DESERT HOT SPRINGS POLICE ACCUSE 2 OF CHILD MOLESTATION AND PORNOGRAPHY

A man and woman have been arrested by Desert Hot Springs police, accused of child molestation and making and distributing child pornography. On August 16, detectives learned about a video that allegedly showed a child being sexually abused. With the assistance of Homeland Security Investigations, detectives located Michael Flaherty, 31, of Desert Hot Springs in Palm Springs and he was arrested later that day on suspicion of numerous charges of child sexual abuse as well as manufacturing and distributing child pornography. Michael Flaherty was booked into the Riverside County Jail with his bail set at $1.5 million. During the investigation, detectives also arrested Cynthia Fuentes, 21, of Coachella, on suspicion of child molestation and manufacturing and distributing child pornography. Cynthia Fuentes was booked into the Riverside County Jail with her bail set at $2.5 million.

Michael Flaherty

Cynthia Fuentes

YUCCA VALLEY MAN FOUND WITH STOLEN PROPERTY AND A GUN

A Yucca Valley man was arrested Thursday morning after he was found with stolen property and a gun. According to a Sheriff’s report, deputies investigating a residential burglary served a search warrant at a home in the 55800 block of Mountain View Trail in Yucca Valley about 10:45 a.m. At the home was Derek Carter, 32, who is on felony probation. During the search, deputies located evidence identifying Carter as the primary suspect in the residential burglary, along with stolen property and a loaded firearm. Derek Carter was arrested on suspicion of burglary, possession of stolen property, and being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail with his bail set at $50,000.

TWENTYNINE PALMS UNVEILS PROJECT PHOENIX FEATURES FOR DISCUSSION

The City of Twentynine Palms hosted a public meeting last night to unveil the first real look at the proposed plan for Project Phoenix, a major effort to revitalize the downtown area. The plans come after some six years of planning and litigation to free bond funds from the State of California. Reporter David Haldane was there and tells us the project’s features…

Conference room. Indoor/outdoor stage. Kitchen. And senior housing.

Those are a few of the elements unveiled by developers and Twentynine Palms city officials last night at a community meeting to discuss Project Phoenix, the planned multi-million-dollar downtown makeover aimed at attracting more visitors. Other features included offices, multi-purpose rooms and a pedestrian walkway connecting 62 local businesses.

The meeting, held at the Twentynine Palms Community Center, was part of the city’s effort to get community input on the project, which is still in the planning stages. To that end, the audience was treated to a “virtual slide tour” depicting what the city envisions. Then it was divided into small groups to discuss what had been shown and offer suggestions.

Among them: awnings instead of umbrellas, air conditioning, a gymnasium, cultural center, grocery store, solar power, dramatic archway and, oh yes, plenty of parking.

LABOR DAY WEEKEND FIREWORKS, FOOD AND FUN IN LANDERS TOMORROW

The Morongo Basin’s only Labor Day celebration is tomorrow, September 2, at Homestead Valley Park in Landers. Celebrate American labor and the end of summer with food, fun, fireworks, and family entertainment. Gates open at 4 p.m. The Z107.7 Mobile DJ will get things warmed up, and the U.S. Marine Corps Color Guard will open the ceremonies 6 p.m. The big fireworks show will be synchronized to music, beginning after dark. Admission is free, but you are encouraged to bring school supplies for Landers Elementary School. There will be fun for kids; beer and margaritas for adults. Tour emergency equipment from Morongo Basin Ambulance and San Bernardino County Fire. Proceeds benefit Homestead Valley Park, Landers Elementary, and area non-profits. Entry and street parking is free; VIP parking will be available for a $5 donation. Homestead Valley Park is at 1501 Belfield Blvd. in Landers. Backpacks, outside food and beverages, coolers and tailgating are prohibited.

LABOR DAY MONDAY WILL SEE GOVERNMENT OFFICES AND BUSINESSES CLOSED

The symbolic end of summer, Labor Day, is Monday. As a federal holiday, many government offices and businesses will be closed Monday. Among those that are closed are banks, post offices, schools, including Copper Mountain College, and county, city, and town offices. Burrtec Waste and Recycling will not pick up trash on Monday; all pick-ups will be delayed by one day next week. MBTA bus service will not run on Monday, September 4; its regular schedule will resume Tuesday, September 5.

