SHERIFF, JUDGE, AND CALTRANS AT COUNTY SAFETY FORUM

About three dozen people, mostly public officials and employees of local agencies and governing bodies, attended a public safety forum at Copper Mountain College. Dan Stork summarizes the presentations they heard from three regional officials, on jails, courts, and highways…

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29 Palms Council Member and SANBAG rep Jim Harris, Sheriff John McMahon, Caltrans District 8 head Basem Muallem. SANBAG Executive Director Dr. Ray Wolfe, Superior Court Presiding Judge Marcia Slough, Yucca Valley Council Member and SANBAG rep George Huntington.

As the first of three speakers at the public safety forum sponsored by San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) at the Bell Center at Copper Mountain College, County Sheriff John McMahon repeated the presentation that he delivered at the September 24 Twentynine Palms City Council meeting, in which he described how the county jail system is dealing with AB109, the prison realignment bill. Again, he covered greatly shortened sentences, additional prison beds and medical facilities opening up in Adelanto, and rehabilitation programs designed to reduce recidivism.

San Bernardino Superior Court Presiding Judge Marsha Slough gave a history of the Court’s efforts to deal with declining revenues, excessive workloads and understaffing, and an unfair state funding formula. She described lobbying activities that have resulted in a fairer apportionment, which is already bringing more state money to the County’s courts, and promises accelerated future improvements. She also talked about using technology to streamline court operations. Her takeaway message for the Morongo Basin community is: The Joshua Tree court operations are safe from further cuts. “As it relates to access to justice, our paperwork submitted to the legislature says we are keeping the Joshua Tree Court open.” In a separate discussion after the meeting, she told Z107.7 that the Joshua Tree Drug Court program is safe.
Caltrans District 8 Director Basem Muallem sketched procedural changes that he says will streamline project development and will make Caltrans more responsive. He defended the controversial placement of “channelizers” on State Route 62 in Morongo Valley by asking “What is the value of a human life?” meaning that the measure has been successful in eliminating median crossover fatalities. He promised opportunities for community input before a permanent median is constructed in 2015.

UNFOUNDED REPORT OF ARMED ROBBERY NETS TWO ARRESTS

A report of an armed robbery early Tuesday morning turned out to be unfounded, but two men were arrested on parole and probation violations. According to Sergeant Derek Garvin, an unknown man called to report he was held up at gunpoint about 5:45 a.m. near the Circle K in Joshua Tree. Several deputies arrived, but were unable to locate the victim. They did find three men, however, who matched the description given in the original call for help, and ordered the men to the ground at gunpoint. Romaine Taylor, 30, was found to be on parole and had a 3 1/2–inch knife in his right front pocket. Taylor was arrested for violation of his parole, booked at the West Valley Detention Center and is being held without bail. Robert Fuller, 40, of Joshua Tree, was arrested for investigation of possession of a controlled substance, and for violation of his probation. He was booked at the Morongo Basin Jail and returned to County Jail Wednesday to serve his original sentence of six months in jail. The third man was released at the scene.

FIRST SATURDAY EVENT TOMORROW IN OLD TOWN YUCCA VALLEY

The Old Town area of Yucca Valley will see over 20 local businesses participating in their first Saturday event tomorrow. Managing editor Tami Roleff explains…
First Saturday—a late night shopping, entertainment and social event—returns tomorrow night in Old Town Yucca Valley. More than 20 Old Town merchants—selling antiques, vintage and modern clothing, jewelry, collectibles, art, home décor and architectural salvage, indoor gardening supplies—and restaurants will be open until 9:00 on the first Saturday of every month. Some locations will have entertainment. There are places to sit and visit with friends and sidewalks for strolling and enjoying the fall night air. Come out and enjoy a very friendly home town atmosphere the first Saturday night of every month. Old Town Yucca Valley is east and west of Pioneertown Road from just east of Under the Sun Consignments west to Route 62 Vintage Market Place.

