COPPER MOUNTAIN COLLEGE SUSPENDING IN-PERSON CLASSES FOR AT LEAST THE NEXT WEEK

Due to ongoing concerns associated with the spread of Coronavirus, in-person classes at Copper Mountain College have been suspended for one week: March 16-21. According to the statement from CMC, as many face-to-face classes will be transitioned to online as possible; and select facilities, including the library and student success center, will remain open. CMC will observe Spring Break from March 22-29  2020 and will continue online classes March 30 and until further notice.

Faculty currently have drop-in Canvas shell workshops scheduled as follows:

Monday, March 16 – 9am-12pm Room 219

Tuesday, March 17 – 3:15pm-6:35pm Room 219

Tuesday, March 17 – 6:30pm-8pm Room 217

Wednesday, March 18 – 8am-10:30am Room 217

Personnel in student services and in the library will be available to support students with Canvas on a drop-in basis. Administrators, classified, student workers, and confidential employees will be expected to report to work, as the college remains open to provide services to students and faculty.

For more information, visit https://www.cmccd.edu/faculty-and-staff/administration/facilities/safety-health/

MORONGO UNIFIED SCHOOLS TO BE CLOSED FOR AT LEAST THE NEXT WEEK

In an emergency meeting Friday night (3/13/20), the Morongo Unified School Board voted to close all schools for at least the next week. Z107.7 News was allowed to attend over a telephone link. Superintendent Tom Baumgarten said in the response to efforts to stem the Coronavirus outbreak, the closure is ordered by the State and he has been on contact with other Riverside and San Bernardino County Superintendents. While students will not physically attend school, teachers will be required to come to work and will prepare lessons to continue education online. Board member Karalee Hargrove asked about school feeding programs. Baumgarten said students will be allowed to pick up all 3 meals a day in a single bag each day. The schools will close for a minimum of 5 days, with an option to extend as needed. Details on the teachers work schedules and requirements still remain to be worked out. The MTA registered an objection to the requirements to go to work because of health danger. The motion was to close schools from March 16th to 21, it was passed unanimously.  More information will be issued by the district as the plans are solidified.

YUCCA VALLEY MAN ARRESTED FOR VIOLATING PROBATION

A Yucca Valley man was arrested Thursday after another man said he threatened to shoot him. About 11:30 p.m., an unidentified man said he was in his car in the Joshua Tree post office parking lot when another man, later identified as Michale Matson, 43, walked up to him and threatened to shoot him. The victim saw something in the man’s hand but wasn’t sure what it was. Matson allegedly said that if the victim said anything, he would shoot him in the head, and then walked off, walking westbound on the highway. A deputy spotted Matson, who matched the suspect’s description, and Matson then tried to run northbound into the desert. The deputy apprehended Matson without incident. Matson was on felony probation. Michael Matson was arrested for investigation of violating the terms of his probation, was booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, and is being held without bail.

TWENTYNINE PALMS MAN ACCUSED OF BEING IN POSSESSION OF CONCEALED KNIFE, AMMUNITION

A Twentynine Palms man was arrested Thursday, accused of carrying a concealed dirk or dagger. A deputy stopped Jeremy Stevens, 33, about 9:40 p.m. near Valley View Street and Plaza Road in Joshua Tree. Stevens allegedly told the deputy that he had a fixed-blade knife in his backpack. The deputy found the knife—as well as a shotgun shell—during a search of the backpack. Since Stevens is a convicted felon, he is prohibited from possessing both items. Jeremy Stevens was arrested for investigation of being in possession of a concealed dirk or dagger, and for being a felon in possession of ammunition, and was booked into the Morongo Basin Jail with his bail set at $35,000.

DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE THIS ST. PATRICK’S DAY

As St. Patrick’s Day approaches on March 17, the “wearin’ o’ the green” is not nearly as important as having a plan in place if intoxicants will be involved in your celebrations. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) encourages the public to put safety first and designate a sober driver, or use a rideshare service, or take a taxi to make your ride home a safe one. Managing editor Tami Roleff urges residents not to push their luck when it comes to drinking and driving…

“St. Patrick’s Day celebrations can often result in a highway tragedy,” CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley said. “Plan ahead and do not let the use of alcohol or drugs mixed with driving result in a collision, jail time, injuries, or death.”

March 17 is one of the deadliest holidays for drunk driving and alcohol-involved crashes. Last year on that day in California, seven people were killed and 116 others were injured in collisions caused by driving under the influence (DUI); CHP officers made 219 arrests for DUI.

This year, do not push your luck. Buckle up, avoid shenanigans behind the wheel, and designate a sober driver if your St. Patrick’s Day celebration will include alcohol or other impairing substances. The financial impact of a DUI can be sobering. Attorneys’ fees, fines, court costs, lost time at work, higher insurance rates, and car repairs can reach $15,000 or more in California.

“Temptations to drive impaired can increase during the holiday,” added Commissioner Stanley. “If you are planning to drink, do not get behind the wheel.”

To help keep the roads safe, the CHP encourages the public to report impaired drivers by calling 9-1-1. Be prepared to provide the public safety dispatcher with a description of the vehicle, location, and direction of travel.