DON’T FALL FOR KIDNAPPING SCAM

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department is warning residents about a frightening scam targeting Morongo Basin residents. On Friday, a Yucca Valley woman called deputies to report that she had received a phone call from an unknown man who said her mother had been kidnapped. Deputies contacted San Bernardino police, who made a welfare check on the mother, who was alive and well and unaware that she had been the subject of a kidnapping scam. Managing editor Tami Roleff offers the following tips on how to avoid being taken by this kidnapping scam…

Law enforcement agencies have been aware of virtual kidnapping fraud for at least two decades. Although virtual kidnapping takes on many forms, it is always an extortion scheme—one that tricks victims into paying a ransom to free a loved one they believe is being threatened with violence or death. Unlike traditional abductions, virtual kidnappers have not actually kidnapped anyone. Instead, through deceptions and threats, they coerce victims to pay a quick ransom before the scheme falls apart. To avoid becoming a victim, look for these possible indicators: Callers go to great lengths to keep you on the phone, insisting you remain on the line. Calls do not come from the supposed victim’s phone. Callers try to prevent you from contacting the “kidnapped” victim. Calls include demands for ransom money to be paid via wire transfer to Mexico; ransom amount demands may drop quickly. If you receive a call about a potential kidnapping, contact the Sheriff’s Department at 760-366-4175.

WEEKEND MAXIMUM ENFORCEMENT FOR THIS NEW YEARS HOLIDAY

Police are planning DUI checkpoints and extra patrols to catch drivers under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, illegal drugs and prescription drugs. The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Dept. will have DUI saturation patrols on New Year’s Eve; officers will be out in force. The California Highway Patrol’s maximum enforcement period, will focus on speeders, through 6 p.m. Monday.

THREE SCREENINGS OF “SANDS OF WAR” AT THE 29 PALMS ART GALLERY

The Mojave Desert Land Trust will host three private screenings of the documentary “The Sands of War” at the 29 Palms Art Gallery in January. Reporter Andrew Dieleman has information on how you can attend…

The documentary “Sands of War” chronicles the Desert Training Center, a series of camps located in the Mojave Desert used to train soldiers during World War II. Also known as the Patton Camps, due to the involvement of General George S. Patton, these spaces are rich in historical and cultural importance. The screenings will take place Thursday January 4, from 6-7 p.m.; Friday January 5 from 3-4 p.m.; and Saturday January 6 from 6-7 p.m. All screenings are free to attend, and will take place at the 29 Palms Art gallery, located at 74055 Cottonwood Drive in Twentynine Palms. To RSVP for the screenings, visit the link in this story at z1077fm.com.

RSVP link: https://www.mdlt.org/events/

NEW YEAR’S SAFETY TIPS

For many of us, wrapping up the year that was and ringing in the year ahead is a time to think about resolutions and to plan on some celebrating. The San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department offers some tips to help assure a safe and happy new year free of any unexpected misfortune. Reporter Mike Lipsitz puts on his party hat …

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department advises … observe local ordinances prohibiting all fireworks in Morongo Basin. Don’t shoot firearms into the air. Remember, what goes up must come down. Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings at all times. If you are drinking alcohol, arrange for a designated driver or call a taxi. Do not leave drinks unattended anywhere for any amount of time. Always maintain a fully charged cell phone in case of an emergency. If driving, allow ample travel times, stay alert, observe traffic laws, and be prepared for winter road conditions. And lastly, report suspicious activity. For emergencies call 911, and for non-emergencies call the Sheriff’s Department Desert Dispatch at 760-956-5001.

SUSPECTED DRUNK DRIVER ACCUSED OF CHILD ENDANGERMENT

A Yucca Valley man was arrested Tuesday night, accused of driving under the influence and child endangerment. About 6:30 p.m. a California Highway Patrol officer stopped a vehicle driven by Glenn Kominek, 42, near Aberdeen Trail and Goleta Avenue. The CHP officer determined that Kominek was driving under the influence. In the car with Kominek was a child. After an investigation, Glenn Kominek was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and child endangerment; Glenn Kominek was booked into the Morongo Basin Jail with his bail set at $100,000.

