KIBS/KBOV Announcements

Inyo County Gives Funds to IMACA for Homeless Mental Health Treatment

Inyo County has received funding from the State of California to combat the homelessness crisis. California recently gave Inyo County $100,000 via Senate Bill 840 (SB 840).

The plan is for the money to be used to increase mental health services at a local level. The Board of Supervisors are choosing to send $70,000 of the allocated money to the Inyo Mono Advocates for Community Action (IMACA) via a Memorandum of Understanding.

At this time, there are no further plans for routine scheduled funding from the state to Inyo County and IMACA. The money given is essentially a one time deal between the state and county.

With this increase in funding, both the county and IMACA hope that mental health services will create a pathway that “matches people to available housing resources and services” according to county documents.

After Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, District 2 Supervisor, Jeff Griffiths discussed the increase in mental health funding saying, “The county has received money from the state and gave money to IMACA. This money will help individuals dealing with homelessness, because we know that mental healthcare is shown to help transition people into housing.”

 

Bishop Snap Losing Streak Against Boron

The Bishop Broncos blew out the Boron Bobcats for the second time this season Friday evening. The first meeting was a forty-one point route for Bishop. The final score of the game played a month ago was 69-28. Robert Chavez’s team put up 69 points in the second game as well. However, the final score in this game was a little bit closer with the match up ending 69-42.

Both teams played evenly throughout most of the first half. However, Bishop led the entire time, doing a nice job of sharing the ball and knocking down open looks.

Bishop’s standout player in the first quarter was Junior, Clay Omohundro, who drained back to back three pointers toward the start of the game. He scored eight points inside the first three minutes of the game.

The first half ended with Bishop holding on to a small lead. When the second half began, Bishop came out guns blazing. The Bronco’s lead quickly ballooned to a double-digit advantage early in the third quarter.

The star of the second half was undoubtedly Sophomore, Kenyan Piper, who was scoring at will inside the paint. There were many instances where Piper would receive the ball at the top of the arc and explode into the paint past the Boron rim protectors.

Bishop snapped a three-game losing streak with their victory against Boron. Up next for the Broncos, a pivotal match up against Kern Valley, who are one spot ahead of Bishop for third place in the High Desert League. If Bishop want any chance of hosting a home playoff game, they have to win tomorrow night.

Bishop Fall to California City, But it Wasn’t Because They Lacked Effort

Bishop dropped their third straight game against California City last night. The final score was 67-64.

Moral victories aren’t something the Broncos basketball team wants to hear about, but that’s exactly what this game was.

The past two games, the Broncos looked lackadaisical at times, however, that was not the case Tuesday evening. Robert Chavez’s team worked hard on both ends of the floor and could have easily won the game.

Luke McClean did a nice job in all facets of the game, demonstrating magical footwork inside the paint, stout defense, and excellent rebounding. McClean took home player of the game honors thanks to his performance.

Another player who stood out was Tristan Valle. The big fella has struggled the past few games. He had a lot of trouble scoring easy baskets against Desert and Rosamond, but yesterday was a different story. Valle was able to move off of the ball well in order to score easy points. The senior also demonstrated a magnificent ability to find open players beneath the basket. At times Valle demonstrated his inner Nikola Jokic. One such play that was reminiscent of Jokic came in the second quarter when he had the ball on the short left corner and rifled a ball inside to a streaking Johnny Torres, who cashed in on the easy bucket.

The game was back and fourth. When California City would go on a run and take the lead, Bishop would do the same just minutes later. Cal City would take the lead heading into half time. However, Bishop stormed right back at the beginning of the third quarter and held onto the lead for the entire third quarter. Bishop lost the lead in the fourth quarter with about 5 minutes to go. After that, the lead shifted back and fourth for the rest of the game.

With about a minute and a half left, Jaydan Braithwaite was fouled. The senior had a chance to tie the ball game. Unfortunately, he missed the first free throw attempt, but would sink the second. Bishop trailed by one point. With the Broncos down 62-63, Kelvin Bowen received the ball from the top of the arc. Bowen pump faked, and stepped into an elbow jumper to add two points to the Raven’s lead.

