Category Archives: Local News

US Forest Service Responds to Ball Mountain Fire

USFS Ball Mountain Fire Update: 09/24/2014 

The Ball Mountain Fire is estimated to be 25 acres this morning. The fire is burning in pinyon and brush.

The fire is located near Ball Mountain, north of Kennedy Meadows and west of Tunawee Canyon. The fire is highly visible from Highway 395 near Olancha, the Coso Junction area, and Kennedy Meadows.
The fire is burning in a remote area in the South Sierra Wilderness and there is currently no threat to life or property. Smokejumpers, the Inyo Hotshots, and Inyo Engine 41 crew are being inserted today to begin fireline construction. Additionally, a Type 1 helicopter, a Type 2 helicopter, and air attack are committed to the fire.
The crews’ focus will be on the southeast flank of the fire to secure an anchor point and to prevent the fire’s spread into Long Canyon.  Crews will take advantage of natural barriers (rock) and previous fires (including the 2008 Clover Fire) for line construction to contain the fire to the north and west.
This is a lightning-caused fire from the storm that passed through the area on Saturday.

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USFS Ball Mountain Fire Update: 09/24/2014

http://www.kibskbov.com/ballmountainfire/

US Forest Service / Ball Mountain Fire / Lightning Fire / Wildfire / Inyo Hotshots / Inyo Engine 41 / Smokejumpers / Kennedy Meadows / Tunawee Canyon / Olancha / Coso Junction / Bishop / Lone Pine

Inyo County Accepting Grants for Community Projects

INYO COUNTY ACCEPTING COMMUNITY PROJECT SPONSORSHIP PROGRAM GRANTS

Inyo County is accepting grant applications from non-profit groups and organizations in the county seeking funding for programs, projects or events taking place from the time the grants are awarded later this year to June 30, 2015.

There is $95,000 worth of grant funding available in this cycle of Inyo County Community Project Sponsorship Program grants. The Inyo County Board of Supervisors approved the $95,000 in CPSP grant funding when it recently approved the fiscal year 2014-15 county budget.

Crowd at the Blake Jones Trout Derby, an event that has received Grant Funding
Crowd at the Blake Jones Trout Derby, an event that has received Grant Funding

Over the past seven years, Inyo County CPSP grants have provided funds to county based non-profits to help sponsor events ranging from marathons to fishing derbies, contributed to projects as diverse as web page redesign and printing of promotional brochures, and paid for advertising that promotes local and regional events and programs.

The CPSP program is focused on helping local organizations promote activities and programs that bring visitors to the area, and also supports events and programs that enhance the cultural and recreational quality of life of the county’s residents.

The Program Guidelines and Grant Application forms are available online at the Inyo County website, under Community Project Sponsorship Program, at www.inyocounty.us/Comm_Proj_Spon/CPSP.htm.

The deadline for applying for the Community Project Sponsorship Fall Grant Cycle is Friday, Oct. 17, 2014.

To be considered, three copies of the completed grant application, each with an original signature, must be received by the Office of the County Administrator by 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 17, 2014.

No postmarks or facsimile copies will be accepted. Digital grant applications, which still need original signatures, may be sent to jklusmire@inyocounty.us or lpiper@inyocounty.us.

Organizations or groups with questions about the grant guidelines, the application process or the program in general can call Jon Klusmire at 760-878-0258 for more information.

Grant applications being mailed should be sent to: Office of the County Administrator, Attn: Community Project Sponsorship Program, P.O. Drawer N, Independence, CA 93526. If hand delivering, deliver to: Office of the County Administrator, 224 N. Edwards Street, Independence, CA, (760) 878-0292.

Grant applications deemed complete and eligible will be forwarded to a Review Panel for evaluation, ranking and suggested funding levels. The Board of Supervisors is expected to consider the Review Panel’s funding recommendations and make a final decision on the specific grant awards toward the beginning of November.

