Category Archives: Community News

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Remains recovered near Shepherd Pass

Shepherd Pass Recovery Mission

Adverse weather delays recovery
Remains yet to be identified

Inyo County Sheriff’s Department report:

On Monday May 18th, 2015 Inyo County Sheriff’s Dispatch received notification of a deceased person off the Shepherd Pass trail at about the 12,000” elevation level. The information shared with the Sheriff’s Office from the reporting party was that it was evident that the person had been deceased for some time.

Due to the demanding and steep terrain, it was determined that a helicopter recovery would be the safest mechanism to remove the body. Several attempts were made, but due to the recent storm activity in the High Sierra’s the recovery mission had to be held off until the morning of Wednesday May 27th. CHP Helicopter H-80 out of Apple Valley was utilized. Inyo SAR members were able to safely secure the remains for transport to the Lone Pine Airport where they were met by the Inyo County Coroner’s Office. Cause of death has not yet been determined, nor has positive identification of the remains.

“The remains were about 75-yards due east of the Shepherd Pass trail, about 200-yards from the Sequoia National Park boundary, located in a flat area where it would be safe to presume that a fall was not the cause,” stated SAR Coordinator Brian Hohenstein.

The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank CHP H-80 for their assistance, and the Inyo SAR volunteers.

cover photo provided by the Inyo County Sheriffs Department

inyo county sheriffs department, shepherd pass, chp, inyo county search and rescue, eastern sierra news
mono sheriff

Mono Sheriff warns of phone scam

Mono County Phone Scam

Written and reported by: Jennifer M. Hansen, Public Information Officer

The Mono County Sheriff’s Office continues to receive reports from residents throughout Mono County of recent phone scams from the Internal Revenue Service. We want to make everyone aware of the current phone scams you may continue to experience.

The current phone scams that Mono County residents are experiencing include callers representing themselves as IRS agents. This is an aggressive and sophisticated phone scam. The callers claim to be representatives of the IRS. They are very convincing when they call. They will use a fake name and a bogus IRS identification badge number. The caller does know a lot of information about their target; thus, making you feel it is a legit call. The caller will also alter caller ID to make it look as if the IRS is actually calling.

These callers will tell you that money is owed to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If you refuse to cooperate with the caller, they then threaten you with arrest, deportation and/or suspension of your business or driver’s license. If you don’t answer your phone, the caller will leave a message with an “urgent” call back request or threaten that you will be sued if you don’t return their call. One of the numbers that has been reported on messages is (206) 462-5330 out of the Seattle area.

Please remember the following: the IRS will never call to demand immediate payment or call you regarding taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill; demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe; require you to use a specific payment method for your tax payment; ask for your credit or debit card numbers over the phone; or, threaten to bring in the local police or other law enforcement agency to have you arrested for non-payment.

The Mono County Sheriff’s Office wants you to be aware of these phone scams. They continue to happen and the callers are starting to become more aggressive in their demeanor to obtain your personal information. Never give personal information and credit card information over the phone. You should monitor your credit reports and your credit card and bank statements on a regular basis! Keep your identity and information protected! If you further question the validity of the call, contact your local IRS Office before providing any personal or payment information. For more information on all current IRS scams, please visit

If you would like to report any suspicious phone scams or verify that you have been a victim of a phone scam, please contact us at (760) 932-7549.

mono county news, mono county sheriffs department, eastern sierra news, irs
photo by Arnie Palu, Left to Right, Faith, Bodie, Alix Ellis, Kevin and Lis Mazzu

Bishop City Council Meets

Flower Baskets to Hard ball

The Bishop City Council had few action items on their agenda Tuesday night, but did receive a wide variety of information ranging from the placement of flower baskets to a budding adult baseball league.

The rare Tuesday night meeting opened with the council approving a proclamation recognizing the upcoming “Walk for Kids” on Sunday, June 7th.  Registration begins at 7am, with the walk starting at 8am.  The walk is being held on the 4th birthday of Bodie Ellis.  The walk is being organized by the Ellis family who became familiar with the Ronald McDonald House at Loma Linda when their son needed specialized care.  You can register for the walk at

Fire Chief Ray Seguine updated the council on potential plans for remodeling fire station number 2.

Police Chief Chris Carter thanked all who helped out with the effort to close main street for the Mule Days Parade.  Carter reported no major issues during the recent celebration.

