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QUILT RAFFLE BENEFITS NO-KILL SHELTER

A quilt is being raffled to benefit the Morongo Basin’s only no-kill animal shelter. Tickets for the puppy-themed quilt are $1 each, six for $5, or 30 for $20, and are available at the animal shelter located at 4646 Sun View Road in the Sun Fair area of Joshua Tree, at Mimi’s Quilt Shop in Yucca Valley, or by calling 760-366-9306. The drawing for the quilt will be held in November.


AVOID TELEMARKET PHONE CALL FRAUD

Fraudulent attempts by telemarketers to scam you out of some cash are ever increasing.  Reporter Rebecca Havely has some tips to keep you from being their next victim…

If you receive a call from someone wanting to sell you something or give you something that sounds too good to be true, chances are it is.  The FBI has offered the following tips to help you identify telemarketing fraud.  If you hear phrases like, “you must act now” or “the offer won’t be good” chances are its fraud.  Other phrases that should raise red flags include: “you’ve won something free but must pay postage, handling or other fees”.  “You must send money”, “you must leave a credit card or bank account number” or “a courier will pick up your check”.  So if you get a call where someone says, “you can’t afford to miss this high profit, no-risk offer”; don’t risk anything, say “no thank you”, hang up and call your local sheriff’s office.


THE WISEGUYS AT THE YUCCA VALLEY SUMMER CONCERT

The Yucca Valley Summer Concert series continues this Saturday night. Reporter Mike Lipsitz invites you to hear the big band sounds of the Wiseguys…

Yucca Valley’s free Summer Music Festival continues this Saturday, July 25, with the Wiseguys Big Band Machine. From swing to swank, the Wiseguys Big Band Machine is an 18-piece ensemble dedicated to keeping great music alive. This big band features a screamin’ horn line, talented vocalists, exciting soloists, and a roarin’ rhythm section. Their repertoire includes the swinging vocal tunes of Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin, Dean Martin and big band favorites from Glenn Miller, Count Basie and Buddy Rich. The Wiseguys keep audiences on their toes with their Big Band Vegas Sound. Catch this free concert  at the Yucca Valley Community Center ball field. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. The music gets cranking at 7 p.m. and ends at 9 p.m. Bring a blanket and lawn chair and enjoy the show.  All ages are welcome. Z107.7 is a proud sponsor of the Yucca Valley Summer Music Festival.


BLOOD DRIVE IN YUCCA VALLEY TOMORROW

LifeStream will conduct a community blood drive on Sunday, July 26, at Wal-Mart in Yucca Valley from 10 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.


TELESCOPE WORKSHOP AT SKY’S THE LIMIT

Need some help repairing or setting up that telescope that has been sitting in your closet? Reporter Rebecca Havely says bring it to Sky’s the Limit tonight…

Would be astronomers, dust off your old telescope and join the Sky’s the Limit telescope workshop on Saturday, July 25, from 8:30 p.m. till midnight.  If you have an old or a new telescope and would like to learn how to mount it, set it up and operate it this workshop is for you. You may also join the stargazing group if you do know how to use your scope. If you’re willing to let novices have a peek through your scope it is always greatly appreciated. The moon is an easy first target for new astronomers and on July 25 the first quarter moon will be bright making it easier to navigate new equipment. Saturn will be prominent in the southern sky as well as five major constellations. At all viewing events a variety of types and sizes of telescopes for you to gaze through are set up along winding sidewalks. Volunteer assistants are always on hand as well. There’s no fee for this workshop but Sky’s the Limit greatly appreciates any donations.    Dress for unpredictable desert weather and bring snacks, bottled waters, small flashlights, binoculars and chairs.


SHERIFF'S LOG: CRASHES, ROAD RAGE, STRONG-ARM ROBBERY

BICYCLIST COLLIDES WITH CAR

A bicyclist escaped injury when he was hit by a car Thursday afternoon. According to a Sheriff’s report, a man identified only as “Minjarez” was riding his bicycle west on 29 Palms Highway near Elk Trail about 1:45 p.m. when a driver, identified only as “Middleton,” pulled out of a parking lot and the bike rider collided with the car. Minjarez was not injured in the crash.

INJURY CRASH IN TWENTYNINE PALMS

One person was injured in a two-vehicle crash in Twentynine Palms Thursday morning. According to a Sheriff’s report, a Gray Dodge Ram truck pulled in front of a red Ford Mustang at the intersection of Utah Trail and Amboy Road shortly before 11 a.m. Thursday morning. The crash caused the Mustang to collide with the driver’s rear fender of the Dodge Ram. A passenger in the Mustang received a broken right wrist and other minor injuries and was taken to Hi-Desert Medical Center.

