JUDGE HEARS ARGUMENTS ON JOSHUA TREE DOLLAR GENERAL LAWSUIT

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit against the Dollar General store in Joshua Tree had their day in court Friday. Reporter Dan Stork has the status of the legal wrangling…
The Joshua Tree Downtown Business Alliance had its day in a San Bernardino court on Friday morning. David Fick, one of 11 local residents who attended a hearing on the Alliance’s challenge to a planned Dollar General store on the highway at Sunburst, told us that the presiding judge, Donald Alvarez, asked few questions of the opposing lawyers—John Nolan, for Dynamic Development, and Babik Naficy, representing the Joshua Tree Downtown Business Alliance. The Alliance has challenged the store on grounds that its presence could contribute to urban decay, and that traffic impact has not been adequately considered. Dollar General is a Tennessee-based corporation that calls itself “the nation’s largest small-box discount retailer.” There are about 10,000 Dollar General stores nationwide. Dollar General stores are currently operating in Yucca Valley and Twentynine Palms. Another planned unit in Landers was recently granted a minor use permit in an administrative action, after San Bernardino County land use planners received no comments from neighbors on the application for the store. In the Joshua Tree Case, the judge said he will issue a written report. Court observers expect that to happen within 90 days.

TWO TWENTYNINE PALMS MEN ARRESTED FOR BURGLARY

Two Twentynine Palms men were arrested Sunday evening, accused of burglarizing and ransacking a neighbor’s home. According to Sheriff’s Sergeant James, a military family living in a home in the 73200 block of Sunnyvale had their home burglarized about two weeks ago. Since then, the wife went to stay with her family while her Marine husband went into the field. He returned home about 7 p.m. Sunday to find his home had been completely emptied by burglars—furniture, toys, dishes, cleaning supplies—even the window shades. And, Porter said, what hadn’t been stolen had been thrown around and broken and completely trashed. During the investigation, evidence led deputies to another home on Sunnyvale about one-half mile away, where they arrested two men—Richard Makua, 28, and Daniel Silva, 34—on suspicion of burglary. Richard Makua and Daniel Silva were booked into the Morongo Basin Jail with their bail set at $25,000 each.

AREA FIRE FIGHTERS HOME FROM FIGHTING LA-AREA FIRE

Fire fighters from two Morongo Basin stations who were sent to fight the Colby fire early Friday morning returned to the Morongo Basin Sunday afternoon. Brush engines from Station 41 in Yucca Valley and from the Morongo Valley Fire Department left about 2 a.m. Friday, and returned home about 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Morongo Valley Fire Captain Arthen said they started working on the fire line in the hills above Glendora and Azusa about 8 a.m. Friday, patrolling and mopping up. After resting Friday night, they were sent back out on the line Saturday morning for another 12-hour shift. The latest reports indicate the Colby fire has burned about 1,900 acres and is 80 percent contained. Three men were arrested Thursday for setting the fire; a gust of wind blew embers from their campfire which started the fire.

MINOR EARTHQUAKE RATTLES YUCCA VALLEY FRIDAY

A minor earthquake centered in Yucca Valley hit shortly before 8:25 pm on Friday evening. Preliminary reports measured the quake with a magnitude of 3.0, with the center located about in the desert between Grand Avenue and San Andreas Road.

AN INTERVIEW WITH A MISS YUCCA VALLEY CONTESTANT

Today we begin our series of interviews with the ten contestants for Miss Yucca Valley. The girls are all high school juniors and have interviewed a local woman. The Miss Yucca Valley pageant will be held Saturday, February 1, in the Joshua Springs Christian School’s Thunder Dome. Today we’re talking with Alicia Murphy, a junior at Yucca Valley and candidate for Miss Yucca Valley. Alicia, tell us, who is the prominent woman you interviewed and what you have learned?…

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“My prominent lady is Jennifer Cusack, the regional manager of Southern California Edison. She is a brilliant, kind-hearted woman. Jennifer, with all of her stories and advice, taught me that when you are striving to succeed in anything, it is important to always stand by your morals and follow your heart. Jennifer told me that her most important advice for me was to keep my priorities straight. In her own life, her beliefs and family rise above all.

