Latest Full Newscast

Full Newscast

 

MAJOR ROADWORK ON THE YUCCA GRADE STARTS MONDAY

Get ready for possible delays going down the Yucca Grade for the rest of the year. Two years ago, CalTrans installed temporary delineators between east- and westbound lanes on Highway 62 in Morongo Valley to reduce the number of head-on crashes. The project has been deemed a success, and starting Monday, July 24, CalTrans will replace the temporary delineators with permanent raised curb medians between East Drive and Yucca Park Road. In addition, the highway will be restriped for left-turn lanes, and a traffic signal will be added at Bella Vista Drive. Eastbound lanes will be reduced to one lane between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m.; westbound lanes will be reduced to one lane from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. The project is expected to be complete by the end of 2017.

 


COST OF SENIOR NATIONAL PARK PASS GOING FROM $10 TO $80 NEXT MONTH

A National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands “Senior Pass” gives U.S. citizens age 62 and older lifetime access to more than 2,000 sites and parks. Reporter Mike Lipsitz says get yours now before the price goes up—way up…

A Senior Pass to America’s national parks has been a very reasonable $10 since 1994. But beginning August 28, the pass will set you back $80. U.S. citizens and permanent residents who are 62 years or older can purchase the lifetime Senior Pass. According to a National Park Service press release, the fee increase will support critical investments in maintenance projects at national parks and federal recreational lands nationwide. Whether you pay $10 before August 28 or $80 after, seniors can buy passes at the any national park or other federal recreation area that charges an entrance or day use fee. The Senior Pass is also available via U.S. mail or online, but for an additional $10 processing fee.
The Senior Pass can be used at sites managed by the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/passes.htm#CP_JUMP_5088578


PIONEERTOWN’S PAPPY AND HARRIET’S IN TOP 50 AMERICAN MUSIC VENUES

Courtesy Pappy and Harriet’s

A local honky-tonk has been named one of the top 50 American music venues by the online review site Yelp. Pappy and Harriet’s in Pioneertown was ranked at number 17 in the list, ahead of concert halls such as the Troubadour in West Hollywood, at number 26; Tipitina’s in New Orleans at number 33; and the Fillmore in San Francisco, at number 45. Yelp ranked small and mid-sized music venues across the United States based on the number of reviews and overall star rating.

Top 50 Music Venues In The U.S.


ADVENTURES IN ENGINEERING AT JOSHUA TREE LIBRARY SATURDAY

The Joshua Tree library will present “Adventures in Engineering” this Saturday. Managing Editor Tami Roleff said the program will mark the end of this year’s summer reading program…

The final program in the Joshua Tree library’s summer reading programs for adults is Adventures in Engineering. Ron Robillard will discuss his many adventures in the Army, working on rocket propulsion, and aeronautical engineering. The program is set for 2 p.m. Saturday, July 21, in the Joshua Tree Library. For more information, call 760-366-8615.


ARRESTS FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN JOSHUA TREE AND YUCCA VALLEY

A Joshua Tree man was arrested Tuesday after he rolled a wheel into his wife. According to a Sheriff’s report, Jamal Middleton, 31, had been arguing with his wife over several days over their car and recently purchased wheels. On Tuesday, Middleton allegedly pushed a wheel into his wife, causing about an 8-inch bleeding abrasion to her left shin. Deputies responded to the 6400 block of Mountain View Street about 4 p.m. and after an investigation, arrested Jamal Middleton on suspicion of felony spouse abuse, booked him into the West Valley Detention Center, with his bail set at $50,000.

iStockPhoto SLC Minilypse-Judicial Court

A Yucca Valley man was arrested Tuesday, accused of choking his girlfriend. According to a Sheriff’s report, deputies responded to a 911 call in the 6900 block of Mohawk Trail about noon Tuesday. Cody Tinsley, 28, was arguing with his girlfriend when he started to choke her and smashed a television set. After an investigation, Cody Tinsley was arrested on suspicion of felony spouse abuse, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, with his bail set at $50,000.


