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TWENTYNINE PALMS CITY COUNCIL: TOURISM DISTRICT, $3.5 MILLION LAW FOR ENFORCEMENT

The Twentynine Palms City Council wants to promote tourism in the city. Listen up, because you could be paying for it. Reporter David Haldane has the story…
If you own a hotel or rent your house to vacationers in Twentynine Palms, you might want to pay attention to tonight’s City Council meeting. The Council will hold a public hearing on whether to establish a Tourism Business Improvement District which, if approved, will cost you some money.
The idea is to collect fees from those serving tourists to help promote tourism through marketing, advertising and public relations. As this will be the second hearing on the matter, speak up tonight or forever hold your peace.
In other business, the Council will consider renewing its annual $3.5 million contract with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Dept. and get its first look at the preliminary General Fund budget for the next two years.
Tonight’s meeting gets underway 6 p.m. at City Hall on Adobe Road.


AN ARREST FOR CHILD ENDANGERMENT DURING WEEKEND SWEEP

During the warrant sweep in the Morongo Basin Saturday, a Yucca Valley woman was arrested after deputies found drugs left out where her child could get to them. According to a Sheriff’s report, deputies went to the 58500 block of Barron Drive to arrest a suspect who was not home. However, Brian Watson, 43, fled out the garage. During a search of the garage, deputies located suspected methamphetamine and heroin. A woman at the home, Holly Harris, 36, admitted to using the meth, and allegedly told deputies that the heroin belonged to her ex-boyfriend. Brian Watson was arrested for violating the terms of his parole, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, without bail. Holly Harris was arrested for investigation of child endangerment with possibility of death or injury, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, with her bail set at $100,000. A family member took custody of the child.


TWENTYNINE PALMS MAN ACCUSED OF TRADING DRUGS FOR SEX

A Twentynine Palms man was arrested Saturday, accused of trading drugs for sex. According to a Sheriff’s report, a deputy stopped a vehicle about 3:45 Saturday morning near Hatch Road and Eucalyptus Avenue in Twentynine Palms. During the investigation, the driver, Kenneth Crockett, 59, was found to be in possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. Crockett allegedly told the deputy that he trades the meth for sex and also sells it. Kenneth Crockett was arrested on suspicion of possession of meth for sales, booked at the Morongo Basin Jail, with his bail set at $50,000.


BIGHORN DESERT VIEW WATER AGENCY: BUDGETS AND TAXES

Budgets and taxes are the focus of tonight’s meeting of the Bighorn Desert View Water Agency. Reporter Mike Lipsitz has more…
The Bighorn Desert View Water Agency Board of Directors holds the regular monthly meeting at 6 p.m. tonight. On the action agenda,
the board is expected to fix and adopt the fiscal 2017/2018 budget, and set the ad valorem tax at not more than $176,000. Those items and others are in addition to routine items on the consent agenda and reports from the staff and general manager. It all happens at the agency’s board meeting office under the old water tower on Cherokee Trail in Landers.


CHANGE OF COMMAND FRIDAY FOR ROBERT E. BUSH NAVAL HOSPITAL

The Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital on board the Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center will hold a change of command 8:30 a.m. Friday, May 26. Commanding officer Captain John Lamberton will be relieved by Captain “Nadji” Hariri. Hariri was the executive officer at the Naval Health Clinic in Cherry Point for the past two years. Hariri earned her doctorate of dental surgery degree in 1994, and is also a diplomate in the American Board of Periodontology. Her personal decorations include the three Meritorious Service Medals, five Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, and two Navy Achievement Medals.


SCHOOL BOARD LOOKS AT FUTURE PLANS AND SOME SENSITIVE POLICY TONIGHT

Morongo Basin school officials will make future plans and talk about more delicate subjects at tonight’s school board meeting. Reporter David Haldane explains…
Strategy and controversy. Those are two major items on the agenda for tonight’s meeting of the Morongo Unified School District Board of Education. Specifically, the board will be asked to consider a new strategic plan for the next five years, as well as changes to its policy regarding controversial issues taught in classrooms.
The strategic plan, developed in work-study sessions earlier this month, includes such goals as expanding the curriculum; getting more kids into college or careers; enhancing student fitness; and improving technology infrastructure.
The discussion on controversial issues will focus mainly on proposed changes to the board’s policy allowing students to “opt out” of sensitive lessons, as well as clarifications regarding the district’s right to limit expressions of opinion by teachers in the classroom.
Tonight’s meeting gets underway 7 p.m. at Joshua Tree Elementary School on Sunburst Avenue.


