FAMILY OF 7 RESCUED FROM JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK LAST NIGHT

A family of seven, who were taking advantage of the free admittance to Joshua Tree National Park yesterday, got a little more excitement than they planned. According to Sheriff’s Corporal Steve Everhart, Steve and Tamara Funk and their five children, ages 3 to 8 years old, were hiking the Desert Queen Mine trail in the park when they wandered off the trail and became lost. Everhart said the family was not dressed for cold weather, nor did they have any food or water with them. Despite sketchy phone service, they did manage to call for help about 7 p.m. Monday night. Deputy Robert Hazell found the family at 8:22 p.m., in a wash about 900 meters northeast of the dirt road. No one was injured. The Park Service reminds visitors to dress in layers with hats and sunglasses, and to bring plenty of water with you on the trail on when hiking.

SQUATTER ARRESTED AGAIN FOR RESQUATTING

A woman who was arrested 10 days ago for squatting in an abandoned cabin was arrested again Sunday. According to Sheriff’s Sergeant James Porter, Shashatia Guthridge, 36, was arrested January 10 on suspicion of trespassing after she was found living in a cabin in the 71300 block of Winters Road in Twentynine Palms. Guthridge claimed she owned the cabin, but the cabin’s owner arrived with documentation to prove that Guthridge was not the owner. On Saturday, January 18, the cabin’s owner called the Sheriff’s Department again to report that Guthridge was again living in the cabin. When the deputy arrived, Guthridge showed him paperwork which she said showed she was the owner. The deputy—who was the same deputy who arrested Guthridge earlier for squatting—determined the paperwork was forged. Shashatia Guthridge was arrested for investigation of grand theft of real estate, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, with her bail set at $50,000.

YUCCA VALLEY TOWN COUNCIL MEETS TONIGHT

The Yucca Valley Town Council meets in regular session tonight. Managing Editor Tami Roleff takes a close look at the Council’s agenda….

The Yucca Valley Town Council will meet at 6 p.m. tonight. Among the items on the consent agenda, the Council will be asked to reject a claim filed by J. Donald Graham; and approve a second-hand dealer’s license for Bear Arms, and approve the purchase of a solar-powered message board for $15,000, using a grant from Homeland Security, as well as authorization to submit a grant for additional improvements for Paradise Park. Under action reports, the Council will hear a mid-year budget review, and an update on the capital improvement program. The Council will also hear an update on the financing for the senior housing project. The meeting will be held in the Yucca Room of the Community Center starting at 6 p.m.

TWENTYNINE PALMS COUPLE BOTH ARRESTED AFTER DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

A Twentynine Palms couple was arrested early Sunday morning after trying to beat each other up. Sheriff’s Sergeant Steve Everhart said that about 4:30 Sunday morning, Vicki Nila, 53, of the 55600 block of Napa Road in Landers, called to report her boyfriend, Joshua Homotoff, 37, had punched her in the face, giving her cuts on her lips and nose. Everhart said that in retaliation, Nila hit Homotoff in the head with a pan, cutting his forehead. Vicki Nila and Joshua Homotoff were arrested for investigation of felony spouse abuse and booked into the Morongo Basin Jail. Nila’s bail was set at $50,000; Homotoff’s bail is $150,000, which includes a $100,000 warrant for a previous felony spouse abuse charge.

FORMER YUCCA VALLEY MAN FACING MURDER CHARGES IN INDIO

A former Yucca Valley man who had been sought after being accused of shooting a man on his way to a party in Palm Desert more than two years ago is due in court this week after being found in Northern California. According to Riverside County Sheriff’s, William Oliver Sumpter Jr., 28, was arrested January 12 in Humboldt County on a warrant stemming from the August 26, 2011, shooting that left 35-year-old Juan Eliasarrars paralyzed from the chest down. Humboldt County deputies made a traffic stop and learned Sumpter was wanted in Riverside County. Sumpter had been charged December 16, 2013, with one count each of attempted murder and intimidation of a witness. Sumpter was brought back to the Coachella Valley Friday. He’s being held in lieu of $1 million bail, with arraignment set for Wednesday at Indio’s Larson Justice Center.

