Local News

Caltrans Adds Three New EV Charging Stations

Highway 395 now has three new charging stations for electric vehicle travelers. The units are the Level 3 DC fast chargers, charging most EV’s to 80% within a half-hour. The chargers have adapters for all EV’s, including Tesla’s.

“The station’s are essential to continue the growing  EV adoption of California and meeting the state’s goals for combating climate change,” said Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin.

The Hwy. 395 locations are: Coso Junction Rest Area, Division Creek Rest Area, and the Caltrans office at 500 S. Main Street in Bishop.

These new stations are in addition to the Tesla charging stations in Lone Pine (at the Film Museum) and in Bishop, on Warren Street, There is also a charging station behind the VONS gas station.  Caltrans opened up two additional stations on Highway 58 in the Boron area on both sides of the freeway off-ramps.

Several charging stations can also be found in Mammoth and one is proposed in June Lake.

Opening Day Merry Fishmas Lakes Ice Free and Roads Clear . . . Mostly

Most traditional Merry Fishmas Opening Day lakes are ice free! And reports are that it has been too warm recently to support traditional (and safe) ice fishing in the higher lakes. A lot of holdover fish are expected to be hungry come official start time – 5:08 a.m. April 24.

Mammoth Lakes –  The Basin road will not reopen in time for the opener. The road will be blocked at Tamarack Lodge. However Twin Lakes will have some exposed water for walk-in anglers.

While the lakes are officially opened, the Inyo National Forest reports not to expect the Basin roads and campgrounds to open until the week before Memorial Day,.

Bishop Creek – Hwy. 168 up to Sabrina is opened and plowed. (UPDATED 4-21) Sabrina is mostly frozen over and water level low – below the boat launch. The gate to South Lake is not opened as of today,  although the road appears plowed)  North Lake road will not be plowed and won’t be opened for weeks. Intake II is open and full of fish.

June Lake Loop – All roads and lakes opened and ice free.

Lee Vining – The creek officially opened March 1st under new, year-around regulations for some non-resort lakes.

Caltrans working to get Tioga Road opened.

(UPDATED 4-23) Caltrans reports Tioga Pass will not open on time. The road is clear but repairs are needed to guard rails and plowing drainage channels. Bishop Creek is open, as of March 1.

Lundy should be opened. Virginia Lakes may still have ice, at least the east lake will. Road may not be plowed all the way.

Bridgeport – Lower twin is ice free. Upper Twin should have some open waters, but not be plowed all the way. The Reservoir is wide open but low lake levels.

(Photo – KIBS/KBOV News & Sports Director Ken Harrison and his Silver Lake Crew at The Point, every Opening Day, for 15 years. Sacramento, Palmdale, L.A., and Encinitas represent!)

Lone Pine Eagles Drop Only Game This Season to Trona Tornado’s

Lone Pine had their one and only football game on Friday, April 16th in a COVID-shortened season. Both Lone Pine and Trona suited up 10 players for the Friday Night Lights contest.
Lone Pine would lead at halftime by a score of 28 – 24, but eventualy ultimately fall by a final score of 42 – 72.
Coach Bryan Ashley said he was so proud of this team and the effort that they showed on Friday night! “They never quit even at times when playing with 6-7 players in the second half. This Team has been together since October and has battled through constant adversity throughout the season, their commitment to the Team has been extraordinary!”
“Battling through setbacks on a weekly if not daily basis (with scheduling & guidelines) all the way to the end. It was very gratifying to see The Eagles get their wish and play a good opponent on a Friday night under the lights!,” he reported.
Coach Ashley wanted to thank the staff at Lone Pine High School and the community for their outgoing support of the Football program this season, as well as the dedicated staff that I work with; Coach Dean Chavez Jr., Coach Shawn Andreas, and Trainer Dave Daughtry Jr.
“The Seniors leaving the team this year will be missed and I wanted to thank them for their commitment to the Football program,” said Coach Ashley.
Seniors Neftali Ruiz, Shivam Bhakta, Almir Perez and Matt Button got in a one and only final game – all outstanding student athletes.

Big Rig Crash on Conway Summit

Tuesday, April 13, a big rig truck towing a loaded flatbed trailer was traveling southbound on US-395 just south of Conway Summit. A witness reported that the big rig was traveling at a high rate of speed before the crash.