JOSHUA TREE CLEAN TEAM OUT TOMORROW MORNING

The hard-working volunteers of the legendary Joshua Tree Clean Team will be out tomorrow morning, Wednesday May 24. The team will meet on a beautiful, cool desert morning at Hwy 62 and Sunny Vista (north side), they will work from 8am – 9am and invite you to join them. The Joshua Tree Clean Team will provide Safety vests, gloves, grabbers and trash bags.


HEALTH AND WELLNESS CLASS AT RAINBOW STEW TOMORROW

The second class in a series of sessions on health and wellness will be offered tomorrow, Wednesday, May 24, at Rainbow Stew in Yucca Valley. Dr. Nikki will discuss the causes and management of pain from 2 to 4 p.m. A $10 donation is suggested. Please RSVP to Rainbow Stew at 760-418-5170.


COPPER MOUNTAIN COLLEGE TO AWARD 227 DEGREES

This spring, Copper Mountain College will award 227 degrees. The 2017 graducating class for vocational and registered nursing programs will be honored during a pinning ceremony followed by commecement. Reporter Mike Lipsitz has details…
Copper Mountain College will recognize this year’s vocational and registered nursing program graduates during the time-honored pinning ceremony May 24 at 6 p.m. in the Bell Center Gymnasium on the Joshua Tree campus. The pinning ceremony recognizes the completion of their course of study and welcomes new graduates into the nursing profession. The CMC Commencement Ceremony for new graduates will be held the following day, May 25, at 5:45 p.m. also in the Bell Center Gymnasium. Of the 227 degrees being awarded, 28 students are receiving two degrees, 12 are earning three degrees, one student is receiving four degrees and another is to receive five degrees.


REGISTRATION OPEN FOR TWENTYNINE PALMS RECREATION SUMMER PROGRAMS

The City of Twentynine Palms Parks and Recreation Department is currently accepting registrations for youth volleyball camp, youth basketball camp, swim lessons, summer dance workshops and summer day camp. Ages vary for each program. Spaces are limited. For information call the recreation office at 760-367-7562 Monday through Friday between 1 and 6 p.m.


MORONGO BASIN WARRANT SWEEP NETS 50 ARRESTS SATURDAY

A warrant sweep in the Morongo Basin put 50 people behind bars Saturday. According to the Sheriff’s Department, a California parole officer, along with Sheriff’s deputies conducted warrant sweeps in Yucca Valley, Twentynine Palms, and unincorporated areas of the county. Of the 50 people arrested, eight had active felony warrants and 35 had misdemeanor warrants, including three people who were in violation of their parole. Deputies arrested seven other people for new, open charges, including two felonies and five misdemeanors. Warrants ranged from minor traffic violations to violent crimes. If probationers or parolees fail to comply with the conditions of their probation or parole, warrants can be issued for their arrest.
Booking logs identified the following as arrested during the sweep:

ALEXANDRE, ADRIENNE, 49                       JACKSON, JERRY, 54
ANDERSON, JOSEPH, 49                               JENNINGS, ROBERT, 33
BALIGAD, DANIEL, 63                                    LEVY, DOMINIC, 27
BALL, SANDY, 31                                              LIPKINS, LAWRENCE, 33
BARNES, GANNON, 32                                   LOLWING, KENDALL, 26
BICE, BOBBY, 24                                              MARTINEZ, LISA, 49
BRADY, JOHN, 71                                            MCCANCE, JAMES, 24
CATLETT, DAVID, 29                                     MEDINA, EVARISTO, 26
COLDIRON, CURTIS, 35                               REESE, DEBRA, 63
CRAMM, RANDAL, 29                                   RICHARDSON, TIMOTHY, 56
CROCKETT, KENNETH, 59                          PETERSON, JUSTIN, 22
DELGADO, JOSE, 26                                      PEUKERT, SABRINA, 53
DOOLEY, LONNIE, 47                                   PRATT, JOHN, 36
EVANS, JESSIE, 20                                        PYLE, MINDY, 42
GALVEZ, ADRIAN, 43                                   SCOTT, DAVID, 25
GRIER, KENNETH, 58                                  SHANK, ADRIAN, 40
HANSEL, MARK, 55                                       SINGER, DENNIS, 31
HARDESTY, EDDIE, 34                                STANLEY, NERISSA, 28
HARNAGE, DENNIS, 33                              STOKER, BEAN, 30
HARRIS, HOLLY, 36                                     VALLETTA, VINCENT, 63
HIGGINS, THOMAS, 33                               WATSON, BRIAN, 47


