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Breaking News: Heroin Arrest At Smith’s parking Lot And Possible Burglary

Posted on 17 January 2018 by Howard Copelan

West Wendover Police officer interrogating the suspect, Michael Wallace, from Tooele Utah, in the Wendover Smith’s store parking lot, last Thursday.(photo credit the High Desert Advocate)

West Wendover Police officer handcuffing a suspect in the Smith’s store, last Thursday, later released.(photo credit the High Desert Advocate)

Last Thursday, January 11, 2018 West Wendover officers investigated a burglary of a construction equipment trailer from the 800 block of Florence Way. The officers were able to get a description of the suspect vehicle through surveillance video examination. Lt. Don Lininger said that later that day the officers found the same vehicle at the Smiths’ Supermarket parking lot. The officers contacted the owner of the vehicle and through questioning, they  identified the suspect as Michael Wallace. While being interviewed, a K9 unit conducted an open-air search of the vehicle. The West Wendover K9 alerted the two officers of the presence of narcotics within the vehicle and through their search they located a small amount of heroin and needles in the specific vehicle. An other person of interest to the police was put in handcuffs inside the store, but was later released for being only a passenger, and for lack of evidence of his involvement. Wallace was arrested on the drug charges. The investigation into the burglary is still ongoing.

Michael Wallace, from Tooele Utah, Felony arrested in the Wendover Smith’s store parking lot, last Thursday. Bail at $6,480.(photo credit Elko Sheriff’s Office)

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West Wendover Elementary School Cook Off

Posted on 17 January 2018 by Howard Copelan

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Posted on 17 January 2018 by Howard Copelan

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Breaking News: Peppermill Casino Security Guards Cleared

Posted on 10 January 2018 by Howard Copelan

On Saturday, December 30th, 2017 at around 2:00 a.m, two Peppermill security guards put in handcuffs local Wendover resident Alan Benjamin. (photos credit the High Desert Advocate)

     The tapes from last week incident at the Peppermill Casino Poker room do not corroborate the statement of Mr. Alan Benjamin and  him not being 60 years old until next July 2018, he also cannot claim battery and assault on an elderly.  Therefore after promptly reviewing those tapes, the Elko County District Attorney declined the pursuit of any charges against the two peppermill body guards, and there will be no arrests.

   On Saturday, December 30th 2017, a local Wendover resident, Alan Benjamin, said he was gambling at the Poker room of the Peppermill Casino and at 2:00 a.m. there was a little brake for a change of shift.

Mr. Alan Benjamin said to the High Desert Advocate that he was talking on his left to someone, when a security guard came to take the money box and pushed him on the side to access it. Mr. Benjamin said he would have fallen to the floor if not for bracing himself at the table, and for another gambler holding him firm, also to stop his fall. He was surprised and thought the guard was very rude for not saying “excuse me” prior of his action or even for not saying he was sorry afterward. So that made Benjamin upset, and probably loud about it. So the security guard helped by a colleague tried to make him leave the Poker room, but since he wouldn’t, they put him in handcuffs. 

That was Mr. Benjamin version of the events. Benjamin is a veteran from the first Golf War and Operation Desert Storm who ended in February 1991. He told us that “the two security guards had been  charged with battery and assault on an elderly and would lose their jobs.” We talked to the Elko District Attorney office last Wednesday, January 3, and Attorney Tyler Ingram said to us (the High Desert Advocate) that “since the allegations in the case that the complaining witness (Alan Benjamin) makes reference to occurred on December 30, 2017…” that basically their office was closed until Tuesday morning and they received the initial report from the West Wendover Police Department on Tuesday, January 2, at 2:49 p.m., PST(3:49 p.m. Mountain Time). Last week, the attorney continued  “We have yet to receive any surveillance video and body worn camera video.  At this point, the file is incomplete until we receive the videos.  Those videos are normally mailed to my office which may take a day or two”. He added that they would do everything they can to make sure that the case is handled promptly. But only when they receive all of the necessary information, will they make a charging decision. In the meantime, given the fact that they just had received the report and the file was incomplete, nobody had been charged with anything at that point arising out of the alleged incident.

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Wolverine Boys’ Basketball Win after A Slow Start

Posted on 10 January 2018 by Howard Copelan

WWHS Boys Varsity Basketball Saturday, January 14th in Wendover, against North Tahoe(Photo coach Kim Reamer).

