A 54-year-old woman was killed in Morongo Valley last night when she was struck by a car on the highway. According to the California Highway Patrol, Geraldine Willis, 46, of Twentynine Palms, was driving a 2014 Dodge Avenger eastbound on Highway 62 about 8:30 p.m. when the still-unidentified woman attempted to cross the highway southbound, just east of Park Avenue, and walked directly into the path of Willis’s car. Paramedics said the pedestrian was killed instantly. Willis was uninjured. The victim’s name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.
Three people were arrested in Yucca Valley late Sunday night after drugs were found in their possession. According to a Sheriff’s report, Sheriff’s deputies stopped a 2002 Toyota just after 9:30 p.m. at Kickapoo Trail and Highway 62 in Yucca Valley. During the traffic stop, the deputy found heroin, drug paraphernalia, and a large amount of cash in the possession of Brandon Harrison, 31, of Anderson. Brandon Harrison was arrested for investigation of possession of controlled substance for sales. He was booked at the Morongo Basin Jail with his bail set at $50,000. The deputy determined that a passenger in the car, Kimberly Woodcock, 24, of Redding, displayed signs of being under the influence of a controlled substance. Kimberly Woodcock was arrested for investigation of possession of a controlled substance and on three warrants. She was booked at the Morongo Basin Jail with her total bail set at $35,000. Also in the car was Charles Wilson, 25, of Anderson, who was arrested for his no-bail parole violation. He was booked at the West Valley Detention Center.
About 60 people filled the chairs at the Twentynine Palms Community Center, to participate in a special joint meeting of the City Council and Planning Commission on vacation home rentals. Reporter Dan Stork says that a question was asked by the Planning Commissioners, and was answered by the City Council…
The Twentynine Palms Planning Commissioners asked the City Council: Do you want us to devote time to reconsideration of allowing and regulating Vacation Home Rentals in the City. (A Vacation Home Rental is defined as a rental of less than 30 days.) After two hours of public comment and official discussion, the answer was yes, by a 4-1 vote, with Council member Jay Corbin dissenting. Council members suggested that the Commission use the draft ordinance developed four years ago as a starting point, and Commissioners asked Council members to forward comments on that draft to them to help their deliberations. During lengthy public comment, speakers on both sides of the issue rehashed familiar arguments. The speakers were mainly, but not entirely, owners of prospective VHR properties on the pro side and hoteliers on the con side. Issues that were raised as topics for consideration by the Commission include: registration and permitting process; fee schedule; property management oversight; cost of administration, code enforcement burden, bed tax collection; neighbor notification radius; trial period and program review; a minimum stay requirement; and affected areas of the city.
In 2010, when the then-sitting City Council terminated discussion of the issue, the vote was 3-1. Steve Flock, John Cole, and still-serving Jim Harris were the majority, and Joel Klink provided the lone vote for continuing the discussion then. (Then-Council member Steve Spear was not present for the vote.) Current Mayor Dan Mintz was a member of the Planning Commission that developed a draft VHR ordinance at that time.
A talent show to support the Morongo Basin Unity Home will be held Friday, May 2, at Copper Mountain College’s Bell Center. “An Evening against Violence” will feature a variety show filled with local talent—dancing, singing, acting, laughter, and a team of improv comics. A minimum $5 donation is requested. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. Unity Home is a non-profit domestic violence shelter and victim support organization.
The Twentynine Palms Water District Board, meeting exclusively on Fire Department business, will hold a special meeting tonight. Reporter Taylor Thacker says fire tax options and city funding are the focus……
The Twentynine Palms Water District will hold a special meeting Wednesday, April 30, starting at 6 p.m. to discuss important measures for the future of the Fire Department. The Board will discuss how to reach out to the public and provide information on the tax measure they are considering. Also, they will discuss whether or not to request financial aid from the city of Twentynine Palms. This meeting is open to the public and will take place in the Water District Office at 72401 Hatch Road in Twentynine Palms. For more information, call 760-367-7546.
The Friends of the Twentynine Palms Library will hold their spring book sale this week. Friends of the Library members will have first choice of the selection on Thursday, May 1, between 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Membership is available at the door. The sale is open to the public on Saturday May 3 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. All funds go directly back to the Twentynine Palms Library.
The Twentynine Palms Library’s preschool story time is walking through the alphabet. Tomorrow, preschool story time will be exploring the letter U and V. Children are invited to bring something to share that begins with the featured letter. Parents and babysitters are invited to bring their three, four, and five year olds to attend this free program. Preschool story time is held every Thursdays at 11:00 a.m. through June 6. The program includes age appropriate storytelling, apron stories, finger plays, songs, and other activities to promote a love of books, reading, and language. For more information about the Friends of the Library book sale or preschool story time, please call the Twentynine Palms Library at 760-367-9519.
