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MORONGO BASIN HEALTHCARE DISTRICT GETS RESULTS OF NEEDS ASSESSMENT

The Morongo Basin Healthcare District collaborated with the University of Southern California to produce a Community Health Needs Assessment of the Morongo Basin. With a summary of the findings, here’s reporter Andrew Dieleman…

There are five key findings from the Community Health Needs Assessment. The significant health needs of the Morongo Basin, including poor mental and physical health, are linked to the region’s age and poverty levels; the isolation of many residents’ homes results in barriers to healthcare access; there is a lack of healthcare resources and healthy food options; and the lack of economic opportunity is a threat to physical and mental health. Lastly, there are desires for more social and recreational assets for the area. According to the document, there are many potential options to improve health outcomes for the Morongo Basin.

To view the full assessment document, visit: http://www.MBHDistrict.org


GOSPEL SING AND MAIN STREET WILD WEST SHOW IN PIONEERTOWN TOMORROW

The public is invited to a country gospel sing on Saturday, February 24. Performing at the sing will be the Illuminators, Steve Cook, the Spirit Sisters, and Joey Joseph. Admission to the event is one can of food, which will be donated to the Way Station in Joshua Tree. The gospel sing starts at noon at the Sound Stage in Pioneertown. For more information, call Joey Joseph at 760-534-2779.

The Mane street Stampede Wild West Show will perform this Saturday in Pioneertown in front of Pioneer Bowl at 2:30 p.m. sharp. Shows are free to the public and family oriented. Donations help local children’s charities. For more information, contact Paden at 760-366-3333.


A BUSY KITCHEN AT THE JOSHUA TREE VFW

The Joshua Tree Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7264 will serve up a spaghetti and meatball dinner Friday, from 4 to 7 p.m. Dinner includes a green salad and garlic bread for $7. And don’t forget Taco Wednesday from 11 to 1. The Post is located at 6402 Veterans Way in downtown Joshua Tree.


THE “WIZARD OF OZ” OPENS IN ONE WEEK AT THEATRE 29

Theatre 29 will present the musical “The Wizard of Oz” for a four-week run. With more here’s reporter Rebecca Havely…

“The Wizard of Oz” is a heartwarming tale of magic and fantasy, good and evil, family and friendship. The score is full of timeless tunes such as “We’re Off to See the Wizard,” “If I Only Had A Brain,” and “Over the Rainbow.” The Theatre 29 cast of 22 local performers is led by Christina Valentine, an active-duty Marine, as Dorothy. Cindy Daigneault plays the Wicked Witch and Char Childs plays Glinda the Good Witch. The Scarecrow is Chris Fleischman; the Cowardly Lion is Kevin Myers; and the Tin Man is Aiden Bosworth. A talented ensemble will play multiple characters such as Munchkins, winged monkeys, Oznians and more. The production is directed by Gary Daigneault, with musical direction by Bill Barrett, choreography by Dani Jara, and costumes by Katherine Ferguson.

“The Wizard of Oz” opens Friday, March 2, and runs Friday and Saturday evenings at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 through March 25. For tickets, visit theatre29.org or call the Theatre 29 Box Office at 760-361-4151.


HERBS, SPICES, AND FLUTES AT RAINBOW STEW TOMORROW

A busy day at Rainbow Stew in Yucca Valley tomorrow (Saturday, Feb. 24). Herbalist Charla Shamhart will present The ABCs of Kitchen Medicine, herbs and spices used in cooking that can enhance health from 1:30 to 3:30. For more information call or text 760-401-0689.

The Yucca Valley Flute Circle meets Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m. at Rainbow Stew. All who play the Native American flute or are interested in learning more about this easy-to-play, traditional wooden flute are welcome. You do not need to have a flute to attend. For more information, call group coordinator Michael Shamhart at 760-401-3030. Rainbow Stew is located at 55509 Twentynine Palms Highway in Yucca Valley.


SKY’S THE LIMIT VOLUNTEER ORIENTATION TOMORROW

Sky’s The Limit Observatory and Nature Center is inviting prospective volunteers to an orientation Saturday, February 24. For more details about the orientation day, here’s reporter Tanisha Cureton…

Sky’s The Limit Observatory and Nature Center is seeking volunteers to attend their orientation day February 24 from 10 a.m. to noon. The session will include educational programs and a brief introduction to the telescopes for nighttime star parties. Dress for unpredictable desert temperatures and bring water to stay hydrated. Sign up by emailing contact@skysthelimit29.org or call 760-490-9561.


COPPER MOUNTAIN COLLEGE MEN’S BASKETBALL HOME PLAYOFF TONIGHT

A big night tonight for local basketball teams. The Copper Mountain College men’s basketball team will host its first playoff game Friday in the California Community College Athletic Association. The Fighting Cacti, who are 7-and-5, will play the Ventura College Pirates, who are 9-and-1, in the SoCal Regional semifinals 7 p.m. Friday in the college’s Bell Center gym. Tickets are $12 unless you are a student, faculty, staff, senior citizen, or child under 12; then tickets are $8. Ticket prices are set by the athletic association and no passes will be accepted. In addition, the Fighting Cacti mascot costume will be unveiled at the playoff game. For more information, call Jolie Alpin at 760-366-3791.