With thirty seconds left, Bishop threw the ball down court to Clay Omohundro, who found Jaydan Braithwaite beneath the basket to pull the Broncos within one.

Cal City’s best player, Kelvin Bowen had the ball in his hands with a chance to wrap up the game. From the right front court, Bowen called for an isolation with Omohundro guarding. The Raven’s star man crossed up Omohundro, drove inside and ended the Bronco’s hopes of pulling off the upset.

The final score was 67-64. Bishop now fall to 5-4 in High Desert League play. The team will look to bounce back against Boron this Friday.

Homeless Safe Parking Program Gets the Green Light

Inyo-Mono Advocates for Community Action (IMACA) is preparing to establish and operate a Safe Parking Project at the Church of the Nazarene in Bishop.

On January 22, 2020, the Inyo County Planning Commission approved a conditional use permit, which allows up to fifteen vehicles to park at the church parking lot. County documents state that an IMACA Case Manager will be available to respond to any emergencies that occur on the property. The Parking area will also be monitored by IMACA staff nightly.

The homeless individuals residing in their cars will have access to the restroom facilities at the Church of the Nazarene, and will only be allowed to park at the property from 7 pm to 7 am.

There are concerns that the homeless people who have access to the bathroom may cause problems down the line. These concerns community members have include vandalism, drug use, and theft of property at the church. Because of problems that could occur at the site, IMACA is providing liability insurance that covers theft, vandalism, damage and other losses attributable to the homeless staying at the church.

Additionally, if the Church of the Nazarene decides that the IMACA Safe Parking Program has violated the purpose of the building in the confines of the community, they will be able to terminate the agreement with IMACA. However, if the church decides they want to cancel the arrangement for reasons other than a breach of contract, IMACA will require the church to provide a partial or full reimbursement for any building improvements that benefit the congregation.

Other concerns from Bishop residents include the proximity to the Bishop FFA School Farm, which sits about 100 yards to the Southeast of the church. Some believe the homeless people residing in the parking lot may cause a safety issue for young students.

The parking program may end up being just a test run. Documents from IMACA state the trial period for this program may not exceed one year in time. If deemed successful, the agreement could be extended for a time period acceptable to both the Church of the Nazarene and IMACA.

Funding from this program comes from three sources:

  1. The Homelessness emergency Aid Program (HEAP) in the for of a block grant from the California Business and Consumers Agency.
  2. A grant awarded to IMACA by the California Department of Housing and Community Development.
  3. An Emergency Solutions Grant from the California Department of Housing and Community Development.

The organization’s hope is that the program will help homeless people transition into permanent housing, which the community action group says could take approximately two years or less to happen.

IMACA is taking a page out of the New Beginnings Counseling Center in Santa Barbara’s playbook, which has already implemented a Safe Parking Program for the homeless. The program has existed since 2004, and allows for up to 150 parking spaces where people experiencing homelessness can sleep.

Similar programs exist in Seattle, WA, Monterey, CA and San Diego, CA.

According to the University of Southern California’s Homelessness Policy Research Institute, the success of the Safe Parking Programs vary.

“In Monterey, the smallest of all programs studied, 50 out of the 75 program participants have been housed since 2014. The Santa Barbara program has served over 8,800 people since 2004 and cited placing roughly 432 (5%) into housing. In San Diego, 1,725 program participants have obtained housing since 2010, roughly 65%. Seattle cited placing 256 individuals in housing since 2012. Notably, the program was only able to place 40 people into housing in 2016 compared to 119 in 2015.”

For those who wish to file an appeal relating to the issued conditional use permit that will allow 15 people experiencing homelessness to park at the Church of the Nazarene, the deadline to do so is February 5, 2020. If an individual wants to file a protest, one must contact the Clerk of the Board’s Office. The cost is $300 and is non-refundable.