BURGLARY SUSPECT ARRESTED

A Joshua Tree man was arrested late Thursday night, accused of burglary. About midnight, deputies stopped Timothy Ramirez, 40, near El Reposo and Commercial Street in Joshua Tree. After an investigation, Timothy Ramirez was arrested on suspicion of burglary, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, with his bail set at $25,000.

PROBATIONER ARRESTED WITH STOLEN VEHICLE PARTS

A Landers man who went to visit his probation officer in Joshua Tree Thursday was arrested when it was determined his vehicle had multiple parts stolen from another vehicle. According to the Sheriff’s Department, Glen Stephens, 28, went to the Morongo Basin Probation Department at 2:45 for a regular check-in appointment. Meanwhile, a victim of a burglary was at the Sheriff’s Station concerning his burglary. While walking through the parking lot, the victim realized that his missing tires and rims and vehicle hood were on Stephens’ vehicle, and he notified deputies. Deputies also located additional stolen items inside Stephens’ vehicle. The investigation led deputies to Stephens’ home in the 65400 block of Giant Rock Road in Landers where they found additional stolen property. Glen Stephens was arrested for violation of his terms of probation and on suspicion of receiving stolen property. The stolen property was returned to the victim and Stephens’ vehicle was towed. Glen Stephens was booked into West Valley Detention Center and is being held without bail.

GUN CONTROL AT LIFETREE CAFÉ

Lifetree Café is a place where people gather for conversation about life and faith in a casual, comfortable setting. This week’s discussion will be about gun control. Reporter Tanisha Cureton with the details…

The topic of gun control will be explored at Lifetree Café Sunday. The free program – titled “Inside the Gun Debate: To Hunt? To Defend? To Assualt?” – features filmed interviews with Tom Mauser, whose son died at Columbine High School and Michael Lang, a concealed weapon firearms instructor. Participants will have an opportunity to hear various viewpoints and to offer their own. Lifetree Café will be held Sunday, December 31, at 4 p.m. behind Little Church of the Desert at Veterans Way and Ocotillo Avenue in Twentynine Palms. For more information, call Brad White-Findeisen at 760-217-2597.

TOP STORIES FROM 2017 ON THE Z107.7 WEBSITE

Continuing our series of top stories in 2017, the following stories were among those that brought the most visitors to our website.

Sheriff’s deputies shot and killed a man at the Motel 6 in Twentynine Palms January 17. Deputies had been called to the motel about 3:30 a.m. for a report of shots fired; when they knocked on the man’s motel room, the suspect, later identified as Dominic Hodges, 39, of Yucca Valley, opened the door and fired at the deputies. The deputies returned fire before taking cover. A woman in the room, Tani Garcia, 39, of Yucca Valley, told deputies they had been smoking meth for several days and had checked into the motel because they were afraid they were being followed. A SWAT team sent a robot into the room about 9 a.m. where it was discovered that Hodges had died from his wounds. Tani Garcia died five days later at Desert Hospital in Palm Springs from breathing problems.

A motorcycle rider was killed April 30 when a woman driving a H3 Hummer pulled out in front of him in Yucca Valley. William Allen, 72, was riding his 1995 Harley Davidson westbound on Highway 62 about 4 p.m. when the woman pulled out in front of him at Katje Way. Allen was killed at the scene.

On June 28, we aired a story about a controversial decision made by the Morongo Unified School District board of education. The board voted to update its policy to prohibit teachers from advocating their personal points of view in the classroom. The previous policy required only that all sides of an issue be presented fairly.

Another controversial issue brought visitors to our website for an August 22 story about the City of Twentynine Palms amending its residential restrictions on neighborhoods where registered sex offenders can live. A Sacramento lawyer threatened to sue the city if it didn’t change its ordinance.

And finally, a county employee was killed and several off-duty first responders from San Bernardino County were injured in the Route 91 mass shooting in Las Vegas October 1. Dana Gardner, a deputy recorder for the county, was among the 58 victims killed.

