Looking back at 2006
It was an election year, political issues such as growth, the airport and taxes were big issues in 2006. The year started out with a flood that closed nearly every bridge crossing the Carson River. Also in January, Minden industrialist Don Bently unveiled his biofuels plant that converts restaurant grease into diesel fuel.
In February, sustainable growth advocates won a victory in the Nevada Supreme Court when justices upheld a voter-approved initiative. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office experienced an outpouring of sympathy and support after Jon-Jon, the narcotics dog, was killed in a car fire.
March saw Carson Valley’s best speller, Bonnie Slocum, became Nevada’s best speller by winning the state championship in Las Vegas. At the end of the month, Douglas County lost a landmark when the Valley Bar burned down.
The battle over a roundabout in Minden ended in April when the town approved the Nevada Department of Transportation’s plan to install one at County Road and Highway 88. In other highway news, prosecution was deferred against Forrest Ladd, the man charged in the traffic death of Bridget Chambers. Ladd was found to suffer from dementia.
In May, it was announced that Minden-Tahoe’s air tanker base could be closed in favor of Stead. Nevada history professor and former Carson Valley resident Sally Zanjani released her book describing Nevada’s early years.
Minden historian Wynne Maule died in June in the town he chronicled and grew up in. Also in June, the Douglas County School District reacted to falling Lake Tahoe enrollment by announcing it would close Kingsbury Middle School in 2008.
It was all about Minden in July when the town celebrated its 100th birthday by throwing a picnic for 2,000 of its closest friends. A 7,000-acre lightning-sparked fire burned out of control in southern Douglas County.
In August, Carson Valley said farewell to longtime resident, statesman and firefighter Sen. Lawrence Jacbsen, who died on July 26. And in Minden, the roundabout opened without the predicted carnage. Toward the end of the month, a miracle in mid-air, left the pilot of a glider and the crew of an executive jet it collided with both safe and sound.
The disappearance of a Minden airplane mechanic shocked Valley residents when his body was found in the desert above Johnson Lane in September. Also in September, the 19-year-old ringleader in the June 6 vandalism of Valley churches said he turned his life around and was given a suspended sentence and a stern talking to.
Gardnerville soldier Brandon Williams’ body was returned to Carson Valley in October after he was shot by an enemy sniper while on duty in Baghdad. Water levels in the east Valley are dropping, but no cause has yet to be determined.
The elections were settled in November with a new Assemblyman James Settelmeyer, a new commissioner Nancy McDermid and a new District Attorney Mark Jackson. Meanwhile, the hot rumor is that Wal-Mart plans to build a store on Washoe Tribal lands in Gardnerville.
Douglas County commissioners warmed up a cold December by approving a $24.7 million redevelopment deal in the north county. Also hot in December, ranchers were hoping to make the list of recommendations for this round of agricultural easements.