ROAD-RAGE IN JOSHUA TREE

A road-rage incident in Joshua Tree led to a fight in which one driver was punched in the face Thursday. According to a Sheriff’s report, the 60-year-old victim was driving a white Dodge truck with a trailer on Highway 62 near Olympic Road in Joshua Tree about 2 p.m. when a vehicle cut him off. The victim stopped at an intersection to talk to the driver, and the other driver got out and punched him in the face. The victim said the other vehicle was filled with several “punk kids” who then fled.

STRONG-ARM ROBBERY IN TWENTYNINE PALMS

The Sheriff’s Department is investigating a strong-arm robbery, in which a man says he was robbed by three men he had been drinking with in Twentynine Palms early Thursday morning. According to a Sheriff’s report, the four men had been drinking together at a local bar. The victim described his assailants as a white man wearing a red winter hat, a black shirt and shorts; a bi-racial black man wearing a light colored shirt; and an Asian man. The victim said they stole his wallet, ID, and debit card. Anyone with information should call the Sheriff’s Department at 760-366-4175.


YMIA ACTIVITIES: WHITEWATER TRIP AND CRIME WATCH MEETING

YUCCA MESA IMPROVEMENT ASSOCIATION WHITEWATER TRIP

The Yucca Mesa Improvement Association is hosting a trip to Whitewater Tuesday, July 28. Meet at the Yucca Mesa Community Center at 9 a.m. and the Kickapoo Park and Ride in Yucca Valley at 9:30. Cost is a $5 donation for members, $10 for non-members. To sign up, call Dion at 760-221-6769.

YUCCA MESA IMPROVEMENT ASSOCIATION DISCUSSES CRIME WATCH

Also on Tuesday, the Yucca Mesa Improvement Association will hold a neighborhood crime watch meeting in the evening at 6 p.m. Community members will discuss issues, concerns, and possible solutions to neighborhood safety. Call Dominique at 503-267-6861 for more information.


PAUL COOK’S BILL AGAINST NATIONAL PARK VANDALISM

Rep. Paul Cook introduced HR 3176, the Protecting Our National Parks Act. This bill will punish those who vandalize National Parks and other National Park Service land. In recent years, vandalism has grown at our national parks, destroying ancient Native American petroglyphs, defacing boulders and other natural structures with graffiti, and looting irreplaceable natural treasures. The Protecting Our National Parks Act explicitly makes these behaviors into a crime. According to Cook’s press release announcing the bill, current there is no current law explicitly against vandalizing National Park Service land. This bill sets penalties of up to ten years in prison, a $1,000 fine, and the cost of repairs for the park lands.


I-10 EXPECTED TO REOPEN WITH ONE LANE IN EACH DIRECTION TODAY

A temporary detour that will allow traffic to flow in both directions on I-10 near Eagle Mountain was expected to be completed today, relieving the overtaxed State Route 62 through the Morongo Basin of an estimated 15,000 vehicles a day. State officials have yet to estimate how long it will be until the entire bridge is rebuilt. California will receive $2 million in federal funding to help fix the Tex Wash bridge along Interstate 10, officials said Thursday. The bridge injured one person and shut down traffic between Los Angeles and Phoenix when it collapsed during a major storm over the weekend. Since then, motorists have been forced to take alternate routes that have added at least an hour to their drives. An economist estimated the bridge collapse cost more than $1.5 million of unexpected costs to travelers and businesses—and 19,000 wasted hours for truck drivers—per day. Acting Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau said the emergency relief funding would “make immediate repairs possible throughout the area and allow this interstate to open again.”

Photo courtesy Karen Ballard

Photo courtesy Karen Ballard


YUCCA VALLEY MAN ARRESTED AFTER HIGH-SPEED PURSUIT IN TWENTYNINE PALMS

A Yucca Valley man was arrested Thursday after a high-speed pursuit through Twentynine Palms. According to a Sheriff’s report, a resident reported about 5 p.m. that a vehicle was speeding down a dirt road in the Desert Heights neighborhood and that the driver threw out some trash as he crossed the homeowner’s property. When a deputy caught up to the vehicle at Los Olivos Avenue and Indian Trail, the vehicle drove off into the desert paralleling Winters Road. The driver fled out of the vehicle about 5:25, and, a man, identified as Tristan Kubiak, 19, was found and detained about one-half hour near Two Mile Road and Lear Avenue. Tristan Kubiak was arrested for investigation of felony failure to yield, and on multiple warrants, booked at the Morongo Basin Jail, with his bail set at $130,000.