What have you learned from your experience with Miss Yucca Valley?

The Miss Yucca Valley pageant has taught me so much. I learned how to practice positive attitudes and how to maintain good relationships with the people in my life. Because of this pageant, I’ve gained a greater sense of self-confidence. My favorite part of this pageant has been meeting many new and amazing people, especially that of my fellow contestants. These girls are hilarious, smart, and so supportive. I’ve grown closer to girls that I never thought I’d be close to.

Any final words?

I want to encourage the sophomore girls in our community to go out for Miss Yucca Valley next year. You really can do anything you set your mind to. Thanks and have a great day.

THEATRE 29 ANNOUNCES CAST FOR NEXT PRODUCTION

Casting is complete for the second production at Theatre 29, the Morongo Basin’s premiere playhouse. “The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society Murder Mystery: Murder at Checkmate Manor,” directed by theater veteran Marty Neider, is a comedy by David McGillivray and Walter Zerlin Jr. about a drama group that experiences the horrors of what can go wrong on opening night. Donette Swain has been cast as Phoebe Reece, who herself plays five different roles. Desert Theatre League award-winner Analisa Pilecki plays Thelma Greenwood, who has two roles in the play. Mandi Pushkar is cast as Audrey Forbes-Farguahar, who has four roles in the play within a play; Amanda Winters will portray Felicity Crabtree, who is cast as two actors. Also cast in the play are Curtis Mohn and Brianna Sears as stagehands, and Leonard Weber as the Inspector. The Farndale Murder Mystery opens February 28 and runs for five weekends, with Sunday matinees March 9 and 23.

FREE ENTRANCE TO JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK TODAY

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Joshua Tree National Park, along with the country’s 400 other national parks, will waive its entrance fee on today. Camping fees will still apply. Entrance fees are $15 for a vehicle, good for a week; $5 for bikers and hikers; or $30 for a year pass. Military, seniors, the disabled, and volunteers are eligible for free or discounted passes. For more information, call the Park Service at 760-367-5500.

DESSERT SOIREE TO BENEFIT BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB

The sweetest event in the desert, the 12th Annual Dessert Soiree, will be a night of fabulous food, wine, auctions, concluding with the Sunset Rotary Club’s version of “Deal or No Deal” game. Assignment reporter Sara Snyder fills in the details on the event…
The 12th Annual Dessert Soiree starts with a delicious selection of desserts, fruit and cheese and wine pairings. There will be a silent and live auction with original jewelry and artwork donated by local artists, furniture, vacation packages, dinners, and more. One lucky person could win $1000 during the always-popular Deal or No Deal game. Sponsorships of the Deal or No Deal cases are still available. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Boys and Girls club of the High Desert, which has seen its membership grow from 165 children to more than 1,100 kids. The Dessert Soiree will be held Saturday, February 22, at the Helen Gray Center in Joshua Tree, starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30 and are available at Tease Shirts, Boys and Girls Club, or from any Sunset Rotary member. For more information please call Tami Montgomery 760-401-5229 or Chris Gubler 760-364-2282.

ANIMAL ACTION LEAGUE OFFERS LOW-COST MICROCHIPS

The Animal Action League will be offering low-cost vaccine and microchip clinics in January for dogs and cats, as well as low-cost spaying and neutering. No appointments are necessary for vaccines or microchips; appointments are required for spay and neutering services. Microchips are only $15, and can help reunite you you’re your lost pet. Clinics will be held in Joshua Tree, behind the dinosaurs on Highway 62, from 10 to 2 on January 23, and 29. To make an appointment for spay or neutering, call 760-322-4560. Visit animalactionleague.us for updated schedules on clinics.

