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Lightning causes at least three fires Monday, more lightning predicted Tuesday and Wednesday

August 20, 2013

A flurry of lightning strikes right above the town of Mammoth Lakes Monday afternoon, Aug. 19, left at least three trees on fire in three different areas of town and firefighters from both the Town of Mammoth Lakes and the Inyo National Forest scrambling to put them out.

Although the fires, which started at about 3 p.m. Monday, are now out, there is still the potential for more lightning strikes Tuesday and Wednesday, said Thom Heller, a fire fighter with the Mammoth Lakes Fire Department.

UPDATE: Fire three miles from Bodie closes road to state park temporarily

August 20, 2013

A lightning fire that started in Nevada and crossed the state line has moved closer to Bodie State Park in the past two days, according to federal fire officials.

As of Wednesday, Aug. 21, the Spring Peak Fire was about 14,300 acres and about 39 percent contained, according to a news release.

RAW: Search and Rescue teams help two hikers aided by Blackhawk helicopter

August 19, 2013

According to the Mono County Sheriff's Department, two search and rescue operations involving a helicopter rescue occurred over the weekend.

"On the morning of Saturday, Aug. 17, at approximately 10 a.m., Mono County Sheriff’s dispatch received a call regarding a fallen climber with potential arm and leg injuries in the Minarets." according to a news release from the sheriff's department.

RAW: Inyo County resident likely hantavirus victim, still in hospital

August 19, 2013

Dr. Rick Johnson, Public Health Officer for Inyo County, said that a local resident of Inyo County has been hospitalized with a clinical picture that is highly suspect of being caused by hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome (HCPS). Particularly during these summer months, hantavirus needs to be considered in anyone with a serious “influenza-like illness”, which includes fever, body and muscle aches, headache, cough, or respiratory difficulty.

Lloyd Cearley, 43, found dead in Sacramento River

August 19, 2013

Sacramento County authorities confirmed Monday the death of a 43-year-old Mammoth Lakes man, whose body was found in the Sacramento River on Saturday.

Details as to the cause of death of Lloyd Cearley were withheld as of Monday morning, pending notification of his father, according to a Sacramento County coronor's office spokeswoman.

Cearley, who was suffering from thyroid cancer at the time of his death, was in Sacramento County to see a doctor, according to a Facebook post from his sister, Nicole Cearley Van Alstine.

County receives lean budget

August 15, 2013

In they came, hats in hand, arguments polished and with undiminished enthusiasm.

They were the department heads of Mono County, who this past week engaged the Board of Supervisors in two days of intense jawboning over a $63.2 million 2013-14 budget that new Mono County Administrator Jim Leddy handed up.

It was the first time the board had seen the proposed final budget document. Previous to the opening of the budget hearings, which began on Tuesday, Aug. 12, the supervisors had been working under an interim budget that began on July 1.

Fire crews officially kill the Aspen Fire

August 15, 2013

 

It burned for 19 days, involved 792 firefighters and left a thick layer of smoke over Mammoth and the Eastern Sierra.

But on Saturday, Aug. 10, authorities declared the irritating, pesky, 22,253-acre Aspen Fire a dead and gone.

Its damage, beyond the trees in the Sierra National Forest in Fresno County, as of this week was being assessed in economic terms in Mammoth, where events organizers said the fire surely hurt the town during one of its peak tourism periods.

Digital 395 in Mammoth complete

August 15, 2013

The Digital 395 project, promising broadband Internet speeds to Mammoth, is a done deal.

One year to the day after Praxis Associates put their first shovel in the ground, Digital 395 became a reality on Tuesday, Aug. 13, when testing on the digital links between Reno and Mammoth was completed.

“We now have the capacity to deliver broadband into Mammoth,” said an obviously elated Michael Ort, the president of the fiber-optic company.

Raimondo: Town should buy Sam’s Woodsite

August 15, 2013

Just days after yet another success in a string of Bluesapalooza productions at the privately-held Sam’s Woodsite, at least one member of the Mammoth Town Council said it is time for the town to stop the dilly-dallying.

“We need to figure out how to own and to preserve that site,” Michael Raimondo said at the Town Council meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 7.

Foster care shortage leaves abused children doubly traumatized

August 12, 2013

Not far from the eternal news spotlight on sports and recreation and small-town politics, Mono County’s children are often invisible, making news only when the schools they go to do something meritorious—or the opposite.

That invisibility is especially true when it comes to children that have been the victims of child abuse—even the perpetrator rarely gets a public outing.

But child abuse is a real and pervasive problem in the county, like it is in the rest of the country.

