FIREBALL BLAZES THROUGH SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SKIES WEDNESDAY NIGHT

Did you see it? Wednesday night about 8 p.m. Southern California residents from San Diego to Los Angeles to Twentynine Palms reported seeing a bright fireball blazing through the sky about 8 p.m.

Several Sheriff’s deputies saw the bright object breaking up as it traveled through clear skies. It’s possible that the fireball could be from the Taurid meteor shower, which peppers the Earth’s atmosphere with debris at this time of year.

CONVICTED FELON SHOOTS HIMSELF, TRIES TO HIDE GUN

A convicted felon, who shot himself in the hand, thought that by hiding the gun, investigating deputies wouldn’t know that he had a gun in violation of the law. According to Sheriff’s Sergeant Steve Wilson, Edward Malone, 33, of the 60200 block of Stearman Avenue in Landers, had been drinking and was cleaning his handgun when the gun went off early Wednesday morning. The bullet entered the palm of Malone’s hand and traveled up his arm, coming out at the elbow. Malone drove himself to the emergency room at Hi-Desert Medical Center where the nurses called the Sheriff’s Department at 1:30 Wednesday morning. Malone initially told deputies he was mad at the gun and threw it out in the desert, but he finally told them it was hidden in the skirting of a hot tub at his residence. Deputies will file a report with the District Attorney’s office for possible charges against Edward Malone for being a felon in possession of a gun.

PART 1 OF 2: SHERIFF EXPLAINS EFFECTS OF PRISON REALIGNMENT ACT

The Yucca Valley Town Council heard from County Sheriff John McMahon about AB 109, the Inmate Realignment Act, at its meeting Tuesday night. AB109 requires the state to reduce the number of inmates in prisons. Managing editor Tami Roleff reports that the realignment act is creating unanticipated problems. Here is part 1 of a 2-part report…
Sheriff John McMahon stressed that in order to meet the goals of AB 109, no inmates have been released from prison; the reduction has come from the number of inmates sent to the state prisons. “We sent 400 to 425 inmates a month to the state prison system prior to the realignment; now as a result of that we’re keeping all of them with the exception of about 85.” Since the jails were already full prior to the realignment act, 8,000 inmates have been released since AB109 took effect in October 2011. The Sheriff’s Department attempts to identify those who are least likely to re-offend, the “triple nons”—those convicted of non-serious, non-violent, and non-sexual crimes, such as property crimes. “But we’re having trouble finding enough folks that are in custody serving time for property crimes to release.” Keeping these more violent prisoners has created real problems in the jails, McMahon said. “Our assaults, inmate on inmate are up 100 percent in our facilities, and inmate on staff are up 50 percent.” Tomorrow, we’ll hear about how the Sheriff’s department is attempting to cope with the influx of prisoners.

VETERANS DAY TRIBUTE IN TWENTYNINE PALMS MONDAY

The City of Twentynine Palms will host the Morongo Basin’s Veterans Day Tribute 2013. The event begins at 10:00 a.m. in Veterans Park and will include guest speakers, static displays of law enforcement, fire department, and military equipment, as well as music and entertainment. The Marine Sandpiper and the Marine Corps Color guard will open the ceremony at 11:00 a.m., followed by guest speakers, including City Councilmember Jim Harris and Colonel Jay Bargeron, 7th Marine Regiment, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center. A free hot dog and hamburger barbecue will follow the ceremony, sponsored by Joshua Springs Calvary Chapel. The Mojave Vipers breakfast, typically held before the Veterans’ Day Tribute, has been cancelled this year.

COPPER MOUNTAIN COLLEGE HONORS VETERANS TOMORROW

On Veteran’s Day, we pause to honor those who served and those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the nation. Join Copper Mountain College at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow in in Bruce’s Coyote Kitchen to honor our veterans and all who serve today. CMC Superintendent/ President Dr. Roger Wagner will speak. Instructor and Veteran Dean Pieper will sing the National Anthem. There will be an opportunity for anyone to share a story or express appreciation for those who serve. This event is open to the public. A small reception immediately follows.

TWENTYNINE PALMS CITY AND WATER OFFICIALS HEAR WASTEWATER STUDY RESULTS

How’s the state of the groundwater in Twentynine Palms? Compared to Yucca Valley, pretty good. But it’s not too early to plan for the future. That’s what two Twentynine Palms governing bodies heard from consultants Wednesday evening. Dan Stork expands on the presentation…

In a joint workshop meeting Wednesday, the Twentynine Palms City Council and Water District heard a presentation on Groundwater Protection and Wastewater Management from the consulting firm Kennedy Jenks. The report addressed regulatory constraints, the quality of the local water supply, and future strategies for dealing with these areas. Points made during the evening included:
• Relative to the Twentynine Palms area, Yucca Valley has less favorable geology for groundwater, and its recharge plan led to elevated nitrate levels.
• Twentynine Palms nitrate levels are well below maximum contaminant levels, and have been relatively stable for 50 years.
• Assuming a build-out population of 111,000 (which most regard as an extreme over-projection), the cost of capital improvements to support a centralized water treatment system is estimated at $290 million.
• There is no hard and fast requirement for an appropriate type of water treatment for a given locality; the driving factors are complex: development density, the maintenance and repair state of septic systems, local geology, and much more.
• During the next five years, localities must develop and put into place Local Agency Management Plans, approved by the State Water Resources Control Board.
• More detailed monitoring and analysis of water supplies is needed to support planning.
• The City and the Water District need to discuss how to share ongoing responsibility and authority for planning and engineering of groundwater management and wastewater treatment.
• Public education on the maintenance and repair of septic systems is an ongoing necessity.

