Archive | August, 2012

Kody Patten To The “Graveyard” ESP?

Posted on 31 August 2012 by Howard Copelan

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Teddy Costanzo, father of the murdered Mickie, told the court Friday that he wanted nothing more than to see Kody Patten “leave prison in a box”.

His wish may come sooner rather than later.

All prisons have nicknames Alcatraz was known as the “Rock”, Pelican Bay – “Skeleton Bay”, San Quentin is known as the “Arena”. Nevada’s Maximum Security Prison in Ely, Patten’s probable future home is called the “Graveyard”.

According to former and present inmates Ely Max earned its name due to what they call the larger than normal number of deaths at the facility than other prisons.

“Ely State Prison is a place of death, stagnation, misery, pain, loneliness and indeterminate lock down. If you were to take a walk on one of these depressing tiers back here in “the hole,” you would hear many disembodied voices ring out, yelling in anger and frustration, trying to tell you how bad it is for us in here, in between the isolated confines of steel and stone.” Wrote an inmate under the pseudonym of ‘Coyote’ “…I can see why Ely State Prison is labeled “The Graveyard,” there are so many deaths there. It is a locked down, maximum security prison, all but half of one unit – the workers unit – which is on one side of Unit 8…”

And based on his crime, his sentence, his psychological profile, and his propensity for violence Ely Max is the probable final destination for Kody Patten.

Unmoved by his lawyers contention that Kody Patten was dupe in the brutal murder of Micaela “Mickie” Costanzo White Pine District Judge Dan Papez sentenced the former West Wendover High School student to the maximum life without parole Friday in Elko District Court.

The scheduled seven hour hearing actually was over after three hours and the bombshells implied by the defense failed to materialize or were duds. In the months and week before the sentencing Patten’s lead attorney John Pohlson of Reno said the might present entries Toni Fratto, Patten’s accomplice, made in her diary of her hatred for Mickie Costanzo indicating that the motive for her murder was Fratto’s jealously.

Patten’s first stop is the Nevada State Prison in Carson City where he will be classified and processed. For Patten his possibilities are few. He will either stay in Carson City, the state’s medium security facility, or be sent to Ely Max.

According to a prison official who spoke on the condition of anonymity Patten’s brutal crime virtually assures him of a one way ticket to the “Graveyard”.

“…Deterioration is a normal occurrence in here. In fact, if you were to ask the prisoners around here if they think the conditions here will get better or worse, most of them will tell you things are only going to get worse.” Coyote continued. “Pessimism and hopelessness permeate the minds and attitudes of the average prisoner in here. There’s nothing much to look forward to, besides the next meal, and maybe a letter in the mail, if you’re lucky.”

In a grizzly punctuation mark to the blog, White Pine County detectives were called in just last week to investigate another possible murder at the facility. Clayton Lavell Wrencher, 49, was found dead in his cell Friday.

Wrencher, like Patten, was serving a life without parole sentence. For Wrencher that life term ended up being less than four years.

While neither prison or sheriff investigators are releasing the cause of death as of press date, Coyote wrote one his blog: ”Rumor has it there was another death at Ely State Prison, on the date of August 17th, 2012. Allegedly, someone had choked their cellie to death. This supposedly took place in Unit 8, on the workers’ side this time. It remains to be seen if the wardens will completely close Unit 8 down, permanently. There was just a death in Unit 8, earlier this year, in march, on the non-workers side, which resulted in that wing of Unit 8 being locked down permanently.

Any time something like this happens at Ely State Prison, all of the prisoners are punished, whether they had something to do with it or not. This is called “Group Punishment,” and it really serves no significant purpose, other than to mete out more repression to the prisoners. It obviously does not stop more deaths from occurring.”

How many times has someone killed their cellie at E.S.P.?  And out of all the times this has happened, when has the Administration ever said, “We are going to stop letting you have cellies!”? Never. In fact, most of the deaths that happen at Ely State Prison happen in the cells, by their cell mates, allegedly.

