Archive | August, 2013

Utah Bounty Hunters Face Felonies for Montello Fugitive’s Capture?

Posted on 29 August 2013 by Howard Copelan

martinrontello

Elko Sheriff’s Lt. Marvin Martin and Ron Tello

A Utah Bail Bondsman who brought in a reluctant client back to Ogden may find himself facing felony charges from the Elko District Attorney’s office, said Elko Sheriff’s Lieutenant Marvin Martin Wednesday.

“We have asked the District Attorney’s office to look into this,” Martin said. “We may have kidnapping, burglary, assault and battery to name a few. It was pretty unnecessary all they had to do was give us a call and we would have been there.”

JOHN HUGHES,

JOHN HUGHES,

John Hughes was first reported abducted August 20th by Montello resident Ron Tello. According to Tello two men and a woman driving a black SUV broke into his (Tello’s) home chased down and tussled with Hughes and bundled him into their vehicle and drove off.

Elko County Sheriff’s deputies and detectives spent almost a week investigating the incident before finally being told by the Weber County Sheriff’s office that Hughes had been delivered to jail by bail bondsman Tony Blake owner of Ogden’s 2nd Chance Bail Bonds.

Hughes was out on a $6,070 ball relating to a third degree felony arrest for the possession of methamphetamine. In Utah a third degree felonies especially those related to drug crimes are often pled down to a gross misdemeanor or simple misdemeanor with little or no jail time.

After making bail, Hughes did not make court date for sentencing July 31. Instead he went to Montello to work renovating an old camping trailer with Tello.

Hughes failure to appears resulted in a warrant for his arrest as well as confiscation of his bail which meant 2nd Chance bail bonds had to make good on a little over $6,000 to the court. The bail forfeiture proceeding was initiated on August 8th.

According to Ely Bail bondsman Bob Bartlett, the Ogden company could have had problems making up the loss to the court especially if Hughes had put up property for collateral.

BULL“Getting Hughes back and then their money was certainly their motivation,” Bartlett said. “They just went about it the wrong way. Every time I have gone after a bail skip I always notify the local law enforcement. At worst they will tell me I am on my own but often especially in rural areas they will show up to keep the peace. Sometimes their very presence helps calm every one down. It is very important to be on good relations with them and show them courtesy.”

In an interview with the High Desert Advocate Wednesday night, Blake said that he did not know Montello had no police force of its own and was under the jurisdiction of Elko county.

elkofair“We were told by our informant that Ron Tello ran the town, kind of like the boss,” Blake said. “Everyone seemed real nice when we drove in. We found Hughes working on an old trailer with a claw hammer. When he saw me he started swinging it and then took off.”

According to Bartlett a police presence also can help preclude a lawsuit against the bondsman by his quarry should force be necessary to bring him in.

“Most of the time people come quietly,” he added. “Even if the guy is wanted and skipped on bail we still treat them with respect. We usually don’t go smashing in doors and running down people like the bounty hunters on television. There are some people who do that. Frankly I think they get off on it but I have found that if you are courteous and respectful you won’t have a lot of problems. Besides the way the laws are now a bail bondsman can get into a whole lot of trouble by using force. It is a big gray area.”

borderbashAnd Blake the Ogden bail bondsman may have entered that gray area when he left Montello.

1sr_1345787030_1345787030.jpg.cfAlready Tello is talking about suing Second Chance Bail Bonds for damages the crew made when capturing Hughes.

“I got broken stuff all over the place,” Tello said. “Not to mention the fact that me and my neighbors in Montello were absolutely terrorized by those bounty hunters.”

Tello also lamented over the fact that with Hughes gone work on refurbishing the trailer had stopped and that he could not sell it.

“What am I supposed to do now?” Tello complained.

Meanwhile Hughes is in the Weber County Jail and not eligible for another bail. His next court date is September 25th.

