FORMER COMPTON POLICEMAN ARRESTED FOR YUCCA VALLEY SPOUSAL ASSAULT

A former Compton police officer who used to help put criminals in jail is himself behind bars today. Retired officer Thomas Zampiello, 67, of Yucca Valley, was arrested Friday afternoon after his wife told Sheriff’s deputies he threatened her and rammed her car. According to a Sheriff’s report, Zampiello went to a home in the 7600 block of Frontera Avenue in Yucca Valley about 11:40 a.m., armed with a bowie knife, and yelled for his wife to come outside. The wife got in her car and started driving northbound on Frontera, and Zampiello followed in his car, ramming her silver Mercury from behind with his beige Honda. When deputies arrived, the woman told them that Zampiello threatened to break out the house windows and kill her. Thomas Zampiello was arrested for investigation of felony spouse abuse, making criminal threats, and assault with a deadly weapon. Zampiello was booked at West Valley Detention Center with his bail set at $250,000. Sheriff’s deputies also took for safekeeping 19 firearms belonging to Zampiello. In 1990, Thomas Zampiello was a Compton police officer and was named as a defendant in a class action lawsuit against the County of Los Angeles and various law enforcement agencies, in which the defendants were accused of mistreating minority suspects. The lawsuit was settled in 2006.

COMMUNITY FIRST RESPONDERS CLASS OFERRED BY COUNTY FIRE

If a disaster happened in your community, who would be there to help? Well, it could be you. Managing Editor Tami Roleff invites you to sign up for the Community Emergency Response Team…

If an earthquake, flash flood, fire, or other disaster was to hit the High Desert, would you know how to help your family, friends, and neighbors? The Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT, trains volunteers what to do before, during, and after a disaster. The San Bernardino County Fire Department will hold a CERT training sessions for Morongo Basin residents. The class will be held on Saturdays, from 8 to 5, beginning March 1, at Machris Park in Yucca Valley. For more information, or to register for either class, call Battalion Chief Mike Snow at 760-365-3335.

ON GOLDEN POND OPENING A RESOUNDING SUCCESS

The St. Joseph’s Players held their opening weekend of “On Golden Pond” this past weekend at St. Joseph’s of Arimathea Church in Yucca Valley. The opening night Gala on Friday was sponsored by the Gladys Carols Scholarship Program. Ticket sales, donations, and auction proceeds raised more than $2,300 for the scholarships. Cheryl Gillon, of the Gladys Carol Scholarship Program, thanks to all those made the fundraiser a smashing success.

COUNTY SUPERVISORS TO DISCUSS HELENDALE SOLAR FIELD TOMORROW

While there is nothing on the agenda of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors’ Tuesday meeting that directly impacts the Morongo Basin, there is an item that may be a preview of coming attractions for our area. Reporter Dan Stork focuses on a solar project in Helendale that is up for discussion…

On an issue continued from its previous meeting, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors will conduct a public hearing on the appeal of a Planning Commission action to deny a Conditional Use Permit to establish a photovoltaic solar power generating facility on 80.6 acres in Helendale, an unincorporated community on Route 66 between Victorville and Barstow. The listed action, following the hearing notice, which the Supervisors may approve, is to grant the appeal and approve a permit for the facility. The open session of the Supervisors’ meeting starts at 10 a.m. on Tuesday February 25. It can be viewed and participated in at the interactive teleconferencing site at the County Building on Whitefeather Road in Joshua Tree, or just viewed via the County Direct feature on the County’s web site.

DESERT GUILDS QUILT SHOW SET FOR PALM SPRINGS MARCH 7-8

“Quilting Seasons” is the theme for this year’s Desert Guilds’ Quilt Show to be held in Palm Springs March 7 and 8. The show will feature 150 quilts made by members of three quilt guilds, including Cactus Sewables in Yucca Valley, Coachella Valley, and Pass Patchers, from the Banning/Beaumont area. Other highlights include a certified quilt appraiser, a quilt raffle, a mini quilt exhibit, and merchants and vendors. The quilt show is a fundraiser for the three quilt guilds, who make donations to various community organizations. Admission to the quilt show is $7 with free parking. The quilt show will be held at the Palm Springs Pavilion, 401 S. Pavilion Way. For more information, call Susan Amundsen, 907-229-6034.

OUR DESERT IS BEING INVADED

Our desert and Joshua Tree National Park are being invaded. Park Ranger Pam Tripp tells you how to be a defender…

Did you know that an invasion of the desert is occurring right below your feet? Sahara mustard is a non-native plant that invades our desert’s natural areas. Sahara mustard reduces our brilliant native wildflower displays in the spring, is poor habitat for wildlife, and creates fuel for wildfires, causing them to spread quickly. Joshua Tree National Park has been fighting off this weed in its protected desert areas for the last 10 years. Please join us this spring for our annual ‘Hold the Mustard’ volunteer days, when we remove Sahara mustard from critical areas of the park. Work alongside park staff, learn about the management of your national park, and meet other community members! It is also a great way to enjoy the outdoors and spring weather.  Contact the park for more information on dates and locations of these volunteer events. For more information on how to help with Sahara Mustard removal, contact Josh Hoines at 760-367-5564.

TWENTYNINE PALMS BASKETBALL BOOSTER REVERSE RAFFLE SATURDAY

The Twentynine Palms Boys Basketball Booster Club is holding a Reverse Raffle on March 1, beginning at 5:00 pm.  The Grand Prize is $5,000 and tickets include a great Tri-Tip dinner for two prepared by Chef Larry Bowden.  We are only selling 200 tickets at $100 each.  All 200 tickets are then drawn 1 by 1. The last ticket picked is the grand prize winner, but there are many prizes given out along the way. You don’t have to be present to win, but it is a great night of fun and all the proceeds go to support Twentynine Palms High School basketball. Profits are used for travel and tournament expenses as well as equipment. Anyone who would like to purchase a ticket or has questions, can call Kevin or Korina Cole at 760-668-5176 or Mike Schneider at 760-668-0235.

JOSHUA SPRINGS BOYS BASKETBALL ADVANCES TO CIF QUARTER FINALS

Joshua Springs boys’ basketball advances to the CIF Quarterfinal Tuesday, defeating the Providence Patriots 53-47 on Friday night. The win pushes the Lightning to a 19-4 record, best in school history. Dylan Hadley scored 23 points to lead the Lightning to a season high.