MORE THAN 30 ANIMALS SEIZED IN ANIMAL NEGLECT CASE IN TWENTYNINE PALMS

Twentynine Palms Animal Control officers and Sheriff’s deputies are investigating a case of suspected animal cruelty. According to a Sheriff’s reports, deputies were called to the 75100 block of Mayfair Drive in Twentynine Palms about 11 p.m. to perform a welfare check on a child living at the home. While checking the home, deputies located 25 dogs, a pig, a rooster, and half a dozen reptiles that were living in and around the home. The report states the home was unsanitary due to the number of animals inside and from urine and feces in the home. Animal control officers were called, who determined that the animals were not properly cared for and were neglected. The animals were seized by Animal Control and taken to the Palms n Paws animal shelter. The owner of the home, Brookes Smith, 38, was not at home at the time. The investigation is ongoing; anyone with information should call the Sheriff’s Department at 760-366-4175.

CREDIT CARD RING TARGETING OUR MORONGO BASIN COMMUNITIES

A ring of credit card thieves appear to be working the Morongo Basin. Since Sunday, at least six Morongo Basin residents have reported that someone has stolen their credit and debit card information and made withdrawals at various ATMs in Torrance. Every withdrawal has been $500 and change, and some residents have had multiple withdrawals over several days, with amount of stolen withdrawals totaling more than $6000. It’s unknown how the thieves got the card numbers, but one way thieves can steal card numbers is by using a skimmer. Skimmers are placed over legitimate card readers which then steal the information on the magnetic strip as the card is inserted. A hidden camera is placed nearby to record the PIN punched in. To reduce your risk of having your credit or debit card information stolen, use your chip instead of the magnetic strip on your card. Check card readers for signs of tampering; if something looks different or out of place, don’t use it. Wiggle or pull on the card readers before inserting your card; legitimate card readers won’t move. When you insert your card into the reader, jiggle the card as it goes in; skimmers can’t read it then. If you punch in a PIN, cover the keypad with your hand so a secret camera can’t record the number. If your card number is stolen, notify your bank immediately, as well as the Sheriff’s Department at 760-366-4175.

ONE MAN SERIOUSLY INJURED IN TWO-CAR CRASH IN TWENTYNINE PALMS THURSDAY NIGHT

A man was seriously injured and four other people received minor injuries in a two-vehicle crash in Twentynine Palms last night. County Fire Battalion Chief Mike Snow said a car with two women, a man, and a boy was attempting to make a left-hand turn onto Cedar Drive from eastbound Highway 62 about 8:10 p.m. when the car was rear-ended by another vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed. The injured man was a passenger in the front car; firefighters had to use the Jaws of Life to rescue him. He suffered a broken leg and pelvis. He was flown to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs by Mercy Air. The other occupants of the first car, and the solo female driver in the second car were taken to Hi-Desert Medical Center. The Sheriff’s Department is investigating.

HOME SAVED FROM FIRE IN YUCCA VALLEY THURSDAY

Firefighters managed to save a house in Yucca Valley Thursday night. About 6:15 p.m., Yucca Valley, Yucca Mesa, and Joshua Tree firefighters were called to a home burning near Onaga and Fox Trails. County Fire Battalion Chief Mike Snow said the fire started in the rear of the house and spread to the rear of the garage. No one was home at the time the fire started. Firefighters managed to have the fire under control in about 30 minutes and kept the damage to the exterior of the house and a portion of the garage. Damage is estimated at about $25,000. There were no injuries and the cause is under investigation.

TWENTYNINE PALMS WOMAN ARRESTED AFTER MOBILE HOME PARK DISTURBANCE

A Twentynine Palms woman was arrested Wednesday, accused of vandalism and resisting arrest. According to a Sheriff’s report, deputies were called to the Desert Villa Mobile Home Park in the 4500 block of Adobe Road in Twentynine Palms about 5 p.m. because a woman, later identified as Brittany Phillips, 26, was drunk and disturbing residents. Phillips struggled with deputies, and she was arrested for investigation of resisting arrest. By the time Brittany Phillips arrived at the Morongo Basin Jail for booking, she was also arrested on suspicion of felony vandalism to the patrol car. Her bail was set at $50,000.