So wouldn’t it make sense to forbid the prisoners to be in a cell with other prisoners? Yes, of course it would make sense, but it is highly unlikely that this would ever happen, because the Administration needs to cell prisoners up with other prisoners, or else they would have no other place to put them. So Administration does what they need to do, to serve their interests, at the cost of other prisoners’ lives, and to shift the blame from themselves, they keep finding ways to take it out on all of the other prisoners that had no involvement, meanwhile, year after year, more prisoners die.”

The number of murders at the “Graveyard”, inmates insist, is by far exceeded by suicides, accidental deaths and officially unknown causes.

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Newmont Responds To Wendovers’ Comments

Posted on 31 August 2012 by Howard Copelan

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Newmont officials reacted with what can be described as cautious optimism to West Wendover and Wendover, Utah’s comments to the BLM.

“Newmont respects the BLM process for soliciting comments on all of our projects including Long Canyon.  All interested parties, including the Cities, are encouraged to provide comment and we appreciate their input.  Regarding specifics in the Cities’ letters, Newmont had previously relocated facilities based on input from the Cities and the agencies.  Nonetheless, the BLM is required to evaluate environmental impacts from the proposed action and from other alternative suggestions.  We would anticipate that the BLM will evaluate an alternate siting of some of the facilities to determine the environmentally preferred alternative location. This is the natural and standard part of the NEPA permitting process.” Said Mary Korpi, Director External Relations Environmental and Social Responsibility Department. “In the letters the Cities also come to certain conclusions based on the limited information that they had regarding hydrology.  We look forward to a robust independent analysis of the facts and science to thoroughly define the hydrology and to develop more conclusive decisions that will be an outcome of the BLM process.  We also look forward to continued discussions with the Cities as well as a thorough and timely environmental review by the BLM.  Newmont is very excited about developing the Long Canyon ore body and the social and economic benefits that will come from this new mining operation.”

“Hydrology studies are underway but are far from complete.  Hydrologists from the cities and from Newmont had been working collaboratively on data collection.  As with any body of science, more information will lead to a better understanding and less uncertainty.  We look forward to the completion of more hydrology investigations which should give all of us more confidence in any conclusions.” Korpi added.

The sister cities comments were part of the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) that mandates environmental studies on any large development project such as the Long Canyon Mine.

The process which takes a minimum of two years includes public hearing in all the communities that could be affected by the project as well as a preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

Potentially important than the comments however was the statement made by West Wendover Mayor Donnie Anderson that from now on he and Wendover, Utah Mayor Mike Crawford would take a much more active role in the negotiations with Newmont and the Wendover Water Working Group.

Three weeks ago Newmont rejected out of hand a list of demand issued by the group as a nonstarter.

Apart from asking for an annual half a million dollars in cash from the mining company for the life of the mine, the Group also asked the company to fund the search and development of new water sources, guarantee the loan of the Johnson Spring Pipeline and various other demands.

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According to Korpi the company’s engineers estimated price tag for the entire laundry list was pegged it at around $40 million. Newmont’s figure is within shouting distance of the Working Group’s own estimated at just under $30 million according to sources.

But even the lower figure is considered a non starter by the mining company.

“I don’t know why but a lot of cities don’t get the fact that private enterprise has to turn a profit,” said an real estate developer the Advocate asked to examine the Working Group’s Proposal. “These demands make the project unprofitable that is why the company dismissed them. From what I understand they were so far out in left field that there is absolutely no common ground to negotiate from. The Water Working Group probably lost all credibility with Newmont as a serious partner.”

“Newmont was surprised on Friday, June 22, when we received a detailed proposal regarding a variety of financial and non-financial considerations under which the Cities would be the beneficiary.” Korpi said.

“From now on Mayor Crawford and I will be a part of the negotiations,” Anderson said. “And no one is going to send a proposal in with my name on it that I haven’t seen.”

