A Joshua Tree man is being accused of fraud after using fake pictures to claim bone cancer in a fund-raiser. Kevin Fish started the fundraiser earlier this month to raise $4,000 for what he described as his “final trip home” to Louisiana before he succumbs of cancer. Palm Springs television station KESQ uncovered that Fish, an Iraqi war veteran, had used a picture of an X-ray taken from a medical journal and presented it as his own on his GoFundMe account. When confronted by a reporter from KESQ Monday, Fish insisted that the image was taken with his cell phone during a medical examination. The X-ray image used on Fish’s donations page was taken from a medical journal published in 2007. Fish tried to put the blame on the doctor, claiming that he must have accidentally put up an X-ray image from the journal instead of his actual MRI. While claiming he was diagnosed with terminal bone cancer in 2012, he was unable to produce any medical files proving that he has been battling the deadly disease. Wes Wilson, senior pastor at Sword of the Lord church where Fish is a member, told KESQ that he believes members of the community may have donated money to help the veteran. Earlier this year, Kevin Fish made headlines here on Z107.7 after launching a campaign to raise awareness about homelessness among service members in the Hi-Desert area. In March, Fish said that he owned a Twentynine Palms thrift shop called “Change for Vets” and asked for donations of food, clothing and cash to purchase necessities for veterans in need. That thrift shop has since closed and it is not known if any of those proceeds actually went towards homeless veterans.
The extended Thanksgiving weekend is one of the busiest travel periods of the year. According to the California Highway Patrol, 33 people were killed on state roads last year during the Thanksgiving holiday, down from 44 in 2012. Most of the people killed in 2013—88 percent—were not wearing their seatbelt during the collision that took their lives. Managing editor Tami Roleff says the CHP will hold a maximum enforcement period for “Click It or Ticket” this weekend…
The California Highway Patrol will begin its maximum enforcement period at 6:00 tonight through midnight Sunday. The CHP urges travelers to buckle up, obey speed limits, don’t drink and drive, and put away those cell phones when driving. The CHP reminds travelers that seat belts are the single most effective way of protecting yourself in a vehicle, and can help keep a potential non-injury crash from turning deadly. According to the CHP, more than 1,200 people were arrested for driving under the influence during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend last year. If you see an unsafe or impaired driver, call 9-1-1.
A Twentynine Palms woman was arrested Tuesday, accused of beating her children. According to a Sheriff’s report, Julie Pierce, 23, was moving out of a residence in the 73800 block of Desert Trail Drive and was hitting her two step-children, 8 and 9 years old. The deputy determined both children had injuries and bruising on their faces, back, and legs that were three to four days old that were still visible. After an investigation, Julie Pierce was arrested on suspicion of felony child abuse, booked at the Morongo Basin Jail with her bail set at $100,000.
Two Yucca Valley women were arrested Monday night for allowing minors to drink alcohol in their home. About 10 p.m., Sheriff’s deputies Shauna Ables and Ericson Dominick found a boy on Pueblo Trail who had just left a home in the 7400 block of Fox Trail. The boy was obviously intoxicated and was holding a bottle of liquor. The deputies saw that alcohol containers, boxes, and bottles were lying around the residence, and also saw several juveniles peeking out of the home’s windows. Deputies Ables and Dominick performed a welfare check on the juveniles inside the home and found 15 minors under the influence of alcohol. The deputies determined the homeowners, Gloria Stone, 39, and Clara Stone, 61, knew the minors were drinking inside their home and failed to stop it. In October 2011, the Town of Yucca Valley passed a Social Host Ordinance to prevent underage drinking on private property. The ordinance holds the party’s adult host responsible if a minor obtains, possesses, or consumes alcohol at a party. Gloria Stone and Clara Stone were arrested and cite released for contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and for violating the Town’s Social Host ordinance. The minors were all released to their parents.
A car is a total loss following a car fire in Yucca Valley Tuesday morning. Shortly after 11 a.m., a woman was driving in the 7600 block of Rockaway when she smelled something burning. After she got her child out of the Buick Riviera, the car’s engine erupted in flames. It took fire fighters at least 20 minutes to put out the blaze. The woman told fire fighters that she had recently purchased the vehicle from a private party, and none of the vehicle’s gauges were working.
The Basin-Wide Foundation wants you to adopt a child for gift-giving this holiday. Reporter Cassie Zimarik tells you how to help…
As Christmas approaches, most families celebrate by spending time together and giving gifts. Sadly, for many kids in the Child Protective Services program, they won’t get this chance. Help put a smile on a child’s face by participating in the Basin Wide Foundation’s Dreams for Kids Christmas “Adopt a Child” program. You will be assigned your “adopted” child or family and given information about them as well as any special requests they may have. Then you will be asked to spend between $35 and $40 per child. You may drop off gifts until December 10. Help give a child the Christmas they deserve by calling the Basin Wide Foundation at 760-365-7219.
