WORK TO START ON YUCCA VALLEY GOLF COURSE

After years of sitting abandoned in foreclosure, construction is finally set to start on the former Blue Skies Country Club in Yucca Valley. Rough grading of the new 12-hole golf course, named Hawk’s Landing at Blue Skies, is set for November 6. The owner of the golf course, Bill Brehm Sr., said the designer of the golf course, Landscapes Unlimited, believes shorter courses will bring people back to playing golf. Cindy Melland, a spokesperson for the Brehm family, explained that 12 hole courses give golfers more options. “Twelve-hole courses are a trend now for a few reasons. People don’t have as much time to play. A golfer can play just six holes if they have very little time, play two loops for 12 holes, or play three loops for a full 18.” The club house has been demolished and will be rebuilt. Because the golf course was heavily vandalized while it sat in foreclosure for years—trees were cut down, and the plumbing and electrical lines were stripped—the reconstruction of the course and club house are expected to take nine to 10 months, with a late 2014 or early 2015 opening.

Click here to view the Hawks Landing design layout.

YUCCA VALLEY WOMEN SENTENCED TO 20 AND 25 YEARS FOR MURDER OF LAUREN MCLANE IN 2010

The woman who changed her plea to guilty minutes before her murder trial was to begin last week, was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison Friday. Diana Jordan, 38, changed her plea to guilty in the murder of Lauren McLane, 22, of Yucca Valley. Jordan’s co-defendant, Heidi McDermott, 32—who accepted a plea bargain of voluntary manslaughter—was also sentenced Friday, to a total of 20 years in prison for voluntary manslaughter and seven other felony charges. In December 2010, McLane left her job at the Dollar Tree store but never arrived home. Jordan and McDermott lured McLane to Jordan’s home where they killed her because Jordan and McLane were seeing the same man. McLane’s body was found in Jordan’s garage inside a plastic container along with bloody sledgehammers and a wrench.

COUNTY GETS GRANT FOR PRISONERS’ REHAB AND REINTEGRATION

San Bernardino County has gotten a grant of almost $600,000 from the US Department of Justice to aid the re-entry of recently incarcerated people into society. Dan Stork explains the BRIDGES program…
San Bernardino County is one of 15 recipients in the country, and one of four in California to be selected for funds derived from the Second Chance Act of 2008. The grant of $589,401 will help fund planning and implementation of the Bridging Reentry Integration by Driving Goal-oriented Effective Strategies (BRIDGES) project, coordinated by the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health. The project’s focus is to promote the safe and successful reintegration of recently incarcerated or detained individuals into the community through using evidenced-based practices that reduce the risk of recidivism. The County will match the federal funds for the project. Participants in the program will be linked to needed services such as employment, housing, mental health/substance abuse treatment, and eligible medical care.

GROVES THEATER OPENS “THE HAUNTING OF VINCENT VAN GOGH” SATURDAY

Groves Cabin Theatre in Morongo Valley will debut “The Haunting of Vincent Van Gogh,” a new comedy by local playwright Dolores Becker-Trost. The play will open this Saturday, November 2, and be performed Saturdays at 7:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. for four weekends through Sunday, November 24. Playwright/director/artist Dolores Becker-Trost, who has won three Desert Theatre League “Best Original Drama” awards, offers another original production, this time a comedy centered around the play “Vincent Van Gogh.” Velma Demaray portrays the director C.J.; Audrey O’Brien plays assistant director Charlie, Kat Anderson handles the role of theater tech Joey, and DTL Lifetime Achievement award winner Joy Groves plays the ghost of Vincent Van Gogh’s mother. Playwright Becker-Trost directs her own creation. Groves Cabin Theatre’s tiny 22-seat theater offers one of the most intimate theatrical experiences in the world and the limited seating means early reservations are a must. Groves Cabin Theatre is located at 8768 Desert Willow Trail in Morongo Valley north of Highway 62 (look for the large red, white, and blue stone on the north side of the highway). Tickets for all seats are $12.  For additional information and reservations call 760-365-4523 or visit www.grovescabintheatre.org.

SAFETY TIPS ABOUT HEATING AS THE WEATHER TURNS COLDER

As the blustery storm brings in the cold weather, many of us will be looking for extra heat. Reporter Mike Lipsitz says the County Fire Department is offering seasonal safety tips…
Fall often brings the need extra heat from a fireplace or space heater. Accidents involving fireplaces and heating equipment are a major cause of preventable home fires. County Fire offers tips to keep you safe while you keep warm. Position space heaters at least three feet from anything that burns. Turn them off when you leave home or go to bed. Have your chimney inspected and cleaned annually. Have a spark arrester on your chimney top to prevent burning embers from blowing out. Don’t use your fireplace during high winds. Clear tree branches at least 10 feet from the chimney opening. Store cooled ashes in a tightly sealed metal container. Cardboard boxes, paper bags and plastic containers quickly catch fire. Even apparently cool ashes may contain enough heat to ignite these containers.

ANNUAL BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB AUCTION SATURDAY

The Boys and Girls Club of the Hi-Desert will hold its annual live and silent auction Saturday, November 2. This year’s theme is “Winter Wonderland.” The event, which includes dinner and entertainment, will be held at the Boys and Girls Club, 56525 Little League Drive, starting at 5 p.m. Tickets are $35 each, or $60 for two. For tickets or sponsorships, call 760-365-5437.

