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JOSHUA TREE MAN HELD AFTER DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

A Joshua Tree man was arrested Tuesday evening after his girlfriend said he refused to let her leave the residence. According to a Sheriff’s report, William Porter, 27, was fighting with a woman in the 3500 block of Porter Boulevard about 4:15 p.m. The report states the woman could be heard crying because she couldn’t leave and that she had bruises on her arms. After investigation, William Porter was arrested on suspicion of false imprisonment, booked at the Morongo Basin Jail, with his bail set at $50,000. Porter pleaded guilty to misdemeanor spouse abuse in 2012 and was sentenced to three years probation, which was revoked in July due to a conviction of possession of a controlled substance.


YUCCA VALLEY MAN ARRESTED FOR MAKING TERRORIST THREATS

A Yucca Valley man was arrested late Tuesday night after his girlfriend said he threatened to kill her. According to a Sheriff’s report, dispatchers could hear a woman on an open phone line about 9:20 p.m. Tuesday night asking someone if he was going to shoot her. Later the woman said she heard a man telling someone to kill her. After an investigation, Ruben Gutierrez, 36, was arrested on suspicion of making terrorist threats. Ruben Gutierrez was booked at the Morongo Basin Jail with his bail set at $50,000.


CAST NAMED FOR “YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN” AT THEATRE 29

“It’s Alive!” The hard working volunteers at Theatre 29 are currently in rehearsal for ready for their next show, the hilarious Broadway hit, “Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein.” Reporter Cassie Zimarik has the cast list…
The cast of Theatre 29’s next production “Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein” has been announced! The show’s director is Gary Daigneault with musical director, Bill Barrett and choreographer Mandi Pushkar. The cast includes Graham Cooley as Dr. Frederick Frankentstein, Jericho McWilliams as Igor, Curtis Mohn as The Monster, Pamela Crane as Inga, Char Childs as Elizabeth Benning, Cindy Daigneault as Frau Blucher, Scott Clinkscales as the Blind Hermit and Inspector Kemp, Cyrus Short as Ziggy, and Barry Inscore as Dr. Victor Von Frankenstein. In addition various background roles are played by Amanda Winters, Patti Brown, Chalise Kunz, Gabrielle Timbrook, Amanda Mohn, Anna Dean, and Cathy “Dude” Inscore. The show will run Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:00 p.m. from October 3rd through November 1st. Matinee performances are Sunday, October 12th and Sunday, October 26th at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are available online at www.theatre29.org, or by calling the Theatre 29 Box Office at 760-366-8471.


MORONGO VALLEY FIREFIGHTERS SENT TO THE KING FIRE

Four firefighters and a brush engine from Morongo Valley were sent to fight the King Fire in El Dorado County Tuesday afternoon. Fire Chief Jock Johnson said Captain Jeff Rarey, Engineer Christopher Palmer, Firefighter/Paramedic Richard Gilmartin, and Firefighter Jorge Partida were given less than 30 minutes to hit the road, and can expect to be gone for up to two weeks. Brush engines have a mobile pump with 500 gallons of water and are designed to travel over rugged terrain. As of late last night, the King Fire had burned nearly 28,000 acres, with more than 1,632 homes threatened, and is only 5 percent contained. Almost 3,300 firefighters are working the massive blaze.


BLOOD DRIVE AT YUCCA VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL TOMORROW

Desert Blood Services will conduct a community blood drive on Friday, September 19, at the Yucca Valley High School, 7600 Sage Avenue, from 8:30 to 2:30 p.m. Donors will receive incentives. In addition, Desert Blood Services offers donors a mini-physical and free cholesterol screening with every blood donation. All prospective donors must be at least 15 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds, and should be free of infections or illness. Donors who are 15 or 16 years old must provide written parental consent to make a blood donation.


HI-DESERT WATER WORKS OUT SEWER SYSTEM DETAILS

The Hi-Desert Water District Board met last night in regular session. Managing Editor Tami Roleff says the meeting was to work out details of Yucca Valley’s sewer project…
A change made by the Hi-Desert Water District Board of Directors at its meeting last night concerning the future sewer plant’s treatment technology will delay the District’s application for a low-interest loan for the wastewater project. Last night, the directors opted to go with membrane bioreactors instead of oxidation ditches, which will require an amendment to the loan application. The amendment will delay the appearance of the application on the State Water Quality Control Board’s agenda until January, and possibly even until February. Other wastewater project details finalized last night included hiring a program manager to oversee the $146 million sewer project, and choosing a progressive design-build approach for the project, which will shorten the construction phase by a few months.


