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DESERT HOT SPRINGS MAN HELD FOR WAL-MART GRAND THEFT

A Desert Hot Springs man was arrested Friday, accused of felony theft from Walmart. According to a Sheriff’s report, deputies were called to the Walmart in Yucca Valley about 7 p.m. about a man, later identified as Jacob Patellis, 40, who had walked out of the store without paying for nearly $1,000 in merchandise. Jacob Patellis was arrested on suspicion of grand theft, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, with his bail set at $50,000.


A CHANCE TO WEIGH-IN ON JOSHUA BASIN RATE INCREASES TONIGHT

Tonight in Joshua Tree, the public will have one last chance to weigh in on the proposed and hefty water rate increases before a board vote. Reporter Mike Lipsitz has more on tonight’s meeting of the Joshua Basin Water District board…
At tonight’s meeting of the Joshua Basin Water District, directors will hold a public hearing on the proposed five-year plan of rate increases. The topic has been the focus of much discussion over the past year-and-a-half. The district’s Citizens Advisory Committee is endorsing the increases, which will see average customers paying 18 percent more this year, followed by lower but still double-digit increases over the next four years. If approved, and in all likelihood they will be, the increases will go into effect next month and pay for critical maintenance and repair of the district’s aging infrastructure as well as imported water. Tonight’s meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at district offices on Chollita Road in Joshua Tree.


ROADWORK IN TWENTYNINE PALMS TODAY

The City of Twentynine Palms will overlay several city streets today and tomorrow. Today, Cahuilla Avenue will be overlaid from El Paseo Drive to Gorgonio Avenue. And on Thursday, Cahuilla Avenue will be overlaid from Gorgonio Avenue to Verbena Drive. Barricades with No Parking signs will be in place the day before the road work. The roads will be closed from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.


“VAGINA MONOLOGUES” AT THEATRE 29 THIS SUNDAY

The Thought Theatre production of “The Vagina Monologues” will be moving their production to Theatre 29 for a special final performance. With details, here’s reporter Rebecca Havely…
Thought Theatre of Pioneertown just finished a successful run of the Eve Enser play, “The Vagina Monologues,” and will now take the show to Twentynine Palms for a special presentation at Theater 29. Playwright Enser interviewed women of all ages, ethnicities, religions and cultures to write this collection of personal monologues. Produced and directed by Project Sheba and Thought Theatre founder Miri Hunter, the cast includes Dawn Davis, Ann Van Haney, Lisa Diaz and Bianca Stoker. The special final performance at Theatre 29 will be a matinee on Sunday, February 25, at 2:30 p.m. for tickets visit theatre29.org. or call the Theatre 29 Box Office at 760-361-4151.


BLOOD DRIVE AT COPPER MOUNTAIN COLLEGE TOMORROW

LifeStream will conduct a community blood drive on Thursday, February 22, at Copper Mountain College, from 10 to 3:30. Due to a nationwide blood shortage, all blood types and all types of blood donations are needed. Donors will receive incentives. In addition, LifeStream 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.


SCHOOL DISTRICT SCIENCE FAIR LAST NIGHT

Yucca Valley High School hosted the annual Morongo Unified School District Science Fair last night. Reporter Tanisha Cureton celebrates the winners…

Did you know that you can use the energy in a peanut to heat water? Neither did I, and that’s just one of several other projects presented at the Morongo Unified School District Science Fair. While parents waited patiently with their scientists, judges, volunteers, faculty and staff helped grade these projects. Some students were even tested on their public speaking by explaining their purpose and methods. Judges were so blown away by the students’ work, they spent an additional 30 minutes to come up with winners. Awards included 10 bronze medals, 10 silver medals, nine gold medals and three class projects. The nine gold medalists will attend the San Bernardino County Science Fair in April.

