Category Archives: Community News

Harmey Bancroft

Harmey Bancroft, 1979-2015

Harmey Jefferson Bancroft loved life, but he loved his friends and family more. His friends were considered family to Harmey.

Harmey was born in Cortez, Colorado on July 15, 1979, to Kathy Jefferson Bancroft and Frank Williams Bancroft of Towaoc, Colorado. He was the Grandson of Tom and Barbara Jefferson of Lone Pine, California and Speer and Mary Bancroft of Towaoc, Colorado. His brother, Franco Bancroft, was born 15 months before him and they remained extremely close throughout his life. The pride and purpose of his life was his daughter, Rosalynn Drai Bancroft, who was able to be with him for almost the first two years of her life. Harmey is also survived by several other half brothers and sisters, including Mackey Bancroft of Shiprock, New Mexico; Donna Bancroft and Francilla Bancroft of Towaoc, Colorado, Ellen Bancroft Gurule of Albuquerque, New Mexico; Gloria Bancroft and Mary Bancroft of Oklahoma. He is also survived by uncles Keen Richards of Ignacio, Colorado and Mike and Robert Morgan of Bishop, California. Aunt and Uncle, Susan and Donald Bobb of Lone Pine, California and Schurz, Nevada played a large part in raising him. Niece and nephew, Raegan and Jesse Bancroft, and cousins, Decora Bancroft, and Amanda, Danielle and Norman Bobb were very close and important to Harmey. He had an almost countless number of other cousins, aunts and uncles which he remained in contact with, no matter where he lived.

Harmey grew up on the Lone Pine Paiute-Shoshone Reservation and the back country of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. He had many professions, including packing mules in the Sierra, doing construction in Colorado, writing songs and playing guitar in several bands in Montana and California. But art was always the love of his life. He was accomplished in many forms of media and sold his first piece while still in high school for $100. Harmey learned and worked as a tattoo artist, eventually opening his own shop, Gypsy King Tattoo, in Bishop California in 2013.

There will be a Cry Dance for Harmey Bancroft on the Lone Pine Paiute-Shoshone Reservation community grounds on Friday night, August 28th. Graveside services will be held at the Lone Pine Cemetery at 11 am on Saturday, followed by gathering of family, friends, food and fun at the LPPSR Community grounds, 975 Teya Rd.



NIH Infusion Center Opens

Northern Inyo Hospital Infusion Center opens

NIH Press Release:

Cancer patients receiving chemotherapy are often facing the greatest challenge of their lives. Care providers at Northern Inyo Hospital’s newly expanded Infusion Center plan to do everything they can to make the experience as comfortable as possible.
Recently relocated into a larger space within the older main hospital, the expanded facility will open for service Monday, Aug. 24 at 8 a.m. Infusion patients with scheduled appointments for Aug. 24 are asked to park in front of the hospital’s West Line Street entrance and check in with Central Registration in the main lobby. They will then be escorted to the new location.
The new Infusion Center features five private treatment bays furnished with large reclining chairs and wall mounted televisions. Adjustable gurneys are also available for those preferring to lie down. For those seeking a more social setting, the bays are large enough to allow some family or friends to sit with the patients and chat or watch television together.
The new center also provides a comfortable, modern treatment area for patients receiving other treatments including outpatient Blood Transfusions, Antibiotic Therapy and Eye Laser Treatment.
Perhaps the most inspiring aspect of the facility is a simple, yet elegant, silver bell, donated by the Northern Inyo Hospital Auxiliary. Those completing their therapy may ring the bell, a symbolic end to an often life-changing journey.
Hospital employees and members of the public got a sneak peek at the new facility last week during separate receptions. The public reception, hosted by the Northern Inyo Hospital Foundation, drew about 50 people to the facility. NIH Foundation President Jack England and Hospital CEO Victoria Alexander-Lane greeted visitors as they arrived. Mini-tours of the facility revealed a well-thought out patient-centered operation, overseen by Ann Wagoner, Director of Nursing – Perioperative Services, her nursing team and Chief Nursing Officer Kathy Decker.

