Archive | July, 2013


Posted on 29 July 2013 by Howard Copelan






July 22, 2013

   CR-FO-12-391 Melendez, Christopher (DA/Shurtz) Arraignment (Grand Larceny)

   CR-FO-13-353 Bryant, Cynthia Ann (DA/Lee) Arraignment (Unlawful Taking of a Motor Vehicle)

   CR-FP-12-1565 Whitney, Anthony Scott (DA/Macfarlan) Arraignment (Attempted Possession of a Controlled Substance)

   CR-FP-12-1221 Estrada, Ricardo (DA/Lockie) Arraignment (Driving With an Amount of Prohibited Substance in the Blood or Urine With Two or More Prior Convictions)

   CR-FO-12-1605 Garcia, Sergio Dominguz (DA/Lockie) Arraignment (Attempted Possession of a Document or Personal Identifying Information to Establish a False Status or Identity)

   CR-FP-12-839 Uribe, Francisco Marin (DA/Foster) Change of Plea (Possession of a Controlled Substance)

   CR-FP-12-1055 Uribe, Francisco Marin (DA/Foster) Change of Plea (Possession of a Schedule I or Schedule II Controlled Substance for the Purpose of Sale)


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Ely Max Murder: Rewards Attract Snitches Against Ofeldt, Trial Delayed Ok’d

Posted on 26 July 2013 by Howard Copelan

One Man At War Against Prison


Michael "Big Time" Ofeldt with attorney Charles Odgers

Michael “Big Time” Ofeldt with attorney Charles Odgers

The fairy tale that the lowest form of life in prison is a snitch is proving to be just that– a fairy tail at least in the case of James Ofeldt.

With rumors of better treatment and perhaps even transfers from Ely Max to other much more lenient prisons, inmates are said to be lining up to volunteer testimony against one of their own.

click link to read motion: ofeldtmotion

James “Big Time” Ofeldt is accused of the May, 2011 murder of cell mate Erik “Bingo” Hauser.

Ofeldt has never denied killing his cell mate but has insisted that he was acting in self defense.

WEN07052013A10Ofeldt’s attorneys have laid at least a preliminary case of self defense and according to more than a few pieces of correspondence between prison officials and the White Pine County Sheriff’s office they may have enough to raise at least a reasonable doubt in the minds of jurors.

Documents obtained by the Advocate at least suggest that both investigators from the prison and the White Pine County Sheriff’s Department did not dismiss that angle out of hand.

According to those and other documents Ofeldt was fingered for killing to seal a truce between two white prison gangs the Aryan Warriors and the Skin Heads. Ofeldt, the correspondence suggested, was accused of ironically being a snitch by the Aryan Warriors and Houser was picked for the job.

wrecsocialmediaadThere is however apparently a difference between snitching and snitching.

While Ofeldt was reportedly facing a death sentence for the mere suspicion of ratting out a fellow inmate, those who have agreed to testify against him are allegedly being rewarded with better conditions and even transfers out of Ely Max to much nicer facilities at Lovelock medium security.

According to court documents at least  four inmates who were all in Ely Max at the time of the killing and who are listed as witnesses for the prosecution in the case all four have since been transferred to the medium security prison in Lovelock. One of those four, whose names have not been released, is described as the leader of the prison gang who put the contract out on Ofeldt.

While life in Lovelock is by no means paradise, to inmates at Ely Max it is a much better place to do time.

ConnectMore-halfpageUnlike the 23 hour lock down and numerous head counts in a place known by cons as ‘The Graveyard’, Lovelock Correctional Center offers a wide range of programs for all of the inmate population and an opportunity to enroll in educational classes in pursuit of a GED, high school diploma or college degrees. Lovelock’s Legislative approved program, Structured Living Program is one of the most successful. SLP initially started as a 10 week military-style institutional orientation program. With the popularity among inmates to enroll, this program quickly expanded to a six month regimen with opportunities for inmates to earn Merit Credits, attend classes, programs, education, attain jobs and participate in physical fitness training. Lovelock has begun offering inmates some vocational training in areas of dry cleaning, culinary food service, and automotive maintenance and repair. Lovelock also has its own medical and mental health staff serving the inmate population.

ocawrecApart from the alleged rewards another motive for Ofeldt’s fellow inmates could be simple revenge– James “Big Time” Ofeldt is not a nice guy.

