MORONGO BASIN MAC TO MEET; DOWNTOWN JOSHUA TREE PLAN REPORT POSTPONED

The Morongo Basin Municipal Advisory Council will meet with a sparse agenda tonight, following the cancellation of a major presentation. Here with the details is reporter David Haldane…
Joshua Tree residents anxious to learn more about a Caltrans plan to slow traffic through their business district will have to wait a little longer. An expected update by a representative of the state transportation agency at tonight’s meeting of the Morongo Municipal Advisory Council has been postponed. The plan, among other things, calls for narrowing Highway 62 by carving out a dedicated bike lane and restriping parking lanes from parallel to diagonal. The council will meet anyway, a spokesman said, but with a sparse agenda including the usual public safety reports, comments by MAC members and opportunity for public comment. It all gets underway 6:30 p.m. at the Joshua Tree Community Center on Sunburst Avenue.

TWENTYNINE PALMS MAN ACCUSED OF CHILD ABUSE

A Twentynine Palms man was arrested Thursday, accused of child abuse. According to limited information from the Sheriff’s Department, deputies substantiated allegations that Floyd Shaffer, 53, of the 1400 block of Sunrise, had choked a child. Floyd Shaffer was arrested on suspicion of felony child abuse, booked into the West Valley Detention Center, with his bail set at $50,000.

MAN ARRESTED TWICE IN THE SAME WEEK

A man who was arrested Tuesday was arrested again Thursday, accused of different charges. Sheriff’s reports say deputies were called to the Twentynine Palms Stater Brothers grocery store about 6 a.m. Tuesday for a man, later identified as Joshua Thompson, 31, for identity theft. Thompson was arrested and released. Two days later, on Thursday about 10:45 p.m. deputies were called to the 6900 block of Old Woman Springs Road in Yucca Valley where they found Thompson sitting in a stolen truck. Joshua Thompson, whose home address is listed with the same street address in Oak Hills for one arrest and Hesperia for the other, was arrested for investigation of grand theft, and receiving stolen property, and on a no-bail warrant for violating the terms of his probation, and booked into the Morongo Basin Jail.

A DOZEN TEAMS COMPETE IN 26TH ANNUAL SPELL-A-THON SATURDAY

A dozen teams competed for bragging rights in the 26th annual spell-a-thon Saturday, sponsored by the Morongo Basin Coalition for Adult Literacy. For the fifth consecutive year, managing editor Tami Roleff was on one of the teams competing, and said the final two teams were well matched…
After 10 teams dropped out of the 26th annual spell-a-thon, it was up to the Letterhead Shrikes—comprised of Joe Zarki, Marilyn Lutz, and Tasha LaDoux—and the Word Muses, comprised of Kelly O’Sullivan, Cathy Snodgrass, and myself—to battle it out for first place and bragging rights of being the best spellers in the Morongo Basin. The two teams went nine rounds, spelling words like somnolent, maladroit, paparazzi, deleterious, ubiquitous, emissary, oligarchy, bamboozle, caterwaul, assizes, denouement, capricious, intaglio, elegiac, before the Word Muses missed rubicund. The Letterhead Shrikes correctly spelled it and then corporeity to win the championship. Cathy and the Lascivious Lads of Copper Mountain College once again took first place for highest pledges (about $1400), and the Word Muses took second place for pledges (about $700). All proceeds benefit the non-profit organization that helps adults learn to read.

DIAL 211 FOR COUNTY SOCIAL SERVICES, HUMAN RESOURCES HOTLINE AVAILABLE

If you need help with health or social services, there is only one phone number you need to know; 211 is an information and referral service that helps residents find resources that may be able to help you with health and social services. By dialing 2-1-1, callers will be helped by a live person 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you are a local service provider and would like to register your services, please contact them.  Find out more at www.211sb.org.

COUNTY OFFERS FREE HUMAN RESOURCES HOTLINE

San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board has partnered with California Employers Association to provide local employers within San Bernardino County access to a free Human Resources Hotline. The number is 877-282-3763.