MIXER TONIGHT KICKS OFF TWENTYNINE PALMS PIONEER DAYS

Twentynine Palms Pioneer Days is right around the corner and all the excitement kicks off tonight. The Historic Plaza will host the Pioneer Days mixer from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. this evening at the corner of Adobe Road and Two Mile Road in Twentynine Palms. Rally ’round this year’s Judge and Sheriff teams when you purchase your 2014 “Pioneers and Patriots” commemorative button. For more information on this and other Pioneer Days events, contact the Chamber at 760-367-3445.


THE CALL IS OUT FOR THIS YEARS 29 PALMS WEED SHOW SUBMISSIONS

The annual Weed Show is a uniquely Twentynine Palms institution. Dan Stork says the call is out for submissions for this year’s event…

This year’s Twentynine Palms Weed Show will be on the weekend of November 8 and 9, at the Old Schoolhouse Museum on National Park Drive. This annual display features artistic arrangements of indigenous desert vegetation as well as found objects both natural and man-made. Entries are judged on subject matter, use of desert vegetation, use of accessories, artistic composition and originality. Awards will be granted in twelve categories, with a People’s Choice award to be decided by visitors to the exhibition. This year, the theme is “All Rhymes—No Reason” based familiar nursery rhymes. Each of the categories, whose names include “Humpty Dumpty,” “Simple Simon,” and “Hickory Dickory Dock,” has its own rules for size, materials, and accessories. Entries must be brought to the museum between the hours of 4:00 and 6:30 p.m. on Friday, November 7 or Saturday, November 8 from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. All rules for entering the 2014 Weed Show as well as photos of previous year’s entries are located on the Twentynine Palms Historical Society’s website at www.29palmshistorical.com.


HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS

Coming up in high school sports tomorrow, the Yucca Valley High School cross-county team will travel to Irvine to compete in the Woodbridge Invitational starting at 5 p.m.

The Yucca Valley High School volleyball team will travel away to Cathedral City, with the first match starting at 4:30.


STORMS CAUSE A FATALITY IN JOSHUA TREE, MUD AND FLOODING

A man was killed yesterday afternoon when his SUV was swept away in a raging flash flood in Joshua Tree. According to County Fire Captain Matt Anderson, the man, identified only as being in his 66 years old, was driving his Chevy Blazer on Sunny Vista when he encountered a line of vehicles that had stopped to let the floodwaters pass over the road at the wash, just north of Navajo Trail. Anderson said that bystanders told officials that the man tried to drive around the stopped vehicles, but his car became stuck in the mud. Bystanders said his SUV was stuck for about five minutes before a surge of floodwaters came down the wash shortly after 3:30 and carried his Blazer—with him inside it—down the wash, overturning it in the process. Anderson said that he and Engineer Travis Anway, who are stationed at Fire Station 41 in Yucca Valley, were on their way to assist with another flood-related call, when they were flagged down by bystanders who told them about the man in the overturned vehicle. Anderson said the man had been in the storm waters—which were 2 to 2 ½ feet deep—in his upside-down Blazer for about 5 minutes before they arrived on the scene. Before Anderson could get to the vehicle, a 5-foot surge of flood waters roared down the wash, flowing over the upside down Blazer. Due to all the water, mud, rocks, and debris inside the vehicle, Anderson was not able to free the driver from the SUV until about 4:15, by which time the man had already died.

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The flash flooding also caused much property damage in Joshua Tree. County Fire Captain John Garber said fire fighters received numerous calls from residents whose homes were being inundated by water and mud from storm waters. In the 61300 block of Rocky Vista a home was destroyed and a woman and her child barely escaped as the house collapsed. Highway 62 was closed due to flooding from Olympic to Park Boulevard, as was Alta Loma. The roads, which were covered not only with water, but with mud, rocks, and other debris, made travel difficult for motorists and fire fighters responding to calls, and Garber said fire fighters couldn’t even get to some calls because of the poor condition of the roads, and had to prioritize their responses.

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Both fire fighters and Sheriff officials said people don’t realize how powerful fast-moving water can be; six inches of water can knock over an adult, and two feet of water can carry off an SUV or pick-up truck. “In Joshua Tree, we lost a member of our community who got caught in the storm, in the flood waters,  and it actually killed him in his vehicle. So please, do not cross where there’s water running.”

Sheriff’s Captain Dale Mondary urged motorists to play it safe when they come to water running over the road. “We just want to caution people and remind them that if there’s water in the roadway, to not try to drive through that area, even if they’re familiar with the roadway, just in the event that the structure itself has been compromised.”
Turn around, don’t drown.

Due to the storms and road problems, the Morongo Unified School Board meeting scheduled for last night was cancelled.

 

**UPDATE**

According to the County Coroners Office, at 3:58 PM on 09/16/2014, the California Highway Patrol received a 911 call of a vehicle that was washed from the roadway by water during a flash flood. Fire and California Highway Patrol officers responded to the scene at Sunny Vista Road and Melton Trail, in Joshua Tree. Kyle Wyne, a 66 year old resident of Joshua Tree, was removed from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene at 4:15 PM. The California Highway Patrol is investigating the incident.