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White Pine Recall Slaps Back At Defamation Suit

Posted on 29 August 2013 by Howard Copelan

elycourtThe defendants in the defamation suit of two embattled White Pine County Commissioners hit back hard in their response labeling the suit not only without any legal merit but also a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) that should be summarily dismissed.

Filed Thursday, the 30 page response from James Adams, Cheryl Noriega and Timothy McGowan answers the defamation lawsuits filed by White Pine county commissioners Mike Lemich and John Lampros.

click links for suit wpslapp1

The defamation suit was brought in response to a recall petition Adams, Noriega and McGowan filed last month against the commissioners.

BULLIf the court does rule that the defamation suit is in fact a SLAPP suit not only will the two commissioners be liable for the legal fees of the trio but such a ruling could give a major boost to the recall drive itself.

Such a ruling would almost certainly be hailed by recall supporters as proof not only to the allegations of bullying in the recall petition but that Lampros and Lemich are not very good at it either.

There is also the old political saying that no one loves a loser and if the defamation suit is tossed, Lampros and Lemich will be labelled at least in some corners as ‘losers’, the last thing either would want to be known as if the recall drive is successful and a special election is forced on them.

blmfirewoodAccording to Wikipedia: Strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) is a lawsuit that is intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition.

The typical SLAPP plaintiff does not normally expect to win the lawsuit. The plaintiff’s goals are accomplished if the defendant succumbs to fear, intimidation, mounting legal costs or simple exhaustion and abandons the criticism. A SLAPP may also intimidate others from participating in the debate. A SLAPP is often preceded by a legal threat. The difficulty is that plaintiffs do not present themselves to the Court admitting that their intent is to censor, intimidate or silence their critics. Hence, the difficulty in drafting SLAPP legislation, and in applying it, is to craft an approach which affords an early termination to invalid abusive suits, without denying a legitimate day in court to valid good faith claims.

elkofairSLAPPs take various forms. The most common used to be a civil suit for defamation, which in the English common law tradition was a tort. The common law of libel dates to the early 17th century and (unusual in English law) is reverse onus, meaning, once someone alleges a statement is libelous, the burden was on the defendant to prove that it is not.

While the defamation suit winds its way through court the recall drive also continues.

While a recall party in an Ely park was rained out last weekend, the drive is said to be gaining a significant number of signatures.

However drive organizer are running into some problems especially about who is and who is not qualified to sign the petition.

The most notable example so far is White Pine County Commissioner Mike Coster who discovered that because he did not vote in the 2010 election he could not sign the petition.

According to state law only those who actually voted in the original election of the office holder being recalled can sign the petition.

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

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

While the number of signatures is not available with the drive at the half way mark the petitioners should have a little more than half the number of signatures to have any hope of success of forcing the special election.

And while the drive would be buoyed if the defamation suit is thrown out of court, losing the summary judgement request could have an equally devastating effect on the movement.

Just as nobody likes a loser, a winner if not loved is at least respected.

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School Enrollment Utah Up, NV Down

Posted on 29 August 2013 by Howard Copelan

schoolpop

 

West Wendover Elementary lost almost a full class while across the border Anna Smith Elementary gain one according to first day enrollment reports.

According to the first day counts 577 nevada elemantary students should up for class Monday, down from the 602 reporting last year.

At the Anna Smith Elemtary the reverse was true with 281 starting the first day of school compared with 258 last year.

blmfirewoodThose number may however not hold. Traditionally in Wendover a small but significant number of children do not start school until after the Labor Day holiday. The offcial final count is in mid September for the Neva side school and in early October for Utah.

At the junior high and high schools levels the swings were much more moderate. At West Wendover High School  470 students were counted on the first day up six from 2012. Wendover High School reported 192 students down six from last year.

Until this recently both sides of town mirrored each other more or less in school enrollment. While the Nevada side’s school population has always been much larger than the Utah side both sides gained or lost students at relatively the same rates as the other.

