CONVICTED FELON ARRESTED SUNDAY IN YUCCA VALLEY AT GUNPOINT

A convicted felon was arrested at gunpoint Sunday after a foot pursuit and a modified rifle was found in his possession. According to Sheriff’s Steve Wilson, deputies were following up on a tip that Raymond Robles, 29, of the 7300 block of Condalia Avenue in Yucca Valley was in possession of firearms, which violated the terms of his parole. Robles was outside near his car when he saw the deputies approaching about 11 a.m. Sunday, and he took off on foot, carrying a long black bag with him. Robles lost the deputies, but Deputies Sean Tabor, Jeff Casey, Adrian Garcia, and Robert Oakleaf set up a perimeter in the area. Deputy Sean Tabor located Robles inside an apartment in the 7300 block of Dumosa Avenue and arrested him at gunpoint inside the apartment. The black bag Robles had carried with him contained a .22-caliber rifle, in which the stock had been removed and replaced with a pistol grip. Raymond Robles was arrested for possession of a dangerous weapon and violating the terms of his parole. He was booked into the Morongo Basin Jail and is being held without bail. Raymond Robles has multiple convictions for burglary, drug possession, and battery, dating back to 2004.

CHP SATURATION PATROLS START TONIGHT THROUGH WEDNESDAY

The California Highway Patrol will have a saturation patrol out from 6 p.m. tonight through midnight, Wednesday, January 1. The CHP and the Morongo Basin Sheriff’s Department reminds residents, don’t drink and drive.

SOROPTIMISTS HOST OPENING GALA AT THEATRE 29

The hard-working volunteers of Theatre 29 are getting ready for the opening night of the first production of 2014, “The Importance of Being Earnest.” Opening night is next Friday, January 10, and opening nights always sell out. Reporter Diana Jones tells us where you can get your tickets to this comedy by Oscar Wilde…

Soroptimist International of Twentynine Palms will host the opening night of the first show of Theatre 29′s 2014 season, “The Importance of Being Earnest,” written by Oscar Wilde. Opening night is Friday, January 10, with heavy hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction starting at 6 p.m. The curtain rises at 7 p.m. Dessert will be served at intermission. The story centers on country gentleman Jack Worthing, who invents a younger brother, Ernest, whom he pretends to be when he visits the city. This, along with a city-based friend’s invention of a poor relative, leads to much confusion over identity as well as farce and hilarity. Tickets to the opening night gala only are $25 each and are available from any Soroptimist or at the Flower Garden in Twentynine Palms. For more information on the Opening Night Gala benefit, call Pat Zawojski, 760-367-4322. “The Importance of Being Earnest” will run January 10 through February 8. Friday and Saturday night shows open at 7:00 p.m. with 2:30 Sunday matinees January 19 and February 2. Tickets for shows other than the opening night gala are $8 to $12. To reserve a ticket, call the box office at 760-361-4151. or go online at theatre29.org.

ELECTRONIC WASTE DISPOSAL IN TWENTYNINE PALMS

Christmas is over and now it’s time to get rid of old electronics and your no-longer-fresh Christmas trees. You can drop off—for free—your televisions; computers, laptops, and computer components; fax machines, copiers, or printers and their ink cartridges and toners; video game consoles; cameras; VCR and DVD players, cell phones and telephone equipment; and MP3 players at Cardinal Van and Storage, 73873 Callie Todd, just off Adobe Road, in Twentynine Palms. For more information, call Randy Councell at 760-367-7562 extension 105. Burrtec will also accept electronic waste for recycling; call 760-365-2015 for more information.

 HOW TO DISPOSE OF YOUR NO-LONGER-FRESH CHRISTMAS TREE

Burrtec Waste and Recycling will also recycle your Christmas trees. Make sure your tree is free of ornaments, lights, tinsel, tree stands, nails, or any other debris. In Twentynine Palms only you can leave your tree at the curb for Burrtec to pick up on your regular trash day, through January 11. Cut your tree into 4-foot lengths and leave it on the curb next to your trash can. Or you can bring your trees to the Twentynine Palms City Hall. Yucca Valley residents can bring their tree for recycling to the Yucca Valley Community Center through January 11.

