Local News

Badwater Road & Shoshone Entrance Re-opened

 

 

DEATH VALLEY, Calif. – Badwater Road and CA-178 opened on December 7. This provides direct access to Death Valley National Park from Shoshone, CA via the park’s southeast entrance. Some park roads remain closed as recovery continues from a series of flash floods in August and September.

“This opens up the southern end of the park,” said Superintendent Mike Reynolds. “People can now visit Ashford Mills and enjoy the popular hikes in Sidewinder and Willow Canyons.”

Many unpaved roads in the southern end of the park also reopened on December 7, including Harry Wade, Owls Hole, West Side, Trail Canyon, Hanaupah Canyon, Johnson Canyon, Queen of Sheba Mine, and Galena Canyon Roads. The National Park Service (NPS) warns drivers to expect rougher conditions than normal, especially on the 4×4 roads.

The popular 4×4 route through Warm Springs over Mengel Pass to Goler Wash is only partially open. No through traffic is allowed between Warm Springs Camp and Butte Valley until the road route is re-established by the NPS.

North Highway, Mud Canyon Road, Titus Canyon Road, Racetrack Road, and some other roads remain closed while debris continues to be removed and they are made safe for travel. More information on park roads is online: nps.gov/deva/planyourvisit/conditions.htm.

 

LA KINGS ANNOUNCE HISTORIC NEW ICE RINK PARTNERSHIP IN MAMMOTH LAKES

The New “LA Kings Ice at Mammoth Lakes” Will be Located Within the Town’s Brand-New Community Recreation Center and is Set to Open to the Public in 2023

LOS ANGELES – December 7, 2022 – The Town of Mammoth Lakes, Mammoth Lakes Tourism (MLT), and Mammoth Lakes Recreation have launched an historic new, community-driven partnership with National Hockey League (NHL) franchise, the LA Kings. As part of the expansive, multiyear partnership, brokered by AEG Global Partnerships, the partners have teamed up to launch “LA Kings Ice at Mammoth Lakes”– the Town’s first indoor Olympic-sized ice rink.
The forthcoming “LA Kings Ice at Mammoth Lakes” will operate within a newly constructed, multi-use Community Recreation Center (CRC) that is set to open to the public in 2023.

Additionally, as part of the agreement, MLT will continue its longstanding relationship as an official partner of the LA Kings.
For more than 20 years, Mammoth Lakes has been actively searching for a permanent home for an indoor ice rink and multi-use facility – one that would enhance the quality of life for residents
and visitors with year-round access to high-quality and innovative indoor recreational program offerings and activities. This transformational partnership will bring the Town’s long-awaited
vision to life and is a demonstration of the partners’ mutual support and commitment to the health and well-being of the community as well as the growth of hockey and ice sports in the region.

“We could not be prouder to be working in partnership with Mammoth Lakes Tourism, Mammoth Lakes Recreation and the Town of Mammoth Lakes to bring LA Kings Ice to Mammoth Lakes,” said LA Kings President and Hall of Famer Luc Robitaille. “We know this project will have a lasting and positive effect on the Mammoth Lakes community and we are delighted to help elevate the quality and experience of ice sports for its residents and visitors, many of whom are also avid hockey fans and players.”

The CRC, located at Mammoth Creek Park, will be a 40,000 square foot Sprung Performance Arena enclosing the brand new “LA Kings Ice at Mammoth Lakes.” The CRC will be open and available to the public year-round, with the new ice rink operating annually each winter season between the months of October and April. During the summer months, the Olympic-sized rink will be transformed into a fully programmable, multi-use RecZone, which will serve as the hub
for the expanding Parks and Recreation Department’s summer camps and programs.

To maximize operational efficiencies and to assist in the development of year-round programming, American Sports Entertainment Company, LLC (ASEC), one of the largest independent owner/operators of ice rink facilities in the United States, have been contracted by the Town to deliver year-round technical and operational consulting services for the facility.

Broad community input from local residents and industry experts alike helped inform and build the programming playbook for “LA Kings Ice at Mammoth Lakes.” Based on this feedback, daily
drop-in or frequently programmed on-ice activities at the facility will include public skating, youth and adult hockey, figure skating, and learn to skate lessons as well as the expanding curling
program. The rink will also serve as the home of Mammoth Lakes Youth Hockey and theMammoth Stars. Mammoth Lakes Youth Hockey is an all-volunteer and USA Hockey-sanctioned
program providing in-house and travel hockey for the youth of the greater Eastern Sierra region. Residents and visitors of Mammoth Lakes will also be able to enjoy a multitude of court sports, community events and recreational activities programmed throughout summer delivering all recreation, all the time!