 

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Vive Le Triplettes de Bonneville

Posted on 31 August 2012 by Howard Copelan

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The French team “The Triplets” set records galore on the Salt last week and featured the world famous Bonneville Salt Flats on the nation French Network Television 1.

Thierry Fornerod set the first record on the vintage motorcycle followed by a second by Serge Campistron and the hattrick was delivered by the driver Frank Figuls.

Videos of the Franco effort can be scene at http://videos.tf1.fr/auto-moto/exclusif-les-records-de-vitesse-a-bonneville-7473772.html.

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Dull Outrage

Posted on 31 August 2012 by Howard Copelan

For a year and a half we like many of our readers wondered about the motive behind the brutal killing of Micaela Costanzo.

Watching Kody Patten Friday address the court and Mickie’s family we finally figured it out.

Kody Patten and Toni Fratto brutally murdered Mickie Costanzo because they could.

It wasn’t jealously or rage or even as one of our bloggers suggested Satan worship, it was simply the two murderers were perfect halves of an evil whole. Their separate selves fed off of and encouraged each other to commit the most terrible crime we have ever reported and that most of us never thought possible here.

They proved it was possible and in the slow stupid way they explained it with a shrug of their shoulders, a few tears and two “ I dun no’s”.

Evil is boring as it is banal and because it is and they are so dull, the sin they committed is so outrageous.

It is right to feel outrage and it is right to demand justice and it is right that Fratto and Patten suffer the rest of their lives.

Maybe they might feel a twinge of guilt now and again.

But frankly we could care less.

 

It is disheartening to see the dearth of Democrats on the ballot again this time around.

The abandonment of the rural Nevada by the party the used to represent farmers, ranchers, coal miners and railroad workers is sad and also frightening.

While most of the votes are in the cities, we in fly over country are part of this country too.

And how can a party govern when it does not even have a presence in whole swaths of this country?

The last three and a half years have provided an answer.

It can govern but it can’t govern well.

 

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Elko Rocks (Climbing that is) by Shoshana Zohar

Posted on 31 August 2012 by Howard Copelan

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The sport of rock climbing is becoming more and more popular these days, and with Elko’s population growing, that trend is not likely to slow. Proponents of the sport say it’s a great way to explore the local landscape, to get in shape, and to make friends—after all, there’s nothing like putting your life in another person’s hands (and holding theirs in your hands) to forge bonds.

Rock climbing gives people a chance to be physically present in the environment like few other sports do. The view from the top of a mountain after successfully scaling one is said to be beautiful and deeply personally satisfying. Lamoille is an especially popular climbing destination in Elko County, credited with having the tallest climbable ice west of Colorado by rockclimbing.com. And for the less adventurous, Lamoille’s large boulders and cliff heights just off the side of the road make excellent climbing or bouldering destinations.

Rock climbing trains you to overcome fears and to adapt physically and mentally to setbacks and hardships. It trains the body’s senses of balance and of proprioception—that being the sense of knowing where your body parts are in relation to each other and to the world around them. It’s the sense that enables you to walk without constantly looking at your feet, to modulate the volume of your voice, and to grip objects hard enough to hold them steady but not so hard you hurt your hand.

There are many different types of rock climbing and some are definitely only for experts. Beginners may take to indoor climbing (on a rock wall in a gym) or bouldering. Bouldering can be done almost anywhere. These climbs generally last about five minutes each. Climbers ascend to a height of about eighteen feet off the ground, then climb or just jump down to the ground to begin a new climb. It’s a much more accessible way to learn the skills of climbing.

Beyond those types of climbs are free rock climbing (little to no equipment), alpine climbing (which requires some knowledge of weather patterns and avalanche survival), ice climbing, aid climbing, and solo climbing. Aid and solo climbs are for experts only: aid climbs can last several days and may include camping directly on cliff faces and solo climbs are, of course, done solo.

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Rock climbing can look like an intimidating sport to try to get into. Even relatively safe climbs may require harnesses, special shoes, helmets, chalk and chalk bags, belays, and certified experts. But for the newcomer, Elko’s Great Basin College has climbing facilities and experienced teachers who are willing to help climbers at any stage and skill level.