By John Sharp, Wolverine Boys’ Basketball Coach

The West Wendover Wolverines Boys’ Basketball played White Pine last Tuesday night and beat them 71-26. Armondo Gonzalez led them with 19 point and 11 rebounds. They are now 4-1 in league play and head to Lake Tahoe Friday to play North Tahoe and Incline.

They had a pair of league games over the past weekend with the top teams in the division. Last Friday night they played Battle Mountain and lost 58-62. “Battle Mountain is a good team with a lot of experience. We had our chances but started slow. We only put up 6 points in the first quarter.

We could not hit a shot. The second quarter we got going and put up 21 to their 19 but we still struggled from the free throw line. We left 6 missed free throws out there” said coach Sharp. The second half started slow again theymissed shot after shot and were only able to put up 10 points in the third. It wasn’t because Battle Mountain defense was really good it was because West Wendover Wolverines weren’t focused and Battle Mountain size bothered them.

They were down 49-37 after the third but were able to come back within 2 with 2 minutes left in regulation. They missed a defensive rebound and and Battle Mountain were able to start stalling. The Wolverines had to foul and ended up losing by 4. “My kids played hard but it was not a good performance. I give Battle Mountain credit on clock management and hitting shots when they needed to. We were led by Saul Palacios with 21 and Armondo Gonzalez-Haro with 16” said Sharp.

Saturday they faced the #1 team in the division Pershing County. The Wolverines came out fired up and scored 12 quick points forcing Pershing to call a timeout. West Wendover came out of the timeout and got a steal and hit a 3 making it 15-0 in the first 3 mins of the quarter. They didn’t slow down the entire first half making it 47-18 at halftime.

Pershing made a few adjustments and were able to out score the Wolverines 16-14 in the third. “The fourth quarter was interesting as my guys came out hot again and had their way with pershings defense.”Said coach Sharp. With 6 mins left in regulation Pershings head coach had already picked up a technical earlier in the game and his assistant coach started in on the refs and was ejected. When he was ejected they also ejected the head coach for not controlling his bench. Their second assistant had to finish the game but at that point it was a running clock and Wolverines finished 76-43. “Our defense was as good as I have seen it so far this season” said Sahrp. The Wolverines were focused and hit shots. They had balanced scoring with Eric Correa leading them with 17 and 4 treys, Armondo Gonzales-Haro with 10, Dante Robles with 13 and Saul Palocios 12.


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Charges Dismissed For Cliven Bundy and His Sons

Posted on 10 January 2018 by Howard Copelan

Members of the Bundy family leaving the federal courthouse in Las Vegas in December. (photo credit John Locher/Associated Press)

By Kirk Johnson

A federal judge in Las Vegas dismissed charges against Cliven Bundy and his sons, Ammon and Ryan, this past Monday, January 8th.

Judge Gloria M. Navarro of Federal District Court, in a ruling from the bench, said that the government’s missteps in withholding evidence against the three Bundy family members and a supporter, Ryan W. Payne, were so grave that the indictment against them would be dismissed.

The decision could be appealed by prosecutors. But they would only be able to bring charges again if they won the appeal and the ruling was reversed — and they then got a new indictment from a new grand jury.

Judge Navarro declared a mistrial last month in the case, stemming from an armed standoff at the Bundy ranch in 2014 that had arisen over land-grazing fees. She said then that prosecutors had erred in failing to turn over important evidence to the defense, including video taken surreptitiously within the ranch during the standoff, and evidence that F.B.I. agents were involved in the incident.

Her decision on Monday to throw out the case shattered a longstanding government effort to portray the Bundy family members as violent extremists, but also undermined in many ways a core argument by Cliven Bundy, 71, and his sons that the federal government had become an omnipotent force of police power and that opponents to federal land policies would be crushed.

The 2014 standoff, the focus of Monday’s hearing, was set off when the Bureau of Land Management seized cattle from Cliven Bundy’s ranch in Bunkerville, Nev., in an attempt to force him to pay decades of back fees for grazing his cattle on federal land. Mr. Bundy insisted he did not have to pay the charges because, he said, he had inherited water rights on the land. At the height of the standoff, hundreds of antigovernment activists, many of them carrying guns, rallied to the Bundys cause, until the confrontation ended with the withdrawal of federal agents.

