Community News

N.I.H.D Fun Run Net. $2,600

Blue Ribbon Fun Run & Walk raises more than $2,600 for ESCA

Seventy runners and walkers came together for the first-ever Blue Ribbon Fun Run & Walk on March 24. The Fun Run & Walk, a community effort designed to raise awareness about Colorectal Cancer while raising funds for the Eastern Sierra Cancer Alliance, surpassed organizers’ expectations.

To have such an overwhelming success with 70 participants, dozens of volunteers, to raise more than $2,600 in the first year says all you need to know about Bishop, the surrounding communities, the local businesses and the people,” said Kevin S. Flanigan, MD MBA, the Chief Executive Officer of Northern Inyo Healthcare District, “I have lived in a lot of places, but I have never seen such enthusiasm for a cause in its first year.”

ESCA Founder and spokesperson Pat Ramirez thanked organizers for their efforts. “The funds raised for ESCA will help many community members having cancer,” Ramirez said. “Our clients need financial help with prescription co-pays, devices to help with activities of daily living, fuel/mileage reimbursement, groceries, lodging expenses when they have to travel out of town for treatments. These are some examples how the funds raised will help our community members.”

Participants had the opportunity to run, jog or walk along a 3K, 5K or 10K course that began and ended at Brown’s Town Campground. Between registration fees and donations, more than $2600 was raised to benefit ESCA’s assistance to those diagnosed with cancer.


Dr. Flanigan noted how impressed he was with the number of businesses and health agencies who came together to support the run. Sponsors of the event included Northern Inyo Healthcare District, Sage to Summit, Brown’s Town Campground and Brown’s Supply, Reach Air – Sierra Lifeflight, Kmart, Vons, McDonald’s, La Casita Mexican Restaurant, The Inyo Register, KIBS/KBOV Radio, The Sheet, and Sierra Wave Media.

For NIHD’s staff, the Fun Run & Walk capped a month-long focus on Colorectal Cancer Awareness. Since the beginning of March, NIHD offered extended evening hours at its General Surgery Clinic, allowing people to consult with Drs. Allison Robinson and Robbin Cromer-Tyler

Multi-Agency Probation Operation/Arrests

On Tuesday, April 3, 2018, Inyo County Sheriff’s Office, Inyo County Probation Department, Bishop Paiute Tribal Police, and Bishop Police Department spent the morning conducting probation searches and serving arrest warrants within the Bishop area.

During their operation they arrested 24 year old Ryan Mallory for local warrants, 38 year old Erin Comeau for possession of a controlled substance, 45 year old David Martinez for possession of a controlled substance and violation of probation, 28 year old Angel Ramirez for felon in possession of ammunition and violation of probation, 38 year old Gary Mull for violation of probation, and Stephanie Nelson for possession of controlled substance paraphernalia and violation of probation.

All were booked at the Inyo County Jail.

CHP-Bridgeport/Fatal Traffic Collision

On March 30, 2018 at approximately 5:15 PM, a two vehicle collision occurred on US Highway 395, north of Green Creek Road, approximately four miles south of Bridgeport, California.

For unknown reasons, a Subaru Impreza, traveling northbound on US 395, drove to the left of the solid double yellow lines that separate the northbound and southbound lanes. The Subaru subsequently collided head-on with a Chevrolet Silverado pickup pulling a fifth wheel trailer traveling southbound on US 395. The Subaru came to rest blocking the northbound lane. The Chevrolet and fifth wheel trailer overturned and the Chevrolet caught fire blocking the northbound and southbound lanes. A road closure was immediately established to facilitate rescue efforts and subsequent investigation.

The CHP Inland Division Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team (MAIT) responded to assist with the investigation. The roadway was reopened on March 31, at 11:00 AM. A driver and passenger in both the Subaru and Chevrolet sustained fatal injuries. All occupants appear to have been properly restrained. At this time, alcohol or drug impairment do not appear to be contributory factors to the cause of the collision.

The cause of this collision is still under investigation.

The names of the involved parties are withheld pending official notification of next of kin by the Mono County Sheriff’s Department.

Job Fair Coming To Bishop

The Bishop Area Chamber of Commerce has teamed up with several local businesses to host a job fair on Saturday, April 7th. The event is designed to connect private and public sector employers with the best local candidates. The job fair will be held in the Tech Center at Bishop Union High School (formerly the site of the library) and will run from 10am until 2pm. The event will follow a drop-in style schedule, so job seekers can come to the event anytime during those hours.