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INYO COUNTY ACCEPTING COMMUNITY PROJECT SPONSORSHIP PROGRAM GRANTS

http://www.kibskbov.com/inyocountygrants/

Inyo County / Owens Valley / Eastern Sierra / Community Project Sponsorship Program Grants / Grant Funding / Tourism / History / Culture / Recreation / Local / Programs / Events / Non-Profit Organizations

Hallenbeck Accepts Promotion as new Chief of the Division of Traffic Operations in Sacramento

District 9 Director Tom Hallenbeck Appointed Chief of the Division of Traffic Operations in Sacramento

District 9 Director Tom Hallenbeck Appointed Chief of the Division of Traffic Operations in Sacramento
District 9 Director Tom Hallenbeck Appointed Chief of the Division of Traffic Operations in Sacramento
Bishop – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is proud to announce the promotion of Tom Hallenbeck, District 9 Director.  Tom has accepted the position of Chief of the Division of Traffic Operations in Sacramento, Ca. effective October 1, 2014.
 
Tom started with Caltrans right after graduating from Union College with a Civil Engineering degree.  He began his career in the Office of Structures, Design & Construction working on bridge projects throughout the state.  In 1997 he accepted the position of District 9 Director in Bishop, CA.  
 
About his time as District 9 Director in Bishop, Tom stated, “It has been an honor and pleasure to serve the people of the Eastern Sierra for the last 17 years.  I am excited about taking on new challenges but also sad to leave the Bishop community that we have been a part of and raised our family in.  I look back on many accomplishments but look forward to the innovations and applications that will change the way we drive.”
 
Tom also stated that during his tenure in District 9, “We have responded to floods, fires and avalanches.  We have rehabilitated every rest area and almost every “Main Street” in the district and left them more accessible and more complete.  We have expanded and improved the US 395/SR 14 corridor, and by so doing, saved countless lives.  It has been a privilege to be a part of helping improve and maintain the El Camino Sierra and all of the roads in District 9. 
 
District 9 Director Tom Hallenbeck Appointed Chief of the Division of Traffic Operations in Sacramento
District 9 Director Tom Hallenbeck Appointed Chief of the Division of Traffic Operations in Sacramento
In his new position as the Chief of the Division of Traffic Operations, Tom will perform technical activities in support of the program and local agencies, respond to incidents on State highways, provide traffic design and support for project delivery, and integrate new technology and innovations into our system that will change the way we travel on our highways.
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District 9 Director Tom Hallenbeck Appointed Chief of the Division of Traffic Operations in Sacramento

www.kibskbov.com/hallenbeckacceptspromotion/

Bishop / District 9 /Director / Caltrans / Traffic Operations / Chief / Promotion / Eastern Sierra / Owens Valley / Sacramento

Death Valley Scotty, Live Radio Play in Lone Pine

Metabolic Studio Presents Radio Play in Lone Pine About Death Valley Scotty & his Castle

On Sunday September 28 at 7pm, the Metabolic Studio IOU Theater invites the public to experience, “DEATH VALLEY SCOTTY,” a live radio play that was written by Ruth Woodman in 1931 and originally aired in 1955 in the “Death Valley Days” Series.

This marks the fourth play in the IOU Theatre series, which began in June 2014 with readings of radio plays about the Owens Valley and surrounding area.

Walter Scott (a.k.a. Death Valley Scotty) was a prospector, a performer with Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show, a raconteur, a conman, husband and father. In 1885 he met an Easterner who was told he only had a few weeks to live. Scotty helped him to recover and cemented a secretive, life long partnership. In 1905 he beat the cross- country speed record on a train from L.A. to Chicago.

Free with his stories and his cash, he quickly became one of the West’s most prominent and mysterious legends and kept reporters and the country on the edge of its seat for decades. His fabulous stories of secret gold mines and his million-dollar oasis in Death Valley (Scotty’s Castle) kept the public and newspapermen eager for the next story.

A troupe of local performers from Bishop to Keeler will read the play and perform live music and sound effects. The radio play is free to the public and will be staged at 7 p.m., Sunday September 28, the Double L Tavern, at the corner of Main and Willow, in Lone Pine.

Those under 21 can watch a live broadcast of the performance at the IOU garden next to the Double L.

The garden will also host an Open House from 5-7p.m.

Sunday with IOU espresso being served along with an offering grown in the IOU garden.

