Two people were killed in Yucca Valley Thursday afternoon when their SUV was broadsided on Yucca Trail. According to Sheriff’s Deputy Wayne Greer, at 1:09 p.m., a 1984 red Bronco was traveling northbound on Warren Vista and was creeping into the intersection when it was broadsided on the passenger side door, by Brooke Nemeth, 23, of Yucca Valley, who was driving westbound on Yucca Trail in a 1997 black Cherokee.


Both vehicles came to rest just west of the intersection on the north shoulder of Yucca Trail. The driver of the Bronco, a 65-year-old man from Yucca Valley, was pulled from the vehicle by rescue personnel and died at the scene. His passenger, a 36-year-old woman from Junction City, Kansas, was also killed in the crash. Their names have not yet been released pending notification of next of kin. Neither alcohol or drugs are suspected to be a factor in the crash. The Sheriff’s Department is investigating the crash.

In a side note, while covering the story, a Z107.7 staffer was assaulted by a combative Sheriff’s Deputy, who slapped a cellphone camera to the ground, breaking it. Z107.7 has requested an investigation.


In yesterday’s Z107.7 news, we questioned why the names of many area residents, including mine and my wife’s, who had not endorsed him, were included on a 17 page on-line list of those endorsing San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon’s election. McMahon is currently serving as the appointed Sheriff and seeking election in November. After I sent a formal media e-mail query asking how my name got on the list, the entire list was removed from the campaign website. I called a number of individuals in the Twentynine Palms area I personally knew on the list and asked them if they had endorsed McMahon; two said absolutely not, and three others had doubts. In a follow up to that story, McMahon contacted Z107.7 news yesterday saying he was sorry and confirmed that mistakes had been made on his endorsement list. He explained, saying, “The best we can tell is that volunteers inadvertently merged a campaign mailing list with a list of people attending a campaign event.” McMahon apologized for the error and said they had taken the page down to “review and sanitize the list” and fix the errors. McMahon said after they have determined which names were listed in error, he would issue each a formal letter of apology. He thanked Z107.7 News for bringing the faulty list to the attention of his campaign committee.


According to California Governor Jerry Brown, the state is in a “mega drought,” perhaps the worst dry spell the California has ever known. The governor and state and local water officials are calling on residents to voluntarily reduce their water consumption by 20 percent. Managing editor Tami Roleff has some tips on how local residents can conserve water…
The average Yucca Valley resident uses 80 to 100 gallons of water per day. Hi-Desert Water District General Manager Ed Muzik is rightly proud of the fact that the per capita water usage of his customers is one of the lowest in the state. “I don’t think there’s a community up here that uses less water than we do.” Nevertheless, with the state in a drought, all Morongo Basin residents are urged to cut back on their water usage. Some easy ways to cut back include turning off your faucet when you brush your teeth or do the dishes. (This saves two gallons per minute.) Take shorter showers; each minute in the shower is 2 ½ gallons. Repair leaks in your faucets and toilets. And install a water efficient plumbing fixtures. Do laundry only when you have a full load, even if your washer has an adjustable load setting. Use a broom to clean your sidewalks instead of a hose. And what activity uses the most water? “Outside landscaping.” Cut back your irrigation by planting native desert plants.


The San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) is accepting nominations for the 2014 Visioning Award. Nominees for this award should be someone who has made a positive impact on the community for a project or event held in 2013, and may include community and business leaders, teachers, pastors, industry professionals, or service providers. Nominations will be accepted through March 15. One Visioning Award will be presented to an individual in the unincorporated areas of each of the five county districts and from each of the 24 cities in the county. These 29 award winners will then be considered for the top honor in each of SANBAG’s five supervisorial districts and will receive special recognition during the 2014 SANBAG General Assembly. For more information, visit the link in this story at


In an effort that reaches out to all the communities of the Morongo basin, four Rotary Clubs are working together to help replenish our area’s food banks. Reporter Taylor Thacker tells you how to help…….
The four Rotary Clubs of the Morongo Basin have banded together to have a huge food collection campaign—the Morongo Basin Meals Campaign—that will benefit our own local food banks and organizations. The event is being held on Valentine’s Day, February 14, and there will be drop off locations the day of the event at the three Stater Brothers stores in Twentynine Palms and Yucca Valley and Rotarians will be there to assist donators. In addition, there will be drop off boxes open now at these locations: The Chambers in Joshua Tree, Yucca Valley and Twentynine Palms, the Water District offices in the three cities, as well as Opus Bank and Triad Realtors in Twentynine Palms, Pacific Western Bank, Realty Professionals of the Morongo Basin, and Joshua Springs Calvary Chapel in Yucca Valley, and Copper Mountain College. Rotary is asking for everyone’s help in collecting thousands of pounds of food to distribute to local families in need. For more information call 760-228-3482.


