At Saturday’s meeting of the Morongo Basin Democratic Club, members overwhelmingly supported a resolution calling on the Yucca Valley Town Council to reverse last month’s decision to close the Morongo Basin’s only licensed marijuana dispensary. California Alternative Medicinal Solutions, or CAMS, had served medical marijuana patients from its location on Wamego Trail since 2010 without incident. During discussion, the Club learned how closing the dispensary will drive many patients into the unregulated black market, and how smoking or eating the plant under doctor’s care offers pain relief without use of addictive narcotics. Members of the Democratic Club will join others at Tuesday night’s meeting of the Town Council. Their hope is that a large, well-mannered delegation might persuade Town leaders to re-examine the issue.


Sketchy information today about a crash Friday evening between a military vehicle and civilian pick-up truck. According to County Fire Captain Steve Lasiter, a full-size Chevy pick-up truck, driven eastbound on Highway 62 by an unidentified middle-aged man, rear-ended a military light-armored vehicle, or LAV, also traveling eastbound on Highway 62 in a convoy, shortly after 5 p.m., near Garry’s Tires in Joshua Tree. Lasiter said due to the truck’s high rate of speed, the truck ended up underneath the LAV. The male driver of the truck broke his arm in the collision and was taken to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs. There were no other injuries. The California Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.


The solar energy ordinance discussed at the last Board of Supervisors meeting is on the agenda for this week’s meeting. Dan Stork tells how you can view the meeting, and be a part of it…
The ordinance on the regulation of commercial solar energy generation facilities, that was discussed at the December 3 meeting of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, is on the consent agenda for this week’s meeting. In all likelihood, it will be approved with little or no comment by the Supervisors. But citizens can still register their comments with the Board. Attendees in Joshua Tree will be able to address the supervisors on the issue during the public comment section on the consent agenda. The meeting begins at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, December 17, and can be attended at the remote interactive videoconferencing site in the County government building in Joshua Tree, on the highway at Whitefeather Road. The meeting can also be viewed on the Internet through County Direct on the County’s web site.


Apparently a very hungry man was arrested in Yucca Valley Thursday morning after he allegedly stole food and drinks and other property from at least four locations. According to Sheriff’s Sergeant Rick Millard, Joshua Beedie, 32, broke into the Circle K on Old Woman Springs Road about 3:30 a.m. and stole some drinks and food. Beedie allegedly then broke in to the Yucca Valley Community Center about 4 a.m. where he tried to steal food out of the vending machines there. Millard said a resident in the 57000 block of Antelope Trail reported a burglar in his home at 4:24. The resident told police that his dog chased the burglar out of the same window he used to break into and enter the home, and Millard said the burglar left behind the stolen property when he fled the residence. In addition, Beedie is suspected of breaking into Citizens on Patrol vehicles at the police sub-station behind the community center. Millard said the Sheriff’s helicopter was called to assist in the search for Beedie, but the helicopter was grounded due to the freak hail storm Thursday morning. After an investigation, Joshua Beedie was located near Sage and Sunnyslope about 9:30 Thursday morning, and arrested on suspicion of burglary and on a warrant from Kern County for possession of a controlled substance. Beedie was booked into the West Valley Detention Center and is being held without bail. He is scheduled to be arraigned in Joshua Tree Superior Court today.


The Joshua basin Water Agency Board is still working on selecting a new General Manager to replace Joe Guzetta, who left to become the Twentynine Palms City Manager. Reporter Mike Lipsitz says some closed sessions are on tap…
The Joshua Basin Water District board will hold two special closed session meetings this week—one tonight, and one tomorrow night. Up for discussion is appointment of a new general manager. Both meetings will start at 5 p.m. and take place away from District offices at the Joshua Tree Community Center on Sunburst Avenue.


The Yucca Valley Police Department conducted a DUI/driver’s license checkpoint Sunday night in the area of Highway 62 and Fox Trail between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), checkpoints have provided the most effective documented results of any of the DUI enforcement strategies, while also yielding considerable cost savings of $6 for every $1 spent. During the checkpoint, 744 vehicles were screened. One driver was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. Four drivers were cited for driving with a suspended/revoked license, and one of them was cited for false registration tabs. Six drivers were cited for driving while unlicensed, and one of them was also arrested on a warrant for driving while unlicensed. One driver was cited for driving without a license in possession. The Yucca Valley Police Department will be conducting additional DUI/driver’s license checkpoints or DUI saturation patrols in the near future to lowering deaths and injuries on our local streets and highways. This checkpoint was funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety. Remember, report drunk drivers. Call 911.


