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The Fate of the Bishop Nursery Property Revealed

Rumors have been swirling about the fate of the property where the Bishop Nursery stands. There has been speculation that the property will turn into an apartment complex,  or affordable housing for low-income families. However, according to Bill Parris, the owner of the property, none of these rumors are true.

“The plan is to build standard-sized family houses, we are not building apartments and we are not building anything other than houses in a town that is in dire need of more houses.” Parris said.

Parris Construction Corporation based out of Santa Barbara have been permitted to build up to fifteen houses on the property. However, the plan is to preserve the nursery and build twelve houses instead.

“We have been approved to build fifteen houses by the City of Bishop.” Parris said. “Although that was the original plan, I have seen how important the Bishop Nursery is to this community, and I am going to do everything I can to make sure we can keep the nursery in tact.”

Parris still faces challenges with the city to assure his vision comes to fruition, but when asked about the chances of a mixed-use development that includes the nursery, he said there is, “an eighty-percent chance that we can preserve the business.”

The Bishop Nursery will face a few changes  if it is included in the building plans. Operations of the business will be on a “smaller-scale” with trees and other large plants no longer being sold.

Originally, the idea was to try and save the nursery in it’s current state. Parris, the current owner of the land loaned $50,000 to the former owner of the Bishop Nursery to try and save the business. Unfortunately, the President of Parris Construction Corporation noted that it was “not possible” as the business began to fall into disarray.

Progress on the new housing development is still very much in the early stages, with some of the most recent work involving the removal of some trees on the property.

Liz Merrill, the General Manager of Bishop Nursery discussed why it was necessary to remove the trees saying, “The trees needed to be cut in order to create an access point to Home Street as all of the property will be utilized.” She added that although they are removing trees right now, they will be replenished in the future. “Sixty-one trees will be removed, but over two-hundred will be planted.”

Michael Kubiak Hits Two Inside the Park Home Runs as Broncos Beat Serpents

The Bishop Broncos hosted the Mineral County Serpents in a non-league game on Thursday, beating the team from Hawthorne, NV 14-4 over six innings.

Senior, Michael Kubiak was the star player for the Broncos. The veteran shortstop scored two inside the park home runs. Although there were errors involved in both instances, Kubiak’s speed was on display as he streaked past the bags on two different occasions.

Errors proved to be the difference between the two teams, as the Serpents had eight total on the day. Seven runs were scored off of the eight errors.

Kubiak was not the only Bronco with a lively bat Thursday. 3rd basemen, Cal Omohundro and Jalen Waterson were effective at the plate as well. Omohundro hit a 2 RBI double in the third inning after he struck a liner to left field. As for Waterson, the left-handed batter crushed a ball over the right field wall for a home-run.

Thursday was an efficient day for the Bronco pitchers. Sophomore, Ace Selters pitched four innings, surrendering just one run over three innings pitched. However, Selters did run into a bit of trouble in the fourth inning after he walked multiple batters and loaded the bases. Head coach, Steve Omohundro visited the mound and elected to leave the young pitcher in the game. Selters then gave up a 3 RBI triple after the ball was smacked into the outfield. The score was 10-4 after the fourth inning.

Landon Kruse pitched in relief and threw two innings. After initially struggling with his command and location, Kruse was dialed in. The Sophomore’s fastball was working well for him, as he struck out five batters in two innings.

Up next for the Broncos, a trip to California City for a High Desert League match up.

Man Looking for Treasure at Manzanar Arrested

Thanks to a concerned visitor at Manzanar National Historic Site last weekend, law enforcement authorities were able to apprehend an individual using a metal detector and shovel inside the park boundary. It is a federal crime to dig for artifacts, use a metal detector, or take any items from the ground in Manzanar National Historic Site.

Shortly before 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 16, 2019, a visitor stopped at the front desk and reported seeing an individual with a metal detector. The visitor was able to describe the car and give the license plate. Manzanar rangers called Inyo County Sheriff Department, and within minutes a sheriff’s deputy and a California Department of Fish and Wildlife warden had arrived and detained the suspect. Law enforcement rangers from Death Valley National Park were called to investigate. The suspect faces possible criminal charges.

