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County jails forced to take state prison inmates

October 21, 2011

When the state of California voted to reroute many prisoners who would have gone to state prison to county jails late last year, alarm waves cascaded through all the state’s 58 counties. Although the state assured the counties it would fund this “realignment” of responsibility and that the only prisoners released in such a manner would not be violent or sex offenders, local county officials were not reassured.

Bear mauling rumor is just that, rumor

October 17, 2011

Rumors of a "bear mauling" in the northern part of Mono County are just that, rumors, according to the Mono County Sheriffs Department. Here's what really happened, according to the sheriffs department:

On Tuesday, Oct. 11, at approximately 2:30 pm, Mono County Sheriff’s Department dispatch received a call regarding a reported bear attack near the Twin Lakes area in Bridgeport.

Man may have been missing in Buttermilk area since July

October 17, 2011

Inyo County officials are seeking a missing California man whose vehicle may have been parked in the Buttermilk climbing and bouldering area above Bishop since July.

The man, Richard John Malten, 64, is from Oregon House, Calif. He is described as 5’ 8”, 144 pounds, with curly brown hair and brown eyes.

According to the Inyo Register, a missing person’s report was filed last week by Malten's ex-wife.

According to the sheriff’s department, what is believed to be Malten’s 2001 maroon Jeep utility vehicle has been found. It may have been parked in the area, unattended, since July.

Redistricting forces Hansen out of hometown

October 17, 2011

You could call it an embarrassment of riches. Most communities in Mono County only get one supervisor to represent them. But for the past eight weeks, and until at least 2012, Lee Vining and Mono City will get two.

If that sounds a bit awkward, it probably is.

Wild Iris fundraiser at Mono Inn Oct. 26

October 17, 2011

Wild Iris Fundraiser at The Historic Mono Inn, October 26, 2011

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and to help bring awareness to the community and to raise funds that support on-going programs, The Historic Mono Inn, The Exhausted Parent Network and KMMT will host a fundraising dinner at The Historic Mono Inn Restaurant on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2011. Twenty-percent of the evening’s dinner proceeds will be donated to Wild Iris.

Recreation implementation strategy approved

October 12, 2011

Start with a vision and then develop a plan. That’s how Mammoth demonstrates its devotion to recreation. Town Council considered an implementation plan Wednesday for the previously approved vision.

The town’s devotion is unique in its two-pronged approach to recreation as both a quality of life concern and an economic concern, according to Carl Ribaudo, founder of the Strategic Marketing Group.

The group provided consulting services for the visioning and planning projects. He said throughout his 20-year career, he has never seen another town commit to both aspects of recreation.

If state fails, others will bail out Mono Lake

October 12, 2011

The Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve may become unbudgeted, but stakeholders will ensure that it never becomes unfriended.

Diverse factions met Thursday to explore strategies for protecting the reserve and continuing visitor services, if State Parks and Recreation should close the park.

A crowd of more than 50 people expressed the importance of keeping the park open Oct. 6. They did, however, disagree on how to manage it.

Forest Service announces snowmobile crossing decision, Sierra Nevada red fox involved

October 11, 2011

Jeanne Higgins, Humboldt-Toiyabe Forest Supervisor, released her decision for the snowmobile crossing location for the Pacific Crest Trail, just south of Sonora Pass near Bridgeport, California late last week. The Forest Service issued an Environmental Assessment (EA) and Decision Notice/Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) Crossing Project this week.

Higgins selected Alternative 4 as described in the EA. The EA describes three action alternatives and a no-action alternative.

Several roads closed, winter storm warning in effect until 5 p.m. today

October 5, 2011

Mammoth Lakes, and much of the Eastern Sierra above 7,500 feet elevation, awoke to anywhere from one to four inches of heavy, wet snow this morning, with more snow on the way today. Roads are wet and slippery and visibility is poor, due to wind and blowing snow. Chain restrictions are in place on some roads and the high mountain passes in and out of the Eastern Sierra are closed at this time, including the Donner Pass road/I-80 (westbound at Truckee).

As of this morning, according to Caltrans, the following road restrictions are in force:

June Lake man, Chuck Daily, dies Tuesday

September 29, 2011

A June Lake man, Charles William "Chuck" Daily, has died after an apparent suicide Tuesday.

A close friend of Daily’s, Alona Kenny, told the MT that friends found Daily’s body in his home Tuesday afternoon.

Daily, 71, was a long-time June Lake resident, and well known within the community.

Man who stole thousands worth of equipment from local campgrounds finally arrested

September 27, 2011

Investigators with the Mono County Sheriff’s Department arrested Mark Huddleston, 69, on Aug. for theft and possession of stolen property. Huddleston a resident of Milwaukee, Oregon, was taken into custody near Rock Creek Road in the area of Tom’s Place.

