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NIH Opioid Discussion Helps Families Cope With Addiction

Northern Inyo Rural Health Clinic hosted a discussion about Opioid addiction on Wednesday. The discussion was titled, “How to Help a Family Member With an Opioid Addiction.”

The focus of this discussion was to provide a better understanding of how to better comprehend how addiction manifests itself in a person, and how family and friends can work together to support a loved one who is struggling with a dependency.

About twenty people attended the event. The audience actively participated in the event. Many asked questions and participated in an open dialogue with experts. In total, the event last just over two hours.

Dr. Anne Goshgarian spoke to attendees about the brain chemistry of addiction entails, while Arlene Brown of the Northern Inyo Rural Health Clinic focused on how to support those suffering from addiction. Brown said, “An important topic that we addressed was reducing the stigma around addiction. It was a great community event which empowered friends and family to be better able to help someone struggling with addiction. To me, that was the greatest message on the evening because friends and family can often times feel helpless in those situations.”

Both women answered questions relating to what the warning signs of addiction are, the type of drugs that are in the community, what the difference is in most Opioids, and how to identify if a person is overdosing.

The experts also handed out Opioid Overdose Reversal Kits and discussed treatment options available at Northern Inyo Hospital.

NIHD Board Member MC Hubbard Retires, District Seeks to Fill Vacancy

As 2020 nears, Northern Inyo Healthcare District is bidding a fond farewell to its current longest serving Board of Trustees member, MC Hubbard. After almost 14 years, Hubbard is retiring from her service to the residents of the Healthcare District’s Zone 5 region, covering southeast Bishop, Wilkerson, Big Pine, and Aberdeen.

NIHD’s Board of Trustees is in the process of accepting letters of interest from Zone 5 residents interested in being appointed to Hubbard’s position. The Board selected Trustees Robert Sharp and Jody Veenker to conduct interviews of candidates and then make a recommendation to the entire Board for final selection. That person will hold the Zone 5 seat until November 2020. At that point, he or she will need to formally run for election to complete the remaining two years of Hubbard’s term, slated to end in 2022.

NIHD Chief Executive Officer Kevin S. Flanigan, MD MBA, said to date, five people expressed an interest in the position. Of those five, at least two have submitted formal letters of interest to the Board.

For Hubbard, the decision to retire, as she likes to call it, from the NIHD Board is one that she has considered for a while. “Although I have learned a lot about healthcare and have certainly appreciated the time I have served, I have been on the board for more than 13 years,” Hubbard explains. “I decided it was time to allow someone else to serve on this essential Board of Directors.

Appointed to the Board in 2006, she had just retired from a long-term banking career. She says the chance to learn more about the inner workings of healthcare intrigued her. Hubbard quickly realized the size of the learning curve ahead of her, especially as NIHD began its move to construct a new two-story hospital.

The completion of the two-story hospital in 2013 serves as a milestone for all the Board members of the era, and Hubbard is no exception. Following voter approval of a needed bond measure, the Board stood alongside NIHD staff as they faced construction challenges and rigorous state seismic regulations. Hubbard said there were days where she wondered what she had gotten herself into with her appointment. She would go on to win election to her position three times.

“I admit there have been some wonderful accomplishments over the years, but the first thing that comes to mind is the completion of the hospital building,” she smiles. “It was quite an experience going from the construction phase to the final occupancy over the three-year process.”

As for a personal sense of accomplishment, Hubbard notes the Healthcare District is still considered a continually growing entity. “Healthcare is in an endless state of change, and I’m not sure everyone realizes how much change occurs every year. Plus, how much of that change is out of our control at the local level,” she said.

“Being part of the District during both the positive times and the challenging times, I think that where the real accomplishment rests, not just for the Trustees, but for everyone who works at the District. Every day in healthcare gives us another chance to make a difference in the lives of those we serve. We have to enjoy the good times and survive the bad to continue making that difference. If we lose sight of that, then we lose sight of those we serve.”

As for her fellow trustees, Hubbard wishes them well on their journey. “The other four board members are very caring, and certainly a group with diversified backgrounds. I am sure they will rise to the challenges facing healthcare districts going forward,” she said. “Each individual brings their strengths to the Board, and I am confident they will achieve positive things.”

As for her future, Hubbard intends to spend more time with her family, including her four great grandchildren. She will also stay busy as a trustee to the Slager Foundation and as a member of Bishop Sunrise Rotary.

Hubbard notes that through the years, she received a lot of support. “Thinking back, all I can say is what a ride it has been. I want to thank our community members and certainly the wonderful staff at NIHD,” she said. “It’s truly been a pleasure to work with all of them.”

Bishop Win a Thriller to Advance to the CIF Championship Game

Photos by Gary Young Photography

Resilience is a word that comes to mind when describing Bishop’s effort Friday night.

