FIREFIGHTERS BATTLE TWO BLAZES IN MORONGO BASIN MONDAY AFTERNOON

Morongo Basin firefighters not only had to battle two fires Monday afternoon, but strong winds as well. According to County Fire Battalion Chief Bryant O’Hara, the first fire was reported at 2:23 p.m. in the 1300 block of Jack Rabbit Trail in the Desert Heights area of Twentynine Palms. Thick black smoke could be seen for miles. O’Hara said the small house was 50 percent involved with flames by the time firefighters arrived and the winds were a significant factor in fanning the blaze. Firefighters made an aggressive defensive attack to keep the flames from spreading to the nearby vegetation. O’Hara said the house is a total loss, but all the occupants got out safely and there were no injuries.

Keith Roleff photo

While firefighters were mopping up the fire at the Jack Rabbit Tail address, a second fire was reported at 3:31 p.m. in Yucca Valley. O’Hara said a wooden fence in front of a home in the 7600 block of Deer Trail caught fire. Because Yucca Valley firefighters—along with firefighters from Twentynine Palms, Wonder Valley, and Joshua Tree—were still at the scene of the Twentynine Palms fire, the Medic Ambulance from Yucca Valley was first on the scene at the Deer Trail fire. O’Hara said the crew helped the residents put out the blaze and kept it from spreading to the house. The fire was out by the time Yucca Valley firefighters arrived. There were no injuries.

SHIT-ZU MALTESE MIX LOST IN 29 PALMS

SHIH-TZU MALTESE MIX LOST IN 29 PALMS

Type of Pet: Dog

Male, Mix Shih-tzu and Maltese, white with beige.

Wearing Collar, Wearing Tags, Microchipped, Spayed or Neutered.

Lost near: 2 Mile & Mariposa in 29 Palms.

Call: Tina  917-406-7126

PIT SHEPARD MIX LOST IN YUCCA VALLEY

PIT SHEPARD MIX LOST IN YUCCA VALLEY

Type of Pet: Dog

Male, Pit/Shepard mix, brown, lightly brindled with white on chest.

Lost near: Yucca Mesa & Aberdeen in Yucca Valley.

Call: Sandra 760-777-0045

YUCCA VALLEY MAN ACCUSED OF ATTEMPTED MURDER AFTER THREATENING WOMAN WITH A KNIFE

A Yucca Valley man was arrested early Monday morning, after he allegedly threatened to kill his girlfriend and her family. According to a Sheriff’s report, Valentin Gonzalez, 26, of the 7000 block of Deer Trail, was arguing with the woman about 1 a.m. Monday when he took a large kitchen knife which he placed against the woman’s body with one hand while he pushed her against a wall and choked her with his other hand. The report said Gonzalez then threatened to kill her and other family members with the knife. Gonzalez continued to choke the victim until she fell unconscious; when she regained consciousness, the victim told deputies he punched her, knocking her out. Deputies were called to the home and they arrested Valentin Gonzalez for investigation of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon, booked him into West Valley detention Center with his bail set at $1 million.

LOS ANGELES MAN WALKING TO BOSTON TO RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT CHILDHOOD CANCER CAMPS IS IN MORONGO BASIN

Kevin Fern

A Redondo Beach man, who is walking from Los Angeles to Boston to raise awareness of and money for childhood cancer camps, arrived in the Morongo Basin this weekend. Kevin Fern, 50, who expects it will take him about seven months to walk 4,000 miles, arrived in Yucca Valley Saturday and Twentynine Palms on Sunday. He started his journey on March 25 by by visiting with cancer patients at Los Angeles Children’s Hospital, and plans to end his walk at Boston Children’s Hospital. He hopes to raise $250,000 along the way for childhood oncology camps. Fern is calling his journey Kevin’s IV Pole, as he plans to walk pushing an IV pole the entire seven months. On his IV pole Fern has placed rubber wristbands with the names of childhood cancer patients.

