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Bishop Union Win Third CIF Championship in School History

Photos by Gary Young

Defense wins championships. However cliché it sounds, the Bishop Bronco’s defense is what won them the championship against the Orosi Cardinals on Saturday night.

Midway through the first quarter, the Broncos forced their first turnover of the game, when Jaydan Braithwaite stole Orosi Quarterback, Evan Lara’s screen pass, which was intended for star running back, Dominic Martinez inside the red zone. Braithwaite knew the ball was going to be thrown to Martinez before Lara could even react.

Later on, Orosi had another opportunity to score inside the red zone. Lara tried to throw a ball off of his back foot. The wayward throw was intercepted in the middle of the field by Darren Dondero, who recorded his fourth interception of the season.

Right before halftime, it appeared as though Orosi would score some much needed points trailing 13-0. Dominic Martinez received the hand off, shifted to the left and headed toward the goal line. That’s when a host of Bronco defenders stormed toward Martinez, who was on the one yard line and fumbled before scoring.

The ball looked like it had a mind of its own, inexplicably shooting out of the hands of the junior tailback toward the touchdown marker as defenders closed in on Martinez. The officials determined the Orosi Cardinal did not cross the goal line, therefore the Broncos would take possession on their 20 yard line.

Later on in the game, Lara would fumble the ball for the team’s fourth turnover on the night near midfield.

Turnovers weren’t the only facet of the game in which Ricky Beal’s defense thrived. Sophomore, Kennedy Bachelder led the team with ten tackles and two sacks. Cornerback, Joe Weaver had five pass breakups along with two tackles, and Tristan Valle recorded seven tackles and one sack.

Although Bishop’s defense is it’s strength, the Broncos offense isn’t too shabby either. Led by Luke McClean and Steven Paco, James Ferrell’s offense has scored fifty-five total touchdowns this season. Five of those touchdowns were scored in the championship.

Going into the second quarter, the game was tied 0-0. Steven Paco turned the tide in favor of Bishop with a one yard scamper into the end zone, making it 7-0. The first score of the game was Paco’s 14th rushing touchdown of the year.

Later on in the second quarter, Luke McClean found Johnny Torres, affectionately known now as “Johnny Playoffs” for his stellar performances in the post season for a twenty yard reception, which put the Broncos at the one yard line. McClean finished off the drive with a one yard rushing touchdown.

With 10:30 to go in the third quarter, McClean hooked up with the player of the game, Joe Weaver for a twenty yard touchdown pass over the middle. Bishop converted the two-point attempt to give them a three score lead against Orosi.

Luke McClean would get his second touchdown of the game when he kept the ball for a three yard touchdown right before the fourth quarter began. The rush was the star quarterback’s eighteenth touchdown on the ground this season.

Bishop’s offense would finish off the night with a twenty yard sweep to “Johnny Playoffs.” Torres went in motion from the right side, took the ball up the left, and blew past the Cardinal defenders. The game would finish 34-7.

The CIF title is the first for Head Coach, Arnie Palu and the third in school history. The team’s last championship came in 2010. Before that, Bishop had to wait fifty-three years to see a title, which happened in 1957.

Salt Creek Boardwalk and All Campgrounds Open

DEATH VALLEY, CA – Salt Creek Boardwalk and all campgrounds are now open in Death Valley National Park. However, visitors should be aware of severe winter weather forecasted for Thanksgiving week.

Salt Creek Boardwalk, which has been closed for months due to safety hazards, recently reopened. Park employees and volunteers from Apple replaced over one hundred broken or sagging boards.
Death Valley generally welcomes a large number of visitors during the week of Thanksgiving. However, travelers this year should be cautious of winter storms that might bring snow as low as 3,200 feet in the park.

All park campgrounds are now open. However, Mahogany Flat Campground (elevation 8,200’) and Thorndike Campground (elevation 7,400’) will close if snow makes them inaccessible.

Bishop Win a Thriller to Advance to the CIF Championship Game

Photos by Gary Young Photography

Resilience is a word that comes to mind when describing Bishop’s effort Friday night.

The first half belonged to the Cardinals. Lindsay controlled the tempo on their first possession, with a methodical march down the field that lasted nearly seven minutes. Star running back, Danny Trujillo, who came into the game with more than 2,100 rushing yards and 24 touchdowns, was dragging Bishop’s front seven forward on what appeared to be nearly every play.