Manzanar Superintendent Bernadette Johnson expressed gratitude to the visitor and law enforcement whose actions helped deter damage to the site and loss of valuable cultural history. “Manzanar staff members take our responsibility to protect historic resources seriously,” she said. “And it is great to see that the public does as well.”

You can help protect our treasured National Park Service sites.  If you see something suspicious in any National Park Service (NPS) site, stay safe and tell us about it. Talk to any NPS employee for help, or give the Special Agents of the NPS Investigative Services Branch a call. We understand that it may take time to reach areas with cell or internet service. You don’t have to tell us who you are, but please tell us what you know: go.usa.gov/xPd8J

Round Valley Student Alexandra Morales Wins Inyo County Speech Contest

Inyo County Office of Education is pleased to announce that Alexandra Morales from Round Valley Joint Elementary School won first place at the 59 th annual Inyo County Speech Contest, for her speech: Parkland, Columbine, Sandy Hook, Enough! The second place winner was Paige Makris from Owens Valley Elementary School with her speech: Turning Obstacles into Opportunities. The third place winner was Kyle Schaniel from Seventh Day Adventist with the topic: Nuclear Fission. Also representing their schools were: Willam Young, Will Hennarty, Luis Leon, Marlene Castro, Jade Scott, and Harlee Bardonnex.

The Speech Contest was sponsored by Bishop Real Estate and held on April 11 th at the Jill Kinmont Boothe School. Students from Big Pine, Home Street Middle School, Owens Valley, Round Valley, and Seventh Day Adventist participated in the event. The topic was: How could lessons learned from historical examples of tragedy and triumph be applied to decisions we make every day? Audience members were impressed by the insightful and inspiring speeches from creative middle-schoolers striving to make our world a better place.

All speeches were evaluated on content and delivery by a panel of three community judges: Gerald Howard, Maggie Kingsbury, and Chris Langley. Inyo County Office of Education thanks these judges for their time and expertise.

In addition, ICOE would like to thank Bishop Real Estate Rasmuson & Associates for sponsoring the contest and providing the winners with trophies and cash prizes.

ICOE would also like to express gratitude to the school coaches for their time, effort and support for our students. The coaches were Tim Steele of Big Pine School, Mark DesRochers of Home Street Middle School, Vivian Hanson of Owens Valley School, Jennifer Morales of Round Valley School, and Sandy Burns for Seventh Day Adventist School.

Congratulations to all the participants!

Tri-County Fairgrounds Win Bid to Continue Hosting High School Rodeo Finals

Last week, a trio consisting of Tri-County Fairgound’s CEO, Jen McGuire, Bishop City Mayor Jim Ellis, and Toggery Manager Justin Snyder ventured out to Plymouth, California to secure the rights to host the California High School State Rodeo Finals.

The group attended the annual Challenge of Champions Rodeo, where they subsequently plead their case to decision makers as to why Bishop is the perfect town to host the event.

At the event, Jen McGuire explained why she believes the city in the Eastern Sierra is the right place to host the contest. “Bishop is not only the best possible area for the event to take place, it’s the best possible experience.” Said the newly appointed CEO. “This town also provides visitors with an opportunity to go on a vacation.”

Decision-makers voted unanimously to approve Bishop as host of the High School Rodeo Finals until the year 2022.

The challenging city who also bid to host the event was Red Bluff, CA.

Red Bluff is a town in Tehama County with a population of 14,076. Before Bishop became the host of the contest, Red Bluff was the host city approximately ten years ago.

Death Valley National Park Gains Land and More

DEATH VALLEY, CA – The largest national park outside of Alaska just got bigger.  On March 12, President Trump signed public lands legislation that included several changes to Death Valley National Park.

The John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act (Public Law 116-9) transferred approximately 35,000 acres of land from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to the National Park Service. Already nearly the size of Connecticut, Death Valley National Park increased by about 1% to 3,422,024 acres.

