Local News

OPEN OPEN OPEN . . . AND DUMPED

Mammoth Mountain finally received the snow storm it has been waiting for all winter long.. eight to nine feet were dumped in the latest storm.  Highway 395 was closed until late Thursday afternoon, with hundreds waiting hours for the possible chance the road would open.

The highway finally opened around 4:00 p.m., with cars being escorted by CHP in groups of 50, to the hoots and hollers, honking horns, and thumbs up for CHP and Caltrans workers.

At the top of Sherwin Summit, another CHP checkpoint stopped vehicles to inquire about chains. Those without chains were sent back down the hill, on what one official dubbed “The Road of Shame.” Chains were required on Hwy. 203 leading into and around Mammoth.

A Caltrans worker said social media played a huge part of the waiting crowds. Once the road opened, it got out that Mammoth was opened, and everyone headed out for the mountain, from local hotel rooms and from their homes down below.

The wait become several hours long Thursday night. The trail of cars driving up (north) 395 continued into Friday night.

 

“RANGER OF THE YEAR” FROM RIGHT HERE IN THE INYO

The Inyo National Forest is pleased to share that Michael Morse has been honored as the 2020 Ranger of the Year by the National Forest Recreation Association (NFRA).

Michael is the Wilderness and Trails Supervisor in the Mammoth Ranger District. He has served the US Forest Service for more than 40 years.

“I am honored and humbled to have been selected for this recognition,” Michael said.

Michael was nominated by Inyo County Supervisor and longtime rancher Jen Roeser.

Michael has partnered with numerous organizations to accomplish trail maintenance projects and represented the US Forest Service at the Tournament of Roses Parade twice.

“This is a well-deserved award and I’m so glad that NFRA is recognizing Michael’s many accomplishments during his long career on the Inyo. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Michael since the early days of my own career and know him to be a person of integrity and quiet determination and have always admired his commitment to public service, especially wilderness and trails, said Inyo National Forest Supervisor Lesley Yen.

OUR LISTENERS WIN !

Congratulations to Erin McCrea for winning the Grand Prize in our January “Pop Quiz & Win” contest. Offered once an hour on The Gary Young Morning Show last week, listeners tried to answer a country music pop quiz question. A correct answer garnered the contestant a $20 gift certificate to the Bishop Paiute Gas Station. A winner’s name was put into the Grand Prize drawing for $250 CASH!

By the way, listeners were only given three seconds to answer the quiz question, so one would not have time to google the answer.

KIBS would like to thank all of our contest sponsors for helping support this month’s fun.

COMING IN HOT

On Tuesday, January 19, around 9:00 a.m., a semi-truck driver  traveling northbound on Main Street through Bishop, was notified by a passing motorist, that her right rear tires on fire.

The truck pulled over into the Shell Y-Mart where the Bishop Volunteer Fire Department responded. The fire was visually extinguished by the time fire trucks arrived. Firefighters used a hand- held extinguisher insure the hot tires, wheels, and brake drums were cooled.

A quick inspection showed a brake line had ruptured, spraying flammable brake fluid over the hot brake drums and igniting.

No one was injured in the incident.

(STORY UPDATE: A reader on 1-26-21 advised semi-trucks do not use brake fluid. They have air brakes on the trailers. She is correct. Thanks – KH)

ADOPT A PIECE OF HIGHWAY 395

Thanks to the Sierra Trash Eliminators for their over-the-weekend- effort in picking up lots of trash along miles of Highway 395 in the Bishop area.

Their efforts augment Caltrans’ Adopt a Highway program, in which businesses and individuals may adopt a two mile section of state highways.

Adoptees are expected to pick up trash up to six times a year. Caltrans provides all the supplies – bags, gloves , safety vests, hardhats, trash picker-uppers, and safety training. Those participating get a sign posted on their section of a highway.

KIBS/KBOV News Director Ken Harrison knows how much fun adopting a section of Hwy. 395 can be.

Locally, the program is very popular and a wait list exists for most sections of Hwy. 395.  Currently there is only one section available for adoption in the Bishop area – in front of Bishop Ford from the Y, on Hwy 6.