From the day he arrived in 2004 Ofeldt has apparently been at war with Ely State Prison waged against both staff and fellow inmates alike. According to his prison disciplinary report, Ofeldt has spent almost half his so far nine years in prison under one form of discipline or another and close to four years in solitary confinement otherwise know as disciplinary segregation.

Most of the infractions Ofeldt was punished for were violent from fighting, assaults on other inmates to assaults on guards. His longest stretch in solitary began on October 31, 2009 and ended shortly before he killed cell mate Hauser in May 2011.

That long stretch in isolation could also play a role in his defense.

dahlwrecLast year, Judge Dan Papez found the potential of violence so great that he granted the prosecution motion that Ofeldt wear a stun belt during his upcoming trial.

Ofeldt was recently examined by Dr. John Matthew Fabian PSY.D., J.D., ABPP. According to his website. Dr. Fabian is one of a few national expert witnesses who is both board certified in Forensic and Clinical Psychology, and Fellowship Trained in Clinical Neuropsychology.

Dr. Fabian was formerly director of a state court psychiatric clinic, and he has worked and testified in adult and juvenile court psychiatric clinics, state forensic hospital, and Federal Bureau of Prison Forensic Studies Unit.  Dr. Fabian  has also worked as a clinical neuropsychologist at University of New Mexico School of Medicine Center for Neuropsychological Services and Veteran’s Administration Polytrauma Traumatic Brain Injury and PTSD Unit.  Dr. Fabian is an unparalleled expert witness having earned his Juris Doctorate to compliment his extensive forensic  expertise.

In a phone interview Tuesday with the High Desert Advocate Fabian said he was asked to evaluate whether or not Ofeldt may have felt his life was threatened when the inmate killed Hauser.

While Fabian declined to tell his conclusion, the fact of his report still to be completed prompted the prosecution to agree this week to a defense request to continue the trial now set for April 2014.

While Fabian did not mention whether Ofeldt long periods of isolation could form a part of an insanity defense, the months if not years he spent in solitary would certainly figure on his state of mind.


click for latest Newmont Notes

click for latest Newmont Notes


The effect of solitary confinement on mental health has been studied and discussed by psychiatrists since the 1930s. According to psychiatrist Stuart Grassian, a specialist in the area, inmates are more likely to under-report than to over-report its effects (i.e., “Some of the guys can’t take it—not me”). Grassian has found that common effects of solitary confinement include increased sensitivity to stimuli, hallucinations, and other changes in perception, as well as cognitive problems including memory loss, difficulty thinking, and impulsiveness. These effects may together constitute a unique syndrome, sometimes called “SHU syndrome”. Others term it “Social-Sensory Deprivation Syndrome”.] Grassian’s 1983 study of inmates at Walpole State Prison is credited with identifying (duration and degree of) sensory deprivation as an important variable in mental health outcomes. Craig Haney built upon Grassian’s findings and found the following symptoms present among inmates housed in SHUs: anxiety, headaches, chronic tiredness, trouble sleeping, impending nervous breakdown, perspiring hands, heart palpitations, loss of appetite, trembling hands and nightmares. Haney also found that suicidal thoughts, perceptual distortions, chronic depression, emotional flatness, violent fantasies, social withdrawal and ruminations were present among these inmates a short time after admittance into the SHU.

WEN07052013A10Some have argued that evidence for a unique syndrome is insufficient and accused its proponents of bias because they advocate for prisoners in legal cases relating to solitary confinement. A study conducted by the Colorado Department of Corrections found that solitary confinement did not undermine mental health, and suggested that inmates in isolation often had mental health problems that should not be attributed to the isolation itself.

The International Red Cross considers Solitary Confinement  to be a form of psychological torture when the period of confinement is longer than a few weeks or is continued indefinitely.Negative psychological effects have been documented, leading one judge in a 2001 suit to rule that “[Solitary confinement] units are virtual incubators of psychoses—seeding illness in otherwise healthy inmates and exacerbating illness in those already suffering from mental infirmities.”

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Extreme Heat Killing Mustangs, Emergency Round Ups Planned

Posted on 26 July 2013 by Howard Copelan



By Chris Hanefeld

Public Affairs Specialist BLM

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Ely District, Caliente Field Office is scheduled Tuesday, July 23, to begin an emergency helicopter gather to relocate 50 wild horses threatened by severe drought from the Seaman Herd Area (HA) to off-range pastures and facilities.

