JOSHUA TREE MAN ACCUSED OF THREATENING A WOMAN WITH A GUN

A Joshua Tree man was arrested Friday, after a woman said he threatened her with a gun. According to a Sheriff’s report, Branden Nesbit, 26, was arguing with a woman in the 5000 block of 1st Street West in Joshua Tree about noon. The woman told deputies that Nesbit grabbed her by the shirt and pushed her to the ground. When she went to the front door and started yelling, Nesbit allegedly retrieved a loaded 9-mm gun and pointed it at her, at which time she ran out of the home. Nesbit had left by the time deputies arrived, but he was located near 2nd Street and Sunfair Road a short time later. Branden Nesbit was arrested for investigation of assault with a deadly weapon, booked at the Morongo Basin Jail, with his bail set at $25,000.

TWENTYNINE PALMS MAN ACCUSED OF FELONY DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

A Twentynine Palms man was arrested Saturday, accused of felony spouse abuse. According to a Sheriff’s report, a woman called deputies about 4 p.m. because her boyfriend, Derek Burns, 23, was not allowing her and her child to leave a home in the 71500 block of Juanita Drive in Twentynine Palms. The woman also told deputies that Burns hit her in the right arm, leaving a bruise; while Burns said that the woman slapped him in the face because he wouldn’t let her leave. After an investigation, Derek Burns was arrested for felony spouse abuse, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, with his bail set at $50,000.

TAX RELIEF AVAILABLE FOR RECENT STORMS AND FLOODING

If your property was damaged by the recent storms and flooding, you may be eligible for property tax relief. Managing editor Tami Roleff explains how you can apply…

If your property suffered storm damage from flooding due to the recent storms, you may be eligible for property tax relief. In many cases, the damaged property can be reappraised in its current condition, with some taxes refunded to the property owner. Once rebuilt, the property will be reassessed to its pre-damaged value. To qualify, you must file a claim with your county assessor’s office within the time specified in your county ordinance, or 12 months from the date of damage or destruction, whichever is later. The loss estimate must be at least $10,000 of current market value to qualify.

Owners of eligible property may also apply for deferral of the next property tax installment on the regular secured roll or tax payments on the supplemental roll, without penalties or interest. The disaster must be the result of a Governor-proclaimed state of emergency. When a timely claim for deferral is filed, the next property tax installment payment is deferred without penalty or interest until the county assessor has reassessed the property and a corrected tax bill has been sent to the property owner. In addition, if you pay other Board of Equalization taxes and fees, you may be able to request an extension to pay, and relief from penalties or fees.

Those who pay the BOE-administered taxes and fees listed below can go http://boe.ca.gov/onlineservices/#Request_Relief to request relief from penalties and/or interest, and an extension of time to file their tax or fee returns. They may also call the BOE Customer Service Center toll-free at 800-400-7115 (TTY: 711), Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for assistance requesting relief.

Sales and Use Taxes
Oil Spill Prevention and Administration Fee; Oil Spill Response Fee
Fire Prevention Fee
Lumber Products Assessment
Alcoholic Beverage Taxes
Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Fee
Cigarettes and Tobacco Products Taxes and Licensing
Integrated Waste Management Fee
Energy Resources Surcharge
Occupational Lead Poisoning Prevention Fee
Emergency Telephone Users Surcharge
Electronic Waste Recycling (eWaste) Fee
Natural Gas Surcharge
Marine Invasive Species Fee (Ballast Water Management Fee)
Water Rights Fee
California Tire Fee
Fuel Taxes (Diesel Fuel Tax, Interstate User Tax, Use Fuel Tax, Motor Vehicle Fuel Tax, Aircraft Jet Fuel)
Hazardous Substances Fees (Environmental Fee, Activity Fee, Generator Fee, Disposal Fee, Facility Fee)
Underground Storage Tank Maintenance Fee
Timber Yield Tax*
Prepaid Mobile Telephony Services (MTS) Surcharge*

*These programs are not available for Online Relief Requests at this time.

WONDER VALLEY MAN ACCUSED OF RANSACKING A HOME

A Wonder Valley man was arrested Sunday, accused of burglarizing a home. Sheriff’s deputies who were called to a home in the 4500 block of Blower Road in Wonder Valley about 9:30 a.m. discovered the home had been ransacked. Several items, including cans of food and a chainsaw, were stolen from the home. Evidence at the scene led deputies to the 81200 block of Harley Lane where they found Chad Heffley, 41, and the stolen items. After an investigation, Chad Heffley was arrested on suspicion of burglary, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, with his bail set at $25,000.

