SECOND SUSPECT, FATHER OF 5-YEAR-OLD, ARRESTED IN YUCCA VALLEY CHILD ABUSE CASE

A second suspect has been arrested in a Yucca Valley child abuse investigation. According to the Sheriff’s Department, Christopher Reed, 27, was arrested Tuesday afternoon, accused of felony child abuse and neglect in the case of his 5-year-old son. On Sunday, May 18, Yucca Valley paramedics and Sheriff’s deputies were called to a home in the 8600 block of Palomar Avenue after Hannah Thompson, 21, called 911 and said her boyfriend’s five-year-old son had fallen off a kitchen stool and injured his head. The boy had suffered severe head injuries and was airlifted to Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital where he was in a coma. Law enforcement and medical personnel believed the injuries to be consistent with child abuse, and Hannah Thompson was placed under arrest May 22, with her bail set at $500,000. Her boyfriend, the father of the boy, Christopher Reed, was arrested Tuesday, June 10, for investigation of child abuse and neglect. Both suspects are being held at the Central Detention; Christopher Reed’s bail is set at $100,000.

WATCH FOR DOOR-TO-DOOR SCAMMERS

With the warmer weather that comes along with summer, so do the door-to-door solicitors. And while many operate fairly and honestly, there are ways to spot those who are simply looking for a quick buck. Reporter Diana Jones gives some tips on how to protect yourself from unscrupulous solicitors…
Gary Almond with the Better Business Bureau of Northeast California says some scammers use a bogus sales pitch as a way to snoop around a person’s home for information like credit card numbers, or items to steal. He says always ask for identification, verify the company and that the individual works for them, and inquire about their licensing. Almond adds it’s never a good idea to let a salesperson into your home before you’ve had time to research their company.
“I can’t tell you the number of people we’ve heard from, especially the elderly and infirm, who have let people into their homes. I don’t think it’s a good idea. Not because I don’t think they could make good decisions–-it’s just not always safe. ”
Almond also reminds people that it is your house–-so if you don’t like where the sales pitch is going, take a step back and close the door. If a product or service is purchased, many times consumers have a chance to back out of the deal. Almond says in most instances, companies have to offer a three-day cancellation option.
“And if they don’t, your right to cancel still exists. So, you can write a cancellation letter any time you want. If they don’t provide it to you, you still have the right to cancel, up until they do notify you and the three days have passed.”

NEW CHROMIUM-6 STANDARDS MAY COST JOSHUA BASIN WATER DISTRICT AND TWENTYNINE PALMS WATER DISTRICT BIG MONEY

Chromium-6 is a cancer-causing chemical made famous in the movie “Erin Brockovich.” Chromium-6 is a pollutant from chemical factories, but in the Morongo Basin, it occurs naturally, dissolving from rocks into the groundwater. Federal standards for total chromium, which includes chromium-6 and non-cancer-causing chromium-3, are 100 parts per billion. California standards for total chromium are 50 parts per billion, but as of July 1, California water districts may have to meet a lower standard of 10 parts per billion. Whether the water you drink meets this new standard depends on where you get it from. Hi-Desert Water District Operations Manager Mark Ban said Yucca Valley’s water has chromium-6 levels of only 1.6 parts per billion. Bighorn-Desert View Water Agency’s General Manager Marina West said last time their wells were tested, they showed 5 parts per billion. But Joshua Basin and Twentynine Palms Water Districts may have to start testing and treating their water supplies. Joshua Basin’s General Manager Kurt Sauer said total chromium levels in his agency’s five wells range from 12 to 26 parts per billion; Twentynine Palms Water Agency’s General Manager Tamara Alaniz said four of her water district’s nine wells have chromium-6 levels that are above the new limits, but all of them are less than 15 parts per billion. Both Sauer and Alaniz said the costs will be significant to test and treat the wells to lower the chromium-6 levels; Sauer estimated it could cost Joshua Basin up to $1 million just for the first year; Alaniz estimated it would cost 29 Palms $500,000 for testing and treating the water the first year, and subsequently several hundred thousand dollars per year. One method to lower chromium-6 levels would be by blending water from different wells together. According to Sauer, a water agency in northern California has challenged the new levels in court.

MENTAL AND BEHAVIOURAL HEALTH SCREENING OFFERRED

As a public service, Z107.7 News is publicizing the availability of a wide range of programs that focus on areas of mental and behavioral health. Today, Reporter Dan Stork describes the Screening Assessment Referral and Treatment program …
Screening Assessment Referral and Treatment (SART) is a medical program of specialty mental health services to be provided to children under the age of 6 who are not displaying age-appropriate interactions and attachment, the likely consequence of some type of trauma. Services are provided within a Transdisciplinary Treatment Team that minimally includes a clinician, pediatrician, public health nurse, and occupational therapist. Services are jointly funded through DBH and First 5 of San Bernardino. For more information, call Family Health Services at 909-388-0100 or 800-722-3777.