In the years since, the family became even more firmly entrenched in the deep and bitter debate over public land policy in the West — seen either as right-wing extremists or stalwarts in standing up against federal government overreach, depending on whom you asked. And the Bundys also became symbols of law enforcement failure, as prosecutors, through multiple trials, failed for the most part to convince juries that the family members and their followers, beyond their armed militance, were criminals.

Ammon and Ryan Bundy and five of their followers were acquitted by a federal jury in October 2016 on all charges related to their takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon earlier that year. Last August, another federal jury, in Nevada, declined to convict four men who were involved in the Bundy ranch standoff, and earlier this year a jury in Oregon was split on charges against four men in the Malheur takeover — convicting two of conspiracy charges but acquitting two others.

After Judge Navarro’s ruling in December that prosecutors had withheld evidence in the ranch standoff that might have helped the defendants — including video taken surreptitiously within the ranch — prosecutors said in their court filings that fears of violence against witnesses were part of their decision-making in what evidence to release.

“As a result of threats to witnesses and the speed at which personal information can spread on social media, the government concluded it could not simply turn over its entire database,” prosecutors wrote in a brief before Monday’s hearing. “Failure to disclose the information underlying the court’s mistrial order was due, in a few instances, to simple inadvertence, but in the overwhelming majority of instances to a good-faith,” they said.

The defense team said prosecutors had violated due process rules and undermined the entire case, which they said could not now properly be retried. Prosecutors are also still facing an inquiry begun last month by Attorney General Jeff Sessions after Judge Navarro’s mistrial order.

Daniel Hill, a lawyer representing Ammon Bundy, said that if prosecutors decided to appeal the decision, they would have to overcome what he described as a detailed, point-by-point rebuke by the judge, which took her about half an hour to read from the bench.

“It was the most unwavering, clear-cut and almost personal dismissal that I’ve ever heard in federal court,” he said. “I am very confident of the concreteness and airtightness of Judge Navarro’s findings.”


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Christmas Arrived In McGill This Past December 24th

Posted on 10 January 2018 by Howard Copelan

Todd McLaughlin (Flight Nurse) was Santa.(Photo credit Geri Wopschall).

Todd McLaughlin (Flight Nurse) is Santa with his helper the Elf, Pilot Robby Testa.(Photo credit Geri Wopschall)

By Geri Wopschall

REACH58 (American Medical Flight) decided to donate $1,000 of their own money to bring Christmas to needy families in McGill and other designations around the state.

   REACH58  planned very carefully to fly a helicopter into McGill with Santa Claus the board. Due to weather in Elko they had to change the plan to a fixed-wing airplane. They still arrived with gifts and food with donations from local people. They arrived at the McGill Fire Department where the White Pine County and McGill fire departments had an escort of fire trucks and command vehicles to escort Santa and his Elves through McGill.

The other elf was Flight Nurse John Muller . (Photo credit Geri Wopschall)

   The McGill fire department went to great efforts to make sure the recipients were at home. They had called the recipients to set up an appointment to have their smoke alarms checked. One couple said they didn’t need a smoke alarm because they had an all-electric home. McGill fire department said “You do need a smoke alarm.” They purchased, delivered and installed a smoke alarm while  Santa handed out gifts and food.

   Santa was Todd McLaughlin (Flight Nurse), Pilot Robby Testa was the short elf and Flight Nurse John Muller was the taller elf. Program manager Christopher Baird and flight nurse Bernice Johnson drove from Salt Lake to meet the plane and deliver gifts.

   Local residents raise money and food to be delivered. County’s Station 1 was in charge of arranging the food and delivering it to Santa Claus. I was very grateful to be included in this magnificent effort to make Christmas great for everyone

  They are planning to return to McGill and hopefully this time in a helicopter.

Fantastic job!

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Breaking News: West Wendover City Can’t Get To Agree On Marijuana

Posted on 07 January 2018 by Howard Copelan

Last week, at the West Wendover city meeting, the councill couldn’t come to an agreement on the Marijuana subject. It has now the council split and the subject was tabulated to an unknown date. In fact in the last past months, the Wenover city passed some laws found too strict by the State itself.  So in the month of December, the city had to rescind some of these laws to comply with the State of Nevada Marijuana laws. In the last elections, the West Wendover voters voted in force pro marijuana, and now some local people are starting to get upset about the innaction of this Council, and having a Mayor pro-marijuana proved to not be enough.

