COUNTY HEALTH SAYS FLU IS ON THE RISE; GET VACCINATED

Influenza activity is on the rise and County Health is strongly encouraging residents to get the flu shot. Getting vaccinated against the flu can reduce flu illnesses and prevent flu-related hospitalizations or unnecessary trips to the emergency room. Residents are encouraged to visit their primary care physician or urgent care if they have flu symptoms. If you go to the emergency room and you are not sick with the flu, you may catch it from people who do have it.  “It is not too late to get your flu shot,” urges Dr. Maxwell Ohikhuare. “Influenza activity reaches its highest levels between December and February, and may continue through May.”

A flu vaccine is the first and best way to protect yourself and the people around you from influenza and its potentially serious complications. Once vaccinated, it takes about two weeks before you are fully protected against the flu. Influenza vaccine is especially important for pregnant women and people at higher risk of developing serious complications.

If you become ill, take actions to stop the spread of germs, including: Stay home when you are sick;
Cover your coughs and sneezes;
Wash your hands with soap/water;
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

For more information: http://www.cdc.gov/flu.
For information on where to get a Flu shot, call the County of San Bernardino, Department of Public Health, at 1-800-722-4777.

TWENTYNINE PALMS CITY COUNCIL MOVES ON JOINT CITY-MARINE BASE SEWER SYSTEM

The Twentynine Palms City Council approved a list of rules for the new dog park coming to Knott Sky Park at its meeting last night, and also approved the hiring of a new lobbyist in Washington, DC. The new lobbying firm, IFS, is not only less expensive than its previous firm, but has worked with the Hi-Desert Water District in Yucca Valley to help obtain funding for its sewer project, experience that will come in handy for its work for Twentynine Palms. Managing editor Tami Roleff explains…
Twentynine Palms City Councilmembers were eager to get the ball rolling to explore the feasibility of a joint use wastewater treatment facility with the adjacent Marine base. Councilmember Joel Klink didn’t want the city to put off the decision like its neighbor to the west. “If we wait too long, we’re going to be paying quadruple times the amount of money that we could be paying today, like Yucca Valley. They’re paying a lot of money.”
The Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center’s current sewer plant is 50 years old and needs updating; Twentynine Palms relies on septic tanks and wants to go to sewer to protect its ground water. Councilmember Steve Bilderain says it’s a win-win for everyone. “I think they need something, we need something.”
And so the council voted unanimously to approve a resolution indicating its support for a joint sewer facility. The resolution supporting the collaboration between the two entities will allow the region’s political representatives to facilitate funding for the massive project.

SCHOOL BOARD INTERVIEWS TEN APPLICANTS FOR EMPTY SEAT

With an open seat after the death of newly-reelected trustee Ron Palmer, The Morongo Unified School District board of trustees will review 10 applications for the opening and determine questions to ask the candidates this morning, followed by the interviews at 9:40 in the Sportsman’s Club on Sunburst Avenue in Joshua Tree. the applicants for the vacant school board position are:
Dale Charette
Michael Chlebik
Casey Collver
Kerri Condley
Patrick Crow
Misty Evans
Ken King
Cindy McVay
Donna Munoz
Carissa Walton

APPLICATIONS BEING TAKEN FOR COUNTY GRAND JURY

Volunteers for the 2017-2018 San Bernardino County grand jury are now being requested. Edica Gonzalez explains who can apply, what a grand juror does, and how to apply…
To be eligible for selection to the county grand jury, a person must be at least 18 years of age, a citizen of the United States, and a resident of California and the County of San Bernardino for at least one year prior to appointment. Service as a grand juror involves an average of three to five full working days per week in San Bernardino, starting July 1, for one year. Compensation is $25 per day plus meals and appropriate mileage. The county grand jury investigates all aspects of county, city and special district government, and may hear information on certain criminal investigations. Interested citizens can complete the application online at the Grand Jury’s website at www.sbcounty.gov/grandjury. The deadline to apply is February 28.

THEFT FROM A YUCCA VALLEY COMMUNITY THEATER

The community theatre troupe, The St. Joseph’s Players of Yucca Valley, were the victims of a burglary. The Players perform in the parish hall at St. Joseph of Arimathea Episcopal Church at Church Street and Onaga Trail. About 12:30 p.m. Sunday, troupe members went behind the church to their storage shed and found the lock was missing and the hasp had been cut. They discovered that their entire jewelry collection of mostly vintage and antique pieces was all missing, as well as their collections of vintage eyeglasses and men’s wrist watches. Also missing were several boxes of hand props, including vintage men’s razors, an antique hand mirror and brush set, plus six pairs of men’s black military boots. The Sheriff’s Department is investigating. This fledgling theatre troupe would be very appreciative of any donations of items similar to those that were stolen. To contact the troupe call 760-702-2194 or visit The St. Joseph’s Players page on Facebook.

