All posts by Ken Harrison

Land of Lunker Winner Winner, Tom’s Place Sleepin’ In-er

Brandy Scott, of Bishop, was the Grand Prize winner of our annual Land of Lunker contest, which ran up to the opening weekend. Callers during the Gary Young Morning Show guess the weight – 2, 3, 4, or 5-pound Lunker they would virtually “catch.”  Win or not, callers’ got a limited edition Land of Lunkrer T-Shirt, and their names were put into the proverbial hat.

The Grand Prize drawing, held on Monday (5-2) went to Brandy. She wins a two-night stay at the contest’s sponsor, Tom’s Place Resort.

Stage 3 Water Restrictions for Mammoth

A Level 3 Water Supply Shortage has been declared by the Mammoth Community Water District.

Under Level 3 restrictions, irrigation is only allowed two days a week – Thursday and Sunday for odd number addresses, Wednesday and Saturday for even number addresses. Irrigation can only occur during the hours of 1 am to 6 am and 8 pm to 11 pm.

MCWD reminds that Mammoth relies on local water supplies and does not use imported water.

“During the Level 3 Water Restriction imposed in 2015, we saw a 38 percent reduction in water demand from our customers,” stated Board President Tom Smith. “The state recognized our community for this accomplishment, and we are optimistic that we will see the same response this year.”

The jump from Stage 1 to Stage 3 coincides with Governor Newsom’s order for water suppliers to step up their response to the
current drought in California.

MCWD encourages the community to participate in the Indoor Rebate Program as well as the new Turf Replacement Rebate Program.

MCWD website, www.mcwd.dst.ca.us.

 

Body Recovered On Mt. Whitney Trail

During the early afternoon of Monday April 18, Inyo County Sheriff’s Dispatch received a report of a deceased body below the 99 switchbacks of the Mt. Whitney main trail.
Due to the time of day, Inyo County Search and Rescue planned a recovery for the following morning. However, by Tuesday AM, there were extreme high winds that would inhibit an aircraft to reach the subject’s location.
Inyo SAR and California Highway Patrol H80 decided to attempt the recovery at first light on Wednesday. They were able to fly over the subject’s location Wednesday morning, but due to high gusts of wind they were unable to land or hoist. Inyo SAR and CHP H80 then attempted to fly again early afternoon.
On second attempt, they were turned around before reaching the subject’s location. High winds and snow deterred further attempts for the remainder of the week but on Saturday April 23, with a clear weather window, CHP H80 was able to fly and insert two Inyo SAR members via hoist to retrieve the deceased subject.
Within the past 12 months, there have been four confirmed deaths of hikers attempting to summit Mt. Whitney. Many of these have been in spring or early summer due to falls on snow and ice, where the subject did not have or know how to use critical gear like crampons and an ice axe.
Photo Courtesy of Inyo County Sheriff’s Office

Cerro Coso College to Offer Addiction Studies

Are you interested in the growing field of drug and alcohol dependency treatment, prevention, and education?  Cerro Coso Community College is offering NEW classes in Addiction Studies this fall.

Professor Melissa Bowen will instruct three new online courses in Addiction Studies this fall.

Courses are entitled Introduction to Addiction Studies,  Physiological Effects of Addiction,  and Addiction Prevention, Intervention, Treatment, and Recovery,

Students will explore both theoretical and evidence-based concepts, practices, and policies of Addiction and Recovery.  Coursework will look at the mental and behavioral impact of substance use, addiction, and recovery on individuals, families, and communities while also considering how problems and solutions must meet the concerns of multicultural and diverse populations.

Students interested in further pursuing an education in Addiction Studies are encouraged to contact the College Counseling Department at 760-384-6219 or email counseling_forms@cerrocoso.edu.

Cerro Coso, our Home town College, is now registering for Summer and Fall classes.

Bishop Bronco’s Buck Kern Valley

Bishop Bronco’s defeated the visiting Kern Valley Broncs on Tuesday, April 19.

The  Broncos got things moving in the first inning when Reese Dondero homered on a 0-1 count, scoring three runs.

Jake Frigerio got the start for Bishop Broncos. The fireballer surrendered four runs on three hits over two innings, striking out two. Acie Valdivia shoved from the mound for 3 innings, giving up 2 hits and striking out one.