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Elko District Court August 27, 2012 Judge Nancy Porter Presiding

Posted on 31 August 2012 by Howard Copelan

FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT 

 DEPARTMENT 1

COURT SCHEDULE

LAW & MOTION CALENDAR

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August 27, 2012

3:00 PM – CRIMINAL MATTERS (OUT OF CUSTODY) 

   CR-FP-11-1597 Guerrero, Raul (DA/Green) Change of Plea (Possession of a Schedule I or Schedule II Controlled Substance for the Purpose of Sale)

   CR-FO-11-1179 Fisher, Jeffrey Lowell (DA/Stephenson) Arraignment (Burglary) CR-FO-11-1485 Campbell, John Henry (DA/Lee) Sentencing (Attempted Concealing or Destroying the Evidence of the Commission of a Felony)

   CR-FP-11-1565 Lunsford, Patricia Lynn (DA/Foster) Sentencing (Driving Under the Influence with Two or More Prior Convictions)

   CR-FO-11-278 Martin, Charles Norval (DA/Hillewaert) Arraignment/Status Hearing (Uttering of a Forged Instrument)

   CR-FO-09-2526 Coombs, Jerry A. (DA/Hillewaert) Change of Plea (Uttering of a Forged Instrument)

   CR-FP-10-1377 Christison, Steven Roger (DA/Stewart) Sentencing (Possession of a Controlled Substance)

   CR-FP-12-425 Lawson, Donald James (DA/Stewart) Arraignment (Possession of Dangerous Weapon)

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West Wendover Justice Court August 27, Judge Reese Melville

Posted on 29 August 2012 by Howard Copelan

 

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WEST WENDOVER MUNICIPAL COURT

EASTLINE JUSTICE COURT

Tuesday, August 28, 2012 9:00 a.m.

MC-CR-M-12-5448 Gina Maria Tsoufakis Formal Cr. Arraignment Interference with Peace Officer

JC-CR-M-12-5685 Sylvia Yvonne Oates Formal Cr. Arraignment Battery

MC-CR-M-06-1423 Indelisa Jauregui Status Hearing DUI- First Offense, Failure to Maintain Lane

JC-IN-TR-11-4683 Sara Guerrero-Garcia Citation Cr. Arraignment Permit Minor to Drive

JC-CR-M-12-5405 Antonio Andre Sanchez Formal Cr. Arraignment Domestic Violence or Battery

MC-CR-M-12-5253 Salvador Maldonado Figueroa Formal Cr. Arraignment DUI – 2nd Offense Failure to Stop at Red Light, Improper Turn, Failure to Yield

 

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Wendover Backs Off Demands, Approves Newmont Mine With Minor Changes

Posted on 28 August 2012 by Howard Copelan

Letter – Long Canyon Mine Plan of Operations – BLM

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BREAKING NEWS: Kody Patten Gets Life Without Parole Exclusive Video

Posted on 24 August 2012 by Howard Copelan

Videos courtesy KSL TV

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Unmoved by his lawyers contention that Kody Patten was dupe in the brutal murder of Micaela “Mickie” Costanzo, White Pine District Judge Dan Papez sentenced the former West Wendover High School student to the maximum life without parole, Friday in Elko District Court.

Testimony of Teddy Costanzo, Kip Patten & Kody Patten

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Papez Sentencing

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The scheduled seven hour hearing actually was over after three hours and the bombshells implied by the defense failed to materialize or were duds. In the months and week before the sentencing Patten’s lead attorney John Pohlson of Reno said the might present entries Toni Fratto, Patten’s accomplice, made in her diary of her hatred for Mickie Costanzo indicating that the motive for her murder was Fratto’s jealously.

