BREAKING NEWS: EXTENDED RESPONSE TIME CAUSES GREATER DAMAGE AT 29 PALMS HOME

The Twentynine Palms Fire Chief said a longer response time because of the closed Lear Avenue fire station was a factor in fire damage to a small home Tuesday. Chief Jim Thompson said firefighters responded to a report of smoke at about 1:00 p.m. on the dirt extension to Indian Cove Road, north of the highway, and found a 1,000-square-foot single-story structure “well-involved” in flames. The home had been built as a homestead cabin back in the ’50’s and has been added onto repeatedly over the years. Thompson said it was difficult to put out the fire because a peaked roof had been installed over the original flat roof and the fire was in the space between the two roofs. One firefighter suffered an electrical jolt, but no serious injury, when he touched a metal fence with a downed power line on it. The resident, Devin Keihm, was not at home when the fire started but arrived to find his house in flames with firefighters present. He said two cockatiels in the house had died; his dog was outside and was safe. The exact cause of the fire was unknown, and Chief Thompson said the estimated loss from the house and contents was about $60,000. Twentynine Palms firefighters were assisted by mutual aid from the Combat Center and Wonder Valley fire stations. The County Fire station from Yucca Mesa covered the downtown Twentynine Palms Fire station during the incident.

SEVEN ARRESTED FOR BUYING BOOZE FOR TEENS IN STING OPERATION

Seven people were arrested Saturday for buying booze for minors during a “shoulder tap” sting operation in the Morongo Basin. According to a Sheriff’s Department press release, between 4 p.m. and midnight Saturday, minor decoys approached adult customers in front of businesses licensed to sell alcohol, and asked the adults to buy them alcohol. During the eight-hour sting operation, seven adults were arrested for providing alcohol to minors: Don Ketchum, 61, Sherry Johnsen, 49, and Duane Bronson, 45, all of Twentynine Palms; Tina Duncan, 48, of Joshua Tree; Charles Lathrop, 56, of Yucca Valley, Julia Salazar, 23, of San Bernardino; and Kahan Sandhu, 52, of Riverside. Also arrested during the sting operation for outstanding warrants were Christina Geddis, 29, of Joshua Tree; and Ivan Maduena, 20, of San Bernardino. The press release reports that during the sting operation, several businesses in Twentynine Palms and Yucca Valley immediately confronted the minor decoys and made them leave the property, thus preventing the illegal sale of alcohol from their establishments.

SEX OFFENDER ARRESTED FOR FAILING TO REGISTER

A registered sex offender living in Morongo Valley was arrested Monday morning after Sheriff’s deputies determined he had not registered his new residence with the Sheriff’s Department. During a sex offender compliance check, Sheriff’s deputies contacted 30 registered sex offenders in the Morongo Basin to ensure they living at their registered address. The majority of the offenders were found to be in compliance, while three had moved out of the area. Deputies determined Thomas White, 38, was out of compliance for not registering his residence in Morongo Valley near Senilis and Hess Boulevard with the Sheriff’s Department. Thomas White was arrested about 8:30 a.m. Monday for investigation of failure to register his address. He was booked into the Morongo Basin Jail and released on bail about 7:30 p.m. Monday.

WHAT IS BULLYING, PART 3 OF 4: CYBERBULLYING

With a focus on bullying from both school and law enforcement, Z107.7 continues our 4-part series on types of bullying. Today, in part 3 of 4, Sheriff’s Service Specialist Anita Baker describes cyberbullying…
Cyberbullying can be irritating, embarrassing, hurtful, and even dangerous. Cyberbullying is the most common with today’s technology. It involves the use of digital technology, such as mobile phones or Internet to cause harm to others by creating false profiles and websites; posting embarrassing, hurtful, or harmful information on social websites; posting inappropriate or embarrassing pictures or videos; and sending mean, untrue, or hurtful text messages.

YUCCA VALLEY CHAMBER AND SHERIFF OFFER RETAIL HOLIDAY SAFETY TIPS

The Yucca Valley Chamber Business Watch Committee and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department will hold two workshops on retail holiday safety tips. Topics covered will be how to detect counterfeit money, how to identify shop lifters and what to do if you suspect someone is shoplifting in your store. Everyone in attendance will be entered into a drawing for a “Fraud Fighter Counterfeit Money Detector” valued at $100. The first seminar will be held Wednesday, November 6, at 7:30 a.m.; the second will be held Thursday, November 7, at 5:00 p.m. Both workshops will be held in the Yucca Valley Chamber office located at 56711 29 Palms Hwy. (in the California Welcome Center). Reserve your spot by calling the Chamber at 760-365-6323. Refreshments will be served.

MORONGO UNIFIED SCHOOL BOARD MEETS TONIGHT

On the agenda of the Morongo Unified School District Board of Education are individual school plans, mileage allowances for administrators, many policy reviews, and more. Dan Stork has the list of issues…
The November 5 meeting of the Morongo Unified School District Board of Education begins with a brief closed session at 5 p.m. on discipline and bargaining issues. At 5:15, the Board begins a work/study session on field trips and on the single plans for student achievement from Condor, Friendly Hills, and Yucca Valley Elementary schools, and from Twentynine Palms High School. The regular open session at 7 p.m. will adopt those four plans. It will also hear a report from Assistant Superintendent Dave Price that will clarify previously-reported enrollment data. The action agenda is rounded out with 13 more FITNESSGRAM waivers, adoption of the Special Education Local Plan Area local plan, adoption of Uniform Public Construction Cost Accounting Procedures, authorization of mileage stipends of $400 per month to the Directors of Maintenance, Information Technology, and Nutritional Services, and a credentialing waiver request for a speech pathologist. Items presented for first or second review include regulations on use of copyrighted materials, policies on schools plans for site councils and food allergies and special dietary needs, reimbursement of expenses, nonpublic, nonsectarian school and agency services for special education, and identification and education of students with disabilities.

