The Twentynine Palms High School Wildcats boys’ basketball team was in action last night against Big Bear High School. Coach Michael Schneider said, “The Wildcats played the best defense that they played all year, causing 31 turnovers. The final score showed a decisive victory for the Wildcats by a score of 58 to 33.” Kyle Hope led all scorers with 14. Richie Soriano added eight points and seven assists, and Abraham Bell put in 10 points. This brings Twentynine Palms basketball DeAnza league record to 5-and-2, and 7-and-6 overall.
The Yucca Valley High School Lady Trojan basketball team notched an important De Anza League win last night over the Shadow Hills Knights by a score of 51-30 in Trojan Gym. Coach Jess Geeson said senior Ashley Priest led the squad with 20 points, while senior Celeste Reyes added eight points. Sophomore Taylor Spitz pitched in seven points and freshman Savannah Beasley helped hold the Knights leading scorer to five points for the game. With the win, the Yucca Valley girls improved to 7-1 in league and 17-5 overall on the season.
Coming up in high school sports tomorrow, the Yucca Valley High School girls’ and boys’ soccer teams will travel away to Thermal to play Desert Mirage High School. The girls start at 3:15; the boys at 5.
The Lady Trojan basketball team will travel away Thursday to Thermal to play Desert Mirage High School. Tip-off is at 5 p.m.
Also tomorrow, the Twentynine Palms High School boys’ and girls’ soccer teams will play Desert Hot Springs. The boys will play at home; the girls will travel away to Desert Hot Springs. Both games are at 5 p.m.
And finally tomorrow, the Joshua Springs Christian School girls’ basketball team will host Desert Christian Academy at home, starting at 5:30 p.m.
Wal-Mart management evacuated the store today after it received a telephoned bomb threat. Detective Corey Emon said Wal-Mart received a phone call about 2:20 in which the unidentified caller threatened to blow up the store. Emon said at that time, management decided to clear the store of employees and customers, after which it called the Sheriff’s Department at 2:42 p.m. to report the threat. Emon said deputies made a security sweep through the store, but did not find any one hiding inside or anything that looked suspicious. The Sheriff’s Department then turned the store back over to Wal-Mart management. About seven or eight employees went back in the store about 4 p.m., presumably to look for anything that was out of place or suspicious, as Emon said employees would know better than deputies if something looked wrong. According to Emon, the Sheriff’s Department will investigate the phone call and attempt to identify the caller.
Rain, low clouds, and fog are responsible for multiple crashes throughout the Morongo Basin yesterday and today. About 9 a.m., a Ford pick-up truck lost control and crashed on the Morongo Grade going eastbound, and ended up in the wash alongside the highway. The driver was taken to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs with minor injuries. About 4 p.m. yesterday, a Nissan Altima going westbound on the Morongo Grade lost control in heavy rain, hit the center divider, then went back across both westbound lanes, before landing on the right shoulder of the highway and then bounced back to the center divider. Good Samaritans stopped to help blocked the number one lane of the highway for about an hour. There were no injuries in that crash.
About 9:15 last night, two vehicles crashed at Avalon and Buena Vista in the Yucca Mesa area of Yucca Valley. While the vehicles sustained moderate damage, there were no injuries in that crash. Then about 6:30 this morning at the same intersection, a Ford pick-up truck crashed into another vehicle and rolled over, sending the driver to Desert Hospital with minor injuries.
A Twentynine Palms man was arrested Sunday afternoon after his girlfriend said he choked and hit her. According to a Sheriff’s report, the 29-year-old woman told deputies that her boyfriend of six months, Kevin Cobb, 44, hit her, choked her, and smashed her face into something. The woman said Cobb was holding her against her will in a home in the 74700 block of Palm Vista Drive. She managed to escape by jumping off the second story balcony. A neighbor called police when the woman ran by, crying and bleeding. Kevin Cobb was arrested for investigation of felony spouse abuse, booked at the Morongo Basin Jail, with his bail set at $50,000. The woman was taken to Hi-Desert Medical Center with complaint of pain.
