Gov. Brian Sandoval has thrown down the gauntlet in the battle over hardrock mining’s future in Nevada, taking the bold step of calling out Sally Jewell over management of agencies she oversees as Secretary of the Interior.

brian-sandoval-bongGov. Brian Sandoval has thrown down the gauntlet in the battle over hardrock mining’s future in Nevada, taking the bold step of calling out Sally Jewell over management of agencies she oversees as Secretary of the Interior.

Their response will reveal whether the proposed mineral withdrawal is more about helping the sage grouse or harming the state’s mining industry.

The Bureau of Land Management’s comment period closed three weeks ago, and Nevadans could learn by the end of the month whether the current two-year ban will be extended to 20 years. If it is, there will be no exploration along the northern edge of our state, nor in much of Idaho and southeastern Oregon.

Sandoval submitted the state’s official comments by the Jan. 15 deadline, including a revision that followed his talks with Jewell in early December. “Secretary Jewell committed to robust collaboration on the mineral withdrawal process,” he announced at the time. “The Secretary understands the national security and economic development importance of the mineral potential in Nevada.”

The deal outlined by our governor would preserve mining exploration on most of the proposed withdrawal area, while protecting critical sage grouse habitat in other areas. But it may be in jeopardy, because on Jan. 28 Sandoval issued a press release putting Jewell on the spot.

See the rest here: http://elkodaily.com/news/opinion/editorial-governor-puts-jewell-s-credibility-on-the-line/article_8bb6ae10-c07f-5350-b0ac-efec33ce20e3.html

Elko extends ban on medical pot shops despite resident support

nevada pot

Elko is extending its ban on medical marijuana shops despite comments from residents who want it lifted.

The Elko Daily Free Press reports the only councilmember to vote no on the ban noted that about 60 percent of Elko voters cast ballots in favor of Nevada’s medical marijuana initiative.

Councilman John Patrick Rice said the city is depriving itself of revenue and keeping a service from residents.

Councilwoman Mandy Simons was among the four in favor of the ban and noted that cannabis possession is still illegal under federal law.

Mother Jackie Melton spoke at the meeting in favor of medical marijuana shops in Elko. She said she drives to Reno to get medicine for her daughter, who is autistic and often waves her arms and pulls her hair.

Elko declared disaster area due to drought

Nevada drought mapELKO, Nev. (AP) — Elko County has been declared a natural disaster area due to damage caused by the severe drought in the region.

that several counties in Idaho, Montana, Utah and Nevada are now natural disaster areas.

The designation means farmers can qualify for natural disaster assistance, which includes low-interest emergency loans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency.

Farmers have eight months to apply for loans to help cover part of their losses.

Elko County Legal Bills Top $250K in Jarbidge Fight

Bags-Of-Money-Dollar-Signs-Bills-CoinsELKO, Nev. (AP) | Elko County’s legal bills have climbed past $250,000 with no end in sight in a 16-year-old court battle with environmentalists and the U.S. government over control of a remote Forest Service road near the Idaho line.

Assistant District Attorney Kristen McQueary doesn’t expect a judge to make a ruling before the end of the year on conservationists’ latest attempt to throw out a settlement agreement between the county and the Forest Service.

She also anticipates the case eventually will again return to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

The Wilderness Society and others say the federal agency has no authority to cede control of the road that runs along the Jarbidge River, home of the threatened bull trout.

The appellate court twice has struck down previous versions of the agreement. The parties spent two weeks in federal court in Reno this month gathering additional testimony before U.S. District Judge Miranda Du, and pouring over thousands of pages documents.

“By the time the judge goes through an enormous amount of information, I would be surprised if we had a decision by the end of the year,” McQueary told county officials last week. “But that all depends on when the transcript comes.”

“In all likelihood, however it turns out, the side that is unhappy will appeal to the 9th Circuit,” McQueary said. “This is just a step on the way.”

Elko County officials maintain the South Canyon Road belongs to them based on claims it existed before the national forest was created more than a century ago.

Lawyers for environmental groups say there’s no record of any road along the Jarbidge River before the area near the Idaho line was placed in reserve in 1905 and formally designated part of the Humboldt National Forest by President Teddy Roosevelt in 1909.