**UPDATE 2**

The county coroners office has updated their website and is now identifying the man as Karl Wyne


PETITION TO PERMIT MARIJUANA DISPENSARIES IN YUCCA VALLEY STARTING

When the Yucca Valley Town Council refused to extend the permit to allow California Medicinal Solutions to remain in business last year, the Morongo Basin lost its only legal medical marijuana dispensary. Some residents plan to circulate a petition for a proposed ordinance that would allow a limited number of medical marijuana dispensaries to operate in the town. Managing editor Tami Roleff has more on the initiative…
The Yucca Valley town clerk estimates that proponents of an initiative for a proposed ordinance to permit medical marijuana dispensaries in the town may be able to start collecting signatures as of September 23. California law gives proponents six months to collect signatures from 10 to 15 percent of the Town’s registered voters. California election law gives lawmakers basically two options if enough residents sign the petition: the Council can adopt the petition’s proposed ordinance at a regular meeting; or the Council can put the proposed ordinance on the ballot at a future election. (If 15 percent of registered voters sign, the Council can call a special election; if more than 10 percent but less than 15 percent sign, then the Council can wait until a regular election). The Council decided to monitor the progress of collecting signatures, and if it appears the petition will have enough signatures, staff will review and research how the proposed initiative would alter the Town’s current prohibition on marijuana dispensaries. In other business, the Council was delighted to hear the Town had a surplus of $590,000 from the 2013-14 budget. It allocated $400,000 to maintain roads; $100,000 for capital projects; and $90,000 for unfunded liabilities, such as other post-employment benefits and CalPers.


YUCCA VALLEY PREPARING FOR MORE THUNDERSTORMS

The Town of Yucca Valley is preparing for thunderstorms expected to move through this week. The heaviest rain is forecast to occur today and evening bringing increasing chances of flash flooding. Residents are advised to take precautions and avoid unnecessary travel when possible. The Town’s Public Works crews are preparing to respond to emergencies, but local motorists should be alert to the adverse conditions and avoid areas where excessive water could impede the safe flow of traffic. Normally dry washes could quickly become engorged with flood waters, even if rain is not falling in the immediate area. Residents are advised that sandbags are available at the Town of Yucca Valley Public Works Yard in the Monterey Business Center, limit 10 sandbags per household, sand provided to fill on your own (no charge); the County Fire stations in Yucca Valley and Yucca Mesa, limit 10 sandbags per household (no charge); Joshua Tree Fire Station on Park Blvd (sand bags only); Builders Supply (empty 49¢ each); and at Home Depot (empty 32¢ each).


JOSHUA BASIN WATER BOARD MEETS TONIGHT

The Joshua Basin Water District Board meets in regular session tonight. Reporter Caitlin Logan checks the agenda…
The Joshua Basin Water District will have their regular meeting on Wednesday, September 17, starting at 7:00 p.m. During this meeting, the Board will review their fourth quarter ending financial report summary for June 30. This includes discussion of revenues and budgets. The Board will also discuss operator certification requirements, which includes public regulations such as ones that were adopted by the U.S. EPA under the Safe Drinking Water Act. This meeting takes place at 61750 Chollita Rd in Joshua Tree.


TWENTYNINE PALMS PLANNING COMMISSION DENIES 200-UNIT APARTMENT COMPLEX

The Twentynine Palms Planning Commission met last night in closed session and then in regular session where they held a public hearing regarding an appeal of the Community Development Director’s determination regarding an Environmental Impact Report on a proposed 200-unit multi-family apartment complex to be built near the MCAGCC Condor Gate called, “The Ridge at Twentynine Palms.” The major concerns for the project come from the Combat Center, the City of Twentynine Palms, and various others, and range from flood risk and traffic increase to building heights and even unauthorized surveillance of the Combat Center. In the public hearing, Eric Goldsmith spoke as a representative of the applicant of the project and discussed the six items of appeal in detailed length, Nicole Criste spoke for the Terra Nova Planning and Research Inc. Erin Adams spoke on behalf of the Base during public comment along with other residents. Comments ranged from residents that see no problem with the housing and blame the base for all the trouble the applicant is going through, to residents that saw major environmental concerns about the project. After hearing public comment, planning commissioner, Carey Alderson, motioned to deny the applicants appeal and in a 5-0 vote, all members agreed and the applicant’s appeal was therefore denied.


STATE WATER QUALITY CONTROL BOARD MEETS TOMORROW IN PALM DESERT

The Colorado River Basin Regional Water Quality Control Board will meet 9 a.m. Thursday, September 18. Among items of local interest, the board will discuss waste discharge requirements for the Hi-Grade Materials Company in Twentynine Palms. The Board will also hear an update on the septic discharge prohibition in Yucca Valley. The meeting will be held in the California Regional Water Quality Control board room, 73720 Fred Waring Drive, Suite 100, in Palm Desert.


