Four teenagers were injured late Tuesday night when their car rolled over near the Joshua Tree entrance to Joshua Tree National Park. According to the California Highway Patrol, about 11:30 p.m., a 16-year-old Joshua Tree girl was driving a green 2003 Toyota Solara southbound on Quail Springs Road, toward the park entrance, when she lost control north of Tortuga Road, and the car went off the east side of the road and rolled over. The driver and her three passengers—a 17-year-old girl, and two boys, aged 15 and 16, suffered minor injuries and were taken to Hi-Desert Medical Center. It’s unknown at this time if alcohol was involved.
US Geological Survey scientists, who educated a large group in Joshua Tree about aquifers last Friday afternoon, touched upon how a water treatment plant in Yucca Valley might affect groundwater in Joshua Basin. Reporter Dan Stork says it sounds like good news for Joshua Tree…
During the lively Q&A that went on throughout the two-hour presentation, the two scientists carefully refrained from commenting upon how local agencies use the data developed by the USGS, emphasizing the scientific partnerships with the districts. However, there was one projection related to the proposed Hi Desert Water District wastewater treatment facility. Currently, an estimated 84 acre-feet of the natural recharge of the Joshua Basin aquifers — about 40% of the total — comes from outflow from Yucca Valley. One questioner asked whether “bad stuff” would come into Joshua Basin from wastewater treatment in Hi Desert. Dr. Nishikawa replied that studies estimated that over time the inflow from Hi Desert might double, but that it would be “pretty clean” water.
Tensions were high last night during the Twentynine Palms Water District’s meeting about the Fire Department. The Board of Directors is considering four options to raise funds needed to continue operations of the Fire Department. Three of the options include a tax increase, while the fourth option is to do nothing. Director Bo Bourikas said the Fire Department would only be able to sufficiently operate past Fiscal Year 2018-2019 if revenues are not increased. Bourikas said he doesn’t like any of these options, but, he added, he doesn’t have an answer. Director Suzi Horn said she relies on the Fire Department for her health and safety. She said the board wants to keep the Fire Department open, but she’s starting to feel like they are the only ones who do. Despite spending more than $100,000 on ballot measures to increase the fire department’s funding, the Directors agreed that more public education is needed or there is no hope of any tax measures getting passed. The Board plans to meet April 30 to discuss the matter the issue again. On the water department side, the month of May has been declared Water Awareness Month. This is an opportunity for the Water District to educate the public about water conservation. Keep a lookout for the Water District newsletter for tips on how to conserve water and what water conservation means to our community.
The Sheriff’s department is investigating a small fire in Twentynine Palms Wednesday that burned a section of a wooden fence. Sometime between 3 and 4 p.m., Twentynine Palms fire fighters were called to a fence fire in the 5400 block of Chia Avenue, off of Buena Vista. Fire fighters were able to quickly put out the fire, which burned between 30 and 40 feet of the fence. The Sheriff’s arson unit is investigating the cause.
The Hi-Desert Medical Center is holding a free day of health information and screenings for Morongo Basin residents. Reporter Mike Lipsitz says Saturday is a great day to “spring into health”…
The Hi-Desert Medical Center invites you to “Spring into Health” at the annual Health Fair Saturday, April 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bring your family for free health screenings, food, fun, giveaways, “ask the nurse” and “ask the doctor” information booths, kids’ activities, exhibits and information on a variety of Medical Center programs and services. It’s all free and happens in the Helen Gray Education Center on the hospital campus in Joshua Tree. Registration is not required. For more information, call 760-366-6324.
The Sheriff’s Department is warning residents and businesses that it has received a number of reports about a telephone scam. Imposters claiming to be from SoCal Edison are calling businesses and telling them their electric bills are overdue. The caller then demands immediate payment through a prepaid cash or debit card to avoid having the business’s electricity disconnected. The scammers then collect the value deposited on the card. A Southern California Edison spokeswoman said SCE employees will never ask for payment over the phone or at a customer’s business or residence, nor does SoCal Edison accept PayPal payments. If the caller asks the resident or business owner to leave a location at a certain time for utility work, call the police, as it could be a burglary attempt set up by the caller. Customers suspecting a fraudulent call should ask for the caller’s name, department, and business phone number, and then they should call SCE at 800-655-4555 to report the incident. For more ways customers can stay safe, see the safety tips at www.sce.com.
