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JOSHUA BASIN ADOPTS WATER CONSERVATION ENFORCEMENT ORDINANCE

Water conservation efforts in Joshua Tree just got some teeth. Reporter Taylor Thacker says the Joshua Basin Water District just made strict state standards an enforceable local ordinance…
The Joshua Basin Water District met Wednesday, August 20th to discuss the new water conservation ordinance presented by the state. The ordinance included water use restrictions such as the application of potable water to outdoor landscapes in a manner that causes runoff water onto other property or non-irrigated areas. Other restrictions included the use of a hose to wash vehicles that does not have a shut off nozzle, and the use of potable water in a fountain unless the water is part of a recirculating system. The ordinance also included ways the water district is required to promote water conservation such as making laws to limit outdoor irrigation of ornamental landscapes or turf. The Board adopted this ordinance as presented and without much discussion from the citizens present. The Joshua Basin Water District encourages everyone to conserve as much water as possible during this time of drought. For more information on how you can conserve water, call 760-366-8438.


FREE PARK ENTRANCE TODAY FOR PARK SERVICES BIRTHDAY

The National Park Service is 98 years old today, and to celebrate, Joshua Tree National Park, along with the other 400 national parks, are waiving their entrance fees today. Joshua Tree National Park was established as a monument in 1936 to preserve the desert and its iconic trees, and then created as a park 60 years later. More than 1.4 million people visit the park and surrounding communities every year.


FOOTBALL INJURY BILL WOULD AFFECT LOCAL HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETES

A new state bill, designed to reduce brain injuries and concussions, should soon be signed into law. Local school officials say they have already been using the proposed standards…
Seeking to reduce brain injuries and concussions, the legislature has passed a bill to become effective January 1, 2015, limiting full-contact practice for California middle and high school students. Assemblyman Ken Cooley explains: “What this bill does is, within that 18-hour framework it provides for three hours of contact practice, meaning game-like conditions. So, three hours total on two days, 90 minutes apiece, within the 18-hour framework.”
Athletic Director Jeremy Johnson of the Twentynine Palms Wildcats Athletics supports the bill and reports that the Morongo Unified School District has implemented these standards for several years.
“Another thing we’ve implemented here in our program before it’s even become law was if you’ve been deemed with a concussion, you were out for an automatic week, you had to go to the doctor, you had to go through all the protocols to be able to come back to play and I think it helps. I definitely think it helps.”


OPEN HOUSE AT MORONGO VALLEY FIRE TONIGHT

The Morongo Valley Fire Station will hold an open house Monday, August 25 from 5 to 7 p.m. Fire fighters and paramedics will be serving hot dogs, compliments of the Fire Fighters Auxiliary. Visitors will be able to take a tour of the fire station and ask questions. Kids will get a sticker from Sparky. The fire station is located at 11207 Ocotillo Street. For more information, call Charlie at 760-363-6454.


DRUM CIRCLE TONIGHT

A new moon drum circle will be held 7 to 9 p.m. tonight on the patio of the sanctuary at Joshua Tree Retreat Center. Participants are encouraged to bring drums, shakers, and tambourines. The drum circle is free, although donations of $5 for individuals or $10 per family are requested. For more information, call 760-365-8371.


ACCUSED MURDERER RETURNS TO CALIFORNIA LATE SUNDAY

Christopher Lee, the man accused of murdering Erin Corwin of Twentynine Palms, and dumping her body in a 140-foot mine shaft east of the city, returned to California late Sunday. The 24-year-old murder suspect was booked into the Morongo Basin Jail. The Desert Sun newspaper reports that Lee’s lawyer said he advised Lee not to fight extradition from Alaska because the end result would be the same: he would be returned to San Bernardino County sooner or later. Christopher Lee is scheduled to be arraigned in Joshua Tree Superior Court within the next few days. Lee, a former Marine who was stationed at the Twentynine Palms Marine Base but moved to Alaska in July after his honorable discharge, was Corwin’s neighbor on the Twentynine Palms Marine Base and her alleged lover. Corwin’s body was discovered by Sheriff’s investigators August 16, and Lee was arrested by Alaska police August 17. If convicted of Erin Corwin’s murder, Lee could be sentenced to life without parole or the death penalty.


STARGAZING IN THE NATIONAL PARK

Joshua Tree National Park is a special place for stargazing.  Ranger Carey Goldstein invites you to look up…

Stories of the stars are among the oldest of all folktales, but still have just as much meaning today.  As our night skies continue to be affected by excessive outdoor lighting and glare from cities, visitors are becoming more interested in looking at the stars as seen in a darker night sky of in a national park.  Finding a place to gaze up at the stars can provide solace and enjoyment.  Here at Joshua Tree National Park, there are many areas and opportunities  for people to look at the stars and enjoy a view of galaxies, star clusters, planets, and constellations. A view of the Milky Way provides us with the chance to gaze up at our own galaxy and think about where we fit in this grand solar system.  For information on the best viewing areas for looking at the night sky, stop in at any visitor center to talk to our staff, or call us at 760-367-5522.  For Z107.7, this is Park Ranger Carey Goldstein, reminding you to enjoy the solace and wonder of your national park.