VETERANS INFORMATION SEMINAR THURSDAY AT COPPER MOUNTAIN COLLEGE

The DAV (Disabled American Veterans) Morongo Basin Chapter #60 is hosting an informational seminar for all Veterans, their dependents and caregivers THIS Thursday, November 7, at 9 a.m. at the Copper Mountain College Bell Center. The information seminar will be followed by the Mobile Service Office until 3 p.m. where DAV National Service Officers will assist any veteran, their dependents and caregivers with the filling of claims and/or appeals as required.  Those wishing assistance should bring all necessary documents in support of your request. Both events are free to veterans, their dependents and caregivers as a service provided by the DAV.

YUCCA VALLEY TOWN COUNCIL MEETS TONIGHT

The Yucca Valley Town Council meets in regular session tonight. Among items of interest is targeting mobile marijuana dispensaries and delivery services. In closed session, discussion of a potential law suit by recall proponent Ron Cohen…
Among the items on the agenda for tonight’s meeting of the Yucca Valley Town Council, the council will recognize the employee of the quarter, and hear a report from the Sheriff’s Department about AB109, the California Realignment Act that reduces the number of inmates in state prisons. On the consent agenda, the council will be asked to solicit bids for a portable solar message board. The Council will also receive a treasurer’s report and a budget report. Next, the Council will be asked request the Planning Commission forward an ordinance that would prohibit mobile medical marijuana dispensaries and delivery services within Town limits. The Council will then go into closed session to discuss two cases of potential litigation, one of which is Cohen v Town of Yucca Valley. The Yucca Valley Town Council meets at 6 p.m. tonight in the Yucca Room of the Community Center.

FREE FOOD DISTRIBUTION IN YUCCA VALLEY TOMORROW

The Santa Fe Social Clubhouse in Yucca Valley will have a USDA Food Distribution on Wednesday, November 6, from 3 p.m. until it runs out of food.  The distribution will take place at the front of the building where there is sufficient parking. Please wear proper attire for the weather and remember there are no public restrooms available. The address of the Social Club is 56020 Santa Fe Trail, Suite M, in Yucca Valley. If you have any questions about the distribution please call 760-369-4057 and ask for Susie or Phebe.

DESERT PRESBYTERIAN OFFERS FAMILY DINNER AND GAME NIGHT

Desert Hills Presbyterian Church in Yucca Valley will have a family dinner and game night Wednesday, November 6, starting at 6 p.m.  Join them for dinner, followed by crafts for the kids and games for the adults. The church is located at 56750 Mountain View Trail in Yucca Valley.

TWENTYNINE PALMS PLANNING COMMISSION MEETS TONIGHT

The Twentynine Palms Planning Commission meets tonight. Dan Stork checks a routine agenda…
The agenda of the Twentynine Palms Planning Commission for November 5 consists of two study session discussions. The first is on the addition of high density residential zoning per the fifth round housing element. The other is yet another discussion of the Development Code Update. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. in City Hall on Adobe Road.

DE ANZA LEAGUE CROSS COUNTRY FINALS HELD AT 7,000 FEET

The De Anza League cross-country finals took place at Snow Summit at 7,000 feet Saturday afternoon. Twentynine Palms High School Coach Jay Stepp said the event was dominated by Big Bear. The Big Bear girls kicked off defeating Yucca Valley by 7 and Shadow Hills by 56. Going into the last half mile, the teams were separated by two points and only a few seconds between key scorers. Huge races by the Bears, who ran off with the race and the League title for 2013. Jennifer Schick repeated as the individual champion, besting Katelyn Wood of Yucca Valley by 32 seconds.

The boys’ race provided little drama except for individual placing. A 1-2 finish gave the Bears a comfortable 17-point win over the second place Trojans; Twentynine Palms was third. Jeff Larson of Yucca Valley was third overall and Zach Kanlong of Twentynine Palms was fourth. Big Bear regained a league title that had eluded them the past two years.

The junior varsity boys’ team race was all Big Bear as they swept the league with a perfect 15 points. For the JV Girls, Chenoa Bumpus of Yucca Valley won in a time of 23:59.

Jeff Larson, Saul Tamayo, Katelyn Wood, Aaliyah Williams, and Mariah Muchtar earned First Team All-League Honors. Khaleel LeForce, Dakota Wrigley, Evelyn Angeles, Rosie Lemm, and Hunter Stepp earn Second Team All-League Honors.

TWENTYNINE PALMS HIGH SCHOOL TENNIS TEAM FINALS TOMORROW

The Twentynine Palms High School Lady Cat tennis team will play at home Wednesday, November 6, on the high school’s tennis courts for their first round of team finals. For four years running, the Twentynine Palms Ladycats have been undefeated league champs!  The match begins at 2:00 p.m.