Nearly every time the standout halfback was hit, he would fall forward, or break a tackle, until Lindsay found themselves on Bishop’s doorstep. Lindsay scored on a one yard run, but it was Danny’s brother, Israel who punched it in.

Down 7-0, the Broncos quickly responded. Lindsay put all of their eggs into one basket by trying to stop the run the subsequent drive. With 2:40 to go in the first quarter, Luke McClean threw a strike down the middle of the field to Jaydan Braithwaite for a 55 yard touchdown.

After tying the game up at seven a piece, Bishop didn’t do much else in the first half. The Trujillo brothers were running rampant on the Bronco’s front seven. It seemed like every time a linebacker or defensive lineman had a good angle for a tackle, the Trujillo brothers were able to slip by the defense.The ground and pound formula paid dividends yet again for Lindsay, when Danny Trujillo scored a six yard touchdown to make it 16-7 Cardinals. Bishop looked tired, beaten, and battered.

Bishop got the ball to start the second half. The waters did not calm for the Broncos during the first drive. Star quarterback, Luke McClean threw an interception on the near sideline, giving the ball back to the Cardinals in Bishop territory. The interception could have been the moment where head coach, Arnie Palu’s team folded, but it wasn’t.

Instead, the turnover was a moment which appeared to galvanize the team. Bishop forced a three and out after the turnover, and for the rest of the game defensive coordinator, Rick Beall had his defense dialed in.

Those Grand Canyon sized holes Danny Trujillo was running through in the first half turned into narrow crevices. All of those missed tackles in the first half were a thing of the past. The Broncos were able to get to Trujillo before he had any steam and nullified most of his rushing attempts.

The offense followed the defense’s example, playing inspired football. In the third quarter, the Luke McClean found wide receiver, Johnny Torres for a thirty yard touchdown to pull within two.

In the fourth and final quarter, McClean went back to Torres, who was wide open for a fifteen yard touchdown. The crowd erupted as Bishop had finally taken the lead. McClean then scored the two-point conversion on a direct snap. Bishop were up 22-16.

After the score, it was time for the Bronco defense to hold the line. On a crucial third down, Sophomore, Kennedy Bachelder sacked quarterback, Randon Gomez resulting in a fourth down and long for Lindsay. The Cardinals were bailed out on what would have been Lindsay’s final play, when Sophomore, Luis Cruz got called for pass interference.

With about two minutes left in the game, Gomez threw up a prayer with hopes of trying to convert a first down. That prayer was not answered. The ball was thrown near Steven Paco, who came up with the game-winning interception.

The final score in this one was 22-16. Bishop will now match up against Orosi in the CIF Championship Game for Division Six.

Bishop City Council Vote to Protect Renters with Emergency Ordinance

The Bishop City Council voted 5-0 in favor of adopting an emergency ordinance that will prohibit landlords from dramatically increasing rent on tenants and evicting residents without just cause. The city ordinance is in response to a loophole created by AB 1482, which is designed to protect tenants from egregious hikes in an individual’s monthly rent. However, from now until January 1, 2020, landlords had the option to dramatically increase rent before the ordinance was made official.

Mayor Pro Tempore, Laura Smith spoke about the possible rental hikes saying, “We are not looking to handcuff landlords by passing this ordinance. There is a drastic shortage of housing in the area, and people are probably not going to find a place to live. We don’t want people kicked out of their homes with the cold weather and no place to go.”

Councilman, Stephen Muchovej expressed similar feelings, indicating that the council’s job is to help its citizens. “We are here to help people out in town. We should prevent these sort of scenarios [subjecting tenants to rental hikes] from happening.”

Bishop resident Steve Seats, who was previously evicted from his home at the Primrose Lane Apartments in town due to a rent increase, spoke to the city council and expressed his feelings on the matter.

“It sickens me when I heard that over forty families were at risk of being evicted from their homes.” Seats said.

Seats, who now says he lives in his car and spends most nights in the parking lot adjacent to the City of Bishop Council Chambers, also told the public about his experience of allegedly being harassed by a member of the Bishop Police Department since being evicted from his apartment.

“Last night an officer threatened to arrest me for sleeping in my car in the parking lot.” Seats said. “The officer became progressively more and more aggravated when I did not comply. The behavior was inappropriate by the police force.”

Shortly after Seats spoke, Mayor Jim Ellis gave his thoughts on the ordinance saying, “This ordinance is to protect our citizens.” Ellis also added that the housing market makes things difficult for low-income individuals. “We have a tough housing market here. I don’t think any of us have a problem with voting in favor of an ordinance.”

