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January 9th, 2012

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.

Program offering Inyo health care relief

January 3, 2012

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.

INF revamps wilderness reservation framework

January 3, 2012

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, 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.

2012 Community Reads selection announced

January 3, 2012

Those who resolve to read more in the coming year can get a little help in the form of accountability thanks to the Inyo County Community Reads program.
Community Reads aims to encourage literacy by selecting one book for everyone in the county to read, from the school-aged to retired, and everyone in between.
This year’s Community Reads Program is unique because Inyo and Mono counties are teaming up and have invited a celebrity author to speak about what’s been called his empowering true story.

New Year ushers in new laws

January 3, 2012

A bevy of new laws will go into effect in California in 2012. Several of the new laws address homosexual, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues while others deal with carrying a handgun, illegal immigration and Internet sales tax. In all, more than 750 new laws are slated to go into effect on Jan. 1 or July 1.

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