DEPUTIES IDENTIFIED IN NEW YEARS DAY PATROL CAR CRASH

The CHP and Sheriff’s Department released more information on the crash of two Sheriff’s patrol cars in Joshua Tree New Year’s Day. Two deputies, Brandon Abell and Scott Andrews were returning to the Sheriff’s station westbound Highway 62 about 6:35 p.m. when the driver of the patrol car in the rear “inadvertently overtook the lead vehicle” and rear ended it. The collision sent both vehicles out of control; the lead patrol car skidded sideways, crossed the eastbound lanes, and overturned, ending up on its roof in the desert on the south side of the highway. The trailing vehicle skidded to a stop on the north shoulder of the highway. Both Deputies Abell and Andrews had to be extricated, and amazingly, suffered only minor injuries. They were treated at Hi-Desert Medical Center and released. Highway 62 was closed to traffic in both directions for almost 3 hours.

29 PALMS POLICE TO TARGET MESQUITE SPRINGS ROAD

Twentynine Palms police officers will conduct traffic enforcement on Mesquite Springs Road between Two Mile Road and Indian Trail. Officers will focus primarily on speeding and vehicle code violations. The Sheriff’s Department reminds motorists the maximum speed limit on any two-lane road is 55 miles per hour.

CLIMBER FALLS INTO CREVICE IN JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK

Kennya Pimentel, 20 of Las Vegas, Nevada fell while climbing at the Hemmingway Buttress area of Joshua Tree National Park Wednesday. Park Rangers say she fell about six feet and became wedged in a crevice about 100 feet above the ground.  She was not wearing a safety helmet and initially complained of both head and hip injuries. Rangers and Search and rescue volunteers, Sheriffs deputies, and helicopters from Sheriff’s Office responded. Rescue team members used a high angle rescue system to extract Pimentel from the crevice, and safely lower her to the ground. She was then airlifted to Desert Regional Hospital and released Thursday morning. Fortunately she sustained no serious injury. The rescue took about five hours.

A LOOK BACK AT 2013 IN TWENTYNINE PALMS

Lots more than a change in City Manager happened in Twentynine Palms in 2013. Dan stork hits some of the highlights…

In 2013,
· The city of Twentynine Palms declined to bail the water district out in its fire department financial dilemma. A citizens’ committee recommended going back to the voters with another tax increase measure.
· The city and the water district moved forward in proactive planning for eventual water treatment.
· Industrial solar development was banned within the city.
· A scaled-back casino plan broke ground, held hiring fairs, and pushed back opening date to early 2014.
· The city decided to litigate the state’s ruling that bond proceeds cannot be used to further project phoenix development.
· The issue of prayer before council meetings was debated repeatedly.
· Two city planning commissioners whose terms expired were reappointed, and two members whose terms were not up were replaced.
· Marketing the city as a destination was a recurrent theme, with discussion of a tourism improvement district and the efficacy of welcome center support versus increased internet presence, and the holding of a juried art faire
· Planning for traffic lights at two busy intersections moved forward, as did planning for a dog park.

AN ARREST MAY SOLVE SEVERAL BURGLARIES IN 29 PALMS

Sheriff’s detectives are working on several burglaries in Twentynine Palms that may be connected. December 24, residents in three neighborhoods reported burglaries, evidence led detectives to believe the same person was involved in several burglaries the following week. The night of December 23, burglars broke into a vehicle parked in a driveway on La Luna. Then a resident in the 72200 block of Sunnyslope Drive discovered his motorcycle had been stolen. A third resident, in the 73200 block of Sunnyvale Drive, said her residence had been broken into during the night. During that investigation, deputies recovered the stolen motorcycle. The night of Monday, December 30, a resident in the 6700 block of Adobe Road a vehicle was burglarized, electronic items had been stolen from a home in the 6600 block of Adobe Road; and another motorcycle was stolen from the 6400 block of Palo Verde. Tuesday morning, a man in the 73400 block of Twentynine Palms Highway reported he caught a woman trying to steal his car’s stereo. Deseret Pinar, 27, of Twentynine Palms, was arrested for investigation of petty theft. Deseret Pinar was cited and released.

YUCCA VALLEY WOMAN ARRESTED FOR BEATING BOYFRIEND AND HIS DISABLED MOTHER

A Yucca Valley woman was arrested Wednesday after she was accused of beating up her boyfriend and his disabled mother. According to a sheriff’s report, the man asked neighbors in the 1100 block of Coronado Drive in Morongo Valley to call police because his girlfriend, Casey Sansbury, 33, of the 200 block of Jemez, was hitting, punching, kicking him and his disabled mother. After an investigation, Casey Sansbury was arrested on suspicion of felony spouse abuse. Sansbury was booked into the Morongo Basin jail with her bail set at $50,000.

A REVIEW OF THE TOP JOSHUA TREE STORIES FROM 2013

As we start the new year of 2014, here are highlights of some of the top news stories for Joshua Tree in 2013…

The Bobcat Protection Act outlaws the trapping of bobcats in the area surrounding Joshua Tree National Park. The act is a result of a Joshua Tree resident who found a bobcat trap on his property and persuaded the California legislature to prohibit the taking of bobcats near Joshua Tree National Park, and the law will be expanded to other State and National Parks in 2016.

Some Joshua Tree residents are unhappy about a proposed Dollar General store in the unincorporated village, and have filed a lawsuit against the county to stop it. The 9,100 square foot store is to be built on the corner of Sunburst Avenue and Highway 62.

Reporting for Z107.7, this is managing editor Tami Roleff.