PART ONE IN A SERIES LOOKING AT THE JOSHUA TREE RETREAT CENTER

Meditation and yoga retreats are staples—the bread and butter—at the Joshua Tree Retreat Center. They normally attract groups of as few as 15 to as many as 250 participants. A number of these groups return annually, some come multiple times throughout the year. Some are held in absolute silence, though not all. In this first of a series of reports, reporter Mike Lipsitz picks up the story from here…
The Retreat Center’s Interim Executive Director, Terry Taylor-Castillo, moved from a position on the non-profit’s board of directors into the driver’s seat not long after last October’s controversial, weekend-long Desert Daze music festival. She concedes that a number of missteps in connection with that festival led to complaints from the surrounding community. Taylor-Castillo also says the Retreat Center isn’t interested in bringing in any more concerts the size of Desert Daze. It attracted an estimated 2,000 plus people each day. Be that as it may, the producers of Desert Daze have a contractual option to return to Joshua Tree for a second year. According to Taylor-Castillo, the Desert Daze producers ultimately may not exercise that option, but at present they are looking to reorganize the event and bring it into compliance with county requirements. Taylor-Castillo pledges that transparency and community involvement will be major elements should Desert Daze return to the Retreat Center this fall.

FIRE IN WHITEWATER LAST NIGHT IS CONTAINED

CalFire and Riverside County Fire Department firefighters contained a Whitewater fire to 26 acres last night. The fire was reported at 4:12 p.m. at Fairview Road and Old Morongo Road, just west of the 62 Highway and north of Interstate 10. By 9:22 p.m., a containment line had been established around the burn. Arriving firefighters reported 10 acres charred with a moderate rate of spread. The U.S. Forest Service, two helicopters and two air tankers assisted in stopping the spread. No structures were threatened and no injuries reported.

COPPER MOUNTAIN COLLEGE PICKS A MASCOT

Copper Mountain College has chosen its official mascot. More than 1,000 residents, employees, and students voted from May 10 through May 26 for their favorite mascot, choosing between the Copperheads, Dust Devils, Fighting Cacti, and Tortoises. Copper Mountain College has announced the winner for the college’s new mascot is Fighting Cacti. Copper Mountain College now has its 2017-18 men’s and women’s basketball schedules on the its website. The first home game for the men’s Fighting Cacti will be November 11, against Santa Monica. On November 14, there will be a doubleheader with the first women’s Fighting Cacti home game followed by the men’s team against Imperial Valley.

CHAMBER MUSIC AT THE HI-DESERT NATURE MUSEUM THIS WEEKEND

The Hi-Desert Nature Museum is holding another chamber music concert fundraiser. Reporter Rebecca Havely has your invitation…
Come enjoy a delightful musical experience at the Hi-Desert Nature Museum’s chamber music fundraiser, Saturday June 3, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, June 4, at 2 p.m. The Encelia Chamber Ensemble and Junior Ensemble will perform works by composers Handel, Bach, Mendelssohn and many more of the masters. A meet and greet will follow the performance. Tickets are available for a donation of $20 for standard seating and $25 for preferred seating. Purchase your tickets early online at hidesertnaturemuseum.org or at the Hi-Desert Nature Museum Thursday through Saturday from 10 to 5, or at the Yucca Valley Community Center Monday through Thursday from noon to 5.

ANIMAL ACTION LEAGUE ADJUSTS JUNE SCHEDULE

Due to circumstances beyond its control, the Animal Action League has had to change its schedule for low-cost vaccine and microchip clinics for dogs and cats in June. No appointments are necessary for vaccines or microchips; appointments are required for spaying and neutering services. Microchips are only $15, and can help reunite you with your lost pet. Clinics will be held in Joshua Tree, west of the dinosaurs on Highway 62, on June 3, 9, 12, 13, 22, 29, and 30, and in Desert Hot Springs’ Wardman Park on June 15. All clinics are held from 10 to 2 and are cash only. Visit animalactionleague.us for more information. To make an appointment for spaying or neutering, call 760-366-1100. 

ASSEMBLYMAN MAYES TO HOLD YUCCA VALLEY OFFICE HOURS MONDAY

District staff representatives for Assemblyman Chad Mayes will hold office hours at the Yucca Valley Community Center Monday, June 5. Staff representatives will be available from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the Mesquite Room to answer questions and help residents with any issues they may have with state government. Mayes encourages residents who are not able to make the drive to his main district office in Rancho Mirage to attend the mobile office hours in Yucca Valley.