Bridgeport area fire now 100 percent contained, final containment expected Thursday

September 26, 2011

A 1,140-acre lightening-caused fire that began Sunday northwest of Bridgeport near Buckeye Campground and Buckeye Hotsprings is 100 percent contained, according to Mark Regan, a spokesman for the regional Incident Command team now in charge of the fire's management.

Buckeye Road is closed, Buckeye Campground is still closed, and the Twin Lakes Road is also closed at this time.

The Buckeye Fire started Sept. 25, 2011 around 11 a.m.

No structures have been lost and no injuries have been reported, the fire management team noted in a press release.

Mammoth Elementary celebrates big jump in test scores

September 23, 2011

‘It’s been a long time coming.”

That’s what Mammoth Elementary School Principal Roseanne Lampariello said after learning that her school had jumped 32 points in their state test scores last year.

For anyone in academics, 32 points in one year is a lot. In addition, the 32 points brought the scores past the magical 800 Academic Performance Index number used to determine whether meeting state educational standards — or not.

Poverty rises in Mono County

September 23, 2011

That historic spike occurred in Mammoth Lakes at the Mono County Department of Social Services this spring. Where normally 15 people seek relief daily, they numbered up to 90, with the majority applying for the CalFresh food program.

Some had never before experienced poverty.

“You’ll see people that are so uncomfortable that I just want to say they break your heart because you know they have really hit a hard time,” said Julie Tiede, Director of Social Services. “You know they don’t want to be there.”

What's Up, Up Here? All the news and gossip for Sept. 23-29

September 23, 2011

The bear that was tagged in Yosemite but wandered over to the Eastside has an amazing range. He’s been spotted in Lundy Canyon, Twin Lakes, June Lake and around Mammoth. He’s easy to spot because of a yellow tag on his ear. He’s been well behaved say wildlife specialists and has earned the nickname “Yosemite Sam.” ...

Says Dan Dawson of the Valentine Reserve: “There is an abundance of natural food this year.” Berries and currants abound and the bears are lovin’ it. ...

United makes it official: non-stop winter flights from San Diego, Orange County and expanded service from SFO

September 20, 2011

United Airlines on Tuesday did what it said it would do.

That is, the airline announced that it would make a commitment to Mammoth beyond one daily flight from San Francisco.

In addition, the airline tweaked its schedule with SFO in the hopes that it could alleviate a turnback/cancellation rate of over 30 percent last season.

No longer will the jets have to land in the dark and take off from Mammoth in the dark. Rather, the flights have been moved up to earlier in the day

But the big news comes from Down South.

Vons workers settle with company. Strike averted

September 19, 2011

The union representing about 62,000 Southern California grocery workers on Monday reached an agreement with three major chain food outlets, including the Vons stores in Mammoth and Bishop.

The tentative contract agreement also included Albertsons, Ralphs and Pavillion stores.

Negotiations began in February to compose a collective bargaining agreement that would replace the workers' previous contract, which expired in March.

The workers will be asked to ratify the agreement, which includes protections of health care and pension benefits throughout the life of the contract.

A 74-year-old backpacker breaks leg in the backcountry - Search and Rescue haul him out

September 16, 2011

A 74-year old man from New York was hauled out of the backcountry last weekend after an all-night hike by members of the Mono County Search and Rescue team.

On Friday September 9, the Mono County Sheriff Search and Rescue (SAR) Team responded to rescue an injured backpacker near Iceberg Lake, who was reported as having a leg that was "broken from the knee down," and was also possibly going into shock.

What's Up, Up Here? All the news and gossip for Sept. 16-22

September 16, 2011

From Dave McCoy, attempting to build a solar-powered off-road vehicle: “Last Thursday we made another big step with the electric UTV when the solar panel was installed onto the roof. It’s not going to run the machine by itself, but it will be able to provide a bit of electricity when we need it. “Now we are adding bigger motors and finishing the fabrication.” He’s updating on Facebook, by the way. ...

Congratulations to Mammoth Unbound team riders Kimmy Fasani and Chris Benchetler who got married in Mammoth last Saturday. ...

Big Pine Fire 95 percent contained

September 14, 2011

A fire that began near Big Pine Tuseday and at one point involved more than 2,000 acres, was 95 percent percent contained by Thursday, according to the California Department of Forestry.

The fire, officially called the "John Fire," began Tuesday at about 1:30 in the Crater Mountain area south of Big Pine.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

There was no immediate threat to structures, and the evacuation advisory was lifted Thursday morning.

U.S. 395 remained open throughout the event.

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