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MARINE CORPS PILOT IDENTIFIED IN PLANE CRASH NEAR TWENTYNINE PALMS

Update Saturday, July 30, 12:30 p.m.
The Marine Corps has identified the pilot who was killed as Major Michael Norton, 36, with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 232, Marine Aircraft Group 11, stationed at MCAS Miramar. Norton was performing close air support as part of Integrated Training Exercise 5-16, a pre-deployment training exercise taking place at Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms. Norton is a native of Arcadia and was commissioned in the Marine Corps in 2005. He previously deployed to Afghanistan in 2012 in Support of Operation Enduring Freedom and deployed to Japan multiple times as part of the Unit Deployment Program. His personal awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with gold star. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

A Marine Corps pilot in an F/A-18C Hornet died Thursday night in a crash during a training mission near Twentynine Palms. The pilot was from 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing out of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. The cause of the crash, which occurred around 10:30 p.m. Thursday July 28, is under investigation. The Marine Corps has released no more details about the pilot or the crash. The Washington Post reports that a Marine who witnessed the crash said the F/A-18 broke apart in midair as it was preparing to drop ordnance on a simulated target. The Marine, who was not identified, said he was taking part in the training called Air Assault Course about 10 miles south of I-40 in an area called Gay’s Pass. According to the newspaper, the Marine said artillery and mortars had been fired in the area but stopped before the plane made its bombing run.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2016/07/29/marine-fa-18-crash-kills-one-jet-broke-apart-in-a-dive-witness-says/


TWENTYNINE PALMS MAN ARRESTED FOR SPOUSE ABUSE

A Twentynine Palms man was arrested Thursday night, accused of hitting his girlfriend. According to a Sheriff’s report, a woman called a friend about 9:45 Thursday night to report her boyfriend had hit her. After an investigation, Morries Sowell, 23, was arrested for felony spouse abuse. Morries Sowell was booked in the Morongo Basin Jail with his bail set at $55,000.


COUNTY SUPERVISORS APPOINT NEW BEHAVIORAL HEALTH DIRECTOR

A director with 25 years of experience in meeting the social service and mental health needs of San Bernardino County residents, was appointed by the Board of Supervisors July 26 to lead the county’s Human Services. CaSonya Thomas, the director of the Department of Behavioral Health, will succeed Linda Haugan, who is retiring in October. Under Thomas’s leadership, Behavioral Health played a key role in the county’s efforts to assist the survivors of the December 2, 2015, terrorist attack in San Bernardino and the families of those who died.


HI-DESERT WATER DISTRICT ADOPTS URBAN WATER MANAGEMENT PLAN

Every five years, the state requires water districts with more than 3,000 customers to submit a water management plan. Managing editor Tami Roleff says the Hi-Desert Water District board of directors heard some good news about their plan…
The Hi-Desert Water District, together with a consulting firm, prepared an Urban Water Management Plan, which documents how the water district intends to maintain a safe and reliable water supply. The plan includes data on Yucca Valley’s population, growth projections, groundwater levels, supply resources, and climate, that together are used to determine future water supply reliability. The consultant told the board that the community’s conservation efforts are paying off, as Hi-Desert Water District customers have some of the lowest water use per capita she’s seen. In addition, the District has far exceeded its interim target water use by 30 gallons per capita daily. A copy of the 2015 Urban Water Management Plan is available at the water district office or by visiting www.hdwd.com/urbanplan.
Reporting for Z107.7, this is managing editor Tami Roleff.


NEW MEDICAL CLINIC AT COMBAT CENTER

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on board the Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center Friday for a new medical clinic. The Adult Medical Care Clinic will deliver health care to active-duty service members at the Combat Center. The 45,000-square foot clinic cost $21 million to build and replaces a building that dates back to 1952. The clinic is under the command of Navy Captain John Lamberton, the commanding officer of the Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital at the base.


VENDORS NEEDS FOR INAUGURAL YUCCA MESA FALL FESTIVAL

The Yucca Mesa Improvement Association will hold a new fundraiser this fall. Mesa Fest will include a chili cook-off, horseshoe competition, live music, craft fair, beer garden, children’s activities, and representatives from various public safety agencies. Artists and vendors are being sought for the event. Mesa Fest will be held September 24, from 10 to 9 at the Yucca Mesa Community Center, 3133 Balsa Avenue. For information about participating in the craft fair, call Paula at 760-364-3525. More information is available at yuccamesa.org.