FIVE INJURED IN TWO RELATED CRASHES IN MORONGO VALLEY

Five people were injured in two related crashes in Morongo Valley Saturday afternoon. Shortly before noon, James Foreman, 53, of Joshua Tree, was driving a 2009 Nissan Versa westbound on Highway 62 when for unknown reasons, he lost control of his car going down the Morongo Grade. The car traveled up the dirt embankment and then overturned, landing on its roof blocking the number 2 lane of the highway. Foreman, his wife Barbar Foreman, 51, and Sarah Foreman, 16, and Carrie Foreman, 14, were all taken to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs with minor injuries.

In the ensuing back up caused by the crash, Angela Ovnicek, 33, of Twentynine Palms was driving her 2015 Honda Fit, Rachel Torrence, 34, of Desert Hot Springs was driving a 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan behind Ovnicek, Geffrey Brake Jr, 19, of Mauk, Georgia, was driving a 2006 Ford F-350 behind Torrence, and Derrick Tarrant, 40, of Yucca Valley was riding a 2000 Harley-Davidson motorcycle behind Brake. Ovnicek and Torrence slowed to a stop near the collision. Brake collided with the rear of Torrence’s Volkswagen, which was pushed forward into the rear of the Honda. Tarrant then collided with the rear of Brake’s truck, and he was thrown about 10 feet from his motorcycle. As a result of the second collision, all westbound lanes of Highway 62 were blocked for about 15 minutes. Tarrant suffered major injuries and was taken by Morongo Basin Ambulance to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs.


WOMAN INJURED WHEN SHE IS THROWN FROM A HORSE

A woman was taken to the hospital Saturday after she was thrown from her horse in Joshua Tree National Park. According to County Fire Battalion Chief Mike Snow, the woman was riding a horse with a friend on a trail near Black Rock Campground in Yucca Valley around 4 p.m. For unknown reasons, she was thrown from her horse and was unconscious for about 5 minutes. By the time firefighters and rangers reached her, she was awake, and they escorted her as she walked the half mile back to the campground. She was taken to Hi-Desert Medical Center for observation. Her friend walked the horse back to the campground.


COUNTY SUPERVISORS MEET TOMORROW, 2 LOCAL AGENCIES UP FOR MAJOR FUNDING

Two Morongo Basin agencies are likely recipients of funds if all goes as expected at tomorrow’s 10 a.m. meeting of the County Board of Supervisors in San Bernardino. Reporter Mike Lipsitz has details …
On tomorrow’s consent agenda, county supervisors are expected to approve a grant application that, together with county matching funds, will approve $150,000 for Morongo Basin Sheriff’s Department off-road law enforcement activity. The grant comes from the California Department of Parks and Recreation.
Also tomorrow, Reach Out Morongo Basin is expected to receive $120,000 from the board of supervisors. The funds will be used for family caregiver support services. Tomorrow’s meeting streams online and to the first-floor teleconferencing room in the County Government Center on White Feather Road where public comment may be made via live video link.


SUSPECTS IDENTIFIED IN YUCCA VALLEY CACTUS THEFTS

A Yucca Valley man who was arrested Wednesday following a traffic stop has been identified by the Sheriff’s Department as a suspect in two cactus thefts. On May 14, residents in the 8100 block of Church Street and 58600 block of Santa Barbara Drive discovered that thieves had stolen barrel cactus—valued at $300 and $450, respectively—from their yards. Deputy Shauna Ables viewed video surveillance and interviewed an eye-witness and concluded the cactus were stolen by the same suspects. The video showed a man and a woman and their vehicle, a red Toyota 4-Runner. On Wednesday, Daryll Speer, 22, was arrested following a traffic stop at Balsa Avenue and Highway 62, in which his red Toyota 4-Runner, had a false registration sticker on its license plate. Through investigation, Ables identified Daryll Speer and Sataira Mason, 30, of Yucca Valley, as suspects in the cactus thefts. A report has been sent to the District Attorney’s office for review and possible charges.


