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January 10th, 2012

LADWP sues Mammoth over disputed water rights

January 10, 2012

Years of meetings and discussion could not bring a solution to water rights issues between the Mammoth Community Water District and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Now the matter is going to the courts as DWP is pursuing legal action to protect its water rights.
Cooperative efforts between the two agencies have been in the works for more than six years. The issue is over the water needed by the Town of Mammoth Lakes and the City of Los Angeles for future growth. According to LADWP, it has water rights that the district is “infringing” upon.

Bishop courthouse gets green light from state

January 10, 2012

State court officials recently completed a recommendation on how to proceed with court construction and maintenance projects in the midst of a struggling economy.
The Judicial Council endorsed several cost-cutting measures for court construction while green-lighting much-needed improvements in the judicial branch’s statewide infrastructure in December.
The council approved recommendations from the Court Facilities Working Group to cancel two construction projects in small counties and to seek cost-savings on others.

Mule Days volunteers are in short supply

January 10, 2012

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 year’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.

January 9th

Teen sex scandal shakes Mammoth community

January 9, 2012

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.

State program to reduce local inmate fire crews

January 9, 2012

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 “inmate realignment,” 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.

Thousands of fish dead at Fish Springs

January 9, 2012

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.

January 5th

Courts scheduled to discuss charges in local murder case

January 5, 2012

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.

Blackrock settlement means less pumping

January 5, 2012

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.

Supes choose not to choose sides

January 5, 2012

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 county’s needs, and chose not to endorse either at this time.

January 3rd

State budget cuts to impact research facility

January 3, 2012

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.

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