Attention high school seniors, applications are now being taken for a very prestigious scholarship which could value up to $100,000. Reporter Taylor Thacker has more on the Greenleaf Scholarship…
The Copper Mountain College Foundation is now accepting applications for the Roy Greenleaf, Jr. Scholarship for the 2014-2015 school year. The Annual Greenleaf Scholarship will be awarded to a local high school senior who demonstrates a strong determination to succeed, a great desire to help others, and an interest in serving the Morongo Basin after they complete their education. This scholarship pays for tuition, books, fees and standard living expenses. The selected senior is expected to enter Copper Mountain College in the fall of 2014 and earn a degree within two years. The scholarship continues to pay for the student to receive a baccalaureate degree at a four-year University of California. Last year’s Greenleaf Scholarship winner was Kelly Christensen. Application forms and additional information is available in the Counseling Offices at Morongo Basin high schools, and online at a link in this story at Applications are due to the applicable high school Counseling Office on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 by 3 p.m. Finalists will be interviewed and the winner announced in early March. For more information call 760-366-3791.


The Animal Action League will be offering low-cost vaccine clinics in December 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 1 on December 17 and 18 and from 10 to 2 December 21, 28, and 30 behind the dinosaurs on Highway 62 in Joshua Tree. To make an appointment for spay or neutering, call 760-322-4560. Visit for updated schedules on clinics.


Two Yucca Valley High School seniors will be joining dancers from across the country to perform in a New Year’s Day parade in London, England. The girls were selected during a dance camp this summer, at which they had to learn various dance routines, as well as make up their own, and they were judged on their efforts by a team of judges. Managing editor Tami Roleff has more on the girls and their exciting trip…


Madison Benstead and Elise Kelley, both 17, were selected to join the All-American dance team—made up of hundreds of dancers—during a dance camp this summer. The girls will perform in a New Year’s Day parade in London, England. Madison didn’t think her parents would let her go. “It was so much money, and I was like, No way they’re going to let me go. And then her mom was like, ‘You guys both made it! You guys need to go!’ And she ended up calling my parents and talking them into it. ‘It’s going to be such a good experience for you.’” This is the second trip for Elise, who danced in the parade two years ago as a sophomore, and she didn’t think her parents would let her go, either. “Yeah, well, I was thinking I wasn’t going to be able to go. But when the found out Madison made it, too, they were like, ‘You guys have to go together.’” The girls will be in London December 26 through January 2, and they are excited to go sightseeing. Elise: “The whole trip is sightseeing, then practice and the parade on New Year’s Day. I want to see the London Eye since I didn’t see that last time.” Madison is excited to see it all. “I want to see everything, since it’s my first time.” Elise is very excited about their trip. “I’m really excited. It was a lot of fun to go my sophomore year, but it’s going to be a really different experience because now I have my best friend coming with me and I get to share it with her.” Madison says it hasn’t sunk in yet that she’s going to London. “For me, it still feels unreal, like I don’t feel like I’m going yet, even though it’s right around the corner. Because it’s just such a crazy opportunity, and I’m going to have a lot of fun. I’m sure the day before I’ll be going like, oh my God! ‘I’m going to London!’”


The Yucca Valley Lady Trojan basketball team captured the Hesperia Christian Holiday Classic tournament title with a 51-30 win over the host school, Hesperia Christian, Saturday night. Coach Jess Geeson said the Lady Trojans were led by junior Yvonne Tran with 13 points and sophomore September Shaw-Fryer who added 10 points and 14 rebounds. Junior Ashley Priest and senior Hannah Hughes chipped in eight points each. Tran was named to the all-tournament team while Hughes was named the tournament MVP. The team’s next game is a home tilt against Sultana High School Wednesday night at 6:30pm.

The Yucca Valley High School Girls’ Soccer team continued their preseason action as they hosted Silver Valley High School in Trojan Stadium. The Lady Trojans controlled the game and finished with a 10-0 victory. Coach Scot Phillips said standouts were: senior Teresa Nava, four goals, two assists; freshman Alexia Missett, four goals, one assist; senior Amy Priest, one goal, one assist; junior Jennifer Luersen, one goal; junior Karson Scaccinoce, one assist; sophomore Nikole Cody, recorded the shutout as goalie. Next up for the Lady Trojans will be a home game against Sultana High School in Trojan Stadium this Wednesday. The girls start at 3:15 p.m. with the boys to follow at 5 p.m.