 

Science Fair

Big Dirty Teeth

Big Magnets

Big Peanut

 

GOLD winners:
Tyler Luke, grade 6, Twentynine Palms Elementary School
Evelyn McMurchy, grade 6, Onaga Elementary School
Jasmin Kumpe, grade 5, Friendly Hills Elementary School
Emma Montes, grade 4, Oasis Elementary School
Randi Engle, grade 6, Yucca Valley Elementary School
Makenzie Johnson/Leila Schwab, grade 5, Yucca Valley Elementary School
Izabel Valdez, grade 4, Morongo Valley Elementary School
Elise Thiebwacha, grade 4, Morongo Valley Elementary School
Brooke Allanbeck, grade 5, Morongo Valley Elementary School

SILVER winners:
Julia Scott, grade 5, Palm Vista Elementary School
Nicholas Mallard, Twentynine Palms Elementary School
Samantha Williams, grade 6, Landers Elementary School
Richard Breese, grade 4, Oasis Elementary School
Bryant Thraller, grade 6, Landers Elementary School
Wyatt McDavis, grade 5, Joshua Tree Elementary School
Dominic Cortez, grade 5, Yucca Valley Elementary School
Zavin Austin, grade 4, Morongo Valley Elementary School
Zoe Youngsma, grade 4, Oasis Elementary School
Juliana Goodwin, grade 4, Onaga Elementary School

BRONZE winners
Aurora Harris/Keira Bermudez, grade 5, Oasis Elementary School
Jordan Hard, grade 5, Landers Elementary School
Sydnie Rahn, grade 6, Twentynine Palms Elementary School
Cameran Mahone, grade 4, Landers Elementary School
Sharlie Overcast, grade 6, Morongo Valley Elementary School
Tyler Bargholz, grade 6, Yucca Valley Elementary School
Adrian Tamayo, grade 5, Landers Elementary School
Joseph Terry/Isaiah Bates, grade 5, Oasis Elementary School
Cassidy Albrink, grade 6, Friendly Hills Elementary School
Toby Hall, grade 4, Onaga Elementary School

CLASS PROJECTS
1st place: Morongo Valley Elementary School, “Are School Backpacks Too Heavy?”

2nd place: Yucca Valley Elementary School, “Which Soil Grows Beans Best?”

3rd place: Oasis Elementary School, “Crayola Rock Formations”


TWENTYNINE PALMS HIGH SCHOOL BOYS BASKETBALL WINS 2ND ROUND CIF PLAYOFF

Twentynine Palms High School boys’ basketball won its second-round CIF playoff action at home last night. The Wildcats defeated the visiting Leuzinger Olympians, 88-79. They will travel away to play Knight High School this Friday at 7 p.m. in the division 3AA semifinals.


FAST STORM BRINGS SNOW, RAIN, POWER OUTAGES, AND TRAFFIC BACKUPS

A fast-moving storm front swept through the Morongo Basin Monday morning bringing freezing temperatures, snow flurries, rain, high winds, power outages, and snarling traffic. The morning squall came in from the west and saw snow at the higher elevations in Yucca Valley, Pioneertown, and Rim Rock areas. Light snow fell in Joshua Tree and Landers. Gusting winds and rain caused power poles to catch fire in Morongo Valley and caused outages to about 7,000 homes and businesses, primarily in Landers, north Joshua Tree, and the Yucca Mesa area. Copper Mountain College was without power but was already closed for the holiday. Four power poles were blown over and two caught fire in Morongo Valley on the highway at Little Morongo Road. Edison crews closed one lane of the westbound highway for most of the day until the damage a was repaired.


FREEZING TEMPERATURES MEAN PROTECT YOUR PIPES

A cold front brought freezing temperatures to our Morongo Basin. Reporter Andrew Dieleman reminds you to watch for freezing pipes…
Standing water in pipes and hoses expands as it freezes, possibly causing pipes and hoses to break. Leaks due to freezing are usually not noticed immediately, which allows the water to run through the break and flood property. Here are some tips to prevent costly damages to your property. Pipes that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs and irrigation lines, are the most likely to freeze. Disconnect and drain all outdoor hoses when not in use. Outdoor taps can be left on at a very slow trickle overnight to keep the water moving. If you plan to be away from home overnight, turn your water off at the meter box. Adjust the thermostat in the house before you leave so that interior water pipes will be protected from freezing. If a break does occur, turn the water off at the meter to prevent water loss and to allow the break to be repaired.