The first half belonged to the Cardinals. Lindsay controlled the tempo on their first possession, with a methodical march down the field that lasted nearly seven minutes. Star running back, Danny Trujillo, who came into the game with more than 2,100 rushing yards and 24 touchdowns, was dragging Bishop’s front seven forward on what appeared to be nearly every play.

Nearly every time the standout halfback was hit, he would fall forward, or break a tackle, until Lindsay found themselves on Bishop’s doorstep. Lindsay scored on a one yard run, but it was Danny’s brother, Israel who punched it in.

Down 7-0, the Broncos quickly responded. Lindsay put all of their eggs into one basket by trying to stop the run the subsequent drive. With 2:40 to go in the first quarter, Luke McClean threw a strike down the middle of the field to Jaydan Braithwaite for a 55 yard touchdown.

After tying the game up at seven a piece, Bishop didn’t do much else in the first half. The Trujillo brothers were running rampant on the Bronco’s front seven. It seemed like every time a linebacker or defensive lineman had a good angle for a tackle, the Trujillo brothers were able to slip by the defense.The ground and pound formula paid dividends yet again for Lindsay, when Danny Trujillo scored a six yard touchdown to make it 16-7 Cardinals. Bishop looked tired, beaten, and battered.

Bishop got the ball to start the second half. The waters did not calm for the Broncos during the first drive. Star quarterback, Luke McClean threw an interception on the near sideline, giving the ball back to the Cardinals in Bishop territory. The interception could have been the moment where head coach, Arnie Palu’s team folded, but it wasn’t.

Instead, the turnover was a moment which appeared to galvanize the team. Bishop forced a three and out after the turnover, and for the rest of the game defensive coordinator, Rick Beall had his defense dialed in.

Those Grand Canyon sized holes Danny Trujillo was running through in the first half turned into narrow crevices. All of those missed tackles in the first half were a thing of the past. The Broncos were able to get to Trujillo before he had any steam and nullified most of his rushing attempts.

The offense followed the defense’s example, playing inspired football. In the third quarter, the Luke McClean found wide receiver, Johnny Torres for a thirty yard touchdown to pull within two.

In the fourth and final quarter, McClean went back to Torres, who was wide open for a fifteen yard touchdown. The crowd erupted as Bishop had finally taken the lead. McClean then scored the two-point conversion on a direct snap. Bishop were up 22-16.

After the score, it was time for the Bronco defense to hold the line. On a crucial third down, Sophomore, Kennedy Bachelder sacked quarterback, Randon Gomez resulting in a fourth down and long for Lindsay. The Cardinals were bailed out on what would have been Lindsay’s final play, when Sophomore, Luis Cruz got called for pass interference.

With about two minutes left in the game, Gomez threw up a prayer with hopes of trying to convert a first down. That prayer was not answered. The ball was thrown near Steven Paco, who came up with the game-winning interception.

The final score in this one was 22-16. Bishop will now match up against Orosi in the CIF Championship Game for Division Six.

New Exhibit Arrives at Laws Museum

A new exhibit has just arrived at Laws Railroad Museum and Historic Site! The Museum has acquired, on loan, the restored Bodie Railway and Lumber Company (Bodie and Benton Railroad) flat car number 8, and it is on display on the Museum grounds.


Several years ago, members of the Friends of the Bodie Railway and Lumber Company group were exploring the BR&L right of way and found the remains of a wrecked flat car. The metal parts were salvaged and cleaned up, but the remains of the wood parts were too far gone to salvage. The Friends located the number on the car and found the plans for it and started in on the restoration. The car was restored by the Friends of the Bodie Railway and Lumber Company about 17 years ago and has been on display in June Lake until last week. The restoration effort included acquiring custom cut full dimensional lumber to replicate the original lumber in the car. The restoration was completed in 2002


The Friends of the Bodie Railway and Lumber Company recently decided to disband, and turned ownership of the car over to the Bodie Foundation. The Foundation did not have a means of moving or storing the car, so two former members of the Friends, John Fredrickson and Paul Thompson, stepped up and negotiated a loan to the Laws Railroad Museum to display and maintain the car for the next several years. The Museum hired Kurt Van Nest, owner of High Sierra Storage, to move and set up the car in its new location. The move was made by his company, with the help of a volunteer crew from Laws Railroad Museum, on Sunday November 17.

Bishop City Council Vote to Protect Renters with Emergency Ordinance

The Bishop City Council voted 5-0 in favor of adopting an emergency ordinance that will prohibit landlords from dramatically increasing rent on tenants and evicting residents without just cause. The city ordinance is in response to a loophole created by AB 1482, which is designed to protect tenants from egregious hikes in an individual’s monthly rent. However, from now until January 1, 2020, landlords had the option to dramatically increase rent before the ordinance was made official.

