MARINE WHO DIED FOLLOWING MOTORCYCLE CRASH OUTSIDE BASE GATE IS IDENTIFIED

The Marine who died following a March 9 motorcycle crash just outside the main gate of the Marine Corps base in Twentynine Palms has been identified by the Patriot Guard Riders as Garrett Farrelly, 22, of Walla Walla, Washington. Farrelly was a corporal with 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion based in Twentynine Palms. According to the Sheriff’s department, Farrelly was riding his 2015 Kawasaki motorcycle southbound on Adobe Road about 11:30 p.m. March 9. In front of him was a 2007 Toyota Sequoia. As Farrelly accelerated out of the Marine base, the driver of the Sequoia moved over into the right lane at the same time that Farrelly moved over into the right lane. Farrelly crashed into the rear of the SUV. The force of the impact threw Farrelly off his motorcycle. He was taken to the Naval hospital on board the Combat Center where, despite life-saving measures, he died from his injuries in the early morning hours of March 10. The Patriot Guard Riders, a patriotic organization that escorts the remains of fallen military service members, accompanied the body of Garrett Farrelly from the Wiefels mortuary in Yucca Valley to the Palm Springs airport early this morning. Officials at the Twentynine Palms Combat Center have ignored all requests from Z107.7 News for official confirmation of Farrelly’s death; Z107.7 News has filed a Freedom of Information Act request with Headquarters Marine Corps for the information.

TWENTYNINE PALMS WOMAN ADMITS TO DUI WITH 2 CHILDREN IN CAR, ARRESTED

A Twentynine Palms woman was arrested Sunday evening, after she allegedly admitted to driving under the influence with two young children in her car. According to a Sheriff’s report, deputies were called to a parking lot of a fast food restaurant in the 73600 block of Two Mile Road just before 6 p.m. There they found Kelly Earnest, 43, in the driver’s seat of a vehicle with the engine running. In the back seat were two young children, aged one and three. The deputy said Earnest showed obvious signs of being under the influence and failed a field sobriety test. Kelly Earnest was arrested for investigation of child endangerment, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, with her bail set at $100,000.

MORONGO VALLEY CSD TALKS ABOUT STREET LIGHTS AND ALCOHOL PERMIT TONIGHT

The Morongo Valley Community Services District will meet in open session tonight AT 7 p.m. Here’s reporter Andrew Dieleman with the details…
The Morongo Valley CSD will meet tonight in open session to discuss the approval of the Southern California Edison street light replacement program. The board will also discuss providing an alcohol permit for the Morongo Valley Firefighter’s annual casino night fundraiser, needed repairs to the Covington Park ball field and breezeway bathrooms, and nominations for the annual Chuck Osborne Volunteer of the Year award. The board will then go into closed session to perform a public employee performance evaluation on the general manager. The meeting is set for 7 p.m. in the Covington Park Community Building, located at 11165 Vale Drive in Morongo Valley.

YUCCA VALLEY MAN WHO THREATENED TO KILL 2 PEOPLE ARRESTED

A Yucca Valley man who threatened to kill his estranged wife and her boyfriend was arrested Sunday, accused of making criminal threats. According to a Sheriff’s report, Joshua Dillon, 28, discovered that his estranged wife was dating another man. Dillon allegedly threatened to kill the couple in multiple text messages and voice mails. The couple told the deputy about 12:30 a.m. Sunday they believed Dillon was carrying a gun and would find them and kill them. Joshua Dillon was located in the 58100 block of Sun Mesa Drive and arrested about 9 p.m. Sunday for investigation of making criminal threats, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, with his bail set at $50,000.

MORONGO VALLEY MAN, JUST CONVICTED OF ANOTHER CRIME, ARRESTED AGAIN

A Morongo Valley man who accepted a plea bargain earlier this month for attempted robbery and who hadn’t even started his jail term yet, was arrested again Friday, accused of vandalism. About 2:40 p.m. Friday, deputies were called to the 6900 block of Emerson Avenue in Yucca Valley where a resident said Joshua Botts, 18, had taken a pipe and smashed the windshield and body of a 2014 Toyota Tacoma pick-up truck. Botts was arrested for investigation of felony vandalism, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, and is being held without bail with a court date set for today. On March 6, Joshua Botts accepted a plea bargain that reduced his charge of robbing two Circle K convenience stores in February to attempted robbery. He was given three years of probation and scheduled to start his 6 months of work release jail time April 13.

JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK TAKING YOUTH CONSERVATION CORPS APPLICATIONS

Youth in the Morongo Basin have the opportunity to work in Joshua Tree National Park this summer. Reporter Rebecca Havely has the details….
This summer, Joshua Tree National Park will sponsor a 9-week Youth Conservation Corps program. Youths between the ages of 15 and 18 are encouraged to apply. To be eligible, applicants may not reach their 19th birthday during the program. Selected applicants will start work June 18 and continue in the program until August 16. Corps members will earn the California minimum wage. Work hours are Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., with every other Friday off. The program provides young people of the community with excellent hands-on work experience. Projects include landscaping, trail construction, and general buildings maintenance. Application forms are available from Joshua Tree National Park Headquarters in Twentynine Palms and at Yucca Valley and Twentynine Palms High Schools. The application form must be returned or postmarked no later than April 20. For more information, call 760-367-5514.