According to the Inyo County Website, “Valid notices of appeal will be forwarded to Inyo County Planning Department staff, who will present the appeal during a public hearing scheduled at the convenience of the Board of the Supervisors. The Board of Supervisors, at the conclusion of the hearing on any appeal filed…may sustain, modify or overrule the action of the planning director or Planning Commission in the matter. The final order of the Board of Supervisors on any such appeal shall be effective forthwith.”

For more information, call the Inyo County Board of Supervisors Office at (760) 878-0373.

 

Local Health Officials Monitoring Coronavirus

Two cases of Wuhan Coronavirus have been confirmed in California, along with one confirmed case in Arizona. The outbreak has been moving quickly across international borders to at least twenty other countries.

The Chinese government reports that there have been over 8,200 cases and more than 100 deaths so far. Person-to-person transmission is occurring in China, and now the first person-to-person case has been identified in the United States in Illinois.

A press release from Mono County Public Health reads, “This is a serious public health concern, and the CDC and California Department of Public Health (CDPH) have activated emergency operations centers providing guidance and situational updates in a dynamic situation. Hospitals are being asked to screen people for risk of this virus and to take precautions to limit spread if a possible case is encountered.”

Dr. Kevin Flanigan, CEO of Northern Inyo Hospital discussed how different procedures will be implemented locally due to the fears of coronavirus. “We are going to ask every patient for travel history, things are going to change a little bit. Please be cooperative.”

There are fears that coronavirus could turn into a pandemic issue, but at this time it is currently unknown if that is the case. “At this point, we do not know whether this will develop into a global epidemic (pandemic)” Dr. Tom Boo, the Mono County Public Health Officer said. “Based upon the information we have so far, the risk is real and a concerted and determined response is appropriate.”

Dr. Flanigan expressed similar sentiments about the virus saying, “Healthcare providers around the world are extremely worried about this. We know that about 10,000 people die a year from influenza in the United States, but with the Wuhan Virus, we are worried about the unknown.”

Though the Eastern Sierra is a geographically isolated area, if the coronavirus spreads, the region could be in trouble due to its proximity to Southern California, which has already evacuated and quarantined 200 Americans to March Air Force Base in Moreno Valley, CA who were near the epicenter of the outbreak in China.

Moreno Valley is just four hours south of the Eastern Sierra.

Many tourists from Southern California and around the world come to recreate in the area, which could lead to increased exposure to Wuhan coronavirus.

With that being said, Dr. Boo discussed the region’s susceptibility to coronavirus. “It’s a nuanced issue, statistically I think we are less likely to see an early US case. If containment efforts fail and it gets well established in the US, all communities could be affected. We’re of course pretty closely connected to Southern California.”

It is advised that individuals exercise extreme caution due to the dynamic and ever-changing situation. The Center for Diseases Control, California Department of Public Health, and local public health agencies in both Inyo and Mono Counties are working to ensure that the virus does not spread.

According to the NIH CEO, “Robin Christensen our Infection Preventionist, is working with the CDPH and the CDC to prepare in the event that the virus spreads.”

If the disease starts to spread, it may be extremely difficult for public health agencies to contain it because a person can transmit the virus without even knowing they are unwell.

China Health Minister Ma Xiaowei said Sunday that it appeared the “ability of the virus to spread is getting stronger” and that it is infectious before symptoms show.

“From observations, the virus is capable of transmission even during incubation period” of one to 14 days, Ma said. “There are hidden carriers.”

As far as avoiding the virus, the Mono County Department of Public Health says to practice standard infectious diseases prevention such as washing hands regularly, staying at home when feeling ill, disinfecting ‘hot zones’ in your home in the kitchen and bathroom, avoid contact with sick persons, avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth, and wear a surgical mask.

“My most important message to individuals would be do your part to protect yourself and others. Cough into your sleeve, wash your hands, call your healthcare provider for guidance, and stay home from work if you’re feeling sick.” Flanigan added.

Death Valley Prepares for Dark Sky Festival

DEATH VALLEY, CA – Death Valley National Park will be hosting the Death Valley Dark Sky Festival, February 21-23, 2020. Everyone is invited to attend this night sky and science festival.

