A suspect is in custody after a man was stabbed to death Saturday afternoon in Morongo Valley. According to Sheriff’s Sergeant James Porter, 911 received a call at 4:16 p.m. saying a Ford pick-up truck was parked on North Star Trail, just east of Big Morongo Road, with a male lying on the ground behind it in a pool of blood. The victim, a 75-year-old Morongo Valley resident, had been stabbed multiple times and was pronounced dead at the scene at 4:45 p.m. Deputies received a tip that led them to arrest Chad Leyburn, 28, at his residence in the 52000 block of Mecca Road in Morongo Valley. Chad Leyburn was arrested for investigation of murder, booked at the Morongo Basin Jail, and is being held without bail. The name of the victim is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.


A woman was killed in a head-on motorcycle crash in Joshua Tree National Park Sunday afternoon. According to County Fire Captain John Garber, about 1:53 p.m., Joshua Tree fire fighters and paramedics were called to a crash between two motorcycle riders about a mile and a half inside the west entrance to Joshua Tree National Park. A female rider was killed in the crash; the male rider was flown to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs with major injuries. The road was closed for about 45 minutes while rescue personnel tended to the injured rider and cleared the road for the helicopter to land. The California Highway Patrol is investigating the crash. The Coroner’s office has not yet released the name of the victim.


The Sheriff’s Department is asking for the public’s help in finding a critical missing person with Alzheimer’s Disease. Oscar Nava is a 75-year-old white man, 6 feet tall, 160 pounds, with gray hair and a gray beard. He was wearing a blue baseball hat, blue jeans, brown work boots, gray shirt, and a green jacket.

He was last seen walking westbound on Highway 62 from Kickapoo Trail toward Morongo Valley Saturday afternoon. His wallet was found Sunday morning at Samel Drive in Morongo Valley. The Sheriff’s Department reports that due to Nava’s diminished mental capacity, he may not be aware of his location, or understand where he is going or where he has been. Nava has gone missing several times before and has been found in the Palm Springs, Indio, and Imperial County areas. Anyone with information on Nava’s whereabouts is asked to call the Sheriff’s Department at 760-366-4175.


A Neighbors-Helping-Neighbors program has doubled in size since last fall. About 60 Marines from 1st Tank Battalion from the Marine base in Twentynine Palms fanned out to 25 homes in the Morongo Basin on Friday, April 4, to help seniors, the disabled, and veterans with yard work and home repairs such as painting and light carpentry. Managing editor Tami Roleff was at one home in Yucca Valley where two Marines were glad to be a part of the program…


Two Marines from 1st Tanks Battalion help install a railing at the home of Angela Leggett in Yucca Valley Friday, part of the Reach Out Morongo Basin’s Neighbors Helping Neighbors program.


Tyler McVoy, Angela Leggett and Bill Ruiz

Angela Leggett of Yucca Valley had wanted to repair the hand railings for the steps into her mobile home on Kickapoo Trail for two years, but it wasn’t until Reach Out Morongo Basin matched her up with some Marines willing to help that she was able to finally make the repairs. “It is a tremendous, tremendous help, because I can afford the lumber but not the installation part. That is very expensive and being on low social security, most senior citizens know that it’s hard to save up any kind of money.” Leggett bought the lumber for the new hand rails, and two 20-year-old Marines from 1st Tanks Battalion, Bill Ruiz and Tyler McVoy, spent Friday morning tearing out the old railings and building new ones. Ruiz said he was glad to help. “I joined the Marine Corps to help people and this is me helping people.” McVoy wanted to show his support for the local community. “It feels good to give back to the community since they support the Marine Corps.” “This is a blessing that came by, it really is. I’ve been thinking about the safety now for two years but just haven’t had the means to get it done and I’m very, very grateful for the Marines and Reach Out Morongo for making this happen for us senior citizens.”


A Twentynine Palms man was arrested Saturday after he broke into his parents’ home and threatened his father with a knife. According to a Sheriff’s report, William Peach, 60, forced his way into his father’s home in the 74700 block of Serrano Drive in Twentynine Palms about 7 p.m. Saturday. The report states that Peach grabbed a knife and threatened his family. After an investigation, Peach was arrested on suspicion of making terrorist threats, booked at the Morongo Basin Jail, with his bail set at $50,000.


A Twentynine Palms man was arrested Friday, accused of beating up his wife. According to a Sheriff’s report, neighbors called police shortly after 11:30 a.m. to report that they heard a woman screaming. After an investigation, Amr Ibrahim, 51, of the 72200 block of Sunnyslope Drive, was arrested for felony spouse abuse. He was booked into the Morongo Basin Jail with his bail set at $50,000.


The Friday lecture this Friday at the old Schoolhouse Museum is “Tales from an Oasis” Reporter Taylor Thacker has details…
The Twentynine Palms Historical Society’s Winter Lecture series continues with a lecture on the history of the Soda Springs oasis on Friday, April 11, at 7:00 p.m. The oasis of Soda Springs provides a rich history, illustrating the changing faces, cultures, and uses of the Mojave Desert and is today supporting the work of educators and researchers working in the eastern Mojave Desert. Rob Fulton, a graduate from UC, Irvine and Cal State Fullerton, will be presenting the information on the oasis. There will also be an optional dinner with the speaker at 5:00 p.m. at the 29 Palms Inn. Space is limited to sign up now! For more information, or to sign up for the dinner, call 760-361-1202.


