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CITY OF TWENTYNINE PALMS BEGINS RESTRICTING ITS OWN WATER USE

The City of Twentynine Palms has begun doing its water-saving duty. Reporter Dan Stork explains what steps the city is taking…

The City of Twentynine Palms has begun undertaking water conservation measures on its public buildings and properties, in compliance with Governor Brown’s order for mandatory water reduction in cities and towns across California. The State Water Resources Control Board has directed the Twentynine Palms Water District to reduce water usage by 28 percent.

The city will begin converting to desert landscaping at its public buildings. On Thursday, May 28, four trees were removed at city hall, and by the first week of June, City maintenance crews will begin removing sod from around city hall.

Watering schedules at Luckie Park and Knott Sky Park are being cut back in phases. Watering has been cut back on National Park Drive and in Bucklin Park and Historic Plaza by removing plants that were not desert native or drought tolerant. Other measures will be forthcoming.

For more information, contact City Hall at 760-367-6799. For suggestions to assist residents and businesses in conserving water, go to www.SaveOurWater.com.


WONDER VALLEY MAN HELD AFTER ATTACKING HIS SON AND DAUGHTER

A Wonder Valley man was arrested Wednesday after he attacked his son and daughter. According to a Sheriff’s report, Steven Harwood, 43, of the 76600 block of Foley Drive, had been drinking and got into an argument with his teenage-age children about 8:30 p.m. The report states that he punched his daughter and also struck his son. After an investigation, Steven Harwood was arrested on suspicion of felony child abuse, spousal abuse, and on warrants for beating up his long-time girlfriend in December, making terrorist threats, and assault with a deadly weapon. He was booked into the Morongo Basin Jail with his total bail set at $150,000.


YUCCA VALLEY MAN FOUND IN POSSESSION OF HEROIN AT WAL-MART

A Yucca Valley man was arrested at Wal-Mart Wednesday, suspected of being in possession of heroin. According to a Sheriff’s report, deputies were called to Wal-Mart in Yucca Valley about 3 p.m., where they found Perry Belden, 24, in the parking lot outside the store. After a short foot pursuit, Belden was arrested on two outstanding warrants for obstruction and possession of narcotics. During a search, Belden was found to be in possession of heroin, and was arrested on suspicion of possession of narcotics. Perry Belden was booked into the Morongo Basin Jail with his total bail set at $150,000.


HEAT IS GOING UP, DON’T LEAVE DOGS IN HOT CARS

The weather is heating up as summer approaches; temperatures are expected to be in the 100s this weekend. Managing editor Tami Roleff has this urgent reminder about leaving dogs in a hot car…

On a hot day, temperatures inside of a vehicle can quickly rise to dangerous levels. The temperature inside a car can reach 120 degrees in minutes, regardless of whether the windows are rolled down or not. Dogs can only cool themselves by panting or sweating through their paws. A hot car doesn’t provide enough fresh air for their body temperature to stay at a safe level. Dogs can sustain brain damage or even die in as little as fifteen minutes. If you see an animal in distress in a parked car, immediately call your local animal shelter or the Sheriff’s Department at 760-245-4211 or 760-366-3781. Be prepared to provide a vehicle description and license plate number.


MAN BEATEN BY SHERIFF’S DEPUTIES CHARGED WITH 14 COUNTS

Prosecutors charged Francis Pusok, the man sheriff’s deputies are accused of beating in the desert, with 11 felony and three misdemeanor counts in Victorville Superior Court yesterday. He was charged with evading arrest, vandalism over $400, stealing a horse, animal cruelty, being a felon in possession of ammunition, and three counts of auto theft. Pusok, 30, and his girlfriend, Jolene Bindner, 31, were both charged with three felony counts of receiving stolen property. He also faces misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest, being under the influence of drugs and reckless driving. April 9, Pusok was captured on video by an NBC helicopter news crew as he appeared to be beaten by County sheriff’s deputies following a three-hour pursuit. Ten involved deputies have been placed on paid leave and the FBI is investigating. Less than two weeks after the beating, Pusok agreed to a $650,000 out-of-court settlement with San Bernardino County officials.


