Archive | February, 2015

Woodson No Shows For Sentencing

Posted on 27 February 2015 by Howard Copelan



Elbert Woodson the quieter of the two Montego Bay bandits quietly did not attend his sentencing hearing Monday and his whereabouts are perhaps unknown.

Unlike his much more flamboyant partner Tony Vera, Woodson kept his mouth stoically closed from the time he was arrested for robbing the casino to the day he made his $7,500 bail several months later.

Anthony Vera

Anthony Vera

However when the day came to be sentenced, Woodson like Vera a month before was a no show in Elko District Court. Unlike his partner in crime Woodson could have a second chance. While an arrest warrant was immediately issued for Vera, Woodson has a month to change his mind and report to court. According to Elko County clerk records a March 25 hearing to show cause was scheduled by judge Al Kacin for the perhaps forgetful Woodson in late March.

Woodson and Vera were the first two thieves to at least be partially successful in robbing a Wendover Casino in over 75 years.

newnotrsfebWoodson was the wheel-man in the job while Vera according to police was the actual robber a charge Vera disputed in an interview with the High Desert Advocate shortly before he was captured in Arizona two month after the crime.

Woodson was set to appear February 19th in Elko District Judge Al Kacin’s court room. According to some reports Woodson agreed to plead guilty to one charge of burglary that carries with it a 10 year prison sentence in exchange for the state not branding him an habitual criminal and sending him away for life.

It was almost the exact same offer made to his accomplice Tony Vera a little more than a month ago.

Vera however was a no show for his sentencing and is still on the run from the law whereabouts unknown.

Vera and partner Woodson stole over $80,000 from the cage of the Montego Bay Casino last March. According to West Wendover Police some $81,000 was taken only $3,400 was actually recovered.

According to Vera most of the $75,000+ loot was taken by Lauren McCartney who was never charged in the robbery and was going to testify against both Vera and Woodson if the two decided to fight their charges in trial.

Vera made his charges in an exclusive interview with the High Desert Advocate shortly before he was captured by US Marshall at his girlfriend’s home in Tuscon. Vera according to several of the man’s friends has only a passing acquaintance with the truth.

“Vera was no good in wendover he was always up to no good n lying to everybody,” wrote a blogger identified as Martino on the High Desert Advocate’s webpage two weeks ago.

Also in the same interview Vera implicated his own mother in the robbery while insisting that he had not even been in Wendover during the crime.


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Utah Man Calls 911 On Himself

Posted on 27 February 2015 by Howard Copelan

Jason Garcia

Jason Garcia

A Wendover, Utah man is in jail after calling 911 on himself.

According to West Wendover Police reports Jason Garcia, 24, Wendover Utah was taken into custody for an active warrant for his arrest Tuesday after making calls to the 911 dispatch center and hanging up.

centraGarcia called 911 and through the conversation a description was able to be retrieved. When officers arrived they found Garcia wearing clothing that matched the description provided by dispatch. It was during this contact that the officer learned Garcia had a warrant for his arrest charging failure to appear for a possession of drug paraphernalia charge out of the Eastline Justice court.

wrecaquaIn other police news:

Miguel Reyes

Miguel Reyes

February 21 2015, Miguel Reyes, 22, Sandy Utah: On Ferbuary 21 2015 West Wendover officer’s were at the Wendover Nugget casino when security officer’s advised them that they had detained a male subject for a domestic battery. Through interviews with the victim and witnesses it was found that Miguel Reyes had allegedly committed the act of domestic battery upon his girlfriend while in the casino. Officers observed minor injuries to both parties however no medical attention was required. After interviews with witnesses were complete Reyes was taken into custody.

Michael LaPoint

Michael LaPoint

February 21 2015, Michael LaPoint, 32, Ogden Utah: On February 21 2015 West Wendover officers were at the Wendover Nugget investigating a male subject who was sleeping on the casino floor. Officers were advised that Michael LaPoint was being escorted by security to a hotel room when he began to refuse to cooperate. LaPoint then fell to the floor and would not respond to security officers. Medical personnel were called to check on LaPoint. LaPoint would communicate with officers and medical, eventually refusing any medical service. LaPoint eventually left the property. LaPoint was warned to not return or else he could face criminal trespass charges. LaPoint returned within an hour and was taken into custody without incident.


Anjela Berejano

Anjela Berejano

February 22 2015, Angelia Berejano, 57, Fort Duschene Utah: West Wendover officers were summoned to the Montego Bay hotel to investigate a battery. Two females were identified as being involved in this incident, one of which is Angelia Berejano. It was learned that Berejano had been involved in a physical altercation with another family member. Officer’s determined Berejano to be the primary aggressor and took her into custody without incident.

