MORE ON A FATAL CRASH AFTER 130-MPH PURSUIT MONDAY NIGHT

More information today on a fatal crash on the Morongo Grade Monday night. At about 9:20 p.m., the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Yucca Valley Station attempted to stop a 1994 Toyota Camry for reckless driving in Yucca Valley, near Palm Avenue and Highway 62. The vehicle, occupied by a 55-year old female driver, failed to yield and a pursuit started through areas of western Yucca Valley, south of the highway. 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, about a mile west of Hess Blvd. in Morongo Valley, she lost control of her car, hit the center divider, overturned, was ejected from the vehicle and killed on impact. The woman was the sole occupant of the car. The pursuing deputies had backed off the pursuit prior to the woman entering the grade and so did not witness the crash, but came upon it several seconds after it occurred. The name of the driver will be released following notification of next of kin. A preliminary investigation determined the woman was wanted on a warrant. Deputies from the Major Accident Investigation Team from Victorville, Hesperia, and Barstow are investigating the crash and pursuit.

YUCCA VALLEY TRAFFIC OFFICERS FOCUSING ON SPEED ON HANFORD AVENUE

This week, traffic enforcement officers in Yucca Valley will focus on speeding and other violations on Hanford Avenue between Yucca Trail and Highway 62. The Sheriff’s Department reminds motorists the speed limit in the construction zone on the west end of Yucca Valley is 35 miles per hour and construction is estimated to last for five months.

YUCCA VALLEY TOWN COUNCIL HEARS “STATE OF THE TOWN” FROM OUTGOING MAYOR ABEL

The Yucca Valley Town Council got a “State of the Town” briefing last night from outgoing Mayor Merle Abel. Managing Editor Tami Roleff was there and has details…
One of the last actions Mayor Merl Abel did at the Yucca Valley Town Council meeting last night, before he handed over the gavel to the new mayor, Robert Lombardo, was to give The State of the Town address.

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Entitled “Positive Growth During Economic Uncertainty,” Able reviewed some of the Town’s priorities. “Public safety is one of the top priorities. Included in this year’s budget is full funding for all of the existing Sheriff Deputy levels and a restoration of the Town’s Sheriff Safety Specialist.” However, the Town Council faced difficult decisions this past year. “In the budget process this year, we shared the difficult decisions that the Town was faced with, primarily, that projected expenditures were outpacing projected revenues.” Abel reminded residents how the Council balanced the budget. “The adopted budget included a reduction in full-time positions by 15 percent, from 42 full-time equivalent employees to 35 full-time equivalent employees.” Abel then extolled the benefits of living in Yucca Valley—the Town’s parks and recreation programs (including the Hi-Desert Nature Museum)—and the new businesses coming to town: the Super Wal-mart, Tractor Supply Company, Ross, the Warren Vista Center, Marshalls and Petco, the senior housing project, the golf course, Desert Vista Village, and Oasis Health Care. The Council named George Huntington as mayor pro tem.

TWENTYNINE PALMS CITY COUNCIL HEARS “STATE OF THE CITY,” DOG PARK LOCATIONS, AND MORE ON PRAYERS

After an electrically-charged preamble to the Twentynine Palms City Council meeting, a previously discussed issue was resurrected. The Council also reorganized itself and sniffed out locations for a dog park. Dan Stork has details…
The chilly night led the Twentynine Palms City Council to make short work of a ribbon cutting at the electric vehicle charging station at Bucklin Park.

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Twentynine Palms City Council members Jim Harris, Jay Corbin, Dan Mintz, and Cora Heiser do the heavy lifting as Mayor Joel Klink cuts the ribbon for the electric vehicle charging station in Bucklin Park.

Back at City Hall, outgoing Mayor Joel Klink delivered the State of the City address, stressing achievements and ongoing efforts in fiscal soundness, parks, streets, and marketing of the City. He also delivered the Employee of the Year award to Ryan Waddell, and the Mayor’s Recognition award to Irene Cruz. At the end of the meeting, Klink turned the gavel over to Dan Mintz, who will serve as mayor for the coming year. Jay Corbin was chosen to be Mayor Pro-Tem.

Animal Control Officer Rick Boyd presented numerous alternatives for a dog park location, about half of them on land already owned by the city, and the rest on land that would have to be acquired. The Council rejected all alternatives that would require purchase of land, and also rejected Pioneer Park, Luckie Park, and the land where the 29! sign is located, leaving land near City Hall and in Knott’s Sky Park to be considered for public comment and future Council action.
During public comment, several speakers—including this reporter—revived the issue of invocations before meetings. Council members Jim Harris and Cora Heiser, each expressing some regret for how they expressed themselves on the issue at the previous Council meeting, led a move to bring back the discussion to a January meeting.

MORONGO BASIN TRANSIT AUTHORITY BOARD MEETS TOMORROW

Morongo Basin Transit Authority Board of Directors will meet at 5 p.m. Thursday, December 12, at the MBTA Operations Center on Verbena Road in Joshua Tree. Among the items on the consent agenda are treasurer, ridership, operations, administrative and financial reports. The board will also be asked to approve a transit claim, authorize the sale of vehicles at auction, and order six new buses. Under new business, the Board will be asked to award a contract for a bus stop improvement project, and approve transportation assistance grant awards.

