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MORONGO BASIN LOCAL NEWS FOR

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 7, 2009

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COUNTY SHERIFF GARY PENROD TO RETIRE THIS MONTH

2 ARRESTS, SHE TRIED TO RUN HIM OVER, HE TRIED TO BURN THE CAR

NEW CENTRAL COUNTY BUILDING PLANNED FOR JOSHUA TREE

NO ON GREEN PATH GROUP BUSSING TO STATE HEARING SATURDAY

COPPER MOUNTAIN COLLEGE PAID-CALL FIREFIGHTER ACADEMY ORIENTATION THIS FRIDAY *

NEW RITE AID AND FRESH AND EASY COMING TO YUCCA VALLEY

FIRE HYDRANTS OUT, WATER LINE BREAKS IN JOSHUA TREE

JOSHUA BASIN WATER DISTRICT WILL SELECT NEW OFFICERS TONIGHT *

HI DESERT WATER DISTRICT TO DISCUSS RATES AND THEIR WEBSITE TONIGHT

A WIN FOR TWENTYNINE PALMS HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS BASKETBALL

YUCCA VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS SOCCER GAME TONIGHT, LASAGNA TOMORROW *

MORE HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS ACTION SCHEDULED

 

COUNTY SHERIFF GARY PENROD TO RETIRE THIS MONTH
COUNTY SHERIFF GARY PENROD SAID HE PLANS TO RETIRE AT THE END OF THIS MONTH. PENROD, 60, A 38-YEAR VETERAN OF THE SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT, WAS ELECTED TO THE TOP JOB IN 1994. YESTERDAY, HE TOLD NEWSPAPERS THE SUN AND INLAND VALLEY DAILY BULLETIN HE PLANS TO PURSUE OTHER INTERESTS. AN OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT IS EXPECTED TODAY. PENROD JOINED THE SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT IN 1971, AND MOVED UP THE RANKS, FROM DEPUTY TO DEPUTY CHIEF. HE TOOK ON THE ADDITIONAL ROLE OF COUNTY CORONER WHEN THE TWO OFFICES MERGED IN 2005. THOUGH SHERIFF IS AN ELECTED POSITION, THE COUNTY'S BOARD OF SUPERVISORS IS ABLE TO MAKE AN INTERIM APPOINTMENT. ASSISTANT SHERIFF ROD HOOPS IS WIDELY BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN PLANNING TO RUN IN 2010, WHEN PENROD'S FOURTH TERM WAS TO EXPIRE.

2 ARRESTS, SHE TRIED TO RUN HIM OVER, HE TRIED TO BURN THE CAR
A BATTLING COUPLE WERE BOTH ARRESTED IN MORONGO VALLEY YESTERDAY AN ARGUMENT ESCALATED TO THE PINT WHERE SHE TRIED TO HIT HIM WITH THE CAR, HE TRIED TO BURN IT . DEPUTIES WERE CALLED TO THE 9200 BLOCK OF NORTHSTAR TRAIL AT ABOUT NOON AFTER A REPORT THAT A MAN HAD POURED GAS ON A CAR AND WAS THREATENING TO LIGHT IT ON FIRE. SHORTLY AFTER ANOTHER CALL REPORTED A WOMAN THERE HAD TRIED TO RUN A MAN OVER. ARRIVING DEPUTIES SEPARATED THE COMBATANTS AND DETERMINED THAT GEORGE WOLFENGARGER, 31, AND ELISE PRICE, 25 WERE IN A DOMESTIC DISPUTE. SHE RAMMED HER VEHICLE THROUGH THE FRONT GATE OF HER RESIDENCE IN WOLFENGARGER. HE RETALIATED BY POURING GASOLINE ON THE ROOF AND INTERIOR OF THE CAR. WOLLFENGARGER WAS TAKE TO HI-DESERT MEDICAL CENTER FOR TREATMENT OF AN ANKLE INJURY FROM THE CRASH. DEPUTIES ARRESTED ELISE PRICE FOR INVESTIGATION OF ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY WEAPON. GEORGE WOLFENGARGER WAS ARRESTED FOR INVESTIGATION OF ATTEMPTED ARSON. BOTH WERE BOOKED INTO THE MORONGO BASIN JAIL.