Holidays lightings are being planned in communities all around our Morongo Basin. The Joshua Tree Chamber of Commerce invites everyone to help light up their village and kick off the winter holidays in their seventh annual “The Stars Come Out in Joshua Tree” promotion. The merchants and any other star owners will light their stars Saturday, November 29 at 5:00 p.m. The “Star Lighting Ceremony” will be held at the Holiday Market at Park Boulevard and Highway 62.
Morongo Valley will hold a community tree lighting ceremony Sunday, November 30. Ed Will, with help from members of the Church of the Lighted Cross, will lead some old-fashioned carol singing. Cookies and hot chocolate will be available, and Sparky will have treats for the kids. The public is invited to this free event. The tree lighting ceremony will be held at the Morongo Valley Fire station, 11207 Ocotillo Street.
The Twentynine Palms Annual Christmas Tree Lighting is scheduled for December 2, at 5:30 p.m. at the Twentynine Palms City Hall, Veterans Park. The youth group from The Church of Latter Day Saints will lead the community singing Christmas songs for the event. All are welcome, and Santa will be there with free candy.
In Yucca Valley, Saturday, December 6, Santa will be stopping at Jacobs Park at 4:00 p.m., Paradise Park at 4:30 p.m., and town hall at 5:30 p.m. He will host a community center tree lighting ceremony with music, hot cocoa, cider and cookies.
The majority of emergency room for pet visits during the Thanksgiving holiday revolve around the turkey. Don’t feed your pet any food from your Thanksgiving meal. Managing editor Tami Roleff has more about how even a small piece of turkey skin or butter-coated vegetable can cause a life-threatening illness in certain pets…
When you’re enjoying your Thanksgiving meal, resist the temptation to give your pet a piece of turkey. Your roast turkey can trigger pancreatitis in your pet, resulting in an expensive trip to the vet. Signs of pancreatitis include severe abdominal pain, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and depression. Pancreatitis may occur as a single episode or a recurring event. Pets can quickly develop potentially fatal side effects such as dehydration and liver or kidney damage. Overweight dogs are even more at risk. If you suspect your pet has pancreatitis, take them to the vet immediately. Don’t risk the harm to your pet or your wallet and just say no to those begging eyes.
In observance of the Thanksgiving holiday, Reach Out Morongo Basin and the Twentynine Palms Senior Center will be closing at 2 p.m. today and will closed Thursday, November 27, and Friday, November 28. The Senior Center and Senior Nutrition programs will reopen with all services on Monday, December 1. They wish everyone a safe and happy holiday!
This Saturday is the deadline to apply for the 2015 “Yucca Valley’s got Talent” competition. Reporter Taylor Thacker tells you how to sign up…
The Town of Yucca Valley is seeking talented performers for the upcoming Yucca Valley’s Got Talent event. Those with unique or even not so unique talents are welcome to apply. Categories of talents are open to singing, dancing, instrumentals, comedy, drama, skits, and novelty acts. Performers of all ages are encouraged to participate. The deadline to submit performance applications is Saturday, November 29. Applications and contest rules are available at the Hi-Desert Nature Museum, the Community Services office or online at www.hidesertnaturemuseum.org. There is no cost to enter. Applicants will be reviewed during the month of December. The Yucca Valley’s Got Talent event is scheduled for an evening show on Saturday, January 31, 2015. For more information call 760-369-7212.
A Yucca Valley man was found murdered in a makeshift tent behind Wal-Mart Sunday afternoon. A release from the Sheriff’s homicide detail said at about 3:30 p.m. Sunday, deputies from the Yucca Valley Sheriff’s Station responded to a report of a deceased man, later identified as Jackie Singer, 58, of Yucca Valley, in a tent in the desert area behind the Wal-Mart near Highway 62 and Avalon Ave. Arriving deputies and fire personnel located the body of Jackie Singer inside the makeshift tent. The Sheriff’s Homicide Detail was requested and responded to the location. No additional information was available. Anyone with information regarding this investigation is urged to contact Sheriff’s Detective Ed De La Torre or Sergeant Scott Landen at 909-387-3589.
Our local community Theater 29’s final offering this season is the Ken Ludwig farce “Shakespeare in Hollywood.” Director John Wright has conjured a strong cast that includes Theater 29 faves and able newcomers. Entertainment reporter Rebecca Havely offers this review of the production…
You’ve heard of a play within a play? Well, Ken Ludwig’s “Shakespeare in Hollywood” is a play within a movie within a farce! Shakespeare’s famous characters; Oberon and Puck magically land in the 1930’s Hollywood movie set of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”; with a potion in tow. Love affairs, love triangles and cross-dressing chaos ensues.
