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PEDESTRIAN KILLED WHILE CROSSING THE HIGHWAY IDENTIFIED

The San Bernardino County Coroner’s office has identified the pedestrian killed Friday in Twentynine Palms as 62-year-old Michael Hryzan of Twentynine Palms. Hryzan was crossing Highway 62 at Mesquite Avenue about 8 p.m. when he was struck by a vehicle. Michael Hryzan was taken to Hi-Desert Medical Center where he was pronounced deceased at 8:33 p.m. The identity of the decedent has not yet been confirmed and the family has not been located.


CORONER IDENTIFIES MAN KILLED WHILE ROCK CLIMBING IN JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK

The Riverside County Coroner’s office has identified the man who died after falling while rock climbing in Joshua Tree National Park Saturday afternoon. Samuel Boldissar, 25, of Redondo Beach, fell about 60 feet on the Cyclops Rock in the Park. He was pronounced dead at the scene.


TWENTYNINE PALMS CITY COUNCIL: STREET SWEEPER, CONSULTANT, PUBLIC SAFETY

Clean streets is among the things on tonight’s Twentynine Palms City Council agenda. Reporter David Haldane explains…
Here’s a basic rule of governance: Have Street Sweeper, will sweep streets. For that, though, you need someone to drive that big piece of machinery. So the City of Twentynine Palms has a proposal: why not hire someone to do it for $120,000 a year?
The idea, on the City Council’s agenda tonight, stems from the purchase of the $245,000 vehicle last year. So far, though, it’s been used only on highly travelled roads and during storms. Now staff has come up with a better idea: hire a designated street sweeper to be paid by Burrtec Waste Hauling with which the city has a contract.
The item comes up for a vote tonight, as well as a recommendation to hire a state lobbying firm for $3,000 a month. The council will also hear an update on public safety from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Dept.
Tonight’s meeting gets underway 6 p.m. at City Hall on Adobe Road.


JOSHUA TREE MAN FOUND WITH STUN GUN AND BURGLARY TOOLS

A Joshua Tree man was arrested Thursday, on his warrants and accused of being in possession of a stun gun. Sheriff’s reports say a deputy was making an area check about 7:30 a.m. near Sunny Sands Drive and Heron Avenue. The deputy saw a black truck that matched a description of a vehicle involved in a theft from March 22. While attempting to contact the residents in the 3200 block of Heron Drive, the deputy heard a noise in an open garage. While checking out the garage, the deputy found Kenneth Stewart, 37, hiding behind boxes. The deputy determined Stewart had an active, no-bail warrant for his arrest. During a search of Stewart, the deputy found a stun gun in the pocket of his sweatshirt. Kenneth Stewart was arrested on his warrants, for possession of a stun gun and burglary tools, and violating the terms of his probation, and booked into the Morongo Basin Jail.


LANDERS FELON FOUND WITH SAWED OFF SHOTGUN

A convicted felon was arrested Thursday, accused of possessing a sawed-off shotgun and other weapons. According to a Sheriff’s report, deputies made a probation compliance check at a home in the 600 block of Ripon Avenue in Landers about 11:30 a.m. Thursday morning where they found Johnny Mungarro, 25. Mungarro is a convicted felon on probation for making criminal threats. Deputies located ammunition and several firearms, including a sawed-off shotgun. Johnny Mungarro was arrested for investigation of being a felon in possession of a firearm, and possession of a short-barreled shotgun, booked into the West Valley Detention Center, with his bail set at $50,000.


YUCCA VALLEY PLANNING COMMISSION MEETS TONIGHT, MAY REVOKE SOME FEES

The Yucca Valley Planning Commission meets in regular session tonight. Managing editor Tami Roleff say the agenda ranges from retaining walls to revoking fees…
At tonight’s meeting of the Yucca Valley Planning Commission, commissioners will be asked to approve a request to construct a retaining wall along 417 feet of frontage on Fairway Drive for the newly proposed Hawk’s Ridge Development. In addition, commissioners will be asked to revoke in lieu fees that were assessed more than 10 and 20 years ago for parcels along Santa Barbara Drive for the future paving of the dirt roads bordering the properties. Tonight’s meeting starts at 6:00 in the Yucca Room of the Yucca Valley Community Center.


