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
Brenda Lacey the FFA Advisor of the Lone Pine High School FFA Chapter. Was recently awarded the Honorary American FFA Degree at the 2018 National Convention & Expo during an onstage ceremony on Friday, Oct. 26 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Mrs. Lacey received a certificate and medal, and their name will be permanently recorded at the National FFA Center.
This award is given to those who advance agricultural education and FFA through outstanding personal commitment. The National FFA Organization works to enhance the lives of youth through agricultural education. Without the efforts of highly dedicated individuals, thousands of young people would not be able to achieve the success that, in turn, contributes directly to the overall well being of the nation.
Also receiving National FFA Awards where Katie Lacey a 2016 Lone Pine High Graduate who is currently a junior at Oklahoma State University studying Agricultural Business/Pre-Law. Katie was recognized as the California FFA Star American Farmer receiving a Gold Medal along with her American FFA Degree. Tinh LeTrung a 2017 Lone Pine High Graduate a sophomore at Cerro Coso Community College received his American FFA Degree.
As the highest degree achievable in the National FFA Organization, the American FFA degree shows an FFA member’s dedication to his or her chapter and state FFA association. American FFA Degree recipients show promise for the future and have gone above and beyond to achieve excellence.
Recipients received a certificate and the American FFA Degree key in honor of their accomplishments and dedication to FFA.
The Lone Pine FFA Chapter had six current members in attendance at the 91st National FFA Convention and Expo, which drew a record 69,944 attendees to Indianapolis for this year’s themed convention “Just One”. Jessica McGuire, Kaili Hykes, Jaye Eaton, Luke Sullivan, Daniel Miller, and Fernando Rodriguez were in attendance for all of the leadership sessions, keynote speakers, and the National FFA Expo. In addition the students spent time at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, toured Purdue University, and explored the beautiful city of Indianapolis.
The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 669,989 student members who belong to one of 8,630 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Bergin Islands. The national FFA Organization is the premier youth organization dedicated to preparing members for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture. FFA members are the future food industry’s premier human capital, and they are all driven by the organization’s foundational motto: Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve.
Substantial snowfall from an atmospheric river event in mid-January has led to a major rock fall on Whitney Portal Road, causing significant damage to an approximately 100-foot stretch of road. This damage may delay the re-opening of the road this spring.
Initial assessments by Inyo County, Cal Trans, and Inyo National Forest indicate that there will be approximately two months of work that include blasting and clearing the rock, and stabilizing and re-building the road bed. Road construction will not begin until after the permitting process is complete.
The road is currently gated just above Hogback Road on Whitney Portal Road to prevent vehicle entrance; however, foot traffic past the gate is not recommended due to the hazardous and potentially unstable conditions surrounding the rock fall.
For now, the area remains under snow and there is no clear estimate of when the removal operations will begin. Continued winter storms as well as the concerns for the stability of the slide area during the spring freeze/thaw cycle make it difficult to predict when this work can safely begin.
The Whitney Portal Road often opens by May 1st, conditions permitting, and that is also the beginning of the Mt. Whitney Lottery for day and overnight hikes. Every effort will be made by all parties involved to have the road open by this date.
While the road is under construction, access to Mt. Whitney is via the Whitney Portal National Recreation Trail (NRT) or from other trailheads such as Kearsarge Pass or Cottonwood Pass. The NRT will close for public safety when blasting is underway.
This winter has brought substantial snow to the Sierra Nevada. Snow should be expected along the trail through early summer and hikers will be required to have technical skill and equipment to access Mt. Whitney in the early season.
Fire crews from numerous agencies are responding to a fire reported along Horseshoe Meadows Road. It is estimated to be approximately ten acres in size. Responding agencies include Inyo National Forest, Inyo Sheriffs Office, Lone Pine Fire, Cal Fire, BLM, and CHP.
There is a mandatory evacuation of Horseshoe Meadows Campground (Cottonwood Lakes, Cottonwood pass, and the Equestrian Camp)- hikers and campers will be escorted out. There is also a hard closure of Lubkin Canyon Road and Horseshoe Meadows Road.
