Two men were arrested Thursday for a burglary in Yucca Valley. According to a Sheriff’s report, the residents of a home in the 54600 block of Martinez Trail came home about 2:30 p.m. and discovered the sliding door in the back of the home had been shattered. After performing a security check of the home, footprints at the scene led deputies to the Mueller-Turner Cabinet shop, located in the 54400 block of 29 Palms Highway. There deputies contacted Raydel Walker, 20, of Fontana, and Jesus Olivares, 19, of San Bernardino. They were both wearing shoes with the same shoe impressions the deputies had tracked from the burglarized home. Raymel Walker was arrested for investigation of burglary, and on a warrant for petty theft and driving without a license. He was booked into the Morongo Basin Jail with his bail set at $60,000. Jesus Olivares was arrested on suspicion of burglary, and on a no-bail warrant for participating in a gang and for a probation violation. He was booked into the Morongo Basin Jail.


The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for today and tomorrow. Temperatures are expected to reach 110 to 120 degrees in the lower elevations with lows of 80 to 90 degrees. The intense heat may create a dangerous situation in which heat illnesses are likely; especially for the elderly, children, homeless, those unaccustomed to the heat, and those who do not take proper precautions. If you work or spend time outside, reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Wear light weight and loose-fitting clothing when possible and drink plenty of water. Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heat stroke is an emergency; call 911. Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances. Cooling stations are available in Twentynine Palms, Yucca Valley, and Joshua Tree.
In addition to the extreme heat warning, the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District has issued an advisory that ozone levels Twentynine Palms exceed 100 on the Air Quality Index (AQI) today. AQI levels between 101 and 150 are considered unhealthful for sensitive individuals; therefore, the MDAQMD recommends people with lung disease, such as asthma, children, older adults and individuals who are active outdoors should reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion. Ozone is the main component of photochemical smog which forms in the sun, usually on hot summer days. When present in the air we breathe, ozone can cause serious health problems, including breathing difficulty, asthma attacks and lung damage. The AQI focuses on health effects individuals may experience within a few hours or days after breathing polluted air.

Real-time AQI levels as measured at the MDAQMD’s seven air monitoring stations are available on the District’s website at

The forecasted AQI is also available to the public via EnviroFlash, the MDAQMD’s automated air quality forecast service. To sign up to receive daily forecasts via email, Twitter or cell phone, visit

See our previous story on extreme heat and cooling centers:


With a national blood shortage, the Red Cross is urging blood donors to answer an emergency call. Reporter Anthony Abraria tells you how to help…

The American Red Cross is facing a critical blood shortage and has issued an emergency call for blood and platelet donors of all types. During the last two months, about 61,000 fewer donations were given, causing a significant draw-down of the Red Cross blood supply, as blood donations are being distributed to hospital faster than donations are coming in. Donations are critically needed now so that patients can continue to receive life-saving treatments. To make an appointment to donate blood, use the blood donor app, visit, or call 800-RED CROSS.


A motorhome caught fire in an auto salvage yard in Twentynine Palms Thursday night. According to County Fire Battalion Chief Mike Snow, firefighters from Twentynine Palms, Wonder Valley, and the Combat Center were called to a vehicle fire at the B&B Auto Wrecking salvage yard, in the 75800 block of Baseline Road, at 7:54 p.m. Snow said the fire spread from the motor home to four or five other vehicles. There were no injuries. The cause of the fire is undetermined, and the loss is estimated at about $3,000.


A Joshua Tree woman was arrested Monday evening, accused of driving a stolen car. According to a Sheriff’s report, a deputy saw a woman, later identified as Amy Hillman, 41, driving a 2005 Saturn Ion on the shoulder of westbound Highway 62 near Yucca Avenue in Twentynine Palms. The deputy could see that Hillman was arguing with a pedestrian walking next to the car. When the deputy stopped the car and the pedestrian to investigate, the deputy discovered the car had been reported stolen June 21 in Washington state. Amy Hillman was arrested on suspicion of vehicle theft, booked into Morongo Basin Jail, with her bail set at $50,000.

A Yucca Valley man was arrested Tuesday, accused of possession of a stolen vehicle. According to a Sheriff’s report, about 3:20 a.m., a deputy checked on a Toyota Camry that was parked on Antelope Trail just east of Grand Avenue in Yucca Valley. The car didn’t have any license plates and appeared to have a fresh coat of black and red spray paint. A records check found the vehicle had been reported stolen. Evidence at the scene led deputies to a home in the 56700 block of Antelope Trail, where they contacted Daryll Speer, 22. The report states Speer admitted painting the stolen car and pushing it from his garage onto the street earlier that night. Daryll Speer was arrested for investigation of possession of a stolen vehicle, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, with his bail set at $50,000.