SORCERY, MIDWIVES, AND ALCHEMY, THEN FOOD AS MEDICINE AT RAINBOW STEW

Among the many programs offered at Rainbow Stew in Yucca Valley, a class tomorrow will teach how to use traditional food as medicine. Managing Editor Tami Roleff has details…
Learn how common, and not-so-common, foods and herbs can be used to resolve many health problems without having to seek medical assistance at a free event at Rainbow Stew. Charla Shamhart will lead the session Saturday, June 3, on the home natural medicine chest and emergency medicine kit, starting at 1:30 p.m. The event is free, but donations will be accepted. For more information, call Shamhart at 760-401-0689. Rainbow Stew is located on the south side of the highway in Old Town Yucca Valley.
 
Also tomorrow, a cross-cultural presentation on sorcery, midwives, and alchemy is the fourth class in a series in the Women’s Heritage Project. Charla Shamhart will lead the class at Rainbow Stew tomorrow on Saturday, June 3, starting at 10:30 a.m. A donation of $25 is requested, but no one will be turned away. Rainbow Stew is located on the north side of Highway 62 in Old Town Yucca Valley. Additional classes in the Women’s Heritage Project will be held June 17, July 1, and July 22. To register, call 323-504-0260.

AC/DC TRIBUTE BAND AT TORTOISE ROCK CASINO TOMORROW

The free Live at the Rock concert series runs every Friday night through October on the outdoor stage at Tortoise Rock Casino in Twentynine Palms. Reporter Mike Lipsitz says that is you like your music good and you like your music loud, get ready for the AC/DC Experience tonight at the rock …
“Let there be Rock” tonight at Tortoise Rock’s Live at the Rock tribute to AC/DC. Noise Pollution hits the outdoor stage at Twentynine Palms’ only casino tonight at 8 p.m. Fans can take the “Highway to Hell” for a night of “Too Much Touch” along with “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.” Never mind the alliteration, just grab your “T.N.T.” and hop aboard the “Rock and Roll Train” with Noise Pollution. The free Live at the Rock concert series happens every Friday night through October. Next weekend, June 9, What About Maggie pays tribute to the one and only Rod Stewart.

FISH AND CHIPS AT THE JOSHUA TREE VFW TONIGHT

The Joshua Tree Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7264 will serve up a fish and chips dinner tonight, (Friday, June 2) from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday’s breakfast is chicken fried steak for $7. And don’t forget Taco Wednesday from 11 to 1. The Post is located at 6402 Veterans Way in downtown Joshua Tree.
 

COPPER MOUNTAIN MESA ASSOCIATION BREAKFAST TOMORROW

This Saturday is the First Saturday Breakfast at the Copper Mountain Mesa Community Center located at 65336 Winters Road in North Joshua Tree. Seven bucks gets a person more breakfast than they can handle; served up from 8 am to 11 am by the friendliest volunteers on the Mesa. 

BAVARIAN BRASS BAND AT YUCCA VALLEY SENIOR CENTER TOMORROW

Join the Yucca Valley Senior Club for a first Saturday event tomorrow. The American Bavarian Brass Band, a 14-member brass band, will play for a polka party. The event is from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. at the Yucca Valley Senior Center. Light refreshments will be served. Seniors 55 and older are free and under 55 are $2.

REGISTRATION FOR YUCCA VALLEY SWIM LESSONS STARTS MONDAY

Aquatic programs at the Yucca Valley High School pool start soon. Managing editor Tami Roleff says the registrations for swim lessons open this Monday…
The Town of Yucca Valley aquatic programs will begin Monday, June 19, at the community pool at the high school on Sage Avenue. Swim lessons are held in the morning; each session is eight classes for $45. Registration opens at noon on June 5, either in person at the community center, or online at yucca-valley.org. Drop-in programs include fun swim, family swim, lap swimming, and water aerobics. All drop-in programs are $4 per person, per visit; or $3 per visit when a swim pass is used. Swim passes are available at $30 for 10 visits and can be purchased at the pool or community center. For days and hours of all programs, call 760-369-7211 or visit yucca-valley.org.

TWENTYNINE PALMS UNITED METHODIST STREET MARKET TOMORROW

The Street Market at the United Methodist Church of Twentynine Palms at 6250 Mesquite Springs Road will be open from 9 to 2 tomorrow, Saturday, June 3. Enjoy lunch of hot dogs, hamburgers, veggie burgers, or chicken sandwiches from 11 to 2. A girl’s brand-new mountain bike will add to the excitement of the day.  Come on out for fun, finding treasures, and meeting your neighbors.