BREAKING NEWS: MAN WHO ATTEMPTED KNIFE POINT RAPE IN 29 PALMS HAS BEEN CAPTURED

Lynel Serek Roduk, the man who attempted rape at knife point in 29 Palms has been captured. Roduk had been sought since August 16 when detectives say he attempted to rape a Twentynine Palms woman while holding a knife to her throat. She was able to kick the suspect and get away. Last night Roduk called the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and told the Sheriff’s Department that he would turn himself in but would not give his location. This afternoon the Morongo Basin Detectives Division was informed that Roduk did turned himself into the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. He will be transferred to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. His bail is currently set at $250,000.

TWO STABBED DURING FIGHT IN TWENTYNINE PALMS

Two people were stabbed in an altercation in Twentynine Palms last night. Sheriff’s Sergeant Derek Garvin said Stephen Bailor, 25, and William Walter, 26, who are brothers, and Nikole Schroeder, 27, were walking south on Adobe Rd near Cactus Drive about 12:40 this morning when an argument among them became physical. During the altercation, Bailor pulled out a folding pocket knife and cut Schroeder in the face and stabbed Walter in the leg several times. Both victims sustained non-life-threatening injuries and were transported to area hospitals for treatment. Stephen Bailor was arrested for investigation of assault with a deadly weapon and booked at the Morongo Basin jail and held on $50,000 bail.

LANDERS MAN ARRESTED AFTER YUCCA VALLEY PURSUIT

A Landers man was arrested Saturday evening after a short pursuit through Yucca Valley. According to Sheriff’s Sergeant Rick Millard, deputies received a tip that Brett Schmidt, 51, who had several felony warrants out for his arrest, was driving a blue Ford Astro minivan eastbound on Highway 62 through Morongo Valley. Deputies caught up to Schmidt, who led deputies on a short pursuit before being stopping at Sunnyslope Drive and Pioneertown Road about 8 p.m. Millard said deputies found drugs inside the minivan and arrested Brett Schmidt for investigation of transportation of dangerous drugs, as well as for his warrants for identity theft, embezzlement, and felony failure to yield. He was booked at the West Valley Detention Center with his total bail set at $300,000. His passenger, Alison Napolitano, 46, of Yucca Valley, was cited and released for being under the influence of drugs.

YUCCA VALLEY TOWN COUNCIL OKS DUMOSA TRAFFIC SIGNAL, DECLARES PLASTIC BAGS A BLIGHT

The Yucca Valley Town Council met in regular session last night. Managing Editor Tami Roleff says a new traffic signal was approved and plastic bags were called a blight…
After recognizing Shelly Eich, a code compliance officer with the Town, as the Yucca Valley Employee of the Quarter, the Town Council got down to business at last night’s meeting. It approved a resolution to ask the San Bernardino Associated Governments for additional funding to synchronize the traffic signals from Church Street to Camino del Cielo and it awarded a contract for a traffic signal at Dumosa Avenue and the highway, 4 to 1, with Robert Leone dissenting. The council members also heard a report on the county’s emergency management strategic plan. Declaring plastic bags a blight on the desert, the Council voted unanimously to send a letter to Governor Gerry Brown asking that he sign a bill into law that will prohibit single-use carry out bags at large grocery stores by July 1, 2015, and in convenience stores and smaller grocery stores by July 1, 2016.

COMMUNITY EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM CLASSES START TOMORROW

Morongo Basin Community Emergency Response Team, CERT, has a new training academy starting tomorrow, Thursday evening September 4, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. There are seven weekly classes. The final exam, practical, and graduation will be on Saturday, October 18. All classes will be held at the Senior Center at the Yucca Valley Community Center complex. Space is limited to the first 25 registrations. Participants must attend all class dates in order to be eligible to graduate. There is no cost to attend this course. The flyer and class application can be found at Morongo Basin CERT’s website with a link in this story at z1077fm.com www.morongobasincert.org
For more information contact Battalion Chief Michael Snow at 760-365-3335.

