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TPHS SELECT CHOIR

Twentynine Palms High School can point with pride to its Select Choir.  ROP Broadcasting Student Keonna Williams tells what it’s like to belong to the talented group…

The Twentynine Palms Select Choir gives people a chance to improve in their singing voice. Select Choir also gives students a chance to build their relationship with other students. Being in Select Choir, teaches you how to work with music and how to make their voices stronger than they are. While students are in Select Choir, they will have a chance to perform different place and also travel a lot. Select Choir students wear the same and the students always look put-together while they perform. Reporting for z107.7 News, I’m ROP Broadcasting Student, Keonna Williams.


VACCINE CLINICS AND SPAY/NEUTER SERVICES

The Animal Action League will offer low-cost vaccine and microchip clinics in April for dogs and cats, as well as low-cost spaying and neutering. No appointments are necessary for vaccines or microchips; appointments are required for spaying and neutering services. Microchips are only $15, and can help reunite you with your lost pet. Clinics will be held in Joshua Tree, west of the dinosaurs on Highway 62, on April 1, 2, 3, 6, 15, 16, 28, and 29; and in Morongo Valley at Wild Mustang Feed on April 13. All clinics are held from 10 to 2. Visit animalactionleague.us for updated schedules on clinics. To make an appointment for spay or neutering, call 760-366-1100.


DON’T FALL FOR CHECK-CASHING SCAM

Scammers tried to fool a Joshua Tree resident into giving them nearly $1700 recently through a check-cashing scam. A check-cashing scam starts when the victim receives a realistic check or money order as overpayment for merchandise or a secret shopper scheme, with the request the victim deposit the check, and send the remaining cash to someone else. By the time the victim discovers the check is phony, it’s too late, and they are out the cash. Managing editor Tami Roleff offers the following tips from the U.S. Postal Service on how to avoid being a victim of a check-cashing scam…

To avoid being a victim of a check-cashing scheme, know the scenario of a potential scam. Think about it—there is no legitimate reason why anyone would give you a check or money order and ask you to send cash anywhere in return. Be aware that just because you can get the cash quickly—usually in 1 to 5 days—doesn’t mean the check or money order is good. Crooks take advantage of the fact that counterfeits can take weeks—even months—to discover. By then you’ve sent the money and have to pay it back to your bank. Typically, phony checks and money orders are so realistic-looking that even bank tellers can be fooled. Only cash a check or money order from a person or busi­ness you know or trust. The best way to avoid being a victim is to be cau­tious. If it seems too good to be true, it likely is.

Reporting for Z107.7, this is managing editor Tami Roleff.


THIS RACE WEEKEND, SHERIFF ENFORCING OFF-HIGHWAY VEHICLE LAWS

The Sheriff’s Department would like to remind everyone that the Hill Toppers Moto-Cross Gran Prix event in Twentynine Palms occurs this weekend Friday, March 27, through Sunday, March 29. OHV riders should ride in designated riding areas and trails only; and respect private lands. The Sheriff’s Department OHV Team and County Code Enforcement will be enforcing OHV violations during this event. Please report OHV violations by calling the Sheriff’s Department at 760-956-5001. The Sheriff’s Department would like everyone to enjoy their OHV riding experience, but carelessness can create tragedy. Always wear your helmet and if you drink, don’t ride.


TWO ARRESTED WITH DRUGS AND WARRANTS IN TWENTYNINE PALMS

Two people were arrested Wednesday morning after they were found with drugs. According to a Sheriff’s report, a deputy performed a traffic stop near Mariposa Avenue and Two Mile Road in Twentynine Palms about 10 a.m. Wednesday. The deputy determined that the driver, Joe Ramirez, 30, was wanted on a traffic warrant and was driving on a suspended license. In addition, the deputy found “honey oil” in a package on the driver’s seat. The passenger, Vanessa Estrada, 30, had a traffic warrant out for her arrest. Joe Ramirez was arrested on his warrants and for investigation of possession of marijuana, and released on $5,000 bail. Vanessa Estrada was arrested on her warrants and released on $50,000 bail.


PUBLIC VOTE SET TO APPROVE HI-DESERT MEDICAL CENTER LEASE

The Hi-Desert Medical Center Board has set the date for a public vote to approve the leasing of the local hospital to Tenet HealthCare. Reporter Mike Lipsitz was at last night’s special hospital board meeting…
Last night at Hi-Desert Medical Center, the governing board reconvened a special meeting from the day prior. The lone item remaining on the agenda was a resolution calling for a special mail ballot election which the board approved straight away. And with that, the matter goes to the County’s Registrar of Voters which is expected to mail the ballots to voters in the Health Care District in late May or early June. The ballots must be returned by June 23 with certification expected a day or two later. Hanging in the balance is the very existence of an acute-care hospital in Morongo Basin. Voters will decide either to allow Tenet California to run the District under the 30-year lease agreement or stay the course and watch the Basin’s third largest employer literally bleed out.