Patten’s girlfriend Toni Fratto was sentence this April to 18 years to life on one count of second degree murder after striking a plea bargain with the Elko District Attorney office. Originally facing a first degree murder charge like her boyfriend District Attorney Marc Torvinen allowed the 19 year old teen to plead to the lesser charge in exchange for her testimony against Patten. According to Patten’s own attorney John Ohlson of Reno, Fratto’s testimony would have almost assured his client ending up on death row if the case went to trial.

Less than a week after Fratto was sentenced Patten also accepted a deal.

The plea bargain was almost identical to a January deal Patten first agreed to and then rejected just hours before the change of plea was supposed to be entered.

“It was the sensible thing to do,” Ohlson said at the time, adding that if some of the details about the killing came out at trial, “It would be difficult to avoid the death penalty.”

Patten’s sudden refusal to take the earlier deal had a far ranging implication. Less than 24 hours after the news broke that the plea bargain was busted, Fratto copped her own deal with the DA. And Fratto’s testimony against her former boyfriend is devastating.

“Before she gave her affidavit the chances of Patten getting the death penalty were pretty slim,” said a source close to the case. “Yes the DA had the confession but the defense had some pretty good supposed mitigating factors as well as another defendant they could pin some of the guilt on who wouldn’t testify against Kody. After her plea and especially after her affidavit the all that change. That (the affidavit) is a death penalty affidavit.”

In a three and a half hour interrogation by Elko District Attorney Marc Torvinen, Fratto gave the prosecution evidence that could have put Patten on death row. According to her attorneys Fratto told the District Attorney that Patten spent more than a week planning Costanzo’s murder to the last detail.

Fratto also told the DA that after he had abducted Costanzo from West Wendover high school, Patten sent her a text message and a photo of his young victim while Fratto attended a Wendover Recreation district meeting where her mother Cassie is a board member.

In exchange for that damning proffer, Fratto agreed to plea guilty to second degree murder.

Click link below for Fratto’s statement to prosecution

Fratto – Proffer statement

“He was just an awful kid,” said one of his elementary school teachers who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “He attacked other students, used vulgar and obscene language. I couldn’t turn my back on him couldn’t even let him sit with the rest of the class. But the worst thing was that when you tried to discipline him his father Kip would come and threaten to sue the school. Kip would argue every single point of Kody’s infractions. Finally instead of suspending him for one thing a wrote out a list. I think the longest was 14 separate major infractions in one week.”

The younger Patten’s behavior was so out of control that he was taken out of the classroom by the time he was in 6th grade and by the time he was in junior high school, teachers actively sought to have him expelled.

“A number of Kody’s teachers, myself included, argued regularly that he be expelled to protect students. The administration seemed intimidated by his parents,” wrote one of his Junior High School teacher’s on the Advocate’s web page www.coyote-tv.com.

When contacted this week that teacher provided a litany of the younger Patten’s more egregious and memorable offenses.

“This was junior high, pre-teenagers, I never thought I would ever push for the expulsion of so young a kid but he was unbelievable,” the teacher said. “Like I said in my post, his parents mostly his dad Kip fought for him tooth and nail. I am all for dad’s sticking by their sons but it’s a father’s job to raise a good man not a murderer.”

Fratto on the other hand was described as a meek girl who was barely noticed in school.

 

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Wendover Water Group Demands $40 Million To Support Newmont Mine

Posted on 24 August 2012 by Howard Copelan

Click Link Below For Full Water Group Demand Letter

newdemands

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$30 million to $60 million is the estimated price tag the Wendover Water Working Group demanded of Newmont for the sister cities’ support of the Long Canyon Mine and to which Newmont executives dismissed as a nonstarter.

A verified copy of the ‘confidential’ proposal was obtained by the High Desert Advocate last week and is published in this edition.

Apart from asking for an annual half a million dollars in cash from the mining company for the life of the mine, the Group also asked the company to fund the search and development of new water sources, guarantee the loan of the Johnson Spring Pipeline and various other demands.

According to Newmont Director External Relations Mary Korpi the company’s engineers estimated price tag for the entire laundry list was pegged it at around $40 million. Newmont’s figure is within shouting distance of the Working Group’s own estimated at just under $30 million according to sources.