BULLThe StateLine bankruptcy and the Great Recession both had a devastating impact on the population of both sides of town and both sides school enrollments. The West Wendover Elementary school for example lost about 30 students the equivalent of a class every year for five years from 2003 to 2009.

According to the census there are now 4,410 people in Wendover 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.

elkofairIn the past five years Wendover, Utah however has shown signs of great resiliency than its larger sister to the west. while no where near a complete recovery Wendover, Utah has logged some notable new development such as the new Nugget RV Park, the expanded Shell Service Center and the Dollar Store. West Wendover, Nevada on the other hand has met with little success apart from the addition of the Smith’s Gas Station the only large project West Wendover has seen in almost a decade was the City Hall and a city paid for industrial park that so far has one tenant.

This greater resiliency may be reflected in this years school population numbers as well.

Another cause for Utah’s increase could be in the easier access to local, state and federal government financial assistance.

While West Wendover, Nevada’s poor must travel to either Elko or Ely to even apply for financial aid Tooele County administers many of the same programs from its offices in Wendover, Utah City Hall.

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Blind Racer Conquers Bonneville

Posted on 29 August 2013 by Howard Copelan

Blind Racer Dan Parker and fan shortly before his historic run

Blind Racer Dan Parker and fan shortly before his historic run

In a place where traveling 400 mph is not unheard a paltry 55 mph might be nothing to write home about unless the driver is writing in Brail.

blmfirewoodLast week Dan Parker, became the second blind man to publicly operate a vehicle independently and the first blind man to race at the Bonneville Salt Flats. Parker, an experienced automobile builder and racer who lost his sight in a racing accident last year, completed a two-mile run on the famed Bonneville Salt Flats on a motorcycle he constructed himself, reaching an officially recorded top speed of 55.331 mph. Parker independently operated the three-wheeled motorcycle with the help of a GPS system that gave him audible cues in order to help him maintain a straight course. Parker made his run as part of the 2013 BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials.

BULLThe National Federation of the Blind is one of several sponsors contributing funds and equipment to help Parker complete his “Quest for the Salt,” and Parker wore leathers with the logos of the National Federation of the Blind and its Blind Driver Challenge. Additionally, the Federation’s Mark Riccobono, the first blind person to drive a vehicle without the assistance of a sighted person, witnessed Dan’s run, which was also documented on the NFB’s Twitter feed.

Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “We are pleased to congratulate Dan on his successful run on the Bonneville Salt Flats. Through his own effort, determination, and skill, Dan once again demonstrated to the public that, given the right tools, a blind person can safely and independently operate a motor vehicle, and he did so at an impressive speed. The National Federation of the Blind is immensely proud to have participated in this historic achievement.”

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If you are going to shoot, shoot. Don’t talk.

Posted on 29 August 2013 by Howard Copelan

Howard Copelan, Publisher

Howard Copelan, Publisher

Once again we find ourselves on the precipice of war and once again Barrack Obama is playing Hamlet.

Will he or won’t he?

If we were betting men we would give odds that he splits the difference again and does a very mild, limited strike that will accomplish little in the short run and could spell disaster in the long run.

There is no such thing as a limited war unless one can get the other side to agree on its limits. Even then keeping to one’s word is not really a high priority when one is involved in the mass killing of people.

In truth we see now difference between the indiscriminate use of nerve gas on a civilian population and indiscriminate conventional shelling of a civilian population.

Obama did and so last year he drew his now infamous red line.

It was quite a rhetorical flourish that meant absolutely nothing.

The Syrian regime has been crossing that red line for over a year.

Everyone knew it

But last week that the world got the photos.

It is put up or shut up time Mr. President and the real sad thing is we may be going to war to justify your sound byte.

The real sad part is that bombing Syria may be the least worst option we have.

If we don’t put action behind those words American soldiers will be looked at as sitting ducks all over the world.