MARINE BASE CAR SHOW CANCELLED

Due to the government shutdown, the Commanding General’s Annual Car Show, scheduled for Saturday, October 5, on the Marine base in Twentynine Palms, has been cancelled. Marine Corps Community Services, MCCS, has a skeleton staff in place, and is still trying to determine how to issue refunds to those who reserved a spot in advance for the car show, and whether the show will be rescheduled.

REACH OUT VOLUNTEER NAMED NON-PROFIT VOLUTEER OF THE YEAR

A volunteer from Reach Out Morongo Basin was honored as Non-Profit Volunteer of the Year at an awards ceremony sponsored by the Academy of Grass-Roots Organizations last week in Victorville. Carrie Hendrickson started volunteering for Reach Out in 2009 through the welfare-to-work program, CalWorks. She was hired as an administrative assistant at Reach Out in 2011, but continued her volunteer activities at the interfaith organization. Hendrickson helps plan fundraising and community events, and works at the organization’s booth at events, all in her spare time of being a single mother, a full-time student with a 3.45 GPA, and a full-time employee. Hendrickson said she was shocked and honored to be chosen as employee of the year by the Academy of Grass-Roots Organizations. She said she just tries to help people and make a difference in their lives. About 300 organizations are part of the Academy of Grass-Roots Organizations.

SCHOOL DISTRICT TO GET NEARLY $1,000,000 FROM DOD

Morongo Unified School District has a history of garnering financial support from the Department of Defense. Dan Stork says that record of success continues…
Morongo Unified received a Department of Defense Education Grant to improve STEM Education (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) for secondary schools that serve over 50 percent of the military-dependent students and families from the nearby base. The district will receive approximately $941,000 over a period of three years to be utilized at Twentynine Palms Junior and Senior High Schools. The purpose of the grant is to engage and better prepare students for competitive post-secondary academics and highly-skilled technical careers, something that parents, teachers, and administrators have indicated that they want. According to Superintendent Cecelia English, “I am very grateful for the grant, especially since it aligns with our overarching goal of preparing all of our students to be successful in college and career. I believe it will have far-reaching benefits since we serve not only the children who live here on a permanent basis but also the students of our military families.”

CMC FOUNDATION TO RAFFLE OFF NEW HARLEY DAVIDSON MOTORCYCLE

A brand new 2013 Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail motorcycle will be raffled off, with the proceeds going to the newly named, but still-not-built, Christine Proudfoot Student Activity Center at Copper Mountain College. The Rotary Clubs of Joshua Tree, Twentynine Palms, and Yucca Valley have launched a campaign by selling raffle tickets for the Harley Davidson, to raise $30,000 for the new student activity center. Only 2,500 raffle tickets will be sold; ticket price is $20 each. Tickets are available from Rotarians, on-line at the Copper Mountain College website, cmccd.edu, as well as at many community events over the next few months. The drawing will be held December 20. For more information, call 760-366-3791, extension 5296.

WHAT IS CALLED A “MIRACLE” BRINGS A JOSHUA TREE WOMAN HOME

Doctors, nurses, caregivers, and family all say it’s a miracle. A Joshua Tree woman who’s been on hospice care for most of the year, and wasn’t expected to live, is going home today. Managing editor Tami Roleff met with Julie Cassle yesterday, who talked about her struggle with liver failure, and the prospect of going home…

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When Jim Brady’s wife went on hospice care because of liver failure, he wrote this poem for her that still brings her to tears.