Mayor Pro Tempore, Laura Smith spoke about the possible rental hikes saying, “We are not looking to handcuff landlords by passing this ordinance. There is a drastic shortage of housing in the area, and people are probably not going to find a place to live. We don’t want people kicked out of their homes with the cold weather and no place to go.”

Councilman, Stephen Muchovej expressed similar feelings, indicating that the council’s job is to help its citizens. “We are here to help people out in town. We should prevent these sort of scenarios [subjecting tenants to rental hikes] from happening.”

Bishop resident Steve Seats, who was previously evicted from his home at the Primrose Lane Apartments in town due to a rent increase, spoke to the city council and expressed his feelings on the matter.

“It sickens me when I heard that over forty families were at risk of being evicted from their homes.” Seats said.

Seats, who now says he lives in his car and spends most nights in the parking lot adjacent to the City of Bishop Council Chambers, also told the public about his experience of allegedly being harassed by a member of the Bishop Police Department since being evicted from his apartment.

“Last night an officer threatened to arrest me for sleeping in my car in the parking lot.” Seats said. “The officer became progressively more and more aggravated when I did not comply. The behavior was inappropriate by the police force.”

Shortly after Seats spoke, Mayor Jim Ellis gave his thoughts on the ordinance saying, “This ordinance is to protect our citizens.” Ellis also added that the housing market makes things difficult for low-income individuals. “We have a tough housing market here. I don’t think any of us have a problem with voting in favor of an ordinance.”

What’s Next for the Bishop Kmart Property?

Kmart and Sears are getting ready to close another batch of stores throughout the United States in February. Transformco, the company who own both chains has announced it will close 96 Sears and Kmart stores, leaving the chain with 182 locations.

The Kmart based in Bishop has been confirmed by USA Today as a location which will shut its doors in just a few months time.

News of the store closure has many residents in the Eastern Sierra concerned as to where they will purchase items such as office supplies, clothes, and appliances.

Additionally, the closure has led to many people asking City of Bishop officials what is next for the location where Kmart sits.

Associate Planner and Economic Development Coordinator, Elaine Kabala was able to answer some of those questions during the Tuesday City Council meeting.

“The closing of Kmart is a significant issue to the community as it well should be.” Kabala said.

The Economic Development Coordinator told the council she and Interim City Administrator, Robin Picken are getting ready to meet with the property owners where the department store sits. “I spoke to Kmart headquarters as well as the property owners of the building and surrounding properties to talk about what their plans are for bringing in a future retail tenant. The property owners are still working on an internal strategy, but we will be setting up a meeting with the property managers next week.”

Elaine Kabala believes that property owners seemed to be receptive to the idea of bringing in another retailer. “I talked with them [the property owners] last week and initial conversations were very positive. They were interested in the Bishop Market and want to find a good fit for replacing Kmart.”

The City of Bishop employee also expressed the importance of finding a replacement quickly. Kabala expressed, “We are trying to get ahead of this issue and stay on top of it.”

As for now, all annual holiday endeavors are taking place at the Bishop Kmart this year. These events include KIBS Radio’s Coats for Kids Drive, Eastern Sierra Shop with a Cop, and Eastern Sierra Transit Authority’s Stuff-A-Bus event.

40-Year Old Hiker Found Deceased

NORTH LAKE (INYO NATIONAL FOREST), CA. November 7, 2019 – On November 4 (evening), Inyo County Sheriff’s Office received notification of a missing hiker. The reporting party said that Alan Stringer, a 40-year old man from Huntington Beach, had planned on hiking somewhere out of the Bishop area on Sunday but failed to return home on Monday.
Stringer, who was described as an experienced hiker, did not disclose his hiking plans or potential routes. However, he recently purchased and ice ax and crampons, and participated in mountaineering training courses. Stringer was equipped for day-hiking only; he had an InReach device that he hiked with, but it was never activated. After checking trailheads throughout the Bishop area, Sheriff’s Deputies located Stringer’s vehicle at North Lake shortly after midnight on Tuesday morning.
On Tuesday a forensic analysis of Stringer’s cell phone activity revealed only one call very early in the morning from downtown Bishop on Sunday November 3 (before his planned hike). Inyo Search and Rescue used aerial support to fly the areas near and around North Lake.
On Wednesday ground teams searched the areas of Paiute Pass, Lamarck Col and Mt. Emerson. Aerial reconnaissance with night-vision capability was used Wednesday night.
Today ground teams will continue to scour the areas near and around North Lake, paying extra attention to Wonder Lake Basin, Lamarck Col, Mt. Lamarck summit, and Mt. Emmerson.  Aerial support will be used again today (H-40 out of Fresno). Sequoia and Kings National Park is running a joint operation concentrating on the following locations: Darwin Canyon and Darwin Peak.
If anyone from the public has seen Alan Stringer (particularly on Sunday November 3) and can provide us with a more conclusive hiking route please call 760-878-0383 option 4. We do not have a conclusive description of what he was wearing but he could potentially be wearing a bright green “puffer” style jacket or a dark green light-weight jacket. His ice ax is lime green. Stringer is 6’04”, 230 pounds with brown hair and hazel eyes.

