Category Archives: Local News

JB

No Foolin’, Gov. Brown orders water restrictions

Governor Brown Directs First Ever Statewide Mandatory Water Reductions

 

SACRAMENTO – Following the lowest snowpack ever recorded and with no end to the drought in sight, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced actions that will save water, increase enforcement to prevent wasteful water use, streamline the state’s drought response and invest in new technologies that will make California more drought resilient.

“Today we are standing on dry grass where there should be five feet of snow. This historic drought demands unprecedented action,” said Governor Brown. “Therefore, I’m issuing an executive order mandating substantial water reductions across our state. As Californians, we must pull together and save water in every way possible.”

High resolution photos of previous snow surveys are available here.

For more than two years, the state’s experts have been managing water resources to ensure that the state survives this drought and is better prepared for the next one. Last year, the Governor proclaimed a drought state of emergency. The state has taken steps to make sure that water is available for human health and safety, growing food, fighting fires and protecting fish and wildlife. Millions have been spent helping thousands of California families most impacted by the drought pay their bills, put food on their tables and have water to drink.

The following is a summary of the executive order issued by the Governor today.

Save Water

For the first time in state history, the Governor has directed the State Water Resources Control Board to implement mandatory water reductions in cities and towns across California to reduce water usage by 25 percent. This savings amounts to approximately 1.5 million acre-feet of water over the next nine months, or nearly as much as is currently in Lake Oroville.

To save more water now, the order will also:

-Replace 50 million square feet of lawns throughout the state with drought tolerant landscaping in partnership with local governments;
-Direct the creation of a temporary, statewide consumer rebate program to replace old appliances with more water and energy efficient models;
-Require campuses, golf courses, cemeteries and other large landscapes to make significant cuts in water use; and
-Prohibit new homes and developments from irrigating with potable water unless water-efficient drip irrigation systems are used, and ban watering of ornamental grass on public street medians.

Increase Enforcement

The Governor’s order calls on local water agencies to adjust their rate structures to implement conservation pricing, recognized as an effective way to realize water reductions and discourage water waste.

Agricultural water users – which have borne much of the brunt of the drought to date, with hundreds of thousands of fallowed acres, significantly reduced water allocations and thousands of farmworkers laid off – will be required to report more water use information to state regulators, increasing the state’s ability to enforce against illegal diversions and waste and unreasonable use of water under today’s order. Additionally, the Governor’s action strengthens standards for Agricultural Water Management Plans submitted by large agriculture water districts and requires small agriculture water districts to develop similar plans. These plans will help ensure that agricultural communities are prepared in case the drought extends into 2016.

Additional actions required by the order include:

-Taking action against water agencies in depleted groundwater basins that have not shared data on their groundwater supplies with the state;
-Updating standards for toilets and faucets and outdoor landscaping in residential communities and taking action against communities that ignore these standards; and
-Making permanent monthly reporting of water usage, conservation and enforcement actions by local water suppliers.

Streamline Government Response

The order:

-Prioritizes state review and decision-making of water infrastructure projects and requires state agencies to report to the Governor’s Office on any application pending for more than 90 days.
-Streamlines permitting and review of emergency drought salinity barriers – necessary to keep freshwater supplies in upstream reservoirs for human use and habitat protection for endangered and threatened species;
-Simplifies the review and approval process for voluntary water transfers and emergency drinking water projects; and
-Directs state departments to provide temporary relocation assistance to families who need to move from homes where domestic wells have run dry to housing with running water.

Invest in New Technologies

The order helps make California more drought resilient by:

-Incentivizing promising new technology that will make California more water efficient through a new program administered by the California Energy Commission.

The full text of the executive order can be found here.

For more than two years, California has been dealing with the effects of drought. To learn about all the actions the state has taken to manage our water system and cope with the impacts of the drought, visit Drought.CA.Gov.

Every Californian should take steps to conserve water. Find out how at SaveOurWater.com.

governor brown, california news, eastern sierra news, drought 2015
chp

Traffic Delays On 395 at Mono Lake

Big Rig Accident Clean up causing delays

Traffic Delays expected today on highway 395 just north of Lee Vining at Mono Lake.   A accident this morning just after 5 am resulted in a big rig trailer overturning.  There were no injuries reported.  CHP, and cal-trans are on scene working to clean up an overturned big rig trailer.   The accident scene is 1 mile north of the community of Lee Vining near picnic grounds road.  That portion of highway 395 is only 2 lanes.  The trailer is blocking the northbound lane and a portion of the the southbound lane. Traffic is being escorted around the trailer, however full closures and delays should be anticipated. There were no injuries in the collision.

chp, lee vining news, mono lake, eastern sierra news
inyo forest

White Mt Visitor Center Closing for renovation

White Mountain Visitor Center Temporarily Closing for Re-Design

 The White Mountain Visitor Center, located in Bishop, California, is temporarily closing for a re-design. The visitor center will close after business hours on April 3, 2015.

