“BATTLE OF THE BALL,” FOOTBALL VS. VOLLEYBALL AT YUCCA VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL TONIGHT

Battle of the Ball is the chance for the Yucca Valley High School varsity volleyball team to play the senior class football players in a three-set match. The rivalry has been heated and the football team is looking to defeat the Lady Trojans. The match will be played at Yucca Valley High School gym this evening at 6 p.m. The cost is $3 admission. There will also be a concession stand available.

YUCCA VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL VOLLEYBAL TEAMS IN PRE-SEASON OPENER

The volleyball teams from Yucca Valley high school travelled to San Jacinto High School to face the Lady Tigers in a pre-season opener. The varsity team lost in three straight sets. Coach Matt Jennings said the Lady Trojans were neck and neck in the third set but just fell short. Middle hitter Ashley Priest put up seven kills and three blocks, followed by Chelsea Leboutillier with five kills and two blocks. Setter Chelsea Mondary had 13 assists and went 10 for 10 from the service line.

The junior varsity team went three sets with San Jacinto, Leading the team in kills was Becky Messaros with five, Joelle Hazher added 10 ace serves, Nikole Cody had five assists and the passing game was led by Chloe Smith and Evelynn Marin.

The freshman team, coached by Rebeca Taylor, fell in two sets. Nichole Sugita did well in receiving serves and Savannah Gregory had four ace serves.

BACK-TO SCHOOL NIGHT AT LA CONTENTA MIDDLE SCHOOL TONIGHT

La Contenta Middle School Back-to-School Night is tonight from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Parents should bring their child’s schedule. The evening is designed to give parents a chance to visit their child’s classrooms and meet their teachers. Parents will be given an overview of the curriculum, procedures, and policies.

SKATEBOARD COMPETITION PLANNED IN MORONGO VALLEY

A skateboard competition is planned for Morongo Valley next weekend. Reporter Taylor Thacker tells you how to signup…

Show off your skills and impress the pros at the Morongo Valley Skate Park Games! All skateboarders, BMX bikers, and freestyle scooters are welcome to compete in this year’s Games scheduled for Saturday, September 14, starting at 2:00 p.m. and taking place at Covington Park, Morongo Valley. This event has free entry for local residents and only a $5 fee for out-of-town entries; however, all parents must sign a waiver. If you don’t think you are ready to compete, classes are offered for skateboard, BMX, and freestyle scooters. If you’re not a rider, there are still activities for you! There will be pro demos for your entertainment, raffles, and giveaways! You will even have a chance to meet and get an autograph from Madd Gear pro Chandler Dunn! For more information call 760-641-2614.

PARKING LOT SALE AT TWENTYNINE PALMS UMC CHURCH

United Methodist Church of Twentynine Palms will hold a parking lot extravaganza, Saturday, September 7, from 9 to noon, in the church’s parking lot. One parking space is $10 suggested donation, or $15 for two spaces. Funds raised will finance their monthly Reach Out activities. Lots of kids’ toys will be available for sale, as well as hotdogs, chips, and drinks. The church is at 6250 Mesquite Springs Road in Twentynine Palms. For information, call 760-367-7338.

CACTUS SEWABLES QUILD GUILD MEET THIS MONDAY

Cactus Sewables Quilt Guild will meet Monday, September 9, in the Yucca Room of the Yucca Valley Community Center; doors open at 12:30 p.m.; meeting begins promptly at 1:00 p.m. Lunch will be served, followed by an “Over the Top” show and share by members of projects completed over the summer break. Members are looking forward to our October 7 fund raiser, a live auction of hand-made finished, unfinished, and other miscellaneous quilting items. Auctioneer will be Merle Abel, Mayor of the Town of Yucca Valley. Guests are welcome. A $3 donation is requested.

RETIRED TEACHERS MEET FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 13

The California Retired Teachers’ Association will hold its first meeting of the 2013-2014 school year Friday, September 13. The meeting will be held at 10:00 a.m. at the Helen Gray Center on White Feather Road in Joshua Tree. A program will be presented by the Morongo Basin Support Center and will be followed by lunch. All educators are invited to attend. Please call Sherry Craft at 760-818-5275 no later than this Monday to reserve your place at the luncheon.

MORONGO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD: PART 2, DIVERSE TOPICS FROM OPEN SESSION

The Morongo Unified School District Board of Education had a budget workshop in addition to its regular business meeting this week. Dan Stork breaks his report into two parts. Today, diverse topics that arose in the regular business session: summer session, busing, class overcrowding, athletic eligibility, staffing decisions, and expenditures…

During the regular open session of the Morongo Unified School District Board of Education, Assistant Superintendent Tom Baumgarten summarized the summer school programs. Between 129 and 158 students attended credit recovery sessions at the high schools, with two sessions each in Yucca Valley and Twentynine Palms. La Contenta Middle School also had a credit recovery session for 58 students, as well as an 8th grade intervention program. Condor and Yucca Mesa Elementary Schools had summer tutoring programs.
Assistant Superintendent Dave Price said that bus services started up smoothly, which he ascribed to First Student (the driving company) bringing in more drivers, and the addition of more stops on major arteries. Morongo Teachers Association representative Jason Bolt asked about relief for some very large classes. Price said that the District expects to hire six teachers shortly, and will redistribute some teaching loads. Twentynine Palms High School Athletic Director Jeremy Johnson urged the Board to review eligibility standards for athletes, with an eye toward having a probationary status category. All matters on the Action Agenda were approved without discussion or dissent. But Board member Karalee Hargrove pulled the Payments item from the Consent Agenda to question several items, and Ron Palmer pulled a personnel action item to question elimination of an instructional assistant position at Landers Elementary. After discussion the payments were approved unanimously, but the personnel action was upheld 3-2, with Palmer and Hargrove dissenting.

