CHP OFFICERS SAVE CHOKING WOMAN IN YUCCA VALLEY FRIDAY AFTERNOON

Three California Highway Patrol officers are credited with saving the life of a woman who was choking in a Yucca Valley Restaurant. CHP Officer Simon Miller said that he, Officer Caleb Miller, and Officer Aaron Lowe were at Taco Bell about 12:45 p.m. Friday when a woman at a nearby table began to choke. A family member was unsuccessful in dislodging the food using the Heimlich maneuver. As the woman lost consciousness, the officers intervened. She was lowered to the ground and repositioned, at which time she began to cough and vomit. Miller said the woman was encouraged to continue coughing to dislodge the food, and eventually her airway was cleared. She was taken to Hi-Desert Medical Center as a precaution.

DIRT BIKE RIDER KILLED IN HEAD-ON CRASH ON AMBOY ROAD

A dirt-bike rider, riding without proper lights or a helmet, was killed in a head-on collision east of Twentynine Palms last night. According to the CHP, a 2002, Ford F-350 pick-up truck, driven by Patrick Candelaria, 47, of Twentynine Palms, was traveling eastbound on Amboy Road at 6:11 P.M. and went to pass a slower-moving vehicle just east of Chadwick Road. As the truck passed the vehicle, it crashed head-on into a 1981 600R Honda dirt bike, with improper lighting, traveling westbound on the highway. The male rider, 43, also from Twentynine Palms, was not wearing a helmet and pronounced deceased at the scene. The county coroner has not released his name pending notification of next of kin. Candelaria sustained minor injuries and was medically cleared on scene. Passengers in the pickup, Robert Ash, 29, and Scott Larson II, 29, refused medical treatment. The exact cause of the collision is still under investigation by Officer Adrian Gonzalez.

JOHNSON VALLEY MAN ACCUSED OF SHOOTING AT MAN CAMPING NEAR A CHURCH

A Johnson Valley man was arrested Wednesday, accused of shooting at another man. The Sheriff’s Department said the victim called shortly before 8 a.m. Wednesday to report that he was camping near the First Baptist Church on Golden Ray Road when he encountered Jack Santellanes, 60. The man told deputies that Santellanes shot a .22-caliber rifle into the ground near him, even though Santellanes recognized him, and later shot it again in his direction. The man was not injured. After an investigation, Jack Santellanes was arrested on suspicion of assault with a firearm, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, with his bail set at $50,000.

JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK EXPECTED TO BE BUSY THIS WEEKEND

With more than 2.5 million visitors last year to Joshua Tree National Park, the park’s Joshua Tree entrance often has a long line of cars waiting to enter the park. Edica Gonzalez reminds residents to use alternate entrances…
Joshua Tree National Park is seeing more and more visitors, adding up to more than two million visitors yearly. As the park gets busier every year, so do the entrance stations and visitor centers. These busier times create long lines of cars waiting to enter the park, especially at the west entrance outside the town of Joshua Tree. To shorten your wait to enter the park, try using the north park entrance station, three miles south of the town of Twentynine Palms on Utah Trail. Park passes can be purchased at Visitor Centers, and this also helps to move the lines faster through entrances. Having your ID ready to show if you hold annual, senior, or access passes provides faster service through stations as well.
For more information about the park, call 760-367-5522.

BURGLARY AT HI-DESERT PREGNANCY CLINIC

The Sheriff’s Department is investigating a burglary at the High Desert Pregnancy Center in Yucca Valley. Employees and volunteers reporting to the clinic in the 56600 block of 29 Palms Highway Wednesday morning discovered a door had been forced open. The unknown suspects stole computers and electronic items, pregnancy tests, and baby items, as well as blank checks. Some of the stolen items were found in the desert south of the clinic and returned. Anyone with information should call the Sheriff’s Department at 760-366-4175.

YUCCA VALLEY MAN ARRESTED FOR JOSHUA TREE BURGLARY

A Yucca Valley man was arrested Wednesday afternoon, accused of a burglary in Joshua Tree last week. Sheriff’s reports say Nomad Adventures in Joshua Tree reported that a man came into the store on January 31 and stole a blue backpack. The deputy who investigated the burglary saw a man with a similar backpack in a shopping center parking lot near Highway 62 and Old Woman Springs Road about 5 p.m. Wednesday. The deputy stopped the man, later identified as Justin Howe, 27, who admitted to stealing the backpack. A records check found that Howe is also a registered sex offender who had not updated his registration. Justin Howe was arrested for investigation of burglary and for not updating his sex offender registration. Howe was booked into the Morongo Basin Jail with his bail set at $25,000.

SELF-DEFENSE CLASS OFFERED IN YUCCA VALLEY

Classes in self-defense are being offered by the Town of Yucca Valley. Reporter Kirby Davis tells you how to sign up…
Learn self-defense at a class sponsored by the town of Yucca Valley. Instructor Norm Rose will teach a 2½ hour hands-on lesson Saturday, March 11 from 9 to 11:30 a.m. The class will include demonstrations, instruction, and lecture, and is open to students age 14 and up. The cost is $15, or free with a current student ID. Space is limited, so early enrollment is suggested.