  Meanwhile, 120 miles south of Wendover, the Ely Shoshone Tribe convenience store and truck stop opened a medical marijuana dispensary, Tsaa Nesunkwa, last October, and now also sells recreational marijuana since November.  The Ely Shoshone Tribe situated in White Pine County, but on tribal land and the Yerington Paiute tribe, near Las Vegas also opened a dispensary on tribal land, on newly purchased land for that purpose. After Gov. Brian Sandoval signed Senate Bill 375 into law beginning of last June, both tribes entered into a compact with the governor to sell marijuana.

   The Ely dispensary is in the back of the convenience store. Only people with medical marijuna cards or ID proving they are 21 years old or older can come in. A small counter and window with a few chairs are the only things to welcome you with a few posters announcing the does and don’t. You cannot “use or light up” in the dispensary, and you sure cannot go in with your kids. Cameras follow your every moves. An employee check your documentation and after signing in, you can then access the rest of the dispensary, and start your shopping. Ounce you are done and paid everything you bought is placed in a child proof bag before you exit the store.

   Per Nevada state law, all the products available are from organic plants and have passed all the quality tests, including testing for pesticides. The law prohibits the sale of products who do not pass, so they would need to be destroyed. Also each product is labeled with all the amounts of THC – tetrahydrocannabinol; CBG – cannabigerol; or/and CBD – cannabidiol.

   So in future weeks, the West Wendover voters hope to have this city gets on with  the process of opening a new facility in Wendover as per now, for example the people from Elko Nevada go to Ely, 188 miles from them, while a Wendover facility would be 79 miles closer to them.

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Geri Wopschall Around The County

Posted on 05 January 2018 by Howard Copelan

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

White Pine County Commission  Meeting

December 20, 2017

   Public Comment

BJ Almberg- The water rights the county had requested for the use at the mines, were approved. BJ said that they had to jump through many hoops, but it was approved.

Stephanie Woywood – We need a Level Playing Field and I would go along with 30 rooms, but we should have 50 room restriction on the gambling ordinance. The hotels provide more jobs and Revenue.

Jason Woywood  – I am with the Prospector Hotel, we are in favor of the room requirement for non-restrictive gambling. 30 rooms is okay but 50 rooms is a plus. The three operators in Ely provide hundreds of jobs and over  $55,000 in taxes. To have a slot parlor with one employee a shift is against all Nevada game licensing. The city put in a 50 room requirement and for us to undermine that is just ridiculous.

Mike Coster – (letter) I opposed the “extension of lease” sought for a hanger known as hanger to an agenda item 3. c. e. NRS 496.080, FAA Grant assurances, along with other reasons were  given.

Discussion only to review the appraisal of Assessor’s parcel 0 1 0 – 270-27 + 010 – 320 – 0 6.

These two parcels are on the east and west sides of Highway 93 near the airport. The two Parcels of land totaling 760 + Acres and owned by White Pine County. The first property is valued at $96,000 and the second property is listed at $1,006,000. These two parcels the county is considering leasing to a solar farm.

Richard Howe wanted to know if this solar farm would interfere with the airplanes approach to the airport. The FAA has very strict rules for anything that could interfere with an airplane approaching an airport.

( I have looked up and copied the FAA restrictions and I agree that the solar farm will be in compliance and will be a safe item around the airport)

The reason for putting a value on this property is to establish the rate of lease.

Discussion / action / possible approval of the White Pine County Commission to officially endorse Marsy’s law for Nevada either as an individual commissioner or as a board.

   This law is set up to notify victims of a crime when a perpetrator is released from jail.

Perea “ I am very opposed to this, my concern is about the liability it puts on the County. Could the County have its own ordinance to serve this purpose?”

Wheable “ I am in favor of notifying people, but the mandate coming out of this could be very expensive to the County. I want to support it but I feel I need to know more about it”

Henroid “ We already notify people.”

Howe “ I think we should hold off on this until we know more.”

No motion

Discussion only about the evaluation process for County departments in 2018.

