MORONGO BASIN MAC HEARS THAT MOST LOCAL FIRE STATIONS WILL REMAIN OPEN

Despite the light agenda, lots came out of last night’s meeting of the Morongo Basin MAC. Reporter David Haldane was there and offers this report…
Rumors regarding the potential closure of several desert fire stations contain a grain of truth. But it’s only a grain. That according to Battalion Chief Mike Snow, a spokesman for the San Bernardino County Fire Dept., who spoke on the matter at last night’s meeting of the Morongo Basin Municipal Advisory Council.
The truth: that Wonder Valley is indeed being considered for possible closure. And though the stations in Landers, Pioneertown and Johnson Valley will remain open for now, they will eventually be staffed by volunteers rather than paid firefighters.
Snow’s was one of several public safety reports presented at the meeting which, frankly, had little else on its agenda. A spokesman for the CHP promised to work on reducing speed limits along Highway 62. And, finally, a Sheriff’s Dept. spokesman urged residents to check mail boxes frequently to prevent their contents from being stolen.

MORONGO UNIFIED SCHOOL BOARD TONIGHT, PUBLIC HEARINGS AND PERSONNEL

The Morongo Unified School District Board of Education will do some housekeeping at its regular meeting tonight. Public hearings and personnel. That pretty much sums up the agenda for tonight’s meeting. The two public hearings are on the proposed Local Control Accountability Plan and the annual budget and service plans for 2017/18.
Personnel items on the table include salary increases for two administrators and contract extensions for two more. In addition, the board will take the necessary legal steps to bring in Michael Gelber as Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources to replace Doug Weller who’s retiring July 1.
Tonight’s meeting gets underway 7 p.m. at Joshua Tree Elementary School on Sunburst Avenue.

FREE CLASSES ON HEALTHY EATING AND NUTRITION IN TWENTYNINE PALMS TOMORROW

Reach Out Morongo Basin will hold a class on healthy eating and nutrition tomorrow at the Twentynine Palms Senior Center, featuring Tamara Estes, a registered nurse. Reporter Eric Knabe fills in the details…
The class will be held on June 14, from 10:00 to 10:45 a.m., will be on healthy eating, nutrition, and safety for seniors, including heart healthy and diabetic diets, nutrition for bone health, and how to prevent falls. These classes are open to the public and all are encouraged to attend. For more information call Reach Out at 760-361-1410.

TWO TWENTYNINE PALMS FELONS ARRESTED WITH GUNS AND AMMO

Two Twentynine Palms men, who are convicted felons, were arrested Sunday after they were found with guns and ammunition. According to a Sheriff’s report, about 1 p.m., deputies were called to an area north of Pinto Mountain in Wonder Valley for reports of shots fired. Deputies saw a Nissan Frontier leaving the area, which tried to flee, but got stuck in the sand. Two men, later identified as Victor Guerra, 33, and Robert Prudholme, 28, then fled from the vehicle into the desert. They were detained after a short foot pursuit. A records check revealed Guerra was a convicted felon on parole and Prudholme was also a convicted felon on probation. Deputies searched the vehicle and located a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle, a .38-caliber revolver and 400 rounds of ammunition.
Victor Guerra and Robert Prudholme were both arrested for investigation of being a felon in possession of a weapon and ammunition, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, and are being held without bail for violating the terms of their parole and probation.

TWO ARRESTED IN LANDERS WITH A STOLEN RECREATIONAL VEHICLE

Two men were arrested early Sunday morning after they were found with a stolen recreational vehicle. According to a Sheriff’s report, about 2 a.m. Sunday morning, a deputy spotted a yellow box truck towing an RV about 25 miles per hour southbound on Old Woman Springs Road near Jesse Road. During a records check, the deputy discovered the RV had been reported stolen in Temecula. The driver of the truck turned east on Reche Road, at which time the deputy pulled the vehicle over. The driver of the truck, identified as Steve Lopez, 45, of Napa, got out of the truck, while another man, identified as Larry Furgerson, 41, of Twentynine Palms, got out of the driver’s side door of the RV, and they began walking toward the deputy. The deputy ordered both men to stop at gunpoint. The report states that Furgerson admitted he bought the RV from a man in Fontana, and knew that it was probably stolen, and that Lopez told the deputy that the Fontana man was the real criminal because he’s the one who stole the RV. Steve Lopez and Larry Furgerson were both arrested for investigation of receiving stolen property, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, with their bail set at $50,000 each.

