Archive | November, 2015

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO OF HEARING Accused Ely Wife Beater Trial Set For May 31st

Posted on 27 November 2015 by Howard Copelan

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Accused wife beater Benjamin Delgrande trial date was set for May 31 by Ely District Judge Gary Fairman last week.

Delgrande was arraigned  on more than half a dozen counts, the most serious being attempted murder of ex-wife Shannan Breitrick.

Benji Delgrande Booking Photo

Benji Delgrande Booking Photo

He will also be tried for kidnapping in the first degree, kidnapping in the second degree resulting in substantial bodily harm, coercion, attempted murder, domestic battery causing substantial bodily harm and domestic battery strangulation. He is also separately charged with felony stalking in relation to an April incident where he left threatening texts on Breitick’s phone and a voice mail that promised her severe bodily harm

According to police reports deputies investigation were called by Breitrick. Deputies reported that Breitrick had sustained multiple head injuries and requested an ambulance respond for medical treatment. Breitrick was taken to the local E.R. by ambulance .Due to the extensiveness of her injuries was life flighted to another hospital facility Utah. She identified Delgrande who had fled the area.

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He evaded arrest for about a month before being captured in Ephraim, Utah.

Ephraim is less than 200 miles east of Ely in rural Utah.

Because of its proximity and isolation detectives speculate that Delgrande had help either getting to and/or staying in Ephraim while he was evading capture.

Located on US 89 there are no hotels, motels or any other lodgings available in Ephraim or any nearby towns.

The closest hotels are in Nephi, Utah about 45 minutes away by car. According to White Pine under-sheriff Scott Henroid, Delgrande surrendered or left Ely without any form of legal identification which would make checking into any hotel or motel problematic. He also may have left without any credit or debit cards which could mean he was either relying on petty theft, the kindness of strangers or more likely friends or relatives to escape the almost month long manhunt.

Since being returned to Ely Delgrande has retained Las Vegas attorney Alex Ghibaudo who has said Delgrande is neither the demon nor is Breitick the saint portrayed. The Las Vegas Attorney also questioned whether Breiteck’s injuries were the result of a beating or a fall.

Zapateria NovAccording to Ghibaudo there may be significant problems with that police report including the fact that Breitrick was significantly inebriated at the time she was found by deputies.

“Her blood alcohol content was 1.3 at least six hours after she was found,” Ghibaudo said at the time. “The would make her very, very drunk at the time of the alleged attack. We have the her photos and to me I don’t think they were inconsistent with falling down the stairs.”

Thanksgiving Mesa Rent 2015That is not to say Ghibaudo will suggest Breitrick deserved the beating but rather either she does not remember correctly or that she is seeking vengeance against her ex-husband.

“In the preliminary hearing when I asked her about the TPO (temporary Protective Order she said it was done out of spite,” Ghibaudo said. “She said yes, no hesitation.”

“She isn’t the saint sh is made out to be,” Ghibaudo said. While attacking the victim’s reputation is a common defense tactic it might not work in Ely. A long time UPS driver Breitrick was known, liked some characterized as loved by just about every White Pine County resident.

“She drove and delivered in Ely and all the rural routes,” said one resident. “She is just a wonderful person. Even during blizzards she brought us all our Christmas presents,” said one resident.

Thanksgiving Aqua 2015DGhibaudo has said in the past that he would file a change of venue motion on the grounds that his client cannot get a fair trial in Ely.

  Even if change of venue motions are rarely granted, all the las Vegas attorney has to ask is that everyone who received a package from Shannan Breitrick to please raise their hands. It would not be a stretch of the imagination that the only one in the courtroom with his hands down would be Ghibaudo.

“I think it is pretty obvious that emotions are running high in Ely,” said Ghibaudo, this summer. “The press coverage alone is inflammatory and Ely is a small rural community. I think it would be very difficult to find a jury who have not heard about this case or formed an opinion.”

Thanksgiving NBT 1-2 Page 2015If the Las Vegas Attorney makes a change of venue motion it should come no earlier than a month from now and no later than March.

