All posts by Bradford Evans

Truck Brake Fire Causes Paint to Spill Near Sherwin Grade

A semi truck caught on fire on early Tuesday morning. The incident took place on Sherwin Grade in the southbound lane of U.S. Route 395. As a result, there was a partial shoulder and lane closure. The semi truck caught on fire as a result of the brakes igniting as the vehicle traveled down the grade according to the California Highway Patrol.

Although initially the fire was toward the front of the cabin, flames eventually spread toward the trailer, which contained a large quantity of paint. The paint subsequently spilled all over the highway, which required a hazmat crew to arrive on scene and clean up the incident.

The cleaning crew brought out a pressure washer to clean the roadway along with a vac truck to help with the cleaning. Crews also brought bins to dispose of all the burnt materials and soil.

Both lanes of Highway 395 are now open with no restricted access.

Bishop Union High School Students Receive Awards From Caltrans

BISHOP – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) District 9 co-sponsored a Trig*Star competition at Bishop Union High School (BUHS) this past April. The competition results were announced on Monday, May 13th, 2019. Trig*Star is a national math competition for high school students based on the practical application of trigonometry. The competition enables students to apply math to real world situations and heighten the awareness of land surveying as a profession. Land surveying is the art, science and technology of locating or determining (by measurement) the shape or size of any portion of the earth’s surface and representing these surveys on maps.

The competition was a one-hour exam, solving problems involving triangles and circles to determine lengths, angles and areas.

1st Place – Thomas Zentmyer won $50, with a score of 94 out of 100 and a time of 29 minutes, 10 seconds.

2nd Place – Nathan Wesling who scored an 88 out of 100 with a time of 33 minutes, 4 seconds, and was awarded $25.

Cash prizes were paid for by the California Transportation Foundation. The competition is sponsored by Caltrans, the National Society of Professional Surveyors, and the California Land Surveyors Association.

Caltrans Senior Transportation Surveyor Sereyna Cagle thanked all that participated, including the 28 BUHS students, and Deidre Buchholz, BUHS math teacher. Caltrans appreciates Ms. Buchholz for her support in introducing the Trig*Star competition to great minds and future leaders! Congratulations to Thomas Zentmyer and Nathan Wesling!

Paraglider Found Dead Near Sierra Crest

On August 14, at approximately 1:20pm, Inyo County Sheriff’s Dispatch received notification of an emergency In-Reach activation north of Striped Mountain near the Sierra Crest, south of Taboose Pass.

Further investigation revealed that the device was registered to Cody Tuttle, a 32-year old man from Swall Meadows above Bishop, CA. Tuttle was reported to be on a paragliding trip to Gabbs Nevada with two fellow paraglider pilots.

Inyo Sheriff requested aerial assistance from California Highway Patrol Inland Division Air Operations (H-80), as well as a helicopter from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park (SEKI). The SEKI helicopter located Tuttle at 12,600’ elevation and confirmed that he was deceased. CHP H-80 attempted to extract Tuttle, but due to altitude and afternoon heat they were unable to complete the recovery.

On August 15, CHP Coastal Division Air Operations (H-70) responded and recovered Tuttle; he was flown to the Bishop Airport where custody was transferred to the Inyo County Coroner.

Felon Attempts to Detonate Device Near Family and Officers

BISHOP, CA. August 12, 2019 – On August 9, at approximately 7:15am, Inyo County Sheriff’s Deputies, and a MINT Investigator arrived at a residence on Winuba Lane to serve an arrest warrant on Allen “Ziggy” Stone, a 29-year old Bishop man.

Deputies attempted to contact Stone in a travel trailer he had been confirmed to be staying in. Stone failed to answer the door and barricaded himself inside. The Special Enforcement Detail was activated to respond, and additional units from CHP and the Bishop Police Department arrived to assist.

Stone exited the travel trailer wearing body armor and holding an improvised explosive device. Stone attempted to detonate the device in his hand while surrounded by family and law enforcement. After a short struggle, Stone was disarmed and taken into custody. No injuries resulted from the incident.

A search of the travel trailer was conducted and an additional improved explosive device was located along with a large amount of handgun and shotgun ammunition. The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office Explosive Ordnance Disposal Expert took possession of the improved explosive devices and later defused them.