Caleb Gillem collected four hits in four at-bats, as Bishop Broncos defeated Kern Valley 18-6 on Tuesday. Gillem singled in the first, singled in the second, tripled in the third, and singled in the fourth.

Bishop Broncos got things moving in the first inning when Reese Dondero homered on a 0-1 count, scoring three runs.

The Bishop Broncos collected 18 hits on the day. GillemAcie ValdiviaJamisen WolfeJonathan ThomsonDondero, and Frigerio each had multiple hits for Bishop Broncos. Kennedy Batchelder led Bishop Broncos with five stolen bases, as they ran wild on the base paths with 12 stolen bases.

Here are the stats . . .

  • Jake Frigerio, 2-4, single and a triple, 2 RBIs, 2 stolen bases
  • Riley Eropkin, 1-3, single
  • Reese Dondero, 2-4, single and homeroom, 3 RBIs
  • Albert Cano, 1-1 single
  • Jonathan Thomson, 2-2, both singles
  • Acie Valdivia, 3-4, 2 singles and a double, 2 RBIs
  • Caleb Gillem, 4-4, 3 RBIs, 2 stolen bases
  • Kennedy Batchelder, 1-2, 2 RBIs, 5 stolen bases
  • Bodie Garcia, 1 RBI
  • Jamisen Wolfe, 2-2, 2 RBIs, 2 stolen bases.

Our 7 – 0  undefeated-in-league Broncos head to take on the 1 – 4  Frazier Mountain Falcons on Friday.

Listen to AM 1230 KBOV for complete game coverage with play-by-play announcer Adam Gonzalez. Live coverage starts with “Broncos Live” at 3:00 PM.

Game Photos Courtesy of Gary Young Photography

LADWP Sues Air Pollution District To Protect Native Artifacts

The City of Los Angeles filed a motion against the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District to ensure the protection of significant cultural resources on the Owens Lake playa.

The motion is in response to a July 21, 2021, GBUAPCD  Order, and subsequent fining more than $500,000 in penalties, directing LADWP to begin dust mitigation on an artifact-dense cultural resource site known as Sibi Patsiata-wae-tü Cultural Resource located on the playa.

LADWP says this Order violates both GBUAPCD’s own regulations and the sovereignty of at least one Native American Tribe

GBUAPCD’s violation of its own regulations, coupled with public objections  – including those from the Fort Independence Tribe of Paiute Indians, who stated that “the Tribe’s concerns, as a sovereign nation, were disenfranchised,” by the Order – forced LADWP to seek legal action.

LADWP’s motion requests that the California Superior Court immediately instruct GBUAPCD to rescind its order, which is both culturally insensitive and in legal violation of the Owens Lake 2014 Stipulated Judgement and 2016 State Implementation Plan.

Anaselmo Collins, LADWP Senior Asst. General Manager stated, “In issuing this Order, GBUAPCD broke a promise that it made to the public, regulators, LADWP, and the Fort Independence Tribe of Paiute Indians that it would regulate fairly, in accordance with scientific evidence, and with respect for culturally significant land. While we are disappointed this issue could not be resolved outside the courts, LADWP is dedicated to finding a solution to protect the Native American Cultural Resource Area at Owens Lake.”

All Three Local CDFW Hatcheries Now Opened to the Public

California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is pleased to announce that our local CDFW hatcheries – Black Rock and Fish Springs in Independence, and Hot Creek in Mammoth, reopened to the public on Thursday, April 7. The facilities have been closed to visitors for nearly two years during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The public is welcome again at outdoor areas including raceways and picnic spots. Hatcheries offer numerous activities including fish feeding, nature walks and educational kiosks.

“A visit to a fish hatchery is a fun-filled outing for both kids and adults – and it’s free, which is a difficult opportunity to find in today’s world,” said Ken Kundargi, CDFW’s Hatchery Program Manager. “The staff are excited to welcome the public back. The atmosphere at our hatcheries has just not been the same without visitors. Please come see us soon!”

For more information see:  Information about specific hatcheries, including locations, hours, directions and safety guidelines.

The Story Behind Lost Couple in Nevada

KIBS/KBOV News reported, for almost a week, on the search for a missing couple, traveling in their 32′ RV through western Nevada. The couple had left Oregon on March 26, heading the Tucson, AZ.

