TWENTYNINE PALMS MAN ACCUSED OF BEATING HIS PREGNANT GIRLFRIEND

A Twentynine Palms man was arrested late Thursday night, accused of beating up his pregnant girlfriend. According to a Sheriff’s report, Derrick Lute-Rosario, 23, was arguing with his girlfriend in the 73300 block of 29 Palms Highway about 11:30 p.m. Thursday night when Lute-Rosario grabbed the woman and began to punch her with both fists. The woman sustained a swollen lip and laceration. Derrick Lute-Rosario was arrested for investigation of felony spouse abuse, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail with his bail set at $50,000.

YUCCA VALLEY PLANNING COMMISSION SORTS OUT NATIVE PLANT INVENTORY

Huge discrepancies in numbers of Joshua trees and Mojave yuccas in just six years at the Sage Estates housing development in Yucca Valley led the Yucca Valley Town Council to order a third inventory of native plants. Managing editor Tami Roleff says the planning commission received the results last night, along with explanations for why the numbers varied so much…
In 2009, the developer of the Sage Estates subdivision, near Golden Bee Drive and Sage Avenue, counted 859 Joshua trees and 517 Mojave yuccas on the property. But when a second inventory was taken in 2015, those numbers had dropped dramatically, to 298 and 166, respectively. Town staff performed its own inventory last year, and the numbers were much closer: 827 Joshua trees, and 739 yuccas. At last night’s meeting of the Yucca Valley Planning Commission, commissioners learned why there was such a big difference between 2009 and 2015. When the survey was taken in 2015, some clusters of Joshua trees or yuccas were counted as 1 plant, even though there may have been a dozen plants in the cluster. And the project engineer also stated that when they counted the plants in 2015, they only counted the plants they moved and didn’t count the plants they left in place on the site. With the reason for the discrepancies addressed, the planning commission approved the native plant inventory information.
In other business, the council approved a conditional use permit and environmental assessment for Popeye’s Chicken.

JOSHUA BASIN WATER BOARD MEETS, WANTS PRIMARY PUMP BACK IN OPERATION

The Joshua Basin Water District meets tonight. Reporter Mike Lipsitz tells us what’s on the agenda…
Tonight’s regular session convenes at 6:30 p.m. On the agenda is a staff recommendation that the district award rehab of Well 14 to Tri-County Pump for approximately $160,000. Well 14 is the district’s primary pump. It has been offline since February 2016 after the original contractor abandoned the job. Tri-County was originally second in line when the contract was awarded. If approved, Tri-Valley will start right away. Any other alternative would delay completion of the project until well after the high-use season. That item and others will precede standing committee, staff and director reports. It all starts at the 6:30 p.m. at the Joshua Basin Water District offices on Chollita Road in Joshua Tree.

TWENTYNINE PALMS MAN ACCUSED OF SELLING METHAMPHETAMINE

A Twentynine Palms man was arrested Sunday night, accused of selling methamphetamine. According to a Sheriff’s report, deputies contacted William Bagley, 47 in the 6500 block of Cholla Avenue, and determined that he had in possession methamphetamine, a digital scale. The report also states that Bagley admitted to selling a half-ounce of meth a week. William Bagley was arrested for investigation of possession of methamphetamine for sales, booked at the Morongo Basin Jail, with his bail set at $50,000.

WE REVIEW “EXIT LAUGHING” AT GROVE’S THEATER IN MORONGO VALLEY

The Groves Cabin Theatre in Morongo Valley opened the comedy “Exit Laughing” by Paul Elliott last weekend, helmed by veteran director Wendy Cohen. The show opens with a group of gal pals gathered after a memorial service with the stolen ashes of their deceased friend. Reporter Rebecca Havely says, the comedy then ensues…
The “Exit Laughing” cast includes Lorraine Williamson, who plays divorced mom Connie hysterically. Her daughter Rachell is vibrantly played by Phylicia Mason. Connie’s best friend, the not-so-bright Minnie, is perfectly played by Joy Groves. Another best buddy, and a really fun drunk, Leona is portrayed by Vickie Montgomery in a spot-on performance. A policeman, played by Aiden McKinsey, crashes the ladies party; he later proves to be a male stripper sent by their departed friend to remind them to have fun in life. He also delivers a letter from the deceased that encourages them, when it’s their time to leave this earth, to “Exit Laughing.” The clever script, smart set and talented ensemble make for an entertaining night of comedy. 
The intimate Groves Cabin Theatre often sells out before a show opens. To be placed on their waiting list call 760-365-4523. “Exit Laughing” runs weekends through March 5.

