LANDERS MAN KILLED IN EARLY SUNDAY MORNING LUCERNE VALLEY CRASH

An early morning crash killed a Landers man in Lucerne Valley yesterday. The County Coroner’s office said Sunday, April 16, at approximately 6:39 a.m., officers with the California Highway Patrol responded to a 911 call of a single overturned vehicle traffic collision, located near Old Woman Springs Road and Lafon Road in Lucerne Valley. The driver of a Dodge Caliber, 56-year-old David Hoffman of Landers, for unknown reasons, lost control of his vehicle and overturned into the open desert. David Hoffman remained in the vehicle but was pronounced dead at the scene. The California Highway Patrol is investigating the collision.

THREE INJURED IN MORONGO VALLEY CRASH

Three people were injured Saturday morning when a car crashed into a power pole in Morongo Valley. About 9:24 a.m., firefighters were called to westbound Highway 62 and Bella Vista Avenue where they found a red Honda with its front end completely smashed in. The three people inside—Manuel Gumataotao, 52; Tracy Gumataotao, 50; and Victoria Gumataotao, 11—all had moderate injuries and extrication from the car. They were transported by Morongo Basin Ambulance to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs.

Photo credit: Morongo Valley Fire Department

SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT ASKS FOR HELP IN LOCATING MISSING YUCCA VALLEY MAN

The Sheriff’s Department is asking for the public’s help in locating a missing Yucca Valley man. George “Marty” McKissen left his home in the 56800 block of Little League Drive about 9:30 Friday morning to ride his blue “Huffy” mountain bike, and never returned home. McKissen has the mental capacity of a 12-year-old and may act shy around strangers. Marty McKissen was last seen wearing a black leather jacket, dark jeans, a black baseball cap, and brown boots. Reverse 911 calls were sent to landline phones in the area asking for help in finding McKissen. Anyone with information should call the Sheriff’s Department at 760-366-4175.

 

COUNTY SUPERVISORS TO DIVVY UP FEDERAL FUNDING TOMORROW

Several items up for discussion hold special interest to Morongo Basin at the 10 a.m. County Board of Supervisor’s meeting tomorrow in San Bernardino. Reporter Mike Lipsitz has details …
Supervisors will convene a public hearing tomorrow. It will be the public’s final opportunity to weigh in on the County’s plan for the almost $10 million it hopes to receive from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The lion’s share of these funds typically go to the county’s 13 incorporated cities, Yucca Valley and Twentynine Palms among them. Yucca Valley is eying $80,000 for Paradise Park renovations, and another $35,000 for enhanced code enforcement operations. Twentynine Palms is looking for $42,000 for ADA improvements at Knotts Sky Park. If approved, funds would be for use in fiscal 2017-18. Also tomorrow, the board will declare a vacancy on the Twentynine Palms Cemetery District, and the Flamingo Heights seat on the Morongo Basin Municipal Advisory Council.

BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR BEARS IN MORONGO VALLEY

The sign is short and to the point; it reads: Beware! Bear and cubs onsite in early morning and evening after dark.
The signs were posted around Covington Park in Morongo Valley in early March after the bears were spotted there. Most certainly a California Black Bear, the beasts were also spotted there last July when the bears routinely overturned trash containers looking for food after dark. Another nighttime sighting was recently reported near the intersection of Juniper and Palo Verde in Morongo Valley. If you see a bear, leave the area immediately and call county animal control at 800-472-5609. And if you lunch or picnic in Covington Park, bring your trash out with you, don’t leave it in park receptacles.
 

FREE, RAPID, HIV TESTING IN YUCCA VALLEY WEDNESDAY

The Morongo Basin Healthcare District is partnering with the County of San Bernardino’s Public Health HIV Prevention program to bring their mobile HIV testing vehicle to Yucca Valley. A mobile test vehicle will be at the Yucca Valley Family Health Clinic, Wednesday, April 19, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The clinic is located at 58375 Twentynine Palms Highway in Yucca Valley. Free, rapid HIV testing will be available onsite on the north side of the parking lot. For more information, call 760-820-9229 or visit www.MBHDistrict.org.

BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB BRINGING BACK THE REVERSE RAFFLE

The Boys and Girls Club of the Hi-Desert is holding a reverse raffle Saturday, May 20, in which the last ticket drawn wins the grand prize, $2,000 in cash. Managing editor Tami Roleff has more information about how you can be a part of this movie-themed event…
Get out your favorite movie star’s outfit and wig for this year’s “Return of the Reverse Raffle,” sponsored by the Boys and Girls Club of the Hi-Desert. A reverse raffle is a game of chance where the last ticket drawn is the big winner’ this year’s prize is $2,000 in cash. You do not need to be present to win, but there will also be a loser’s drawing at the end of the night. Prizes will also be awarded for the those who come dressed as their favorite star or character. The Reverse Raffle is set for 5 p.m. Saturday, May 20, at the Boys and Girls Club in Yucca Valley. Tickets are $50 each, and include dinner, beverage, and one raffle ticket. For more information or tickets, call 760-365-5437.