The Twentynine Palms City Council is scheduled to consider block grant rules, medical marijuana dispensaries, city manager recruitment, and science education. Reporter Dan Stork has more details…
The January 27 meeting of the Twentynine Palms City Council gets off to an early 5:15 start, with a public workshop session on Community Development Block Grant guidelines. In the regular 6 pm session, following a report on Sheriff’s Department activities by Captain Dale Mondary, the Council will hold a public hearing on adding a definition of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries to the city code, so that the prohibition on dispensaries in the city enacted in 2010 would extend to mobile dispensaries. Then the Council will discuss two further issues: the City Manager recruitment process, and a joint letter of intent to cooperate with NatureBridge and Joshua Tree National Park in the establishment of a youth-oriented science education campus. The meeting will be held in City Hall on Adobe Road.
The Morongo Basin Sheriff’s Station welcomes two new sergeants, Sergeant Jim Thornburg has been with the county Sheriff’s department for 16 years, and was assigned to the Morongo Basin as a deputy and detective. He was promoted to sergeant seven months ago. Thornburg’s experience includes narcotics and he came here from West Valley Detention Center. Sergeant Mike Landavozo has been with the Sheriff’s Department for 19 years, and has been a sergeant for 1 ½ years. He came to the Morongo Basin from the Central Detention Center. Landavozo was a member of Specialized Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team. This is Landavozo’s first tour to the Morongo Basin other than SWAT call-outs.
The family of a Yucca Valley girl who had a very special Christmas thanks to donations from County fire fighters, the Sheriff’s Department, and the California Highway Patrol, is in need of more help. Abigail Snipes, 12, was diagnosed eight years ago with neurofibroma. Over the last few months, the tumor on her neck grew substantially, and last Friday, a 15-pound tumor was removed from her neck during a 10-hour operation, with a possible second surgery scheduled for Thursday. Abigail’s family is asking residents to send her cards to wish her well. Last month, Z1077 News featured Abigail Snipes in a story about local law enforcement officers who made sure it was Abigail’s best Christmas ever by donating a truck load of gifts for Abigail and her family. Her family has set up a website for donations to help with their expenses while she was in the hospital. The website and address to send cards to Abigail are:
PO Box 1782
Joshua Tree, CA 92252
About three dozen people braved the rain last night to attend the first of three special meetings held by the Hi-Desert Medical Center about the hospital’s plans to affiliate with Tenet Healthcare. Managing editor Tami Roleff says after hearing a short presentation by the hospital’s CEO Bob Tyk, nearly a dozen people—including doctors, current and former hospital employees, former directors, and political representatives—urged residents to vote yes to approve the affiliation…
Bob Baker, director of facilities for HDMC, warned residents what would happen if the hospital doesn’t affiliate. “Let’s face it, in today’s market, we cannot continue the way we are going right now; we’ll be closed in a few years if we don’t do something. I encourage you to vote yes on affiliation.” Mickey Luckman agreed. “Changes in the whole economic thing made it almost impossible for stand-alone hospitals like us to survive. The alternative, I fear, is the hospital will go away and anytime we need medical care we’ll have to go down the hill.” Dawn Rowe, field rep for Congressman Paul Cook, and Mike Lipsitz, field rep for County Supervisor James Ramos, said they and their politicians supported the affiliation. Board director Marge Doyle urged residents to come to the meetings. “We want to hear from the community, and we also want the community to understand what’s going on because we can’t lose our hospital.” Board director Martie Avels warned residents of the consequences if the affiliation vote is not approved: “This affiliation will not cost our residents, but if we don’t affiliate, it will cost us our hospital.”
