At least one man was arrested early Monday morning following a high-speed chase that started in Landers and ended in a residential neighborhood in Yucca Valley. Just after 10 p.m. Sunday night, a man called deputies to report he had been robbed by an armed suspect. The man said his car had broken down on the side of Old Woman Springs Road near New Dixie Mine Road. According to a police report, a car containing Michael Riddle, 19, and possibly two other men, stopped to offer their help. The victim told deputies that a man lifted his shirt to show a gun in his waistband, and then took his car’s battery, along with two tool bags. The suspect then sped off southbound on Old Woman Springs Road. Deputies and CHP officers located the vehicle and began a pursuit that went into Yucca Valley onto Yucca Trail, Navajo, Pueblo, Santa Fe Trails, before ending in the Apache Mobile Home Park. Michael Riddle fled the vehicle, but deputies later apprehended him in the 7000 block of Mohawk Trail about 10:30 p.m. Michael Riddle was arrested for investigation of armed robbery, felony evading with disregard for public safety, and violating the terms of his probation. In May 2016, Riddle pleaded guilty to an armed robbery of the Flyers Gas Station in Yucca Valley and was sentenced to one year in county jail.
The largest civilian public works project in the history of the Morongo Basin breaks ground today. Construction of Yucca Valley’s sewer project is set to begin this morning, Monday, January 9. Sukut Construction will begin working in Stage 1 of Phase 1- Area “A” which is the east section of the Paradise Valley neighborhood. Construction hours are 7 to 5, Monday through Friday. There are nine stages located within Phase 1 – Area “A” of the sewer project; each will take about two months to complete, with the entire Phase 1 project taking about three years. The work being performed includes removing the road, digging the trench, installing sewer trunk lines, collectors, lateral stub-outs, and manholes. During this time, residents can expect street closures and traffic delays. A link to a map showing where work is scheduled can be seen here:
Construction information and updates are available through the Project’s website www.protectgroundwater.org
For a while now, officials in Twentynine Palms have been talking about how to get rid of the city’s septic tanks in favor of a citywide wastewater treatment system. Now they may have hit on a solution. Reporter David Haldane has the details…
Sewers ought to be shared.
At least that’s the thinking in Twentynine Palms where the city council this week will consider a resolution supporting a wastewater treatment facility to be used jointly by the city and adjacent military base.
The resolution comes at an opportune time; while the city operates entirely on septic tanks, the Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center is on a 50-year-old centralized sewer system in need of upgrade and repair. So why not replace it with one to be shared?
That’s the gist of the proposed resolution, reportedly supported by the Colorado River Basin Regional Water Quality Control Board as well as Congressman Paul Cook. The cost of such a venture is unclear; while the base has requested $16 million in federal funding to complete it, the city has engaged Cook and others to work out the details.
Approval of the pending resolution, they say, will get the ball rolling.
The business portion of tomorrow’s meeting of county supervisors in San Bernardino will be postponed from the usual 10 a.m. time until at least 2 p.m. The delay will allow the board to attend funeral services for Riverside County Board of Supervisors Chairman John Benoit. The highly-regarded Benoit died of pancreatic cancer December 26. Reporter Mike Lipsitz tells us what to expect during the supervisors’ afternoon session…
Among the many items on tomorrow’s agenda, supervisors will name a board chair and vice chair. Our own third district supervisor James Ramos is currently chairman. Later, supervisors are expected to approve delegates on the Morongo Basin Municipal Advisory council. They include Mark Lundquist representing Joshua Tree, Gayl Swarat for Morongo Valley, Pat Flanagan for Desert Heights, Mary Helen Tuttle for Copper Mountain Mesa, Liz Koenig for Flamingo Heights, Teresa Sitz for Wonder Valley, Tom Ziegert for Yucca Mesa, Michelle Myers for Pioneertown, and the newest delegate, Dawn Johnson representing Landers.
In other business, supervisors are expected to establish that surface rehabilitation of several area roads is exempt under the California Environmental Quality Act. Slated for patching, sealing and leveling are portions for Quail Springs, Alta Loma Drive, and Yucca Trail in Joshua Tree, plus parts of Aberdeen Drive in Yucca Mesa. The county is expected to award the contract in April.