The redesign is expected to take three weeks to complete. The visitor center should re-open by April 27th, 2015. In the interim, visitor center staff will be partnering with the Bishop Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center to continue to provide information services, issue permits, etc.

The re-design is much needed.  A new visitor services desk, shelving, flooring and paint are part of the effort to more efficiently use space in this small, but busy, visitor center to provide better services to our visitors.  Many of the furnishings and flooring date back to the late 1970s.

The Inyo National Forest would like to thank the Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association (ESIA) for donating part of the funds for the re-design and the Bishop Chamber of Commerce for sharing their space to ensure visitors to the Eastern Sierra continue to receive the range of information and services while the work is completed.

bishop news, us forest service, bishop chamber of commerce
nye county so

Tonopah Arrest

Man Wanted for distribution of Child Pornography Arrested Monday

Submitted by the Nye County Sheriffs Department

In May of 2014, NCSO deputies were made aware of a vehicle parked in the Hot Creek ranch area. The report was that the vehicle had been parked there for several days with no activity. Deputies responded to the area and located the vehicle. It appeared that the vehicle had been parked as the occupant was out camping. There was a note found inside the vehicle that said “Out camping, will be back soon.” The vehicle was registered to David Erdman out of Florida.
Nye County Search and Rescue, along with NCSO Deputies, conducted an exhaustive search of the area.  Approximately 14 days of searching the surrounding area was completed with no results for the individual.  As part of the process of searching for the occupant of the vehicle, NCSO Deputies contacted authorities in Florida. It was discovered that David Erdman was the subject of a federal investigation for the possession and distribution of child pornography.  Federal agents explained that there would be a warrant of arrest completed within the next couple of weeks for Erdman.
After several weeks of searching with no results, the search for Erdman was called off in the Hot Creek Ranch area.  His vehicle was towed to the Nye County Sheriff’s Office where it was processed further, with no pertinent information located.  NCSO deputies concluded that Erdman was either lost in the area, or he had staged the scene to effect his disappearance.
Federal Agents did confirm an extraditable warrant was issued for the arrest of David Erdman in June of 2014.
This past Sunday, March 29th, a confidential informant contacted Sgt. Puckett with information on David Erdman. The informant explained that David Erdman was actually living at the Economy Inn in Tonopah and working as a maintenance person. The informant explained that Erdman was not at the motel at the time, but would be returning on Monday, March 30th to report for work at approximately 8:45 am. The NCSO then set up a surveillance sting for the capture of Erdman.
On Monday, March 30th at approximately 8:50 am, David Erdman was located in the parking lot of the Economy Inn motel. NCSO Deputies made contact and arrested of David Erdman without incident. He is currently being held at the Tonopah Detention Facility awaiting extradition to Florida.  Erdman is being held on a felony arrest warrant for possession and distribution of child pornography.

erdman

Suspect David Erdman, booking photo by Nye County

tonopah news, tonopah nevada, nye county sheriffs department, david erdman
release_the_sheep(1)

Bighorn Sheep back in Yosemite

Endangered Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Restored to Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks

The Recently Completed Cooperative Effort Included California Department of Fish and Wildlife, National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
A multi-agency operation was recently concluded that returned two herds of endangered bighorn sheep to locations in Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks.  The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon National Parks, Inyo National Forest, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, worked together on the complex operation in the Sierra Nevada.
Between March 26 and March 29, 2015, nine ewes (females) and three rams (males) were moved from the Inyo National Forest and Sequoia National Park to the Cathedral Range in Yosemite National Park. In addition, seven ewes were moved to the Laurel Creek area of Sequoia National Park; the CDFW will attempt to move an additional three rams to that area on March 30.

The Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep is the only federally endangered mammal in Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon.  This animal was listed in 2000 after the population plunged to a low of about 100 individuals.  The population has since increased to over 600, which marks an important milestone towards their recovery.  Prior to the arrival of western settlers, which brought unregulated hunting and diseases in their livestock, bighorn sheep populations likely numbered in the thousands.