FREE MOVIE IN THE PARK IN TWENTYNINE PALMS TONIGHT

The next free summer movie in Luckie Park in Twentynine Palms tonight is a new Disney favorite. Reporter Rebecca Havely has the details…

The City of Twentynine Palms presents the next free summer movie, Disney’s “Moana,” Thursday night, July 20, sponsored by Z107.7 and other Morongo Basin businesses. The movie begins at 8 p.m. at Luckie Park on the north side of the racquetball courts. “Moana” is the story of an adventurous teenage girl who sails out on a daring mission. Moana meets a once-mighty demigod and together they sail across the open ocean on an action-packed voyage. Moana fulfills the ancient quest of her ancestors along the way and discovers the one thing she always sought: her own identity. Refreshments will be offered by the Twentynine Palms Youth Club.  Bring your family and friends along with blankets and lawn chairs to the free showing.


FREE REGGAE CONCERT IN DESERT HOT SPRINGS SATURDAY

A free concert will be offered in nearby Desert Hot Springs this Saturday evening. Reporter Anthony Abraria invites you to hear the cool reggae sounds of MoZaiq…

A La Quinta-based reggae band that will be performing at the Desert Oasis Music Festival in October will give a free concert Saturday in Desert Hot Springs. MoZaiq combines the influences of blues, hip-hop, rhythm and blues, alt-rock, and jazz on a reggae foundation. Bring a blanket, picnic basket, and enjoy live music in this first of a series of free concerts as part of the SoundXperience, hosted by the Desert Hot Springs Cultural Affairs Commission. The music starts at 5:30 p.m. at Guy Tedesco Park on Arroyo Drive.


ASSEMBLYMAN CHAD MAYES IN THE CROSSHAIRS OF POLITICAL RETRIBUTION

In the rough and tumble world of state politics, Yucca Valley-based Assembly minority leader Chad Mayes has become the latest target. Mayes, who just joined with seven other Republicans in voting for an extension of a prominent California climate change policy, is being accused of an extra marital affair and his resignation from the leadership post is being demanded. Joseph Turner, a conservative activist, posted allegations that Mayes engaged in an extramarital affair with his predecessor, Kristen Olsen, on the anti-immigration website, “American Children First,” based on a letter written by Olsen’s estranged husband. In that letter, which has been confirmed, Rod Olsen requested that the Assembly Legislative Ethics Committee investigate whether Mayes had inappropriately used state resources while carrying on the affair. Emails to Mayes from Z107.7 News asking for a statement have not been answered. Turner took Mayes to task for “following the moderate GOP playbook that discourages opposition to illegal immigration, seeking the respect of Democrats and reporters, and betraying his party over climate change.” Olsen, who handed control of Assembly Republicans to Mayes in late 2014, petitioned for divorce in April 2016. Mayes petitioned for divorce June 12 citing, “irreconcilable differences.”

Chad Mayes

Kristin Olsen


YUCCA VALLEY TOWN COUNCIL MARATHON MEETING ON VACATION HOME RENTALS

The Yucca Valley Town council spent about two-and-a half hours discussing the proposed ordinance on short-term vacation rentals at its meeting last night. Managing editor Tami Roleff was there for the entire 3 ½ hour-marathon meeting and offers this report…

The Yucca Valley Town Council heard from 18 residents last night, most of them owners of vacation home rentals, who urged the council to make changes to the proposed ordinance. Many of the speakers urged the council to hold a workshop with rental owners to work out the changes. They also felt the quiet time hours should be changed from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. to the town’s regular quiet hours of 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. They also felt the requirement for a sign out front should be dropped as many felt it advertised to burglars. The town council unanimously agreed to change the quiet hours and to delete the requirement for signs. However, there was not enough support to change the minimum age to rent a vacation home rental from 21 to 18. Town staff will incorporate the suggested changes into the ordinance, and the public hearing was continued to September 19, at which time residents can once again comment on the proposed ordinance.

In other business, the council approved a disbursement agreement with Hi-Desert Water District for the Measure Z funds to reduce the residents’ sewer assessment. The agreement allows the town to recoup its costs in administering the funds up to 5 percent of the disbursed fund amount, or $75,000.

And finally, the council agreed to change the town’s ordinance on sex offenders to comply with the new court interpretation concerning sex offenders on probation. While sex offenders on parole can be prohibited from living within 2000 feet of schools and parks, sex offenders on probation cannot.