They were last spotted on a gas station camera on March 27 in Stagecoach, NV. A traffic camera in Hawthorne, NV later spotted the rig traveling south on Hwy. 95.

The Nye County Sheriff’s Dept., Esmeralda County Sheriff’s Dept, and the Nevada Highway Patrol started their search mission on Sunday, April 2.

New details have emerged as to the search and the eventual finding of Beverly Barker, 69, of Indianapolis, IN, and her husband Ronnie, 73.

It’s like they’ve disappeared off the face of the earth. They have vanished, literally, into thin air,” said the couple’s daughter, Jennifer Whaley. “You can see for miles and a 32-foot RV, towing a car, literally vanishes into thin air. Where did they go?” Whaley asked, with her eyes tearing up. 

Both of the Barkers have diabetes. The family knew they had enough medicine to go until April 8. There had been no activity on their bank cards since the Stagecoach, NV gas purchase.

Volunteers and police began searching for the Barkers over the weekend, four days after their daughters tried to alert authorities that something was wrong when they didn’t show up in Arizona.

Initially, Nevada law enforcement said they could not issue a “Silver Alert” statewide because the Barkers were not Nevada residents. A Silver Alert used to locate missing and endangered senior citizens, was eventually issued, as well as fliers on social media, and issuing daily updates to area radio stations, including KIBS/KBOV.  

Earlier on Tuesday, April 5, search crews found the Barkers’ RV stuck in the mud, but the couple and the SUV they had been towing were not at the scene. The search switched to looking for the missing KIA Soul SUV.

Police say the Barkers were found together later Tuesday, inside the SUV about two miles from their RV. When search crews found them, they say Beverly appeared to be in good spirits. Unfortunately, Ronnie Barker was deceased. He had died the day before the couple was found. Beverly was life-flighted to Renown Hospital in Reno.

The couple was found on a dirt road upon a mountain west of Silver Peak, NV, an old mining town 20 miles south of Hwy. 6 and 30 miles west of Goldfield, NV. at the 4,300′ level (Pop. 142).

Beverly Barker was released from the hospital on Wednesday, April 6.  Her family had flown out from Indianapolis, and shared her story.

It’s still unclear how Ronnie Barker died, though dehydration likely was a factor. “As a lot of people suspected, it was bad GPS directions,” said a nephew of the couple.

Their RV got stuck on Sunday, March 27. After staying a night in their motor home, the couple got up the next day and drove for help in the SUV. But after another wrong turn, the KIA got stuck too. The couple was stranded with no water, no food and still no cell service. 

Beverly’s family said she is not very mobile, but made repeated trips up a hill to where she spotted snow in the shadows of rocks. Using a walker, she filled sacks with the snow to try to gather water for the couple to drink. 

Temperatures dropped into the 20s at night. As they huddled to try to keep warm, Ronnie’s condition weakened. As time progressed, Ronnie, who was a very devout Christian, saw figures from the Bible and took comfort in that.

As the days and the nights passed, Ronnie told his wife he was dying.  They knew it was dehydration. Ronnie would ask Beverly to read the Bible.

After search crews found their RV. They tried to follow the tracks left by the KIA but kept losing them.  A short time later, however, a rescuer heard a car horn. It was Beverly, honking out “SOS” in Morse code, just as Ronnie taught her during the week.

“The family of Ronnie and Beverly Barker wish to thank those who participated in the search and rescue operations to locate our beloved family members. The outpouring of support was nothing short of incredible by the members of the local community. Our hearts are full because of the efforts that were put forth to help us bring Ron and Bev back home again to Indiana,” read an official statement from the family.

A Go Fund Me account has been established with currently $13,037 in donations.

The family also called upon Nevada to change its policy regarding the issuance of public safety alerts, which will allow for a more expeditious approach to locating missing persons of all ages for both non-residents and residents of the state of Nevada.

(The Mineral County Independent News, Indianapolis Star newspaper, WTHR NBC Channel 13, Radio Goldfield 89.1, contributed to this story.)

Mojave Precious Metals/Conglomerate Mesa Gold Exploration Shut Down

A gold exploration company has announced it’s suspending a proposal to continue gold mining exploration on Conglomerate Mesa, between Lone Pine and Death Valley, after the U.S. Bureau of Land Management required an environmental impact statement for the project.

