Local News

3 Dead in Head on Collision

Two Vehicle Collision on 395 Kills 3

Two vehicles collided early Wednesday morning near Ridgecrest killing both drivers and one passenger.  Two additional passengers suffered major injuries.

According to the California Highway Patrol Mojave office the collision occurred just after midnight, at 12:15am Wednesday south of Ridgecrest on highway 395.  A southbound 2002 Volkswagen driven by a 23-year old female from Reno Nevada struck the front of a northbound 2006 Cheverolet driven by a 18-year old female from Ridgecrest.  Both drivers died along with a front seat passenger in the Cheverolet.  The age and residence of the third victim was not released.  Two additional passengers in the Cheverolet a 22-year old female from Bakersfield and a 14-year old female suffered major injuries.  The California Highway Patrol notes that the collision remains under investigation.

UPDATE (4/9/15, 6:30am)
The deceased have been identified by the Kern County Coroner.

DECEDENT’S NAME:  Taylor Kay Marie Warren
CITY OF RESIDENCE: Ridgecrest, CA          AGE: 19 years
TYPE OF CASE: Traffic Fatality

DECEDENT’S NAME:  Myranda Danea Kiaha
CITY OF RESIDENCE: Ridgecrest, CA          AGE: 18 years
TYPE OF CASE: Traffic Fatality

DECEDENT’S NAME:  Erica Leigh Greif
CITY OF RESIDENCE: Reno, NV          AGE: 23 years
TYPE OF CASE: Traffic Fatality

california highway patrol, eastern sierra news, highway 395

BUHS Mathletes Update

Season wrapping up for BUHS Mathletes

JV finish the year in 2nd place, Varsity has one meet remaining.

The Bishop Varsity Mathletes competed in Trona on March 18, 2015 and brought home a second place finish out of the 11 competing schools and over 80 students.  The Mathletes compete by individually solving ten difficult math problems in a timed setting along with one team problem.  Eleven schools from throughout the league compete, including Tehachapi, Desert, Rosamond and Kern Valley.

Bishop scored 21 points, led by six points each from senior Olivia Grah and junior Jamie Shultz.  Their scores earned them a tie for third place in the meet’s individual results.  David Chavez, Logan Stephenson, and Robbie Moore earned three points each, and Ethan Lamb, William Moore, and Hannah Murray also contributed points.

The Mathletes have one meet left in the year, which will be held at BUHS on April 29, 2015.  They are coached by BUHS math teacher Mrs. DeeDee Buchholz.

Left to right: Hannah Murray, Jamie Shultz, William Moore, Ethan Lamb, Logan Stephenson, David Chavez, Robbie Moore, Olivia Grah
Left to right: Hannah Murray, Jamie Shultz, William Moore, Ethan Lamb, Logan Stephenson, David Chavez, Robbie Moore, Olivia Grah

JV Finish the year in 2nd place

Congrats to Bishop High School JV Mathletes for earning second overall in the League.  They competed in four meets against ten schools.  Over one hundred freshman and sophomores compete at each meet where the Mathletes complete ten rigorous math problems along with one team problem.  All Mathletes show high character and are proud of representing Bishop in the “Bronco Way”.  “This is a great team” says coach DeeDee Buchholz.  “They work hard, try their best and are very bright.  These Mathletes have a great attitude and they remind me daily why I love my job!”

Top honors for the JV Mathletes include Duncan Reid who earned 1st place overall in the league for his individual score of 28 points, Sam Hess and Jim Tomasek earned 7th place for their individual scores of 17 points and Liam Grah who earned 14th place for his score of 15 points.  Zoe Anderson, Makayla McDevitt, Chet Shultz, Maddie Tomasek, Dezert Kiddoo, Dani DeRousseau, Rowan Benson, Emily Ball, Alan Torres and Dylan Fitt also contributed to the team this year.  Bishop Mathletes are a competitive bunch and are willing to work hard to bring home first place next year.  Go Broncos, we are proud of you!

