Category Archives: Community News

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Marijuana Grow Located

Large Marijuana Grow cleared

From Mono County District Attorney Tim Kendall.

On June 1, 2015 the Mono County DA’s Office conducted flight operations in accordance with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s marijuana eradication program. The purpose of the program is to locate large scale outdoor marijuana grows on public lands within Mono County. These flight operations resulted in the detection of several marijuana grows in rugged and remote locations in the southern Mono County area. The grow sites were very large in size and ran up to approximately seven miles in length.

As a result the Mono County DA’s Office, with the assistance of the Forest Service, initiated a two month investigation. The investigation was also aided with the assistance of the Inyo County District Attorney’s Office and the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department since some of the marijuana grows crossed over into Inyo County.

During the investigation, it was determined that the largest grow, which was located in Mono County, was typical of grows commonly operated by Mexican Drug Trade Organizations. Along with those characteristics, several Hispanic males were identified and were seen tending to the garden armed with rifles.

On August 11, 2015 Investigators with the Mono District Attorney’s Office, assisted by Inyo County District Attorney’s Office, Forrest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Guard and the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department, conducted a raid operation to arrest and detain any gardeners found in the site.

Due to unknown reasons, it was determined that the persons responsible for tending to the garden had fled, leaving the garden unattended. The heavy late July rains appeared to have damaged the marijuana plants within the garden and therefore that is suspected to be the reason that the garden was abandoned.

During eradication and reclamation efforts approximately 40,000 marijuana plants with a conservative street value of well over $2 million dollars were located and destroyed from this site. During reclamation efforts a total of 4,401 pounds of trash was removed. Some of that consisted of 10.82 miles of irrigation hose and 550 pounds of fertilizer.

Marijuana photo 2

Numerous other illegal and highly toxic pesticides were found being used in the garden and Hazmat crews later responded to recovered and removed those pesticides.
Large scale marijuana gardens on public lands creates a danger to the public and to our recreational users of these lands. Unfortunately, hunters, hikers and others that come across these types of gardens and the individuals who attend these gardens put themselves in great danger. Along with the public danger there are also serious environmental impacts that these marijuana gardens create. If you ever encounter a marijuana garden you should quickly and quietly remove yourself from the area. Do not continue on your path and do not make contact with anyone in the area. Immediately call the Mono County District Attorney or any other law enforcement agency as soon as you possibly can.

photos provided by the Mono County District Attorney

mono county district attorney, Tim Kendall, inyo county district attorney, mono county, inyo county, inyo county sheriffs department
inyo forest

Increase in Plague Activity

Inyo National Forest Advisory: Increase in Plague Activity in the Sierra Nevada

Based upon recent incidents of rodents with plague and a handful of cases where plague was contracted by people visiting nearby federal lands, the Inyo National Forest would like to advise recreationalists and residents to take the following steps as a matter of caution while visiting the Inyo National Forest.

  • Never feed squirrels, chipmunks or other rodents and never touch sick or dead rodents.
  • Avoid walking or camping near rodent burrows.
  • Wear long pants tucked into socks or boot tops to reduce exposure to fleas.
  • Spray insect repellent containing DEET on skin and clothing, especially socks and pant cuffs to reduce exposure to fleas.
  • Keep wild rodents out of homes, trailers, and outbuildings and away from pets.

 If you notice dead rodents without obvious signs of injury while recreating, please contact your local health department (Mono County: 760-924-1830; Inyo County: 760-873-7868) or the California Department of Public Health’s Vector-Borne Disease Section at 916-552-9730. If possible, note the type of rodent (i.e. mouse, chipmunk, squirrel, etc.), location and date seen. If you are in a campground, please notify the campground host in addition to the health department.

 Early symptoms of plague may include high fever, chills, nausea, weakness and swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpit or groin. People who develop these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention and notify their health care provider that they have been camping or out in the wilderness and have been exposed to rodents and fleas.

Although the presence of plague has been confirmed in wild rodents over the past few weeks in nearby areas, the risk to human health remains low. In California, plague-infected animals are most likely to be found in the foothills and mountains.