SIGN UP NOW FOR MWA WATER ACADEMY CLASSES

The Mojave Water Agency is holding six water workshops, and those who attend all six classes will become water ambassadors for the region, and receive free gift cards. Managing editor Tami Roleff tells us more…
The Mojave Water Agency is hosting six ABCs of Water workshops, once monthly, on September 27, November 15, January 24, March 28, May 23, and July 25. Course titles are: Where Does Our Water Come From; How Much Water Do We Have? Water Facilities; Water Quality; Water Technology; and Water Conservation. The titles may be the same as previous classes, but the content will be different. The classes are held in Apple Valley from 5:30 to 7 p.m., and graduates of the water academy will receive a certificate and local gift card. Continuing education units are available. For more information, call Gloria at 760-946-7001. MWA Office at 13846 Conference Center Drive, Apple Valley
ggolike@mojavewater.org Reporting for Z107.7, this is managing editor Tami Roleff.


VENDORS SOUGHT FOR SWAP MEET

The Yucca Mesa Improvement Association will hold a swap meet Saturday, August 6, starting at 8 a.m. Indoor and outdoor spaces, and tables are available for $10. Vendors can start setting up at 7 a.m. Swap meets are held the first and third Saturdays of each month.


REGGAE, CALYPSO AND SOCA AT YUCCA VALLEY SUMMER CONCERT TOMORROW

It will be the popular island sounds of “UPSTREAM” tomorrow night at the Yucca Valley Summer Concert venue. Managing Editor Tami Roleff has your invitation to the free, family fun event…
The fourth concert of the 22nd annual summer concert series, co-hosted by the town of Yucca Valley and Z107.7, is Saturday, July 30, with Upstream. Enjoy the cool desert evening listening and dancing to Caribbean music including reggae, Calypso, steel drum, and SoCa music on the grass at the Yucca Valley Community Center ball field. The gates open at 6:30 p.m.; the music starts at 7 p.m. Admission is free. Bring a blanket or a lawn chair. Dogs are allowed on the upper soccer field only.
 


STAR PARTY TONIGHT AT SKY’S THE LIMIT

Sky’s the Limit Observatory and Nature Center will hold its weekly star party Saturday night, July 30. The event begins at 9 p.m. and will end about midnight, but you are encouraged to come when you can and leave when you want. Volunteers will set up manual and battery-operated telescopes and guests may use them or bring their own. Highlights will be the Summer Triangle, the Milky Way, and Saturn and its rings. Sky’s the Limit Observatory is located on Utah Trail, just north of the Twentynine Palms entrance to Joshua Tree National Park.


BURGLARS STEAL POOL EQUIPMENT IN TWENTYNINE PALMS

Evidently some burglars needed equipment for a pool party in Twentynine Palms. According to a Sheriff’s report, burglars stole patio furniture from the pool area of the community center in the 5900 block of Desert Knoll Drive Wednesday night. The furniture is described as dark brown plastic wicker including a 10-foot long sofa, five chairs, a table and umbrella. And then a resident in 73700 block of Foothill Drive reported Thursday morning that sometime in the last week a pool filter, motor, and pump and been stolen. Anyone with information should call the Sheriff’s Department at 760-366-4175.


LOCAL INPUT SOUGHT ON FEDERAL SOLAR PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS COMPETITION

Do you have a great idea about a community solar program or project? Your idea could win you cash and help from the government to bring that idea to life. Reporter Mike Lipsitz says input is sought on the SunShot initiative…
The U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative is soliciting public input on a competition where local teams bring solar programs and projects to their communities. The goal is to expand solar opportunities to new consumers, including low- and moderate-income customers, and nonprofits. Teams will be eligible for cash prizes and assistance from the Department of Energy and other resources. The SunShot competition is still in the planning stages. The Department of Energy wants public input before the challenge roles out this fall. Specifics of the program and for providing your input can be found in at a link in this story at Z1077fm.com. Input is due by August 2.
http://energy.gov/eere/sunshot/request-information-community-solar-challenge


ANIMALS SEIZED FROM MORONGO VALLEY PROPERTY NOW AVAILABLE FOR ADOPTION

In June, county animal control officers seized about 180 animals that were being housed on a property in Morongo Valley. Stephen Caro, who owned the Paws Rescue Ranch and most of the animals at 9333 Belle Vista Drive, describes the ranch as a sanctuary for senior, abandoned, abused, and neglected animals; ironically, the county seized the animals due to neglect. Animal control officers found animals outside in 100-degree temperatures with no shade or water, and inside, dozens of dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, and even a guinea pig were emaciated, or had visible injuries, parasites, and missing fur. After working for weeks to improve the animals’ health, some are ready for adoption to the public. The Yucca Valley animal shelter has 30 cats available for adoption. In addition, the animal shelter in Apple Valley has 26 dogs available, and Devore has 37 dogs, two rabbits, and a guinea pig. People who were boarding their pets at Paws Pet Ranch will be contacted by the county animal control and will have 14 days to reclaim their animals. If they are not reclaimed, the animals will be become available for adoption. So far, no criminal charges have been brought against Stephen Caro; during the seizure of the animals from his property, he was cited and released for possessing a desert tortoise.