LOU GERHARDT TO START 9-WEEK SEMINAR BEGINNING THURSDAY

The Reverend Dr. Lou Gerhardt is starting a new nine-week seminar starting Thursday, January 2, entitled “Strong Words We Embrace in 2014.” The seminar is not a Bible study nor a discussion group, but a presentation on how to develop a more positive outlook on life and relationships. Each week will feature a different person’s outlook on life, starting with Christopher Reeve and attitude on January 2; Albert Einstein and curiosity on January 9; Martin Luther King Jr and detachment January 16; Tom Hanks and engagement, January 23; Nelson Mandela and forgiveness January 30; Sam Sloneker and a drum circle and joy on February 6; Elizabeth Barrett Browning and love on February 13; Pope Francis and humility on February 20; and Werner Von Braun and trust on February 27. The free seminars will be held at 10 a.m. at St. Joseph of Arimathea Episcopal Church at the corner of Onaga and Church Streets in Yucca Valley, and will feature music and refreshments. For more information, call 800-995-1620.

ENERGY-SAVING TIPS

Although winter has been fairly mild so far, it still pays to winterize your home to save on your energy bills. Assignment reporter Katie Baker offers these energy-saving tips for your home…

With skyrocketing energy costs, understanding how much energy you use in your home can help you make better energy saving decisions. To get started, here are three ways to save energy – first, keep inside air in and outside air out. Start by insulating, weather-stripping, and caulking cracks and holes around your home or apartment. Adjust your thermostat higher in warmer weather, and lower in cooler weather. Remember; turn off the light when you leave a room, along with TV sets, appliances, and other electric items when not needed. Dressing a bit warmer can save you a lot, especially when you use a portable electric heater. Remember, with rising prices, saving a little bit now can save you much more in the long run.

CHP OFFERS START SMART CLASS FOR TEENS AND NEW DRIVERS

The Morongo Basin CHP is offering another FREE Start Smart class for teen drivers and new drivers. These classes provide valuable safety information, and classroom instruction on collision avoidance techniques, collision-causing elements, and driver responsibilities. The class will be held on Tuesday, January 21, in the CHP offices on the highway in Joshua Tree starting at 6 p.m.  Parents/guardians are encouraged to attend as well. Reservations are required by January 16 and can be made by calling Officer Joan Griffin at 760-366-3707.

INSIDE SCOOP ON THE TWENTYNINE PALMS YEARBOOK

Yearbooks are a great way to remember classmates, sports, clubs, and special events during the school year. Here with a behind-the-scenes look at how yearbooks are made is ROP broadcasting student Cassie Zimarik…

The Twentynine Palms High School award winning yearbook has made great strides in capturing priceless memories of high school life and giving the students the best book they can make. In my interview with the yearbook supervisor, Mr.Fontana, I asked him if it was hard for the group to come up with new and creative ideas every year to which he said, “Yes and no. We go to camp every summer and we always get a bunch of ideas and share a bunch of ideas. For example, this past summer we had an idea for the cover, totally scrapped it when we got to camp because we saw a bunch of other things that we wanted to do. Our company, Walsworth, is really good with giving us links, giving us packages, giving us idea starters for what we could do.” I was even able to get the “inside scoop” on new improvements they plan on making. “We have some 3D applications. The cover itself actually is going to be animated. You can scan it with a 3D app that you can download from Walsworth, and it’s going to come to life. We’re going to put more ideas, more links to our ?? inside the book. We have a new kind of color flare, we have overall just a different look. We’re going from a traditional look this year to a brand new post-modern this year. So it’s going to look totally different.”

HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS RESULTS AND SCHEDULES

The Twentynine Palms High School girls’ basketball team has started off the season with a 9 and 3 record. Their last game was a win in the Ayala Best of the West tournament on December 28 against St. Lucy’s, 51 to 35.  Standout performers so far have been leading scorers, Andraleigha Lee, Nokomis Cabrera, and Tusia Brown. Leading rebounders have been, Tatiyanna Mackall, Cherokee Turner, and Tusia Brown.

