The 67th annual Yucca Valley Grubstake Days celebration kicked off last night with a mixer at the Elks Lodge. Events through May 29 include a golf tournament, parade, carnival, rodeo, pancake breakfast, Pony Express rider, and 5K and 10K run, and 2K walk. Saturday, May 27, enjoy a pancake breakfast staring at 7:00 at the Yucca Valley Elks Lodge. The Grubstake Days parade starts at 10 a.m. Saturday, on Highway 62, traveling eastbound from Inca Trail to Sage Avenue. There will be 700 people in 125 vehicles, 24 horses and 8 floats in the parade. The theme is “Celebrating Our Western Heritage” and this year’s Grand Marshals are Art Miller Junior and Ed Hardesty Sr. Gary Daigneault of Z107.7 will announce the parade at the judges stand in front of the California Welcome center. The Grubstake Days carnival is at the corner of Hilton Avenue and Highway 62 Friday (4 to 10), Saturday (after the parade til 10), and Sunday (noon to 10 p.m.) and Monday (12 to 6). The carnival grounds will also be the site of a beard contest, tug o’ war, and horseshoes tournament. The rodeo will be held at Homestead Valley Park in Landers Saturday and Sunday. On Sunday, May 28, the town of Yucca Valley will sponsor the 5K and 10K run, and 2K walk, starting at 8 a.m. at the Yucca Valley High School. And a kids’ day will be held at the Boys’ and Girls’ Club on Little League Drive Monday, from 10 to 2. For more information on any of these events, visit grubstakedays.com or yuccavalley.org.


Three Memorial Day ceremonies will be held locally Monday, May 30. The Twentynine Palms cemetery, at 5350 Encelia Avenue, will hold its annual ceremony in the rose garden, starting at 9 a.m. Major General William Mullen of the Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center will be the guest speaker. Wreaths from 20 organizations will be presented during the ceremony. Managing editor Tami Roleff fills in the details about the events in Joshua Tree…

The Joshua Tree Memorial Park’s 16th annual Memorial Day ceremony will honor the dedication and bravery of U.S. armed forces. The event begins at 11 a.m. with a patriotic ceremony. U.S. Marine Corps Colonel Hal J. Sellers of the Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center will be the guest speaker, and the ceremony will feature a color guard; naming those who have died in service of their country; placing of the wreaths; a white dove release; and musical performances. A free community barbecue and music by the Shadow Mountain Band and Gutter Candy start at noon. There will also be vendors, prizes, and family-friendly activities. The Joshua Tree Memorial Park is located on the south side of Highway 62 in Joshua Tree.
In Desert Hot Springs, a memorial service will begin at 10 a.m. with a fly-over of a T-28 airplane from the Palm Springs Air Museum. Sergeant Major Avery Crespin from the Combat Center will be the guest speaker. The ceremony will be held at Veterans Park, 10101 Palm Drive in Desert Hot Springs.


Marines and Morongo Basin Sheriff’s deputies helped rescue an Arizona woman Wednesday who had been missing in the desert for at least a day. According to a Sheriff’s report, Johnnie Savage, 57, left her home in Chloride about 1:30 p.m. Monday, to go rock hunting near Ludlow. When she did not return, she was reported missing about 4 p.m. Wednesday. About the same time, deputies received a 911 call from the Savage, who said she thought she was on military property. She gave deputies her GPS coordinates, which indicated she was near Bagdad Dry Lake. She also told them her silver Jeep was stuck and she was out of water; deputies believed she may have been disoriented and hallucinating. Her GPS coordinates showed that Savage was inside the boundaries of the Twentynine Palms Marine Base in a restricted fly zone, which prevented the Sheriff’s helicopter from entering the area to search for her. Marines from the base search and rescue unit flew in to look for Savage, and when they found her shortly before 7 p.m., they dropped water down to her. The Sheriff’s helicopter was then given permission to enter the base to rescue Savage. The Sheriff’s aviation deputies determined that Savage, who had a head wound, needed an immediate medical evaluation, and she was flown to paramedics waiting outside the base boundaries. She was then taken to Hi-Desert Medical Center where she was treated for non-life-threatening medical conditions.


UPDATE Saturday, May 27, 2017

The 4-month-old dog appeared to have received serious injuries from the beating; Animal Control officers took the dog to a local shelter.


A Yucca Valley man was arrested Wednesday, accused of kicking and beating his dog. According to a Sheriff’s report, a witness saw Charles Lathrop, 60, walking on Barberry Avenue kicking a white German shepherd puppy. The witness stated Lathrop was stumbling and appeared to be drunk or high. When the deputy arrived to the 7200 block of Barberry Avenue, Lathrop was seen holding the dog down while he struck it several times with a closed fist. The report states the puppy was crying and trying to get away from the beating. Lathrop admitted to the deputy that he hit the dog about 20 times because he was detoxing off heroin. Charles Lathrop was arrested for investigation of felony animal abuse, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, with his bail set at $50,000.


