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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.