DONNA MUNOZ ANNOUNCES HER CANDIDACY FOR COUNTY SUPERVISOR

In a stunning, live announcement on this morning’s Z107.7 Up Close Show long-time community activist and civic leader Donna Munoz told host Gary
Daigneault she aims to win the County Board of Supervisor’s 3rd District seat currently held by James Ramos in the November 2016 election. Reporter
Mike Lipsitz files this follow-up to the announcement…

No stranger to county administration, Donna Munoz has served as field representative for three county supervisors, including Ramos. She has served
as assistant county assessor, sat on the Morongo Unified School District Board of Education, and is presently General Manager for the Morongo Valley
Community Services District. Munoz said “(she) knows what it takes to be county supervisor. You have to get out there and connect with people face to face.” The 3rd District stretches from Morongo Basin to Big Bear plus includes Yucaipa, Redlands, Highland, and Barstow. Munoz talked of a network of supporters throughout the district. What is abundantly clear is that more than Donna Munoz’ contacts, vision, and proven record, supporters will have to dig deep to compete with the power of Ramos’ vast personal wealth. Full disclosure, this reporter was also employed as a field rep for the current supervisor.


THEATRE 29 SEEKING DIRECTORS’ SUBMISSIONS FOR 2016 SEASON

Theatre 29 is beginning the process of selecting plays, dramas and musicals for their 2016 season. If you are a director and would like to submit a show idea to the selection committee for consideration, reporter Rebecca Havely tells you how…

Theater 29 is accepting family-friendly show suggestions from local volunteer directors. To submit include: two show titles to allow for selection flexibility; a script; and an estimation of the show budget, royalties and script costs. If submitting for the first time, include a resume of your theatrical background. There are six tentative show slots; you may request a specific slot but you are not guaranteed it will be available. Show 1 is from January 15 to February 7; Show 2 from March 11 to April 9; the third slot is from May 6 to June 4. The summer youth program is from July 5 to August 6. Show 4 runs August 27 to September 24. The Halloween specialty production from October 14 to 31, and the final show of the season from November 25 to December 24. Shows rehearse for seven weeks with twelve performances over five consecutive weekends and include two matinees. To review the director’s responsibilities go to the director’s page at theatre29.org.


JOSHUA TREE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE MIXER THIS EVENING

The Joshua Tree Chamber of Commerce will hold an open house and mixer for new and current members on Friday, May 29. There will be door prizes and raffles, refreshments, and opportunities to network. Music will be provided by Bonnie and Slyde. The reception will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Chamber’s office, 6448 Hallee Road, Suite 9, in Joshua Tree.


BLOOD DRIVE TOMORROW AT WAL-MART

LifeStream will conduct a community blood drive on Saturday, May 30, at Wal-Mart in Yucca Valley from 11 to 3. Donors will receive incentives. In addition, LifeStream now offers free cholesterol screening with every blood donation. Those aged 18 to 44 years may register for Be the Match bone marrow screening free of charge. To make an appointment to donate blood, call 800-TRY-GIVING.


ADOPT A PET FROM THE TWENTYNINE PALMS ANIMAL SHELTER

There are many animal friends at the Twentynine Palms animal shelter waiting for you to adopt them. ROP Broadcast Student Alyssa Evans tells you how…

If you’re thinking of adopting a pet, then come and get it from Palms n Paws animal shelter, located at 7086 Bullion Avenue in Twentynine Palms. Their hours are Monday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. They are a small animal shelter and animal control facility run by the city of Twentynine Palms. They handle all kinds of animals from house pets to livestock. It is a first-come, first-serve pet adoption; they do not reserve the animals. To adopt an animal, it is a total of $123 for a dog, and for a cat it is a total of $83. If you want more information call 760-367-0157.


COPPER MOUNTAIN COLLEGE STARTS SUMMER HOURS MONDAY

Copper Mountain College will begin its summer hours as of June 1. The college will be open to the public 8 to 5 Monday through Thursday and will be closed on Fridays. The Bell Center’s gym will be open 7 to 7 Monday through Thursday.


MYSTERY MEAL TONIGHT AT THE JOSHUA TREE VFW POST

The Joshua Tree Veterans of Foreign Wars Post will be serving up something special for dinner tonight-a mystery meal with salad and garlic bread, from 4:00 to 6:00. There is no Sunday breakfast. But don’t forget Taco Wednesday from 11 to 1.


YUCCA MESA SWAP MEET TOMORROW

The Yucca Mesa Improvement Association will hold a mini outdoor swap meet and bake sale Saturday, May 30, from 8 to 1. Vendors may start setting up at 7 a.m. Vendor spaces are $20. The Yucca Mesa Improvement Association is located at 3133 Balsa Avenue, just north of Aberdeen Drive. For more information, call Rebecca Pahssen at 760-220-4934.


