A Joshua Tree man is in custody, on suspicion of attempted murder, after shooting at his tenant at point-blank range three times. According to Sheriff’s Sergeant James Porter, Octavio Diaz, 50, went to the home of Brian Sturmreiter, 49, in the 62400 block of Blemont Avenue in Joshua Tree about noon Monday over a rent dispute. Diaz brought a .22-caliber handgun with him; the two men argued, and Diaz shot at Sturmreiter three times, grazing him in the head with one shot. Diaz then fled in his vehicle. Deputies found Octavio Diaz near by and arrested him for investigation of attempted murder. Porter said the gun was found in the car with him. Diaz was booked at the Morongo Basin Jail with his bail set at $1 million. Sturmreiter was taken to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs and was treated and released. During the investigation, Rene Diaz, 25, drove through police cones, past Sheriff’s patrol cars and crime scene tape, before stopping behind a patrol car. Diaz then honked at deputies, got out of his vehicle and yelled at them to get out of his way and off his property. Rene Diaz was arrested for entering a crime scene, cited and released.
It’s a busy night for the Twentynine Palms City Council, covering city manager evaluation, invocations, fire truck reimbursement, and more. Reporter Dan Stork has the list of topics…
The Twentynine Palms City Council gets an early start to its January 14 meeting with a 5 p.m. closed session devoted to a performance evaluation of the City Manager. The 6 p.m. open session has no public hearings, but does have several discussion items scheduled, starting with presentation of the annual financial statements of the City. Then the Council will return to the policy on invocations, and will consider a suggestion by Council Member Harris to remove invocations from the agenda and allow for a moment of silence, chanting, singing, poetry, reading, or prayer under the Public Comment item of the agenda. Council may consider other alternatives as well. Following that, Council will determine whether or not to continue reimbursing the City from Fire Development Impact fees for $125,000 that the City gave the Fire Department for a ladder truck. If the Council decides to waive repayment, staff will be asked to work with the Fire District to figure out how to use the fees. Another discussion will be on whether to pay a League of California Cities dues surcharge of about $800 to support litigation that the League is pursuing on behalf of cities. Finally, regional organizational assignments for council members will be reviewed. Council meets in chambers at City Hall on Adobe Road.
At last night’s regular meeting of the Morongo Basin Municipal Advisory Council, representatives heard from Greg Rice who heads up Code Enforcement for the desert region. Rice put into perspective the County’s General Plan and related how it is used to develop County Code, which his office must enforce. The General Plan is updated every five years and is currently under review. Also last night, the sighting of industrial-scale solar projects in areas zoned for rural living dominated the public comment portion of the meeting. The recently adopted solar related planning ordinance allows such development in rural residential zones. There were no action items on last night’s agenda. The MAC is composed of delegates from the unincorporated areas of the Basin. They act as liaisons between their respective communities and County Board of Supervisors.
The Hi-Desert Medical Center Board meets tonight. Reporter Mike Lipsitz says financial arrangements with physicians will be discussed…..
New Board President Martie Avels presides when the Hi-Desert Medical Center Board of Directors meet in regular session at 6 p.m. tonight in the Helen Gray Education Center. Also new tonight, Bob Tyke will be representing as the new Chief Executive Officer. Tyke stepped into the position January 1 following the December 31departure of Lionel Chadwick. On tonight’s action agenda, directors will consider revisions to the Community Health Center Bylaws and co-applicant agreements, as well as a financial arrangement policy between the hospital and physicians.
One of the major off-road events in the country, “The King of the Hammers,” will be held in the nearby Johnson Valley off-road area. The eighth running of the King of the Hammers desert race and rock crawl takes place Friday, January 31, to Friday, February 7, at Means Dry Lake in Johnson Valley. The biggest Hammertown yet includes additional entertainment, an expanded vendor show as well as improved spectator areas. If you’re into four-wheeling, this is the ultimate desert race. For more information, visit a link in this story at Z1077FM.com.