Bryan Bourne

Bryan Bourne

February 23 2015, Bryan Bourne, 48, Brigham City Utah: On February 23 2015 a West Wendover officer stopped a vehicle after witnessing traffic violations. The driver was identified as Bryan Bourne. The officer detected that Bourne may be under the influence while operating the vehicle. Field sobriety tests were performed and Bourne was subsequently taken into custody for suspicion of driving while under the influence.


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Sex Offenders Top Elko’s Most Wanted List

Posted on 27 February 2015 by Howard Copelan

modtwantedTwo sex offenders made the Elko Most Wanted list this week.

The Elko County Sheriff’s Office is looking for Thomas, Jimmy Dale. Jimmy Dale Thomas is wanted on a felony warrant for fail to register as a sex offender.

Jimmy Dale Thomas is described as a white male adult born February 26, 1959. He is 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs approximately 155 pounds. He has brown hair and blue eyes.

Thomas is a 2007 case out of the Elko County Sheriff’s Office.

centraThe second is Javier Armendariz. Armendariz is wanted on a gross misdemeanor warrant for unlawful contact with a child.

Armendariz is described as a Hispanic male adult born April 23, 1969. He is 5 feet 09 inches tall and weighs approximately 195 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes.

Armendariz is a 2008 case out of the Carlin PD.

Anyone having information regarding the whereabouts of either  Thomas or Armendariz may contact the Elko County Sheriff’s Office at 777.2514, Elko Dispatch at 777.7300, Secret Witness at 738.4357, or your local law enforcement agency.

Sheriff James Pitts advises citizens to never attempt to detain or approach a possible wanted person, but instead, to please contact a local law enforcement agency to report this person.


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Ely Rail Road Audit Public In March

Posted on 27 February 2015 by Howard Copelan



Like a slow train the ‘forensic audit’ of the Ely rail road is coming around the bend and should be made public by early March but just what will be released is anyone’s guess.

“ A successful audit will inform us of mismanagement, unwise spending ,exact debt, future income abilities. It may not and hopefully not lead to any arrest nor was I expecting illegal activities. The audit will lead to change in operating procedures and expenditures according to what may or may not be needed,” wrote Ely city Councilman Bruce Setterstrom on a White Pine Cunty Facebook page.

Setterstrom was part of a ad hoc raiding party made up of fellow councilman Martywestlund and White Pine County Commissioner Mike Coster that targeted the rail road offices looking for incriminating evidence of something last September.

hr2Earlier that month the Northern Nevada Rail Road board petitioned senior Nevada Judge Bob Rose to intervene and reverse the removal of its chairman Ely Banker John Gianoli and Stephen Leith from the board.

Shortly after that suit was filed the railroad’s offices were raided and the railroad’s financial records were copied and downloaded to a portable device for the city’s contracted forensic auditor.

In addition to the raid the Ely City Council continues its efforts to replace all other long serving Management Board members with those of its own.

But as the battle for control of the railroad continues in city hall and now the courts many in Ely are wondering if there will be anything left of railroad to be claimed as a prize of war.

newnotrsfeb“For 30 years people not only in Ely but all of White Pine County and all of rural Nevada have donated their time and their money to improve the railroad to make it an international tourist attraction,” said one area businessman. “If that forensic auditor does not find a smoking gun proving out and out criminal fraud the city council has a whole lot of explaining to do.”

So far audits of the railroad have found far from stealing from the railroad, its employees particularly Executive Director Mark Bassett have lent the organization money when they should not have.

In fact it was those improper loans to the railroad the council first used as its reason to assert its control over the railroad and ‘clean house’.

What is troubling may Ely residents is that after the “cleaning” there might not be much of a house left.

For 30 years since the railroad was created and about half that time under the direction of Bassett, the Nevada Northern Railway has built an international web of supporters both in government and from private corporations and individuals. That support whether in the form of governmental grants, private donations or out right gifts turned what was once a nice collection of obsolete engines and cars into one of the few operating historic railroads in the world and a significant money maker for Ely. Without that on going support many locals fear the Nevada Northern could easily revert to a quaint pile of junk.

easyjuniorlegalThat could happen especially if the council not only replaces the entire board and if the new board fires Basset.

“You are talking about years if not decades of carefully cultivated relationships being destroyed in one fell swoop,” said one current director. “Who on the new board will know who to talk to the next time a grant request comes along or an endowment is up for renewal? People like to know who they are dealing with and it is not like there is a shortage of good causes to donate to.”