FINAL 2017 PERFORMANCE OF THEATRE 29 IMPROV TROUPE

The “Baker’s Dozen” Improv Troupe has enjoyed a wildly successful first year, with enthusiastic audiences filling Theatre 29 to overflow capacity. The final show for 2017, “Dashing Through the Dough,” is tonight. With more, here’s Rebecca Havely…

Join the Baker’s Dozen Improv Troupe to ring in the New Year with a lot of laughs. The final performance, “Dashing Through the Dough,” will take place on the Theatre 29 mainstage Saturday, December 30, at 7 p.m. Improv comedy is a form of live theatre in which the plot, characters and dialogue of a game, scene or story are made up in the moment. Troupe director Chris Fleischman is one of 13 comedian actors including Graham Cooley, Cindy Daigneault, Cam D’Angeles, Amy Fangmeyer, Katie Fleischman, Kory Fleischman, Lisa Goldberg, Charles Harvey, Cody Joseph, Yvonna Mullen, Joseph Rego, and Hope Spicer.

TAG: Ticket prices for “The Baker’s Dozen” are $10 for general admission, $7 for military and seniors; and $5 for students with ID. Theatre 29 Season Ticket holders can attend one performance at no charge. For tickets visit theatre29.org or by call the Theatre 29 Box Office at 760-361-4151.

NEW LAWS FOR CALIFORNIA DRIVERS IN 2018

The coming new year means that new laws will also take effect. While it will be legal to partake of marijuana as of Monday, residents should be aware that it will still be illegal to smoke or consume marijuana while driving or riding in a vehicle.

Another new law requires bus riders to buckle up if seat belts are provided in the bus.

Taxi drivers—including Uber and Lyft drivers—will be held to a lower standard of driving under the influence—.04, instead of .08—when they are transporting passengers.

The DMV will accept certificates of completion from motorcycle training programs in lieu of a DMV test. Riders under age 21 will still be required to complete a motorcycle training program to get their motorcycle endorsement on their driver’s license.

As of January 1, the DMV will start collecting a transportation improvement fee when vehicles are registered. The fee will range from $25 to $175; the exact amount depends on the vehicle’s current value.

GERMAN SHEPARD LOST IN 29 PALMS

GERMAN SHEPARD LOST IN 29 PALMS

Male, wearing collar.

Lost near: Pioneer Trail and Valley View in 29 Palms.

Call: Tamnice 760-620-6923

SHEPARD HUSKY MIX LOST IN 29 PALMS

SHEPARD HUSKY MIX LOST IN 29 PALMS

Female German Shepard Husky mix.

Tan, brown and black one eye is blue and the other is brown.

Lost near: Indian trail and Adobe in 29 Palms.

Call: Steven 616-648-2757

BENGAL LOST IN 29 PALMS

BENGAL LOST IN 29 PALMS

Cat female 6 yr. old Bengal. REWARD offered.

Tan with spots and stripes, green eyes, jungle looking.

Lost neart: Joshua Dr. & Mojave Ave. in Twentynine Palms.

Call: Lisa 760-367-9870

CHAOS AT OVER-CAPACITY JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK

Thousands of visitors have descended on Joshua Tree National Park this holiday season, breaking daily visitation records. On Thursday, cars were backed up for over a mile waiting to get in at the west entrance to the park in Joshua Tree, and some drivers were going off road to find another way in to the park. Park officials urge visitors to use the entrance in Twentynine Palms, or the south entrance at Cottonwood, or, to skip Joshua Tree National Park altogether and visit Death Valley or Mojave National Preserve instead.

But for those who are determined to visit Joshua Tree National Park, park officials encourage visitors to meet outside the park and to carpool in to the park, to visit mid-week instead of during the weekend, and to plan to arrive before 8 a.m. to avoid congestion.

Don’t plan on camping in the park; rangers say that all campgrounds are full. Instead, look for campsites at private campgrounds outside the park or on Bureau of Land Management land to the north and south of the park.

Do not rely on GPS when visiting Joshua Tree National Park, as some systems will direct travelers to unpaved 4-wheel-drive roads.

SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT OFFERS TIPS FOR A SAFE NEW YEAR’S EVE

For many of us, wrapping up the year that was and ringing in the year ahead is a time to think about resolutions and to plan on some celebrating. The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department offers some tips to help assure a safe and happy new year free of any unexpected misfortune. Reporter Mike Lipsitz puts on his party hat…

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department advises … observe local ordinances prohibiting all fireworks in Morongo Basin. Don’t shoot firearms into the air. Remember, what goes up must come down. Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings at all times. If you are drinking alcohol, arrange for a designated driver or call a taxi. Do not leave drinks unattended anywhere for any amount of time. Always maintain a fully charged cell phone in case of an emergency. If driving, allow ample travel times, stay alert, observe traffic laws, and be prepared for winter road conditions. And lastly, report suspicious activity. For emergencies call 911, and for non-emergencies call the Sheriff’s Department Desert Dispatch at 760-956-5001.