COMBAT CENTER HOSPITAL WILL STILL BE SEEING RETIREES UNDER NEW HEALTH PLAN

There’s no need to panic; the base hospital on board the Combat Center in Twentynine Palms will not stop seeing military retirees. Last week, the Naval Hospital held a meeting to discuss upcoming changes concerning medical care and new health care plans for military retirees. The base hospital has been treating retirees, but technically, the hospital is not required to see military retirees. In order to ensure there are enough doctors on board at the Naval Hospital, it will roll out a voluntary healthcare plan later this summer, called Tricare Plus, which will document the number of military retirees seen at the base hospital. Under Tricare Plus, the hospital will officially accept between 400 and 600 retiree patients; that number will increase as retirees age into the program. Tricare Plus does NOT replace Tricare for Life, which is for retirees 65 years old and older. A letter instructing retirees how to enroll in Tricare Plus will be sent out in August or September, and the program is set to begin in October. For more information, call Vanda Stanley at 760-830-2903.
From the Naval Hospital Twentynine Palms Public Affairs Office:
The Naval Hospital Twentynine Palms hosted an information session Thursday, March 23, to educate retirees and their families on the Tricare Plus Program (TPP). Lieutenant Commander Todd Hlavac, Daniel Aldridge, and Vanda Stanley provided an overview of TPP, eligibility requirements, and the enrollment process.
TPP is available for beneficiaries 65 and older and qualify for Medicare. They must also not be enrolled in another HMO plan such as Tricare Prime, a civilian HMO, or Medicare HMO. There is no enrollment fee, monthly premium, or deductible for TPP when patients are seen at their assigned military treatment facility. The Naval Hospital will assign primary care managers to TPP beneficiaries, thereby ensuring continuity of care. TPP enrollees are seen on an appointment basis, providing greater expediency and convenience to the space-availability method currently offered to those enrolled in Tricare for Life.
Services for Tricare Plus beneficiaries vary between military treatment facilities. The Naval Hospital at Twentynine Palms offers only primary level care services; specialty care will be referred to network providers and reimbursed by patients’ third-party insurers.
Beneficiaries may elect to remain in their current coverage plans, such as Tricare Prime and Tricare for Life. The scope of their current benefits remains the same. TPP serves as an additional option from which eligible beneficiaries may select their coverage plans. The beneficiary may dis-enroll from Tricare Plus at any time; and the Tricare Plus enrollee is not prohibited from using the Tricare for Life benefit when traveling out of the area.
The Twentynine Palms Naval Hospital is currently accepting enrollment applications and will begin the review process in August. Eligible beneficiaries who enroll in Tricare Plus can expect to be notified of their status in September. Official roll-out of the Tricare Plus program is slated for October 2017.
For more information or to request an enrollment application, call the NHTP Healthcare Benefits Advisor at 760-830-2903.


BIGHORN DESERT VIEW WATER BOARD MEETS, WILL REVIEW DIRECTORS HANDBOOK

Earlier this month, the Bighorn Desert View Water Agency was awarded a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in financial reporting for its comprehensive annual financial report. Reporter Mike Lipsitz has more about what’s going on at the Agency’s board meeting this evening…
The Bighorn Desert View Water Agency Board of Directors holds the regular monthly meeting at 6 p.m. tonight. On the action agenda. Directors are expected to review and adopt a Director’s Handbook, which the agenda describes as “a comprehensive desktop reference for directors.” Then later tonight, directors will consider a plan to add emergency backup power to the agency’s facilities on Jemez Trail in Flamingo Heights. Those items and others are in addition to routine items on the consent agenda and reports from the president, directors and general manager. It all happens at the agency’s board meeting office under the old water tower on Cherokee Trail in Landers.


LOOK, UP IN THE SKY, IT’S THE SPACE STATION…AGAIN!

If you missed last night’s flyover of the International Space Station, don’t fret. Tonight promises an even better opportunity to catch the permanent orbiting research facility. Roughly the size of a football field, the Space Station has been performing world-class science and research in a microgravity environment for almost 20 years. Easily visible with the naked eye, look for a very bright light appearing low in the northwest sky at 7:37 p.m. Traveling at about five miles per second, the Station will climb high in the sky to 74 degrees as it heads northeast and dips down below the horizon at 7:43 p.m. The Station and its crew of six astronauts circle the Earth every 90 minutes; this week alone, it will traverse the sky above Morongo Basin six times, but its visibility is affected by time of day, cloud cover, and position in the sky.


TWENTYNINE PALMS ADDS LED FLASHERS TO LIBRARY CROSSWALK

The City of Twentynine Palms recently installed LED flashing lights on the pedestrian crosswalk crossing Adobe Road between City Hall and the Library. LED-enhanced warning signs were also installed at the crosswalk. Remember, pedestrians have the right of way in a crosswalk.


TWENTYNINE PALMS CEMETERY DISTRICT BOARD MEETS TONIGHT

The Twentynine Palms Cemetery District Board of Directors will hold its regular meeting tonight (Tuesday, March 28). Directors will review and approve its mid-year budget, discuss options for landscaping and memorials, as well as the possible formation of an official Friends of the Cemetery group. The meeting is set for 6 p.m. at the cemetery office, 5350 Encelia Avenue in Twentynine Palms.


