YUCCA VALLEY MOTORCYCLE RIDER KILLED IN CRASH SUNDAY

A motorcycle rider was killed Sunday when a vehicle pulled out in front of him on the highway in Yucca Valley. Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Arthurton said the unidentified female driver of the 2005 H3 Hummer was at Katje Way and Highway 62 at 4 p.m. when she pulled out to make a left-hand turn to go eastbound on the highway. Arthurton said she did not see William Allen, 72, of Yucca Valley, who was riding his 1995 Harley Davidson in the westbound number one lane of the highway; William Allen broadsided her Hummer; he was thrown off his bike and died at the scene. Paramedics used the Jaws of Life to extricate the woman from the Hummer, and she was flown to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs.

YUCCA VALLEY MAN INJURED WHEN CAR FALLS ON HIM

A Yucca Valley man was injured when the car he was working on fell off its jack on top of him. According to County Battalion Chief Scott Tuttle, firefighters were called to the 58300 block of Carlyle Drive at 11:44 a.m. Friday. Tuttle said a neighbor pulled the unidentified man—who was breathing and awake—out from under the car before paramedics arrived. The man was taken to the Yucca Valley airport where he was flown to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs.

COUNTY SUPERVISORS MEET: MORONGO BASIN ITEMS ON THE AGENDA

Topics specific to our Morongo Basin are the subjects of several agenda items at tomorrow’s 10 a.m. meeting of the County Board of Supervisors in San Bernardino. Reporter Mike Lipsitz has details…
Item 49 on the board of supervisor’s agenda tomorrow will green light a $200,000 grant to pay for the planning of a bicycle and pedestrian transportation plan that will link Twentynine Palms and Yucca Valley along the way. Item 75 will authorize County Fire to enter a $1, three-year lease agreement with Copper Mountain College for a portion of the Lear Fire Station in order to hold fire technology related courses. Item 86 will shift responsibility for administering the licensing program for hotels and motels in the unincorporated areas of San Bernardino County from the Clerk of the Board to the Code Enforcement Division of Land Use Services. Item 87 will do the same for rental units. Tomorrow’s meeting streams online and to the first-floor teleconferencing room in the County Government Center on White Feather Road where public comment may be made via live video link.

TWO YUCCA VALLEY MEN ACCUSED OF STEALING FROM POSTAL DELIVERY TRUCK

Two Yucca Valley men were arrested Thursday, accused of stealing mail out of a mail delivery truck. According to the Sheriff’s Department, the mail carrier parked his mail truck in the Food 4 Less parking lot about 1:45 and went into Rent-a-Center to deliver mail. When he emerged, he saw two men, later identified as Michael Haynie, 32, and Alejandro Barreto, 21, breaking a window in the mail truck and grabbing mail inside the truck. A witness also saw the break-in and called 911, and gave a description of the men, their vehicle, their license plate number, and direction of travel. A deputy in Morongo Valley spotted the vehicle a short time later and attempted a traffic stop. Barreto, who was driving, attempted to flee from the deputy, but due to heavy traffic, he pulled into the Circle K parking lot in Morongo Valley. Barreto was taken into custody without incident; however, Haynie fled on foot. Deputies formed a perimeter and located Haynie hiding on a roof; he was captured after a short foot pursuit. Inside the suspects’ vehicle, deputies recovered a large amount of stolen mail. A US Postal Service inspector from San Bernardino responded and will be working with the U.S. attorney’s office on prosecuting the men on multiple felonies. Michael Haynie and Alejandro Barreto were arrested on suspicion of vehicle burglary and possession of stolen property. They were booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, with Barreto’s bail set at $25,000, and Haynie being held without bail for violation of parole.

LOCAL ARTIST RELEASING COLORFUL MEMOIR

Chuck Caplinger, one of the Morongo Basin’s best-known artists, likes to say that his favorite painting is the one he’s working on now. That immediacy has seen him through a long and winding path from Texas to Hollywood to Twentynine Palms. Now he’s recounted it all in a colorful memoir. Reporter David Haldane has more…
If you’ve ever passed through Twentynine Palms, you’ve probably seen the big 29! at the city’s western boundary. It’s the work of Chuck Caplinger, who became a fine artist only after stints as a professional singer and commercial illustrator for NASA and in Hollywood. He even served as a Twentynine Palms planning commissioner and ran for City Council.
Now 78, the man-about-town has captured it all in an engaging book: “An Artist’s Journey: Memoirs of the Creative Life of Artist Chuck Caplinger.” “I’ve just had so many life experiences. I didn’t want those memories to fall off a cliff.”
Instead, he preserved them under the theme of “trust your instincts.” Caplinger’s eventually led him to a big desert dome where he now lives and paints landscapes full time.
On Thursday, May 4, he’ll take time off for a 6 pm book signing at Twentynine Palms Inn. You can also order it on his website at desertartstudio.com.