MAXIMUM ENFORCEMENT FOR THIS NEW YEARS HOLIDAY WEEKEND

Police are planning DUI checkpoints and extra patrols to catch drivers under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, illegal drugs and prescriptions. The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s will have DUI saturation patrols on New Year’s Eve; officers will be out in force. The California Highway Patrol starts its maximum enforcement period, with a focus on speeders, at 6:01 p.m. on Friday.

HIGH-SPEED CHASE RESULTS IN CRASH IN YUCCA VALLEY

Updated 9 a.m. with more information about the burglary and pursuit:

A Joshua Tree man was arrested Thursday following a high-speed pursuit and roll-over crash in Yucca Valley. According to a Sheriff’s report, a resident in the 58900 block of Carmelita Circle came home just after noon and discovered a man, later identified as Cory Taylor, 25, inside his garage holding a bag of property. Taylor ran to his gray Nissan pick-up truck parked nearby and fled. The victim called deputies and gave a description of Taylor and his vehicle. Minutes later, a deputy spotted Taylor in his truck and attempted a traffic stop near Joshua Lane and Onaga Trail. Taylor refused to yield, and a pursuit ensued on residential streets, with Taylor heading toward Highway 62. As Taylor neared the intersection of Avalon Avenue and Highway 62, he attempted a high-speed turn, but lost control of the vehicle and left the roadway, rolling the truck. As deputies arrived, Taylor was getting out of the truck. He refused deputy orders to get down onto the ground, and deputies attempted to tase him, but the tasing was unsuccessful. They eventually forced him to the ground. A records check determined that the pick up truck had been reported stolen earlier in the day. Corey Taylor was taken to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs as a precaution before he was arrested for investigation of burglary, possession of stolen property, and a vehicle pursuit, then booked into the West Valley Detention Center, with his bail set at $100,000.

UPDATE: MOTORCYCLIST CRITICAL AFTER CRASH NEAR DESERT HOT SPRINGS

UPDATES WITH THE CRASH BEING NOT FATAL

Z107-7 LOCAL NEWS FOR FRIDAY, DECEMBER 29, 2017

A motorcycle rider is in critical condition today when a blue Dodge pick-up truck hit the bike about 2:30 p.m. near Desert Hot Springs. According to the California Highway Patrol, the crash happened on southbound Highway 62 near Mission Creek Road. Southbound lanes were closed for hours from Indian Canyon to Pearson during the investigation, and traffic was diverted on to Indian Canyon around the scene of the crash. Traffic was backed up from Indian Canyon to East Drive in Morongo Valley. The CHP website listed the crash as a fatality, but a Desert Hot Springs spokesman said the man is in critical condition in the hospital on a ventilator.

IMPROVISATIONAL COMEDY SATURDAY NIGHT AT THEATRE 29

The “Baker’s Dozen” Improv Troupe at Theatre 29 ends their wildly successful first year with a holiday themed performance this Saturday night, entitled, “Dashing Through the Dough.” With your invitation here’s Rebecca Havely…

Ring in the New Year with lots of laughs at Theatre 29. The Baker’s Dozen Improve Troupe presents, “Dashing Through the Dough” on Saturday, December 30, 2017, at 7:00 p.m. At the troupe’s first season finale, anything can happen and probably will. You, the audience, have a chance to throw in your ideas as the comics create games, scenes and stories made up in the moment using your suggestions. The Baker’s Dozen is a cast of 13 actor/comedians lead by troupe director Chris Fleischman. Enjoy the last laughs of 2017 at Theatre 29.

Ticket prices for “The Baker’s Dozen” are greatly reduced with general admission at $10; military and seniors are $7; and $5 for students with ID. Theatre 29 Season Ticket holders can attend one performance at no charge. For tickets visit theatre29.org or by call the Theatre 29 Box Office at 760-361-4151.