 

During the day, the Death Valley Dark Sky Festival rangers and scientists will lead guided hikes to explore the features of Death Valley and the similarities to other places in our solar system. During the exploration fair at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center, visitors can talk to scientists, observe demonstrations, and participate in activities like solar system walks and solar viewing. Families are also encouraged to attend hands-on space science programs designed specifically for children.

 

Scientists from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and Jet Propulsion Laboratory will present evening programs exploring the search for life on other planets.  On Friday night, space scientist Giada Arney will discuss how NASA scientists examine life that exists in extreme environments to help understand the limits of life on Earth and better predict where life might be found on other planets. Saturday night includes a talk by Luther Beegle, Principal Investigator for the SHERLOC Instrument, part of the Mars 2020 Mission. Beegle will highlight the next stage of Mars exploration, the Mars 2020 mission, in the search for evidence of life.

 

Death Valley offers some of the best stargazing in America. The International Dark-Sky Association has designated Death Valley National Park as a Gold Tier Dark Sky Park, the highest rating of darkness. Superintendent Mike Reynolds said, “Visitors from around the world travel to Death Valley to look at the night sky. Stargazing here is a unique and breathtaking experience.”

 

Visitors can marvel at the night sky through telescopes on Friday and Saturday night with the Las Vegas Astronomical Society and the Riverside Astronomical Society. Photographers are also invited to meet up for night sky photography in prime park locations. Astrophotography experts and rangers will be on hand to assist newcomers to the art.

 

The event’s partners include the Death Valley Natural History Association, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Ames Research Center, SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), the Riverside Astronomical Society, and the Las Vegas Astronomical Society.

 

All Death Valley Dark Sky Festival programs are free, open to the public, and do not require registration. However, the standard park entrance fee of $30 per vehicle is still applicable. For a list of programs and lodging options, visit the park’s website at www.nps.gov/deva.

 

Local Man Shoots and Kills Attempted Robbery Suspect

An attempted robbery was foiled by an Eastern Sierra resident Monday evening.

The Bishop Police Department received multiple 911 calls regarding a shooting involving several people at the Shell Gas Station on Wye Road in Bishop, CA.

When officers arrived on the scene, they discovered an adult male on the ground in the parking lot with multiple gunshots wounds. According to a press release from the Bishop Police Department, the individual died on the scene. “He [The male] was unable to speak. A handgun was nearby, and medics began life saving measures, but he died shortly thereafter.”

At this time, the Bishop Police Department is not releasing the identity of the male until next of kin is notified. However, Police Chief Ted Stec told KIBS/KBOV News that the deceased individual was a non-local.

It appears as though the perpetrator was a suspect in an attempted robbery. “The investigation thus far tends to show the decedent attempted to rob one of our local residents shortly after he parked and exited his vehicle at the Shell,” the Bishop Police Department press release says. “It is likely the decedent had been looking to target someone in the parking lot. The decedent shot the victim more than once. The victim, who had a concealed carry permit and was armed, returned fire. He then managed to enter his vehicle and move to a better location. The victim received serious wounds but was able to provide BPD with good details.”

The victim is currently undergoing treatment for multiple gunshot wounds. He was transferred to a hospital in Reno, Nevada, for further evaluation.

After discovering the deceased suspect, Bishop Police issued a BOLO for a white Ford Escape being driven by a female wearing a beanie after a witness described the car in which the deceased male attempted to get away.

Police Chief Stec told KIBS/KBOV News, “This is a tragic event that has unfolded in Bishop. However, there’s been a tremendous response from Bishop PD, and all of its law enforcement partners including Inyo County Sheriff’s Department, Mono County Sheriff’s Department, Mammoth Lakes PD, CHP, Bishop Fire Department, and Symons Ambulance. This is an active investigation, and we are working to find the at large suspect.”

