TWENTYNINE PALMS HIGH SCHOOL NAMED A STATE GOLD RIBBON WINNER

Twentynine Palms High School has struck academic gold. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced 275 state-wide winners of the Gold Ribbon Schools Awards Program yesterday. The honor replaces the California Distinguished Schools Program. Schools are lauded for doing a better job putting into action Common Core-based academic content and performance standards in English language arts, math, science and English language development. Common Core standards stress critical thinking and problem solving to prepare kids for life after high school. The schools feature excellent teaching, learning and collaborating, as well as successful conflict resolution and rewards for positive behavior, Torlakson said. Twentynine Palms High School was the only school in the Morongo Unified School District to get the prestigious recognition. The state recognized elementary schools last year. The winners will be honored in May.
For a list of winners, visit: http://www.cde.ca.gov/nr/ne/yr17/yr17rel28.asp

YUCCA VALLEY FIREFIGHTERS HELP DELIVERY BABY TUESDAY

Yucca Valley firefighters responded to a call Tuesday they’ll never forget: they helped a woman deliver a baby. County paramedic Ezekiel Morales said firefighters were called to a home on Kickapoo Trail near Onaga Avenue when it became obvious that the 27-year-old mother wasn’t going to make it to the hospital in time for delivery of her baby. Morales said the baby girl made her appearance at 10:33 a.m. in the back of the ambulance on the way to Hi-Desert Medical Center. Both mother and baby are doing well. Paramedic Morales was assisted with the delivery by Firefighter Paul Gill, which was his first, and EMT Derek Horvath was driving the ambulance.

LANDERS TIRE-ROUND UP NETS A RECORD HAUL

They called it the “Greater Landers Monster Tire Round Up II,” and by all accounts it broke every record. Reporter Mike Lipsitz was there…
Saturday’s Tire Round Up in Landers was successful beyond compare with County Code Enforcement reporting an estimated 14 tons, or approximately 1,000, mostly illegally dumped tires turned in. Organizers had set a goal of matching December’s haul of 800 tires. The unexpected large number of tires collected can be attributed to a tip on an illegal dump site received by the Landers Community Association days prior to the event. On investigation, organizers found a site they described as “beyond belief” with hundreds of tires dumped over several acres, but mostly out of sight behind high sand dunes, many were buried sand. Working with County Code Enforcement, volunteers from the Landers Association managed to extract and haul away about half of the tires from near the intersection of Botkin and Lilac roads. Saturday’s tire round up was financed through a grant from CalRecycle. The tires collected will be processed for a variety of new uses.

JOSHUA WOMAN ACCUSED OF VANDALISM AND BURGLARY

A Joshua Tree woman was arrested Monday, after a resident said she vandalized and burglarized his home. Sheriff’s deputies were called to the 6000 block of Outpost Road about 11:20 a.m. when the homeowner said a woman, identified as Michelle Davila, 40, entered his property and caused about $2,000 of unspecified vandalism. He said she also stole a pair of sunglasses and a knife. After an investigation, Michelle Davila was arrested on suspicion of burglary and on a drug warrant, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, with her bail set at $50,000.

SHERIFF INVESTIGATING LOCAL ROAD RAGE INCIDENT

The Sheriff’s Department is investigating a road rage incident in Yucca Valley Friday. According to a Sheriff’s report, a motorcycle rider crashed into a northbound Subaru car near Terra Vista Drive and Old Woman Springs Road about 1 p.m. Witnesses told deputies that the motorcycle rider threw a punch at the car’s driver, who then pepper sprayed him. Neither man has been identified by the Sheriff’s Department. Deputies have sent the case to the district attorney’s office for review.

COURTS AND CLERGY CONFERENCE IN SAN BERNARDINO

Local members of the clergy still have time to sign up for a special conference on courts, kids and the clergy early next month. Reporter Edica Gonzales has details…
Members of the clergy are invited to attend a conference in San Bernardino that will focus on courts and children. Judges and court personnel will give a presentation on “Courts and Kids and Clergy: Children in the Court System in San Bernardino County” May 3, from 8 to 4 at the pastoral center for the Diocese of San Bernardino in San Bernardino. Clergy and religious leaders will learn about children who become involved with the court system through juvenile dependency and foster care, custody and child support, and guardianships, as well as immigration, mandatory child abuse reporting, juvenile probation and community services, court appointed special advocates, and truancy. Reservations are required by April 20; email rsvp@sb-court.org to reserve a space.

