A Morongo Unified school custodian pleaded guilty today to Federal charges that he sexually abused a child over a period of several years and then posted the molestations online, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s office.


Matthew Frazer, 39, of Yucca Valley, as part of a plea bargain, pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. Frazer had faced a mandatory minimum sentence of five years for the distribution charge and 30 years for guilty pleas on both counts. The plea agreement calls for the judge to impose a sentence of at least 10 years and up to 23 years, followed by 10 years of probation.

Prior to his arrest on January 31, Frazer was employed as a custodian at Twentynine Palms Junior High School. The victim did not attend the schools where Frazer worked. He is scheduled to be sentenced on October 6.

The FBI investigation started last year after the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children provided to the FBI a series of pornographic images depicting a young female being abused by a man. After several months, investigators identified Frazier as the suspect.

Frazer plead guilty to two felony charges in which he admits filming sexual explicit images of the young female victim from 2008 through 2012. He admitted to making a video in October 2009, when the victim was 6 years old, and again the following year when she was 7, according to court documents.


A new National Park Service report shows that 1,383,341 visitors to Joshua Tree National Park in 2013 spent $62,929,90 in communities near the park. That spending supported 770 jobs in the local area. “Joshua Tree National Park welcomes visitors from across the country and around the world,” said interim superintendent Todd Suess. “National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy – returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service – and it’s a big factor in our local economy as well,” he said. The visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists for the National Park Service. The report shows $14.6 billion of direct spending by 273.6 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported more than 237,000 jobs nationally, with more than 197,000 jobs found in these gateway communities, and had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $26.5 billion. According to the analysis, most visitor spending was for lodging (30.3 percent) followed by food and beverages (27.3 percent), gas and oil (12.1 percent), admissions and fees (10.3 percent) and souvenirs and other expenses (10 percent). The largest jobs categories supported by visitor spending were restaurants and bars (50,000 jobs) and lodging (38,000 jobs). To download the report, go to a link in this story at


The Morongo Basin Transit Authority has leveraged fee income it gets from other agencies to fund a program of Transportation Assistance Grants — the TAG program. Dan Stork describes how to get in on the program…

Local government agencies or nonprofit 501(c)3’s who can define an unmet transportation need that accesses, promotes, or augments MBTA transit services can apply for a grant.

Some project examples are (but not limited to):

• Trip reimbursement programs
• Providing matching local funds for federal transportation grants
• Capital assistance in acquiring equipment to be used solely for transportation needs of Basin elderly and disabled
• Operating assistance for services to be used solely for transportation needs of Basin elderly and disabled
• Match funding assistance for purchasing MBTA passes for eligible groups
Ineligible Projects include but are not be limited to
• those undertaken by private firms or individuals,
• or where funding would be for programs whose primary purpose is not transportation oriented,
• or programs deemed non-complementary or detrimental to MBTA services.

Application information is listed in this story at Submission deadline for the coming year’s grants is Friday August 22 at 5 pm. For more information call (760) 366-2986 or email .

Please submit one signed (in blue ink) paper copy of each completed and signed project proposal to: Morongo Basin Transit Authority, TAG Program, 62405 Verbena Road, Joshua Tree, CA 92252. For assistance or information regarding the completion of this proposal, call (760) 366-2986 or email . Applications will be available for download after … at the MBTA website or by calling 760.366.2986.


A Twentynine Palms man has been arrested for beating up on a child. At 11:49 am on Thursday, Sheriff’s deputies received a report from a woman in a residence in the 6000 block of Bermuda Avenue that, according to her 11-year old son, her husband, Scott Barron, 29, had choked the child and had hit the boy’s head on the wall. The woman reported that Barron had a history of violence toward her, but not toward the children. At the time of the report, the woman was in a bedroom with her five children, and the husband was elsewhere in the house. Deputies arrived at 12:10 pm. Barron, was detained at 12:30. Scott Baron was arrested later in the afternoon, and was booked into West Valley Detention Center for investigation of felony cruelty to a child, with bail set at $100,000.