Over 120 volunteers from the Theatre 29 2016 season were honored at the non-profit community theater’s annual volunteer appreciation dinner Saturday night in Joshua Tree. A delicious dinner, family, fun, recognition and stunning performances were all part of the event held at the Joshua Tree Retreat Center. Memories from the record-breaking successful seven productions produced by Theatre 29 in 2016 were featured in a multi-media presentation featuring live performances from the year’s musicals. Chalise Kunz brought out a standing ovation when she sang “Part of Your World” from the sell-out hit, “Disney’s Little Mermaid.” Kylie Robinson had the appreciative crowd clapping along to a number from “Don’t Hug Me, I’m Pregnant,” and the multi-talented Charles Harvey brought the crowd to their feet again with a poignant and powerful song from “The Secret Garden.” Board President Gary Daigneault presided over the presentation of certificates of appreciation and custom new Theatre 29 volunteer script and production work bags. The prestigious “Volunteer of the Year” recognition went to technical director, set builder, and special effects technician Brandon Hazel. The “Above and Beyond” awards went to Cruz Jimenez and Char Childs. The “Unseen Hero” honors went to Tera Bottorff and Brandy Thiers. The Theatre 29 2017 season begins this Friday, January 13, with the opening of “Sylvia.” 2017 Season tickets are now available at www.theatre29.org or by calling 760-361-4151.
The St. Joseph’s Players of Yucca Valley announces the cast of their next production, the courtroom drama “A Few Good Men” by Aaron Sorkin. With the cast list, here’s the show’s director, reporter Rebecca Havely…
In the role of Colonel Jessup is actor Abe Daniels. Playing the defense team trio are Ben Bees as Daniel Kaffee, Jericho McWilliams as Sam Weinberg, and Liyan Lagevardi as Joanne Galloway. Prosecuting attorney Jackie Ross will be played by Janet Peercy. Lieutenant Kendrick will be portrayed by Cyrus Short. The Marines accused of murder, Dawson and Downey, will be played by Malcolm Stanley-Wolf and Jessie Scheckler. Ethan Flores will play Private Santiago. Bob Noble will play Captain Markinson, and Dave Jessup will portray Captain Whitaker. Shelly Sheckler will play Dr. Stone. Judge Randolph is Mike Shaw. Rounding out the cast are Vincent Thomas, Kevin Hayles, Kellen Nankervis and Laura Hollinger Nankervis. The cast is in rehearsals now.
“A Few Good Men” will open Friday, March 3, and run four consecutive Saturday nights at 7 p.m. with three Sunday matinees March 12, 19 and 26. St. Joseph’s Church is at 56312 Church St. in Yucca Valley. For more information and ticket reservations call 760-362-9319.
Joshua Basin Water District Board of Directors will meet at 5:30 this evening in a special closed session. Labor negotiations is the only topic of discussion. Tonight’s meeting takes place at district offices on Chollita road in Joshua Tree.
The annual “Miss Yucca Valley Scholarship Pageant” is set for February 4 at the Joshua Springs Thunderdome. Reporter Edica Gonzales says the eight contestants are hard at work getting ready…
Eight girls will be participating in the 50th annual Miss Yucca Valley scholarship pageant next month. The scholarship pageant, sponsored by the Yucca Valley Rotary Club, is based on academics and poise. The junior girls competing this year are Allessa Luckino, Angelique Pulido, Deborah Simpson, Emily Sheckler, Hailey Green, Kaylee Pope, Maggie Nelson, and Megan Rieman. During the pageant, the girls must give a speech about a local woman who has inspired them, as well as answer questions put to them by emcees Gary and Cindy Daigneault of Z107.7, perform a dance routine as a group, and walk the stage in a formal gown. The girl crowned Miss Yucca Valley will receive a $2500 scholarship. The pageant will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, February 4, in the Thunderdome of Joshua Springs Christian School in Yucca Valley.
On Saturday, December 24, the Twentynine Palms girls’ basketball team traveled to Vista for the So Cal Run n’ Gun Against Cancer Showcase. They played against San Diego section Division 1 Westview High School in the event which is held each year to raise money for cancer research. Coach Tim Stanford said The Wildcats came away with 73-51 victory to raise their record to 12 and 2 on the season. Tatiyanna Mackall earned player of the game honors with her 21 points, eight rebounds, five assists, and seven steals. Lindsey Scamman added 18 points, 16 rebounds, four assists, and three steals. Destiny Dedmon chipped in 12 points, and five rebounds.
The Twentynine Palms Wildcats soccer team traveled to Kaiser High School in Fontana Thursday night to take on the Division 3 Cats. The varsity squad fought hard and came away with a 7-2 loss. Brothers Nick and Ryan Stowers both scored goals to ignite the Wildcats. Coach Nathan Niles said varsity enters league play with a record of 6 wins, 6 losses and 1 tie.
The junior varsity Wildcats enter league play with a record of 2 wins, 2 losses, and 2 ties. The JV squad fought hard and lost a tight game 2-0 with a near goal by Chris White. Twentynine Palms and Kaiser each had six shots on goal and energy was high throughout the contest for both teams.
Both Wildcat teams travel to Thermal to take on the defending CIF southern section and California State Champion Desert Mirage Rams on Tuesday, January 10. JV begins at 3:15 and varsity at 5:00.
In high school sports today, the Twentynine Palms High School boys’ basketball teams will host Xavier Prep of Palm Desert at home, starting at 6 p.m.