The roadway was covered with snow, and R-1 chain conditions were in effect. The big rig did not have chains installed.   The driver of the big rig attempted to negotiate the left curve at Mono Lake Vista Point when the it began to lose traction.

The driver was unable to safely negotiate the turn and the vehicle slid off of the west roadway edge, where it collided with a guardrail.  The vehicle continued through the guardrail, down the steep embankment, and rolled over onto its left side.  The truck went through approximately 200 feet of guardrail and 100 feet down the embankment.

The driver sustained minor injuries.

(Photo Courtesy of CHP – Bridgeport)

Strong Winds Delay Big Rigs and Trailers

A major wind event predicted by the National Weather Service started around 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 13, and increased so strongly that Highway 395 was shut down  for several hours to high profile vehicles and big rigs.

By 4:00 p.m., numerous big rigs , stopped by CHP, lined southbound Hwy. 395 from the Bishop golf course entrance south to Sunland Reservation Road, and many more were parked on Sunland Res. Rd, all the way back to Sunland Drive,

Trucks lined up on Sunland Res. Rd. from Hwy 395 to Sunland Dr.

 

Southbound trucks were also stopped in Bridgeport. Northbound trucks were stopped in Pearsonville with travel restrictions all the way north to the Nevada border. There were no travel restrictions, other than high wind warnings, in place on Highway  6, until trucks got into Bishop.

At 7:08 p.m., CHP allowed southbound trucks to travel down Highway 395, with caution. CHP continued to evaluate the situation, and allowed northbound trucks in Pearsonville to resume their travel at 7:30 p.m.

The National Weather Service stated the wind event would expire at 10:00 p.m.

Trucks lined up on Sunland Res. Rd. from Hwy 395 to Sunland Dr.

UPDATE On National Park Hiking Death – GoFundMe Established

(Updated April 15 by Inyo County Sheriff’s Office)

Inyo County Sheriffs Office reports that a forensic autopsy shows Alexander Lofgren died from his injuries while hiking. There is no foul play suspected.

(Updated details from Facebook, GoFund Me, and previous reports by KIBS/KBOV News)

The brother of rescued hiker Emily Henkel posted on Facebook a GoFundMe page has been set up on behalf of the couple and the families.

Henkle’s boyfriend, Alexander Lofgren, both of Tucson, succumbed to his injuries before he could be rescued by Inyo County Search and Rescue on Friday. This after Thursday’s aerial rescuers were unable to repel close enough to the couple to assist, Henkle suffered a severe foot injury.

After the couple didn’t return on their planned date, Inyo County Sheriff’s Office organized a multi-day search by numerous agencies,  both by air and on the ground, checking every pull out along Hwy. 190 – their planned route,

Their vehicle was found around 11:00 a.m. Thursday on Gold Valley Road. A note stated they had two flat tires and were heading to Mormon Point (where they would find the nearest road) with a three-day supply of water.

The missing couple was found about two hours later, in Death Valley National Park, near Willow Creek, on a very steep ledge.

The GoFundMe page was created by Chris Henkel. After explaining how the couple’s Subaru became stranded with two flat tires in a remote region of Death Valley, Henkel and Lofgren “…tried to make it through Willow Creek Canyon to the nearest road for help.”

No other details have yet been released by the family and the case is still under investigation by the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office.

As of posting time today, the GoFundMe page, “Support for Emily Henkel and Alex Lofgren’s family,” has raised $30,553 towards their $100,000 goal, given by 368 contributors, many wishing to remain anonymous.

Inyo County Sheriff’s Office is grateful to the following agencies for their assistance: Inyo County SAR, Death Valley National Park, Calif. Office of Emergency Services, China Lake NAWS, Lemoore NAS. Army National Guard, and CHP.

(Photo: Courtesy of Go FundMe)

Two Missing Hikers Found – One Deceased When SAR Arrived

(STORY UPDATED BY INYO COU TY SHERIFF’S OFFICE – Saturday 4-10-21)

Inyo County SAR were able to access the remote and steep ledge around 11:40 a.m., Saturday.  Hiker Alexander Lofgren was confirmed deceased.  An investigation into the cause of his death continues. Hiker Emily Henkel was airlifted to the hospital by air support from Lemoore Naval Air Station.

Original Report – Posted 4-9-21 . . .

Two missing hikers from Tucson, AZ were found, yesterday afternoon, April 8, in Death Valley National Park, reported the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office.

