More than two weeks after a Joshua Tree crash that killed the wife of a Twentynine Palms Marine, her husband and baby are slowly starting to recover from their life-threatening injuries. Lance Corporal Christopher Matthews, 28, is now in a wheelchair, and his 1-year-old daughter, Dakota, has regained consciousness at Loma Linda Hospital. Matthews has started physical therapy and is expected to make a full recovery. His daughter is being weaned off a ventilator. Doctors initially believed Dakota may have been paralyzed, and also feared that she may lose an eye, but she recently showed movement in her legs—but not her arms—and her eyesight seems good. Matthews’ wife, Angela, 25, died two days after the April 13 crash in which Jennifer Zapata, 22, of Magna, Utah, crossed the center line of Highway 62 near Arizona Avenue and collided head on with the Matthews’ car. Both Zapata and her passenger, Evelyn Martinez, 20, also of Utah, were hospitalized. Jennifer Zapata has pleaded not guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and numerous charges of felony DUI. If convicted of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, Zapata faces four to 10 years in prison. The Matthews family has set up a fundraising site to help relatives from Georgia travel to California to be with the injured family, which can be found with this story at Z1077fm.com
It was determined there was no threat after suspicious person was seen at the Twentynine Palms Marine Base yesterday. According to base sources, an investigation was launched and increased security was in place after the Provost Marshall’s Office received a call reporting a suspicious person was aboard the base. Investigation determined that there was no threat to the personnel aboard the Combat Center. Security was heightened and Marines were told to shelter in place about 10:45 a.m. Thursday. The information was released about 1 p.m. after Z107.7 listeners called and said there was a lockdown at the base. There was no lockdown, according to Capt. Justin Smith, public affairs officer for the Combat Center. The security level of the base remained unchanged, Smith said.
The California Department of Education has selected Yucca Mesa Elementary School as a Distinguished School for 2014. Reporter Dan Stork tells how that distinction was achieved…
Yucca Mesa Elementary School is one of 424 elementary schools in California, but one of only 11 in San Bernardino County, to be selected as a Distinguished School for 2014. Selection is related to a school’s record in the Academic Performance Index, or API. Specifically, eligible schools must meet all of these criteria:
· Schools must have 30 or more valid test scores.
· Schools must be at or above the 60th percentile on the schoolwide 2013 Growth API target: API ≥ 833.
· Schoolwide 2013 Growth API must meet or exceed the school’s growth target.
· All numerically significant subgroups must make their growth targets.
The Distinguished School recognition lasts for four years, at which time a school is eligible to apply again for the honor.
At last night’s special meeting of the Hi-Desert Water District’s Board of Directors, the directors agreed to split up the construction of the sewer project into four construction packages. By doing so, the directors believe more contractors, and possibly local sub-contractors, will be able to bid on the $25-million- to $30-million- projects. The trunk line of the sewer project will be built first, followed by east, west, and central collection systems that will tie into the main trunk line. In other business, the directors also passed a resolution prohibiting the conversion of septic tanks to sewage holding tanks and the use of holding tanks for sewage storage. Finally, the board was informed that the Water District has qualified to contend for 1 percent financing from the State Revolving Fund loan.
Yucca Valley’s traditional Grubstake Days is coming up Saturday, May 24, at the Hi-Desert Boys and Girls Club and Brehm Youth Park grounds on Little League Drive in Yucca Valley. Vendors and non-profit groups who would like to have an outside booth offering games, food, fun, and information at the Community Fair event are being sought. Booths with games for children are particularly encouraged. Fees for booth space include required insurance coverage. To sign up for a booth for commercial vendors or non-profit organizations call 760-365-7219.
Reach-Out Morongo Basin has scheduled a very unique experience to help with their valuable Neighbors Helping Neighbors program. Managing Editor Tami Roleff tells you how to attend, “An Evening at the Ruin”…
A dinner fundraiser to benefit Reach Out Morongo Basin, “An Evening at The Ruin,” will be held Saturday May 10, from 4 to 8 pm. The Ruin, owned by Paul Goff and Tony Angliotti in beautiful Pipes Canyon near Pioneertown, is a magical place that features a majestic stone fireplace, a “bottle bar” built from empty wine bottles stacked with concrete inside recycled window frames from an old gas station, and 75-year-old olive trees. Dinner features a barbecue dinner by Hero’s Catering, a no-host bar with beer and margaritas, and live music by Machin’ and The Luminators. Tickets are $35 each, or $60 per couple, and are available at ArtFx & Furnishing in Yucca Valley, the Yucca Valley and Twentynine Palms Chambers of Commerce, The Desert Trail in Twentynine Palms, Reach Out Morongo Basin offices in Yucca Valley and Twentynine Palms, or by calling 760-361-1410.
The Yucca Mesa Improvement Association will hold a Cinco de Mayo Fiesta on Saturday, May 3. The event will be a celebration of Mexican food and drinks, live music by Roger Arnold and Bobby Furgo, and a piñata. The fiesta runs from 4 to 7, with the piñata at 5:30. Admission is $10 for adults, which includes one drink; children under 12 are $5. For more information, call Rick at 760-574-6598.
