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WATER EDUCATION DAY

Think you can’t you wash your car with just a half gallon of water? Well you can. Learn how at the fourth annual Water Education Day. Reporter Mike Lipsitz says there’s a lot more to know about water and where you can soak it all up …
Sunday, March 26, is “Water Education Day” at Joshua Basin Water District. That’s when the district and myriad water-related partners pool resources and offer you a full afternoon on native plants with tips, tricks and seedling sale; there are demonstrations and exhibits on native plant landscaping, controlling invasive weeds, conserving water, saving septic systems, and just about any other water-related topic you can imagine. There’s something for everyone in the family. Water Education Day is free. It all starts at 1 p.m. and continues until 4 p.m. at the Joshua Basin Water District offices and demonstration garden at Park Blvd. and Chollita Road in Joshua Tree. Reporting for Z107.7 News, this is Mike Lipsitz.


TWENTYNINE PALMS HISTORICAL SOCIETY HOSTS RED HOT AUCTION FUNDRAISER

The Twentynine Palms Historical Society will host The Red Hot Auction fundraiser tonight. The Red Hot Auction will raise funds to help expand the Old Schoolhouse Museum. The event begins with a silent auction at 6:30 p.m. followed by a live auction beginning at 7:30. Event organizer Larry Bowden says the auction will include historical items, services, artwork, antiques, collectibles and rustic relics. The auction takes place tonight at the Old Schoolhouse Museum located at 6760 National Park Drive, in Twentynine Palms.


EVENING WITH THE COSMOS STAR PARTY

Sky’s the Limit Observatory and Nature Center will hold a star party Saturday night, March 25. The event begins at 7:45 p.m. and will end about 11 p.m., but you are encouraged to come when you can and leave when you want. Late March is great time to view the night sky; a highlight will be the planet Jupuiter and its twin, the Ghost of Jupiter Nebula. Sky’s the Limit Observatory is located on Utah Trail, just north of the Twentynine Palms entrance to Joshua Tree National Park.


50 YOUTH BASKETBALL TEAMS COMPETING IN TOURNAMENT HERE THIS WEEKEND

The City of Twentynine Palms will host the 59th Annual Youth Basketball Tournament this weekend. Twentynine Palms Recreation has organized 50 teams into seven different divisions, both boys and girls. Almost 80 games will be played over the course of the three days, in three different locations. Twentynine Palms High School, Twentynine Palms Junior High School, and Copper Mountain College’s Bell Center will host teams from Arizona, Las Vegas, Redondo Beach, Needles, Lake Arrowhead and other Southern California communities. There will be snack bars at each location and admission is free. Check this story at z1077fm.com for locations and times of the games.


HOMICIDE IS INVESTIGATING TWO DEAD BODIES IN TWENTYNINE PALMS

Z107.7 News has confirmed that the Sheriff’s Department Homicide detectives have been called to investigate two dead bodies in Twentynine Palms. Just after midnight Friday morning, deputies were sent to the 7700 block of Bedouin Avenue, in the Hanson Tract area, in response to a call of shots fired. Z1077 will update this story when we have more information.


TWO TODDLERS, SUBJECT OF AMBER ALERT, FOUND SAFE, CAR THEY WERE IN WAS STOLEN

The two toddlers who were the subject of an Amber Alert that came into Morongo Basin cell phones last night were found unharmed this morning. Cathedral City police say toddler brothers, Carlos and Jayden Cortez, who were abducted when the Honda Accord they were in was stolen, were found safe at 2:40 a.m., along with the vehicle in Desert Hot Springs. Carlos, 2, and Jayden, 1 were located hours after authorities sent out an AMBER Alert to six counties notifying the public of their abduction during the theft of the 2016 white Honda Accord they were riding in. At about 6:45 p.m. Thursday, the Accord, with the boys inside, was stolen in Cathedral City. The theft occurred after the boys’ babysitter, who had been driving the vehicle, briefly stepped out of the car. The boys’ abduction prompted a massive search by law enforcement personnel, as well as the issuing of an AMBER Alert, in Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego counties.


