Category Archives: Community News

George Robert Macklin

George Robert Macklin, 1928-2015

George Robert Macklin, 86; born August 25, 1928 in Ukiah, CA passed away peacefully on June 20, 2015 at Northern Inyo Hospital.
Bob moved from Duarte, CA in the summer of 1968 to Bishop where he lived until 1988 and then moved to Gardnerville, NV, and then back to Bishop in May of 2011 to be closer to family.
Bob is preceded in death by wife of nearly 65 years, Merydith Macklin in July 2013, and son-in-law Dale Watterson in December 21, 2014.
Bob is survived by, daughter Patti of Bishop, son and daughter in law, Dennis and Allene Macklin of Lake Havasu, AZ, granddaughters, Renee Parra and husband Marin Parra of Lancaster and Monica Watterson of Bishop, great grandchildren, Dante and Falon Parra of Lancaster and Saige and Savannah Connolly of Bishop, Trudy and Rick Lee of Big Pine, CA. and many great friends. Private Services will be held at 10:00 AM. , July 1, 2015 West Line Street Cemetery Bishop, California.

Macklin

chp

Sparks Woman killed in Saturday Crash

Accident on highway 395 near Crowley Lake leaves one dead, two with serious injuries

CHP Accident report:

On Saturday, June 20, 2015, at approximately 8:42 am, California Highway Patrol (CHP) Bridgeport Area officers were dispatched to a solo vehicle rollover collision on US-395 southbound, north of Crowley Lake Drive.  Personnel from the CHP Bishop Area Office, Mono County Sheriff’s Office, Mono County Emergency Medical Services, and Long Valley Fire Department also responded to the scene to assist.

The preliminary investigation indicates Sherry Johnson, age 53 of Sparks Nevada,  was driving a 2005 Ford F-250 southbound on US-395, north of Crowley Lake Drive.  For unknown reasons, the driver allowed the vehicle to drift onto the right shoulder of the roadway where it collided with two metal paddle markers and a highway sign.  The vehicle then veered across all southbound lanes and into the center divide, where it overturned and came to rest on its wheels.  The driver of the vehicle (Sherry Johnson) was pronounced deceased at the scene.  Two passengers in the vehicle were transported by ambulance to Mammoth Hospital, and airlifted to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, Nevada.  Passengers include 46-year old Sparks resident Donald Karwoski and a 12-year old male from Reno.  The preliminary investigation suggests fatigue may have been a factor in the collision.  Officers from the CHP Bridgeport Area are handling the collision investigation.  The Mono County Sheriff’s Office is conducting the death investigation.

mono county news, chp bridgeport, crowley lake, long valley fire department, mono county sheriffs department
gary round

Dr Johnson talks Wildfire Smoke

Health Effects from Wildfire Smoke

Dr Richard Johnson, Inyo and Mono county health director, issued a statement today (Monday, June 22) addressing wildfire smoke. The Washington fire near the community of Markleeville is estimated near 8,000 acres.  The lightning caused fire started on Friday, June 19th.

Dr. Johnson’s statement:

