ONE DEAD, ONE ARRESTED IN JOSHUA TREE STABBING

A Joshua Tree man is dead, and another arrested, following an argument early Sunday morning. According to a Sheriff’s report and press release, a man called 911 about 2:20 a.m. Sunday morning to report Lionel Blankenship, 50, had been “accidentally” stabbed. When deputies arrived, they located Blankenship near the road in the 63200 block of Pole Road in Joshua Tree, dead from a stab wound. After an investigation, Gregory Dominguez, 45, was arrested on suspicion of murder. Dominguez was brought to the Morongo Basin Jail, but a crash of the Sheriff’s computer system has delayed his booking and processing. Court records show that the victim, Lionel Blankenship, had enrolled in the drug court diversion program this summer, for a drug-related arrest in 2012. The Sheriff’s report indicates that deputies also discovered marijuana cultivation at the scene of the murder.

HIKER RESCUED IN BIG MORONGO CANYON PRESERVE MONDAY

A woman had to be rescued Monday afternoon in the Big Morongo Canyon Preserve after she fell while hiking. According to Morongo Valley Fire Chief Jock Johnson, rescue personnel, assisted by Cal Fire, hiked about 30 minutes into a steep canyon to rescue the woman, described as being in her 60s, who fell and was unable to move afterwards. Paramedics had to carry her out on a stretcher; she was then taken to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs.

ANOTHER SCAM TARGETS LOCAL RESIDENTS

The scammers are hard at work trying to separate you from your money. Last week, another Morongo Basin resident received a phone call from a man claiming to be from the IRS Tech Department. The caller said the business owner owed a substantial amount of money, and if the owner didn’t pay up over the phone, the IRS would send out the Sheriff to shut down the business. This is a scam. First of all, the IRS NEVER initiates its first contact with taxpayers over the phone, by fax, OR by e-mail. Furthermore, the IRS doesn’t take payments over the phone. And being a government agency, the IRS moves very slowly; it’s not going to immediately shut down your business. If you have any questions about the legitimacy of a communication from “the IRS,” call 800-366-4484.

TWENTYNINE PALMS CITY COUNCIL MEETS TONIGHT, A SIGN AND HOUSING PLANS ON THE AGENDA

Energy savings, an electronic sign, and housing plans fill up the agenda of the Twentynine Palms City Council. Dan Stork has details…
The October 8 meeting of the Twentynine Palms City Council starts with a presentation by city staff on energy savings program for city facilities. Also scheduled is the discussion of an installation of an electronic sign in Pioneer Park to advertise Theatre 29 and various city events to future casino and local traffic and approve the use of $10,000 to pay for 50 percent of the sign. Then the 2013-2021 Housing Element of the General Plan will be presented for review and comment, and a recommendation to forward it to the California Department of Housing and Community Development. The meeting finishes with a feature recently introduced by City Manager Joe Guzetta—a regular update of City projects. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall on Adobe Road.

TWO MORONGO BASIN THEATERS TAKE TOP AWARDS

Grove’s Cabin Theater of Morongo Valley and Theatre 29 of Twentynine Palms garnered some top honors at the Desert Theatre League Desert Star Awards in Indio Sunday Night. The Desert Theater League is made up of 31 community, school, and professional theatrical producing organizations in the high and low deserts. This was the 26th year the Desert Theatre League has honored the best in live theater in the Morongo Basin and the Coachella Valley. Managing editor Tami Roleff gives a rundown of local honorees…

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The Groves Theater made the biggest mark on the awards ceremonies, taking home seven awards including Outstanding Drama Production for “Strange Snow.” “Strange Snow” also garnered a Best Lead Actor in a Drama and Best Drama Director award for Abe Daniels, and Best Supporting Actor in a Drama for Kurt Schauppner.
An original production at the Grove’s theater, “Georgia O’Keefe,” won best original writing for author Dolores Becker-Trost, a Best Lead actress in a Drama nod for Joy Groves, and Best Supporting Actress award for Anja Homburg.

Another Grove’s Cabin Theatre production, “The Clean House” saw Wendy Cohen winning for Best Director of a Comedy and Joy Groves for Best Supporting actress in a Comedy. In addition Cohen was honored with the prestigious “Joan Woodbury Mitchell Award” for theatrical motivation.

Theatre 29 took home three awards, with “Gypsy” winning the Best Director of a Musical award for Gary Daigneault and Best lead actress in a Musical for Analisa Pilecki. “Ragtime” received an award for John Wright for Best Props and Special effects.