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Inyo Felony Embezzlement Case

Bishop Man Facing Jail time at June Sentencing

A Bishop businessman has plead no contest to a felony count of embezzlement. Jay Jimenez, owner of Petite Pantry and Jimenez Tax Service, plead no contest on March 3rd to a felony charge of embezzlement. Jimenez will be back in Inyo Court on June 1st for sentencing. According to Inyo County District Attorney Tom Hardy, at sentencing Jimenez is facing 240 days in jail and 5 years of formal probation. Jimenez will also be expected to pay restitution in the neighborhood of 50 thousand dollars, however the exact amount of restitution will be determined at the time of sentencing.  The felony charge originated from Jimenez’s relationship with an elderly client.

bishop news, inyo court, inyo county district attorney tom hardy

“Guys and Dolls” Opening Friday

Playhouse 395’s “Guys and Dolls” Opens in Bishop on Friday, April 10

The Playhouse 395 hysterical and moving production of “Guys & Dolls” opens on Friday, April 10 for the first of nine performances in  the newly renovated Bishop Union High School Theater.  Set in the 1940s, gamblers, missionaries and night club performers mix it up in this satire set in New York City and Havana, Cuba. Shows run the last three weekends in April. All the big gamblers are in town for a huge craps game, organizer Nathan Detroit needs $1,000 to set the game up, Miss Adelaide wants Nathan to marry her, high-roller Sky
Masterson has to persuade Missionary Sarah Brown to go with him to Havana, and the Save-A-Soul Mission is about to be shut down. Without spoiling the plot, you’ll love how they thrash out most of the solutions by the final curtain.

For the first time ever, Playhouse 395 is offering show goers an incredible chance to make an on-stage cameo appearance in a live musical! Come to any of the nine performances of “Guys & Dolls” dressed in 1940s style. Two lucky people will be chosen to experience the best seats in the house during a nightclub scene. No acting experience needed – the director will show you just what to do. Loads of fun – be the envy of your friends – You’ll love it!
Shows are Friday and Saturday, April 10 and 11 at 7 pm; Sunday, April 12 at 2 pm; Friday and Saturday, April 17 and 18 at 7 pm; Sunday, April 19 at 2 pm; Friday, April 24 at 7 pm; and Saturday April 25 at 2 pm and 7 pm. This year Playhouse 395 is proud to launch a new online ticketing system, Brown Paper Tickets. Get yours today and don’t miss out on getting your favorite seat! Visit www.playhouse395.com or call 760-920-9100.

photos by Ryan Tetz.

A fight has broken out! But don't worry, it's all part of the show
A fight has broken out! But don’t worry, it’s all part of the show
Megan Hammitt and Cristian Herrera rehearsing their parts as Adelaide and Nathan Detroit
Megan Hammitt and Cristian Herrera rehearsing their parts as Adelaide and Nathan Detroit
Adelaide (Megan Hammitt, left) and Sara Brown (Allison Peeler) enjoy a song together. This is Megan’s first show and Allison's second
Adelaide (Megan Hammitt, left) and Sara Brown (Allison Peeler) enjoy a song together. This is Megan’s first show and Allison’s second
Phillip Traver (Sky Masterson) and Allison Peeler (Sarah Brown) rehearsing a song
Phillip Traver (Sky Masterson) and Allison Peeler (Sarah Brown) rehearsing a song

Cover Photo….Megan Hammitt (Adelaide), Jordan Kost (Harry The Horse and others), Cristian Herrera (Nathan Detroit), Robb Saunders (Nicely-Nicely Johnson), and Curt Mulder (Benny Southstreet) rehearse a New York scene. 

playhouse 395, eastern sierra news, bishop news

Texas Felon arrested in Tonopah

Tonopah Traffic stop leads to arrest

A traffic stop in Tonopah Nevada leads to a foot pursuit and eventual arrest of a man wanted out of Texas.  The Nye County Sheriffs department issued the following statement.

