75-YEAR-OLD PEDESTRIAN STRUCK AND KILLED IN DESERT HOT SPRINGS

A 75-year-old man was killed Wednesday morning after he was struck by a car in Desert Hot Springs. Police say the man, who has not yet been identified, was struck by a vehicle at the intersection of Palm Drive and Ironwood Drive about 6 a.m. Witnesses said the man was not in the crosswalk when he was hit. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he later died. The driver was not injured and alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the collision.

TRAIN HITS A CAR ON THE TRACKS IN AMBOY

The California Highway Patrol is investigating a crash where an eastbound train hit an abandoned car on the tracks in Amboy. The CHP says it happened just before 4 a.m. Wednesday morning on National Trails Highway just west of Roy’s Café. No one on the train was injured by the crash. Officer Roberts of the Barstow CHP office said the registered owner of the red 1991 Ford Thunderbird is not local to the area, but officers will be looking for the owner for an explanation. The tracks were blocked for several hours during the investigation.

CEMENT TRUCK HITS CAR IN TWENTYNINE PALMS

A crash between a cement truck and a small car sent one man to the hospital Wednesday morning. About 7 a.m., the driver of a Toyota was driving eastbound on Highway 62 and attempted to turn north on Sunrise Road in Twentynine Palms. A cement truck traveling westbound on the highway crashed into the front passenger side of the car. The passenger in the car suffered cuts to the head and was taken to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs.

A WARNING ABOUT SCAMMERS POSING AS THE IRS

Now that tax season is here, federal officials are warning about scammers posing as IRS agents. The IRS says the tax scam is the most common tax scam, with victims losing more than $26 million. The most important thing to be aware of is that the IRS never makes its first contact with you via the telephone. Edica Gonzalez gives tips on how you can avoid being a victim…
Recently, Twentynine Palms resident Roy Patrick received a phone call from a man claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service. The caller said the IRS had issued an arrest warrant for Patrick. The caller gave Patrick a phone number and again threatened him with arrest if he didn’t call. This is a scam. First of all, the IRS NEVER initiates its first contact with taxpayers over the phone, by fax, or by e-mail. Furthermore, the IRS doesn’t take payments over the phone. If you have any questions about the legitimacy of a communication from “the IRS,” call 800-366-4484 or go to irs.gov.

SMALL FIRE IN YUCCA VALLEY THURSDAY MORNING

Yucca Valley firefighters were called to a fire in a storage container in Yucca Valley this morning. County Battalion Chief Scott Tuttle said the call came in at 6:33 for the fire near Cobalt Road and Cholla Avenue. The 20-foot container was filled with engine blocks and car parts. Firefighters had the fire under control in about 10 minutes; the cause is still under investigation.

TWENTYNINE PALMS WOMAN ARRESTED AFTER DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

A Twentynine Palms woman was arrested Monday, accused of hitting her husband. According to a Sheriff’s report, Shawna Estrada, 47, and her husband had been drinking since about 9 a.m. in their home in the 6500 block of Desert Queen Avenue when they began to argue about 11 a.m. The victim told deputies that Estrada hit him in the head with a glass dish, cutting him near his right eye. After an investigation, Shawna Estrada was arrested on suspicion of felony spouse abuse, booked into the West Valley Detention Center, with her bail set at $50,000.

TWENTYNINE PALMS MAN ACCUSED OF BURGLARIZING FRIENDS HOME

A Twentynine Palms man was arrested Tuesday, accused of burglarizing a friend’s home. A Sheriff’s report said a resident in the 73900 block of Two Mile Road came home about 6 p.m. and found her home had been ransacked and many items stolen. After talking with a neighbor who described the burglar, the resident realized he was a friend and called the Sheriff’s Department. Deputies went to the home, and after an investigation, arrested Jacob Westerfield, 20, on suspicion of burglary. Jacob Westerfield was booked into the Morongo Basin Jail with his bail set at $25,000.

ARTIST WITH VISON FOR JOSHUA TREE OPENS EXHIBIT SATURDAY

It seems everyone has a different image in mind when it comes to the future of Joshua Tree. Reporter Mike Lipsitz brings us the story of a vision unlike the rest…
County Planners are updating the 70-plus pages of development code called the Joshua Tree Community Plan. Caltrans recently unveiled their vision of a Joshua Tree redefined by yellow painted forbidden zones and highway lanes. Green architect and urban planner Glen Howard Small also has a vision for Joshua Tree. Best described as an overlay, Small’s visionary pedestrian bridge and whimsical restroom renovations are two of several concepts that would place drama, interest and continuity atop both new and existing development. Small places a premium on forms and materials that are both sustainable and economical. “Small at Large,” an exhibit of his sketches and models from the last three years, opens April 8 for a two-week run at Taylor Junction in Joshua Tree. Small will be on hand in the intimate gallery space to discuss the work, most of which has never been seen by the public, from 6 to 9 p.m. on April 8 and again at the April 23 closing from 4 to 8 p.m.
Taylor Junction is on the highway between Sunset Road and Veterans Way in Joshua Tree.

A preview of Small’s Joshua Tree concepts: http://www.smallatlarge.com/2017/01/joshua-tree-2016/

DOUG WELLER NAMED ACTING SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS

Doug Weller, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources at the Morongo Unified School district, is now the district’s acting superintendent. That according to the Board of Education which appointed him during a special session yesterday to fill in for Superintendent Tom Baumgarten, who is on an extended medical leave. A district spokeswoman has said the leave is expected to last at least four weeks.