MISSING YUCCA VALLEY MAN LOCATED IN IDAHO

A Yucca Valley man who was reported missing April 14 was found safe Thursday in Idaho. According to the Sheriff’s Department, George “Marty” McKissen left his home in the 56800 block of Little League Drive to ride his bicycle the morning of April 14 and never returned home. McKissen has the mental capacity of a 12-year-old. Thanks to tips from the public, Sheriff’s Detective Chad Gomez developed leads that McKissen was with family members in Idaho. Gomez confirmed Thursday, April 27, that McKissen was safe and healthy in Idaho. Gomez thanks the public for their tips that led to finding Marty McKissen.

FREE IMPROV WORKSHOPS AT THEATRE 29 THIS WEEK

This week at Theatre 29 improvisation workshops will help you prepare for the auditions for the new resident repertory improv troupe. Reporter Rebecca Havely has the details…
Theatre 29 will hold two days of workshops this week; Tuesday and Thursday, May 2 and 4, both at 6 p.m. The workshops are intended to instruct those interested in being a member of the improv troupe and to give people an idea of the qualities that will be sought at auditions. Auditions will be held at Theatre 29, 73637 Sullivan Road in Twentynine Palms, Monday, May 8, at 6 p.m. There will be live performances by the troupe that are scheduled June 10, July 15, August 12, September 23, October 28, November 11, and December 30, 2017.
Improv show tickets are greatly reduced with general admission at $10, military, and seniors are $7, and $5 for students with ID. Theatre 29 season ticket holders are free! The performances will be rated PG-13.

CALTRANS ROAD WORK TO CLOSE EASTBOUND I-10 ON RAMP

CalTrans will be performing some road work in our area next week. The on-ramp from Highway 62 to eastbound Interstate 10 is scheduled to be closed from 7 p.m. today through midnight, Friday, May 5 for bridge and electrical work. Motorists traveling downhill on SR 62 who want to travel to eastbound I-10 can turn left on Dillon Road then right onto North Indian Canyon Drive back to eastbound I-10.

COUNTY CHIP SEALING LOCAL ROADS FOR THE NEXT 3-4 WEEKS

Beginning today and for the next three to four weeks, the County Department of Public Works will be fortifying some of our roads with a chip seal process. Roads in Joshua Tree, Landers, the Mesa, Morongo Valley, and in and around Pioneertown will be affected with work beginning at 8 a.m. weekdays. Chip seal is an economical process for preserving and maintaining paved roads.

Chip Seal Operations Schedule 2017

COLLEGE TO OFFER ADULT EDUCATION IN FORMER MONUMENT HIGH SCHOOL

The former Monument High School in Twentynine Palms joined the Basin’s other continuation, or alternative, Sky High School in 2013 and the two merged and became Black Rock High School. Since then, Monument High’s former home has sat empty. Reporter Mike Lipsitz says that’s about to change…
Through a joint effort between the Morongo Unified School District and Copper Mountain College, the former Monument High facility has been renovated and repurposed for CMC’s Adult Education Programs. These free, work-at-your-own-pace classes will be open to all area residents over age 18. The programs include GED preparation, high school completion, math and English refresher programs, English as a second language, Military Academic Skills Program, tutoring, and test proctoring. The facility will provide the space needed to offer these programs. The facility, called the Academy for College and Career Excellence, will officially open during a ribbon-cutting ceremony this Monday, May 1, from 1 to 2 p.m. The public is invited to the opening; RSVP to Jacqueline Taylor at 760-366-3791. The Academy is at 72770 Hatch Road in Twentynine Palms.

BIG LOTS TO PAY $3.5 MILLION FINE FOR HAZARDOUS WASTE

A San Bernardino County judge has ordered Big Lots Stores, who has a store in Yucca Valley, to pay more than $3.5 million. The judgement is the result of an investigation into illegal disposal of hazardous waste at its distribution center in Rancho Cucamonga and trash bins at 206 stores in California. The county said that Big Lots employees failed to properly handle hazardous waste—such as flammable and corrosive liquids, toxic materials, batteries, electronic devices, and other e-waste—at both the stores and distribution center. Instead of being transported to authorized hazardous waste facilities, the waste was deposited into the trash and illegally transported to local landfills not permitted to receive the waste.

GET YOUR TEAM SIGNED FOR THE GRUBSTAKE DAYS HORSESHOE TOURNAMENT

Grubstake Days, an annual celebration of Yucca Valley’s rich history, is later this month. Managing editor Tami Roleff says it is time to get your horseshoe team together and sign up…
Grab your shoes and your best pitchers for the Grubstake Days Horseshoe Tournament. Organizers are recruiting teams to pitch horseshoes Saturday, May 27. The tournament will be held on the carnival grounds, at the corner of Highway 62 and Hilton Avenue in Yucca Valley. The entry fee is $20, and teams may register the day of the tournament. For more information, email Andy at canadaandy@hotmail.com.