2006 in Review | RecordCourier.com

2006 in Review

Record Courier Staff Reports

January

n Mudslides, road washouts and clogged ditches are just a few of the impacts of this weekend’s flooding, the damage estimated to cost between $300,000 and $500,000.

n Services for retired teacher, former commissioner and winning coach Josie Graham are 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Gall Catholic Church in Gardnerville.

n Bently Biofuels Co. hosted an open house for Carson Valley residents Saturday. The purpose of the event was to educate the public on the benefits of the renewable fuel.

n The granddaughter of Genoa pioneers, services for Ruth E. Byrne will be in Carson City 11 a.m. today. She was the last member of the third-generation to call the town home.

n A service is scheduled Saturday at 10 a.m. for Minden businessman Don Hellwinkel who died Jan. 15, 2006. He was 83.

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n Former Douglas County Commissioner and Undersheriff Bernie Curtis is headed to Elko where he is to resume his law enforcement career.

n A 22-year-old Gardnerville man was sentenced Monday to five years in Nevada State Prison in connection with the death last summer of a Woodfords man after a brawl in the Gardnerville Ranchos.

n County officials are caught between voter-mandated weight restrictions and pressure from the Federal Aviation Agency, who would like to see those weight restrictions raised at the airport.

n More than 250 people – schoolchildren to senior citizens – packed the fellowship hall at Carson Valley United Methodist Church this week to learn just how invasive methamphetamine is in Carson Valley.

February

n Work on a roundabout at Highway 88 and County Road is expected to start right after school is out in June. Residents have opposed the project, to be built under the auspices of the Nevada Department of Transportation.

n A fire that destroyed a Douglas County sheriff deputy’s patrol car early Friday, claimed the life of 5-year-old Labrador retriever Jon-Jon.

n A University of Nevada, Reno, report says up to 27 Douglas County residents could be killed if a magnitude 7 earthquake occurred along the Genoa fault.

n The Nevada Supreme Court upheld the voter-approved Sustainable Growth Initiative growth cap Thursday in a 3-2 decision, but left the door open for further court proceedings.

n Deputies Dan Nelson and Erik Eissinger have a lot in common. They both joined the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office just over four years ago; both are married with two children each. And last December, a suspect with a gun forged a bond between them that the deputies say will last forever.

n There were hugs all around in an atmosphere appropriate for Valentine’s Day when Carol Lark was named the Douglas County’s new superintendent of schools.

n The Town of Minden celebrated the opening of its first full-service grocery store in 41 years Thursday with a performance by the Douglas High School jazz band. Sierra Nevada Trading Co., a 21,000-square-foot supermarket on the corner of Lucerne Street and Ironwood Drive, opened Feb. 3.

n Douglas High School agricultural class students present a play based on Gilligan’s Island to demonstrate the pros and cons of the use of biodiesel fuel.

n Douglas County’s population jumped to 50,108 last July, a 4.8 percent increase over the previous year. The figures were released from the Nevada’s demographer Wednesday.

n More than 600 people – and 50 patrol dogs – crowded into the Douglas County Fairgrounds on Friday to say goodbye to Jon-Jon, the sheriff’s office drug-detecting dog killed three weeks ago in a patrol car fire.

March

n Two Douglas County sheriff’s deputies were honored Monday for bravery at a ceremony attended by family, colleagues and about 150 members of the public.

n The Town of Minden has invited state Department of Transportation officials to hold a public meeting at the CVIC Hall to get residents’ input on a controversial roundabout planned for County Road and Highway 88.

n The lawyer for an 80-year-old man charged in the traffic death last summer of a Carson Valley teenager was granted time for a competency evaluation to determine if his elderly client understands the charges.

n With six lawyers sitting before him, District Judge Dave Gamble last week encouraged members of the pioneer Park family to resolve their dispute outside the courtroom. At the same time, Gamble denied a motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by Bruce Park, former president of Park Cattle Co., to dissolve the company with extensive holdings in Stateline and Carson Valley.