Those of you in Mono County from the communities of Walker and north have undoubtedly seen the smoke from the Washington Fire burning in Alpine County. Although most of the smoke is blowing over us and into Nevada, as the wind has died down during the night, smoke has settled into the valleys this morning. Keep in mind that this is a very fluid and ever changing situation, dependent on the fire, fuel, control efforts, and the wind. Our prayers are with the large numbers of dedicated personnel who are making tremendous efforts to protect all of us, our homes, and the environment.
Some communities in the Eastern Sierra have access to continuous particulate matter (PM) monitoring. These monitors provide an instant reading of particulate matter concentrations averaged over one hour. Smoke from wildfires is a mixture of gases and fine particles from burning trees and other plant materials. It is these fine particles which are contained in wildfire smoke which make it so hazardous to our health. Smoke can hurt your eyes, irritate your respiratory system, and worsen chronic heart and lung diseases.
Unfortunately, there is no monitoring in the areas currently impacted by smoke. Areas without monitoring need other ways to estimate particle levels. The following index is useful in judging the levels near you on a continual basis.
Good (can see 11 miles or more) – No cautionary statements.
Moderate (can see 6-10 miles) – Unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion.
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (can see 3-5 miles) – People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.
Unhealthy (can see 1½-3 miles) – People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion. Everyone else should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.
Very Unhealthy (can see 1-1½ mile) – People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should avoid all physical activity outdoors. Everyone else should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion.
Hazardous (can see 1 mile or less) – Everyone should avoid all physical activity outdoors; people with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should remain indoors and keep activity levels low.
How to tell if smoke is affecting you:
Smoke can cause—
Coughing,  A scratchy throat, Irritated sinuses, Shortness of breath, Chest pain, Headaches, Stinging eyes, A runny nose, Asthma exacerbations.  If you have heart or lung disease, smoke might make your symptoms worse.
People who have heart disease might experience—
Chest pain, Rapid heartbeat, Shortness of breath, Fatigue.
Smoke may worsen symptoms for people who have pre-existing respiratory conditions, such as respiratory allergies, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), in the following ways:
Inability to breathe normally, Cough with or without mucus, Chest discomfort, Wheezing and shortness of breath.
When smoke levels are high enough, even healthy people may experience some of these symptoms.  Know whether you are at risk
If you have heart or lung disease, such as congestive heart failure, angina, COPD, emphysema, or asthma, you are at higher risk of having health problems than healthy people. Older adults are more likely to be affected by smoke, possibly because they are more likely to have heart or lung diseases than younger people. Children are more likely to be affected by health threats from smoke because their airways are still developing and because they breathe more air per pound of body weight than adults. Children also are more likely to be active outdoors.

What should you be doing:
1. Stay indoors with windows and doors closed; run air-conditioner on “recirculate” setting. Keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside. Minimize the use of swamp coolers. If it becomes too warm indoors, individuals may consider leaving the area to seek alternative shelter.
2. Do not add to indoor pollution. When smoke levels are high, do not use anything that burns, such as candles, fireplaces, or gas stoves. Do not vacuum, because vacuuming stirs up particles already inside your home. Do not smoke, because smoking puts even more pollution into the air.
3. Follow your doctor’s advice about medicines and about your respiratory management plan if you have asthma or another lung disease, Call your doctor if your symptoms worsen. If you evacuate, make sure you take all essential medications along with you.
4. Do not rely on dust masks or N95 respirators for protection. If you wish to wear something, use a wet handkerchief or bandana to cover your mouth and nose. The key – keep it moist.
5. When driving make sure to drive with the windows rolled up and the air conditioner on “recirculate.” Also, buckle up – and do not drink and drive!
6. Minimize or stop outdoor activities, especially exercise, during smoky conditions.
7. People who must spend time outdoors should drink plenty of fluids.
8. Additionally, pet owners should consider bringing their pets indoors out of the unhealthy air conditions, if possible. This is especially important for older pets.
9. Stay tuned to local radio and TV for emergency announcements about air quality.
10. Stay in touch with family and friends, especially if you live alone. Exercise your communications plan.

cover photo, smoke rising from the Round Fire, photo by Gary Young

dr richard johnson, inyo county news, mono county news, washington fire, drought 2015
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Friday incident in Beatty ends in arrest

Canadian arrested in Beatty

Lea Meng Che, age 29 of Brampton, Ontario was arrested Friday.  According to the Nye County Sheriffs Department, Che is facing several felony charges.  Che is being held on suspicion of battery with a deadly weapon, possession of stolen property, grand larceny of a motor vehicle, making threats or conveying false information concerning terrorism or weapons of mass destruction.

The Nye County Sheriffs department release the following statement:

June 19th, 2015 at approximately 1200 hours deputies responded from Beatty Nevada to a report of a stolen vehicle that was heading south on US95 toward lathrope wells. The victim, 46 year old Carrie Radomski and local resident of Beatty Nevada, was reporting she had been struck by the vehicle when the suspect stole it from her.
Deputies and local residents of Beatty located the stolen vehicle and the suspect, Lea Meng Che near MM 34 on US95. He was taken into custody without incident.
When Detectives interviewed Mrs. Radomski it was learned that the suspect had flagged her down near Revert’s tire shop in Beatty claiming vehicle problems. Mrs.Radomski offered to give the suspect a short ride to the tire shop as she knows the owner. When she exited her vehicle she left it running and motioned for the suspect to get out and come with her into the shop. She then saw the suspect slide over to the driver seat. She reacted by trying to run back toward the driver side of her truck and the suspect then accelerated and struck her with the truck fleeing the area and heading south out of Beatty where he was later apprehended by NSCO.
The suspect after being arrested allegedly made many spontaneous statements about stealing vehicles in Las Vegas. Deputies later confirmed (through LVMPD) that the vehicle he was allegedly standing next to when he flagged Mrs. Radomski down was stolen from Las Vegas. Deputies and Detectives also confirmed (through LVMPD) that he had allegedly stolen another vehicle before stealing this one he drove to Beatty.  Lea Meng Che allegedly stated that he had luggage still at the airport (Mccarran) that had contents that would “harm a lot of people there”. It is unclear at the time of this press release when he had exactly arrived in Las Vegas but did say he had a boarding pass which was confirmed with that pass still on his person for June 19th 2015 at 1140 hours. Che also had a passport on him listing his address in Canada along with several denominations of canadian currencey on his person.
Due to the alleged statements made by Che and his alleged mutli- jurisdictional felony crime spree he was involved in, the Las Vegas Metro anti terrorist team was notified and responded to assistance with the investigation. Ontario’s Peel Police department was also contacted in regards to Mr. Che as well as interpol for any possible information on Che as he has no criminal history in US until now. This case is on going and further information regarding the validity of possible weapons of mass destruction (WMD) utterences from the suspect will be be released as soon as information becomes available.
Che remains in custody.

cover photo, Lea Meng Che, photo courtesy of the Nye County Sheriffs department.

nye county nevada, nye county sheriffs department, beatty nevada news
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Mammoth Fire Marshal issues Fireworks warning

Fireworks Prohibited in the Town of Mammoth Lakes

Thom Heller, Fire Marshall for the Mammoth lakes fire protection district,  is passing along the following fireworks information.

All fireworks are prohibited in the Town of Mammoth Lakes, regardless if “safe and sane” or not. In addition, personal use of fireworks is prohibited in the non-incorporated areas of Mono County, on the Inyo National Forest (INF), and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands.

Due to VERY HIGH TO EXTREME FIRE DANGER, both the Mammoth Lakes Fire Protection District and Mammoth Lakes Police Department will enforce a “zero tolerance” policy with respect to the possession and use of fireworks. Fireworks violations will be strictly enforced.

Enjoy and celebrate the holiday in a safe and responsible manner, and feel free to attend the scheduled Fourth of July firework shows. There will be a fireworks show on Saturday, July 4 at Crowley Lake and in The Village at Mammoth on Sunday, July 5.

For additional information on the fireworks restrictions, please contact the Mammoth Lakes Fire Department at (760) 934-2300 or the Mammoth Lakes Police Department at (760) 934-2011. Please enjoy our national holiday in a safe and responsible manner.

mammoth lakes fire protection district, mammoth lakes news, mono county news, fireworks, drought 2015
LogoChoice21202

Hanta Virus update

Health officer rumor control

Inyo and Mono county public heath officer Dr. Richard Johnson is dispelling rumors of a virus circulating in the community of Mammoth.  According to Dr. Johnson there is a unconfirmed rumor that is being circulated that there is “a nasty virus circulating that is killing people in town”. In response, at least one residence has been “tented” to eliminate this risk. Dr. Johnson is presuming – perhaps incorrectly – that the alleged culprit is the hantavirus.

According to Dr. Johnson, “First, there is no nasty virus killing people in town, that I am aware of – hantavirus, or otherwise. We have not had a case of hantavirus this year in the Eastern Sierra, although there have been at least 3 deaths in Colorado so far. We also have not had any unexplained deaths due to a “nasty virus”.

Johnson goes on to say, “Second, ‘tenting’ as one would do for termites, is not an appropriate response to the threat from hantavirus. If you create a void by killing off mice, more will move in to fill the void. Third, yes, we live in an area where we all are always at risk for exposure to the hantavirus. The drought is forcing all animals, including mice, into the human interface where we have chosen to live and visit, in their search for food for survival. So, don’t let down your guard. Do the right thing!”