The performance dates of May 4 and 5, listed for the Hi-Desert Chorus’s spring concert in the Yucca Valley Activity and Events Guide, are incorrect. The chorus will perform its “Keep the Music Alive” concert at the Yucca Valley Community Center in the Yucca Room Saturday, May 17 and Sunday, May 18. Doors open at 2:00 p.m. and the concert begins at 2:30 p.m. The annual concert is free to the public, although donations are welcomed.
Cactus Sewables Quilt Guild will meet on Monday, May 5, in the Yucca Room of the Yucca Valley Community Center, 57098 29 Palms Hwy. Doors open at 12:30 p.m.; the meeting begins at 1 p.m. Guests are welcome. The speaker this month will be quilt designer DeBorah Yeboah, who will discuss her portraits on fabric. She will be holding a workshop, teaching her methods on Martin Luther King, Elvis, and Billie Holliday the following day. Samples will be available for viewing at our meeting.
The Feathers n’ Fur wildlife rehab groups is asking for support through the County’ Give Big Campaign. ROP Broadcast Student Victoria Robinson says it all started with a lost parakeet…
At Feathers N’ Fur wildlife rehab, Conni Chaffin has told me what she had to do to run wildlife rehab in Twentynine Palms. After a brief conversation over texting, she said in 1985 her parakeet escaped and she was devastated. She put up flyers and called everyplace she could find for help. One of the calls was to bird rescue. They said she sounded like she really cared and they asked if she wanted to learn to care for wild birds. So, it was all thanks to her bird J.J. that she got into it. How she started was, she was trained and licensed through Santa Barbara wildlife care network. She cares for wild birds, rodents, and reptiles. And they started with horses about 5 ½ years ago. If you would like to help out by donating or volunteer work, call 760-813-2544.
The Joshua Tree Veterans of Foreign Wars Post will be serving up a fish and shrimp dinner, tonight from 4:00 to 6:00. Sunday breakfast is chicken-fried steak from 8 to 11. And don’t forget Taco Wednesday from 11 to 1.
Tomorrow is the First Saturday Breakfast hosted by the Copper Mountain Mesa Community Association at 65336 Winters Road in north Joshua Tree. All of your breakfast favorites are served from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. for $5.
The United Methodist Church of Twentynine Palms will hold a “Spudtacular” baked potato dinner, Sunday, May 4, starting at 5 p.m.
Load up your potato with mild chili, real bacon bits with all the extras, all for only $5. Fix a salad with a variety of dressings and choose from an assortment of drinks. For more information, call 760-367-7388.
On Saturday, May 3, the Catholic Community will be serving the meal for Food For Life. They are celebrating Cinco de Mayo. The meal is served from 3 to 5 p.m. at Little Church of the Desert Community Hall in Twentynine Palms.
Yucca Valley Elementary School will hold a fun fund-raiser tomorrow. Reporter Taylor Thacker has your invitation…
The Yucca Valley Elementary School Family Faculty Association will be hosting its Annual Dessert and Auction on Saturday, May 3. Dessert will begin at 5pm, with an ongoing raffle and the live auction beginning at 5:30 p.m. The event will be held in the Yucca Valley Elementary School cafeteria and admission is free. Items offered this year will be admissions to Disneyland, admissions to Sea World, sports gift basket, and many more. Raffle items will include donations from many local businesses. All profits will benefit the students of Yucca Valley Elementary School. For more information call 760-365-3381.
The California Retired Teachers’ Association will meet at 10 a.m. Friday, May 9, at the Helen Gray Center on White Feather Road in Joshua Tree. Peggy Kennedy, social worker and volunteer coordinator for Hi-Desert Home Health and Hospice, will be this month’s speaker. Please call Sherry Craft at 760-881-5275 by Monday, May 5, if you wish to reserve lunch.
The Yucca Valley Lobos youth tackle football and cheer teams will accept registrations Saturday, May 3, in the Joshua Tree room of the Yucca Valley Community Center. Registration will be held from 10 to 2. Discounts are available for those who pay in full at the time of registration, and for multi-Lobos registrations. All forms of payment will be accepted, including debit and credit cards. To register online, go to a link in this story at z1077fm.com.
The Twentynine Palms Wildcat golf team ended the league season with an upset win over previously undefeated Shadow Hills High School 214-222. Coach Grant Whipple said leading the way for the cats where Brandon Steffins with a 1 under 35, Ty Lueken, 43; Justin Delarosa, 43; Michael Goodale, 46; and Cody Hathaway, 47. The ’Cats start the first day of individual finals Monday, May 5, at Desert Winds Golf Course. The ’Cats finished the season at 7-3 in the DeAnza League.
In high school sports tomorrow, the Yucca Valley High School track team will travel to Corona. The meet starts at 8 a.m.