SCHOOL BOARD HEARS OF LOWER ENROLLMENT THAN ANTICIPATED

As is so often the case, the most interesting parts of the Morongo Unified School District Board of Education meetings lay in staff reports. Reporter Dan Stork summarizes what was said about enrollment numbers last night and helping students apply to college…
Assistant Superintendent Sharon Flores told the Morongo Unified School District Board of Education enrollment counts for the beginning of the school year at its Tuesday meeting. She said that while enrollment was projected to be 8,185 for the current school year, by the sixth day it had reached only 7,751, down over 400 from the projected number. Schools experiencing significant decreases in enrollment are Condor and Oasis Elementary in Twentynine Palms, and Yucca Valley High School. Sites with slight enrollment increases are Yucca Mesa Elementary and Twentynine Palms High School.
Kathleen DeRouen, a retired teacher on contract to the District, and Amy Woods, the District’s Director of Secondary Education, gave a presentation on a program, now in its fourth year, intended to help high school students with the application processes for college admission and financial aid. The program seeks to compensate for disadvantages of Morongo Basin students—relative to wealthier areas—in areas of computer access, home support, and information availability and awareness. It identifies students who are capable of going on to college, but may not know they can. They are guided in planning courses, prepping for SAT and ACT tests, identifying suitable colleges, and filling out financial aid forms. DeRouen said that over half of the 2014 graduates of Yucca Valley and Twentynine Palms High school had definite post-graduation plans, in the form of attendance at a 4-year college or Copper Mountain College, career or technical school, or a military career. She said that this is an improvement over pre-program figures.
In a workshop preceding the regular meeting, the Board considered its extracurricular activity eligibility policies. The probation option adopted last year expired with the old school year. The Board is moving toward having a permanent policy that would allow a student to go on probation once in his or her high school career in the District.

COLLEGE BOARD IN SPECIAL SESSION TOMORROW

The Copper Mountain College Board of Trustees will meet in a closed session at 9:00 tomorrow, Thursday, September 4, for a self-evaluation and goal-setting for the trustees. The closed session will be followed by a board study session at 10 a.m. concerning new board goals and possible changes to the board self-evaluation forms. The meetings will be held in the Community Room of the Bell Center on the college campus in Joshua Tree.

BACK TO SCHOOL NIGHT AT LA CONTENTA MIDDLE SCHOOL TOMORROW

La Contenta Middle School has scheduled their back-to-school night for tomorrow, Thursday, September 4, from 6:00 to 7:45 p.m. Parents should bring their child’s schedule. The evening is designed to give parents a chance to visit their child’s classrooms and meet their teachers. Parents will be given an overview of the curriculum, procedures, and policies. La Contenta Middle School Principal Garrett Gruwell hopes all parents will be able to attend.

HI-DESERT WATER DISTRICT TO ADOPT STRICT MANDATORY WATER CONSERVATION MEASURES

Hi-Desert Water will hold a public hearing on new water conservation measures tonight. Managing Editor Tami Roleff checks the agenda…
Among the items on tonight’s meeting of the Hi-Desert Water District Board of Directors, the directors will hold a public hearing about adopting mandatory water conservation measures to comply with state emergency regulations. The board will also be asked to support Proposition 1, a measure set for the November ballot that would fund new surface and groundwater storage projects through a bond measure that was passed by the state legislature and signed by the governor. The bond would also allocate funds for regional water management, water conservation, and storm water capture, as well as go toward safe drinking water, water recycling, watershed protection, groundwater sustainability, and flood management.

JOSHUA BASIN WATER DISTRICT TO CONSIDER MEETING JUST ONCE A MONTH

The Joshua Basin Water District Board will consider having fewer meetings tonight. Reporter Taylor Thacker checks tonight’s meeting agenda…
The Joshua Basin Water District will have their regular meeting on Wednesday, September 3, starting at 7:00 p.m. During this meeting, the Board will have a public hearing to fix a typographical error in the new ordinance regarding water conservation. The ordinance says there will be a non-compliance charge of $100 when the correct amount is $50. The Board will then consider revising the regular board meeting schedule to only one meeting per month. This meeting takes place at 61750 Chollita Rd in Joshua Tree.