PAVING UNDERWAY IN YUCCA VALLEY SEWER PROJECT PHASE 1, AREA A

A milestone in the Yucca Valley Sewer project: The Hi-Desert Water District has started paving streets in Phase 1, Area A, in the east section of Paradise Valley neighborhood of Yucca Valley. The street paving of Area A is expected to be completed by the end of this week, weather permitting. Area A is broken into nine stages, with each stage scheduled to take two months to complete, from digging up the streets, installing the sewer pipes, and repaving the streets. The next section to start construction for the sewer project is the neighborhood south of Paxton Avenue, west of Avalon, east of Balsa, and north of Highway 62. The entire Area A of Phase 1 is expected to be completed by March 2018. Then Areas C and D will follow. The entire Phase I of the sewer project should be completed by 2020.


IRS TELEPHONE SCAM ACTIVE IN OUR MORONGO BASIN

Now that tax season is here, federal officials are warning about scammers posing as IRS agents. The IRS says the tax scam is the most common tax scam, with victims losing more than $26 million. The most important thing to be aware of is that the IRS never makes its first contact with you via the telephone. The Federal Communications Commission voted March 23 to approve a rule that makes it easier for phone companies to block scammers who use fake Caller ID numbers to conceal their true identity and locations. Managing editor Tami Roleff gives tips on how you can avoid being a victim…
The IRS scam involves con artists who call people and tell them they owe money and are about to be arrested by police unless they immediately pay up. Amy Nofziger with the AARP says the IRS will never involve the police or ask for money to be wired.
“The IRS will never require that you use a specific payment method, such as prepaid debit card, wire transfer, money order. We’ve even heard of scammers asking for people to go and get gift cards.”
She says identity theft tends to spike this time of year, when scammers use a person’s stolen birthdate and Social Security number to try and intercept their income tax refund. Never leave mail with personal information in a mailbox, and she advises you to use a shredder, too.
“Always shred your personal and private information, and use a confetti shredder, because there are people that have a lot of time on their hands that will sit there and put those pieces of paper back together.”
If you think you are the victim of a tax scam, you can report it at sources in this story at z1077fm.com
•To report someone impersonating an IRS employee, contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at (800) 366-4484 or www.tigta.gov
•For cases of identity theft involving state taxes, contact the California Franchise Tax Board at (916) 845-3669 or https://www.ftb.ca.gov/individuals/id_theft.shtm


HAWK’S LANDING HOSTS QUALIFYING ROUNDS FOR WORLD LONG DRIVE CHAMPIONSHIP

The Golf Channel will be taping this weekend as Hawk’s Landing Golf Club in Yucca Valley will host the opening qualifying rounds for the World Long Drive championship. The competition, held today and tomorrow, March 24 and 25, will give qualifying long drivers the chance to see how they stack up against the sport’s biggest sticks. Top finishers at the end of the weekend will be rewarded with world ranking points and exemptions to the world finals in early September in Thackerville, Oklahoma, broadcast on the Golf Channel. Competitors routinely hit drives more than 400 yards. The events start at 9 a.m., followed by a regional final starting at 3 p.m. each day. Each local qualifying event will produce four different winners who will advance to the regional finals held that afternoon. The top two hitters, one from the winners’ bracket and one from the losers’ bracket, will advance to the field of the 2017 World Long Drive Championship, is held by the World Long Drive Association. There is an open division, women’s division, and master’s division for ages 45 and older. The 2017 season consists of events across the United States and around the world.


