Tag Archives: joshua tree


San Bernardino County’s COVID-19 case rates and positivity rates have showed improvement. County officials are hopeful that we will soon qualify to move into the red tier, but we will have to first hope that the Labor Day holiday didn’t negatively impact our numbers and we must keep up our testing numbers.

County Public Health Director Corwin Porter said, “Testing is absolutely critical to show the state that we are keeping our caseloads and positivity rates down. When we see a spike of cases and related hospitalizations, it almost always comes from a social gathering and from individuals who did not show any symptoms.”

To get ahead of any spikes, residents need to take it upon themselves to get a free, easy and painless test. If you, or someone you live with, has spent any time with people not in your household, take an hour to get tested. Results are returned in less than 48 hours and it will give you peace of mind.

Walk-ups are now allowed at the Joshua Tree testing site at Copper Mountain College, although appointments are still encouraged. And remember, to ensure our numbers continue to improve we all have to keep wearing face coverings when in public, practice frequent handwashing, social distance, and avoid gatherings outside your household.


The third Monday of the month is the day for most of the monthly distributions of surplus federal food in the Morongo Basin. Sara Snyder has the times and places for this coming Monday…

The Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino will distribute surplus food to low-income residents of the Morongo Basin Monday. The locations and times are:

  • Belfield Hall, 58380 Reche Road in Landers, 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.;
  • Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 59077 Yucca Trail in Yucca Valley, 8:30 to 10:30;
  • and at the Joshua Tree Community Center, 6171 Sunburst Avenue, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.;

For more information, call 909-723-1580.


The Joshua Tree Veterans of Foreign Wars Post will hold a swap meet Saturday, September 19, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Vendors will have clothing, furniture, toys, tools, books, and more. In addition, home-based businesses, crafters, musicians, and artists are welcome to sell their goods and showcase their talents. The sale will be held in the VFW parking lot, 6402 Veterans Way in Joshua Tree. Masks and social distancing are required.


A Joshua Tree woman who had been a fugitive for more than nine years was sentenced Tuesday to probation and time served. Helen Mangum, 42, was originally arrested in June 2011 for child neglect. About a week later, Mangum pleaded guilty in a morning session at the Joshua Tree court to living in the house with an 11-month-old baby without working utilities and with rotten food. However, Mangum never returned after lunch for her sentence and had been a fugitive for more than nine years. In July, a deputy made a traffic stop in Yucca Valley. During a records check, the deputy learned about Mangum’s fugitive status and she was arrested and was sent back to jail. On Tuesday, Helen Mangum was sentenced to felony probation and 120 days in jail.


At Tuesday’s meeting of the Yucca Valley Town Council, council members heard an update on COVID-19. Yucca Valley residents were reminded that they can get a free ride from MBTA to get tested at Copper Mountain College; they just need to call the town to arrange the ride. Testing is free and takes just a few minutes; visit sbcovid19.com to make an appointment.

Managing editor Tami Roleff says council members discussed how the pandemic is affecting schools and local businesses…

Mayor Pro Tem Merl Abel said he was encouraged to see that 28 elementary schools in the county have permission to start in-person instruction, and another 14 schools have applied to start in-person instruction.

“I’m hoping that our Morongo [Unified] School District will consider the application process as well.”

Council member Robert Lombardo was angry about the state’s shut-down orders.

“This really irritates me at a high level. I think they’re monitoring the wrong things and it boggles my mind how the governor can shut down the entire state and keep us from opening our businesses which are the lifeblood of our town.”

The council learned the county is talking with the state about breaking up San Bernardino County into regions, since some regions are not affected as badly as others, a proposal that Lombardo supported.

Lombardo then said the state should be measuring death rates instead of infection rates.

“It just seems to me that they’re measuring the wrong things; we should be measuring deaths. Because the more you test, the more you’re going to find some infected.”

He explained that doctors and hospitals are improving at treating those who are infected with COVID-19, which has reduced the death rate.

Lombardo then expressed his frustration with the current state of affairs.

“We need to get back to normal and there’s no way I’m going to accept that system as a new normal.”