The Northern Inyo Hospital Foundation Board of Directors includes Jack England, Kay O’Brien, Mary Mae Kilpatrick, Debbie Core, Pete Watercott, Ken Partridge, Caddy Jackson, Carole Wade, and Dr. Richard Meredick. The Foundation’s Executive Director is Greg Bissonette.

The Northern Inyo Hospital Foundation in the new Infusion Center, from left to right, Executive Director Greg Bissonette, board members Caddy Jackson, Carole Wade, Ken Partridge, Foundation President Jack England, board members Dr. Richard Meredick, Debbie Core and Pete Watercott. Not shown: Board members Mary Mae Kilpatrick and Kay O’Brien. Photo by Barbara Laughon/Northern Inyo Hospital
northern inyo hospital, bishop california hospital, nih foundation

Bishop Safe Routes to School

Safe Routes to School

Join statement from the City of Bishop and Bishop Unified School District
The start of a new school year is a good time for parents and students to review the best and safest ways to get to and from school. Some ways to school are safer than others. Heavy traffic around schools is one of the biggest dangers that students face on their way to and from schools. Bishop schools have maps suggesting routes to get to and from school on foot or on bike.  The official maps are available on the City of Bishop web site.
Key safe routes to school shown on the maps include Grove Street, East Pine Street, East and West Line Street, Home Street, Fowler Street, Yaney Street, and Pioneer Lane. Students should use these streets to get to and from school whenever possible. These routes are the most direct and safe.
Main Street and West Line Street are our busiest streets. Home Street can also get very busy when hundreds of parents rush to drive their children to school in the minutes before school starts in the morning. The best place to cross these streets is at one of the traffic signals or where a crossing guard is stationed. Using the suggested routes will lead students to cross these busy streets only at signals and where there are crossing guards.
Parents are urged to share with each child the best way to get safely from home to school and back using the suggested routes. With proper care, walking and biking to and from school can be safe, can provide good exercise, and can reduce traffic congestion with all
the associated benefits.
Bishop schools and the City of Bishop encourage the use of designated safe routes to schools and wish the best to students in the new school year.
bishop police department, bishop unified school district, city of bishop
inyo sheriff

Stabbing in Big Pine

Stabbing in Big Pine – Public’s Assistance Requested

Thursday night at approximately 10:40pm Inyo County Sheriff’s Dispatch received an emergency call requesting an ambulance on Watson Street in Big Pine due to a stabbing. Sheriff’s Deputies arrived on scene and determined that one male subject had been stabbed; the victim was unresponsive and was immediately transported to Northern Inyo Hospital.

Interviews conducted with witnesses at the scene indicated there were three subjects with the victim: Bryce Williams 32-years old from Bishop, Jobe In-the-Woods 27-years old from Big Pine, and Ethan Williams 23-years old from Bishop. Investigators would like to interview these three subjects to determine what occurred.

Additionally, witnesses stated Bryce Williams stole a vehicle prior to deputies arriving on scene. The stolen vehicle is described as a 1998 white Nissan Frontier pick-up truck with the following California plate: 5X07934.

The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s assistance in locating Bryce Williams, Jobe In-the Woods, and Ethan Williams as well as information on the whereabouts of the stolen truck.
If anyone has any information that could assist Inyo County Sheriff’s Office in this case, you are encouraged to contact us at 760-878-0383.

inyo county sheriffs department, big pine california

Bishop morns death of Tattoo Artist

Harmey Bancroft found dead Wednesday

An initial autopsy is showing the noted tattoo artist died of natural causes at the age of 36.  Harmey has operated Gypsy King Tattoo on main street Bishop.

Statement from the Bishop Police Department:

On the evening of Wednesday, August 19, 2015, at approximately 4:25 PM, the Bishop Police Department received a call of an unconscious adult male subject at a Bishop area residence. Bishop Police Officers and medical personnel arrived a short time later and found Harmey Jefferson Bancroft, age 36 of Bishop, deceased in his bed.

There were no signs of trauma or anything to indicate foul play may have been involved at the time the body was discovered. On Thursday August 20, 2015 an autopsy was conducted and preliminary results would tend to indicate that Mr. Bancroft died of natural causes.

Further investigation is pending toxicology and additional lab results.