Later in the evening, authorities located a crashed and unoccupied vehicle that matched the wittiness’s description on Jean Blanc Road near the Laws area. A CHP helicopter and a K9 unit from Ridgecrest PD assisted in locating the female suspect.

Around 2:00 am, the wanted suspect called 911 to turn herself in due to cold weather. “It’s too cold, I am going to freeze to death.” the suspect told the dispatcher during the call. The temperature at that time was 19 degrees.

The female has been identified as Brandee Sue Trujillo, age 46 of Oildale, CA. She was booked into the Inyo County Jail on charges relating to a fugitive running from justice.

The investigation is still ongoing. If anyone has relevant information about this incident, you are encouraged to contact the Bishop Police Department as soon as possible at 760-873-5866.

 

Famous Snowboarder Dies in Apparent Suicide

On December 25, 2019, at approximately 6:00 p.m., Mono County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Mammoth Lakes Police Department (MLPD) were dispatched to a residence in Mammoth Lakes regarding a male who was unresponsive.  Upon arriving, EMS and MLPD determined that the man, later identified as Jaeger Alan Bailey, was deceased.  The Mono County Sheriff’s Office responded to handle the Coroner’s Investigation.

 

The investigation showed no signs of foul play and was an apparent suicide.  Next of kin has been notified of his death.  Jaeger Alan Bailey, 26 years old, was a resident of Mammoth Lakes.  Jaeger was a renowned snowboarder who had competed in the X-Games and been featured in several snowboarding films.

 

If you or anyone you know is in emotional distress or suicidal crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255).

Bishop Win Defensive Battle to Claim First League Title Since 2012

Photography by Gary Young Photography

It wasn’t easy, but the Bishop Broncos got revenge on the California City Ravens. The game was a rematch of last year’s High Desert Championship which finished 28-14 in favor of the Ravens. Big plays were rampant in that game, however, this year that was not the case.

Both teams found themselves in a defensive slug-fest with just seven measly points scored between the two highest scoring teams in the league.

Although there may not have been much that happened offensively, that does not mean it wasn’t an entertaining game. Neither team was giving an inch defensively, with the opening first down coming late in the first quarter.

Just like last year, Cal City dared the Broncos to throw the ball. Stacking the box proved to be effective against Bishop early on. Standout running back, Steven Paco along with quarterback, Luke McClean discovered that there were no lanes to run through.

Midway into the second quarter, the deadlock was broken after Cal City had to punt from deep in their own territory. The kick was a poor one, which went high in the sky, but just ten yards. The Broncos took over at the Ravens twenty-five yard line. After having good starting position, Bishop were still having trouble moving the ball. Things got even worse for Arnie Palu’s team, when a penalty moved the chains back to put them twenty yards away from the sticks.

However, McClean proved to the Ravens that he could throw the ball when he threw a 25 yards pass on the near sideline to Junior wide receiver, Joe Weaver who snagged the fifty-fifty pass out of the air to get Bishop inside the five. Two plays later McClean punched it in for the three yard score, which made it 7-0 after the Dan Sudki .

Going into the second half, Bishop relied heavily on their stout defense to win the game. Defensive coordinator, Rick Beall had his side prepared for anything the Ravens had to offer. The Ravens offense amassed just sixty-nine yards of total offense. California City quarterback, Jeremiah Neal who came into the game with ten passing touchdowns and 1,270 yards threw for negative-six yards on the day.

Bishop kept High Desert League receiving-leader, Kwamain Ross in check as well. Ross had just three catches and negative yardage on the day.

Defensively, the Broncos finished with one sack, fifty-eight tackles, nine tackles for a loss, and one interception.

Perhaps the best play the defensive unit made was to end the game, when Neal fired a ball twenty yards down the middle of the field to Marquis Mackenzie. However, the ball did not reach it’s target, as Luke McClean was able to intercept the ball with less than two minutes remaining in the game.

With the victory, Palu’s team has clinched the number one overall seed for the CIF Central Section Division Six playoffs. Bishop will be squaring off against Boron for the second time this year in the first round of playoffs on Friday.