JOSHUA TREE WOMAN ACCUSED IN YUCCA VALLEY ARSON FIRE

A Joshua Tree woman was arrested Monday, after county fire officials said she started a small fire in Yucca Valley. According to County Fire Battalion Chief Mike Snow, firefighters were called to a small brush fire behind the movie theater, south of Pima Trail and west of Palm Avenue, at 2:45 p.m. A small bush had been set on fire but witnesses had put it out by the time firefighters arrived; in addition, an attempt had been made to set a discarded sofa on fire as well. The witnesses told firefighters they had seen a woman at the scene, later identified as Cindy Neuberger, 28. Neuberger was located about an hour later near Grand Avenue and Highway 62. Cindy Neuberger was arrested for investigation of setting an unlawful fire, and for a warrant for possession of methamphetamine, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, with her bail set at $25,000.


TWO ACCUSED IN PLOT TO STEAL HIGH-END ELECTRONICS FROM WAL-MART

Two people were arrested Monday, accused of conspiring to steal high-value electronic items from Walmart. According to a Sheriff’s report, Walmart employees observed Joshua Stockwell, 29, of Hemet, in the automotive department with a computer and other items in his shopping cart. As store security watched on video cameras, Stockwell fled with the shopping cart out the emergency exit and loaded the stolen goods into a 2012 Nissan Versa, driven by Angela Nicholas, 30, also of Hemet. Nicholas and Stockwell then drove off eastbound onto Highway 62. Store security notified Sheriff’s deputies, who located and stopped the car on Highway 62 near Yucca Mesa. The stolen items, worth over $1,000, were in the back seat. The report states that Nicholas and Stockwell admitted to conspiring to have Stockwell go into the store and meet Nicholas in the car outside the emergency exit. Angela Nicholas and Joshua Stockwell were arrested for investigation of conspiracy, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, with their bail set at $25,000 each.


TWENTYNINE PALMS PLANNING COMMISSION RESCINDS DOWNTOWN PLAN, HEARS A RESIGNATION

Last night, the Twentynine Palms Planning Commission held a discussion on rescinding and replacing the city’s Downtown Economic Revitalization Specific Plan. This time the public got to participate. Reporter Eric Knabe explains…

Last night the Twentynine Palms Planning Commission had its final discussion on the rescission of the city’s Downtown Economic Revitalization Specific Plan. They stressed that Project Phoenix, which is still in flux, must work with the downtown plan. During public comment, Marcell Vinsoine of Twentynine Palms said she was concerned about her property and how a new plan would affect the zoning, but she was assured that her interest would be protected. The Planning Commission’s vote was unanimous on the rescission; the plan now goes to the city council for approval. And then Community Development Director Keith Gardner announced that this was his last planning meeting for Twentynine Palms, as he has accepted a job with Riverside County.


JOSHUA BASIN WATER TO DISCUSS CADIZ WATER PROJECT TONIGHT

The controversial Cadiz water project will be discussed at tonight’s Joshua Basin Water District meeting. Reporter Mike Lipsitz has agenda highlights…

At tonight’s meeting of the Joshua Basin Water District, the board is expected to approve an updated operations water flow model and district investment policy, and update the job description for a regulatory compliance administrative assistant. And under discussion items, directors will look into State Assembly Bill 1000 or the California Desert Protection Act, which would put into place a state review process for groundwater extraction projects such as Cadiz. Amendments to the bill are expected remove the regulator burden from local water districts. Tonight’s meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Joshua Basin Water District offices on Chollita Road in Joshua Tree.


TWO ARRESTED IN STOLEN CAR RECOVERY

Two men were arrested Monday after they were discovered driving in a stolen car. According to a Sheriff’s report, deputies stopped a 2013 Honda Accord in the 6400 block of Goleta Avenue about 10 p.m. A records check found that the car had been stolen Sunday in Palm Springs. The report states the driver, Lawrence Casas, 33, of San Jacinto, admitted he knew the car was stolen. Lawrence Casas was arrested on suspicion of possession of stolen property, and on a no-bail warrant for conspiracy and probation violation, and booked into the Morongo Basin Jail. A passenger in the car, John Ligon, 19, of Joshua Tree, was also arrested for investigation of possession of a stolen vehicle and for violation of probation. John Ligon was booked into the Morongo Basin Jail and is being held without bail.