   Part of the discussion was to have a special meeting where the department heads met with the commissioners and the Commissioners have forms to fill out. The rest of the discussion went around the County hiring a County Manager who would be handling all of this.

Discussion / reading of Bill number 0 8. 0 9. 2017, Ordinance 476, an ordinance adding Chapter 4 section 2 regarding the number of Slot Machines, Games, Gambling Devices, Race Books or Sports Pools that are operated in played for Value within the county.

  This ordinance was changed to match the City’s Ordinance of 50 rooms to have an unrestricted Gambling License. Only two of the Commissioners are allowed to vote on this, because three commissioners are connected to establishments that have gambling. The contention between Mckenzie and Howe has been Mckenzie wants less than 50 rooms. The ordinance should be changed to 30 rooms. Both Howe and Mckenzie agreed that 30 rooms would be okay for the ordinance. The final reading and decision on the ordinance should come the second week of January.

( I wonder what effect this will have on the City.)

Discussion/First Reading of Bill number 1 2.2 0. 2017, Ordinance for 83 and ordinance amending title to regulation an ambulance runs to Ely State Prison.

   This opens up the ability for EMTs and the Warden to determine the proper procedure per incident.

McKenzie “ I feel that leaving the decision up to the response team is a good idea and would have a good sense of comfort.”

Frances “There is a concern about liability. I would like to look into this further.”

Wheable “I have several concerns about liability, but I would rather that we not make runs to the prison at all. I feel the prison should provide this service. We care about the prisoners and our EMTs, but I do believe we incur a liability.”

Bybee “I would like to have some input from our volunteers that will be involved, as far as their comfort level.”

Discussion/Action/Possible Approval  of an intergovernmental agreement for road maintenance between White Pine County and the City of Ely.

5/0 Approval

Megan Brown, Aquatic Center

Decisions / Action / Possible Approval

To review bids received for White Pine County Aquatic Centers wading pool play feature and award the contract to the responsive and responsible bidding company.

Vortex was awarded the contract for a 6 foot 7 inches play feature for the wading pool. The price will be $55,680.

Discussion/Action/Possible Approval of the modification of Aquatic Center / White Pine County Ministerial Association rental agreement.

   It appears no students attend the afternoon classes, so they would like to reduce the amount of time that they rent it to half a day in the morning.

5/0 Approval

Lance Gale,  Airport Manager

Discussion /Action /Possible Approval to move forward with putting the abandoned airplane at the airport up for sale.

   This airplane has been parked at the airport for 10 years, the engines are in Nebraska with James Adams. We need to wait until the engines are back from Nebraska. We should be able to get $5,000 to $7,000. There may be $4,000 due in back fees.

   The owner has signed a letter of intent to give the plane to the airport, now we have to get him to sign a bill of sale.

Howe “We need to get it signed over to the County and get the engines returned before we make a decision on this.”

Wheable jokingly suggested that the plane be used to fly County officials to Carson City or other meetings they must attend.

( The manner in which the engines are shipped back to Ely, was not discussed. I am sure there will be a cost involved in this.)

Discussion/Action/Possible Approval do declare January 25, 2018 as Yelland Day in honor of James Henry Yelland.

Yelland was the first Airman to give his life from White Pine County in World War II. This will be the 100th anniversary of his death. Yelland’s niece (100 years old) lives in Utah and her family is going to try to get her here for the celebration.


5/0 Approval

Discussion/Action/Possible Approval for a temporary extension on the lease of the 2nd South hanger recently leased to Murry Hewko.

   Mister Hewko has been a long term leasor of this hanger. His lease was up approximately one year ago (October  2016), he was not notified that it was up and he has continued to pay for the hanger to date. Mr. Hewko is in the hospital with cancer treatments. He would like to continue leasing the hanger. The delaying of the bid process would give Mr. Hewko the chance to bid on the hanger also.

Bybee “I feel we should postpone putting this up for bid until January or February out of compassion.”

Wheable “ By the time we finish the advertising and start getting bids it will be the end of January , 1st of February before anything is decided.”

Bybee “ We didn’t notify him that his lease was up and he has been paying the lease religiously. I think right now he has his back up against the wall and we need to show some compassion.”

Perea “ The main thing I’m concerned about is giving time for Murry to get his things out of the hanger.”

