Category Archives: Local News

Phone Scams in Bishop

The Bishop Police Department would like to make the public aware of 3 different types of telephone scams targeting residents in the Bishop area. The BPD have had many reports of scams circulating in the area and unfortunately have had some residents fall victim to these scams.

A new scam which has the police department very concerned is a male subject calling residences and claiming to be a representative of the Bishop Police Department. This individual advises the victim that he or she needs to appear in court on a specific time because they failed to show up for jury duty. The male caller identifies himself as “Sgt. Burns” and advises you can show up to court; pay a fine; or go to jail. The fine amount is anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. The male caller is very aggressive and advises the victim to put the money on a “Green Dot Card” and mail to a specific address.

If you have not shown up for jury duty, the county will notify you through the mail. Law enforcement will not call an individual and use scare tactics to make you pay a fine and or show up for jury duty. We recommend calling the police department and we will assist you.

Vehicle accident scams are becoming very popular within our community as well. A telephone call is made to a citizen; the caller asks for a specific person by their full name and tells them a family member has been in a vehicle accident. The caller advises in order to avoid insurance problems and higher premiums to pay a specific amount for vehicle damages. The caller requests the victim to “wire” money to an account to resolve the situation. Once the money has been wired, many victims realize they were scammed and are unable to retrieve their money back.

The Bishop Police Department has also received several reports of subjects claiming to be “representatives” from the Internal Revenue Service and demanding payment. The IRS urges citizens they do not threaten people for money and advise people to hang up if they receive this type of call. The IRS never asks for credit cards or prepaid information over the telephone. The IRS will not ask for immediate payment over the telephone and will not take enforcement action following a phone conversation. For more information regarding this topic, please visit www.irs.gov.

The Bishop PD is asking the public to become educated on these scams. Be suspicious of callers who demand immediate payment for any reason over the telephone. If you receive a telephone call and believe it may be a scam, please don’t hesitate to call the Bishop Police Department at 760-873-5866.

Arrest in Lone Pine

Attempted Murder in Lone Pine

On November 20th at approximately 11:00PM Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to Lone Pine for a suspected domestic battery between father and son. According to reports received the son, who was also the suspect, allegedly attacked his father while the father was sleeping. The father was reported to have sustained serious injuries and had noticeable marks on his neck and face; he was transported to Southern Inyo Hospital for treatment.
The suspect, identified as 45-year old Lone Pine man Christopher St John, was discovered passed out inside the residence, and it was determined that he was heavily intoxicated. Initially St John resisted arrest; however he was taken into custody and booked at the Inyo County Jail under the following charges: attempted murder, battery with serious injury, elder abuse, and resisting arrest. Bail has been set at $500,000.

 

Photo courtesy Inyo Co. Sheriffs Dept.
Photo courtesy Inyo Co. Sheriffs Dept.

Services Set for Fire Victim

The Inyo County Coroner’s office is confirming that 11-year old Matthew Duane Hanson of Bishop was killed in a early morning structure fire Saturday.  Services for Hanson will include a cry dance on Friday, November 28th at 60 North Barlow Lane and a memorial service on Saturday, November 29th at the Charles Brown Auditorium at the Tri-County Fairgrounds.  The Saturday service will begin at 11am in the auditorium that serves as the hockey rink for the Sierra Roller Hockey League, where young Matthew Hanson was a member.   The investigation into the cause of the fire continues.  Bishop fire chief Ray Seguine indicates the structure was fully engulfed in flames when units arrived on scene early Saturday morning.

Mono SAR year in review

This past year has been a busy one for the Mono County Sheriff Search and Rescue (SAR) Team. The all-volunteer team “dedicated to saving lives” has responded to 31 callouts in 2014. These incidents involved 41 subjects; all but one was visitors to the Eastern Sierra and Mono County. These incidents also included 15 searches and 19 rescues that resulted in over 275 volunteer team hours spent in the field.
The SAR Team is so grateful for the support they receive from all our Mono County community members and want to thank those who also attended the Valley Uprising film screening and fundraiser held at Canyon Lodge. These fundraising events help this team in purchasing much needed equipment and providing necessary training for its members.
As the SAR team looks forward to the upcoming 2015 year, their needs are many as their resources are limited. The team hopes to upgrade their snowmobiles to newer models that can reach some of the snowmobilers that operate high-performance equipment. In addition, the team will be replacing their snowmobile helmets. The team also would like to replace some of their summer equipment including climbing gear and swift water rescue equipment.
If you would like to help the Mono County Sheriff Search and Rescue Team, there are two ways to do so. You may make a tax-deductible donation to support the team or you can become a member. Please visit our website for more information and the address to send your donations to. Mark your calendars now! The SAR Team will host an open house for prospective members on Wednesday, March 18th at 6:00pm at their building in Mammoth Lakes (located next to Mammoth Lakes Community Water District). As this event gets closer, more details will be provided but please mark your calendars now!
The Mono County Sheriff Search and Rescue Team wants to wish everyone a happy, healthy and safe holiday season! For more information about the SAR Team, please visit www.monosar.org.
“The Mono County Sheriff Search and Rescue Team: We do searches and rescues at any time, in any weather, for as long as it takes, for free.”