TWENTYNINE PALMS MAN FOUND WITH WEAPONS AND DRUGS

A Twentynine Palms man was arrested Saturday, accused of carrying a concealed weapon and drugs. According to a Sheriff’s report, a deputy stopped a vehicle near Sunnyvale Drive and Adobe Road in Twentynine Palms about 10:30 p.m. Inside the vehicle was Phillip Delacruz, 38. The deputy discovered a large fixed-blade kitchen knife concealed on his person, along with methamphetamine. Phillip Delacruz was arrested on suspicion of possession of a dangerous weapon, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, with his bail set at $25,000.

YUCCA VALLEY SQUATTER FOUND WITH WEAPONS AND DRUGS

A Palm Springs transient was arrested on weapons charges Friday after a Yucca Valley resident said he was trespassing. According to a Sheriff’s report, deputies were called about 2 p.m. to the 6300 block of Hermosa Avenue because a man was inside the home and was not allowing the residents inside. When deputies arrived, they detained Garrett Kainoa, 39, who was walking down the street. Kainoa admitted to having an expandable baton, drugs, and drug paraphernalia on his person. Garrett Kainoa was arrested for investigation of possession of a dangerous weapon, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, with his bail set at $25,000.

WE MEET MISS YUCCA VALLEY CONTESTANT DEBORAH SIMPSON

Eight poised and ready young women have been working hard for months preparing for this Saturday’s Miss Yucca Valley scholarship pageant. The Rotary Club sponsored event will be held at 6:00 pm at the Joshua Springs Thunderdome in Yucca Valley and tickets are available at the door. Today, reporter Kirby Davis introduces us to candidate Deborah Simpson…

Today we are talking with Deborah Simpson. Deborah, tell us about yourself.

“My name is Deborah, I go to Yucca Valley High School. I play tennis and I’m on the swim team.”

Deborah Simpson

Who is the prominent woman you interviewed, and what did you learn from her?

“My prominent woman was Allesa Falossi. Mrs. Falossi really showed me the meaning to love and compassion for the people around you.”
What have you learned from your experience with Miss Yucca Valley?

“I’ve learned that even though you may not see yourself doing something like public speaking, interviews or even a pageant, you should step out of your comfort zone and push yourself to do it. You’ll never know if you kept yourself from accomplishing something great. If you’re a sophomore girl, you should definitely go out for Miss Yucca next year. Even if you don’t see yourself as the type to go out for a pageant, still do it, don’t limit yourself.”

FREE LEGAL HELP FOR MILITARY AND DOD VICTIMS OF SEXUAL OR DOMESTIC ASSAULT

Military service members and their families who are victims of domestic violence or sexual assault have access to free legal advice and representation. The Victims’ Legal Counsel provides confidential advice, counseling, and referrals for crime victims, and can help victims obtain a military or civilian protective order. VLC services are available to active duty service members, reservists serving on active duty, retirees, and their military dependents. In addition, all Department of Defense employees who are the victims of sexual assault qualify for VLC assistance. The VLC does not report to commanding officers or law enforcement unless specifically requested. The Victims’ Legal Counsel is in room 87 in the Village Center on board the Combat Center, or call 760-830-5162.

TIME TO GET YOUR TEAMS TOGETHER FOR RELAY FOR LIFE

The new 12-hour format Relay for Life is set for April 1. Reporter Edica Gonzales said it is time to get your Relay team ready…

Relay for Life Morongo Basin is recruiting teams to take part in its annual event, set this year for Saturday, April 1, at the Yucca Valley High School football field. This year’s relay fund-raiser for the American Cancer Society will be a 12-hour event, instead of 24 hours as in past years. Volunteers are also needed to serve on the planning committee. Relay for Life Morongo Basin will start with a survivor’s breakfast at 9:00 a.m. The relay kicks off at 10 a.m. and goes until 10 p.m. If you’d like to organize a team, email Janice.Freeman at cancer.org, or check them out on Facebook.

TODDLER BOOT CAMP AT THE JOSHUA TREE LIBRARY TOMORROW

Come to the Joshua Tree Library tomorrow and every Wednesday at 11 a.m. for toddler boot camp. Toddlers will sing songs, dance, and exercise, as well as read a book and socialize.

The library is also offering incentives to readers, starting February 1. For every 30 items checked out, whether they are books, DVDs, books on tape, or magazines, library patrons will receive a super hero tote bag. For more information, call the library at 760-366-8615.

SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE FOR PARADE OF HOMES

The 13th annual Reach Out Morongo Basin “Parade of Homes” fund-raiser is set for this February. Reporter Mike Lipsitz says now is the time for local business to take advantage of prime sponsorship opportunities…

Reach Out Morongo Basin’s “Parade of Homes” is the organization’s primary annual fundraiser. It brings in thousands of dollars to support services for area seniors and disabled residents. Prime tour and media sponsorship opportunities for the popular six-home tour remain available. Sponsors will be featured at varying levels in event advertising and publicity, on promotional items, and receive free tickets. Sponsorship levels include platinum, gold, and silver at $1,000; $500; and $250 respectively. The tour’s coveted primary platinum sponsorship position includes many extras like prominent website and newsletter exposure; tailored, community-wide signage, ads, fliers and posters; and an opportunity to nominate one of the homes on the six-home tour. To secure your sponsorship position, call Reach Out Director Robin Schlosser at 760-361-1410.

HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS

Saturday, January 28, for the first time in many years, the entire Yucca Valley varsity wrestling team qualified for the CIF Championships with all nine wrestlers placing in the top three of De Anza League competition. Coach Larry Giron said seven wrestlers made it to the finals and four placed first. The new De Anza League champions for Yucca Valley are Damian Vasquez, Trevor Scott, Julian Henretty and Christian Barnes.

Next up for the Trojan wrestling squad is the girls’ CIF qualifier at Hillcrest High School Saturday.

Coming up in high school sports today, cross-basin rivals Yucca Valley and Twentynine Palms High Schools will play each other in soccer and basketball. All games will be played in Yucca Valley. The girls’ soccer match is a double-header, with the first game at 3; boys’ at 5. Tip-off for girls’ basketball is at 6; boys’ at 7:30.

The Joshua Springs boys’ and girls’ basketball teams will travel away to Palm Springs to play Desert Chapel High School. The girls start at 5; tip off for the boys is at 6:30.

Yucca Valley Varsity Wrestling Team

JOSHUA TREE WOMAN KILLED IN VEHICLE-VERSUS-PEDESTRIAN CRASH SUNDAY NIGHT

A Joshua Tree woman was killed when she was hit by a pick-up truck last night. According to a preliminary report from the California Highway Patrol, 57-year-old Michele Fleming was crossing the highway northbound at Grand View Circle when she was struck by a silver Toyota Tacoma in the number 2 lane of westbound Highway 62 just before 7:30 p.m. The Toyota was driven by a 30-year-old Redlands man who was driving about 45 miles per hour. The woman was pronounced deceased at the scene by paramedics. Both westbound lanes were closed for about two hours. The CHP is investigating.

FATAL HEAD-0N CRASH IN LANDERS FRIDAY AFTERNOON

A 34-year-old Taft man was killed in a head-on collision in Landers Friday afternoon. According to the California Highway Patrol, Steven Long was driving a 2007 GMC Envoy southbound on Old Woman Springs Road just after 2 p.m. at a speed of more than 55 miles per hour. Just after Long passed Marmac Road, he crossed the center line directly into the path of a 2004 Chevy Silverado, being driven northbound on the highway at about 55 miles per hour by Daniel Roberts, 40, of Upland. The two vehicles collided head on, and Steven Long was pronounced deceased at the scene by responding paramedics. Roberts and his two passengers, Cheryl Roberts, 49, and Danielle Roberts, 19, were trapped in their vehicle and firefighters had to use the Jaws of Life to free them. They were taken to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs with moderate to minor injuries. Old Woman Springs Road was closed from Reche Road to Napa Road for about three hours during the investigation and clean up.

SON OF COUNTY FIRE CHIEF FOUND DEAD IN LAKE ARROWHEAD

Dawson Hartwig, son of San Bernardino County Fire Chief Mark Hartwig, was found dead early Sunday, January 29, in Lake Arrowhead, a day and a half after he went missing. The sheriff’s dive team found his body about 1:10 a.m. in about 30 feet of water near the Lake Arrowhead Yacht Club, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. Hartwig, 20, and some friends went to the mountains Friday, renting a cabin. Dawson went for a walk Friday afternoon and never came back. He left without a cellphone and officials said he was not properly dressed for the weather, which included below-freezing overnight temperatures. His friends reporting him missing at 10:44 a.m. Saturday. A large search party formed, including more than 70 fire and law enforcement personnel, three K-9 units and numerous volunteers.

