YUCCA VALLEY TOWN COUNCIL DISCUSSES VACATION HOME RENTALS

The Yucca Valley Town Council had a preliminary discussion about vacation home rentals at its meeting last night. Managing editor Tami Roleff was there, and has more…
The Yucca Valley Town council heard a report on vacation home rentals at its meeting last night. During public comment, resident Gwendolyn Jones said it was nearly impossible for her to find a single-family home to rent at an affordable price in Yucca Valley, which she said was partly due to the fact that there are 300 short-term rentals in the town. She also complained about noise issues and how short-term rentals change neighborhoods. Council members were informed that the town has only received two complaints about short term rentals in the last 18 months, and Morongo Basin Sheriff’s Captain Jeff Joling added that the Sheriff’s department has received very few calls for service at short-term rentals. The council discussed requiring short-term rentals to get permits, pay transient occupancy taxes, and have leases include information about where off-highway vehicles can be driven legally. The planning commission will now take these thoughts and transform them into town regulations at a future meeting.

HIGHWAY 62 BRIEFLY CLOSED THIS MORNING DUE TO DUI CRASH IN MORONGO VALLEY

UPDATES WITH NAME OF DRIVER:

Highway 62 was briefly closed down in both directions following a traffic crash in Morongo Valley this morning. About 4:10, a 1998 Dodge pick-up truck traveling eastbound on the highway collided with a power pole at Scholl Drive. The pole was sheared off, but was leaning across the eastbound lanes by the tension wires; the westbound lanes were closed about 4:40 as a precaution, and lanes were opened in both directions about 5:30. The California Highway Patrol said Edgar Morales, 44, of Yucca Valley was driving east when he made an unsafe turning movement causing the vehicle to leave the roadway and collide with the power pole. Edgar Morales was arrested for investigation of driving under the influence and booked into the Morongo basin Jail. Morales not injured.

MAN RETURNING FROM DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CLASS ACCUSED OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

A man who had just returned home from a court-ordered domestic violence class was arrested Saturday, accused of beating up his pregnant girlfriend. Sheriff’s investigators say Michael Harper, 34, returned to his home in the 59100 block of Stearman Road in Landers about 8:30 p.m. and began arguing with his girlfriend over alcohol. The woman told deputies that Harper punched her on the right side of her cheek. She said she then ran out to Harper’s vehicle to retrieve his keys so he couldn’t drive. While she was in the car, Harper dragged her out of the vehicle and across the gravel driveway. The deputy determined that the woman had injuries consistent with being punched and dragged. Michael Harper was arrested for investigation of felony spouse abuse, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, with his bail set at $50,000. In November 2016, Harper pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic violence and was sentenced to a year-long domestic violence program.

29 PALMS ART GALLERY PLANS A PAINT NIGHT

Some fun fund-raising planned for tomorrow night at the Twentynine Palms Art Gallery. Reporter Sara Snyder invites you to a Wine and Paint night…
The 29 Palms Art Gallery will hold a wine and paint night led by noted painter Mark Spangenberg on Thursday, March 9, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Spangenberg will provide a demonstration and basic instruction for starting and finishing a canvas. Participants are invited to bring an appetizer to share. The class it open to both beginners and experienced painters. The cost is $40 and includes a canvas board, paint, and brushes. To register, visit 29palmsartgallery.com. The 29 Palms Art Gallery is located at 74055 Cottonwood Drive at the corner of National Park Drive, in Twentynine Palms.

TWENTYNINE PALMS MAN FOUND WITH OVER 4 TIMES THE LEGAL LIMIT FOR ALCOHOL

A man is accused of being more than four times over the legal limit of intoxication when he was arrested Saturday afternoon. A Sheriff’s report said a deputy checked on a vehicle parked on the side of the road near Monte Vista Drive and Cottonwood Drive in Twentynine Palms about 3 p.m. Saturday. Passed out on the front seat, with the car turned off and the keys out of reach, was Charles Adams, 55, of Twentynine Palms. The deputy saw a half full bottle of whiskey in the car’s cup holder. Adams allegedly told the deputy he was too hammered to perform field sobriety tests. A preliminary breathalyzer test showed his blood alcohol content was .344, more than four times the legal limit. Charles Adams was transported to Hi-Desert Medical Center for treatment of alcohol poisoning. A blood alcohol content of .35 to .40 is often fatal.

