A woman who witnessed a deadly police shooting in Palm Springs in 2012 told the Desert Sun newspaper that the two officers were not in harm’s way when they fired at a Marine’s car in a downtown parking garage. Lesley Diggins, 42, who was only a car-length away from the shooting, said in a federal court deposition that Cpl. Allan DeVillena II never struck a police officer with his car, nor was he driving at an officer when police opened fire. DeVillena, 22, was shot six times in the early morning hours of Nov. 10, 2012, the birthday of the Marine Corps. He and another Marine, Pfc. Clinton Harris, drove to Palm Springs from Twentynine Palms, then parked in the parking garage before heading to the string of bars along Palm Canyon Drive. The criminal investigation was forwarded to the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office in August 2013. Ten months later, the DA’s office has still not decided if anyone involved in the shooting will be charged.
A change of command at the Combat Center will feature two Marines who have handed off command to each other in the past. Maj. Gen. David Berger will relinquish command of the Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, to Maj. Gen. Lewis Craparotta, during a ceremony Thursday at 8 a.m. at Lance Corporal Torrey L. Gray Field. On February 25, 2012, the roles were reversed; then-Brig. Gen. Craparotta, the commanding general of 2nd Marine Division (Forward), transferred authority of Task Force Leatherneck at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, to Maj. Gen. Berger, commanding general of 1st Marine Division (Forward). Berger has been nominated by President Barack Obama for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general and will report to I Marine Expeditionary Force, at Camp Pendleton later this month. Craparotta was the director of operations for Headquarters U.S. Northern Command at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado.
Dr. Roger Wagner’s resignation as president of Copper Mountain College becomes effective July 14. Reporter Dan Stork says there will be a farewell party tomorrow…
The Board of Trustees of Copper Mountain College has invited the community to celebrate and say goodbye to Dr. Roger Wagner after seven years of service to Copper Mountain College. The reception will be held in the Bell Center Foyer on Thursday July 10 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. with a brief program at 5:30 p.m. Dr. Wagner will be moving on, to take the position of Superintendent/President at Victor Valley College, beginning July 15.
Entrepreneurs who live in multi-family housing or on a lot smaller than 18,000 square feet in the Town of Yucca Valley take note: the Planning Commission feels that many home occupations would generate too much traffic for the neighborhoods, and it proposes to prohibit them in those areas. Among the home occupations that the Planning Commission says should be prohibited are office-type jobs in which customers come to the residence, catering businesses, barber and beauty shops, fortune telling, and dance and music studios. The commissioners also wanted to include day care centers and home-based food businesses such as bakeries, but held off pending research by Town staff on whether state law may require municipalities to allow these types of businesses. The Commissioners intend to take up the issue again at its August 12 meeting. Commissioners also heard from residents who were unhappy that the Planning Commission intended to pare the list of protected native desert plants in the Town of Yucca Valley down from more than a dozen to just two: the Joshua tree and the Mojave yucca. Commissioners were willing to add the pinon pine and juniper back onto the list, but were doubtful that either of those plants could survive transplanting. The native plant ordinance requires that property owners get permits from the Town of Yucca Valley for plants that will be destroyed or moved. The Commissioners hope that by requiring developers to leave 5 to 10 percent of the lot undisturbed, and by allowing deviations from development code standards, that native plants will be left in place. The Commissioners also tabled further discussion of this item to their August 12 meeting.
Did you receive a letter offering to sell you insurance for your outside water pipes? Is it a scam or a prudent investment? Reporter Diana Jones examines water line insurance offers…
Some Morongo Basin residents may have received a mailing urging the recipient to buy insurance for their water service line. The company, HomeServe, correctly states that property owners are responsible for repairs on the water lines between their water district’s meter or well casing, and their house. The company offers insurance coverage for leaks and repairs to these water lines. Z107.7 spoke with local water district officials, who recommended that homeowners pencil out the costs of the insurance against the potential cost of repairs to determine if the insurance is right for them. Owners of older homes may find buying the insurance is a cost they’re willing to pay, whereas owners of newer homes may not.