NEW CENTRAL COUNTY BUILDING PLANNED FOR JOSHUA TREE
THE COUNTY IS PLANNING ON BUILDING A NEW CENTRALIZED COUNTY SERVICES BUILDING IN JOSHUA TREE. REPORTER KARL GARDNER SAYS THE NEW COUNTY BUILDING WILL BE LOCATED NEXT TO THE MORONGO BASIN COURTHOUSE COMPLEX------
2 STORIES TALL AND OVER 29,000 SQUARE FEET OF SPACE, A NEW COUNTY SERVICES BUILDING COULD BE IN THE WORKS FOR JOSHUA TREE, IF CONSTRUCTION FUNDING IS APPROVED FOR THE 5 MILLION DOLLAR PROJECT. ALAN RASMUSSEN, FIELD REPRESENTATIVE FOR 3RD DISTRICT SUPERVISOR NEIL DERRY, SAID THAT FORMER FIELD REP BRUCE DAVIS UNDER DENNIS HANSBERGER IS "GOING TO BE MANAGING THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE NEW COUNTY BUILDING NEXT TO THE COURT HOUSE". WITH ONLY THE DESIGN FUNDED AT THIS TIME, THE NEW BUILDING WILL CONSOLIDATE SEVERAL COUNTY SERVICES UNDER ONE ROOF, INCLUDING PLANNING, CODE ENFORCEMENT, ASSESSOR, PROBATION, SOME SHERIFF OFFICES, AND THE FIELD REPRESENTATIVES’ OFFICE. RASMUSSEN SAID PLANNERS ARE AIMING AT A DESIGN THAT WILL BE ECO-FRIENDLY UNDER THE LEADERSHIP IN ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN OR L.E.E.D GREEN BUILDING RATING SYSTEM.

NO ON GREEN PATH GROUP BUSSING TO STATE HEARING SATURDAY
THE LOCAL CALIFORNIA DESERT COALITION, CDC, FORMED IN OPPOSITION TO A PLAN BY THE LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND POWER, OR LADWP, TO PUT POWER LINES IN THE WEST AND NORTH OF THE MORONGO BASIN, IS ORGANIZING A TRIP TO A STATE AGENCY HEARING THIS SATURDAY. THEY HOPE OPPONENTS OF THE GREEN PATH NORTH ENERGY TRANSMISSION PROJECT WILL BE OUT IN FORCE TO GIVE VOICE TO THEIR CONCERNS ABOUT CALIFORNIA’S RENEWABLE ENERGY TRANSMISSION INITIATIVE OR RETI. THE COALITION SAYS RETI IS A STATEWIDE PLANNING PROCESS WHOSE MISSION IS TO IDENTIFY THE TRANSMISSION PROJECTS NEEDED TO ACCOMMODATE CALIFORNIA’S RENEWABLE ENERGY GOALS, THE PUBLIC MEETING WILL BE HELD IN PALM DESERT. CDC IS PROVIDING BUS TRANSPORTATION TO THE RETI MEETING SO CITIZENS IN COMMUNITIES AFFECTED BY GREEN PATH NORTH CAN HAVE THEIR VOICES HEARD. THE BUSES WILL LEAVE FROM THE PARK & RIDE IN YUCCA VALLEY PROMPTLY AT 8:30 A.M. THIS SATURDAY MORNING. BUS RIDERS SHOULD BRING THEIR OWN LUNCH; THE MEETING WILL BREAK FOR LUNCH. AS A SHOW OF UNITY, CDC SUGGESTS THAT ITS SUPPORTERS WEAR RED. A CDC SPOKESPERSON SAID SATURDAY’S MEETING IS DEEMED EXTREMELY IMPORTANT IN STOPPING THE GREEN PATH NORTH TRANSMISSION LINES AND NEW ENERGY CORRIDOR. THE MEETING IS FROM 10:00 A.M. TO 3:00 P.M. AT THE PARKVIEW PROFESSIONAL OFFICE BUILDING, ROOM 119, 73710 FRED WARING DRIVE, PALM DESERT.