SIGN UP BY APRIL 14 FOR PARK-TO-PARK BIKE RIDE

The City of Twentynine Palms, in conjunction with the Joshua Tree National Park and the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, are sponsoring the first annual Park-to-Park Bike Ride and Earth Day educational fair. Kirby Davis has all the details…

Attention bicycle enthusiasts, mark your calendar for April 29 for the Park-to-Park Bike Ride and Earth Day fair. This 27-mile round-trip bike ride will begin at Knott’s Sky Park in Twentynine Palms and will continue up to Key’s View in the Joshua Tree National Park and back to Knott’s Sky Park. Participants who register by April 14 will receive a boxed lunch and t-shirt. Registration fees are $20 for active duty military and $35 for civilians. This event is limited to 300 participants. Registrations are currently being accepted on the City of Twentynine Palms website at 29palms.org or by calling the Twentynine Palms Recreation Department at 760-367-7562.

JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK ART FESTIVAL OPENS TOMORROW

The Joshua Tree National Park Association’s Art Festival has been celebrating the inspiration of nature for 25 years. This year’s festival, set for April 7 through 9, will feature 30 local and regional artists who will show and sell their work and share their personal interpretation of Joshua Tree National Park and the desert southwest. Original works of painting, sculpture, photography, ceramics, art glass, jewelry and gourd art will be featured. The free Art Festival runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day on the patio overlooking the Oasis of Mara at the Joshua Tree National Park’s Oasis Visitor Center in Twentynine Palms. For more information, visit www.joshuatree.org or call 760-367-5535.

ART EXHIBITION, “SPRING RENEWAL” RECEPTION TOMORROW IN TWENTYNINE PALMS

The new downtown Twentynine Palms Art Galley exhibition “Spring Renewal” opens with a reception tomorrow. Reporter Rebecca Havely has your invitation…

You’re invited to an opening reception for “Spring Renewal,” the spring Art in Public Places exhibition, April 7, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m., held at the City of Twentynine Palms Visitor Center and Gallery Chamber of Commerce located at 73484 29 Palms Highway. The exhibition showcases spring in the desert in a variety of media, including paintings, photography, mosaics, ceramics, and metal sculpture. Enjoy music and refreshments with the artists at this free reception. The exhibition will remain on display from April 7 through June 30. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. For directions or more information go to visit29.org or call 760-367-6197.

Artwork Credit: “Renewal” by Thomas Alban, 30” x 30” x 20” clay, cement, metal, wood.

HISTORICAL SOCIETY RUMMAGE SALE FRIDAY AND SATURDAY

The Morongo Basin Historical Society will hold a two-day rummage sale Friday, April 7, and Saturday, April 8. Some of the items for sale include sports trading cards, Harley-Davidson parts for motorcycles from the 1940s and ’50s, furniture, and man-cave items. Sale hours are 9 to 1 both days at the historical society’s office, 632 Landers Lane in Landers.

SPIRITUALITY AND WELLNESS TALK AT YUCCA VALLEY CHURCH TOMORROW

Desert Hills Presbyterian Church will sponsor a talk on spirituality and wellness Friday, April 7 at 7 p.m. The talk is free, but donations are accepted. The church is located at 56750 Mountain View Trail in Yucca Valley. For more information, call Kathy Ashkins at 760-365-6331.

SENIORS OFFERED FREE TEEN TECH HELP TOMORROW

Are you still trying to figure out all those new tech devices out there? Free teen tech will be available in Yucca Valley tomorrow. Managing editor Tami Roleff tells you when and where…
Need help setting up your cell phone, tablet or other electronic device? Want to learn how to text or set up a Facebook account? Can’t figure out how to download pictures from your camera or cell phone? A team of tech-savvy teens from the Town of Yucca Valley Youth Commission will be available 2:30 to 4:30 Friday, April 7, at the Yucca Valley Senior Center to answer your questions and help you with your technology needs. No appointment is necessary. Come early for lunch at 11:30, stay for games at 1 p.m., and tech help at 2:30.

HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS: SCORES AND SCHEDULES

Twentynine Palms High School track and field teams fell to the Rancho Mirage Rattlers yesterday. The girls were edged 70-55, and the boys 97-30.
Coach Ronda Lockett-Morton said the day was not without highlights as senior Selemara Mapuatuli led the Lady Wildcat throwers to a sweep of the throws events with two personal records.  She launched the discus for 112’3″ and heaved a 32’3″ put in the shot.
Other double winners were Jhordan Stanley (100m hurdles and 300m hurdles), Shaniah Newby (100m and 200m) and Vanessa Walton (800m and 3200m).  Walton earned a personal record in the 800 meters with a time of 2:36.72.
Three athletes earned first place for the boys:  Jonathan Carson (long jump), Jason Walters (triple jump), and KJ Morton (110m high hurdles).
 
The Yucca Valley High School Lady Trojans varsity softball team put another win under their belt with a 17-0 victory at home versus Desert Hot Springs.  
Sophomore Haley Smith pitched near-flawlessly, without a single walk and a total of seven strikeouts, only allowing two hits. Freshman Rylie Rohr, Junior Lily Murillo, and Senior Alexis Ochoa led the hits, each going 2-for-2 at the plate. The girls committed no errors on the field and exhibited exceptional running with a combined total of fourteen stolen bases.
 
In high school sports today, the Joshua Spring baseball team will host Redlands Adventist Academy at home.