Stone was transported to the Inyo County Jail and booked on the existing Inyo County felony warrant and additional charges of: attempted murder, assault likely to produce gross bodily injury, possession of destructive device, possession of materials with intent to make destructive device, attempt to ignite any destructive devise with intent to injure, obstructing or resisting executive officer using threats force or violence, felon in possession of body armor, felon in possession of ammunition, violation felony probation, obstruct or resist officer. Stone’s bail has been set at $650,000.

Earline Virginia Bronson

November 12, 1916 – August 3, 2019

On the evening of August 3rd, Earline Virginia Bronson passed from this life into the arms of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Earline passed away at age102, at home in the Bishop Care Center, accompanied by family members. Earline was born in Waterloo, Iowa on November 12, 1916 to Earl Hook and Esther Woodruff Hook. Earline married Glen Edward Bronson on March 25, 1935. Earline and Glen had two daughters, Carol and Glenola and a son, Gaylen. The family moved to California in 1949. Earline moved to Big Pine in 1995 and was a member of the First Baptist Church. She resided in the Bishop Care Center since 2005. Earline is survived by her daughter, Glenola Edwards and husband, Vernon; Gaylen Bronson and wife, Patti. She is also survived by her devoted son-in-law, Hank Schoenmeier. Earline had 9 grandchildren, 25 great grandchildren, and 22 great-great grandchildren. Earline was delighted to have a large family and was always eager to welcome them to her home and of course there would be special food treats for all who visited. She daily praised, honored and worshiped the Lord.

Thy word is a lamp to my feet, and a light unto my path” Ps 119:105 Her family believes there was a special heavenly celebration as Earline is again with loved ones who have proceeded her: Glen, her beloved husband of 57 years, her daughter Carol Bronson Schoenmeier, her sister Dorhy Maiers, and her father and mother. Earline’s remains will be cremated and no formal public service is planned.

Springs Fire Grows Sixty-Nine Acres

Current Situation: The Inyo National Forest Type 3 Incident Management Organization is managing the Springs Fire. Firefighters continued with holding and mop-up operations through the day. Crews assigned to night shift continued with tactical firing operations, for a total fire growth of 69 acres yesterday. This continues to provide more depth to the control line securing the established anchor point. A cold front is expected to move through the area today and possibly linger into tomorrow, bringing the potential for strong downdraft and erratic winds. Fire managers and crews on the fireline anticipate a growth of approximately 60 acres today, dependent upon the incoming cold front. Early morning light smoke/haze is also likely farther down the hill toward the Benton/Hammil Valley area, possibly as far as the Bishop/Owens Valley. Fire management have based strategic and tactical decision making on historical and scientific data for the purpose of managing for multiple objectives including protection, suppression and resource benefit.

The Who’s Who of the Incident Management Organization: Every Type 1, 2, and 3 Incident Management Organization must have a Medical Unit Leader. The medical unit provides for basic needs at camp, with some units able to go as far as providing cortisone shots for severe poison oak reactions. The basic supplies provided are things such as antihistamines, foot powder, bandages, lotion, and sunblock. These basic necessities provided make a huge difference for a firefighter working away from home for weeks at a time. The Medical Unit Leader also manages the line Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians that are on the fireline for all operational shifts. They render immediate care for any injury that happens, from a twisted ankle or bee sting to a hazard tree falling on a firefighter. The safety of our firefighters is always the top priority on any incident. The Medical Unit plays a critical role in providing medical care to all personnel on the incident.

Soft Closure Order: A soft closure order is in effect for some roads leading into the Springs fire to provide for public and firefighter safety. Forest Roads 1S17 from HWY 120 East to the Junction of 1S04. Forest Road 1S04 is closed from Forest Road 1S17 junction to Forest Road 1S02. Forest Road 1S12 is closed from the 1S17 junction to 1S02. The Springs Fire Incident Commander asks that all motorists observe and obey all posted signs and barricades to ensure for the safety of all public and firefighters

No Criminal Charges Filed Against Bishop Elementary Teacher

District Attorney Tom Hardy announced today that, having carefully evaluated the information from the Bishop Police Department’s supplemental investigation, no criminal charges will be filed against Eugenio Solorio.

 

Mr. Solorio was arrested by the Bishop Police Department on April 22, 2019 on charges relating to committing lewd acts with a minor.  At that time, the District Attorney’s office declined to file charges and referred the case for further investigation.  That investigation has been completed, and it is still the judgment of the District Attorney that there is not sufficient evidence to file criminal charges.