 The California Department of Public Health has plague information, including precautions people can take to minimize their risk.

inyo national forest, plague, inyo county, mono county

Red Cross Training

American Red Cross Emergency Shelter Training Series

The American Red Cross is seeking volunteers that could assist with shelter operations in the event of an emergency in Inyo or Mono Counties.  They will be providing a series of Emergency Shelter trainings and welcome you to attend them all or choose the ones that will suit your needs.  All of the trainings will be held at the Mono County Social Services Conference room at 452 Old Mammoth Road, 3rd floor.  The topics they will be providing training for are:

Shelter Fundamentals on Thursday, September 3rd from 5:30 to 8:30 pm.

This is a basic-level course that introduces guidelines and procedures for setting up, running, and closing a shelter during a disaster for shelter volunteers.

Shelter Management, Friday September 4th from 9:00 am to Noon.

This course builds on the information presented in Shelter Fundamentals course and introduces the roles, responsibilities and tasks involved in shelter management.

Shelter Simulation, Friday September 4th from 1:00 to 5:00 pm.

Shelter Simulation training prepares volunteers to effectively and sensitively run and manage shelter operations as a team while meeting the needs of people displaced as a result of a disaster. The course provides participants with an opportunity to apply the knowledge, skills and abilities required to operate a successful shelter.

Please RSVP to Mono County Social Services at 760-924-1770

mono county news, mono county social services, american red cross
inyo forest

Work Coming to South Lake

South Lake Repaving Starts September 8

Inyo National Forest:

As a reminder, the Inyo National Forest is planning to repave and improve parking lot drainage at the South Lake Day Use and Trailhead parking lots this September. This much-needed work will also better protect natural resources in the area by reducing siltation.

 This closure will have a significant impact on recreationalists to this popular area. The South Lake parking lots will be closed from September 8, 2015 until October 30, 2015 (seven weeks).

Boat ramp and trailer parking will not be available during the closure. Recreational vehicles and vehicles with trailers will not be permitted use of the South Lake Road beyond Bishop Creek Lodge during this construction closure.

Roadside parking will be authorized along South Lake Road, down canyon from Parchers Resort.   Please do not park at Parchers Resort or at Rainbow Pack Station unless you are a customer.

Hiking access to South Lake, Bishop Pass Trail, and Treasure Lakes will be via Parchers Resort and the Rainbow Pack Station. It is approximately one mile to connect to the Bishop Pass Trail at South Lake from this location.

“The Inyo National Forest realizes this closure will be inconvenient to recreational users of South Lake and that the reconstruction activities will affect many recreational activities,” said Ed Armenta, Forest Supervisor. “We request your patience in the short-term during this project that will dramatically improve the experience in the long-term.”

us forest services, south lake, bishop creek, parchers resort, bishop creek lodge
cerro gordo 2

Cerro Gordo trip

Friends of the Eastern California Museum Cerro Gordo tour

UPDATE (8/26/15)  event postponed.

The Friends of the Eastern California Museum (FECM) is pleased to announce another exciting upcoming program. On Saturday, August 29th, the Friends will be offering a field trip to the silver mining camp of Cerro Gordo. The trip will include a guided tour by the town’s caretaker. High clearance vehicles are suggested though the road has recently been put in good shape by the Inyo County road department and is passable to most passenger cars with drivers experienced in dirt road-mountain driving.

The trip is limited to 30 people and the cost is $20 for FECM members and $25 for non-members. People wishing to take the trip must sign up in advance and may do so by calling the Museum at (760) 878-0258. Attendees will meet at the Eastern California Museum in Independence at 9:00 a.m. on the 29th. Ride sharing is strongly recommended and people should also take plenty of water and a lunch.

The mission of the Friends is to support the Eastern California Museum and its program and to raise awareness of the museum to Eastern California residents and visitors.

Cover Photo provided by the Friends of the Eastern California Museum

eastern california museum, cerro gordo, independence california, inyo county

Harmey Bancroft

Harmey Bancroft, 1979-2015

Harmey Jefferson Bancroft loved life, but he loved his friends and family more. His friends were considered family to Harmey.

