Local News

Deadly Head On Crash on 395

CHP Details the crash that kills an LA man

Just after 11:30 Thursday morning a southbound Dodge Ram attempting a pass collided with a northbound motor-home resulting in the death of 48-year old Los Angeles man Niquizlticoatl.   Niquiztlicoatl was behind the wheel of the Dodge.

According to the California Highway Patrols accident report Niquiztlicoal was driving southbound on highway 395 outside of Cartago, just south of Lone Willow Dip.  66-year old Sylmar resident Rockwell Barnes was driving a 2007 motor-home northbound.  The report notes that Niquiztlicoal “pulled out across a solid yellow line to make a pass, pulling out directly in front of the motor-home.”

Niquiztlicoal was transported to Southern Inyo Hospital in Lone Pine with major injuries and was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.

Rockwell Barnes sustained very minor injuries in the collision and refused medical care.  His passenger, 70-year old Margaret Barnes was first transported to Southern Inyo Hospital with major injuries and was ultimately flow by Mercy Air to Antelope Valley Hospital.

eastern sierra news, Niquiztlicoal, chp, highway 395

Extreme Makeover: Warren Street

Work continues on Bishop’s Warren Street

City of Bishop Public Works News Release
Warren Street Construction Update 7
Placement of concrete is the main activity this week on the City of
Bishop Warren Street Improvements project. Concrete work is essentially complete on the block of Warren between Line and Church and will continue next on Warren between Church and Academy. Concrete work is expected to start on Church Street between Main and Warren next week. The completion of storm drain near Academy is on hold while waiting for underground phone
cables to be relocated. Repaving will be one of the last construction operations.
Construction on and near Warren Street in downtown Bishop involves the closure of streets, intersections, sidewalks, and driveways.  Access is still available to businesses but in most cases it would be better to park nearby and walk a block to visit your favorite local business. Access to city parking lots is normally still available during construction, but entrances may be different and parts of the lots may be closed due to the construction.
Equipment, workers, excavations in the street, uneven pavement, and other hidden hazards require attention, even when work is not underway. The contractor on the project normally works 7 am to 5 pm Monday through Thursday and has Fridays off. Work is expected to continue into May.
city of bishop, warren street, bishop news, eastern sierra news

Flight Testing in Southern Inyo

China Lake to buzz southern Inyo Communities

Operational flight tests scheduled over
Lone Pine, Independence and Trona

NAVAL AIR WEAPONS STATION CHINA LAKE, Calif. — Starting March 11, operational flight tests will be conducted in the vicinity of the towns of Lone Pine, Independence and Trona.

These events will include flights directly over these towns. The testing requires aircrew to fly at 1000′ over populated areas to simulate urban missions. All flights will be conducted in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration directives. The tests will take place during the day and each town will only be overflown once or twice a week. There will be no supersonic flight or any weapons release.

“We are fortunate to have a wonderful relationship with the local population in the vicinity of NAWS China Lake. We are very grateful for the support and understanding we have received from in the past from the citizens of Lone Pine, Independence and Trona when executing similar tests,” said Air Test and Evaluation Squadron NINE Commanding Officer Capt. Gordon Cross. “Operational tests of this nature are required to adequately evaluate new combat systems; combat systems that deliver increased capabilities to the Sailors and Aircrew at sea. ”

china lake, independence news, lone pine news

Big Trouble for owner of Dusty’s Pets

Bishop Pet Store owner pleads no contest

Inyo County Sheriffs department press release:

Inyo County Animal Services Officers recently conducted an investigation into the current owner of Dusty’s Pet Store, 56 year old Rick Rennaker from Bishop, following several calls from the public regarding the health and welfare of animals for sale. The investigation, which began shortly after Rennaker opened for business in December of 2014, resulted in multiple citations.
On February 23rd, Rennaker entered a plea of no contest to two misdemeanor pet shop violations: (failure to properly house, feed, and take reasonable care to sell animals free of disease or injury). Rennaker was placed on 24-month summary probation; he is not to own, operate or work in any business regarding the sale of animals.

inyo county sheriff, bishop news, eastern sierra news

Caltrans Names new Director

Caltrans Welcomes New District 9 Director Brent Green

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Brent Green to the position of District 9 Director effective March 2, 2015.

“Moving to Bishop has been a dream of mine ever since I came up camping with my family when I was in high school,” said Green.  “I am excited to have a new challenge, meet new people, and make new friends.”

Mr. Green earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in business and economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Master of Business Administration degree from California State University, San Diego.  He began his career with Caltrans as a Right of Way agent in San Diego and has since moved through the ranks at various positions; the previous being Division Chief of Right of Way and Land Surveys in Sacramento.  Mr. Green’s 24 year plus tenure with Caltrans also includes Acting District 12 Director in Orange County.