City Engineer Dave Grah reported that work on the Warren street improvement project continues.  The focus on North Warren is the instillation of concrete crosswalks.  That work is continuing this week and is expected to stretch into next week.  Grah expects the concrete crosswalks to help with stop sign and cross walk recognition, noting the goal of the design is to limit paint and signage.   Grah indicated positive feedback from a recent set of meetings held to gather public input on Active Transportation Planning.  The top requests centered on Bike transportation followed by residential sidewalk improvements.

Waylon Cleland had positive news on the parks and recreation front.  Cleland announced that the city has been awarded a $45,000 grant from the Toiyabe Indian Health Project.  Funds will be used to renovate fields 1 and 2 at the Bishop City Park.

City Manager Jim Tatum reported that the new downtown flower baskets and their watering system withstood the busy Mule Days parade.  Tatum explained that the flower basket concentration near main and line streets is due to the current availability of water.  Tatum indicates the city is hoping to expand the program with availability of infrastructure to support the watering system.  Tatum also gave an update on the “Big Day in the Park”.  The recent 4th of July tradition is taking shape and Tatum revealed plans to include a baseball game at field 4.  The game would include a collection of recent graduates who are playing or have played college baseball.  The hardball game would potentially serve as a springboard for a adult baseball league.

Bishop Camber of Commerce and visitors bureau executive director Tawni Thomson reported visitor numbers to the city park center are up.  The Month of April saw a 32% increase in visitors compared to 2014.  Thomson credited the spike in numbers to the Forest Service sharing the space and favorable weather.  Thomson reminded the council of the California high school rodeo state finals June 16th-19th.

In action items the Council voted 5-0 in support of posting “No Parking” signage at designated locations for the upcoming 4th of July celebration.  The “No Parking” signage will be posted on the morning of July 4th, and removed the following morning.  The council also approved a one year extension of the fuel supply contract with Eastern Sierra oil company/Thomas petroleum.

The next Bishop City Council meeting is set for Monday, June 8th, 6pm.

cover photo by Arnie Palu.  The Ellis Family and Kevin and Lis Mazzu address the City Council.

bishop city council, jim tatum, tawni thomson, bishop news, bishop parks and recreation

Walk for Kids Sunday, June 7th

Bishop City Council Proclamation highlights upcoming walk

The Bishop City Council passed a proclamation Tuesday night shining the spotlight on a upcoming walk in the Bishop City Park.  A “Walk for Kids” benefiting the Loma Linda Ronald McDonald House will take place Sunday, June 7th.  Registration begins at 7am, with the walk starting at 8am.  The walk is being held on the 4th birthday of Bodie Ellis.  The walk is being organized by the Ellis family who became familiar with the Ronald McDonald House at Loma Linda when their son needed specialized care.

photo by Arnie Palu, Left to Right, Faith, Bodie, Alix Ellis, Kevin and Lis Mazzu
photo by Arnie Palu, Left to Right, Faith, Bodie, Alix Ellis, Kevin and Lis Mazzu

Alix Ellis tells their story.

“Minutes before little Bodie’s arrival on June 7, 2011 the doctors at the Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, Nevada informed us that something was wrong and the next two days seemed to go by with very little knowledge about Bodie’s condition. It appeared that his bladder was very enlarged and his kidneys were functioning poorly. The doctors were unable to determine an exact diagnosis and arrangements were made to have our sweet, delicate baby boy flown to Loma Linda University Medical Center where we were assured he would get the care he needed.Upon arriving in Loma Linda we were advised to go to the Loma Linda Ronald McDonald House (LLRMH) where we would find a place to stay that was close to the hospital. For the next week and a half the LLRMH became our home. There was always a meal and always someone to talk with. I found myself sitting with other families and moms, sharing our stories and exchanging some heartfelt words of kindness and encouragement. Words that would lift each of us up and even though our struggles were different most of the time, the compassion was the same. I needed that so much and I think I cried a little less with just having that kindheartedness and understanding. The security I felt in a place I knew nothing about and being taken care of by a community that cared so much was amazing! I remember receiving a Winnie the Pooh book on the doorstep of my room. As the tears began to run down my cheek, so thankful for the gift, I placed the book in my diaper bag. I later read it to Bodie as he lay in his NICU bed, one of my favorite things to do.
I would love to tell you how much this “home” meant to our family and continues to mean so much to us without crying, but that’s hard. They mean so much. After Bodie’s diagnoses of Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome and Vesicoureteral Reflux (his bladder refluxes into his kidneys) we continue to visit and stay at the LLRMH to this day. Bodie has endured three surgeries and several procedures to monitor his kidney function as well as his development including regular blood work and ultrasounds. When we travel for appointments, it’s nice to have a home to come to. Our distance from the hospital and Bodie’s doctors makes for a long drive, and we are blessed beyond words to be able to continue to experience the kind embrace and peace from the amazing caregivers at LLRMH. Thank you just doesn’t seem like enough… but we keep telling them Thank you! Thank you for loving us and helping us to be emotionally complete and whole for our little one, and even though he continues to be medically fragile, we appreciate the encouragement to stand strong. You are our champions!”