COUNTY TO REHABILITATE SEVERAL LOCAL ROADS

The County has announced that it plans to rehabilitate several roads in our area this summer. The roads that will undergo repair are Aberdeen Drive from Sage Avenue to Yucca Mesa; Yucca Trail/Alta Loma from La Contenta to Quail Springs Road; and Quail Springs Road from Alta Loma to the entrance of Joshua Tree National Park. The county will be using federal funds for the road work, and the repairs were authorized when the county’s 2017-18 budget was passed earlier this month.  For more information, call 909-387-7936.

9 TEAMS COMPETE IN 27TH ANNUAL SPELL-A-THON

Nine teams competed for bragging rights and prizes in the 27th annual spell-a-thon Saturday, sponsored by the Morongo Basin Coalition for Adult Literacy. Reporter Tanisha Cureton celebrates the winners…
While many teams went out on words like inarticulate, technician, harass, and fulsome, others seem to breeze by with words like penicillin, miscellaneous, and crustacean. The final two teams of the 27th Annual Spell-a-Thon, Cathy and the Lascivious Lads of Copper Mountain College, made up of Colin Maclaughlin, Cathy Itnyre, and David W. Norton, and new team on the block and first-time entry, Team Blue Wave, made up of Gayl Swarat, Phyllis Moss, Francis Moss (and team captain Rebecca Unger) battled it out in a one-one competition. Cindy Zacks, the pronouncer for the spell-a-thon from Yucca Valley High School, led the finalist through a series of intensive rounds that led up to the 27th annual spell-a-thon champions, Team Blue Wave. The Lads missed ennead, which the Blue Wave correctly spelled, and then the Blue Wave won the championship with meretricious. Prizes and certificates were given out to all participants, winners, and teams with the most pledges. The team with the most pledges this year was Cathy and the Lascivious Lads of CMC with $1,105 in pledges and with second place going to the Unified Field Theory with $281 in pledges.

YUCCA VALLEY CHURCH SHOWING DOCUMENTARY FILM “WHAT THE HEALTH” TONIGHT

Tonight, (Tuesday, March 20), at 6 p.m. the Yucca Valley Seventh-day Adventist Church will show the documentary, “What the Health.” This film is described as “A thought-provoking film on our nation’s health and how big business and agriculture influence it.”  The film will be preceded by a light vegetarian meal. All are welcome. The church is located at 8035 Church Street.

ONE-80 MINISTRIES PRAISE, MUSIC. AND CELEBRATION IN JOSHUA TREE SATURDAY

One-80 Ministries of Joshua Tree will hold a day of praise, music, and celebration Saturday, March 24. The free event will feature live music and dance from local performers and artists, as well as refreshments. Music will include hip-hop, gospel, blues, jazz, contemporary Christian, and original rock. The celebration will be from noon to 5 p.m. at 6414 Hallee Road in Joshua Tree.

INTERIM DIRECTOR NAMED FOR MOJAVE DESERT LAND TRUST

The Mojave Desert Land Trust announced it has appointed an interim executive director. Managing editor Tami Roleff fills in the details…
The Mojave Desert Land Trust announced Monday it has appointed an interim executive director. Rich Weideman, who spent 33 years with the National Park Service, most recently as assistant director of partnerships and civic engagement in Washington, D.C., will replace Danielle Segura, who left to take a position with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. Weideman will lead MDLT through the next stage of strategic planning, as the Board of Directors conducts an open search for the next executive director.
In his last role, Weideman directed a multi-million-dollar annual budget and managed three major program areas at the NPS: the Partnership Office, the Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Office, and the Federal Lands Office.

He had previously spent 10 years as the head of the Office of Communications and Special Events at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) in San Francisco, the largest field communications office of the NPS. Between 1981 and 2000 he worked as a supervisory park ranger and operations supervisor at the GGNRA, including at Alcatraz and Muir Woods.
Weideman has received the NPS Superior Service Award and was a member of the NPS’ National Leadership Council, Tourism Policy Council and NPS Accessibility Council.

“The Board of Directors is pleased to confirm the appointment of Rich Weideman as the interim executive director of the MDLT, said MDLT board president John Simpson. “We feel his strong conservation background and program management experience will be an important asset as MDLT moves into strategic planning the future operations of the organization.”

HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS

In high school sports today, the Yucca Valley High School softball team will travel away to Thermal to play Desert Mirage High School. First pitch is at 3:30 p.m.

The Trojan golf team will host Desert Hot Springs at home; tee-off is at 3 p.m.

Also today, the Twentynine Palms High School baseball and softball teams will play Coachella Valley High School. Baseball will be at home, starting at 3:15 p.m.; softball will be away, starting at 3:30.