The Joshua Tree Highlands Artist Residency will hold a free art exhibition. With your invitation, here’s reporter Rebecca Havely…
The Joshua Tree Highlands Artist Residency invites you to a free art exhibition on Saturday, July 8. A preview is set for 10 a.m. till 3 p.m. and the evening showing is from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The exhibition will include works by artists Ryan Parra, Marium Rana and Tom Birkner with a live reading by Lisa Marie Rollins. All are invited to this free event to be held at the Joshua Tree Art Gallery, 61607 29 Palms Hwy. in Joshua Tree. For more information visit or call 310-562-0511.


Gallery 62 will hold an opening reception for its July art show during the Second Saturday art crawl, July 8. Featured artists for the exhibition, “Territory Extraordinary,” are Cory Hamilton, Snake Jagger, Aaron Moshier, Ron Turner, and James Hagerty. The reception is set for Saturday, 6 to 8 p.m. at the gallery, 61607 29 Palms Highway, Suite H, in downtown Joshua Tree. The exhibition will be on display through July 30. Regular gallery hours are Fridays and Sundays, 12 to 3, and Saturdays, 9 to 3.


Many Californians are considering making home improvements, and that has consumer watchdog groups warning homeowners to beware of con artists. Managing editor Tami Roleff warns homeowners to beware of con artists offering steep discounts…

Fraud fighter Bob Denz with the AARP says home repair and improvement scams rake in billions of dollars each year from unsuspecting consumers.
“They often work in pairs, and the con artist needs to rush you into it. They’ll offer a low-ball figure, but say ‘you have to tell me now.'”
Denz also says scammers typically say they “happened to be in the neighborhood,” and “have a crew available right now.” The Better Business Bureau ranks this kind of scam among the top 10 currently preying on consumers in California and around the nation.

Denz says seniors are at extra risk for this scam because many can no longer do the work on their homes themselves. He says it only takes a couple of steps to increase the odds of getting a reliable contractor.

“Make sure they have a license, and make sure they get a recommendation from a neighbor or friend that did some repair work,” he says. “And take your time, take your time.”

A contractor’s license can easily be checked by going to the California Contractors State License Board. You can also sign up for watchdog alerts at the AARP website at


Theatre 29’s new improvisational comedy troupe, “The Baker’s Dozen,” which opened its season with a packed house and rave reviews, will be back on stage Saturday, July 15. Improv workshops and auditions at Theatre 29 were immensely successful and Director Chris Fleischman cast 13 talented comedian/actors. Fleischman will be joined by Graham Cooley, Cindy Daigneault, Cam D’Angeles, Amy Fangmeyer, Katie Fleischman, Kory Fleischman, Lisa Goldberg, Cody Joseph, Yvonna Mullen, Joseph Rego, Kylie Robinson, and Hope Spicer. Improvisation, or improv, is a form of live theater in which the plot, characters, and dialogue of a game, scene or story are made up in the moment. No two shows are alike, and it is hoped that fans of “The Baker’s Dozen” will come back again and again. Improv troupe show tickets are $10 each; military and seniors are $7; and students with ID are $5. Theatre 29 season ticket holders may attend one performance at no additional charge. For tickets visit or call the Theatre 29 box office at 760-361-4151.


Now in its third season, the Tortoise Rock Casino free Live at the Rock concert series runs every Friday night through October. Tonight’s featured band is Planet Earth with their tribute to Duran Duran. Reporter Mike Lipsitz says it just wouldn’t be an “Ordinary World” without them…
It’s a tribute to a leader of “the second British invasion,” Duran Duran plays Tortoise Rock Casino at tonight’s Live at the Rock free concert series. Planet Earth will play hits such as “Girls on Film,” “Rio,” “Hungry Like a Wolf,” and more. Tonight’s free concert starts at 8 p.m. on the outdoor stage at Tortoise Rock Casino in Twentynine Palms. In the coming weeks catch the Live at the Rock tributes to Tower of Power, The Doors, and Blink 182.


Transition Joshua Tree will hold a sound healing circle under the full moon on Friday, July 7, from 7 to 9 p.m. Chant with special guest Karen Soriano. Call 760-401-0809 for location.


The Morongo Basin Democratic Club will host a guest speaker at its regular meeting Saturday, July 8. Ellie K is from the Coachella Valley Democratic office. Members are encouraged to bring items for the club’s yard sale, set for July 16. The beginning of a new fiscal year means it’s time to pay annual dues. The morning starts with an optional $10 breakfast buffet at 9 a.m. in Bruce’s Coyote Kitchen at Copper Mountain College. The meeting starts at 10 a.m. Please be “green” and bring your own coffee mug. The college is located at 6162 Rotary Way in Joshua Tree.