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Roads, trails near Whitney damaged from storms

August 5, 2013

Two separate thunderstorm events that occurred the evening of July 21 and the afternoon of July 28 have caused damage to several roads, trails, and other infrastructure on the Mt. Whitney Ranger District of the Inyo National Forest.

Localized storm cells dropped several inches of water on to mountain slopes causing landslides, debris flows, and major rock fall. As a result, some roads are impassable to passenger vehicles and some roads are impassable to all vehicles and have been temporarily closed.

Mammoth to get high speed broadband by mid-August

August 5, 2013

 

Mammoth and some other Eastern Sierra customers can still expect to see higher broadband speeds by mid-August, but the completion date for the full Digital 395 project has now been moved to the end of October, according to the project’s CEO.

“We, along with about half of the rest of the NTIA (National Transportation and Information Administration) project proponents, asked for and received an extension,” said Michael Ort, the CEO for Praxis Associates.

“We are shooting for Halloween at the latest.”

Heist at Union Bank in Mammoth

August 2, 2013

Note: A previous version of this story stated that law enforcement was searching for a vehicle that might have been associated with the robbery of the Union Bank in Mammoth on Aug. 2. As of Monday, Aug. 5, 10 a.m., Mammoth police said "the vehicle and its owner have been located and identified. The MLPD is no longer seeking assistance in locating this vehicle."

See below for the story about this robbery, which occurred Friday afternoon, Aug. 2:

Mammoth police on Friday evening, Aug. 2, scrambled to find a man who robbed Union Bank earlier in the day.

UPDATE AUG. 2: Rodeo Grounds sold; buyer is not Mammoth Mountain Ski Area

August 2, 2013

Rusty Gregory says buyer is ‘a high quality individual with a great deal of integrity and the resources to develop if he chooses to'

One of the largest remainind undeveloped parcels of private property in the June Lake and Mammoth Lakes area, the 87-acre undeveloped “Rodeo Ground” parcel across the street from June Mountain Ski Area, has now been purchased by the family of Edward P.Roski Jr., the president and chair of the board of Majestic Realty Co.

Drought stalks the Eastside

August 1, 2013

Cattle, crops decline; experts say another dry winter will be devastating

The hot, dry summer of 2013 is not over.

But for some farmers, it might as well be.

Last week, when the National Weather Service posted a notice that all Eastern Sierra counties are in a state of severe drought, it was no surprise to the ranchers and farmers in the region.

Agriculture is a major revenue source for Mono and Inyo counties, (following recreation and tourism,) contributing about $77 million in 2012.

Aspen Fire difficult to fight safely

August 1, 2013

Officials say full containment estimated for Aug. 10

Mammoth’s battle with some of the worst air quality in recent history appears to be slowly coming to an end.

By Thursday morning afternoon, the Aspen Fire had grown to about 16,205 acres, and had a fire line around about 40 percent of it— a far cry from the earlier part of the week when the fire was under 10 percent contained.

There were about 1,940 firefighters assigned to the fire, and it has so far cost about $12.9 million.

Minaret Rd. closes for Bluesapalooza

August 1, 2013

Town approves traffic plan

With as many as 10,000 people expected to attend this weekend’s four-day Bluesapalooza and Festival of Beers extravaganza, the town once again has approved closing Minaret Rd. during the event.

The road, which connects with two thoroughfares, Main Street and Meridian Blvd., will shut down to through traffic on Friday, Aug. 2, at 10 a.m., and will remain closed until early Sunday, Aug.4, according to the town’s public works department.

Union opposes outsourcing Recreation

August 1, 2013

AFSCME: ‘Ill-advised, illegal and not in the community’s interest’

If Mammoth is to create a separate entity to manage recreation, it will have to resolve objections by the employee union that represents the town’s municipal workers.

In a sharply worded rebuke to the town’s effort toward establishing a nonprofit NGO called “Mammoth Lakes Recreation,” a spokesman for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) said such a move probably would be illegal.

UPDATE AUG. 6: Mammoth police seek help finding man missing since July 16; no new leads

July 31, 2013

The search for a man last seen in Mammoth Lakes and missing since July 16 has turned up no new information, after an investigation by the Mammoth Lakes Police Department and an informal search by some members of the Mono County Search and Rescue team along with other searchers, according to local law enforcement officials.

County takes home awards

July 31, 2013

Exhibit features three popular attractions

Mono County’s exhibit at the California State Fair County Exhibit competition was honored with a Gold Award as well as the award for Best for Use of Products, Produce or Artifacts on July 12.