“We’ve heard from many business owners that are ready to hire as we enter our busy spring and summer season,” explains Tawni Thomson of the Bishop Chamber.   “They are looking to fill many full and part-time positions in a wide variety of occupations.”

Organizers are hoping to attract job seekers of all ages and all skill levels. “We’re hopeful students, retirees or others looking for part-time employment will find this event just as helpful as those seeking full-time permanent careers,” explains Thomson.
Several businesses and agencies have already signed on to participate in the job fair including: Achieve Behavioral Associates, Alta One Federal Credit Union, Caltrans, Carl’s Jr., Creekside Inn, Eastern Sierra Tri-County Fairgrounds, High Country Lumber, Kmart, Northern Inyo Hospital, Pioneer Home Health Care, TERO (Tribal Employment Rights Office) and US Forest Service. “We’ve heard from several others that are also interested, so the list of employers is likely to grow,” added Thomson.
It’s free for any business to participate. To sign up contact the Bishop Chamber at 760-873-8405 or email

Services Announced For Former Bishop City Mayor-Patricia Gardner

Pat Gardner served on the City Council for nearly six years. She was elected to serve on the City Council for a four-year term on November 6, 2012 and was re-elected to another four-year term in November 8, 2016.

While serving on the City Council Pat served as Mayor from December 8, 2014 through December 14, 2015. She served as Mayor Pro Tempore from December 9, 2013 through December 8, 2014, and again from December 11, 2017 through the date of her passing, March 24, 2018.

Pat also served on the following City Council Committees during her time in office:

League of California Cities, Desert Mountain Division from 2013 to 2018

Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) from 2013 to 2018

Eastern Sierra Council of Governments (ESCOG) in 2013

Eastern Sierra Transit Authority (ESTA) in 2013

Indian Gaming Local Community Benefit Committee (IGLCBC) from 2014 to 2018

City/County Liaison Committee from 2014 to 2016

Local Transportation Commission (LTC) from 2015 to 2018

North Sierra Highway Corridor Advisory Committee from 2016 to 2018

Owens Valley Groundwater Authority from 2017 to 2018

Pat was also very active in her community and frequently attended meetings and supported the Bishop Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau, and the Inyo Associates.

Pat Gardner’s parents moved their family to Bishop in 1960 when her father transferred within California Department of Transportation. She attended Bishop Elementary School and graduated from Bishop Union High School in 1971. She left the valley to attend The College of Idaho in Caldwell, Idaho, where she received a Bachelors in Science in Biology and Psychology with a secondary teaching credential. She then attended Northwestern University Medical School, Programs in Physical Therapy in Chicago, Illinois, where she earned her Graduate Certificate in Physical Therapy. She and her husband Ted moved back to Bishop in 1981 to raise their family, where their two sons, David and Chris, both graduated from Bishop Union High School.

During those years, Pat also served on the Bishop Union Elementary School Board for four terms.

Pat was also a private business owner. In 1986 she purchased Sports Medicine and Rehab Therapy and continued that practice until 2011.

She also worked part-time as a physical therapist for Pioneer Home Health or S.P.O.R.T. She enjoyed treating patients and helping them to actively enjoy the beautiful valley we live in.

She was active in the United Methodist Church where she enjoyed teaching Sunday school, serving on governing committees, and supported the programs of United Methodist Social Services.

She also volunteered her services to Hospice of the Owens Valley, now a part of Pioneer Home Health Care, Incorporated.

She was thankful to wake up each day to the beautiful sunrises over the White Mountains and to end each day with a view of the glorious sunsets over the Sierras.

She will be sorely missed.


Saturday, April 7, 2018

11:00 A.M.

United Methodist Church

205 N. Fowler Street

Bishop, CA 93514

The family has requested, in lieu of flowers, to please make a donation to the charity of their choice.

Immediately following the services, a reception will be held at the Bishop Elks Lodge located at 151 E. Line Street in Bishop.

First Blue Ribbon Fun Run & Walk A Success

The First Blue Ribbon Fun Run & Walk, 3K, 5K and 10K took place Saturday morning, March 24th, at Brown’s Town in Bishop.

Sponsored by Northern Inyo Healthcare District, Eastern Sierra Cancer Alliance, Reach Air-Sierra Lifelflight, Sage To Summit, Brown’s Town/Brown’s Supply Inc., Kmart, Inyo Register, The Sheet, Sierra Wave Media, Vons, La Casita Mexican Restaurant and KIBS/KBOV, the event drew several community members together to help raise fund for the Eastern Sierra Cancer Alliance.  In addition, it also brought awareness to the importance of Colorectal Cancer which is “Preventable, treatable and beatable”.

