A Joshua Tree man was arrested in Yucca Valley Sunday for investigation of a bank robbery in La Quinta earlier this month. Deputies from the Morongo Basin Sheriff’s station arrested Harold Ghaemmaghami, 50, from Joshua Tree, at a residence at 5741 Primrose Drive, in Yucca Valley on suspicion of an armed robbery that took place in a US Bank in La Quinta November 9. Riverside County investigators say Ghaemmaghami entered the bank at about 1:40 p.m., approached a teller, said he had a gun and demanded money. He then fled the area with an undisclosed amount of cash. There were no injuries. Investigators from the Riverside Sheriff’s Thermal Station responded to Yucca Valley and identified the suspect. Harold Ghaemmaghami was taken to the Riverside County jail in Indio and booked for investigation of armed robbery. Just last month he was arrested after he brandished a knife at a Sheriff’s Deputy who was investigating the theft of power from an apartment laundry room. When the deputy knocked on an apartment door in the 61900 block of Grand View Circle, the tenant, Ghaemmaghami, ignored the knocking. When the deputy persisted, Ghaemmaghami met the deputy at the door with a large hunting knife in his hand. The Deputy put Ghaemmaghami to the ground at gunpoint and arrested him for investigation of brandishing a weapon and theft of utilities. At that time, he was booked into the Morongo Basin Jail with his bail set at $25,000.


This is Aviation Month and Copper Mountain College is inviting you to a special presentation this Thursday. Reporter Mike Lipsitz has your invitation…
Copper Mountain College commemorates National Aviation Month with a lecture from retired Col. Dr. Dean Hunter on Thursday, November 21 from noon to 1 p.m. in the Bell Center’s Community Room. Dr. Hunter flew 166 combat missions in Vietnam. He is listed as one of the highest decorated young officers in the Air Force for heroism and is currently a candidate for the Congressional Medal of Honor. His education includes a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and currently, he is a docent at the Palm Springs Air Museum. Dr. Hunter’s inspirational stories of adventure, bravery, and luck are free and open to the public. Bring your lunch and don’t be late. For more information contact Cathy Allen at 760-366-3791.


A Senate committee gave unanimous approval to expand the use of public lands for military training, passing three bills that attempt to reach agreements on conflicts involving mining, wilderness trails and private development. The bills include one for expansion of Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center. Sen. Ron Wyden, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said the bills are not controversial and he expects the measures will be added to the Senate’s version of the 2014 defense authorization bill. The Congressional version of the bill, sponsored by Yucca Valley Republican Paul Cook, would put the Johnson Valley Off-Road Recreation area off limits. The Navy is seeking to expand the training area around the Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center to include Johnson Valley. Navy officials said they need more land at Twentynine Palms to “train in a realistic setting, which the current installation configuration cannot provide.” The area is popular for off-road recreation, but Navy officials said their request was crafted with public input and “preserves public access to Johnson Valley, the area prized by off-highway vehicle recreation enthusiasts due to its unique terrain features.”


Mojave Desert Land Trust invites you to come join fellow land stewards for a fun day of cleanup in the Gateway Parcel Section 33 in Joshua Tree. The conservation groups said they have an opportunity to continue their cleanup efforts in this wildlife linkage area. Please invite any family and friends who would like to be involved in this effort, this Saturday, November 23, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Volunteers are asked to meet along La Contenta Road in Joshua Tree. Bring water, snacks, gloves, sunglasses (eye protection), long sleeve shirt, long pants, sunscreen, wide brim hat, and sturdy boots. RSVP to Miz Hanford at 760-366-2925 for a map and driving directions.


The Joshua Tree Branch Library has a new exhibit of art. Dan Stork says, come see David Jesse McChesney present his new calendar of local nature photographs…
The local artist whose work is currently on display at the Joshua Tree Branch Library is David Jesse McChesney. McChesney is a nature photographer with the books “Miles of Wonder” and “Muir Roots” to his credit. A reception at the library on Tuesday, November 19, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. will feature a limited edition calendar prepared by McChesney, “Natural Wonders of Joshua Tree 2014.” To see an additional selection of photos from David Jesse McChesney, see .The library is located at 6465 Park Boulevard in the center of Joshua Tree, just north of the highway.