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Lost Winchester Rifle ‘73 Returned To Great Basin

Posted on 27 November 2015 by Howard Copelan

Famous rifle as it was found.

Famous rifle as it was found.

After a year of restoration and study,  the famous Lost Winchester ’73 rifle is coming home to the Great Basin National Park next month.

Perhaps over 100 years ago but not before 1882 someone perhaps a hunter or a miner left a prized Winchester 1873 rifle against a tree in what would become The Great Basin National Park.

The rifle, known as “the gun that won the West” was found a year ago leaning against a juniper tree on a remote outcrop, by park archaeologist Eva Jensen.

Given that this particular firearm was considered the greatest rifle ever made, it is highly unlikely that its owner simply forgot where he put it and went on with the rest of his life.

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 12.28.23 PMAccording to Nichole Andler, Chief of Interpretation at Great Basin National Park, “The rifle, exposed for all those years to sun, wind, snow and rain, was found leaning against a tree in the park. The cracked wood stock, weathered to grey, and the brown rusted barrel blended into the colors of the old juniper tree in a remote rocky outcrop, keeping the rifle hidden for many years.”

winch1Engraved on the rifle is “Model 1873,” identifying it distinctly as a Winchester Model 1873 repeating rifle” continued Andler. “The serial number on the lower tang corresponds in Winchester records held at the Center for the West at the Cody Firearms Museum in Cody, Wyoming, with a manufacture and shipping date of 1882. But the detailed history of this rifle is as yet unknown.”

While the specific history of the aged Winchester rifle is as yet unknown, the opportunities for speculation are rich. Perhaps it belonged to a lone cowboy riding the high range. Perhaps it was set aside by a sourdough prospector in his search for a vein of rich ore. Whatever the actual story, it has the makings of a great campfire tale.

After museum conservation to prevent further deterioration, the rifle will be returned to the park on December 6 and displayed as part of the park’s 30th birthday and the National Park Service’s centennial celebration.

Thanksgiving Aqua 2015DWinchester rifles were readily available on the frontier and became hugely popular, with over 720,000 produced. This popularity has led the Model 1873 to be credited as “The Gun that Won the West”, and inspired the 1950 Western film Winchester ’73 starring James Stewart and directed by Anthony Mann.

Since its discovery last year, x-ray of the legendary fire arm revealed a new clue that helps narrow down the time it was first lost. Experts at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West’s Cody Firearms Museum in Cody, Wyoming  took an X-ray of the rifle and discovered a cartridge tucked inside its stock where cleaning rods normally were kept.

The .44-40 caliber bullet was carefully removed and traced back to its long-gone manufacturer: Connecticut-based Union Metallic Cartridge Co., which merged with Remington in 1912.

Jensen said the folks in Cody believe the cartridge was made sometime between 1889 and 1911.

They also were able to determine the rifle was manufactured in February 1882 and shipped from Winchester’s factory in New Haven, Conn., in June 1882. But the Winchester records kept at the museum did not reveal where the gun was shipped or what happened to it after that.

Newmont Thanksgiving 2015Jensen said it could have been left as far back as 1900.

The rifle spent the summer on display at the museum in Cody. Jensen and another park archaeologist traveled to Wyoming and returned with the Winchester on Nov. 6, one year to the day after she discovered it.

The park will celebrate the Winchester’s homecoming Dec. 5 at Lehman Caves Visitor Center, where the rifle will be placed on temporary display while a permanent exhibit is developed.

The event will feature a 1 p.m. question-and-answer session with Jensen and the rest of the archaeology team, followed by a 2 p.m. screening of the 1950 Western “Winchester ’73” starring Jimmy Stewart.

The screening is free but seating is limited, so ticket reservations are required by calling 775-234-7510.

As to who left it no one really knows, the area where the rifle was found was excavated but found no human remains and there are no missing person reports that survived to modern times.

