A Twentynine Palms man was arrested Thursday night after he threatened his girlfriend and dragged her around the yard by her hair. According to a Sheriff’s report, a woman called deputies about 6:20 p.m. to report her boyfriend, Ricardo Cendejas, 45, took her dog into the desert and said he was going to leave it there to die. She also told deputies that he told her he was going to shoot up her workplace. Cendejas then came back, grabbed her face, took her car keys, and grabbed her by the hair and dragged her around the yard. When deputies arrived, Cendejas attempted to flee, but was captured after a short distance. Ricardo Cendejas was arrested for investigation of domestic battery, booked at the West Valley Detention Center, with his bail set at $25,000.


Just as learning doesn’t end when school lets out, neither does the need for good nutrition.  Managing Editor Tami Roleff says there’s free lunch and breakfast available for children during part of the summer…

Now that school’s out, the Morongo Unified School District will provide free breakfast and lunches for students up to age 18 at several area locations. Starting Monday, June 23 through July 31, Twentynine Palms High School will serve breakfast from 9:20 to 9:40, and lunch from 12:30 to 12:45; Twentynine Palms Community Services Center, breakfast from 8:35 to 8:50, and lunch from 11:30 to 11:45; Knotts Sky Park, lunch only, 11 to 11:20; Yucca Valley Boys and Girls Club, breakfast 8:30 to 8:45, and lunch from 11:40 to noon; and Yucca Valley High School, breakfast 9:20 to 9:40, and lunch 12:10 to 12:25. At Yucca Mesa Elementary School, breakfast only will be served  9:45 to 10 a.m. June 23 to July 24. Adults may purchase meals for $2.50 for breakfast and $3.50 for lunch. For more information, call the school district’s nutritional services office at 760-367-9191 extension 4263.

Another free lunch program, with the added sponsorship of the Hi-Desert Medical Center, begins Monday, June 23, and runs through Friday, August 1. Lunches will include a sandwich or pita, fresh fruit, vegetable, and milk. The free lunches will be available at the Family Health Clinics in Yucca Valley (58375 29 Palms Hwy.) and Twentynine Palms (72724 29 Palms Hwy.) between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. In addition, youth activities and entertainment will also be provided. For more information, call Donna Stice at 760-365-9305.


The Eagle Mountain landfill project is dead, but another massive project has desert residents, environmentalists, and some government agencies up in arms.  According to a story in Friday’s Desert Sun, a controversial plan to build a hydroelectric plant in the open pits of an old iron mine was granted a license on Thursday by federal regulators. The decision to permit the project at the abandoned Eagle Mountain mine prompted strong criticism from residents who say building two large reservoirs in the desert would severely deplete the water supply and harm the wildlife in adjacent Joshua Tree National Park.

The decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission was a significant step in years of efforts by Santa Monica-based Eagle Crest Energy Company to win government approvals and financial support for the project. The $1.5 billion project has drawn criticism from other federal agencies as well as environmental groups.

The proposed Eagle Mountain Pumped Storage Project would involve pumping water from a lower reservoir to a higher reservoir during times when electricity from nearby solar plants and wind farms exceeds demands, and letting the water run downhill to generate power during other times when electricity is needed.

In order to fill the reservoirs, water would be pumped from the aquifer in the Chuckwalla Valley over a period of four years.  The president of Eagle Crest, Steve Lowe, said that the total amount of water that would eventually be needed is “less than 1 percent of what is estimated to be in the aquifer right now” , an estimate that is disputed by residents and environmentalists.

A transmission line would need to run through Bureau of Land Management property, and that agency has yet to grant a permit.

“We’re reviewing the license and we have significant concerns,” Andrea Compton, the acting superintendent of Joshua Tree National Park, said Thursday in response to the commission’s decision.


Tickets are now available for “A Doll’s House,” which opened last night at Theatre 29, in Twentynine Palms. “A Doll’s House,” a classic drama by Henrik Ibsen, is directed by Theatre 29 veteran Kurt Schauppner, who previously helmed productions of “The Unbroken Chain”, “Picnic,” and “The Memory Jar,” at the community theater. Reporter Diana Jones gets out her program to tell us who is in the play….

Nora Helmer, a woman living with a secret, will be played by Copper Mountain College student and Theatre 29 newcomer Tishia Forcada, while her husband, the over-protective Torvald, will be played by Adam Redmon, seen recently in the Theatre 29 production of “A Christmas Carol.” Her best friend, Christine Linde, will be played by Twentynine Palms High School student Gabby Timbrook, seen recently in the high school musical production, “Forbidden Broadway.” Nora’s children will be played by Christopher and Nicholas Perez and Lea Maya. Her maid, Helen, will be played by Diana Jimenez while her children’s nurse will be played by Sue Kelly.

Their older friend, Dr. Rank, will be played by Herman Platzke. The role of the trouble-making Nils Krogstad will be filled by Theatre 29 veteran Rob Wanless. The cast is rounded out by Justin Perez as the porter.

“A Doll’s House” will run for five weekends through July 19. Performances will be held at 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, with the exception of Friday, July 4, with 2:30 Sunday matinees June 29 and July 6 and 13. Tickets are $12 for regular admission, $10 for seniors and military and $8 for children under 12 and students with ID.

Tickets may be ordered online at, or by calling the Theatre 29 Box Office at 760-361-4151.