TWENTYNINE PALMS PLANNING COMMISSION LOOKS AT VACATION HOME RENTALS TONIGHT

Vacation home rentals are back as an issue in Twentynine Palms.  Dan Stork has the agenda for the Planning Commission meeting…

In addition to another study session on the review and revision of the City’s Development Code, the Twentynine Palms Planning Commission will take up the issue of vacation home rentals in a study session. “Vacation home rentals” refers to the renting of private homes to visitors for stays of less than a month. It is a popular practice in unincorporated areas surrounding Twentynine Palms, and throughout the country. It has also been banned in several cities.  Regulations drafted by the Commission to govern the practice died in City Council in 2010, following lobbying by the city’s hotel industry, and the unwillingness of Council to add detailed regulations for local enforcement. The ordinance drafted at that time is being revived for renewed consideration. The meeting starts at 6 pm on January 21, in City Hall on Adobe Road.

JOSHUA TREE CLEAN TEAM OUT TOMORROW MORNING

The Joshua Tree Clean Team will meet tomorrow morning (Wednesday, January 22) at the JT Sportsman’s Club on Sunburst   Avenue at 8 a.m. There will be trash bags, grabber sticks, gloves and water available. Following the clean up efforts there will be an optional get together for coffee at the Park Rock Café.

MATURE DRIVER CLASSES TOMORROW AT THE TWENTYNINE PALMS LIBRARY

Free mature driver’s classes are being offered as a brush up for your California license exam at the Twentynine Palms Library. Reporter Taylor Thacker says there is no sign up and it’s free…

There is a great opportunity at the DMV available all year! The Twentynine Palms Library offers a FREE mature driver education class every Wednesday from 2 to 3:30 pm. This continuous class will cover everything needed to pass the DMV written exam over any given six-week period. Seniors can join the class at any time during the year, and no pre-registration is necessary. Both the California Driver Handbook and sections of the Senior Guide to Safe Driving Handbook are reviewed. In each class, students are given sample written driver tests and the answers are discussed with references made to their location in the handbook. For more information call 760-367-9519.

WE MEET MISS YUCCA VALLEY CANDIDATE MADDY NIMMO

Today we continue our series of interviews with the ten contestants for the Miss Yucca Valley Scholarship Pageant. 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. Managing editor Tami Roleff introduces us to Maddy Nimmo…

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Today we visit with Maddy Nimmo, a junior at Yucca Valley High School and candidate for Miss Yucca Valley. Hi Maddy. Tell us, who is the prominent woman you’ve been mentoring with and what you have learned….

“My prominent woman is Laura Jensen. She taught me that there is nothing you can’t overcome to get where you belong in life, and to reach your full potential. Her story really inspired me.”

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

“I think I actually learned a lot about myself and who I want to be due to this pageant process. We’ve read “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens” as a group each week and its really been amazing to see how much we can apply to our lives and what a difference it has made in all of us already.”

Any final words?

“This pageant has benefited me in so many ways and I’m just so grateful that I got to meet all of these lovely girls. Thank you.”

HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS: SCORES AND SCHEDULES

The Twentynine Palms High School boys’ varsity Wildcats basketball team had a busy holiday weekend with two games, one Friday and one on Monday. Friday night, the boys played a home game against the Rams of Desert Mirage. Coach Michael Schneider said it started off with a nice defensive effort, as the Wildcats played to a 27-7 halftime lead. The final score ended up being 50-26, and the Wildcats claimed their first league victory. Leading scorers were: Elijah Grubbs with 10 points; Andrew Wilson with 9 points; and Travis Douglas added 8 points.

 

Monday, the Wildcats traveled to Los Osos High School in Ontario to play in the MLK Showcase. Their opponent was Victor Valley. Coach Schneider said that cats played really nice defense and went 12 of 16 from the line in the fourth quarter. The Wildcats claimed their second win of the weekend as they beat Victor Valley by a score of 55-52.

Leading scorers were: Alex Chavez with 15 points; Elijah Grubbs and Andrew Wilson both had 11 points.

 

Twentynine Palms will face Yucca Valley next on Wednesday night at 7:30. JV will begin at 4:30. The games will be held in Wildcat gymnasium.

In high school sports tomorrow, the Yucca Valley and Twentynine Palms High Schools soccer teams will play each other in Twentynine Palms. The girls’ game starts at 3:15 p.m., the boys start at 5 p.m.