FREE SESSION TO EXPLAIN MEDICARE PLANS AND OPTIONS IN TWENTYNINE PALMS FRIDAY

The many options offered by Medicare and Medicare Advantage Plans were a bit confusing even before health insurance was rushed back onto center stage in Washington D.C. Reporter Rebecca Havely has this story on how senior and disabled residents can take the guesswork out of choosing the right plan…

The non-profit Council on Aging’s Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program helps senior and disabled residents get unbiased individualized counseling on Medicare, Medicare Advantage Plans, and other health insurance topics. A state-registered representative, trained to answer your coverage questions free of charge, will be at the Twentynine Palms Senior Center on Adobe Road Friday July 21, from 9 to 11 a.m. If you have questions or want more information about benefits, coverage or enrollment, prescription drug coverage, Medigap or supplemental policies, limited income assistance, long term care insurance, and even legal assistance with Medicare appeals or administrative hearings, plan to attend Thursday’s Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program. For more information, call program host Reach Out Morongo Basin at 760-361-1410.


TWENTYNINE PALMS HIGH SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL TRYOUTS SET FOR JULY 31

Twentynine Palms High School girls volleyball will hold tryouts beginning Monday, July 31 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the Richard Casey Memorial Gymnasium on the high school campus. Players must have a current physical to participate. A water bottle is recommended. If you have any questions, contact Coach Missy Bond at 760-832-2522. You can leave a message or text and she will get back to you.


YUCCA VALLEY TOWN COUNCIL MEETS: VACATION RENTALS, LIBRARY MOVE, SEX OFFENDERS

The Yucca Valley Town Council will discuss regulating short-term vacation rentals at its meeting tonight. Managing Editor Tami Roleff says leasing the former PFF bank to the county library and adjusting the town’s sex offender ordinance is also on the council’s agenda…

After the planning commission held two public hearings on setting regulations for vacation home rentals, the Yucca Valley Town Council will discuss the proposed rules at its meeting tonight. Items on tonight’s consent agenda include approval of a 15-year lease with the county for the library in the old PFF Bank building; approval of a synchronization plan for traffic lights from Sage Avenue to La Contenta Avenue; and an update on the fall/winter programs and events offered by the Community Services Department. The council will also be asked to approve a disbursement agreement from the town to the Hi-Desert Water District for the Measure Z funds to reduce residents’ sewer assessments. And finally, the council will be asked to approve a change to the town’s ordinance concerning sex offenders to make the town’s ordinance comply with state law. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the Yucca Room of the Yucca Valley Community Center.


JOSHUA TREE WOMAN WHO RUNS RED LIGHT SENDS FOUR TO HOSPITAL IN 4-VEHICLE CRASH FRIDAY IN YUCCA VALLEY

A 72-year-old woman who ran a red light caused a four-vehicle crash in Yucca Valley Friday afternoon. According to the California Highway Patrol, Sara Carter of Joshua Tree was driving eastbound on Highway 62 when she entered the intersection at La Contenta Road against a red light about 12:15 p.m. Carter collided into two vehicles in the intersection before crashing head-on into a car stopped at the light westbound. Sara Carter and Susan Saldana, 68, of Yucca Valley, driving a 2007 Honda CR-V, suffered major injuries and were taken to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs. Frank Bentwood, 59, of Joshua Tree, in a Toyota Tacoma, and Julianne Wilson, 30, of Twentynine Palms, in a Chrysler Town and Country, were no injured in the crash. The CHP is investigating.


TWENTYNINE PALMS MAN ACCUSED OF CHILD CRUELTY

A Twentynine Palms man was arrested Thursday, accused of child cruelty. According to limited information from the Sheriff’s Department, deputies were called to the 73800 block of Sun Valley Drive about 4 p.m. Thursday. For unknown reasons, deputies requested a search warrant for the home. After an investigation, Christopher Franklin, 31, was arrested on suspicion of cruelty to a child and identity theft. Christopher Franklin was booked into the Morongo Basin Jail with his bail set at $100,000.


MORONGO UNIFIED SCHOOLS OFFER ONLINE REGISTRATION

New to the Morongo Unified School District and don’t know what to do? Have no fear, the Internet is here. Reporter David Haldane explains…

That’s right, this year for the first time ever, new incoming students can register online. Just go to the district’s web site at www.morongo.k12.ca.us, find the “I WANT TO…” drop-down and click On Line Registration. Then follow the directions, and parents or guardians will receive registration documentation from their student’s home school. Completed documents can be uploaded through the website.

Hey, and if you get in trouble, just call Julie Fontana for help at 760-367-9191, extension 4360.


- Read Older Newscasts >>

 

Special Article: UFOs In The Desert – Summer 1991

Special Article: The Legend of Giant Rock – Summer 1991

Special Article: The Little Radio Station That Could – Sunday, June 28, 1992