And not only soldiers. American businesses, tourists, travelers will be targets because of this perceived weak president.

It is that kind of world.

We wish this undecider of a president would have chosen his words more carefully.

But he didn’t.

As Tuco said in the Good, the Bad and the Ugly: “If you are going to shoot, shoot. Don’t talk.”

 

In about a month the final school enrollment numbers will come out.

If they are anything like the first day numbers, it should be a wake up call for West Wendover.

It is not that anyone should begrudge growth on the Utah side of town but there really should be no reason why one side is growing while the other shrinks.

Well there is a good reason.

While West Wendover went on a public building spree and declared holy war on growth, Wendover, Utah did the opposite.

A drive through town is a study in contrasts. Every nook and cranny in Wendover, Utah is filled with business. Nothing as large as a casino but little shops offering just about everything.

Most of them would probably not meet any of the myriad of city codes on the Nevada side and there owners might meet with the Nevada city council approval.

It is nice to be so protected.

It is so nice that people are leaving.

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BREAKING NEWS; MONTELLO “KIDNAP” VICTIM JOHN HUGHES FOUND IN UTAH JAIL

Posted on 27 August 2013 by Howard Copelan

ELKO DEPUTIES ARE INVESTIGATING THE DISAPPEARANCE OF THIS MAN, JOHN HUGHES, WHO WAS ALLEGEDLY TAKEN AGAINST HIS WILL FROM HIS MONTELLO HOME AUGUST 20. SEE THURSDAY'S EDITION OF HIGH DESERT ADVOCATE FOR COMPLETE STORY.

JOHN HUGHES, WHO WAS ALLEGEDLY TAKEN AGAINST HIS WILL FROM HIS MONTELLO HOME AUGUST 20 WAS FOUND IN A UTAH JAIL. ELKO DETECTIVES SUSPECT HUGHES WAS ABDUCTED BY BOUNTY HUNTERS. DESERT ADVOCATE FOR COMPLETE STORY.

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Establishing Requirement for Commercial Breeders of Dogs and Cats

Posted on 27 August 2013 by Howard Copelan

PUBLIC NOTICE OF FILING OF CITY OF WEST WENDOVER ORDINANCE PURSUANT TO N.R.S. 266.115

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that City of West Wendover Ordinance No. 2013-02, with Summary and Title as follows, was filed with the City of West Wendover Clerk on August 20, 2013:

Summary: West Wendover Ordinance No. 2013-02 Adds Title 4, Chapter 12 to the West Wendover City Code Entitled “Commercial Breeders of Dogs and Cats”; Establishing Requirement for Commercial Breeders of Dogs and Cats to Obtain an Annual Permit, Establishing a Fee for the Permit, Providing What Must Be Contained in the Permit and Providing the Form of the Application for the Permit.

Title: An Ordinance, as Amended, Adding Title 4, Chapter 12, of the West Wendover City Code Entitled “Commercial Breeders of Dogs and Cats”; Establishing Requirement for Commercial Breeders of Dogs and Cats to Obtain an Annual Permit, Establishing a Fee for the Permit, Providing What Must Be Contained in the Permit and Providing the Form of the Application for the Permit.

NOTICE IS FURTHER GIVEN that copies of the Ordinance are available for public examination and distribution upon request at the office of the Clerk of the City of West Wendover, Nevada, at 1111 N. Gene L. Jones Way; that said Ordinance was proposed and read by title on August 20, 2013, and that the City Council intends to take final action on the adoption of said Ordinance on its regular meeting on the 3 day of September, 2013 as a regular measure.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the City Council of the City of West Wen- dover, Nevada, has caused this Notice to be given by reference to the Title and Summary of the proposed Ordinance.

DATED this 21 day of August, 2013. City of West Wendover EMILY CARTER, Mayor PUBLISHED: in the High Desert ADVOCATE August 22, 2013.