Make plans to support the talented and hard-working students of Yucca Valley High School this Saturday. Managing Editor Tami Roleff invites you to the second annual Extravaganza…..
The Yucca Valley High School will present its Second Annual Extravaganza, an event designed to showcase the talents of the visual and performing arts at the school. The Concert and Select Choirs, symphonic and jazz bands, improve comedy troupe, finalists from the Yucca Valley High School Idol contest, and student artists will participate this year. In addition, student clubs and athletic teams will have booths to sell items and promote their organizations. Food, drinks, face painting, and children’s activities will also be a part of the event. The Extravaganza runs from 2 to 8 p.m. Saturday, May 3, at the Yucca Valley High School. Admission is $10; children under 5 are free. Tickets are available from visual and performing arts students, and at the door. For more information, call Bill Barrett at 760-401-2675.
Sky’s the Limit will host a star party this Saturday, May 3. The star party will start at the Twentynine Palms observatory about 7:45 p.m. and end about 1:30 a.m. Observers will be able to focus telescopes on the waxing moon, Mars, and Jupiter. Visitors should bring binoculars or telescopes, chairs, snacks and water, and dress for unpredictable weather. For more information, call 760-367-7222. Sky’s The Limit Observatory and Nature Center is just north of the Twentynine Palms entrance to the Joshua Tree National Park. Visit the STL web site at www.skysthelimit29.org or email email@example.com.
The Santa Fe Social Clubhouse Rummage Sale will start today, one more day than previously announced, through Friday from 9 to 5. Donations are now being accepted. If you need to have something picked up call the Clubhouse at 760-369-4057. If they are able to pick up your items they will. All other items can be dropped off at the Clubhouse at 56020 Santa Fe Trail Suite M between 9 and 5. Please no bedding or stuffed animals. Clean and working items only.
St. Mary’s Altar guild will hold their annual Spring Fashion show this Saturday. Social hour and tea start at 1 p.m. with fashions to follow at 2 p.m. in the parish hall at 7495 Church Street in Yucca Valley. Wear your best hat as prizes will be awarded for various categories of hats. Tickets may be purchased at the door. For more information or reservations call Carol Boyer at 760-228-2714 or Terry Sanchez at 760-369-1502.
Given the almost weekly horrors on our local roads and highways so far this year, there just can’t be too strong of a reminder of the dangers of driving, particularly for young motorists. Reporter Dan Stork has the schedule for this week’s “Every 15 minutes” program at Yucca Valley High School…
The Every 15 Minutes Program offers real-life experience without the real-life risks. This emotionally charged program is an event designed to dramatically instill teenagers with the potentially dangerous consequences of drinking alcohol and texting while driving. This nationwide program typically involves announcements every 15 minutes of a classmate’s death in a traffic accident, a simulated accident aftermath, and a funeral ceremony. This powerful program will challenge students to think about drinking, texting while driving, personal safety, and the responsibility of making mature decisions when lives are involved. There will be a “simulated live-action melodrama” (SLAM) presentation on the football field at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, May 1. The funeral assembly will be 9:30 a.m. in the gym on Friday.
In high school sports tomorrow, the Twentynine Palms High School golf team will host the Shadow Hills Knights at home. Tee time is 2:45. Also tomorrow, the Wildcat baseball and softball teams will host the Desert Hot Springs Golden Eagles at home; first pitch for both teams is at 3:30.
The Yucca Valley High School golf team will host the Big Bear Bears at home tomorrow; tee time is 3 p.m.
The Trojan softball and baseball teams will host the Shadow Hills Knights at home; first pitch is at 3:15.
The family of a daughter who was killed in a highway collision in 2013 in Joshua Tree, involving a Marine who allegedly fell asleep behind the wheel of a military-issued Humvee, has filed a federal lawsuit in Riverside District Court. Kristin Thrawl, 26, of Yucca Valley, was killed in the April 19, 2013, collision on Highway 62, west of Sunkist Avenue.
Thrawl, who worked at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, was on her way home from work where her family and 5-year-old daughter were waiting to celebrate her birthday. Thrawl was driving west on Highway 62 in her 2010 Ford Focus about 3:30 p.m. when Juan Lira, a Marine who was driving a Humvee in a convoy of about 20 vehicles, eastbound on the highway to the Twentynine Palms Marine base, crossed the center line and crashed head-on into Thrawl’s vehicle. According to the lawsuit, Lira became drowsy while driving and drifted over the center line, and despite questions from his passenger, another Marine, about whether he was OK to continue driving, continued to drive. The lawsuit contends that within minutes, Lira started dozing off again and the Humvee drifted to the right and collided head-on with Thrawl’s Ford Focus. The impact caused both vehicles to swerve off the road and overturn, the lawsuit claims. Thrawl suffered major trauma to her head, both legs and left arm. She died at the scene, according to the CHP’s traffic collision report. The lawsuit was filed by the daughter’s father, Philip Jacobson. Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Eric Flanagan declined to comment Monday. He said it is Marine Corps protocol not to comment on pending litigation.
