JOSHUA TREE FAMILY HOMELESS AFTER WIND-DRIVEN FIRE

Photo courtesy San Bernardino County Fire Dept.

A Joshua Tree family is homeless after a fire Wednesday evening. According to County Fire Battalion Chief Scott Tuttle, firefighters from Joshua Tree, Yucca Valley, Yucca Mesa, and Twentynine Palms were called at 6 p.m. to the structure fire in the 7100 block of Olympic Road. The house was fully involved with flames when firefighters arrived. Smoke from the fire could be seen from Yucca Valley to Twentynine Palms. Tuttle said the resident of the house was working on a vehicle in the garage when it caught on fire. Due to the strong winds, the fire quickly spread throughout the house. All the residents and their two dogs got out of the house safely and there were no injuries. Firefighters started an aggressive attack on the blaze and had it knocked down in less than 20 minutes. The house and two vehicles are a total loss.

Photo courtesy San Bernardino County Fire Dept.

Photo courtesy San Bernardino County Fire Dept.

A garage is destroyed in a fire at a home on Olympic Avenue in Joshua Tree Wednesday evening.
Photo by Margie Trandem

Firefighters from Joshua Tree and Yucca Valley responded to the fire on Olympic Avenue in Joshua Tree.
Photo by Margie Trandem

A burned out vehicle at the fire in Joshua Tree Wednesday evening.
Photo by Margie Trandem

Smoke from a fire at a residence on Olympic Avenue in Joshua Tree Wednesday evening.
Photo by Margie Trandem

Photo by Margie Trandem

Smoke from the fire could be seen from Yucca Valley.

SEARCH UNDERWAY FOR MISSING MAN IN JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK

UPDATE:

Joshua Tree National Park says missing hiker found alive about 4:00 pm. Had fallen and hit his head. Is alive and conscious and talking with rescuers. Family is coming to meet with him. taken to hospital for treatment.

Joshua Tree National Park rangers are searching for a San Diego man whose truck was found in the same parking lot where an Orange County couple’s vehicle was found about seven months ago. Paul Hanks, 54, left San Diego Sunday to go hiking in Joshua Tree National Park. His white pick-up truck was found parked at the trailhead of the Maze Loop Trail. Hanks never checked in to his hotel reserved for that night, or at his hotel in Las Vegas the next night. Hanks is described at 5 foot 9 inches tall with dark hair, and being in good physical condition. The park service has deployed searchers and trackers. The Maze Loop Trail is the same trail where the car for Joseph Orbeso and Rachel Nguyen was found in July. Their bodies were found in October, and the coroner determined their deaths were a murder-suicide. Anyone with information about Paul Hanks should call 760-367-5518.

DJ CODY JOSEPH AT TACHEVAH MUSIC SHOWCASE TONIGHT

Tonight, Z107.7 radio personality Cody Joseph will DJ for a music competition in Pioneertown. With all the details, here’s Rebecca Havely …
The Tachevah Music Showcase is a four-month event making a stop at Pappy and Harriet’s tonight at 53688 Pioneertown Road, in Pioneertown. Z107.7’s own Cody Joseph will DJ as five bands perform with live music starting at 6:30 p.m. Judges will choose two bands to move on to the finals. The evening of entertainment is free, so come on out to Pioneertown, hang out with Cody Joseph and enjoy the live concert.

YELLOW HONDA CIVIC FOUND BURIED IN YUCCA VALLEY YARD

A homeowner digging in her yard in the 58800 block of Sunflower Drive in Yucca Valley dug up a little bit more than earth Sunday. The woman called Sheriff’s deputies Tuesday afternoon to report that while she was digging holes to plant some trees, she found a yellow Honda Civic buried about 5 inches below ground level. A responding deputy discovered that the car had been stripped, crushed, and burned. There were no license plates or vehicle identification numbers on the car. A search determined that there were also no human remains inside the car or near it in the ground. The resident said she had no idea who the car belonged to or how long it had been in the ground, although a soda can found inside the car was dated back to 1994. Anyone with information should call the Sheriff’s department at 760-366-4175.

