TWENTYNINE PALMS CITY COUNCIL MOVES TO BAN STREET SALES

The Twentynine Palms City Council last night expressed its opinion regarding hawking and peddling on city streets in no uncertain terms: It doesn’t like it. Reporter David Haldane was there and filed this report…
If you’re a street vendor in Twentynine Palms, your days may be numbered. In a unanimous vote without opposition, the City Council last night took a decisive step toward banning hawkers from within city limits.
Councilman Joel Klink, who made the motion urging the city’s Planning Commission to outlaw peddling and hawking, explained exactly why.
“I get tired of seeing bonsai trees out there…and firewood all for sale… It’s wrong for us do allow them to do that when we have businesses in town that could sell that. They’re not giving us any sales tax; they’re just getting money and they’re heading out of town.”
In other business, the Council heard a mid-year report on the city’s financial temperature (it’s just fine) and appointed two new planning commissioners. They are Jim Krushat and Leslie May, who will replace outgoing commissioners Bud Wiederhold and Jeffrey Perry.

DEPUTIES INTERRUPT BURGLARY IN PROGRESS FOR SECOND DAY IN A ROW, TWO ARRESTED

For the second day in a row, Morongo Basin Sheriff’s deputies have interrupted a burglary in progress and arrested two people. According to a Sheriff’s report, deputies were called to the 69600 block of Sunny Sands Road in Twentynine Palms about 11:20 p.m. for a suspicious vehicle in a home’s driveway. Inside the home deputies found Nathan Feldman, 37, and Olivia Leclerc, 28, who do not live at the residence. The victim’s property was found inside the suspects’ vehicle. Nathan Feldman and Olivia Leclerc were arrested for investigation of burglary, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, with bail set at $25,000.

SHERIFF INVESTIGATING COINSTAR MACHINE FRAUD

The Sheriff’s Department is investigating multiple cases in which suspects alter a voucher from CoinStar and attempt to redeem it. A Sheriff’s report says a man went to Food 4 Less in Yucca Valley about 6:30 p.m. Sunday and deposited a few coins into the CoinStar machine. He then left the store and returned about 30 minutes later and attempted to cash it for about $70 more than he had deposited. The store cashier noticed the voucher looked different and notified her manager, at which time the suspect fled in a gray Ford Expedition. The manager told deputies this has happened two other times in the last few months. Also on Sunday, a suspect went to Stater Brothers in Yucca Valley and presented a fake CoinStar voucher and received nearly $85 from a cashier. The deception was noticed Monday afternoon and the Sheriff’s Department was notified. Anyone with information about these crimes should call the Sheriff’s Department at 760-366-4175.

HI-DESERT WATER DISTRICT IN BUSY SESSION TONIGHT

The Hi-Desert Water District Board meets in regular session tonight. Among items of interest is the purchase of water, and the vehicles and equipment to keep it flowing…
Among the items on the agenda at tonight’s regular meeting of the Hi-Desert Water District’s Board of Directors, the directors will be asked to authorize the purchase of a dump truck, asphalt roller, and a surveillance system for the district’s administration building. Directors will also hear a report on whether the district’s reserve funds are within the guidelines set by the California Special Districts Association. Then the directors will discuss whether the water district should purchase 4,200 acre feet of water from the Mojave Water Agency. The meeting starts at its new time of 5:30 p.m. in the water district’s office at Inca Trail and Highway 62 in Yucca Valley.

STATE ASSEMBLYMAN CHAD MAYES VOICES MISGIVINGS ON IMMIGRATION BAN

State Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes of Yucca Valley Monday joined several GOP leaders voicing misgivings about President Trump’s executive order temporarily barring refugees from some majority-Muslim countries from entering the country. “Religious liberty is a core value of our nation. My ancestors immigrated to America to flee religious persecution,” Mayes said in a statement. “While bolstering our national security is important, when forced to decide between security and liberty, I will always side with liberty.” Trump’s directives suspended refugee entries for 120 days and barred entry to the U.S. for 90 days for those traveling from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. His executive order has been stayed by various courts. A new executive order is expected soon.

