WOMAN KILLED MONDAY NIGHT DURING HIGH-SPEED PURSUIT ON MORONGO GRADE

A woman was killed during a high-speed pursuit on the Morongo Grade Monday evening. According to Sheriff’s Sergeant James Porter, about 9:20 p.m., a deputy tried to stop a 1994 Toyota near Palm Avenue and Highway 62 in YuccaValley for reckless driving. The female driver refused to yield, and a pursuit started through the residential areas of western YuccaValley, south of the highway. Porter said the woman drove at speeds up to 70 miles per hour through residential areas and blew through several stop signs. She eventually got on the highway again at Kickapoo Trail, heading west, with speeds clocked up to 130 miles per hour. Porter said as she reached the first curve at the top of the Morongo Grade, she lost control of her car, hit the center divider, was ejected from the vehicle and was killed on impact. The woman’s identity has not been released yet pending identification of next of kin.

MORONGO BASIN MAC ASKS COUNTY TO KEEP SOLAR MORATORIUM IN RURAL RESIDENTIAL

At last night’s regular meeting of the Morongo Basin Municipal Advisory Council, representatives approved a recommendation urging the County Board of Supervisors to keep in place the moratorium on new industrial-scale solar projects only in areas zoned for rural residential development. At its December 17 meeting, the Board of Supervisors will consider a planning commission ordinance that would lift the moratorium altogether. And while it has been widely believed the Board will go with the planner’s recommendation, hopes are that the MAC’s compromise plan may protect local homeowners from seeing solar fields popping up all around at least until the full impact of such development on property values, water consumption and overall quality of life can be better studied. Formed by Third District Supervisor James Ramos, the MAC is composed of delegates from the unincorporated areas of the Basin. They act as liaisons between their respective communities and County Supervisors. The delegates from Pioneertown, Copper Mountain Mesa, and Wonder Valley were excused from last night’s meeting.

YUCCA VALLEY TOWN COUNCIL MEETS, REORGANIZATION, RECORDS PURGE, COMMERCIAL SOLAR BAN

The Yucca Valley Town Council meets tonight. After reorganization, they will look at a ban on commercial solar in the Town. In spite of a letter from some residents asking them to keep old records, they will look at purging them. Managing Editor Tami Roleff takes a closer look…
Among the items on the consent agenda for tonight’s meeting of the Yucca Valley Town council, the council will be asked to authorize the purging of out-of-date records. Next, the Council will reorganize and name a new mayor and mayor pro tem. Then, the Council will be asked to approve an ordinance that amends the development code to prohibit the establishment of commercial solar and wind energy facilities in Town limits. The Council will then hear a budget report for Fiscal Year 2013. The meeting will close with a closed session meeting in which council members will discuss existing litigation with Mirage Front Properties. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the Yucca Room of the Community Center.

TWENTYNINE PALMS CITY COUNCIL MEETS: REORGANIZATION, STATE OF THE CITY, A DOG PARK

On the agenda of the Twentynine Palms City Council meeting tonight are three R’s: ribbon cutting, reorganization, and canine recreation. Dan Stork tells about those, and more…
Preceding its regular meeting on December 10, the Twentynine Palms City Council will have a ribbon cutting at 5:30 at Bucklin Park for the electric vehicle charging station. Following a return to City Hall on Adobe Road, the regular meeting will start with Mayor Joel Klink’s State of the City address, award presentations, and a presentation by Joshua Tree National Park to bring a Student Science Center to the City. The discussion items on the agenda are for the location of a dog park, the selection of a new mayor and mayor pro-tem, and whether to close City hall on the final two Mondays of this month.

JOSHUA TREE CLEAN TEAM OUT TOMORROW MORNING

The next regular Joshua Tree Clean Team pickup will be tomorrow morning at the Joshua Tree Library (at Park Boulevard and Highway 62). The volunteers will be cleaning up downtown Joshua Tree in preparation for the holidays.  The team will start at 8 a.m. and work for one short hour. Afterwards, the team will meet for optional coffee and conversation at the Park Rock Café. The Joshua Tree Clean Team volunteers are dedicated and have been coming every second, fourth and sometimes fifth Wednesdays for seven years because they care. As always, there will be trash bags, grabber sticks, gloves and water available. For more information call 760-366-8415.

HOSPITAL BOARD TO HEAR FROM FIRM THAT MARKETS HOSPITALS

The Hi-Desert Medical Center Board meets tonight. After a presentation by a company that sells hospitals, a board reorganization is set. Reporter Mike Lipsitz checks the rest of the agenda…
Prior to tonight’s regular 6 p.m. meeting of the Hi-Desert Medical Center Board, directors convene a special 4:30 p.m. open session meeting to hear from representatives from a firm that specializes in preparing and positioning medical facilities for sale. Ponder Company is presenting at the request of the Medical Center Board and while they’ve not been contracted, that option remains a possibility. Sale of the Health Care District looks to be its most prudent option as it struggles to fulfill legislative mandates during a time of shrinking Medicare and Medical reimbursements. When the board reconvenes at 6 p.m. it will elect new officers to serve for the 2014 calendar year. The Governance Committee has recommended Martie Avels as President; Paul Hoffman, Vice President; Korina Cole, Treasurer; Patricia Cooper, Secretary; and Dianne Swella as member at Large. It all happens in the Helen Gray Education Center.