Yucca Valley fire fighters were called to two fires Monday afternoon. County Fire Captain Rick Denison said shortly before 1 p.m., shelving units, cabinets, and electronic equipment were burning in a large pile in a back yard of a home in the 6100 block of Mandarin Road. Neighbors were attempting to control the fire with garden hoses. Radiant heat from the fire scorched a Toyota pick-up truck and a boat parked nearby, but the prevailing winds kept the fire away from the house. Fire fighters from Yucca Valley, Yucca Mesa, and Joshua Tree had the fire under control in about 15 minutes. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Photo courtesy Fire fighter Lane McGivern.
Fire fighters barely had time to catch their breath before they were called to a second fire in the 6300 block of Linda Lee Drive. Denison said the residents had forgotten about something baking in the oven until the smoke alarm alerted them to the fire. The entire house was filled with smoke when fire fighters arrived about 3:10 p.m. Flames from the oven fire scorched nearby cabinets. Fire fighters used fire extinguishers to put out the fire. A cat and her kittens were in another room behind a closed door and were unharmed. The home suffered heavy smoke damage. Denison urged residents, in case of oven fires, to keep the oven door closed, turn off the heat, and to keep a small fire extinguisher in the kitchen.
It’s the fifth Tuesday of the month, which is usually dark for public affairs in Twentynine Palms. Reporter Dan Stork reminds city residents that a special workshop on vacation home rentals is tonight…
Tonight’s the night for a special public workshop of the City Council and the Planning Commission at 6:00 p.m. to discuss the subject of vacation home rentals. The workshop will be held at the Twentynine Palms Community Center, 74325 Joe Davis Drive, across from Luckie Park. The topic of discussion at the workshop will be whether or not the City should allow vacation home rentals in residential neighborhoods in the city limits. A vacation home rental is defined as a short-term rental of a residential dwelling for less than 30 days.
A Twentynine Palms man was arrested early Friday morning after a traffic crash in which deputies said he was driving under the influence of marijuana. According to a Sheriff’s log, Rogelio Graham, 22, was involved in a crash at Highway 62 and Cholla Avenue in Twentynine Palms about 4:30 Friday morning. Deputies determined he was driving under the influence; during a search of his vehicle, deputies found enough marijuana to arrest him for investigation of possession of marijuana for sales. Rogelio Graham was booked at the Morongo Basin Jail with his bail set at $50,000.
A dirt bike rider was seriously injured Sunday in a crash at the Means Dry Lake bed in Johnson Valley. About 4:30 p.m., a man identified only as being in his 30s, was riding his dirt bike in the sand dunes with several other people when he lost control and was thrown from the bike. Rescue personnel said the man was wearing a helmet, but received serious injuries and was flown by Mercy Air to Arrowhead Regional Hospital. The California Highway Patrol is investigating.
Buyer beware: If a business offers to help you retrieve unclaimed property for a fee, you might be paying for something you can do by yourself at no cost. Managing editor Tami Roleff reports on a website where you can find out if the State of California has money that’s owed to you…
A listener came to Z107.7 recently with a letter from a private asset finder company that said for a fee, it would help him reclaim money he was owed from various businesses. But you can claim any money the state is holding for you at no cost. How does the state get your money in the first place? The owner may have forgotten a bank account exists, or moved and did not leave a forwarding address. In some cases, the owner died and the heirs had no knowledge of the stocks or insurance policy. So then the business is required to hand over the unclaimed property to the state to hold until the owners can be located. You can check the website yourself to see if you’re owed money at www.claimit.ca.gov.
The Twentynine Palms Lions Club will hold a free vision screening with free recycled eyeglasses. The screening is set for Saturday, May 3 from 8:30 to 3 p.m., although it may close earlier, subject to attendance. All ages are welcome. The vision screening is not meant to replace a comprehensive eye exam but is designed to assess eye health concerns and provide a useable pair of eyeglasses until an appointment can be made with a vision specialist. The eye clinic will be held at the Twentynine Palms Elks Lodge, at Elk Trail and the Highway. For more information, call John at 909-553-3359 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Joshua Tree Clean Team is scheduled meets every 2nd, 4th and 5th Wednesday of each month for one short hour of litter clean-up. Because there are five Wednesday in April, the Joshua Tree Clean Team will be working on Park Blvd. and Sunburst Circle tomorrow at 8:00 a.m. To get to the meeting location take highway 62 to Park Blvd south, Sunburst Circle is located between the fire station and Alta Loma. As always, there will be grabber sticks, trash bags, gloves and water for all workers. Afterwards, they’ll meet for optional coffee. For more information contact 760-366-8415.