Mr. Green brings a broad spectrum of knowledge of the Department’s goals. “I look forward to working with our many public and private sector partners and stakeholders in continuing to provide a safe, sustainable, integrated and efficient transportation system throughout District 9,” said Green. “The direction the Department is going is very positive and I will work with everyone to achieve the Department’s new Mission, Vision and Goals.”

His extensive knowledge in departmental policies and procedures, as well as State and Federal laws and regulations will allow him to apply his expertise and knowledge to the District Director position. Brent will be moving to Bishop followed by his wife Lilibeth, after their daughter CJ graduates from high school.  Their son Trenton attends San Diego State University and is working towards an engineering degree.

brent green

caltrans, bishop news, eastern sierra news

Excess Round Fire donations will be sold this weekend

A Benefit Sale for Round Fire Relief Efforts is this Weekend

Organizers will give victims one last chance to pick up donated items before the sale Saturday and Sunday.

According to the Bishop Chamber of Commerce, the morning after the Round Fire generous donors began dropping off donations of clothing, shoes, bedding, toiletries and other items to aid those displaced from Paradise and Swall Meadows.   The fire claimed one home in Paradise and numerous homes in Swall Meadows.

The Salvation Army, Tri-County Fairgrounds, Bishop Chamber and many devoted volunteers have been working diligently for weeks to sort and display the items. Dozens of families have picked up items and expressed true gratitude.

The outpouring of support has been phenomenal – so much so that more items have been collected than can possibly be used by the fire families.

Organizers will hold a “Community Benefit” sale with the remaining items this weekend at the Home Economics Building, Tri-County Fairgrounds. Proceeds from the sale will benefit both the local Salvation Army and the Round Fire Relief Fund. Hours for the Community Benefit Sale will be Saturday, March 7th, 9am until 6pm and Sunday, March 8th, 12noon until 4pm.  Only cash and checks will be accepted.

Organizers indicate that the sale will feature an amazing selection of clothing for men, women & children; shoes of all sizes and so much more! All proceeds will benefit both the Salvation Army and the Round Fire Relief Fund.

eastern sierra news, bishop news, salvation army, round fire, bishop chamber of commerce

Rotary Speech Contest Results

BUHS Senior Grah Wins again

Submitted by Rotarian Pat Nahin, Photo by Rotarian Ed Nahin

“It is better to light a single candle than to sit and curse the darkness.” What this means to students is the theme for students entering the Rotary District 5190 Speech Contest.  Seven students from Mammoth and Bishop high schools competed in the Mammoth and Bishop Rotary Club’s annual speech contest that was held at The Rotary Club of Bishop’s noon meeting February 24th.    Each year talented students demonstrate their speaking skills in front of Rotarians, guests and families.  It is amazing to watch.  Maggie Kingsbury from the Rotary Club of Bishop was the chairperson for the Bishop students:  Audrey Bear, Angie Flores and Olivia Grah.  Luan Mendel, from the Mammoth Rotary Club was in charge of the speech contest for the four Mammoth students, Amanda Kirkeby, Lex Brode, Connor Kusumoto and Garrett Hallum.

Olivia Grah, took first place last year in the Rotary Bishop club’s contest and again took first place this year and will be seeking the top spot at the 2015 District 5190 Conference held at Harrah’s South Lake Tahoe on May 16th 2015.  The District awards will be $1000 for first place, $750 for second and $500 for third.

Editors note, Olivia Grah, a senior at Bishop Union High School, has been accepted at Princeton University.

 IMG_0198

Pictured:  Maggie Kingsbury, Audrey Bear, Amanda Kirkeby, Lex Brode, Angie Flores, Connor Kusumoto, Garrett Hallum, Olivia Grah and Luan Mendel.

bishop rotary club, bishop news, mammoth news, mammoth high school, bishop union high school

BB Gun Incident leads to Arrest

Saturday Incident ends in Arrest

According to the Bishop Police  department the incident played out Saturday evening in east Bishop.

Details:

On Saturday, February 28, 2015 at about 8:50 PM, Officers from the Bishop Police Department responded to the area of the 300 block of East Line Street regarding a report of someone brandishing a firearm.

Upon arrival, Officers located the Victim, Danielle Jordan. Jordan had obvious injuries and reported to the Officers that she had been attacked by September Downey, age 38 of Bishop.  Jordan claimed that Downey had assaulted her with an unknown type of firearm and that she had been rendered unconscious as a result of the assault. The attack had been witnessed by others in the area.
According to the Bishop Police Department, “further investigation revealed that the weapon was a replica firearm/ BB Gun and that Jordan had been shot and beaten with the BB gun during the assault.”

The suspect, Downey, was located a short time later at her residence and taken into custody without incident. Jordan was treated at Northern Inyo Hospital for her injuries.

Downey was subsequently booked at Inyo County Jail on various charges, including Attempted Homicide, Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Battery Causing Great Bodily Injury, and Violation of Probation. Downey’ Bail is currently set at $500,000.

photo via Inyo County Sheriffs Department
photo via Inyo County Sheriffs Department
bishop news, bishop police department, eastern sierra news

MCWD ups Water Restrictions

MCWD Board of Directors Approve Raising Water Restrictions to Level 2

Water content of the Mammoth Pass snowpack is more than 70 percent below normal conditions. Customers are requested to reduce water use by 20 percent.