PUBLICATION OF THIS NOTICE MUST BE AT LEAST TEN (10) DAYS BEFORE THE DATE SET FOR THE ADOPTION OF THE ORDINANCE.

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Ball Players Rec District Sign Truce Battle Set For Next Rec Board Meeting

Posted on 22 August 2013 by Howard Copelan

softballpeace

 

Peace now reigns on Wendover’s ball fields, kind of.

According to softball organizer Luciano Munoz  a compromise was reached between softball players and the West Wendover Recreation District Wednesday.

“We agreed to pay $160 for the rest of the summer,” Munoz said. “It will cool things down for now. But we do plan to attend the next Rec. Board meeting next Tuesday and make our voice heard.”

Tensions between soft ball players and the Recreation District had been growing after the establishment of a ad hoc after season season two weeks ago.

WEN08162013spec.gifts.The central issue according to both Munoz and to District Parks and Recreation Director Shawn Gregory was whether the new quasi league should pay for liability insurance for the new season.

According to Gregory the answer was Yes.

“I really don’t want to be the bad guy here,” Gregory said. “And I know these are good guys but in these times where anyone sues at the drop of a hat the Recreation District has to protect itself.”

“We already paid the insurance for this summer’s season,” said Munoz . “Besides these are just pick up games. There are no formal teams. The umpires when we have them aren’t paid. We are just a bunch of players who want to keep our skills up for next season.”

elkofairLast week it appear the difference of opinion could land some one in jail. The district put up signs warning that the playing fields had to be reserved for all practices and that police would be called on trespassers.

antisoftballsignTuesday a confrontation was averted by bad weather and the intervention of West Wendover Police Chief Burdell Welsh.

“We had a nice talk for about two hours,” Welsh said. “I explained to them about a civil disobedience arrest and what were its consequences. With the weather being so bad they didn’t play.”

According to Gregory the cost of a liability policy would be between $300 and $400 or  less than $30 a player.

In the end the district and the soft ball players agreed to about half that amount.

But while peace now reigns on the diamond, next week’s Recreation Board meeting could be raucous.

“There should be about 100 guys there,” Munoz said.

In a posting on the High Desert Advocate’s web page a blogger named Coach posted: “I think its horse sh** what the rec. Is doing!!! We r paying a big amount to play softball, sponsored or not, we pay too much money for our time to be cut short. I dnt understand why they wanted the season to be done n over with within 1 month of play.. three games a day is nessessry cause we paid for lights… now we r doing our own thing by trying to play pick up games, but if we dnt pay more $ they not gonna let us play?? Seems to me all they want is more $? We are all vaulentery players vaulentary umps we keep our own score why should we have to pay any more money on top of the 700 $ we pay to start a season (late season at that) a lot of ppl look forward to softball season in wendover, but right now our (1) month season is a joke!!!! We pay the money show us the respect we show the rec. With paying our fees??? That’s all I’m saying. …..”

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White Pine Recall Drive Hosts Ely Bash, Free Hot Dogs

Posted on 22 August 2013 by Howard Copelan

recall art

 

The drive to recall two White Pine County Commissioners is kicking into high gear with supporters throwing a recall party this Saturday at the county park complete with free hotdogs, said recall drive organiser James Adams.

“Until now we have been going to the outlying areas of the county,” Adams said. “This is our first big event in Ely.”

Last month Adams, Timothy McGowan and Cheryl Ann Noriega filed notice of recall against Commissioners Mike Lemich and John Lampros.

wrecsocialmediaadAccording 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. “They have 90 days, until October 8th.”

According to Adams even without hitting Ely yet the group is well within their goal.

“We have had great response in every public meeting we have had,” Adams said. “I really can’t say as of now how many signatures we have but I think we will easily make the required number.”

According to Adams the recall effort got a boost after the two embattled commissioners filed a defamation lawsuit against him and the two other filers.

borderbash“There is definitely a backlash,” Adams said. “The suit just showed people what we were saying is true that both men govern through intimidation.”