Dignitaries included Dr. Kevin Flanigan, Dr. Cromer-Tyler, Pat Ramirez (Founder of Eastern Sierra Cancer Alliance), Karen Schwartz (Bishop City Mayor), and Inyo County Supervisor Rick Pucci.


Watercott Ends 20 Years of Service to Northern Inyo Healthcare District

Pete Watercott will step down March 31st from the Northern Inyo Healthcare District’s Board of Directors after 20 years of service; the District announced Thursday morning.

Watercott, who has had a hand in everything from the development of the Rural Health Clinic, to the construction of the main two-story hospital, submitted his letter of resignation to his colleagues at Wednesday’s night regular board meeting.

The move gives the District 60 days to seek letters of interest, assemble a nomination committee, and conduct interviews before appointing a replacement. The person appointed shall hold office until the next general election scheduled 130 days or more after the date of Watercott’s resignation (November 2018). Watercott, whose term would have expired in November, represented Zone III, which consists of a large portion of the downtown Bishop area.

“It’s a good time to pass the baton,” Watercott said in an interview earlier this week. “When I first came on the board, my energy level was high. I had a lot to learn, and that was all part of it, but I think now somebody new could bring a lot of energy to the board and make a positive impact.”

Watercott acknowledges that many people see him as a keeper of NIHD’s institutional knowledge, but the five-term director scoffs at the idea that role is custom-made for him. “The past is important,” he said. “We always have to know where we came from, but the future is the most important direction. We always have to look forward and see where we can go.”

In 1998, Watercott found himself on the campaign trail after being recruited to run for the post by several then-hospital employees. Going door-to-door, he learned that healthcare issues ran deep in the community. “Over and over again, what I heard was there was no access to primary care,” Watercott recalled. “And it was not limited to any one segment of our population. Everyone was seemingly struggling with the same issue.”

Shortly after his election, the hospital and the County had the opportunity to work together to have Bishop designated as a Health Professional Shortage Area. That designation led the way for the creation of the Rural Health Clinic, a facility that now handles 28,000-plus visits per year.

“It was a huge deal for its time,” Watercott said. “Private practice physicians saw it as a way for the hospital to compete with them, and they had to be convinced that it would serve the community well. I do think it’s our biggest achievement in my time here for that reason; it solved an immediate community need.”

Watercott’s fondest memory from his term of service is the 2013 Grand Opening of the new two-story hospital. Having served as Board President throughout the years of construction, Watercott enjoyed the sense of accomplishment and admired the way the employees pulled together to face the challenges that inevitably came with a project of that size and scope.

“And in the end, we finally were able to say we did it – after so many times of trying,” he recalled. “When voters approved the bond issuance, it was like the communities were saying just how important the hospital was to them. There was no feeling quite like that.”

The challenges, as he points out, will continue to come. Physician recruitment will always be an issue. Keeping up with expensive technologies won’t be easy. Change is ever-present in health care.

“But overall when I look at what we’ve done, and think about it meeting-by-meeting, change takes a long time,” Watercott said. “It is incremental, but then when you look at it over the long term, the positive change happens when the leadership stays focused on achieving that.”

Watercott complimented current leadership’s focus on positive efforts. “It’s an exciting time to be involved with the District,” he said. “We’re providing so many services now – the high school clinic, expanded women’s health, infusion therapies, Same Day Care, and the CareShuttle, to name a few. We’ve talked about our involvement in the community, and how we can improve community health. I just feel like the opportunities are going to come up, and the District is going to be a significant player in advancing community health.”

He complimented Chief Executive Officer Kevin S. Flanigan, MD MBA, for the energy he brings to his leadership position. “I just feel that since Kevin came on board, the District is pointed in the right direction. The information and continuing education the board receives are the best they’ve ever been. Our budget planning is no longer simply built on what we spent last year. Now we’re building the budget to achieve our strategic goals for the District. All in all, the big winners in all this are the people we serve.”

While he is stepping down from the Board, Watercott is not stepping away from NIHD. He will continue to serve on the board of the NIHD Foundation, the fundraising arm of the District. He will also continue as a board member with the Inyo Council for the Arts and the Laws Railroad Museum.  The annual summertime Willow Street Neighborhood Party, in its 21st year, will continue to be hosted by Pete and his wife, Kathryn Erickson.  And, of course, you will see Pete just “fiddlin’ around.”

Yet, those first few post-resignation meeting nights won’t go unnoticed in Watercott’s heart.

