MORONGO VALLEY MAN KILLED IN TRAGIC TRACTOR ACCIDENT

A Morongo Valley man was killed Tuesday afternoon in a tragic freak tractor accident. At 3:28 p.m., William Wesley Wire, 61, was driving a construction-type tractor on his property in the 8500 Block of Rose Eden Drive, near Altadena, when the tractor hit a bump, and Wire fell off. The tractor kept going and proceeded to run over Wire , causing fatal injuries. Sheriff’s Deputies responding to a 9-1-1 call confirmed William Wire was dead of his injuries at 3:40 p.m. An autopsy will be conducted to determine the exact cause of death. The County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the incident.

YUCCA VALLEY COUNCIL, PLANNING COMMISSION, APPROVE GENERAL PLAN UPDATE

In the fourth joint meeting of the Yucca Valley Town Council and the Planning Commission held last night, the two bodies finally approved and adopted the General Plan Update, despite objections from some commissioners and council members about including maps of wildlife corridors and open space areas in the general plan. In the first of a two-part story about the meeting, Managing Editor Tami Roleff explains who voted for and against adopting the General Plan Update, and why…

Council member Bob Leone said the General Plan should reflect the needs of the Town’s residents, not the wild animals. “The animals, these wildlife are here. They’re not about to leave. They will adapt to the growth of Yucca Valley… We should develop the General Plan on what people of Yucca Valley want.” Others argued the maps should be included in the General Plan for transparency. Planning Commissioner Steve Whitten said it was the Town’s duty to current and future property owners to include the maps. “So as a planner, I need to know everything about that piece of land that we’re getting ready to develop. It’s just very important that we disclose this.” The Planning Commission recommended, 4-1, with Tim Humphreville dissenting, that the Town Council adopt the General Plan Update, and the Town Council voted 4-1, with Bob Leone dissenting, to adopt it.

FIRE DESTROYS A LANDERS HOME FIRE TUESDAY

A Landers home is a total loss following a fire yesterday. Shortly after 5 p.m., 16 fire fighters from Joshua Tree, Yucca Mesa, and Yucca Valley responded to a fire in the 4600 block of Kickapoo Trail in Landers. The fire fighters were not able to save the 2,000-square foot home, which was fully involved with flames when they arrived, but they did save the detached garage. The resident was able to escape with her dog, but a cat is missing. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

TWO ARRESTED WITH DRUGS IN TWENTYNINE PALMS AFTER TUSSLE WITH DEPUTY

Two Twentynine Palms residents were arrested Monday when drugs were found on them during a probation compliance checks. According to a Sheriff’s report, a deputy went to a home in the 74500 block of Sunset Drive about 7 p.m. to conduct a probation compliance check on William Anderson, 47. The report states that Anderson ignored the deputy and tried to walk away, and then struggled with the deputy who tried to detain him. Anderson’s girlfriend, Cherie Zarate, 46, joined in the melee, and tried to recover Anderson’s methamphetamine. William Anderson and Cherie Zarate were eventually arrested for investigation of possession of dangerous drugs and being under the influence of drugs. Zarate was also arrested for obstructing a police officer. They were booked at the Morongo Basin Jail with their bail set at $35,000 each.

FULL HOUSE AT THE SCHOOL BOARD MEETING ASK FOR MORE PAY

Per usual, the agendized items of the Board of Education were dispatched in the blink of an eye, but its meeting was an hour long and spirited. Reporter Dan Stork explains why…

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Teachers and other Morongo Unified School District employees attended the Board of Education meeting in force to support their unions’ negotiating teams.

The Board of Education of the Morongo Unified School District conducted its meeting in front of a full house. The size of the audience had nothing to do with the meeting’s action agenda.  Rather, the attendees—District employees, both teachers and classified employees—had come out to support their unions’ negotiating teams, as the Morongo Teachers Association and the Classified School Employees Association get ready to enter bargaining sessions with the District. During public comment, speakers from both groups reiterated this theme: We’ve sacrificed and done without for many years. Now there’s some money coming in, and there’s an education-friendly governor in Sacramento, and it’s time we got some tangible appreciation. As one speaker, Shelly Howe, put it: “If you want to take care of your students, you must take care of your teachers.”

Apropos of this theme, Assistant Superintendent Doug Weller listed sunshine items that the District wants to bring to negotiations with the MTA, including a desire to change the evaluation interval for tenured teachers from every five years to every other year.

On the action agenda, the Board deferred ratification of multiple policy revisions, due to the absences (for illnesses) of members Ed Will and Ron Palmer.

MORONGO BASIN COUNTY MAC WANTS INPUT ON AREA ROADS

The Morongo Basin Municipal Advisory Council Committee on Roads will meet 10 a.m. Friday at the Bob Burke County Government Office in Joshua Tree. The committee is soliciting public comments on issues pertaining to roads in the unincorporated areas of the Morongo Basin.

HI-DESERT WATER DISTRICT BOARD MEETS TONIGHT

Among the items on the agenda for the Hi-Desert Water District’s Board of Directors’ regular meeting, the Board will make committee appointments; be asked to approve a resolution supporting water conservation; and be asked to approve the transfer of $500,00 from the water fund to serve as bridge financing for the wastewater project. After an update on the wastewater project, there will be comments from the directors and staff. The meeting is set for 6 p.m. Wednesday in District offices at Inca Trail and Highway 62.

