 through Sunday, October 27. There will be an opening reception on Friday, October 4, from 5 to 7 p.m., at the Twentynine Palms Art Gallery. Each participating Hwy 62 Art Tours artist is welcome to submit one work to the exhibit. Please choose a work that is representative of what you will be showing on the Art Tours. All works must be for sale; please have a replacement work on standby, should one of your pieces sell. Visit to review rules on hanging and exhibiting works at 29 Palms Art Gallery. Art Tours participating artists may pick up signs, artist kits, catalogs, and promotional materials at the opening reception event.  or more information on these and other events, visit


A unique opportunity to hear world-class musicians in Joshua Tree. Managing Editor Tami Roleff says make reservations soon for the Harrison House concert…

A gathering of highly accomplished Persian musicians will give two performances in Joshua Tree. Harrison House artists-in-residence Fared Shafinury, on vocals and setar, Saba Alizadeh on kamanche, and Dara Afraz on daf and tombak will perform classical Persian music with a modern touch. A special opening set of Sufi-inspired compositions will be played by Hooman Fazly. The first performance will be Saturday, October 5, at 7:30 p.m. with a follow-up performance Sunday, October 6, at 4. Tickets are $15 and are available at Joshua Tree Health Foods. Harrison House is located at 6881 Mount Lassen Avenue in Joshua Tree. For more information, call 760-366-4712.


The Animal Action League will be offering low-cost vaccine clinics in October for dogs and cats, as well as low-cost spaying and neutering. No appointments are necessary for vaccines; appointments are required for spay and neutering services. Clinics will be held from 10 to 2 at the following locations and dates: in Joshua Tree, behind the dinosaurs on Highway 62: October 1, 2, 7, 9, 10, 21, 22, 29 and 30; and at Wild Mustang Feed in Morongo Valley, October 11. To make an appointment for spay or neutering, call 760-322-4560. Visit for updated schedules on clinics.


The Joshua Tree National Park is a destination for rock climbers from all over the world. As the seasons change, the Park is restarting a popular weekly climbers’ get-together. Park Ranger Pam Tripp invites the sports lovers to “climbers’ coffee”, starting in October…

Every winter, rock climbers converge on Joshua Tree National Park to experience the wonders of climbing the park’s granite spires.  From scrambling to technical climbing, the park is a wonderland of rock formations that offer challenge and enjoyment for all skill levels.   Beginning in October and running through May, every Friday and Saturday, the park hosts a weekly program called Climbers Coffee at the Hidden Valley campground area near Intersection Rock.   Climbers Coffee features Ranger Bernadette, an experienced climber, who will share climbing stories, answer questions and be available to discuss general and specific climbing as well as other park issues. Joshua tree has thousands of climbing routes and offers climbers an excellent opportunity to hone their skills and enjoy the sunshine during the winter months when other popular climbing areas are buried in snow. For information regarding the climbers’ coffee, contact Bernadette Regan at 760-367-5578.


Tuesday October 1 is the start date for open enrollment under the Affordable Healthcare Act.  Both the Federal government and the state of California have web sites with lots of step-by-step information to help individuals and businesses through the process.  Coverage can begin on January 1, just three months away.  The Federal web site is, and the state resources can be found at


A grief workshop will be held Sunday, September 29, for those who are mourning any type of loss. The workshop will be led by Kathleen Lowndes at 11:30 a.m. at Desert Hills Presbyterian Church, 56750 Mountain View Trail in Yucca Valley. All who are grieving any type of loss are invited to attend.


Tonight is the second and final night of the 17th Annual Starry Nights Festival, sponsored by the Andromeda Society and the Yucca Mesa Improvement Association. The Starry Nights Festival will be held in a new location this year, at the Yucca Mesa Improvement Association’s Community Center, 3133 Balsa Avenue, Yucca Valley, north of Aberdeen Drive. The event is free. Saturday’s events  start with a pancake breakfast from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. There will be speakers, a telescope clinic, a bake sale, activities for the kids, and solar telescopes for any who want to see the sun. There are prizes and telescopes being given away, but you have to come out and get your free ticket to win. For further info please visit