CHP REMINDS TO PREP YOU VEHICLE BEFORE HITTING THE ROAD

Now that Labor Day weekend is here, many people will be taking a road trip this weekend. CHP Officer Joan Griffin says with a little planning and preparation, you can reduce the risk of a tragedy while you are behind the wheel…

Before any travel, check your vehicle’s radiator system. Many summer breakdowns happen because a car’s cooling system failed. Be sure your oil changes are current. Extreme temperatures can put more stress on an engine and dirty oil can cause damage or poor engine operation. Carry a roadside emergency kit with fresh water, food, a cell phone and charger, first aid kit, tools, flashlight, spare tire, car jack and lug wrench, jumper cables, and emergency flares or orange triangles. With the proper preparations, you can mitigate summer heat taking its toll on your vehicle.

KITCHEN FIRE BRIEFLY CLOSES TWENTYNINE RESTAURANT

A popular eatery in Twentynine Palms was closed briefly Thursday due to a kitchen fire. Twentynine Palms and Joshua Tree firefighters were called to Andrea’s Restaurant in the 73700 block of 29 Palms Highway just before 9 a.m. County Fire Battalion Chief Mike Snow said the fire started behind a stove due to debris behind the stove. There was no damage to the structure from the fire, although firefighters did remove some drywall behind the stove to make sure the fire hadn’t spread inside the wall. The County Health Department was also called out to make an inspection before the restaurant was allowed to re-open.

POWER LINES DOWN ON HIGHWAY IN MORONGO VALLEY THURSDAY NIGHT

Morongo Valley firefighters and Southern California Edison workers were called out to downed power lines on Highway 62 Thursday night. About 7:45 p.m., power went out in areas of Morongo Valley for about an hour, and the cause was traced to downed power lines that were on the westbound highway between Ramona Trail and Rawson Road. SCE could not immediately determine why the power lines fell down. The number 2 westbound lane was closed for about 1 ½ hours.

FOO FIGHTERS TRIBUTE AT TORTOISE ROCK TONIGHT

Tonight’s Live at the Rock free concert will put 90s rock and grunge fans in heaven. The Fooz Fighters pay tribute to Foo Fighters. Reporter Mike Lipsitz says seeing Fooz Fighters live is as close as you will get to the real thing…

From their primal screams and soothing low tenor vocals, to their trademark vicious drum attacks, Fooz Fighters deliver a flawless Foo Fighters concert reproduction. From mega hits “Everlong” and “Monkey Wrench, to “Learn to Fly,” “The Pretender,” and “Congregation,” expect hit after Foo Fighters hit, “My Hero,” “All My Life,” and “Times like These!” Tonight’s free concert starts at 8 p.m. as it does every Friday night at Tortoise Rock Casino’s free Live at the Rock concert series in Twentynine Palms. Now in its third season, “Live at the Rock” presents a new tribute band on the outdoor stage each week through October. In the coming weeks catch the Live at the Rock tributes to Journey, Ozzy Osbourne, and the Scorpions.

FIRST SATURDAY BREAKFAST AT COPPER MOUNTAIN MESA COMMUNITY CENTER

This weekend brings the first Saturday breakfast at the freshly painted Copper Mountain Mesa Community Center at 65336 Winters Rd in North Joshua Tree. Breakfast is served from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.; pancakes, biscuits ’n’ gravy, eggs your way, bacon and sausage, with juice and coffee to wash it all down.

FOOD FOR LIFE SERVING IN TWENTYNINE PALMS SATURDAY

On Saturday, September 2, Food For Life will be serving chicken cordon bleu, vegetables, salad, and dessert from 3 to 5 p.m. at Church of the Nazarene in Twentynine Palms.

HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS: SCORES AND SCHEDULES

The Yucca Valley High School Lady Trojans varsity volleyball team beat West Shores Wildcats in five sets yesterday. Coach Darrell Sterling said, “West Shores is a good defensive team and played a smart game. They gave my girls good run for the win. Fortunately, we pulled together as a team and brought home the win.”

EJ Day led with 10 kills; Julia Conrad had nine kills; and Riley Vallo had eight kills. Zenna Yachimow had six kills and seven solo blocks. Setter Alessa Lucking had 44 assists.

The Trojan junior varsity girls won in three sets.

Coming up in high school sports today, Friday night lights: home games for both of our high schools. The Yucca Valley High School Trojan football team will host Excelsior Charter School at home. The Twentynine Palms High School Wildcat football team will host Indio High School at home. Both games start at 7 p.m.

And in high school sports tomorrow, the Yucca Valley High School cross-country team will compete in its first meet in Santa Barbara, starting at 8:30 a.m.