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MARINES, DEPUTIES LOCATE ARIZONA WOMAN MISSING FOR AT LEAST A DAY IN DESERT

Marines and Morongo Basin Sheriff’s deputies helped rescue an Arizona woman Wednesday who had been missing in the desert for at least a day. According to a Sheriff’s report, Johnnie Savage, 57, left her home in Chloride about 1:30 p.m. Monday, to go rock hunting near Ludlow. When she did not return, she was reported missing about 4 p.m. Wednesday. About the same time, deputies received a 911 call from the Savage, who said she thought she was on military property. She gave deputies her GPS coordinates, which indicated she was near Bagdad Dry Lake. She also told them her silver Jeep was stuck and she was out of water; deputies believed she may have been disoriented and hallucinating. Her GPS coordinates showed that Savage was inside the boundaries of the Twentynine Palms Marine Base in a restricted fly zone, which prevented the Sheriff’s helicopter from entering the area to search for her. Marines from the base search and rescue unit flew in to look for Savage, and when they found her shortly before 7 p.m., they dropped water down to her. The Sheriff’s helicopter was then given permission to enter the base to rescue Savage. The Sheriff’s aviation deputies determined that Savage, who had a head wound, needed an immediate medical evaluation, and she was flown to paramedics waiting outside the base boundaries. She was then taken to Hi-Desert Medical Center where she was treated for non-life-threatening medical conditions.


BRITISH APPAREL MARKETING TEAM CRITICIZED FOR ILLEGAL NATIONAL PARK ABUSE

A group of young men who travel the world and film themselves doing stunts to promote a British clothing brand recently released a video of themselves breaking several laws in Joshua Tree National Park. The group of nine men can be seen running up and launching themselves off a Joshua tree, burning a bonfire of scavenged wood not in an authorized fire pit, flying a drone—even though they know it’s illegal—and commercial filming inside a national park without a permit. The videos promoting the Storror brand have been reported to Park Superintendent David Smith, who told Z107.7 News that a special park agent has been assigned to investigate the incidents.


VACANT HOUSE BURNS IN TWENTYNINE PALMS…AGAIN

A vacant house caught fire in Twentynine Palms Wednesday night. According to County Fire Battalion Chief Bobby Cox, the house in the 6400 block of Yucca Avenue had burned before and was uninhabitable, and all utilities had been turned off. Firefighters from Twentynine Palms, Wonder Valley, Yucca Valley, and the Combat Center who were called to the blaze at 8:23 p.m. found the structure fully involved with flames when they arrived. Cox said witnesses who reported the fire to 911 said they heard explosions coming from the house, but there were none when firefighters were on scene, nor were there signs of a drug lab inside the house. The blaze was knocked down about 20 minutes later. The cause of the fire is under investigation.


BEWARE THE “YES” SCAM

A good reason not to answer calls from unknown numbers is because of a fraud, like the “Say ‘yes’” scam. Reporter Rebecca Havely has more…
News reports warn the of the “Say Yes” scam. A scammer will call and ask a question to attempt to get the victim to say the word “yes.” The fraudster will record the victim’s affirmation and use it to authorize unwanted charges. They may use this for a phone bill, utility bill or even a stolen credit card. Many have reported that they receive a call like this followed by a hang up. Don’t panic if this has happened to you. Carefully review all your bills and credit card statements and dispute unauthorized charges immediately. Always report scams to local law enforcement. For more information, contact the AARP at aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork.


YUCCA VALLEY MEN ACCUSED OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND DRUG POSSESSION

A Yucca Valley man was arrested early Tuesday, accusing of beating up his girlfriend. According to a Sheriff’s report, deputies were called to the 57300 block of Warren Way about 1:30 a.m. A woman told deputies she and Nekoda Pardee, 20, had an argument that turned physical. The deputy saw a large bruise on the inside of her upper right arm and a swollen right hand. The victim said her hand had been slammed into a door in the home, and she also complained of pain to her face. Nekoda Pardee was arrested on suspicion of felony spouse abuse, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail with his bail set at $50,000.
 
