Tag Archives: eastern sierra news

Big Trouble for owner of Dusty’s Pets

Bishop Pet Store owner pleads no contest

Inyo County Sheriffs department press release:

Inyo County Animal Services Officers recently conducted an investigation into the current owner of Dusty’s Pet Store, 56 year old Rick Rennaker from Bishop, following several calls from the public regarding the health and welfare of animals for sale. The investigation, which began shortly after Rennaker opened for business in December of 2014, resulted in multiple citations.
On February 23rd, Rennaker entered a plea of no contest to two misdemeanor pet shop violations: (failure to properly house, feed, and take reasonable care to sell animals free of disease or injury). Rennaker was placed on 24-month summary probation; he is not to own, operate or work in any business regarding the sale of animals.

inyo county sheriff, bishop news, eastern sierra news

Caltrans Names new Director

Caltrans Welcomes New District 9 Director Brent Green

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Brent Green to the position of District 9 Director effective March 2, 2015.

“Moving to Bishop has been a dream of mine ever since I came up camping with my family when I was in high school,” said Green.  “I am excited to have a new challenge, meet new people, and make new friends.”

Mr. Green earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in business and economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Master of Business Administration degree from California State University, San Diego.  He began his career with Caltrans as a Right of Way agent in San Diego and has since moved through the ranks at various positions; the previous being Division Chief of Right of Way and Land Surveys in Sacramento.  Mr. Green’s 24 year plus tenure with Caltrans also includes Acting District 12 Director in Orange County.

Mr. Green brings a broad spectrum of knowledge of the Department’s goals. “I look forward to working with our many public and private sector partners and stakeholders in continuing to provide a safe, sustainable, integrated and efficient transportation system throughout District 9,” said Green. “The direction the Department is going is very positive and I will work with everyone to achieve the Department’s new Mission, Vision and Goals.”

His extensive knowledge in departmental policies and procedures, as well as State and Federal laws and regulations will allow him to apply his expertise and knowledge to the District Director position. Brent will be moving to Bishop followed by his wife Lilibeth, after their daughter CJ graduates from high school.  Their son Trenton attends San Diego State University and is working towards an engineering degree.

brent green

caltrans, bishop news, eastern sierra news

Excess Round Fire donations will be sold this weekend

A Benefit Sale for Round Fire Relief Efforts is this Weekend

Organizers will give victims one last chance to pick up donated items before the sale Saturday and Sunday.

According to the Bishop Chamber of Commerce, the morning after the Round Fire generous donors began dropping off donations of clothing, shoes, bedding, toiletries and other items to aid those displaced from Paradise and Swall Meadows.   The fire claimed one home in Paradise and numerous homes in Swall Meadows.

The Salvation Army, Tri-County Fairgrounds, Bishop Chamber and many devoted volunteers have been working diligently for weeks to sort and display the items. Dozens of families have picked up items and expressed true gratitude.

The outpouring of support has been phenomenal – so much so that more items have been collected than can possibly be used by the fire families.

Organizers will hold a “Community Benefit” sale with the remaining items this weekend at the Home Economics Building, Tri-County Fairgrounds. Proceeds from the sale will benefit both the local Salvation Army and the Round Fire Relief Fund. Hours for the Community Benefit Sale will be Saturday, March 7th, 9am until 6pm and Sunday, March 8th, 12noon until 4pm.  Only cash and checks will be accepted.

Organizers indicate that the sale will feature an amazing selection of clothing for men, women & children; shoes of all sizes and so much more! All proceeds will benefit both the Salvation Army and the Round Fire Relief Fund.

eastern sierra news, bishop news, salvation army, round fire, bishop chamber of commerce

BB Gun Incident leads to Arrest

Saturday Incident ends in Arrest

According to the Bishop Police  department the incident played out Saturday evening in east Bishop.

Details:

On Saturday, February 28, 2015 at about 8:50 PM, Officers from the Bishop Police Department responded to the area of the 300 block of East Line Street regarding a report of someone brandishing a firearm.

Upon arrival, Officers located the Victim, Danielle Jordan. Jordan had obvious injuries and reported to the Officers that she had been attacked by September Downey, age 38 of Bishop.  Jordan claimed that Downey had assaulted her with an unknown type of firearm and that she had been rendered unconscious as a result of the assault. The attack had been witnessed by others in the area.
According to the Bishop Police Department, “further investigation revealed that the weapon was a replica firearm/ BB Gun and that Jordan had been shot and beaten with the BB gun during the assault.”