In the worse case scenario that criminal fraud is found in the forensic audit, funding to the railroad would dry up immediately. However even if nothing serious is found the bitter relationship between the city council and the railroad could give many previously generous donors reason to look elsewhere to give their money.

“My opinion is a successful audit would inform us of NO mismanagement, unwise spending, WOULD show us any debt or assets, and future income abilities. I don’t know why anyone would WANT to find anything wrong other than maybe a disgruntled employee,” wrote former City Councilman Brett North

shoshoneNNRR Board members and Bassett have long accused the Ely City Council and most particularly Westland of using the audit issues to get back at the organization and Bassett, the man who fired Westland several years ago.

In the last city election the self described reform movement took the majority on the Ely City council. What is striking about the reform movement was that very few if any of its candidates lived in Ely for more than 10 years if that.

“That the real shame of it all,” said one long time Ely resident. “These new guys come into town raise hell, break everything and then leave and we who have lived here all our lives have to pick up the pieces.”

With the Ely elections set again for this June just what the audit says and how it is interpreted could be a factor on the ballot.

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Little League Football Returns To Wendover

Posted on 27 February 2015 by Howard Copelan

champ2Little League Football could return to Wendover this year if enough players can be found said Bob Loncar.

“The Rocky Mountain Youth League will have a meeting in Wendover this week,” Loncar said. “It is a traveling league so our boys will travel to Salt Lake and they will travel to Wendover for games.

Unlike the last incarnation of Youth football fewer players are needed. Instead of 40+ plus players to make up three local teams the new league will just need enough players to make up a team each some of the divisions,

Now in its 8th season, Rocky Mountain is  a competitive tackle youth football league for football players throughout Utah ages 7 to 15. Coaches, players, and parents of have noticed greatly enhanced skills, better conditioning, more football experience and more enthusiasm going into their fall programs after playing football in our competitive football league!

centraGames are played on a 50 yard field, for younger players and a 100 yard field for older ages. Games play 11 on 11 full pad tackle football with the same rules as High School football (with a few minor adjustments for field size for the younger teams).  Much like other youth football leagues, teams get 6 to 7 regular season games. If they make the playoffs and championship game they could play a total of 9 games!

Most of our games are played at the University of Utah’s indoor practice field (Spence Eccles Field House at 650 South Guardsman Way or 1580 East in Salt Lake City).  We will also have games at other football fields this season with very nice turf fields such as Cottonwood High School and Viewmont High School.  We will also be expanding the number of fields this year as the league grows.

wrecaqua“There is a direct connection between having a good little league program and having a good high school program.” Loncar said. “Look at the State Champions of ten years ago. That was the first time the entire team had little league experience before playing high school ball.  If we don’t have a decent little league program I am afraid we will never see another state championship.”

While winning the State championship in 2003, the Wolverines have not put together a winning season since 2005.youthfball

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Congress Okays Med Marijuana Will Pot Dispensaries Hit Wendover?

Posted on 27 February 2015 by Howard Copelan

medmarijuanaLess than a year after it was legalized, then banned again medical marijuana could becoming to West Wendover and the rest of Nevada.

Hidden deep inside a federal spending bill passed last weekend Congress effectively changed federal law regarding medical marijuana.

Under the provision, states where medical pot is legal would no longer need to worry about federal drug agents raiding retail operations. Agents would be prohibited from doing so.

The Obama administration has largely followed that rule since last year as a matter of policy. But the measure approved as part of the spending bill, which President Obama plans to sign this week, will codify it as a matter of law.

centraPot advocates had lobbied Congress to embrace the administration’s policy, which they warned was vulnerable to revision under a less tolerant future administration.

More important, from the standpoint of activists, Congress’ action marked the emergence of a new alliance in marijuana politics: Republicans are taking a prominent role in backing states’ right to allow use of a drug the federal government still officially classifies as more dangerous than cocaine.

The change is especially important to Nevada which has had a bizarre on again off again relationship with pot going back 30 years.

Last April and over 13 years since the sale medical marijuana was first approved by Nevada voters buying and selling medical marijuana will legal at least by state law in various dispensaries in the Silver State.

newnotrsfebHowever a month later West Wendover and a bevy of other city councils across the state voted to ban dispensaries as long as federal law prohibited marijuana, medical or recreational.

This weeks change by Congress may have changed everything.

32 states including Nevada have legalized pot or its ingredients to treat ailments, a movement that began in the 1990s. Even back then, some states had been approving broader decriminalization measures for two decades.