Local frogs, toads still waiting for feedback

August 12, 2013

Three tiny high-altitude amphibians are at the heart of a county and state-wide controversy that could affect some of Mono County’s most popular recreation areas and agricultural areas, including Rock Creek, Convict Lake, the June Lake Loop, Saddlebag Lakes and more. The request for an extension was recently granted and the comment period now closes on Nov. 18.

The Mountain yellow-legged frog, the Yosemite toad, and the Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog are all native species that inhabit some high country wetlands, lakes, and creeks.

Mammoth recreation commission hears event venue options

August 12, 2013

In its effort to come up with a definitive study on the state of Mammoth’s event venues, a Chicago consulting firm this past week took a somewhat surprising approach.

In listing comparable resorts, the HVS Convention, Sports & Entertainment Facilities Consulting Group chose to ignore Mammoth’s closest neighbor to the North, Lake Tahoe.

That surprised Recreation Commissioner Sean Turner, who used some of his time at the commission meeting on Aug. 6 to question Thomas Hazinski, the managing director of the firm.

RAW: New cell tower proposed for Mammoth Fire Station

August 8, 2013

According to Mammoth Lakes Fire Chief Brent Harper, AT & T has approached Mammoth Lakes Fire Protection District with a proposal to install a cell tower at Station #2, 1574 Old Mammoth Road.

The proposed cell tower would be approximately 43 feet tall and use a “pine tree” design located at the front of the building.

The Mammoth Lakes Fire Protection District Commissioners and the administration want to ensure that the public is aware of the project and has a chance to comment.

Aspen Fire nearly contained

August 8, 2013

With the Aspen Fire largely contained, wildfire experts this past week began to analyze why this particular fire was so nasty.

First, by Central Sierra wildfire standards, it was in fact a big fire for the type of terrain, firefighters said.

As for its impact, particularly in populated areas such as Mammoth Lakes, people cannot recall anything quite like it—not, anyway, since the Rainbow Fire threatened to burn down the town in August 1992.

Kelly Clark, Mammoth Mountain Foundation form partnership

August 8, 2013

Two Mammoth-based nonprofit organizations have created a new scholarship program for student-snowboarders in Mammoth.

Olympic Gold Medalist and Mammoth resident Kelly Clark this past week announced she is throwing her Kelly Clark Foundation energy into the Mammoth Mountain Community Foundation, the Mammoth Ski and Snowboard Team programs, and to the Mammoth Unified School District.

‘Little Brothers’ Skate Park gets town OK

August 8, 2013

Young skateboarders and beginning riders won a victory this past week when the town approved the construction of “Little Brothers” Skate Park, to be situated alongside the larger Volcom Brothers Skate Park at the Trails End recreation complex.

The addition of the new skate park will help younger riders, said JLA Foundation president Jane Baer, who led the effort.

Construction on the project, which is funded entirely by JLA and in-kind donor contractors, is to begin this month and would be completed before the snow season.

Higher Internet speeds still on tap for mid-August

August 8, 2013

Suddenlink is still on track to deliver higher broadband speeds to its Mammoth Lakes customers by mid-August, according to Suddenlink spokesman Pete Abel on Wednesday.

The company expects to test the Digital 395 system this week and into next week, with a delivery date sometime soon after, he said.

He did not provide an exact date.

RAW: Reds Meadow wind storm cleanup could lead to delays beginning Aug. 7

August 7, 2013

The Inyo National Forest said in a news release that travelers should plan for delays of up to 20 minutes on the road between Minaret Vista and Agnew Meadows, beginning on August 7.

Delays should only affect this portion of the Reds Meadow Road.

Inyo National Forest is completing clean-up efforts in Agnew Meadows Campground and Agnew Group Campground resulting from the November 2011 wind event that caused wide-spread tree blow-downs. There may be traffic delays while logs are being removed from the valley.

RAW: Coroner Investigation into the suicide of a Coleville resident

August 7, 2013

Mono County Sheriff's Office Press Release:

On the afternoon of August, 6, 2013, at approximately 1:40pm, Mono County Sheriff’s Dispatch received a call regarding a possible suicidal male, age, 33, walking on SR 108.

UPDATE AUG 6: Aspen Fire winds down but will still produce some smoke for at least next few days

August 6, 2013

The Aspen Fire was at about 20,797 acres as of Tuesday morning, Aug. 6.

The fire was at 75 percent contained, meaning the fire has a fire line around about 65 percent of it, according to fire officials.

Fire crews have been using the cooler night air to create a stronger fire line by lighting of several hundred feet of brush and other fuels close to the fire line in order to create a thicker line of unburnable fuel to slow the fire's advance, forest service officials said. That process works, but it also puts more smoke into the air.

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