Three men were arrested Thursday morning, accused of attempting to steal thousands of dollars of merchandise from the Yucca Valley Wal-Mart. According to a Sheriff’s Department press release, about 9:30 Thursday morning, Wal-Mart’s Loss Prevention associates observed Bryan Earnhart, 25, of Menifee, and Joseph Mascola, 27, of Wildomar, stealing about $2,000 in electronics equipment, while a third man, Joshua Dunn, 23, of Riverside, waited outside with a getaway car. Deputies took Dunn and Earnhart into custody as Earnhart attempted to get into the suspect vehicle to flee. Mascola was taken into custody as he attempted to exit the store and flee on foot. Investigation later showed that the suspects had altered the vehicle’s license plates with black tape to change the digits of the plate in an apparent effort to make the vehicle unidentifiable. Bryan Earnhart, Joshua Dunn, and Joseph Mascola were arrested for investigation of commercial burglary, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, with their bail set at $25,000 each.
With today’s rain, the Morongo Basin is at risk for flash flooding. Three fire stations in the area have sand bags available for residents. Twentynine Palms and Yucca Valley Station 41 on the highway are giving away up to 10 sand bags, and Morongo Valley will give out an unlimited number of sand bags to residents who may need them. Yucca Valley residents can fill their bags with sand behind the fire station; in Twentynine Palms and Morongo Valley, residents need to use desert sand for their bags. Fire Engineer Dave Faller reminds motorists that a safe alternative to cross the flood channel through the middle of Yucca Valley is by taking Sage Avenue for north-south routes. He added that portions of Highway 62 can flood, and Sunnyslope to the north is a safe alternative to the highway. Reporter Mike Lipsitz has these timely reminders about flash flooding and driving on wet roads…
Desert rains can be a mixed blessing when the much needed precipitation turns a normally dry wash or roadway into a torrent of raging, muddy water and debris. During heavy rain or in a flash flood avoid areas with rapid water flow. Do not attempt to cross a flowing stream. It takes only six inches of fast flowing water to sweep you off your feet. Don’t allow children to play near high water, storm drains or washes. Hidden dangers can lie beneath the water. Flooded roads can have significant damage hidden by floodwaters. Never drive through floodwaters. Water only one foot deep can float most automobiles. Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to see flooded roads. Z107.7 reminds Basin residents to “Turn Around, Don’t Drown!”
A Copper Mountain College professor is the only California educator who received a continuing education award from a statewide organization that represents noncredit programs at California community colleges. Annie Bonev was recognized for her work with English as a Second Language students at CMC by the Association for Community and Continuing Education at the association’s annual conference in San Francisco February 6. Congratulations Annie Bonev.
He’s not promising green eggs and ham, but reporter Dan Stork says there’ll be a good time to be had at Dr. Seuss’ birthday party at the Joshua Tree Library…
The Joshua Tree Library invites families to the library to celebrate the birthday of legendary children’s author Dr. Seuss. The library will be hosting the celebration on March 1 from 1 to 3 p.m. Activities will include, story time with special guests, Dr. Seuss themed crafts, Cat in the Hat cake, and Pink Yink Ink punch. The Cat in the Hat will be available for pictures with children. Crafts and activities are provided at no cost through funding by the Friends of the Joshua Tree Library. For more information about the “Dr. Seuss Birthday Celebration,” story time or other library programs, please call the Joshua Tree Branch Library at 760-366-8615.
The Sportsman Club in Joshua Tree will hold its monthly swap meet tomorrow, March 1. Shop for great bargains on new and used items, crafts and collectibles, books, and eclectic artworks. 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 swap meets are held on the first Saturday of every month from 8 to 3 at the Sportsman’s Club, on Sunburst Avenue, just off the highway in Joshua Tree.
Cactus Sewables Quilt Guild will meet this Monday in the Yucca Room of the Yucca Valley Community Center. Doors open at 12:30 p.m. and the meeting begins promptly at 1 p.m. Guests are welcome. Quilters will be submitting their challenges for voting by the guild. These challenges will then be shown at the Desert Guilds Quilt Show 2014 which will be held Friday, March 7 (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.), and Saturday, March 8 (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.) at the Palm Springs Pavilion, 401 S. Pavilion Way, Palm Springs. Admission is $7, parking is free.