SCHOOL BOARD MEETS WITH BUSY AGENDA FROM TEACHERS TO TEXTBOOKS

The Morongo Unified School District Board of Education will consider a variety of issues tonight ranging from textbooks to teachers. Reporter David Haldane has the details…
Advanced Placement biology students in the Morongo Unified School District may have a new hero after tonight’s Board of Education meeting. She is Henrietta Lacks, a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of most important tools in modern medicine, critical in developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping and other seeming medical miracles.
Now the board wants to buy 30 copies of her biography, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, described as “a riveting story of the collision between ethics, race and medicine.”
Other agenda items include purchasing several new district vehicles, re-roofing the boy’s locker room at Yucca Valley High School and declaring May 10 as the Day of the Teacher.
Tonight’s meeting gets underway 7 p.m. at the Morongo Valley Elementary School on Hess Blvd.


MARCH MADNESS ADOPTION SALE AT THE YUCCA VALLEY ANIMAL SHELTER

It’s March Madness at the Yucca Valley Animal Shelter. The shelter has reduced the cost of dog adoptions to $40, and $20 for cat between March 28 and April 1. The adoption fee includes spaying or neutering, vaccines, and a free vet visit. The animal shelter, located on Malin Way in Yucca Valley, is open Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 5 p.m.


FREE VEGETARIAN MEAL AND A FOOD CHOICE MOVIE IN YUCCA VALLEY TONIGHT

A free vegetarian meal and screening of the movie “Food Choices” will be shown Tuesday, March 28, at the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Yucca Valley. The documentary explores the impact that food choices has on people’s health, the planet, and on animals, and is meant to change the way you look at the food on your plate. The event starts at 6 p.m. at the church, 8035 Church Street, in Yucca Valley.


HISTORICAL SOCIETY SEEKING RUMMAGE SALE DONATIONS

The Morongo Basin historical society is seeking donations for their rummage sales. Reporter Rebecca Havely tells you how to help…
If you’re planning some spring cleaning and have some donations, the Morongo Basin Historical Society will take them off your hands. They are hoping to restock their rummage sale inventory. They’re accepting collectibles, jewelry (new and vintage), furniture, gently used clothing, small appliances, toys, tools, planters, native plant cuttings for the Bob Connors native plant garden, books, household and decor items, but no electronics please. For more information call Gene Woodley at 760-364-2825 or Jeannie Lindberg at 760-369-3693.


WINNERS AND AWARDS FROM 59TH ANNUAL 29 PALMS YOUTH BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT

The 59th Annual Youth Basketball Tournament was held over the weekend with 50 youth basketball teams competing at three local venues. The winners were: third and fourth grade girls division: Needles; third and fourth grade boys: Needles; fifth and sixth grade girls: Redondo Beach; fifth and sixth grade boys: Redondo Beach Red; seventh grade boys: Parker, Arizona Ballers; seventh and eighth grade girls: Beaumont; seventh and eighth grade boys: Redondo Beach Red.

The 59th Annual Youth Basketball Tournament Results:

 

3rd and 4th Grade Girls Division

 

1st Place: Needles

2nd Place: Redondo Beach

3rd Place: Beaumont

 

3rd and 4th Grade Boys Division

 

1st Place: Needles

2nd Place: Redondo Beach  Red

3rd Place:  Beaumont

 

 

5th and 6th Grade Girls Division

 

1st Place: Redondo Beach

2nd Place: Twentynine Palms

3rd Place: Beaumont

 

5th and 6th Grade Boys Division

 

1st Place:  Redondo Beach Red

2nd Place:  Twentynine Palms

3rd Place:  Redondo Beach Blue

 

7th Grade Boys Division

 

1st Place: Parker AZ Ballers

2nd Place: Beaumont

3rd Place: Needles

 

7th and 8th Grade Girls Division

 

1st Place:  Beaumont

2nd Place:  Twentynine Palms

3rd Place:  Redondo Beach

 

 

7th and 8th Grade Boys Division

 

1st Place: Redondo Beach Red

2nd Place: Redondo Beach Blue

3rd Place: Needles

All-Tournament Selections

 

3rd and 4th Grade Girls Division

 

MVP: Giselle Burns, Needles

 

Gia Collier, Needles

Kaila Natividad, Redondo Beach

Sally Diethesm, Redondo Beach

Kiari Williams, Beaumont

 

3rd and 4th Grade Boys Division

 

MVP: Paxton Murch. Needles

 

Xavier Russell, Needles

Cameron Johnson, Redondo Beach

Kole Tannaka-Lee, Redondo Beach

Tim Pilao, Beaumont

 

 