One part of the transfer is a 6,369-acre lollipop-shaped section of land adjacent to the Big Pine – Death Valley Road in the northern part of the park. It includes the Crater Mine, a colorful former sulfur mine.

The 28,923-acre “Bowling Alley” is a long, narrow swath of land on the northern border of Fort Irwin National Training Center. This area includes a portion of the Quail Mountains.

About 93% of the park is designated as the Death Valley National Park Wilderness, which is the sixth-largest wilderness area in the nation and the largest outside of Alaska. The Dingell Act added 87,999 acres of wilderness in North Eureka Valley, Panamint Valley, Warm Springs, Ibex, Bowling Alley, and Axe Head.

The Act designated 5.3 miles of Surprise Canyon Creek as a Wild River. The wild river designation provides further protection to this rare desert creek and adjacent Panamint City, a 1870s silver mining ghost town.

The Dingell Act authorizes the operation and maintenance of the existing microwave telecommunications infrastructure on Mormon Peak. AT&T owns this facility, which has been in legal limbo since the land it sits on was designated as wilderness in 1994. With the exception of satellite connections, the Mormon Peak facility relays all land-line telephone, cell phone, and internet connections for Death Valley residents and visitors.

www.nps.gov/deva-

History Day a Huge Success in Inyo County

Inyo County’s History Day Contest was held on March 14th, 2019. Ten posters, four websites, one research paper and eleven exhibits covering a variety of topics captured this year’s contest theme of Triumph and Tragedy.

 

Students were judged on the historical quality, relation to theme, clarity of presentation, and compliance with NHD rules. They also participated in interviews, explaining the process they used to create their projects. The following students will be advancing to the state competition in May:

  • Ruby Randall, Bishop Elementary
  • Cora Van Nest, Kaki Saulque and Haiden Mull (group project), Home Street Middle School
  •   Mylee Patton, Lo Inyo Elementary School
  • Sierra Kingsford and Princess Luna (group project), Lo Inyo Elementary School
  • Stephanie Valdez and Jaciel Isidro (group project), Lo Inyo Elementary School
  • Garrett WIlkinson, Damian Kingsford and Noe Rivera (group project), Lone Pine High School

Thank you to coaches Dustin Ryan, Meghan Fuchs, Nadine Harry, Bob Heist, Megan Wilkinson, Sarah Civitano and Sarah Fogarty for working with their students to prepare them for the competition. In addition, ICOE would like to thank Ilissa Twomey, Lo Lyness, Mini Doonan and Kathy Zach for judging the event.

Congratulations to all student participants!

Jack Johantgen Obituary

Jack Johantgen was born in Tulsa Oklahoma in 1932. He was the youngest of three sons born to Clara and John Robins Johantgen. Joseph and Robert his older siblings both served in the military and after Jack finished high school he moved with his parents to Prescott Arizona and followed his brother’s example by enlisting in the Navy. Jack served in the navy for three years on an aircraft carrier and went on to receive his degree in engineering from San Diego University.

Jack was married to his first wife Helen Lujan in 1955. They lived in Pasadena as well as San Diego while Jack was in the Navy and eventually settled in Ridgecrest California where Jack began a 30-plus year career at China Lake Weapons Center. Together they raised 7 children: Knud, Helen, Marie, Bess, John, Jeannie and Francis. They were blessed with 12 grandchildren Casey, Allison, Daniel, Richie, Stephen, Alexis, Angela, Remington, Marjorie, Amanda, Regan and Ali.

Jack was an electrical engineer and was recognized for his significant contributions to the Sidewinder short-range air-to-air and antiradiation missiles and radar warning receivers over his years of employment at China Lake. Johantgen, a supervisory electronics engineer who headed the Missile Guidance Branch in the Electronic Warfare Department’s RF Development Division was also is the program manager of the Antiradiation Projectile Program (ARP) for more than two decades at NWC. His notable contributions as a design engineer, system engineer, program manager and line manager were considered the forefront of technology, pushing forward the state-of-the-art and contributed to the outstanding recognition for the Naval Weapons Center as a leader in tactical weapons development.

