***BREAKING NEWS*** TWO KILLED IN YUCCA VALLEY CRASH

Two people were killed in Yucca Valley this afternoon when their SUV was broadsided on Yucca Trail. According to Sheriff’s Deputy Greer, at 1:09 p.m., a red Bronco was traveling northbound on Warren Vista and was creeping into the intersection when it was broadsided by a black Cherokee, traveling westbound on Yucca Trail.

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The two occupants of the Bronco, a man and a woman—who have not yet been identified—were killed in the crash. Yucca Trail is closed in both directions from Lucerne Vista to Chula Vista, and is expected to be closed for several hours. Listen to Z107.7 Friday for more details.

QUESTIONS ABOUT ENDORSEMENTS IN SHERIFF MCMAHON’S CAMPAIGN

A 17-page list of personal endorsements for the campaign of John McMahon for San Bernardino County Sheriff was removed from the campaign’s website after questions were raised by Z107.7 News. In doing campaign research yesterday morning, I saw that my name and my wife’s name were listed as endorsers. Not only have I never endorsed McMahon for Sheriff, I have never even met him. When I called and asked how my name was obtained, an individual only identified as “Michelle” said, “She would take it off.” “That is not my point”, I said, “I want to know how my name got on that list.” She promised to get back with me, but as of this morning had not. In fact a very few hours after I sent a formal media e-mail query asking how my name got on the list, the entire list was removed from the campaign website. I had printed out a copy so I called a number of individuals in the Twentynine Palms area I personally knew whose names were on the list and asked them if they had endorsed McMahon for Sheriff. Two said absolutely not, and three others, including elected and appointed City officials, said they had not endorsed him, but may have clicked on a Facebook page, not with the intent of making a formal endorsement. We are still waiting for response from the McMahon for Sheriff Campaign on where they obtained their list of endorsees.

UPDATE:

Sheriff McMahon contacted Z107.7 news today and confirmed that mistakes had been made on his endorsement list. He said inadvertently a campaign mailing list had been merged with a list of endorsers from a campaign event. McMahon apologized for the error and said they had taken the page down to fix the error. We will have a complete follow-up story in tomorrow’s Z107.7 news.

YUCCA VALLEY MAN ACUSED OF STEALING CONSTRUCTION MATERIAL

A Yucca Valley man was arrested Tuesday, accused of stealing remodeling supplies from a residence. According to Sheriff’s Sergeant Rick Millard, a resident in the 6300 block of Palo Alto Avenue in Yucca Valley was walking his dog about 6:30 a.m. when he noticed a silver pick up truck circling the block. When the man returned home, he found the truck parked in his driveway. A man, identified as Daniel Lewis, 49, came out from the back yard and said his truck had run out of gas. The resident told Lewis he had called 911, at which time Lewis got in his truck and drove off. After an investigation, Daniel Lewis was arrested at Palo Alto and Imperial Drive, and with stolen remodeling equipment in his possession. Deputies are still looking for Lewis’s companion. Daniel Lewis was booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, but was released on $25,000 bail about 4 p.m.

HI-DESERT WATER SAYS IT IS HAS PLENTY OF RESERVES

California Governor Jerry Brown declared California was officially in a drought last month, and the Mojave Water Agency, which provides state water to Hi-Desert Water District, will not be receiving any water from its water supplier. This means that Hi-Desert Water District, along with Joshua Basin Water District and Bighorn-Desert View Water Agency also will not be receiving any state water. Managing editor Tami Roleff spoke with officials at Hi-Desert Water District earlier, who say the water district is prepared…

“Hi-Desert, we continue to conserve all the time. We’ve been fortunate that in that since we’ve begun recharging back in the mid-90s, we’ve built up approximately between five and six years of water supply.” General Manager Ed Muzik said that the five to six years of water the District has saved is in addition to the water already in the aquifer. “We did have water in the ground before we started recharging. We probably had 15 plus years … of reserves, water that was here before recharging.” So in the unlikely event that it never rains or snows again in California, the Water District has enough water to last 20 years or more. “We’ve banked more water than we’ve used since we began recharging, so at times like this when we do have a dry year, we have water available.” In addition, once the District’s wastewater project is up and running in 2016, the amount of water available to its customers will be even more. “Because we’re going to clean it and recharge it on site to the aquifer out there.”

CURT SAUER NAMED NEW JOSHUA BASIN WATER DISTRICT GENERAL MANAGER

The Joshua Basin Water District Board of Directors announced, pending contract approval, that they have appointed Curt Sauer as their new general manager. Sauer had retired four years ago as Superintendent of Joshua Tree National Park.

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He recently served as the Department of Interior agency liaison and Incident Commander on the BP Oil Spill. Curt Sauer is also the president of the non-profit Mojave Desert Land Trust.

LAST WEEKEND FOR “THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST” AT THEATRE 29

The classic comedy, “The Importance of Being Earnest,” by Oscar Wilde, continues its run at Theatre 29 through this Saturday. The play, directed by Butch Pelfrey, features Broadway-class period costuming by Kathryn Ferguson, and a delightfully imagined and intricate set designed by Pelfrey with help from his wife, Jackie Pelfrey. “The Importance of Being Earnest” tells the story of a country gentleman who assumes another identity when visiting the city. When his city friend assumes another identity to visit the country, farce and hilarity ensue.  Love is lost and found, the laughs are many, and the final “reveal” at the end of the show is leaving audiences delighted. Tickets are $12 for general admission, $10 for seniors and military, and $8 for students with ID and children under 12. The play is suitable for all age groups. Tickets can be reserved at www.theatre29.org or by calling the Theatre 29 Box Office at 760-361-4151.

