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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 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.


CITY OF TWENTYNINE PALMS HOSTS TOURIST MARKETING EVENT

About 40 people who provide services to tourists, attended a tourism and marketing update hosted by the city of Twentynine Palms Thursday morning. City Manager Frank Luckino opened the session with a snapshot of the Project Phoenix plans for the downtown area saying, “We want to drive people to the downtown area and we want local business to be part of it.” Luckino described the project as a multipurpose facility consisting of two buildings combined at 35,000 square feet with meeting rooms, a commercial kitchen, classrooms, and a new location for the County Library. Infrastructure will include under-grounding utilities from Adobe Road to Donnell Hill, public parking lots, curbs, gutters, and sidewalks, and a package sewer plant to serve the entire downtown area. The area would eventually include an MBTA transportation hub and low-income senior housing.
Joshua Tree National Park Representative George Land gave an overview of the record attendance at the already-over capacity park and efforts to divert visitors to the Twentynine Palms and Cottonwood entrances. Land said as the park is now more year-round than seasonal, park visitation is expected to rise from the 2.5 million in 2016 to 3 million.
Mark Goodale of the MBTA explained the new park shuttle system set to go into operation in fall of this year, also designed reduce visitor impact.
Presentations outlining efforts to market Twentynine Palms to potential visitors were given by the Tortoise Rock Casino, Coachella Valley Economic Partnership, the City of Twentynine Palms, the Twentynine Palms Chamber of Commerce, and the Joshua Tree Gateway Communities Organization.


A REMINDER ABOUT HAVING AN EMERGENCY KIT

The Morongo Basin is near several major earthquake faults, and wildfires and flash flooding are also threats to our area. Prepare yourself by putting together an emergency supply kit and keep it easily accessible so you can take it with you if you have to evacuate. Managing editor Tami Roleff offers these tips on what to include in your kit…
Wildfires, earthquakes, and other disasters are a real threat in our area. Everyone should have a readily accessible emergency supply kit. Backpacks work great for storing these items (except food and water) and are quick to grab. Some items to include a three-day supply of non-perishable food (and don’t forget food for your pets); prescription medication; change of clothing; extra eyeglasses; extra set of car keys, credit cards, and cash or traveler’s checks; first aid kit and flashlight; important documents such as birth and marriage certificates, passports, and driver’s license; battery powered radio and extra batteries, and sanitation supplies. Always keep a sturdy pair of shoes and a flashlight near your bed and handy in case of a sudden evacuation at night.


TWENTYNINE PALMS MAN ACCUSED OF ASSAULTING SHERIFF’S DEPUTY

A Twentynine Palms man was arrested Wednesday, accused of assaulting a Sheriff’s deputy. According to a Sheriff’s report, deputies were called to a fight between a man and woman near Lupine Avenue and El Paseo Drive in Twentynine Palms about 1:30 p.m. The man, Arsola Bell, 21, became uncooperative and agitated with the deputy. When the deputy attempted to place Bell into the patrol car, Bell allegedly tried to head butt the deputy. Arsola Bell was arrested for investigation of resisting arrest, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, with his bail set at $50,000.


BLOOD DRIVE IN YUCCA VALLEY TOMORROW

LifeStream will conduct a community blood drive on Saturday, January 21, at Wal-Mart in Yucca Valley from 11 to 3. Donors will receive incentives. In addition, LifeStream now offers free cholesterol screening with every blood donation. Those aged 18 to 44 years may register for Be the Match bone marrow screening free of charge. To make an appointment to donate blood, call 800-879-4484, extension 458.


Z107-7 RADIOTHON TOMORROW TO BENEFIT HIGH SCHOOL CHOIR

The Z107.7 Send Our Kids to Orlando radio-thon for the Twentynine Palms High School select choir trip has been set for January 21 from noon until 5 p.m. Reporter Rebecca Havely shares how the community can help…
Choirs of America has invited the Twentynine Palms High School select choir to attend a unique educational opportunity. The students need to raise about $45,000 by January 31 to travel to Orlando April 19 to 23. Radio personality Gary Daigneault will anchor a fund-raiser radio-thon on January 21 from noon to 5 p.m. The public will be asked to call in pledges of any amount to help the choir in their efforts. Z107.7 is donating all the time and staffing so 100 percent of all the money raised goes directly to help fund the Orlando Opportunity. Checks can be made payable to: TPHS Music Booster Association and mailed to P.O. Box 1681 Twentynine Palms, CA  92277. E-mail questions or requests for information to Anita Clinkscales at aclink29@gmail.com. Tune in and listen to the fun as the radiothon fundraiser progresses. 


MIKE CHLEBIK NAMED TO SCHOOL BOARD

The Morongo Unified School Board of Education selected Michael Chlebik Wednesday afternoon to fill the seat left vacant by the death of Ronald Palmer in November. The board held several special meetings recently to go through the 10 applicants for the position. Chlebik and Ken King were called back for second interviews Tuesday. The board discussed the candidates Wednesday and appointed Chlebik. Chlebik is a teacher at Joshua Springs Christian School in Yucca Valley. He will be sworn in at the next school board meeting on January 24. His appointment is provisional for the next 30 days. If no petition calling for a special election is filed with the county superintendent of schools within the next 30 days, his appointment will be final.


COUNTY OFFICIAL FINED BY FAIR POLITICAL PRACTICES COMMISSION

The State Fair Political Practices Commission has fined a county elected official. County Auditor-Controller/Treasurer/Tax Collector Larry Walker was a successful candidate in 2010 and 2014 elections. The Committee found Walker failed to timely pay the 2013 and 2014 $50 annual fees to the Secretary of State’s office, in violation of Government Code. He was fined $400 for two counts.


COLD WEATHER DRIVING REMINDERS

With very wintery weather forecast for our Morongo Basin area this weekend, Edica Gonzalez has some reminders about winter driving…
Be prepared for winter driving. If you are traveling up into the mountains to see snow, bring chains for your vehicle. Don’t pass a snowplow; the road will be worse in front than behind it. Decrease your speed and leave plenty of room between you and the vehicles in front of you. Brake gently; tap your brakes to stop. If your wheels start to lock up, ease off the brake. Turn on your headlights, not your fog lights. Use low gears to keep traction, especially when going up hills. Don’t use cruise control. Remember, black ice is nearly invisible. Slow down and don’t challenge Mother Nature.


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