SUSPECT IN LAST WEEK’S WAL-MART ARMED ROBBERY ARRESTED

The man suspected of robbing Walmart last week was arrested in Yucca Valley Tuesday. About 9:30 p.m. Thursday, April 13, the man entered Walmart and demanded money from a cashier. He then fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of cash. The Sheriff’s Department publicized a photo of the suspect wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, light pants, and a bandana over his face. Through investigation, detectives and the Yucca Valley Multiple Enforcement Team identified the suspect as Noel Reimers, 32, of Twentynine Palms. Detectives served a search warrant on a home in the 55500 block of 29 Palms Highway in Yucca Valley about 1:15 p.m. Tuesday where they found Reimers and the clothing worn by the suspect during the robbery. Noel Reimers was arrested on suspicion of robbery, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, with his bail set at $100,000.

NAVY CHANGES REGS ABOUT POSTING NUDE PHOTOS

Posting nude pictures of service members without consent is now, for all intents and purposes, a crime in the Navy and Marine Corps—a response to the nude photo-sharing scandal that surfaced when a reporter outed a private Facebook group of Marines and sailors that was used at times to swap nudes. An interim revision to Navy regulations prohibits Navy and Marine Corps personnel from posting intimate photos “if the person making the distribution or broadcast does so without legal justification or excuse,” the regulation reads. The statute details three conditions that will be considered a violation of Navy regulations, including if images are broadcast or transmitted: “with the intent to realize personal gain; with the intent to humiliate, harm, harass, intimidate, threaten, or coerce the depicted person; or with reckless disregard as to whether the depicted person would be humiliated, harmed, intimidated, threatened, or coerced,” the regs read. The new regs, which were signed off by Acting Navy Secretary Sean Stackley, go into effect immediately. It is characterized as interim until the next edition of Navy regulations is printed.
http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/reference/messages/Documents/ALNAVS/ALN2017/ALN17021.txt

FIREFIGHTERS TRAINING IN CONTROLLED BURNS IN TWENTYNINE PALMS NEXT WEEK

Most residents of rural areas are accustomed to seeing occasional “controlled burns” of unwanted brush and plant life. What’s not usually included, however, are buildings. Reporter David Haldane says that’s about to change…
If you happen to see smoke in Twentynine Palms next week, don’t be alarmed; it’s just the fire department burning down some houses.
It’s all part of a joint action by the city and the San Bernardino County Fire Deparment to benefit both. The firefighters get to train 40 new recruits in actual structure fires and the city gets rid of two duplexes and four single family dwellings standing in the way of Project Phoenix.
One of them, officials say, is among the nicest houses around.
Fortunately, the city compensated various owners at their properties’ assessed values. To accomplish the demolition by fire, Cholla, Smoketree, Yucca and Tamarisk Avenues will be closed between Highway 62 and Cactus Drive from April 24-28.
Oh, and a bit of advice from the fire department: if you see any smoke that you’re not sure comes from the training burns, please call 911.

GRUBSTAKE DAYS PARADE GRAND MARSHALS ANNOUNCED, ENTRY FORMS AVAILABLE

The organizers of the Grubstake Days parade have announced their grand marshals for 2017. Ed Hardesty Sr., and Art Miller Jr. will be leading the 67th annual parade down Highway 62 May 27. Ed Hardesty’s family has a 73-year history in the Morongo Basin; his mother was Yucca Valley’s first postmaster and chose the name for the town. Ed Hardesty took over the Hardesty’s store in 1968 from his father and ran it until his retirement in 2006.
Art Miller Junior’s family has a 62-year history in Yucca Valley. Miller began working in his father’s Western Hills Realty business in 1974 and he is now president of Yucca Valley Realty.
The Grubstake Days Parade will travel east on Highway 62 from Inca Trail to Sage Avenue, starting at 10 a.m. Entry forms for floats and participants are available from the Yucca Valley Chamber of Commerce. Call 760-365-6323.

TAKE A HIKE WITH JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK SUPERINTENDENT THIS SUNDAY

The Morongo Basin Healthcare District and Joshua Tree National Park have partnered on a project designed to promote wellness through exercise and even help patients healing from illness, injury or surgery. Called “Take a Hike,” this free program enables local medical providers to write a prescription good for 90-days’ entrance into Joshua Tree National Park to walk or hike on pre-designated easy, moderate or strenuous trails. Patients who receive the prescription present it at the park entrance. Kirby Davis has more information about a special hike with the park’s superintendent…
To promote the Take a Hike program—and in honor of April 23, National Park Prescription Day, a national celebration promoting the growing movement of prescribing parks to improve health—a special hike is planned with Joshua Tree National Park Superintendent David Smith, Sunday, April 23, at 9 a.m. sharp. Participants will meet at the Twin Tanks parking area. The group, which is limited to 40 participants, will hike a two-mile loop. Preregistration is required to go on the hike. Call 760-367-5502. Directions to the trail will be provided at time of registration.

