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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.

 

Robert James Obituary

Robert “Bobby” Cyril James passed away July 2nd, 2019 in Bishop, California. He was a beloved brother, father, grandfather, uncle and friend to many.

Bobby James was born and raised on a small farm in Mitchell, South Dakota and was a graduate of Mitchell High School. After an honorable discharge from the Navy he met and married Bonnie Redmond where they were married for 28 years while raising their three daughters here in the Owens Valley. Bobby worked as a truck driver for 45 years. Hauling anything from gasoline from Bishop’s local Giggle Springs to all kinds of different freight for Bishops own Night Owl Trucking. Bobby loved to hunt and fish, but also loved his old hot rod cars, owning several over the years. He traveled to numerous old car shows in Deadwood, SD and here in the Owens Valley. He also traveled 3000 miles across the country in his 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass a few years ago visiting family along the way. Bobby was a life member of the VFW Post 8988, serving as a board trustee, member of the post honor guard, and color guard. Bobby was a wonderful family man, proud Navy Vietnam Veteran and loyal friend.

He is survived by his two sisters, Rita Baumgart of Mitchell, South Dakota, Patti Bisset of Ft. Meyers, Florida. His daughter Jennifer Reese and husband Troy reside in Lexington, South Carolina with two grandchildren Tyler and Raegan. His daughter Jaime Holland and husband Mark reside in Bishop with grandson Conner. His daughter Joni Riggs and husband Mike reside in Bishop with granddaughters McKenzie Rae and Karen Lee. Along with countless nieces and nephews spread out all along the country whom he always made a point to see along his travels.

A Celebration of Life will be held for family and friends at the VFW Post located at 484 Short St. Bishop, California on Saturday August 10, at 1pm. A second celebration will be held mostly by family and close friends in the Black Hills of South Dakota at a later date, to be determined. Donations in his name can be made to VFW Scholarship Fund Post 8988, Bishop California.

4-H Auction in Bishop Sees $114,000 Increase From Last Year

The 4-H Junior Livestock Auction was quite a success for both the youth organization and the Eastern Sierra Tri-County Fairgrounds. There was a substantial improvement in funds raised this year, with the sales amount reaching $412,458. This number is up from the 2018 sales, which reached $304,937. 

Add-on money donations also saw an increase from $17,357 from last year, to $23,905 this year. 

The total increase of sales for this year's auction reached $114,069. CEO of the Tri-County Fairgrounds Jen McGuire, gave her thoughts as to why there was such a substantial increase in sales saying, “It goes to show that advertising, working with the kids, educating the public, and changing the atmosphere by moving the bar makes a difference.” 

The 4-H  is a U.S.-based network of youth organizations whose mission is to  "engage youth to reach their fullest potential while advancing the field of youth development". 

Fatal Crash on Highway-6

On Wednesday, July 3, 2019, at approximately 12:05 AM, NHP Troopers were dispatched to a serious injury crash on US-6 and Mineral County mile marker 4, near Montgomery Pass, involving two commercial vehicles.

Preliminary investigation shows that a red 2010 Volvo tractor-trailer was traveling east on US-6, approaching Mineral County mile marker 4, in the single eastbound travel lane. For an unknown reason, the commercial vehicle left the roadway, re-entered the roadway, and overturned. The commercial vehicle came to rest across all travel lanes on its right side.

Approximately three minutes later, a red 2017 Peterbilt tractor-trailer was traveling eastbound on US-6, approaching the overturned Volvo tractor-trailer. The Peterbilt struck the Volvo, splitting the Volvo into two. The driver of the Peterbilt (Dario Baez, a 53-year-old Madera resident) succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Due to the extent of the debris, US-6 was closed for an extended period of time. Traffic was rerouted to the outside shoulder until all travel lanes were reopened at 2:50 PM.

The Nevada Highway Patrol is seeking additional witnesses to this crash. If you were a witness to this incident or have any information regarding this collision, please contact the Nevada Highway Patrol Multi-Disciplinary Investigation and Reconstruction Team (M.I.R.T.) at ncwmirt@dps.state.nv.us and reference NHP Case #190700180.

Mono County Seek to Mitigate Wildlife Deaths With Grant Money

The Mono County Board of Supervisors expressed support in their letter to Caltrans District 9, and encourage the transportation organization to apply for funding which would help mitigate wildlife deaths from vehicles.

Proposition 68 is an ordinance that provides organizations with funding to help reduce the amount vehicle collisions with animals across the state.

Currently, Caltrans District 9 is requesting $2,000,000 from the state to complete the environmental planning report. In total, the cost of completing the entire project is estimated to cost between $50,000,000-$70,000,000.

Most of the funding would go toward the seven mile stretch from Crowley Lake and the Mammoth Lakes turnoff. “The seven mile stretch of US Highway 395 from Crowley Lake Dr. to the Junction with state route 203 accounts for more than double the number of deceased deer removed by Caltrans Maintenance forces compared to any other seven mile stretch of US 395 within District 9. The letter from the supervisors went on to say “This [area] accounts for 43% of reported collisions for this area of US 395, the stretch of highway also contains the largest hotspot of deer collisions within the district.”

Not only did the supervisors express concern for deer crossing the corridor, they also noted the presence of other species including the Bi-State sage grouse. The letter says, “The areas along these roadways host significant wildlife habitat, supporting populations of resident and migratory species, including the Bi-State sage grouse which is proposed to be listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, and play a critical role for migrating mule deer in the spring and fall.”

In order to obtain the rest of the necessary funding, Mono County will seek money from other state and federal agencies. “If awarded, funding will also allow Caltrans District 9 and their partners to seek additional state and Federal Funding to support the completion of subsequent project development phases.”