On 4-4-15 at approximately 1:55 am, a white Infiniti G35 was seen traveling northbound on US 95 approaching Howerton Hill St. in Tonopah, NV. The vehicle was stopped, and the driver was identified as Jeremy Lee Puebla with a TX identification card.

A driver’s license and warrants check was conducted on Puebla as a result of the traffic stop. A felony warrant out of San Antonio Texas was discovered for Aggravated Assault with a deadly weapon. Nye County dispatch contacted the TX agency, and the warrant was confirmed.

Puebla was being directed out of the vehicle to be taken into custody for the outstanding warrant of arrest. Just after exiting the vehicle, Puebla ran on foot in an attempt to elude capture. A foot pursuit ensued for approximately 2 blocks. Puebla was attempting to climb over a 6 foot chain link fence when the gate opened causing him to fall. Nye County Sheriffs deputy was then able to reach Puebla and apply one handcuff. After placing one hand into restraints, Puebla became combative and resisted arrest. After approximately 3 minutes of active resistance, Puebla was taken into custody.

Puebla was then transported to the Tonopah Detention facility. It was then determined that Puebla had some injuries due to the fall from the fence. Puebla was transported to Nye Regional Medical Center where he was treated for a laceration to his right arm, receiving 7 stitches.

Puebla was then returned to the detention facility where he was booked on local charges (speeding, resisting or obstructing an officer, and attempting to elude officers) and the outstanding warrant without incident.


photo by the Nye county sheriffs department

tonopah news, nye county news, nye county sheriffs department

Vehicle Crashes into Owens River

Sunday Accident ends with Arrest

The Bishop California Highway Patrol office is passing along details from a early morning accident Easter Sunday.  The accident report indicating the single vehicle accident occurring on Owens River Road between Poleta Road and Warm Spring Road.  The Driver, 20-year old Bishop resident Michael Maxey was arrested for felony hit and run and felony child endangerment.  Below is the CHP accident summary.

On 04/05/15 at approximately 1:30 AM, Michael Maxey was driving a vehicle southbound on Owens River Road at a high rate of speed.  As the vehicle entered a sharp curve on the dirt road, the driver was unable to maneuver through the curve and the vehicle left the roadway.  The vehicle overturned before being submerged in the Owens River.  All occupants of the vehicle swam to shore and left the collision scene without notifying authorities.  During the course of the accident investigation, three people were identified as occupants of the vehicle at the time of the collision.  One of the juvenile passengers (age 14 of Ridgecrest, CA)  involved in the collision sustained minor injuries.  The driver was arrested for Felony Hit & Run and Felony Child Endangerment and he was booked into the Inyo County Jail.  Personnel from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and Inyo County Sheriff’s Department responded to the collision scene to assist with the incident.

The driver of the vehicle was 20-year old Michael Maxey of Bishop.  The CHP indicates that 18-year old William Armstrong of Bishop was also in the vehicle at the time of the accident.  Armstrong was not injured.  The 14-year old male from Ridgecrest suffered what were described as minor injuries.

bishop news, california highway patrol, owens river, eastern sierra news

Mammoth Elevates Water Restrictions

MCWD Increases Water Use Restrictions

Mammoth Pass snowpack 98 percent below normal conditions; District Expects to Rely Fully on Groundwater Wells to Meet Customer Needs


Mammoth Lakes, CA – The Mammoth Community Water District’s (MCWD) Board of Directors voted to raise the District’s water shortage conditions from Level 2 to Level 3 at a special meeting on April 1st. The Level 3 restrictions will go in to effect on April 10th.  In addition to the Level 3 irrigation restrictions, the District is also urging customers to reduce indoor water use by 30 percent.  The meeting was convened following the mechanical failure of two of the Water District’s groundwater production wells and a record low snow-pack water content measurement on Mammoth Pass, which found that conditions were 98 percent below normal conditions.

