Archive | February, 2012

White Pine Court February 12, 2012

Posted on 26 February 2012 by Howard Copelan

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James Olfet

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Eugene Cole

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Maria Christina Elliot

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White Pine District Court Feb 13, 2012

Posted on 26 February 2012 by Howard Copelan

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Robert Michael Couch

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Wendel Eric Northrup

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Curtis Williams

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Devin Scott Cameron

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Steven Anthony Surrel

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Jack Bennett

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WOLVERINES TAKE STATE CROWN

Posted on 26 February 2012 by Howard Copelan

West Wendover’s Corey Bostock shoots over the Agassi Prep defense during their 2A state championship game Saturday at Lawlor Events Center. PHOTO TOM SMEDES RENO GAZETTE JOURNAL

For the first time in a decade the Burgundy and black are bringing home a state championship in Men’s basketball, with a 69-68 nail biter win over favorite Agassi prep Saturday in Reno.

Trailing by eight points with just a minute to go, West Wendover simply would not be denied this year. The Wolverines clawed their way back to the lead with three steals and then trailing by a single point too the lead with an eight foot floater from Senior Corey Bostock.

The team then played a suffocating defense as Agassi tried and failed to recapture the lead in the final seconds.

The Wolverines are coached by Scott Carsrud.

Roster: Manuel Flores, Justin Kidd,Corey Bostock, Kaydn Sharp, Sean McGahey, Avery Arrien, Javier Haro, Daniel Sanchez, Kylar Sharp, Juvencio Flores, Chuy Limon, Adrian Enriquez.

More exclusive photos in the next Advocate

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FedEx Coming To Wendover?

Posted on 24 February 2012 by Howard Copelan

Is FedEx coming to Wendover?

In one of its briefest meeting on record the West Wendover City Council approved the sale of 2.1 acres of industrial park land to the real estate management company RDC national for $190,000.

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It was the first major sale of industrial park land since the development opened two years ago.

According to the company’s website, RDC National, Inc. is a full service, national commercial real estate development company specializing in triple net, build-to-suit developments.  It has successfully completed projects for national corporate companies such as Cardiac Sciences, CDW, FedEx, Monsanto, Phillips, and Tractor Supply Company, among others.  It’s engineering, financing, and project management teams have the capability to manage every part of the development process from the initial site search and feasibility analysis through the final turn-key product.

It has an extensive commercial real estate development understanding and a project portfolio encompassing a variety of project types.

According to sources familiar with the project, the company will build and manage a small to medium sized shipping warehouse operation for FedEx.

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One of the worlds largest commercial and private delivery companies, FedEx also through its subsidiary Kinkos provides a wide range of business services from printing to telecommunications.

With an airport able to handle all but the largest commercial jets and located right on Interstate 80, and with one of the busiest rail lines in the country, Wendover has been touted for more than 20 years as an ideal hub for shipping company like FedEx.

However most of that touting has been by local Wendover politicians and businessmen. While several shipping and/or delivery companies have expressed some interest in the past Wendover simply could not compete against the established shipping hubs of Salt Lake to the east and Elko to the west.

Just like Wendover its two larger neighbor’s boasted airports, rail heads and close proximity to the Interstate highway system, plus much larger workforce that could staff major shipping and warehousing positions.

This time around Wendover may be benefiting from timing. The Salt Lake International airport recently announced plans for a $1.8 billion rebuild of its facility expected to last ten years. Cost of the project will be born by the airlines, say SLC Airport officials.

While promising now that the rebuild can be completed without an increase in fees assessed on air transport, Wendover relatively close proximity to Salt Lake could make it more attractive than in the past not only as a conveniently located facility to handle any over flow but also as a safety valve just in case fees in Salt Lake do go up.

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Boom Times Return To Border Town Of Wendover, West Wendover?

Posted on 24 February 2012 by Howard Copelan

The recent sale of Wendover industrial park land to RDC National is just the latest development in what could be a second major economic boom in Wendover in the next few years.

Indeed with a major gold mine in the Pequops being developed and another some 50 miles south ready to expand, the future for Wendover has never looked brighter. On the  other hand even as rays of economic sunshine can be clearly seen on the horizon many old timers would be forgiven if it is called a mirage.

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For over two decades developer after developer has come to the Utah/Nevada border town promising prosperity only to withdraw with at best half finished buildings and a trail of bad debt.

The difference this time around is the new industries promised are not reliant on the disposal wealth tourists bring into Wendover, but the real gold in them thar hills waiting to be dug out of the ground.

