ASSEMBLYMAN MAYES’ BILL WOULD TARGET ILLEGAL DRONE USE

Assemblyman Chad Mayes of Yucca Valley is co-author of a bill that makes flying a drone over a fire a criminal offense. Drones grounded firefighting airplanes over the Mill 2 Fire in Yucaipa last week and the Lake Fire near Pioneertown last month, which allowed the fires to spread. Mayes

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NEW PAID SICK LEAVE LAW AFFECTS ALL LOCAL BUSINESSES

A new state law that took effect yesterday will require all California employers to provide their employees with at least three days of paid sick leave. Managing editor Tami Roleff provides some details on the law…

More than 6.5 million California workers will benefit from a new law that will

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SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS INDEPENDENT REDISTRICTING

California gets to keep its four-year-old election reforms that introduced an independent re-districting commission—replacing the old system in which politicians often re-drew legislative districts to favor incumbents. That’s because on Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a similar system in Arizona. Reporter Rebecca Havely says had the decision gone the

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CHP ON MAXIMUM PATROL THIS MEMORIAL DAY HOLIDAY WEEKEND

More drivers on the road for the Memorial Day weekend means the California Highway Patrol will conduct a maximum enforcement period. From 6 p.m. Friday, May 22 through midnight Monday, May 25, CHP officers will be out in force, enforcing speed limit laws, click-it-or-ticket, and looking for DUIs. Last year,

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STATE CONCEDES PROJECT PHOENIX BOND PROCEEDS TO CITY OF TWENTYNINE PALMS

More than four years ago, the City of Twentynine Palms devised a plan to keep the state of California from taking away redevelopment money when all local redevelopment agencies in the state were dissolved in mid-2011. The city stuck to its strategy through a succession of legal battles. Reporter Dan

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YUCCA VALLEY RECREATION BUS TO VISIT HUELL HOWSER EXHIBIT

The late Huell Howser was a resident of Twentynine Palms and a good friend to our Morongo Basin Communities. The Town of Yucca Valley will be taking a bus to a new exhibit honoring him. Reporter Taylor Thacker tells you how to be on that bus…

The Town of Yucca

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STATE WATER CONSERVATION EFFORTS AFFECT LOCAL WATER DISTRICTS

Monday’s ruling by the State 4th District Court of Appeals, which ruled that it is unconstitutional to charge customers more for high water usage—unless the cost is directly tied to the cost of delivering that water—is being closely watched by water districts in the Morongo Basin. So far, that ruling

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BOY’S STATE SELECTEES NAMED

The Joshua Tree American Legion Post 761 recently announced that seven area juniors have been named as the 2015 Boys’ State delegates. Delegates from Twentynine Palms High School are Jacob Gutierrez, Daniel Adams, and Hayden Shupp, with Shane Estrada as an alternate. From Joshua Springs Christian School are Kavanaugh Clow

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VIDEOTAPED BEATING CAUSES COUNTY SHERIFF INVESTIGATION

A disturbing videotape of San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputies viciously beating a suspected horse thief near Hesperia has caused County Sheriff John McMahon to order a departmental investigation of the incident. “The video surrounding this arrest is disturbing, and I have ordered an internal investigation be conducted immediately,” McMahon said

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FORMER COUNTY SUPERVISORS REPRESENTATIVE ARRAIGNED

The former field representative for Third District County Supervisor James Ramos was arraigned yesterday on two complaints that he smuggled contraband into jail in February. Mike Lipsitz, 53, pleaded not guilty to both charges. County Sheriff John McMahon said Ramos immediately fired Lipsitz following his arrest February 4 for allegedly

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LOCAL WATER USAGE VARIATIONS COMPARED

Figures released by the state water board on April 7 show that the state as a whole did not get a good head start on the Governor’s call for a 25 percent water reduction. Californians reduced per capita use by 2.8 percent in February of this year, compared to the

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GOVERNOR MANDATES A 25 PERCENT CUT IN WATER USE

Governor Jerry Brown declared a mandatory 25 percent cutback in California’s water use. If the mandatory conservation targets are not met, California cities, counties and water companies face up to $10,000 in fines for each day they are out of compliance. “We’re in a new era,” Brown said. “The idea

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CESAR CHAVEZ HONORED TODAY

The state honors the life of Cesar Chávez today, a civil rights pioneer who fought vigorously for the rights of California farm workers. Cesar Chávez Day, an annual state holiday celebrated on March 31, falls on the activist’s birthday. As co-founder of the United Farm Workers union, Chávez was the

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1 BILLION DOLLAR STATE DROUGHT-RELIEF EMERGENCY BILL PROPOSED

The State Governor and lawmakers proposed a $1 billion in drought-relief spending yesterday, money that could be used to increase the Inland-area water supply by recycling, capturing stormwater and cleaning up groundwater. The two bills include $128 million to ease immediate impacts of the drought such as dry wells, job

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STATE TO CONSIDER STRICT WATER RATIONING MEASURES TODAY

The State Water Resources Control Board considers tough water restrictions today that could reshape how we consume water. The Board will discuss the drought and water restrictions for the 400-plus water districts in the state. CalEPA researcher Max Gromberg said, “We are telling all of water districts around the state,

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STATE AGENCY TO LOOK AT JOSHUA TREE AND TWENTYNINE PALMS SEPTIC DISCHARGE

As part of its charter, the state Water Quality Control Board is seeking public input on its work. Reporter Dan Stork tells what the schedule is, and that some issues of local concern are under consideration…

The California Regional Water Quality Control Board is reviewing its Water Quality Control Plan.

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DESERT RENEWABLE CONSERVATION PLAN CHANGES DIRECTION

Something happened Tuesday in the shape of the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan. Reporter Dan Stork says that’s either a good thing or a bad thing for conservation, depending upon how the decision is interpreted…

“Stringent criticism of a draft of a 12,000-page plan that would manage renewable energy development

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DISSOLUTION OF YUCCA VALLEY RDA NEARLY COMPLETE

Three years after the State of California officially dissolved municipal redevelopment agencies, the dissolution of the Yucca Valley RDA is nearly complete. As of 2014, all properties formerly owned by the Yucca Valley Redevelopment Agency are now town properties, and identified for municipal use. Two weeks ago, the State Controller’s

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CHP RECRUITING FOR NEW OFFICERS

The California Highway Patrol is hiring and has begun recruitment. Reporter Mike Lipsitz tells you how to apply… The California Highway Patrol is looking for men and women from diverse communities to provide the highest levels of safety, service, and security. Each candidate must be 20 to 35 years old,

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OUR STATE SENATOR TO BE THE FIRST REPUBLICAN SENATE LEADER

California State Senate Republicans elected Senator Jean Fuller, who represents our Morongo Basin, as Senate Republican Leader-Elect. She will become the Senate’s first woman Republican Leader on November 1, 2015. Senator Fuller has been a member of the California Legislature since her election to the 32nd Assembly District in 2006.

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