SUPERINTENDENT/PRESIDENT OF COPPER MOUNTAIN COLLEGE RESIGNS

After seven years at Copper Mountain College, Superintendent/President Dr. Roger Wagner announced Monday he will resign effective July 14 to accept the Superintendent/President position at Victor Valley College. According to a press release, during his tenure, Dr. Wagner led the college through a period of unprecedented state budget cuts and integrated the College’s planning process that established a focus on resource allocation and student learning. The construction of the Bell Center and expansion of the Greenleaf Library and McDonald Hall were all completed during his tenure. Eva Kinsman, President of the Board of Trustees, said the Board will establish transitional leadership and intends to appoint an interim Superintendent/President. Pending contract approval by the Victor Valley College Board of Trustees, Wagner will begin his new position on July 15.

YUCCA VALLEY TOWN COUNCIL MEETS TONIGHT, MAY NAME NEW MANAGER

The Yucca Valley Town Council meets in regular and then closed session tonight. A full meeting sees a slurry seal contract, 2014-15 budget, partnerships, and just maybe a new Town Manager. Managing Editor Tami Roleff takes a closer look…
The Yucca Valley Town Council will begin its meeting tonight with recognition of employees of the year. On the consent agenda, the Council will be asked to call for an election Tuesday, November 14; approve the contract with the county for the animal shelter; approve a construction bid for the Town-wide slurry seal project; and adopt the five-year-capital improvement plan. The Town’s 2014-15 annual budget will be presented, and council members will be asked to authorize the $9.4 million budget, including positions and pay ranges for employees; approve an amendment to the Sheriff’s contract with the Town; approve a contract with the Chamber of Commerce; and approve a partnership agreement with the Boys and Girls Club. The council will discuss whether to award a contract for the Safe Route to School project. Council members will then convene as the Successor Agency of the Redevelopment Agency and approve a budget. The Council will then go into closed session to discuss appointing an employee to Town Manager, and salary negotiations.

SUSPECTED DUI CAUSES YUCCA MESA POWER OUTAGE

A suspected drunk driver is responsible for an overnight power outage in Yucca Valley Saturday night. According to the California Highway Patrol, about 8:55 p.m. Saturday, Sarah Frenzel, 26, of Yucca Valley, was driving her 1999 Volkswagen Passat westbound on Aberdeen Road when her car crossed the center line and hit a power pole on the eastbound side of the road near Balsa Avenue. The power pole was sheared off during the collision. Sarah Frenzel was arrested for investigation of driving under the influence. After treatment for her minor injuries, Sarah Frenzel was cited and released. SoCal Edison crews restored power to Yucca Mesa area homes at about 8:30 Sunday morning.

LOCAL CHP OFFICER GETS CALIFORNIA HERO AWARD

A Morongo Basin CHP officer received an award Saturday in Sacramento from the California Chapter of Mothers against Drunk Driving. Officer Jake Griffith of Yucca Valley was honored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving for his outstanding work as a drug recognition expert, or DRE. A drug recognition expert, by examining a person suspected of being under the influence of a drug, can reliably identify the distinguishing signs and symptoms of seven broad categories of drugs.

Griffith DRE MADD Award 2014 copy

Members of the Morongo Basin CHP office were in Sacramento Saturday when Officer Jake Griffith (second from right), picked up an award from Mothers Against Drunk Driving. From left: Morongo Basin Area Lieutenant Commander Dan Delong; Inland Division Assistant Chief Tom McCreary; Riverside Area Officer Ed Holloway (received the MADD Hero Award for most DUI arrests in Inland Division for 2013); Morongo Basin Area Officer Jake Griffith; Inland Division Chief Bill Siegl.

The Morongo Basin Area of the California Highway Patrol currently has six officers assigned as DREs. Griffith was one of five DREs in the state selected for the MADD California Hero Award based on the number of drug recognition evaluations he conducted in 2013. Griffith has been assigned to the Morongo Basin CHP office since 2009.

MORONGO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD MEETS TODAY AND TONIGHT IN MARATHON MEETING

Another long meeting is in store for the Board of Education on June 3. Reporter Dan Stork says it starts with an evaluation of the Superintendent, and continues with many end-of-year recognitions and setting the wheels in motion for next year…
The Morongo Unified School District Board of Education gets down to business early on June 3 with a closed session at 3:30 to evaluate the job performance of the superintendent. Following a very brief additional closed session at 5:45 on pupil and employee matters, the Board will have a work/study session at 5:55 on next year’s budget and Local Control Accountability Plan. The 7 p.m. open session will start with a presentation by Oasis Elementary Principal Donette Swain on the sixth grade science day camp at the Marine Base. Then impending retirees and employees who have reached various service milestones with the District will be recognized. The 19-item action agenda includes approval of Single Plans for Student Achievement for four elementary schools, deletion of a Board Policy on Deferred Maintenance Funds, several credentialing waiver requests, vacation payout for the retiring Director of Fiscal Services, and several “taking-care-of-business” pro-forma actions. Yet another closed session follows the end of the regular open session. The Board meets at Joshua Tree Elementary School.