DUI DRIVER CRASHES INTO YUCCA VALLEY MEDIANS

A Los Angeles woman was arrested early Saturday morning, accused of drunk driving after she crashed her car into a median in Yucca Valley. According to a Sheriff’s report, deputies were called about a single-vehicle crash at the intersection of Mohawk Trail and Highway 62 about 2 a.m. Deputies determined that Elizabeth Cole, 35, had been driving her 2013 Honda Fit southbound on Pioneertown Road and turned to go east on Highway 62. Cole drove her Honda onto the median which divides the east- and westbound lanes on the highway. The car had severe damage to the undercarriage. At the jail, the report states that Cole was found to have a blood alcohol content of .23. After an investigation, Elizabeth Cole was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, and cited and released.

SLEEPING DRIVER CRASHES ON OLD WOMAN SPRINGS ROAD

A woman was injured early Saturday morning when her car crashed on Old Woman Springs. About 3:25 a.m., deputies were called to a single car crash at Old Woman Springs Road and Farrelo Road, where they found a black Ford Fusion located in the wash on the east side of Old Woman Springs Road. The driver, Chansophia Ouk, told the deputy she was driving south on Old Woman Springs Road when she fell asleep. Her car veered across the two northbound lanes and drove off the roadway into the rocky wash. Ouk was taken to Hi-Desert Medical Center for complaints of pain in her neck and head.

THEATRE 29 FORMING IMPROVISATIONAL TROOP

Theatre 29 is offering a resident repertory improvisational troupe. Here with workshop and audition information is reporter Rebecca Havely…
The Theatre 29 Repertory Improvisational Comedy Troupe is now forming under the direction of veteran performer and U.C. Riverside professor Chris Fleischman. Improvisation is a form of live theatre in which the plot, characters, and dialogue of a story are made up in the moment. Fleischman is seeking to cast a troupe of 8-10 players, ages 18 and older. Auditions for the troupe are set for 6 p.m. Monday, May 8, at Theatre 29. The troupe will be formed on the night of auditions. Prior to the audition there will be two days of workshops at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 2 and Thursday, May 4, intended to instruct those interested. The PG-13 rated, live performances are scheduled for June 10, July 15, August 12, September 23, October 28, November 11, and December 30. 
Ticket prices for the improv performances are $10 general admission. Tickets for Theatre 29 season ticket holders, military, and seniors are $7; and for students with ID, $5. For more information visit theatre29.org.

COPPER MOUNTAIN COLLEGE CLOSED TOMORROW

Copper Mountain College will be closed and there will be no classes, Tuesday, April 18, for faculty and staff development. Normal business hours will resume 8 a.m. Wednesday, April 19.

COMMUNITY NEEDS FORUM IN JOSHUA TREE TOMORROW

The Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino County is known to many for distribution of surplus food to those in need throughout Morongo Basin. The non-profit, non-governmental agency has a lot more to offer. Reporter Mike Lipsitz tells us how to let them know what you need …
The Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino County hosts a community needs forum from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. this Tuesday, April 18 at The Joshua Tree Sportsman Club on Sunburst Ave. The forum aims to identify the needs of low-income communities and identify programs to address those needs. In addition to local food banks, the agency can offer programs such as home energy assistance, tax prep assistance, educational programs, and more. Everyone is welcome at this free event, with low-income residents most sought after. Tuesday’s forum is free; refreshments will be served. All testimony collected will be used to prioritize the agency’s resources. For more information contact Sandra Brown at 909-723-1534.

YUCCA VALLEY, TWENTYNINE PALMS LIBRARY BOOK SALES START

The county libraries will hold annual spring book sales this week. Managing Editor Tami Roleff has details for the Yucca Valley and Twentynine Palms events…
The Yucca Valley and Twentynine Palms libraries will hold their spring book sales this week. Friends of the Yucca Valley library will be able to shop for books Tuesday, April 18, from 4 to 6 p.m. The Yucca Valley book sale opens to the public Wednesday, April 19, through Saturday, April 22.
The Twentynine Palms book sale opens to Friends of the Library Thursday, April 20, from 3 to 5 p.m. The sale opens to the public Saturday, April 22. All proceeds from the book sales go toward increasing the book collections for young adults and children.