“This partnership with the LA Kings, an iconic NHL franchise, represents an incredible opportunity for the community of Mammoth Lakes,” said Daniel C. Holler, Town Manager. “The powerful collaboration with Mammoth Lakes Tourism and Mammoth Lakes Recreation to bring the LA Kings to Mammoth Lakes reflects the Town’s commitment to deliver world-class recreation amenities for both residents and visitors by strategically partnering with the best of the best.”

Under the agreement, the LA Kings brand will be prominently featured at “LA Kings Ice at Mammoth Lakes” including distinctive signage throughout the facility and in center-ice. The LA
Kings will also advance its youth hockey development initiatives via LA Kings Youth Hockey camps hosted at the rink as well as unique on-site programming designed to promote hockey and increase accessibility of the sport amongst local youth.

“Combined with community driven and professionally branded programming, the new ‘LA Kings Ice at Mammoth Lakes’ operated by the Parks and Recreation Department and supported by ASEC, will be a game-changer for recreation in Mammoth Lakes,” stated Stuart Brown, Parks and Recreation Director for the Town. “We are thrilled to welcome the LA Kings and ASEC to our community to help us infuse a lifelong love of hockey and ice sports for youth, adults and the young at heart.”

As an official partner of the LA Kings, MLT will have prominent brand exposure during March and April LA Kings home games at Crypto.com Arena, and across the team’s digital channels. The
partnership also provides a significant opportunity for MLT to introduce visitors from Los Angeles and around the world to the Town, along with some of its best sights and attractions. Mammoth
Lakes is known for its year-round natural beauty and this partnership further promotes MLT’s new, “The Real Unreal” marketing campaign and reinforces the Town’s position as a world-class travel destination.

“We are honored to be a part of the team helping to bring ‘LA Kings Ice at Mammoth Lakes to life,’ said Scott Emery, Vice President, AEG Global Partnerships. “This project and partnership has been many years in the making and will be an invaluable resource for so many. We look forwardto the positive impact it will have on the community for years to come.”

Mammoth Lakes Wins 2022 USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Award for “Best Ski Town”

 

Mammoth Lakes, Calif. (December 2, 2022) — Mammoth Lakes, California has won the honor of “Best Ski Town” in North America in the 2022 USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Award Contest.
Mammoth Lakes is home to Mammoth Mountain and surrounded by the Eastern Sierra wilderness that Ansel Adams made famous. With a long history as a basecamp for adventurers, Mammoth Lakes has kept its laid-back charm as major investment over the last decade brought a host of new dining, lodging, air service and activity options that provide for an exceptionally well-rounded visitor experience. Not to mention, the local ski and snowboard season is one of the longest in the country, often extending to the Fourth of July.

Mammoth Lakes was one of 20 nominated North American mountain towns chosen by an expert panel which included a combination of editors from USA TODAY and 10Best.com, relevant expert contributors, and sources for both these media and other Gannett properties. After four weeks of public voting, Mammoth Lakes came out on top, named the “Best Ski Town” of 2022. The top ten
included:
1. Mammoth Lakes
2. Banff
3. North Conway
4. Stowe
5. Banner Elk
6. Park City
7. Jackson Hole
8. Telluride
9. Aspen
10. Ketchum

“This impressive honor further reinforces Mammoth Lakes as the country’s premier mountain destination,” said John Urdi, Mammoth Lakes Tourism’s Executive Director. “With prime snow conditions extending well into the spring months, the world-famous Mammoth Mountain ski resort, miles of snowy terrain to explore, and endless family-friendly winter activities, Mammoth Lakes sets the standard for all mountain ski towns. Mammoth Lakes is accessible with air service from hundreds of cities across the country, making it easier than ever to access.”

Check visitmammoth.com for more information and to get started booking a Mammoth Lakes
vacation.

About USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards Nominees for all categories are chosen by a panel of relevant experts which include a combination of editors from USA TODAY; editors from 10Best.com; relevant expert contributors; and sources for both these media and other Gannett properties. The nomination panel for each award category is displayed on its associated contest page. All voting is digital and the 10Best Readers’ Choice Award contest is accessible on the 10Best.com website.

10Best.com provides users with original, unbiased, and experiential travel content of top attractions, things to see and do, and restaurants for top destinations in the U.S. and around the world. The core of the site’s uniqueness is its team of local travel experts: a well-traveled and well-educated group who are not only experts in their fields – and their cities – but discriminating in their tastes. These local experts live in the city they write about so the content is constantly updated. 10Best.com averages 5 million visitors per month. It was acquired by USA TODAY in January of 2013.