For more information visit:

MetabolicStudioIOUTheatre on Facebook and metabolicstudio.org.

 

Metabolic Studio Presents Radio Play in Lone Pine About Death Valley Scotty & his Castle

http://www.kibskbov.com/deathvalleyscottyradioplay/

Metabolic Studio IOU Theater / Lone Pine / Eastern Sierra / Death Valley / Death Valley Scotty / History / Owens Valley / Bishop / Keeler / Locals / Performers / Radio Play / Death Valley Series / Lone Pine TV
Sinnamon Meadows 1

The Eastern Sierra Land Trust Makes Breaking News

Breaking News: Historic Sinnamon Meadows Property now Permanently Protected by ESLT

1,240 Acres of Ranch Land and Important Wildlife Habitat Preserved Forever

Sinnamon Meadows 1
With the assistance of important funding partners and the support of concerned landowners, ESLT has successfully protected this spectacularly beautiful and historically-important working landscape in northern Mono County. Photo Credit: Stephen Ingram.

Eastern Sierra Land Trust (ESLT) has achieved another success in its efforts to preserve the Eastern Sierra’s cherished landscapes.

ESLT is thrilled to announce the permanent protection of Sinnamon Meadows, a stunning expanse of historic ranchland in northern Mono County. The 1,240-acre property’s working lands, extensive wetlands, natural springs, and vital animal habitat are now protected forever with an agricultural conservation easement held by ESLT. Thanks to the foresight of the property’s landowners, the efforts of ESLT, and the assistance of important funding partners, Sinnamon Meadows’ spectacular, High Sierra working ranch lands will continue to inspire generations to come.

At the base of Dunderberg Peak just south of Bridgeport, Sinnamon Meadows has been a high priority for ESLT and agency partners for several years. This is due to its historic agricultural value and the critical wildlife habitat it provides. Almost entirely surrounded by public lands, this unique property includes mountain meadows, aspen groves, coniferous forest, springs, and significant reaches of two creeks. “Sinnamon Meadows is simply a spectacular and special place. To know that people living 100 years from now will be able to enjoy these same vistas as you and I can admire today – that’s what really makes our success here meaningful,” commented ESLT Executive Director, Kay Ogden.

“My children are 4th generation cattle ranchers, and keeping our family and our land in the ranching business is very important to me,” said Bryan Masini, current property owner of Sinnamon Meadows. In 2012, Mr. Masini and his business partner approached ESLT to learn more about how they could permanently protect their land’s natural qualities, while retaining the ability to use the property for grazing as it has been for more than a century. “With the completion of this conservation easement with ESLT, we are excited that we will be able to continue to work our land for many years to come,” he added. “The experience and professional manner with which ESLT staff completed this complex project has continuously impressed my partner and me.”

Agricultural conservation easements on working farms and ranches such as Sinnamon Meadows provide a win-win situation for both landowners and the local community. Because the land remains in private ownership, it contributes to the local economy and tax base. Landowners are compensated for keeping their land in rural, low-intensity uses compatible with surrounding natural resources.

Situated above 8,000 feet in elevation, Sinnamon Meadows’ high-elevation irrigated pastures serve as critical habitat for many notable wildlife species, including the iconic and elusive Sierra Nevada Bighorn sheep. Comprised of over 40 animals, the Mt. Warren herd unit congregates on the south-facing slopes of Lundy Canyon in the summer months. Another species of particular conservation concern is the Bi-State population of greater sage-grouse, which depends on pastures where irrigation and sustainable grazing provide essential late summer habitat for raising their young. With its open spaces and working ranch land, Sinnamon Meadows provides an ideal environment for this ground-nesting bird which is currently under consideration for Threatened species status under the Endangered Species Act.

“The ranch – with its many meadows and healthy stands of sagebrush – provides just what sage grouse need to forage, hide from predators, nest, and raise their young. It’s no wonder a healthy population of the imperiled Bi-State population of the birds remains on the ranch.  The easement includes a plan to continue wise management practices that allow livestock and wildlife to happily coexist,” says Carlos Suarez, State Conservationist for NRCS in California.  “That’s an awesome outcome and one we are happy to help facilitate.”