 Mammoth Lakes, CA – On February 19, the MCWD board unanimously approved moving from Level 1 to Level 2 water shortage restrictions.  The board’s decision was based on the water content of the Mammoth Pass snowpack, about 70 percent below normal, and MCWD staff estimates of water supply availability.  The goal of the Level 2 restrictions are to achieve a 20 percent reduction of customer water demand.  Customers of the MCWD have been under Level 1 restrictions since the drought began in 2012.  The MCWD board will continue to reassess snowpack conditions and the status of the groundwater production wells water supply conditions through the coming months.

Level 2 water restrictions will be in effect March 9th.  Under these restrictions, outdoor irrigation will only be allowed from 8:00 pm to 9:00 am, water for construction is limited to recycled water, significant leaks must be repaired within 3 days of notification or discovery, and no new lawns may be installed, even when a hose with an automatic shut-off nozzle is used for irrigation.  Indoor savings are expected to result from voluntary measures taken by customers.

MCWD has incentive programs to help customers save water. These programs include an indoor and outdoor fixture rebate program, free efficient showerheads and staff availability to discuss site specific irrigation efficiency improvements. Information on these programs are available on the MCWD website.     MCWD would like to encourage all customers to pay attention to water usage, check for leaking fixtures indoors and out, keep pools and spas covered when not in use, limit shower times and only run full loads of dishes and clothes.

More information on Level 2 restrictions and tips to conserve water is available from the MCWD website, www.mcwd.dst.ca.us.

About Mammoth Community Water District 

MCWD provides water and wastewater utility service to the Town of Mammoth Lakes and surrounding areas.  MCWD strives to provide reliable, affordable utility service to our customers and to conduct our operations in a manner reflecting our stewardship role.  We encourage our customers to practice responsible use of our limited water resources, and to take advantage of the information and services available to support this goal.

photo courtesy of the MCWD website

mammoth news, mammoth community water district, eastern sierra news

New Manager for OV Growers

Owens Valley Growers Cooperative

New General Manager for OVGC Planned Food Coop

The Owens Valley Growers Cooperative (OVGC) is pleased to announce that David Woodruff will be joining the OVGC in the position of General Manager for the new Food Coop/local foods café, bakery and community gathering place planned for opening in the former Mairs’ Market building in downtown Independence this summer.
The Owens Valley Growers Cooperative’s was founded by a group of Inyo County residents two years ago whose purpose is to build a local and sustainable food system in the Owens Valley through community education, support of local agriculture and the development of local market outlets.
With generous support from the Metabolic Studio and USDA Local Foods Promotion Project, OVGC will be re-opening the historic Mairs’ Market building and offering Owens Valley residents the opportunity to buy locally produced and natural food products in addition to household staples. The small Café and bakery will provide wholesome and healthy foods for dining in or take out and serve as a focal point for the community to gather, and share friendship and ideas.
OVGC has operated the very successful Owens Valley Certified Farmers Market alternate weeks in Lone Pine and Independence for almost two years.
Woodruff brings with him a lengthy background in business, retail and food & beverage management. Most recently, he has been the Operations Manager of the Fort Independence Travel Plaza, RV Park and Winnedumah Winns Casino.
“I am deeply honored to have been selected to help get this exciting project off the ground” said Woodruff. “This is an incredible thing OVGC is bringing to Independence and all of the Owens Valley. To be able to provide not only much needed goods and services to our community, but also an outlet and an inspiration for our friends and neighbors to produce more local foods and value added products has been a goal of the OVGC founders since its inception…and now we’re ready to make it a reality.”
The goal is to have the not for profit Food Coop and Café open by this summer. With the help of volunteers, members and supporters, the outlet will offer the best selection of items at the best value possible to consumers.
“The purpose of the Food Coop is not to accumulate profit for investors, but to meet the goals, needs and aspirations of its members and community” said Woodruff. “We’ll not only provide healthy, delicious and sustainable foods at a good price, but we’ll also be a source of information and learning, offering a variety of outreach programs from home canning to winter gardening. We hope to be a catalyst for economic revitalization and provide a gathering place for people to come together and share and contribute their ideas, interests and goals”.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us and hope to gather support from our community to help get us open. Community forums, fundraisers, membership drives and volunteer work days are all planned for the next several months. I look forward to meeting everyone who’s interested in helping make this worthy project a reality.”
For more information on the Owens Valley Growers Cooperative Food Coop and Café you may contact them at ovgcfoodcoop@gmail or checkout their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/OwensValleyGrowersCooperative

Anna Capodano and Tamara Cohn
Anna Capodano and Tamara Cohn
eastern sierra news, owens valley growers, independence news