A joint task force of the City and Water District will work with the consultants to tweak the draft report, before submitting it to the Colorado Regional Water Quality Control Board.

JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK ROAD REOPENED

The Twentynine Palms entrance to Joshua Tree National Park has re-opened after temporary repairs were completed to the road. The road from the Twentynine Palms entrance to the turn-off to Cottonwood entrance was closed to all traffic following a storm September 7 that washed out a section of roadway. The damaged road has been repaired, but it will not be repaved until next year. Signs and barricades are up to warn motorists that the damaged road is dirt. Work continues in the Cottonwood Oasis area, and Cottonwood Springs Trail, Mastodon Trail, and Lost Palms Oasis remain closed to visitors.

DOVE SEASON OPENS SATURDAY

The late dove hunting season is scheduled to open Saturday, California. The second half of the dove season will continue through Dec. 23. There is a limit of 10 per day of mourning doves and/or white-winged doves with a 30-bird possession in the field. There is no limit on spotted doves, Eurasian collared doves or ringed turtle doves. Hunters should know that hunting is not permitted within the city limits of Twentynine Palms or Yucca Valley or Joshua Tree National Park. Hunting on private property must have specific permission. A summary of the 2013-2014 upland and small game hunting seasons and limits is available at a link in this story at z1077fm.com

www.dfg.ca.gov/regulations/upland-summary-13-14.html.

COMMUNITY PRAYER BREAKFAST SET, RESERVATIONS BEING TAKEN

The annual Community Prayer Breakfast has been set and reservations are now being taken. Assignment reporter Taylor Thacker had details…
The Morongo Basin Bob Burke Prayer Breakfast is scheduled for Friday, November 22, and will feature an exciting local hero, Deputy Alex Collins, of San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. Collins has an amazing story that he wants to share with the people at this breakfast. On February 12, Collins and his partner, Detective Jeremiah MacKay, volunteered to search for a murderous man who was on the loose. While they diligently followed leads, they themselves became victims of the nightmare. The suspect hid from sight and opened fire on a group of deputies. Both Collins and MacKay were shot several times. Collins survived. MacKay gave the ultimate sacrifice. Join the Joshua Springs Calvary Church as we hear Alex Collins account of what happened and how he and his partner gave their lives to protect our local communities. The event is held at the Joshua Springs Calvary Church gym at 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. on November 22. Tables are $100 for 8 people and $15 per person. A limited number of tables are available and selling quickly so sign up now. For more information or to sign up, call 760-365-1988.

YUCCA MESA TRASH PICK-UP SATURDAY

The Yucca Mesa Improvement Association will hold an end-of-the-year trash clean-up day Saturday, November 9, from 8 to 3. Yucca Mesa residents are invited to bring furniture, large appliances, and other trash—but no hazardous waste or batteries—to the Yucca Mesa Community Center on Balsa Avenue where it can be dumped in large trash dumpsters. Especially needed are residents with trucks and trailers to haul large items. A clean-up team is also needed to pick up trash in the area on Balsa and Warren Vista. Residents are asked to RSVP so planners can prepare. For more information, or to report other areas of trash, call 760-574-6598.

THE COMET ISON IS APPROCHING

Get your telescopes, binoculars, and your eyes ready for a once-in-a lifetime celestial phenomenon. Managing Editor Tami Roleff says the Comet Ison is coming….
Another comet will be flying by this month and some astronomers are saying it will be the “comet of the century,” while others think it might be nothing special. The Comet Ison will be at its closest to us on November 28, when it will be only 750,000 miles from the Earth. But for about the next week, observers say it will only be visible through telescopes or binoculars. The next few weeks will be the best time to see the Comet Ison. Go out about 4 a.m. in dark skies, away from city lights, and look to the east toward the constellation Leo, which looks like a question mark near the horizon. The comet will appear as a soft glow with a faint tail. The comet should brighten enough in the next one to two weeks to be visible to the naked eye. Even if the comet doesn’t live up to its hype, enjoy the moment of watching an object from outer space visit our solar system.

ANDROMEDA ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY MEETS TOMORROW

The Andromeda Astronomical Society Meeting will be Friday, November 8, 7 p.m. at the Yucca Mesa Community Center; 3133 Balsa Ave., Yucca Valley. On the agenda is a short talk about comet ISON. Then we will be having a telescope clinic. Bring your telescopes. We will be there to help you set it up and to answer any questions you might have on how to use your scope. You can’t see the starry nights with your scope packed away in the closet or garage.

BULLYING, PART 4 OF 4, SOCIAL BULLYING

With bullying a serious problem, Z107.7 has been airing a 4-part series on the different type of bullying. Today, in part 4, social bullying…
Most of us have experienced social bullying. Social exclusion happens when a group leaves another person out on purpose, when someone spreads rumors or gossips about another person, or when someone tries to break up friendships of another person. Girls most often resort to social exclusion when bullying.

TWENTYNINE PALMS HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS TENNIS SETS NEW RECORD WITH CIF ROUND 1 WIN

The Twentynine Palms High School girls’ tennis team made history yesterday as they defeated Granite Hills High School of Apple Valley 10-8 to advance to Round 2 of the CIF Girls Tennis Playoffs. Coach Joe Ingram said singles player Tasia Lucas swept the match in three sets to take first, and doubles players Heather Centner and Arin Tripp also swept in three sets to take first. They will host Wilson/Hacienda Heights this Friday at 1 p.m. at home on the Twentynine Palms High School Tennis Courts.  Admission is free.