Statement from Gypsy King Tattoo facebook page:

The Gypsy King Tattoo Family is deeply saddened by the loss of Harmey Bancroft but we are gonna try our hardest to keep this shop open for him and for everyone else. The shop will be closed until Tuesday and we will be letting our clients know what is happening as we know more. Thank you for your support.

Cover Photo From Gypsy King Tattoo’s Facebook page

bishop california news, gypsy king tattoo, bishop police department, harmey bancroft

NIH adds a General Surgeon

Northern Inyo Hospital gains new General Surgeon

Northern Inyo Hospital welcomes General Surgeon Allison J. Robinson to its healthcare team this week. Robinson is double Board certified in General Surgery with specialization in Colon and Rectal Surgery. In Bishop, she will work alongside Dr. Robbin Cromer-Tyler in the Pioneer Medical Building on the Northern Inyo Hospital campus. She will begin seeing patients September 1st.

A graduate of Whittier College, Robinson entered the US Navy in 1990 when she attended the Uniformed Services University F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine in Bethesda, MD. She completed her General Surgery residency at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda and did a Colon and Rectal Fellowship at the Ochsner Clinic Foundation in New Orleans, LA.

Stationed at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego for the past 10 years, Robinson served as a Staff Surgeon and was Head of Colon and Rectal Division and Surgical Endscopy Suite. She is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery at the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda.

Among her numerous military honors, she was named Top Surgeon in the Navy, 2007-2009, by a patient satisfaction survey, and most recently received her seventh Most Productive General Surgeon achievement.

“As a surgeon, I truly enjoy meeting with and working with my patients as people … allowing them to return to their lives is a very satisfying part of my job,” Robinson said.

No stranger to the area, Robinson was raised in Big Pine, daughter of Lloyd and Dorothy Wilson, retired teachers from the Big Pine Unified School District. Robinson and her husband, Ron, of 16 years, have two sons, Toby, 13, and Cody, 12. As a family, the Robinsons enjoy outdoor activities including boating, fishing, kayaking and skiing and look forward to being back in the area.

Dr. Allison Robinson
northern inyo hospital, nih, bishop hospital, Dr. Allison Robinson, Dr. Robbin Cromer-Tyler
Winnedumah Hotel (2)

More History this weekend

Eastern California Museum looking at “Tourism in Death Valley”

The Eastern California Museum is pleased to announce their community outreach program for residents and visitors alike continues this week with another evening program at the historic Winnedumah Hotel in Independence this Friday, August 21st.
This weeks 45 minute interpretive program will be “The History and Development of Tourism in Death Valley”. This program takes an in-depth look at all of Death Valley’s hotels from the Furnace Creek Resort to Wildrose Station.

Death Valley is America’s largest National Park outside of Alaska. Its resorts and hotel have long played an important financial and socioeconomic role in tourism dependent Inyo County. The people behind these hotels were visionaries and risk takers of the highest levels. The history of their dreams and determination makes for an incredible one of a kind story. Come hear how some dreams grew beyond their wildest expectations while others joined the ranks of other Death Valley disappointments. The program will be held just off the lobby of the historic Winnedumah and will begin at 7:00 p.m.
This event is free and provided with support from the non-profit Friends of the Eastern California Museum. Additional events are planned for the following weeks and on through September. Upcoming events will include an interpretive tour of Manzanar Historic Site, a program and slide show by noted Owens Valley rock art scholar Courtney Smith and a tour of the mining town of Cerro Gordo, road conditions permitting. Several additional events are planned as well.
For more information you can contact the Museum at or call (760) 878-0258.

eastern california museum, independence california, owens valley history

IMA Idol Prelims are this Saturday

Local Singers compete Saturday

The Eastern Sierra Tri-County Fair is pleased to announce that there are 11 singers entered in this year’s IMA Idol Singing contest. The public is invited to come out and watch the preliminaries free of charge on Saturday, August 22 at 3:00 on the Miller Stage at the Fairgrounds. All 11 contestants will perform, and the top 5 will be chosen to perform as the opening acts for the Austin Webb concert on Thursday night of the fair (Thursday, September 3rd), where an overall winner and People’s Choice winner will be chosen.

In addition to bragging rights the winners will receive cash prizes and Fair Event Admission packages.