STEP INTO ART AT HI-DESERT NATURE MUSEUM TOMORROW

Visit Paris and the Louvre, and other art museums at an art-themed Family Fun Day in Yucca Valley Saturday, July 30, from 10 to 3. The Hi-Desert Nature Museum is hosting a free “Step into Art” day at the museum with a wide variety of arts and crafts activities, as well as face painting, a sketch artist, a scavenger hunt, and performances. Reporter Kirby Davis gets out her paint brushes…
Enter the framework of famous paintings and experience art like never before in “Framed: Step into Art” at the Hi-Desert Nature Museum in Yucca Valley. This exhibit invites children inside the art experience. As visitors play and move through the exhibit, they are challenged to ride a giant chicken, set up camp in the Canadian Rockies, and prepare dinner for a group of hungry farmers. The exhibits are accompanied by information about each artist, and provide conversational prompts that provide children and adults to discuss and learn to appreciate their own, as well as others’ opinions of art.


EXPECT MORE “SOUNDS OF FREEDOM” FROM THE MARINE BASE NEXT MONTH

Morongo Basin residents may hear more noise than usual from the Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms over the next month. The Marine Corps will be conducting two exercises: integrated training exercise and a large-scale exercise. These exercises are comprised of intensive training for 3,500 active duty and reserve Marines that includes live-fire exercises to improve the war-fighting skills of Marines and to help them understand the principles and capabilities of the Marine Corps Air-Ground Task Force.
For information on how to submit a sound report, see this story at z1077fm.com.
Call: 760-830-9222 or
Email: SMBPLMSSOUNDREPORTING@usmc.mil
http://www.29palms.marines.mil/Staff/G5CommunityPlansPAO/SoundReporting.aspx


JOSHUA TREE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE MIXER THIS EVENING

Meet other professionals and community members at a summer mixer hosted by the Joshua Tree Chamber of Commerce. The mixer will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Art Queen complex, 61855 29 Palms Highway in Joshua Tree. There will be live music, a silent auction, and a cash bar and appetizers. For more information, call the chamber at 760-366-3723.


PAT BENATAR TRIBUTE BAND AT TORTOISE ROCK CASINO TONIGHT

The Live at the Rock summer concert series at Tortoise Rock Casino continues tonight with another free outdoor concert. Reporter Rebecca Havely has your invitation…
The Pat Benatar tribute band, “Crimes of Passion” will perform live this Friday, July 29, at 8 p.m. at Tortoise Rock Casino. The concert takes place on the outdoor stage and its free. Sandra James at Pat Benatar performs with a tight six-piece band. “Crimes of Passion” faithfully recreates a memorable performance that astonishes its audiences with hit after hit from Benatar including, “Hit Me with Your Best Shot,” “We Belong,” “Heart Breaker,” and “Love is a Battlefield.” Bring the family, kids six and over welcome, and your friends to Tortoise Rock Casino for an exciting night of music under the stars.


REGGAE, CALYPSO AND SOCA AT YUCCA VALLEY SUMMER CONCERT TOMORROW

It will be the popular island sounds of “UPSTREAM” tomorrow night at the Yucca Valley Summer Concert venue. Managing Editor Tami Roleff has your invitation to the free, family fun event…
The fourth concert of the 22nd annual summer concert series, co-hosted by the town of Yucca Valley and Z107.7, is Saturday, July 30, with Upstream. Enjoy the cool desert evening listening and dancing to Caribbean music including reggae, Calypso, steel drum, and SoCa music on the grass at the Yucca Valley Community Center ball field. The gates open at 6:30 p.m.; the music starts at 7 p.m. Admission is free. Bring a blanket or a lawn chair. Dogs are allowed on the upper soccer field only.


ODOR ADVISORY FOR SALTON SEA

The South Coast Air Quality Management District issued an odor advisory Thursday for the Salton Sea. The winds and humidity allow water from the bottom of the sea to rise, which releases hydrogen sulfide, which produces the rotten egg smell. Some people may feel ill from the smell, but the air quality district says there are no long-term effects from the odor, and the concentration of hydrogen sulfide has not exceeded state standards. If the southeasterly winds continue, residents in the Coachella Valley and the Morongo Basin may experience the odors. The odor advisory is in effect through Sunday.


“FOREVER MARILYN” MAY BE RETURNING TO NEARBY PALM SPRINGS

The popular, “Forever Marilyn” statue may soon be back permanently in Palm Springs. P.S. Resorts is negotiating with a charitable foundation that donates to causes it believes will improve a community, to cover half the cost of relocating the blonde bombshell. The remainder of the cost would be covered through private fundraising. The Marilyn Monroe statue could find a new home in a downtown park currently under construction. The 26-foot-tall statue depicts Monroe’s famous skirt-blowing up scene from “The Seven Year Itch.” The iconic statue stood at the corner of Palm Canyon Drive and Tahquitz Canyon Way from 2012 until 2014.


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