Valley woman up for governor’s award |

Valley woman up for governor’s award

Kurt Hildebrand

Carson Valley volunteer and Garderville Ranchos resident Mary Ellen Conaway is a finalist for one of the 2016 Governor’s Points of Light awards.

The ceremony where the awards will be presented is Sept. 29 at Bally’s Las Vegas where the winners in each of the seven categories will be announced.

Mary Ellen is up for the rural Nevada individual award. Also among the finalists is former Carson City Supervisor Shelly Aldean and Fallon resident Ted Labash.

Mary Ellen served as the first director of the Carson Valley Museum & Cultural Center and has been the go-to person for the Douglas County volunteer organization, AVID.

Nominated in the volunteer manager category is Florence Phillips the executive director for the ESL In-home Program of Northern Nevada, which also serves Douglas County.

Honor Flight Nevada, which has been featured several times in The Record-Courier, is nominated for the award for voluntary veterans program. It’s up against the Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service Program.

According to the release, the points of lights awards honor individuals, community-based organizations and businesses for their contribution to communities through volunteer service. Award recipients are selected by a panel of leaders in business, government, and nonprofits from across the state based on criteria showing how their volunteerism exemplifies achievement, need, innovation, mobilization and endurance.

Gardnerville resident Barbara Flanagan called to dispute my claim that a picture I took on Monday was of yellow jackets.

She is certain they are paper wasps. The location of the nest does seem to back up her assertion, since yellow jackets typically nest in the ground or in between boards and in walls.

As someone whose been bit several times over the years, these guys look like yellow jackets to me. I’ve seen them hanging in the railing of my deck and they particularly like barbecues that don’t get a lot of use.

I usually set traps for them in spring, and will go out on cold fall mornings and clean up the nests when they’re sluggish.

Kurt Hildebrand is editor of The Record-Courier. Reach him at or 782-5121, ext. 215.