BLACK CAT LOST IN JOSHUA TREE

Male mixed breed, black with white spots on stomach.

Wearing Collar, Wearing Tags.

Lost near: Prescott and Sunny Vista in Joshua Tree

Call: Landy 760-668-9032

PITBULL LOST IN YUCCA VALLEY

PITBULL LOST IN YUCCA VALLEY

Female, brown and white.

Lost near: Antelope Trail and Grand in Yucca Valley.

Call:  Ame  760-288-6586

THREE ARRESTED IN TWO SEPARATE HIGH-SPEED PURSUITS

Three people were arrested Thursday in separate incidents for leading Sheriff’s deputies on high-speed pursuits.

About 2:30 p.m., a deputy in Yucca Valley spotted a vehicle that matched the description of a car that had been reported stolen in Yucca Valley
October 29. The deputy attempted a traffic stop at Yucca Trail and Camarilla Avenue, but the driver, later identified as Keith Hencel, 36, fled
and led deputies on a high-speed pursuit for several miles through Yucca Valley before he stopped in the 7100 block of Barberry Avenue. Keith
Hencel was arrested without incident for investigation of felony evading and possession of a stolen vehicle, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail with his bail set at $100,000. A passenger in the vehicle, Robert Jennings, 33, was arrested on suspicion of possession of stolen property, booked into he Morongo Basin Jail, with his bail set at $50,000.

Then about 6:45 p.m., a deputy on patrol saw a vehicle that matched the description of one seen leaving a domestic violence incident earlier in the
day. The deputy attempted to stop the vehicle, which sped off at a high rate of speed through Landers, before the driver, later identified as Anthony Rios, 29, pulled over in the 55600 block of Jesse Drive. Anthony Rios was arrested for investigation of felony evading and on an outstanding warrant, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, with his bail set at $250,000.

Deputies came up empty in a pursuit of an off-road vehicle about 3:45 Thursday afternoon. According to a Sheriff’s report, a deputy attempted to stop a man dressed in black riding gear on a white quad as the quad came up the hill near El Paseo Drive and Baileya Avenue in Twentynine Palms. The ORV rider fled at a high rate of speed down the hill to Baileya and Gorgonio, and ran several stop signs. The deputy lost the rider north of Samarkand and west of Sunrise.

COUNTY TAKING NOTICE OF JOSHUA TREE SECTION 6 DEGRADATION

After numerous citizen complaints and media pressure, the County said it is finally taking steps towards fulfilling its obligations on Section 6 in Joshua Tree. The 605-acre parcel, bisected by a dirt portion of Onaga Trail East of Quail Springs Road, has turned into an unregulated, wild-west ad hoc campground, climbing, off-road vehicle and open play area.

In June of 2016, the County Board of Supervisors deeded the property to the Joshua Tree CSA 20, a County Special District, for use as a designated “Desert Conservation Area.” In exchange for the land, the County received two $200,00 grants, one from the Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund and one from the State Habitat Conservation Fund. The grants required establishing trails, parking areas, restrooms, informational kiosks, and reducing habitat degradation. To date, none of the $400,000 has been used and the county has not fulfilled any of the funding requirements.

While a way-too-small, way-too-hard-to-read sign at the chained-open gate clearly says, among a long list, that camping and fires are prohibited, the area is pockmarked with fire pits, ad-hoc camping areas, cables strung between rock formations, trash, and human excrement. Z107.7 News observed fire pits with Joshua Trees torn down and burned, an entire network of roads created by vehicles driving over open desert and scattered encampments with up to 20 vehicles.

We spoke to one resident, angry that his taxes support an area perceived as a free overflow camping area, that is being trashed by illegal activities while the county does nothing. Another resident said at night they can see up to 30 illegal campfires and up to 100 vehicles in illegal campgrounds. They said they fear the fire danger to surrounding homes and “Every day we lose more and more irreplaceable desert.”