A Yucca Valley man was arrested Tuesday for violating the terms of his probation after he was found with drugs during a traffic stop. According to a Sheriff’s report, a deputy stopped a white Isuzu Trooper for having an expired registration near Church Street and Pima Trail in Yucca Valley about 3 p.m. During the traffic stop, the driver, Daniel Rosamond, 43, was found to be in possession of methamphetamine. Daniel Rosamond was arrested for investigation of possession of dangerous drugs and for his probation violation, booked into the West Valley Detention Center, with no bail.


SIGN UP FOR THE THEATRE 29 SUMMER YOUTH THEATER PROGRAM

Applications are now available for the Theatre 29 summer youth theater program. The program will run Monday through Friday from June 26 through July 27. Juniors (ages 7 to 11) meet from 10:00 a.m. to noon, and seniors (ages 12 to 17) meet from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Generous grants from the City of Twentynine Palms and U.S. Bank are keeping the cost for the program low at just $60 per student, and some scholarships are available. The program teaches a wide variety of theatrical skills, including auditioning, acting, singing, and choreography plus costuming, set building, prop building, backstage skills, and more. Applications must be turned in by June 12. Payment in full is due by June 19. The program will culminate with performances of “Disney’s Little Mermaid Jr.,” set for July 28, 29, and 30. The classes and performances will all be held at Theatre 29, 73637 Sullivan Road in Twentynine Palms. Applications are available online at theatre29.org, the Twentynine Palms Park and Recreation offices, the Yucca Valley Chamber of Commerce, and the Z107.7 studios in Joshua Tree.


CELEBRATE THE NEW MOON TONIGHT AT RAINBOW STEW

Local woman are being invited to celebrate the new moon tonight. Reporter Edica Gonzales has your invitation…
Women around the world have been gathering together to celebrate the New Moon. Thursday, May 25, Rainbow Stew will hold its own gathering starting at 7 p.m. to celebrate and honor divine feminine wisdom, strength, and connection. The evening will include meditation, sharing, drumming, and song. Please bring a snack to share, and drums or rattles if you have them. A donation basket will be set out. RSVPs are required; call Valerie at 760-418-5170. Rainbow Stew is located on the south side of Highway 62 in Old Town Yucca Valley.


GRUBSTAKE DAYS PONY EXPRESS RIDE ENDS IN PIONEERTOWN TOMORROW

The Grubstake Days Pony Express ride tradition is back for 2017. The Pony Express rider will arrive at the Pioneertown Post Office at 1:00 tomorrow, rumor has some low-down varmints may try to bushwhack the rider. Reporter Eric Knabe has more…
During Grubstakes Days, come out and cheer the Pony Express rider May 26, as he rides the Pony Express mail down the middle of Mane Street to the Pioneertown Post Office at 1:00 p.m. If you want your mail part of this commemorative ride, bring your self-addressed stamped envelope or post card to the chamber office inside the California Welcome Center and drop it in the Pony Express mail box before May 26. Free color postcards are also available at the chamber office for your use. A commemorative cancellation stamp will be used to cancel all mail passing through the Pioneertown Post Office from May 26 through June 26.


LAST DAY FOR DISCOUNT GRUBSTAKE DAYS CARNIVAL TICKETS, KICK-OFF TONIGHT

Today is the last day to get discount tickets for the Grubstake Days carnival. Discount tickets are 10 for $6. Tickets may be purchased at the Yucca Valley Chamber of Commerce, Yucca Valley Boys and Girls Club, and at the Z107.7 studios in Joshua Tree. Tickets may also be purchased in advance by calling Tracy Rader at 760-368-8990. The 67th annual Grubstake Days western kick-off mixer will be at the Elks Lodge in Yucca Valley from 5 to 7 p.m. tonight.


YUCCA VALLEY TEEN QUALIFIES FOR 2017 CROSSFIT GAMES

A Yucca Valley teen is one of the most physically fit girls in the nation. She will be competing in August at a CrossFit competition. Managing editor Tami Roleff has more…

A Yucca Valley teenager has qualified to compete at the 2017 CrossFit Games in Madison, Wisconsin. Sequoia Barrera is in fifth place in the world for her age division of 16-17 year-old girls. The CrossFit Games are equivalent to the Olympics in the sport of fitness. During the three days of competition, from August 3 – 6, Sequoia will compete in four workouts that include dumbbell snatches, rowing, burpees, ring work, weightlifting, jumping rope, pull-ups, handstand push-ups, and squats.