TWENTYNINE PALMS CITY COUNCIL: MORE TOURIST FUNDS, CHAMBER OF COMMERCE CONTRACT

Old arguments never die. Or at least, not for a while. Reporter David Haldane tells us about the local version of that in Twentynine Palms… 
And the winner is … Joshua Tree or Twentynine Palms? The answer could be decided at tonight’s Twentynine Palms City Council meeting at which an old controversy will be revisited. At issue: Whether the council should approve spending $31,500 to support tourism marketing sponsored by a group called Joshua Tree Gateway Communities.
The issue was discussed last summer with some council members arguing that not a cent should be given to anything with Joshua Tree in its name. Now the tourism marketers have come back with a formal request, arguing that their efforts will benefit the entire Morongo Basin, including Twentynine Palms.
In other business, the council will consider approving an exclusive negotiation agreement with a company called Palm Communities for Project Phoenix, and look at extending its contract with the city’s Chamber of Commerce for another two years.
Tonight’s meeting gets underway at 6 p.m. at City Hall on Adobe Road.

JOIN THE JOSHUA TREE CLEAN TEAM TOMORROW MORNING

The hard-working volunteers of the Joshua Tree Clean Team will be out tomorrow because they care about our desert. If you want to help, join them tomorrow morning, Wednesday, June 14. They will meet at Highway 62 and Sunburst (north side). The new summer start time is 7 a.m. The Clean Team will still work for one short hour from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. and then meet for optional coffee and conversation at the Park Rock Cafe.

“SUMMER SPLASH” IN JOSHUA TREE SATURDAY

Kick off your summer fun with a 5K splash run/walk in Joshua Tree. The Summer Splash event, set for Saturday, June 17, is co-hosted by the Joshua Tree Parks and Rec Department, Rotary Club, and Morongo Basin Healthcare District. The event at Sunburst Park in Joshua Tree is from 9 to 2, and will include the 5K run/walk with music from the Z107.7 Mobile DJ, craft and food vendors, live music, a dunk tank, displays by the County Fire and Marine Corps, and other kid-friendly activities. For more information, call 760-366-8415.

ELITE COSMETOLOGY COLLECTING DONATIONS FOR UNITY HOME

The Elite Cosmetology School in Yucca Valley is teaming up with a celebrity stylist to help Morongo Basin Unity Home. Managing editor Tami Roleff invites you to stop by Saturday as they give Unity Home residents makeovers and collect much-needed personal care donations…
Elite Cosmetology School in Yucca Valley, along with an appearance by Hollywood hair stylist Joseph Rene, will provide a day of make-overs, hair cuts, and nail care for the men, women, and children of Unity Home. Unity Home is a non-profit organization that provides a safe haven for victims of domestic violence. The public is invited to stop by the charity event, Saturday, June 17, from 9 to 3:30, with donations of clothing, new underwear, and toiletries for those who are sheltered by Unity Home. All clothing sizes are needed, from kids small to adult extra-large. Elite Cosmetology School is located at 56300 29 Palms Highway in Yucca Valley.

COMPASSIONATE FRIENDS MEET TOMORROW

The Morongo Basin Chapter of the Compassionate Friends, a support group for parents who have experienced the death of a child, meets tomorrow and every second Wednesday of the month from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Helen Gray Education Center on the campus of Hi Desert Medical Center. The group is facilitated by Kristin Martin. For more information, contact Martin at 760-250-7295 or visit the Hi Desert Medical website at www.hdmc.org.