TWENTYNINE PALMS WOMAN ACCUSED OF DEALING DRUGS

A Twentynine Palms woman was arrested early Monday morning, accused of dealing drugs. According to the Sheriff’s Department, a deputy made a vehicle check about 4:15 a.m. at Old Dale Road and Utah Trail in Twentynine Palms. Inside the car was Colleen Coleman, 50, along with several paper bindles of methamphetamine and cash. Colleen Coleman was arrested on suspicion of possession for sales, booked into West Valley Detention Center, with her bail set at $50,000.

TWENTYNINE PALMS PAROLEE FOUND WITH DRUGS

A Twentynine Palms man was arrested Sunday, accused of violating the terms of his parole by possessing methamphetamine. According to a Sheriff’s report, a deputy stopped Frank Chapman, 48, who was riding his bicycle against traffic about 1:30 p.m. near Cactus Drive and El Sol Avenue. The deputy determined that Chapman was on felony parole and during a search, found methamphetamine. Frank Chapman was arrested on suspicion of violating his parole, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, with no bail.

TOWN OF YUCCA VALLEY SEES INCREASED SALES TAX REVENUE

Good news for the coffers of the Town of Yucca Valley. Managing Editor Tami Roleff says even before the new one percent sales tax increase has even hit, the town saw a significant increase in revenue from sales tax…
The Town of Yucca Valley got some good news about its sales tax receipts. Sales tax receipts from the last quarter of 2016 were more than 5 percent higher (5.1) than the same quarter one year ago. Leading the way were building materials, consumer goods and casual dining. However, these increases were offset by continued lower fuel prices, which negatively impacted gas station revenues, and slightly lower auto sales. In addition, the Town received a larger allocation from the countywide use tax pool, mainly representing on-line sales. In comparison, sales tax receipts for the County grew 1.4 percent over the comparable time period, while California as a whole was up 1.5 percent.

MORONGO VALLEY CSD RECOGNIZES COMMUNITY VOLUNTEERS

The Morongo Valley Community Services District met last night. Reporter Mike Lipsitz was there …
Last night the Morongo Valley CSD recognized some of those who gave voluntarily to that community. Recipients included Paul and Laurie Geeson and their family for the Lifetime Achievement Award for their many, many years of service to the district. Daniel Kitt received the Above and Beyond Award for his role in securing the almost half-million-dollar grant that funded the district’s new fire engine. The Morongo Valley Citizen of the Year Award went to Don Krouse for spearheading the district’s failed tax initiative. And the Chuck Osborn Awardees were Debbie and Bob Burkhardt for their countless hours of volunteer work and assistance with the district’s signage. In other business, visitors learned that at least one black bear continues to visit Covington Park, typically at 3 or 4 a.m. Picnickers are encouraged to carry out their trash rather than leave it in park receptacles.

TONIGHT’S HI-DESERT WATER MEETING CANCELED

The regular board meeting of the Hi-Desert Water District, scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 19, has been canceled.

JOSHUA BASIN WATER LOOKS AT HOW TO FILL A VACANT SEAT TONIGHT

At tonight’s meeting of the Joshua Basin Water District, the board is expected to consider a single action item in addition to the consent or routine agenda. That item is how to fill the vacant seat left by the recent and untimely passing of Director Victoria Fuller. The choice is between board appointment or special election. That item will precede standing committee, staff and director reports, after which the board will adjourn to closed session for a matter involving real property. It all starts at the 6:30 p.m. at the Joshua Basin Water District offices on Chollita Road in Joshua Tree.

JOSHUA TREE MAN TAKES MEDALS AT U.S. OPEN KARATE CHAMPIONSHIP

A Joshua Tree man has taken two medals home from the U.S. Open Karate championship last weekend. ME Wilson Sr. won the Silver in World competition in October of 2016. Managing Editor Tami Roleff has the kudos…
In only his second competition, a Joshua Tree man won bronze in two events at the USA Karate Association’s US Open championship in Las Vegas last weekend. ME Wilson Senior, 56, won bronze in Kata and Kumite, two of the three main parts of karate training. Last October, Wilson won a silver medal in his first competition in 40 years at the eighth world Shito Ryo Karate Do championship in Mexico. He said he plans to start training seriously for the Pan-American Games coming up in Quebec in August where he hopes to win gold. Wilson Senior is an assistant coach for the Twentynine Palms High School track team.

HEALING CIRCLE TONIGHT AT RAINBOW STEW

Rainbow Stew will hold an energy healing circle on Wednesday, April 19. The healing circle is open to the public and no appointment is necessary. The event is free, although donations are acceptable. In addition, Rainbow Stew will hold late night shopping. The healing circle will be held between 6 and 8:45 p.m. Rainbow Stew is located on the south side of the highway in Old Town Yucca Valley.