Thanksgiving NBT 1-2 Page 2015

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Montello Man Busted For Domestic Violence

Posted on 27 November 2015 by Howard Copelan

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A Montella man is in the Elko county Jail on an over $4,000 bail charged with domestic violence, disturbing the peace and destroying personal property, reported the Elko County Sheriff’s Department.

According to reports Buz Berg, 34, of Montello was arrested Saturday night during a domestic fight by a deputy working out of the Sheriff’s substation in Wells.

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Syrian War Halts Decline in Gold

Posted on 27 November 2015 by Howard Copelan


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The Turkish downing of a Russian warplane did little to calm international anxiety but did wonders for the price of gold this week.

According to Kitco. News reports that Turkish jets shot down a Russian military aircraft put a modest bid into the safe-haven gold market Tuesday. Short covering and bargain hunting were also featured after gold prices recently hit a 5.5-year low. February Comex gold was last up $6.50 at $1,073.20 an ounce.

There was risk aversion in the marketplace Tuesday as reports said a Russian warplane was shot down by Turkey’s military. The Russian jet was near the Syrian border when Turkish fighter jets shot it down. Turkish officials said the Russian jet was over its territory and ignored warnings to turn back. Some NATO members concurred that the Russian plane was in Turkey’s airspace. However, Russia said its plane was not in Turkey when it was shot down. NATO officials are meeting later Tuesday in Brussels to discuss the matter. Russian president Vladimir Putin lashed out said his country was “stabbed in the back” by Turkey would retaliate to the downing of its jet. The effect the war or rather wars in Syria has on the price of gold proves yet again that for traders in the precious metal bad news is good news.

WEN11272015A04 (1)The uneasiness of the free world after the Paris terror attacks, the lockdown in Belgium and the U.S. government warning its citizens about traveling abroad also contributed to a “risk-off” attitude in the general marketplace.

There was an important U.S. economic report just out. The second estimate of third-quarter gross domestic product. The GDP figure came in at up 2.1% versus the last estimate of up 1.5%. The latest reading was right in line with market expectations and had very little impact on the marketplace.

honorAccording to Kitco. technically, February gold futures prices closed near mid-range. The gold bears still have the solid overall near-term technical advantage. Gold prices are in a steep five-week-old downtrend on the daily bar chart.

Another metal is also indicative of unquiet times— copper. A sudden surge in the price of copper could indicate and increase in the manufacture of arms and most ominously ammunition.

Thanksgiving NBT 1-2 Page 2015

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Wendover CAP Cadets Celebrate In Canada

Posted on 27 November 2015 by Howard Copelan

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Twenty two Civil Air Patrol cadets from the Utah Wing recently participated in the HART (Honoring And Remembering Together) Ceremony held in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.  Two cadets from Wendover, Cadet SSGT Kristofer Ghiggia and Cadet Airman First Class Parker Reedy represented the 88th Bomber Squadron, Wendover.  The HART Commemoration is to celebrate the service of both American and Canadian men and women.  This year there were approximately 30 Canadian Cadets and 55 Americans who traveled to the Ceremony.  On Friday evening, the cadets mingled and introduced each other.  On Saturday all cadets wore their dress uniforms and did the two-hour ceremony which was held in the Lethbridge Armoury.  Following the ceremony, the cadets engaged in fun activities.  Sunday was a long day of travel for the Utah cadets who spent about 16 hours each way in travel time.

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Last Times

Posted on 27 November 2015 by Howard Copelan

Howard Copelan, Publisher

Howard Copelan, Publisher

The last time we had Thanksgiving with our Mom and Dad was 1997. They came over in the late afternoon. Dad played scrabble with the big kids (he cheated) and then we ate. It was simple and it was nice. Six months later Dad was killed in a car accident and Mom went to live with one of her daughters, until she too, passed two years later.

That’s the funny thing about last times, we seldom know they are last times until they are long past.

Sometimes we think  we would have liked to have known they were last times while they were in the now.

Perhaps we would soften our speech and our demeanor with friends and relatives if we knew that this time would be the very last time we saw each other. Perhaps being in the know might lead to a decrease in holiday fighting.

