TWENTYNINE PALMS MAN ARRESTED AFTER SHORT PURSUIT

A Twentynine Palms man was arrested Thursday after he led deputies on a short pursuit in Twentynine Palms. About 9:45 a.m. Thursday, a deputy attempted to stop a car near Palm Vista Drive and Maude Adams Avenue for having an expired vehicle registration. The driver, later identified as William Anderson, 53, failed to yield, and led the deputy on a short pursuit. During the pursuit, Anderson allegedly failed to stop at two stop signs and drove on the wrong side of the highway, before he finally stopped near a residence. Deputies used force to arrest William Anderson on suspicion of felony failure to yield. Anderson was booked into the West Valley Detention Center with his bail set at $100,000.

PAVING CONTINUES IN THE CITY OF TWENTYNINE PALMS

Week two of street paving this week in the City of Twentynine Palms. The following roads will be closed this week from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.:

  • Today, (February 5), Sun Valley Drive will be closed from Hillside Avenue to approximately 800 feet west.
  • Tomorrow (February 6) Sun Valley Drive from Sunnyvale Drive to approximately 800 feet east.

YUCCA VALLEY TOWN COUNCIL TO DEVELOP NORTH PARK, IMPROVE BMX TRACK

At last night’s meeting of the Yucca Valley Town Council, three new employees were introduced: Lauren Wetzel, who works at the animal shelter; David Champagne, who works in facilities maintenance; and Jared Jarome, the town’s new associate planner. Then, managing editor Tami Roleff says, the council got down to business…

Lauren Wetzel, has been working as a kennel technician at the Yucca Valley Animal Shelter since October 2019. Tami Roleff photo
Jared Jarome was hired as an associate planner for the Town of Yucca Valley in January 2020. Tami Roleff photo
David Champagne is a maintenance worker in the facilities department for the Town of Yucca Valley. Tami Roleff photo

Yucca Valley will receive more than $125,000 from the county for community development block grant funding, which the town council allocated for improvements to North Park. The funds will be used for the design and construction of a parking area, trail head access, public restroom, and flood mitigation.

Looking north on Fairway Avenue toward North Park. The Town of Yucca Valley plans to develop a small parking area, small restroom, and a hiking trail into the park. Tami Roleff photo

The rules of the CDBG funds require that private and non-profit organizations provide a maintenance and operation commitment and an estimated annual maintenance and operations budget for five years; due to the higher risk of funding non-profits, the town must agree to repay the CDBG if the non-profit’s project doesn’t meet the maintenance and operation requirements. For that reason, the council encouraged the three organizations that applied for CDBG funds—the Yucca Valley Library Literacy program, Mil-Tree Veteran Project, and the Family Service Association Senior Nutrition Program—to apply for funding from Measure Y funds.

Next the council heard from members of the Yes on Measure C committee about a $55.6 million school bond. Council members learned that the average age of the 19 schools in the Morongo Unified School District is 43 years, and some schools are 70 years old. The state provides no money to school districts to build or renovate schools; the only way to provide much needed repairs and upgrades are through the sale of bonds.

The schools at the top of the priority list for repairs and renovations are Yucca Mesa Elementary, Morongo Valley Elementary, Friendly Hills Elementary, and Landers Elementary. These schools were supposed to have been renovated with funds from Measure O, but the school district had to unexpectedly use Measure O bonds to build the new Joshua Tree Elementary School when the state decreed that the old school was built too close to an earthquake fault.

Several schools have not had any renovations or modernization in 30 years: Condor Elementary, Friendly Hills Elementary, Landers Elementary, Morongo Valley Elementary, Yucca Mesa Elementary, La Contenta Middle, Black Rock High, and Yucca Valley High School.

During public comment, five residents spoke against the bond measure, saying residents could not afford another tax, while those who supported the measure said the school district could not afford the renovations and upgrades without the school bond.

Mayor Pro Tem Merl Abel said that when Yucca Valley High School students attend events at other schools, they are disheartened by how modern and better equipped the other schools are.

Council members voted to receive and file the report without making a recommendation to support or oppose the bond measure.

https://www.voteyesonmeasurec.com/

Travis Hill, flanked by Kaiden Ellis, talked to the Yucca Valley Town Council about receiving a $15,000 grant from the Measure Y fund to install new lighting at the BMX track, along with other improvements. Tami Roleff photo

Travis Hill of Yucca Valley BMX spoke of the need for additional lighting for the track, especially in light of the fact that a big region-wide qualifying race will be held at the track in May. He said the BMX track would also like to improve its family picnic area, and get a track cover to protect the track when it rains. The council voted unanimously to allocate $15,000 to the Yucca Valley BMX track.

MISS YUCCA VALLEY SCHOLARSHIP PAGEANT THIS SATURDAY NIGHT

The Noon Rotary Club of Yucca Valley is sponsoring the Miss Yucca Valley Scholarship Pageant this Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Joshua Springs High School gymnasium. Tickets are $15 at the door for general admission and $5 for students with an ASB card; sophomore girls get in free.

All proceeds directly benefit the scholarship program for the girls. This year there are eight junior girls vying for a chance to be part of the 2020 Miss Yucca Valley Court.

MOJAVE DESERT LAND TRUST CAMPFIRE LECTURE IN TWENTYNINE PALMS SATURDAY

The Mojave Desert Land Trust will hold its last free campfire lecture about the Mojave Desert Saturday, February 8. The talk will be about enjoying, protecting, and exploring the desert as a family. Mary Cook-Rhyne will give a multi-media campfire talk where she will share ideas for family activities in the Mojave Desert and how parents can help create the next generation of conservationists. The campfire talk is from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at Twentynine Palms Visitor Center on the highway in downtown Twentynine Palms.