FREE TAX PREPARATION OFFERED FOR LOW-INCOME CALIFORNIANS 

In the final weeks before the April 18 tax deadline, Californians are reminded of free tax preparation centers and tax credits. Thousands of California families are unaware they are eligible for an even larger tax refund by claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit. Kirby Davis has more about how you can claim this money…
Free tax assistance and free money—two things many Californians could probably use this year. In the final weeks of tax season, working families are reminded of tax credits available to them, including the Earned Income Tax Credit, which thousands of Californians fail to claim each year. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra says in these hard times, another way for Californians to keep their hard-earned money is to take advantage of free services like the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance centers set up throughout the state.
“These VITA sites will offer people a chance to know what they can claim, in terms of any tax deductions and tax credits; it will help them with the filing of their tax returns with the IRS, and they’ll do it without charging you a penny.”
Free VITA centers can be found by simply calling 211.


YUCCA VALLEY MAN, ON PROBATION, FOUND WITH CANE-SWORD

A Yucca Valley man was arrested Sunday night, accused of possessing a cane sword while on probation. A Sheriff’s report said a deputy made a pedestrian check on Kenneth Ames, 40, about 11 p.m. at Linda Lee Drive and David Avenue. A records check showed that Ames was on felony probation for a 2013 conviction of possession of a controlled substance while armed with a loaded firearm. During a search of Ames, the deputy found methamphetamine and a cane sword, both of which are prohibited by the terms of Ames’ probation. Kenneth Ames was arrested for investigation of possession of a cane sword and for violating the terms of his post-release community supervision. He was booked into the Morongo Basin Jail.


LIFETREE CAFÉ DISCUSSES THE POWER OF MUSIC SUNDAY

The Lifetree Café program in Twentynine Palms will look at unlocking the mystery of music this Sunday. Reporter Edica Gonzales has details…
The power of music to affect our moods, enhance our mental state, and aid in our physical wellbeing is the next topic at Lifetree Café. The free program, “Unlocking the Mystery of Music: New Findings on How Music Heals and Relieves,” will feature a filmed interview with a neurologic music therapist. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss how music can help them accomplish personal goals. The program is set for 4 p.m. Sunday, March 26, behind Little Church of the Desert at Veterans Way and Ocotillo Avenue in Twentynine Palms.


BLOOD DRIVE AT WAL-MART TOMORROW

LifeStream will conduct a community blood drive on Saturday, March 25, at Wal-Mart in Yucca Valley from 11 to 3. Due to a nationwide blood shortage, all blood types and all types of blood donations are needed. Donors will receive incentives. In addition, Desert Blood Services now offers donors free cholesterol screening with every blood donation. All prospective donors should be free of infections or illness, weigh at least 110 pounds, and not be at risk for AIDS or hepatitis. To make an appointment to donate blood, call 800-TRY-GIVING.


WOOF WALK, PET FASHION SHOW IN YUCCA VALLEY

The sixth annual Woof Walk in the Morongo Basin Humane Society’s biggest fundraiser of the year. The event features raffles, door prizes, auctions, vendors, pet contests, and of course, a dog parade. Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at Pappy and Harriet’s in Pioneertown. A blessing of the animals will start the woof walk at 10:30. Dogs from local rescues and shelters that will be available for adoption. Participation in the walk is $35, which includes lunch, but is free for those who raise $60 or more in pledges. Pledge forms are available at Petco, vet clinics, or online at mbhumanesociety.com. You don’t need a dog to participate. And following the Woof Walk, the Town of Yucca Valley Youth Commission is hosting a fashion show fundraiser for your pets, to benefit Relay for Life. Reporter Rebecca Havely has your invitation…
Bring your furry friend decked out in their most dazzling duds for the Pet Fashion Show Fundraiser! Awards will be given for Funniest, Most Creative, Most Glamorous, Cutest, Best Groomed, Best Group and Best of Show. The show takes place on Saturday, March 25 at the Yucca Valley Community Center with registration at 1:30 and the show at 2. Each entry is $10 at the door and all proceeds benefit Relay for Life.


STAR TWIRLERS “JUNGLE FEVER” SQUARE AND LINE DANCE TOMORROW

The Star Twirlers Square Dance Club will hold a dance Saturday, March 25. The theme is “Jungle Fever.” Line dancing will be held 7 to 7:30 p.m. and between tips; square dancing is 7:30 to 10 p.m. Bill “Tex” Gipson will be calling squares; Linda Sande will be cueing lines. Dancers do not need to be a member of the Star Twirlers to come to the dance in their best jungle fever attire. The dance will be held at the Yucca Valley Elks Lodge on Yucca Trail in Yucca Valley. Admission is $7 per person.
 