Contact Caltrans’ Tom Scott for more information on adopting trash pick up on a local roadway.   760-872-0601.

COVID VACCINE AVAILABLE NOW TO INYO/MONO RESIDENTS AGED 75+

Northern Inyo Hospital District announced that as of today, 300 vaccines are available to those residents age 75 and over.

Both Inyo and Mono Counties have moved into vaccine Tier Level 1B which includes those age 75 and over, along with frontline law enforcement, fire, EMT’s, and food service workers.  Resident’s vaccines will be handled by the hospital. Those eligible fontline worker’s vaccine’s will be administered by the county’s health department.

Appointment phone lines are open through the Rural Health Care offices, Monday – Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., at 760-873-2078.

There will be an active waitlist and more vaccines are on the way. Approximately 1,700 county residents are over the age of 75 and qualify for the vaccine. Inoculations will continue until all in the age category have voluntarily received the shot, and their 21 – 28 day second dose.

Inoculations will take place inside the hospital’s lobby. One need not be a patient of the North Inyo Health Care system to receive a vaccine

MAMMOTH BUSINESS RECEIVES BIG SURPRISE

Dessert’d Organic Bake Shop in Mammoth received a big, business sustaining, surprise last week.

The folks from Barstool Sports – a sports media company in New York, were at risk of having their favorite pizza restaurant close due to COVID loss of income. They raised some money, and saved the restaurant from closing. Then the owner realized there were lots of other businesses in the country struggling. – barely hanging on.

Barstools Sports owner Dave Portnoy put out a call for small businesses drastically affected by loss of business due to COVID, to send in their story. Dessert’d owner Mimi Council did. And received a surprise video chat from Portnoy.

Her request; to cover the cost of retaining her employees. The awarded amount was not shared by either party,  but Portnoy posted on Instagram that Council’s business request is not a one-time grant. His group will fund her payroll expenses month after month, until the crisis to resolved.

Portnoy started his fundraising campaign in December with a goal of $500,000. Over the Christmas holiday he raised $17 million. Two days ago, Packers QB, Aaron Rogers, donated $500,000 to the Barstool Sports fundraising campaign.

The Mammoth business, even with the threat of having to close due to COVID lack of business, still took care of their community. “If someone couldn’t afford a birthday cake, we made sure they had one,” said Council. In essence, although she didn’t realize it at the time, she was paying it forward.

 

 

RECALL CAMPAIGN HEATS UP

The effort to recall Govenor Gavin Newsom is heating up in Inyo County and around the state.

Last week, the bipartisan signature gathering effort reported they have one million signatures for the recall petition, needing another 500,000 by March 10, to place the issue on the ballot. 

State organizers say this effort is nonpartisan “grassroots” and includes supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders and fans of President Trump.

Cal-Tron Corp. on Dixon Lane and Alex Printing on Main St. are official petition signing locations  in Inyo County.

Locally, Inyo County voters need to file 872 registered voters signatures, of which 670 have been collected. In Mono County, where there is no active signature gathering campaign, 583 registered voter signatures are needed. 218 have been submitted online.. 

Recently, Alex from Alex Printing stated in a exclusive KIBS/KBOV interview, that the Govenor has no clue what’s entailed in running a small business. 

Actor Scott Baio hosted a live Zoom meeting last week to encourage Californians to sign the petition. Former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulkner signed the petition over the weekend and is one of the names mentioned as a challenger to Gov. Newsom. 

Fox News reported Newsom recently acknowledged the coronavirus vaccine rollout in the state is not proceeding as expeditiously as expected, while confirmed virus cases surge. 

Gov. Gray Davis, who was recalled in 2003, was the first governor recalled in the United States since 1921. Davis was replaced by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

MARY ANN WAS A NEVADA GIRL

As you probably know, Dawn Wells, who played the ship-wrecked castaway Mary Ann on Gilligan’s Island, passed away last week at the age of  82, due to COVID.

But did you know she was one of Nevada’s favorite daughters? She hailed from Reno. Wells was Miss Nevada in 1959 before beginning her Hollywood roles. Her father owned the Thunderbird Casino in Las Vegas. A trail in the Clark County Wetlands Park is named after Dawn Wells.

