UPDATE: 8 a.m. 6-18-17

Arturo Esparza has been found safe.

The Sheriff’s Department is asking for the public’s help in finding a missing Yucca Valley man. Arturo Esparza, 57, left his home on foot near Pioneertown Road about 5:45 p.m. Saturday and has not returned. Esparza has Alzheimer’s Disease. He was tracked by a dog to an area near the Mohawk Apartments on Mohawk Trail and Sunland, but then his trail was lost. Esparza often walks toward Joshua Tree. Esparza is described as Hispanic, and is about 6 feet tall with a medium build and salt-and-pepper hair. He was last seen wearing blue shorts, and was not wearing a shirt and was barefoot. Anyone with information about Arturo Esparza is asked to call Sheriff’s Dispatch at 760-365-9413 or 760-956-5001.


The California Department of Transportation will be performing road work on State Route 247 Monday. CalTrans will be grinding and repaving both north- and southbound lanes of the highway from Handley Road to Boone Avenue Monday, June 19, from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Motorists are urged to use caution in the work zone and allow extra time for travel.


The Homestead Valley Community Council will discuss industrial solar fields at its next meeting. Participants will learn about proposed utility-scale solar fields and how to defend themselves against corporations that want to build solar fields next to their properties. The Homestead Valley Community Council represents residents of Yucca Mesa, Landers, Flamingo Heights, and Johnson Valley. Representatives from the Sheriff’s and fire departments will be available to answer questions. The meeting is set for 3 p.m. Monday, June 19, at the Johnson Valley Community Center, 50567 Quailbush Road, at the corner of Larrea Road.


The Morongo Basin is under an extreme heat warning. During hot weather, seniors, infants, young children, and people with chronic health conditions are most vulnerable to health problems and should take extra precautions. Residents should check on elderly family members, neighbors, and friends during extremely hot weather to make sure they are safe and comfortable. Everyone is advised to drink plenty of fluids, wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing, and pace themselves when outside. Limit outdoor activity to early morning or evening hours. Residents can go to cooling centers to get out of the heat, but managing editor Tami Roleff says if it’s Sunday, or you have a pet, you’re pretty much out of luck…

There are cooling centers in the Morongo Basin. In Yucca Valley, the community center is open 9 to 5 Monday through Friday, and the Hi-Desert Nature Center is open Thursday through Saturday 10 to 5. Town offices are open Monday through Thursday 8 to noon and 1 to 5. In Twentynine Palms, the Senior Center on Adobe Road is a cooling center from 9 to 5 Monday through Friday; if the heat index reaches 115 degrees, the building will remain open. In Joshua Tree, the community center will be open Saturday until 2 p.m. and normal hours are 9 to 5 Monday through Friday. Residents can cool off at the splash park, which is open Thursday through Monday 9 to 7. The Hi-Desert Medical Center cafeteria is available as a cooling center every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Wonder Valley Community Center will be open 9 to 2 Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. In addition, the libraries in Twentynine Palms, Joshua Tree, and Yucca Valley are open 11 to 7 Monday through Wednesday, Thursday 10 to 6, and Saturday 9 to 5. Other places to get out of the heat are stores, restaurants, and theaters.


Extreme heat can affect our pets as well. Park Ranger Pam Tripp reminds hikers of the rules for pets in the National Park…

Imagine hiking in the summer heat wearing a fur coat and hiking in bare feet. This scenario plays out all too often in Joshua Tree National Park. Temperatures in the summer typically reach 100 degrees or more, even in the upper elevations of the park. This affects not just human, but our furry little friends as well. Please know the rules for pets when visiting any national park. At Joshua Tree, pets are not allowed on trails, with the only exception being the Oasis of Mara trail behind the visitor center in Twentynine Palms. For further rules and information on visiting with pets call us or check out our website at For Copper Mountain Broadcasting Z107.7 this is Park Ranger Pam Tripp, asking you to keep your pets safety in mind when planning a trip to your national park.


The Morongo Basin Democratic Club will hold a fundraiser at Las Palmas Mexican restaurant in Yucca Valley. From 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 20, a portion of the night’s proceeds will be donated to the non-profit organization. Las Palmas is located on the corner of Highway 62 and Elk Trail in Old Town Yucca Valley.


Hi-Desert Medical Center recently established two new volunteer programs for students and others interested in real-world experiences in the healthcare industry. Reporter Mike Lipsitz has more on how to get involved…

Hi-Desert Medical Center volunteers have traditionally been funneled through the hospital’s multifaceted Auxiliary program. But recently, the hospital formed two new volunteer programs, both designed to bring young people into the system for mutual benefit for of the students and the medical center. One program is tailored to high school students age 16 to 18. The other is designed for college students and those interested in real-world healthcare experiences. Both provide opportunities in emergency services, outpatient rehabilitation, surgery, continuing care, tele monitoring, labor and delivery, food and nutrition, accounting, marketing, social media, event planning, community relations, patient registration, and more. The Morongo Unified School District and Copper Mountain College are both partnered in the program. Prospective volunteers may download an application at or for more information contact Volunteer Coordinator Irene Johnson at 760-366-6324 or Reporting for Z107.7 News, this is Mike Lipsitz.


The Twentynine Palms and Yucca Valley libraries are both offering a summer reading program through July 29. Family movies are shown on Tuesdays at 1 p.m. in Twentynine Palms; in Yucca Valley, the movies are shown on Thursdays at 12:30 p.m. Crafts are offered on Mondays in Yucca Valley and on Wednesdays in Twentynine Palms, both locations at 11 a.m. In addition, performers put on a show at 3:30 p.m. Wednesdays in Yucca Valley and at 11 a.m. Thursdays in Twentynine Palms. Click below for a complete list of movies, crafts, and performers.

Twentynine Palms Summer Reading Program Calendar

Yucca Valley Summer Reading Program Calendar