32-year-old Alexander Lofgren, and 27-year-old Emily Henkel were spotted through aerial reconnaissance in a very remote area of Death Valley National Park near Willow Creek, on a very steep ledge.

A hoist operation was attempted, but due to the extreme location the two team members who rappelled down were unable to reach Lofgren and Henkel.

Inyo Sheriff’s report it is unclear what condition Lofgren and Henkel are in. Today an Inyo Search and Rescue technical team will travel to Death Valley National Park and will descend the canyon as soon as they arrive.

The missing white Subaru was located first by Death Valley National Park rangers at approximately 11:00 a.m. off of Gold Valley Road. A note was located in the vehicle that read, “Two flat tires, headed to Mormon Point, have three days worth of water.” This note proved to be a crucial tip in directing search efforts. The location of the vehicle was not included in Lofgren’s backcountry itinerary.

A search was initiated on Tuesday, April 6, after Inyo County Sheriff’s Office received notification that Lofgren and Henkel had not returned by their due date of April 4. Lofgren’s backcountry itinerary was thoroughly checked along with every attraction and tourist site along Highway 190, with no results.

The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the following agencies: Inyo County Search and Rescue, The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the following agencies: Inyo County Search and Rescue, Death Valley National Park, CalOES, and China Lake Naval Weapons Base for aerial support.

Pre-Opener Crowley Lake Boat Inspections

LADWP is hosting required Quaggle Mussel boat inspections for Crowley Lake prior to Merry Fishmas Opening Day.

Wednesday, April 21 – 6:45am – 7:00pm – Bishop Vons

Wednesday, April 21 – 9am – 4pm – Crowley Lake Fish Camp

Thursday, April 22 – 6:45am – 7:00pm – Bishop Vons

Thursday, April 22 – 9am – 4pm – Crowley Lake Fish Camp

Friday, April 23 – 6:45am – 10pm – Bishop Vons

Friday, April 23 – 6:45am – Dark – Crowley Lake Fish Camp

Saturday, April 24 – Opening Day – 4am – 8pm – Crowley Lake Fish Camp

For further information: 760-972-1104

crowleylakefishcamp.com

CALTRANS Announces Funding for Inyo/Mono Highway Improvements

As part of the state’s $491 million allocation to address transportation needs, two projects are coming to Inyo and Mono Counties.

Several new Chain Control Turnouts will be constructed on Highway 395 and Highway 6, about seven miles north of Bishop, adding lighting, signage, and a median crossover. Existing chain install areas will be improved and expanded to make it safer for motorists in the winter time.

In the Shoshone area , 42 miles of lane will be rehabilitated along Highway 127, all the way to the Nevada state line.

Easter Weekend Celebrations – Olancha, Independence, Keeler, Lone Pine, Big Pine, & Bishop

Saturday & Sunday, April 3 & 4 – Lone Pine Volunteer Fire Department fire truck will be driving through neighborhoods passing out candy, from the Lone Pine Lion’s Club.  Saturday , April 3, Lone Pine 10am start, Alabama Hills 10am start, Olancha 2pm start. Easter Sunday, April 4, Keeler 10am start, Independence 10am.

7:00 a.m.- 8:00 a.m. – The annual Easter Sunrise Service will be held in Lone Pine, but not in the usual place – up in the Alabama’s. It will be in Spainhower Park in Lone Pine.

Hosted by the Lone Pine Church of the Nazarene, RCA Church, and Lone Pine Baptist Church.

10:00 a.m. – Easter Celebration – First Presbyterian Church, 585 N. Main St., Bishop

Noon – 2:00 p.m. – Big Pine Easter Eggtravaganza – Mendenhall Park, drive through, Easter Bunny, eggs and goodies for the kids.

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Church of the Sierras, 251 Sierra St, Bishop, Easter Concert & egg hunt, behind the church in the park . Bring chairs or blankets.

Bishop Bronco Football is Back!

Friday Night Lights are back for the Bishop Union High School Bronco’s.

Friday, April 30, the team will travel to Orosi High School in Tulare County to face the Panthers. It will be a rematch of the 2019 CIF Division 6 title game.

The 6:00 p.m. game will be heard live on AM 1230 KBOV, with play-by-play announcer Adam Gonzalez, joined for the half-time show and the game wrap up with KIBS/KBOV’s Sport Director Ken Harrison.

Bronco Coach Arnie Palu stated he is trying to line up other opportunities for the Bronco’s to play under the quickly-changing COVID conditions on April 16 and 23.