Dawon Hartwig

SEXUAL ASSAULT SERVICES OFFERS CERTIFIED VOLUNTEER TRAINING

Morongo Basin Sexual Assault Services is offering certified training for new volunteers. Reporter Rebecca Havely has the course details…

Every two minutes another woman, man or child is sexually assaulted and the effects can be devastating. By volunteering for Morongo Basin Sexual Assault Services you can make a difference. Free state certified volunteer training is being offered at their Yucca Valley offices at 57382, 29 Palms Highway. Classes are slated for July 5 through August 2 with a graduation on August 3. Classes are Tuesday through Thursday nights from 5:45 to 9:45 p.m. To register and schedule an interview call 760-369-3353.

BURBANK MAN RESCUED AFTER FALL IN JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK

A rock climber was rescued after he fell about 30 feet in Joshua Tree National Park Sunday. According to the Sheriff’s Department, Colin Campbell, 26, of Burbank, was climbing in the Jumbo Rocks area of the park when he fell about 30 feet to the ground about 11 a.m. Witnesses called 911 and Twentynine Palms firefighters, search and rescue personnel, and Morongo Basin Ambulance personnel had to hike several hundred yards in steep and rocky terrain to get to where Campbell fell. Rescuers determined that due to his serious head injury, Campbell would need to be hoist-rescued. A Sheriff’s rescue helicopter arrived and hovered over the location as a flight nurse was lowered about 100 feet to Campbell. Campbell was secured into a basket and lifted into the helicopter, followed by the flight nurse. Colin Campbell was then flown to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs for treatment.

MISS YUCCA VALLEY PAGEANT SATURDAY, WE MEET CONTESTANT ANGELIQUE PULIDO

The Miss Yucca Valley Scholarship pageant, produced by the Yucca Valley Rotary club, is this Saturday evening at 6:00 at the Joshua Springs Thunderdome. Reporter Kirby Davis introduces us to contestant Angelique Pulido…

Today we are talking with Angelique Pulido. Angelique, tell us about yourself.

“My name is Angelique Pulido. I go to Yucca Valley High School. I enjoy running cross country, track, and I volunteer at the Boys and Girls Club.”

Angelique Pulido

Who is the prominent woman you interviewed, and what did you learn from her?

“My prominent woman is Geri Wilson. I learned from her to be confident in what I want and believe in and to keep pursuing for better because there’s always room for improvement. I learned how to speak in front of people and being more open to opportunities that come my way. Most importantly, grow as a person by me being more organized and responsible.”

What have you learned from your experience with Miss Yucca Valley?

“Miss Yucca has allowed me to meet many great people in the town that I wouldn’t have met if I wasn’t a part of it.”

MAN, GUILTY OF FOUR MORONGO BASIN ARMED ROBBERIES, GETS 22 YEARS

A Victorville man convicted of robbing four businesses in Yucca Valley and Twentynine Palms two years ago, was sentenced Friday to 22 years in state prison. In February 2015, Ramirez Brown, 37, who has ties to the area, robbed a smoke shop on Adobe Road, a liquor store in the Historic Plaza, and a check-cashing business on Adobe Road in Twentynine Palms. In March 2015, Brown robbed a check-cashing business in the Vons shopping center in Yucca Valley. At each business, Brown showed a semi-automatic handgun and demanded money. Brown was arrested in April 2015. Judge Rodney Cortez sentenced Ramirez Brown Friday morning to six years at the state prison in Chino for the first robbery, 10 years for an enhancement for using a gun, and two years for each of the other three robberies, with each sentence to be served consecutively.

MUSIC STUDENTS INVITED TO ENTER ROTARY MUSIC COMPETITION

Area music students are being invited to participate in the Yucca Valley Noon Rotary Club’s annual music competition. Managing editor Tami Roleff says the deadline to register is coming up fast…

High School music students are invited to compete in the Rotary Club of Yucca Valley’s annual music competition, set for 7 p.m. Saturday, February 18, at Yucca Valley High School. Contestants must be high school or home-schooled students from the Morongo Basin. Contestants may enter in one of three categories: vocal, instrumental, or piano. Pianists and instrumentalists must play at least one piece of classical music. Singers must perform songs from musical theater or classical music. Cash prizes will be awarded: $200 for first place, $100 for second place, and $50 for third place. The top three contestants will advance to the semifinal competition for a chance to win an additional cash prizes ($1,000 for first place, $500 for second place and $250 for third place). Contestants must register by February 11. Call Ignazio Ficara at 760-365-7000 for more information or to register.