UPDATE– On Nov 7 around 2:30pm Sequoia and Kings National Park located Alan Stringer deceased at the top of the Darwin glacier, near the base of the notch to go up Mount Darwin. Sequoia and Kings will be conducting the investigation and recovery.

Search photos for Stringer SAR
Alan Stringer has been missing since Sunday Nov 3 out of the North Lake area. Tips can be reported to Inyo SO at 760-878-0383 option 4.

Photos of Children Found in Alleged Child Predator’s Storage

A Mammoth Lakes resident who was arrested for three counts of sexual acts with a child under the age of 14 is now facing added charges of possession of child pornography and destruction of evidence.

On July 22, 2019, Mammoth Lakes Police Department and Mono County District Attorney Investigators arrested Christopher Adams Libby on alleged sexual activity with children. In their press release, the Mono County DA’s Office stated, “In accordance with the applicable statue of limitations, Mr. Libby is alleged to have had substantial sexual conduct with the minor, and the conduct is supported by independent corroborating evidence.”

The case against Libby indicates the alleged acts occurred during 2002 and 2003. However, the District Attorney’s Office believes there are potentially other victims.

Last week, Libby was released from jail after paying his $100,000 bail. After being released, Libby requested that his niece destroy further evidence at a storage locker in Mammoth Lakes. Upon arriving at the alleged child predator’s locker, Mr. Libby’s niece discovered child pornography in the form of Polaroid pictures along with a camera, and 2017-2019 newspaper clippings containing photographs of local Mammoth Lakes’ children in the newspaper The Sheet.

The 61 year-old male’s niece subsequently turned the evidence over to investigators. After receiving the child pornography and newspaper clippings, authorities arrested Mr. Libby a second time only a day and a half after posting bail.

Mono County Assistant District Attorney, David Anderson, said the photographs taken “appear to be of a personal nature.”

As for the newspaper clippings discovered in Libby’s locker, Anderson said the district attorney’s office cannot determine at this moment if the pictures of children in the newspaper were targets of the alleged predator.

Anderson also made it clear, “The parents of the children identified in the newspaper have been notified that Mr. Libby possessed photographs of their kids.”

Libby is scheduled to appear back in court on September 17, 2019, and is being held on $1,000,000 bail. Prosecutors are aiming to assure that there is no possible way for the defendant to be released inasmuch as the district attorney’s office believes he is a flight risk and danger to the public.

 

Truck Brake Fire Causes Paint to Spill Near Sherwin Grade

A semi truck caught on fire on early Tuesday morning. The incident took place on Sherwin Grade in the southbound lane of U.S. Route 395. As a result, there was a partial shoulder and lane closure. The semi truck caught on fire as a result of the brakes igniting as the vehicle traveled down the grade according to the California Highway Patrol.

Although initially the fire was toward the front of the cabin, flames eventually spread toward the trailer, which contained a large quantity of paint. The paint subsequently spilled all over the highway, which required a hazmat crew to arrive on scene and clean up the incident.

The cleaning crew brought out a pressure washer to clean the roadway along with a vac truck to help with the cleaning. Crews also brought bins to dispose of all the burnt materials and soil.

Both lanes of Highway 395 are now open with no restricted access.

Bishop Union High School Students Receive Awards From Caltrans

BISHOP – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) District 9 co-sponsored a Trig*Star competition at Bishop Union High School (BUHS) this past April. The competition results were announced on Monday, May 13th, 2019. Trig*Star is a national math competition for high school students based on the practical application of trigonometry. The competition enables students to apply math to real world situations and heighten the awareness of land surveying as a profession. Land surveying is the art, science and technology of locating or determining (by measurement) the shape or size of any portion of the earth’s surface and representing these surveys on maps.

The competition was a one-hour exam, solving problems involving triangles and circles to determine lengths, angles and areas.

1st Place – Thomas Zentmyer won $50, with a score of 94 out of 100 and a time of 29 minutes, 10 seconds.

2nd Place – Nathan Wesling who scored an 88 out of 100 with a time of 33 minutes, 4 seconds, and was awarded $25.

Cash prizes were paid for by the California Transportation Foundation. The competition is sponsored by Caltrans, the National Society of Professional Surveyors, and the California Land Surveyors Association.

Caltrans Senior Transportation Surveyor Sereyna Cagle thanked all that participated, including the 28 BUHS students, and Deidre Buchholz, BUHS math teacher. Caltrans appreciates Ms. Buchholz for her support in introducing the Trig*Star competition to great minds and future leaders! Congratulations to Thomas Zentmyer and Nathan Wesling!