Category Archives: Local News

Inyo County Wants your take on Adventure Trails

Inyo County is collecting input on Adventure Trials

submitted by Inyo County Public Works
February 10, 2016

Inyo County continuing to seek input and collect data regarding the Adventure Trails Combined Use Project.

In January, 2015, the Inyo County Board of Supervisors approved designation of seven (7) combined use routes for certain off-highway vehicles (OHV). Of these, three (3) of the routes have been opened to the public since July and August 2015. The approved and open routes include:

• Independence Route 1 from Independence to Mazourka Canyon.
• Lone Pine Route 1 from Boulder Creek RV Resort to Horseshoe Meadows Road.
• Bishop Route 15 from Laws to the Poleta OHV Area.

Concurrently, the County set up a website to collect input regarding the three opened routes, including feedback, suggestions, and/or complaints. The website can be viewed at

Again, the website is to share information and collect input regarding only the approved and open routes of the Adventure Trails Project, not OHVs being operated outside Project’s three open routes.

Information collected on the website, as well as extensive field surveys and operational data, was included in a report to the State of California in December 2015.

Inyo County is still collecting data, and requests continuing public input. To learn more about the project, provide input electronically, and review the report, please visit

For more information or questions please contact the Public Works Department at: (760) 878-0207 or

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Don’t Get Scammed

Mammoth PD warns of “SCE” Scam

submitted by the Mammoth Lakes Police Department

Community Crime Alert – “SCE” Scam

 Mammoth Lakes, CA The Mammoth Lakes Police Department seeks to warn the public regarding the prevalence of an aggressive phone scam. MLPD has received multiple reports that involve contact via telephone as an individual posing as Southern California Edison (SCE). The caller claims that they will disconnect your power due to non-payment if you don’t pay the bill immediately. They may ask for this in the form of a pre-paid credit card.

 If you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be SCE, the following should be considered:

–      SCE will never demand immediate payment or ask you to wire money via Western Union or through a pre-paid credit card to prevent your electricity from being shut off. They will never require you to use a specific or single form of payment and does not accept Green Dot or Vanilla reloadable debit cards.

–      Be vigilant in verifying the identity and affiliation of the person contacting you, even if your caller ID indicates the phone call is from SCE. You can verify by calling SCE at 1-800-655-4555.

–      Scams work best when the victim doesn’t have time to think through things. The caller may seem believable and rush you. Take your time, don’t panic, and don’t pay. There is no situation where you should give your payment or personal information to an unsolicited caller.

If you receive this or a similar call and have questions about whether it is a scam, notify law enforcement immediately and don’t make any payments or other concessions prior to doing so. Anyone with information about these phone calls is encouraged to call MLPD or report a tip on our website.

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Field trip to Five Bridges Area

Inyo Water Commission Field trip will tour the Five Bridges Impact Area

submitted by the Inyo County Water Department
February 8, 2016

The public is invited to join the tour  Wednesday February 10th at 9 am.  Meet in Bishop at the corner of Wye Road and Spruce Road—Directly behind Kmart

The Inyo County Water Commission invites the public to participate in a field trip to the Five Bridges Impact Area located three miles north of Bishop. In the summer of 1988, approximately 300 acres of native vegetation were lost when nearby LADWP wells de-watered the area and caused groundwater to retreat from below the rooting zone. The area is an environmental Mitigation Project identified in the 1991 Long Term Water Agreement between Inyo County and LADWP.

LADWP has managed the revegetation of this area, with input from the County since the fall of 1988. The project has as its goal reestablishing native meadow similar to those that exist nearby outside the affected area. This has not been easy, and based on measures of vegetation cover and composition; the project has only fully met desired conditions six times in the past 26 years.

The tour will include an overlook of the Five Bridges Impact Area and two short walks into the project site.

Also discussed will be the proposal by LADWP to operate the two wells that led to the loss of vegetation. These wells, designated 385R and 386R have been modified to draw water from the deep aquifer at a lower rate. LADWP considers these new wells. This proposal is currently under discussion by the County and LADWP.

The tour will last about three hours. Participants will need to provide their own transportation, and prepare to be outside for about three hours.