In addition to the back lash fellow commissioner Mike Coster announcement that he would sign the petition also gave the movement a needed shot in the arm.

Coster’s support of the drive not only gives a much needed political push to the effort but as an attorney his name on the petition could also quell trepidation among other would be signers that they could be sued if they signed the petition.

“From reading the NRS I really think this suit was filed to stop the recall process,” Coster said.

In a post on the White Pine/Ely Politics facebook page Coster wrote:

elkofairFragments of some interesting reading about defamation cases, not necessarily relevant to Nevada or White Pine County:

“Furthermore, defamation suits can be abused. Sometimes, individuals who speak out against abuses are tagged with large defamation suits that are often merit less. During the past decade, commentators coined the term Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation, or SLAPP suits, to describe these suits.”

“Libel-proof plaintiffs: This defense holds that some plaintiffs have such lousy reputations that essentially they are libel-proof. The theory is that one cannot harm someone’s reputation when that person already has a damaged reputation.”

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Blind Driver Challenge On Bonneville Salt Flats

Posted on 22 August 2013 by Howard Copelan

Dan Parker

Dan Parker

In its century long history of men challenging their machines to go as fast as possible the Bonneville Salt Flats has seen many dreamers but never has it hosted racer who could not see back– until now.

This Sunday Dan Parker will be first blind man to drive a motorcycle on Bonneville Salt Flats.

recallpartyThe National Federation of the Blind  announced its sponsorship of the first attempt by a blind driver to independently race a motorcycle on the famed Bonneville Salt Flats.  Dan Parker, an experienced race car builder and driver who lost his sight as the result of a racing accident last year, will independently operate a three-wheeled motorcycle with the help of a GPS system that gives him audible cues in order to help him maintain a straight course.  Mr. Parker will make his run as part of the 2013 BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials this Sunday at the Flats. The National Federation of the Blind is one of several sponsors contributing funds and equipment to help Mr. Parker complete his “Quest for the Salt.”  Additionally, the Federation’s Mark Riccobono, the first blind person to drive a vehicle without the assistance of a sighted person, will travel out to the Salt to participate in this historic event.

WEN08162013spec.gifts.Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “We have demonstrated that it is possible for a blind person to operate a vehicle with the help of an interface that can convey information about the driver’s environment.  Dan Parker is taking the concepts that we pioneered with our Blind Driver Challenge™ a step further—and possibly faster—while continuing to experiment with technology that may someday allow blind drivers to navigate America’s roadways like our sighted peers.  We are pleased to sponsor Dan’s effort and wish him a successful run on the Bonneville Salt Flats.”

Mr. Parker said: “As a member, I appreciate the support of the National Federation of the Blind, an organization that believes, as I do, that blind people can succeed in whatever effort we choose with the proper tools and training.  I look forward to demonstrating this truth to the racing community and the general public on the Salt Flats this weekend.  I view this run as just the first leg of my journey to contribute to the work of the Federation and its Blind Driver Challenge™.”

elkofairOn January 29, 2011, NFB’s Mark Riccobono became the first blind person to operate a vehicle on the Daytona International Speedway as a demonstration of technology that helped him navigate the course and avoid obstacles.  More information about the NFB Blind Driver Challenge™, along with information about Dan Parker’s Quest for the Salt, is available at www.blinddriverchallenge.org.  Also be sure to visit Dan Parker’s Quest for the Salt Facebook page, as well as the NFB’s Facebook and Twitter feeds, for continuous updates on this exciting event.

About the National Federation of the Blind

The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) is the oldest, largest, and most influential nationwide membership organization of blind people in the United States.  Founded in 1940, the NFB advocates for the civil rights and equality of blind Americans, and develops innovative education, technology, and training programs to provide the blind and those who are losing vision with the tools they need to become independent and successful.  We need your support.  To make a donation, please go to www.nfb.org.

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