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BLOOD DRIVE ON BASE MONDAY

Blood drives across the country have been cancelled recently due to severe winter weather, and there is a desperate shortage of donated blood. Since Dec. 1, about 300 blood drives in 27 states have been forced to cancel due to bad weather. The American Red Cross will hold a blood drive Monday, January 23, in Building 1707 on 8th Street, aboard the Combat Center in Twentynine Palms from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. To make an appointment to donate blood, call 800-RED-CROSS.


SANTA FE SOCIAL CLUB SEEKS RUMMAGE DONATIONS

The Santa Fe Social Club is accepting donations for its rummage sale next month. Residents are encouraged to donate furniture, books, toys, household items and other treasures for the two-day sale, set for February 9 and 10. The sale will raise money for the club’s programs, social activities, and items for groups and crafts. To donate items, call Susie or Phebe at 760-369-4057.


CMC ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR MUSD ALUMNI SCHOLARSHIPS

Copper Mountain College Foundation is now accepting applications for its CMC Alumni Scholarships for students who attend high school in the Morongo Unified School District. Managing editor Tami Roleff says the deadline to apply is coming up fast…

One student from each of the three local Morongo Unified School District high schools will receive a $500 Alumni scholarship to attend Copper Mountain College. To be eligible, applicants must include two letters of recommendation, have a minimum GPA of 3.0, and include a one-page essay on the student’s educational goals. Applications must be postmarked by Wednesday, April 5. For more information, visit cmccd.edu/current-students/scholarship/. Reporting for Z107.7, this is managing editor Tami Roleff.


HAM RADIO OPERATOR TEST SATURDAY

Are you interested in becoming a ham radio operator? The Morongo Basin Amateur Radio Club (MARC) will have a test session on Saturday, January 28, at 10 a.m. at St. Christopher of the Desert Catholic Church, 61261 Sunburst Drive in Joshua Tree. MARC will test for all license classes. The cost is $5; be sure to bring a photo ID. If you are upgrading, bring a copy of your license that MARC can keep, and make sure your FRN is on the license.


MORONGO BASIN YOUTH SOCCER TAKING REGISTRATIONS

The Morongo Basin Youth Soccer Association is accepting registrations for the 2017 spring soccer season. Registration is $55 for returning 2016 fall players and $65 for new players. Bring your child’s birth certificate to the registration at the Jelly Donut in Yucca Valley, on the corner of Acoma and 29 Palms Highway Monday, January 16, from 12 to 2 p.m. The final day of registration is Saturday, January 21, at the Yucca Valley Community Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Practices will begin the week of February 13. For questions and more information, go to www.mbysa.org, or follow the Morongo Basin Youth Soccer Association Facebook page. You may also contact the registrar at 760-401-2665.


TWENTYNINE PALMS COUPLE ARRESTED ON CHILD CRUELTY CHARGES

A Twentynine Palms couple was arrested Thursday, accused of child abuse. According to a Sheriff’s Department press release, on July 23, 2016, Sierra Kussart, 23, and Cody Nash, 25, brought their child to Hi-Desert Medical Center because their child had a broken right arm. X-rays revealed a spiral fracture to the victim’s right humerus bone. The child was referred to Loma Linda Medical Center where doctors determined the cause of the injury was suspicious in nature. The child was removed from the parents’ care and Sheriff’s deputies began an investigation, concluding that the injury could not have happened as described by Kussart and Nash. The investigation also found evidence of other previous injuries consistent with abuse and neglect. The case was referred to the District Attorney’s office January 12, and warrants were issued for their arrest. About 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Sierra Kussart and Cody Nash were arrested on suspicion of child cruelty, booked at the Morongo Basin Jail, with their bail set at $200,000 each.


