NO CELL PHONE SERVICE FOR THOUSANDS AFTER FIBER OPTIC CABLE CUT

Thousands of cell phone customers in the Hi-Desert were without service for about 10 hours Wednesday after a spliced fiber optic cable was blown apart during high winds in the Banning Pass. The cable carried phone lines for several carriers; Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile customers have all reported no cell phone service. Reports of cell phone outages ranged from Wonder Valley to Morongo Valley to parts of the low desert. Cell phone service was restored about 10 p.m.

LOCAL FIRE CREWS BATTLING ETIWANDA FIRE

Fire crews from the Yucca Valley Fire Station 41 and Yucca Mesa Station 42 have been sent to help fight the Etiwanda fire, near Rancho Cucamonga. The wildfire, which started about 8 a.m. Wednesday in the foothills north of the 210 freeway, quickly spread to 200 acres in just two hours due to wind gusts of 60 to 75 miles per hour. The fire was at 1,000 acres this morning. Station 41 sent a brush engine with four firefighters; Station 42 sent a water tender with two fire fighters. Wonder Valley firefighters were sent Wednesday as part of a “gel” crew, to spray homes threatened by the fire with a gel-like fire retardant. The County Fire Department has issued a red flag warning throughout the county. Red flag warnings indicate that conditions of high winds and low humidity are ideal for starting and spreading wildland fires. During the red flag warning, which expires 6 a.m. Saturday, May 3, all burn permits have been suspended. The Fire Department reminds residents they must obtain burn permits for all open burning anywhere in the county.

RETIRED COLONEL, FORMER TWENTYNINE PALMS MAYOR “MAC” DUBE HAS DIED

The Twentynine Palms civilian and military communities are mourning the death of Col. M.J. “Mac” Dube, who passed away Tuesday at 80 years old. Dube was a longtime Twentynine Palms City Councilman and mayor who had retired from the Marine Corps with many accolades, including a Silver Star for gallantry in action earned in combat in Vietnam. Dube was a longtime leader who was honored as a 2010 Grand Marshal in the Pioneer Days Parade.

“NUNSET BOULEVARD” AT THEATRE 29 OFFERS A SUNDAY MATINEE

The Hit Musical-Comedy, “Nunset Boulevard” is running now through May 24 at Theatre 29. Managing Editor Tami Roleff says a matinee performance will be offered this weekend…
Theatre 29 will hold a Sunday matinee for “Nunset Boulevard” this Sunday, May 4, starting at 2:30 p.m. The latest in the blockbuster “Nunsense” franchise of musical comedies, “Nunset Boulevard” follows the latest exploits of the Little Sisters of Hoboken, who have been invited to perform at the Hollywood Bowl. They are thrilled at the prospect until they arrive and realize that they are actually booked into the Hollywood Bowl-A-Rama, a bowling alley with a cabaret lounge, and not the famed ‘Bowl’ they were imagining. Kathryn Ferguson directs the intrepid band of dancing and singing nuns, who are played by Marty Neider, Gloria Garner, Char Childs, Pamela Crane, Mandi Pushkar, Katie VanSumeren, Amanda Winters and Jasmine Shaffer. “Nunset Boulevard” plays Fridays and Saturdays through May 24, with Sunday matinees May 4 and May 18. Tickets are $8 to $12 and are available online at www.theatre29.org or by calling the box office at 760-361-4151.

AN ARREST FOR ARMED ROBBERY AFTER A BEER RUN

Two Joshua Tree men on a beer run Tuesday evening were arrested after they allegedly stole a bottle of booze. According to a Sheriff’s report, Bradley Fraser, 26, and Kevin Spruell, 41, went to Stater Brothers East in Yucca Valley about 6:30 p.m. for a beer run. An employee told deputies the two men took a bottle hard liquor and the fled in a car without paying for the liquor. A California Highway Patrol officer found the men and their car near Border and Sunny Sands Road in Joshua Tree. After an investigation, Bradley Fraser was arrested on suspicion of armed robbery and on a warrant for domestic violence. He was booked at the Morongo Basin Jail with his bail set at $100,000. Kevin Spruell, was arrested on a warrant for driving with a suspended license, and for investigation of driving with an open container and for a traffic citation. Kevin Spruell was booked at the Morongo Basin Jail and released after posting $10,000 bail.