EXPECT HEAVY I-10 TRAFFIC DELAYS THIS WEEKEND AND MONDAY

Caltrans is advising motorists to expect heavy traffic delays this weekend due to the Coachella music festival in Indio. Traffic delays are expected on Interstate 10 from Beaumont to Indio from Friday, April 21, through Monday, April 24. Motorists are urged to avoid traveling I-10 Friday through Monday night. If you must drive this route, travel early, before 9 a.m. Bring water, snacks, and necessary medication. Have a full tank of gas and make sure your vehicle is in good running condition. Bring a charged cell phone with a car charger. Motorists can use the Caltrans Quickmap to map out the best detour routes around I-10, such as State Route 62 or State Route 74.

DESERT-WISE LANDSCAPE TOUR THIS SATURDAY AND SUNDAY

Drought-tolerant landscaping and energy efficient homes are the focus of the upcoming seventh annual Desert-Wise Landscape Tour. Reporter Mike Lipsitz says get tickets now…
Now in its seventh year, the Morongo Basin Conservation Association’s Desert-Wise Landscape Tour has become a de facto right of Spring. The popular, self-guided tour, has been extended to two days: Saturday, April 22 and Sunday, April  23 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. Map in hand, ticket holders will explore and discover 23 mostly private properties, each selected for blending low water consumption and artful desert living. Along the way, participants will see an abundance of native, drought-tolerant and water-efficient plants, as well as creative uses of other landscaping elements from dramatic architectural shading and outdoor “rooms,” to reflective pathways and sitting areas, to rockscapes, container gardens and objets d’art. A $10 per person donation is requested for participating in the Tour. More information and registration is available at mbconservation.org.

ACTIVISM SYMPOSIUM TOMORROW

The Joshua Tree National Park Association will hold a free symposium Friday, April 21, on grass root activism in the Morongo Basin. Four residents/activists will discuss how they made a difference in the Basin. The symposium starts at 7 p.m. in the Bell Center at Copper Mountain College in Joshua Tree and is open to the public. For more information, see http://www.joshuatree.org/desert-institute/lectures/black-rock-lecture-series/

LYRID METEOR SHOWER FRIDAY NIGHT/SATURDAY MORNING

The Lyrid meteor shower peaks this week, with the best meteor viewing time expected to be Friday night/Saturday morning, April 21-22. While the Lyrids are not the strongest meteor shower, some meteors may occasionally reach fireball intensity. The showers emanate from the constellation of Lyra; its principal star, Vega, is the third brightest star in the northern hemisphere. For best viewing, face toward the northern half of the sky with the moon at your back. This will allow you to see the fainter Lyrids, which will be more numerous than the bright ones.

CONCERTS AT HARRISON HOUSE IN JOSHUA TREE FRIDAY AND SATURDAY

Harrison House in Joshua Tree will feature three musicians in two concerts this weekend. Managing Editor Tami Roleff has your invitation…
Three prominent musicians from San Francisco will give two performances at Harrison House in Joshua Tree. Emil Miland on cello, Meredith Clark on harp, and singer Ann Moss will give two different programs Friday, April 21, and Saturday, April 22 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 for one performance or $25 for both programs. Tickets are available at Harrison House, Joshua Tree Health Foods, or online at louharrisonhouse.org. The concerts will be given at Harrison House, 6881 Mount Lassen Avenue in Joshua Tree. For more information, call 760-366-4172.

NEW ARTS FEST OPENS IN JOSHUA TREE ON SUNDAY

The Joshua Tree Farmers Market, with its arts and crafts vendors, is so popular that founder Lori Herbel has decided to give the arts and crafts vendors their own market. Starting Sunday, April 23, vendors selling hand-made arts and crafts will be at Turtle Island in downtown Joshua Tree from 9 to 2. Enjoy a Joshua Tree organic coffee or fresh squeezed juice as you shop for homemade soaps, jewelry, glass art, photography, T-shirts, tote bags, and more. Z107.7’s Cody Joseph will broadcast live. Applications for booths are still being accepted. To apply, visit Joshuatreeartsandcrafts.com.

SPIRITUAL ENCOUNTER 2K17 IN 29 PALMS TOMORROW

Gospel Fellowship Christian Center Church will host a free event for all teens in grades seven through 12 on Friday, April 21. The Spiritual Encounter 2K17, for teens aged 13 to 18, will have workshops, a talent show with a $100 prize, and a DJ. The doors open at 6:30; the event starts at 7 until midnight. The church is located at 5898 Adobe Road in Twentynine Palms. For more information, call 760-361-6510, or visit gfccc.org.