The car of a couple arrested in Yucca Valley Sunday night showed a trail of “receipt shopping” retail crimes.
About 8 pm, Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call from the Yucca Valley Walmart that a female had returned merchandise that had just been stolen. Detained were Raubin Brown, 43, and Dean Bower, 40, of Desert Hot Springs. Walmart security footage showed Bower stealing items three times, including a curling iron that he concealed in his pants. Bower gave the property to Brown, who went into the store and made a return of the stolen items. Brown was found to be on felony probation out of Riverside county and Bower was found to be on felony probation out of San Joaquin County. A search of the couple’s vehicle revealed about $200 of merchandise stolen from Walmart. Also found were several dozen more receipts (most of which had obviously been in the trash), return receipts, and gift cards to various retail establishments. After being advised of their Miranda rights, the couple admitted working together to steal merchandise for which they had scavenged receipts from the store and then returned the stolen merchandise for money, a practice known as receipt shopping. Bower and Brown were booked into Morongo Basin Jail on $25,000 each, charged with conspiracy to commit a crime and burglary.


An upcoming UFO conference at the Joshua Tree Retreat Center will feature top UFO authors and researchers. Managing Editor Tami Roleff says tickets are now available…
A best-selling author on UFOs and aliens will give a special presentation at a UFO conference in Joshua Tree. Erich Van Daniken, author of “Chariots of the Gods?” will give a lecture on extraterrestrials or “ancient astronauts” who he says visited Earth and influenced early human culture by building the ancient pyramids, and Stonehenge. Van Daniken is just one speaker of many who will explore ancient astronauts, extraterrestrial life, human origins, crop circles, UFO sightings, contact experiences, and the need to know. The 2nd Annual Contact in the Desert conference will be held August 8-11 at the Joshua Tree Retreat Center. For a complete list of speakers, or to buy tickets, visit


You’ve got errands to run, you decide to take your dog with you, and you know better than to leave your pet in a hot car for any length of time. You can leave your friend at Doggy Day Care, a service run by the Canine Relief Foundation. The Canine Relief Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization, 100% staffed by volunteers, that also provides food and shelter for lost and abandoned canines. Doggy Day Care is climate-controlled, with an attendant on duty, and is located at 56885 29 Palms Highway in Yucca Valley, in the Big Lots plaza. All proceeds from fees benefit the homeless canines in the Foundation’s foster care program. The hours of the Canine Relief Foundation are 10 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday, and its phone number if 760-365-8844.


Now you don’t have to risk your life and the neighborhoods power when your cat gets on the power pole. Assignment Reporter Cara Conway says, just call Edison……..
Saving your family cat just got easier! When you find them stuck on an electric pole, calling Southern California Edison, 800- 655- 4555, will lead you in the right direction toward getting them back down. Calling the electricity company for help provides the needed specialists and resources to reach your kitten while you wait safely below.


Kids are gonna be lovin’ it at the next Joshua Tree Library summer reading program. Dan Stork tells why…

The Joshua Tree Library will host a free family summer reading program performance starring Ronald McDonald Tuesday July 22 at 1:00 p.m. This special performance of the Ronald McDonald library show “Book Time” is a creative mix of music, magic and games which reinforce the idea that reading is fun.
The summer reading program is free and offered at all San Bernardino County Libraries. Children and teens can keep up their reading skills during the summer while earning incentive prizes. Adults can sign up to win prizes too. For every 25 books checked out of the library all customers will receive a ticket to a drawing for a WiiU Gaming system, a Nook HD+ tablet and more!
Preschool aged children are invited to attend Summer Reading Program story time on Wednesday mornings at 11:00 a.m. through the summer.

For more information about the Summer Reading Program at the Joshua Tree Library please call 366-8615.


Bobby Lee Kirchner, a 49-year resident of Twentynine Palms, died unexpectedly while working on the Marine Base Golf Course Tuesday July 15. He was 54 years old at the time of death. He had been employed at the Desert Winds Golf Course on board the Marine Base for 35 years. He also played bass for the local band Hazmat. A celebration of life for Bobby Kirchner will be held at the southwest end of Luckie Park in Twentynine Palms this Saturday July 26 at 6 pm.