Archive - Jan 2012 - News Article
The calendar says January, but for some local folks it is perpetually Memorial Day weekend and Mule Days. Those folks at the Mule Days office are looking for a few good men or women to volunteer with arena events for this yearâ€™s 42nd annual mule festival.
The Mule Days Committee and office have put the word out that volunteers are in short supply this year and extra hands are welcome. Kim Craft, executive director of Mule Days, said the local Saddle Club are unable to volunteer this year and so a gap of about 30 volunteers needs to be filled.
Two Mammoth men, one of them a member of the Mammoth Unified School District school board, were arrested Wednesday in connection with their alleged sexual involvement with a 14-year-old Santa Barbara girl.
Dr. Andrew C. Bourne, 46, a recent chief of staff at Mammoth Hospital and head of vascular surgery, and Joseph T. Walker, 48, are being held on $1 million bail each.
By order of the U.S. Supreme Court, California must reduce its prison population starting this year. A solution by Governor Jerry Brown and state Legislators will be to send low-level, non-violent felony convicts to county jail rather than state prison.
Dubbed â€śinmate realignment,â€ť the program will also reduce the population at fire camps and crews like the Owens Valley Conservation Camp. The reduction statewide could be as many as 1,500 fewer inmates annually, down from 4,300.
Bart Chambers, Battalion Chief at the Owens Valley camp was unavailable for comments at press time.
A pump malfunction at Fish Springs Hatchery between Big Pine and Independence is being blamed for the death of approximately 40,000 trout.
According to Department of Fish and Game Public Information Officer Andrew Hughan, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power had shut off a pump that supplies the hatchery with water Wednesday morning. For some reason, the back-up pump for the facility was unable to supply enough water to one of the large holding ponds to keep the water circulating, which resulted in the death of the fish.
Murder suspect Harlan Dewey is scheduled for a settlement conference, or further case management on Tuesday, Jan. 10 in Inyo County Superior Court in Independence. Dewey has pleaded not guilty to two felonies, one count for murder and one of manslaughter.
A legal settlement has been reached to curtail groundwater pumping at Blackrock, the area between Independence and Big Pine. The settlement may also help raise the water table in Big Pine.
County leaders Tuesday decided not to support or oppose two separate but similar state ballot measure proposals that aim to raise taxes to fund realignment and other state and local programs.
The California State Association of Counties and Governor Jerry Brown are proposing similar measures to help balance the state budget.
The Board of Supervisors unanimously agreed that either measure would meet the countyâ€™s needs, and chose not to endorse either at this time.
A weak economy and state budget cuts have taken a chunk out of state libraries, prisons and education and now, local science and research.
The White Mountain Research Station, a staple of high-altitude related research and of the Owens Valley since 1950, has announced plans for a partial closure of some of its facilities.
Some year-round employees are being laid off for the winter and some full-time staff will be reduced to 50 percent, according to WMRS personnel.
The well attended Thursday night lecture series and the Barcroft Open House may be on the chopping block as well.
Inyo County is one of 34 California counties slated to receive early federal medical relief.
The County Medical Services Program Governing Board announced recently that it will expand health care coverage to an additional 30,000 low-income adults living in 34, mostly rural counties beginning Jan. 1 under the new Path2Health program.
Inyo National Forest is catching up with the times by offering reservations for wilderness permits online through the contractor Reserve America.
Reservations can now be made online at http://www.recreation.gov, www.recreation.gov or by phone at (877) 444-6777.
Though reservations are no longer being made through the Inyo National Forest Wilderness Permit Office, Forest Service Public Information Officer Nancy Upham said there will still be a Permit Office locally, which will be available to answer questions and direct reservation seekers to the appropriate websites and phone numbers.