We have singers ranging in age from 13 to 72, singing everything from original songs to current pop hits, classic country, oldies and show tunes. It will be a fun afternoon of free entertainment to get everyone excited for the fair,” commented Fair CEO Sally Symons. “We hope the public comes out and supports the local talent at the preliminaries, and then again at the finals during the Austin Webb Concert.”

tri-county fair, sally symons, austin webb, eastern sierra news

Drone Reported near walker fire

Fire Officials spot Drone near Walker fire

Lee Vining, CA: Drones are becoming an increasingly popular recreational activity on forest land and throughout the country. However, drones flying near wildland fires pose a serious and immediate threat to the safety of aircraft crews involved in fire response.

Individuals and organizations that fly unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), more commonly referred to as drones, for hobby or recreational purposes may not operate them in areas of National Forest System lands that have Temporary Flight Restrictions in place, such as wildfires, without prior approval from the U.S. Forest Service.

The Federal Aviation Administration has regulatory authority over all airspace, including recreational use of airspace by model aircraft .Individuals and organizations that fly drones on National Forest System lands must follow  FAA guidance – FAA guidance stipulates that UAS not interfere with manned aircraft, be flown within sight of the operator and be operated only for hobby or recreational purposes.  The FAA also requires model aircraft operators flying UAS within five miles of an airport to notify the airport operator and air traffic control tower.  For more information, watch the “Know Before You Fly” video
and visit the Know Before You Fly Website at

 Please, for the safety of our firefighters and for an effective fire response, please keep drones away from the Walker Fire and near heliports.

walker fire, federal aviation administration, drones, mono county
wildfire logo

Walker Fire Update

Thursday Walker Fire Update

Significant progress continues with containment lines on Walker Fire burning approximately two miles southwest of Lee Vining the Walker Fire remains at 3,715 acres. This is a human-caused fire that is still under investigation.

Crews will continue to improve containment lines as well as mop up, which includes extinguishing hot spots to ensure that the fire does not re-ignite. Mitigation efforts also continue on the 65-acre spot fire.

Tioga Pass (Highway120) is open without an escort. However, there will be no stopping along the eastern four miles of the road. This will be strictly enforced. The fire remains active to the south of the road and this is essential for firefighter and public safety.

The fire is burning in mixed conifer, mahogany, and brush. Critical sage grouse habitat is also threatened. Visitors and residents should expect to see smoke from the June Lake and Lee Vining areas and along Highway 395.

For the safety of our firefighters, effective air operations and continued containment efforts, please keep drones away from the Walker Fire and near heliports.

Closures and Evacuations:
⦁ Walker Lake “Fishing Camp” has been evacuated.
A CodeRed Emergency Alert notice has been issued for Lee Vining and everything north of Double Eagle in June Lake (including Silver Lake and Grant Lake areas) for potential evacuations.
⦁ Campgrounds in the Lower Lee Vining Canyon have been evacuated and are closed, including Lower Lee Vining, Moraine, Boulder, Aspen Grove, and Big Bend Campgrounds.
⦁ The Walker Lake Road (1N17), the Parker Lake Rd. (1S25), the Upper Horse Meadows Rd. (1N16), and the Gibbs Road (1N18) are closed for fire operations and public safety. All of these roads are accessed via the northern end of the June Lake Loop. All spur roads off of these roads are also closed. The trail to Mono Pass (trailhead is at Walker Lake) is closed.

Approximately 477 firefighters are on scene as well as numerous aircraft, dozers, and engines. Resources from Mono County, local fire departments, Cal Fire, neighboring forests, BLM Bishop Field Office, and the Mono County Sheriff’s Office are assigned.  For more information on the Walker Fire you can go to the following sites: Inciweb:

Date Started: 8/14/2015
Cause: Human Total Personnel: 477
Injuries/Illnesses to Date: 0
Size: 3,715 acres Structures Threatened: 235
Percent Contained: 45%
Resources: 3 Helicopters, 0 Seats, 0 Air Tankers
34, Engines Crews, 6 Water Tenders, 2 Dozers Structures Lost: 0
Estimated Containment: 8/23/2015

walker fire, drought 2015, cal fire, us forest service, mono county