The Loma Linda Ronald McDonald House (LLRMH) is dedicated to supporting the health and well-being of children by providing a “home away from home” for families of seriously ill and injured children who are receiving care in Southern California. When a child in the Bishop community needs specialized medical treatment they are often transferred to Loma Linda University Medical Center and families are able to stay at the Ronald McDonald House while their child is in the hospital.

What is the WALK FOR KIDS? Walk for Kids is a non-competitive walk that is designed to raise funds and awareness for the services and programs provided by the Loma Linda Ronald McDonald House.

You can register for the walk by going to

cover photo by Arnie Palu.  The Ellis Family with Ronald McDonald at the Mule Days Parade

bishop news, walk for kids, loma linda, alix ellis
gary green

Low Water, High Passion at Tech Group Meeting

Inyo County/Los Angleles Technical Group hears public concerns

The Inyo County/Los Angeles Department of water and power technical group met Tuesday morning at the DWP’s Bishop headquarters. The relatively short, 5 item agenda featured a scheduled discussion on water supply reductions to the McNalley ponds, but also featured pointed questions from local residents demanding answers to what they call “clear violations of the long term water agreement”.

Residents Sally Manning, Daris Moxley, and Gary Gilbert addressed the technical group Tuesday, as they did at the May 4th meeting. Manning quoted the Long Term Water agreement section relating to the DWP’s requirement to provide irrigation water. In regards to cuts in irrigation water, Manning said, “Justice is not being done”.

Daris Moxley spoke passionately about attending technical group and standing committee meetings since 2008 to voice concerns in regards to the DWP’s “non-compliance with the long term water agreement.”. Moxley noted that her questions have not be answered by the LADWP or Inyo County.

Responding to Moxley, Inyo County Water director Bob Harrington said, “We are reviewing the material you submitted and making assessments.”

Wilkerson rancher Gary Gilbert questioned the procedure for cuts in irrigation water. Stressing the importance of providing advance notice.

At the last Standing committee meeting Inyo County and the LADWP did not agree on a program of reasonable reductions in light of the ongoing drought. The long term agreement calls for reductions in irrigation, enhancement/mitigation, and other environmental projects in the Owens Valley. Bob Harrington indicates that Inyo County is continuing to meeting with MOU parties to look at adjustments to current projects to conserve water that could be transferred to irrigation.   Potential projects targeted include the lower owens river project and the owens dry lake.

The Standing committee is set to meet June 4th.

Cover Photo by Gary Young.

ladwp, inyo county water department, drought 2015, eastern sierra news, bob harrington


photo by Gary Young

Water Awareness for Inyo Students

Inyo County Schools on the Forefront of Drought Education with New Water Awareness Campaign

submitted by Annie Blakey, Educational Services, Inyo County Superintendent of schools.