A clarification on the arrest of two Twentynine Palms men Saturday following multiple burglaries in the city. Z107.7 News reported Monday that a witness saw two men—whom we identified as Dallas Moore, 20, and Bobby Burcham, 25,—fleeing after attempting to break in to a vehicle on Mariposa Avenue about 5:20 Saturday morning. While Moore was one of the men fleeing the scene, the man with him was John Schutte, 19, also of Twentynine Palms. During the course of the burglary investigation, deputies went to a home in the 6000 block of Daisy Avenue about 6:30 a.m., where they arrested Bobby Burcham on suspicion of being under the influence of a controlled substance. Z107.7 regrets the error and apologizes for any inconvenience.
The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an ordinance Tuesday designed by the Sheriff’s Department to combat synthetic drugs by using a multi-pronged approach to eradicate sales of these illicit substances. The ordinance includes criminal, administrative and civil penalties for those who sell drugs commonly known as “spice” or “bath salts.” The ordinance allows for enforcement based on the marketing, price, sales location, warning labels and similarity to street drugs. For example, synthetic drugs are often labeled as “window cleaner” but are sold in a smoke shop; do not resemble traditional window cleaning products; cost significantly more for a small portion of product; and are labeled with “not for purchase by minors.” The proposed ordinance finds a combination of the above-listed facts evidence the product is illicit. Furthermore, the ordinance creates penalties that include fines, misdemeanor charges and the possible loss of a business license. Twentynine Palms already has a local ordinance against selling these synthetic drugs, and county supervisors urged all towns and cities in the county to adopt similar ordinances.
The Copper Mountain College Board of Trustees will meet tomorrow to continue its discussion of an appointment of a superintendent/president, and then in open session. Reporter Taylor Thacker gives an overview of the Board’s agenda…
Copper Mountain College will have a Board closed session on Thursday, July 10, starting at 2:00 p.m. The purpose of this session is to take possible action on the employment and appointment of the superintendent and president. After this meeting at 3:00 p.m., the college will have their regular meeting. During this meeting, the Board will give multiple reports, honor Roger Wagner for his years of service, recognize Z107.7 radio for 25 years of Extraordinary Community Service, and more. Both of these meetings take place at Copper Mountain College at 6162 Rotary Way in Joshua Tree.
The Twentynine Palms Library will feature a performance by military working dogs from the Combat Center base tomorrow. Military dogs play an active role in locating drugs and searching for explosives. Military K9 dog handlers will provide a demonstration in Veterans’ Park, adjacent to the library, at 10:30 Thursday morning. The public is invited to this free program. The teen’s program Thursday will be presented by Annie Bannanie, who mixes comedy, story-telling, and balloon twisting. Annie Bannanie performs at 3 p.m. at the library. The Twentynine Palms Library also offers an adult summer reading program. For each library book read, adults will have an opportunity to win prizes.
St. Martin in the Field will host a Gardening Club meeting tomorrow, July 10 at 6 p.m. Learn more about composting as they share information and share the harvest. Located at 72348 Larrea Avenue in Twentynine Palms, this meeting is free and open to the public. Prepare to get your hands dirty as you learn practical composting applications and talk about the future of a community garden in Twentynine Palms. For additional information, call 760-367-7133.
The 29 Palms Art Gallery will offer a young artists’ painting class tomorrow with local artist Tanner McGuire. The two-hour classes are being offered at 9:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. McGuire will provide short lessons on art principles, offer demonstrations, and work with the children to develop their own paintings. The young artists’ classes are created for students 5 to 17 years old, but parents are welcome to bring younger children at their discretion. Cost is $5.00 per class per child. All materials are provided by the Gallery. Class sizes are limited. Reserve a spot by emailing email@example.com.