MARINES DELAY FEMALE FITNESS PLAN AFTER HALF FAIL

The Marine Corps has indefinitely delayed a new physical requirement for all female Marines. A Marine Corps spokesman said that more than half of females in boot camp can’t do three pull-ups, and rather than risk losing female Marines and recruits at unacceptable rates, the new minimum standard will be

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1ST BABY OF THE YEAR BORN AT HI-DESERT MEDICAL CENTER

It turns out Isaac David McKeown wasn’t the first baby born in the Morongo Basin after all. Isaac, born to Casey and Gunnery Sergeant Todd McKeown at 12:14 a.m. January 1 at the Naval Hospital, was about 14 minutes too late to claim the title of First Baby of 2014.

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DEFENSE BILL BRINGS RAISE, SUSTAINS BENEFIT FOR LOCAL MILITARY

Approval of the defense authorization act last night will bring a minimal 1 percent raise to our Marines and sailors starting January 1. The bill extends a number of expiring special pays and bonuses that would otherwise have ended on New Year’s Day and also includes rules against any fee

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MILITARY DRUG TESTS GET TOUGHER ON “SPICE” USE

The military is getting tougher on testing for the use of “spice.” The Defense Department has changed its urinalysis tests to include the synthetic marijuana substance known as spice on its list of drugs to screen for. The move comes after an internal Pentagon study that found that about 2.5

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DEAL MADE TO SAVE MOST OF JOHNSON VALLEY OFF-ROAD AREA

A deal has been made to preserve most of the Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) area while still allowing the Marines to conduct exercises in the area. The National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 would preserve about 100,000 acres of Johnson Valley while allowing the Marines to expand the Twentynine

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FREEZE WARNING CONTINUES, PROTECT YOUR PIPES!

The National Weather Service has issued a hard freeze warning here in our Morongo Basin through tomorrow morning. With Temperatures in the 20’s, Reporter Taylor Thacker reminds you to watch for freezing pipes… Standing water in pipes and hoses expands as it freezes, possibly causing pipes and hoses to break.

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ROP BROACASTING STUDENT TALKS WITH A MARINE RECRUITER

One of many career choices our young people can consider is a career in the United States Marine Corps. ROP Broadcasting student Brandon Decker spoke with a Marine recruiter… Being a Marine Corps recruiter is a very important and fulfilling job in our armed forces; today I interviewed our local

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MARINE BASE LIVE-FIRE EXPLOSIONS MAY BE HEARD OFF BASE

Marine Corps air and ground units will be conducting combined live-fire exercises aboard the base beginning today through December 16. Depending on atmospheric conditions, the sound of the explosions may be amplified. The Marine Corps has established a website for residents to file reports on the sounds from the exercises.

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FIRE DAMAGES A FLORIST SHOP IN TWENTYNINE PALMS HISTORIC PLAZA

A fire caused major damage to a florist shop in the Historic Plaza in Twentynine Palms last night. Twentynine Palms Fire Chief Jim Thompson said firefighters responded to a reported commercial structure fire at the Flower Garden in the 5600 block of Historic Plaza at 11:50 Tuesday night. Firefighters arrived

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MARINES OF VMU-1 RETURN HOME FROM AFGHANISTAN TODAY

About 55 Marines with Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron-1 are returning to the Combat Center today after a 6-month deployment to Afghanistan. The unit, nicknamed the Watchdogs, deployed as a detachment in June. While deployed, VMU-1 used unmanned drones to provide aerial surveillance to scan areas and routes for insurgents and

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COUNTY OFFERING FREE BEHAVIOURAL HEALTH SERVICES TO MILITARY

A San Bernardino County program offers free behavioral heath services for military service members and their families. All active duty and retired military personnel, reservists, or National Guard who have served on or after September 11, 2001 and their families are eligible. Services include confidential behavioral health assessments, rehabilitative support,

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SENATE BILL WOULD TAKE JOHNSON VALLEY FOR MARINE EXPANSION

A Senate committee gave unanimous approval to expand the use of public lands for military training, passing three bills that attempt to reach agreements on conflicts involving mining, wilderness trails and private development. The bills include one for expansion of Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center. Sen. Ron

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MAN THOUGHT LOST IN MINE FOUND WANDERING, DIVERTS FIRE RESOURCES

An Orange County man who got lost in the desert for 11 hours near Johnson Valley Friday night diverted fire crews from a large house fire in Yucca Valley. About 5:30 p.m. Friday, fire fighters and search and rescue teams from Lucerne Valley, Hesperia, and Yucca Mesa, and the Sheriff’s

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VETERANS DAY TRIBUTE IN TWENTYNINE PALMS MONDAY

The City of Twentynine Palms will host the Morongo Basin’s Veterans Day Tribute 2013. The event begins at 10:00 a.m. in Veterans Park and will include guest speakers, static displays of law enforcement, fire department, and military equipment, as well as music and entertainment. The Marine Sandpiper and the Marine

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MARINE BASE CELEBRATES MARINE CORPS’ 238TH BIRTHDAY TOMMORROW

Tomorrow, the Combat Center will celebrate the Marine Corps 238th birthday by holding a pageant of uniforms at Lance Cpl. Torrey L. Gray Field. Marines from the Combat Center’s Headquarters Battalion will dress in Marine Corps uniforms dating back from the beginning years of the Marine Corps to present. Many

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MARINE CORPS BASE CHIEF OF STAFF TO RETIRE FRIDAY

The Chief of Staff for the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center will retire Thursday, October 31. During his 33 years in the Marine Corps, Colonel George Aucoin served in Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, and in operations in Liberia and Iraq. Colonel Aucoin’s current tour at the Combat Center

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200 MARINES RETURN TO MARINE BASE AFTER 7-MONTH DEPLOYMENT

Another Marine unit returned to Twentynine Palms yesterday after a 7-month deployment to Afghanistan. About 200 Marines with Third Combat Engineer Battalion returned to the Combat Center yesterday; a smaller advance party returned to Twentynine Palms about two weeks ago. This was the unit’s last deployment to Afghanistan; after multiple

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TOYS FOR TOTS TAKING REGISTRATIONS

Toys for Tots are now taking names of kids to receive toys from this year’s program. Managing editor Tami Roleff tells you how to register… Registration is now open to request a toy from the Marine Corps program Toys for Tots. The Marine Corps Toys for Tots collects new toys

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EMERGENCY DRILL ON MARINE BASE THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING

This reminder today for residents of the Twentynine Palms Combat Center and surrounding areas: There will a lot of noise and activity this afternoon and evening as Marines practice a non-combatant evacuation operation exercise. Marines will simulate the evacuation of civilians from a potentially hostile area from 4 to 10

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MAJOR DRILL PLANNED ON MARINE BASE TOMORROW

Residents at the Combat Center and surrounding areas will hear a lot of noise and activity Friday, as Marines practice a non-combatant evacuation operation exercise. Marines will simulate the evacuation of civilians from a potentially hostile area from 4 to 10 p.m. tomorrow. Helicopter and tilt-rotor flights will be conducted

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