HELP SOUGHT FOR LOCAL HOMELESS VETERANS

There are many homeless veterans in the Morongo Basin who are lacking the necessities to keep warm and fed. A new organization, Vets Cruzin for a Cause, is collecting jackets, blankets, and food to distribute to these homeless vets. If you have old jackets, blankets, and food you can spare, call Kevin at 760-368-8715, to make arrangements to donate help an American hero who has fallen on hard times.

MARINES DELAY FEMALE FITNESS PLAN AFTER HALF FAIL

The Marine Corps has indefinitely delayed a new physical requirement for all female Marines. A Marine Corps spokesman said that more than half of females in boot camp can’t do three pull-ups, and rather than risk losing female Marines and recruits at unacceptable rates, the new minimum standard will be put on hold. The new physical requirement for pull-ups was supposed to kick in Wednesday. There’s no timetable yet for when the requirement will start. For now, women Marines can continue to do the flexed-arm hang, holding their chins above a bar, during annual physical fitness tests.

1ST BABY OF THE YEAR BORN AT HI-DESERT MEDICAL CENTER

It turns out Isaac David McKeown wasn’t the first baby born in the Morongo Basin after all. Isaac, born to Casey and Gunnery Sergeant Todd McKeown at 12:14 a.m. January 1 at the Naval Hospital, was about 14 minutes too late to claim the title of First Baby of 2014. Easton Harvey, daughter of Sharlah and Brian Harvey of YuccaValley, was born at Hi-Desert Medical Center a few seconds after midnight on January 1. Easton weighed 8 pounds, 10 ounces, and is 19 inches long. Congratulations to the parents of both babies.

A LOOK BACK AT ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES FOR 2013

Environmental issues continued to reflect differing visions of how life should be lived in the Morongo Basin.  Dan Stork reviews some of the highlights of concerns publicly aired in 2013…

In 2013, environmental issues were at stake in all corners of the MorongoBasin:

  • A wind power project planned for Black Lava Butte near Pioneertown was cancelled.
  • Both Twentynine Palms and YuccaValley banned industrial solar development within their boundaries.
  • San BernardinoCounty followed a moratorium on commercial solar projects with rules that could restrict where and how they are built on County land.
  • The MorongoUnifiedSchool District backed away from internal solar projects, opting to pursue energy cost reduction by efficiency measures.
  • Local environmental organizations kept up the pressure to shape the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan to their concerns.
  • Progress on a planned Dollar General store in Joshua Tree was held up by environmentally-based suits.
  • A report favorable to a project, which would pump water from the Cadiz Valley to coastal California, was challenged, with that challenge supported by this area’s congressman.

SPORTSMAN’S CLUB SWAP MEET TOMORROW

The Sportsman Club in Joshua Tree will hold its monthly swap meet tomorrow, Admission is free, and vendors are always welcome. Spaces rent for just $20; for non-profit organizations, the space is free. Call Jose at 760-275-6876. the Sportsman’s Club, is on Sunburst Avenue just off the highway in Joshua Tree.

FIRST SATURDAY BREAKFAST AT COPPER MOUNTAIN MESA TOMORROW

The First Saturday Breakfast at the Copper Mountain Mesa Community Association is tomorrow from 8 to 11 am at 65336 Winters Road in North Joshua Tree.  Five Bucks still covers a real belly full. As always, a great big helping of old fashioned neighborliness is added at no charge.

FREE MEAL IN 29 PALMS TOMORROW

Tomorrow the TPHS Interact Club will be serving Turkey, Stuffing, Vegetables and dessert to those attending the Food For Life meal at Little Church of the Desert Community Hall in 29 Palms from 3-5 PM.

STUDENT PLAYS NEXT WEEK AT YUCCA VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL

The Theater students at Yucca Valley High School are hard at work rehearsing for a triple feature next week. Reporter Taylor Thacker has more…

The Yucca Valley High School Theatre Company presents their student-directed productions of “Happy Birthday, Heather Bigby”, “Flash Mob”, and “We’re Your Friends.” The shows are directed by Hunter Stepp and Cassandre Hemphill. The performances will occur in the YVHS multipurpose room on January 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th at 6:00pm with an additional matinee on the 11th at 1:00pm. Tickets are available at the door and cost $5 for adults, $4 for students, and are free for children under the age of 12. You don’t want to miss this triple feature! For more information contact the producer, Scott Phillips. His email address is in this story at z1077fm.com. sphillips@yvhs.net.

RETIRED TEACHERS TO MEET

The California Retired Teachers’ Association meet Friday, January 10, at 10:00 a.m. at the Helen Gray Educational Center. The Twentynine Palms High School Select Choir, which is rehearsing for an upcoming performance at New York’s Carnegie Hall, will provide the entertainment. Please call Sherry Craft at 760-881-5275 no later than Monday, January 6, to reserve your place at the luncheon.

TEEN CRAFTS TOMORROW AT THE 29 PALMS LIBRARY

Tomorrow, the 29 Palms Library will offer teen crafts from 1-4. This month’s crafts will include glass marble magnets and origami gift boxes. Enjoy refreshments as you create your one-of-a-kind craft. The event is open to teens in grades 7-12. For more information and to sign up call the Twentynine Palms Library at 760-367-9519.

ALUMNI BASKETBALL GAME AT JOSHUA SPRINGS TONIGHT

Joshua Springs Boys Basketball program is hosting its annual “Alumni Game” this Friday, January 3rd at 6:30 pm at the Joshua Springs Thunderdome. Former players will take on the 2013-14 varsity team, currently 7-3 on the season. All money raised will go toward the Lightning Boys Basketball program.

HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS SCHEDULES

In high school sports today, the Twentynine Palms High School boys’ basketball team will travel away to San Jacinto High School. Tip-off is at 6:30 p.m.

In high school sports Saturday, the Yucca Valley High School wrestling team will play Rim of the World away, with the match starting at 5:15 p.m.