The Yucca Valley High School Trojan boys’ soccer team had an outstanding weekend at the Ontario Christian Tournament with wins over Village Christian High School and La Salle High School, and were 2 and 2 overall. The Trojan boys had 17 goals and 12 assists as a team, and saw seven different players score. Congratulations to senior forward Logan Vallo, who was recognized by the tournament coaches and selected to the 2013 All-Tournament team. He had six goals and two assists for the tournament. Freshman forward standout Abel Rodriguez also had a great tournament with four goals and three assists. Other stand-outs were senior Andres Lopez, two goals; senior Jonathan Teague, two goals and two assists; Junior Haelen O’Donnell with one goal and two  assists; senior Juan Sillas, one goal, one assist; and junior Paul Desilets, one goal.

Coming up in high school sports Thursday, the Yucca Valley High School wrestling team will host Lucerne Valley at home, with the match beginning at 5 p.m.

Also on Thursday, the Twentynine Palms High School boys’ soccer team will participate in the Loma Linda Tournament through Saturday.

YUCCA VALLEY MAN ACCUSED OF CHILD MOLESTATION

A Yucca Valley man was arrested Thursday, accused of sexually molesting a young girl. According to Sheriff’s reports, the 12 year old victim told her grandmother that Robert Medina, 20, had touched her inappropriately. After investigation, Robert Medina was placed under arrest for suspicion of lewd acts with a child under 14 and booked into West Valley Detention Center with bail set at $250,000.

CHP LOOKING FOR MOTORCYCLIST WHO FLED CRASH

The California Highway Patrol is seeking the public’s assistance in finding a motorcycle rider who left the scene of a crash Thursday afternoon. CHP Officer Joan Griffin said at 1:15 p.m., Christian Giangreco, 43, was preparing to back his Subaru Crosstrek into his driveway in the 61700 block of Alta Mura Drive in Joshua Tree, when a man heading eastbound at a high rate of speed on a white dirt bike hit Giangreco’s Subaru as he tried to pass it. The man was thrown off his bike. Griffin said Giangreco checked on the rider, then said he was going to call the police, at which time the man got back onto the dirt bike and rode off north on Sunset Road. The motorcycle rider is described as a white man in his 20’s, wearing a red shirt and a black and white helmet. Anyone with information on the identity of the rider is asked to call the CHP at 760-366-3707.

Z107-7 RADIOTHON TO HELP TPHS SELECT CHOIR GET TO CARNEGIE HALL

A national honor for our Morongo Basin, having our music students invited to perform at Carnegie Hall. Reporter Mike Lipsitz says now we all need to help to get them there…..
The 22 members of Twentynine Palms High School Select Choir have been honored with an invitation to the prestigious American Music Performance Nationals for Top Choirs, which includes a performance at Carnegie Hall in New York City. But, despite recent fundraisers, a shortfall stands in the way of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. In response, Z107.7 FM General Manager Cindy Daigneault will turn over this station Saturday, January 11 for a pull-out-all-the-stops “Radiothon” from noon to 5 p.m. The choir needs sponsors, guest DJs, and area businesses and services to buy radio time before the January 11 event. The choir needs this community to dig deep and pledge contributions on the day of. Make checks payable to “Theatre 29” and send to TPHS Music Boosters, P.O. Box 1681, in Twentynine Palms. For more information, contact Anita Clinkscales, at 760-361-5306 or at aclink29@gmail.com.

NEW DRIVING LAWS COMING WITH THE NEW YEAR

With every new year, comes new traffic and vehicle laws.  Here are some of the new ones for 2014. The statute of limitations for hit-and-run collisions in which death or permanent, serious injury was a result has been extended. A criminal complaint may be filed within three years of the offense, or one year after the person was initially identified by law enforcement as a suspect in the commission of the offense, which ever comes later, but in no case more than six years after the offense. An amendment to current law authorizes the issuance of a search warrant to draw blood from a person in a reasonable, medically approved manner, to show that the person violated misdemeanor DUI provisions when that person has refused an officer’s request to submit to, or has failed to complete, a blood test.  This law has been operative since September 20, 2013. Another new law prohibits a person who is under 18 years of age from using an electronic wireless communications device to write, send, or read a text-based communication while driving, even if it is equipped with a hands-free device.