Sequoia Barrera is in fifth place in the world for her age division of 16-17 year-old girls.

If you’d like to buy a T-shirt to help pay the costs of sending Sequoia to Wisconsin:
www.crossfityuccavalley.com


TWENTYNINE PALMS HIGH SCHOOL NAMED A NATIONAL BEST HIGH SCHOOL

For the third year in a row, Twentynine Palms High School received a bronze recognition by US News and World Report for best high schools in America, narrowly missing the silver distinction by 1.8 points. Principal Justin Monical said, “TPHS anticipates the silver distinction in 2018 as the data used to calculate the rankings is based on data from two years prior. In 2016, TPHS saw a 50 percent increase in the number of passing scores on AP exams and a passing percentage jumping from 22 percent to 48 percent, both a major factor in determining college readiness.” He added, “On a side note, we have the highest college readiness score in the De Anza League. I guess we win in academics as well.”
https://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/california/districts/morongo-unified/twentynine-palms-high-2829


LA CONTENTA MIDDLE SCHOOL ART AND TALENT SHOW TONIGHT

La Contenta Middle School will showcase their students in an art and talent show tonight, Thursday, May 26. The art show will be in the school library, open from 5:00 to 5:30 and again from 8:00 to 8:30. For the Lion Showcase Talent Show, doors open at 5:00 and the show starts at 5:30. Free admission with light refreshments will be sold by AVID.


YUCCA VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS HELP THOSE IN NEED

Tomorrow is the deadline for a group of Yucca Valley High School students helping people in need. Reporter David Haldane has the details…
If you were homeless, would you need toothpaste? How about deodorant, shampoo, razors and band aids? What about pre-stamped envelopes for letters to loved ones and words of encouragement directly to you?
Forty-five ninth graders at Yucca Valley High School are betting on yes. They’re in Merl Abel’s Advancement Via Individual Determination class, a course for students with high potential but little support. And for the past several weeks, they’ve been stuffing shoeboxes and backpacks with, well, lots of stuff.
Shoeboxes for the Homeless was born four years ago as a service project to enhance college resumes. But more than that, Abel says, it teaches the power of volunteerism and the joy of helping.
It also does wonders for the area’s homeless, says Elizabeth Kirkland, chair of Morongo Basin Haven, which distributes the gifts. Tomorrow’s a big day; this year’s batch of highly decorated shoeboxes is due to be done. Then comes the real fun; final term papers on what it all means.


WE MARK THE PASSING OF LEROY GODDEN

Leroy Godden, a 15-year-resident of Yucca Valley, died May 21. He was 62 years old. Leroy Godden is survived by his sisters, Nalee Mock, Alysa Henderson, and Rondel Shafer, all of Yucca Valley; and his brothers, Jody Godden of Joshua Tree, and Sean Godden of Yucca Valley. Services have not been set at this time. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to Wiefels and Sons to help with the cost of burial.


FIRE DESTROYS A DESERT HEIGHTS HOME

A home in the Desert Heights area of Twentynine Palms is a total loss after a fire Tuesday afternoon, and smoke from the fire could be seen for miles. Firefighters from Twentynine Palms, Wonder Valley, the Combat Center, and Joshua Tree were called to the home of Joanie Johnson and the late Jocko Johnson, in the 70300 block of Winters Road about 4 p.m. When they arrived, they found the home fully involved in flames. The fire had spread to outbuildings, including a shed, buses, and a Conex box. Johnson said she lost “everything,” although firefighters were able to save a 5th-wheel RV, one outbuilding, and a kitten. The homeowner and her dogs escaped injury. The cause of the fire is under investigation.


YUCCA VALLEY PLANNING COMMISSION DENIES RECONSIDERATION OF MARIJUANA BAN

The Yucca Valley Planning Commission made a few tweaks to the short-term vacation rental ordinance, changing quiet time hours to 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.; requiring (removable) signs with 24-hour contact information; and requiring a minimum age of 21 for renters of short-term rentals. The ordinance will now go to the Town Council for approval. Next up, the planning commission heard from more than 50 people about whether it should revisit the ordinance prohibiting all marijuana uses within the town, as requested by commissioner Charles McHenry. Managing editor Tami Roleff says the comments became a little heated at times…

“Measure X voted against medical marijuana shops, so we don’t want recreational marijuana shops…. And we know there are unscrupulous people waiting to get pot into the hands of our youth. I fear these are the very same people who are influencing Mr. McHenry, and it is obvious to all involved he has crumbled to pro-pot people who are attacking Yucca Valley. So please move this ordinance on to our elected officials and let our council members do their job.”