The medical marijuana movement has picked up considerable momentum in recent years. The Drug Enforcement Administration, however, continues to place marijuana in the most dangerous category of narcotics, with no accepted medical use.

wrecaquaThe new marijuana measure forbids the federal government from using any of its resources to impede state medical marijuana laws. It was previously rejected half a dozen times. When Washington, D.C., voters approved medical marijuana in 1998, Congress used its authority over the city’s affairs to block the law from taking effect for 11 years.

Approval of the pot measure comes after the Obama administration directed federal prosecutors last year to stop enforcing drug laws that contradict state marijuana policies. Since then, federal raids of marijuana merchants and growers who are operating legally in their states have been limited to those accused of other violations, such as money laundering.

Wendover could be uniquely suited to an up and coming marijuana entrepreneur. Located just 120 miles from Salt Lake City, wendover has long made a living on offering what simply cant be had in Mormon dominated Utah such as casino gambling and relatively cheap alcohol and cigarettes.

H&R2With the chances of medical marijuana coming to Utah about as good as the state adopting a lottery a dispensary in Wendover might have a better than even chance of making a profit.

There is however some competition being offered on the other side of Utah in Colorado which recently legalized marijuana not just for those with a note from their doctors but for everyone.

Competition could also come down south from Mesquite Wendover’s perennial rival for the Utah tourist dollar. Located in the much more liberal Clark County a medical pot business in Mesquite might have a far easier time opening than in Elko County.


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Braves Take Tonapah

Posted on 27 February 2015 by Howard Copelan

duckbballThe Duck Water Lady Braves from the Duckwater Shoshone elementary school captured 1st place at the  Tonapah regional tournament last week.  Coach was Geoffrey Bryan.  The girls were Morgan Thomas, Angelika Townsend, Aliyah Birching,  Ilyhia Greely, McKenzie Bradshaw and Breanna Hooper.

click graphic for Newmont Notesnewnotrsfeb

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Casino Bandit To Prison Partner Vera Still At Large

Posted on 20 February 2015 by Howard Copelan



While his accomplice is living life on the lam the second quieter Montego Bay Bandit Elbert Woodson will be synced to prison this week.

Woodson is set to appear February 19th in Elko District Judge Al Kacin’s court room. According to some reports Woodson agreed to plead guilty to one charge of burglary that carries with it a 10 year prison sentence in exchange for the state not branding him an habitual criminal and sending him away for life.

It is almost the exact same offer made to his accomplice Tony Vera a little more than a month ago.

vera4Vera however was a no show for his sentencing and is still on the run from the law whereabouts unknown.

“I don’t think anyone was really surprised he did not show up,” said Vera’s court appointed defense attorney Gary Woodbury. “Frankly  I was surprised when he got such a low bail after showing that he was a flight risk.”

Vera was set to be sentenced on January 13 in plea bargain arranged by Woodbury and Elko County District Attorney Mark Torvinen. According to Woodbury, Vera, would have pleaded guilty to one count of burglary and would have a received a six to ten year sentence.

wrecaquaLike Woodson, Vera had been looking a life in prison sentence for being an habitual criminal.

Vera was captured at his girl friend’s house near Tucson, Arizona on March 13 one month after he along with Elbert Woodson allegedly robbed the Montego Bay casino.

While on the run, Vera gave an exclusive interview to the High Desert Advocate. In it, Vera claimed that there were at least six persons involved and that he did not commit the actual robbery. But the biggest bomb Vera dropped was that very little of the $81,000 stolen was ever recovered by police.

centraphoneAccording to Woodbury only $3,400 was recovered from Woodson’s car after it crashed leaving a little over $75,000 unaccounted for.

“You do the math,” Woodbury said at the time.

According to Vera he has had two previous felony convictions one for burglary and one for robbery. He finished a ten and a half year sentence in 2012.

“I was at Ely and then at Carson,” he said. “I got out in 2012 and came to Wendover.”

Woodbury confirmed that it would very likely that Vera would indeed be classified as an habitual criminal and would get a life sentence if he lost at trial.

easyjuniorlegalAccording to police reports the robber was wearing either a mask or face paint during the crime so identification is impossible. However according to Woodbury the body type of the robber is not close match for Vera.

“It isn’t a close match because it isn’t me.” Vera said. “Like I said I was in Salt Lake when it went down. As soon as I heard about it me and another guy took off toward Wendover. I was on the overpass right at the road block the cops set up. I was the one who told Elbert about the road block that is why he turned off the freeway. I couldn’t have known about the road block if I was coming from Wendover could I? The only thing they have placing me in the CASINO at the time of the robbery is Lauren’s testimony. Why they believe her and not charge her I really don’t know.”

antlerhuntWhile Vera claims he was not at the casino during the robbery he did admit that he had been there a week before during a previous attempt to rob it.