n Patrick Mulreany and Paul Murphy are preserving the Irish language. In a makeshift office in the Carson Valley Motor Lodge registration building, the two are creating a multimedia Internet Irish dictionary, something Mulreany has been working on for 25 years.

n Douglas County School Board officials decided Tuesday one of the district’s lake schools will have to close because of declining student enrollment. The consolidation issue will be decided in June when board members recommend either Zephyr Cove Elementary or Kingsbury Middle School should close.

n Sgt. Shannon Davis of Ruhenstroth returned from Kandahar, Afghanistan, with approximately 100 soldiers in her unit, the Nevada Army National Guard Company D’s 113th Aviation Company. Five members of their unit had not been so lucky, including two who worked with Davis, Chief Warrant Officer John M. Flynn of Sparks and Sgt. Patrick D. Stewart of Fernley, whose Chinook helicopter was shot down on Sept. 25, 2005. The troops landed in Reno Saturday after a 10-day journey home.

n Four young people shared their personal experiences in a presentation meant to help parents recognize substance abuse in their children at Douglas High School Wednesday night. Although no parents attended, the teens benefited from telling their stories.

n Douglas High School speech and debate team members Kat Lambrecht and Dave Mathews are the best in the state. The policy debate team took home a first place trophy from the Nevada State Speech Association tournament held in Reno March 17 and 18.

n The state’s top speller is Bonnie Slocum, 14, an eighth grader at Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School. She won the state championship in Las Vegas on Saturday and will represent Nevada in Washington, D.C., in May.

n Fire officials believe an electrical fire sparked an early morning blaze Sunday that destroyed the historic Valley Bar in Centerville.

April

n Big George Ventures LLC wants to build about 300 homes in north Douglas County, using state-of-the-art green technologies.

n The Minden Town Board narrowly approved a roundabout for the intersection of County Road and Highway 88. Wednesday’s decision ended 10 years of debate over what to do about the busy intersection.

n A memorial service was April 13 for longtime Carson Valley artist James Lawrence who died April 7 at the age of 95.

n More than 2 million gallons of polluted water at Leviathan Mine will be cleaned thanks to $400,000 approved by the California Water Resources Control Board. Water from the mine enters the Carson River system through Leviathan Creek

n Friends to wandering hikers, out-of-bounds skiers, trapped rock climbers and stranded kayakers, volunteers of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Search & Rescue team are there no matter how cold, dark or windy it gets.

n Because he was found to suffer from dementia, the prosecution of an 80-year-old man charged in the traffic death of a Carson Valley teenager will be deferred for one year.

n Five wild horses that lived in the Pine Nuts will have new homes thanks to the efforts of the Fish Springs Wild Horse Posse.

n The developer of Minden Village told a group at Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce & Visitor’s Authority on Wednesday that Carson City and Douglas County should work together to improve Fuji Park.

May

n The driver in a December fatal accident on Jacks Valley Road will go to prison as a result of the accident. Michael Cordero Perez was sentenced to 4-20 years in Nevada State Prison in the death of Gardnerville resident Robin Moroney.

n A memorial service for former Douglas County commissioner Gene Osborne is 1:30 p.m. today.

n Minden-Tahoe Airport’s air tanker base could be moved to Reno Stead Airport by next fire season as a result of cuts to the Bureau of Land Management’s budget. Members of the Airport Advisory Committee told residents to talk to their congressional representatives about the issue.

n Piñon Hills Elementary School’s Susan Moore is 2006 Teacher of the Year. The sixth-grade teacher educates in such a way that her students don’t even realize they’re learning.

n A price tag of $1 million to complete the roundabout at County Road and Highway 395 has doubled from the original estimate. The Department of Transportation is expected to award the construction bid within two weeks.

n The Nevada Supreme Court denied a rehearing on the issue of the Sustainable Growth Initiative. The court ruled Douglas County citizens have the right to put measures on the ballot which change policy for the county.

n After 30 years as a teacher, Bud Perkins is retiring. The public is invited to celebrate from 2-5 p.m. June 3 at Bently Science Park in Minden.

n Saying it’s time to give Douglas County government a “wellness check,” district judges Dave Gamble and Michael Gibbons are preparing to call a grand jury. Douglas County calls a grand jury once every four or five years.

n For her ninth Nevada history book, author Sally Zanjani has come home.