“It’s been such an honor to be a part of the ‘one team’ at NIHD,” he said. “We call it ‘one team’ now, but in reality, it’s always been one team. Everyone from the physicians to the nursing staff, to all the support employees are compassionate and caring, and they want to provide great patient care. It’s been an amazing honor to have served on the board and had a hand in improving healthcare for our community.”


About Northern Inyo Healthcare District: Founded in 1946, Northern Inyo Healthcare District features a 25-bed critical access hospital, a 24-hour emergency department, a primary care rural health clinic, a diagnostic imaging center, and clinics specializing in women’s health, orthopedics, internal medicine, pediatrics and allergies, and general surgery. Continually striving to improve the health outcomes of those who rely on its services, Northern Inyo Healthcare District aims to improve our communities one life at a time. One team, one goal, your health.


2018 Blake Jones Trout Derby-Resounding Success!

The 50th edition of the Blake Jones Trout Derby is “in the books” and by all accounts, it was a resounding success! Nearly 700 anglers of all ages fished Pleasant Valley Reservoir and the Owens River near Bishop on March 17th vying for their share of more than $10,000 in prizes. More than 1,300 fish were weighed-in, with several lunkers over 5 pounds. It’s important to note that the Bishop Chamber of Commerce purchased more than 3,000 pounds of catchable rainbows from Desert Springs Trout Farm prior to the derby to make sure there would be plenty of fish to go around.

Prizes were awarded by a blind bogey raffle and this year’s target weight was 11 ounces. All participants with fish matching that weight were entered into a raffle and Dave Luther of Pilot Point, Texas was the big winner. He received a North Fork Outdoors Float Tube and a big package of fishing supplies. Other Blind Bogey prize recipients were Travis Cano and Albert Cano of Bishop, Isaac Gonzales of Lancaster, David Romano of Rialto and Morgan Causey of Santa Clarita. Cheyenne Yeager of Bishop brought in the biggest fish – a 9lb, 4oz monster. Brodie Banning of Bishop was thrilled to take home 1st place prize package in the kids’ blind bogey. Eric Stone of Bishop won the Dave Scadden Kayak raffle and Paul Garrison of Blue Jay, California won the commemorative quilt made from vintage Blake Jones Derby t-shirts. All in all, loads of anglers took home loads of great prizes!

While the Bishop Chamber is the proud organizer of the beloved annual event, it’s important to note that they rely on a solid group of volunteers to make it all happen. Special thanks to Steve Ivey, Bert Brown and Brown’s Supply for operating the PVR shuttle truck and thanks to ESTA for transporting anglers to and from the fairgrounds. Thanks to Vicki Simpson and Inyo County Community Work Service Program, Dan McElroy and crew from City of Bishop Parks & Recreation for all of the “heavy lifting.” Hal Reuter and his crew did a fantastic job weighing all the fish and the Chamber is ever-grateful for the many volunteers that helped with registration, check-in and raffles.

This year was the first year registration, weigh-in and awards ceremony were held at the Eastern Sierra Tri-County Fairgrounds and that proved to be great idea. “We heard many positive comments about the change,” explained April Leeson of the Bishop Chamber. “Plus, we were able to enhance the derby by including fly-tying demonstrations, informational displays, plus food and beverages provided by Billy Bob’s and the Bishop Lions Club. The fairgrounds staff was so helpful and the venue worked out really well.”

Many local and national businesses support the Blake Jones Derby by providing co-sponsorship funds and merchandise used for prizes. 2018 sponsors include: 5B Fishing Club, Aerohead Cycles, Alex Printing, Alpine Signs/The 395 Store, Amigo’s Restaurant, Anne Marie’s Home Boutique, Ashley Furniture, Back Alley Bowling Alley, Berkley, Bishop Automotive Center, Bishop Country Club, Bishop Heating & Air, Bishop Twin Theater, Bishop Veterinary Hospital, Blakemore TTI, Body & Soul, BP Distributing, Booya, Brown’s Town Campground, BUHS Ag Mechanics Class, CA Department of Fish & Wildlife, Carl’s Jr., CDF/Owens Valley Camp, City of Bishop, Comfort Inn, Community Printing, Convict Lake Resort, County of Inyo, Crowley Lake Fish Camp, Culver’s Sporting Goods, Dean’s Plumbing, Double Eagle Resort, Doug’s RV Storage, Dr. Slick, Eagle Claw, Eastern Sierra Propane, Eastern Sierra Realty, Eastern Sierra Transit/Dial-A-Ride, El Pollo Loco, Erick Schat’s Bakkery, Fish Taco Chronicles, Gillespie Distributing, Hendrix, High Country Lumber, Holy Smoke Texas BBQ, Home Lumber Company, Imperial Gourmet, Ingraham Trophies, Inyo Mono Title, The Inyo Register, Inyo Shell Y Mart, Keough’s Hot Springs, KIBS/KBOV RADIO, Kmart, KMMT/KRHV Radio, La Casita, Looney Bean, Los Angeles Dept of Water & Power, Robert Lowthorp, DDS, Macs Sporting Goods, Mammoth Mountain, Manor Market, McDonald’s, Meadow Farms Smokehouse, The Meat House, Mr. K Automotive, Mule Days Celebration, Northern Inyo Hospital, North Fork Outdoors, Our Water Works Car Wash, Paiute Palace Casino, Peter Tracy, Attorney At Law, Pintail Imaging, Pizza Factory, Preferred Septic & Disposal, Pure Fishing, Rainbow Meal Worms. Reagan’s Sporting Goods, Shimano, Sierra Maps, Sierra Wave Media, Simplicity Salon, Tom’s Place Resort, Turner’s Outdoors, Vagabond Inn, Vons, Woodruff, David & Gail, Wright & McGill.