HI-DESERT WATER MEETS: SEWER PROJECT DETAILS DOMINATE

Technical details about Yucca Valley’s wastewater treatment project will be decided at tonight’s meeting of the Hi-Desert Water District’s Board of Directors. Managing editor Tami Roleff gives the run-down on some of the questions to be decided tonight…
The question of whether to hire a program manager for Yucca Valley’s wastewater reclamation project is one item that will be discussed by the Hi-Desert Water District Board of Directors at their regular meeting tonight. The Board will also decide on a treatment technology for the wastewater plant, and whether a traditional design-bid-build approach to design and construct the sewer plant should be used. Other items on the agenda include buying new trucks and changing state lobbyists. The board will then go into closed session to discuss property negotiations for right of way for the sewer access.


HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS

The Yucca Valley High School Lady Trojans Volleyball Team hosted the Lady Rajas from Indio High School Tuesday. The varsity team won 3 sets to 1 Coach Matt Jennings said the attack was led by senior Ashley Priest with 16 kills and seven blocks; senior Haley Rayburn added four kills to the team total. Senior Karson Scaccianoce went 14 for 15 from the service line. Sophomore setter Becky Messaros went 23 for 25 serving and had 25 assists. Jennings said the team really used all their energy to defeat Indio—it was really hot and humid!

The junior varsity team beat Indio 2-0. Leading the team offensively was Kyley Beatty with four kills; Emily Vigrass with two blocks; and Becca Dumas went 10 for 10 serving with five aces and had six assists.

The freshman team played their first home match of the season and fell 0-2.

The junior varsity and varsity teams host Banning High School Thursday in Trojan gym at 3:15 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., respectively.

The Twentynine Palms High School Ladycats volleyball cats defeated Banning in three sets yesterday; all girls saw playtime. Coach Missy Franz said the team was lead by sophomore Tatiyanna Mackall with six kills. Juniors Latasia Benevente and Courtney Stanford had three kills each and combined for six ace serves. Senior Koko Cabrera had six tips, five ace serves and 12 assists for the night. Junior Erin Babinec had some super back row play. The Ladycats are now 3-4 overall.

Coming up in high school sports tomorrow, the Yucca Valley High School tennis team will play Banning at home, with their match starting at 4:30.

The Joshua Springs Christian School volleyball team will travel away to play Mesa Grande Academy; the match begins at 5:30.


THEATRE 29 SEASON ANNOUNCEMENT GALA IN JOSHUA TREE TONIGHT

Theatre 29 will unveil their 2015 season in a Joshua Tree Gala event this afternoon sponsored by the three Chambers of Commerce. Reporter Taylor Thacker says those in attendance get the first crack at 2015 season tickets…

The Yucca Valley, Joshua Tree and Twentynine Palms Chambers of Commerce join Theatre 29 to unveil the theater’s 2015 season tonight. The seven directors selected for the next season will give brief descriptions of their shows, complete with musical and dramatic performances. The free event includes special chamber presentations and an opportunity to network with local movers and shakers. Refreshments will be available as well as a selection of deli delights. Season tickets for Theatre 29’s 2015 season will be available at the event. Theatre 29 earned 16 nominations from the Desert Theater League for its productions in 2013-14. The Tri-Chamber Season Announcement Gala will be held at the Joshua Tree Retreat Center from 5 to 7 p.m. tonight.


SERVICES SET FOR RONDA PRATT

Ronda Pratt, a lifelong resident of the Morongo Basin, died September 11. She was 37 years old. Ronda Pratt is survived by her husband, Curtis Jurdan; and her son Allen, both of Joshua Tree; sisters April Pratt of Joshua Tree and Melinda Jensen of Yucca Valley; and brothers Bobby Lewis, Joshua Tree; Ricky Lewis of Indio; Paul Dugger of Desert Hot Springs; and Doug Dugger of Washington. The viewing will be held 2 p.m. October 12 at 81352 Palo Verde Drive in Indio.


BREAKING NEWS FLASH FLOOD UPDATE

A TORRENTIAL DOWNPOUR IN JOSHUA TREE AROUND 4PM TUESDAY RESULTED IN SERIOUS FLASH FLOODING THROUGHOUT THE DOWNTOWN AREA AND SOME SURROUNDING STREETS, INCLUDING MUDSLIDES ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF JOSHUA TREE. LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS REPORTED A TRUCK STUCK IN FLOOD WATERS AT SUNNY VISTA AND ALTA LOMA, WHICH EYEWITNESSES REPORTED FROM THE SCENE OF THE INCIDENT RESULTED IN A FATALITY.

Z1077FM IS WAITING FOR IDENTIFICATION OF THE VICTIM PENDING NOTIFICATION OF NEXT OF KIN.

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