COPPER MOUNTAIN COLLEGE PAID-CALL FIREFIGHTER ACADEMY ORIENTATION THIS FRIDAY *

NEW RITE AID AND FRESH AND EASY COMING TO YUCCA VALLEY
THE YUCCA VALLEY PLANING COMMISSION GAVE THE GREEN LIGHT TO A NEW SHOPPING CENTER IN YUCCA VALLEY. REPORTER TAMI ROLEFF SAYS A DRUG STORE AND A SUPERMARKET WERE APPROVED ------
A NEW RITE-AID AND FRESH & EASY GROCERY STORE SHOULD BE OPEN IN YUCCA VALLEY BY THE END OF THE YEAR. AT LAST NIGHT’S MEETING OF THE YUCCA VALLEY PLANNING COMMISSION, THE COMMISSIONERS APPROVED A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT FOR THE WARREN VISTA CENTER, ON THE SOUTHWEST CORNER OF WARREN VISTA AND 29 PALMS HIGHWAY ACROSS FROM THE TOWN CENTER MALL. THE PROJECT WILL BE BUILT IN TWO PHASES, WITH A FREE-STANDING RITE AID DRUG STORE, FRESH & EASY GROCERY STORE, AND A RETAIL STRIP MALL TO BE BUILT FIRST. PHASE 2 WILL INCLUDE A SMALL FREESTANDING BUILDING THAT COULD BE A RESTAURANT OR BANK, AND THE RETAIL STRIP MALL WILL BE ENLARGED. THE COMMISSIONERS GAVE KUDOS TO EVERYONE INVOLVED IN THE PROJECT, ESPECIALLY SINCE THE PROPERTY REQUIRES STREET WIDENING, MEDIANS, CURBS, GUTTERS, AND SIDEWALKS TO 29 PALMS HIGHWAY, WARREN VISTA, AND ALTA VISTA, AND A NEW BRIDGE THAT SPANS THE FLOOD CONTROL CHANNEL ON THE WEST. A REQUIREMENT THAT A TRAFFIC SIGNAL AT WARREN VISTA AND YUCCA TRAIL WAS REMOVED, WITH THE STIPULATION THAT THE DEVELOPER PAY ITS FAIR SHARE FOR THE SIGNAL INSTEAD. 93 OF THE 155 JOSHUA TREES WILL BE PRESERVED ON THE SITE. A DISCUSSION ABOUT SIGNAGE FOR THE PROJECT WAS POSTPONED TO THE NEXT PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING, TO BE HELD JANUARY 20.

FIRE HYDRANTS OUT, WATER LINE BREAKS IN JOSHUA TREE
INOPERABLE FIRE HYDRANTS IN AN AREA OF JOSHUA TREE SPURRED REPORTER DAN STORK TO ASK SOME QUESTIONS ABOUT WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR FIRE SAFETY. DURING HIS RESEARCH, STORK ALSO DISCOVERED A RECENT WATER MAIN BREAK. WITH THE FIRST OF A TWO PART SERIES, HERE IS DAN STORK ------
MEMBERS OF THE ROAD MAINTENANCE COMMITTEE OF THE MONUMENT MANOR HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION IN JOSHUA TREE TOLD US THAT SOME FIRE HYDRANTS IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD WERE NOT WORKING. AREA RESIDENTS WERE CONCERNED ABOUT THE IMPACT ON FIRE PROTECTION. JOSHUA BASIN WATER DISTRICT GENERAL MANAGER JOE GUZZETTA CONFIRMED THAT 2 AREA HYDRANTS WERE OUT OF COMMISSION, AND ANOTHER WAS LEAKING, BUT OPERATIONAL. ONE HYDRANT, WHICH WAS HIT BY A VEHICLE ON DECEMBER 18TH, IS SCHEDULED FOR REPLACEMENT ON JANUARY 7TH. ANOTHER, WHICH HAS BEEN OUT OF SERVICE FOR MONTHS, REQUIRES MORE EXTENSIVE WORK. ACCORDING TO GUZZETTA THAT WORK WILL BE DONE WITHIN THE NEXT TWO WEEKS. THE GM ADDED THAT THE WATER DISTRICT HAS INSTITUTED A SYSTEMATIC PROGRAM OF PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE, REPLACING OLD PIPE AS WARRANTED. COINCIDENTALLY, WHILE FACTS WERE BEING GATHERED FOR THIS REPORT, WE DISCOVERED A BROKEN WATER MAIN ON ROCKING CHAIR ROAD IN MONUMENT MANOR SHORTLY AFTER 1 PM ON JANUARY 6TH, AND REPORTED IT TO JOSHUA BASIN WATER DISTRICT. SERVICE WAS SHUT OFF IN THE AREA WHILE REPAIRS WERE MADE. DISTRICT WORKER STEVE CORBIN TOLD US THAT THE OLD POLY WATER PIPE, PROBABLY INSTALLED IN THE 70S, DOESN’T STAND UP WELL TO TEMPERATURE CHANGES OVER TIME. A FIFTEEN-FOOT SECTION WAS REPLACED WITH COPPER PIPE. REPAIRS WERE COMPLETED, AND WATER SERVICE WAS RESTORED, AS DARK FELL, BUT ALREADY-STORM-RAVAGED DIRT ROADS WERE FURTHER DAMAGED BY THE TORRENT. HOW DOES THE FIRE DEPARTMENT DEAL WITH OUT-OF-SERVICE HYDRANTS? WE’LL TELL YOU WHAT WE FOUND OUT ABOUT THAT IN ANOTHER STORY.