APPLY FOR YUCCA VALLEY SENIOR HOUSING MONDAY

Community Renaissance of California (CoRE) is processing applications for the new affordable housing project in Yucca Valley.  Managing Editor Tami Roleff says that Monday is the last day that CoRE representatives will be in town to sign people up…

Applications are now being taken for Dumosa Senior Village, the low-income senior apartments currently under construction in Yucca Valley. Applicants must submit a refundable $100 deposit and non-refundable $20 application fee, government ID and Social Security card, a birth certificate for minors, and all proof of income, to include statements for bank accounts, life insurance and retirement accounts, and mortgage statements for properties or closing statements for properties sold within the last two years. Income limits for the apartments range from $12,750 for one person up to $30,085 for three people, with monthly rents ranging from $315 to $629. To receive and submit an application, go to the Joshua Tree room of the Yucca Valley Community Center on Monday, August 25, between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Bring all required documents and fees as incomplete applications will not be accepted. All residents intending to live in the housing must also attend for a personal interview.


PET CLINIC CANCELLATIONS

Due to low number of surgeries scheduled, Animal Action League is cancelling its clinics scheduled for Monday, August 25, and Wednesday, August 27. For more information, call 760-366-1100.


HIKING IN HISTORY

Joshua Tree National Park is full of history.  Reporter Cara Conway says you can learn it while hiking to where it happened…

Join Desert Naturalist and Historian Instructors as you are guided on moderate to strenuous hikes filled with history on familiar places such as Barker Dam, Quail Mountain’s summit, Stubbe Springs and more! These history filled courses held by the Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park are being offered starting Sunday October 5. Cost is $50 for members, $60 nonmembers.   For exact dates, courses and registration call 760-367-5535 or visit joshuatree.org.

Reporting for Z107.7, this is reporter Cara Conway.


MOON DRUM CIRCLE MONDAY

A new moon drum circle will be held 7 to 9 p.m. Monday, August 25. Facilitated by Sam Sloneker, the drum circle will be held on the patio of the sanctuary at Joshua Tree Retreat Center. Participants are encouraged to bring drums, shakers, and tambourines. The drum circle is free, although donations of $5 for individuals or $10 per family are requested. For more information, call 760-365-8371.


COPPER MOUNTAIN COLLEGE MAGIC CLASS

If you want to find an activity that will challenge your brain, activate your creativity, and amaze your friends then you should sign up for the Copper Mountain College “Bringing Wonder” Magic Class. This class is suitable for any age and will help build self-esteem and confidence. Students will learn how to build an entire magic act. In five weeks, students will learn the fundamentals of magic and will create a selection of tricks to do at talent shows, parties or just to impress friends and family. This magic class will encompass history, science, math and communication skills. The final class will include a magic show performed by the students for their friends and family. This class will take place on Saturdays from October 4th to November 1st from 10am-12pm. The fee is $45. There are only 20 spots available so sign up now! For more information or to sign up call 760-366-3791.


SHERIFF’S CHECKPOINT IN TWENTYNINE PALMS TONIGHT

The Twentynine Palms Police Department will be conducting a DUI/Drivers License Checkpoint this Saturday, August 23, between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. at an undisclosed location. Officers will be contacting drivers passing through the checkpoint and looking for signs of alcohol or drug impairment. Officers will also check drivers for proper licensing and will strive to delay motorists only momentarily. Drivers caught driving impaired can expect jail, license suspension, and insurance increases, as well as fines, fees, DUI classes and other expenses that can exceed $10,000. If you see a drunk driver, call 9-1-1 to report them.


DRUG RAID FOLLOWUP INFORMATION RELEASED

The Sheriff’s Department has released additional information about the drug raids in the Morongo Basin Wednesday. More than 5,500 marijuana plants and 14 people were arrested in two days in nine locations in Landers and Joshua Tree, with related search warrants issued in Bloomington and Helendale. The Sheriff’s Department reports that the suspects were using fake medical marijuana IDs in an attempt to deceive law enforcement personnel into thinking the marijuana grows were legitimate. But all the marijuana grows were large outdoor operations in unsecured fenced-in areas, and were not in compliance with medical marijuana laws. Search warrants were served in the 67000 block of Daisy Lane in Joshua Tree, where 779 marijuana plants and two pounds of processed pot were seized, and Carlos Gonzales, Angie Colindrez, Manuel Perez, and Andres Marquez were arrested. In Landers, 95 plants were seized in the 500 block of Lambert Road and Thonekeo Sounannavong was arrested; 403 plants seized in the 100 block of Bowman Trail, with Alex Aphayboun arrested; 1,579 plants seized in the 1000 block of Yucca Mesa Road, and Xayadeth Kayavong and Athith Kayavong were arrested; 556 pot plants were seized in the 59200 block of Reche Road and Phouthone Khaithianthong was arrested; and 30 plants, 34 pound of processed marijuana and 73 hydrocodone pills were seized, with Lee Callan, 58, of the 5700 block of Linn Road arrested. Evidence from these raids led investigators to two locations in Helendale where 2,065 plants, 136 ½ pounds of processed marijuana, and a .45 caliber handgun and two sawed-off shotgun were seized. Arrested in Helendale were Aquilino Villasenor, Roberto Zavala and Manuel Madrigal-Castillo.