OVER 1,000 POUNDS OF DRUGS TURNED IN

Over 1,000 pounds of unused and unwanted prescription drugs were turned in during the eighth Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, sponsored by the County Sheriff’s Department. Last Saturday, April 26, 50 pounds of prescription drugs were turned in to the Morongo Basin Sheriff’s Station in Joshua Tree. The Yucaipa Station received the most unwanted drugs, 296 pounds, while the Central Station received the lowest amount, at 25 pounds.

WALK-IN CRISIS MENTAL HEALTH CENTER IN YUCCA VALLEY

A walk-in Mental Health Crisis Center is now operating in Yucca Valley. ROP Broadcast student Syril Miller has details…
In need of Mental Health Care but unsure on whether or not to go to a hospital? The Telecare Corporation of California has been running a mental health and psychiatry clinic known as CWIC, the Crisis Walk-In Centre, a way to obtain non-residential, out-patient therapy at your own pace. The CWIC, open to local residents, is in Yucca Valley, at 55475 Santa Fe Trail. The main goal of CWIC is to take those dealing with crises and help them cope with said crises. Appointments can be made with CWIC at the center, or their number 855-365-8558.

SUPERVISOR JAMES RAMOS ON Z107-7 “UP CLOSE” SHOW TOMORROW

James Ramos, the Supervisor for the Third District of San Bernardino County, will be the guest on the Up Close show tomorrow (May 2) at 10 a.m. Ramos will talk about his experiences so far as county supervisor, what he hopes to accomplish, the County’s “Give Big” campaign, and listen to your concerns. County Supervisor James Ramos on Up Close, tomorrow at 10 a.m.

FORMER LOCAL FIRE BATTALLION CHIEF SUING COUNTY

A former County Fire Division Chief is suing the County, alleging age discrimination. John Salvate, 50, who was a Division Chief from 2011 to 2013 for the South Desert Division—which includes the Morongo Basin—and Battalion Chief Michael Weis, 62, of Victorville, contend in their lawsuit that the Fire Department has been trying to oust older firefighters ever since Chief Mark Hartwig was appointed three years ago. According to the 86-page lawsuit, the Fire Department is pushing out older personnel in exchange for younger—and cheaper—employees. Salvate and Weiss claim that the Fire Department “failed to afford and provide [them] with equal employment opportunities … that must be provided to employees irrespective of age.” Salvate and Weiss are asking for an undisclosed amount in damages. The County’s legal counsel has not yet responded to the allegations.

PLANS UDERWAY FOR 64TH ANNUAL GRUBSTAKE DAYS IN YUCCA VALLEY

Yucca Valley’s annual Grubstake Days celebration is set for May 24. Reporter Mike Lipsitz gives us an early view of the planned activities…
The 64th annual celebration of the rich pioneering, ranching, and mining history of Yucca Valley known as Grubstake Days takes place Saturday, May 24, 2014. This year’s theme is, “Honoring all who serve” in recognition of the men and women of the armed forces. Mark your calendar to take part in this daylong event that includes the traditional Grubstake Days Parade which kicks off at 10 a.m. and moves down the highway terminating at the new Brehm Youth Park on Little League Drive. Indoors at the Boys & Girls Club is the Yucca Valley Home & Craft Show; outside is this year’s “Grubstake Days Community Fair” which offers food, fun, and continuous family entertainment until 5 p.m.