WEN07052013A10Worsening drought conditions in eastern Nevada have resulted in emergency conditions within the Seaman HA that seriously threaten the health and well-being of these wild horses. Although some rainfall has occurred, the moisture has been insufficient to break the drought, which has left extremely limited amounts of water and forage in the area.  Henneke body condition scores (BCS) within the Seaman HA range from poor (BCS 1.5) to moderately thin (BCS 4). Wild horses with a BCS of 2 or less are at risk of death if they remain on the range, given the current drought conditions. The BLM estimates that about one third of the horses need to be urgently removed from the area.

The BLM has been closely monitoring drought conditions and since early July has been supplementing the natural water seeps, filling tubs and troughs with water, and providing hay to the horses. Unfortunately, these animals are extremely skittish and will not drink from the man-made containers.  Even with the extra water, the seeps do not provide enough water to sustain them.

wrecsocialmediaadThe BLM will utilize the services of gather contractor Cattoor Livestock Roundup, Inc., which uses a helicopter to locate and herd wild horses toward a set of corrals. The pilot is assisted by a ground crew and a domesticated horse that is trained to guide the horses into the corral. The use of helicopters has proven to be a safe, effective and practical means by which to gather excess wild horses with minimal anxiety or hardship on the animals, and is authorized by the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. Although the BLM had considered alternative methods of trapping, veterinarians have advised that due to their rapidly declining health, there is not enough time to individually trap the 50 horses.  Horses removed from the range will be transported to the Delta Wild Horse and Burro Facility in Delta, Utah.

During the gather it is anticipated that as an act of mercy, some animals with a poor prognosis for survival may need to be humanely euthanized to end their suffering. Without these actions, it is highly likely that more animals, particularly wet mares and foals, would suffer over time and die if left on the range.

ConnectMore-halfpageA Wild Horse Gather Information Line has been established at (775) 861-6700. A recorded message will provide information on daily gather activities and schedules. The BLM will also post daily gather information on its website at

Public lands within the HA will be open to the public during gather operations, subject to necessary safety restrictions, and the BLM will make every effort to allow for public viewing opportunities. Due to the emergency nature of this situation, the BLM appreciates advance notice from visitors wishing to attend the gather.  Visitors are encouraged to sign up prior to arriving by calling the Gather Information Hotline (775) 861-6700 and leaving a message.

dahlwrecThe Seaman Herd Area Emergency Wild Horse Gather and its impacts are described and analyzed in the Decision Record, which is available online at

The approximately 358,834-acre Seaman HA is located in Lincoln and Nye Counties, about 35 miles south of Lund, Nevada. Seaman is a Herd Area (HA), not a Herd Management Area (HMA).  The horses found within the HA are animals that historically have been there, but have never been able to be totally removed from the area following the Land Use Plan decision in 2008 to zero out or not actively manage them.  HAs are those geographic areas where wild horses and/or burros were found at the passage of the Wild Horse and Burros Act in 1971.  HMAs are those areas within Herd Areas where the decision has been made, through Land Use Plans, to manage for populations of wild horses and/or burros.  Seaman was determined to be a Herd Area due to the lack of suitable habitat, specifically inadequate forage or water.  HAs, including Seaman, lie within a Mojave Desert transition zone where trees and brush comprise the primary vegetation; relatively few grasses or forbs are present and water is limited.


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Baby Puts WREC Campaign On Hold

Posted on 26 July 2013 by Howard Copelan



WREC Board of Director hopeful Jon Dahl will take a day off campaigning this week to have a baby.

The 31 year old Starr Valley rancher and wife Tammy are expected their third child and first son this week.

“Even without the election it is a pretty hectic week.” Dahl admitted. “I have to get the hay in before the storms and the baby is coming anytime.”

A member of the Elko County and Nevada State Farm Bureau Board, Dahl said he was encouraged to run for a director’s seat by long time WREC Chairman Vernon Dalton.

wrecsocialmediaad“There has never been a director from Starr Valley on the board.” Dahl said. “And there are some issues we need to address such as three phase power for irrigation.”

Wells Rural Electric Company is a member-owned nonprofit cooperative which was incorporated in 1958 to provide electric power to at first Wells and later to all of the communities of rural Elko County and some parts of Tooele County, Utah.