 The MCWD Board’s decision to increase the level of water restrictions coincided with Governor Jerry Brown’s announcement of first ever statewide mandatory water restrictions calling for a 25 percent reduction in water use. The Governor’s proclamation includes specific reduction measures, such as prohibiting irrigation of public street medians, replacing lawns and non-water efficient fixtures, and numerous additional requirements.

 “This is clearly a call to action to make the most efficient use of our water supplies during this severe drought.  Our intent in implementing Level 3 restrictions is to stretch out our resources and maintain a reliable water supply until we see a significant improvement in our water situation,” said MCWD General Manager Pat Hayes. “Reducing our water use is a partnership, and we urge MCWD customers to visit our website and take advantage of our water-efficient fixture rebate program and landscape classes.”

 Increasing the District’s water use restrictions to Level 3 will require increased conservation measures that will aid MCWD in achieving the Governor’s call for mandatory reductions. However, the level of water shortage in the Mammoth area has reached an extreme level, as illustrated by a March 30 LADWP report finding only 1.0 inch of water on Mammoth Pass. This measurement represents the lowest April 1st reading ever recorded since 1931 and is just 2 percent of average conditions.

 “MCWD relies on the area’s surface and ground water to provide our community with drinking water, but the recent reports showing record low water content, combined with the mechanical failure of two groundwater production wells, have placed increased strain on the District. It is likely that we will need to rely solely on the water produced by our groundwater wells this year,” Hayes added.

 During normal conditions, surface water provides about half of the water supplied to customers. But, due to drought conditions, MCWD has been forced to depend heavily on groundwater sources, which provided 94 percent of the water last month.

 “Our groundwater wells have been a crucial safety net as surface water supplies ran short during the drought, allowing us to continue to meet the supply needs of our region. However, with the recent well failures and the likely reality of sole reliance on groundwater in the months ahead, it’s more important than ever that we focus on conservation,” Hayes stated.

 Under Level 3 restrictions, irrigation will only be allowed two days a week during the hours of 10 pm to 9 am and golf courses, schools and publics parks are required to develop conservation plans.  MCWD is also relying on all customers to achieve indoor savings by carefully monitoring and reducing their water use.  Dropping demand by 30 percent under Level 3 Water Shortage Conditions will allow MCWD to ensure a reliable supply to the Mammoth Lakes community through the high water demand irrigation season.

 Under the increased restrictions, MCWD urges all customers to consider what they can do to increase conservation measures. MCWD is also incentivizing customers to save water by offering a rebate program for indoor and outdoor water fixtures, providing free efficient showerheads and actively engaging with irrigation customers to increase landscape irrigation efficiency.

 More information on water conservation are available from the MCWD website, www.mcwd.dst.ca.us.

mammoth lakes, mammoth news, drought 2015, mammoth community water district

Bishop and Mammoth water restrictions

Reminder of Local Water Restrictions

Wednesday the Governor announced the first ever statewide mandatory water reductions.  Two local municipalities, The City of Bishop and the Mammoth Community Water District have water restrictions in place.  The MCWD went to “Level 2” restrictions back on March 9th while the city of Bishop’s restrictions went into effect April 1st.

From the City of Bishop

Bishop Continues State Water Conservation Mandates
Starting again on 1 April, outdoor irrigation in the City of Bishop will only be allowed between the hours of 5 pm and 9 am. This state-mandated restriction had been relaxed during the cold winter weather because of safety concerns related to freezing. Because of the drought, the State of California required that the City of Bishop implement water conservation measures last summer. The measures are intended to achieve the state-required 20% reduction in water use by city water customers. The city
had to implement the measures to avoid $10,000 per day fines. The city’s state-mandated water conservation measures are:

No outdoor irrigation except between 5 pm and 9 am.

No irrigation of outdoor landscaping so that water runs off property.