Today is a day that Jim Brady and Julie Cassle didn’t think they would ever see. After months on hospice at the Continuing Care Center in Joshua Tree, Cassle is going home today. “Everybody around here thinks it’s a miracle.” Brady said his wife of nearly 14 years was diagnosed with liver failure in January, and in March, Brady was told that Cassle may not make it through the night. Brady sat by Cassle’s bedside for the next six days and nights, waiting for her to wake up. Of course, the minute Brady left to go home to get some sleep, he got a phone call that Cassle had woken up. “He nearly ran out of the house with no pants on; he was here within about 7 minutes flat.” Although she’s had some difficult times, Cassle has a couple of theories about her recovery. “I think all my friends and their friends, they’re praying. The fact that these guys know what they’re doing; and the fact in my six days I must’ve told somebody there I ain’t coming, ’cause I wasn’t ready.” Cassle said the staff at the CCC has been wonderful, but … “I’m definitely ready to go home.”

CACTUS SEWABLES QUILT GUILD MEETS MONDAY

The Cactus Sewables Quilt Guild will meet Monday, October 7, in the Yucca Room of the Yucca Valley Community Center. Doors open at 12:30; the meeting begins promptly at 1 p.m. The afternoon will begin with a live auction of hand-made, finished and unfinished quilts, and other miscellaneous quilting items. Yucca Valley Mayor Merl Abel will be the auctioneer. The general meeting will follow. Guests are welcome. A $3 donation is requested.

JOSHUA TREE VFW OFFERING A BUSY KITCHEN

The Joshua Tree Veterans of Foreign Wars Post will be serving up a fish and shrimp dinner, tonight from 4:30 to 6:30. Sunday breakfast is chicken fried steak from 8 to 11. And don’t forget Taco Wednesday from 11 to 1.

DESERT STORM FOOTBALL HAS A GAME TOMMOROW

The Hi-Desert Storm Youth Football league continues their season with a game tonight. ROB Broadcast Student Malachi Palms says come see some great young athletes…
Twentynine Palms High Desert Storm Football program is a non-profit organization founded in 1999. Their focus is on teaching kids the basics of hard work, determination, and football to kids ages seven through fourteen. There are four categories: Junior Micros, 7- and 8-year-olds; Micros, 8-, 9- and 10-year-olds; Junior Pee Wees, 10-, 11- and 12-year-olds; and Pee Wees, 12-, 13- and 14-year-olds. Storm teams will play home games at Tom Nicoll Memorial Stadium, Utah Trail at Two Mile Road, and will travel to Yucca Valley, Yucaipa, Coachella Valley, Indio, Corona and Menifee for away games. The full registration price is $185. High Desert Storm provides everything except a cup and cleats. Storm’s motto is, “Hustle, Hit, and Never Quit.” The season is from September 7 through November 2. The current statistics for the divisions are: Junior Micros 3-1; Micros 3-1; Junior Pee Wee 4-0; Pee Wee 4-0. The next game this Saturday at 12:00 p.m., come out and support the High Desert Storm, they are our future Wildcats.

WINS FOR BOTH YUCCA VALLEY AND TWENTYNINE PALMS HIGH SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL TEAMS

The Yucca Valley High School Lady Trojan varsity girls’ volleyball team beat Desert Mirage last night at Trojan gym. Highlights of the match Chelsea LeBoutillier, 17 kills, 20 for 20 serves; Ashley Priest, 13 kills; Chelsea Mondary, 31 assists; Cassidy Sterling, 16 for 16 serves, Sarah Jennings, 17 for 17 serves, and Michaela Milone, 12 for 12 serves with six kills.

The Twentynine Palms High School Ladycat volleyball team defeated the Big Bear Bears at home in five sets. The team was lead by seniors Cherokee Turner and Tusia Brown. Hanna Beard really stepped up her defensive play. Overall the girls played well and are looking forward to playing Shadow Hills at home on Tuesday. The Ladycats are 9-6 overall and 1-0 in league play.

TOMORROW’S HIGH SCHOOL SCHEDULES

Coming up in high school sports tomorrow, the Yucca Valley High School Trojan football team will host the Rosamond High School Road Runners at home. The Twentynine Palms High School Wildcat football team will travel away to Cathedral City. Kick off for both games is at 7 p.m.