YUCCA VALLEY TOWN COUNCIL GETS DOWN TO BUSINESS TONIGHT

After recognizing the town’s new attorneys, the Miss Yucca Valley Court, and Paul Hoffman for his work in pulling off Mara’s Christmas Wish, the Yucca Valley Town Council will get down to business at its meeting tonight. Managing editor Tami Roleff fills in the rest of the agenda…
Among the items on the consent agenda for tonight’s meeting of the Yucca Valley Town Council, the council will be asked to approve the demolition of the old kennels at the animal shelter, and approve the spring and summer park and rec programs. The council will then hold a public hearing on community development block grants, and is expected to authorize spending $113,000 on renovations at Paradise Park and $5,000 on residential code enforcement. Under department reports, the council will revisit the reserve and fund balance policy review, and then approve a new position at the Yucca Valley Senior Center. Following the meeting, the council will hold a closed session concerning potential litigation. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the Yucca Room of the Yucca Valley Community Center.


CITY OF TWENTYNINE PALMS TO OVERLAY SOME STREETS THIS WEEK

The City of Twentynine Palms will overlay several city streets on Wednesday and Thursday this week. Starting tomorrow, (February 21), Cahuilla Avenue will be overlaid from El Paseo Drive to Gorgonio Avenue. And on Wednesday, (February 22), Cahuilla Avenue will be overlaid from Gorgonio Avenue to Verbena Drive. Barricades with No Parking signs will be in place the day before the road work. The roads will be closed from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Residents and businesses nearby will be notified prior to the road work. For more information, call 760-367-6799 extension 1016 or 1015.


TWENTYNINE PALMS PLANNING COMMISSION MEETS TONIGHT

The Twentynine Palms Planning Commission meets in regular session tonight at 5 p.m. Here’s reporter Andrew Dieleman with the details…
Items on the agenda for this week’s meeting include a public hearing for the Planning Commission to consider, and take action on, the proposed notice of exemption, site plan review and design review for the Western Home Builders, National Park Drive Casitas Project. The Planning Commission will then hold a study session to cover streetscape design topics for the Downtown Specific Plan. The meeting will take place at 5 p.m. at Twentynine Palms City Hall, 6136 Adobe Road.


WONDER VALLEY MEETING TOMORROW ON ILLEGAL SHOOTING, COUNTY PLAN

A meeting in Wonder Valley will take up illegal shooting and a county-wide plan tomorrow. Illegal shooting is the subject of much concern in the Morongo Basin’s far east community of Wonder Valley. In this report, Mike Lipsitz tells how residents there can learn what’s being done about it…
This month’s Wonder Valley community meeting will be held at a special time on Wednesday, February 21, at 11 a.m., in order to accommodate the guest speakers, Sheriff’s Detectives Dominic Vaca and Steve Wilson. They’ll review illegal shooting in Wonder Valley and efforts to curtain it. Wednesday’s meeting takes place at the Wonder Valley Community Center on Amboy Road. Anyone may attend. The March community meeting will return to the regular second Saturday date, March 10.
In addition, the county wants to hear from residents of Wonder Valley. A survey called, “The Fundamental Plan for the community of Wonder Valley” has been set up online for residents there. It will remain available until March 30. You can find more information and a link to the survey at
(http://countywideplan.com/get-involved/surveys/)
A meeting on the Fundamental Community Plan has been set for 11 a.m. on Wednesday, February 21 at the Wonder Valley Community Center
on Amboy Road.