ABIGAIL’S DAY TOMORROW AT THE YUCCA MESA COMMUNITY CENTER

A fundraiser is set for tomorrow, Saturday, March 28, to help the family of a 12-year-old Yucca Mesa girl who has had surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatments on a cancerous 15-pound tumor on her neck. Friends of the Snipes family are hoping to raise $7,000 at the event to pay the family’s rent for the rest of the year, so that Abigail’s parents can concentrate on Abigail and their other two daughters without worrying about expenses. Abigail’s Day will be a fun-filled day of barbecue, raffles, games, vendors, and a bake sale. Z107.7 will be broadcasting live from the fundraiser at the Yucca Mesa Community Center from noon to 5 p.m. The Yucca Mesa Community Center is at 3133 Balsa Avenue. If you would like to help by donating food, bake sale or raffle items, or would like a booth for the event, see the contacts in this story at Z1077fm.com.
Want a booth? Call Becky Pahssen 760-220-4934
Want to help with food donations for the BBQ? Call Jennifer Russell 760-333-5777
Want to help with bake sale or items to be raffled? Call Martie Olson 760-821-5171


WOOF WALK TOMORROW TO BENEFIT HUMANE SOCIETY

The Annual Woof Walk, which benefits the Morongo Basin Humane Society’s No-Kill Shelter, is tomorrow at Pappy and Harriet’s in Pioneertown. Reporter Taylor Thacker has your invitation…
You and your beloved pet are invited to join the Morongo Basin Humane Society’s annual Woof Walk fundraiser. On Saturday, March 28, the event will kick off at 10:00 a.m. with a blessing of the animals, and then the dog walk will commence. Other activities will include vendors, animal rescues, informational booths, and Marine K-9 demonstrations. Participation in the walk is $35 which includes one lunch. Participants who raise $60 or more in pledges register free. The person who gathers the most money in pledges will win $500 in prize money. Pledge forms are available online at www.mbhumanesociety.com. This is the Morongo Basin Humane Society’s largest fundraiser and all proceeds go to their No-Kill animal shelter in Joshua Tree. The public is invited to come out to Pappy and Harriet’s in Pioneertown and enjoy all these wonderful activities and support your local animal shelters and rescues. For more information, or anyone who would like to participate as a vendor, call 760-366-7306.


MARINE BASE GETS FEDERAL ENVIRONMENTAL AWARD

For the third time, the Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms received an award for its conservation efforts. The Secretary of the Navy Environmental Awards recognized the Combat Center Monday for its efforts in advocating environmental responsibility, its contributions in environmental areas, for protecting natural resources, and sustainability. Winners are selected by environmental experts from the government and private sectors, who evaluate the Marine Corps and Navy nominations. Once that is complete, one Navy winner and one Marine Corps winner is awarded in each category and then submitted to compete in the Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards competition. The Combat Center was also presented with the award in 2010 and 2011.


TAKEOVER OF COUNTY WATER BY BIGHORN NOW A DONE DEAL

The transfer of county water service in the Landers area to the Bighorn Desert View Water Agency is now a done deal. Reporter Mike Lipsitz says the last hoop has been jumped through…
Yesterday in San Bernardino, the Local Agency Formation Commission convened a hearing which marked the close of the public comment period and final determination on the takeover of all water service in Landers by Bighorn-Desert View Water Agency. And with protest votes determined to be fewer than one percent of the affected ratepayers eligible to vote on the matter, LAFCO certified the plan. It was the very final step necessary before midnight on June 30 when Bighorn-Desert View will open the valves allowing clean, economical, transparent water to flow from the taps for everyone in this rural community.


SQUARE DANCING IN YUCCA VALLEY TONIGHT

The Star Twirlers Square Dance Club is hosting a plus-level square dance at the Yucca Valley Elks Lodge tonight at 55946 Yucca Trail in Yucca Valley. Rob Grigsby and Phil Farmer will be calling squares from 7:30 to 10:00 p.m. Lines will be cued from 7:00 to 7:30 p.m. and between tips. For further information, contact Dennis at 366-8626.