TWENTYNINE PALMS BOYS BASKETBALL IN AWAY CIF SEMI-FINALS GAME TONIGHT

Twentynine Palms High school boys’ basketball will travel to Palmdale to play Knight High School tonight (Friday February 23) at 7 in the division 3AA semifinals.


HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS SCHEDULES

Coming up in high school sports today, the Twentynine Palms boys’ tennis team will travel away to Cathedral City to play the Lions. First serve is at 3:15 p.m.

And in high school sports tomorrow, the Yucca Valley High School Trojan track and field team will participate in the Buena-Foothill Invitational meet, starting at 4 p.m.


FIRE DESTROYS FLAMINGO HEIGHTS HOME

A home in the Flamingo Heights area of Yucca Valley is a total loss following a fire early this morning. County Fire Battalion Chief Donnie Viloria said firefighters from Yucca Valley, Yucca Mesa, and Joshua Tree were first called by a neighbor about bushes on fire in the 1000 block of Cambria Avenue, about 12:20 a.m. A Sheriff’s deputy arrived before firefighters and upgraded the call to a structure fire. Firefighters arrived about 12:35 a.m. and found the home fully involved in flames and smoke, and had the fire under control 20 minutes later. Viloria said only one occupant was home at the time of the fire, and suffered unspecified injuries due to the fire. He was taken to Hi-Desert Medical Center. The cause of the fire is under investigation.


THE COST OF WATER IN JOSHUA TREE IS GOING UP… A LOT

The outcome was predictable at last night’s meeting of the Joshua Basin Water District’s board of directors; their rates are going up. Reporter David Haldane, who was there, tells you by how much…

If you get your water from the Joshua Basin Water District, you might want to consider skipping a few showers. That’s because, beginning next month, customers paying the median of $44 a month will see their bills jump to nearly $50. And in five years, they’ll be paying a whopping $80 monthly just to turn on their taps.

It’s all part of the hefty rate increase approved by a 4-1 vote of the district’s board of directors last night. The vote came after a standing-room-only public hearing at which the mood of local rate payers ranged from outrage to reluctant acceptance.

Supporters say the increase is needed to pay for the long-deferred maintenance and repair of an infrastructure containing pipes more than seventy years old. But that was hard to swallow for board vice president Bob Johnson, who cast the only no vote.

“I think we could flatten the rates, so they might work over an extended period of time instead of the huge spike that we’re having right now.”


GRAND THEFT CHARGES AGAINST A COUNTY PROBATION OFFICIAL HAVE BEEN DROPPED

A December grand theft case against a San Bernardino County probation official has been dropped, according to County District Attorney’s office. Division Director II, Teneka Shrell Grant, 46, was put on administrative leave following a felony arrest Wednesday, January 31, alleging grand theft, from a San Bernardino business unrelated to the Probation Department. District Attorney’s Office spokesman Christopher Lee said, “After further investigation conducted by law enforcement, it was determined no theft crime had occurred.” Agency spokeswoman Stephanie Roque told Z107.7 News, “It is our understanding that no charges will be filed, and she is back to work.” Grant’s husband, Eric Hayes, 47, was arrested at the couple’s San Bernardino home on Jan. 31 on suspicion of being a felon possessing a firearm and ammo, according to booking records. Lee said the weapons charges were turned down due to insufficient evidence.


WALKING SAFETY ASSESSMENTS AT LOCAL SCHOOLS

The Morongo Basin Active Transportation Plan team, or ATP, will conduct Walking Safety Assessments in February and March at schools throughout the Morongo Basin. Here’s reporter Andrew Dieleman with the details…

In an ongoing effort to ensure the safety of students who walk and bike to school, The Morongo Basin ATP will conduct a series of Walking Safety Assessments at nine schools throughout the Morongo Basin region. The Morongo Basin ATP Team will walk with parents and the community members most familiar with the school area to pinpoint safety concerns for students walking and/or biking to school. The team will also be conducting workshop activities with the students themselves.

Walk dates, times, and locations:
Condor Elementary School, Monday, February 26, 8:45 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Black Rock High School, Tuesday, February 27, 8:38 a.m. – 9:22 a.m.
La Contenta Middle School, Tuesday, February 27, 12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Twentynine Palms Junior High, Wednesday, February 28, 12:21 p.m. – 1:50 p.m.
Morongo Valley Elementary School, Monday, March 12, 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Friendly Hills Elementary School, Monday, March 12, 2 p.m. – 3:20pm
Yucca Mesa Elementary School, Tuesday, March 13, 9:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Twentynine Palms High School, Tuesday, March 13, 12:56 p.m. – 1:53 p.m.
Landers Elementary School, Wednesday, March 14, 9:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.