Wendover’s first boom began in the mid 1970’s when the price of a gallon of gasoline increased by over 200 percent in just five years. Until then the border town had just one casino and was a just a wide spot on the newly completed interstate.

Just 120 miles from Salt Lake Wendover was in the perfect position to offer gambling and cheap liquor to Utahans whose own state outlawed game of chance.

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Wendover boomed. In less than ten years four new casinos joined the venerable StateLine on the strip and the city’s population tripled. In 1991 the border town grew to two with the incorporation of West Wendover, Nevada. A shopping mall was built as well as housing projects and apartments and a golf course.

For residents and tourists alike the transformation was almost breathtaking and eleven years ago that West Wendover earned the title of Nevada’s fastest growing city by more than doubling its population from over 2,000 when the city incorporated in 1991 to well over 4,000 in 2001.

In addition to an almost exponential increase in single family homes West Wendover saw three new apartment complexes and three new mobile homes parks built in less than ten years.

Small retailers also flourished.

But at its peak in 2001 the boom began to bust. Facing financial disaster the StateLine Casino Corporation began to pare down its work force and unknown to many of its employees began to cut payments to the company’s health insurer.

The crisis reach its peak in 2002 when the company declared bankruptcy and was later sold at auction. Hundreds of jobs were lost and even workers who retained employment found their life savings wiped out by medical bills they thought they were insured for but were not.

But while the StateLine bankruptcy can explain the beginning of the bust the stagnation that followed cannot be put on the shoulders of a company that has not existed for eight years.

Instead Wendover’s economic stagnation is probably due to a combination of factors some within and some outside of the city’s control.

Small retailers and home based business owners have frequently complained about West Wendover’s over regulation of private enterprise that borders to the point of harassment.

From the color of paint to a building to exactly what merchandize a store may sell often becomes an item on the city council’s agenda.

Wendover’s only major industry was hit and hit hard by the Great Recession that began in 2007. Large expansions were put on indefinite hold and the casino workforce was trimmed and trimmed again.

With less money in their pockets, casino workers made fewer purchases and small business suffered.

In the past five years West Wendover has seen a number of relatively large retailers leave town such as Park Furniture, Bargain Barn Serendipity and Blanchard’s Furniture. Two years ago it saw the closure of one of its two full service banks, Nevada Bank and Trust.

The dearth of private enterprise is most acute in the retail industry which apart from Smith’s Food Store is virtually nonexistent in West Wendover.

Purchases as simple as a computer printer ink, a telephone or even a coffee maker available literally in a half a dozen locations in communities of similar or even smaller sizes as Wendover, often necessitate a 240 mile round trip to Salt Lake City to the east or Elko to the west.

West Wendover’s population shrank by largest rate and was just one of three Nevada cities to show a drop in population in the 2010 census. According to the census there 4,410 people in Wendover in 2010, a drop of 6.6 percent from the 4,721 counted in 2000 and more importantly a drop of more than 10 percent from its estimated population of a bout 5,000 from the state demographers office.

West Wendover’s population decline has also spilled across the border into Wendover, Utah. The much smaller sister city also reported a decline of about 10 percent.

Yet even as the census was painting a rather bleak picture for Wendover, good news or a rumor of good news was also reported.

In the Pequop Mountains less than 30 miles west of the border town gold was found and in a little more than three years the gold rush may come to Wendover according to officials from Newmont Mining.

In addition to being having ‘smoking hot’ ore the area is a stones throw from Interstate 80, has no endangered species living anywhere near it and does not have any significant archeological sites located on it.

Like the geologists the recent past, ancient Native Americans also apparently ignored Long Canyon.

Ignored no longer, the mine has the potential to radically alter the economy and the lives of eastern Nevada, residents of Wendover and Wells. The two cities who once looked with jealously at the boom in Elko and Carlin could soon have a mine to call their own.

Estimated to need 500 workers during construction and 250 miners once operations are ready, the Long Canyon mine could add at least 1,000 people to the area and that may be just the tip of a gold boom in eastern Elko County.

The same people who found a mountain of gold where no one else expected to find one in the Pequops range 30 miles east of Wendover are now looking for more of the yellow stuff just to Wendover’s south.

Animas Resources Ltd. Announced that it has signed a letter of intent to sell its interest in the Kinsley Mountain gold project in Nevada to Pilot Gold Inc.