YUCCA VALLEY MAN A RELUCTANT HERO IN EUREKA FATAL HIT AND RUN

Authorities in Eureka, California, are calling him a hero. But a Yucca Valley man expresses a kind of “aw shucks” modesty in describing how he helped police apprehend the suspect in a fatal hit-and-run. Reporter David Haldane has the story…
It’s something everyone wonders: If tragedy struck, would you do the right thing? For James Verner Jr. of Yucca Valley, the wondering is over; something horrible went down and he acted like a hero.
It happened last week in Northern California where Verner, 30, was on a business trip. He had just stopped at an intersection when, wham, a pick-up truck whizzed by, whacked a woman in the crosswalk and kept on moving.
Shirley Hoyt, 56, died later at a local hospital.
And Verner, without blinking an eye, took off after the truck, cornered it with his car, grabbed the man’s keys and called 911. Larry Nielsen, also 56, was arrested and booked on felony hit and run and vehicular manslaughter.
So how is it that an ordinary man could do something so extraordinary?
“I just felt like it was the right the thing to do. I’m not a hero. I felt I did what was right and I don’t feel you can be a hero for doing the right thing.”

VOLUNTEERS SOUGHT FOR FOOD FOR LIFE PROGRAM IN TWENTYNINE PALMS

Volunteers are being sought to prepare and serve meals at Food for Life in Twentynine Palms. There are many dates open. Signing up for a date will result in an invitation to visit Food for Life one Saturday a month prior and see what food is available for you to use for your meal. You will be able to see the facilities and see how we are set up. Food for Life ministry is now in its 13th year and has served 193 individuals through their in-hall and delivery system so far this year and the need continues to increase. Drivers are also needed. Twentynine Palms has been divided into four sections and they need four drivers a week. If you sign up, you only work on those Saturdays you are available. To sign up for either of these positions, please call Wally Currie at 760-449-8683 or Kelly Schumacher at 760-819-3054.

YUCCA VALLEY HIGH’S CAREER PATHWAYS GOLF TOURNAMENT SEEKS SPONSORS

The annual golf tournament to benefit the Yucca Valley High School Career Pathways scholarship program is April 7 at Hawks Landing. Reporter Mike Lipsitz says sponsors are needed…
Over the last two decades, Career Pathways Foundation has awarded more than $120,000 in educational scholarships to deserving Yucca Valley High School student interns. For the past 11 years, the main source of funding has come from local sponsors of the annual golf tournament. This year’s scramble format tournament will be held April 7 at Hawks Landing Golf Club at Blue Skies. Sponsorship opportunities are available for teams at $320, individual golfers at $80, and for the overall event at $1,000. Prize donations to be awarded at the event are also needed. Sponsorship creates good will and distinguishes your business for support of local youth. Career Pathways is a 501(c)3 non-profit and contributions may be tax deductible. For more information, Jeff Drozd at 760-447-4015 or jdrozd@yvhs.net.

TWENTYNINE PALMS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL ENDS A REMARKABLE RUN

The Twentynine Palms High School boys’ basketball team ended its remarkable march through the state CIF Division IV Championship Saturday. The 28-3 Wildcats took on Immanuel High School of Reedley, who were 21-8, in a second-round CIF state Division IV regional quarterfinal playoff game at home. The Wildcats were down by 4 points at the half, down by 1 point going into the fourth quarter, before losing 73-59. Congratulations Wildcats on an awesome season.

TWENTYNINE PALMS HIGH SCHOOL TRACK RESULTS

The Twentynine Palms Wildcats track and field team traveled to Palm Desert High School to compete in the Aztec Invitational.
The young team turned in a solid performance with 30 personal records and nine top three finishers in a deep competition field.
Coach Ronda Lockett-Morton said The first place winners on Saturday were:  
Shania Newby won the girls varsity 400m with a personal record time of 1:01.56. 
Amanda Mohn won the junior varsity girls shotput with a personal best heave of 29 feet, 7.5 inches.
Freshman Tucker Thornburg won the junior varsity 1600m with a 10-second personal record of 5:02.63.
The Wildcats’ next meet is the first league meet of the season; they will face the Desert Mirage Rams on Wednesday at home.