Known as Mojave Precious Metals, a local subsidiary of Canadian-owned K2Gold,  the planned exploration project in a rugged, roadless area was shut down over a threatened, rare Inyo rock daisy.

In February the Center and other groups formally petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the wildflower under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Ileene Anderson, a senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity, said .“Now that the immediate threat of exploratory drilling is behind us, our goal is to get the daisy and its remote habitat protected for good.”

Nearly every population of the rock daisy and the largest population of newly described Inyo thread plant are found on mining claims in Conglomerate Mesa in Inyo County. Earlier this month the BLM’s local field office notified the mining company that a comprehensive environmental impact statement would be required before any additional exploratory mining work could be done.

The Inyo rock daisy is a rare wildflower found only at the highest elevations of the southern Inyo Mountains, between the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains and Death Valley National Park.

Conglomerate Mesa is part of the National Conservation Lands system as well as an area of critical environmental concern, but these public lands remain open for commercial extraction under the 1872 Mining Law.

(Editor’s Note: We’ve reached out to Mojave Precious Metals by email and voicemail for comment. Their Lone Pine corporate offices are “temporarily closed.”

This report is taken from Press Releases issued or supported by The Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, Friends of the Inyo, and other environmental organizations.

Active mining in Inyo County, which started approximately in the 1870s, continues today throughout the county. )

Congressman Obernolte Advances Japanese American/Manzanar WWII History Bill

Congressman Jay Obernolte’s (R-Hesperia) Japanese American WWII History Network Act (H.R. 6434) passed the U.S. House of Representatives with broad bipartisan support.

The bill will create a Japanese American World War II History Network administered by the National Park Service to interconnect sites across the country related to the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans and increased recognition of the human rights tragedy.

“The mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II was the heartbreaking culmination of what occurred when our country turned its back on its founding principles and allowed thousands of Americans to lose their liberties in the face of racism and fear. By bringing transparency to the story of Japanese American internment, we can help ensure that such injustice never again occurs within our nation,” said Rep. Obernolte.

The History Network network will follow the model of existing National Park Service networks, such as the African American Civil Rights Network, to provide a platform to increase access and promote heritage tourism to federal, state, and privately-owned sites linked to the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. Users will be empowered to use an interactive map to explore different geographic areas, learn about the journeys of Japanese Americans during World War II and plan visits to historic and cultural sites.

Locally, the Manzanar War Relocation Camp – a national monument, will be included in the new Network.

Winner, Winner, Plant Some Vegi’s For Dinner

Congratulations to Lucio Gonzalez of Bishop for being one of 15 winners in KIBS’ “Luck of the Irish” contest. He was the correct caller after hearing the Leprechaun announce . . .  “Call In and Win!”

Listener Lucio won a $25 Gift Card to Wye Road Feed & Supply. His name is put into the Grand Prize drawing for a $250 Gift Card from Manor Market.

The Grand Prize winner will be drawn on the Gary Young Morning Show during the 7:00 AM hour on St. Patrick’s Day on Thursday

One more day to win $25 Gift Cards – Wednesday, March 16th.

Arrested With Dynamite

On March 10, at approximately 9:30 AM, Inyo County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a domestic dispute inside one of the rooms of the Quality Inn Motel in Lone Pine, CA. Inyo County Sheriff’s Deputies and CHP responded to the call.

Upon arrival, the male subject provide two false names but was later identified as David Iuele, a 33-year-old man from Glenwood, CO.

During Iuele’s interview with Sheriff’s deputies, the female subject left the room to take her dog outside near the back of the motel. A CHP officer was watching the female subject and noticed an orange wax paper-wrapped item near the back door of the motel room.

After realizing the item was a stick of dynamite, the CHP Officer placed the device in an open area approximately 10 yards from the motel.

After Ieule admitted the device was his, he was arrested and booked into the Inyo County Jail for transporting an explosive device, PC 18715(a)(2), and placing a destructive device in a public area, PC 18725 – both felony charges. Additionally, he was charged with providing false identification, PC 148.9. Bail has been set for $100,000.

The device was safely removed from the area and disposed of by the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit.

Photo Courtesy of the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office