And some County residents are the victim of another scam, in which a scammer calls and impersonates a loved one, and says they are in jail for driving under the influence and hit-and-run. The impersonator tells the victim that a public defender has worked out a great deal; the case will be dismissed or the charges dropped if a relative pays for the damages to the vehicle. A second person, impersonating a public defender, follows up with a call to the victim, and claims that the case will be dismissed and the family member will be released from custody, provided payment is made for restitution. The impersonator gives instructions on how and where to send the money for restitution. The County Public Defenders Office advises residents that no public defender will contact a member of the public by telephone to demand money via wire transfer or any other form of payment. Anyone receiving such a phone call should refuse the demand and contact his/her local law enforcement agency.
Two great figures from America’s past will come alive at the Twentynine Palms Inn Sunday afternoon. Reporter Taylor Thacker says to make your reservations now for “The Tramp and the Rough-Rider”…
Imagine stepping back in time to the early 1900s and meeting naturalist John Muir and President Theodore Roosevelt as they sit by a campfire in the Yosemite wilderness, talking about preserving the western forests and creating national parks for future generations. Our generations! Join actors Lee Stetson as Muir and Alan Sutterfield as Roosevelt as they portray these important characters in American history in “The Tramp and The Roughrider.” This event takes place on Sunday, April 26, at the 29 Palms Inn starting at 3:00pm. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by calling the 29 Palms Inn at 760-217-0015. Tickets are limited and reservations are required. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the newly formed Joshua Tree National Park Council for the Arts, which presents this performance in honor of the 50th anniversary of The Wilderness Act.
Sky’s the Limit will host an evening with the cosmos Saturday, April 26. The star party will start at the Twentynine Palms observatory about 7:30 p.m. and end about 1 a.m. Observers will be able to focus telescopes on the constellation Leo, Mars, and Jupiter. Visitors should bring binoculars or telescopes, chairs, snacks and water, and dress for unpredictable weather. For more information, call 760-367-7222, visit the STL web site at www.skysthelimit29.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Sky’s The Limit Observatory and Nature Center is just north of the entrance to the Joshua Tree National Park at 9697 Utah Trail in Twentynine Palms.
Auditions have been announced for Theatre 29’s production of “A Doll’s House.” Award-winning director Kurt Schauppner has set auditions for the classic drama by Henrik Ibsen for 4 p.m. Sunday, April 27 on the theater’s main stage. “A Doll’s House” tells the story of Nora Helmer, a seemingly happy housewife and mother who comes to realize her life is not as ideal as she thought. Needed are three women in their 20s to mid 30s; one woman in her 60s to 70s; two men in their late 20s to late 30s; a man in his late 50s or older; a porter of any age, and three children, ages 4 to 7. Rehearsals will begin immediately following the try-outs. “A Doll’s House” will run Friday and Saturday nights at 7:00 p.m. from June 20 to July 19, with matinees at 2:30 p.m. on June 29, and July 13. For more information about auditions of “A Doll’s House”, call Schauppner at 760-367-4577.
The Yucca Valley Rotary club is making plans for its annual 4th of July celebration, including a community fair and fireworks show. Plans for the day include a community fair with vendors, children’s activities, great food, music and other great entertainment. Local residents and businesses are asked help support the event by sending a check payable to the Yucca Valley Rotary Foundation at PO Box 200, Yucca Valley, CA 92286. Vendors interested in having a booth should contact Jill at 760-766-5656. Sponsors to date include the Town of Yucca Valley, Burrtec Waste & Recycling and the Hi Desert Medical Center. For information on being a sponsor or regarding entertainment, please call Cynthia at 760-365-1988.
A process that played out nearly four years ago in Twentynine Palms will be revisited next week. Reporter Dan Stork serves notice of a public workshop on vacation home rentals…
The City of Twentynine Palms invites all members of the community to attend a special workshop of the City Council and the Planning Commission on Tuesday, April 29, at 6:00 p.m. to discuss the subject of vacation home rentals. The workshop will be held at the Twentynine Palms Community Center, 74325 Joe Davis Drive, across from Luckie Park. The topic of discussion at the workshop will be whether or not the City should allow vacation home rentals in residential neighborhoods in the city limits. A vacation home rental is defined as a short-term rental of a residential dwelling for less than 30 days. If you have any comments or questions about vacation home rentals or about the April 29 workshop, please contact City Manager Joe Guzzetta at City Hall, 760-367-6799.
In high school sports tomorrow, the Joshua Springs Lightning baseball and softball teams will travel away to play Temecula Prep. Both games will start at 3:15.