We contacted County Field Representative Mark Lundquist; he said that the while the area is supposed to be enforced by the Sheriff’s Department and Code Enforcement, it has been insufficient. He said “Arrangements had recently been made” with the Sheriff for enhanced enforcement. After we visited, Lundquist informed us that a Porta-Potty was being placed in the area used as an outdoor bathroom, and that County Special Districts are issuing RFP’s for the infrastructure requirements of the grants. Hearing of the upcoming enforcement and enhancements, locals say they will believe it when they see it, remarking, “That is great news, but we’ve been hearing the same thing for the past year.”

 

Permanent cables are illegally installed between two rock formations.

Illegal fire pits litter the area.

One ad-hoc campground with 20 vehicles and 50 people.

Difficult-to-read signage.

 

MORONGO BASIN HEALTH DISTRICT REORGANIZES, TO OFFER DENTAL SCREENINGS

The Morongo Basin Healthcare District met last night in first meeting of the new year. First action of the evening, nomination and election of board officers. Reporter Eric Knabe has the results and more…

The Morongo Basin Healthcare District met last in regular meeting. Bob Armstrong was elected president, Marge Doyle vice president, Diane Greenhouse, secretary, and Joe Sullivan, treasurer. CEO Jackie Combs’ report revealed that the Diabetes Management Program begins January 10 from 2 to 4 p.m. Program participants will attend a weekly two-hour class for six weeks. Those interested should call 760-820-9223. Combs also confirmed that a contract is signed with First Five Riverside to provide dental screenings for school age children over the next three years, with a tentative rollout in March.

YUCCA VALLEY MAYOR TO HOLD MONDAY OFFICE HOURS

Yucca Valley Mayor Rick Denison will hold open office hours every Monday from 4 to 5 p.m. to discuss residents’ concerns and ideas. Residents will meet with the mayor on a first-come, first-served basis in the Yucca Valley Town Hall. To meet with the mayor outside of the designated office hours, call the Town Clerk at 760-369-7209 extension 226 to arrange an appointment.

JOSHUA TREE MENTAL HEALTH CENTER SET TO BE FINISHED BY APRIL

Work continues on the Morongo Oasis Center, the crisis residential mental health treatment center being built by the County at Sunny Vista Road and the Highway in Joshua Tree. County Supervisors had allocated extra funding as the grant for the facility required, “There must be significant progress made before December 31,” which they say has been achieved. The anticipated completion date is in early April.

YUCCA VALLEY LIBRARY TO OFFER ADULT CLASSES

The Yucca Valley Branch Library is offering some adult classes and you’re invited. With the details, here’s Rebecca Havely…

If you’re looking for book recommendations or would enjoy discussing a book you just read, then the Yucca Valley Library adult book club is where you need to be. The club will meet Wednesdays from 3:30 to 4:30 from January 8 through February 14. Also on those same Wednesdays from 5 to 6 p.m., basic computer classes will be taught by the library staff. So come to discuss your latest read and stay for the computer class. Mondays from January 8 through February 12 they are also offering Basic Internet classes from 5 to 6 p.m. For more information on the San Bernardino County Library system visit sbclib.org or call the Yucca Valley Branch Library at 760-228-5460.

SERVICES HAVE BEEN SET FOR RETIRED MARINE SGT. MAJOR RAY WILBURN

Services have been set for Sergeant Major (retired) Ray V. Wilburn of Twentynine Palms, who died Tuesday, January 2, at the age of 98. A service will be held 11 a.m. January 13 at the Protestant Chapel on board the Twentynine Palms Combat Center with U.S. Navy Chaplain Steven Moses officiating. Interment will follow at 12:30 in the Twentynine Palms Cemetery. The family requests in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Wounded Warrior Project or a charity of your choice.

LIFETREE CAFÉ TALKS ABOUT HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF LIFE

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 how to make the most out of life. Reporter Tanisha Cureton gives the details…

Making the most out of life will be explored at Lifetree Café Sunday. The free program, entitled “Make the Most of Your Life: A Perspective That Will Change Your Life…Forever,” features a filmed interview with Tony Melendez, a professional guitarist who was born without arms. Lifetree Café will be held Sunday, January 7, 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.

