EIGHT YEARS IN PRISON FOR MARINE WHO KILLED TWENTYNINE PALMS DENTIST, WIFE IN DUI CRASH

Mariah Natividad, a Twentynine Palms Marine who pleaded guilty in April to a DUI crash that killed a prominent Twentynine Palms dentist and his wife, was sentenced to eight years in state prison Wednesday. Natividad, 23, was a lance corporal with the Exercise Support Division on the Combat Center in May 2015 when she rear-ended a pick-up truck traveling eastbound on Highway 62 near Juniper Road in Joshua Tree. The impact sent the truck into the desert where it rolled over several times. Inside the truck were Dr. Lonnie Tiner, 80, and his wife, Patricia, 75. The Tiners died 10 minutes apart the next day at Desert Hospital in Palm Springs. A large number of family members were present at the sentencing hearing in a Joshua Tree courtroom to give victim impact statements. Judge Bert Swift sentenced Mariah Natividad to six years in state prison for the first count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, and two years for the second count, to be served consecutively.

LCpl Mariah Natividad pleaded guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter in the deaths of Dr. Lonnie and Patricia Tiner.

ALL FIREWORKS OF ANY KIND ARE ILLEGAL IN THE MORONGO BASIN

Illegal fireworks are a concern especially around the Independence Day holiday. Reporter Mike Lipsitz has more on the potential risk and costs associated with using illegal fireworks…
Possession of fireworks is illegal throughout Morongo Basin. This includes so called “safe and sane” fireworks, and any fireworks that explode, shoot in the air or move along the ground. With the threat of wildfire nearing peak season, San Bernardino County Fire has stepped up enforcement of state and county fireworks laws. Fire officials will be issuing citations for the illegal use of fireworks, with possibility of arrest and fines of more than $1,250 for the first offense. Property owners may be cited if they allow fireworks to be possessed, stored or used on their property. According to the National Fire Protection Association, on a typical July 4th, fireworks cause more fires in the U.S. than all other causes combined. Basin residents are encouraged to watch fireworks at community celebrations rather than risking the death, blindness, and maiming injuries that children and adults suffer every year.

FIRE CREWS RESPOND TO BRUSH FIRE IN JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK

On June 21, at 10:27 am , a fire was reported in the Quail Springs area of Joshua Tree National Park. Fire crews from CAL FIRE, San Bernardino County, BLM and National Park Service responded to a brush fire approximately 100 yards off the road near mile marker #21. The fire burned an area of approximately one and a half acres. It was fueled primarily by dried grasses with no significant damage to living Joshua Trees. Quick action by fire crews and the lack of driving winds minimized the area affected. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Photo courtesy Joshua Tree National Park.

Photo courtesy Kathy French

Photo courtesy Kathy French

Photo courtesy Kathy French

Photo courtesy Kathy French

Photo courtesy Kathy French

BIG BEAR FIRE NOW AT 1,500 ACRES, 10% CONTAINED

Firefighters continue to battle hot temperatures and difficult terrain fighting a 1,540-acre wildfire north of Baldwin Lake in the Big Bear area. Over 1,200 firefighters from multi-agencies are working to contain the fire. The fire is 10% contained. The National Forest Service said fire activity increased mid-day as temperatures again reached highs near 95 degrees. Highway 18 remains closed between the Mitsubishi cement plant and Delta Avenue near Baldwin Lake. Several forest roads including Van Duesen Canyon and Holcomb Valley Road East  are closed, as well as a section of the popular Pacific Crest Trail between Highway 18 and Van Duesen Canyon Road. The fire started Monday, June 19. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Residents and visitors are being told to monitor the fire, and be prepared to leave if conditions change or if new fire threatens your community.


For more information, visit http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/, call 909-383-5688, or Twitter at https://twitter.com/SanBernardinoNF

WITH EXTREME HEAT, ANOTHER DANGER FOR DOGS

Most people are aware that they shouldn’t leave their dogs in cars during hot weather. Managing Editor Tami Roleff has this reminder about another danger for dogs in the heat…
If it’s too hot for you to walk barefoot on pavement—and it’s been plenty hot recently—then it’s too hot for your dog to walk on pavement. A dog’s paws can be burned by hot pavement. To prevent burns and blisters on your dogs’ pads, walk your best friend in the early morning or late evening hours when it’s cooler. And scorching temps aren’t just on the pavement; hot car seats can also be uncomfortable for your dog. If you do have to travel with your dog, put down a blanket or towel. And don’t put your dogs in the back of your pick-up truck. For one thing, it’s not safe for your best friend, and the hot metal bed can quickly burn their pads.