Containing natural springs and important riparian habitat, ESLT’s new conservation easement on Sinnamon Meadows preserves the property’s vital resources, important wildlife habitat, and stunning views of Dunderberg Peak. Photo Credit: Stephen Ingram.
Containing natural springs and important riparian habitat, ESLT’s new conservation easement on Sinnamon Meadows preserves the property’s vital resources, important wildlife habitat, and stunning views of Dunderberg Peak. Photo Credit: Stephen Ingram.

Sinnamon Meadows’ rich cultural heritage also makes the preservation of this property particularly vital to the Eastern Sierra region. The area was used on Native American trade routes, and later became the location of the historic Dunderberg Mill and town of Munckton. It has been used as summer pasture since it was originally claimed under the Homestead Act by early prospectors – including the property’s namesake, early Mono County pioneer James Sinnamon – in the late 1850’s. Numerous historic Basque carvings dating back 100 years or more can still be found on the property. Sinnamon Meadows was even the setting of a western film, “Belle Starr’s Daughter,” made in the late 1940’s!

Funding for this project has been provided by the California Wildlife Conservation Board and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife; the Sierra Nevada Conservancy (SNC), an agency of the State of California; and the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Support from these critical funding sources allowed ESLT to complete a conservation easement on the property. “These working landscapes have a rich and important place in our region, so preserving that heritage is critical to our future,” said SNC Executive Officer Jim Branham. “These lands provide not only economic benefits, but substantial natural resource benefits as well. These projects will help conserve or restore land and water resources valuable to those living downstream.”

“I am proud that ESLT has completed such a significant conservation success at Sinnamon Meadows,” said Bob Gardner, President of ESLT’s Board of Directors. “With its varied and unique landscape, vital habitat, and history as a working ranch, this stunning property represents why our work in the Eastern Sierra is so critical. Protecting these special places so that my grandchildren – and their grandchildren – can appreciate their wonders is truly the legacy of our work here. Thanks to our staff and board members, past and present, and our conservation partners who helped accomplish this great victory – not just for ESLT, but for the future of the Eastern Sierra.”

ESLT works with willing landowners to preserve vital lands in the Eastern Sierra for their scenic, agricultural, natural, recreational, historical, and watershed values. For more information about this and other permanent land conservation tools, visit ESLT’s website at www.eslt.org or call the ESLT office at (760) 873-4554.

This material is based upon work supported by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under #73-9104-3-031. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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Breaking News: Historic Sinnamon Meadows Property now Permanently Protected by ESLT

http://www.kibskbov.com/eslandtrust/

Eastern Sierra Land Trust / ESLT / Eastern Sierra / Bishop / Historic Sinnamon Meadows / Protected / California Wildlife Conservation Board / Conservation / Success / Breaking News / California Department of Fish and Wildlife / Sierra Nevada Conservancy / United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)

Mammoth Community Water District: Update on Conservation Efforts

MCWD UPDATE ON CONSERVATION EFFORTS AND WATER SUPPLY

Water demand drops 25% in August and groundwater pumping supplies almost 75% of MCWD water supply during this year’s drought. 
 
Mammoth Lakes, CA – Last month, Mammoth Community Water District customers made a significant effort to conserve water, and as a result, water demand dropped 25% from previous years.  This conservation effort from our customers contributes directly to maintaining a reliable water supply during the extended drought.  Our water supply consists of a mix of surface water and groundwater, and recycled water is used for golf-course irrigation.  With severely drought-limited surface water supplies this year, our groundwater supply has been essential to meet customer’s needs. Groundwater production has supplied almost 75% of our water supply during peak demand this summer, from 53% in June to 74% in July and August. Contributions from surface water and recycled water contributed 18% and 8% respectively.
Heavy reliance on groundwater pumping has stressed our wells and resulted in reducing the production capacity of two of our nine production wells.  The largest user of water, outdoor irrigation demand, is expected to decrease in September as the days shorten and cooler temperatures return.  We would like to thank our customers for the significant saving in water to date and request that conservation efforts continue.  Level 1 water restrictions are still in effect:
·         Even numbered addresses irrigate on MondayWednesday and Saturday
·         Odd numbered addresses irrigate on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday
·         No irrigation between 10:00 am and 7:00 pm
·         A hose must be equipped with an automatic shut-off nozzle
·         No washing of hard surfaces is allowed unless for safety or health reasons
·         Leaks must be repaired within five days after notification from the MCWD
This year’s drought and heavy reliance on pumping underscores the importance of protecting our groundwater resources from potential adverse impacts of increased geothermal production by Ormat near our well locations.  These adverse impacts include polluting the groundwater and reducing the supply. The MCWD remains committed to pursuing a monitoring and mitigation plan for the geothermal plant expansion that protects our water resources and ensures the continued availability of a reliable water supply.
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.
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MCWD UPDATE ON CONSERVATION EFFORTS AND WATER SUPPLY