WOMAN ARRESTED FOR DUI AND POSSESSION OF LOADED FIREARMS IN VEHICLE

A San Bernardino woman was arrested early Friday morning after she attempted to drive onto the Marine base in Twentynine Palms while intoxicated and with two loaded handguns. According to a Sheriff’s report, Denise Hallowood, 35, drove up to the main gate of the Combat Center base about 1:30 a.m. The gate guard determined Hallowood was extremely intoxicated and found two loaded firearms on the seat of the vehicle. Sheriff’s Deputy Armando Cantu arrested Denise Hallowood for investigation of driving under the influence with a blood alcohol content over .08 percent, and for having a loaded firearm in a vehicle. Denise Hallowood was booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, cited, and released.


RADIO-THON TO BENEFIT TWENTYNINE PALMS HIGH SCHOOL CHOIR IS TODAY

The Z107.7 Send Our Kids to Orlando radiothon for the Twentynine Palms High School Select choir is today from noon until 5 p.m. The choir has been invited by Choirs of America to attend an educational workshop in Orlando April 19 to 23. However, in order to attend, the students need to raise about $45,000 by January 31. During today’s radio-thon, the public will be asked to call in pledges of any amount to help the choir. Checks should be sent to the address below. For more information, email Anita Clinkscales at aclink29@gmail.com.

Make checks payable to:

TPHS Music Booster Association
P.O. Box 1681
Twentynine Palms, CA 92277

For more information, email Anita Clinkscales at aclink29@gmail.com

GoFundMe Page: https://www.gofundme.com/send-tphs-choir-to-orlando


APPLY NOW FOR CMC GREENLEAF SCHOLARSHIP

Roy Greenleaf, Jr. built his legacy by leaving his entire estate to the Copper Mountain College Foundation. Each spring, the Foundation chooses a local high school student to receive a scholarship that pays tuition fees, books, and living expenses. Reporter Mike Lipsitz has details…

The Copper Mountain College Foundation invites local high school seniors to apply for the Roy Greenleaf, Jr. Scholarship. This scholarship pays the winning applicant’s tuition, books, fees, and living expenses for his or her entire academic career, as long as the recipient attends Copper Mountain College for the first two years, and then any University of California or Cal State University school. The scholarship is open to all highly motivated and financially needy students with strong determination to succeed, demonstrable desire to help others, and with an interest in serving the Morongo Basin upon completion of their education. Applications are available at all area high school counselors’ offices, at the CMC Foundation office on campus, or online at cmccd.edu/support-cmc/foundation/what-we-fund/. Deadline for submission is 3 p.m. Wednesday, February 15. Reporting for Z107.7 News, this is Mike Lipsitz.


REGISTER TODAY FOR MORONGO BASIN YOUTH SOCCER

The Morongo Basin Youth Soccer Association is accepting registrations for the 2017 spring soccer season. Registration is $55 for returning 2016 fall players and $65 for new players. Bring your child’s birth certificate to the registration today, January 21, at the Yucca Valley Community Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Practices will begin the week of February 13. For questions and more information, go to www.mbysa.org, or follow the Morongo Basin Youth Soccer Association Facebook page. You may also contact the registrar at 760-401-2665.


REGISTER FOR ROTARY MUSIC COMPETITION

Area music students are being invited to participate in the Yucca Valley Noon Rotary Club’s annual music competition. Managing editor Tami Roleff says the deadline to register is coming up fast…

High School music students are invited to compete in the Rotary Club of Yucca Valley’s annual music competition, set for 7 p.m. Saturday, February 18, at Yucca Valley High School. Contestants must be high school or home-schooled students from the Morongo Basin. Contestants may enter in one of three categories: vocal, instrumental, or piano. Pianists and instrumentalists must play at least one piece of classical music. Singers must perform songs from musical theater or classical music. Cash prizes will be awarded: $200 for first place, $100 for second place, and $50 for third place. The top three contestants will advance to the semifinal competition for a chance to win an additional cash prizes ($1,000 for first place, $500 for second place and $250 for third place). Contestants must register by February 11. Call Ignazio Ficara at 760-365-7000 for more information or to register.


