Category Archives: Local News

Bodie in the summer time

Bodie in Winter

Special Program on Bodie set for February 2nd

The Mono Basin Historical Society presents: “Bodie in Winter – Living and Working in the Coldest Place in the Far West”.  Monday, February 2, 2015, at the Lee Vining Community Center. Business meeting and potluck dinner at 6pm, Program at 7pm. Free! Presented by Jack Shipley, aka “Bodie Jack”, retired State Park Ranger. 

For more information: 760-647-6644.
eastern sierra news, mono county news, bodie state park, mono basin historical society



Death Valley Fatal Accident

Saturday Crash Kills Santa Ana Woman

The California Highway Patrol says alcohol was a factor in the Saturday evening crash.  According to the CHP accident report, a 52-year old Santa Ana woman (name being withheld pending notification of next of kin) was driving a Toyota Tacoma pickup southbound on Scotty’s Castle Road.  The report notes that the driver was not wearing a seat belt, and due to “alcohol intoxication” she allowed the truck to leave the roadway, over-correcting the truck leading to the vehicle overturning at minimum of one time.  The driver, the lone occupant of the truck, was ejected sustaining fatal injuries.  The single vehicle accident occurring at 5pm on Saturday, January 17th.

death valley, california highway patrol, eastern sierra news, inyo county news, scottys castle



Convict Lake Road Construction

Reconstruction of Convict Lake Road Planned

Officials say the work will improve safety and access, while asking travelers to plan for delays.  Major reconstruction of the Convict Lake Road is planned for the summer of 2015. 

Mono County has requested the funding and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is the lead agency for this project.  The entire roadway will be reconstructed from the intersection with Highway 395 to the day-use parking area at the end of the road on the east side of the lake.  The roadway will be widened in some spots in order to provide a consistent pavement width and a paved shoulder. A bicycle lane will be provided on the uphill side.  The road will be repaved, striped, and new regulatory and warning signs will be installed at the completion of the project.

The paved path around the east side of the lake will also be reconstructed. This project will also be overseen by FHWA. The Inyo National Forest has arranged for this project to be completed with the same contractor during the same time period as the road project.  The result will be a fully accessible paved path with hardened access points down to the lake edge.

 The Convict Lake Road provides access to one of the premier scenic front country lakes on the east side and is noted for its exceptional scenery.  A campground and resort with cabins along the road are part of the recreational attraction and Convict Lake is a popular destination for fishing. There are several wilderness trailheads that start at Convict Lake as well.

It is anticipated that the work will begin in the early summer; weather dependent.  Construction is expected to last for approximately three months during the 2015 season.  While the road will remain open to traffic throughout the project, visitors may experience delays of up to 30 minutes.  Additionally, at certain times, the road may need to be closed for longer periods of time, Monday through Friday.  These closures will be planned approximately two weeks in advance so that recreationalists can plan their visit. Parking areas may be limited at times while construction work is completed.

Construction will be suspended for Memorial Day weekend, the Independence Day holiday, and Labor Day weekend. 

convict lake, mono county news, eastern sierra news

Alabama Hills Work Day

Alabama Hills Volunteer Work Day Planned

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 Saturday, January 17, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“We will be performing trail maintenance and restoring vegetation on and near the Mobius Arch Loop trail,” said Dave Kirk, Alabama Hills steward for the Bishop Field Office.

Participants should meet at the corner of Whitney Portal and Movie roads at 9 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 the Eastern Sierra Inter-agency Visitor Center at (760) 876-6222.

eastern sierra news, alabama hills, blm
Mono County Courthouse

Fugitive returned to Mono

International Fugitive Brought Back to Mono County after 11 Years on the Run

On January 6, 2014, an Investigator from the Mono County District Attorney’s Office, assisted by the Sacramento branch of the FBI traveled to Mexico City to transport a fugitive back to Mono County to face charges for repeatedly and forcibly raping a child while she was between the ages of five and twelve.
Jacinto Flores Xochimitl, a citizen of Mexico, was sought for questioning in 2004 by the Mammoth Lakes Police Department after being accused of forcible rape of a child. On the same day, Mr. Xochimitl fled Mammoth Lakes and boarded a flight to Mexico where he has been in hiding ever since.
The Mono County District Attorney’s Office has been working with the FBI, the US Attorney General’s Office, Department of Homeland Security and Interpol over the last decade to locate and extradite Mr. Xochimitl. During the later part of 2011 and early 2012, the FBI and FBI Legal Attache office in Mexico confirmed the location of the suspect and in July of 2012, the Mono County District Attorney formally requested the extradition of Mr. Xochimitl from Mexico.
Mr. Xochimitl was arrested in Puebla, Mexico by Interpol on January 14, 2014. After unsuccessfully appealing extradition to the United States, the Government of Mexico affirmed the extradition on September 19, 2014. Mr. Xochimitl was transported to the United States on January 6, 2015 and booked into the Mono County Jail in the early hours of January 7.
Mr. Xochimitl is scheduled to be arraigned in Bridgeport on January 13, 2015. He faces 30 years to life in state prison if convicted.