No serious injuries for visitors leaving Mammoth airport, despite crash landing near Lone Pine

July 30, 2013

A group of Southern Californians flying from the Mammoth Yosemite Airport toward Southern California escaped serious injury Sunday, July 28, when the engine on their single engine Bonanza airplane failed about 500 feet in the air near Lone Pine and the pilot had to make a crash landing.

According to the Inyo County Sheriff's Department, "on Sunday, July 28, at approximately 12:45 p.m., a Southern California pilot, Sohail Simjee, departed from the Mammoth Yosemite Airport in a Bonanza single engine airplane heading southbound to Orange County.

FIRE UPDATE, JULY 31: Aspen Fire grows to 14,332 acres, is 35 percent contained

July 30, 2013

The Aspen Fire burning on the west side of the Sierra crest about 40 miles west of Bishop and slightly south of Mammoth only grew a few hundred acres yesterday and is now is at 14,332 acres, according to a Wednesday morning (July 31) update from the Sierra National Forest.

The fire is now 35 percent contained (there is a fire line around 35 percent of the fire).

RAW: Health advisory posted for Mammoth due to Aspen Fire smoke

July 29, 2013

Mono County's public health officer, Dr. Rick Johnson, along with the local air pollution control district, say the smoke in Mammoth reached air pollution levels as bad as in the days before wood-burning stoves were phased out in the early 1990's.

That's bad, as Johnson writes in a news release.

RAW: Bishop jogger accosted at gun point, perpetrator leads cops on high-speed car chase to Crowley Lake

July 29, 2013

A woman jogging on Ed Powers Road north of Bishop Monday morning (July 29) was accosted at gun point by a masked, Los Angeles man, who then fled the scene (without the jogger) in a red Mini-Cooper, leading police to Crowley Lake, where the man was finally arrested.

Recreation: Old wine, new bottle

July 29, 2013

Mammoth bigwigs make stride toward new entity

Eastern Sierra recreation leaders made their first tentative steps toward establishing a new recreation governmental entity—Mammoth Lakes Recreation—this past week.

A 32-member recreation “steering committee” gathered for the first of three meetings on Monday, July 22, with an aim toward getting a grip on the “state of Mammoth Lakes Recreation.”

Aspen Fire grows to 11,019 acres, smoke continues to pour into Eastern Sierra

July 29, 2013

The Aspen Fire burning near Huntington Lake and pouring smoke into the Eastern Sierra for the past few days has grown to 11,019 acres according to the latest forest service update issued on Monday, July 29, at 7 a.m.

Although the fire continues to grow, firefighters are making headway on "containing" the fire—or surrounding it with a fire line. As of Monday morning, the fire was 20 percent contained and there were about 1,400 firefighters fighting the fire.

The fire started on Monday, July 22 and was caused by a lightening strike.

RAW: LA man arrested after attempted murder, stabbing at Pearsonville, Kennedy Meadows area

July 25, 2013

A Los Angeles man was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of attempted murder and robbery at the Pearsonville Shell gas station located on U.S. 395 between Ridgecrest and Lone Pine, and, a few days later, a stabbing at the popular Kennedy Meadows recreation area.

According to the Inyo County Sheriff's department, on Sunday, July 21, at approximately 10:20 p.m., Inyo County Sheriff’s Dispatch was contacted regarding an armed robbery and stabbing that occurred at the Pearsonville Shell gas station.

Town Council approves TBID

July 25, 2013

Wood, Bacon vote ‘no’ in split vote

With a potential infusion of $4.7 million a year into the town’s tourism quiver for the next five years, the Mammoth Lakes Town Council this past week approved the creation of a Tourism Business Improvement District.

The vote, taken at the end of a long council meeting on Wednesday, July 24, was 3-2, with both Mayor Rick Wood and council member Jo Bacon voting against.

Voting in favor of the TBID were council members John Eastman, Matthew Lehman, and Michael Raimondo.

Fire fills Mammoth with smoke

July 25, 2013

Officials predict blaze to grow to 6,000 acres

The smoke above Mammoth and the Eastern Sierra that began on Tuesday, July 23, is not going to dissipate for at least a few days, according to the local air pollution control district.

The smoke is due to a 2,000-3,000-acre fire (at press time on Wednesday night, July 24) on the west side of the Sierra crest, north and west of Huntington Lake, near a reservoir called Mammoth Pool Reservoir.

Bears in Crowley Lake head for bad ending

July 25, 2013

Two generations of bears learn bad habits

Bears are relatively rare in Crowley Lake compared to Mammoth Lakes, but in the past few weeks, local residents have said at least one bear—and perhaps two—seem to be getting bolder.

“I get a lot of calls, a lot of concerns,” said Steve Searles, the Town of Mammoth Lakes’ wildlife specialist and known throughout the country as the “Bear Whisperer.” Most calls are about seeing a bear or about the bear getting into trash.

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