McQueary said last year the case was “by far the most man-hour intensive case” she’d ever seen in her nearly 20 years in the county’s civil division. But she had no estimate at that time on the cost.

A public records request by the Elko Daily Free Press (http://tinyurl.com/lr3bkq2 ) put the total as of last week at about $251,000.

Assistant County Manager Cash Minor said that doesn’t include a host of expenses from the latest two-week hearing, including attorney fees and payments for expert witnesses, as well as travel and lodging reimbursement.

McQueary said more is at stake than just the legal ownership of the road.

“The case is important for the precedent it sets for the West,” she said.

SOURCE: http://magicvalley.com/news/local/elko-county-legal-bills-top-k-in-jarbidge-fight/article_ca32d1bb-7da6-5150-b9c5-71d21de0aff9.html

Elko County’s lawyers head back to federal court Monday with century-old newspaper clippings and mining claim maps from the 1890s that they say prove they’re in charge of a road on a national forest near the Idaho border.

Carson City lawsuitsRENO (AP) — Elko County’s lawyers head back to federal court Monday with century-old newspaper clippings and mining claim maps from the 1890s that they say prove they’re in charge of a road on a national forest near the Idaho border.

The county, U.S. government and environmentalists have been arguing for two decades over the South Canyon Road and protection of a threatened fish in the river next to it.

The government first sued the county and leaders of a group called the “Shovel Brigade” in 1999, accusing them of violating the Endangered Species Act with the unauthorized reconstruction of the washed out road along the Jarbidge River.

Legal arguments center on an 1866 law that established so-called RS 2477 roads by granting states and counties the right of way to build highways on federal lands. Congress repealed such rights of way in 1976, but grandfathered in roads established on lands before national forests were formed or the land was placed into federal reserve.

Elko County maintains their road enjoys such status because miners and ranchers regularly traveled the route before the area first was reserved in 1905, then designated a national forest by President Teddy Roosevelt in 1909.

The government denies such a right of way exists. But under political pressure, the Forest Service signed a settlement agreement in 2003 with assurances it no longer would challenge the county’s claim.

The Wilderness Society and Great Old Broads for Wilderness sued to block the deal, saying U.S. officials lacked the authority to cede control of the road and shirked their responsibility to protect the bull trout. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed and tossed the agreement out in 2005, before the agency signed a similar deal in 2011 and conservationists sued again.

The latest evidentiary hearing began last Monday and continues this week before U.S. District Judge Miranda Du.

Environmentalists say the county must prove a highway formally was established under Nevada law before the forest designation.

“Not a single map shows a trail or road there before 1909,” said Michael Freeman, a lawyer for The Wilderness Society. Dennis Scully, who surveyed the land for the U.S. General Land Office 1896, described the canyon as “some of the roughest country in the United States.”

Conflicting accounts introduced as evidence include a Western Shoshone legend of an evil man-eating devil that supposedly kept Indians from venturing into Jarbidge Canyon, and a livestock census estimating 500,000 sheep were grazing in the area by 1908.

County officials cite mining claims filed as early as 1894, a cabin built in 1903 and the 1910 U.S. Census with the town of Jarbidge, population 650.

Professional land surveyor William Price testified on behalf of the county for nearly eight hours last week, pointing to maps of mining claims and reading Elko Free Press accounts of the canyon’s development, including a 1907 report about a state senator who was fined $400 and sentenced to a day in jail for illegally fencing public land nearby.

Price said more than a half-dozen claims were “placer claims,” meaning they searched stream bottoms for gold, not mountain outcrops. He said miners with claims both north and south of the river canyon couldn’t have moved between them without traveling the same route that exists today between 10,000-foot mountain peaks.

“On foot, there was only one practical way to go,” he said.

Conflicting accounts introduced as evidence include a Western Shoshone legend of an evil man-eating devil that supposedly kept Indians from venturing into Jarbidge Canyon, and a livestock census estimating 500,000 sheep were grazing in the area by 1908.

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Ex-Elko County sheriff’s deputy Keema charged with theft

crimeELKO, Nev. (AP) — The Elko County district attorney has filed a felony theft charge against a former sheriff’s deputy, accusing him of spending county funds on his own expenses.

