A Twentynine Palms man was arrested Monday, accused of child abuse against a baby. According to a Sheriff’s report, detectives were called to the pediatric unit at Loma Linda Medical Center by doctors who said the four-month-old baby girl’s severe injuries were caused by non-accidental trauma, consistent with child abuse. Detectives learned the girl’s father, Andrew Valenzuela, 25, was caring for the infant at a home in the 6400 block of Athol Avenue in Twentynine Palms, and that he was responsible for the injuries. Andrew Valenzuela was arrested for investigation of willful cruelty to a child, booked into the Central Detention Center, with his bail set at $100,000. Anyone with information about this case is asked to call Detective Mike Bell at 909-387-3615.
The Twentynine Palms City Council met last night, and is offering grants for businesses affected by the COVID-19 shutdown. Managing editor Tami Roleff explains how the city plans to allocate some of the money…
City Manager Frank Luckino said Twentynine Palms received $361,000 from the state and $361,000 from the county from the CARES Act for programs to help local small businesses. The first program will be a $75,000 rental assistance program, in which a business can receive up to $5,000 to be used toward delinquent or reduced rent; the grant is payable directly to the landlord. The second $75,000 program will reimburse a business up to $5,000 for some of the expenses incurred when business owners were forced to move their operations outside, such as awnings, outdoor furniture, heaters, misters, etc. There are several rules that govern a business’s eligibility for these programs. For more information, call the city at 760-367-6799.
Sheriff’s deputies are investigating the mysterious case of a crash with a missing driver. About 3:18 a.m. Saturday morning, the driver of a 2001 Dodge Dakota pickup truck was traveling eastbound on Highway 62 in Twentynine Palms. As the driver approached Lear Avenue in the number one lane, the truck collided with a 2009 Toyota Tacoma that had been abandoned in the number one lane. The driver of the Toyota was not at the scene. The driver of the Dodge pick-up truck was not injured in the crash, but both vehicles had to be towed. Deputies are seeking the driver of the Toyota, which has Wisconsin license plates FA6938. Anyone with information should call Deputy Lomboy at 760-366-4175.
A Riverside County man has been arrested, accused of the continuous sexual abuse of a child in Twentynine Palms. On Wednesday, October 21, at 9:53 p.m., deputies from the Morongo Basin Station responded to a report of continuous sexual abuse; the victim disclosed sexual abuse by a family member, Russell Richeal, 37, for over 11 years at multiple locations, including their shared residence in Twentynine Palms. On October 22, a warrant was issued for the arrest of Richeal on four charges related to long-time child sexual abuse.
Later that same day, deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department located and arrested Richeal in Jurupa Valley for his warrant. Russell Richeal was booked in Riverside County. Monday, October 26, he was transported to the West Valley Detention Center where he is being held on $250,000 bail.
The Twentynine Palms City Council gathers this evening to discuss the overpopulation of rodents in the City. Reporter Heather Clisby has details…
Tonight, the Twentynine Palms City Council meeting will include a discussion on the rodent problem and what can be done about it. Possible solutions include “rat birth control” and County Vector Control.
The Council will consider allocating funds from the CARES Act to launch two programs to combat financial burdens from COVID-19 – a rental assistance program for commercial properties, and helping restaurant owners prepare for outdoor dining as the weather cools.
As this is the last council meeting before the election, council members will discuss the city’s stance on Measure U, the repeal of Fire Protection District 5, known as FP5.
The meeting starts at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 6136 Adobe Road. The meeting can be viewed on demand on the City’s website, 29palms.org. Residents can also live stream the event from the site and clicking on the “Meeting Agendas” link.