A LESSON ABOUT INVASIVE PLANT SPECIES

The price of freedom from the insidious desert invader, the Sahara mustard plant, is eternal vigilance. That’s one thing reporter Dan Stork learned at the recent Morongo Basin Conservation Association’s annual meeting…

Sahara Mustard, up close and personal.

Sahara Mustard, up close and personal.

 

London Rocket, --" tastes like arugula"

London Rocket, –” tastes like arugula”

Morongo Basin Conservation Association directors Pat Flanagan and Deborah Bollinger did some show-and-tell of undesirable desert visitors at the Association’s annual meeting. Flanagan pointed out the dark green color and hairy leaves of the Sahara mustard.  She said it’s an annual plant that germinates early, getting a jump on native plants, and crowding them out. Bollinger displayed a huge specimen she had picked that morning, and said that a single plant can have 9000 seeds. Flanagan advised mustard-fighters to pull the plants out by the roots, and to separate the flowers and seeds and put them in black plastic bags to prevent them from getting back in the environment. Event coordinator Claudia Sall said that the annual Hold-the-Mustard event will be February 11. Flanagan also showed another invasive species, the London Rocket, of a bright green color.  She said that the tender leaves of the London Rocket are edible, and can be used like arugula. I tried one during a break—pretty tasty.

TOWN PLANS BUS TRIP TO LINCOLN SHRINE IN REDLANDS

Join the Town of Yucca Valley on Wednesday, February 19th for a day trip to the Lincoln Shrine, located at the A.K. Smiley Library in Redlands, for a guided tour. Departure time is 8:45 a.m. at the Community Center and will return at 4:30 p.m. The cost is $70 per person; price includes lunch and two tours. Register online at www.yucca-valley.org or in person at the Yucca Valley Community Services office, Monday through Thursday, 12:00 to 5:00 p.m. This memorial to Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War also includes works by Norman Rockwell and murals by Dean Cornwell. Participants will enjoy lunch at Joe Greensleeve’s. After lunch, participants will travel to Cherry Valley for a guided tour of the beautiful Edward Dean Museum and Gardens. For more information, contact the Community Center at 760-369-7211.

YUCCA VALLEY TOWN COUNCIL PART 2 OF 2: SOLAR AND GRADING REGULATIONS

After meeting in joint session with the Planning Commission Tuesday night, managing editor Tami Roleff says the Town Council held its regular meeting to vote on more routine matters. Yesterday, in the first part of a two-part story, wildlife corridors and the General Plan Update. Today, solar fields, grading permits, and development impact fees…

The Yucca Valley Town Council approved an ordinance at its meeting Tuesday night prohibiting commercial solar fields after determining that it would need to amend the ordinance if Hi-Desert Water District wanted to build its own solar field. The Council also updated its building codes, including changing the requirements for grading permits. Permits will now only be required if grading adversely affects a neighbor’s property. Council member Dawn Rowe was the sole dissenting vote against retaining the current development impact fees because she disagreed with the building size that triggers the highest fee rate. “I believe that 10,000 square feet threshold is too low; we could increase the square footage on the high end.”

DESERT WRITER’S GUILD MEETS SATURDAY AT TWENTYNINE PALMS LIBRARY

Friends of the Twentynine Palms Library are hosting the Desert Writers Guild at the Twentynine Palms Library February 8 at 2:00 p.m. Mysteries of the Whispering Sands is the Desert Guild’s latest publication. The anthology will be available for purchase and signing. Light refreshments will be served. For more information about the Desert Writers Guild library program, please call the Twentynine Palms Library at 760-367-9519.

LECTURE ON “CHEMICAL REACTIONS” SATURDAY AT HI-DESERT NATURE MUSEUM

The Hi-Desert Nature Museum is offering a series of “Science Saturday” lectures. Reporter Taylor Thacker invites you to learn about chemical reactions…

The Hi-Desert Nature Museum continues their popular education program, Science Saturdays, with exciting topics for the month of February. On Saturday, February 8, from 11:00 to 11:30 a.m., the topic will be chemical reactions. For a chemical reaction to take place, a chemical change must occur, which means one compound turns into another. This may sound complicated but we see it happening around us every day. A steel garbage can rusting is a chemical reaction because the iron combines with oxygen in the atmosphere. During this Science Saturday, Museum Educator Crystal Mason will teach children about chemical reactions in our everyday world and demonstrate a few live chemical reactions, even one that mimics a volcanic eruption. This program is free and no pre-registration is required. It is recommended that children be school age for this program. For more information call 760-369-7212. Come out and learn something new this Saturday.

HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS: SCORES AND SCHEDULES

The Yucca Valley High School Lady Trojan basketball team scored a 46-36 win last night over Desert Hot Springs in Trojan Gym. Coach Jess Geeson said the team was led by junior Ashley Priest who scored 20 points and pulled down 15 rebounds. She was followed by senior Hannah Hughes with 10 points and five steals. Junior Yvonne Tran hit for nine points. The win pushes the Lady Trojans record to 5-2 in De Anza league play with a Friday game at home versus Twentynine Palms at 6 p.m.

 

In high school sports tomorrow, the Twentynine Palms and Yucca Valley High School boys and girls soccer teams will play each other in Yucca Valley. The boys start at 3:15; the girls at 7 p.m.

 

Also tomorrow, the Joshua Springs boys and girls basketball teams will travel away to play Bloomington Christian, with the girls game starting at 4:30, and the boys following.