JOHNNY CASH TRIBUTE BAND AT TORTOISE ROCK CASINO TONIGHT

Tonight’s Live at the Rock free concert series pays homage to the Man in Black with Johnny Cash tribute band, the Might Cash Cats. Assignment reporter Mike Lipsitz says get ready to “Walk the Line” at Tortoise Rock Casino tonight …
Johnny Cash tribute band, the Mighty Cash Cats, is tonight’s featured band at the 8 p.m. free concert series at Tortoise Rock Casino in Twentynine Palms. Now in its fourth season, “Live at the Rock” presents a new tribute band, on the outdoor stage each Friday night through October. The Mighty Cash Cats cover Johnny Cash classics from his six decades in music, including “Ring of Fire,” “Walk The Line” and more. The concerts are appropriate for music fans of all ages. To get to Tortoise Rock Casino heading east on Highway 62, make a right on Adobe Road. Live at the Rock is presented by Z107.7 FM.
Next Friday night is a tribute to Kiss, at Live at the Rock
 


HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS SCHEDULES

Coming up in high school sports today, the Yucca Valley High School baseball and softball teams will travel away to Thermal to play Coachella High School. Both games start at 3:15.
 
Also today, the Twentynine Palms High School baseball and softball teams will travel away to Rancho Mirage to play Rancho Mirage High School. First pitch for both games is at 3:15.


MISSING 16-YEAR-OLD BOY, THOUGHT TO BE IN TWENTYNINE PALMS, FOUND IN PALM SPRINGS

A 16-year-old boy reported missing more than a year ago from Michigan was found Wednesday morning in Palm Springs. Cody Page, who was living with a foster family in Saginaw, left school on March 15, 2016, and never went home. The Center for Missing and Exploited Children traced Cody’s Facebook posts to Twentynine Palms, and sent out alerts asking residents to be on the look-out for him. A clerk at a motel in Palm Springs recognized Cody from media reports and called Palm Springs police about 8:30 Wednesday morning. Police officers confirmed the boy’s identity; his biological mother was located nearby. His mother told KESQ-TV News that Cody contacted her through Facebook a few months ago. A preliminary investigation revealed that Cody was not the victim of a crime and did not require any type of medical attention.


TWENTYNINE PALMS WOMAN ARRESTED AFTER BASEBALL BAT ATTACK

A Twentynine Palms woman was arrested Tuesday, accused of hitting her roommate with a baseball bat. Sheriff’s reports say a deputy was called to the 73800 block of Cactus Drive in Twentynine Palms about 5 a.m. because a man said Montisha Harris, 24, hit him in the face and arm with an aluminum baseball bat several times. Harris told the deputy that she broke her roommate’s bedroom door with the bat, but she didn’t hit him. However, the deputy determined the man had injuries consistent with being hit by an object. Montisha Harris was arrested for investigation of assault with a weapon, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, and released on $50,000 bail.


AN UPDATE ON THE YUCCA VALLEY SEWER PROJECT

The Yucca Valley Town Council received an update on the sewer project from the HI-Desert Water District at its meeting Tuesday night. Managing editor Tami Roleff fills in the details…
Construction and repaving in the Paradise Park neighborhood is nearly complete. The construction process includes a 30-day notification to residents, then removing the street, installing the pipe and manholes, lateral pipes, and repaving the street. The design for the wastewater treatment facility is nearly 70 percent complete, and the water district should receive the maximum guaranteed price for the plant in April. Construction on the treatment plant should start in the summer, and will take about 18 months to complete. Once the facility is completed, private property connections will begin. The full assessments will be on the tax bills in October 2018 and April 2019; after that, property owners will see reduced assessments due to the sales tax measures.


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