Harmey was born in Cortez, Colorado on July 15, 1979, to Kathy Jefferson Bancroft and Frank Williams Bancroft of Towaoc, Colorado. He was the Grandson of Tom and Barbara Jefferson of Lone Pine, California and Speer and Mary Bancroft of Towaoc, Colorado. His brother, Franco Bancroft, was born 15 months before him and they remained extremely close throughout his life. The pride and purpose of his life was his daughter, Rosalynn Drai Bancroft, who was able to be with him for almost the first two years of her life. Harmey is also survived by several other half brothers and sisters, including Mackey Bancroft of Shiprock, New Mexico; Donna Bancroft and Francilla Bancroft of Towaoc, Colorado, Ellen Bancroft Gurule of Albuquerque, New Mexico; Gloria Bancroft and Mary Bancroft of Oklahoma. He is also survived by uncles Keen Richards of Ignacio, Colorado and Mike and Robert Morgan of Bishop, California. Aunt and Uncle, Susan and Donald Bobb of Lone Pine, California and Schurz, Nevada played a large part in raising him. Niece and nephew, Raegan and Jesse Bancroft, and cousins, Decora Bancroft, and Amanda, Danielle and Norman Bobb were very close and important to Harmey. He had an almost countless number of other cousins, aunts and uncles which he remained in contact with, no matter where he lived.

Harmey grew up on the Lone Pine Paiute-Shoshone Reservation and the back country of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. He had many professions, including packing mules in the Sierra, doing construction in Colorado, writing songs and playing guitar in several bands in Montana and California. But art was always the love of his life. He was accomplished in many forms of media and sold his first piece while still in high school for $100. Harmey learned and worked as a tattoo artist, eventually opening his own shop, Gypsy King Tattoo, in Bishop California in 2013.

There will be a Cry Dance for Harmey Bancroft on the Lone Pine Paiute-Shoshone Reservation community grounds on Friday night, August 28th. Graveside services will be held at the Lone Pine Cemetery at 11 am on Saturday, followed by gathering of family, friends, food and fun at the LPPSR Community grounds, 975 Teya Rd.



NIH Infusion Center Opens

Northern Inyo Hospital Infusion Center opens

NIH Press Release:

Cancer patients receiving chemotherapy are often facing the greatest challenge of their lives. Care providers at Northern Inyo Hospital’s newly expanded Infusion Center plan to do everything they can to make the experience as comfortable as possible.
Recently relocated into a larger space within the older main hospital, the expanded facility will open for service Monday, Aug. 24 at 8 a.m. Infusion patients with scheduled appointments for Aug. 24 are asked to park in front of the hospital’s West Line Street entrance and check in with Central Registration in the main lobby. They will then be escorted to the new location.
The new Infusion Center features five private treatment bays furnished with large reclining chairs and wall mounted televisions. Adjustable gurneys are also available for those preferring to lie down. For those seeking a more social setting, the bays are large enough to allow some family or friends to sit with the patients and chat or watch television together.
The new center also provides a comfortable, modern treatment area for patients receiving other treatments including outpatient Blood Transfusions, Antibiotic Therapy and Eye Laser Treatment.
Perhaps the most inspiring aspect of the facility is a simple, yet elegant, silver bell, donated by the Northern Inyo Hospital Auxiliary. Those completing their therapy may ring the bell, a symbolic end to an often life-changing journey.
Hospital employees and members of the public got a sneak peek at the new facility last week during separate receptions. The public reception, hosted by the Northern Inyo Hospital Foundation, drew about 50 people to the facility. NIH Foundation President Jack England and Hospital CEO Victoria Alexander-Lane greeted visitors as they arrived. Mini-tours of the facility revealed a well-thought out patient-centered operation, overseen by Ann Wagoner, Director of Nursing – Perioperative Services, her nursing team and Chief Nursing Officer Kathy Decker.

The Northern Inyo Hospital Foundation Board of Directors includes Jack England, Kay O’Brien, Mary Mae Kilpatrick, Debbie Core, Pete Watercott, Ken Partridge, Caddy Jackson, Carole Wade, and Dr. Richard Meredick. The Foundation’s Executive Director is Greg Bissonette.