For more information about Kevin’s IV Pole, visit the links below:

https://www.plotaroute.com/challengetracker/1150

COUNTY PLANS TO APPROVE IMPROVEMENTS TO ROADS, BIKE, AND PEDESTRIAN PATHS

Several items related to the Morongo Basin are on the agenda for tomorrow’s 10 a.m. county board of supervisors meeting in San Bernardino. Supervisors are expected to award a $1.5 million construction contract to make improvements along portions of Aberdeen, Alta Loma, Quail Springs Drive and Yucca Trail in Yucca Valley.

Next, the board will likely accept a proposal to widen and add a 1 1/2-mile sidewalk and bike path on Sunburst Avenue from the old Joshua Tree
Elementary School to the new school in Joshua Tree. In January, supervisors approved reconstruction of an aged bike path from the highway to the old elementary school. This action will provide for a continuous bike and pedestrian path from Highway 62 to the new elementary school. And finally, the board is expected to reimburse Yucca Valley $42,000–half the cost of demolishing its old animal shelter.

Tuesday’s meeting will be broadcast via live video link to the first-floor teleconferencing room in the County Government Center on White Feather
Road in Joshua Tree.

HI-DESERT TEST KITCHEN SERVES UP YUCCA IN TONIGHT’S MEAL

Artist Sarah Witt invites local enthusiasts to join her in a culinary exploration of the Mojave Desert. A different plant-based ingredient is
highlighted at a vegetarian dinner once a month. Reporter Mike Lipsitz has your invitation for tonight’s meal…

Organized under the name Hi-Desert Test Kitchen, April guests are encouraged to bring a dish made with or inspired the yucca. Witt says Yucca was featured last May when diners discovered the blooms were past their prime. Her hope is that the yucca buds will be tender and delicious at the next dinner this Monday, April 16. Monday’s dinner is at the Copper Mountain Mesa Community Center on Winters Road just east of Border.

The potluck begins at 7 p.m.  For more information, follow the links below:

http://www.highdeserttestsites.com/news/high-desert-test-kitchen-april-ingredient-yucca

http://www.sarahwitt.net/hdtk/#/hdtk-archive/

SMALL VEGETATION FIRE IN MORONGO VALLEY SATURDAY

Morongo Valley firefighters were called to a large brush fire Saturday afternoon. According to Fire Engineer Chris Palmer, the fire started about
2:20 p.m. on the westbound side of Highway 62 and Desert Willow. Palmer said it burned light to medium brush in an area about 100 feet long by 20
feet wide. While the cause of the fire is under investigation, Palmer urged people not to throw cigarettes out of vehicle windows.

In addition, Palmer reminded people to call 911 instead of coming to the fire station if they see a fire or have a medical emergency, as they will get a faster response by calling.

SECOND ARREST MADE IN TWENTYNINE PALMS STABBING

A second Twentynine Palms man was arrested in connection with a stabbing in the city Thursday. Sheriff’s deputies were called to the 6700 block of Mesquite Drive at 2:26 a.m. Thursday where witnesses say Motusaga Faaaliga, 37, and Velore Faatolia, 41, jumped a man in his driveway. The victim had three stab wounds on his left arm and one stab wound on the upper part of his back. Through investigation, deputies went to another residence where they located the suspect vehicle with blood drops leading from it to the house. Deputies arrested Velore Faatolia, 41, about 6:45 a.m.

Thursday, and then about 1 p.m. Friday, they arrested Motusaga Faaaliga, 37, for investigation of conspiracy and assault with a deadly weapon. Velore Faatolia was booked in West Valley Detention Center and Motusaga Faaaliga into the Morongo Basin Jail, with their bail set at $50,000 each.

STUDY CLAIMS CADIZ WATER PROJECT THREATENS NATURAL SPRING IN MOJAVE TRAILS NATIONAL MONUMENT

A new study, funded by the Mojave Desert Land Trust, has found that one of the Mojave Desert’s largest natural springs would be threatened by a
proposed water project that would pump 16 billion gallons of water per year from an underground aquifer. Bonanza Spring is located just 11 miles from Cadiz, Inc., which plans to pump and sell the water to Los Angeles-area water agencies. The study says that Bonanza Spring, located in the Mojave Trails National Monument a few miles north of Route 66, is connected to the Cadiz aquifer, and that pumping out so much water would dry up the spring. Cadiz funded its own study which stated that Bonanza Spring is not connected to its aquifer.