COPPER MOUNTAIN COLLEGE BOARD MEETS TOMORROW IN BUSY SESSION

Tomorrow’s meeting of the Copper Mountain College governing board looks to be a busy one with decisions on a range of related topics likely to be considered. Reporter Mike Lipsitz has this report…
The Copper Mountain College board of trustees meets at 2 p.m. tomorrow in the Bell Center’s Community Room. Right off, the board will adjourn to closed session for evaluation of the president/superintendent, and to consider an employee dismissal or discipline. Back in open session, the board will consider a number of action items including establishment of non-resident tuition fees for 2017-18. Trustees will also consider a plan to lease Monument High School in Twentynine Palms. If approved, the school would become the first site dedicated to AdultREid, a social service agency. A number of the remaining action items under consideration tomorrow involve contract renewals, confidentiality statements, and other agreements with district employees. Those items and others follow regular reports, and routine items on the consent agenda.

ROADWORK IN TWENTYNINE PALMS TODAY

Roadwork will affect traffic today in Twentynine palms. Palo Verde Avenue in Twentynine Palms—from Cactus to Old Dale—will be closed today, from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. due to street overlay. Please use alternate routes. For more information, call 760-367-ROAD.

HI-DESERT WATER ELECTS OFFICERS

The board of directors for the Hi-Desert Water District re-elected Bob Stadum as board president for the third year in a row at a recent meeting. Sarann Graham was selected as vice president.

YUCCA VALLEY AIRPORT DISTRICT BOARD MEETS TONIGHT

Some of the items the Yucca Valley Airport District Board of Directors will discuss at their meeting tonight (Wednesday, January 11) are notifications from the town of Yucca Valley; correspondence with the Local Agency Formation Commission; airport use agreements, and runway maintenance. Under new business, directors will choose new officers, be asked to approve a budget, and report on a meeting to be held next week at Copper Mountain College. The meeting starts at 6:30 in the Mesquite Room of the Yucca Valley Community Center.

JOSHUA TREE VFW CHILI COOK-OFF FRIDAY

The Joshua Tree Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary will hold a chili cook-off Friday, January 13. Contestants should drop off their chili at 3:30 p.m.; the eating and judging will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. Prizes will be awarded. The VFW post is located on Veterans Way in downtown Joshua Tree.

YOUTH JUDGED ART SHOW OPENS TOMORROW AT 29 PALMS ART GALLERY

The 29 Palms Art Gallery’s latest exhibition—opening tomorrow—is “United Through Art.” Reporter Rebecca Havely has your invitation…
The new exhibit, “United Through Art,” is a judged show of youth artwork. It begins with a reception Sunday, January 15, from 12 to 3 p.m. Young artists from local high schools and Copper Mountain College will have their art judged in a presentation called “United Through Art.” Cash awards will be presented at the opening reception. Immediately following the reception will be a panel discussion of CMC students; mediated by artist and professor of fine arts Cathy Allen entitled, “The Importance of Art.” The exhibition will be open from January 12 through 29 at the Gallery located at 74055 Cottonwood Drive in Twentynine Palms. For more information email 29artgallery@gmail.com or call 760-367-7819.

HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS: SCORES AND SCHEDULES

The Yucca Valley Lady Trojan basketball team squeaked by with a 54-50 win last night at Coachella Valley in the De Anza league opener for both teams.

Coach Jess Geeson said the Yucca Valley girls were trailing 44-33 midway through the third quarter, but they outscored Coachella 21-6 the rest of the game to complete the comeback. 

Junior Zena Yakimow led the team with 10 points off the bench. Sophomore Angie Reutgen and junior Savannah Beasley each added eight points as the team moved their record to 11-5 overall. Juniors Kiley Pitts, Kloee Scaccionoce and Taylor Spitz also chipped in 6 points each. 

The girls travel to Twentynine Palms on Thursday for a 6 p.m. game. 
  
In high school sports, today, the Yucca Valley High School wrestling team will travel away to Coachella Valley. The match starts at 5 p.m.