The suspect, Downey, was located a short time later at her residence and taken into custody without incident. Jordan was treated at Northern Inyo Hospital for her injuries.

Downey was subsequently booked at Inyo County Jail on various charges, including Attempted Homicide, Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Battery Causing Great Bodily Injury, and Violation of Probation. Downey’ Bail is currently set at $500,000.

photo via Inyo County Sheriffs Department
photo via Inyo County Sheriffs Department
bishop news, bishop police department, eastern sierra news

New Manager for OV Growers

Owens Valley Growers Cooperative

New General Manager for OVGC Planned Food Coop

The Owens Valley Growers Cooperative (OVGC) is pleased to announce that David Woodruff will be joining the OVGC in the position of General Manager for the new Food Coop/local foods café, bakery and community gathering place planned for opening in the former Mairs’ Market building in downtown Independence this summer.
The Owens Valley Growers Cooperative’s was founded by a group of Inyo County residents two years ago whose purpose is to build a local and sustainable food system in the Owens Valley through community education, support of local agriculture and the development of local market outlets.
With generous support from the Metabolic Studio and USDA Local Foods Promotion Project, OVGC will be re-opening the historic Mairs’ Market building and offering Owens Valley residents the opportunity to buy locally produced and natural food products in addition to household staples. The small Café and bakery will provide wholesome and healthy foods for dining in or take out and serve as a focal point for the community to gather, and share friendship and ideas.
OVGC has operated the very successful Owens Valley Certified Farmers Market alternate weeks in Lone Pine and Independence for almost two years.
Woodruff brings with him a lengthy background in business, retail and food & beverage management. Most recently, he has been the Operations Manager of the Fort Independence Travel Plaza, RV Park and Winnedumah Winns Casino.
“I am deeply honored to have been selected to help get this exciting project off the ground” said Woodruff. “This is an incredible thing OVGC is bringing to Independence and all of the Owens Valley. To be able to provide not only much needed goods and services to our community, but also an outlet and an inspiration for our friends and neighbors to produce more local foods and value added products has been a goal of the OVGC founders since its inception…and now we’re ready to make it a reality.”
The goal is to have the not for profit Food Coop and Café open by this summer. With the help of volunteers, members and supporters, the outlet will offer the best selection of items at the best value possible to consumers.
“The purpose of the Food Coop is not to accumulate profit for investors, but to meet the goals, needs and aspirations of its members and community” said Woodruff. “We’ll not only provide healthy, delicious and sustainable foods at a good price, but we’ll also be a source of information and learning, offering a variety of outreach programs from home canning to winter gardening. We hope to be a catalyst for economic revitalization and provide a gathering place for people to come together and share and contribute their ideas, interests and goals”.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us and hope to gather support from our community to help get us open. Community forums, fundraisers, membership drives and volunteer work days are all planned for the next several months. I look forward to meeting everyone who’s interested in helping make this worthy project a reality.”
For more information on the Owens Valley Growers Cooperative Food Coop and Café you may contact them at ovgcfoodcoop@gmail or checkout their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/OwensValleyGrowersCooperative

Anna Capodano and Tamara Cohn
Anna Capodano and Tamara Cohn
eastern sierra news, owens valley growers, independence news

Big Pine Grad Honored

Former Big Pine Warrior honored

Korina Kemp-Riggin started playing volleyball for Big Pine in junior high school. In high school she was named All-League and All-CIF as a Lady Warrior and then went on to compete at the national level with a scholarship to Cal State University at Los Angeles.  Last Tuesday, the 1990 Big Pine High graduate was inducted into the CSULA’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
Riggin, the daughter of Jim Kemp and the late Linda Kemp of Big Pine, was cited as a major reason for CSULA’s Golden Warriors volleyball program’s improved successes. The Golden Eagles had only one winning season prior to Kemp’s 1992 sophomore season. That year CSULA was 25-10 and advanced to the national semi-finals. Riggin holds the number two spot at CSULA with 169 career aces and fifth in kills with 1,271.
The following year, Riggin and the Eagles went on to the regional championship match. In Riggin’s senior year, the Eagles started the season with 18 consecutive wins and held the number two spot in the national rankings during the season.
Individual honors for the former Warrior included American Volleyball Coaches Association 2nd team All-American in 1993, 1st team All-American in 1994 and All-Region in 1993 and 1994, All-California Collegiate Athletic Association first team in 1993 and 1994.
Riggin graduated from CSULA in 1995 with a major in communications and lives with her husband Mitch in Cave Creek, Arizona. She is a freelance TV camera operator covering Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, National Football League games and the Olympics, both summer and winter.