TWENTYNINE PALMS WATER DISTRICT HIRES $79,000 CONSULTANT, WILL ASK CITY FOR FIRE FUNDING

The Twentynine Palms Water District had a special meeting last night to discuss issues regarding the future of the Fire Department. The first discussion topic was whether or not the Water District should pay for a voter survey to find out if a tax measure is popular with the public. The Directors agreed to pay no more than $79,000 to have consultants, “The Lou Edwards Group” survey 250 registered voters about tax measures being considered. The Board also decided to formally ask the city for money to help with expenses to keep the financially failing Fire Department open. Board President Sam Moore said, “We need some type of funding each year from the city to help us out.” Regarding the tax measures being considered, no decision was made to move forward with any option. The Water District is waiting for the outcome of the voter survey to decide.

HI-DESERT WATER DISTRICT IN SPECIAL MEETING TONIGHT

The Hi-Desert Water District will hold a special meeting at 5:30 tonight. Among the items on the agenda, the directors will be asked to approve the construction package of the wastewater reclamation project, and to adopt a resolution prohibiting the conversion of septic systems to sewage holding tanks, the use of sewage holding tanks for storage, and the use of tank and hauling methods of septic tank sewage removal. The meeting will be held in District offices on the Highway at Inca Trail.

DESERT CONGREGATIONAL RUMMAGE SALE THIS WEEKEND

Desert Congregational Church will hold a rummage sale Friday and Saturday from 8 to 4. Lots of children’s items will be for sale. The church is located on the corner of 2 Mile Road and Sunrise Road in Twentynine Palms.

WE LOOK AT NEW REQUIREMENTS FOR A CALIFORNIA DRIVER’S LICENSE

Changes in state law are making it more difficult for teens to get their first California Driver’s License. ROP Broadcast Student Tyrus Fair looks at the requirements…
Many teens are wondering how to get their driver’s license and how long it would take. According to dmv.ca.gov you have to be between 15 ½ and 17 ½ to have a learners permit. To get a permit you first have to take a written permit test about the rules of the road. You have to be at least 18 to get a driver’s license in California and it takes a minimum of 2 weeks for your driver’s license to come in the mail.

YUCCA VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL ART SHOW OPENS TODAY AT HI-DESERT NATURE MUSEUM

The Hi-Desert Nature Museum will present the Yucca Valley High School Art Show from May 1 through May 24. This annual exhibition highlights the finest work of some of this community’s rising talent from Yucca Valley High School. The display consists of paintings and drawings covering a large variety of compelling subjects and artistic styles. An opening reception will be held on Friday, May 2 from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m., and is free to the public.

HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS REPORT

Yesterday the Twentynine Palms High School Wildcats boys’ tennis team traveled to Desert Hot Springs to take on the Golden Eagles. Coach Larry Battle said the Eagles forfeited 9 points due to not having singles players and only doubles matches were played. This became a very competitive doubles tournament against the Wildcat’s doubles teams. The Wildcat’s doubles won 6-3, giving the Cats a 15-3 overall win. Marcus Simon with partner Brian Gaddis won 2 out 3 sets. Sam Choi with partner Vincent Thomas won 2 out of 3 sets and Scott Clinkscales with his partner won 2 out of 3 sets.

In high school sports tomorrow, the Joshua Springs Christian School Lightning will travel away to play Mesa Grande Academy, with the first pitch at 3 p.m.

SERVICES SET FOR FORMER TWENTYNINE PALMS RESIDENT GRANT WILLIAMS

Grant Williams, a former 14-year resident of Twentynine Palms, died of cancer April 24. He was 32 years old. Grant Williams is survived by his wife Kristina and daughters, Kierra and Gennaveve, all of Colorado Springs; his parents, Gary and Kathleen Williams, and sisters, Heather Williams and Amber Williams, all of Twentynine Palms. He was a Sheriff and active reservist in the U.S. Army for 14 years. A service will be held at Knotts Sky Park in Twentynine Palms on Sunday, May 4, at 1 p.m. Family and friends are invited to share their memories of Grant at a potluck in the park; please bring your favorite beverage and dish to share.