SKY’S THE LIMIT STAR PARTY TONIGHT

Sky’s the Limit Observatory and Nature Center will hold a star party, Saturday, January 21. The event begins at 5:45 p.m. and will end about 9 p.m., but you are encouraged to come when you can and leave when you want. Highlights will be the winter Milky Way, the Pleiades, the Orion nebula, and the brilliant stars Sirius, Betelgeuse, and Capella. Sky’s the Limit Observatory is located on Utah Trail, just north of the Twentynine Palms entrance to Joshua Tree National Park.


HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS

In high school sports today, the Twentynine Palms High School Wildcat boys’ basketball team will play Ayala High School in the Palms Springs Showcase. Tip-off is set for 3:30 p.m.


TWENTYNINE PALMS GIRL KILLED IN TRUCK ACCIDENT NEAR TEMECULA

A 15-year-old Twentynine Palms girl was killed and four others were injured following a rollover crash on the southbound 15 near Temecula on Friday, according to officials.
The single-vehicle crash was reported at 8:07 just south of Temecula Parkway, according to a news release from the Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department.
California Highway Patrol officer Bill Strom said that based on the CHP’s preliminary investigation, a Ford F-450 pickup truck carrying five people — all from Twentynine Palms — was driving southbound on the 15 south of Temecula when it hydroplaned on water on the roadway’s surface.
Witnesses saw the truck fishtail in one of the middle lanes before veering into the far left passing lane, then over to the far right lane and up a dirt embankment off the right shoulder, according to a California Highway Patrol news release.

CHP officials say the truck rolled three to four times after traveling up the embankment before coming to a rest in an easterly direction at the bottom of it.
The middle rear passenger, identified as 15-year-old girl, was partially ejected because she was not wearing a seatbelt. She died from her injuries at the scene.
The 40-year-old driver of the truck, identified as Nicole Healy Rachel, suffered moderate injuries in the crash and was taken to Inland Valley Medical Center.
Rachel’s middle front passenger, a 14-year-old girl, suffered major injuries; her right front passenger, a 13-year-old girl, suffered moderate injuries; and her left rear passenger, a 17-year-old boy, suffered minor injuries. They were also taken to Inland Valley Medical Center.
While Strom said that weather had a lot to do with what happened, the fatality may have been avoided if that girl had been properly restrained.
“Seatbelts save lives and need to be worn, especially when (there’s) inclement weather,” he said.
The CHP’s Temecula office is investigating the crash.


TWENTYNINE PALMS COUPLE ARRESTED ON CHILD CRUELTY CHARGES

A Twentynine Palms couple was arrested Thursday, accused of child abuse. According to a Sheriff’s Department press release, on July 23, 2016, Sierra Kussart, 23, and Cody Nash, 25, brought their child to Hi-Desert Medical Center because their child had a broken right arm. X-rays revealed a spiral fracture to the victim’s right humerus bone. The child was referred to Loma Linda Medical Center where doctors determined the cause of the injury was suspicious in nature. The child was removed from the parents’ care and Sheriff’s deputies began an investigation, concluding that the injury could not have happened as described by Kussart and Nash. The investigation also found evidence of other previous injuries consistent with abuse and neglect. The case was referred to the District Attorney’s office January 12, and warrants were issued for their arrest. About 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Sierra Kussart and Cody Nash were arrested on suspicion of child cruelty, booked at the Morongo Basin Jail, with their bail set at $200,000 each.


WOMAN ARRESTED FOR DUI AND POSSESSION OF LOADED FIREARMS IN VEHICLE

A San Bernardino woman was arrested early Friday morning after she attempted to drive onto the Marine base in Twentynine Palms while intoxicated and with two loaded handguns. According to a Sheriff’s report, Denise Hallowood, 35, drove up to the main gate of the Combat Center base about 1:30 a.m. The gate guard determined Hallowood was extremely intoxicated and found two loaded firearms on the seat of the vehicle. Sheriff’s Deputy Armando Cantu arrested Denise Hallowood for investigation of driving under the influence with a blood alcohol content over .08 percent, and for having a loaded firearm in a vehicle. Denise Hallowood was booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, cited, and released.