5th and 6th Grade Girls Division

 

MVP: Ria Lopresto, Redondo Beach

 

Malian Natividad, Redondo Beach

Breonya Bell, Twentynine Palms

Jenica Silvas, Twentynine Palms

MJ Jacques, Beaumont

 

 

5th and 6th Grade Boys Division

 

MVP: Garrett Flanders, Redondo Beach Red

 

Enasei Piuleini, Redondo Beach Red

Trent Turner, Redondo Beach Red

James Horn, Twentynine Palms

Ayden Tremblay, Twentynine Palms

 

7th Grade Boys Division

 

MVP: Leo Scott, Parker Ballers

 

Genaro Lopez, Parker Ballers

Anthony Sosa, Beaumont

Kosten Wheeler, Beaumont

Ira Stone, Needles

 

7th and 8th Grade Girls Division

 

MVP: Alyssa Nunez, Beaumont

 

Rachel Peters, Beaumont

Faith Burdett, Twentynine Palms

Kate Bobadilla, Twentynine Palms

Shayna Stock, Redondo Beach

 

7th and 8th Grade Boys Division

 

MVP: Daiki Narimoto, Redondo Beach Red

 

Derek Noguchi, Redondo Beach Red

Aiden Mejia, Redondo Beach Red

Ben Price, Redondo Beach Blue

Damien Rosas, Redondo Beach Blue

 

John Bass Award: Mitch Capizzi, Redondo Beach Blue, 5/6 Grade Boys

 

Dana Casey Award: Mary Carbiner, Twentynine Palms, 7/8 Grade Girls

Hugh “Chief” Jones Award: Isreal Goldsmith, Twentynine Palms, 7/8 Grade Boys


HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS: SCORES AND SCHEDULES

The Twentynine Palms High School boys’ varsity tennis team hosted the Arabs of Coachella Valley Friday and came away with the victory 10-8. 
The Wildcats were led in singles action by Nathan Thomas and Brett Hope, who both won two of their sets, while Ben Pressnall won one of his sets. In doubles action, the Wildcats were led by the teams of Sean Sears/Mac Miller, and Raul Hernandez/Donte Smith-Evans, who each won two of their sets, while the team of Larry Martinez/Donald Albers came away with one set. 
  
Coming up in high school sports today, the Twentynine Palms High School golf team will travel away to Rancho Mirage to play Rancho Mirage High School. Tee-off is at 2:45 p.m.


SHERIFF ASKING FOR PUBLIC'S HELP IN DOUBLE HOMICIDE IN TWENTYNINE PALMS

Two women were murdered in Twentynine Palms Friday, and the Sheriff’s Department is seeking the public’s help in identifying their murderer. According to the Sheriff’s Department, a 911 call was placed at 12:03 a.m. Friday morning, stating that two people had been killed in the 7700 block of Bedouin Avenue. When deputies arrived, they found that Christy McKissic, 32, and her mother, Renee Metcalf, 62, had been shot multiple times. A 10-year-old child was at the home and was unharmed. Deputies have not made any arrests in the case and are asking the public’s assistance. Anyone with information should call the Sheriff’s homicide division at 909-387-3589.


61-YEAR-OLD MAN KILLED CROSSING HWY 62 IN TWENTYNINE PALMS FRIDAY

A 61-year-old man was killed Friday night crossing Highway 62 in Twentynine Palms. About 8 p.m., the man, who has not yet been identified by the Coroner’s Department, was crossing the highway southbound at Mesquite Avenue when he was hit by a vehicle traveling eastbound on the highway. The man, who suffered severe injuries to his upper and lower body, was taken to Hi-Desert Medical Center where he died of his injuries. The driver of the vehicle remained at the scene and cooperated with the investigation.


CALTRANS TO EXPLAIN NEW MORONGO VALLEY HIGHWAY MEDIANS WEDNESDAY

In May 2015, responding to an accident tally well above average and a growing death toll, the California Department of Transportation, or Caltrans, installed plastic delineators to separate the east and westbound lanes of highway 62 in Morongo Valley. Reporter Mike Lipsitz picks up the story from there…
The public was told that if the delineators improved safety along that stretch of highway, Caltrans would replace them with a more permanent fix. Well, they did and it will. This Spring, Caltrans will replace the delineators with a raised curb median on State Route 62 between East Drive and Yucca Park in Morongo Valley. The plan also calls for restriping to provide left turn lanes and a traffic signal at Bella Vista Drive. Caltrans and the Morongo Valley Community Service District will discuss the $3.4 million project at a community meeting Wednesday, March 29 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Morongo Valley Elementary School on Hess Blvd. Caltrans staff and the contractor will announce a time line, present construction details and efforts to minimize traffic impacts, and answer questions.


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