http://www.kibskbov.com/mammothcommunitywaterdistrict/

Mammoth Lakes / California / Drought / Water / Conservation / Efforts / Projects / Mono County / Water Supply / Update

City of Bishop Warren Street Improvement Projects

Public Works Department: Warren Street Utility Work this Fall

Public Works News Release

Water and sewer work is planned this fall in advance of the construction of the first phase of the City of Bishop Warren Street Improvements project next spring.

The $500,000 water and sewer project is intended to make needed underground improvements this fall prior to paving and improving the street next spring.

The water and sewer project will make water improvements at various locations along Warren Street and on West Elm Street near Main Street. In addition, new sewer will be constructed on Academy Avenue between Main and Warren and new waterlines will be
constructed along South Street and Academy Avenue between Main and Fowler Streets.

Work is expected to begin in early October and last through November. The contractor is Marzano and Sons of June Lake.

This construction in downtown Bishop will impact traffic on city streets west of Main Street. Traffic can be heavy so the work will cause inconvenience and delays.

Equipment, workers, and uneven pavement will require attention. All efforts will be made to maintain access to businesses and to minimize the impacts and restrictions, but drivers 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.

Public Works Department: Warren Street Utility Work this Fall

http://www.kibskbov.com/warrenstreetbishop/

Bishop / Eastern Sierra / Utility Work / Public Works Department/ City of Bishop / Improvement Projects / This Fall / Contractors / June Lake / Warren Street / Public Notice / News Release

 

Meadow Fire Half Dome Yosemite

Meadow Fire at 4,906 Acres, 23 Percent Contained

Half Dome Cables Prepare for Weekend Reopening, Meadow Fire at 23 % Containment – Yosemite

#MeadowFire in Yosemite National Park increases in acreage, but also in containment.

UPDATE: 9/12/2014 – Meadow Fire held at 4,906 acres and now 50 % contained.

 

Dramatic photo of the #MeadowFire in #Yosemite National Park, courtesy of Susan Holt.
Dramatic photo of the #MeadowFire in #Yosemite National Park, courtesy of Susan Holt.

NPS Press Release Below

Yosemite News Release
September 11, 2014
For Immediate Release
Media Contacts:
Scott Gediman 209-372-0248
Kari Cobb 209-372-0529

Half Dome Cables in Yosemite National Park to Open Saturday, September 13, 2014

Meadow Fire at 4,906 acres, 23% Contained

The Half Dome Cables in Yosemite National Park will reopen to the public on Saturday, September 13, 2014.  The cables have been closed since Sunday night, September 7, due to a wildfire.  The Meadow Fire, located east of Half Dome and near Little Yosemite Valley, is currently at 4,906 acres and is 23% contained.
Yosemite National Park is continuing active suppression efforts on the fire.  Over 550 fire personnel are assigned to the fire, including fire crews from the National Park Service and the U. S. Forest Service.  Additionally, there are sevenaircraft dedicated to suppressing the fire.
The trail to Half Dome via Little Yosemite Valley is open to day-use only.  No overnight camping in any areas impacted by the fire is permitted.  All other area closures, including Little Yosemite Valley, Sunrise High Sierra Camp area, Echo Valley, and Clouds Rest, are still in effect.
Visible smoke in the early morning hours may be present in and around Yosemite Valley and the Half Dome Hike.  Visitors who are sensitive to smoke should consider rescheduling their hike to Half Dome or their visit to Yosemite National Park.  Visitors are urged to check the park’s website to get updated information on the smoke impacts to the park.  Updated information can be found at www.nps.gov/yose or http://www.nps.gov/yose/blogs/fireinfo.htm.
-NPS-
Stay informed on Twitter, too.