When Governor Jerry Brown issued California’s first-ever, statewide, mandatory restriction on water use on April 1, 2015 calling for a 25% reduction in potable water use, Inyo Schools realized that they needed to help educate their 2500 students with a drought education program for all students Pre-kindergarten thru high school.
“We have an obligation to assist in this drought and the most important aspect is educating our youth to become better stewards of our water and help educate their family into conservation,” said County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Terry McAteer
The campaign, targeting all Inyo County students from kindergarten through twelfth grades, consists of two programs: a Water Detective awareness program for K-4 and a science curriculum for grades 5-12.
Middle and high school students start with a quiz to assess what they already know about local and statewide water use. They will also be encouraged to use figures from the U.S. Census Bureau and the 2013 Bishop Water Rate Study to calculate how much water would be saved each day in Inyo County if we were to match Governor Brown’s call for 25% reductions in water use. Students will then generate and share lists of ways they can personally conserve water.
Countywide Science Coordinator Kerry Lozito developed the curriculum for grades 5-12 in cooperation with local science teachers and agency specialists including Bob Harrington, Director of the Inyo County Water Department; Dave Grah, Director of the City of Bishop Public Works; Dustin Blakey, Director of Inyo-Mono U.C. Cooperative Extension; and Mark Drew, Sierra Headwaters Regional Director for California Trout and the Director of Inyo-Mono Integrated Regional Water Management Plan.
“The main goal of the curriculum is to motivate and empower young people to take action in the face of California’s current water crisis,” said Superintendent McAteer.
The Pre-K through 4th grade Water Detective program has the same goal, but has tailored the message to the younger group with a fun visit from “Water Detective Chief” Mitzi Eilts, who teaches the children why water is important and the role they play in saving it.
After the children participate in the presentation, they are given kits—that include an assortment of items ranging from fun, Water Detective I.D. cards, badges and magnifying glasses to more educational activity books—and a simple, yet powerful, mission: detect ways to save water and encourage others to do the same.
McAteer wished to congratulate his staff in meeting tight timelines to get this program into every classroom before the end of the school year. He commended staff member Annie Blakey for coordinating the entire project.

cover photo by Gary Young Photography.

drought 2015, inyo county news, inyo county superintendent of school, dr terry mcateer

End of the Year Events at BUHS

Bishop Union High School in the home stretch

Bishop Union High School has a long list of events in the final days of the 2014-2015 school year.

Tuesday evening, May 26 at 6:00 PM, the AVID End‐OF‐THE‐YEAR CELEBRATION will be held in the auditorium. All AVID families will be attending to celebrate our AVID graduates and the accomplishments of all AVID students. Barbara Fernandez, AVID Coordinator, and the AVID students would like to thank all
community members and businesses who have supported the AVID program throughout the school year and including the Study‐A‐Thon. Your support funded the annual college trip to visit educational opportunities in the Bay Area!

Wednesday, May 27 at 6:00 PM in the auditorium, BUHS administration and school board members will be presenting the Inyo county Academic Awards & the California Bi‐Literacy Awards to acknowledge student academic achievement. Congratulations to the recipients for their dedication to their academics.

Wednesday, May 27 from 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM, the Science Department Open House will be held to showcase the environmental science and advanced biology student projects. Parents, students and the community are welcome to attend this event!

Saturday, May 30 at noon, the annual Native American Recognition luncheon will be held at the Tallman Pavilion to acknowledge the Native American Graduates.  Big thanks to the Bishop Paiute Tribe for their continued support with this annual event.

Sunday, May 31 at 7:00 PM, Baccalaureate will be held at the John Schwab Field (football field). This event is organized by the Ministerial Association for graduates. Family, friends and community members are welcome to attend.

Senior Awards Night will be held on Wednesday, June 3rd beginning at 6:30 PM in the evening. Parents, family and friends of graduates are welcome to attend to congratulate the Class of 2015 and their
scholarship accomplishments. At this time staff will thank the scholarship sponsors for their continued overwhelming support for the graduates of Bishop Union High School.

June 3rd, 4th, & 5th, Final Exams will be held! Students will be released from school at 12:45 PM each day of final exams!

June 5 – the last day of school – will be filled with preparation for graduation services that evening!

Graduation will begin at 7:00 PM. Our front lawn will be “closed” until 4:30 PM to allow staff to prepare for the ceremony! Reserved seating area will open at 5:30 and a ticket is required to sit in that section. Limited seating available outside of the reserved section therefore parents and visitors are welcome to bring their own lawn chair/folding chair however, please wait until 4:30 PM to approach the front lawn to set up personal seating beyond the reserved section.

If anyone has any questions about any of the end of the year events, please feel free to contact the main office at Bishop Union High School for more information!

