MAN CAUGHT IMPERSONATING A FIREFIGHTER AT LAKE FIRE COMMAND POST

A man accused of impersonating a firefighter at the Lake Fire near Barton Flats was arrested at the Fire Incident Command Post on multiple criminal charges. David Battle, 44, of San Bernardino, was booked into the Big Bear Jail on felony charges of possession of a stolen vehicle, being a

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SCHOOL BOARD RAISES MEAL COSTS, REVIEWS NEW PROGRAMS AND RULES

Business-wise, the June 30 meeting of the Morongo Unified School District Board of Education was a mop-up exercise. Reporter Dan Stork says that the focus of the meeting was a far-ranging and eye-opening presentation by a district staffer. Also, actions at the state level that will have local repercussions were

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ACCUSED MURDERER OF ERIN CORWIN IN COURT BRIEFLY YESTERDAY

In an appearance that was over almost as soon as it began Tuesday morning, Christopher Lee’s next court appearance was continued until July 27. In April, Lee’s lawyer filed a peremptory challenge against Judge Rodney Cortez, asking that the case be heard by Judge Bert Swift. Lee’s case was temporarily

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CHRISTOPHER LEE COURT CASE CONTINUED AGAIN

In an appearance that was over almost as soon as it began Tuesday morning, Christopher Lee’s next court appearance was continued until July 27. In April, Lee’s lawyer had filed a peremptory challenge against Judge Rodney Cortez, asking that the case be heard by Judge Bert Swift. Lee’s case was

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LAKE FIRE DOWN, BUT NOT OUT; WE SPEAK WITH THE FOREST SERVICE

The Lake Fire, which started June 17, spread rapidly the first eight or nine days of the fire as it burned in timber that hadn’t burned for 100 years or more. But then the fire started bumping up against the burn scar area from the Sawtooth Fire from 2006. With

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SMOKE ADVISORY LIFTED

The Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District has cancelled the smoke advisory issued on June 27 for Yucca Valley, Morongo Valley and nearby communities. Please be aware that conditions may change due to shifting wind patterns or fire conditions. For a link to the latest air quality information, visit www.mdaqmd.ca.gov

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SCHOOL BOARD MOPPING UP THE FISCAL YEAR TONIGHT

The Morongo Unified School District Board of Education has a long list of mop-up items on the agenda for its next meeting. Reporter Dan Stork gives the rundown…

Following an open work/study session at 5:30 to review the single plans for student achievement at four schools, and a 6:30 closed

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SON ARRESTED AFTER SEVERE NEGLECT OF HIS ELDERLY MOTHER

An elderly woman was brought to Hi-Desert Medical Center Saturday afternoon with what was described as one of the worst cases of elder abuse ever seen by the emergency room doctor. According to a Sheriff’s report, about 1:15, the woman was brought in non-responsive and with numerous ant bites on

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JOSEPH PHIPPS MURDER TRIAL GETS UNDERWAY

Jury selection will begin today (Tuesday) in the murder trail of Joseph Phipps of Joshua Tree. Phipps, 42, is accused of shooting his estranged wife, Christy Utley Phipps, in the head in their home in the 61600 block of Alta Vista in Joshua Tree in January 2013. Phipps has been

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ONE HOME LOST, EVACUATIONS LIFTED, LAKE FIRE OVER 30,000 ACRES

One home burned, as well as three outbuildings, were confirmed burned in the Lake Fire this weekend. The home and outbuildings, owned by Diane Best on Burns Canyon Road, burned Wednesday when the illegal drone flying in the area grounded all the firefighting aircraft with fire retardant and water. Sheriff’s

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COUNTY WILL CRACK DOWN ON ILLEGAL FIREWORKS

The National Fire Protection Association says that Fourth of July fireworks cause more fires in the U. S. than all other causes combined. All fireworks, including “safe and sane” fireworks, are illegal in Twentynine Palms, Yucca Valley, and unincorporated areas of the Morongo Basin. Reporter Rebecca Havely says the Sheriff’s

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TWO SOUGHT AFTER SHOTS FIRED IN YUCCA VALLEY YESTERDAY

The Sheriff’s Department is searching for two male juveniles after one of them shot at a vehicle in Yucca Valley Sunday afternoon. According to Sheriff’s Sergeant Mike Landavazo, the boys, described as Hispanic, were in the 7300 block of Valley Vista about 1 p.m. when they attempted to steal a

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YUCCA VALLEY CRASH CAUSES POWER OUTAGE

A man who crashed a stolen vehicle into a power pole on the north side of the highway across from Walmart in Yucca Valley in the early hours Saturday is responsible for a power outage that affected parts of the Morongo Basin. According to Sheriff’s Sergeant Mike Landavazo, about 12:30

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MARINE VOLUNTEERS TO HELP AREA SENIORS

Reach Out Morongo Basin, the local people-helping-people organization, has helped over 100 senior homeowners with yard work and other home repairs. Reporter Dan Stork says that Reach Out is looking for more people to help…

Reach Out Morongo Basin is seeking senior and disabled persons needing home repairs or yard

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SUNDAY JUNE 28 LAKE FIRE UPDATE

By 6:15 Sunday morning, according to the Incident Information web site, the Lake Fire, which has been burning in the mountains above the Morongo Basin since June 17, had hit 30,716 acres, and was 50% contained. Mandatory evacuation remained in place for Burns Canyon. All other evacuations had been lifted.

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SUMMER HIKING SAFETY

Before I moved to the desert, I could not have imagined hiking in the heat of summer. But I do! Ranger Cathy Bell tells how you can do it safely…

It’s no secret that it gets HOT in the desert in the summertime. But that doesn’t mean you have to

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AMERICAN WITH DISABILITIES ACT FORUM

Due to the recent spate of lawsuits against Morongo Basin businesses for being out of compliance with the American with Disabilities Act, the Joshua Tree Chamber of Commerce plans to hold a forum to discuss ADA compliance and strategies. Small business owners and the general public from throughout the Morongo

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BASIN WIDE FOUNDATION AUCTION DONATIONS

The Basin Wide Foundation is asking for donations for its fundraising auctions during its 19th anniversary annual awards dinner, set for August 29. The Foundation plans to hold both a silent and live auction to support its philanthropic activities in the Morongo Basin. In addition, businesses are asked to sponsor

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SANTA FE SOCIAL CLUB RUMMAGE SALE

The Santa Fe Social Club in Yucca Valley is asking for donations for its rummage sale to be held next month. Donations may be brought to the club at 56020 Santa Fe Trail, Suite M, in Yucca Valley. For more information, call Susie or Phebe at 760-369-4057.

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GUNFIGHTERS FOR HIRE TO HOLD SUNDAY SHOW

A big “Thank You” to all the firefighters with some help from the weather, it looks like the Gunfighters For Hire will be out on Mane Street shootin’ it up. Since the evacuations were lifted EXCEPT for Burns Canyon, the Gunfighters for Hire would like to give the firefighters some

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