A New Regional Dispatch Center Could be Built in Bishop

The Bishop City Council unanimously voted 5-0 to approve funding for a site-study of a new regional dispatch center that would be based in Bishop.

The idea is for the Bishop Police Department, Mammoth Lakes Police Department, Inyo County Sheriff’s Office, and Mono County Sheriff’s Office to have all of their dispatchers working together in the same space.

Bishop Police Chief, Ted Stec argued in favor of the project saying, “A Regional Dispatch Center would save money because it would require less personnel from all agencies in the area in the long run.”

Mammoth Lakes PD and Mono and Inyo County Sheriff’s Offices are requesting that the City of Bishop pay $25,000 to help split the cost of the study of feasibility four ways with the total estimated at approximately $100,000 dollars.

Currently, Bishop has not budgeted for such a study, whereas other agencies have pooled together their resources and approved the funding for the investigation.

Council member Chris Costello of the City of Bishop seemed wary of the cost. “We already have a great dispatch center in place. I think if the system is not broken, then don’t fix it.” the council member stated.

However, Costello also said that he did not want to leave the town’s neighbors hanging out to dry, and brought forth the idea of providing $5,000 dollars of funding toward the study to in order to demonstrate good will.

Mayor Pro-Tempore Laura Smith expressed interest in the project saying, “Yes, we already have a good dispatch center set up, but we can make it even better by adding emergency medical dispatch services to the regional dispatch center.”

Police Chief Stec acknowledged the feasibility of adding medical services to the center but said the dispatchers would need further training in that realm to add it into the center’s repertoire.

During the meeting, it was apparent that most members of the city council were wary of being perceived as being bad neighbors. Karen Schwartz of the city council spoke on the issue saying, “I support the regional dispatch center because it supports the greater good and helps out our entire region.” Mayor Jim Ellis expressed similar feelings on the matter, and seconded Schwartz’s motion.

Rob Patterson, the Finance Director for the Town of Mammoth Lakes was in attendance and told the council he did not believe the project would be as expensive as the estimated price. “I don’t think the cost of the study will be $100,000.” Patterson said. “It may be around that amount, but we just want to ensure that there is enough money available to complete the study. There is also a chance that it could be something the California Office of Emergency Services covers, we have to explore that further.”

Shortly after, the council voted unanimously to approve funding not to exceed $25,000 dollars. Councilmen Costello and Muchovej reluctantly voted in favor of the study, whereas Smith, Schwartz, and Ellis supported the study.

The study is expected to take a few months, with no solid timetable available at the moment.

Affordable Housing Development in Mammoth is Gaining Traction

The Town of Mammoth Lakes is getting ready to issue a request for statements of qualifications for the development of a piece of land known as The Parcel, which consists of twenty-five acres of land near the center of Mammoth Lakes.

A statements of qualification is a process relating to accepting bids for the development of a property.

Mammoth Lakes wishes to, “identify a development team consisting of one or more developers that will be the best fit to partner with the town to develop The Parcel.”

Currently, the Town of Mammoth Lakes has set broad guidelines and objectives for what they wish to see in a possible development for the existing site, which includes the construction of 400-450 properties ranging from studio apartments to entire houses zoned for affordable residences to be completed by 2022.

According to an official document from the Department of Public Works for the Town of Mammoth Lakes, the cheap housing is required to be priced at or below 120 percent of the area’s median income.

Other than creating affordable housing, The Parcel must adhere to the town’s wishes and include a community facility, formal and informal open spaces, vehicle and bicycle parking for residents and guests, and must consider pets in the design of the neighborhood.

Further restrictions include establishing a “livable, integrated, and well-designed community.” For example, the Town of Mammoth Lakes wishes to assure that the structures built connect seamlessly to the neighborhood and its surroundings.

Although 2022 is a long way off, the town council of Mammoth Lakes is taking steps toward turning The Parcel into homes in the future. On November 21, a pre-submittal conference for interested parties is scheduled for those who would like to find out more. After that, the Town Council is expected to accept a preferred conceptual land use plan on December 11, meaning the town desires to regulate property to ensure a more desirable socioeconomic outcome.