mono county news, eastern sierra news, fbi, us attorney generals office, mono county district attorney

Inyo County Spelling Bee

Top Spellers compete Thursday

Students from six local elementary and middle schools will compete in the 39th Annual Inyo County Spelling Bee on Thursday, January 15, 2015. The competition will be at Jill Kinmont Boothe School.  The local Altrusa chapter sponsors this event. The events will begin with a written Preliminary Elementary/Middle School Competition at 5:00 p.m. The public events for Elementary/Middle School Championship Competition begin at 6:00 pm.
Assistant superintendent Pamela Jones will serve as Spell Master with Pronouncer Liz McAteer, and Judges Robin Hastie and Gail Swain. Swain and Hastie will hand out awards for the first, second, and third place winners from the competition.
The top two 4-6 grade elementary and top two 7-9 grade middle school spellers qualify to participate in the Elementary and Junior High State Spelling Championship competitions in the spring.
The public is invited to attend the county Spelling Bee Competitions
beginning at 6:00 p.m. at Jill Kinmont Boothe School in the Great Room.

bishop news, eastern sierra news, inyo county superintendent of schools
Photo by Gary Young

Burning set for Inyo

Prescribed Burns begin this Week

The LADWP and CAL Fire to Conduct Series of Prescribed Burns for Range and Habitat Improvement.  The burns to occur this week through March 13, 2015.   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 from January 12- March 13, 2015.  The first prescribed burn will occur northeast of Independence this week. Burning will take place throughout the morning, and smoke will be visible in and around the Blackrock area.
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.

Photo Courtesy of Gary Young Photography

bishop news, eastern sierra news, ladwp, cal fire

Fatal Traffic Accident in Mono

Crash in Mono County claims Bridgeport Resident

The California Highway Patrol is passing along details from a single vehicle crash that has claimed the life of a Bridgeport resident.   Press Release from the Bridgeport office of the Highway Patrol:

On Thursday, January 8, 2015, at approximately 5:27 P.M., Mrs. Stephanie Migliore, age 51 of Bridgeport, California, was driving a 2004 Chevrolet Savannah, westbound on Twin Lakes Road at an unknown speed. Mrs. Migliore, for unknown reasons allowed her vehicle to drift off of the roadway and onto the dirt shoulder. Once on the shoulder her vehicle overturned and landed on its left side. Mrs. Migliore sustained fatal injuries due to the collision. Rescue personnel from Bridgeport Volunteer Fire Department, Mono County Sheriff’s Department, Mono County Paramedic Fire/Rescue (Medic 7) and personnel from California Highway Patrol, Bridgeport Area responded to the scene. The California Highway Patrol, Bridgeport Area are currently investigating the cause of this collision.

eastern sierra news, california highway patrol, mono county sheriff, bridgeport california
flu season ahead

Eastern Sierra Flu Update

Flu activity is up

Inyo and Mono County Public heath officer, Dr. Richard Johnson is offering an update of flu activity, stressing the importance of early treatment for those at high risk of complications….Over the last month, seasonal influenza has spread rapidly across the United States in epidemic proportions. Evidence also points to a dramatic rise in cases seen last week at Sierra Park Clinics and Mammoth Hospital’s Emergency Department in Mammoth Lakes.
Seasonal flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. Many people use “stomach flu” to describe illness with nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Many different viruses, bacteria, or parasites can cause these symptoms. While the flu can sometimes cause vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea—more commonly in children than adults — these problems are rarely the main symptoms of the flu. The flu is a respiratory disease and not a stomach or intestinal disease.
Approximately 5-20% of U.S. residents get the flu each year. It typically starts in late fall, and peaks in mid-February, although it looks like the peak will be in mid-January this year. Nevada has been hit hard, and cases in California are increasing rapidly.
Most experts believe that you get the flu when a person with the flu coughs, sneezes, or talks and droplets containing their germs land in your mouth or nose. You can also get the flu by touching a surface or object that has the flu virus on it and then touching your mouth, eyes, or nose.
Some groups are more likely to experience complications from the seasonal flu, including:
Seniors (those age 65 and older)
Children (especially those younger than 2)
People with chronic health conditions
If you believe you have the flu, and especially if you are in one of the categories at high risk for complications, please contact your health care provider early, as antiviral medication may be indicated to prevent serious illness or complications for you.