Inyo County Commercial Cannabis Application Window Set to Reopen

Inyo County Agricultural Commissioner Nate Reade announced that the county will again be accepting applications to operate cannabis businesses within the unincorporated portions of Inyo County beginning on June 10, 2019. The license application window will remain open to potential business owners at least until August 9, 2019. Once the application window closes, scoring of applications will occur with a final determination made by the Inyo County Board of Supervisors at a public meeting. Application fees will remain $2,711.89. License fees, which will be charged if an applicant is successful, are set at $8,850.00. A list of available license types by licensing zone is posted on the both the Inyo County and Inyo County Agricultural Commissioner’s websites.

The business license is one component necessary for a cannabis business to be legal in Inyo County, the other being a conditional use permit for the property where the business activities will occur. Interested individuals can find more information at the Inyo County website, www.inyocounty.us, or at the Inyo/Mono Counties Agricultural Commissioner’s site at www.inyomonoagriculture.com

Bishop Massacre Foothill to Win the Championship

A Trojan Horse entered through the gates of Troy Tuesday afternoon as the Bishop Broncos slaughtered the Foothill Trojans to take the CIF Division VI Championship.

However, this Trojan war didn’t last nearly as long as the one featured in ancient mythology. Instead of a war which lasted for ten years, it seemed like this one lasted for ten minutes.

Playing the role of the Greeks were the Bishop Broncos, who caught their opposition by surprise when they scored nine runs in the first inning, which ended the game before it had even begun.

Braeden Gillem got a lead-off double, which put him in scoring position. Michael Kubiak was then walked and now Bishop had two on base, setting up the perfect opportunity for the next batter to drive a few runs in.

Senior, Cal Omohundro hit a two RBI double his first time at the plate, giving the Broncos a 2-0 lead early.

The next player to get a piece of the action was Jalen Watterson, who knocked in a few more runs, which made it 4-0 with nobody out.

As the inning dragged on for the Trojans, they finally got two outs, and just when it felt like they were going to find a way to salvage part of the first inning, they loaded the bases for Michael Kubiak.

Uh oh…

Kubiak crushed Sal Peru’s ball to dead center field, which kept traveling until it reached it’s final destination at 350 feet. The senior hit a grand slam, after launching one out of the park in the last week against Lindsay.

The first inning finally came to a close and the Broncos had a 9-0 lead.

Playing the role of Odysseus in this game was Cal Omohundro, who had 7 RBI’s in the championship. When it was the big guy’s turn for his second at-bat, he obliterated a ball to left-center field for a three run home run, which gave the Broncos a 15-0  lead.

The innings continued, and more runs were piled on until the game finally ended 25-2. The margin of victory was the second largest the Broncos had all season, with the first being a 25-1 win against the lowly California City Ravens, who finished second to last in the High Desert League.

As for Foothill, the championship game was the worst defeat they have suffered all year.

Bishop finished their season with an 18-4 overall record and are the 2019 CIF Central Section Division VI Champions.

 

Photos courtesy of Gary Young Photography

High Winds Rip Down Trees and Turnover Semi-Truck

A wind prohibition for trucks was issued at 12:22 PM on May 16 after sustained 40 mile per hour winds with gusts as high as 80 miles per hour.

Originally, the prohibition existed from Bishop to Lone Pine by a CHP Officer in the area, but it was determined necessary to implement the ban all the way down to Pearsonville.

There has been damage to trees along the entire corridor, as well as damage to vehicles.

One vehicle which sustained major damage was a semi-truck driving in the Fort Independence Travel Plaza area. The sixteen-wheeler sustained a large amount of destruction to the front side after it overturned on the shoulder of the road. The vehicle’s hood was torn off after the accident.

According to Bishop Area CHP, no injuries were sustained during the rollover.

Former Corporal in Sheriff’s Department Arrested

Former Inyo County Sheriff’s Department Corporal Nick Vaughn was arrested today by Investigators from the Inyo County District Attorney’s office on charges stemming from an alleged misappropriation of public funds.

 

After an internal investigation, the Sheriff’s Department referred the case to the District Attorney’s office for a criminal investigation.  After a lengthy investigation, a criminal complaint has been filed charging Mr. Vaughn with misappropriating over $10,000.00 that had been collected by him from participants in the Sheriff’s Department Work Release Program.  Participants in the program are required to pay certain fees to the Department, and it is alleged that a portion of those fees were diverted to Mr. Vaughn’s personal use or the use of other individuals.  Mr. Vaughn was the supervisor of the Work Release Program from approximately May, 2014 to March, 2018.

 

At this time, no other employees of the Sheriff’s Department are implicated in the investigation.

 

Mr. Vaughn was booked at the Inyo County Jail.  Bail on the arrest warrant was set at $15,000.00.

 

The District Attorney reminds the public that a defendant in any criminal case is presumed to be innocent until the contrary is proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

Woman Arrested in Poverty Hills Area After Crashing

A woman was arrested Thursday after a vehicle spin-out in Poverty Hills.

22 year old, Kianna Hoops from Reno, Nevada was driving a gray Honda Accord south of Big Pine when she lost control of her vehicle for an unknown reason and spun out.

When Hoops lost control of her vehicle, CHP arrived on the scene to investigate the accident. While conducting an inspection, the officer checked inside the vehicle and discovered a lever action firearm as well as a small amount of drugs.

After running the serial number, the officer determined that the firearm was not registered to Hoops, and was stolen.

Kianna Hoops was subsequently arrested for possession of stolen property, possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. She was detained and booked at the Inyo County Jail. Her bail is set for $15,000.