June

n Highway patrol investigators were at Highway 208 and Albite Road on Thursday examining the scene of a fatal accident that occurred May 26. Darrell David Daugherty, 90, was killed in the collision at the intersection.

n It will be sunny and busy Saturday as Carson Valley Days begins with a parade. Besides watching the parade, there will be lots to do and see in Minden and Gardnerville during the annual festivities.

n Minden author and historian Wynne Maule died Monday at his home. Maule grew up in Minden and later became its chief chronicler when he wrote the book “Minden, Nevada: The Story of a Unique Town 1906-1992.”

n Three teens accused of vandalizing churches with spray paint on June 6 admitted they painted satanic slogans on Valley churches on Monday. Ronald Bronk, Ryan Schuricht and Kylie Antti, all 17, appeared in juvenile court to admit their guilt.

n Kingsbury Middle School will close in 2008, Douglas County School Board trustees decided Tuesday. Declining enrollments at Lake Tahoe have forced the decision to close the school. Students from Lake Tahoe will be divided between Whittell High School and Zephyr Cove Elementary School.

n A single mother of four could use help to replace items lost in a house fire. Lisa Fricke’s home on the family ranch in Gardnerville was destroyed Monday.

n Kingsbury Grade between Carson Valley and Lake Tahoe closed Wednesday because of danger of rock slides. Contractors are working 14-16 hours a day to re-open the route.

n Washoe Tribal Elder JoAnn Martinez died Wednesday at the age of 85. Martinez perpetuated the Washoe culture and was an advocate for education and tribal traditions.

n The developers of a 5,700-acre development in south Douglas County have filed a lawsuit against Douglas County, arguing the Sustainable Growth Initiative will interfere with productive use of their property and profits.

n Homebound seniors may be served frozen meals instead of hot entreés from Douglas County Senior Services. The staff is unable to keep up with the demand.

n The town of Minden, ready to celebrate its 100th birthday Sunday, received guests this week from its namesake town in Germany.

July

n What if you planned a picnic for 1,000 guests and 2,000 people showed up? Not to worry. There was more than enough fried chicken and sunshine to go around as Minden celebrated its centennial Sunday.

n A panel of Supreme Court justices said Douglas County commissioners were within their rights to approve the Clear Creek project. The project located off Highway 50 above Jacks Valley on the old Schneider ranch was challenged by the Alpine View Home Owner’s Association in 2003.

n A 19-year-old Gardnerville man pleaded guilty Monday to vandalizing six Carson Valley churches with three juveniles. Two of the juveniles face additional charges after they violated their house arrest by running away. They were found and are now in juvenile detention.

n Firefighters’ efforts to control a lightning-caused fire are being hindered by hot temperatures. The Jackass Fire had burned more than 6,000 acres south of Wellington by Tuesday. There is no estimate of when the fire will be contained.

n The number of homes for sale in Northern Nevada is up while the number of homes sold is down, indicating that the seller’s market is over in Douglas County.

n Two Valley teenagers who died at Lake Tahoe were remembered by coaches and classmates. Toxicology reports were holding up autopsy results on the two young men found dead at the Lake.

n One mosquito pool collected at Douglas County’s Minden-Tahoe Airport has tested positive for West Nile Virus, the first this season.

n When asked how Sen. Lawrence Jacobsen managed to serve his constituents in the Nevada Legislature for 40 years, former colleagues and friends say he never forgot where he came from. Jacobsen died Wednesday at his Minden home. He was 85.