KEN HARRISON, KIBS NEWSMAN HAS PASSED AWAY

With heavy hearts, the KIBS/KBOV family is sad to announce the passing of our News Director, Ken Harrison. Ken left this world early on the morning of July 21st, holding the hand of the love of his life and devoted partner, Sonya Hernandez. Ken leaves behind, sons Johnny Harrison and Trevor Harrison; sister Brenda Robinson; niece’s Cheri Noel, Kandi Archibald, and nephew Greg Kennedy. 

As well as Sonya and her son, Chase.
We are devastated by his passing, and relieved his suffering is over.
Ken lived his life to the brim in service to others. He will be forever remembered for his work in Unity Church, involvement and commitment to his home town community and in the community of Bishop,  where he found a second chance to live his best life in a place he had always loved, with a job and partner he adored.
Always ready to lend a hand to inform, entertain and connect with others, he lived several lives in his one lifetime. Truly making  a lasting and profound difference in the lives of so many. Ken wore many hats and touched many lives – as a father, partner, writer, broadcaster, DJ, comedian, angler and mentor to the masses.

Ken Harrison was a good man.

 

We will remember our friend Ken with love and affection.

In lieu of flowers, donations to help Sonya with Ken’s final expenses can be sent to Sonya Hernandez, care of KIBS.

Bishop Chamber Golf Fun Day

The Bishop Area Chamber of Commerce is teaming up with Bishop Country Club for a fun afternoon of golf, games and great food! Slated for Saturday, July 30th. This golf event is not your typical tournament, but it will be a whole lot of fun for players of all skill levels!


Each hole will feature a different game with prizes for each two-person team. Everyone who plays will also be entered into a raffle for big prizes, including cash, gift certificates, and a brand new Ashley furniture rocking recliner! All players will also be treated to a delicious barbecue dinner.

Cost is just $50 per person and includes golf games, cart, raffle entry and dinner! Check-in begins at 3pm with golf games starting at 4pm. This event is open to everyone – members, non-members, good golfers & hackers too! Proceeds will benefit the Bishop Chamber of Commerce, a community based non-profit organization that works hard to improve our local economy. Space is limited, so register today by following the golf fun day link on www.bishopvisitor.com.

Fairview Fire Update from the BVFD

At 2:45 p.m. Friday, July 8, 2022, the Bishop Fire Department was dispatched to Fairview Circle for a

structure fire. When the first unit arrived at the scene, three structures were already fully engulfed, with

fire rapidly spreading into the nearby brush and neighboring residences due to windy, dry conditions.

Seeing the magnitude of the incident, Bishop Fire requested mutual aid from throughout the region.

Southern California Edison cut electricity to the surrounding area, and CalFire immediately directed their

units towards the spreading vegetation fire to protect nearby neighborhoods.

Friday’s high winds, along with narrow access areas, propane tank involvement, and a lack of nearby fire

hydrants severely hampered firefighting efforts. Firefighters were forced to withdraw from Fairview

Circle and had to fight the fire from Watterson Road. Seventeen water tenders made multiple trips to

draft sites and fire hydrants to provide enough water to suppress the blaze.

Tumbleweed Lane and Indian Creek Drive were evacuated as the fire spread. These evacuation orders

were lifted later in the evening once forward progression of the fire was stopped. The Watterson Road

area remained evacuated until mid-afternoon on Saturday as fire crews continued mop-up efforts.

Firefighting resources remained at the scene throughout the night Friday, all day Saturday, and continue

to patrol the area as needed.

Nine residences and approximately 20 outbuildings were destroyed in the fire. Four additional

residences were damaged. The cause of the incident remains under investigation, and is believed to be

accidental in nature.

One firefighter suffered smoke inhalation during the Fairview incident. The firefighter was transported

to Northern Inyo Hospital by Symons Emergency Services and was released later Friday night after

treatment. One civilian was injured.

“Our hearts go out to everyone who lost their homes and were displaced by this fire,”

said Bishop Fire Chief Joe Dell. “We are extremely grateful to everyone who stepped up to help fight this

fire, and to everyone who continues to help those affected.”

The Bishop Fire Department would like to extend a huge thank-you to the numerous agencies that

responded from throughout the Eastern Sierra to help fight the Fairview Fire, including Big Pine,

Independence, Lone Pine, White Mountain, Chalfant Valley, June Lake, Antelope Valley, Wheeler Crest,

Mammoth Lakes, Long Valley, CalFire and the Inyo National Forest. The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office,

Symons Emergency Services, Reach Air Medical Services, the Bishop Police Department, Inyo County

Health and Human Services, Mountain Warfare Training Center (Pickel Meadows), the Los Angeles

Department of Water and Power, Indian Creek Mutual Water Company, Bishop Public Works and the

American Red Cross also provided assistance during and after the fire.