On the other hand, maybe it’s not a great idea after all. The last Thanksgiving with our parents would have certainly been a lot more melancholy if we had known and as for decreasing holiday friction, a good case could be made of an increase. Knowing it was a last time might embolden some to get that thing off their chests that has been bothering them for decades.

Perhaps we should consider each time as the last time, just in case it is. It is not like Thanksgivings grow on trees anyway. We have seen just 54 ourselves, barely a hand full when we think about it and at most we have fewer Thanksgivings before us than those we already celebrated.

Still we won’t know our last Thanksgiving until after it has past.

Not knowing perhaps makes us more thankful that once again, we with friends and family, gather round our table, hold hands and say thanks.

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Geri Wopschall Around the County

Posted on 27 November 2015 by Howard Copelan

G WopChamber Board Meeting – November 17

Wonderful lunch at All Aboard Cafe.

  Mike’s Auto Shack became a new member of the Chamber.

  The Annual Christmas Dinner will be at the Jailhouse on December 11. The menu will be Grilled Tri Tip and Seared Chicken Breast. Price is $20.00.

  Remodeling of the Chamber will be gain after Thanksgiving. Expect the office to be closed 1 to 2 weeks.

  Some discussion took place about the EDC and finishing the local phone book.

______________

bathlumber (1)County Commission Meeting – November 18

The County does not follow the agenda, items are not in agenda order.

Comments

Ken Carver – it is short sighted to scrap the EDC. Maybe it could be turned over to another group.

Donna Bath – EDC should not be eliminated.

Robinson Mine representative spoke about the price of copper. The mine has no planned layoffs.

Liquor Board:

License was granted to Shepherd ‘s Club Restaurant. Located on the McGill Highway.

Road Commission:

Thanksgiving R Place(old-new) 2015Bill Miller is in Reno attending the Sage Grouse Litigation meeting.

Richard Howe questioned why he was there and not here doing his job. The answer is this litigation greatly affects the roads. Richard agreed.

McGill / Ruth fire truck loans:

Elizabeth Frances read the NRS that allowed the Country making loans. Must be open to public comment. For my benefit Mike Coster restated the authority to make the loans.  Approved

Golf course:

Randy Long was given a one year contract.

Community Development Block Grant Priorities:

County will sponsor RNCD

Two new projects- redo the McGill fire department bathroom (adding a shower) and redo the Senior Center parking lot, possibly enlarging.

Questionnaires were sent out to residents of McGill and Ruth. These need to be returned so we qualify for other projects under CGBE. McGill has a drainage problem that could be one of the projects. If McGill qualify.

Fire Commission: Brett Waters

Thanksgiving Aqua 2015DState did an elevator inspection, and gave a bill for their service. There are new elevator regulations that will cost to bring up to standard.

Brett spoke of different training classes and maintenance on equipment.

A automatic gate for the airport was found stored in maintenance and returned to the airport where it will be put to good use.

Staff Direction: review of policies and cost of volunteers in service to the Fire District.

Mike Coster questioned about training and qualifications for volunteers going to fires. “I don’t want someone untrained putting a ladder against the wall of a building.”

Laurie Carson said “Mike you getting off the agenda.”

Mike also stated Brett Waters did not return his calls or emails. Brett did send two years of volunteers and qualifications. Mike “This is not what I requested. “

Mike “From personal experience, I know unqualified volunteers get on fire trucks.”
Attorney reminds Mike he is off the subject.

Thanksgiving Centracom 1-2 2015

Carol McKenzie stated “not one untrained goes on calls.”

Mike is concerned about insurance cost. Mike stated from personal experience, the Lackawanna department lets untrained volunteers on fire trucks.

Attorney stated Mike Coster was accusing Mr. Waters of dereliction of duty and this was not the time or the place.

Brett’s reply: Each fire department chief knows who is qualified and training is ongoing.

Brett would like a personnel meeting and everything made public knowledge.

Brett stated he is busy and does not have time to return all calls or answer questions for everyone, the liaison can handle asking and answering questions.