40-Year Old Hiker Found Deceased

NORTH LAKE (INYO NATIONAL FOREST), CA. November 7, 2019 – On November 4 (evening), Inyo County Sheriff’s Office received notification of a missing hiker. The reporting party said that Alan Stringer, a 40-year old man from Huntington Beach, had planned on hiking somewhere out of the Bishop area on Sunday but failed to return home on Monday.
Stringer, who was described as an experienced hiker, did not disclose his hiking plans or potential routes. However, he recently purchased and ice ax and crampons, and participated in mountaineering training courses. Stringer was equipped for day-hiking only; he had an InReach device that he hiked with, but it was never activated. After checking trailheads throughout the Bishop area, Sheriff’s Deputies located Stringer’s vehicle at North Lake shortly after midnight on Tuesday morning.
On Tuesday a forensic analysis of Stringer’s cell phone activity revealed only one call very early in the morning from downtown Bishop on Sunday November 3 (before his planned hike). Inyo Search and Rescue used aerial support to fly the areas near and around North Lake.
On Wednesday ground teams searched the areas of Paiute Pass, Lamarck Col and Mt. Emerson. Aerial reconnaissance with night-vision capability was used Wednesday night.
Today ground teams will continue to scour the areas near and around North Lake, paying extra attention to Wonder Lake Basin, Lamarck Col, Mt. Lamarck summit, and Mt. Emmerson.  Aerial support will be used again today (H-40 out of Fresno). Sequoia and Kings National Park is running a joint operation concentrating on the following locations: Darwin Canyon and Darwin Peak.
If anyone from the public has seen Alan Stringer (particularly on Sunday November 3) and can provide us with a more conclusive hiking route please call 760-878-0383 option 4. We do not have a conclusive description of what he was wearing but he could potentially be wearing a bright green “puffer” style jacket or a dark green light-weight jacket. His ice ax is lime green. Stringer is 6’04”, 230 pounds with brown hair and hazel eyes.

UPDATE– On Nov 7 around 2:30pm Sequoia and Kings National Park located Alan Stringer deceased at the top of the Darwin glacier, near the base of the notch to go up Mount Darwin. Sequoia and Kings will be conducting the investigation and recovery.

Search photos for Stringer SAR
Alan Stringer has been missing since Sunday Nov 3 out of the North Lake area. Tips can be reported to Inyo SO at 760-878-0383 option 4.

Donations Sought for the Annual Eastern Sierra Shop with a Cop

Law enforcement officers and public safety staff from law enforcement and criminal justice agencies throughout Mono and Inyo Counties are busy planning the Annual Shop-with-a-Cop event, which will be held Saturday, December 14, 2019.

This is a very special day where our local law enforcement brings the true spirit of Christmas to families in need throughout the Eastern Sierra and Owens Valley. Children are selected by various local law enforcement agencies from nominations received by area schools, community groups and individuals. On Saturday morning, the children are picked up at their homes by their law enforcement “partners” and taken to pancake breakfast sponsored by the Bishop Lion’s Club. After breakfast, the officers and children respond Code 3 (lights and sirens) through Bishop to K-Mart to start their shopping extravaganza. Each child is given $200 to shop for gifts for their families. After all the gifts have been purchased, local volunteers wrap the gifts, and the officers and children travel home where an early holiday celebration begins!

Their goal for the 2019 Shop-with-a-Cop event is to provide Christmas to 70 children and their families. This event is completely donation driven. Let’s start getting into the holiday spirit and donate to this great event today! Donations can be dropped off at the Mono County Sheriff’s Office, Inyo County Sheriff’s Office, Bishop Police Department and Mammoth Lakes Police Department. Please make checks payable to ESPOA (Eastern Sierra Peace Officers Association) with “Shop-with-a-Cop” written in the memo line. ESPOA is a 501(c)3, and your donation is tax deductible.

Bishop Union High School Students Receive Awards From Caltrans

BISHOP – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) District 9 co-sponsored a Trig*Star competition at Bishop Union High School (BUHS) this past April. The competition results were announced on Monday, May 13th, 2019. Trig*Star is a national math competition for high school students based on the practical application of trigonometry. The competition enables students to apply math to real world situations and heighten the awareness of land surveying as a profession. Land surveying is the art, science and technology of locating or determining (by measurement) the shape or size of any portion of the earth’s surface and representing these surveys on maps.

The competition was a one-hour exam, solving problems involving triangles and circles to determine lengths, angles and areas.

1st Place – Thomas Zentmyer won $50, with a score of 94 out of 100 and a time of 29 minutes, 10 seconds.

2nd Place – Nathan Wesling who scored an 88 out of 100 with a time of 33 minutes, 4 seconds, and was awarded $25.