Complications from the flu include:
Bacterial pneumonia
Ear or sinus infections
Worsening of chronic health conditions
Each year more than 200,000 people are hospitalized for flu-related complications, and more than 25,000 die each year, including dozens of children, some with no pre-existing conditions.
Most people who get the flu feel much better within one or two weeks. Most healthy adults can infect others one day before symptoms develop and five to seven days after symptoms appear. Some people, especially young children and people with weakened immune systems, might be contagious for a longer period.
We will continue to monitor flu activity in our community over the next few months. We do this by tabulating positive laboratory tests, school absenteeism rates, hospitalizations and deaths, and clinic and Emergency Department visits for flu-like illness.
During this season, we ask you to:
1. Get your flu vaccine from your healthcare provider, pharmacy, or health department!! The best protection against seasonal flu is the flu vaccine. Although not a perfect match this year, getting a vaccine is still the single most important thing you can do to prevent illness. It is late – but not too late!
2. Stay away from people who are sick as much as possible.
3. Stay home if you are sick.
4. Follow the everyday steps such as washing your hands frequently and covering your nose and mouth with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough or sneeze.
5. Seek medical care early if you are at risk for complications.

flu, eastern sierra news, bishop news, mammoth news, dr richard johnson
Photo by Gary Young

Inyo National Forest Recreation

Winter Recreation on the Mammoth and Mono Lake Ranger Districts

The Inyo National Forest provides the following information to help visitors pursue winter recreation activities on their national forests safely and responsibly.

Maps: The Town of Mammoth Lakes and the Inyo National Forest have produced a new and free Eastern Sierra Winter Recreation Map.  Pick up your copy at the Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center, obtain it online or download to your mobile device using the Avenza map app (  A waterproof version of the map can be purchased at the Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center.

Know Before You Go: Winter recreationists must plan their adventure considering the current conditions, the weather forecast, the terrain and geography that will be traveled, and the equipment needs of their party.  Even when visiting one of the maintained ski resorts, planning ahead and knowing what to expect will make your winter visit safer much more enjoyable.

Anyone who may be traveling in potential avalanche terrain is encouraged to seek education and training resources; travel with a shovel, beacon, and probe; and have the knowledge required to use these tools. Visit the Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center website for the most recent information on snowpack and conditions

Play with Your Pet Responsibly:  Forest regulations require that all dogs travel on a leash in all developed recreation sites, including ALL groomed trails.  Within the Town of Mammoth Lakes, all dogs must be on a leash.  Dogs are prohibited on groomed trails in the Mammoth Lakes Basin and are required to be on leash if traveling through the Lakes Basin off groomed trails. Leaving pet waste behind on a groomed trail or in a developed recreation area is littering.  Please pick up after your dog and throw it away in the trash. By doing so, you’ll help improve water quality and make everyone else’s recreation experience more enjoyable. 

Nordic Opportunities: Visitors can pursue Nordic recreation in several locations. The Shady Rest Nordic Trails are open, but grooming will not resume until there is additional snowfall.  All Nordic users should access the trail system by parking at the Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center and using the trail portal in the Welcome Center Plaza.  The Forest Service asks that Nordic users refrain from parking at Shady Rest Park; the park is a primary snowmobile staging area and parking is limited. 

At this time, the Obsidian Dome trails do not have enough snow to allow for grooming, but are open and in use by skiers and snowshoers. Grooming will begin after the next significant snowfall.

The Miracle Mile from Mammoth Inn to Minaret Vista is open and groomed. Parking at the Main Lodge is limited and visitors are encouraged to ride the bus from town.

Tamarack Cross Country Ski Center is open and offering rentals, lessons, and tours to its patrons.  All users of the groomed trail system at Tamarack must possess of a valid ski pass. To access the Mammoth Lakes Basin without a pass, users must travel on the un-groomed roads and trails on the forest. 

Snowmobiling: The Inyo National Forest is waiting for additional snow accumulations to begin grooming the California Department of Parks and Recreation funded snowmobile trail system. With a shallow, low density snowpack, snowmobilers should use caution and refrain from traveling in areas where snow depths are minimal or vegetation or soil may be damaged.  Snowmobile users are responsible for knowing all regulations and understanding closure area boundaries. The Eastern Sierra Recreation Map is a helpful tool and all snowmobilers are encouraged to obtain and read a copy in advance of their snowmobile outing.

Snowplay and other Winter Activities: The only designated snowplay area on the Inyo National Forest is Woolly’s Tube Park on Hwy 203 above the North Village en route to Main Lodge.  More information can be obtained at  There are several areas on the national forest where visitors find it convenient and fun to play in the snow, although these sites are not maintained for these activities.  Additional information is available at the Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center and at

Snow bikes or “fat tire bicycles” and all vehicles with wheels are prohibited from using groomed trails.  Those wanting to ride bicycles on the snow may do so on any trail or road that is not maintained for Nordic skiing or snowmobiles and where bicycle riding is not otherwise prohibited.

The Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center is an excellent resource for winter recreation information, maps, and guidebooks.  The center is open daily from 8 am to 5 pm and can be reached at 760-924-5500.  The Inyo National Forest and Mammoth Lakes Trail System websites are also excellent sources of information.  Visit and

inyo national forest, eastern sierra news, mammoth news, winter recreation, bishop news

Photo by Gary Young