No washing vehicles unless hose is fitted with a shut-off nozzle.

No washing driveways, sidewalks, and parking areas.

No decorative water features unless there is recirculation.

No water waste caused by easily correctable leaks, breaks, or malfunctions.

No use of potable water for construction purposes.

No hydrant flushing except when required for public health and safety.

The city may allow exceptions to some of these measures in some cases. The city has a standing water conservation incentive program available to help its water customers save water. The program provides free hose nozzles, hose timers, and irrigation system timers and provides rebates for some sprinkler systems and water conserving appliances. The incentives are available only to water customers of the City of Bishop and are limited to one per customer account. Also, quantities of the free items are limited. The free hose nozzles, hose timers, and irrigation system timers are available at the City of Bishop Public Works Office. To receive these items, come in, fill out an application, and pick one up while supplies last. Rebates are available for installing water saving sprinkler systems and for eligible
upgrades to clothes washers, dish washers, and toilets. To receive a rebate, fill out an application, have your old and new item verified by city staff, and get a check. More information and applications are available on the city website or from City of Bishop Public Works. Also remember that landscaping needs less water now than in the heat of the summer. Taylor your watering to the needs of t
he plants and lawn to avoid over watering. Saving water saves money, reduces water rates,
protects groundwater, is the right thing to do, and is now required by the state. Contact the City of Bishop Department of Public Works at 873-8458 for more information on water conservation and the City’s water system.

Level 2 Restrictions for the MCWD.

2015 Irrigation Regulations Currently in Effect:
Even numbered addresses irrigate on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.
Odd numbered addresses irrigate on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.
No outdoor watering, with irrigation system or hand held hose, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 8p.m. No variances will be granted for new lawns or for rehabilitation of more than 5% of existing turf. All hoses must be equipped with a shutoff device and hose-end sprinklers must be connected to a timer. Overfilling of swimming pools and spas is prohibited.  Water may not pool, pond, or mist off of impervious areas.

MAWA accounts may not exceed 150% of the District’s MAWA.
Washing of hard surfaces with District supplied water is prohibited unless for safety or health reasons.  All leaks must be repaired within 3 days after notification from the District. All water for construction is limited to reclaimed water.  Please Volunteer to Reduce Your Water Demand by 20%:
Check your water bill to see how much water you use each month. Multiply the amount by 0.20. The result is how many gallons you would need to save to achieve a 20% monthly savings.
Outdoors: Reduce irrigation run times by 2 minutes per cycle. Significant savings depending on the size of your landscape. Make sure your sprinklers are not misting by reducing the water pressure.
We offer rebates for pressure reducing valves. Can increase sprinkler efficiency by 30%.   Lose the lawn. Replace with low water use plants. Saves up to 50% of your summer water use.
Identify and fix leaks. Ask us how to check for a leaky toilet. Saves up to 30-50 gallons per person per day.  Install water efficient appliances and fixtures; check out our rebate program. New washers can save 15-45 gallons per load.
Reduce your shower time and turn off the water to lather. Save up to 12 gallons per shower. Run the clothes washer and dishwasher with only full loads. Saves 15-45 gallons per load.

cover photo by Gary Young

bishop news, mammoth news, drought 2015

No Foolin’, Gov. Brown orders water restrictions

Governor Brown Directs First Ever Statewide Mandatory Water Reductions


SACRAMENTO – Following the lowest snowpack ever recorded and with no end to the drought in sight, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced actions that will save water, increase enforcement to prevent wasteful water use, streamline the state’s drought response and invest in new technologies that will make California more drought resilient.

“Today we are standing on dry grass where there should be five feet of snow. This historic drought demands unprecedented action,” said Governor Brown. “Therefore, I’m issuing an executive order mandating substantial water reductions across our state. As Californians, we must pull together and save water in every way possible.”

High resolution photos of previous snow surveys are available here.