The Inyo County Water Commission is an advisory panel to the Inyo County Board of Supervisors. One of its principal responsibilities is to conduct meetings to inform and educate the public about, and to solicit public opinion on, all issues, decisions, projects, programs and activities arising out of agreements and stipulations between the LADWP and Inyo County.

For more information, please call 760-878-0001, or visit

cover photo by Gary Young

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Home Street Students of the Month

Bishop Home Street Names Students of the Month

submitted by Home Street Middle School
February 8, 2016

Home Street Middle School is proud to announce their January Students of the Month. Selections are based on academic success or improvement, community service, effort, positive attitude, or excellent citizenship. The following students were presented with a certificate to be displayed on the Wall of Fame.

Students of the Month
Clifton Mason lll Eric Montoya
Kayden Rinehart
Xavier Farmer
Hailey Dahlke
Maria Bautista Figueroa
Joseph Weaver
Ashleey Hernandez
Christian Cuellar
Ajia Saunders
Dorothy Jarvis
Usungwapu West
Haven delGiudice
Xochilth Aguilar
Maile Munro
Jaiden Coons
Ronald Romero lll
Viana Gonzalez
Geneva Molina
Luis Cruz

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Mono SO makes arrest after threat at Coleville HS

Threat at Coleville High School lead to Arrest

submitted by the Mono County Sheriffs Department

On February 4, 2016, the Mono County Sheriff’s Office received calls from concerned parents regarding threats to students and staff at Coleville High School from a fellow student.

The Mono County Sheriff’s Office initiated an investigation into the complaints. During the course of the investigation, the officers developed credible information that threats had been made against students and staff and were provided a timeline when the threats would be carried out.

Based on the findings of the preliminary investigation, a male juvenile was interviewed and was determined to be the suspect in the threats against the students and staff. The male juvenile was detained and transported to Juvenile Hall in Independence, California. None of the students or staff was physically harmed as the suspect was detained prior to implementation of the threats.

The Mono County Sheriff’s Office is not releasing names of the student victims, staff victims or the suspect.

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LADWP and CAL Fire schedule Prescribed Burns

LADWP and CAL Fire burns begin this week

February 8, 2016

submitted by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

LADWP and CAL Fire to Conduct Series of Prescribed Burns for Range and Habitat Improvement.
Burns to occur through March 15, 2016.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) and CAL Fire crews will be conducting a series of prescribed burns for range and habitat improvement purposes in the Bishop and Independence areas through March 15, 2016.

The first prescribed burn will occur southeast of Bishop this week.

The public is asked not to report the smoke and fire in the controlled burn areas. Crews will monitor the fire throughout the burn, and will take precautions to keep smoke away from area communities.

cover photo by Arnie Palu

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Alabama Hills Volunteer Day

Alabama Hills Volunteer Work Day Planned

LONE PINE, Calif. – The Alabama Hills Stewardship Group and the Bureau of Land Management’s Bishop Field Office will sponsor a volunteer work day in the Alabama Hills on Feb. 13, the Saturday of the Presidents Day holiday weekend, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

We will be performing trail construction and maintenance on the trail connecting Lone Pine and Whitney Portal,” said Dave Kirk, Alabama Hills steward for the Bishop Field Office. 

Participants should meet at the corner of Whitney Portal and Movie roads at 10 a.m. Please come prepared for outdoor work with gloves, hat and sunscreen. BLM will provide tools, trash bags and drinks. For further information, contact Kirk via email at, or at (760) 876-6209.

Cover Photo by Gary Young

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Over 95,000 visit Manzanar in 2015

Manzanar Hosts Record number of Visitors in 2015

submitted by Manzanar National Historic Site

Over 95,000 people from throughout the United States and around the world visited Manzanar National Historic Site in 2015.  From near and far, youth and elders, first-time visitors and former incarcerees, all had a variety of opportunities to connect to the site, its stories, and each other.