Applications are being taken for a scholarship for high school or college students. Managing Editor Tami Roleff tells you how to apply…
High school seniors and current college students in the STEM fields of study are encouraged to apply for a scholarship from the Gladys Carol Scholarship Program. STEM studies include science (including social science), technology, engineering, and math. The Gladys Carol Scholarship will award $2,500 to a student enrolled in a STEM major based on merit and need for two years. Students must be a U.S. citizen, enrolled full-time in a private or non-profit college, and have a GPA of 3.75 or higher. The deadline for applications is March 28. For more information about the scholarship, or for an application, email GCSP@outlook.com.
The Joshua Tree Veterans of Foreign Wars Post will offer an all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner tonight, from 4 to 6, complete with salad and garlic bread, for only $5. Sunday morning is an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast, plus bacon, sausage, burritos, and quesadillas, from 8 to 11. And don’t forget Taco Wednesday from 11 to 1.
Saturday is already the first of March and time for the First Saturday Breakfast at the Copper Mountain Mesa Community Center, located at 65336 Winters Road in North Joshua Tree. The friendliest volunteers serve from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., dishing up the best breakfast in the Basin for five Bucks; a healthy dose of good old fashioned neighborliness is included at no charge.
Theatre 29 will hold auditions Monday for the musical, “Nunset Blvd.” Reporter Mike Lipsitz tells you how you can be a star…
Theater auditions are Monday for “Nunset Boulevard,” the latest in the hilarious musical comedy series. If you’re interested in being in the Theatre 29 production, be at the main stage at 6:30 p.m. Theatre 29 is at the corner of Adobe and Sullivan roads in Twentynine Palms. “Nunset Boulevard” begins April 25 and runs for five weeks. It follows the exploits of The Little Sisters of Hoboken, who have been invited to perform at the Hollywood Bowl-A-Rama. Director Kathryn Ferguson will cast five women who can sing, act and have some comedic timing. Come prepared with a karaoke tape or professional backing track as accompaniment; no live accompanist will be available. All audition pieces must be Broadway music. Be prepared for cold readings. Stage crew volunteers should also attend auditions. For more information, contact the director at KFerguson@theatre29.org.
The Star Twirlers Square Dance Club is hosting a Plus-level square dance at the Yucca Valley Elks Lodge tonight. Bill (Tex) Gipson will be calling squares from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Bob Paull will be cueing rounds from 7:00 to 7:30 p.m. and between tips. For more information contact Dennis at 366-8626.
Back by popular demand, the Morongo Basin Historical Society will hold Area 62 Days every Saturday and Sunday through April. This event will have fun for the entire family as participants will be able to learn about the history and legends of Giant Rock and UFOs, see a crashed UFO and stuff from the crash site, and aliens. UFO-themed food and beverages will also be available. The Area 62 Days will be held at the Morongo Basin Historical Society’s Museum, 632 Landers Lane in Landers. Admission is $3 for adults and $1 for children.
Seedling is believing at a Saturday Marketplace sale in Landers. So says reporter Dan Stork…
On Saturday, March 1, come and shop at “The Marketplace,” a huge sale sponsored by the Morongo Basin Historical Society in Landers at 632 Landers Lane, a block and a half south of Reche Rd. The sale runs 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. A new vendor for this event is bringing a wide selection of seedlings for the gardener: sugar snap peas, different varieties of lettuce, Swiss chard, kales, cilantro, bok choy, mustard greens, collard greens, green onions and more. There will be live red worms and vermicompost for sale. Call 760-366-7896 or 760-363-6681 for information.
The Twentynine Palms High School Drama Club will hold its monthly Improv Show Friday, February 28, in the school’s multi-purpose room. The doors open at 6:30; the show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are only $3 at the door.
Last chance tryouts and evaluations are being held by both the Hi-Desert Pony League and Twentynine Palms Little League in Twentynine Palms. Hi-Desert Pony League Baseball will hold last chance evaluations at Knott’s Sky Park Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., rain or shine. Registrations will also be taken at this time. Please make sure to bring a copy of a certified birth certificate and a copy of proof of residency. All Pony League games will be held at Knott’s Sky Park. For information call Jennifer Garcia at 760-367-1351 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Twentynine Palms Little League will host its last chance tryouts Monday, March 3, at 6 p.m. aboard the Marine Corps base at Felix Fields. All players who are already registered will be evaluated at 6 p.m. or 7 p.m. (depending on division). Late registrations are also being accepted on site but will try out at 8 p.m. Go online to www.29baseball.com or www.29softball.com for more information or contact League president Ronda Lockett-Morton at 760-368-7107.
