TWENTYNINE PALMS DEFENDANTS ACCEPT PLEA BARGAIN IN SEX TRAFFICKING TRIAL

Two Twentynine Palms residents accepted a plea bargain Thursday afternoon in the middle of their trial in Joshua Tree for sex trafficking. According to court records, deputies found a teen girl in the desert near Twentynine Palms in June 2015, and determined that she was the victim of a sex trafficking ring. In January 2016, investigators arrested Kevin Akins, now 28, and Aubrei Wilson, now 23, who lured girls and young women to Twentynine Palms, promising them romantic relationships. Once the girls and women arrived in Twentynine Palms, they were forced to work as prostitutes. Akins’ and Wilson’s trial started Tuesday, and Thursday afternoon, the trial was halted when Akins and Wilson agreed to a plea bargain. Kevin Akins pleaded guilty to causing a minor to engage in commercial sex; depriving another of personal liberty; pandering by procuring, and threatening a crime; in exchange, three charges of pimping, one charge of pandering, and one charge of inducing a minor were dropped. Kevin Akins can face up to 20 years in state prison when he is sentenced May 5. Aubrei Wilson, who was being tried along with Akins, pleaded guilty to inducing a minor to engage in commercial sex; pimping; and depriving another of personal liberty, in exchange for the dismissal of three charges of pandering, one charge of pimping, and one charge of a minor engaged in prostitution. She could receive a sentence of eight years in state prison.

MULTIPLE PEOPLE ARRESTED FOLLOWING DRUG HOUSE RAID IN YUCCA VALLEY THURSDAY

Sheriff’s deputies raided a reputed drug house in Yucca Valley Thursday and arrested multiple people on drug charges. According to a Sheriff’s report, deputies went to a home in the 7400 block of Condalia Avenue about 11:20 with a search warrant. During a search of the house, deputies found drug paraphernalia throughout the home. Deputies determined that Danny Hoyle, 60, and Kimberly Stine, 48, were in charge of the home and allowed numerous people to use drugs in the house. Danny Hoyle and Kimberly Stine were arrested on suspicion of owning and operating a drug house; Hoyle was released due to medical concerns and his case will be forwarded to a district attorney for review. Stine was booked into the Morongo Basin Jail with her bail set at $25,000. Brenda Hoyle, 55, and John Harrison, 47, were arrested for investigation of possession of drug paraphernalia, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, and released. Robert Younger, 55, was arrested and booked into the Morongo Basin Jail for a probation violation.

FREE PIANO CONCERT IN DESERT HOT SPRINGS

A free classical concert is planned for tomorrow. Here with your invitation is reporter Kirby Davis…
The third season of Desert Hot Springs Classical Concerts continues Sunday, April 9 at 4 p.m. at Christ Lutheran Church. This concert features Danny Holt, who will be making his solo piano debut. Admission is free, but attendees are encouraged to bring non-perishable food for a food pantry; donations to the church’s flood recovery fund are also welcome. The church is located at 64545 Pierson Boulevard in Desert Hot Springs.

SAVE THE DATE FOR JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK ASSOCIATION ART FESTIVAL 

The Joshua Tree National Park Association’s Art Festival has been celebrating the inspiration of nature for 25 years. This year’s festival, which continues through Sunday, April 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. today and tomorrow 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.

DESERT CHIC SOCIAL EVENT TONIGHT

You can soak in the atmosphere of old-time Twentynine Palms Saturday.  Managing Editor Tami Roleff invites you to a fundraiser for the Twentynine Palms Historical Society at a historic city landmark…
Here’s your chance to enjoy the historic atmosphere of Broadview Hacienda, the former home of Twentynine Palms pioneers Bill and Prudie Underhill, founders of the Desert Trail. The Twentynine Palms Historical Society is sponsoring the fourth annual Desert Chic social on Saturday, April 8, from 4:30 to 7:30 at the historic residence with fabulous 360 degree views. Tickets are a minimum of $25 for historical society members; $30 for nonmembers, and are available at the Old Schoolhouse Museum andat the door. Attire is desert casual to the nines. Broadview Hacienda is located at 73452 Sunnyslope Drive. For more information, visit the 29 Palms Historical Society’s website at 29palmshistorical.com. Reporting for Z107.7, this is managing editor Tami Roleff.

JOSHUA TREE JAZZ BAND CONCERT TONIGHT

The Joshua Tree Jazz Band will hold a concert Saturday, April 8, during the Second Saturday Art Crawl. The concert will be held from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in back of Zannedelions Boutique at 61877 29 Palms Highway in Joshua Tree. There will be a no host bar and munchies available. The concert is free, but donations are appreciated.

CMC EXPERIMENTAL ART

Most of the year, great learning takes place behind classroom doors at Copper Mountain College. But during April and May, students and non-students alike are invited to expand their minds outside the classrooms. Reporter Mike Lipsitz has your invitation …
During April and May, ten artists of note will show their outdoor artworks on the CMC campus in what the Art Program is calling their first campus Experimental Art Exhibition. Each unique work is a site-specific installation; there are bells, birds, inspiring words, slabs of slate, rye seeds, and dancing figures. Each isa visual delight and conceptually engaging. The artists, all council members of the Palm Springs Arts Museum, include Tammy Ashworth, Cathy Allen, Zach Fleming, Carole Hatcher, Melissae Lucia, Mike McLain, Jen Richards, Esther Shaw, Maryann Sutherland, and Ingrid Von Sydow. The public is invited to view the works any time the campus is open. An artist reception will be on campus at Bruce’s Place April 8 from 3 to 6 p.m., and will feature guided tours lead by CMC art students. For more information contact Cathy Allen at 760-366-3791.
Reporting for Z107.7 News, this is Mike Lipsitz.

THE IMPACT OF SMILING EXPLORED AT LIFETREE CAFÉ

The next topic explored at Lifetree Café will make you smile. Once again here’s Kirby Davis…
The infectious power of a smile will be discussed at Lifetree Café on Sunday, April 9, at 4 p.m. The program, titled “Smile Awhile: An Hour of Happy,” explores the mental and physical benefits of smiling and features a screening of the short film The Honey and Bears. During the free program, participants will have the opportunity to discuss times in life they have felt genuinely happy. Lifetree Café is located behind Little Church of the Desert in Twentynine Palms at Veterans Way and Ocotillo Avenue. For more information, call Brad White-Findeisen at 760-217-2597.

OPENING RECEPTION FOR PHOTOGRAPHY SHOW AT RAINBOW STEW

The Chaparral Artists’ Guild will hold its opening reception for its spring photo show at Rainbow Stew in Yucca Valley Sunday, April 9, from 1 to 3 p.m. Rainbow Stew is located on the south side of Highway 62 in Old Town Yucca Valley.

CHINESE EXERCISE WORKSHOPS TODAY IN YUCCA VALLEY

A Yucca Valley church will host two Chinese exercise workshops Saturday, April 8, with a licensed acupuncturist. Qigong is an ancient form of exercises that uses simple movement, breath, and visualization exercises. Session I is $35 and is from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. If you miss that one, Session II is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and includes a short hike to a sunset destination for $65. The Qigong workshops will be held at Desert Hills Presbyterian Church, 56750 Mountain View Trail. For more information, call Kathy Ashkins at 760-365-6331.