Archive - News Article
June 15th, 2011
The greenery of spring and summer has popped up among the acres blackened and scorched by the Center Fire in Big Pine, March 18. However, that does not mean things are going back to normal for the small community or the 20 families that lost their homes to a blaze that, fueled by strong winds, seemed to cut through the community like a laser beam.
â€śThe relief efforts are on-going,â€ť said the Reverend Dr. Karen Moore of the Big Pine Methodist Church on June 6. Moore was accepting donations from the Bishop Youth Football League and Bishop Waste Disposal.
The after-effects of the multi-vehicle crash that killed four and injured 15 on Aug. 11, 2010 are still being felt. But now, much deserved honors are being bestowed upon an Inyo County sheriffâ€™s deputy for what many are calling courageous and heroic actions.
Shane Scott, recently promoted to investigator, was reportedly the first responder on the scene of the accident, and with little regard for his own safety, entered a burning vehicle to save the life of a 22-year-old college student, Drew Constantine Delis.
Originally planned to help a church in the Sendai Prefecture, a small group of local students and chaperones is in Japan helping to clean up after the devastating earthquake and tsunami.
Nine residents are part of the local Calvary Baptist Church group that had planned, as early as November, to go to Japan. Following the natural disaster of March 11, those plans have had to be altered slightly. Steve Stutler, leader of the group, said travel and other restrictions have been lifted only in the past few weeks and the group is still excited to go.
With summer here, Big Pine School is hoping to harness the sun to power the campus.
Last year, voters approved two bond measures that the school will be using to construct a solar array in the school parking lot.
According to Superintendent Pamela Jones, the project is expected to produce 200 kilowatts of energy per day and will cover approximately 80 percent of the schoolâ€™s energy use.
In addition to the savings on energy costs, the school will also be eligible for rebates through the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Jones said the rebates could total $500,000.
Questions about the involvement of alleged embezzler Daniel Casteel in a recent high-profile murder case, and exactly what Casteel got in return for his disputed testimony, continue to go unanswered as the Bishop man prepares for a court appearance next week.
Casteel is scheduled to appear in Inyo County Superior Court Tuesday, according to the Court Clerkâ€™s Office, for a settlement conference â€“ related to what, exactly, is unclear.
County leaders decided earlier this week that in order to maintain services at the Eastern Sierra Regional Airport, airport users will have to pay higher fees.
But those airport users, many of whom were at the Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday, say theyâ€™ll be paying higher fees for services they donâ€™t even need.
The county currently charges fees for a variety of services, including fuel, hangers and tie-downs. The last time the fees at the airport were raised was in 2005.
Residents are being offered an up-close and personal view this weekend of what one group is calling irresponsible land management practices.
Members of the California Native Plant Society will be leading a field trip in the Eight-Mile Ranch and Blackrock Springs area between Independence and Big Pine this weekend to visit a â€śdegraded alkali meadow habitat.â€ť
The degradation, according to the Bristlecone Chapter of the CNPS, is the direct result of too much groundwater pumping on the part of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and complicity on the part of the County of Inyo.
â€śIt keeps us out of trouble,â€ť Lefty Irwin said Tuesday after completing yet another set of handicapped-accessible stairs for an Inyo County resident.
Irwin and his band of fellow Lions Club members have been installing ramps and stairs for local handicapped or otherwise mobility challenged residents for more than 20 years.
The one built on Tuesday was the milestone 100th such creation that helps those with walkers and wheelchairs get out of their homes and get mobile.
Inyo County Agricultural Commissioner George Milovich says the Eastern Sierraâ€™s agricultural ventures are on the upswing.
During his annual Ag. Report to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, Milovich said that livestock, field crops and apiary industries generated more money in 2010 than they did in 2009.
In total, Inyoâ€™s agricultural industry brought in $2,419,420 more than the previous year.
Nearly two years to the day after being arrested, 20-year-old Louis LePlat has been sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for the murder of 23-year-old Bishop resident James Eric Rambeau, Jr.
A Ventura County jury found LePlat guilty of second-degree murder on April 29.
LePlat was arrested for Rambeauâ€™s death June 19, 2009 following a report of a stabbing on Winuba Lane, west of Bishop.