JOSHUA TREE OFFER FRIDAY EVENING MOVIE IN THE PARK

Tomorrow, the Joshua Tree Recreation and Park District will be hosting a movie in the park. A family friendly movie will be shown around 8:00 p.m., after it gets dark, out on the ball field lawn in Sunburst Park. The public is encouraged to bring their blankets and lawn chairs and enjoy a fun evening outdoors. This event is being offered free to the public. Popcorn and refreshments will be available for purchase. Sunburst Park is located on 6171 Sunburst Ave in Joshua Tree. Contact the Joshua Tree Community Center for movie details: 760-366-8415.

THREE CHAMBER GALA TO ANNOUNCE THEATRE 29 2014 SEASON

Theatre 29 will announce its 2014 performance season at a special season announcement gala, co-hosted by three Morongo Basin Chambers of Commerce, next week. The gala will be held in Friendship Hall of the Joshua Tree Retreat Center from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, September 12. The Twentynine Palms, Joshua Tree, and Yucca Valley Chambers of Commerce will give a brief presentation on their economic development activities. Then Theatre 29 Board President Brian Tabeling will announce the two musicals, four comedies, a children’s youth theater production, and a classic drama that will make up Theatre 29′s 2014 season. Those in attendance will have the first opportunity to purchase season tickets. Each director will offer a sneak peak of their production at the gala. Theatre 29 offers quality theater; with just two shows entered, Theatre 29 and its cast and crew garnered 15 nominations by the Desert Theater League for “Ragtime” and “Gypsy,” including Best Musical and Best Director for both shows.

THE SHOW MUST GO ON WITH

Theatre 29 proved once again that “The Show Must Go On” after the lead actor was injured during last Saturday evening’s show. Reporter Mike Lipsitz said the talented cast made adjustments and went right back on stage…

“Monty Python’s Spamalot” has been tickling sellout crowds at Theatre 29. But last Friday’s audience got more than they bargained for when leading actor Charles Harvey, as King Arthur, exited the theater in an ambulance midway through act one. That, following a fall on stage in which Harvey severed a tendon at his kneecap. Fellow actor Marv Schmelling stepping in as King Arthur; daughter Lizzie Schmelling stepped into Marv’s role as the Knight of Ni. Commenting on the change, patron Herb Orban of Yucca Valley said, “The cast adjusted with incredible ease and speed; it as absolutely remarkable.” Harvey underwent surgery at Eisenhower Medical Center yesterday (on Wednesday) and is expected to be off his feet for four to five weeks. Marv Schmelling remains as King Arthur through September 21 when the show closes. Spamalot is recommended for age 12 and over. Tickets are $8 to $12 available at theatre29.org and through the box office at 760-361-4151.

DUMPED SICK DOMESTIC SHEEP SUSPECTED IN BIGHORN SHEEP DEATHS

A pneumonia epidemic that has killed more than 100 bighorn sheep in the nearby Mojave National Preserve this summer, and is decimating another herd, may have come from sick animals illegally dumped off a truck en route to alfalfa fields in the Imperial Valley. Tuesday, Federal land managers said scientists are investigating two areas plagued by disease. The first, at Old Dad Mountain, 15 miles southeast of Baker where experts estimate that half of the 200- to 300-sheep herd died since mid-May and at nearby Kelso Peak. Last month, several sick bighorn sheep were found 35 miles to the south in the Marble Mountains, just south of Interstate 40 and east of Kelbaker Road. Tests showed they suffered the same strain of pneumonia found in bighorn at Old Dad Mountain and Kelso Peak. Linda Slater, spokeswoman for the 1.6 million-acre preserve. Said, “They’re seeing a lot of sick sheep, so they’re expecting a lot of sheep to die in the next couple weeks in the Marble Mountains. It happened pretty quick at Old Dad, within a month.” The majestic bighorn, icons of the American West, are highly susceptible to pneumonia carried by domestic sheep and goats. Bighorn have no immunity to the disease, which is almost always fatal.

YUCCA VALLEY PLANS ANOTHER MAJOR HIGHWAY PROJECT, MORE MEDIANS COMING

The Yucca Valley Town Council approved several routine matters during its regular meeting Tuesday night, one of which was the authorization to advertise for bids for a highway improvement project in the town. Managing editor Tami Roleff describes the scope of the project…

The Town of Yucca Valley will advertise for bids for a highway improvement project from Apache Trail to Palm Avenue. The $2.9 million dollar project, which will be paid for with funds from federal, state, regional and local funds, as well as bond proceeds, is expected to start in January. The project will take four months to install raised medians, curbs, gutters, and sidewalks improvements, as well as a traffic signal at Church Street and the highway. The medians will prevent left turns at Palm Avenue from either direction. The Council was warned the project will cause traffic delays on the highway.

ARREST FOR ATTEMPTED MURDER IN LANDERS

Sketchy details on an arrest for attempted murder in Landers yesterday. According to a Sheriff’s report, Coral Schilling, 62, of the 4200 block of Youngs Freeway, called 911 at 11:35 a.m. to report that her husband, David, was threatening to have a shoot-out with police. After an investigation, Coral Schilling was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after deputies discovered a bullet hole in the wall of her husband’s bedroom. Schilling was booked into the Morongo Basin Jail with her bail set at $1 million.