HI-DESERT CHORUS FREE HOLIDAY CONCERTS SATURDAY AND SUNDAY

The Hi-Desert Chorus winter program, “Sounds of the Season,” under the direction of Bill Barrett and accompanist/composer Clyde Grabski, will be this weekend. The free concerts take place Saturday, December 14, and Sunday, December 15 at the Yucca Valley Community Center in the Yucca Room. Doors open at 2:00 and concert begins at 2:30. The program will feature many holiday favorites and some new pieces too. A special guest, the Yucca Valley High School Select Choir, will join them in several songs. The community popular sing-a-longs will also take place. A few songs they’ll be performing: “Sleigh Ride,”  “A Carol In Winter,” “A Holly Jolly Christmas,” “Where Would We Be Without Christmas,” “We Need A Little Christmas,” one of Grabski’s new songs “We Can Love, Love, Love” and many more.

SECOND ANNUAL HOLIDAY ART AUCTION SATURDAY TO BENEFIT REACH-OUT

The Second Annual Desert Holiday Art Auction this Saturday will benefit Reach Out. Managing Editor Tami Roleff has some of the offerings…
Mark your calendars for December 14, for the Second Annual Desert Holiday Art Auction. It’s a way to collect art and benefit Reach Out Morongo Basin at the same time. Last year’s auction raised $3,500 for the charity’s programs for seniors and disabled neighbors. This year’s auction will have a variety of art items, including jewelry, cards, photographs, paintings, sculptures, and ceramics. And this year, non-perishable food items and holiday gifts will be accepted for low-income and elderly residents. The art auction will include holiday treats, refreshments, and live music. The event will be held Saturday, December 14, from 3 to 7 p.m., at ArTfx and Furnishings in Old Town Yucca Valley, 55836 29 Palms Highway. For more information, call Carlos at 619-990-5683.

YUCCA VALLEY CHAMBER LEADS LUNCH FRIDAY

The Yucca Valley Chamber of Commerce is holding its second Leads Lunch at noon on Friday, December 13, at Sizzler Restaurant, in Yucca Valley. Leads Lunches allows chamber members to network and exchange referrals and leads. There is no cost to attend except for the cost of lunch. RSVP by noon Thursday, December 12, by calling the Yucca Valley Chamber office 760-365-6323.

DRUM MAKING AND MEDICINE AT HI-DESERT NATURE MUSEUM TOMORROW

Learn all about drum making and medicine at the Hi-Desert Nature Museum tomorrow. Reporter Taylor Thacker has your invitation…
The Morongo Basin Historical Society presents its Wednesday program of drum making and drum medicine. On Wednesday, December 11, at 5:30 p.m., drum maker Lisa Angela Diaz Espejo Starr will introduce you to her journey of drum making and the healing powers of drum medicine. Starr has been making drums for more than 10 years and incorporates her Colombian and Puerto Rican heritage into her craft. Starr will have drums and rattles for sale after the program. This event takes place at the Hi-Desert Nature Museum at 57116- 29 Palms Highway in Yucca Valley. For more information call 760-364-2000.

DE ANZA LEAGUE STANDOUTS NAMED AT TWENTYNINE PALMS HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL BANQUET

The Twentynine Palms Wildcats had their end-of-the-season banquet this past weekend and announced the De Anza League selections from the 2013 football team. Talo Wilson was named Special Teams MVP and a first team All-League selection. Five other Wildcats joined Wilson on the first team: seniors Darren Murphy, Jake Culver, A.J. Rangel, and junior Dylan Martinez. Second Team selections included seniors Cole Estrada and Alex Chavez, junior Josh Alderson, and sophomore standouts Andrew Wilson, and Beayahn Carrllo. Alonzo Tate was selected as Honorable Mention. The Wildcats tied for second in league and advanced to the first round of the CIF playoffs. Head Coach Ernest Martinez said, “The coaching staff is extremely proud of the efforts of the team this season, and the players who made the All-League team.”

YUCCA VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL STANDOUTS RECONIZED AT WARDS BANQUET

The Yucca Valley High School volleyball teams had their awards banquet Sunday. Coaches Matt Jennings, Janet Larson and Rebecca Taylor announced award winners:
All League Awards: MVP Offense, senior Chelsea LeBoutillier; 1st Team, senior Daylin Anderson, senior Chelsea Mondary; 2nd Team, junior Ashley Priest; and an honorable mention to senior Cassidy Sterling.
Varsity Team: Most improved: Sarah Jennings; most inspirational, Savannah Smith; MVP offense, Chelsea LeBoutillier; MVP defense, Daylin Anderson; and Coach’s Award, Jenna Conrad.
Junior Varsity Team: Most improved, Evelynn Marin; MVP offense, Jade Adair; MVP defense, Chloe Smith.
Freshman team: Most improved, Alaina Trofler; MVP offense, Nichole Sugita; MVP defense, Natalie Cressy.

TWENTYNINE PALMS HIGH SCHOOL MUSIC DEPARTMENT CONCERT THURSDAY

Make plans to attend the Twentynine Palms High School music concert this Thursday. Reporter Dan Stork has details…
The Twentynine Palms High School Music Department presents a Holiday Concert this Thursday, December 12. It starts at 7 p.m. in the high school gym. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. The admission cost is $5, at the door.

HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS: SCORE AND SCHEDULES

After two tough losses to start the tournament at Beaumont, the Yucca Valley High School Girls’ Soccer team responded with a win and a tie to finish the Beaumont Winter Classic. Girls’ Varsity Soccer Coach Scott Phillips said outstanding players were: Senior Teresa Nava, three goals, two assists; freshman Alexia Missett, two goals, one assist; senior Michaela Milone, one goal; junior Jennifer Luersen, one goal; junior Karson Scaccinoce, one assist.

The Lady Trojans soccer team (2-2-1) host their first home game of the season against Imperial High School on Tuesday, December 10, in Trojan Stadium. The boys’ soccer team starts at 3:15 p.m. with the girls to follow at 5 p.m.