We’ll provide more details as they roll in.
Horshoe Meadows, Lone Pine, Cal Fire, Fire Crews, BLM, CHP
Missing hikers body found in Sequoia National Park
by Seth Conners
After a five day search that involved nearly 100 people, 2 search dogs, and 4 helicopters, the body of missing hiker John Lee was spotted last Sunday afternoon by a search helicopter in Sequoia National Park. The 68 year old hiker from Mentone California was discovered at the base of the SouthWest slope of Mt. Whitney at approximately 12,500 feet in elevation.
Lee and several of his friends began the hike on Monday July 18th at 4am and had planned to return to their vehicle at the trail head by days end. The group had intended to follow the Mountaineers Route, but after becoming concerned for their safety they decided to stop and sleep near the top of the Whitney Russell pass about a half mile from the Mount Whitney summit.
on Tuesday Morning three members of the hiking party stayed behind while Lee continued on. Later His companions saw his backpack “hanging” on a granite ledge. After waiting for several hours, his group believed they would meet Lee at the car and descended the mountain with the assistance of several experienced hikers that they met along the way. They returned to the trailhead around 10pm on Tuesday to no sign of their missing companion.
The search began on Wednesday and went on until Sunday when the body of the missing hiker was discovered.
Lee’s remains have been transferred to the Tulare County Coroner’s Office. The cause of death is under investigation.
by Gary Young Photography
MT WHITNEY, SEARCH AND RESCUE, LONE PINE, SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK, KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARK, INYO COUNTY SHERRIFF’S DEPARTMENT
On Saturday October 18th the South County Search and Rescue (SAR) Command Center, located at the Lone Pine Airport, was officially unveiled and dedicated to soon-to-be-retired Undersheriff, and longtime SAR Commander, Keith Hardcastle.
The building once served as a Forest Service helicopter base center. When the Forest Service transferred their operations to the Independence airport, the building was used mainly as storage. About six months ago the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office acquired the badly damaged building, and with the help from inmate labor and volunteer SAR members transformed the dilapidated building into a functional command center for south-county SAR operations.
Undersheriff Keith Hardcastle began his career in 1985 as an Inyo County Sheriff’s Deputy; he has been a SAR Coordinator since 1994. “When I began as a Coordinator for SAR it was a different era – there were no cell phones, no on-the-fly mapping technology; map and compass was how we got the job done,” said Hardcastle.
Sheriff Lutze went on to say that, “Undersheriff Hardcastle has been involved in countless SAR missions and his scope and depth of knowledge in local terrain has saved many lives. His legacy when he retires on December 30th will be leaving behind a highly trained and dedicated SAR team made up of volunteers and Sheriff’s Deputies who are both hardworking and knowledgeable. Undersheriff Hardcastle has been instrumental in training new coordinators and the Search and Rescue team will be in excellent hands with Deputy Nate Derr and Deputy Brian Hohenstein.”
Eastern Sierra / Inyo County / South County Search & Rescue / Lone Pine Airport / SAR Command Center / Lone Pine / Dedication Ceremony
The Ball Mountain Fire is estimated to be 25 acres this morning. The fire is burning in pinyon and brush.
The fire is located near Ball Mountain, north of Kennedy Meadows and west of Tunawee Canyon. The fire is highly visible from Highway 395 near Olancha, the Coso Junction area, and Kennedy Meadows.
The fire is burning in a remote area in the South Sierra Wilderness and there is currently no threat to life or property. Smokejumpers, the Inyo Hotshots, and Inyo Engine 41 crew are being inserted today to begin fireline construction. Additionally, a Type 1 helicopter, a Type 2 helicopter, and air attack are committed to the fire.
The crews’ focus will be on the southeast flank of the fire to secure an anchor point and to prevent the fire’s spread into Long Canyon. Crews will take advantage of natural barriers (rock) and previous fires (including the 2008 Clover Fire) for line construction to contain the fire to the north and west.
This is a lightning-caused fire from the storm that passed through the area on Saturday.
