STATE ORDERS BARS CLOSED IN 7 COUNTIES, URGES CLOSURE IN SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY

California Governor Gavin Newsom on Sunday ordered bars and nightclubs to close in Los Angeles and six other counties, citing the spread of the coronavirus. He also urged eight other county health departments—including San Bernardino—to order the closure of those businesses. Counties with closure orders include Los Angeles, Fresno, Kern, San Joaquin, Tulare, Kings, and Imperial. The eight counties urged to close bars and night spots are San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura, Santa Barbara, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, Sacramento, and Stanislaus.

Earlier this month, the state released guidelines for how and when counties could allow bars to re-open; The counties being ordered to close bars have been on the state’s watch list for not meeting those guidelines for more than 14 days. The counties being urged to close bars have been on the state’s watch list for three to 14 days.

JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK TRYING TO KEEP NEW WEST ENTRANCE ON SCHEDULE

The three month-shutdown of the country because of the coronavirus negatively affected the operations of Joshua Tree National Park. The park relies on entrance fees to fund the salaries of many of its employees. In addition, the gate fees also go into the budget for park improvements. The shutdown cost the park about $3 million. Managing editor Tami Roleff says Park Superintendent David Smith talked about a couple of the park’s projects affected by the shutdown…

“The Ryan Mountain Trail refurbish, that’s about a $200,000 project. It’s one we really want to do, we really want to work on that trail, but maybe we can put it off for a year.”

Superintendent David Smith says planning projects in Joshua Tree National Park is a five-year process, and he has been working with staff to find projects that can be delayed until there’s more money.

“The one that’s killing me is West Entrance. That’s our big baby right now. It’s a pretty expensive project; we’ve got to expand the road, we’re building four entrance stations.”

The West Entrance in Joshua Tree has been experiencing bottlenecks of up to an hour or more for a long time as visitors wait in their cars on Quail Springs Road to enter the park. The park plans to move the existing entrance operations about a half mile into the park. It will expand the roadway for a couple hundred yards leading into the entrance by one outbound lane, two inbound lanes, and a bike lane. There will be four entrance stations—two stations in tandem for each lane. And to keep the stations cool, a shade structure will be installed over them. In addition, a new ranger office will be built, and water and power will be extended into the park about a half mile as well. The total cost of the project is estimated to be $2.5 million.

Smith said the park saved some money by not hiring as many employees during the shutdown, and it’s been able to keep the West Entrance project viable; he hopes it’ll start in 2021-22.

“So I think we’re still slated to have that in about 18 months or so, is when we’ll break ground.”

YUCCA VALLEY MAN ACCUSED OF INJURING 3-MONTH-OLD BABY

A Yucca Valley man was arrested Friday, accused of severely injuring a three-month old baby. About noon on Friday, detectives were notified of a baby boy who had been admitted to Loma Linda Medical Center with a severe injury. Doctors determined that the injury was not accidental and was caused by physical abuse. During the investigation, detectives learned that the baby had been in the care of Phillip Candelaria, 34, of the 7300 block of Dumosa Avenue in Yucca Valley, when the injury occurred, and that Candelaria caused the injury. Phillip Candelaria was arrested on suspicion of willful cruelty to a child, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, with his bail set at zero dollars.

OLD SCHOOL HOUSE MUSEUM TO REOPEN FRIDAY

Closed since March 16 due to COVID-19, the Old Schoolhouse Museum in Twentynine Palms will finally reopen this Friday. Reporter Heather Clisby has the details…

After 15 and a half weeks, the Old Schoolhouse Museum and gift shop will finally open its’ antique doors to a grateful public on Friday, July 3. However, the museum’s library and research archives will remain closed until further notice.

The museum’s newest display features the art of recently deceased local artist Noble Richardson.

The public should note that preventative measures are in effect at the museum, such as mandatory face coverings for all staff and visitors. Only 10 people will be allowed in the museum at a time and social distancing must be maintained.

Museum hours are 1 to 4 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Old Schoolhouse Museum is located at 6760 National Park Drive in Twentynine Palms. Admission is free, but donations are always welcome.

COUNTY CORONAVIRUS CASES UP TO 11,501; MORONGO BASIN AT 78

The number of novel coronavirus cases in San Bernardino climbed to 11,501 over the weekend as Governor Gavin Newsom recommended closing area bars to slow the spread. Numbers released Sunday (June 28), show the number of deaths stayed the same Saturday and rose by one Sunday to 249. The total number of people tested in the county grew to 130,179 on Sunday, of those tested, 8.8 percent of patients were positive. Chino saw its numbers jump by 300 over the weekend to 1,333; no other location in the county saw a triple digit increase. The next biggest increases were in San Bernardino, which went up by 51 cases to 1,943; and Fontana, which went up by 38 to 1,316.

Here in the Morongo Basin we have had 78 confirmed case: Yucca Valley with 39, Joshua Tree with 18, Twentynine Palms 14, and Morongo Valley seven.

Chino is the site of the two largest outbreaks in the county at the California Institution for Men and at the California Institution for Women. According to the county, it will take 19.3 days for the number of  cases to double.

Adelanto      162
Apple Valley  160
Barstow          54
Big Bear City           4
Big Bear Lake           8
Bloomington 200
Chino           1,333
Chino Hills    218
Colton           495
Crestline        19
Fontana       1,316
Fort Irwin       2
Grand Terrace         52
Hesperia        303
Highland      340
Joshua Tree 18
Loma Linda 127
Mentone       57
Montclair      259
Morongo Valley        7
Needles         5
Oak Hills        40
Ontario         1,065
Phelan           41
Rancho Cucamonga 502
Redlands     486
Rialto 652
Rimforest       1
Running Springs      6
San Bernardino      1,943
Twentynine Palms   14
Upland         304
Victorville     490
Wrightwood   2
Yucaipa        314
Yucca Valley           39
Undetermined          463
Grand Total   11,501