LANDERS MOOSE LODGE YARD SALE SATURDAY

Your friendly neighborhood Lander Moose Lodge is having a yard sale. Reporter Mike Lipsitz has details…

Landers has become the destination for weekend bargain hunters and this Saturday is no exception. Buyers and sellers alike will want to get in on Landers Moose Lodge Spring Cleaning Yard Sale from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday only. Bargain hunters can arrive hungry and enjoy burgers, dogs and more. Vendors can arrive early and rent a space for $10; put in another $5 and the Moose will set you up with a table and chairs. Landers Moose Lodge is under the tall trees just east of Reche Road and Landers Lane.


CACTUS SEWABLES MEET MONDAY

The general meeting of the Cactus Sewables Quilt Guild will take place on June 1, in the Yucca Room of the Yucca Valley Community Center, 57098 29 Palms Hwy. Doors open at 12:30 p.m. and the meeting begins promptly at 1:00 p.m. Program for the afternoon will be a fun lecture on quilting by Susie Contratto of Palm Desert. Guests are welcome. A $3 donation is requested.


FREE GOSPEL CONCERT TOMORROW IN YUCCA VALLEY

A free gospel concert will be held Saturday, May 30, at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Yucca Valley. The concert begins at 6 p.m. and will feature local talent as well as Pastor Curtis Wright, who plays the banjo, violin, mandolin, harmonica, guitar, and Indian flute. Wright has performed with Buck Page and the Riders of the Purple Sage, the Frank Wakefield Band, and Jimmy Collier. The Seventh Day Adventist Church is at 8035 Church Street in Yucca Valley.


SERVICE TOMORROW FOR LONNIE AND PAT TINER

A memorial service for Dr. Lonnie Tiner and Patricia Tiner will be held 10 a.m. Saturday, May 30, at Blessed Sacrament Church, 74462 National Park Drive, in Twentynine Palms. A celebration of their lives will take place after the service at the church. Their final resting place will be in Hawaii, on the island of Kauai. Lonnie Tiner, 80, and Patricia Tiner, 76, died May 18 following a car crash with suspected drunk driver Mariah Natividad, 21, of Twentynine Palms. Natividad has been charged with vehicular manslaughter.


SCHOOL BUS DRIVER ACCUSED OF MOLESTATION ARRAIGNED

The Twentynine Palms school bus driver who was arrested in January on charges of child pornography and lewd acts with a child was arraigned in Joshua Tree Superior Court last week. Alex Gomez, 57, pleaded not guilty to lewd acts with a child, possession of child porn, and possession of a concealed camera. His attorney’s request for Gomez to be released on his own recognizance was denied, but Judge Rodney Cortez did agree to reduce his bail to $250,000 from $500,000. Alex Gomez will next appear in court on June 19.


CHRISTOPHER LEE MURDER CASE TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED

The high profile murder trial of Christopher Lee, accused of killing Marine wife Erin Corwin and hiding her body in a mine shaft, has been suspended, at least temporarily. Managing Editor Tami Roleff explains…
The court case of Christopher Lee, the man accused of killing Erin Corwin, his former lover and dumping her body in a mine shaft east of Twentynine Palms, has been stayed pending a ruling from the Fourth District Court of Appeals. Lee’s lawyer, David Kaloyanides, told Z107.7 news that he filed a peremptory challenge with the Appeals Court in April, asking Judge Rodney Cortez to transfer the case into the courtroom of Judge Bert Swift. Kaloyanides said his petition is just a very common strategic move used by lawyers all the time. Kaloyanides said he had first made the request following Lee’s arraignment in April, but Cortez denied Kaloyanides’ motion, ruling that the request should have been made in August, when Lee first appeared in court. Lee and the prosecuting and defense attorneys were back in court on Tuesday, when Judge Cortez announced the Appeals Court ruling, and suspended the case. Until the Court of Appeals makes its ruling on the challenge, Lee’s case is in a state of limbo. Christopher Lee is scheduled to be back in court on June 30.


YUCCA VALLEY MAN HELD AFTER GIVING FALSE NAME TO SHERIFF’S DEPUTY

A Yucca Valley man was arrested Tuesday morning after he gave a false name to a Sheriff’s deputy. According to a Sheriff’s report, a deputy stopped a man, identified as Ryan Knutson, 26, near Papago Trail and Church Street about 10:15 a.m., who was determined to be under the influence of controlled substance. The deputy said Knutson gave him a false name during the initial contact. However, his true identity was discovered after his fingerprints were matched during the booking process. Ryan Knutson is on felony probation for stealing a vehicle and had a warrant for his arrest. Ryan Knutson was booked into the Morongo Basin Jail with his total bail set at $100,000.


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