Additional thanks go to Two Brothers from Italy in Big Pine, who shut down their restaurant to make

pizzas that they then donated to the firefighters, Vons of Bishop, which donated sandwiches, snacks and

water, and the countless other groups and individuals who came forward to support the firefighting and

recovery efforts.

MULE DAYS IS HERE

MULE DAYS IS BACK FOR ITS 52nd YEAR WITH THE MAGNIFICENT, TALENTED MULE! WATCH AMAZING CLINICS WITH UNIQUE PRESENTATIONS! CATCH THE MULE’S AGILITY IN THE MANY COMPETITIONS! MULE DAYS HAS GREAT ENTERTAINMENT, VENDORS FOR SHOPPING, AN AMAZING PARADE AND LOTS OF FOOD…EVEN FREE MUSIC BY POPULAR DAVE STAMEY! BRING YOUR RV TO THE FAIRGROUNDS FOR FUN CAMPING! YOU CAN BOOK EVERYTHING ON LINE AT MULEDAYS.ORG OR CALL 760-872-4263.

Jim Butler Days

IT’S TIME TO COME TO THE 51ST ANNUAL JIM BUTLER DAYS IN TONOPAH, NEVADA, HONORING THE TOWN’S SERBIAN ANCESTRY! MAY 22ND TO MAY 30TH! HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE FRIDAY WHEN TONOPAH WILL BE ROCKIN HISTORIC DOWNTOWN WITH LIVE MUSIC AND STREET DANCE! SATURDAY IT’S THE NEVADA STATE MINING CHAMPIONSHIPS, SANCTIONED HORSESHOE TOURNAMENT, PARADE AND MORE! SUNDAY DON’T MISS THE EXCITING STAMPEDE RODEO! MONDAY IS THE VFW MEMORIAL DAY CEREMONY. CHECK OUT JIMBUTLERDAYS.COM AND PLAN NOW!

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.”

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.)

Welcome Back Spring Animals and Birds

“Is this a good time to trim my trees and shrubs?” people are asking counselors at Wildcare Eastern Sierra.  Our off-and-on, warm and cold, drought-ridden winter has confused our Eastern Sierra mammals, birds, reptiles, insects, plants, trees, and people!

March 20 is officially the first day of spring. Yet an early nest of baby rabbits was found in Chalfant in December! Mammoth residents have reported that local Ravens are already readying their nests!

Tree-trimming or removal is best done before our native wild birds build nests and lay eggs. Look carefully for nesting birds before pruning or removing limbs. Most bird parents keep their young safe from predators by hiding and camouflaging nests, making them hard to see. It is illegal to interfere with nests once they are active,

Wildcare Eastern Sierra’s Director Cindy Kamler says, “Please don’t hesitate to give us a call for advice and assistance in making a “Garden of Eden” for you and your wild neighbors.”

Wildcare Eastern Sierra was one of the several recent recipients of a $9,000  grant from the California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, earmarked for organizations that help rescue wildlife.

For further information, contact Cindy or Danielle at 760-872-1487 or lkamler@earthlink.net

Join KIBS/KBOV in recycling your CRV cans and bottles at Manor Market’s Buy-Back Center, and donate the proceeds to Wildcare Eastern Sierra.

 

New Mt. Whitney District Ranger Is A Local

The Inyo National Forest is pleased to welcome Julie Hall, the new District Ranger for the Mt. Whitney Ranger District. 

 Julie has strong ties to the Eastern Sierra. Her father retired from the Inyo National Forest in 1992 as the Forest Recreation Staff Officer and still lives in Bishop. Her family relocated to Bishop with his job and she attended high school here.

 Julie comes from San Bernardino National Forest where she was the District Ranger on the San Jacinto Ranger District, stationed in Idyllwild, CA.

 Julie began her Forest Service career in 1985 as a Youth Conservation Corps employee on the Inyo. She worked as a temporary employee in recreation and visitor information services during college and after graduating. From there, she joined the Inyo full time, enjoying numerous roles, including engineering program manager, civil rights officer, and administrative officer. 

“I’m excited to be back in the Eastern Sierra, continuing my passion for serving the public with the Forest Service,” Julie said. “I feel like I have come home, and I look forward to meeting district residents and stakeholders and working with them for years to come.”

Photo Courtest of Inyo National Forest