“I’m happy to see so many people coming to learn about Manzanar,” Superintendent Bernadette Johnson said. “While the site is best known for its wartime history, its layers of the past echo the larger themes of American history, including the displacement of Native Americans, the settlement of ranchers and farmers, water wars, and the consequences of prejudice.” She continued, “These valuable lessons about social justice, racism and prejudice are critical.”

Manzanar’s 2015 visitation was nearly 23% higher than in 2014 and surpassed a 2009 record of 89,000. “Record visitation tests the site’s staffing capacity,” said Superintendent Johnson. “I’m grateful that we have a committed staff dedicated to providing high quality visitor experiences.”

In 2015, Manzanar opened  3,000 s.f. of new exhibits in two reconstructed barracks, hosted thousands of school children, and received more than 7,500 hours of service from 318 volunteers.
On a national level in 2016, Congress recently provided an increase in funding for national park units. Manzanar was the recipient of 2016 Centennial Challenge funding allowing the site to leverage these funds with donations from Friends of Manzanar and private donors to expand exhibits in Block 14. Congress is considering separate National Park Service Centennial legislation to further improve the national parks by encouraging philanthropy and volunteerism, while also allowing the National Park Service to improve visitor services and connect with a new generation of national park visitors.

Congress established Manzanar National Historic Site in 1992, the result of decades of efforts by Japanese Americans and others. Since then, the National Park Service has worked with scores of stakeholders to preserve and interpret Manzanar and its stories.  Visitors can explore the personal experiences of individuals, families, and communities incarcerated at Manzanar. The restored camp auditorium serves as a visitor center and houses extensive exhibits. Nearby, a World War II-era mess hall and two  reconstructed barracks highlight the challenges of daily life. An auto tour road circles the site, highlighting Japanese gardens, historic orchards, the cemetery, and more.

Manzanar is located at 5001 Hwy. 395, six miles south of Independence, California. For more information, please call 760-878-2194 ext. 3310 or visit our website at or Facebook page at

Cover Photo by Gary Young.

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Casting Call!

Casting Call for a ATV/UTV Commercial

By Arnie Palu
February 5, 2016

Broad-cast is looking for  men ages 25-60 with UTV or ATV driving experience in the Lone Pine area.  Broad-cast’s resume includes casting talent for commercials for companies such as Microsoft, Carl’s Jr., Go Daddy, Taco Bell, Gatorade and Nike.  Auditions begin this weekend.

If Chosen to be filmed, you will receive $500 per shoot day to cover the shoot and usage.  Shooting dates are set for February 27-29th in Lone Pine.

Broad-Cast is looking for men ages 25-60 with UTV/ATV driving experience, noting that any farm/agriculture/ranching experience is a plus.  Also, trail riding, hunting experience and firearms experience is also a plus but not required.

If you fit the criteria, contact Broad-Cast as soon as possible.  Email the Broad-cast Casting Company:

Your email should include your full name, contact information, a recent photo, and briefly explain your experience with ATV/UTV riding.

Visit their website to see their work at

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Shots Fired, Man arrested

Tuesday Night Incident Ends with Arrest

February 4, 2016
by Arnie Palu

The Inyo County Sheriffs department has released additional details into a situation that played out Tuesday evening on South Pa Ha Lane.  In addition to the Inyo Sheriffs department, members of the Bishop Police Department and California Highway Patrol responded to the scene Tuesday night.  Law enforcement was sent to the 200th block of South Pa Ha lane on the Bishop reservation on the report of a subject firing a gun.   Wednesday afternoon the Inyo County Sheriffs department issued the following statement.

Last night (Tuesday, February 2nd) at approximately 8:30pm Inyo County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to PaHa Lane, west of Bishop, due to shots being fired in a residential area.  Deputies responded and obtained witness statements that confirmed that three gunshots did take place outside a residence. Two suspects were questioned and released, and one suspect was arrested at the scene. Raymond Joseph Bencoma III, a 40-year old man from Bishop, was taken into custody and booked under the following charge: felony assault with firearm. Bail has been set at $25,000.”

Bencoma, Raymond Joseph III
Raymond Joseph Bencoma III. photo provided by the inyo county sheriffs department

Investigators are encouraging anyone with additional information to contact the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office at 760-878-0383, or you may use the following link:

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