LEGAL BATTLE OVER EAGLE MOUNTAIN IS OVER

A 28-year legal battle over the use of the former Kaiser Eagle Mountain Iron Mine property is over. United States District Judge Robert Timlin ruled December 18 that the 2,846 acres of land be returned to the public, setting aside a planned land exchange and any further development plans for

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WINTER STORM BLAMED FOR MULTIPLE CRASHES, ROAD CLOSURES

The roads were a mess Wednesday, due to snow and black ice from Tuesday night’s winter storm that dropped up to 2 inches of snow in the region. A La Quinta man was killed Tuesday evening at Reche Road and Old Woman Springs Road. A big rig got stuck on

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NEW LAWS TAKE EFFECT JANUARY 1

More than 900 new state laws took effect in 2015. Here are highlights from just a few of them that took effect as of yesterday: Restaurants must allow dogs on outdoor patios, as long as there is a separate patio entrance and the dogs are kept on a leash. Undocumented

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FOLLOW RULES FOR OFF-ROAD VEHICLES

This time of year, the Morongo Basin will experience an increase in off-road activity and illegal trespass. Riders need to respect private property and public lands by riding responsibly. To make sure that your actions do not ruin the off-road experience for others, reporter Sara Snyder offers the following reminders:

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SCHEDULE FOR JANUARY FOR LOW-COST VACCINATIONS, SPAY/NEUTER CLINICS

The Animal Action League will be offering low-cost vaccine and microchip clinics in January for dogs and cats, as well as low-cost spaying and neutering. No appointments are necessary for vaccines or microchips; appointments are required for spaying and neutering services. Microchips are only $15, and can help reunite you

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CURRENT ROAD CONDITIONS

AS OF 12:30 PM 12/31/14

Both grades are open.

Highway 247 will be closed intermittently throughout the day from Buena Vista to Highway 62 while Caltrans applies cinders.

WE LOOK BACK ON THE TOP LOCAL NEWS STORIES OF 2014

As 2014 comes to a close, we look at some of the top stories of the past year. Environmental issues were prevalent in the news in 2014, from the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, to proposed solar fields in Twentynine Palms, Joshua Tree, and Landers, to a proposed 700-foot solar

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ONE MAN KILLED IN CRASH IN LANDERS TUESDAY EVENING

A 73-year-old La Quinta man was killed in a traffic collision Tuesday evening in Landers. According to the California Highway Patrol, the man, who has not yet been identified by the coroner, was driving a 2004 PT Cruiser westbound on Reche Road at about 45 to 55 miles per hour

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MAN ARRESTED AFTER HE PUNCHES HIS WIFE IN THE MOUTH

A Yucca Valley man was arrested Monday morning after his wife said he punched her in the mouth. According to a Sheriff’s report, Cory Rifenbery, 24, violated a restraining order against him and allegedly punched his wife in the mouth. The woman left her home in the 8500 block of

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CONVICTED FELON ATTACKS TWO PROBATION OFFICERS

A convicted felon who is on probation for a robbery in 2012 was arrested Monday for assaulting two probation officers. According to a Sheriff’s report, Yuriy Abaryants, 27, of Morongo Valley, was at the probation office in Joshua Tree when he broke a water cooler, punched Sergeant Patrick Norris in

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WOMAN ARRESTED AFTER BASEBALL BAT ATTACK IN JOSHUA TREE

A Joshua Tree woman was arrested Saturday after her neighbors said she attacked them with a baseball bat. According to a Sheriff’s report, about 2:30 Saturday afternoon, Kristen O’Conner, 30, of the 61500 block of Valley View Drive in Joshua Tree, was arguing with her neighbors. The neighbors told deputies

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JOSHUA TREE MAN ARRESTED FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND 4TH DUI

A Joshua Tree man who has three prior conviction for driving under the influence was arrested for DUI and domestic battery following a fight with his girlfriend Saturday night. According to a Sheriff’s report, Robert Utter, 38, was arguing with his girlfriend in the 60400 block of Natoma Trail in

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TIPS FOR SAFE WINTER DRIVING

With a winter storm warning in effect for this afternoon and into tomorrow, driving could be treacherous in the Morongo Basin. Managing editor Tami Roleff offers these safe driving tips from CalTrans… Be prepared for winter driving. If you are traveling up into the mountains to see snow, bring chains

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WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT OF MARINE KILLED BY PALM SPRINGS POLICE DELAYED

A wrongful death suit against two Palm Springs police officers who shot and killed a Twentynine Palms Marine in 2012 faces yet another delay. Two years ago, Corporal Allan DeVillena II, 22, was celebrating the Marine Corps birthday in Palm Springs with a friend, Private First Class Clinton Harris. Following

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MOTORCYCLE RIDER INJURED IN TWENTYNINE PALMS CRASH MONDAY AFTERNOON

A motorcycle rider suffered a pretty severe wound to his leg after a collision with a car yesterday afternoon in Twentynine Palms. About 1:05, a man, identified only as a Marine, was riding his Yamaha motorcycle southbound on Adobe Road just south of the main gate of the Combat Center,

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YUCCA VALLEY MAN REPORTED MISSING FRIDAY FOUND IN TEXAS SATURDAY

A Yucca Valley man who went for a haircut Friday afternoon, only to find the cosmetology school closed, continued driving east, for another 900 miles. Sheriff’s Sergeant Matt Yost said about 3:30 p.m. Friday, Dean Abney, 85, of the 54900 block of Martinez Trail, told his wife he was going

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YOUNG GIRL HURT IN YUCCA VALLEY CRASH SATURDAY EVENING

A young girl was airlifted to a hospital Saturday evening after a traffic collision in Yucca Valley. According to Sheriff’s Sergeant Matt Yost, Ricky Baine of Yucca Valley was driving a 2011 Volkswagen eastbound on Highway 62 at 6:42 p.m. when he turned north onto Hilton Avenue; Baine told investigators

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VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR JANUARY HOMELESS COUNT

A one-day count of the area homeless is set for later this month. Managing editor Tami Roleff says volunteers are being sought… Volunteers are needed for a one-day count of homeless persons living in the Morongo Basin. The Point-in-Time count is headed by Morongo Basin Haven, an affiliate of the

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CIVIL LAWSUIT IN SHERIFF’S DEPUTY FATAL CRASH GOES TO ARBITRATION

The case involving a Sheriff’s deputy who killed a Twentynine Palms man in a 2013 crash has gone to mediation. About 7:30 p.m. April 30, 2013, Deputy Erdem Gorgolu was driving eastbound on the highway in front of the Stater Brothers shopping center in Twentynine Palms when his patrol car

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LANDERS MAN ACCUSED OF STEALING GIRLFRIEND’S CAR

A Landers man was arrested early Sunday morning after his girlfriend said he stole her car. According to Sheriff’s Sergeant Matt Yost, Bobby Bice, 21, was arguing with his girlfriend at her home in Johnson Valley, near Valley Vista and Old Woman Springs Road, about 12:30 a.m. Sunday morning. Yost

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