COUNTY ASSESSOR’S OFFICE WARNS OF A NEW SCAM

Another scam designed to part honest, hardworking people from their money has cropped up here in San Bernardino County. Managing editor Tami Roleff puts out this warning about the assessor’s scam.
The San Bernardino County Assessor’s office is warning the public about multiple reports of suspicious activity. People are knocking door-to-door and claiming to be “Assessor Representatives” without providing proper identification.  Staff from the Assessor’s office will always produce proper identification. Assessor staff conduct inspections solely for assessment purposes. The District Attorney’s office and local law enforcement have been notified of these events. If you encounter a situation where someone represents themselves as an Assessor employee and you have any doubts, call the San Bernardino County Assessor’s Office at 877-885-7654.


STRIPING OF DOWNTOWN JOSHUA TREE STARTS THIS WEEK

Caltrans began striping Highway 62 in downtown Joshua Tree this morning. The striping project, which will provide striped islands, diagonal parking areas, and bicycle lanes, will take place 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday, May 22, through Thursday, May 25. Traffic control will be in place. Motorists are advised to reduce their speed when driving through the area, expect delays, and use alternate routes when possible.


THEATRE 29 ANNOUNCES CASTING FOR NEW IMPROVISATIONAL TROUPE

The improv workshops and auditions at Theatre 29 were immensely successful. Director Chris Fleischman has cast “The Baker’s Dozen,” the theater’s inaugural improvisational comedy troupe. With the cast list, here’s reporter Rebecca Havely…
The “Baker‘s Dozen” Improv Troupe consists of 13 talented comedian/actors. The troupe’s director Chris Fleischman will be a troupe member joined by Graham Cooley, Cindy Daigneault, Cam D’Angeles, Amy Fangmeyer, Kory Fleischman, Lisa Goldberg, Cody Joseph, Yvonna Mullen, Joseph Rego, Kylie Robinson, Hope Spicer, and Katie Van Sumeren. Improvisation, or improv, is a form of live theatre in which the plot, characters, and dialogue of a game, scene or story are made up in the moment. No two shows are alike, and it is hoped that fans of “The Baker’s Dozen” will come back again and again. Troupe performances are scheduled at Theatre 29 on June 10, July 15, August 12, September 23, October 28, November 11, and December 30. The performances are rated PG 13.
Improv Troup show tickets are $10 each; military and seniors are $7; and students with ID are $5. Theatre 29 season ticket holders may attend one performance at no additional charge. For tickets visit theatre29.org or call the Theatre 29 box office at 760-361-4151.


GRUBSTAKE RODEO TICKETS ARE STILL AVAILABLE

The Yucca Valley Chamber of Commerce still has some Rodeo discount tickets for this Saturday or Sunday’s Grubstake Days Rodeo and dance. The rodeo and ancillary events will be held at Homestead Park in Landers. Gates open at 4:00, events starts at 7:00 with a live music and a dance afterwards with rodeo wristband only. Tickets are $15 adults; $10 kids 10 and under; lap children free. Tickets are cash or charge only at the Yucca Valley Chamber Office on the Highway at the California Welcome center. Organizers say rodeo tickets are selling fast for limited seating.


EXPERIMENTAL ART AT COPPER MOUNTAIN COLLEGE

Most of the year, great learning takes place behind classroom doors at Copper Mountain College. But during May, students and non-students alike are invited to expand their minds outside the classrooms. Reporter Mike Lipsitz has your invitation…
During May, 10 artists of note will show their outdoor artworks on the CMC campus in what the art program is calling their first campus Experimental Art Exhibition. Each unique work is a site-specific installation; there are bells, birds, inspiring words, slabs of slate, rye seeds, and dancing figures. Each is a visual delight and conceptually engaging. The artists, all council members of the Palm Springs Arts Museum, include Tammy Ashworth, Cathy Allen, Zach Fleming, Carole Hatcher, Melissae Lucia, Mike McLain, Jen Richards, Esther Shaw, Maryann Sutherland, and Ingrid Von Sydow. The public is invited to view the works any time the campus is open. For more information contact Cathy Allen at 760-366-3791.


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