big pine

 

big pine high school, big pine volleyball, big pine news, eastern sierra news

Fish Slough Clean Up

Public Invited to Assist with Fish Slough Clean-Up

Bishop, CA – The Bishop Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Friends of the Inyo invite you to help clean-up the Fish Slough Area of Critical Environmental Concern five miles north of Bishop.

Join Friends of the Inyo and BLM staff on March 21 to pick up trash and help restore Fish Slough.

Participants should meet at the junction of Chalk Bluff, Casa Diablo and Fish Slough roads at 9 a.m. Please carpool if possible. Volunteers will help plant and wildlife communities by cleaning up debris and other human-related impacts to restore and preserve the natural beauty of the Fish Slough area. The volunteer work will last approximately three hours and be done by noon. Volunteers are asked to RSVP for the event by emailing Andrew Schurr at andrew@friendsoftheinyo.org.

Volunteers for the event should wear sturdy shoes or boots, long pants and long sleeves, a hat and gloves. Waterproof boots are strongly recommended. Tools and water will be provided. Volunteers are encouraged to bring refillable water bottles.

Fish Slough is a lush oasis amid an otherwise arid landscape known as the Volcanic Tableland. It is on the southern edge of the Great Basin High Desert Plateau, at the north end of the Owens Valley about five miles north of Bishop. The slough (wetland) is created by three natural springs flowing to the surface and the water that defines the area is the key to its varied plant and animal life, including several unique and sensitive species.

The slough and surrounding desert totaling 36,000 acres were designated as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern in 1982. The purpose of the designation was to recognize, maintain and enhance the area’s unique resource values.  In recent years, recreation activity in Fish Slough has begun to impact the sensitive native plants and animals. Contact the Bishop Field Office if you are interested in becoming a volunteer steward for this area.

For further information about the event contact Becca Brooke at (760) 872-5046 (rbrooke@blm.gov) or Andrew Schurr at (760) 872-6500 (andrew@friendsoftheinyo.org).

bishop news, eastern sierra news

Lone Pine Man Indicted in Artifacts Case

Lone Pine man indicted for taking archaeological artifacts from public lands in Inyo county

FRESNO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a six-count indictment Thursday against Norman Starks, 76, a resident of Lone Pine, California, charging him with unauthorized removal of archaeological resources, depredation of government property, and possession of stolen government property, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

According to court documents, the defendant damaged, altered, and removed Native American archaeological resources without authorization, from federal lands.  These included Native American burial cairns and other cultural artifacts, such as beads and fragments of ceramic pots, which were more than 100 years old.  The artifacts were located in the Lone Pine area of Inyo County on public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management.  In addition, the indictment charges the defendant with possessing stolen property that included prehistoric Native American incised stone tablets, which had been taken from government lands.

This case was the product of an investigation by the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service. Assistant United States Attorney Megan A. S. Richards is prosecuting the case.

If convicted of theft of stolen government property or depredation of government property, STARKS faces a maximum statutory penalty of ten years in prison and a $100,000 fine.  For each count of removal of archaeological resources, STARKS faces a maximum statutory penalty of two years in prison and a $100,000 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 defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Archeological resources are protected under the Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA).  Federal land managers, such as Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service, are responsible for the protection of natural and cultural resources located on public lands.

lone pine news, eastern sierra news,  blm

Liliana Romero claims powerball prize

Mono County Woman Claims Million Dollar Powerball® Prize

SACRAMENTO – A Mono County woman has claimed the million dollar prize won on a Powerball ticket sold in Lee Vining last week. Liliana Romero claimed at the California Lottery’s Sacramento District Office yesterday morning. Hers was one of three lucky tickets sold in California that matched five numbers, missing only the Powerball number in the draw last Wednesday. While these tickets were just one number shy of hitting the $564 million jackpot that night, each, including Romero’s, still won an impressive $1,428,692 apiece before federal taxes!