This latest chapter in the multi-year recovery effort involved the capture of Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep in wilderness areas on these federally managed lands.  CDFW staff and volunteers, as well as veterinarians, biologists, and staff from other agencies, assessed the health and safety of the animals throughout the entire process.  Each animal was fitted with a radio collar and a Global Positioning System (GPS) collar in order to track its movements over the next several years.

The newly released bighorn sheep are expected to thrive in their new homes because both of these historically occupied areas have superb summer habitat with adequate forage, are close enough to other Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep to provide the potential for connectivity among herds, and are far enough from most domestic sheep grazing areas to provide a buffer from potential disease transmission.

“This is a legacy event for Yosemite National Park and the bighorn sheep,” said Don Neubacher, Yosemite National Park Superintendent.  “Additionally, this is one of the Signature Centennial projects for the National Park Service and we are ecstatic to see bighorn sheep in the Cathedral Range for the first time in more than 100 years.”  “This project would not have been possible without the leadership of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and strong interagency cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,” said Woody Smeck, Superintendent of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
“With this week’s reintroductions, we now have bighorn distributed throughout all geographic areas identified as critical habitat in the Recovery Plan,” said Tom Stephenson, leader of the Recovery Program with CDFW.
Yosemite Conservancy funded equipment and experts to bring the new herd into Yosemite National Park, as well as the GPS collars to track the animals’ movement and location.  Over the past 20 years, Yosemite Conservancy has funded nearly $630,000 to help protect bighorn sheep by supporting research, translocation efforts, radio and GPS collars.  The Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Foundation and the Wild Sheep Foundation funded the translocation into Sequoia National Park.
“Bighorn sheep are a true symbol of wilderness and represent the need to protect wild lands,” said Frank Dean, Yosemite Conservancy President.  “With the reintroduction, visitors will experience a wilderness similar to that found in the days of John Muir, when large alpine wildlife was abundant.”
Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep are well known for their large size, strength, and ability to negotiate precipitous terrain.  Adult males, called rams, stand over three feet tall at the shoulder and weigh up to 220 pounds; females, called ewes, weigh up to 155 pounds.  Both rams and ewes have permanent horns; rams’ horns are massive and coiled, whereas ewes’ horns are shorter with less curvature.  Bighorn sheep display a range of body coloration, from dark brown to almost white, and have a large white rump patch and a short, dark tail.  Rams live to be 10 to 12 years old, and ewes live to be 12 to 17 years old.  During breeding season (rut), bighorn rams compete for their right to mate with ewes.  Dominance behavior includes kicking, butting, neck wrestling, and dramatic horn clashes that sound like thunder.  Breeding generally takes place in November.  Starting at two years old, ewes give birth to one lamb between late April and mid-June.  Mothers typically wean their lambs by five months of age.  The lambs become independent of their mothers when they are about one year old.

Yosemite Conservancy/Steve Bumgardner.
Yosemite Conservancy/Steve Bumgardner.

Sheep_CFW_gopro2_still (1)

Sheep_on_landscape

all photos by Yosemite Conservancy/Steve Bumgardner.

yosemite, eastern sierra news, bighorn sheep
Rachael Lee Asbell

CA State Rodeo Finals return to Bishop

CHSRA Finals are June 16th-19th

The best of the best in California High School Rodeo will gather in Bishop for the State Finals Rodeo June 15th-19th.  The top competitors in the Golden States 9 districts will battle for a spot at the National finals.  Nightly rodeo action at Bishop’s Tri-County Fairgrounds begins Tuesday, June 16th with the Opening Ceremony at 7pm.  The Tuesday Rodeo kicks off the themed nights with Patriotic night.  All are invited to wear their red, white and blue.

Wednesday, June 17th is Family night with the 7pm rodeo performance.  A family discount makes the Wednesday night rodeo a can’t miss for local rodeo fans.

Thursday, June 18th is Cancer Awareness Night.  The high school rodeo asks you, “Are you tough enough to wear pink?”   Thursday night at the rodeo is also a chance for those with special needs to participate in a rodeo at 5pm on the lawn near the home economics building at the Tri-County Fairgrounds.  The 7pm rodeo will mark the end of the 2nd go, along with the Senior Introductions and Farewell.

Friday, June 19th is Senior Citizen Night.  At 6pm there will be a crowning of a new state Rodeo Queen followed by the final rodeo performance, the short go, with the top 15 in action.

The best of the best will move on to the National Finals in Rock Springs, Wyoming July 12th through the 18th.