Pilot Gold is led by the same management and technical teams that built Fronteer Gold, a strong growth company acquired by Newmont Mining Corporation for approximately $2.3 billion. In 10 years, Fronteer Gold grew from a $2-million venture shell into a well-funded, high profile, development-focused gold company. During this time, Fronteer Gold discovered or advanced seven deposits.

In addition to Long Canyon and Kinsley Mountain, other exploration in the area is also heating up including the old Victoria Mine near Currie.

Even as the promise of new industry brightens the horizon, Wendover’s old staple gaming appears to be on the mend and possibly growing. According to the state gaming control board Wendover clubs reported for only the second time in five years two straight months of gaming win increases.

 

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Local Man Killed In Wells Rollover

Posted on 24 February 2012 by Howard Copelan

A Spring Creek man was killed Friday in a single vehicle rollover south of Wells.

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According to Nevada High patrol reports Howard Luzier, age 56, from Spring Creek, Nevada was driving a 2001 Ford pickup southbound on US 93.  The truck traveled off the right dirt shoulder.  Mr. Luzier apparently over corrected to the left causing the vehicle to travel across both travel lanes and onto the left dirt shoulder.  Mr. Luzier over corrected to the right in attempt to regain the roadway and the pickup overturned on the east dirt shoulder.

Mr. Luzier sustained fatal injuries at the scene.  He was wearing his seat belt.

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Elko DUI, Felony Stupid

Posted on 24 February 2012 by Howard Copelan

Running from police is always a bad idea, running from police drunk as Terrance Zangraft of Elko learned is felony stupid.

According to Elko county Public Information officer Len Van Natter, deputies of the Elko County Sheriff’s Office witnessed Zangraft committing several traffic violations late on the afternoon of February 16.

“The vehicle passed several other cars at a high rate of speed in the area of the NDOT turn- out on the Jiggs Highway, near the intersection with the Lamoille Highway.” van Natter wrote in a press release. “The deputies gave chase, attempting to catch up.  The car continued to accelerate away at a high speed, despite the deputies’ emergency lights and sirens operating.”

Zangraft continued to flee south on the Jiggs Highway for several miles before stopping near the intersection with South Fork Road.  Zangraft, age 49, of Elko, was subsequently removed from the vehicle and taken into custody.

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Zangraft was transported to the Elko County Jail, where he was he was booked on suspicion of third offense DUI, eluding an officer, speeding, reckless driving, improper passing, driving with a revoked license, and failure to provide proof of insurance.  His bail was set at $4,764.00.

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Wendover Man Busted In Postal Pot Parcel Sting

Posted on 24 February 2012 by Howard Copelan

A postal package said to be reeking of marijuana lead to the arrest of a Wendover man last week.

According to police reports workers at the local post office called officers after a package addressed to John Mize of Wendover began to stink up the place with the unmistakable scent of marijuana.

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Officers arrived with a drug dog and with the canine confirming the smell, police applied for and got a search warrant for the parcel. Suspicion and nose were confirmed when the package was opened and the fresh grass was found.

Police then waited for the package to be picked up which it was that same day by Mize. The 58 year old Wendover man was arrested on the spot and booked on $737.00 bail.

Postal inspectors were also notified but winning a conviction against Mize may prove difficult. He could quite easily claim ignorance about what exactly was in the package. The official press release did not mention if the package had a return address.

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You Can’t Ignore Good News Either

Posted on 24 February 2012 by Howard Copelan

It is nice to be able to write some good news about Wendover after all these years and the glimmer of light at the end of this now eight year long tunnel.

It is not that this town will still have its problems. West Wendover is still over regulated and under served but, and it is a big but, prosperity makes all those annoyances easier to deal with.

It is also very important to remember that like bad news good news can’t be made up. Things will never be great simply because we wish it so.

Just as the devastating recession did not end by ignoring it or smiling when the dismal numbers were reported there will be no disguising the coming boom years as anything but good news.

Yes growth will generate a whole slew of problems from a higher crime rate to overcrowding in the schools but on the other hand those are problems we can well live with given the alternative.

 

We feel like Bilbo Baggins this election season and ask will the adventures never end?

At first it was entertaining but now three months into it and with no end in sight isn’t there a better way to pick a presidential nominee?

Locally of course candidates have not even filed. Yet the real important day to day things will always be decided on a local level. Mostly just who sits in the White House really makes not a whole lot of difference whether your taxes go up or down.

And the real important stuff like whether your kids do well in school and become decent hardworking people has nothing to do with politics at all.

The fate of our nation begins and ends with us.

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West Wendover Sells Land To RDC National

Posted on 23 February 2012 by Howard Copelan

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