The Bishop Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau is already looking forward to next year’s derby – mark your calendar for Saturday, March 16, 2019!


Bishop Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau

690 N. Main Street

Bishop, CA 93514


Two Vehicle Accident-CHP

The California Highway Patrol has released information regarding a two vehicle accident that occurred on Wednesday night.  According to the CHP, a 1978 Chevrolet Pickup driven by Benton resident, Elizabeth Copeland, was northbound on Fish Slough at a stated speed of 30 mph.  The road is not paved and was wet from recent rains.

A second pickup truck, driven by Benton resident Harold Race, was traveling southbound on Fish Slough Road at approximately 35 mph.  Elizabeth Copeland lost control of her truck and crossed over into the southbound portion of the roadway.  The front end of Copeland’s truck collided into the front of Harold Race’s truck.

Copeland complained of pain and Harold Race was transported to Northern Inyo Hospital.

The collision remains under investigation.  Alcohol use is suspected, but, it was determined not to be a primary cause of the collision.

Pleasant Fire Grows to 2250 Acres 15% Contained-Evacuations Remain In Place

The Pleasant Fire began around 2pm on Sunday afternoon, in the Pleasant Valley Campground area.

The fire is considered a Wildland fire with the cause still under investigation. Total acreage of the Pleasant Fire is now listed at 2250. The fire acreage has been updated due to more accurate mapping.

According to the latest information from Cal-Fire, there are 500 structures threatened.

Resources on the fire include 50 Engines, 20 Hand Crews, 4 Dozers and 400 personnel.

According to Cal-Fire, the lead agency working the Fire, significant winds Sunday, and today, have hampered firefighting efforts.

A Unified Command remains in place with Cal-Fire and the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office.

As the fire began to grow in size, Sunday, evacuation orders were initially put in place for the Five Bridges/Fish Slough areas. However, the high winds combined with the dry fuel, caused mandatory evacuations to be put in place for Highlands, Glenwood, Rite Aid Complex, Bear Creek, Meadow Creek, Dixon Lane and Laws.

The Pleasant Fire, quickly, grew from 100 acres        to 900 acres by Sunday evening.

An evacuation center was established at the Eastern Sierra Tri-County Fairgrounds. The number for the fairgrounds is 760-873-3588.

Per Inyo County Sheriff’s Office and Cal-Fire, the evacuation orders remain in place from Brockman lane to Highway 6 including Highlands, Glenwood, Chalkbluff, Meadowcreek areas, Pleasant Valley Campground and Pleasant Valley Reservoir. Officials will reevaluate at 4:00 pm today. 

Evacuees and displaced campers who require accessibility back to their homes or camp area to retrieve critical medications or essential supplies may connect with the Shelter Manager on duty at the Eastern Sierra Tri-County Fairgrounds, and, if law enforcement personnel is available they will be escorted to and from.

Road closures still in effect include Five Bridges, Pleasant valley Road including Pleasant Valley Campground and Reservoir.

Cooperating agencies on the fire include: CAL FIRE, Inyo/US Forest Service, California Highway Patrol, California Department of Corrections, CAL TRANS, Inyo County Sheriff’s Office, Mono County Sheriff’s Office, Bishop, Big Pine Fire, Independence, Lone Pine, Mammoth Lakes, Long Valley, Wheeler Crest, White Mtn, and, Chalfant Fire Departments, the Red Cross, DWP and SCE.