MORONGO VALLEY MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO VOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER

A Morongo Valley man accused of murder in the stabbing death of a neighbor two years ago took a plea bargain Friday. On April 5, 2014, Chad Leyburn, now 31, was arguing with his neighbor, Robert Verbeck, 74, when he took out a knife and stabbed Verbeck five times, killing

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FIRE IN BIG MORONGO PRESERVE YESTERDAY

About 120 firefighters from CalFire, Morongo Valley, and the Bureau of Land Management fought a brush fire that broke out in Big Morongo Canyon Preserve about 12:30 a.m. Monday. As of Tuesday morning, CalFire says the fire, called the Matz Fire, is 16 acres and is 95 percent contained. Two

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MATZ FIRE BURNS 8-10 ACRES IN MORONGO VALLEY MONDAY MORNING

About 120 firefighters from CalFire, Morongo Valley, and the Bureau of Land Management are fighting a brush fire that broke out in Big Morongo Canyon Preserve about 12:30 a.m. Monday. CalFire Battalion Chief Tony Jones said the fire, called the Matz Fire, was originally estimated to be 20 acres, but

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BIG RIG CRASH SNARLS THE MORONGO GRADE

Traffic was snarled on the Morongo Grade for most of Monday due to a big rig that crashed through the guardrail. The truck was hauling two tanks with about 40,000 pounds of soda ash used to make glass when a front tire blew out about noon yesterday. The blow out

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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

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PROPANE TANKS STOLEN IN MORONGO VALLEY

The Sheriff’s Department is investigating a commercial burglary in which propane tanks were stolen from a Morongo Valley business sometime Tuesday night. According to a Sheriff’s report, employees arriving at the County Market in the 9600 block of Lanning Lane noticed that sometime between 9 p.m. Tuesday and 9 a.m.

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MORONGO VALLEY CSD MEETS TONIGHT: BUDGET AND A SOLAR FIRE STATION

A public hearing will kick off tonight’s meeting of the Community Services District in Morongo Valley. Reporter Mike Lipsitz tells us what it’s all about… At tonight’s regular 7 p.m. meeting of the Morongo Valley Community Services District, the board will gather input during a public hearing on the proposed

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MOTORHOME FIRE IN MORONGO VALLEY THURSDAY NIGHT

A motor home and small sedan are a total loss after a fire in Morongo Valley Thursday night. About 9:30 p.m., Morongo Valley firefighters, with assistance from water tenders from Yucca Mesa and Desert Hot Springs, were called to the 50700 block of Palo Verde Road where they found the

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MAN ESCAPES INJURY IN ROLL-OVER CRASH IN MORONGO VALLEY WEDNESDAY

A Joshua Tree man escaped serious injury when his pick-up truck rolled over in Morongo Valley Wednesday afternoon. Morongo Valley Fire Department Captain Jeff Rarey said the man was driving eastbound on Highway 62 when he fell asleep at the wheel about 4:19 p.m. The truck drifted over to the

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COUNTY ACCEPTS GRANT FOR MORONGO BASIN BIKE TRAILS PROJECT

An effort to develop bicycle trails in the Morongo Basin got a big boost yesterday. The County Board of Supervisors accepted a planning grant of $200,000 from the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) to help develop an Active Transportation Plan (ATP) for the Morongo Basin. A group of government

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MORONGO VALLEY MAN ACCUSED OF ATTEMPTED MURDER

A Morongo Valley man was arrested Monday, accused of attempted murder of his neighbor. According to a Sheriff’s report, deputies were called to the Valley View Mobile Manor in the 10800 block of West Drive about 9:50 p.m. for a report of an assault. Deputies found that Robert Trevino, 62,

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MORONGO VALLEY CSD SPECIAL BUDGET WORKSHOP MEETING TONIGHT

On the far west end of the Morongo Basin, the Morongo Valley Community Services District will hold a special meeting tonight. Reporter Mike Lipsitz tells us what it’s about … The Morongo Valley Community Services District will convene a special workshop session at 7 p.m. this evening. On the agenda

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WOMAN INJURED IN CRASH WITH POWER POLE IN MORONGO VALLEY EARLY SUNDAY MORNING

A Twentynine Palms woman suffered moderate injuries when her 1999 Subaru crashed into a power pole in Morongo Valley early Sunday morning. About 1 a.m., Morongo Valley firefighters were called to Highway 62 and Vale Drive where they found the driver and sole occupant, Christine Schwabe, 37, pinned inside her

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MORONGO VALLEY CSD RECOGNIZES COMMUNITY VOLUNTEERS

The Morongo Valley Community Services District met last night. Reporter Mike Lipsitz was there … Last night the Morongo Valley CSD recognized some of those who gave voluntarily to that community. Recipients included Paul and Laurie Geeson and their family for the Lifetime Achievement Award for their many, many years

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THREE INJURED IN MORONGO VALLEY CRASH

Three people were injured Saturday morning when a car crashed into a power pole in Morongo Valley. About 9:24 a.m., firefighters were called to westbound Highway 62 and Bella Vista Avenue where they found a red Honda with its front end completely smashed in. The three people inside—Manuel Gumataotao, 52;

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BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR BEARS IN MORONGO VALLEY

The sign is short and to the point; it reads: Beware! Bear and cubs onsite in early morning and evening after dark. The signs were posted around Covington Park in Morongo Valley in early March after the bears were spotted there. Most certainly a California Black Bear, the beasts were

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STATE ROUTE 62 GETTING $9.8 MILLION IN IMPROVEMENTS IN TWO PROJECTS

Construction started this week on a nine-mile project from the western border of Joshua Tree to the eastern border of Twentynine Palms. The $4.7 million project will add two-way left turn lanes and widen the existing shoulders to a standard eight feet. The California Department of Transportation says the project

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MORONGO VALLEY MAN FOUND IN A STOLEN CAR

A Morongo Valley man was arrested Friday, after he was found in a stolen car. According to a Sheriff’s report, deputies went to the 57700 block of Highway 62 about 4 a.m. where they found Jesus Rael, 28, inside the 2014 Ford compact sedan. A records check determined that the

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COUNTY BACKS OFF ON PIONEERTOWN, MORONGO VALLEY WATER RATE INCREASE

Last week’s Z107.7 report that water rates in Pioneertown and parts of Morongo Valley would be going up—way, way up—caught many by surprise. Well, ratepayers weren’t the only ones caught by surprise. Reporter Mike Lipsitz has part two of the story and this time there’s a happy ending… California’s Prop

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MISSING PASADENA WOMAN FOUND NEAR JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK

A Pasadena woman who went missing on Tuesday was found Thursday near Joshua Tree National Park. The Pasadena Star-News reported that Connie Sullivan never returned home after driving to a pharmacy Tuesday afternoon. She evidently became disoriented, and called her family to say she was lost. Police tracked her cell

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