Laurie Carson introduced Tom Collins. Tom spoke about what he did in Las Vegas and what can be done in White Pine County.

Thanksgiving WREC 2015cMike Coster spoke about the Sage Grouse Litigation. BLM sage grouse effects most of the state, but is not fully formed. We have to show there are problems that are eminent. Some mines have stalled. Harm is already being done to mines, hold up on water tanks, school that can’t be built, etc. Local BLM doesn’t  know anything.  No testimony was allowed by people not named in the suit. This maybe a threat to the county, we may need to get more involved.

Liaison to Aquatic Center:

Laurie Carson until January and revisit at that time.

Richard Howe voluntary resignation from the liaison  position to EDC.

Approved.

New liaison to be Gary Perea

The resignation if Jim Garza was accepted. Mike Coster asked if Jim had presented at letter with his resignation and why it was not available with the agenda item. Kathy Ricci said yes there was a letter and she would get a copy to each commissioner.

Recommendations from Strategic Planning Committee:

Thanksgiving Di Grazia 2015

Recommend to removal of the EDC department. Work can be devised between the Clerks office and the Treasurers office. There was much disagreement, Mike Coster and Richard Howe spoke about this needs to be done. Carol McKenzie and Gary Perea wanted to keep the department. Mike wanted a vote, but could not because of wording.

Recommend to combine fire departments. Not discussed much. Wait until after meeting with the City of Ely.

Mike Coster read a letter from Deb Brooks. Deb is concerned with fire and EMS coverage in her area. After attending the City Council she  feels the county does not care about saving our homes or lives. The county should not dismiss our concerns so easily. Deb states it would be easier to be annexed in to the city.

Gary Perea replied the county does take there concerns seriously.

Gary also asked if Deb was at the last City Council meeting. Yes she and her husband did attend.

__________________


City of Ely meeting for negotiation with White Pine County on Interlocal Agreement for Fire – November 19

The County was represented by Elizabeth Frances, Sheriff Dan Watts and Fire Chief Brett Waters. The City was represented Bruce Setterstrom, Kurt Carson, Chuck Odgers, Fire Chief Ross Rivera and City Administrator Robert Switzer.

Thanksgiving Supps'(old-new) 2015County proposed to hire a consultant for $25,000. To $30,000. The City feels this can be solved with out spending. Elizabeth feels this’s impossible.

Dan Watts explained the problem of dispatching City into county. The Sheriff was turned in to the state for dispatching out of there area. Someone called the state and complained dispatch was sending City into County area. Bruce Setterstrom ask Dan Watts who told him to stop dispatching the closest department. Dan did not answer.

The city did want to know why no Commissioners were on the panel.

Response time was discussed. County Fire is 5.4 miles from Mineral Heights, but they have two people on duty. County can roll when the call comes in. The City is 1 mile and has one person on duty and must wait for another before rolling.

The decision was made for the two fire chiefs to meet and come up with a recommendation by December 1. There should be another meeting at this time.

Thanksgiving Ambulance 2015

White Pine County Tourism and Recreation Board – November 19

Set Guidelines for Travel and Marketing.

Most travel to conventions is paid for by grants. These grants can only be used for this purpose.

Bruce Setterstrom stated he went to the governors convention and it was a waste of money for him to go. The staff who have already established relationships should be the only ones to go. The staff is very good at these functions.

Signage Regulations NDOT

Ely is only allowed two signs entering the city. The city can request more, but no guarantee.

Approval of Christmas Bonus.

Mike Coster feels there should be not bonuses. “The County does not give bonuses, it is a thing of the past.”

Thanksgiving NBT 1-2 Page 2015Mike is reminded the county gives longevity bonuses.

Bonuses in the amount of $2,500 to $3,000 are approved with one no vote.

Steve Gray asked for finances get for fire works to be used at Fire and Ice and the train. Approved

Opinion

G Wop

Philosopher Camus wrote “Always go too far, because that’s where you will find the truth.”

