Category Archives: Community News

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.

Mammoth Tree Lighting

The entire community is cordially invited to attend the Official Town of Mammoth Lakes Tree Lighting Ceremony and to donate generously at the community-wide food and clothing drive on Friday, December 5, 2014 in the Footloose Sports and old Bank of America parking lot, as well as the toy drive taking place at the Mammoth Fun Shop.

 New this year, the Town in partnership with Footloose Sports, Mammoth Fun Shop, the Mammoth Lakes Chamber of Commerce, Inyo Mono Advocates for Community Action, Inc. (IMACA), the Angel Giving Tree, the Salvation Army, and the Mammoth Lakes Fire Protection District are honored to introduce a community-wide food, toy and clothing drive.

Between noon and 6:00 p.m., drop-off your unexpired food items, or well-loved clothing at the old Bank of America building located on the corner of Main Street (SR 203) and Laurel Mountain Road. Toy donors are requested to drop off new unwrapped toys at Mammoth Fun Shop located opposite the old Bank of America building. Town staff along with representatives from our local non-profits will be on-hand to collect and store your items – you don’t even have to leave your car!

Beginning at 5:30 p.m., stay warm around the many fire pits and enjoy holiday music, hot beverages and warm snacks available for sale by local non-profit organizations.  Mayor Jo Bacon will welcome in the festive season at approximately 6:00 p.m., and Santa will be arriving from the North Pole to light-up our Christmas tree and meet all our good boys and girls, compliments of the Mammoth Lakes Fire Protection District.  Woolly is also rumored to be making an appearance and the MHS Boosters Club will be selling Christmas trees, so donate to a worthy cause and go home ready to decorate your own special tree.

Prescribed Fire set for Mono County

Fire crews plan to ignite the next several units (up to 86 acres) of the Aqueduct Prescribed Fire today (Wednesday November 19th), conditions permitting. Expect to see smoke east of Highway 395 between Crowley Lake and June Lake. By prescribing the fire under optimum weather conditions, managers simulate the natural role of fire. This reduces forest competition, opens gaps in the forest canopy for sunlight to shine through, and recycles nutrients to the soil for re-growth.

UPDATE

Crews did not begin ignitions of the 86 acre unit of Aqueduct Prescribed Fire today. The fuels moisture was a little low and the winds higher than forecast; putting the project out of prescription. Crews will continue to try to find the safe prescription window that meet fuel reduction and fire effect goals.