“[Her iconic role] was a blessing and a curse,” Wells wrote in her 2014 book, What Would Mary Ann Do? A Guide to Life. The role was a role of a lifetime, but unfortunately made her too recognizable as the lovable castaway to get any good character-leading roles after the series ended in 1967.

Prior to her three-year run on the CBS comedy, Wells starred in episodes of 77 Sunset Strip, Maverick, and Bonanza.

“She’s a girl with a smile on her face, and she did a great job and everybody loves her,” said Tina Louise, of Wells, to the Las Vegas Review Journal.  Louise is the last surviving cast member of the iconic TV show,

 

“MR. BISHOP” PASSES FROM COVID

“Mr. Bishop,” Chuck Kilpatrick, died Wednesday, Dec. 30, after a battling COVID-19.

His loss will bring sadness to the communities of Bishop and Inyo County. He was the face of Bishop at travel, trade, and sports shows around the state on behalf of the Bishop Chamber of Commerce.

I first met Chuck 10 years go as a co-announcer for the Lone Pine Film Festival’s annual parade. I announced at the start of the parade, he – from the top of the Dow Villa Motel, halfway down the parade route.

I last saw him as promoter of the California High School Rodeo Assn. when he brought in the District Nine Queen for a radio interview just before Thanksgiving. He was happy and healthy then.

We will miss him here at KIBS/KBOV.

Endangered Kit fox recovering at Wildcare Eastern Sierra Rescue Center

Six weeks ago, Krista G. headed home to Santa Cruz from a tour of Death Valley. Driving southwest on Highway 178, about 3 miles from the 395 junction, she spotted an animal lying motionless in the middle of the roadway. A close look at the body revealed a small fox, alive but unconscious.

Wildcare Eastern Sierra received an early morning phone call. They gave the driver directions how to safely rescue the injured animal, keep it warm, dark and quiet. Cautiously she wrapped the body in the warm blanket, tucked it into the box, and placed it on the sunny front seat in her vehicle.

Krista’s planned route home had been to the south, then west to the coast and north to Santa Cruz. Krista chose to head north on 395 instead to Wildcare, two and a half hours out of her way.

She pulled up in front of the center at Keough’s Hot Springs. Staffers Cindy Kamler and Danielle Manriquez were surprised to discover that the fox was a smaller, endangered Kit fox. These small foxes inhabit arid and semi-arid regions encompassing desert shrub, creosote, chaparral and grasslands. The San Joaquin and Death Valley areas hold most of the endangered California Kit fox population.

Examination found a comatose female, motionless except for slight twitching of the head. No cuts, fractures or bruises were seen except for bleeding from the right inner ear. For the next four or five days, she was motionless, eyes shut. Nearly a week passed until she could lick blended raw meat from a syringe.

She began to change position occasionally and finally, opened her eyes and attempted to stand and move. A couple more weeks passed as she became more alert, her balance improved, and she could eat on her own. Sleeping most of the day in her burrow, she was now active and eating at night.

Since this is the first Kit fox taken in by the Center, their goal is to find a proper and safe release site, meaning learning as much as possible about Kit fox’s behaviors.

Wildlife Eastern Sierra rescues birds and small animals that are injured or abandoned. We ask you to join with us here at KIBS/KBOV by supporting the work of Wildlife Eastern Sierra.

Like us here at the station,  one way is to take your California redemption cans, glass, or plastic bottles to Manor Market’s buy-back center, and ask to have the proceeds donated to Wildlife Eastern Sierra. This is an important funding source for the rescue center.

(Photos courtesy of Wildlife Eastern Sierra.)

ARMED BURGLAR SOUGHT

In the early morning hours of December 22, numerous units of Mono County Sheriff’s Office responded to multiple armed burglaries in the White Mountain Estates area of Chalfant.

The suspect was caught on a home security camera.

Do you recognize him? Contact MCSO.

Unconfirmed posts on social media reported one of the homes the suspect tried to rob was the home of a law enforcement officer. It was also reported the suspect headed into the desert area surrounding Chalfant. Additionally, Inyo County Sheriff’s deputies  were on patrol for suspect, south of the area, across the county line.