JACKRABBIT HOMESTEADS LECTURE AT HI-DESERT NATURE MUSEUM

Hear the fascinating story of the jackrabbit homesteads that brought many settlers to our area. Reporter Katie Baker invites you to the Hi-Desert Nature Museum January 8…
Jackrabbit homesteads aren’t just for rabbits. The Hi-Desert Nature Museum in Yucca Valley is hosting a lecture by Kim Stringfellow on her project titled “Jackrabbit Homesteads” on January 8 at 5:30 p.m. Rooted in Hi-Desert history, the Small Tract Act of 1938 helped bring settlers to the area, attracting the working class to a home away from hectic city life to small tract homes starting in Wonder Valley. The spacious and tranquil desert backdrop soon inspired the community of artists and musicians that we have today. “There’s a very romantic sort of idea of these structures that I think is very attractive for a lot of creative people, to be so directly involved in this particular environment.” “Jackrabbit Homesteads” is a book and web-based presentation with a downloadable car audio tour exploring the cultural legacy of the Small Tract Act in the Morongo Basin. You can find more at www.jackrabbithomesteads.com or www.hidesertnaturemuseum.org.

MORONGO BASIN HISTORICAL SOCIETY TO HOLD GIFT SALE

The Morongo Basin Historical Society will hold its Museum Marketplace Saturday, January 4, at the Historical Society’s center in Landers. Christmas items will be reduced 30 percent, with members receiving an additional 15 percent discount. Vendors will have all kinds of handmade items for sale, as well as the Society’s books, antiques, collectibles, household items, and gently used clothing. The marketplace hours are 9 to 1 at 632 Landers Lane.

YUCCA VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL THEATRE COMPANY WILL PRESENT A TRIPLE FEATURE

It will be a theatrical Triple-Play at Yucca Valley High School next week. Managing Editor Tami Roleff says the school’s Theater Company will perform three plays…
The Yucca Valley High School Theatre Company will present a triple feature in January. The three plays, “Happy Birthday, Heather Higby,” “Flash Mob,” and “We’re Your Friends,” are directed by Hunter Stepp and Cassandre Hemphill. Performances will be at 6 p.m. January 8, 9, 10, and 11, with an additional 1:00 matinee Saturday, January 11. Tickets, available at the door, are $5 for adults, $4 for students, and free for children under 12. The performances will be held in the Yucca Valley High School multi-purpose room, 7600 Sage Avenue.

TWENTYNINE PALMS ART GALLERY TO KICK OFF 2014 SEASON

The 29 Palms Art Gallery will kick off its 2014 season with exhibits by Snake Jagger and Harley Baczkowski.  The Main Gallery will feature an infrared photo exhibit by award-winning photographer and Twentynine Palms artist, Harley Baczkowski, titled “Unseen Light Show.” The West Gallery will feature a “Retrospective” show by local artist Snake Jagger, who combines incongruous objects with the mundane, to create hyper-realistic depictions of the world we live in.  The Pickering Room will feature art by members of the 29 Palms Artists’ Guild.  An artists’ reception will be held Sunday, January 5, from noon to 3 p.m. The shows will be on display through January 26 during gallery hours of noon to 3, Wednesday through Sunday.

MORONGO BASIN TRANSIT AUTHORITY NOT RUNNING BUSES JANUARY 1

The Morongo Basin Transit Authority (MBTA) will NOT operate bus services on Wednesday, January 1, in observance of New Year’s Day and will resume its regularly scheduled service on Thursday, January 2.

TOYS TO TRASH

Wherever we hike in the National Park, we liberate the bushes from entangling attackers where we find them.  Ranger Pam Tripp warns about the mylar hazard…

Something commonly used for celebration or as a memorial, and thought of as a harmless decoration is one of the most hazardous threats to the desert tortoise and other wildlife in Joshua Tree National Park.  One of the least known pollutants that affects our park is mylar, latex, or string balloons. They float in from areas such as Los Angeles, a distance so great that one might never consider the consequences one balloon could have on wildlife 140 miles away. Approximately 71,000 balloons make their way to Joshua Tree each year based on surveys done in the park.  Bright, shiny balloons resemble wild flowers to animals and have been found in the stomachs of dead tortoise and other wildlife. Vegetation becomes entangled with balloon strings, and animals are again enticed to eat or use this foreign matter.  In place of balloons try bubbles or biodegradable party décor. This is a great way to help us protect our wildlife.  For Z107.7, this is Park Ranger Pam Tripp, reminding you to enjoy the solace and wonder of your national parks.