YUCCA VALLEY WOMAN ACCUSED OF SQUATTING AND DRUGS

A Yucca Valley woman was arrested Friday after she was found squatting in a home. According to a Sheriff’s report, a real estate agent called deputies to a home in the 57000 block of Selecta Avenue about 5:30 p.m. Friday because he saw belongings in a home that was supposed to be vacant. The deputy found Amber Watson, 25, inside the home, along with her 1-year-old daughter. Watson showed the deputy what she said was a lease, but the deputy determined the lease had been forged. In addition, the report states Watson could not provide any evidence showing she had paid rent. During a search of the home, the deputy found methamphetamine on the bed where her daughter was sleeping. Amber Watson was arrested for investigation of burglary and forgery, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, with her bail set at $25,000. Child Protective Services released the daughter to her father.

TWENTYNINE PALMS HISTORY LECTURE FRIDAY

The Twentynine Palms Historical Society continues its second Friday lecture series. With your invitation, here’s Rebecca Havely…
Marshall South Rides Again is the title of the next lecture Friday, March 10 at 7 p.m. Author, publisher, and photographer Diana Lindsay explores the writings of Marshall South whose 1930’s and 40’s Western works were lost for decades. This lecture is open to the public and costs $5 per person at the door of the Old Schoolhouse Museum, 6760 National Park Drive, in Twentynine Palms.

YUCCA VALLEY WOMAN HONORED AS STATE ASSEMBLY DISTRICT WOMAN OF THE YEAR

A Yucca Valley woman was named 2017 Woman of the Year by Assemblyman Chad Mayes for California’s 42nd Assembly district. Nancy Huntington was honored for her outstanding community service. She has served as a director for the Boys and Girls Club of the Hi-Desert for 24 years, as well as six years for the Boys and Girls Club Inland Empire Coalition. Huntington was also an adjunct faculty member for Copper Mountain College and was a mentor coordinator for welfare to work participants in the CalWorks program. Mayes said Huntington “is a shining example for all Californians” and her accomplishments are “truly inspirational.”

LAST DAY TO REGISTER FOR THE ADULT LITERACY SPELL-A-THON

If you are entering a team in the annual Adult Literacy benefit spell-a-thon, you need to do it today. Managing Editor Tami Roleff has this reminder…
The last day to register for the 26th annual spell-a-thon, a fundraiser sponsored by the Morongo Basin Coalition for Adult Literacy, is today, March 8. Teams of three will listen to words and have the opportunity to consult each other before spelling the word out loud. The registration fee is $25. Prizes will be awarded to the first-, second-, and third-place winners, as well as the team that brings in the most pledges. There will also be drawings and door prizes. The spell-a-thon will be held Saturday, March 11, at the Helen Gray Education Center at the Hi-Desert Medical Center in Joshua Tree. For more information or to register, call 760-362-4132.

COPPER MOUNTAIN COLLEGE BOARD MEETS TOMORROW

On the agenda for tomorrow’s regular 2 p.m. meeting of the Copper Mountain College board of trustees is a closed session evaluation of president/superintendent Jeff Cummings near the top of the meeting. Back in open session, trustees will convene a public hearing on faculty association contract negotiations; then under action items, trustees hear second readings on four updated board policies, as well as consider a half dozen items under human resources. Tomorrow’s meeting takes place in the Bell Center’s Community Room on the college’s Joshua Tree campus.

YUCCA VALLEY AIRPORT BOARD MEETS TONIGHT

Some of the items the Yucca Valley Airport District Board of Directors will discuss at their meeting tonight (Wednesday, March 8) are airport use and through-the-fence agreements. Under new business, directors will discuss changing the date and cycle of the election, and generator and electric use by T Hangers. The meeting starts at 6:30 in the Mesquite Room of the Yucca Valley Community Center.

CALL FOR ART FOR REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE EXHIBITION

Tomorrow is the deadline for artists to submit their work for a special exhibition at the Hi-Desert Nature Museum in Yucca valley. Reporter Edica Gonzales says it is all about reducing, reusing, and recycling…
The Hi-Desert Nature Museum in Yucca Valley is putting out a call for art for its annual Reduce, Reuse, Recycle art exhibition. Art intake is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 9 through 11 at the museum. An opening reception is set for March 18 from 5 to 7 p.m. The exhibition goes on display at the museum March 16 through June 3. Artists may exhibit up to two pieces of art inspired by or made from recycled materials. Art may include paintings, photos, sculptures, and mixed media. Organizers encourage children, schools, and clubs to submit artwork. For complete details go to: http://hidesertnaturemuseum.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/ReduceExhibitInfo2017.pdf

TWENTYNINE PALMS CHAMBER SMALL BUSINESS NIGHT TOMORROW HOSTS THE SBA

At the Twentynine Palms Chamber of Commerce Professionals Night Thursday, March 9, a representative from the Small Business Administration will hold a question and answer session on how the SBA can help small businesses. The event, which starts at 6 p.m. is free for Chamber members, and $5 for non-members. For more information, call 760-367-3445.