HEALTH CARE DISTRICT BOARD MEETS TONIGHT

The Morongo Basin Healthcare District will meet tonight to discuss a food and drink policy and the cost of repairs. Reporter Eric Knabe has the details…
The Morongo Basin Healthcare District will meet in a regular meeting tonight. Up for approval is a policy governing employee food and drinks in a clinical work area. The purpose is to follow OSHA guidelines when permitting employee food and drink in the work area. Then the board will be asked to approve the increased cost for repairs to the Yucca Valley campus. The capital budget did not include the prevailing wage. The meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. at the MBHD office at 6530 La Contenta Road, Suite 100, in Yucca Valley.

CONGRESSMAN COOK VOTES FOR PREVENTING SCHOOL VIOLENCE ACT

As students across the nation and here in our Morongo Basin walked out of class to protest gun violence, Congressman Paul Cook of Yucca Valley voted Wednesday in favor of the first gun-related bill since the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida last month. The Student, Teachers, and Officers Preventing School Violence Act passed 407-to-10. The STOP School Violence Act provides $50 million in federal grants to fund training of students, teachers, school officials, and law enforcement officials, and another $25 million in grants for improvements such as locks, metal detectors, and emergency notification and response technology. The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.

TWENTYNINE PALMS ROTARY CARNIVAL AT LUCKIE PARK THIS WEEK

The Twentynine Palms Rotary Club presents “Here Comes the Fun” carnival at Luckie Park. With all the fun details, here’s reporter Rebecca Havely …
Come have some fun at the carnival in Twentynine Palms at Luckie Park from Thursday, March 15, through Sunday, March 18. There’ll be rides and games, vendors and food. Hours are Thursday and Friday from 5 p.m. until 10, Saturday and Sunday from noon until 10 p.m. Thursday is $1 ride night. Presale wristbands for Friday through Sunday are $25. On site they’re $35. Wristbands are available at the Bowladium, Twentynine Palms Recreation and the Twentynine Palms Chamber of Commerce.

MBTA GETS THE HIGHEST SAFETY RATING FROM THE CHP

For the 10th time, the Morongo Basin Transit Authority received the highest safety rating for public transit agencies from the California Highway Patrol. The CHP inspected the agency’s buses, maintenance, operator, drug, and alcohol records. MBTA General Manager Mark Goodale said that receiving the CHP’s highest rating “gives the public a sense of confidence” that the local bus service is complying with mandated regulations.

COUNTY GETS $1 MILLION GRANT FOR JOSHUA TREE BIKE LANES

San Bernardino County was recently awarded more than $1 million in a state grant to build bike lanes on Sunburst Street from Highway 62 to the new Joshua Tree Elementary School. The new bike lanes will connect Highway 62, the Joshua Tree Community Center and Sunburst Park, and the new elementary school. In addition, it will provide bike and ride connections to other Joshua Tree destinations through the Morongo Basin Transit Authority. The design of the project is expected to begin in fiscal year 2018-19, and be completed in fiscal year 2019-20. The grant funds 100 percent of the $1,118,000 project.

SCHOLARSHIP AVAILABLE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL OR CONSERVATION STUDENTS

The Morongo Basin Conservation Association is looking for local high school seniors who are college-bound and could use a $500 scholarship. Reporter Mike Lipsitz has details…
Morongo Basin high school students who will graduate in 2018, have a GPA of 3.25 or greater, and who plan to pursue a career involving environmental or conservation work are eligible to apply for a scholarship. The Morongo Basin Conservation Association administers the $500 Ruth Denison Environmental Conservation Scholarship, and invites local high school seniors to apply.