The hospital’s Board of Directors will hold two more special meetings where residents can discuss the affiliation. Tonight’s meeting is in Twentynine Palms at Little Church of the Desert, 6079 Adobe Road, and on Wednesday night in Joshua Tree at the community center on Sunburst Avenue. Both meetings start at 6:30 p.m.
Small groups of Marines fanned out across the Morongo Basin on Monday to help seniors, veterans, and disabled neighbors from Twentynine Palms to Morongo Valley with yard work, small chores, and home maintenance. More Marines will be helping Morongo Basin residents on Friday. Reporter Dan Stork tells what he saw and heard at one home in Joshua Tree…
World War II veteran and longtime Joshua Tree resident Richard Krekemeyer got some help through Reach Out Morongo Basin, the local people-helping-people organization. Working on behalf of Reach Out, four Marines hacked stumps out of the ground, and carted scrap lumber and brush into disposable piles. Lt. Col. Lee Rush, the commanding officer of the 1st Tank Battalion aboard the Marine Base in Twentynine Palms, said the benefits went both ways. “It’s an opportunity to give back to the local community for us—especially the chance to meet with some of these great veterans, telling stories and educating ourselves on what some of these guys have done in the past for us. It’s a tremendous opportunity for us, especially to bring some of these young Marines out here. And not just [for] the veterans—the local community has been good to the base, and we know that.” Working alongside Lt. Col. Rush were Sergeant Major Brian Priester and Lance Corporals Burden and Phillips. Six other residents around the Basin were scheduled for fix-up and clean-up help on Monday, and another three are set for Friday.
The Joshua Tree Clean Team pickup will be held tomorrow morning Sunburst at the Sportsmans Club. The team will start at 8 AM and work for one hour. Afterwards, the team will meet for optional coffee and conversation at the Park Rock Café. The volunteers are dedicated and have been coming every second, fourth, and sometimes fifth Wednesdays because they love our desert. There will be trash bags, grabber sticks, gloves and water available. For more information call 760-366-8415.
The Bighorn Desert View Water Board meets tonight. Reporter Cassie Zimarik checks the agenda…
The Bighorn-Desert View Water Agency Board of Directors will be meeting tonight at 6 p.m. in regular session. On the agenda, the board will schedule their annual 2015 workshop, approve committee assignments, hear public comment, receive verbal reports along with many other items. It all takes place in the Board Meeting Office on 1720 North Cherokee Trail in Landers.
The Yucca Valley Rotary Club presented a $1,000 check to Tri-Valley Little League to help the club maintain and improve its facilities. Tri-Valley Little League is a non-profit organization and the Rotary clubs use its fields for the Fourth of July fireworks and Oktoberfest. Yucca Valley Rotary Club President Cynthia Kraemer said Rotary is “proud to be supporting a very worthwhile cause in our community” and that Tri-Valley Little League “provides a wonderful place for children to learn teamwork, sports, ethics, and have fun.”
Applications are now being taken for the Gladys Carol Scholarship program. The scholarship is open to high school seniors, graduates, and undergraduate and graduate students who are enrolled in a full-time science, technology, engineering or math field of study. The scholarship, which is awarded based on merit and financial need, awards up to $5,000 for two years of study at a non-profit public or private four-year college. For complete rules and information on how to submit an application, go to www.gcsp.vpweb.com
Z107.7 is a proud supporter of this year’s Miss Yucca Valley Pageant. On the night of February 7, 12 area 16-year-olds will compete in the Academic based pageant. Today we introduce you to candidate Carmen Alvarez…
Today we visit with Carmen Alvarez, a junior at Yucca Valley High School and candidate for Miss Yucca Valley. Who is the prominent woman you interviewed, and what you have learned?
“My prominent woman is Mary Frazier and she is the local Applebee’s manager. She is an independent woman who has experienced failure, but has always overcome life’s difficulties. Not only is she an exemplary role model, but her values, such a family, are also truly inspiring.”
What have you learned from your experience with Miss Yucca Valley?