Becky Vowles was just one of more than 50 people who spoke at Tuesday’s planning commission meeting about a request by Commissioner Charles McHenry to reconsider the ordinance prohibiting marijuana in Yucca Valley. McHenry said he was in favor of allowing discrete deliveries of medical marijuana in town limits. While Commissioner John Terfehr also supported medical marijuana deliveries, he and McHenry were outvoted 3-2 to reconsider the ordinance. The ordinance now goes to the Town Council for review.


TWENTYNINE PALMS NEW TOURISM DISTRICT HAS SOME BUSINESSES CRYING FOUL

Twentynine Palms is implementing a new measure to increase tourism over the objections of some local business owners who are crying foul. Reporter David Haldane attended last night’s City Council meeting and filed this report…
Hoteliers of Twentynine Palms, get out your wallets! That was the main takeaway from last night’s meeting of the City Council, which voted unanimously to establish the Twentynine Palms Tourism Business Improvement District, otherwise known as the TBID. Its purpose is to promote tourism. But it will be financed by assessments collected from hotel owners and people who rent their houses out to vacationers.
In fact, two hoteliers showed up to speak against the measure, including one who described Twentynine Palms as a “cul-de-sac city that offers no services.” He argued that the measure would only raise room prices, driving potential customers away.
The new TBID is set to become operational in October.
In other actions, the Council renewed its $3.5 million contract with the county sheriff’s department and reviewed the city’s preliminary General Fund budget for the next two years.


LOCAL DESERT DEFENDERS DISAPPOINTED IN PROPOSED PARK SERVICE BUDGET

Local desert lands supporters are “disappointed and troubled” at the new fiscal year 2018 figures for the National Park Service included in the latest budget proposal. President Trump proposed a $2.55 billion budget for the National Park Service, including funding increases for Administration priorities like deferred maintenance. The administration says the budget makes a balanced investment in daily park and program operations and parks’ long-term needs while putting the federal government on track for a balanced budget by 2027.
Mojave Desert Land Trust Executive Director Danielle Segura said, “MDLT is disappointed and troubled by this Administration’s lack of commitment to take care of our Nation’s most pristine National Treasures. While funds are allocated for much needed backlog projects it reduces overall operational support and eliminates the bi-partisan supported Land and Water Conservation Fund, a primary tool of continued conservation for our Parks.”

NPS’s FY18 Budget Justification is available: https://www.nps.gov/aboutus/upload/FY-2018-NPS-Greenbook.pdf.

Additional details on the President’s FY18 Budget proposal are available on the Department of the Interior’s website: https://www.doi.gov/budget/appropriations/2018/highlights.


CHP OFFERS START SMART CLASSES FOR NEW DRIVERS

The California Highway Patrol Morongo Basin is hosting a Start Smart driving awareness class for newly licensed drivers. Reporter Eric Knabe has the class details…
Start Smart is designed to provide teens and their parents with an interactive, safe driving awareness class. This class is one and a half to two hours long and is offered free of charge. The class will illustrate how poor choices behind the wheel of a car can affect the lives of numerous people. It also teaches collision avoidance techniques and focuses on responsibilities of newly licensed drivers. The class is May 26 at 6 p.m. at the CHP Area office located at 63683 Twentynine Palms Highway in Joshua Tree. Parents and teens interested in attending a Start Smart class should call Officer Simon Miller at 760-366-3707.


YUCCA VALLEY MAN ACCUSED OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

A Yucca Valley man was arrested early Monday, accused of punching his girlfriend. According to a Sheriff’s report, Patrick Stallworth, 28, was arguing with his girlfriend in the 7300 block of Bannock Trail about 3:30 a.m. when she said he threatened her with a kitchen knife. After he threw the knife away, she said he grabbed her by the neck, causing a superficial laceration. Patrick Stallworth was arrested for investigation of felony spouse abuse, booked into West Valley Detention Center, with his bail set at $50,000.


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