Where were you on November 22, 1963? The Morongo Basin Historical Society is presenting the 50th Anniversary Kennedy Project at the Hi-Desert Nature Museum Yucca Valley on Wednesday November 20 at 5:30. Due to popular demand, the Historical Society is expanding its search for people with memories about the Kennedy assassination to anyone currently residing in the Morongo Basin, and not just those who lived here at the time. Come and share your stories, memorabilia and your feelings about the day 50 years ago when President John F. Kennedy was killed in Dallas. To participate in this project, call Laurie at 760-363-6681.


The Annual Community Prayer Breakfast, a long-time Morongo Basin tradition, has been set for Friday, November 22, in conjunction with the Thanksgiving holiday. This year’s keynote speaker is Deputy Alex Collins, who will share his story, and the story of other heroes, during the now famous shoot-out in the San Bernardino Mountains earlier this year. The prayer breakfast is being held from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the Joshua Springs Thunderdome Gym in Yucca Valley. Tickets are $15 each, or a table of 8 for $100 and are available at Joshua Springs Calvary Chapel, Collins Farmers Insurance, or Realty Professionals of the Morongo Basin. Reservations are recommended as the event has sold out the last two years. For more information, call Cynthia at 760-365-1988 or Mike at 760-365-0769.


It is time for the Youth Basketball season in Yucca Valley. Reporter Taylor Thacker tells you how to sign up the kids…
Basketball season is approaching and registration for the Town of Yucca Valley Youth Basketball League is underway and will continue through November 21. The league fee is $60 per child and you can register online at or in person at the Yucca Valley Community Center. Practices will be held weeknights starting December 9 and games will start January 4 with the season ending in March. Players must meet grade and age eligibility requirements. There are teams for kids in first grade through eighth grade. Players will receive jerseys at the first game, along with a complimentary personalized team photo and player button that will be distributed to all league players. The program opens on November 23 with a player clinic, also called Draft Day, held at the Boys and Girls Club gymnasium. Times for the Draft Day are included in this story at For more information call 760-369-7207.
Draft Day Clinic Schedule – Saturday, November 23, 2013 at the Boys & Girls Club Gymnasium Division Clinic Time
1st-2nd Grade Coed 9:00 am
3rd-4th Grade Girls 10:00 am
3rd-4th Grade Boys 11:00 am
5th-6th Grade Girls 12:00 pm
5th-6th Grade Boys 1:00 pm
7th-8th Grade Girls 2:30 pm
7th-8th Grade Boys 3:30 pm


The Twentynine Palms High School Football team’s three-game winning streak came to an end at the hands of the #2 overall seeded Tartans from St. Margaret’s 49-6 Friday night in San Juan Capistrano. The game was close early, as the Wildcats had two opportunities to tie the game at 7 in the first quarter. Offensive leaders were Jake Culver who was nine of 20 for 130 yards. Talo Wilson and Darren Murphy each had three receptions on the game to combine for 100 yards receiving. Andrew Wilson snared two catches and Alonzo Tate had one. Defensively, Dylan Martinez and Andrew Wilson each had a quarterback sack in the game. Talo Wilson led the team in tackles with nine, and Alonzo Tate had seven, and an interception. Senior lineman David Falefitu had a solid game and recorded five tackles, while fellow seniors Darren Murphy, AJ Rangel, and Jamal Devers teamed up for 10.
Head Coach Ernest Martinez said, “The coaching staff is extremely proud of the effort made this season. I would like to thank the seniors, and the team for their efforts and time as players at Twentynine Palms High School. Special thanks go to coaches, Tim Stanford, T. J. Stanford, Joe Estrada, Bob Jones, and Richard Casey, for their time and effort to the 2013 Wildcats.” The team would also like to acknowledge the support of the staff, community, parents, students, administration, and local media for a great season.


With their last game last week, the Twentynine Palms High School Junior Varsity ends a very successful season. ROP Broadcast Student Malachi Palmer talked with JV Coaches…
Twentynine Palms High School Junior Varsity football team has had an extraordinary season this year. The team started off with a four win streak in the beginning of the season and ended with an impressive 8-2 season. When we asked the coaches about the season and how it went this is what they said, “We had an excellent season this year and saw many improvements throughout the season. We could have easily been 9-1 or 10-0.” The coaches went on to say that if they could change only one thing about the season this year it would have been how mentally prepared the team was before games. When we asked, “what were some specifics you coaches were proud of?” They replied with, “We are really proud of the attentiveness and respect of the players and the well balance of the offense, defense, and special teams.” The coaches are very eager for the next season and look forward to it.