YUCCA VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL SPRING PRODUCTION OPENS TOMORROW

The Yucca Valley High School student-directed productions of the, “Downhill” and “Seth’s Anxiety” will open tomorrow at the Yucca Valley High School Multipurpose Room (MPR). That’s right! You get two shows for the price of one!  The show dates are October 9, 10, 11, and 12. All shows start at 6 p.m. There will also be a special matinee showing on October 12 at 1 p.m. The cost is $5 for adults, $4 for students, and free admission for children under age 12. Tickets will be available at the door at Yucca Valley High School. You don’t want to miss this double feature.

TWENTYNINE PALMS HIGH SCHOOL MURDER MYSTERY DINNER THEATRE THIS WEEKEND

Twentynine Palms High School theater students will present the second weekend of their fall murder mystery dinner theater this weekend. Student Kelsy Holder tells you how to get tickets…
A night of awards, romance, and murder? Twentynine Palms High School’s International Thespian Society is proud to present their annual audience participation, murder mystery dinner theater. This year’s production is “My Fatal Romance: A Deadly Affair” by Eileen Moushey. Come and join the cast as they discover some secrets about the suspects and figure out who the murderer really is. The play will Friday, October 11 and Saturday, October 12. Dinner begins at 6 p.m. in the high school MPR. Presale tickets are $15 for adults, and $12 for senior citizens, active duty military and students. Tickets will be sold at the door for $20 for adults and $15 for senior citizens, active duty military, and students. Presale tickets will be available from cast members as well as the activities office on campus or at Whitaker’s Art Supply in the Historic Plaza.

YUCCA VALLEY CHAMBER MIXER AT GROUND CONTROL TONIGHT

The Yucca Valley Chamber of Commerce will hold its October mixer at Ground Control Hobbies in Yucca Valley, this evening from 5 to 7 p.m. Mixers are an opportunity for businesses and business professionals to make new acquaintances, exchange business cards and pass out brochures. Ground Control Hobbies has expanded from just remote-control vehicles to selling models, art supplies, leather working supplies, and more. Ground Control Hobbies is located at 55696 29 Palms Hwy in Yucca Valley.

YUCCA VALLEY PLANNING COMISSION LOOKS AT TWO NEW STORES TONIGHT

The Yucca Valley Planning Commission will hear more about two major stores coming tonight. Managing Editor Tami Roleff has details…
The sole item on the agenda for tonight’s meeting of the Yucca Valley Planning Commission is a site plan review for Marshalls and Petco. The two stores are planned for the outparcels in front of Home Depot, and will include 224 parking spaces. The meeting will be held at 6:00 tonight in the Yucca Room of the Yucca Valley Community Center.

JOSHUA TREE CLEAN TEAM OUT TOMORROW MORNING

The Joshua Team Clean Team will meet Wednesday, October 9, at 8 a.m. to pick up trash by the 29 Palms Highway in front of the Hospice Thrift Store. Everyone is invited to join this jovial, dedicated group to work for one short hour. Afterwards there is optional coffee and conversation at the popular Park Rock Café. Trash bags, grabber sticks, gloves and water are provided. The Clean Team meets every second, fourth, and the occasional fifth Wednesday of every month at 8 a.m.

COPPER MOUNTAIN COLLEGE JOB SEARCH WORKSHOP SET FOR THIS THURSDAY

Copper Mountain College in inviting you to a series of job search workshops this Thursday, Reporter Mike Lipsitz has details…
A series of workshops on resumes, job search techniques, interview skills, and professionalism at work is being offered by the Business Honor Society at Copper Mountain College. The free workshops are open to both students and the public. The workshops are as follows: interview skills and resumes on Thursday, October 10, from 4 to 6 p.m. in Room 219; job search and interview skills Monday, October 21 from noon to 2 p.m. in Room 217; and professionalism in the workplace on Thursday, October 24, from 4 to 6 p.m. in Room 219. For more information, email Jeffrey Haig at jhaig@cmccd.edu.

LAS PALMAS EVENT TONIGHT TO BENEFIT UNITY HOME

Las Palmas Mexican Restaurant at the west end of Yucca Valley is teaming up with the Morongo Basin Unity Home to raise funds for the domestic violence shelter. Dine at Las Palmas Mexican Restaurant on Tuesday, October 8, from 4 to 9 p.m., and a portion of the proceeds from sales that night will go directly to the Morongo Basin Unity Home.

COMPASSIONATE FRIENDS MEET TOMORROW

The Morongo Basin Chapter of The Compassionate Friends, a support group for parents who have experienced the death of a child, meets every second Wednesday of the month from 4:30 pm to 6:00 p.m. It will hold its meeting at the Helen Gray Education Center located on the campus of the Hi Desert Medical Center at 6601 White Feather Road, Joshua Tree tomorrow. The group is facilitated by Kristin Martin. For more information, please contact Martin at 760-250-7295 or visit the Hi Desert Medical website at www.hdmc.org