TWENTYNINE PALMS HIGH SCHOOL GROUPS TEAM UP TO FEED 500 FAMILIES FOR THANKSGIVING

Two Twentynine Palms High School groups are teaming up to bring a special thanksgiving to 500 local families. ROP broadcasting student Brianna Jillson tells you how you can help…
Interact club of Twentynine Palms high school and The International Thespian Club (ITS) are banding together to bring dinner and a turkey to 500 families in the Twentynine Palms area. Please help those in need. You may drop off your cans or boxes at Twentynine Palms High School and we will pick the cans and boxes up and distribute the meals. The last day to drop off is November 21. If you know of a needy family, please call Lori Cosgriff at Twentynine Palms High School at 760-367-9591. On Halloween night, ITS members will be arriving at your door to pick up the food; they will have their ITS Tots Eat button on. Expect to see them in Base Housing as well as Ben Hunter, El Paseo, 801 Housing, Desert Knolls and Indian Cove. The following stores and neighborhoods will have boxes for you to drop off your donation: Twentynine Palms Chamber of Commerce, Holiday Inn, Best Western, Smith’s Ranch, Drive In, Curves and Stater Bros. Thank you for your support.

REACH OUT SEEKING PARADE OF HOMES SPONSORS

Reach Out Morongo Basin needs sponsors for its 10th Annual Parade of Homes, one of its biggest fundraising events of the year. Proceeds from the Parade of Homes, set for February 16, 2014, will support its Neighbors Helping Neighbors program, which supports services to the elderly and disabled in the Morongo Basin. Sponsorship levels are Platinum, $2500 or more, in which the sponsor will receive top billing in all publicity, be able to nominate a home to include in the tour, and will receive 20 free tickets to the homes tour; Gold sponsors, $1000 or more, will receive 8 free tickets; Silver, $500 or more, four free tickets; and Bronze, $250 or more, two free tickets. For more information, call Reach Out at 760-361-1410.

PRE-SCHOOL PROGRAMS AT PALM VISTA AND YUCCA VALLEY ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Enrollment is being accepted for state-funded preschool programs at two elementary schools in the Morongo Unified School District. Dan Stork tells about the guidelines for this county-operated program for eligible low-income families…
The state preschool sites at Palm Vista and Yucca Valley Elementary Schools offer comprehensive child development programs and hold classes three hours per weekday. Three-hour classes are held in both the morning and afternoon. Lunch or breakfast is provided for both morning and afternoon students. To get on an eligibility list, please contact the classrooms directly by calling Palm Vista at 760-361-1697 or Yucca Valley at 760-365-7790. Eligibility for the programs is based on family income that will be determined on a sliding scale that goes up with increasing family size. A family of three with a monthly gross income of $3,518 or less would meet the eligibility requirements, as would a family of six with a gross income of $5,159. Those enrolling their children do not have to be employed. By law, a fee of between $0 and $8.88 per family per day is assessed, also according to income. Students need to have turned 4 years old by Oct. 1, 2013 to receive first priority. Students need to be 3 years old by Oct. 1, 2013 to receive second priority. In addition, the sites are seeking substitutes to work for the programs. Please contact the classrooms at the sites for information in this position. Parents with children attending the preschool will be encouraged to volunteer in the classroom. For more information, contact the County Schools’ State Preschool office at 909-777-0776.

IN HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL, A WIN FOR TWENTYNINE PALMS HIGH SCHOOL AND A LOSS FOR YUCCA VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL

The Twentynine Palms High School Varsity Wildcats defeated the visiting Golden Eagles from Desert Hot Springs on homecoming night, 21-13, for their first De Anza League victory of the season. The ’Cats had nine quarterback sacks on the evening as the defensive unit left the offense with great field position most of the evening. Head Coach Ernest Martinez said senior quarterback Jake Culver had an outstanding game, completing 11 passes for 190 yards. Talo Wilson, Darren Murphy, Alonzo Tate, and Richard Williams were key targets throughout the game. Cody Hall and Beayahn Carrllo teamed up for 135 yards of rushing on 16 carries. The offensive line led by A.J. Rangel, David Falefitu, Jamal Devers, Alex Chavez, and Josh Alderson played one of their better games of the season. Defensively Alex Ewart earned his first interception of the season, and Andrew Wilson had five quarterback sacks and 13 tackles in a great effort. Dominic Santanelli had five tackles and a fumble recovery.

The Yucca Valley High School Trojan football team lost in Big Bear 44-24. Coach Tim Cannavo said Bradley Soares completed 26 passes for 329 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for 113 yards. Logan Vallo caught six passes for 158 yards and one touchdown. Brandon Lopez and Nathan Rantzow both caught six passes and each had a touchdown. Joey Rutherford had 14 tackles, one sack and forced a fumble. Shayne Saiza had nine tackles and a sack.

In high school sports tomorrow, the Twentynine Palms High School girls volleyball and tennis teams host Desert Mirage High School at home. Tennis starts at 3:15; volleyball at 4:30. The Yucca Valley High School girls volleyball team hosts Desert Hot Springs at home. First serve is at 4:30. And Joshua Springs Christian School girls’ volleyball team hosts Bloomington Christian School at home, starting at 5 p.m.

SERVICES TONIGHT FOR LASHON LIGHTFOOT

Lashon Lightfoot of Twentynine Palms, died October 19, the victim of a shooting. He was 42 years old. Lashon Lightfoot is survived by his wife, nine children, one sister, and a host of nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be held at Twentynine Palms Baptist Church today at 6:30 p.m. Donations are being requested in lieu of flowers.