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USFS Ball Mountain Fire Update: 09/24/2014
US Forest Service / Ball Mountain Fire / Lightning Fire / Wildfire / Inyo Hotshots / Inyo Engine 41 / Smokejumpers / Kennedy Meadows / Tunawee Canyon / Olancha / Coso Junction / Bishop / Lone Pine
Metabolic Studio Presents Radio Play in Lone Pine About Death Valley Scotty & his Castle
On Sunday September 28 at 7pm, the Metabolic Studio IOU Theater invites the public to experience, “DEATH VALLEY SCOTTY,” a live radio play that was written by Ruth Woodman in 1931 and originally aired in 1955 in the “Death Valley Days” Series.
This marks the fourth play in the IOU Theatre series, which began in June 2014 with readings of radio plays about the Owens Valley and surrounding area.
Walter Scott (a.k.a. Death Valley Scotty) was a prospector, a performer with Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show, a raconteur, a conman, husband and father. In 1885 he met an Easterner who was told he only had a few weeks to live. Scotty helped him to recover and cemented a secretive, life long partnership. In 1905 he beat the cross- country speed record on a train from L.A. to Chicago.
Free with his stories and his cash, he quickly became one of the West’s most prominent and mysterious legends and kept reporters and the country on the edge of its seat for decades. His fabulous stories of secret gold mines and his million-dollar oasis in Death Valley (Scotty’s Castle) kept the public and newspapermen eager for the next story.
A troupe of local performers from Bishop to Keeler will read the play and perform live music and sound effects. The radio play is free to the public and will be staged at 7 p.m., Sunday September 28, the Double L Tavern, at the corner of Main and Willow, in Lone Pine.
Those under 21 can watch a live broadcast of the performance at the IOU garden next to the Double L.
The garden will also host an Open House from 5-7p.m.
Sunday with IOU espresso being served along with an offering grown in the IOU garden.
Metabolic Studio IOU Theater / Lone Pine / Eastern Sierra / Death Valley / Death Valley Scotty / History / Owens Valley / Bishop / Keeler / Locals / Performers / Radio Play / Death Valley Series / Lone Pine TV
AltaOne members can now access some of the most cutting-edge technological tools to help manage their finances — MSC Online, mobile apps, BudgetPro, BillPayer, Popmoney, etc. Outside the AltaOne world, technology continues to explode. Products such as Google Glass — the amazing eyewear that conducts Google searches, snaps photos and videos and tracks trending news — are already here.
Let us take a gander at what other items are on the horizon that are destined to “wow” the world.
A portable retinascanner may soon be available to help fight identity theft and protect your personal security. The tiny device is only 5″ long x 3.5″ wide. The scanners can be used by financial institutions to identity members conducting transactions in an efficient and unassuming manner. Look for these devices to really take off when the technology is incorporated into a smartphone.
The Six-Million-Dollar … Finger?
How annoyed do you get when you realize the beer bottle is not a twist-off and you cannot find a bottle opener? Introducing “bionic fingers.”
These robotic devices, which are still just prototypes, simplify such tasks as peeling a banana and unscrewing bottle caps. Developed by MIT researchers, users wear the “supernumerary robotic fingers” on the wrist. The device is equipped with two “fingers” that move in-sync with the real fingers.
Too Much Scale?
As if stepping on a scale is not difficult enough for some folks. Now there is a scale that not only displays your weight — it also discloses your body mass index, heart rate and fat mass.
The Withings Smart Body Analyzer is quite the know-it-all. The $150 device also knows the indoorair qualityand room temperature.
We will be far more impressed if the scale can tactfully recommend the right diet for users, as well.
Just when we learned how to use video conferencing tools, the next incarnation has already arrived — holographic video conferencing.
“Holographic telepresence” transmits a 3-D moving image to each destination – giving the appearance that you are actually in the room with your associates.
The technology already exists for other purposes. For example, it has recreated deceased rapper Tupac Shakur’s image for a music festival.
The Polish company Leia (named after the Star Wars’ Princess Leia), has produced the Leia Display XL, which projects images onto a cloud of water vapor. This technology is destined to achieve widespread popularity. Expect to see it marketed within about a year.