I do feel we have 5 Commissioners who put a lot of effort in their jobs. I do not agree with their votes or reasoning. I feel they frequently forget who voted for them and what their responsibilities are. Their preferences to different departments heads (likes and dislikes) should not be part of the voting or remarks. The county is top heavy and needs to be cut.

These Commissioners are capable of doing the right thing for the county.

White Pine County Commissioners meeting

If meetings are going to be 5 hours plus, chairs need to be a little softer or the commissioners need to set on the same chairs the rest of us sit on!

I do thank Mike Coster for repeating legalities for the county making loans. I did look it up myself and understand. I still have misgivings about the loans.

Questionnaire sent to McGill and Ruth are very important. They must be filled out and returned.

Staff Direction:

I mostly like the way Mike Coster does his job as County Commissioner, but this time I feel he is way out of line.

Thanksgiving Ellison 2015BWe feel your pain for not getting the returned calls or emails. The information you asked for was not what you wanted. (Welcome to the club, we all have asked for information. Humm who owes me one.)

Mike was a member of the Lackawanna Volunteer Fire Department for a short time. This sounds like sour grapes.

There are many meetings and training sections each mont. The meetings are announced on the dispatch radio. There is training on fire trucks and all the equipment.

Extra training is always being make available by Chief Waters. A 4 day hazardous waste class was recently completed. These special training classes are provided by grants Mr. Waters acquires. No cost to the county.

Tom Collins spoke one ways to bring more tourists and money into White Pine.

The Sage Grouse litigation is something we all need to pay attention to. This could affect our county greatly.

The removal of the EDC department is one of the best cuts I have heard. I understand the Chamber might be willing to take the responsibility of this department over. I believe there are other options, so county not hang on to something that can be done else where.

Newmont Thanksgiving 2015

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City/Country Interlocal fire agreement

Where was the county?  Do they have the money to throw at a problem?

The County started the meeting with a negative attitude. We have never been able to talk, so we need to hire someone as a go between. The City was positive that something could happen in this meeting.

I think it is time the commissioners stop sending the Finance Director to do their jobs.

I think the two fire chiefs are the right choice for coming up with a solutions. The Sheriff is also an important part of the mix.

See you all back on December 1.

Geri Wop

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Keeping The Wolves At Bay, Wendover Charity Saves Locals & Travelers From Cold, Hunger

Posted on 19 November 2015 by Howard Copelan

Frank Sharp & Onae Murphy

Frank Sharp & Onae Murphy

For hundreds if not thousands of destitute travelers and locals the thrift store, food bank and social services run or coordinated by the Joan A Sharp Foundation of Wendover is the difference between going cold or hungry to being warm and fed, more than that it could be the difference between life and death.

“I have know idea just how many people we help,” said JAS Foundation founder Frank Sharp. “I know it’s a lot especially at this time of year.”

Thanksgiving WREC 2015cWinter is a particularly tough time for Wendover’s workforce when the down turn in tourists means for many employed in the casino industry fewer hours and either a smaller paycheck or layoffs and no pay check at all. Much of the time these suddenly destitute adults have young children who still need to be clothed and fed.

Enter Frank Sharp and the JAS Foundation. Wendover’s poor can qualify for free food at the JAS run food bank located in the Thrift store at the Plaza Shopping Center. Also available are used clothes and appliances that can be had for a nominal price or depending on the circumstances free to the truly needy.

Help Center

Help Center

The JAS’ good works is not limited to Wendover locals but also to travelers who find them selves with money or options hundreds of miles from home.

A handful of destitute travelers took advantage of the warmth provided by the adjacent Wendover Senior Center adjacent to the Thrift Store this Monday when the wind chill and below freezing temperatures created a potentially fatal mix.

“We were ready for a bunch of calls Monday,” said Robin Nelson of Wendover Ambulance. “We were pleasantly surprised that there weren’t any.”

The West Wendover Police Department also reported no weather related calls this week including the frigid Sunday and Monday.