FALL SEASON OPENS AT TWENTYNINE PALMS ART GALLERY, RECEPTION SUNDAY

The 29 Palms Art Gallery opens its fall season with a reception this Sunday, September 7, from 12 to 3 p.m. at the gallery, 74055 Cottonwood Drive, in Twentynine Palms. Refreshments will be served and admission is free. Featured are three exhibitions: Tony Milici, absurdist reductionist; Jenifer Palmer-Lacy, images from the parks; and a guild members’ group exhibition. The exhibition runs through September 28. The guild members’ group exhibition occurs several times during the year, when the 29 Palms Artists’ Guild members are invited to show their art in a group exhibition at the gallery. Desert artists who are not yet members of this historic Artists’ Guild are encouraged to learn more about member benefits and consider joining. Information will be available at the gallery reception. The 29 Palms Art Gallery is open 12 to 3 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday. For more information, call the gallery at 760-367-7819 or visit the gallery’s website at www.29palmsartgallery.com.

YUCCA VALLEY LIBRARY BOOK SALE STARTS TOMORROW

The Friends of the Yucca Valley Library will have a book sale this weekend. The preview starts Thursday, September 4, and will run through Monday, September 8. All books are priced for a quarter to a dollar each. Fill a bag with books on Saturday for only $5.

PROP 39: WHERE IS THAT MONEY GOING?

$550 million per year, for 5 years; that’s what Prop 39 is diverting from the general revenues of the state of California. Reporter Dan Stork describes where that money is going, and how much of it is trickling down to the Morongo Basin…
In 2012, the voters of California approved Proposition 39, the Clean Energy Jobs Act. The initiative sets aside $550 million, for each of 5 years, to be used for energy efficiency improvements. (This does not include renewable energy generation, which is not covered by this program.) The primary beneficiaries of these funds are to be public primary and secondary schools, and community colleges, with more than two-thirds of the money to go to K-12 schools. In the first fiscal year of the program, about $150 million of the public school allocation has gone for planning activities, with the Morongo Unified School District getting about $130,000, according to Amber Pasricha-Beck, of the state energy office. She told us that about 1,600 of 2,000 local education agencies received planning funds. To date, an additional $71 million in grants have been awarded for specific energy efficiency implementation projects in 260 schools statewide—no local schools are in that list, although several districts in the Inland Empire are listed. That leaves about $160 million in uncommitted funds for the first fiscal year of the program. Morongo Unified’s share of that is $270,000. Pasricha-Beck explained that districts and schools that have not used their allocation are not in a use-it-or-lose-it situation. Rather, unused funds will carry over to the second year of the program. Allocations for the second fiscal year have not yet been determined.

SOCCER AND YOUTH VOLLEY BALL SIGNUPS AT TWENTYNINE PALMS RECREATION

The City of Twentynine Palms Park and Recreation Department will be accepting registrations for its co-ed youth soccer program through this Friday, September 5. Girls and boys ages 4 to 14 are eligible to register. The co-ed youth volleyball registration deadline is Tuesday, September 9. Girls and boys in fourth through eighth grades are eligible to register for volleyball. For additional information, call the Twentynine Palms Recreation office Monday through Friday from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m.

TWENTYNINE PALMS HIGH SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL BEATS CATHEDRAL CITY

The Twentynine Palms High School Lady Cat volleyball team defeated the Cathedral City Lions in three sets, 23-16, 25-19,25-24 last night. Lady Cats were led by junior Latvia Benevente with seven kills and two ace serves, followed by junior Courtney Stamford with six kills and two ace serves, and sophomore Tatyanna Makall had four kills and two blocks and three ace serves. Super passing by juniors Allix Durrum and Mckenzie Johnson.

HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS SCHEDULES

Coming up in high school sports tomorrow, the Twentynine Palms High School Lady Cat tennis and volleyball teams will travel away to Indio to play the Lady Rajahs. Tennis starts at 3:15; volleyball at 4:30. The Wildcat cross-country team will participate in the September Sizzle meet in Palm Springs tomorrow, starting at 5:30.

Also tomorrow, the Joshua Springs School girls’ volleyball team will travel away to Desert Hot Springs. First serve is at 4 p.m.