August

n A man died in an explosion and fire that rocked the neighborhood on Manhattan Way in the Gardnerville Ranchos.

n More than 1,000 people are expected at Minden Park at 10 a.m. today to honor State Sen. Lawrence Jacobsen who died July 26 at his home. Dignitaries, legislative colleagues, friends and neighbors are expected at the service for the state’s longest serving lawmaker.

n A new pool of West Nile virus-infected mosquitoes was confirmed near Meridian Business Park in the central Carson Valley. The disease has been found in mosquitoes ranging from the south county to the West Fork of the Carson River. At least three people have been diagnosed with it in the county.

n Weevils are weed control experts’ answer to controlling an infestation of the noxious weed Canada thistle in Carson Valley. About 1,200 weevils were released in several locations

n Tales of roundabout gaffes are already circulating the Carson Valley and have prompted the need for a primer on how to use a roundabout to protect life and property.

n A recount may be sought by the Sharron Angle camp as a result of a close primary race between Angle and Dean Heller for Nevada’s congressional seat.

n A suspect in a 24-year-old murder case is facing a hearing today to determine whether he will be extradited from the Republic of Trinidad. DNA evidence has linked David Winfield Mitchell to the 1982 death of then 18-year-old Miss Douglas County, Sheila Harris.

n Services are Sunday for the unofficial mayor of Johnson Lane. Willi Huf was raised in Germany but lived in Carson Valley for 47 years.

n Steve Chappell was already recovering from his bout with West Nile virus by the time he learned what it was. Megan Most was in the hospital before learning West Nile was responsible for her meningitis. Testing in cases of West Nile virus has been slow to confirm the disease.

n Glider pilot Akihiro Hirao parachuted to safety after his glider lost one wing to a Reno-bound plane. The jet made an emergency landing at the Carson City airport without landing gear. No one was seriously hurt during the incident.

September

n Paving along East Valley and Fremont roads in Carson Valley is complete, offering residents in the Johnson Lane area a dust- and pothole-free alternative to Highway 395.

n Project Pay It Forward shows that one good deed leads to others. A collection for an iPod led to a refurbished donated Chevy Cavalier for David Godwin who lost his car to an arson fire in July.

n Esmeralda Avenue will be partially closed this weekend for the 22nd annual Carson Valley Street Celebration.

n The National Transportation Safety Board has issued a preliminary report on the Aug. 28 midair collision between a glider and a charter jet.

n A Soar Minden glider instructor and his student were injured when the towplane that was taking them to altitude prematurely released the glider.

n The sister of a man whose body was found Sept. 10 in the Johnson Lane area told investigators that the victim believed his wife was trying to poison him. Authorities identified the body Monday as Robin Bodden, 50, an airplane mechanic who was reported missing by his sister Aug. 27.

n Fire destroyed the home of Genoa residents Ted and Katie O’Neill early Wednesday. The O’Neills are safe but their Genoa neighbors will start a collection to replace clothing and household items Sept. 27.

n Minden’s siren is back on at noon and 6 p.m. but the controversy its silence started may still echo.

n A 19-year-old Gardnerville man who admitted to spraypainting satanic symbols on Valley churches said he has turned his life around. Jonathon Walker was given a suspended two-year jail sentence on Monday in the June 6 vandalism.

n Judi the Manners Lady showed Scarselli Elementary School students the importance of good manners in her presentation of “Being Cool with the Golden Rule” on Thursday.

