The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning through this Friday. Temperatures on Tuesday are expected to reach up to 113 in Yucca Valley and 122 degrees in Twentynine Palms. Heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke are likely for people who spend a prolonged time outdoors or who perform strenuous activity. People most vulnerable to heat-related illnesses include young children, the elderly, those who spend a lot of time outdoors, and those with chronic ailments. Residents are urged to drink plenty of fluids, stay out of the sun and stay in air-conditioned rooms.
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 Museum 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 9 to 5 Monday through Friday. 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.


Caltrans is alerting motorists that high temperatures can cause problems for the traveling public such as vehicle breakdowns, and uncomfortable conditions. Reporter Rebecca Havely has some helpful travel tips…
Know before you go. Check traffic conditions to make your drive safer. Make sure you vehicle is in good repair check fluids, tires, battery and the air conditioner. Make sure your gas tank is full before getting on the highway. In case of a break down bring water, snacks, medications and comfortable clothing and shoes. Bring a charged cell phone and car charger, flares and a flashlight. Watch for tire treads from blow outs, large tire debris on roads are typical during high temperatures. Finally remember never to leave a child, any person or an animal in the car.

Landers woman killed in off-road vehicle crash.

A Landers woman was killed Saturday in an off-road vehicle accident. According to a Sheriff’s report, deputies were called to the 2800 block of Shawnee Trail in Landers about 1:05 p.m. for a report of a missing woman. Rhea Mears, 64, had gone out riding her 2003 Honda Sportrax quad about 9 a.m. and had not yet returned. Deputies followed Mears’ vehicle tracks, and with assistance from a Sheriff’s helicopter, discovered that Mears had crashed into boulders and thrown from the quad in the desert about a quarter mile east of Highway 247 and 1 ½ miles north of Happy Trail. Mears, who was wearing a helmet, was alive, but had suffered major injuries. The deputies began CPR until paramedics arrived. Mears was flown to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs, where she died of her injuries.


The Sheriff’s Department is investigating a body that was found in Yucca Valley Thursday morning. According to limited information, a woman was walking near Palm Avenue and Sunnyslope Drive about 8 a.m. when she found the body. The Sheriff’s Department reports there were no obvious signs of trauma and the coroner was called in to investigate.


Heatstroke is a leading cause of non-crash, vehicle-related deaths in young children. With temperatures over 100 degrees in the Morongo Basin this week, the California Office of Traffic Safety cautions parents, plus anyone transporting pets or the elderly, that leaving them in a hot car, even for a few minutes, can have fatal or irrevocable consequences. Managing editor Tami Roleff offers the following signs of heat stroke…
If you see a child alone in a hot vehicle, immediately call 911. Warning signs of a heatstroke include: fainting; dizziness or light-headedness; red, hot, and dry skin; no sweating; muscle weakness or cramps; nausea and vomiting; and a rapid pulse, which may be either fast or slow. Anyone in distress due to heat should be removed from the vehicle as quickly as possible and rapidly cooled. Any delay in seeking medical care can be fatal.


Firefighters were called to an early morning fire in Johnson Valley today. About 3:45 a.m., Yucca Mesa, Yucca Valley, and Joshua Tree firefighters were called to a home on Kickapoo Trail, where they found a garage, attached to a single family home, on fire. Firefighters were able to save most of the house from fire damage. They had the fire under control in about 30 minutes. There were no injuries and the cause is unknown.


Three people were arrested following a report of suspicious flashlights in a yard in Yucca Valley. About 4:30 a.m. Friday morning, Fred Garrido, 51, of Yucca Valley, called deputies to report that he saw flashlights in his yard in the 7600 block of Warren Vista Drive. When deputies arrived, they saw two people, identified as Gary Hagood, 33, and Kelly Rumney, 35, both of Joshua Tree, sitting inside a car outside the home. The deputies recognized Hagood and knew he was a wanted felon with several active felony warrants. Hagood, who was wearing a military-style flak jacket and had a loaded handgun on his person, attempted to flee from the deputies. During the struggle to detain Hagood, a deputy punched him. Hagood sustained minor injuries during the struggle, and was treated at a local hospital prior to booking. A large amount of ammunition was found in his car. Gary Hagood was arrested for investigation of being a felon in possession of body armor, handgun, and ammunition, and for his multiple warrants, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, with his bail set at $875,000. Kelly Rumney was well known to the deputies, as they had had multiple contacts with her when they were attempting to locate Hagood for his warrants for burglary, operating a chop shop, receiving stolen property, and grand theft. Kelly Rumney was arrested on suspicion of aiding a felon, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, and released Friday afternoon after posting $25,000 bail.
During the investigation, deputies obtained a search warrant for the residence, and they located several guns and a stolen 2017 KTM motorcycle. The motorcycle owner was contacted and the bike was returned. The resident, Fred Garrido, is a convicted felon, and he was arrested for investigation of being a felon in possession of guns and ammunition, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, with his bail set at $50,000.


The 29 Palms Art Gallery presents their wildly popular youth summer art program Color Camp. The first session, Paint & Chalk, begins on Tuesday, June 20, 8:30 to 11 a.m. Reporter Eric Knabe provides the artistic details…

The program includes 6 sessions from June 20 to June 29, 8:30 to 11 a.m. The focus of camp is to have students develop a deep understanding of the use of color in a variety of media. The class will include practice and experimentation with color theory and training using the tools of art for best results. By the end of the class each student will have created a portfolio of work in a variety of media and styles of art. Register today at www.29palmsartgallery.com or at the Gallery.


The Twentynine Palms and Yucca Valley libraries are both offering a summer 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.

Yucca Valley Summer Reading Program Calendar

Twentynine Palms Summer Reading Program Calendar


Whether you call it “catclaw,” “Wait A Minute” bush, or Senegalia Greggii, the Acacia is this month’s featured ingredient at the High Desert Test Kitchen’s June community dinner. Reporter Mike Lipsitz invites you to pull up a chair, if you can pull the catclaw off of you …
The High Desert Test Kitchen is an informal monthly dinner gathering organized by artist Sarah Witt. This month’s dinner is at 7 p.m. June 19 at the Copper Mountain Mesa Community Center, 65336 Winters Road off Border in Joshua Tree. Witt says Acacia or catclaw pods aren’t usually coveted as a top ingredient; they’re generally classified as a survival food. And as such, Witt says you should feel free to bring a dish made with any store-bought variety of legume or other member of the pea family.
The High Desert Test Kitchen naturally intersects with foraging practices and Native American traditions, and inevitably ignites debate over the relationship of man to nature. Changing minds? Maybe. Changing taste buds? Most probably.
For helpful tips on where Acacia grows and it’s many uses: http://www.sarahwitt.net/hdtk/#/hdtk-archive/