The Twentynine Palms Art Gallery announced the winners of its 2014 Spring Members’ Show at its opening reception Sunday afternoon. Judge Bobby Furst awarded first place in the Painting category to Arthur Quintana for his oil painting “Desert Rocks.” The first place winner in the Works on Paper category, which included collage, prints, drawings, and etchings, was Susan Madsen for her monotype “Gambel Quail.” Taking first place in photography was Bill Dahl for his photo “Elephant Knees.” First place in the Other/Mixed Media category, which includes ceramics, sculptures, collages, and digital art was Steve Flock for his sculpture “Desert Sunrise.” The 2014 Spring show received 70 entries, 20 more than last year. For a complete list of winners, see this story at

Painting (acrylic, oil, watercolor)
First: Arthur Quintana, “Desert Rocks”
Second: Harley Baczkowski, “Talking Rock”
Third: Deborah Andersen, “Vintage Memories”
Honorable Mention: Sandra Lytch, “Finger Rocks”
Darlene Morris, “Bluebeard Hill”
Andy Weddington, “Morning at the Boat Yard”

Works on Paper (collage, print, pencil drawings, etching)
First: Susan Madsen, “Gambel Quail”
Second: Noreen Lawlor, “TWA Corbies”
Third: Sandra Lytch, “Michelle in Sedona”
Honorable Mention: Joyce Eckersall, “Aloe, Spring”

First: Bill Dahl, “Elephant Knees”
Second: Michelle Mark, “Blue Chair”
Third: Mike Fagan, Morning Shadows”
Honorable Mention: Tammy Tremblay, “After the Storm”
Kim Clements, “Jack Rabbit”
Doug Dolde, “West Fork of Oak Creek Canyon”

Other/Mixed Media (sculpture, ceramics, collage, digital)
First: Steve Flock, “Desert Sunrise” sculpture
Second: Paul Morehead, “Enchanted Oak,” digitally enhanced photograph
Third: Darlene Morris, “Cityscape Skyline,” acrylic
Honorable Mention: John Greenfield, #916
Aaron Scott, “Edgar,” sculpture


A special one-man show that wowed critics in New York and Los Angeles is coming to Theatre 29 for two performances only this Saturday and Sunday. Managing Editor Tami Roleff says get tickets now for “Fabulous Divas of Hollywood”…
The creative team behind the hit off-Broadway musical, “Fabulous Divas of Broadway,” is at again, bringing the “Fabulous Divas of Hollywood” to Theatre 29 for two performances. Writer and creator Alan Palmer stars in this audacious tribute to Hollywood films and the divas who starred in them. With fast-paced costume changes, Palmer’s impressions of Cher, Meryl Streep, Audrey Hepburn, Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Judy Garland, Liza Minnelli, and more, is a must for all lovers of film. “Fabulous Divas of Hollywood” takes the stage at Theatre 29 7 p.m. Saturday, April 12, and Sunday, April 13, at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 and are cash or check only. For reservations, call 760-361-4151.


Copper Mountain College Foundation will hold its 30th Annual Golf Tournament May 3. The scramble tournament will begin at 7 a.m. at the Desert Winds Golf Course aboard the Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms. Proceeds from the tournament will fund the Martie Avels Nursing Scholarship plus other scholarships and programs for local college students. Sponsors are still needed for the tournament, as well as raffle prize donations. For more information, call 760-366-3791, extension 4200.


Theatre 29 is getting ready for their next regular season offering, the delightful “Nunset Boulevard” directed by the Multi-award winning Kathryn Ferguson. Reporter Mike Lipsitz says the cast has been announced…
The cast of Theatre 29s Spring musical production of “Nunset Boulevard” is set; Kathryn Ferguson directs. The show follows the latest exploits of The Little Sisters of Hoboken when they’re invited to perform at the Hollywood Bowl-A-Rama—a bowling alley with a cabaret lounge, only they don’t realize it at first. Marty Neider is the Reverend Mother; strict (but fun) Sister Mary Hubert is Gloria Garner. Wise cracking “nun with a past” Sister Robert Anne is Char Childs. Pamela Crane makes her Theatre 29 debut as the unforgettable Sister Mary “Amnesia” Paul. Mandi Pushkar rounds out the principal cast as loveable Sister Mary Leo. And The supporting troika of “Doo Wop” sisters are Katie VanSumeren, Amanda Winters and Jasmine Shaffer. Nunset Boulevard runs weekends from April 25th to May 24th. Get your tickets at


Twentynine Palms High School Wildcats track and field team traveled to San Gorgonio High School to compete in the Sparta Relays on Saturday. Coach Rhonda Morton said the team earned over 25 medals throughout the day. Top medal winners were Makya Bullion, Adriann Miller, and D’Avion Oliver who each earned three medals and earned 24 points at the meet. The trio, with Chiyanna Maxwell, earned a gold medal in the sprint medley with a time of 1:58.01. Adriann Miller was named Lady Wildcat of the week. Ronnie Rondeau led the boys with three medals in three events and was named Wildcat of the Week. The Wildcats will host their final home meet of the season on Wednesday, April 9 against the Big Bear Bears at the TPHS track and field at 3 p.m.

Coming up in high school sports tomorrow, the Yucca Valley High School Trojan baseball and softball teams will travel away to Thermal to play the Desert Mirage Rams. Both games start at 3:15.

The Trojan golf team will host the Shadow Hills Knights at home. Tee off is at 3 p.m.

Also tomorrow, the Twentynine Palms High School Wildcat golf team will host the Desert Hot Springs Golden Eagles at home. Tee time is 2:45 p.m.

The Wildcat baseball and softball teams will host the Big Bear Bears at home tomorrow; both games start at 3:30.

And finally tomorrow, the Joshua Springs Lightning baseball and softball teams will host at home the Cardinals from Mesa Grande Academy in Calimesa. Softball begins at noon; baseball at 3:15.