Cover Photo, Rachael Lee Asbell, Miss California High School Rodeo

bishop news, chsra state finals rodeo, california high school rodeo
Maureen R. Kinnamon

Tonopah Murder

1 Dead, 1 in custody in Tonopah

The Nye County Sheriffs department is reporting a fatal encounter Friday at a Tonopah Motel.  The incident left Penny Sue Silas dead and suspect Maureen Kinnamon arrested and charged with 1st degree murder.  According to the Nye County Sheriffs department, on Friday, March 27th,  at approximately 10:25 pm, NCSO deputies were dispatched to the National 9 Motel in Tonopah on a report of a female having been stabbed.

NCSO Deputies arrived and located Penny Sue Silas unresponsive laying on the 2nd story balcony of the motel, with Maureen Kinnamon sitting over her crying for help.   According to the Nye County Sheriffs department report, “As deputies were attempting to assist the victim, Maureen Kinnamon was making statements that she didn’t mean to hurt her like this.”

NCSO Deputies were able to get Penny Sue Silas loaded into the ambulance, and then began the process of securing the crime scene. According to the Nye County Sheriffs department, “Maureen Kinnamon was taken into custody when she made statements that she had done this to Silas.”

Nye Regional Medical Center advised deputies that Penny Silas succumbed to her injuries at 11:05 pm.

NCSO Detective Perry then began processing the crime scene. Through the course of the night and morning, multiple items of evidence were located in and around the motel room that was shared by Maureen Kinnamon and Penny Silas, to include the weapon used kill Penny Silas.

Kinnamon was booked into the Nye County Detention Center on a charge of 1st degree murder.

Maureen R. Kinnamon
Maureen R. Kinnamon
nye county sheriffs department, tonopah nevada news, tonopah nevada
halfdome

Glacier Point opening, no word on Tioga

Glacier Point Road opening Saturday

Glacier Point Road in Yosemite National Park to Open Tomorrow, Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Glacier Point Road in Yosemite National Park will open for the season to automobile traffic tomorrow, Saturday, March 28, 2015, at 6:00 a.m.  All visitor services at Glacier Point will be fully operational.  The Bridalveil Creek Campground will open within the next several weeks.

Visitors are urged to drive slowly and with caution, as wildlife may be present on or near the roadway.

The Tioga Road, the popular east-west crossing of the Sierra Nevada in the northern portion of Yosemite, remains closed at this time.  Currently, there is no anticipated opening date for the Tioga Road.

For up to date, 24 hour road and weather information, please call 209-372-0200.

tioga road, yosemite, eastern sierra news
IMG_9980

Warren Street Improvements

Warren Street Update

submitted by the City of Bishop, Public Works Department.

Next week, concrete work on the City of Bishop Warren Street Improvements project is expected to continue on Warren between Academy and Pine. In following weeks, concrete work is expected to move back to Academy between Main and Warren and then move to a parking lot on South Warren. The relocation of an underground phone cable has interfered with the work on the north side of the Warren and Academy intersection. A delay in getting the new cable could push the completion of work in this intersection into early May. Before this delay came to light, the contractor was planning to
have the entire project complete about the beginning of May. The intention is still to have the entire project complete before Mule Days.

Construction on and near Warren Street in downtown Bishop involves the closure of streets, intersections, sidewalks, and driveways. Access is still available to businesses in the area 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 driveways 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. When signs say a road is closed, please don’t drive on it. There are probably hazards you are not aware of. The contractor on the project normally works 7 am to 5 pm Monday through Thursday and has Fridays off.

city of bishop, warren street project, bishop news, bishop ca
inyo sheriff

Former Inyo SO employee arrested

Debra Didisee Arrested on Embezzlement Charges

District Attorney Investigators arrested former Correctional Officer Debra Didisee on embezzlement charges Thursday morning after she voluntarily surrendered herself at the DA’s office. The District Attorney has filed a complaint alleging six felony counts and one misdemeanor count of embezzlement which are alleged to have occurred over a four year period while she was employed as a Correctional Officer for the Inyo County Sheriff. The Sheriff had referred the matter to the District Attorney’s office for investigation in December when the Sheriff’s Department became aware of potential missing funds in the Inmate Welfare Account and the Inmate Commissary Account at the Inyo County Jail. Ms. Didisee is no longer employed by the Sheriff’s Department.

Ms. Didisee was booked at the Inyo County Jail and posted a $35,000.00 bail bond. She was ordered to appear in the Inyo County Superior Court on April 20, 2015.

inyo county news, inyo county sheriff, inyo district attorney tom hardy, inyo county jail