bishop union high school, bishop california news, eastern sierra news

Gerald Rupp

Gerald C. Rupp, 1939-2015

Gerald C. Rupp, age 75, resident of Bishop for 29 years, born in Monterey Park on November 7, 1939 Passed away on May 17, 2015 at Northern Inyo Hospital.
Jerry grew up in Los Angeles surrounding areas and graduated from Manual Arts High School in 1958. He entered service in March 1958 with the US Air Force and earned the rank of A/1C (E-4) while being honored with several awards for conduct with the Air Force. He was honorably discharged in June 1962.
He married Judith Janee Allen in 1963 and had his son Garry in December 1964. Jerry started working for Scientific Data Systems in 1964 which eventually become Xerox where he was field engineer repairing and installing computer systems all around the United States and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Systems in 1974.
Jerry was laid off from Xerox in 1975 and the family decided to move to Mammoth Lakes, CA where they had vacationed many times before. He was employed by El Burrito, Mono County as a health inspector, and Caltrans as a plow driver. Jerry and Judy bought the Village Wash Laundromat in Mammoth Lakes and turned a failing business into a successful one. Jerry settled on becoming an electrician and worked for Mammoth Mountain Ski Area and Rowan’s Electrician Mammoth Lakes.
During his time in Mammoth Lakes, Jerry became involved with the Mammoth Lakes Fire Department and earned EMT status and the rank of Captain. He very much enjoyed the people he met with the MLFD and the experiences he gained. He was Fireman of the Year in 1982. Many of his long term friendships were acquired through the MLFD because it was a unique group of firemen on and off the job.
Jerry moved to Bishop in 1986 and continued to be an electrician until he retired at age 73. He believed in the quality of life which was a big part of the family leaving the city and coming to Mammoth Lakes.
He was happiest in his garden with the wind blowing through the trees. He loved having horses, dogs and cats and cared for them admirably.
Survivors include Garry Rupp, son ; Mariam Staley, sister; Gayle Delcoure, niece; Michael Staley, nephew; Patrick Staley, nephew
Services will be held at the First United Methodist Church on Saturday, May 30th, 2015 and 10:00am.




Get a Teaching Credential without leaving the Eastern Sierra

Inyo and Mono Sups offering credentialing program

Inyo County Superintendent of schools Dr. Terry McAteer and Mono County Superintendent of schools Dr. Stacey Adler have signed an agreement with National University to offer a local teaching credential program.  Dr. McAteer says the effort is in response to a “severe shortage of teachers”.  The collaboration with National University is described as a one-time opportunity to grow the next crop of teachers from within local communities.  National University, the largest teacher credential institution in the state, will offer a Multiple Subject (K-8th grade) and Single Subject (9-12th grade) Credential Program.  The tuition-based program, starting this September, is ten months in length and classes would be a mixture of classroom-based along with on-line instruction.  The local college classes will be offered in the evenings and will alternate between Bishop and Mammoth.  Two informational meetings have been set.

Wednesday, May 27th from 6:30 to 7:30 pm at the Mammoth Lakes Library, 400 Sierra Park road.

Thursday, May 28th from 6:30 to 7:30 pm at the Jill Kinmont-Boothe School, 166 grandview drive, Bishop.

Chris Langley, Liz and Terry McAteer, Kim Cash Miller
Chris Langley, Liz and Terry McAteer, Kim Cash Miller
inyo county superintendent of schools, mono county superintendent of schools, dr terry mcateer, dr stacey adler

Bridgeport Christian Fellowship Honors top Cops

Bridgeport group honors Law Enforcement

Written and reported by: Jennifer M. Hansen, Public Information Officer

Thursday, May 21, 2015, the community of Bridgeport, and specifically, the Bridgeport Christian Fellowship, recognized, honored and awarded two local law enforcement officers with the award of “Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.”

The recipients of this prestigious award went to Deputy Wes Hoskin, of the Mono County Sheriff’s Office, and Officer Merrill Sept, of the California Highway Patrol.

“It is a pleasure to serve a community that appreciates the hard work and partnership with the Mono County Sheriff’s Office,” stated Undersheriff Michael Moriarty during today’s ceremony. “I would like to thank the Bridgeport Christian Fellowship for honoring the very best of law enforcement within Mono County,” said CHP Lieutenant Jeff Holt.

Both the Mono County Sheriff’s Office and the California Highway Patrol truly appreciate the Bridgeport Christian Fellowship, and all those that participated in today’s ceremony, for recognizing our local law enforcement officers for their dedication to protecting and serving our residents and visitors of Mono County.

Please join us in congratulating Deputy Hoskin and Officer Sept as our Law Enforcement Officers of the Year; an award truly deserved! We thank you for your continued dedication and service!

Mono County Sheriff’s Office (left to right) Sheriff Ingrid Braun, Deputy Wes Hoskin and Undersheriff Michael Moriarty
California Highway Patrol (left to right) Officer Merrill Sept and Lieutenant Jeff Holt

cover photo, CHP Lieutenant Jeff Holt, CHP Officer Merrill Sept, Deputy Wes Hoskin and Sheriff Ingrid Braun

mono county sheriffs department, chp bridgeport, bridgeport christian fellowship, mono county news