LOW-COST PET SERVICES OFFERED LOCALLY

The Animal Action League will offer low-cost vaccine and microchip clinics in January for dogs and cats, as well as low-cost spaying and neutering. No appointments are necessary for vaccines or microchips; appointments are required for spaying and neutering services. Microchips are only $15, and can help reunite you with your lost pet. Clinics will be held in Joshua Tree, west of the dinosaurs on Highway 62, on January 9, 10, 11, 26, 30, and 31, and in Wardman Park in Desert Hot Springs on January 23. All clinics are held from 10 to 2 and are cash only. Visit animalactionleague.us for more information. To make an appointment for spaying or neutering, call 760-366-1100.

CREATE A NEW YEAR COLLAGE AT RAINBOW STEW TOMORROW

Rainbow Stew will hold a workshop Saturday to create a collage for the new year. Managing editor Tami Roleff gets out her scissors and modge podge…

Rainbow Stew will hold an all-day workshop Saturday, January 6, for you to create a collage for the new year. Participants are welcome to bring their own supplies, but Rainbow Stew will have some poster board, glue, scissors, magazines, cards, feathers, and ribbons for you to use. The workshop starts at 10:30 and will go until 5:30, but you are welcome to come when you’re able. Donations will be accepted. Rainbow Stew is located on the south side of the highway in Old Town Yucca Valley.

A BUSY KITCHEN AT THE JOSHUA TREE VFW

The Joshua Tree Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7264 will serve up a fish and chips dinner tonight (Friday) from 4 to 6 p.m. Two pieces of fish are $7; three pieces are $8. Sunday’s breakfast is Kenny’s chicken-fried steak from 8 to 11. And don’t forget Taco Wednesday from 11 to 1. The VFW Post is located at 6402 Veterans Way in downtown Joshua Tree.

A SNEAK PEEK AT A REACH-OUT “PARADE OF HOMES” FEATURED HOME

All six homes have been selected for Reach Out Morongo Basin’s Parade of Homes tour on February 18. Now in its 14th year, the fundraiser pays for services to local senior and disabled residents. In the coming days Z107.7 will preview the homes on the tour one at time. Today we go to Morongo Valley. Here’s Mike Lipsitz with a sneak peak of the first home on the tour…

The Parade of Homes is a self-guided tour, so ticket holders may begin anywhere they like. Casa de Culebra is on the Basin’s west end in Morongo Valley and looks to be a natural starting point. Artist Snake Jagger purchased this modest home in 2015. It has a flair that showcases Jagger’s own artistic style. Situated in the northern hills above the valley, the home has outstanding views and lots of local wildlife. The outdoor areas, once wild desert, are now tamed and park-like with nature trails that bring elements of the owner’s whimsical and surreal paintings to life with seating areas and sculptures that catch the eye and the imagination. Parade of Homes tickets are $25 and go on sale January 8.

HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE SPORTS

In local sports…

Coming up in Copper Mountain College basketball, the men’s team will travel away to Orange to play Santiago Canyon College. Tip-off is at 5 p.m. The women’s team will travel away to Saddleback to play Saddleback College; tip-off is at 7 p.m.

The Twentynine Palms Girls’ basketball team started 2018 with a win against La Quinta at home January 4, with the score of 63 to 26. Coach Timothy Stanford said the Wildcats’ defense held the Blackhawks to three total field goals all night.

Leading scorers for the home team were Lindsey Scamman with 22 points, Gabby Mackall with eight, and Hope Culver tossed in another eight. All 10 girls scored on the night; as a team the ’Cats shot 15 for 18 from the free-throw line. Lindsey Scamman is this week’s Wildcat of the week. Lindsey is an outstanding student, teammate, and basketball player. Lindsey is currently averaging 28 points and 22 rebounds per game on the season and she is currently second in Division 2 CIF Southern Section in scoring and first in rebounding while leading a young improving team.

The Twentynine Palms High School boys’ basketball team will host San Jacinto High School at home tonight, starting at 6 p.m.

In high school sports tomorrow, the Yucca Valley High School girls’ basketball team will play the Lawndale High School Cardinals in the Southern California Run ‘n’ Gun Against Cancer tournament at Carlsbad High School.

Also tomorrow, the Twentynine Palms High School girls’ basketball team will play Rancho Bueno Vista High School in the SoCal Run ‘n’ Gun Against Cancer tournament.

Tip-off times are still to be announced.