October

n About 100 people attended the ninth annual Candlelight Vigil on Monday to address the issue of domestic violence. The event was sponsored by the Purple Ribbon coalition and the Family Support Council of Douglas County.

n The sound of the Minden siren will once more ring out if town officials have their way. The town board voted Wednesday to take over operation of the siren and set it off at noon and 6 p.m. in honor of firefighters.

n A Douglas High senior who allegedly threatened to shoot students who were praying at the flag pole will still have to make bail to be free. Daniel Robert Ferguson, 18, said he was joking when he made the threat and then repeated it the next day.

n A West Covina, Calif., man pleaded guilty Monday to drug trafficking in the largest cocaine seizure in Carson Valley history. Juan Carlos Medina was arrested in April with nearly 5 pounds of cocaine in his trunk.

n Windie Lee Atchison, 33, pleaded no contest to vehicular manslaughter in a collision that killed Darrell David Daugherty, 90, in Topaz Ranch Estates in May. Atchison was fined $632.

n Law enforcement officers and military personnel were on hand to escort the body of 21-year-old Army Pfc. Phillip Brandon Williams to Gardnerville. The Gardnerville resident was killed Oct. 9 by a sniper in Baghdad.

n A school bus hit an SUV at the intersection of Highway 395 and Riverview Drive on Thursday morning. Six children on the school bus were injured and all but one has been released. The three children from the SUV airlifted to Reno appear to be in stable and good condition.

n The water levels in wells in Johnson Lane, Fish Springs and Ruhenstroth have dropped, but officials don’t know whether that drop is due to development, drought, or a combination of both.

November

n The Douglas High School Fighting Tiger band was the top marching band at Saturday’s Nevada Day parade. The band and pageantry groups took home the Sweepstakes trophy and their 428th award.

n Valley residents are protesting a plan to cut down trees along County Road and other places in Minden.

n A record 123 cases of human West Nile virus were diagnosed this season, the third year of reported cases.

n As a working rancher, Carson Valley native James Settelmeyer had little time to bask in the glow of Tuesday’s election victory before he had to prepare for the Legislative session.

n The off-again, on-again Minden siren is back on permanently, officials say. The siren will sound at noon and 6 p.m. today for the first time in two months.

n A new traffic signal is coming to the intersection of Highway 395 and Stephanie Way. Construction should begin by the end of the month and be completed by the beginning of February.

n Rumors are swirling that Wal-Mart has plans to build a store on Washoe tribal land near the intersection of Pinenut Road and Highway 395, south of Gardnerville, but there are few facts showing through the fog.

n What are you doing on Black Friday? Shopping at retail stores is the traditional activity but alternatives could be staying in town to shop at the thrift stores, take in a movie or go bowling.

n The Douglas High School band and pageantry wrapped up the marching season by winning the grand sweepstakes trophy at the Tournament of Champions competition at Fairfield, Calif., on Nov. 18. Being the best of 47 bands was even sweeter when the rest of the field included Douglas’ rival, McQueen High School marching band.

December

n Trader Joe’s grand opening of their new location in the Clear Creek Plaza was Dec. 8. The neighborhood grocery store known for foods and beverages from the exotic to the basic will celebrate its opening throughout the day with giveaways, product demonstrations, food tastings and face painting and free balloons for children.

n Douglas County Redevelopment could provide $24.7 million for development of commercial property just east of Highway 395 in north Douglas County.

n A forest of forearms went up when the audience at Wednesday afternoon’s master plan hearing on the Valley Bar was asked who supported approval of an amendment. Douglas County commissioners then all raised their hands in support for the historic bar that burned down last April.

n Ruhenstroth residents are concerned that a diversion of water rights to a well in their neighborhood will draw down their own wells. A meeting has been organized for 6 p.m. Friday to work out what’s going on.

n Valley ranchers hoping to make the list of recommendations for BLM purchase of development rights this year didn’t even get a lump of coal. The only Douglas County proposal accepted was for Cave Rock.

n The Carson Valley Inn will close Michael’s at the Inn on Jan. 2 in preparation for moving Fiona’s inside the casino.

n A memorial service is 11 a.m. Thursday for longtime school board member Alicia Smalley who died Dec. 16 of cancer.

n Some Douglas High School students were given a rare opportunity to dissect a large mammal when a dead mule was donated to the equine science class at the beginning of the month.