MORONGO VALLEY CSD GETS MEDIAN UPDATE FROM CALTRANS TONIGHT

Tonight’s Morongo Valley CSD meeting will include an update from CALTrans on the Morongo Valley Median project. Here’s reporter Andrew Dieleman with the details…
The Morongo Valley Community Services District will meet tonight in open session to hear an update from CALTrans regarding the Morongo Valley median project and a presentation from a local Morongo Valley Hospice provider. The board will then discuss new board member candidates, the 2016-2017 Homeland Security Grant, and a call for nominations for the annual Chuck Osborne Volunteer of the Year award. The board will then go into closed session to perform a public employee performance evaluation on the general manager. The meeting is set for 7 p.m. in the Covington Park Community Building, located at 11165 Vale Drive in Morongo Valley.


ART COLONY OF MORONGO VALLEY MEETS TOMORROW

The Art Colony of Morongo Valley will hold their monthly meeting this Wednesday, February 21 at 11am followed by a potluck luncheon at noon. Their art gallery and gift shop is open every Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. at 11165 Vale Ave in Covington Park in Morongo Valley. Current artist of the month is Sharon Davis. The Art Colony is in the planning stages for their Small Wonders Art Show April 28-29 that will feature art no larger than 11×14. Categories include paintings, photography, wearable art and other.  All members and artists who work in any medium are invited to join and participate.


SPELL-A-THON DATES SET, GET YOUR SPELLING TEAMS READY

The Morongo Basin Coalition for Adult Literacy has set the date for this year’s annual spell-a-thon, its biggest fundraiser of the year. With more information, here’s managing editor Tami Roleff…
The Kiwanis Club of Twentynine Palms has announced the date of its 27th annual spell-a-thon. The spelling bee for adults will be held March 17 from 9 to noon at the Helen Gray Education Center on the campus of the Hi-Desert Medical Center in Joshua Tree. Teams of three people will compete against each other for bragging rights of the best spellers in the Morongo Basin. The entry fee is $25 per team, and team members raise pledges that will benefit the Morongo Basin Coalition for Adult Literacy. For more information, or to sign up your team, call 760-972-7205.


FREE FOOD DISTRIBUTION AT COPPER MOUNTAIN MESA TODAY

The Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino County will distribute free surplus food today at the Copper Mountain Mesa Community Center on Winters Road from 9 to 11. In addition, representatives from the Champions of Change will be on site to provide nutrition information about the food provided in this month’s give-away and have cooking demonstrations.


ENERGY CIRCLE AT RAINBOW STEW TOMORROW

Rainbow Stew will hold an energy healing circle tomorrow (Wednesday, February 21). The healing circle is open to the public and no appointment is necessary. The event is free, although donations are accepted. The healing circle will be held from 6 to 8:45 p.m. Rainbow Stew is located on the south side of the highway in Old Town Yucca Valley.


TWENTYNINE PALMS BOYS’ BASKETBALL PLAYOFF GAME TONIGHT

The Twentynine Palms boys’ varsity basketball team has a CIF playoff game against Leuzinger of Lawndale at home tonight. The Wildcats are 22-8 overall, and 9-1 in league play, while the Leuzinger Olympians are 19-8 overall and 8-2 in league. Tip-off at Richard Casey Memorial Gym is at 7 p.m.


TWENTYNINE PALMS MAN KILLED IN FIERY MULTI-VEHICLE CRASH IN RIALTO FRIDAY

A Twentynine Palms man was one of five people killed in a deadly freeway crash near Rialto Friday afternoon. Duddley White, 74, was one of five
people killed when a concrete truck traveling eastbound on the 10 Freeway near Rialto swerved through the center divider shortly before 1 p.m. Friday. The truck careened into the westbound lanes, crashing head-on into a smaller truck and four other cars and sparking a fire, according to the
California Highway Patrol. Five people, all occupants of vehicles struck by the truck, were pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said. The truck driver, who was not identified, sustained only minor injuries and was not hospitalized. CHP Sgt. Spencer Badal said the cause of the crash remains unclear. The victims were severely burned, Badal said. The crash left several vehicles overturned and charred in the roadway, shutting down
some lanes for more than 12 hours, authorities said. The freeway was not fully reopened until roughly 8 a.m. Saturday. Duddley White was described
as a retired machinist and avid billiards player who cared for his wife in Twentynine Palms.


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