(It has been stated that this needs to go for auction, is going for bid the same? When the County gets bids, they usually are sealed. An auction is usually bidding in person, with the possibility of upping one’s bid.)

No motion made for the extension.

Kathy Ricci, Human Resources

Discussion/Action/Possible Approval to begin recruiting for a Firefighter I-II AEMT for vacant position effective December 13th 2017 with the resignation of Merrill  Harrison.

5/0 Approval


New tourism and outdoor recreation preliminary plans.

   The Great Basin Trail Alliance, in coordination with the US Forest Service, Ely ranger district, desire to develop a master plan for trails in the ward Mountain area, south of Ely, Nevada. The development of this plan coincides with resurgence in the local community to become more competitive in outdoor recreation tourism market, including non-motorized trails. In this vein, the vision of the trail system requires accessibility from town to enhance tourism spending while offering a high-quality product with the diversity of opportunity to compete in this already crowded tourism field.

   This Five-Year Plan provides the Great Basin Trail Alliance a roadmap for achieving its lofty goals as well as some best management practices that we can use as an organization to help them move forward. This master plan includes the following objectives / deliverables:

1. An assessment of the existing network that identifies opportunities already being provided, areas of a possible improvements and a baseline for identifying gaps in the network that need to be filled. This could include re-alignment of existing trails are planned trails to improve the user experience.

2. Focusing on the missing gaps in the network, a long-term plan will be developed that provides conceptual Trail locations as well as Trail management objectives. Estimates for miles and construction cost estimates are also provided. This portion of the approach to detailed enough for future NEPA work, if necessary, as well as future Grant applications. Trails will also be prioritized to help the organization Focus effects.

3. Given that the organization is fairly new to building Trails this plan should also provide some general guidelines / recommendations on various approaches that have proven successful with other similar organizations. This will include construction strategies and fundraising that has proven successful in other areas.

   Based on the existing network, topography, land pattern and recreation settings 3 district zones were identified. These are the Ice Plant Front Country Zone, the Ward Mountain Campground Zone, and the Powderhouses Backcountry Zone.


Ice Plant zone – located directly out of town the trails in this 900 Acres Zone are fun and offer experiences for multiple skill sets and abilities. They are great for the after work, get in some quick exercise, and relieve some mental stress ride or run. There is also opportunity for risk, Challenge, and skill development as well as opportunities to engage local youth. The routes in this own or hard to follow without a local guides since none are signed and intersections are not evident or straight forward. Most of the trails are agency provided and in their travel system however some existing trails are not official .  There is no start to a trail system or place where new visitors can be directed.

Ward Campground Zone – the recently renovated Ward Campground offers exceptional facilities, multiple Campground loops and  established trailhead. This makes for an excellent Trail destination for those syncing to camp and ride or hike and at the same time as close to town. The terrain  and location of this 2400 acres zone offer variety to the greater trail network. A multi-use loop trail system with various lengths  and difficulties is already in place. Unfortunately, the majority of these trails are based on old roads and provide little recreation value. They are wide, steep and quite frankly boring for the user.

Powerhouse Zone – The largest, at 3070 acres and leasted developed Zone, located south of Highway 6 and sandwiched between the other two Trail zones, this area offers the best opportunity for close to town Backcountry and remote experiences. This zone also provides a great opportunity for connections between the other two zones greatly expanding the opportunities for real long excursions. These connections also create an ability to add onto the trail system in the future.


In order to make the trail system more navigable to new visitors the entire trail system needs to have functional and straight forward  signs and intersections. Currently signing is limited especially in the Ice Plant Zone. The Limited signing that is present is ambiguous  and doesn’t do much to help direct the trail user. Signs should be installed on wooden post to add permanence instead of flimsy carbonites. While the Ward Mountain Zone is better signed, the lettering system is confusing and should be re-thought. Cost  estimates provided per zone includes the purchase of materials and installation. It is assumed that each intersection signs will have a post with two signs.


Ice Plant Trail System 

Total Cost – $223,019.00   Total Miles -8.5

Ward Campground Zone

Total Cost – $377,220.00   Total Miles -14.5

PowderBerry Zone

Total Cost – $559,872.00   Total Miles- 18

Total Cost Estimates- $1,392,133.  Total Trail Miles of work – 41 miles

   The cost of this program will be met by fundraising, grants and prison labor.