Applications are available at:
mbconservation.org and must be submitted by March 31, or: https://tinyurl.com/conservation-scholarship

http://www.mbconservation.org/denison_scholarship_for_2018_19?utm_campaign=scholarship_pr&utm_campaign=den_schol_pr&utm_medium=email&utm_medium=email&utm_source=mbca&utm_source=mbca

BLOOD DRIVES IN YUCCA VALLEY FRIDAY AND SATURDAY

LifeStream will conduct two blood drives this week at Walmart in Yucca Valley. The first one will be Friday, March 16, followed by a second blood drive on Saturday, March 17. Both blood drives are from 10 to 3. Due to a nationwide blood shortage, all blood types and all types of blood donations are needed. Donors will receive incentives. In addition, LifeStream offers donors free cholesterol screening with every blood donation. All prospective donors should be free of infections or illness, weigh at least 110 pounds, and not be at risk for AIDS or hepatitis. To make an appointment to donate blood, call 800-TRY-GIVING.

MOJAVE DESERT LAND TRUST TO HOLD AMBOY OPEN HOUSE SATURDAY

The Mojave Desert Land Trust will hold its second annual open house Saturday, March 17 at the Amboy Crater. There will be speakers, interactive activities, food, classic cars, a scavenger hunt and hikes, and a photo booth for souvenir photos. The event starts at 10 a.m. and goes until 2 p.m. To RSVP or for more information, email rsvp@mdlt.org.

FREE FOOD DISTRIBUTION IN YUCCA VALLEY FRIDAY

The Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino County will distribute free surplus food Friday, March 16, at Church of the Nazarene, 56248 Buena Vista Drive, from 10 to noon.

SOCCER ASSOCIATION SEEKS SEASON SPONSORS

The Morongo Basin Youth Soccer Association is still in need of business sponsors for the spring soccer season. With information on how your business can become a sponsor, here’s reporter Andrew Dieleman…
There are six sponsorship packages available starting at $100 to help raise money for players and tournaments as well as season team sponsorships, year-long team sponsorships, season field sponsorships, and year-long field sponsorships. This is a great opportunity for desert businesses to give back to their communities as well as gain advertising for their businesses. The spring soccer season is approaching quickly, so secure your sponsorships as soon as possible. For more information about sponsorship packages and pricing, contact Chris Claire at 760-604-2940.

JOINT HIGH SCHOOL MUSIC CONCERT IN YUCCA VALLEY TONIGHT

The 15th anniversary combined concert featuring the Twentynine Palms High School and the Yucca Valley High School music departments is tonight (March 15). The joint concert will feature the Yucca Valley High School jazz band and concert choir, and both schools’ select choirs, and symphonic bands. The concert is set for 7 p.m. in the gym at Yucca Valley High School. There will be raffle tickets available for a Gene Evaro Junior autographed guitar, and a custom smoker, as well as other prizes, and a silent auction. Doors open at 6:15 p.m.  Attendees should be seated by 6:50 p.m. Admission is $5, and free for children under 5.

HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS

In high school sports, the Twentynine Palms High School Wildcat boys’ and girls’ swim teams beat the Apple Valley Sun Devils Wednesday at home. The boys won 110 to 64, and the girls won 112 to 57.

Coach Michelle Minatrea-Teo said the teams have been practicing hard, and it shows. Swimmers who qualified for the CIF finals are the 200 medley relay team of Kayleigh Abrams, Jaqueline Ford, Lindsey Scamman, and Taylor Scammon. The 200 free relay team of Taylor Scamman, Kayleigh Abrams, Jaqueline Ford and Lindsey Scamman also qualified. Their next meet is Wednesday, March 21 at Desert Mirage High School.

COLIN BEAUDOIN, MAT COUNCELL, AND NICK VALENZUELA SWAM THE 500 FREE STYLE

LEA SPEER SWIMMING 200 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY

200 MEDLEY RELAY TEAM OF DEVANEE JOHNSON, CHLOE ROWEN, MARY CARBIERNER AND ASHLEY WARING

JOSIAH HENDERSON 1ST PLACE AND BRADEN BEAUDOIN 2ND PLACE SWIMMING BACK STROKE

Coming up in high school sports today, the Yucca Valley High School baseball, softball, and track-and-field teams will host Desert Hot Springs High School at home. Softball and track-and-field will start at 3:15; baseball starts at 3:30 p.m.

Also today, the Twentynine Palms High School softball team will host Desert Mirage High School at home. First pitch is at 3:30 p.m.