JOSHUA BASIN WATER DISTRICT WILL SELECT NEW OFFICERS TONIGHT *

HI DESERT WATER DISTRICT TO DISCUSS RATES AND THEIR WEBSITE TONIGHT
THE HI-DESERT WATER DISTRICT BOARD MEETS IN A BUSY SESSION TONIGHT. REPORTER KARL GARDNER SAYS A RATE STUDY, WEBSITE, AND AN UPDATE ON WASTEWATER ARE ALL ON THE AGENDA ------
WATER RATES AND A LOOK AT A NEW WEB SITE, TOPS THE LIST OF ACTION ITEMS AT THIS EVENING’S HI DESERT WATER DISTRICT BOARD MEETING, BEING HELD AT DISTRICT OFFICES 55439 TWENTYNINE PALMS HIGHWAY. PRIOR TO THE WATER BOARD MEETING, THE WARREN VALLEY BASIN WATERMASTER MEETS AT 5, WITH ADOPTION OF THE ANNUAL REPORT ON THE DOCKET. CONVENING AT 6, THE HI DESERT WATER BOARD WILL RECEIVE AN UPDATE ON THE WATER RATE STUDY AND WASTEWATER PUBLIC ADVISORY COMMITTEE, THE CONSIDER APPROVING THE DISTRICT NEW WEBSITE DESIGN. AN UPDATE ON THE SEWAGE TREATMENT PROJECT, COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS AND REPORTS FROM STAFF AND BOARD MEMBERS RAPS UP THE OPEN PORTION OF THE MEETING. A CLOSED SESSION FOLLOWS TO CONFERENCE WITH LEGAL COUNCIL ON ANTICIPATED LITIGATION.

A WIN FOR TWENTYNINE PALMS HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS BASKETBALL
MONDAY THE TWENTYNINE PALMS HIGH SCHOOL LADY WILDCATS VARSITY BASKETBALL TEAM DEFEATED INDIO 73-43 TO UP THEIR RECORD TO 11-4. THE LADIES ARE THE HIGHEST SCORING TEAM OF THE LAST 6 YEARS AT TWENTYNINE PALMS HIGH SCHOOL AVERAGING 65 POINTS A GAME. WILDCATS OF THE WEEK FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON ARE SENIOR CAPTAIN HALY HERRERA AND FRESHMAN ERIN STANFORD.

YUCCA VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS SOCCER GAME TONIGHT, LASAGNA TOMORROW *

MORE HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS ACTION SCHEDULED
IN HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS ACTION TODAY, THE TWENTYNINE PALMS WILDCAT BOYS BASKETBALL TEAM IS AT HOME HOSTING THE CATHEDRAL CITY HIGH SCHOOL LIONS AND THE YUCCA VALLEY TROJAN BOYS BASKETBALL HOST THE COACHELLA VALLEY ARABS. THE LADY TROJAN BASKETBALL TEAM TRAVELS AWAY VERSUS COACHELLA VALLEY. ALL THE VARSITY GAMES START AT 6:30.

*AVAILABLE ON AUDIO FILE ONLY

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