“I have learned how to overcome situations that I would never have thought were possible and I have grown more confident in who I am and how to handle anything that life may throw at me.”
Any final words?
“I most definitely encourage incoming juniors, and even generations to follow, to join Miss Yucca because this experience has changed my whole outlook on life and truly been a life changing experience that only helps build you up as a teenager and as a person, in the long run.”
In high school sports today, the Yucca Valley High School boys’ and girls’ basketball teams will host the Shadow Hills Knights at home. The girls start at 6; boys at 7:30.
Also today, the Twentynine Palms High School boys’ and girls’ basketball teams will host the Big Bear Bears at home. Girls at 6; boys at 7:30.
And finally, the Joshua Springs Christian School boys’ and girls’ basketball teams will travel away to Palm Springs to play Desert Chapel Christian School. The girls start at 5; boys at 6:30.
Two Marine Corps officers were killed Friday evening when their helicopter crashed during a training exercise aboard the Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center. Captain Elizabeth Kealey and 1st Lieutenant Adam Satterfield died from injuries in the crash at about 4:30 p.m. Friday; they were the only two Marines aboard the UH-1Y Huey helicopter. Lieutenant Colonel James M. Isaacs, their commanding officer, said, “Captain Kealey and First Lieutenant Satterfield were both outstanding Marine Corps officers and talented helicopter pilots. Our heart-felt thoughts and prayers go out to the families and loved ones of our fallen Vipers, and we stand poised to support them in this tragedy.” Kealey, 32, of Indiana, Pennsylvania, was commissioned in 2005 and had earned several awards and medals. She deployed twice with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit and once in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Satterfield, 25, of Oldham, Kentucky, was commissioned in 2011 and supported training operations in Southern California. The pilots were assigned to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron (HMLA)-169 based at Camp Pendleton. The cause of the fatal crash is under investigation.
A school bus driver in the Morongo Basin is facing charges of child molestation and child pornography. Alex Gomez, 57, of Twentynine Palms was arrested Thursday night after a search warrant was served at his horse ranch on Mesquite Springs Road. The County District Attorney’s Office said he’s accused of victimizing two girls, a 4-year-old and an 8-year-old. Detectives believe these alleged crimes happened while Gomez worked as a bus driver. He’s employed by a private contract company for the Morongo Unified School District. Investigators are concerned there may be other victims.
The Town of Yucca Valley is looking for citizens to serve on their Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Commission. Managing Editor Tami Roleff tells you how to apply…
The Town of Yucca Valley is accepting volunteers to serve as commissioners on the Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Commission. Applicants must be a resident within the Town’s jurisdiction. The Parks and Rec Commission meets on the second Tuesday of each month and acts as an advisor to the Town Council in matters pertaining to the planning and development of public recreation, open space, parks, playgrounds, and recreational facilities. The commissioners also review programming related to the Hi-Desert Nature Museum, and special events and projects. For more information, contact the town clerk at 760-369-2709 extension 226 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Hi-Desert Medical Center Board of Directors will hold the first of three special meetings to hear public input on its proposed lease agreement with Tenet Healthcare tonight. The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Yucca Valley Senior Center behind Town Hall; tomorrow, Tuesday, January 27, they will meet at Little Church of the Desert, 6079 Adobe Road in Twentynine Palms; and Wednesday, January 28, at the Joshua Tree Community Center on Sunburst Avenue. Residents are invited to speak to the Board of Directors about their concerns, although comments will be limited to three minutes. Refreshments will be served.
LifeStream will conduct a community blood drive on Tuesday, January 27, at Little Church of the Desert, 6079 Adobe Road, in Twentynine Palms, from 1 to 5 p.m. Donors will receive incentives. In addition, LifeStream now offers donors free cholesterol screening and a mini physical with every blood donation. Those aged 18 to 44 years may register for Be The Match bone marrow screening free of charge. For more information, call 800-TRY-GIVING.