CELEBRATION OF LIFE SET FOR SUSAN LUCKIE REILLY

A celebration of life service has been set for Susan Luckie Reilly. Susan Luckie Reilly, a long-time resident of Twentynine Palms, died June 22, on her 101st birthday. The service will be held 10 a.m. Saturday at the Bell Center on the campus of Copper Mountain College in Joshua Tree. Reilly was the daughter of Dr. James B. Luckie, a Pasadena physician who recommended the dry desert climate of Twentynine Palms to WWI veterans suffering from the effects of mustard gas. Reilly developed a lifelong love and passion for the desert environment and was a driving force for preservation and protection of the Southern California desert. She worked at Joshua Tree National Monument as a seasonal ranger-naturalist in 1965 and maintained a close relationship with the park over the last 50 years. Reilly was a founding member of the Morongo Basin Conservation Association, which successfully fought off an initiative by the utility company to run a massive power transmission corridor straight through the heart of the Morongo Basin. Reilly received the Minerva Hoyt Award in 2004. She also received a Woman of Distinction Award given by Congressman Paul Cook in 2013. The public is invited to attend her celebration of life.

JOSHUA TREE MAN ACCUSED OF ARMED ROBBERY

A Joshua Tree man was arrested early Monday morning, accused of strong arm robbery. According to the Sheriff’s Department, Douglas Lane, 34, went to the Flyer’s gas station in the 56200 block of 29 Palms Highway in Yucca Valley shortly before 4 a.m. Monday. The clerk told deputies Lane asked to buy a pack of cigarettes, then grabbed them and left without paying. When the clerk confronted Lane, he allegedly brandished a knife at the clerk before fleeing. Deputies located Lane nearby and arrested him for investigation of armed robbery. Douglas Lane was booked into the Morongo Basin Jail with his bail set at $100,000.

CIGARETTES DON’T CAUSE AS MANY FIRES AS THEY USED TO

Many people blame wildfires on cigarettes that are tossed out of car windows. Reporter Eric Knabe says changes to cigarettes means they don’t cause as many fires as they used to…

Starting in 2004, states began requiring cigarettes to be self-extinguishing, so they are less likely to cause fires. The advent of self-extinguishing cigarettes led to a 23 percent decrease in the number of cigarette-caused wildfires. But these fire still happen; last February 150 acres burned in a forest near Fort Collins, Colorado, caused by a cigarette butt. Another reason not to flick a cigarette butt out the window of a car: If the police or CHP catches you in the act, you can be charged with littering with a minimum fine of $100, and community service picking up trash or cleaning graffiti for a minimum of eight hours. Get caught again and it’s a minimum of $500 and 16 hours of community service.

FIRES IN MORONGO BASIN MONDAY, TUESDAY

Twentynine Palms firefighters saved a house from a fire Monday evening, although the garage is a total loss. According to County Fire Battalion Chief Scott Tuttle, the firefighters were returning from a medical aid call about 5:50 p.m. when they saw smoke coming from a single-family home in the 5600 block of Cahuilla Avenue. Upon arrival, the garage was fully involved in flames. Firefighters were able to prevent the fire from spreading into the house, although there was smoke and heat damage. The residents were not at home at the time of the fire. The cause of the blaze is under investigation.

Yucca Valley firefighters responded to a small vegetation fire Tuesday night, caused by fireworks. About 9:40 p.m., they were called to the 56000 block of Taos Trail where they found a 4-foot by 4-foot section of vegetation on fire behind a home. There was no one around so no one was cited.

16 TONS OF FIREWORKS SEIZED ENTERING COUNTY

More than 16 tons of fireworks were seized coming into San Bernardino County from bordering states during a monthlong operation by a multi-agency task force led by the county Fire Department. Fire investigators issued 146 citations totaling $182,500 in fines for possession of the illegal fireworks. Fire Marshall Mike Horton said, “San Bernardino County has a zero-tolerance policy for bringing any and all illegal fireworks into our communities. Anyone attempting to smuggle these dangerous explosives into the county will face a minimum $1,250 fine and a misdemeanor or felony charge with the possibility of arrest.”

Photo courtesy San Bernardino County Fire Department

Photo courtesy San Bernardino County Fire Department

AUDITIONS MONDAY FOR “JOSEPH” AT THEATRE 29

Theatre 29 is holding auditions for the hit musical, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” next week, and 12 male and 8 to 10 female singer/dancers will be cast. With all the details, here’s reporter Rebecca Havely…

The story of Joseph and his many-colored coat is a classic Bible story told through song and dance in this musical sensation. Auditions will be held Monday, July 10, at 6 p.m. at Theatre 29. Prepare a Broadway show tune and bring a backing track on your cell phone and dress to move. Jericho McWilliams has been pre-cast in the role of Joseph. All other roles are open. The show’s female narrator must have a strong solo voice. Jacob, Joseph’s father, should be 60-70; his 11 other sons range in age from 12 years old to late 50s. Some brothers will have featured solos and may double as a second character, such as Potiphar, a spoiled rich Egyptian. Potiphar’s wife is a sexy vixen who lusts after Joseph. The brother that doubles as the character Pharaoh will need to do an Elvis impersonation. Eight to 10 female singer/dancers ages 16 through late 50s will also be cast.

Joseph will run four weekends at Theatre 29 from August 25 to September 17, Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. For the final weekend of the run, the show will travel to the Barstow Performing Arts Center with performances Saturday, September 23 and Sunday, September 24. For tickets call the Theatre 29 box office 760-361-4151 or visit theatre29.org or barstowpac.com for the final weekend.

SURPLUS FOOD DISTRIBUTION IN YUCCA VALLEY TODAY

The Santa Fe Social Clubhouse will distribute USDA surplus food Wednesday, July 5, at 3 p.m. until the food is gone. The distribution will take place at the front of the building where there is sufficient parking. Wear proper attire for the weather and remember there are no public restrooms. The Social Club is located at 56020 Santa Fe Trail, Suite M. For more information, call Susie or Phebe at 760-369-4057.

JOSHUA BASIN WATER DISTRICT BOARD MEETS TONIGHT

The controversial Cadiz water project are among the topics to be discussed at tonight’s Joshua Basin Water District meeting. Reporter Mike Lipsitz has agenda highlights…

At tonight’s meeting of the Joshua Basin Water District, the board is expected to endorse a letter opposing the Cadiz water project, establish the fiscal 2017-2018 appropriation limit, discuss rate study scenarios for this fiscal year, consider authorizing an additional $150,000 to be spent on rehabilitation of well 14, and make some budget adjustments as recommended by the finance committee.

Tonight’s meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Joshua Basin Water District offices on Chollita Road in Joshua Tree.

LEARN ABOUT ESSENTIAL OILS AT RAINBOW STEW

If you are wondering what essential oils are all about, Rainbow Stew in Yucca Valley will hold free informational introduction classes. You’ll be able to experience the oils and see for yourself how many uses they have. Classes are set for 4 p.m. Thursday, July 6, and July 27; 1 p.m. Monday, July 10 and Thursday, July 13; 3 p.m. Wednesday, July 19; and 11 a.m. Tuesday, July 25. Rainbow Stew is located on the south side of the highway in Old Town Yucca Valley.