PASSOVER SEDER IN DESERT HOT SPRINGS

Again this year, a public Passover Seder is being offered to Jewish residents of the area. Reporter Dan Stork tells how to reserve a spot at the table…
Jewish residents of the Morongo Basin and Desert Hot Springs— including military personnel—are invited to a community Passover Seder during this year’s Passover holiday. The Seder is sponsored by the Jewish Federation of the Desert. The festival service and meal will be taking place at Mission Lakes Country Club in Desert Hot Springs, at 5 p.m. on Thursday April 9. Reservations are a MUST; walk-ins will not be accepted that evening. Please RSVP by April 2nd to Sandy at the Jewish Federation of the Desert, either by phone at 760-324-4737, or via email at sandy.durham@jfedps.org.


HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS: SCORES AND SCHEDULE

The Yucca Valley High School Trojans baseball team traveled to Granite Hills for a pre-season matchup in Apple Valley Wednesday. Coach Brian Schoenborn said they got off to a slow start, giving up three runs in the first inning. Pitcher Parker Jones settled in after that, striking out three batters in his five inning outing. Jared Hudson led the hitting going 1-3 on the day. The Trojans were unable to hit in any runs and stranded five runners and the Varsity lost by the score of 5-0.

Junior Varsity continued its winning streak by routing the Cougars. Winning pitcher was freshman Anthony Gutierrez who pitched a complete game. Final score was 13-2.

The Twentynine Palms Wildcat boys’ tennis team hosted the Banning Broncos on Thursday, March 26. The Wildcats secured another victory by a score of 16-to-2. In singles action, the Wildcats were led by Jarod Burks and John Lanza, sweeping all three of their sets and Sam Choi coming away with a win in the first round. In doubles action, Marcus Simon and Vincent Thomas swept all three sets. Jose Valdez and Raul Hernandez swept all three sets. Marquis Tarver and Franklin Muniz won two sets while Marquis and Justin Ornalez Perez won a set in the second round. The Wildcat boys did an excellent job to secure this victory. The Wildcats are now 4-2 overall and 1-0 in league.

The Twentynine Palms Wildcat golf team hosted Yucca Valley High School yesterday and came away with their third league win, defeating the Trojans 243-283. Standouts for the Wildcats are Brandon Steffins, 38; Justin Delarosa, 44; and Hayden Shupp, 48.

In high school sports tomorrow, the Yucca Valley High School Trojan swim team will travel away to Hemet. The meet begins at 9 a.m.

The Trojan track team will travel away tomorrow for a meet beginning at 9 a.m. at Azusa Pacific University.


AN EDITORIAL OPINION, YUCCA VALLEY PLANNING COMMISSION CODES NOT ENFORCED FAIRLY AND EVENLY

An editorial opinion today…. Managing editor Tami Roleff thinks the Yucca Valley Planning Commission is not fairly or evenly enforcing their own building codes…
Attention Yucca Valley business owners: Don’t like something in the Town’s development code? Don’t worry about it. The Yucca Valley Planning Commission is more concerned about making the town “business friendly” than enforcing provisions from its development code and Old Town Specific Plan. So just show up at a planning commission meeting, tell your sob story about how much money it’s going to cost you to make whatever change is required by the code, and don’t worry, the commissioners will fall right in line with granting a variance from the code, whether it’s a block wall for BTI Rock and Sand; the square footage of a sign for Ross; numerous requests to waive undergrounding utilities on your property; or paying in-lieu fees for sidewalks, curbs, gutters, traffic signals, or highway widening. It doesn’t matter that the changes you request make the town look ugly, cluttered, and blighted, or that neighboring businesses followed the requirements of the code. The Yucca Valley Planning Commissioners evidently feel the town’s development code and Old Town Specific Plan—the documents that regulate everything in the town from how many parking spaces a business is required to provide, to the landscaping surrounding the business, to what types of fences are required to screen your storage areas , are just suggestions, and not requirements. Oh, and by the way, don’t worry about waiting two years before applying for conditional use permits for your business; the town will let that slide, too.


HI-DESERT MEDICAL CENTER BOARD APPROVES 30-YEAR LEASE

In a special meeting last night, the board of directors of the Hi-Desert Memorial Healthcare District signed papers approving a 30-year lease of Hi-Desert Medical Center to Tenet HealthCare of Dallas, Texas. Reporter Mike Lipsitz says another meeting tonight will set up a required election on the agreement…
Following many months of negotiations, last night, the governing board at Hi-Desert Medical Center approved the terms of a 30-year lease/purchase agreement with Tenet California. Highlights of the proposed agreement include Tenet’s commitment to operate the acute care hospital and related District businesses while committing $32 million in capital improvements to the system over the next three years; maintaining Joint Commission accreditation and licenses; and hiring all current medical staff and employees in good standing. These conditions are in addition to other benefits said to come with being part of an integrated medical system that already includes Desert Hospital in Palm Springs and JFK Hospital in Indio. Last night’s meeting was adjourned until 6 p.m. tonight when the board will reconvene to consider a resolution calling for a special mail ballot election June 23. A June 30 closing of the agreement is anticipated pending voter approval.