Although mice carry the hantavirus all year, this is the start of the season when humans typically begin activities that put them at risk of being exposed to the hantavirus. Spring cleaning activities, such as opening up closed buildings that have been unused overwinter, often provide habitats for deer mice and become sites for human exposure to the hantavirus. Although hantavirus infections are relatively rare, it is not unusual for us to have several cases per year in the Eastern Sierra. The risk of death is significant. Individuals cleaning areas where the mice may be present are well advised to heed the recommendations below in order to avoid exposure.

Hantavirus is carried by certain species of rats and mice, and especially the deer mouse, pictured above. Infected rodents shed the virus in their urine, droppings, and saliva. The virus can be transmitted to people when infected mouse urine, saliva, droppings, or nesting materials are stirred
up, temporarily aerosolizing the virus, which can be breathed in by humans.

Inyo/Mono public health recommends the following precautions:

  • seal openings that may allow mice to enter homes and workplaces;
  • remove brush, woodpiles, trash, and other items that may attract mice;
  • tightly close garbage cans, pet food containers, and other food
    sources;
  • wear protective gloves to handle dead mice or to clean up nesting areas, urine, or droppings;
  • before cleaning up nests or droppings found inside, open windows and doors to ventilate the area for at least 30 minutes;
  • do not stir up nests by sweeping or vacuuming. Dampen areas before clean-up;
  • use a disinfectant or 1-to-10 bleach-water mixture to clean up dead rodents, nests, urine, and droppings.

Early symptoms of hantavirus infection include fatigue, fever, and muscle aches. These symptoms may be accompanied by headaches, dizziness, chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Later symptoms include coughing and shortness of breath. If hantavirus is suspected, people should contact their health care provider immediately. Remember, infections with hantavirus may feel like the “flu”; however, it is no longer flu season!

dr richard johnson, hantavirus, eastern sierra news, mammoth lake california
20150619_162307

John Schwab field rehab underway

BUHS football field renovation begins

Weeds have been treated and new irrigation infrastructure is being installed.  Bishop Unified School District Superintendent Barry Simpson updated the board of trustees at this weeks regular meeting.  “Its something that needs to be done.  What we found is really two issues with the field.  First it gets a lot of use, following football season we roll right into our soccer season.  By the time the soccer season is done, we have really pounded that field, the grass is pretty much gone, to be quite honest, its almost unsafe.”

To give the main field time to rest the school has been working with the City of Bishop to install a practice field in the rear of the city park.  Due to the ongoing drought, that effort has stalled as the city is holding off seeding the new field.  Simpson is hopeful the new city park field will be planted this fall.

Superintendent Simpson notes the second reason the field is suffering is due to a poor irrigation system.  “The irrigation system was really not meeting the needs of that field, we were not getting the coverage from the sprinklers, and so we were not getting the kind of regrowth that we needed.”

To address the irrigation system, new infrastructure in being installed.  The track and field are currently closes as open trenches exist near the finish line of the track and the length of the 50-yard line.  Following the irrigation upgrade field treatments will continue.

“There are some applications to get rid of the weeds that have taken hold, that is going on now.  Following the irritation system installation  and getting sprinklers up and running, we will do some aeration , over-seeding , and apply fertilizer.  We are working with two local companies, they feel we can defiantly bring that field back and get it ready for the mid august start of football season.”

The first scheduled home game for the Broncos is set for Friday, August 28th.  The Broncos will open at home with Whittier Christian.

50 yard line, south.
50 yard line trench
south side of John Schwab field
south side of John Schwab field
irrigation infrastructure near home street.
irrigation infrastructure near home street.
bishop union high school, barry simpson, bishop union high school football, john schwab field, drought 2015
20150612_201634[1]