But even the lower figure is considered a non starter by the mining company.

“I don’t know why but a lot of cities don’t get the fact that private enterprise has to turn a profit,” said an real estate developer the Advocate asked to examine the Working Group’s Proposal. “These demands make the project unprofitable that is why the company dismissed them. From what I understand they were so far out in left field that there is absolutely no common ground to negotiate from. The Water Working Group probably lost all credibility with Newmont as a serious partner.”

“Newmont was surprised on Friday, June 22, when we received a detailed proposal regarding a variety of financial and non-financial considerations under which the Cities would be the beneficiary.” Korpi said echoing comments made two weeks ago by Newmont’s local liaison Pamela Smith that the demands were simply not realistic.

Through its acquisition of the Big Springs Ranch property, Newmont owns one third of the water rights of Johnson Springs with the remaining one third owned by the city of West Wendover and another individual.

The spring and the wells supply a major part of West Wendover’s and Wendover Utah’s water supply and the development of the Johnson Springs system and pipeline proved crucial to the Wendover boom in the 1980’s.

With current mining processes water intensive an underlying fear among some Wendover officials and casino industry executives is that a major source of Wendover water could dry up.

As early as two years ago West Wendover city councilwoman Emily Carter voiced her concerns about the ‘water situation’ and how West Wendover needed to protect itself.

While Newmont does own a third of the Johnson water rights, the mine is in a very precarious phase of the permitting process with the federal government with the project’s Environmental Impact Statement only now being prepared. While legally the company could use its water rights, it needs the mine approved. If one or both Wendovers formally oppose the mine a permit would certainly be delayed or even killed depending on how much opposition the cities can muster.

Next Monday an emergency meeting of the West Wendover city council will be held over the city’s endorsement or rejection of the project as part of that process.

“I don’t think it would ever come down to that,” said West Wendover Mayor Donnie Anderson two weeks ago. “Everyone I have talked is totally for the mine. It means growth and good paying jobs. And anyone who has been to Elko or Carlin knows that Newmont is a great company with good relations with the community. I am sure that we can come to an agreement that is good for Newmont and for Wendover.”

Anderson’s sentiments were repeated by Wendover, Utah Mayor Mike Crawford. While a member of the working group Crawford distanced himself from the confidential proposal when interviewed Wednesday.

“My number one concern is that the water system is not threatened,” Crawford said. “But we in Wendover, Utah want to see this project go through. West Wendover can write whatever kind of comment they want but they won’t be speaking for Wendover, Utah or for  the water system which we are a 50 percent partner.”

The project is enormously popular in Wendover and it is likely that any official publicly opposing it would be committing political suicide especially this election year.

Privately some concede that the water working group may have over reached, lulled into a false sense of security by previous Newmont largesse to Wendover. Since coming to the Nevada/Utah border town last year Newmont has become one of the largest if not the largest contributor to local government, schools and charities.

“As the proposed Long Canyon mine and facilities would be adjacent to Big Spring and the mining operations could have the potential to impact the spring, Newmont has been working collaboratively with the cities of West Wendover and Wendover to identify and construct water development measures.” Korpi added. ”Our efforts are to ensure that the Cities are kept whole with regards to water to ensure long-term sustainability for all parties involved.  Newmont has proposed to provide the Cities with an alternative source of water and supporting infrastructure to be used during the mining activities.”

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Further damaging the relationship between the potential employer of hundreds of local workers is what Korpi characterized as undisclosed negotiations between West Wendover and the BLM concerning the project.

“We also learned recently that an alternative plan requiring modification to various Long Canyon project components and major facilities was discussed between the Cities and the BLM.  During the preparation of the Plan of Operations Newmont had relocated facilities based on requests from the Cities and had been told that these changes were acceptable.” She added. ”Based on the need to clarify  these recent requests, Newmont submitted a letter to the Mayors and City Managers of the Cities requesting ongoing dialogue so that the needs of both the Cities and Newmont can be resolved.”

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