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

Warren Street Update

Warren Street Utilities Construction Update 4
Work on the City of Bishop water and sewer construction project along Warren Street is expected to continue in and near the intersection of Lagoon and Warren next week. Pavement
patching operations are expected on South Street next week as well.
With most water improvements complete along South Warren Street, the contractor is now working on sewer improvements in the South Warren Street area. Road closures and the closure of the intersection of Warren and Lagoon streets are required while work is underway. Temporary water and sewer shutoffs are necessary for some operations. Notices of the water shutoffs will normally be distributed two days in advance. Patience with these shutoffs is
appreciated. Following the completion of work in the intersection of Lagoon and Warren Street, the contractor is expected to move operations to North Warren. Work in this area includes the construction of water line the full length of Academy Avenue. All utility work is expected to be completed in December. Construction of street improvements along Warren Street is expected to start as
early as January and last into May 2015.
This construction in downtown Bishop impacts traffic on city streets west of Main Street and will cause inconvenience and delays. Closures include full intersection closures. When intersections
are closed, you will not be able to get through the intersections. Equipment, workers, excavations in the street, uneven pavement, and hidden hazards will require attention, even when work is not underway. All efforts will be made to maintain access to businesses and to minimize the impacts and restrictions, but drivers, riders, and pedestrians should be cautious, take alternate routes, and be patient.
For more information contact City of Bishop Public Works at
publicworks@ca-bishop.us or 760-873-8458.

Inyo S.O. investigating missing funds

The Inyo County Sheriff’s department released the following statement Monday, November 24th…During the month of November an internal audit was concluded of the inmate welfare fund by Sheriff’s personnel. The inmate welfare fund includes revenue generated from inmate commissary and inmate phone services; the audit revealed a monetary discrepancy totaling approximately $13,000. The Sheriff’s Office immediately contacted the Inyo County District Attorney’s Office for a thorough investigation, which is currently ongoing. One Correctional Officer was immediately placed on administrative leave, and the process of termination has begun. The missing funds are directly related to revenue generated from the inmate store, and at no time were any accounts of incarcerated persons affected.
“As Sheriff of Inyo County I am responsible for the accountability of my staff and to ensure the public trust, and I accept full responsibility,” stated Sheriff Lutze. “I will do everything in my power to ensure that justice is carried out for the citizens of this county, and I assure you that fraudulent behavior will not be tolerated. This incident does not reflect the professional standards of the men and women of the Sheriff’s Office.”
The Sheriff’s Office will continue to make details available as they become known and the investigation concludes.

CHiPs for kids toy drive

Toy collection for the CHiPs for Kids toy drive has begun at the Bishop Area CHP office. The drive ends at 5:00 PM December 11, 2014. The CHP is encouraging the community to donate new unwrapped toys to the Bishop and Lone Pine CHP offices. All toys collected will be distributed by IMACA to ensure that local children will experience a joyful holiday.

Fatal Fire

I structure fire early Saturday morning claimed the life of a Bishop boy.  Firefighters were called to 88 North Barlow lane on the Bishop reservation just after 3am Saturday.  According to Bishop Fire Chief Ray Seguine the structure was fulling engulfed in flames when units arrived.  The Chief did confirm that one 11-year old boy died, however the victims identity has not been released by the Inyo County Coroners office.  Chief Seguine indicates that a Cal-Fire investigator was on the scene Saturday to conduct the investigation into the cause of the fire.   We will have more information as details become available.

Andreas Arrested

At approximately noon today the Inyo County Special Enforcement Detail, which is made up of Sheriff’s Deputies, Bishop Police Department and tactical medics of the Olancha Fire Department, responded to an anonymous tip that Richard Farrell Andreas Jr., was “hiding out” in a residence in Lone Pine. Andreas was wanted for felony battery and parole violation, and was considered armed and dangerous.
After a three-hour standoff, which included extensive negotiation efforts, pepper-balls were utilized which are a non-lethal projectile weapon made up of a powdered chemical that irritates the eyes and nose. Andreas was located hiding in the attic, under the insulation; officers arrested Andreas without further incident. Andreas will be held at the Inyo County Jail on the following: parole violation, parole warrant for assault with a deadly weapon; Inyo County warrant for battery with serious bodily injury, trespassing, vandalism, and theft; and resisting arrest.
In addition to the members of the Special Enforcement Detail, the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank CHP, Bishop Police Department, Lone Pine Volunteer Fire, and Olancha Volunteer Fire, for assisting.

Local GED and EMT Testing

Eastern Sierra College Center and Inyo County Superintendent of Schools Office are announcing new testing dates available for all residents of Eastern Sierra communities needing to obtain a certification or pass an exam.   At the end of 2013, months of work by local agencies culminated in the certification of Cerro Coso Community College as an official Pearson VUE Authorized Test Center. Pearson VUE is the leading provider of licensing examinations for State and Federal regulatory bodies and the only California-sanctioned company with the ability to administer the GED. Pearson VUE and the Bishop testing site offer many national and state tests needed by members of our communities to bolster their current careers, make new employment possible, or to achieve a personal goal.

During its first year, the Cerro Coso Community College testing center has been a remarkable success. According to Testing Center administrator Karen Kong, in the last twelve months, “the testing center has averaged ten test takers on each available exam date, with the February 2014 date marking the highest number of people, sixteen, taking tests .” A variety of exams were taken in the last year, including the GED, National EMT test, the CBEST exam to become a certified teacher, several Cisco Internetwork Operating Systems (iOS) exams, and even some tests related to running healthcare computer systems.

Available Testing Dates for 2015 in Bishop:
January 28
February 18
March 11
April 22
May 13
June 17
July: Closed
August-December 2015: to be announced in June.

All of this was made possible due to a coordinated effort between Cerro Coso Community College and the Inyo County Superintendent of Schools office.

To sign up for any Pearson VUE offered tests, log onto www.pearsonvue.com, click the “For Test Takers” tab, search for your test, select the Eastern Sierra College Center, Bishop Campus testing site, choose your preferred test date, sign-up and pay your testing fee. In Bishop, all tests are offered once a month, on a Wednesday, starting at 9:00am in the computer lab (Room 120) at Cerro Coso, 4090 W. Line St., Bishop.

If you need help with the registration process or have questions, please contact Karen at ICSOS, 873-3262 ext. 412.