The company holds elections for its board of directors every year. This year ballots will be mailed out by the end of July and due in by the end of August.

WEN07052013A10In addition to Dahl, incumbents Scott Egbert and Fred Montes de Oca and challengers Dale Lotspeich, Paul Bradshaw, Jim Whited and Chris Otto are also seeking a spot on the electric cooperative’s board of directors.

Wells Rural Electric is perennially rated as one of the premier electric cooperatives in the nation with some of the lowest rates for power in the United States and one of the best service records nationwide.

A June 2011 survey by the Edison Electric Institute found that the national average rate was 12.07 cents per kilowatt hour. Nevada’s average was 12.16. WREC is well below both marks at just 7.2 cents per kWh.


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WWHS Grad Translation Published

Posted on 26 July 2013 by Howard Copelan



West Wendover High School graduate Anna Mowszowski English translation of Heroism in the Forest: The Jewish Partisans of Belarus by Zeev Barmatz is now available in print and on line.

Originally written in Hebrew the book is published by KIP-Kotarim International Publishing.

wrecsocialmediaad“This book shatters the widely held belief that the Jews of Europe in WWII died ‘like sheep to the slaughter.’ Through riveting stories, with the help of firsthand accounts, Heroism in the Forest brings to life the world of the large and widespread Jewish resistance movement in Belarus.


Anna Mowszowski

Barmatz’s book is a must for anyone who wants to learn more about the armed resistance against the Nazis in Eastern Europe, as well as for anyone who thinks he already knows.” Wrote the review in Barnes & Noble booksellers.

A 2002 graduate of West Wendover High School Mrs. Mowszowski is the daughter of Advocate Publishers Howard and Corinne Copelan. She is also holds a Bachelor and a Masters degree from Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Linguistics and English Literature. She also headed the English desk  for the Israeli Army’s Press Relations Department during her service in the IDF. ‘Heroism in the Forest” is her first book length translation.

The book is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble in hard cover, paper back and e-book and will soon be available in the Elko County Library system and the Elko County School District.

The role of Jewish partisans in eastern Europe in defeating the Nazis is one of the most over looked stories in World War II. It was officially repressed by the Soviet Union because the presence of religious Jews forming one of the principal fronts against the Nazi’s conflicted with the Soviet narrative of the loyal atheist communist partisan.

After the fall of the Soviet Union the Jewish partisan role was also intentionally ignored or down played by the newly independent countries of eastern Europe which had a very mixed history in the war.

It was only in the last ten years with the release of the film ‘Defiance’ that the role of the Jewish partisan brigades began to be widely studied in academia and in the popular press.




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Lincoln Highway Centennial Riders Hit Wendover, Head To Ely, Then San Francisco

Posted on 26 July 2013 by Howard Copelan

Cars in Wendover and original route of Lincoln Highway

Cars in Wendover and original route of Lincoln Highway

Around one hundred classic automobiles cruised through Wendover this week as part of the tour to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Lincoln Highway.

Stretching from New York City’s Times Square to Lincoln Park in San Francisco, the Lincoln Highway was the first transcontinental road in the United States.

Conceived and promoted by Indiana entrepreneur Carl G. Fisher the Lincoln was formally dedicated October 31, 1913.

The Lincoln Highway is America’s first national memorial to President Abraham Lincoln, predating the 1922 dedication of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. by nine years. As the first automobile road across America, the Lincoln Highway brought great prosperity to the hundreds of cities, towns and villages along the way. The Lincoln Highway became affectionately known as “The Main Street Across America.”

wrecsocialmediaadThe Lincoln Highway was inspired by the Good Roads Movement. In turn, the success of the Lincoln Highway and the resulting economic boost to the governments, businesses and citizens along its route inspired the creation of many other named long-distance roads, known as National Auto Trails, such as the Yellowstone Trail, National Old Trails Road, Dixie Highway, Jefferson Highway, Bankhead Highway, Jackson Highway, Meridian Highway and Victory Highway.

Many of these named highways were supplanted by the United States Numbered Highways system of 1926. Most of the 1928 Lincoln Highway route became US Route 30, with portions becoming US Route 1 in the East and US Route 40 and US Route 50 in the West. Since 1928, many sections of U.S. Route 30 have been realigned with new bypasses; therefore, today’s U.S. Route 30 aligns with less than 25% of the original 1913–1928 Lincoln Highway routes.