Ben Bees as King Oberon deftly balances his ability to turn a Shakespearean phrase with his modern, comedic timing. He’s coupled with charming Char Childs as his love interest, and with his fairy servant Puck, delightfully, yet devilishly, played by Lizzy Schmelling.
Leonard Webber plays Austrian movie director, Max Reinhart with a wonderfully wacky accent. He gets lots of laughs when afflicted by the potion, he’s smitten by his nemesis; Will Hayes played in a Jon Lovits-like fashion by Adam Redmon. Debut performer, Andrew Whitaker is a crack up as he sports a blonde wig and chest hair-baring ball gown. Janet Percy plays a delightfully ditzy, blonde starlet.
Other featured players include, Herman Platzke, Curtis Mohn, Jarrod Burks, Jasmine Schaffer and Scott Clinkscales.
Set design by director Wright, period costumes by Kathryn Ferguson and choreographed moments by Pamela Crane add to the charm of show, as do the multiple comedic references to the Bard’s other plays.
“Shakespeare in Hollywood” runs through December 20 with Friday and Saturday evening performances at 7 p.m., plus two matinee performances on Sunday, November 30, and December 14, both at 2:30 p.m. Tickets range from $8 to $12 dollars. For reservations call the Theater box office at 760-361-4151 or visit theatre29.org. Adult themes throughout the play make it suitable for those 13 and over.
A Yucca Valley man was arrested early Saturday morning after his wife said he choked her. According to a Sheriff’s report, Randall Garrett, 27, was arguing with his wife shortly before 3 a.m. in the 58600 block of Sunflower Drive when the woman said the argument turned physical. The woman said Garret was hitting her, choking her, grabbed her around her neck and threw her into a wall. The woman said she couldn’t lift her arm and her head was ringing. After an investigation, Randall Garrett was arrested on suspicion of felony spouse abuse, booked at the Morongo Basin Jail, with his bail set at $50,000.
Two men were arrested in the wee hours of Saturday morning after they were seen trying to steal a vehicle in Yucca Valley. According to a Sheriff’s report, Michael Paaverud, 28, and Glen Stephens, 25, and two others, were in the 3500 block of Condalia Avenue about 4:45 a.m. when a witness called to report the men were trying to winch a vehicle up onto a trailer. When deputies arrived, two of the suspected thieves fled, but deputies were able to detain Paaverud and Stephens. Michael Paaverud and Glen Stephens were arrested for investigation of attempted grand theft auto, booked at the Morongo Basin Jail, and released on $20,000 bail.
This is a great time to adopt a cat from the Yucca Valley Animal Shelter. Managing Editor Tami Roleff says a donor is paying for most of the fees…
Make your Christmas a “Meow-y” one by adopting a cat from the Yucca Valley Animal Shelter. Due to generous donations to the shelter’s “sponsored adoption” funds, the adoption fee for cats and kittens through December 23 is only $15. All adopted cats are vaccinated and spayed or neutered prior to adoption. The Yucca Valley Animal Shelter is located at 4755 Malin Way, north of Skyline Ranch Road. The shelter is open Tuesday through Saturday (excluding holidays) from noon to 5. For more information, call 760-365-3111.
The regular Twentynine Palms City Council meeting scheduled for Tuesday, November 25, at 6 p.m. will not be held. The next meeting of the City Council will be held on Tuesday, December 9, at 6 p.m.
Copper Mountain College will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday November 27 through November 30. Online registration will be available for eligible students during this time. The college will resume its normal operating hours on December 1.
Burrtec Waste and Recycling Services will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, November 27. Trash and recycling collection will be delayed by one day for the remainder of the week.
Copper Mountain College is offering a great program for students who are interested in nursing. ROP broadcast student Marie Linton has more on the program…
Students who are interested in the nursing career field can attend Copper Mountain College and get a range of degrees, including an associated degree in registered nursing. According to Christine Gotoski, students wishing to apply for admission to the program must complete six prerequisite courses: anatomy, physiology, microbiology, college composition, intermediate algebra and developmental physiology. After completing the prerequisite courses, the actual nursing program is two years long. To finish the nursing program, students must finish at every grading period with a ‘C’ or better. Gotoski also said if anyone is interested in the nursing program, or has any questions, you can visit them online at www.cmccd.edu or call the college at 760-366-3791.
The Second Annual Joshua Tree Holiday Market will be held November 28, 29 and 30, on Park Boulevard across from the Joshua Tree National Park Visitor Center, next to Coyote Corner. The market will start at noon Friday until 10 p.m. and start up at 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. There will be booths featuring local artisan goods and crafts, works of various artists, coffee, food, bar, local musicians and more. You can wrap it all up at the Sacred Sands B&B “Gift Wrap booth,” where all proceeds are donated. Plan to attend and shop local and have fun.