MOJAVE WATER AGENCY TO HOLD THE SCIENCE OF WATER LECTURE

Ever wonder how much water we really have in the High Desert, or what kind of chemicals are found in our groundwater? The Mojave Water Agency will hold a lecture on the Science of Water on Tuesday, January 28, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at its offices in Apple Valley, 13846 Conference Center Drive. Find out about MWA‛s monitoring and sampling programs, its scientific investigations, and its vast data repository by attending this session. Register by January 27 by calling 760-946-7001.

APPLICATIONS NOW TAKEN FOR GREENLEAF SCHOLARSHIP

Attention high school seniors: Applications are being taken for a prestigious local scholarship that can pay the entire cost of your college education. Z107.7’s Diana Jones tells you how to apply for the Greenleaf Scholarship from Copper Mountain College…
Local high school seniors are invited to apply for the Roy Greenleaf Jr. Scholarship sponsored by the Copper Mountain College Foundation. The scholarship will pay the winning applicant’s tuition, books, fees, and living expenses for his or her entire academic career, as long as the student attends Copper Mountain College for the first two years, and then any University of California or Cal State University school. The student is expected to enroll in Copper Mountain in 2014 and earn a degree in two years, after which time he or she may transfer to a UC or CSU school. The scholarship is open to all highly motivated and financially needy students who possess a strong determination to succeed, who demonstrate a desire to help others in their school, family and community, and who have an interest in serving the Morongo Basin upon completing their education. Application forms are available at all area high schools and at the Copper Mountain College Foundation office on campus. The deadline for application is February 12 by 3 p.m. The finalist will be notified in early March. For more information, contact the Foundation at 366-3791 extension 5012.

SAVE THE DATE FOR “IDES OF MARCH” AT COPPER MOUNTAIN COLLEGE

The Honor Society Phi Theta Kappa: Beta Rho Pi, and the Associated Students of Copper Mountain College are announcing a “save the date” for their Ides of March celebration at the college. This Roman banquet will transport participants back to ancient Rome with food, drinks, theater, raffles, costume contest, a photo booth, and more. All profits from the event will benefit the college’s new Christine Proudfoot Student Activity Center.

TWENTYNINE PALMS LITTLE LEAGUE NEEDS BOARD MEMBERS

The Twentynine Palms Little League has two positions open for the Board of Directors, and is also searching for an All-Star Coordinator and Concessions Director. Anyone interested in either position should call Ronda Morton at 760-368-7107. Baseball and softball signups are underway at 4 Sports N More; registration is $50 per player. A coach’s informational meeting will be held Monday, January 27, in the community services building on Joe Davis Road.

HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS RESULTS AND SCHEDULES

The Twentynine Palms High School girls’ basketball team won at home against Desert Mirage on Friday, 74 to 34. The Wildcats’ record now stands at 13 and 4 overall and 2 and 0 in league. All nine girls played great defense. Leading scorers were Tusia Brown with 16 points; Cherokee Turner with 15 points, nine rebounds and four assists; Andraleah Lee, Tatiyanna Mackall, and Paige Rossi all scored 10 points. Nokomis Cabrera added 7 steals and four assists.

The Yucca Valley High School Girls’ Soccer team traveled to Desert Hot Springs Friday for a De Anza League game against the Lady Eagles. With the game tied at 1-1 and less than three minutes left, a penalty kick was awarded to the Lady Eagles. Sophomore goalie, Nikole Cody, saved the kick and the game went into overtime. In overtime, freshman Meghan Udell received a perfect pass from junior Karson Scaccinoce and scored the game winning goal.

Coming up in high school sports tomorrow, the Joshua Springs Christian School boys’ basketball team will travel away to Redlands to play the Redlands Adventist Academy. Tip-off is at 4 p.m.

Also tomorrow, Yucca Valley High School and Twentynine Palms High School will play each other in boys’ and girls’ soccer in Twentynine Palms. The girls’ game starts at 3:15; the boys start at 5 p.m.