YUCCA VALLEY MAN THREATENS TO KILL HIS WIFE WITH A KNIFE

A Yucca Valley man was arrested Wednesday, accused of threatening to kill his fiancée with a knife.  Sheriff’s Investigators say John Butac, 29, of the 57700 block of Carlyle Drive, was arguing with a woman Tuesday night when she says he grabbed her by the wrists and took her cell phone when she tried to call for help. The woman told deputies that Butac grabbed a stainless-steel kitchen knife, pinned her against the counter, and held the knife to her throat, threatening to stab her. She said that Butac suffers from post-traumatic stress syndrome. After an investigation, John Butac was arrested for felony spouse abuse, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, with his bail set at $50,000.

ARGUMENT OVER LOUD TV ESCALATES TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN YUCCA VALLEY

An argument over a loud television set turned violent in Yucca Valley early Wednesday morning. According to a Sheriff’s report, a woman in the 6300 block of Hermosa Avenue said she was sleeping when she was woken up by a loud TV in the living room. She told deputies when she asked her boyfriend, Eric Fletcher, 25, to turn it down, they began to argue, and Fletcher “chest bumped” her multiple times. When she began removing his clothes from the closet, she said he began choking her. She was able to break free and called for help about 3:15 a.m. The deputy found bruises and lacerations on her neck. After an investigation, Eric Fletcher was arrested on suspicion of felony spouse abuse, booked into West Valley Detention Center, with his bail set at $50,000.

FREE FEDERAL SURPLUS FOOD DISTRIBUTION THIS TUESDAY

The third Monday of the month is usually the day for most of the monthly distributions of surplus federal food in the Morongo Basin. However, due to the federal Presidents’ Day holiday, the date has been changed to Tuesday, February 14. Edica Gonzalez has the times and places…
The Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino will distribute surplus food to low-income residents of the Morongo Basin Tuesday. The locations and times are:
Church of the Lighted Cross, 11518 Elbow Lane in Morongo Valley, 8:00 to 10:00 a.m.;
Belfield Hall, 58380 Reche Road in Landers, 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.;
Copper Mountain Mesa, 65336 Winter Road in Joshua Tree, 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.;
Joshua Tree Community Center, 6171 Sunburst Avenue, 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.;
Sunset Village Apartments, 6036 Sunset Road in Joshua Tree, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.;
Wonder Valley Community Center on Amboy Road, 10:30 a.m. to noon; and the Yucca Valley Community Center 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
For more information, call 909-723-1500.

LUCKIE AVENUE CLOSES MONDAY FOR 4 WEEKS

Luckie Avenue—the street that goes through the parking lot at Luckie Park—will be closed for about four weeks, starting Monday, February 13. The parking lot will be repaved, and some of the curbs, gutters and sidewalks will be replaced.

COURTHOUSE CLOSED THE NEXT TWO MONDAYS

County courthouses will be closed Monday, February 13, for Lincoln’s Birthday, and Monday, February 20, for President’s Day.

STAR TWIRLERS VALENTINES DANCE SATURDAY

The Star Twirlers Square Dance Club is holding a Valentine’s Day dance Saturday, February 11. Line dancing will be held 7 to 7:30 p.m. and between tips; square dancing is 7:30 to 10 p.m. Callers are Brent Lively and Linda Sande. The dance will be held at the Yucca Valley Elks Lodge on Yucca Trail in Yucca Valley. Admission is $7 per person and dancers do not need to be members of the Star Twirlers to attend.

LOCAL DEMOCRATS MEET TOMORROW

The Morongo Basin Democratic Club will meet Saturday, February 11, 2017 at 10 a.m. in Bruce’s Coyote Kitchen on the Copper Mountain College campus. An optional $10 breakfast and fellowship starts at 9 a.m. Members will nominate and vote on officers for the next two years. Saturday’s meeting is open to all registered Democrats and invited guests. More information, links and resources are online at MBDems.com.

INTER COLLEGIATE BASKETBALL COMING TO COPPER MOUNTAIN COLLEGE

The Copper Mountain College Athletic Booster Club, still in its infancy, has reached its benchmark 100-member goal. Expectations are high that soon the club will celebrate CMC’s own teams in the Bell Center. Reporter Mike Lipsitz says there’s no turning back now; intercollegiate basketball is on the horizon…
Last August Copper Mountain College Foundation launched a campaign to fund the first year of an athletic program at CMC. The goal was 100 lifetime members of the Athletic Booster Club. Individuals, businesses, service clubs, and the campus community rallied to build the booster club and fund the program. According to Superintendent/President Jeff Cummings, the College is in the process of hiring the first Athletic Director. Then following some expected outside approvals and determination of which conference CMC is best suited, plans call for the college to move toward securing a mascot, coaches, a schedule, and finally, begin recruiting intercollegiate basketball players.

HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS” SCORES AND SCHEDULES

The Yucca Valley Lady Trojan basketball team closed out their regular season schedule with a 69-30 win over Desert Hot Springs last night on Senior Night in Trojan Gym. Coach Jess Geeson said junior Zena Yakimow continued her strong play with a team high 14 points and 12 rebounds. Junior Savannah Beasley helped the cause with 13 points and six steals while senior Taylor Spitz added 10 points, including two three-point baskets. Junior Kloee Scaccionoce had a solid game with nine points and six rebounds. Seniors Allisa Tavares, Yeeny Tran and Spitz were honored at halftime for their years spent playing for the Lady Trojans. The Yucca girls finished the regular season with a 8-2 De Anza league record and a 18-7 overall record. Their CIF Division 3AA playoff opponent will be announced on Sunday with a possible home game on Thursday February 16.
 
Coming up in high school sports today, the Twentynine Palms High School boys’ and girls’ basketball teams will play Rancho Mirage High School at home. The girls start at 6, the boys at 7:30.