EXPECT “SOUNDS OF FREEDOM” FROM THE MARINE BASE

Expect more “Sounds of Freedom” from the 29 Palms Marine Base. Marine officials say Morongo Basin residents may hear more noise than usual. The Marine Corps is in the middle of a 29-day integrated training exercise conducting battalion-size, live-fire maneuvers and will incorporate combat support, combat service support, and aviation units. Depending on atmospheric conditions, sound from the training area may be amplified. To make a comment on the exercise and sound levels, go to: http://www.29palms.marines.mil/Staff/G5CommunityPlansPAO/SoundReporting.aspx
Call: (760) 830-9222 or
Email: SMBPLMSG_5SOUNDREPORTING@usmc.mil

Photo by USMC Sgt. Sara Graham, MCAGCC 29 Palms.

“GHOSTBUSTERS” TWENTYNINE PALMS SUMMER MOVIE TONIGHT

It’s Thursday night and that means it’s movie night in Luckie Park in Twentynine Palms. Reporter Eric Knabe tells us what’s on the big screen tonight…
Tonight’s movie under the stars is “Ghostbusters” This 2016 movie stars Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig as paranormal enthusiasts, who, after
a ghostly invasion of Manhattan, band together with a nuclear engineer and a subway worker to stop the supernatural threat. The movie starts at 8:30 pm, at the north end of the racquetball court, with refreshment offered by the Twentynine Palms Youth Club.

CONSTRUCTION STARTED ON JOSHUA TREE COUNTY MENTAL HEALTH FACILITY

You may have noticed some construction and a huge mound of dirt on the south side of Highway 62 near Sunny Vista Road in Joshua Tree. In February, the Board of Supervisors approved a behavioral health crisis residential treatment facility to be built at the location. The $8.5 million project will have 16 beds in an 11,000 square-foot facility, and will provide voluntary crisis intervention for adults diagnosed with mental health and/or co-occurring substance abuse disorders. The mental health program will offer a positive, short-term community-based treatment option with recovery-based services and interventions in a home-like setting for stays up to 90 days. The construction is expected to be completed by January 2018.

STONEWALL REMEMBRANCE DAYS IN JOSHUA TREE

A four-day celebration in remembrance of the Stonewall riots will be held in Joshua Tree, starting Thursday, June 22. In 1969, members of the gay community spontaneously rioted following a police raid on a gay bar called the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village in New York City. The Stonewall Riots are credited with the beginning of the gay rights movement. Managing editor Tami Roleff has more on the Joshua Tree celebration…
The Joshua Tree Stonewall Remembrance Days is four days of music, film, poetry, dance, and fashion. The celebration begins 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Art Queen Complex on the highway in downtown Joshua Tree. Highlights include a screening of the films “El Canto del Colibri” and “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert,” a presentation by writer-director-actor Guinevere Turner, a photography exhibit by Eric Schwabel, and readings by Raquel Gutierrez and Anna Joy Springer. Admission to all events is free.

Joshua Tree Stonewall Remembrance Days Event Schedule

Thursday, June 22
730 p.m. – Poetry “Out” Loud! presented by Space Cowboy Books
830 p.m. – Eva Soltes screens selections from her documentary and archive on the life and times of Lou Harrison, at the gallery opening of his paintings and drawings, “Lou’s Men.”

Friday, June 23
8:00 p.m. – My Journey Through Lesbian Representation, a clip reel and conversation with Guinevere Turner followed by Q & A
9:30 p.m. – Documentary: Marco Castro-Bojorquez’s El Canto del Colibri, Latin American immigrant fathers and their LGBTQ children experience the process of family acceptance

Saturday, June24
3:00 p.m. – Dance and Stretch with Dapper Studios. Participate…bring a yoga mat!
3:45pm – Introductory Remarks: Why Remember Stonewall with T. Hammidi
4:00 p.m. – A fun fashion show by Dusty Deserette, and Pink-ish Leather Fashions presentation by the legendary Robert Warner
5:00 p.m. – Gallery reception for Eric Schwabel’s “Fertile Desert” exhibition
5:30 p.m. – Shari Elf performs “An Ode to Mr. Morgan”
6:00 p.m. – Poetry/Spoken Word by Raquel Gutierrez and Anna Joy Springer
6:45pm – Dance Party/Live Bands: Teddy Quinn Band, Leslie Mariah and Small World Experience, Jeff Hafler & The Wonder People, Daytime Moon
10:30 p.m. – Screening of The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (attendees encouraged to dress up)

Sunday, June 25
11:30 a.m. – A pancake breakfast with live music by the JT Jazz Band and performance art by Aaron Sheppard

To learn more about the event visit JTSRD’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ArtQueenJoshuaTree/

IF YOU SMELL ROTTEN EGGS, IT’S THE SALTON SEA

As if high temperatures weren’t bad enough, depending on winds, you may smell the stench of rotten eggs for the next few days. The smell is coming from the Salton Sea, where elevated levels of hydrogen sulfide have developed. It’s caused by decaying organic matter. Its presence may be felt on and off through Thursday, “Hot weather enhances the process,” according to the South Coast Air Quality Management District.