MAN KILLED AFTER EXCHANGE OF GUNFIRE AT A TWENTYNINE PALMS MOTEL IDENTIFIED

The coroner has now identified the Yucca Valley man killed Tuesday at a Twentynine Palms Motel after an exchange of gunfire with two deputies. A Sheriff’s press release said shortly before 3:30 a.m., deputies responded to Motel 6 to investigate a call about a man with a gun from a guest at the motel. After searching the area, deputies couldn’t find the reported armed man so they went to the guest’s room and knocked on the door. A gun was shot from inside the motel room and the door flung open, exposing the gunman, Dominic Hodges, 39, of Yucca Valley. There was an exchange of gunfire with Hodges and two deputies before Hodges slammed the door shut. Deputies ordered Hodges to come out with his hands up; he didn’t respond. During negotiations, Tani Garcia, 39, of Yucca Valley, came out of the room and was detained by deputies. Garcia told deputies she and Hodges had been awake for days after smoking methamphetamine before checking into the motel a few hours earlier. She said they feared they were being followed by people who wanted to kill them. She told deputies Hodges was wounded but still alive. SWAT sent a robot with a camera into the room and Dominic Hodges was located inside the room dead. Deputies found a loaded Taurus 9 mm handgun near Hodges and two loaded magazines in his pants pocket. It was not immediately clear if the man took his own life or if he died after being struck by a deputy’s bullet. The Riverside County Coroner’s office will conduct an autopsy. Garcia was booked into Morongo Basin Jail for suspicion of being under the influence of a controlled substance. Tani Garcia was cited and released Tuesday evening.


MAN KILLED IN YUCCA VALLEY CRASH IDENTIFIED

The Sheriff’s Department has identified the man who was killed in a traffic crash Wednesday night as Matthew Corral, 22, of Yucca Valley. According to the Sheriff’s Department, Corral was driving a 2000 Ford Expedition westbound on Highland Avenue in Yucca Valley about 9:30 p.m. when for unknown reasons, he lost control at Bannock Trail. The vehicle rolled over twice, landing on its roof. Corral, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected and was pronounced deceased by rescue personnel. Corral’s girlfriend, Kimberly Lehmann, and their 1- and 3-year-old children, were seat belted and received minor bumps and bruises. They were taken to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs. It’s not known if alcohol or drugs were a factor in the crash.
 


JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK URGES VISITORS TO ENTER AT TWENTYNINE PALMS ENTRANCE

With more than 2.5 million visitors last year to Joshua Tree National Park, the park’s Joshua Tree entrance often has a long line of cars waiting to enter the park. Edica Gonzalez reminds residents to use alternate entrances…
Joshua Tree National Park is seeing more and more visitors, adding up to more than two million visitors yearly. As the park gets busier every year, so do the entrance stations and visitor centers. These busier times create long lines of cars waiting to enter the park, especially at the west entrance outside the town of Joshua Tree. To shorten your wait to enter the park, try using the north park entrance station, three miles south of the town of Twentynine Palms on Utah Trail. Park passes can be purchased at Visitor Centers, and this also helps to move the lines faster through entrances. Having your ID ready to show if you hold annual, senior, or access passes provides faster service through stations as well.
For more information about the park, call 760-367-5522.


ABOUT 2,000 EDISON CUSTOMERS WITHOUT POWER LAST NIGHT

About 2,000 customers in Yucca Valley were without power for hours Thursday night. About 8:30 p.m., power lines near the Yucca Valley High School started arcing and power went out in the central part of the town. The electrical panel at the Best Western Hotel started smoking shortly before 9 p.m.; firefighters determined there was no fire at the hotel. However, an electrician was needed to restore power to the hotel, so the hotel’s guests were relocated to other hotels for the night. Power was restored to most residents by about 12:30 this morning.


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