“It didn’t work out,” Vera said. “The original plan was to go to the Bonneville Gardens Apartments but I guess Elbert decided to go to Salt Lake.”

Even if Vera’s claims are true the fact that he was actually working in the casino and had a gaming card has lead many to question the Gaming control Board efficacy on back ground checks.


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Elko Co. Gears Up To Fight Measles

Posted on 20 February 2015 by Howard Copelan

Sign at door of Wendover Clinic

Sign at door of Wendover Clinic

The measles epidemic sweeping the country has still not come to Elko County despite earlier reports according to the Nevada Division of Public Health.

In a press release last week Elko County School District Superintendent Jeff Zander and School nurse Administrator Bobbi Shanks informed parents that a possible case of measles in Spring Creek turned out to be unfounded and that Elko herd immunity was still intact.

Once almost eradicated a generation ago measles made a strong comeback in 2014 with outbreaks all over the country beginning with Disneyland in Anaheim California.

wrecaquaAccording to the CDC there are at least 150 confirmed cases of measles and there are no signs of the epidemic letting up.

There are however strong redoubts like Elko County where 99 percent of the population has been vaccinated that form a bulwark against measles.

Of the first 34 people with measles for whom the California Department of Public Health had vaccination records, only five had received both doses of the measles vaccine, as generally recommended, according to the agency. One received just the first dose.

Nationally, officials are seeing the same trend, said Dr. Anne Schuchat, who directs the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. Some of those 34 cases tracked by California may not be included in the 121 tally by the CDC because they were reported before Jan. 1.

centraphone“This is not a problem with the measles vaccine not working,” she said during a news conference last  Thursday. “This is a problem of the measles vaccine not being used.”

The CDC is seeing more adult cases of measles than usual during this outbreak, Schuchat said, adding that children are getting the virus, too.

Cases have now been reported in 17 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, Nebraska, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Washington, according to the CDC. The agency issued a health advisory on Jan. 23, at which point the virus had only spread to six states beyond California and Mexico.

antlerhuntThe United States last year reported its highest number of measles cases in two decades, with 644 cases as part of 20 separate outbreaks, according to the CDC. Health officials attribute the spike to a measles outbreak in the Philippines and overseas travelers.

The measles virus is contagious long before symptoms appear and it is airborne, which is what makes it so contagious, according to the CDC. One infected person with the measles can spread it to an average of 18 other people, and it can linger in the air and live on surfaces to spread after an infected person has left a room.

Complications include HEARING LOSS, pneumonia and swelling of the brain, according to the CDC. About one or two people out of every 1,000 people infected with the measles die of the virus.

easyjuniorlegalBut while Elko county stands tall against measles the record is not so good against whooping cough.

The anti-vaccination movement is making its presence felt in Elko County and the rest of rural Nevada as the number of once rare diseases is beginning to climb say public health officials.

Late last year, the  Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health, Elko County School District and Immunize Nevada hosted vaccination clinic to combat an out break of whooping cough which  has seen a 100 percent increase in just the last year. Elko County had reported 14 confirmed cases of pertussis since July, compared to 15 total cases of pertussis in Elko County in 2013 and two cases in 2012.

Also known as pertussis is a highly communicable respiratory disease, typically accompanied by a severe cough that makes a “whooping” sound. Pertussis is very dangerous, even fatal, for those who are not vaccinated, especially infants and young children.

mesaAlthough once almost completely eradicated in the US , whooping cough as well as a host of other childhood diseases are making a comeback due to the anti-vaccination movement that claims vaccinations can cause autism and a variety of other disabilities to children.

Just this week however on of the largest autism groups Autism Speaks publicly announced that the claim that autism and vaccinations were somehow linked was unequivocally false.


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From Bank To BBQ

Posted on 20 February 2015 by Howard Copelan


The old NB&T building now BBQ central

Wendover’s newest restaurant will be open soon offering locals a new taste treat– BBQ

Jeff Dunham

Jeff Dunham

“We’ll be open tomorrow at Noon till 9pm and will continue thru Sunday,” said owner Jeff Dunham. “We will stay with the 4 day schedule until our liquor license is approved, then we’ll be open 7 days a week.

mesaWe feature many BBQ and Smoker specialties, Pulled Pork and Ribs, Grilled Chicken, Flank Steak and Smoked Turkey Breast.  Sides this weekend are Bacon Cheesy Mac, Au Gratin Potatoes, baked beans and our homemade Cornbread.

Our menu will change often, think of it as a summer cookout, served take out style.”



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