Cash prizes were paid for by the California Transportation Foundation. The competition is sponsored by Caltrans, the National Society of Professional Surveyors, and the California Land Surveyors Association.

Caltrans Senior Transportation Surveyor Sereyna Cagle thanked all that participated, including the 28 BUHS students, and Deidre Buchholz, BUHS math teacher. Caltrans appreciates Ms. Buchholz for her support in introducing the Trig*Star competition to great minds and future leaders! Congratulations to Thomas Zentmyer and Nathan Wesling!

Paraglider Found Dead Near Sierra Crest

On August 14, at approximately 1:20pm, Inyo County Sheriff’s Dispatch received notification of an emergency In-Reach activation north of Striped Mountain near the Sierra Crest, south of Taboose Pass.

Further investigation revealed that the device was registered to Cody Tuttle, a 32-year old man from Swall Meadows above Bishop, CA. Tuttle was reported to be on a paragliding trip to Gabbs Nevada with two fellow paraglider pilots.

Inyo Sheriff requested aerial assistance from California Highway Patrol Inland Division Air Operations (H-80), as well as a helicopter from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park (SEKI). The SEKI helicopter located Tuttle at 12,600’ elevation and confirmed that he was deceased. CHP H-80 attempted to extract Tuttle, but due to altitude and afternoon heat they were unable to complete the recovery.

On August 15, CHP Coastal Division Air Operations (H-70) responded and recovered Tuttle; he was flown to the Bishop Airport where custody was transferred to the Inyo County Coroner.

Felon Attempts to Detonate Device Near Family and Officers

BISHOP, CA. August 12, 2019 – On August 9, at approximately 7:15am, Inyo County Sheriff’s Deputies, and a MINT Investigator arrived at a residence on Winuba Lane to serve an arrest warrant on Allen “Ziggy” Stone, a 29-year old Bishop man.

Deputies attempted to contact Stone in a travel trailer he had been confirmed to be staying in. Stone failed to answer the door and barricaded himself inside. The Special Enforcement Detail was activated to respond, and additional units from CHP and the Bishop Police Department arrived to assist.

Stone exited the travel trailer wearing body armor and holding an improvised explosive device. Stone attempted to detonate the device in his hand while surrounded by family and law enforcement. After a short struggle, Stone was disarmed and taken into custody. No injuries resulted from the incident.

A search of the travel trailer was conducted and an additional improved explosive device was located along with a large amount of handgun and shotgun ammunition. The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office Explosive Ordnance Disposal Expert took possession of the improved explosive devices and later defused them.

Stone was transported to the Inyo County Jail and booked on the existing Inyo County felony warrant and additional charges of: attempted murder, assault likely to produce gross bodily injury, possession of destructive device, possession of materials with intent to make destructive device, attempt to ignite any destructive devise with intent to injure, obstructing or resisting executive officer using threats force or violence, felon in possession of body armor, felon in possession of ammunition, violation felony probation, obstruct or resist officer. Stone’s bail has been set at $650,000.

Earline Virginia Bronson

November 12, 1916 – August 3, 2019

On the evening of August 3rd, Earline Virginia Bronson passed from this life into the arms of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Earline passed away at age102, at home in the Bishop Care Center, accompanied by family members. Earline was born in Waterloo, Iowa on November 12, 1916 to Earl Hook and Esther Woodruff Hook. Earline married Glen Edward Bronson on March 25, 1935. Earline and Glen had two daughters, Carol and Glenola and a son, Gaylen. The family moved to California in 1949. Earline moved to Big Pine in 1995 and was a member of the First Baptist Church. She resided in the Bishop Care Center since 2005. Earline is survived by her daughter, Glenola Edwards and husband, Vernon; Gaylen Bronson and wife, Patti. She is also survived by her devoted son-in-law, Hank Schoenmeier. Earline had 9 grandchildren, 25 great grandchildren, and 22 great-great grandchildren. Earline was delighted to have a large family and was always eager to welcome them to her home and of course there would be special food treats for all who visited. She daily praised, honored and worshiped the Lord.

Thy word is a lamp to my feet, and a light unto my path” Ps 119:105 Her family believes there was a special heavenly celebration as Earline is again with loved ones who have proceeded her: Glen, her beloved husband of 57 years, her daughter Carol Bronson Schoenmeier, her sister Dorhy Maiers, and her father and mother. Earline’s remains will be cremated and no formal public service is planned.