The Animal Action League has added some clinics to its spaying/neutering, and microchip/vaccine schedule. Appointments are only required for spaying and neutering services. Clinics will be held from 10 to 2 on February 12, 13, 24, 25, and 26 in Joshua Tree, behind the dinosaurs on Highway 62; February 14 at Wild Mustang Feed in Morongo Valley; and February 28 at C and J Feed Barn in Landers. Not all dates include spaying or neutering clinics, so call to verify. To make an appointment, call 760-322-4560. Visit for updated schedules on clinics.


The second Monday of February is the day for most of the monthly distributions of surplus Federal food in the Morongo Basin. Reporter Dan Stork has the times and places…
The Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino will distribute surplus food to low-income residents of the Morongo Basin Monday, February 10. The locations and times are:
• The Church of the Lighted Cross, at 11518 Elbow Lane in Morongo Valley, from 8 to 10;
• Belfield Hall, on Reche Road in Landers, 8:30 to 10:30;
• The Community Center in Yucca Valley, 8:30 to 10:30;
• Copper Mountain Mesa Foundation, 65336 Winter Road in the Copper Mountain area, 9 to 11;
• Joshua Tree Community Center on Sunburst Road, 9 to 11;
• The fire station in Wonder Valley, 11 to 12; and
• Little Church of the Desert at 6079 Adobe Road in Twentynine Palms, from 10 to noon.
There will also be distributions at the Way Station, 61722 Commercial Street in Joshua Tree, on Friday February 14, from 9 to noon; the American Food Bank, 55922 Twentynine Palms Highway in Yucca Valley, on Tuesday February 25 from 11 to 1. Recipients are requested to bring their own paper or plastic bags. For more information, call 909-723-1580.


Looking for that special Valentine and you just can’t seem to find it? Drop by the Twentynine Palms Library, Saturday February 8, anytime between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to design your very own valentines. All materials will be provided. This free Valentines craft program is sponsored by the Friends of Twentynine Palms Library and is open to children of all ages. Please drop by and make something for a loved one, for yourself or both. For more information about our Valentines craft program, please call the Twentynine Palms Library at 760-367-9519.


The Chaparral Artists Guild will hold their monthly meeting Monday, February 10 at Desert Hills Presbyterian Church in Yucca Valley. The meeting starts at 1 with a potluck lunch and will be followed by a demonstration by artist Snake Jagger. The church is located at 56750 Mountain View Trail in Yucca Valley.


Tomorrow, the Little Church of the Desert will provide the meal for Food for Life. They will be serving beef with gravy, corn, green salad, bread and dessert. Food for Life serves the meals from Little Church of the Desert Community Hall in Twentynine Palms from 3 to 5 p.m. The meal is free.


Desert Hills Presbyterian Church in Yucca Valley will hold a children’s dance this Sunday, February 9, starting at12:30 p.m. The dance will feature dancing to the Wii! Brush up on dancing to the “Limbo” and “The Chicken,” as they will be included. The church is located at 56750 Mountain View Trail, in Yucca Valley.


If you would like to improve your home, including adding solar, the state is offering a special program to help pay for those improvement. Managing Editor Tami Roleff has more on the HERO program…..
The state has launched a new financing program to help homeowners pay for expensive improvements to their homes. The Home Energy Renovation Opportunity program, or HERO, finances 100 percent of the costs to purchase and install approved energy-efficient, water-efficient, and renewable energy products, such as solar panels, windows, heating and air conditioning systems, and roofing. The costs are placed on the homeowner’s property taxes and repayments are spread out over 5, 10, 15, or 20 years. If the property is sold before the HERO financing is paid in full, the remaining payments can be passed onto a new property owner. For more information, visit


Twentynine Palms Little League will host evaluation tryouts this Sunday, February 9, at Luckie Park. Divisional and age information is on the website or you can call TPLL President Ronda Lockett-Morton for more information at 760-368-7107.


The Twentynine Palms High School girls’ basketball team extended their undefeated league record Wednesday, beating Desert Mirage 65-24; Coach Tim Stanford said leading scorers were Andraliah Lee with 18, Tusia Brown with 16, Tatiyanna Mackall, 12, and Adrianne Miller, 8. The Wildcats record now stands at 19-4 overall and 7-0 in league.

The Yucca Valley High School Trojan boys lost 3-5 in soccer to Desert Hot Springs Wednesday in a game that saw the Trojans leading the game three different times. Coach Tee Vallo said standouts were Logan Vallo with two goals; Vincenzo Costagliola, one goal; and Rudy Garcia with two assists; and Andres Lopez, one assist.

In high school sports today, the Twentynine Palms and Yucca Valley boys’ and girls’ basketball teams will play each other in Yucca Valley. The girls’ start at 6; tip-off for the boys is at 7:30.