For more than two years, the state’s experts have been managing water resources to ensure that the state survives this drought and is better prepared for the next one. Last year, the Governor proclaimed a drought state of emergency. The state has taken steps to make sure that water is available for human health and safety, growing food, fighting fires and protecting fish and wildlife. Millions have been spent helping thousands of California families most impacted by the drought pay their bills, put food on their tables and have water to drink.

The following is a summary of the executive order issued by the Governor today.

Save Water

For the first time in state history, the Governor has directed the State Water Resources Control Board to implement mandatory water reductions in cities and towns across California to reduce water usage by 25 percent. This savings amounts to approximately 1.5 million acre-feet of water over the next nine months, or nearly as much as is currently in Lake Oroville.

To save more water now, the order will also:

-Replace 50 million square feet of lawns throughout the state with drought tolerant landscaping in partnership with local governments;
-Direct the creation of a temporary, statewide consumer rebate program to replace old appliances with more water and energy efficient models;
-Require campuses, golf courses, cemeteries and other large landscapes to make significant cuts in water use; and
-Prohibit new homes and developments from irrigating with potable water unless water-efficient drip irrigation systems are used, and ban watering of ornamental grass on public street medians.

Increase Enforcement

The Governor’s order calls on local water agencies to adjust their rate structures to implement conservation pricing, recognized as an effective way to realize water reductions and discourage water waste.

Agricultural water users – which have borne much of the brunt of the drought to date, with hundreds of thousands of fallowed acres, significantly reduced water allocations and thousands of farmworkers laid off – will be required to report more water use information to state regulators, increasing the state’s ability to enforce against illegal diversions and waste and unreasonable use of water under today’s order. Additionally, the Governor’s action strengthens standards for Agricultural Water Management Plans submitted by large agriculture water districts and requires small agriculture water districts to develop similar plans. These plans will help ensure that agricultural communities are prepared in case the drought extends into 2016.

Additional actions required by the order include:

-Taking action against water agencies in depleted groundwater basins that have not shared data on their groundwater supplies with the state;
-Updating standards for toilets and faucets and outdoor landscaping in residential communities and taking action against communities that ignore these standards; and
-Making permanent monthly reporting of water usage, conservation and enforcement actions by local water suppliers.

Streamline Government Response

The order:

-Prioritizes state review and decision-making of water infrastructure projects and requires state agencies to report to the Governor’s Office on any application pending for more than 90 days.
-Streamlines permitting and review of emergency drought salinity barriers – necessary to keep freshwater supplies in upstream reservoirs for human use and habitat protection for endangered and threatened species;
-Simplifies the review and approval process for voluntary water transfers and emergency drinking water projects; and
-Directs state departments to provide temporary relocation assistance to families who need to move from homes where domestic wells have run dry to housing with running water.

Invest in New Technologies

The order helps make California more drought resilient by:

-Incentivizing promising new technology that will make California more water efficient through a new program administered by the California Energy Commission.

The full text of the executive order can be found here.

For more than two years, California has been dealing with the effects of drought. To learn about all the actions the state has taken to manage our water system and cope with the impacts of the drought, visit Drought.CA.Gov.

Every Californian should take steps to conserve water. Find out how at SaveOurWater.com.

governor brown, california news, eastern sierra news, drought 2015

Traffic Delays On 395 at Mono Lake

Big Rig Accident Clean up causing delays

Traffic Delays were experienced Wednesday on highway 395 just north of Lee Vining at Mono Lake.   A accident Wednesday morning just after 5 am resulted in a big rig trailer overturning.  There were no injuries reported.  CHP, and cal-trans were on scene working to clean up an overturned big rig trailer.   The accident scene is 1 mile north of the community of Lee Vining near picnic grounds road.  That portion of highway 395 is only 2 lanes.  The trailer was blocking the northbound lane and a portion of the the southbound lane. Traffic is being escorted around the trailer, however full closures and delays should be anticipated. There were no injuries in the collision.

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