   I would love to see this program progress, I may even drag out my ATV. It sounds quite exciting and I do hope the community and County get behind it.

Geri Wop

January Events

5  Northern Nevada fresh food distribution  3:00 735 Ave N

12-13 Fire & Ice

Cancelled at Cave Lake State Park  775-289-3720

13  NNRY    Birthday Party for engine 93   1:00

13  Horseshoe Tournament   10am  Cave Lake State Park 775-289-8877

19-20  Sheepherders Ball   Border Inn  775-234-7300

20  Birkebeiner Ski Race   Ward Mountain    775-994-5722

27  Rotary Ice Fishing  Derby   8-3 pm   Cave Lake State Park   775-293-2072

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Opinion: Taking Stock As We Begin a New Year

Posted on 05 January 2018 by Howard Copelan

    This may seem odd, but as I look ahead to a year we all know will be momentous, you want to know what I feel most strongly? Gratitude.

    I’ll tell you in a moment how much work we have ahead of us to strengthen our country. But I’m mindful of just how strong we already are. A resilient economy has been performing well for several years now, avoiding both rampant inflation and recession. Despite its flaws, we have a remarkable education system that has allowed more people to enroll in college, make dramatic gains in lifelong learning and — especially in the case of racial minorities — get an education that a generation ago would have been much harder to secure.

    We have a more diverse, educated workforce than ever before, and we’re making progress on issues from climate change to social equality. We remain wealthy, powerful, and blessed with perhaps the strongest governing institutions of any country in the world — despite the challenges of the moment.

    We possess an immense, deep pool of talented people, who have made us a leading example of unity out of diversity, or as our motto has it, “out of many, one.”

    However, we have to work to retain and buttress our strengths. And as I suggested, we have our work cut out for us.

    For one thing, we’ve always been an open country, welcoming a great diversity of people and remaining open to their aspirations and ideas. But we’ve been losing this. Immigration has been cut back sharply. A large and vocal group of Americans want to “take back America” to some more homogenous ideal that never actually existed.

    At the same time, too many Americans also feel excluded and alienated from economic opportunity and what should be shared institutions. There are fewer places where different classes of people can mix and where our institutions can become more heterogeneous. We tend to associate with our own, which is natural and not to be criticized, but it carries costs in reinforcing our own biases.

    And as economic inequality rises, smaller and smaller groups of people corner an ever larger share of wealth, political power, and communal influence.

    All of this has been straining our politics. We are more polarized and politically divided than I’ve seen in my lifetime. Excessive partisanship, the permanent political campaign that marks policy-making at the federal level, the strength of narrow interest groups, the outsized role of money in politics, the decline in the quality of public debate — all are cause for great concern.

    I hope 2018 sees a turn toward addressing the defects in our political institutions and political culture — a shift in political life toward seeking the common good and focusing on the national interest.

    This would allow us to re-focus on one of the defining features of our country’s history: that what we’re about as a nation is providing opportunity for all. That everyone has a role to play in contributing positively to a better neighborhood, a better community, a better state and nation, a better world. That as Americans, we devote ourselves to something larger than ourselves.

    This sense of beckoning opportunity has been waning. We’re not investing in our future as we used to, in basic infrastructure like roads and bridges, in social infrastructure like schools, health clinics and libraries, or in the research and development that are crucial to a next-generation economy. Our optimism as a country — so characteristic of our past — seems hard to locate these days. Americans are troubled, uneasy, and alarmed by everything from the quality of presidential leadership to Russian meddling to the rise of income inequality to the decline of traditional families.

    Yet here’s the thing. While I understand our problems, I utterly reject the idea that we can give into them. From its start, this nation has been about resolving problems. We did so by embracing our simple, core virtues: humility, hard work, a welcoming attitude, inclusivity, neighborliness, consensus-building, and above all, a recognition that freedom has been given to us and we have an obligation to lead constructive lives.

    That’s what we’re about as a country. Not decline, or division, or insurmountable obstacles. Let’s remember that in 2018.

By Lee Hamilton

Lee Hamilton is a Senior Advisor for the Indiana University Center on Representative Government; a Distinguished Scholar, IU School of Global and International Studies; and a Professor of Practice, IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 34 years.

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