MAN FOUND SLEEPING IN STOLEN VEHICLE IS ARRESTED

A Barstow man was arrested early Wednesday morning after he was found sleeping in a stolen vehicle. According to a Sheriff’s report, just before 1 a.m. a witness called to report that someone had stolen his vehicle from his driveway in Yucca Valley. Responding deputies located the empty vehicle on Buena Vista Drive, and followed footprints to the 55900 block of Sunland Drive, where they found Jody Young, 23, sleeping in the back seat of a white Chevy Silverado pickup truck, which deputies determined had also been stolen. According to the report, Young was under the influence of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia was located on the seat next to him. Jody Young was arrested for investigation of grand theft auto, and possession of stolen property, booked at the West Valley Detention Center, with his bail set at $100,000.


JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK FORMING AN INVASIVE SPECIES PLAN

Invasive non-native plants are ones that have been introduced to an ecosystem as a direct or indirect result of human activity. Reporter Dan Stork says that Joshua Tree National Park wants to do something about them, and wants public input…
Public input is being sought regarding the National Park Service’s proposed Invasive Species Management Plan at Joshua Tree National Park. The goal of invasive plant management is to maintain native plant communities by preventing and removing invasive plants possibly using new herbicides as part of an integrated approach to the problem.
The public has opportunities to comment on the project—now during this initial project scoping and again following release of an environmental assessment. The assessment will take in alternatives, mitigation measures, and impacts.
Comments will be accepted through March 31, 2015. They can be submitted online or by mail at:
Online: http://parkplanning.nps.gov
Mail:
Superintendent
Joshua Tree National Park
74485 National Park Drive
Twentynine Palms, CA 92277-3597


YUCCA VALLEY SEWER SYSTEM SUBJECT OF Z107-7 UP CLOSE SHOW

Representatives from Hi-Desert Water District will be the guests on the Up-Close show tomorrow. General Manager Ed Muzik and Assistant General Manager Mark Ban will be here to answer your questions about the upcoming sewer project and the assessment vote. They’ll be able to answer questions about who the sewer project will affect and when, how much it will cost, what the assessment vote means, why some assessments are higher than others, and more. Get your questions ready to call the Up Close show tomorrow, 760-366-8471, starting at 10 a.m.


TWENTYNINE PALMS WATER DISTRICT DROPS FEE TO PAY ON-LINE

When the Twentynine Palms Water District implemented new bill-paying software, the district began charging its customers a $1 fee to pay their bills online. At last night’s meeting of the Twentynine Palms Water District Board of Directors, the directors decided to stop charging its customers the dollar fee because the directors had officially never voted on charging the fee. The board will discuss the matter in a future meeting. During the fire department’s portion of the meeting, Fire Chief Jim Thompson said the department responded to 166 calls for assistance in February, including a couple large fires that drew many onlookers. Thompson asked the public to “please stay away from the fires because when the scene is crowded, it makes it difficult to operate safely and reach the site in a timely manner.”


EASTER WEEKEND CONCERT AND WORKSHOP AT HARRISON HOUSE

Harrison House Music in Joshua Tree is offering Easter weekend events, including a live concert and a music workshop. To get involved, here’s reporter Rebecca Havely to tell you how…
Harrison House artist-in-residence, baritone Thomas Buckner, performs live in concert Saturday, April 4, at 8 p.m. at Harrison House in Joshua Tree. He’s joined by Dan Joseph on hammered dulcimer and Big Black on percussion. His Easter Sunday workshop is from 2 to 5 p.m. and will focus on spontaneous music in a group setting. Buckner has a background of distinguished collaborations with composers of new music. He’s featured in over 40 recordings including six of his own solo albums. He’s performed at high-visibility music concerts and has made live appearances at both Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. A $15 donation reserves your seat at the Saturday evening concert. Workshop donation are between $10 and $25 and enrollment is limited. For reservations or more information call Harrison House at 760-366-4712. Concert tickets are also available at Joshua Tree Health Foods, on Highway 62 at Sunset Street.


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