 

“A prosecutor has both a legal and ethical obligation to file criminal charges only if he or she believes, after review of the legally admissible evidence, including reasonably foreseeable defenses, that a reasonable and objective jury would find a suspect guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  That is a high burden of proof that we take very seriously, and which we do not believe can be met at this time.  If new or additional information becomes available the case can be reconsidered, but I understand that the Bishop PD has concluded its active investigation,” said Hardy.  Even though the active investigation has been concluded, anyone with any information regarding the case is encouraged to contact the Bishop Police Department.

 

The legal standard for an arrest is much different than that for a conviction.  The arrest in this case was made based on probable cause after a forensic interview was conducted by trained law enforcement officials.   Additionally, a search warrant based on this probable cause was subsequently issued by a judge and served by the Bishop Police Department.  The Bishop PD also conducted substantial follow-up investigation.

 

The public is reminded that a criminal investigation does not attempt to address issues of potential civil liability, nor administrative or policy violations, all of which are subject to lower standards of proof.

 

Mammoth Lakes Alleged Child Predator Arrested

On July 22, 2019, Mammoth Lakes Police and Mono County District Attorney Investigators arrested Christopher Adams Libby, 61, for three felony counts of sexual acts with a child under the age of14. In accordance with the applicable statute of limitations, Mr. Libby is alleged to have had substantial sexual conduct with the minor and the conduct is supported by independent corroborating evidence. These acts were alleged to have occurred in Mammoth Lakes between the summers of 2002 and 2003.

During the course of the investigation, it was discovered that there are potentially other victims in the Mammoth Lakes area spanning decades, possibly as far back as the early 1990’s. If you or someone you know has any information concerning Mr. Libby and sexual acts with children, please call Officer Brian Madera and the Mammoth Lakes Police Department at760-970-8413 or Chief Investigator Chris Callinan and the Mono County District Attorney’s Office at 760-858-2127.

 

Robert James Obituary

Robert “Bobby” Cyril James passed away July 2nd, 2019 in Bishop, California. He was a beloved brother, father, grandfather, uncle and friend to many.

Bobby James was born and raised on a small farm in Mitchell, South Dakota and was a graduate of Mitchell High School. After an honorable discharge from the Navy he met and married Bonnie Redmond where they were married for 28 years while raising their three daughters here in the Owens Valley. Bobby worked as a truck driver for 45 years. Hauling anything from gasoline from Bishop’s local Giggle Springs to all kinds of different freight for Bishops own Night Owl Trucking. Bobby loved to hunt and fish, but also loved his old hot rod cars, owning several over the years. He traveled to numerous old car shows in Deadwood, SD and here in the Owens Valley. He also traveled 3000 miles across the country in his 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass a few years ago visiting family along the way. Bobby was a life member of the VFW Post 8988, serving as a board trustee, member of the post honor guard, and color guard. Bobby was a wonderful family man, proud Navy Vietnam Veteran and loyal friend.

He is survived by his two sisters, Rita Baumgart of Mitchell, South Dakota, Patti Bisset of Ft. Meyers, Florida. His daughter Jennifer Reese and husband Troy reside in Lexington, South Carolina with two grandchildren Tyler and Raegan. His daughter Jaime Holland and husband Mark reside in Bishop with grandson Conner. His daughter Joni Riggs and husband Mike reside in Bishop with granddaughters McKenzie Rae and Karen Lee. Along with countless nieces and nephews spread out all along the country whom he always made a point to see along his travels.

A Celebration of Life will be held for family and friends at the VFW Post located at 484 Short St. Bishop, California on Saturday August 10, at 1pm. A second celebration will be held mostly by family and close friends in the Black Hills of South Dakota at a later date, to be determined. Donations in his name can be made to VFW Scholarship Fund Post 8988, Bishop California.

4-H Auction in Bishop Sees $114,000 Increase From Last Year

The 4-H Junior Livestock Auction was quite a success for both the youth organization and the Eastern Sierra Tri-County Fairgrounds. There was a substantial improvement in funds raised this year, with the sales amount reaching $412,458. This number is up from the 2018 sales, which reached $304,937. 

Add-on money donations also saw an increase from $17,357 from last year, to $23,905 this year. 

The total increase of sales for this year's auction reached $114,069. CEO of the Tri-County Fairgrounds Jen McGuire, gave her thoughts as to why there was such a substantial increase in sales saying, “It goes to show that advertising, working with the kids, educating the public, and changing the atmosphere by moving the bar makes a difference.” 

The 4-H  is a U.S.-based network of youth organizations whose mission is to  "engage youth to reach their fullest potential while advancing the field of youth development".