ConnectMore-halfpageMost significantly, the Lincoln Highway inspired the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act of 1956, which was championed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, influenced by his experiences as a young soldier crossing the country in the 1919 Army Convoy on the Lincoln Highway. Today, Interstate 80 is the cross-country highway most closely aligned with the Lincoln Highway. In the West, particularly in Wyoming, Utah and California, sections of Interstate 80 are paved directly over alignments of the Lincoln Highway.

dahlwrec“Our goal is to gather 100 participants who will ship their historic vehicles to the U.S from overseas and spend 4 weeks crossing the American Continent on the Lincoln Highway.” wrote the Lincoln Highway Centennial Tour Group on their facebook  page. “This will help raise public awareness and renew interest in the Lincoln Highway during its centennial celebration. U.S residents are also encouraged to join the tour making it as grand and diverse as possible. The tour will conclude at the Lincoln Highway’s western terminus; the Lincoln Park in San Francisco on July 26th, 2013, having covered an approximate 3389 miles and journeyed through 13 states.”

After touring Wendover the classic cars headed south to Ely to continue their journey to the City by the Bay.


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Playing Solitaire

Posted on 26 July 2013 by Howard Copelan

Howard Copelan, Publisher

Howard Copelan, Publisher

In the early 19th century at the dawn of prison reform convicts in New England were given a choice of punishments for major infractions flogging or solitary confinement.

Most chose flogging.

We would too.

That is not to say that we are opposed to solitary confinement.

Indeed we believe it even the threat of it can be a very effective tool  in managing inmates, getting them to behave in a maximum security prison.

But given the choice of being whipped and being stuck in cell with no human contact for an unknown but lengthy period of time we would take the whipping.

We did sensory depravation once. It was part of an army course. We scored above average and even thinking about it now gives us the heebie jeebies.

It is said that there is no such thing as one human being.

The human brain is wired to be social.

Deprive it of contact it will cease to function normally.

Loneliness breeds insanity.

James Ofeldt by his record alone was a hard case and probably deserved every single moment of punishment he received.

But by the same token after more than a year in solitary he was probably nuts.

Heck we were drooling after a little more than 24 hours and we were above average.

We would imagine that Ofeldt’s psyche was wound up like a jack-in-the-box when he got out of solitary.

That he exploded into a killing rage should surprise no one.

Especially those that did the winding.

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White Pine Recall A Bridge Too Far?

Posted on 19 July 2013 by Howard Copelan



The White Pine Reform movement may have reached a bridge too far in its attempt to recall two White Pine County Commissioners Mike Lemich and John Lampros.

Last week three White Pine County residents James Adams, Timothy McGowan and Cheryl Ann Noriega filed notice of recall against Lemich and Lampros.

But filing for a recall is one thing, getting enough valid signatures to force a recall election is quite another.

wrechelp2According to County Clerk Lin Burleigh recall supporters must garner at 821 signatures of White Pine County voters who actually vote in the 2010 election.

“That’s 25 percent of the total number of voters who voted in the 2010 election.” Burleigh said. “The have 90 days, until October 8th.”

While not impossible the task is far from easy and perhaps made even more difficult because unlike the privacy of the voting booth the names on a recall petition are public record.

Ely and White Pine County are undergoing a kind of “Spring” of political change that has so far seen a massive change on the Ely City Council that factored heavily in the termination of long time City Clerk/Manager Jim Alworth.

And like the “Spring” political reform movement internationally White Pine’s reform/revolution social media plays a major if not central role in organizing the movement.

dahlwrecBut while the recall effort has received support from some members of the facebook page, none of the three White Pine residents behind the recall are in fact members of the page.

Perhaps the biggest winner in last month’s Ely City Election was not even on the ballot, in fact it was not even a person but rather a facebook page that may have forever reshaped local politics.

Begun in march by Ely resident Audrey Clark the little that could soon became a lively forum for citizens to express their opinions on just about anything political in Ely. Boasting then a little over 250 members  White Pine & Ely Politics is credited by many with tipping the scales in a close election by many locals.

“I started the group back in March 2013 as a way for me to learn about politics. I really knew nothing and thought it would be a great (fun) way for me to learn, Little did I know the ruckus it would cause! I am truly amazed how the group grew and transformed. A lot of people joined and seemed to enjoy having a place to discuss issues and try to find answers to things.” said page founder Audrey Clark.