Thanksgiving NBT 1-2 Page 2015Wendover has always been good in taking care of its own and those travelers who need help said West Wendover Fire Chief Jeff Knudton last year. “I think if you check the records no one has ever died for lack of food or shelter in Wendover even during the winter. I think that is something to be proud of.”

The rest of north east Nevada has not been so lucky.  Two years ago several deaths in December of 2013 in Elko and Ely were linked to an unusually long stretch of sub-zero temperature.

“It may sound simple but the most important thing is to stay warm,” said Elko under Sheriff Claire Morris at the time. “If you find yourself stranded look for a shelter, flag down a law enforcement officer. No one is going to arrest you for vagrancy when it is 15 below zero. But they will take you to a shelter where you can get a hot meal.”

Thanksgiving Centracom 1-2 2015NHP Trooper Jim Stewart also cautioned drivers not to try and walk to the closest town for help after a breakdown.

“We have regular patrols and in the event of snow there are snow plows,” he also said last year. “If your car breaks down make sure it is well off the road and then stay in it. It is warmer and easier to spot than a lone individual on the road. We will find you as long as you stay put.”

And if weary travelers break down in Wendover over Thanksgiving they are more than welcomed to share in a traditional feast at the West Wendover Senior Center.

“We will have turkey with all the fixings, stuffing, mash potato’s and pumpkin pie,” Sharp said.

Thanksgiving Ellison 2015B

Newmont Thanksgiving 2015
JAS efforts to help do not stop with the holidays, Sharp added. The organization also hosts the office agent for Medicare and Medicaid in Nevada.

“It’s real important that people know they are here,” Sharp added. “You can’t get help if you don’t ask.”

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Newmont Ships Mega Machines To Long Canyon Mine At Oasis As Gold/Copper Hit 5 Year Lows

Posted on 19 November 2015 by Howard Copelan

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Even as the rest of the Nevada mining industry takes a deep breath, Newmont Gold keeps on keeping on its construction of the Long Canyon Mine without even a hiccup.

Just two week ago the company slowed traffic on I-80 from Salt Lake to Oasis receiving three mega machines at the Long Canyon Mine site.

minemachine2The first of the mega machines is a Caterpillar a 994F loader.  It will be assembled at Site. The 994F has an operating weight of over 215 tons, which is 1,063% heavier than the average full-size wheel loader. With a net power output of 1,463 HP, it is 643% more powerful than a typical competing model in its class. The 994F has a standard bucket capacity of 47.00 cu. yd., meaning it can carry 43.08 cu. yd. more than the load expected of a typical full-size wheel loader. Traveling at speeds up to 4.8 mph, it is 16.9 mph slower than the average competitor.

minemachine3The next mechanical behemoth was a Hitachi 3600 Shovel.  It is being assembled in the picture above.The 3600 is one of Hitachi’s mid sized backhoe excavators, guaranteeing exceptional power and force for demanding jobs, while featuring a relatively low operating weight and high mobility. This sophisticated, powerful and efficient piece of machinery will complete any excavating task with proficiency and ease.

The last huge piece of equipment was a multi storied tall drill rig.

Thanksgiving WREC 2015cThe Nevada and Utah Highway Patrols issued warning alerts as the three massive pieces of equipment made their way through the West Desert and eventually to the long Canyon Mine Site at Oasis 30 miles west of Wendover.

The traffic jam was a much needed shot of good news in an otherwise dismal fall and summer for Nevada mining.

Newmont Thanksgiving 2015

The price of gold fell to a five year low to just over $1000 an once causing medium sized panic in the commodities market this August and again in early November.

In addition to the price plunge  the bankruptcy of Midway Gold and the perhaps temporary closure of the Pan Mine in White Pine County illustrates that the business of mining gold is not a sure thing.

Thanksgiving NBT 1-2 Page 2015Midway Gold declared bankruptcy in July  the company announced that mining activity at it Pan site 50 miles south of Ely would be suspended and up to half of its work force would be laid off. It was less than two years ago that the Pan project broke ground and just this year when the mine celebrated its first pour of gold. But even as the celebration was going on rumors began circulating that despite the initial science Pan was not producing as much gold as was expected.