Area music students are being invited participate in the Yucca Valley Noon Rotary Club’s annual music competition. Managing editor Tami Roleff explains who can register…
The Rotary Club of Yucca Valley’s annual music competition will be held Saturday, February 16, at 7 p.m. at Yucca Valley High School, 7600 Sage Avenue, in Yucca Valley. Contestants must be high school or home-schooled students from the Morongo Basin. Contestants may enter in one of three categories: vocal, instrumental, or piano. Pianists and instrumentalists must play at least one piece of classical music. Singers must perform songs from musical theater or classical music. Cash prizes will be awarded; $200 for first place, $100 for second place, and $50 for third place. The top three contestants will advance to the semifinal competition for a chance to win an additional $1,000 for first place, $500 for second place and $250 for third place. Contestants must register by January 25. Call Ignazio Ficara at 760-365-7000 for more information or to register.
Next week Z107.7 will start airing interviews with the 10 contestants vying for the title of Miss Yucca Valley. The 10 girls—Aimee Frank, Alicia Murphy, Cerena Foy, Hailey Lasiter, Maddy Nimmo, Mariah Muchtar, Rita Zelaya-Arauz, Rosie Paulino, Sophie Wargo, and Vanessa Valle—are juniors from Yucca Valley High School and Joshua Springs Christian School. The scholarship pageant will be held Saturday, February 1, at Joshua Springs. Sponsors are still needed for the official program. Sponsorship, from businesses or individuals, can be ads or messages of encouragement. For more information about sponsorship opportunities, contact Sheldon Hough at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Morongo Unified School District Board of Education departs from its usual first and third Tuesday meeting schedule, to hold its only January meeting tonight. Dan Stork says that union bargaining and a farewell to James Majchrzak highlight the meeting…
The Morongo Unified School District Board of Education gets going early in its January 14 meeting, with a closed session at 5 p.m. to discuss student expulsions and re-entries, and to confer with certificated and classified union representatives. In the 7 p.m. open session, the Board will recognize James Majchrzak upon his retirement, thank him for his service as Superintendent from May 2002, and approve his termination papers. The teachers’ union will present this year’s sunshine items—those issues that it and the District have agreed to focus on in contract negotiations. The agenda is rounded out with approval of the budget calendar and consent agenda, plus the regular reports from Board members and staff, student and employee representatives, and the Marine Corps liaison. The Board meets at Joshua Tree Elementary School, 4951 Sunburst Avenue.
Calling all preschooler aged children! The Twentynine Palms Library’s preschool story time is walking through the alphabet. This Thursday, preschool story time will be exploring the letter L. Children are invited to bring something to share that begins with the featured letter. Parents and babysitters are invited to bring their three-, four-, and five-year olds to attend this free program. Preschool story times are held every Thursday at 11:00 a.m. through February 13, at the Twentynine Palms Library. The program includes age-appropriate storytelling, apron stories, finger plays, songs, and other activities to promote a love of books, reading, and language. For more information about preschool story time, please call the Twentynine Palms Library at 760-367-9519.
The High Desert Homegrown Poultry Association will hold their quarterly meeting tomorrow, Wednesday, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Yucca Mesa Improvement Association Center, 3133 Balsa Avenue, on the Mesa in Yucca Valley. There will be a presentation on different breeds of chickens with discussion about the best ones for eggs or meat. All who enjoy having chickens and other poultry breeds or would like to learn to keep them are invited to come. For more information call Charla Shamhart at 760-401-0689.
Copper Mountain College is celebrating Book Month with a special program this week. Reporter Mike Lipsitz invites you the Thursday event…
The husband-and-wife team of photographer Bill Dahl, and poet Cynthia Anderson will share their work, discuss their creative and publishing processes at noon this Thursday in the Bell Center’s Community Room on the Copper Mountain College Campus. The event honors National Book Month and is free and open to the public. The couple have collaborated on three books —Shared Visions, Shared Visions II, and In the Mojave. At 12:45, attention will focus on CMC students reading their literary works from the College’s Howl Magazine.
Wednesday evening at 5:30 p.m., Robert Tyler from Advocates for Faith and Freedom will be speaking on “Our Current Cultural Crisis” in the chapel at Joshua Springs Calvary Chapel. Come and learn how you can take positive action to counter the attacks on our children and society. The public is welcome. Joshua Springs is located at 57373 Joshua Lane in Yucca Valley. For more information go to a link in this story at Z1077FM.com
Coming up in high school sports today, the Joshua Springs Christian School girls’ and boys’ Lightning basketball teams will play Bloomington Christian School. The girls will play the Ravens in Bloomington at 5:30. The boys will host the Ravens at home, starting at 6:30 p.m.