Inyo-Mono Crop and Livestock report

Annual Report indicates a big drop in production

Inyo and Mono County Agriculture Commissioner Nathan Reade has released the annual crop and livestock report.  Here is Reade’s introducution to the report:
I am pleased to present the 2014 Inyo and Mono Counties’ Annual Crop and Livestock Report. This report is prepared pursuant to California Food and Agriculture Code 2279, and is a statistical compilation of agriculture production in Inyo and Mono Counties. These values reflect gross agricultural production within the two counties, and do not represent net profit or loss.  The gross combined agricultural production values for Inyo and Mono Counties in 2014 totaled $58,606,000, representing a decrease of nearly 21% from 2013 production values. Drought conditions continue to significantly impact area agricultural businesses, and are the reason for the majority of decrease in value over last year. Livestock herd reductions began in 2011 with the drought and have continued each year thereafter. Herd sizes are now so small that rising beef prices no longer mask production losses when viewed in terms of dollars. Feeder cattle gain is also in sharp decline due to unavailability of pasture. Field crops continue to suffer as water supply diminishes. This year does not look to be the end of this downward trend as we enter another year with even lower runoff projections.  This report features both wool production as well as fruit and nut statistics for the first time for Inyo and Mono Counties. Additionally, Inyo county is now reporting nursery stock production.
The link to the report:
inyo mono crop report, inyo county news, mono county news, drought 2015
IMG_9577

Bishop Businessman Sentenced

Jiminez Sentenced on Felony Embezzlement Charges

Statement from Inyo County District Attorney Tom Hardy.

At a sentencing hearing on Thursday, June 18, 2015 local businessman Jose “Jay” Jiminez was placed on five years of formal felony probation and ordered to serve 240 days in the Inyo County Jail for embezzling from a now-deceased client who had given him a power of attorney. He must serve an actual 90 days, and may apply for electronic monitoring for the balance of his sentence. The court set restitution in the amount of $79,449.76. He is also forbidden from acting as a fiduciary and from managing money or property on behalf of other individuals during the term of his probation, and may not engage in the tax preparation business.

The case began in August, 2012, when the Ombudsman’s Office received a complaint on behalf of the victim and a criminal investigation was initiated by the Bishop Police Department. The investigation discovered that in November, 2011 Jiminez was granted power of attorney by the victim in the case. This gave Jimenez access to the victim’s bank and credit card accounts. Jimenez used the power of attorney to pay bills for victim; but he also used the accounts to fund his businesses, Jimenez Tax Service and Petite Pantry, as well as pay personal bills. In March, 2012, Jimenez also sold victim’s mobile home for forty thousand dollars ($40,000.00). Jimenez received seventeen thousand dollars cash ($17,000.00) and a 2004 Hummer valued at approximately twenty-three thousand dollars ($23,000.00). Jimenez apparently pocketed the cash – records indicate it was not deposited into any account owned by the victim – and took possession of the Hummer.

Mr. Jiminez had previously entered a “no contest” plea to a felony embezzlement charge.

inyo county news, bishop news, inyo county district attorney tom hardy, jay jiminez, bishop police department
inyo forest

Office of US Attorney Announces Indictment

MEXICAN NATIONALS INDICTED FOR FOREST MARIJUANA CULTIVATION OPERATION

Statement from the Department of Justice, Office of the United States Attorney, Eastern District of California

FRESNO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a four-count indictment today against Antonio Garcia-Villa (Garcia), 46, and Uriel Silva-Garcia (Silva), both Mexican nationals, charging them with conspiring to manufacture, distribute and possess with intent to distribute, manufacturing, and possessing with intent to distribute marijuana in connection with a large-scale cultivation operation in the Sequoia National Forest, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. The men were also charged with damaging public land and natural resources as a result of cultivating marijuana near Little Poso Creek, which drains into the Kern National Wildlife Refuge.
According to court documents, Garcia and Silva were found at the cultivation site in May 2015. Agents removed 8,596 marijuana plants from the site, along with pesticides, fertilizer, trash, water lines, and equipment. The cultivation activities caused extensive damage to the land and natural resources. Native trees and plants were cut down and steep hillsides were terraced to plant the marijuana.
This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Forest Service, Kern County Sheriff’s Office, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Assistant United States Attorney Karen Escobar is prosecuting the case.
Garcia and Silva are in custody and are scheduled for arraignment on the indictment on June 24, 2015, in federal court in Fresno. If convicted of the drug offenses, the men face a statutory penalty of 10 years to life in prison and a $10 million fine. If convicted of the environmental crime, the men face a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

us forest service, sequoia national forest, eastern sierra news