YUCCA VALLEY AIRPORT BOARD MEETS TONIGHT

The Yucca Valley Airport Commission will hold its regular monthly meeting tonight. Under new business, new directors will be sworn in, and new officers will be elected. After public comments, the directors will hear reports from the treasurer, airport manager, and directors. The meeting starts at 6:30 in the Joshua Room of the Yucca Valley Community Center.

COPPER MOUNTAIN COLLEGE BOARD MEETS TOMORROW

The Copper Mountain College Board will meet in regular session tomorrow. Reorganization, committee assignments, and where to spend money are all on the agenda. Reporter Mike Lipsitz takes a closer look…
The regular monthly meeting of the Copper Mountain College Board of Trustees begins at 3 p.m. tomorrow with a board reorganization. Following election, the new officers will be sworn in, committee and other assignments made, and the trustees meeting calendar for 2014 will be considered. In other actions, trustees will determine where to spend moneys received from Prop 30 allocations which last year came to $1.8 million. Those items and others are in addition to regular reports and items on the consent agenda. It all happens in the Bell Center’s Community Room on the Joshua Tree campus.

TLC NEEDS VOLUNTERS, FOOD, AND CASH

The TLC event Christmas day which includes an 150-foot all-you-can-eat buffet, entertainment, Santa and gifts, food boxes, clothing and much more needs clowns, face painters, balloon artists, and artists to make giant candy canes. They are looking for monetary sponsors for the meat and the buffet. With two weeks left, they don’t have a large storage space, so please call to make arrangements for drop off. For more information call Mara Cantelo at 760-333-2413.

ANNUAL HOLIDAY CONCERT TOMORROW AT TWENTYNINE PALMS HIGH SCHOOL

Your chance to hear the same talented group of student who have been invited to Carnegie Hall! The Twentynine Palms High School Holiday concert is tomorrow. ROP Broadcast student Nina Dizon has your invitation…
The holidays are here, and so is the Twentynine Palms High School Annual Holiday Concert! The Holiday Concert will be held tomorrow, Thursday, December 12, at the Twentynine Palms High School Gymnasium at 7:00 p.m. sharp. Everyone is welcome to come and enjoy the performance and concessions that will be offered. Entrance fee is only $5 at the door so come support your fellow Wildcats!

A MONDAY MEETING ON THE FUTURE OF THE TWENTYNINE PALMS LITTLE LEAGUE

This Monday, December 16, Little League District 58 Administrator, Howard Reeves, will be hosting a Town Hall meeting to discuss the future of Twentynine Palms Little League. The primary purpose of the meeting is to find people who are interested in filling up key positions on the board of directors for the 2014 season. The secondary purpose is to discuss the future of the league including a possible cooperative agreement with the MCAGCC Youth Sports program. The meeting is open to the public and will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Community Center across the street from the Park and Rec offices at Luckie Park in Twentynine Palms. For more information send an email to: LL29palms@yahoo.com.

HOSPITAL BOARD REORGANIZES

The Hi-Desert Medical Center Board reorganized and heard from TLC last night. Reporter Mike Lipsitz was at the meeting and files this report…
Mara Cantelo of Tender Loving Cause opened last night’s meeting of the Hi-Desert Medical Center Board of Directors by recognizing some of the many volunteers whose programs help brighten the holidays for many in need. Getting down to business, the board reorganized with Martie Avels as President; Paul Hoffman as Vice President and the rest as expected. Prior to last night’s regular session, the board heard a presentation from a consultant company specializing in asset management for the not-for-profit healthcare industry. And in a clarification of yesterday’s report which referred to the possible sale of the Health Care District, any restructuring would include a transfer of assets with ownership of the District retained by the public.

HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS: SCORE AND SCHEDULES

The Twentynine Palms High School girls’ varsity basketball team has started the season off with three wins and one loss in the West Valley tournament December 2 through December 6. Leading scorers for the Wildcats were Koko Cabrera and Cherokee Turner. Cabrera came away with all tournament honors. The coaching tandem of Tim Stanford and Louie Barraza won their 200th game on Friday, December 6.

The Yucca Valley High School Girls Soccer team hosted their first home game against Imperial High School. Coach Scott Phillips said the Lady Trojans completely dominated the game, outshooting their opponents 31-2, and came away with the 1-0 victory. Junior Karson Scaccinoce had a strong game scoring for the Lady Trojans and sophomore Nikole Cody recorded another shutout. Next up is an away game at Xavier Prep High School on Wednesday at 3:15 p.m. with the boys’ soccer team to follow at 5:00 p.m.

The Twentynine Palms High School Boys Soccer team started off their season with back-to-back losses. On December 4, they lost to West Shore 3-0. On December 6, they lost to Xavier prep 1-0. Coaches say despite the two losses, the boys’ Wildcat team is a vastly improved team from last year.

In high school sports today, the Yucca Valley High School girls’ and boys’ soccer teams will travel away to Palm Desert to play Xavier College Prep. The girls’ game starts at 5 p.m.; the boys at 6.

Coming up in high school sports tomorrow, the Yucca Valley High School wrestling team will travel away to Indio. The meet is set to begin at 2 p.m. Also tomorrow, the Lady Trojans girls’ basketball team will travel away to play in the Hesperia Tournament, starting at 4 p.m.