In addition to troubles in gold, the price of copper continued to fall dramatically prompting  by KGHM International Ltd the owner of Ely’s Robinson Nevada Mining Company to issue warning to its workforce that cost cutting and perhaps layoffs could be in the offing.

copperchartBut while knees are shaking in the commodities markets Newmont is going full steam ahead in the construction of the Long Canyon Mine. Perhaps buoyed by a federal judge’s rejection to halt work on the mine from the Goshute tribe last week Newmont is doubling down.

InAugust  the company issued a new call for workers, truckers, at Long Canyon and the company also announced a quarterly dividend of $0.025 per share of common stock, payable on Sept. 24 to shareholders of record at the close of business on Sept. 10. The company says the average London Bullion Market Association p.m. gold price during the second quarter fell below the company’s gold-price-linked dividend policy threshold of $1,200 per ounce. Still, the board authorized the company to maintain the dividend for the third quarter based on “strong year-to-date operating and financial performance,” Newmont says in its announcement.

Zapateria NovNewmont’s bullish activity both for its shareholders and its workers at a time when the rest of the gold mining industry is behaving at best skittishly could be explained by the richness of Long Canyon.

Literally a mountain of gold ore lies in the once long over looked Pequop Range now in advanced exploration.

Thanksgiving Supps'(old-new) 2015Estimated to need 500 workers during construction and 250 miners once operations are ready, the Long Canyon mine could add at least 1,000 people to the area and that may be just the tip of a gold boom in eastern Elko County.

“We think this could have as much potential as the Carlin Trend,” Geologist Moira Smith said four years previous. “It is truly remarkable.”

In addition to having ‘smoking hot’ ore, the area is a stones throw from Interstate 80, has no endangered species living anywhere near it and does not have any significant archaeological sites located on it. Despite the contention of the Goshutes, ancient Native Americans also apparently ignored Long Canyon.

Thanksgiving Ellison 2015B

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Gianoli Responds To Rumors

Posted on 19 November 2015 by Howard Copelan

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Ely banker John Gianoli was jovial and confidant when asked of rumors that the rail road board directors including himself might be facing criminal charges relating to a ‘forensic’ audit finished earlier this year.

“Anyone can start a rumor,” Gianolli said dismissively. “But I sincerely doubt anything will come of it.”

Last week the Advocate reported that political opponents of the Railroad management board could be searching for ways to overcome their minority status to bring criminal charges confidential sources revealed this week. While no smoking gun of out right felony fraud or embezzlement  was discovered in a city paid for forensic audit of the Railroads finances last year there may have been enough incidents of sloppy accounting to merit perhaps misdemeanor criminal charges against either the railroad board of directors or executive director Mark Basset.

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Even before the ‘forensic audit was performed last year the fact that the Ely railroad lived a hand to mouth existence was not exactly secret. In fact the rail management board was taken to task by its own auditors for the past two years before. Those audits of the railroad 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 troubled many Ely residents is that after the “cleaning” there might not be much of a house left. This June Ely voters repudiated City Councilman Marty Westland- the leader of the anti railroad board, in the municipal election that swept most of the new good ol’ boys out of power and put a new slate on the council.

Recently Westlund has been seen with Ely Mayor Melody Van Camp and rumors have been spreading that some kind of action is in the works.

Thanksgiving NBT 1-2 Page 2015Twice earlier this year Van Camp’s effort to replace Railroad board directors was stymied by this new majority and it is very probable that a vote to make a criminal complaint against the Railroad would also die on a 3-2 vote.

There could however be other options such as going privately to the White Pine District Attorney or even making a complaint to the Sheriff’s office.

According to Gianolli the rumor bill is not only off base but actually silly.

“Does anyone actually think that given the history between the city and the rail road that if there was a hint of impropriety over the past three years it would not have come out already.” He added. “This whole thing has been a monumental and expensive waste of time.”

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