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February 17th, 2011

High profile cases return to court

February 17, 2011

Three high-profile criminal cases will be returning to Inyo County Superior Court today. Murder suspects Louis LePlat and Edward Keller, Jr. along with self-confessed arsonist John Christiana will appear before a judge today in Independence.
Christiana was scheduled to appear for sentencing Tuesday, Feb. 8 but, according to the Court Clerk’s Office, his date was pushed back due to a long calendar that day. The office also said he is acting as his own counsel, or pro per.

February 10th

American Legion ‘adopts’ local veterans

February 10, 2011

Members of the Big Pine American Legion are pooling their resources to honor and help local veterans.
Through its new Adopt-A-Vet program, the post has found a way to pay special tribute to community members deserving of recognition for their service to this country.
In 2011, the Big Pine Legion has selected Robert Cox and Robin Sparks, both of Big Pine, for adoption. To show the post’s appreciation, the Legion recently presented Cox with a Big Pine Warriors Jacket and Sparks with a $50 gift certificate for Kmart.

Students giving voice to centuries’ old library of literary treasures

February 10, 2011

High school students throughout Inyo County will be competing for the first year in the national Poetry Out Loud competition. Winners will go on to the nation’s capitol to compete for a chance at more than $20,000 in cash and prizes.
Poetry Out Loud challenges thousands of students in the U.S. to interpret, memorize and recite famous poetry. The class competitions have already been completed or are about to commence at high schools in Bishop, Independence, Lone Pine and Big Pine.

February 8th

IMACA to gather input on need in low-income sector

February 8, 2011

A series of town hall meetings will be held in March to gather input on the needs of low-income families throughout Inyo and Mono counties.
Jane McDonald of Inyo-Mono Advocates for Community Action said IMACA holds these meetings every two years to adjust its Community Action Plan, and attempt to meet the changing needs of the community. McDonald explained that this is a way for the group “to keep the finger on the pulse” of the community.
The meetings are also a way for IMACA to plan ahead, financially, in trying to meet demands.

Bocce Ball course opens at Bishop City Park

February 8, 2011

Bishop bocce ball beginners and experts now have a place to practice.
The Bishop Bocce Association and city Parks and Recreation officials recently completed construction of Bishop’s first bocce course at the City Park.
The $1,000 project began last year with fundraising efforts by the Bishop Bocce Club, and culminated Wednesday with a ribbon cutting ceremony and Mayor Jeff Griffiths throwing the first official ball.

Coso groundwater study completed

February 8, 2011

The Inyo County Water Department is accepting comments on the Coso/Hay Ranch Groundwater Transfer Project evaluation. The project has completed its first year of operation and has been evaluated and recalibrated by a third-party consulting firm.
The Conditional Use Permit for the project allows Coso Operating Company to pump water from its Hay Ranch property for use at its geothermal power plant. The Hay Ranch sits atop the Rose Valley aquifer.

February 3rd

ICE to use biometrics to track criminal aliens

February 3, 2011

Inyo is among six northern California counties to benefit next from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement strategy to use biometrics to identify and remove aliens convicted of a crime
Inyo and five other northern California counties, including Amador, Calaveras, Glenn, Modoc and San Benito, became the latest in the state to benefit from an ICE federal information-sharing capability this week.

Wenzel pleads guilty to Stolen Valor charges

February 3, 2011

What were once serious allegations concerning stolen valor, have now been confirmed.
The U.S. Department of Justice said Tuesday that Bill Wenzel, one-time candidate for Fifth District Supervisor and former commander of the Lone Pine Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8036, pleaded guilty to a single charge of “falsely altering military discharge certificates” and was sentenced to 50 hours of community service on Oct. 15, 2010. The community service was in lieu of a $500 fine.

$500 reward offered for info on burglary

February 3, 2011

Following a burglary on Monday evening, the Petite Pantry Restaurant is offering a $500 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the burglar or burglars.
The eatery, located on North Sierra Highway north of Bishop, was broken into, according to the owner Jay Jimenez. He said that sometime between closing on Sunday night and opening Monday morning a person, or persons pried open the back door of the establishment.

Future of Cottonwood Plaza looks promising

February 3, 2011

Cottonwood Plaza is still empty, but there is work being done to fill it. While waiting on environmental reports, the prospective buyer has reportedly been accepting bids to retrofit the plaza with new windows.
Realtor Stan Smith of Pleasant Valley Associates said Tuesday that everyone involved is awaiting the results of soil samples from the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board.
“No one’s backing out,” Smith said.

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