MARINES COME TO THE AID OF JOSHUA TREE FLOOD VICTIM

Last Sunday’s deluge brought severe problems to some local residents. Reporter Dan Stork relates how a Joshua Tree resident reached out for help, and how some Marines will be helping out…

Morongo Basin Municipal Advisory Council Chairmen Mark Lundquist said that a friend of his reached out for help when his house in Joshua Tree was flooded and inundated with mud and debris from the recent storms. Lundquist wrote us, “Friends and neighbors have been working tirelessly for the past few days digging out the house and yard. A call was made to the Marine Corps Combat Center for any volunteers to help.” Lundquist went on to write that the Base is sending 6 volunteer Marines to the house on California Ave in Joshua Tree, near the hospital to help the home owners dig out and clean up. Marines were expected to be on site at approximately 9am this morning.


YUCCA VALLEY MAN GETS PROBATION FOR BEATING FAMILY DOG

A Yucca Valley man was given probation after he accepted a plea bargain for beating his family’s dog. According to a Sheriff’s report, Jason LaFay, of the 58200 block of San Andreas Road in Yucca Valley, became angry May 3 when the dog wanted to play. The report states that LaFay approached the dog while it was lying on his son’s bedroom floor, yelled that he was going to kill it, and punched the dog several times in front of his son. The dog urinated on the floor and vomited. When LaFay’s wife returned home, she noticed the dog was limping from the beating, and reported the incident to law enforcement. The district attorney’s office issued a warrant for his arrest in June. Jason LaFay accepted a plea bargain for misdemeanor animal abuse on July 15. Judge Bert Swift sentenced Jason LaFay to three years probation, a fine of $680, and an anger management program.


TWENTYNINE PALMS WOMAN ANGRY WITH BOYFRIEND, SITS ON HIS TV

A Twentynine Palms woman who was angry with her boyfriend when he was moving his things out, sat on his TV and attacked him Thursday. According to a Sheriff’s report, Heidi Fox, 24, was arguing with her boyfriend as he was removing his television from a home in the 74900 block of Serrano Drive about 8 p.m. The report states that when the man tried to remove his 60-inch TV out of the home, Fox grabbed his throat and scratched him, and caused the television to fall to the ground. Fox then sat on the TV, shattering the screen. When her boyfriend tried to put the TV in his car, Fox is accused of punching the TV, causing it to shatter in other places. After an investigation, Heidi Fox was arrested for felony vandalism and domestic battery, booked at the West Valley Detention Center, with her bail set at $25,000.


DO’S AND DON’TS OF RATTLESNAKE BITES

Summertime walks and hikes can sometimes bring you up closer than you’d like to desert rattlesnakes. Reporter Rebecca Havely has some do’s and don’ts to keep you safe…
California has eight different species of rattlesnakes. Rattlers strike when they are threatened, deliberately provoked, or accidentally touched by someone walking or climbing. When given room they will retreat. Avoid getting closer to a rattlesnake for any reason, including photos, and never try to catch one. If a bite swells or changes color, the snake was probably poisonous. Do not use ice on the bite or open the wound. Do not cut the wound or try to suck out venom and do not use a tourniquet. Do remain calm, remove any jewelry or constricting items near the bite, keep the area with the bite below the heart and immediately seek medical attention.


JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK WORRIED ABOUT DISEASED BIGHORN SHEEP

Joshua Tree National Park rangers are concerned about the possibility that bighorn sheep in the park may have contracted a deadly disease. A couple months ago, a wildlife biologist observed two sheep–one an adult, and one a lamb–coughing. When a bighorn sheep coughs, it violently throws its head all the way back, and then all the way forward. Park spokesman George Land said the coughing could be a symptom of several things, one of which is pneumonia. Bighorn sheep have no immunity to pneumonia; there is no vaccine or cure, and Land said pneumonia has a 50 percent mortality rate in bighorn sheep. Pneumonia is introduced to bighorn herds through domestic sheep and goats. Land said visitors should notify park rangers if they see bighorn sheep that appear to be ill or weak.

Bighorn sheep


NO ACTION EXPECTED ON JOSHUA TREE SPEED LIMITS

Recently, we reported on a letter from Caltrans to Supervisor James Ramos, in which a state transportation agency official said that Caltrans would not lower the speed limit in downtown Joshua Tree, despite recent serious pedestrian-involved accidents. A while back, we reported that another Caltrans official said he would look into the abrupt speed limit changes in the approaches to Joshua
Tree. Reporter Dan Stork followed up, and learned that change isn’t likely…
In 2014, on both approaches to downtown Joshua Tree on State Route 62, Caltrans replaced 55 mph signs with signs announcing an approaching 45 mph zone. In May of this year, we complained to Haissem Yahya, the Operations Manager for CalTrans District 8, that we thought the change was counterproductive and dangerous. He told us that a 20 mph step-down wasn’t supposed to happen, and he would look into it. We followed up with Yahya this week. He told us that he had relayed our complaint, and said that a change to a more gradual stepdown was in the pipeline. After that conversation, he checked on the status of the request, and learned that a change is not in the works, barring another speed survey, with different results. He learned that the reason for this is based upon a section of the California Manual for Setting Speed Limits (2012 revision) which prescribes rules for setting speed limits in transition
zones, and explicitly allows, and even requires abrupt speed changes in some situations. Here is a paraphrase of the Caltrans logic, based upon the rule book and official explanations: Caltrans wants to keep traffic moving. It uses speed surveys to determine existing driver behavior, and uses survey data to set speed limits that do not differ radically from the 85th percentile of speeds measured. For Joshua Tree, that standard was measured at 48 mph in the October 2013 survey. And people do drive the 65 mph limit allowed in the approaches to the village. Given observed speeds, there is no way that Caltrans is going to lower the 45 mph limit in town, nor the 65 mph limit outside of town. So the question is: how should the speeds change in a transition zone?  According to the Manual, the zones are too short for gradual stepdowns, so abrupt changes with warning signs are the only way to go. If you want to see whether you think Caltrans is properly following its own rules, you can find the Manual at