The Joshua Tree Highlands Artist Residency will hold an artist welcome party this Saturday night. With your invitation, here’s Rebecca Havely…

Come help welcome the new artist in residence at the Joshua Tree Highlands Artist Residency, at an Artist Welcome Party 2017. This Saturday, May 27, from 5 to 8 p.m. meet and greet the new artist, enjoy a book lab and silent auction. The party will be held at 8321 Via Rocosa Road in Joshua Tree. Tickets are $25 each and are available on line at jthar.com.


Joshua Tree will soon have its own brewery and tap house. A local group consisting of active duty military, veterans, a Realtor, retailer, and local professionals have teamed up to open the enterprise at 6393 Sunset Road, one block north of the Highway. Partner Jessica Rudd told Z107.7 News the Joshua Tree Brewery is planned to open in January 2018. Rudd, a veteran and the 2017 Marine Corps Spouse of the year, and her active duty husband Andrew have been involved in home brewing for many years. They are partnering with local professionals Dario and Sharon Guerra, veteran doctors Rick and Robin Eppy, JT Bicycles owner and Twentynine Palms native Jima Reed, and local Realtor Brian Wynwood. Rudd said as home brewers, they have won several awards in brewing competitions from the local to national levels. The Joshua Tree Brewery will offer on tap ales, IPA’s, Belgians, and stouts, along with seasonals and guest brewer specials. She explained that the brewery location will be a tap house with a tasting area and sitting room, as a place for locals and visitors to enjoy hand-crafted beer. They plan to start selling retail soon and hope to have a stand at the local Joshua Tree farmers market. With the building obtained, they are now working through the permitting and licensing process. Rudd said “We are excited to become a part of the Morongo Basin community bringing a new and unique one-of-a-kind venue.”


The Joshua Tree Clean Team will hold a ceremony Saturday, May 27, to rededicate the veterans’ marker and flag pole in downtown Joshua Tree. The marker and flag pole are at the corner of Highway 62 and Park Boulevard. Representatives from the Joshua Tree Veterans of Foreign Wars Post, the American Legion, and the Combat Center in Twentynine Palms will also attend the 10 a.m. ceremony. The marker and flag pole were originally dedicated 26 years ago, on May 27, 1991.


The Joshua Tree Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7264 will serve up a spaghetti and meatball dinner tonight, (Friday, May 26) from 4 to 6 p.m. And don’t forget Taco Wednesday from 11 to 1. The Post is located at 6402 Veterans Way in downtown Joshua Tree.


A local author will be signing copies of his book tomorrow. Reporter Edica Gonzales invites you to meet Paolo Ficara at Rainbow Stew…

Rainbow Stew in Yucca Valley will hold a book-signing Saturday, May 27, featuring an author who will share his evolution from a Sicilian farm boy into a successful businessman and healer. Paolo Ficaro, the founder of the Universal Center for Self-Enlightenment and Self-Healing in Joshua Tree, will sign his book “Journey of a Healer” from 1 to 3 p.m. Rainbow Stew is located on the south side of Highway 62 in Old Town Yucca Valley.


LifeStream will conduct a community blood drive on Saturday, May 27, at Wal-Mart in Yucca Valley from 11 to 3. Due to a nationwide blood shortage, all blood types and all types of blood donations are needed. Donors will receive incentives. In addition, Desert Blood Services now offers donors free cholesterol screening with every blood donation. All prospective donors should be free of infections or illness, weigh at least 110 pounds, and not be at risk for AIDS or hepatitis. To make an appointment to donate blood, call 800-TRY-GIVING.


The free Live at the Rock concert series runs every Friday night through October on the outdoor stage at Tortoise Rock Casino. Reporter Mike Lipsitz says get ready to rock tonight; it’s going to be the “Talk of the Town”…

Ever get the feeling that you’re … back in the fight, … back on the train, back on the chain gang? If that strikes a chord, then you’ll want to head to tonight’s tribute concert to Chrissie Hynde and The Pretenders. The Contenders hit the outdoor stage at Twentynine Palms’ Tortoise Rock Casino tonight at 8 p.m. Think back to “Precious,” “Talk of the Town,” “My City Was Gone,” “2000 miles,” and other classics from The Pretenders. The free Live at the Rock concert series happens every Friday night through October.


All government offices, banks, libraries, schools, post offices, and Copper Mountain College will be closed Monday, May 29, in observance of Memorial Day. In addition, Burrtec will delay its trash pickup by one day. The Morongo Basin Transit Authority will NOT operate service on Monday, May 29, in observance of Memorial Day, and will resume its regularly scheduled service on Tuesday, May 30.