HUNGRY BURGLAR STEALS A SNACK IN YUCCA VALLEY

A Yucca Valley burglar must have been hungry Sunday night. According to a Sheriff’s report, the owners of Sue’s Health Foods, in the 56800 block of 29 Palms Highway of Yucca Valley, discovered about 5 a.m. Monday that an unknown suspect forced open the store’s front doors, went inside and grabbed a box of crackers valued at about $6 before leaving out the front entrance. Early Friday morning, burglars broke into a nearby smoke shop and stole about 20 cartons of cigarettes. Anyone with information should call the Sheriff’s Department at 760-366-4175.

HI-DESERT WATER BOARD MEETS, $783,000 BUDGET ADJUSTMENT ON AGENDA

The Hi-Desert Water District Board meets in regular session tonight. Among items of interest is a major budget adjustment. Managing Editor Tami Roleff takes a closer look…
At tonight’s meeting of the Hi-Desert Water District’s board of directors, the first action item is to discuss changing the meeting time from 6 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Next, directors will be asked to approve a mid-year budget adjustment of nearly $783,000, and review the mid-year budget. Directors will then receive an update on the sewer project. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. in district offices at Inca Trail and Highway 62 in Yucca Valley.

DINNER, AUCTION, AND A SHOW AT YUCCA VALLEY UNITED METHODIST SATURDAY

The United Methodist Church of Yucca Valley and Boy Scout Pack 903 will hold a spaghetti dinner, variety show, and silent auction Saturday, February 18. The dinner includes pasta (including gluten-free pasta) with sauce (with or without meat), garlic bread, salad, and beverage. Dessert is an additional dollar. Doors open at 4:30 and dinner starts at 5. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children, or $25 for families, and are available at the door. The United Methodist Church is located at the corner of Onaga Trail and Joshua Lane in Yucca Valley.

REACH OUT PARADE OF HOMES THIS SUNDAY

Reach Out Morongo Basin’s annual Parade of Homes happens this Sunday, February 19. Six homes have been selected for the showcase. The annual fundraiser brings in thousands of dollars to support services for area senior and disabled residents. The homes on the tour are selected for their artistic, historic, or other eclectic qualities. Reporter Mike Lipsitz has details …
Reach Out Morongo Basin’s Parade of Homes offers ticket holders entrée into the Basin’s most unique abodes. Among them is Magic on the Mesa, a rustic homestead artfully decorated. Bohemian Chic, also on the Mesa, is a ranch-style home that showcases the owner’s love of color and art. It’s unconventional inside and out. In the Panorama Heights area of Joshua Tree is a ranch on 2.5 private acres; it offers incredible views from the glorious veranda or the star gazing pavilion. In Joshua Tree, Flora Desierta tells the story of how a love for the desert turned a 900 square foot “plain Jane” house into a reflection of the owner’s love of place. Don’t overlook the gardens. Moving east is The Campbell House in Twentynine Palms. From its humble beginnings nearly a century ago, this may be the Morongo Basin’s most historically significant property. And finally, in the Desert Heights area, the sixth home showcases what is possible when you cross a homestead cabin with magic.
Your $25 ticket for the Parade of Homes includes a pass to all six homes on the tour and lunch at the Park Rock Café in Joshua Tree. Tickets are available here at the Z107.7 studios in Joshua Tree, at Reach Out Morongo Basin, the Desert Trail, Chamber of Commerce, and Cowboy Attic in Twentynine Palms, and in Yucca Valley at Art FX & Furnishings, the Chamber of Commerce, and Reach Out offices.