U.S. Forest Service providing 243 firefighters #MeadowFire incl 9 hotshot crews & 4 helicopters.

Our own Inyo Hotshots are among the USFS firefighters assigned to the #MeadowFire in Yosemite.

Meadow Fire Half Dome Yosemite
Meadow Fire near Half Dome, Yosemite

Half Dome Cables Prepare for Weekend Reopening, Meadow Fire at 23 % Containment – Yosemite

http://www.kibskbov.com/meadowfireyosemite/

National Park Service / Yosemite National Park / Meadow Fire / Containment / Inyo Hotshots / Half Dome / Wildfire / Wilderness / California / US Forest Service

Car Seat Safety Check by the Mammoth Lakes PD

MAMMOTH LAKES POLICE DEPARTMENT IS PERFORMING A CAR SEAT SAFETY CHECK

568 Old Mammoth Rd., P.O. Box 2799, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546

** NEWS RELEASE **

CAR SEAT SAFETY CHECK

The Mammoth Lakes Police Department, in conjunction with Safe Kids California Mono County Project, will be conducting a Car Seat Safety Check at the Police Station on Saturday, September 20, from10 a.m. until Noon.

The Police Station is located at 568 Old Mammoth Road.

This will be an opportunity to have a trained person inspect your car seat to confirm that it is properly installed and the proper type for your child. If it is not, free car seats will be installed while supplies last.

Children under the age of 8 must be secured in a car seat or booster seat in the back seat.

Children under the age of 8 who are 4’9” or taller may be secured by a safety belt in the back seat. Children who are 8 years and over shall be properly secured in an appropriate child passenger restraint system or safety belt.

Car Seats are a proven life saver. Don’t miss this opportunity to make sure your child is riding safely!

FOR TIPS, VISIT THE WEBSITE www.mammothlakespd.org AND SEND AN EMAIL OR CALL OUR TIP HOT LINE @ 760 934-3261.

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MAMMOTH LAKES POLICE DEPARTMENT IS PERFORMING A CAR SEAT SAFETY CHECK

http://www.kibskbov.com/carseatsafetymammoth/

Mammoth Lakes Police Department / Safe Kids California Mono County Project / Mono County / Eastern Sierra / Car Seat Safety / Child / Safe Passengers / Free Car Seats

Tonopah Rotary Bingo Fundraiser Coming September 20th

You’re Invited to the Tonopah Rotary BINGO Fundraiser on September 20th

BINGO, Brats, and Beer!

Everyone is invited to join in the BINGO fun Saturday, September 20th at the Tonopah Elks Lodge. Doors open at 5 p.m. and BINGO starts at 5:30.

There will be a cash bar and the Rotarians will be selling brats and chips.

WHAT: Bingo Fundraiser Hosted by the Tonopah Rotary Club

WHEN: September 20th at 5 PM

WHERE: The Tonopah Elks Lodge

Contact: Amy Meier Or Joe Westerlund

At tonopahrotary@gmail.com, or 775-277-0013.

PRIZES:

Prizes are grab bags for each win and big CASH prizes for the big games. The cost is $10 for 1 card and $25 for 3 cards. Proceeds from BINGO and food will help support local and international Rotary projects.

Don’t miss out on an exciting night out with friends!

Anyone who needs a ride to the event on Sept. 20 can contact Lisa Westerlund at 702-328-7583. BINGO!

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You’re Invited to the Tonopah Rotary BINGO Fundraiser on September 20th

http://www.kibskbov.com/bingo-fundraiser-tonopah/

Tonopah / Tonopah Rotary Club / Bingo / Fundraiser / Prizes / Cash / Bar / Rotarians / Brats / Chips / Tonopah Elks Lodge