WEN07052013A10“I have been told by many who live here in Ely that this group helped them become more informed on the issues then they have ever been in the past! This I find to be a great thing!!” Clark wrote in an e-mail.

“The election turned out to be quite a nail biter. When the early votes came in I was a bit disappointed. But when the next results came in I was Jumping out of my seat! Things had taken a turn for the better!!”

Now approaching the 350 member mark the facebook page is still the lively forum Clark hoped it would become.

Still it is one thing to win an election and quite another to force a recall.

“They will have to get the signatures and after they submit them we have to verify them,” Burleigh added. “ My staff is ready but if the do not get the amount during the time allowed there will not be a recall election.”

ConnectMore-halfpageWhile the process is intended to be difficult, should the recall drive be successful simple math suggests it would be very hard for either commissioner to win a recall election. If the two commissioners were force into a recall election both men would have to carry more than two thirds of the electorate that did not sign the petition to win, an obstacle perhaps even larger than the one now facing their opponents.

The notice against Lampros states: “Under John Lampros’ leadership, spending within White Pine County has exploded. With the recent commitment to a swimming pool that is far beyond our needs and completely over the top with costs of construction and known operating expenses, plus the reckless and completely unplanned attempt at replacing the County annex building, resulting in money being paid out for nothing. Purchasing the Ely Times building, with known problems, possibly with as much age and probably with as many problems as the current structure, and again unknown cost to make this building usable, coupled with other unbudgeted, unplanned expenditures, has seriously reduced fund balances leaving the County saddled with future debt loads beyond our means.

“Under John Lampros’ leadership, spending within White Pine County has exploded. With the recent commitment to a swimming pool that is far beyond our needs and completely over the top with costs of construction and known operating expenses, plus the reckless and completely unplanned attempt at replacing the County annex building, resulting in money being paid out for nothing. Purchasing the Ely Times building, with known problems, possibly with as much age and probably with as many problems as the current structure, and again unknown cost to make this building usable, coupled with other unbudgeted, unplanned expenditures, has seriously reduced fund balances leaving the County saddled with future debt loads beyond our means.

wrecfixedadThe current budget has a $1.4+ million shortfall not including these building commitments.

On numerous occasions, Lampros has exhibited very unprofessional behavior, use of vulgar language, berating individuals (including fellow commissioners), who dare to take issue with his pet projects, leadership style, or vote against his desires. Intimidation and physical pressure has even resulted in Sheriff investigations for assault.

We are asking the people to take this necessary action by removing John Lampros before this County is forced back into insolvency through continued mismanagement.”


The petition against Lemich read:

“Mike Lemich, along with the Chairman has spearheaded the economic disaster that this county now finds itself in. In addition to poor fiscal management, Lemich has taken very combative and pushed personal vendettas against the private operator at the Airport and members of the Airport Board. Accusations, intimidations, lies and outright threats against both the operator and their customers have far crossed the line of ethics. He has continued to press these issues, even though both county and private attorneys have stated that no legalities are at issue.

He has taken upon himself to dismantle the County Fire and EMS services, violating and/or subjecting the County to NRS violations and placing outlying communities in grave risks due to lack of timely services, while simultaneously negotiating land exchanges for the county.

He’s been the subject of several state and local investigations, including pending assault of a local citizen. White Pine deserves better.”

For recall supporters of two White Pine County Commissioners the magic number is 821


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Local Mickey D’s Comes Up Big For Lady Wolverines

Posted on 19 July 2013 by Howard Copelan



The local McDonald’s came up big for the West Wendover Ladies Basketball program with a $2,000 check present Tuesday. The money according to Head Coach Tyler Petersen will go toward the purchase of new warm ups for the Lady Wolverines. Picture from Left to Right:

Jose Marquez (Store Manager), Kim Derringer (McDonalds Corporate Manager), Coach Tyler Peterson, Ryann Gentry, Lisset Ruiz.



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Needs Report Authors Admit Errors, Make No Apologies

Posted on 19 July 2013 by Howard Copelan

Despite rather large evidence to the contrary, Wendover’s alleged lack of a hardware store figured prominently in the Community Needs Assessment Report.

Despite rather large evidence to the contrary, Wendover’s alleged lack of a hardware store figured prominently in the Community Needs Assessment Report.