MORONGO BASIN SEXUAL ASSAULT SERVICES PROVIDES SUPPORT TO VICTIMS

Morongo Basin Sexual Assault Services provides understanding and support to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence through immediate crisis intervention, follow-up services, one-on-one counseling, and advocacy services. In addition, volunteers are available to accompany victims, their families, significant others, and friends, at no charge, to medical appointments, court appearances, and more, irrespective of socio-economic status, gender, ethnic origin, or sexual orientation. They provide a safe supportive environment to all survivors seeking individual counseling, advocacy, accompaniment, and community resources. Call their 24/7 crisis line at 760-369-3353.


A CYBER SECURITY ENCORE AT THE YUCCA MESA COMMUNITY CENTER

It seems that every week brings news of another cyber security breach or online scam. Reporter Mike Lipsitz tells us about some expert advice on how you can avoid being a victim…
January’s guest speaker at the Yucca Mesa Community Center’s regular meeting was so popular that the independent cybersecurity consultant will return Friday, February 23, for an encore. Alan Watkins, adjunct professor in cybersecurity, will present more on online shopping, browser security, and website tracking. A potluck dinner begins at 6 p.m.; lecture starts at 7 p.m. The $5 fee is waived if you bring a dish to share. The Yucca Mesa Community Center is at 3133 Balsa Avenue, just north of Aberdeen.


REACH OUT MORONGO BASIN REPORTS A VERY SUCCESSFUL PARADE OF HOMES

With beautiful weather and record-high attendance at last Sunday’s 14th Annual Parade of Homes fundraiser for Reach Out Morongo Basin, organizers are doing a “happy dance” for the success of this year’s home tour. The event is Reach Out’s biggest fundraiser of the year, and more than $9,500 was raised for the neighbors-helping-neighbors organization. Executive director Robin Schlosser said more than 300 people toured the six homes from Morongo Valley to Twentynine Palms. For the first time, the tour had international visitors, from Canada, Belgium, and France, as well as people from as far away as North Dakota, New York, and Washington, D.C. The tour was open an extra hour this year to give parade-goers more time to enjoy the unique homes. Schlosser said the line-up of homes for 2019 is already in the works.

Casa de Loma

Cramalot Inn

Casa Ladera

Casa de las Palmas


HOW YOU CAN HELP REACH-OUT SERVE SENIORS AND THE DISABLED

Reach Out Morongo Basin provides support services to local senior citizens and the disabled and they could use your help. Reporter Eric Knabe has the details…
Reach Out Morongo Basin matches volunteers with seniors and the disabled for seemingly ordinary tasks. Volunteers visit, shop, help with personal business, minor home repairs, give rides to medical appointments, and a host of other supportive services. By becoming an Angel Club member, your donation will help Reach Out with the many services they offer. The Angel Club, as well as other programs and events the organization puts on, are vital sources of funding for Reach Out. For more information or to become an Angel Club member, call 760-361-1410 or email Director@reachout29.org.


LOCAL BEEKEEPERS MEET HIS SATURDAY

High Desert Beekeepers Association will meet this Saturday, February 24, from 12 to 2 p.m. at the Nourishing Tree, 62057 Twentynine Palms Highway, in Joshua Tree. HDBA is about education and establishing a community of support for new and current beekeepers in the desert. Transitioning bee hives from winter to spring will be the topic. You do not have to be a beekeeper to attend; just have an interest in bees.  For more information visit High Desert Beekeepers Association on Facebook of call president Michael Shamhart at 760-401-3030 or meeting host Nicholas Holmes at 805-215-6025.


CALL FOR ART FROM JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK ART EXPOSITION

The sixth annual Joshua Tree National Park Art Exposition will be held in September in Twentynine Palms. Managing editor Tami Roleff says artists are invited to submit photos of their artwork for possible inclusion in the juried art show…
Submissions are now being accepted for the sixth annual juried Joshua Tree National Park art show. Entries must be inspired by or depict the natural beauty or cultural history of Joshua Tree National Park. Entry is open to all artists 18 and over; $5,000 in cash awards will be presented. Approximately 50 artists will be selected for inclusion in the show. All artwork must have been created within the last five years. The entry fee is $35, and artists may submit up to three images of artwork. The deadline to enter is June 25. The art exhibition will be held at the 29 Palms Art Gallery in September, with an opening reception and awards ceremony September 15. For an application and complete entry rules, visit JTNPArtsorg.com.


PAST LIFE WORKSHOP AT RAINBOW STEW TONIGHT

Travel to the past at a class at Rainbow Stew. A past life regression workshop, presented by hypnotherapist John Till, will be held 7 p.m. Thursday, February 22. Learn about reincarnation and how hypnosis is used to experience past lives. Participants will then experience a group regression. The class fee is $15. Rainbow Stew is located on the south side of the highway in Old Town Yucca Valley. For more information, call 760-285-6535.


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