SPOUSE ABUSE ARRESTS IN 29P

Two people were arrested Thursday in separate incidents for felony spouse abuse. According to a Sheriff’s report, shortly after 11 a.m. Thursday, deputies were called to the 6600 block of Mojave Avenue in Twentynine Palms where they were told that James Bermudez, 36, had assaulted his fiancée on Wednesday. Deputies determined that after an argument, Bermudez pushed the woman to the ground, which caused her to hit her head and split it open. After an investigation, James Bermudez was arrested on suspicion of felony spouse abuse. He was booked and released about 7:30 p.m. Thursday on $50,000 bail.

Then about 6:30 p.m., the Combat Center’s military police called deputies to report that a man had come to their office on the base to report that his wife had beaten him and he had two bite marks from the assaults. After an investigation, Kimberly Reyes, 19, of the 73900 block of Two Mile Road, was arrested on suspicion of felony spouse abuse. Kimberly Reyes was booked at the West Valley Detention Center with her bail set at $50,000.


SKY’S THE LIMIT STAR PARTY

Sky’s the Limit observatory and Nature Center in Twentynine Palms invite you to enjoy the summer sky this Saturday night. Reporter Taylor Thacker gets out her celestron……

The public is invited to enjoy spectacles of the summer sky on Saturday, August 23 at Sky’s the Limit Observatory and Nature Center. Summer spectacles include some of the brightest clusters and nebulae such as the Lagoon Nebula and the Wild Duck Cluster. Also, these are the last few weeks for good viewing of Mars and Saturn. This time of year also marks the return of the Andromeda Galaxy, the brightest galaxy in the sky.   Guests are invited to bring their own binoculars and telescopes. Everyone should dress for unpredictable desert weather and bring snacks, water bottles, and chairs. This event is free and runs from 8:00pm to 2:00am. For more information call 760-365-7897.


LOCAL ROLLER DERBY TEAM IN HOME BOUT TONIGHT

Tonight, Saturday, August 23, the Mojave Rattle Skaters Women’s Roller Derby team will hold their very first HOME bout against the Wine Town Rollers, in a Snakepit Showdown!  The bout will begin at 6:30 PM at the Rattle Skaters brand new skate track, located at Brehm Sports Park in Yucca Valley. Tickets are $5 at the door, children 10 and under are free. Doors open at p.m. Food and beer will be available for purchase, as well as official Rattle Skater merchandise!  Bring a chair and enjoy the Morongo Basin’s first and only women’s roller derby team in action!


LUAU DANCE IN YUCCA VALLEY

Say “aloha” to a special dance for seniors and adults in Yucca Valley tonight. Reporter Cara Conway gets out her ukulele……

Get a taste of tropical Hawaii on Saturday when you attend the Luau Dance held by The Senior Club and the Town of Yucca Valley. The event takes place at the Yucca Valley Senior Center and goes from 6 – 9 PM. Entrance is $3 for those 55 and older; $5 under 55. For more information call 760-369-7211.


CERT TRAINING IN YUCCA VALLEY

The County Fire Department is offering a free course in Community Emergency Response Team training.  It meets 6-9 pm on Thursday evenings from September 4th to October 18th, at the Yucca Valley Senior Center.  The CERT class consists of 8 modules containing informative sessions that will help you to be better prepared to survive a disaster, such as earthquakes, fires, and floods. Each class date will provide for learning in the classroom and participating in hands-on activities.  Participants must be at least 18 years of age. Each participant in the program will receive a CERT manual, safety helmet, vest, backpack, and survival skills to last a lifetime upon graduation from the course. Students must provide safety goggles, work gloves, and an N95 breathing mask at the first class – all of which are available for purchase locally. Closed toe footwear must be worn.  Space is limited to the first 25 registrations. Participants must attend all class dates in order to be eligible to graduate. For more information or to register, please contact Battalion Chief Michael Snow at (760) 365-3335 (email at msnow@sbcfire.org ) or Nancy Guinn at (760) 218-0151 (email at nguinn@hidesertstar.com).


COUNTY FIRE CAPTAIN WAYNE THOMPSON RETIRES

Fire captain and paramedic Wayne Thompson retired yesterday, August 22, from the San Bernardino County Fire Department.  Captain Thompson’s interest in firefighting began in high school in Lake Arrowhead, with a ROP class in fire science.  At the age of 50, he has 30 years of fire service credit, almost all of it with the County Fire Department, following a 2-season stint with the US Forest Service. In 2004 he was promoted to captain, and has stayed at station 41 in Yucca Valley ever since.


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