Wendover businesses omitted in the city’s need assessment should not expect any apologies or retractions from the reports authors and have not received any from the city itself.

“The report was accepted by the city council,” said George Kleeb, Small Business Development Center Specialist at Great Basin College. “It is up to them.”

The report was indeed submitted and accepted by the city and was characterized as a smashing success despite some rather glaring omissions, errors of fact and erroneous statements concerning just what was present or lacking in the Nevada/Utah border town.

wrechelp2One of the largest errors was that according to the report West Wendover has no hard ware store, which came as a surprise to A & I Hard Ware owner Arby Stone.

“Maybe it is because we are so hard to find,” Stone said. “We are only a big building on Pueblo with a big sign that says ‘HARDWARE’.”

Kleeb defended the report by insisting that most of the information came from for days of town hall meetings his group held in Wendover and that the absence of a hardware store was mentioned.

But while the lack of a hard ware store was a comment made during the meetings the report itself added:

dahlwrec“One would think that with all the homes in West Wendover, the casinos, government buildings and other infrastructure, a local hardware store and a few handymen could exist and be profitable. While there is a hardware store on the Utah side, the study would indicate why these services do not exist on the Nevada side, and what is needed to justify their development. The casinos may prefer to employ their own maintenance staff rather than employ businesses to provide maintenance and repair services. However, this culture can change if it can be shown to be in the long term interests of the casinos and the local community.”

“The problem I have with this report is not that they didn’t see my business,” Stone said. “But if someone reads this report they might think it is a great idea to relocate to Wendover.”

In the second paragraph down the report suggest just that:

wrecfixedad“Again as with other services, it might be possible to speak to hardware and other business owners in Elko, and to an number of tradesmen, to see if they would be interested in traveling to West Wendover on a regular basis to provide services to that community. Of course, Elko businesses are extremely busy at this time with mining-generated business and may not have the spare capacity to go to West Wendover to provide additional services there.”

In addition to overlooking a hardware store the report cited there were no auto parts stores or mechanics in town.

Again from the report:

“It was also noted that certain types of businesses people might expect in a community the size of West Wendover/Wendover do not exist. Examples of these businesses are the lack of a dry cleaning business or an auto mechanic. To find these services residents need to travel almost two hours to go to Elko or Salt Lake City.”

While there is no dry cleaning plant located in Wendover there are about a half a dozen mechanics and a franchise auto parts store owned by Wendover, Utah Mayor Mike Crawford.

WEN07052013A10“No that you mention it I do remember seeing the hardware store,” said the author of that part of the report Carl Dahlen, Community Assessment Coordinator Nevada Rural Development Council. “But there are still parts of the report that are accurate and there may be other parts that are less accurate.”

Dahlen echoed Kleeb’s remarks that most of the fallacies of the report came from audience members not from the team.

But while team members put in observations they may or may not have known as factually wrong in some cases they did some rather heavy editing in others.

“Great Basin College came under heavy criticism,” Kleeb said. “Some said we weren’t offering enough classes or giving good service during the meetings.”

However the report glossed over those comments with “Increased opportunities for college classes such as classes offered by Great Basin College were mentioned. Participants expressed their concerns that the current curriculum offering at Great Basin College was not adequate to meet the demands of the community.”

According to the report, The West Wendover City Council invited the Nevada Rural Development Council (NRDC) to complete a Community Assessment for the City of West Wendover. Funding was secured through the Governor’s Office of Economic Development Community Development Block Grant program. The NRDC assembled a trained and certified resource team to assist in evaluating community challenges, assets and hopes. The team then developed suggestions for improving the quality of life, and the social and economic future for the West Wendover community. The four-day assessment began Monday, April 22, 2013 and concluded with a Town Hall Meeting in the West Wendover City Hall on Thursday, April 25, 2013.

ConnectMore-halfpageThe Resource Team began its visit with listening sessions at the West Wendover Jr. and Sr. High School where they heard the hopes and dreams of High School Students. The next day they received a tour of West Wendover including Wendover, Utah. The team participated in 15 listening sessions overall and received hundreds of citizen comments as well as comments through email and in writing.” Read the report.

Just as unapologetic as the authors is the West Wendover City Council and city staff.

The report is still offered on line for down load and  still called a great success on the city’s web page.


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