A MOTHER’S DAY TRAGEDY FOR A TWENTYNINE PALMS FAMILY

While most of us celebrated a happy Mother’s Day this past weekend, one family suffered an unthinkable tragedy. Reporter David Haldane has the story…

Mother’s Day. It’s a holiday that means different things to different people, mostly having to do with flowers, chocolate, nurturance and love.

For Brent Slavik, a civilian mechanic at the Marine Corps. Air Base in Twentynine Palms, all that changed in an instant on Sunday. That’s the day he woke up to find his 12-year-old daughter dead in her bed.

Amanda Slavik was a bright, happy seventh grader despite having suffered from epilepsy for the past five years. She’d had seizures before. This one, doctors believe, stopped her heart while she was sleeping.

“I tried to pick her up and she was so heavy.”

That’s Brent, who later held his daughter’s still-warm hand as doctors pronounced her dead. Also present was Grandma Slavik, the only real mom she’d ever known, whose flower-adorned Mother’s Day card was the last thing she signed.

What would Brent say to other parents?

“Love your kids. You never know what’s gonna happen.”

Anyone who feels moved to help or contribute can make a donation to the Epilepsy Foundation which, among other things, supports research on the disease. Here is their link:

https://epilepsyfoundation.secure.force.com/EpilepsyPublicDonationPage?form=a04i000000xepYL

JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK ATTENDANCE UP 27%, ON TRACK FOR ANOTHER RECORD

Joshua Tree National Park set a record for annual visitation in 2016. More than 2.5 million people visited Joshua Tree National Park in 2016, and 2017 appears to be on track to have even more visitors. March 2017 saw a record high of 404,545 visitors, most likely due to this year’s abundant spring bloom. So far in the first quarter of 2017, total park visitation is up 27 percent from 2016.
Superintendent David Smith said the park service is working hard to deal with congestion in the park. “The park is reconfiguring entrance stations, assigning rangers at trailheads and parking areas and constructing a new visitor center at Cottonwood Springs. We are also launching a new shuttle service in the park which will start in October and we hope will reduce traffic and parking issues.” Smith reminds visitors to obey speed limits, park only in designated areas, and that dogs are not allowed on hiking trails.

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE EXPO IN TWENTYNINE PALMS TOMORROW

Reach Out Morongo Basin is hosting an emergency preparedness and response expo tomorrow. Here with all the details is reporter Rebecca Havely…
If you and your family want to be prepared for an emergency such as a long term power outage, flash floods, earthquakes and other natural disasters then this expo is for you. Sponsored by Southern California Edison and hosted by Reach Out Morongo Basin. The Emergency Preparedness and Response Expo takes place from 10 to 2 Friday, May 19 at the Twentynine Palms Senior Center, 6539 Adobe Rd. in Twentynine Palms. Learn how to be disaster ready from emergency first responders, healthcare professionals, utility providers, non-profits and local government agencies. Tips will be given on preparing your home and utilities, supplies and healthcare needs, how to care for pets, neighbors, seniors and the disabled. For more information call Reach Out Morongo at 760-361-1410.

JOSHUA BASIN WATER DISTRICT BOARD TO HOLD SPECIAL TONIGHT

The Joshua Basin Water District board of directors will hold a special
meeting at 6:30 tonight. Two items of business are on the agenda,
first is a resolution in support of the Association of California
Water Agencies policy on Bay-Delta Flow Requirements. That items will
be followed by interviews of five candidates all vying to fill the
District’s open board seat. The contenders include Douglas “Buck”
Buckley, Jeff Dongvillo, Thomas Floen, David Larson, and Mike
Reynolds. Following the interviews, the board will either make a
selection by majority vote, or continue the matter. It all happens at
the district offices on Chollita Road in Joshua Tree.

FINAL BLACK ROCK SYMPOSIUM ON PARK PARTNERSHIPS TOMORROW

The popular Black Rock Symposium will continue on Friday, May 19, with a panel that will discuss partnerships between national parks and other organizations. Managing editor Tami Roleff has more…
The fifth and final event in the popular Black Rock symposium will feature a panel that will discuss “Joshua Tree National Park’s Valued Partnerships.” Because national parks are consistently under-funded and under-staffed, partnerships between the park and agencies and organizations help the park reach its goals. Panelists will include representatives from Friends of Joshua Tree, the Mojave Desert Land Trust, the Combat Center, and the Joshua Tree National Park Association, and will be moderated by Joshua Tree National Park Superintendent David Smith. The free symposium will be held at the Bell Center at Copper Mountain College 7 p.m. Friday. For more information, call 760-367-5535.