The Northern Inyo Hospital Foundation in the new Infusion Center, from left to right, Executive Director Greg Bissonette, board members Caddy Jackson, Carole Wade, Ken Partridge, Foundation President Jack England, board members Dr. Richard Meredick, Debbie Core and Pete Watercott. Not shown: Board members Mary Mae Kilpatrick and Kay O’Brien. Photo by Barbara Laughon/Northern Inyo Hospital
northern inyo hospital, bishop california hospital, nih foundation

Bishop Safe Routes to School

Safe Routes to School

Join statement from the City of Bishop and Bishop Unified School District
The start of a new school year is a good time for parents and students to review the best and safest ways to get to and from school. Some ways to school are safer than others. Heavy traffic around schools is one of the biggest dangers that students face on their way to and from schools. Bishop schools have maps suggesting routes to get to and from school on foot or on bike.  The official maps are available on the City of Bishop web site.
Key safe routes to school shown on the maps include Grove Street, East Pine Street, East and West Line Street, Home Street, Fowler Street, Yaney Street, and Pioneer Lane. Students should use these streets to get to and from school whenever possible. These routes are the most direct and safe.
Main Street and West Line Street are our busiest streets. Home Street can also get very busy when hundreds of parents rush to drive their children to school in the minutes before school starts in the morning. The best place to cross these streets is at one of the traffic signals or where a crossing guard is stationed. Using the suggested routes will lead students to cross these busy streets only at signals and where there are crossing guards.
Parents are urged to share with each child the best way to get safely from home to school and back using the suggested routes. With proper care, walking and biking to and from school can be safe, can provide good exercise, and can reduce traffic congestion with all
the associated benefits.
Bishop schools and the City of Bishop encourage the use of designated safe routes to schools and wish the best to students in the new school year.
bishop police department, bishop unified school district, city of bishop
inyo sheriff

Stabbing in Big Pine

Stabbing in Big Pine – Public’s Assistance Requested

Thursday night at approximately 10:40pm Inyo County Sheriff’s Dispatch received an emergency call requesting an ambulance on Watson Street in Big Pine due to a stabbing. Sheriff’s Deputies arrived on scene and determined that one male subject had been stabbed; the victim was unresponsive and was immediately transported to Northern Inyo Hospital.

Interviews conducted with witnesses at the scene indicated there were three subjects with the victim: Bryce Williams 32-years old from Bishop, Jobe In-the-Woods 27-years old from Big Pine, and Ethan Williams 23-years old from Bishop. Investigators would like to interview these three subjects to determine what occurred.

Additionally, witnesses stated Bryce Williams stole a vehicle prior to deputies arriving on scene. The stolen vehicle is described as a 1998 white Nissan Frontier pick-up truck with the following California plate: 5X07934.

The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s assistance in locating Bryce Williams, Jobe In-the Woods, and Ethan Williams as well as information on the whereabouts of the stolen truck.
If anyone has any information that could assist Inyo County Sheriff’s Office in this case, you are encouraged to contact us at 760-878-0383.

inyo county sheriffs department, big pine california

Bishop morns death of Tattoo Artist

Harmey Bancroft found dead Wednesday

An initial autopsy is showing the noted tattoo artist died of natural causes at the age of 36.  Harmey has operated Gypsy King Tattoo on main street Bishop.

Statement from the Bishop Police Department:

On the evening of Wednesday, August 19, 2015, at approximately 4:25 PM, the Bishop Police Department received a call of an unconscious adult male subject at a Bishop area residence. Bishop Police Officers and medical personnel arrived a short time later and found Harmey Jefferson Bancroft, age 36 of Bishop, deceased in his bed.

There were no signs of trauma or anything to indicate foul play may have been involved at the time the body was discovered. On Thursday August 20, 2015 an autopsy was conducted and preliminary results would tend to indicate that Mr. Bancroft died of natural causes.

Further investigation is pending toxicology and additional lab results.

Statement from Gypsy King Tattoo facebook page:

The Gypsy King Tattoo Family is deeply saddened by the loss of Harmey Bancroft but we are gonna try our hardest to keep this shop open for him and for everyone else. The shop will be closed until Tuesday and we will be letting our clients know what is happening as we know more. Thank you for your support.

Cover Photo From Gypsy King Tattoo’s Facebook page

bishop california news, gypsy king tattoo, bishop police department, harmey bancroft