This win could not have come at a more opportune time. Romero is just 21 years old and currently does prep work in a restaurant. She told us the excitement has even been causing her to lose sleep. It started when she checked her ticket at Mono Market, which is located at 51303 Highway 395 in Lee Vining (Mono County). That’s the same place she bought it. “I was screaming and in shock,” said Romero about the screen message that popped up announcing her win.

We’ve posted a copy of her ticket below. The top line matched the numbers 11-13-25-39-54, missing only the Powerball number 19. That last number kept her from hitting the jackpot, but Romero doesn’t mind. After all, the money she did win opens up so many options, and this prize winner is determined to get it right. “I’m just gonna put the money away…keep it frozen for a little while,” Romero said. (She doesn’t want to say much more about her win and respectfully declines additional media interviews.)

Mono Market will receive a $7,000 bonus just for selling the lucky ticket. This retailer bonus is separate and is NOT pulled from the winner’s prize amount. Mono Market also earns a spot on the California Lottery’s list of Lucky Retailers. The same goes for the stores where the other two 2nd place California Lottery tickets were sold. There’s one in San Leandro (Alameda County). The other is in Cypress (Orange County).

You’ll remember three lucky tickets did hit the jackpot that night. They were sold in North Carolina, Texas and Puerto Rico. These winners will split, what is now, the 5th largest jackpot won in U.S. history.

mono county news, lee vining news, eastern sierra news

Xochimitl Sentenced in Mono Court

Jacinto Xochimitl Sentenced Tuesday in Mono Court

MONO COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE

International Fugitive Sentenced 30 years to Life

On January 6, 2014, an Investigator from the Mono County District Attorney’s Office, assisted by the Sacramento branch of the FBI traveled to Mexico City to transport a fugitive back to Mono County to face charges for repeatedly and forcibly raping a child while she was between the ages of five and twelve.

On February 17, 2015, Jacinto Flores Xochimitl pled guilty to two counts of rape of a child under 14. The defendant entered into a negotiated disposition with the District Attorney whereby Mr. Xochimitl was sentenced to the maximum penalty of 30 years to life in state prison. He will be approximately 87 years old before eligible for a parole hearing.

Mr. Xochimitl was being housed in the Mono County Jail since his return to the United States from Mexico under an extradition treaty. Mr. Xochimitl admitted that from 1997 until 2004, he raped his former girlfriend’s daughter multiple times between the ages of five and twelve.

The Mono County District Attorney has been working with the FBI, the US Attorney General’s Office, Department of Homeland Security and Interpol over the last decade to locate and extradite Mr. Xochimitl. During the later part of 2011 and early 2012, the FBI and FBI Legal Attache office in Mexico confirmed the location of the suspect and in July of 2012, the Mono County District Attorney formally requested the extradition of Mr. Xochimitl from Mexico.
Mr. Xochimitl was arrested in Puebla, Mexico by Interpol on January 14, 2014. After unsuccessfully appealing extradition to the United States, the Government of Mexico affirmed the extradition on September 19, 2014. Mr. Xochimitl was transported to the United States on January 6, 2015.

At sentencing, Mr. Xochimitl expressed remorse for his actions and hoped the victim would be able to forgive him someday. The victim tearfully expressed the anger, hatred and emotional damage that his actions have caused her. The victim finished her impact statement by telling Mr. Xochimitl, “now it’s your turn to rot in prison.”

The number one priority of the District Attorney is the investigation and prosecution of those who commit acts of sexual, physical, or emotional abuse of children. Children are often abused by people who are entrusted with protecting them and these crimes leave lifelong scars and trauma on these young victims. People who prey on children are some of the most despicable individuals in society. The District Attorney is dedicated to the protection of our children and has devoted the resources needed to effectively investigate and prosecute individuals who prey on children.

Over the past five years, the District Attorney has sentenced individuals to a cumulative of over 450 years in imprisonment for their crimes against children. It is because of the damage to victims that these crimes cause that the District Attorney refused to negotiate in Mr. Xochimitl’s case and forced him to accept the maximum punishment allowed under California law. Further, these principals were paramount in the reason Mr. Xochimitl was so vigorously sought for over a decade even after fleeing the country.

mono county news, mono county district attorney, eastern sierra news