FIRE DESTROYS MOTORHOME IN NORTH JOSHUA TREE

A malfunctioning propane stove is to blame for a fire that completely destroyed a motorhome in Joshua Tree Wednesday night. According to County Battalion Chief Scott Tuttle, firefighters from Joshua Tree and Yucca Mesa found the 22-foot motorhome completely involved in flames near Sunflower and Sunkist Roads. Tuttle said the homeowner turned on the stove about 8 p.m. when it malfunctioned and started the fire. There were no injuries and no vehicles or structures were threatened by the blaze.

STOLEN TRUCK, NUMEROUS WARRANTS LEAD TO ARREST OF LANDERS WOMAN

A Landers woman was arrested Tuesday, accused of being in possession of a stolen vehicle and for numerous warrants. According to a Sheriff’s report, a deputy who was making a patrol in the 500 block of Becker Road in Landers about 4:30 p.m. spotted a stolen rental truck, a Dodge Ram, parked in a driveway. During a security check inside the home, the deputy found Tammy Hathaway, also known as Tammy Hoskins, 44, hiding under a blanket between a bed and a wall. Tammy Hoskins was arrested for investigation of possession of a stolen vehicle, and for arrest warrants for vehicle theft and petty theft. She was booked into the Morongo Basin Jail with her bail set at $325,000.

CACTUS THIEVES HITTING HOMES IN YUCCA VALLEY

Cactus thieves are hitting homes in Yucca Valley. Two residents reported that early Sunday morning, cactus plants were stolen out of their home’s yards. A resident in the 8100 block of Church Street told Sheriff’s deputies on Tuesday that a golden barrel cactus had been stolen Sunday morning. In addition, a resident in the 58600 block of Santa Barbara Drive reported that $450 in cactus had been dug up from his yard. The victim on Santa Barbara Drive has a video of a man and woman, both suspected to be in their 20s, leaving his yard and getting into a cranberry-colored SUV and driving off. Anyone with information should call the Sheriff’s Department at 760-366-4175.

TRANSITION JOSHUA TREE DINNER AND PRODUCE GIVEAWAY SUNDAY

If you enjoy eating and learning about good food, and meeting new people—and who doesn’t—reporter Mike Lipsitz has this report on the Transition Joshua Tree Local Food Program…
Transition Joshua Tree holds its community dinner and produce giveaway on Sunday, May 21 from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Community United Methodist Church East Parkway in Joshua Tree. This is vegetarian themed event featuring the food of Thailand. The demonstration garden will be open for viewing and recipes are available to take home, as well as fresh produce from the garden and the market. The goal of the Joshua Tree Local Food Program is to provide fresh and local vegetables to supplement other food assistance programs and to educate the community about growing, storing and cooking fresh food. This is a no waste event. Please bring your own forks, plates and cups in order to minimize impact to our local landfill. Contact jtlocalfoodprogram@gmail.com to donate or volunteer.

“SOUNDS OF FREEDOM“ CONTINUES TO RATTLE LOCAL WINDOWS

The “Sound of Freedom” is still rattling windows in the Morongo Basin and will for the next two weeks. The Marine Corps is conducting Integrated Training Exercise 3-17 on board the Combat Center through June 2. Early Wednesday morning a series of big booms had some residents thinking there were earthquakes. The Marine Corps said the live-fire exercise focuses on combined-arms training of battalion-size units, by using combat support, combat service support, and aviation assets. They said depending on atmospheric conditions, sounds from the training area may be amplified. To provide feedback on noise levels, go to
http://www.29palms.marines.mil/Staff/G5CommunityPlansPAO/SoundReporting.aspx

LAST DAY FOR DISCOUNT FOR GRUBSTAKE DAY 10K AND 5K RUN, AND 2K WALK

Runners, walkers and fitness enthusiasts are invited to the 27th Annual Grubstakes 10K, 5K and 2K run to be held in Yucca Valley on Sunday, May 28. While the 10K and 5K runs are timed competitive events, a 2K walk is available for those who wish to participate in a non-competitive event. Sign up today; reporter Eric Knabe tells you how…
All courses of the Grubstake Days run start and finish at the Yucca Valley High School football stadium, located at 7600 Sage Avenue. All races will begin at 8:00 a.m. Early bird participants who register on or before May 18 will enjoy a discounted entry fee of $20 per person, express check-in at the race, a souvenir race t-shirt and gift, and will be automatically entered into a drawing for a variety of fun door prizes. Register at the Community Services Office in the Community Center or online at www.yucca-valley.org; on-site registration for $25 also being accepted on race day from 7:00 to 7:45 a.m.