JOSHUA BASIN WATER BOARD SET TO GIVE 6% RAISE TO GENERAL MANAGER

The twice monthly meeting of the Joshua Basin Water District board of directors is tonight. Reporter Mike Lipsitz tells us what to expect …
At tonight’s meeting of the Joshua Basin Water District, the board will vote on a six percent general manager salary increase to $167,000. Also tonight, the board is expected to honor Mojave Water Agency’s General Manager Kirby Brill for his 16-year record of support for the district. Those items and others are in addition to regular reports and routine items on the consent agenda. Tonight’s meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at district offices on Chollita Road in Joshua Tree.

REPAIR TO ROADS ON THE “BACK WAY TO VEGAS” START TOMORROW

Construction starts tomorrow that will disrupt travel for area residents who take the so-called “back way to Vegas.” Drivers who plan to take route on back roads north and east from Twentynine Palms to Las Vegas in March, take note: several roads will be closed to all traffic between noon and 10 p.m. between March 2 and March 18 while Union Pacific upgrades the railroad tracks. The Kelbaker Road crossing at Kelso will be closed March 2, 3, and 4. Drivers should use I-15 or US Route 95 instead. The Cima Road crossing at Cima will be closed March 6, 7 and 8; use Kelbaker Road to drive between I-40 and I-15. And the Ivanpah Road crossing, nine miles south of Nipton Road, will be closed March 17 and 18.

AUDITIONS FOR “INTO THE WOODS” MONDAY AT THEATRE 29

“Into the Woods” is the next big Broadway musical slated for Theatre 29’s season. Veteran director Charles Harvey is seeking a cast of 16 musical performers. Reporter Rebecca Havely has the cast break down…

The cast of Stephen Sondheim’s musical “Into the Woods” consists of a male narrator who also plays a mysterious vagrant; Cinderella and her two stepsisters Florinda and Lucinda all are in their teens to 20s; Cinderella’s Father and wicked Stepmother are 30 to 50; her Prince and Rapunzel’s Prince are both 18-25; Rapunzel is 18-25; Jack the giant slayer is in his teens to 20s; Jack’s Mother doubles as the ghost of Cinderella’s Mother; The Baker and the Baker’s wife are both 25 to 45; Little Red Riding Hood is in her teens to 20s; the Wolf who pursues her doubles as a Steward; the Witch must be a belter.

The auditions will consist of singing a Broadway show tune, movement and cold readings. Auditions are Monday, March 6, at 6:30 p.m. on the Theatre 29 mainstage.

Bring a karaoke or non-vocal backing track on CD or a mobile device with a speaker and dress prepared to move. For more information, check out the audition details on Theatre 29’s Facebook page and website or email the director at webmaster@theatre29.org. “Into the Woods will run four weekends from April 21 through May 14. For tickets visit theatre29.org

ROADWORK THIS WEEK IN THE CITY OF TWENTYNINE PALMS

Roadwork in Twentynine Palms will affect area residents. Construction is underway this week for the curb, gutter and sidewalk project along the south end of El Sol Avenue in Twentynine Palms. This project should be completed by the end of March. For more information, call Randy Councell at 760-367-7562.

SQUARE DANCE CLASSES START TOMORROW

You can sign up for square dance classes from tomorrow through March 16 from our local Star Twirlers. Reporter Kirby Davis tells you how to get in touch with your inner dosie-doh…
The Star Twirlers Square Dance Club of Yucca Valley will hold classes to learn square and line dancing. The classes begin Thursday, March 2, but new students will be accepted through March 16. The first class is free; additional classes are $5 each for square dancing and $3 for line dancing. Line dance classes are from 6 to 7 p.m.; square dance classes run from 7 to 9 p.m. All classes are held at the Yucca Valley Elks Lodge, 55946 Yucca Trail. Classes are open to dancers ages 12 and up.

HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS SCHEDULE

Coming up in high school sports tomorrow, the Joshua Springs baseball team will travel away to Thermal to play Coachella Valley High School. First pitch is at 3:15 p.m.