Jack divorced and remarried his second wife Jeannie Smith in 2001. Through this marriage he was given a gift of 3 more children Shawn, Todd and Tracy; 10 grandchildren: Gavin, Chad, Lauren, Elias, Nicole, Amanda, Caleb, Cassandra, Katie, and Alex; 4 great-grandchildren Skylar, Grayson, Elyse, and Reegan.

Jack lived in Ridgecrest for over 30 years, he also lived in Mammoth Lakes and retired in Bishop with his wife Jeannie. Both were avid skiers and bicyclists. Jack traveled cross county on his bike at age 72. They enjoyed traveling throughout Europe, Mexico and Hawaii, many of their trips included bike tours and sailing. They loved opening their homes in the Sierras to family and friends and hosted many family holidays and celebrations.

Jack was long-term parishioner of Ridgecrest’s St. Ann Catholic Church, St Joseph in Mammoth and Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Bishop California and he served as a Catholic youth educator in both Mammoth and Bishop.

Jack Johantgen died peacefully in his home in Bishop California on Sunday March 10 surrounded by family. He was preceded in death by his brother Joseph Johantgen, his parents Clara Agnes and John Robins Johantgen; son Knud Neilson and daughter Marie Anne Johantgen.

Services:
Rosary is scheduled Friday March 15th at 3 PM at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Bishop California,
849 Home St. Bishop
Mass will be held Saturday March 16th at 11 AM at Our Lady of Perpetual Help
Reception immediately following the service at the home of Jack and Jeannie Johantgen at 3561 Majestic Way, Bishop
Graveside Service Monday March 18th at 1:30 in Ridgecrest at the Desert Memorial Park 801 S. San Bernardino County Line Rd.

Mark Mayhugh, Tia Barfield Win CIF for the Broncos

Last week, two young ladies on the Bronco wrestling team competed in the girl’s 2-day CIF divisional playoffs in Tulare. Freshman Renee Ashworth wrestled at 123 pounds while senior Tia Barfield wrestled at 162 pounds. On the first day, Renee went 0-2 while Tia, who was seeded #1, pinned her first two opponents in 12 and 17 seconds respectively. On the second day, Tia pinned her next opponent in the semifinals in 1:29, which put her into the finals. In the finals, Tia dominated her opponent by a score of 13-0 before pinning herin the second period, earning her a first place finish.

Coach Mark Hodges said, “Tia’s record is now 30-1 and I was not present when she lost earlier in the season. In fact, I had yet to see a point scored against her. For this reason, I was surprised when she was taken down in the semifinals match, where she quickly did a reverse and then pinned her opponent. It was only after the match that I found out she had slipped.”

Tia will compete in the Central Section Master’s Tournament in Lemoore next week, where she hopes to qualify for the State Tournament the following week.

Also last week, the three boys on the Bronco wrestling team competed in the boy’s 2-day CIF divisional playoffs in Bakersfield. Senior Mark Mayhugh wrestled at 128 pounds, Freshman Billy McKinzey wrestled at 140 pounds and Junior Scott Hennarty wrestled at 154 pounds.

Both Billy and Scott went 0-2 while Mark, who was seeded #1, pinned his first opponent in the first period. On the second day, Mark went up against the #4 seeded wrestler in the
semifinals. Mark was in control the entire match and won by a score of 5-1, which put him into the finals where he met his good friend and rival from Desert High School. Again Mark prevailed, winning by a score of 4-2, making him a CIF champion. In the awards ceremony, in a vote by all the coaches, Mark was voted the MVP of the lower 7 weight classes!

Coach Mark Hodges said, “I am so proud of all 5 wrestlers on the team; they all wrestled their best, which is all any coach could ask for. To have 2 CIF Champions on a team of 5 incredible and a credit to their hard work. I was so happy for Mark when he won the MVP
award, of course I thought he was the best wrestler there, but I didn’t know so many of the other coaches felt the same way.”

Like Tia, Mark will compete in the Central Section Master’s Tournament in Lemoore next week, where he also hopes to qualify for the State Tournament the following week.