TWENTYNINE PALMS HISTORICAL SOCIETY TO OPEN HASTIE EXHIBIT SATURDAY

The Twentynine Palms Historical Society will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony this Saturday, June 7, for its newly completed exhibit building for the Hastie Bus. For years during the Depression, Johnnie Hastie drove a 1928 Chevrolet bus, known as “Old Betsy” every day from Twentynine Palms to Banning, with stops in Joshua Tree, Yucca Valley, and Morongo Valley. Using only donations and volunteer labor, the Twentynine Palms Historical Society has restored the bus to its former glory and built an exhibit building in which to store it. The ribbon cutting will be held 1 p.m. Saturday at the Old Schoolhouse Museum on National Park Drive in Twentynine Palms.

TWENTYNINE PALMS SUMMER READING PROGRAM LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS

The Twentynine Palms Library will offer their summer reading Program this year and they are looking for some volunteers to help. Reporter Taylor Thacker has the volunteer opportunity…
The Library’s Summer Reading Program kicks off on June 16, and several volunteers are needed to help with registration, programs, and handing out prizes. Volunteer orientation will be at 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 14, at the Twentynine Palms Library. Volunteers need to be at least 14 years old and any volunteers from last year that are interested in volunteering again should also attend the orientation. If you would like to help out your community this summer, stop by at the Twentynine Palms Library and pick up a volunteer application. For more information call 760-367-9519.

RETIRED TEACHERS MEET JUNE 13

This month’s California Retired Teachers’ Association meeting will be a pot luck held Friday, June 13, at 11:00 a.m., at Desert Willow Ranch in Pioneertown. Members will enjoy Western-themed entertainment and are invited to wear their boots and cowboy hats. There will be no fee, but please call Sherry Craft at 760-881-5275 to RSVP. For directions, call Gay Smith at 760-369-2211. This will be the final meeting before their summer hiatus; meetings will resume in September.

FIVE OF OUR LOCAL SCHOOLS RECOGNIZED FOR ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT

High honors for five of our local Morongo Unified schools. Managing Editor Tami Roleff has the well-deserved kudos…
Five elementary schools in the Morongo Basin will be recognized by the county and state for their students’ academic achievements. Condor, Friendly Hills, Landers, and Morongo Valley Elementary Schools will receive the 2013-14 Title I Academic Achievement Award, and Yucca Mesa Elementary School will receive the 2014 California Distinguished School Award. To earn the Academic Achievement Award, 106 state schools demonstrated that all students have made significant progress toward proficiency on California’s academic content standards, and that socioeconomically disadvantaged students met their student performance targets for two consecutive years. The Distinguished School Award identifies and honors schools that demonstrated educational excellence for all students and progress in narrowing the achievement gap. The schools will be recognized in San Bernardino by the County Superintendent of Schools Monday, June 9, and in Irvine by the state Department of Education June 11.

TWENTYNINE PALMS PLANNING COMMISSION LOOKS AT THREE APPLICATIONS

Cellular communications, a pet business, a massage parlor are all before the Twentynine Palms Planning Commission at its next meeting this evening. Reporter Dan Stork says that policy discussions on the Development Code and the General Plan are also on tap…
The Twentynine Palms Planning Commission has three public hearings scheduled for its June 3 meeting: on Conditional Use Permits for a Verizon cellular equipment facility, a pet sales and supplies store, and a massage parlor. Subsequent discussions will be concerned with the City Council responses to Planning Commission policy questions regarding the current Development Code amendment process, and General Plan consistency findings for the capital improvement projects list. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. in City Hall on Adobe Road.

RUMMAGE SALE AT EVANGELICAL FREE CHURCH THURSDAY THROUGH SATURDAY

The Evangelical Free Church in Yucca Valley will hold a rummage sale from Thursday, June 5, through Saturday, June 7. The church is located at 6804 Mohawk Trail. The sale features large items such as exercise equipment and furniture, kids’ clothes/toys, adult clothes and shoes, small items, kitchen supplies, tools, holiday decorations, electronics, linens, and more. The sale will be open Thursday and Friday June 5 and 6, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Saturday, June 7, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The church is next to Desert Christ Park.