JOSHUA BASIN WATER DISTRICT BOARD MEETS TONIGHT

The Joshua Basin Water District Board meets in regular session tonight. Reporter Mike Lipsitz says the Board will update date water service rules and regulations and work on naming a new general manager…

The Joshua Basin Water District Board of Directors meet in regular session at 7 p.m. tonight in the District office on Chollita Road in Joshua Tree. Tonight’s meeting opens with the customary formalities and public comment then directors will adjourn for a closed session in connection with the ongoing search to hire a general manager. Once back in open session, the board will look at approving construction support contracts for the water recharge facility, and for rehabilitation of a pump station. Also tonight, the board will likely approve continuation of joint funding for a US Geological Survey Study that is typically renewed annually. And finally, directors will consider adopting an updated rules and regulations guide for water service.

STUDENT ART SHOW WINNERS NAMED

MorongoBasin students in grades 7 through 12: submitted nearly 200 pieces of art in the 29 PalmsArtGallery’s Student Show. The opening reception was held Sunday where the category and scholarship winners were announced. The 29 Palms Artists’ Guild awarded the $500 Ada Bigler scholarship to the most promising artist, Sarah Miller, a senior at YuccaValleyHigh School. The Copper Mountain College Foundation presented a $250 scholarship to Brianna Johnson, also a senior at YuccaValleyHigh School who plans to attend CopperMountainCollege this fall. Winning first place in the drawing category was Anna Magnani; first place in photography was Katlynne Van Eaton, both of TwentyninePalmsHigh School. First place in painting went to Sarah Kellim of YuccaValleyHigh   School; and first place in the “Other” category was Christopher Falossi of La Contenta Middle School. Artist Janis Commentz was the judge. A full list of the winners can be seen with this story at Z1077FM.com. The show runs through February 23. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, noon to 3.

 

ADA BIGLER SCHOLARSHIP:  Sarah Miller, YVHS

CMC Foundation Award:  Brianna Johnson, YVHS


DRAWING:

1st: Anna Magnani, “Untitled,” TPHS

2nd: Chris Meyers, “Nature’s Intervention,” YVHS

3rd: Natalie Cressy, “Untitled,” YVHS

HONORABLE MENTION:  Tyler Geeson, “Untitled” YVHS

HONORABLE MENTION:  Cassie Paquin, “Untitled” YVHS

HONORABLE MENTION:  Anna Magnani, “Untitled”  TPHS

 

PAINTING

1st: Sarah Kellim, “MinerTown,” YVHS

2nd:  Caleb Hull, “Nevermore,” YVHS

3rd: Elena Bost, “The Dead Queen,” YVHS

HONORABLE MENTION:  Aurora Hemphill, “Untitled,” YVHS

HONORABLE MENTION:  Shawn Hoesel, “Individualism,” YVHS

HONORABLE MENTION:  Christina Gobbard, “Snowy Night,” YVHS

HONORABLE MENTION:  Lucille DeSantis, “Sunrise,” YVHS

 

PHOTOGRAPHY

1st:  Katlynne Van Eaton, “Threshold,”  TPHS

2nd: Alexa Flores, “Rose,” TPHS

3rd: Marissa Thomas, “Chained,” TPHS

HONORABLE MENTION: Kaiylie Tolth, “Palm Tree With Sunset,” TPHS

HONORABLE MENTION:  Kaylyn Weber, “Lonely Leaf,” TPHS

 

OTHER

1st: Christopher Falossi, “Don’t Tread On Me,” LA Contenta

2nd: Jana Hansen, “Into My Mind,” HopeAcademy

3rd: Clarissa Cooper, “Untitled,” TPHS

HONORABLE MENTION:  Jessica Harwood, “Rose Blue,” TPHS

HONORABLE MENTION:  Elizabeth Glenn, “OP Art,” Hope Academy

YUCCA VALLEY TO HOLD KID’S VALENTINE’S DANCE THIS SATURDAY

The Town of Yucca Valley will hold a kid’s Valentine’s dance this Saturday. Reporter Taylor Thacker has your invitation…

Love is in the air. The Town of Yucca Valley Recreation Department will host a Kid’s Valentine’s Day Dance on Saturday, February 8, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the Yucca Valley Community Center, Yucca Room. Children in grades K-6 are welcome to participate and enjoy music, complimentary light refreshments and themed activities. Admission is $3 per child and parents may accompany participants at no additional cost. Recreation staff members will be present to supervise this event. Children must be signed in and out by a parent or guardian. Entertainment will feature kid-friendly hits provided by Z107.7 Mobile Music. For more information call 760-368-7211.

FREE PERMACULTURE LECTURE TONIGHT

Transition Joshua Tree believes sustainable agriculture has a place in the desert. Reporter Dan Stork invites you to a lecture that promotes that view…

The Transition Joshua Tree Permaculture Project Team will present a free lecture on Drylands Permaculture—”an introduction to the art of resilient desert dwelling for many generations to come.” Local permaculture designer and artist Jill Gigerich will give an overview along with real-world examples of how you can start doing permaculture right now. This free lecture will be at the Roadhouse Café banquet room, 57173   Sunnyslope Drive in YuccaValley, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 5. For more information go to transitionjoshuatree. org, or email transitionjoshuatree@gmail.com.

TWENTYNINE PALMS LITTLE LEAGUE TRYOUTS SUNDAY

Twentynine Palms Little League will host evaluation tryouts this Sunday, February 9, at Luckie Park. Divisional and age information is on the website www.29baseball.com or you can call TPLL President Ronda Lockett-Morton for more information at 760-368-7107.

HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS SCHEDULES

Basketball is the sport of the day today for our local high schools. The Yucca Valley High School boys and girls basketball teams will host the Desert Hot Springs Golden Eagles at home tonight. The girls start at 6; boys at 7:30.

 

Twentynine Palms High School boys’ and girls’ basketball teams are also playing today. They travel away to Thermal to play Desert Mirage High School. Girls at 6; boys at 7:30.