http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/traffops/engineering/mutcd/pdf/california-manual-for-setting-speed-limits.pdf
The relevant section is 3.4.1. Zone Lengths


JOSHUA TREE VFW LOOKING FOR BIKE RUN PRIZES

The Joshua Tree Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7264 is seeking donations for prizes for its third annual Poker Run fundraiser. The poker run, set for Saturday, September 26, will be 110 miles with five stops in the Morongo Basin. Prizes will be awarded for best poker hand, worst poker hand, oldest rider, for the rider traveling the farthest  to participate, and more. Proceeds go to support Veterans Helping Veterans, active military and their families, and the VFW post. To donate a prize, or to make a monetary donation, call Jim Nutter at 760-366-2357.


JOURNEY TRIBUTE BAND AT TORTOISE ROCK TONIGHT

A Journey tribute band will take the stage for the free “Live at the Rock” concert at the Tortoise Rock Casino in Twentynine Palms tonight. Managing Editor Tami Roleff can’t stop believing… On Friday, July 24, Journey, LTD, a tribute band to Journey, will take the stage for Live at the Rock. Concert-goers will know all of the popular songs from the iconic band, including “Any Way You Want It,” “Faithfully,” and “Don’t Stop Believing.” All concerts are free, are held on the outdoor stage, and start at 8 p.m. A Journey tribute band will take the stage for the free “Live at the Rock” concert at the Tortoise Rock Casino in Twentynine Palms tonight. Managing Editor Tami Roleff can’t stop believing… On Friday, July 24, Journey, LTD, a tribute band to Journey, will take the stage for Live at the Rock. Concert-goers will know all of the popular songs from the iconic band, including “Any Way You Want It,” “Faithfully,” and “Don’t Stop Believing.” All concerts are free, are held on the outdoor stage, and start at 8 p.m.


WILD WEST REENACTMENT SHOWS THIS WEEKEND IN PIONEERTOWN

Free wild west re-enactment shows are held Saturdays and Sundays in historic Pioneertown. The Mane Street Stampede Wild West Show pokes some fun at how the Old West “could” have been with their own twist on comedy, each Saturday at 2:15 until 3:00 p.m. in front of the Pioneer bowl on historic Mane
Street, one block west of Pappy and Harriet’s. On the first four Sundays, also at 2:30, the “Gunfighters for Hire” perform Western skits and demonstrations. The western reenactment groups perform their shoot ’em up cowboy shows right where Gene Autry and the Cisco Kid performed back in the 1950s. For more information on the Mane Street Stampede Wild West shows go to Manestreetstampede.com or call Paden at 760-366-3333. For more information, to plan a Wild West Wedding, or have a birthday recognized at the Sunday shows go to gunfightersforhire.com


THE WISE GUYS AT THE YUCCA VALLEY SUMMER CONCERT SATURDAY NIGHT

The Yucca Valley Summer Concert series continues this Saturday night. Reporter Mike Lipsitz invites to hear the big ban sounds of the Wise Guys…
Yucca Valley’s free Summer Music Festival continues this Saturday, July 25, with the Wise Guys Big Band Machine. From swing to swank, the Wiseguys Big Band Machine is an 18-piece ensemble dedicated to keeping great music alive. This big band features a screamin’ horn line, talented vocalists, exciting soloists, and a roarin’ rhythm section. Their repertoire includes the swinging vocal tunes of Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin, Dean Martin and big band favorites from Glenn Miller, Count Basie and Buddy Rich. The Wiseguys keep audiences on their toes with their Big Band Vegas Sound. Catch this free concert at the Yucca Valley Community Center ball field. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. The music gets cranking at 7 p.m. and ends at 9 p.m. Bring a blanket and lawn chair and enjoy the show. All ages are welcome. Z107.7 is a proud sponsor of the Yucca Valley Summer Music Festival.


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