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15275922.2018.1448909

CHURCH TO SCREEN DOCUMENTARY ON EATING HEALTHY ON A FOOD-STAMP BUDGET

Eating healthy can be a challenge. The Seventh-Day Adventist Church of Yucca Valley will show the documentary “Food Stamped” about a couple’s attempt to eat healthy on a food stamp budget. Reporter Eric Knabe has the details…

On Tuesday, April 17, the Seventh-Day Adventist Church of Yucca Valley will show the documentary “Food Stamped,” which follows nutritionist Shira
Potash and her documentary filmmaker husband Yoav as they attempt to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet on a food-stamp budget. Through their
adventures, they consult with members of Congress, food justice advocates, nutrition experts, and people living on food stamps to take a deep look at America's broken food system. If you know someone on food stamps, this may be of interest to them. The church is located at 8035 Church Street, in Yucca Valley. The evening will begin with a light vegetarian meal starting at 6 p.m.

ATTORNEYS TO BE SCREENED WHEN ENTERING JOSHUA TREE COURTHOUSE AS OF JUNE 1

Attorneys entering the Joshua Tree courthouse will have to be screened for weapons as of June 1. Under current guidelines, attorneys are able to
bypass security measures other visitors must undergo, which include passing through a metal detector and submitting handbags, briefcases, phones and electronic devices, keys, watches, and other loose items for x-ray screening and inspection. Visitors who activate the metal detector must
undergo additional screening. Attorneys must go through screening at several other county courthouses.

YUCCA VALLEY REC DEPARTMENT OFFERS CLASSES FOR TODDLERS AND LINE DANCING

The Yucca Valley Recreation Department is offering classes for all ages. Mom, Dad & Me is back at the Yucca Valley Community Center. This
playful and active class, for toddlers ages 2 to 5, is held on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Get moving with popular fitness
activities such as kids’ yoga, hula hoops, jump rope, story time, music and dance. There is a $3 drop-in fee, no registration required.

On Monday nights, learn to line dance to a wide mix of music, including country, pop, and Big Band. You never need a partner in line dancing, but
feel free to bring along some friends. There is a $3 drop-in fee; no registration is required. The classes are held in the Cholla room of the Yucca Valley Community Center.

For more information about either of these classes, call 760-369-7211 Mondays through Thursdays from noon to 5.

YUCCA VALLEY LIBRARY TO HOLD SPRING BOOK SALE

Friends of the Yucca Valley Library is holding its annual spring book sale. Reporter Tanisha Cureton has the details for the Yucca Valley events…

The Yucca Valley Library will hold its annual spring book sales starting Tuesday, April 17. Members of the Yucca Valley Library will be get an early
preview of the book sale Tuesday from 4 to 6 p.m. The book sale opens to the public Wednesday, April 18, from 11 to 6 p.m.; Thursday, April 19 from
10 to 5 p.m.; and Saturday, April 21 from 9 to 3 p.m. Saturday is the bag sale; members pay $1 for a bag of books; non-members pay $2. All of proceeds from the book sales go to the summer reading program.

SURPLUS FOOD DISTRIBUTION IN TWENTYNINE PALMS TUESDAY

The Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino County will distribute free surplus food at two locations in Twentynine Palms Tuesday, April 17:
the 29 Palms Food Pantry, 6450 Stardune Avenue, from 10 to noon; and at Spirit and Truth Worship Center, 4751 Adobe Road, from 5 to 7 p.m.

COUNTY OFFERS FREE HR HELP

The San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board has partnered with the California Employers Association to provide employers with access to a free human resources hotline. Protect your business from costly fines and penalties. For general human resources questions, pick up the phone and call 877-282-3763.