PALM SPRINGS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL SCREENINGS SET FOR YUCCA VALLEY

The Palm Springs International Film Festival will present two free screenings of short films in the Morongo Basin this month. The first screening will be Saturday, June 14, at 2:30 p.m. in the Yucca Valley Community Center. The second screening will be 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 25, at the Joshua Tree Community Center. Free popcorn and sodas will be available. The short film event, known as “One World,” is a traveling program of short films from the United States, Spain, Ireland, France, the UK, Australia, and Germany. The films range from 2 1/2 minutes long to 15 minutes. Each program of films will be followed by a discussion with Artistic Director Helen duToit, from the Palm Springs International Film Festival. For more information, call Steve Wilson at 760-322-2930.

PRESIDENTIAL VISIT TO IMPACT YUCCA VALLEY AIRSPACE

The president’s visit to the Coachella Valley this weekend will have an impact on pilots in the Morongo Basin. The Federal Aviation Administration has set an absolute no-fly zone in an 11-mile radius from a point in the Coachella Valley from 5:30 p.m. Friday to 10:30 Monday morning, except for a few hours Saturday morning when he’ll be at the University of California, Irvine. Airspace in the radius of 11 miles, to 18,000 feet, is a no-fly zone; from 11 miles to 30 miles out is a restricted airspace, with the need of prior approval for a flight. The temporary flight restrictions affect the airports in Palm Springs, Yucca Valley, Joshua Tree, Banning, Hemet, Bermuda Dunes, and Thermal. Yucca Valley airport spokesman Bob Dunn said that during President Obama’s last visit to the Coachella Valley, military aircraft forced down three planes that violated the no-fly zone and restricted flight area without obtaining prior approval. Dunn added that violators could face fines and even the confiscation of their aircraft.

“MOVIES IN LUCKIE PARK” SERIES KICKS OFF WITH “FROZEN” TONIGHT

The popular “Movies in Luckie Park” series kicks off tonight in Twentynine Palms. Reporter Taylor Thacker says bring the whole family to the fun outside showing of “Frozen”…
The City of Twentynine Palms Recreation Department kicks off their free event “Movies in Luckie Park,” beginning with the movie “Frozen” on Thursday, June 12. “Frozen” is a movie about a girl named Anna, a fearless optimist, who sets off on an adventure to find her sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. Along the way, Anna encounters severe weather, mystical trolls, and a hilarious snowman named Olaf. From the outside, Anna’s sister, Elsa, looks calm and reserved, but in reality, she lives in fear as she wrestles with a mighty secret-she was born with the power to create ice and snow. Come to Luckie Park to partake in Anna’s adventures and see if she can help her sister! Movies will be shown Thursday nights on the North side of the racquetball courts in Luckie Park starting at approximately 8:30 p.m.

LOCAL GRADUATE FINISHES U.S. NAVY BASIC TRAINING

Navy Seaman Clint E. Dumdie, son of Mark and Angela Dumdie of Twentynine Palms, recently completed U.S. Navy basic training at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Illinois. During the eight-week program, Dumdie completed a variety of training which included classroom study and practical instruction on naval customs, first aid, firefighting, water safety and survival, and shipboard and aircraft safety. An emphasis was also placed on physical fitness. The capstone event of boot camp is “Battle Stations,” designed to galvanize the basic warrior attributes of sacrifice, dedication, teamwork and endurance in each recruit through the practical application of basic Navy skills and the core values of Honor, Courage and Commitment. Dumdie is a 2012 graduate of Twentynine Palms High School.

OLD SCHOOLHOUSE LECTURE FEATURES CABOT’S PUEBLO MUSEUM

The Old Schoolhouse Museum in Twentynine Palms will feature the fascinating Cabot Pueblo Museum in their lecture this Friday night. Managing Editor Tami Roleff has details…

The man behind the legendary Cabot’s Pueblo Museum in Desert Hot Springs, Cabot Yerxa, will be the focus of the next Second Friday Lecture at the Old Schoolhouse Museum in Twentynine Palms. Cabot Yerxa was one of the first homesteaders in the Coachella Valley in 1913. Before permanently settling in Desert Hot Springs in 1937, Yerxa traveled from Alaska to Cuba. He began building his 5,000 square-foot home, with 35 rooms, 150 windows, and 65 doors at age 58. Judy Gigante is a docent at Cabot’s Pueblo Museum and will talk about this self-proclaimed desert rat. There is an optional dinner with Gigante at the 29 Palms Inn starting at 5 p.m. The lecture starts at 7 at the Old Schoolhouse Museum on National Park Drive. Admission is $5.