Speed and inattention are responsible for a crash last month involving two Sheriff’s deputies, according to a story published by the Hi-Desert Star Wednesday. On January 1, Deputies Brandon Abell and Scott Andrews were returning to the Sheriff’s station about 6:30 p.m. They were both driving westbound on Highway 62, just east of the California Highway Patrol station when Abell rear-ended Andrews’ patrol car. According to the Star, both deputies had slowed down while they passed a CHP officer who had made a traffic stop on the highway. Abell told CHP investigators he took his eyes off the road to look at something on the front seat of his car, and when he looked back up, Andrews’ car was directly in front of him, and he rear ended it. Andrew’s patrol car rolled over several times after being hit, coming to rest on its roof on the south side of the highway. Abell stopped his patrol unit on the north side of the highway. According to the Hi-Desert Star, the CHP investigation determined that Abell was driving more than 80 miles per hour at the time of the crash, and was not wearing his seatbelt; Andrews was driving between 70 and 80 miles per hour, and was wearing a seatbelt. The speed limit on Highway 62 in that area is 65 miles per hour. Both deputies were slightly injured in the crash; their patrol cars received major damage.
Hi Desert Star Story
An 18-year-old Twentynine Palms man was arrested Wednesday, accused of deliberately burning his sister’s boyfriend. According to Sheriff’s Deputy Ericson Dominick, last week, a 17-year-old boy went to visit his girlfriend in the 2100 block of Bullion Drive in Twentynine Palms. While waiting outside, his girlfriend’s brother, Clay Henderson, came outside and threw a cup of hot liquid on the boy’s face and neck. Dominick said Henderson also threatened the victim with a weapon. The boy sustained severe burns to his face and neck. On Wednesday, deputies served a search warrant at the home on Bullion Drive and recovered a coffee cup and the weapon used by Henderson. Clay Henderson was arrested for investigation of torture, booked at the Morongo Basin Jail, and is being held on $500,000 bail.
Budgetary issues dominated discussions at the Twentynine Palms City Council meeting Tuesday night. Reporter Dan Stork broke his report into two parts. Today: Dog park status, the Development Director position, directional signs, and Veterans’ Park rehab…
After a staff opinion that Knott’s Sky Park is the only remaining alternative for a dog park, the council authorized staff to price the cost of an aerial survey of the park, to support planning for all the recreational functions of the facility; that vote went 4-1, Heiser dissenting again. In a final vote, City Manager Joe Guzetta was directed to advertise for a part-time Community Development Director (estimated to cost $90,000 per year as a contract position), without specifying the position as “interim.” Joel Klink was the single vote against this authorization. In a workshop with the Public Arts Advisory Committee before the regular meeting, the Council approved designs for directional signs within the city, and discussed policies for location of signs, and how to deal with both public and private sites on signage. Pat Flanagan read a draft Request for Qualifications for teams that might bid to re-design Veterans’ Park.
The Marine Corps’ two-year-old “sleeves down” policy ended with an announcement Tuesday night on the Marines’ official social media platforms. The change takes effect March 9 and affects Marines wearing their desert camouflage utilities in noncombat areas. A Marine administrative message was published Wednesday formalizing the move.
Last night, the Twentynine Palms Water District Board of Directors decided to send Suzi Horn and Chancey Chambers to the ACWA spring conference. The Water District will also be present at the Twentynine Palms High School Career Day. On the Fire Department side, the board renewed the agreement with the Registrar of Voters to allow them to use both fire stations for polling places. The board also renewed the agreement with Copper Mountain College that allows them to use the stations for classes. In turn, the college will reimburse the Fire Department $2700 each year for the cost of utilities.
The portion of the meeting for Fire Department business was cut short last night due to a first: Fire Chief Jim Thompson got a call at 6:48 p.m. of a structure fire in the Shady Elms mobile home park in the 5000 block of Adobe Road. About ten men from the Twentynine Palms Fire Department, the Combat Center Fire Department, and Wonder Valley Fire Department fought the fire. The fire apparently started in a mobile home and then spread to a wooden telephone pole located behind the home. The cause of the fire is unknown, but according to Fire Chief Thompson, the cause appears suspicious in nature. The residents and neighbors were not home at the time of the fire and there were no injuries. The mobile home was completely destroyed; only the frame of the structure remains.