The Elko Daily Free Press reports the criminal complaint filed Tuesday accuses Rick Keema of spending more than $2,500 in county money in 2011 for such things as a $738 telephone bill and a $245 baseball bat.

Keema also served as undersheriff under Sheriff Jim Pitts before he left the force in 2012. He told the newspaper he had accidentally charged the items to his county credit card, but paid the county back.

A date for a preliminary has not been set. If convicted, Keema could face up to 20 years in prison.

Elko County Undersheriff Clair Morris says a deputy accused of shooting his wife with a BB gun has been placed on paid administrative leave.

ormsby house guns and rosesELKO, Nev. (AP) — Elko County Undersheriff Clair Morris says a deputy accused of shooting his wife with a BB gun has been placed on paid administrative leave.

Morris told the Elko Daily Free Press that 26-year-old Deputy Eric Holden allegedly shot his wife in the lower leg at the county shooting range on Saturday. The BB reportedly broke the skin and bruised her leg.

Morris says Holden has not been charged with any crime, but his wife obtained a restraining order that was served on Holden about 6 p.m. Monday.

Morris says there’s no indication the couple was arguing before the incident and he doesn’t know what triggered the incident. He says Elko police are conducting a criminal investigation and his office is reviewing the matter internally.

Elko Judge proposes alternative sentencing department to supervise misdemeanor defendants

Elko Justice of the Peace Mason Simons

4 hours ago  • 

ELKO – An Elko judge is leading the charge for a new county department as a means to cut down on criminal recidivism, address jail overcrowding and make the streets of Elko County a little bit safer.

Justice of the Peace Mason Simons is behind a proposed alternative sentencing department, whose primary function would be to ensure those with suspended misdemeanor sentences are obeying the rules.

“If I can ensure that people are in fact following provisions or orders given to them by the court, that’s going to make the public safer. It’s going to make the streets safer for those who are in the community,” Simons said. “It’s hopefully going to prevent people from graduating to bigger crimes later on.”

Currently, more than 560 people between Elko justice and municipal courts are serving suspended sentences, each with a list of conditions they must follow in lieu of serving jail time.

But whether those requirements – such as staying away from alcohol – are being followed is largely up to the individual. Plenty could be breaking the rules without an officer of the court knowing.

“The only way I ever realize that they’ve violated any of those conditions is if they get arrested … and, let’s say, they were intoxicated at the time,” Simons said.

Swift accountability, he argued, could curb behavior that often leads a misdemeanant to re-offend. The justice court isn’t equipped, however, to check up on defendants once they leave the courthouse.

“There is no enforcement mechanism for me to do that, absent a new involvement with the criminal justice system,” Simons said. “It would be nice if I could verify compliance somewhere before that (new) crime happened.”

If established, the department would not be under the auspices of Elko Justice Court; instead, it would be its own county department that supervises misdemeanants, similar to the Nevada Division of Parole and Probation’s function of supervising felons.

The proposal is backed by more than just the courts.

Sheriff Jim Pitts, who signed a letter of support with other local law enforcement chiefs, said instead of locking up misdemeanor-level offenders, an alternative sentencing department allows for some of those people to be released without losing accountability.

An overcrowded jail led to the approval of an addition expected to be complete in May.

“It could extend the life of the new expansion,” Pitts said of the proposed program.

District Attorney Mark Torvinen is also in support of the proposed department.

“There has long been a complete void relative to the enforcement of conditions attached to suspended sentences imposed in Justice Court,” he wrote, in a formal letter of support.

Whether such a department is established will be up to the county commission, which will prioritize proposals during the budgeting process.

Simons believes a bulk of the budget for an alternative sentencing department could be funded through offender fees. In addition, costs associated with housing inmates could offset tax dollars spent to run the department.

In his proposal, Simons recommends the department initially employ three people – two of whom would be POST-certified officers.

The Nevada Revised Statute 211A outlines the role for departments of alternative sentencing. Along with misdemeanants, department officers could supervise defendants out on bail or released on their own recognizance who are awaiting trial.

Several counties in the state have established departments of alternative sentencing, including Washoe, Clark, Carson City and Douglas.

Construction underway for Tesla charging station in Elko, NV

tesla elkoELKO – Tesla Motors, a cutting-edge electric car company that caused a statewide buzz last year with the announcement that its lithium ion battery gigafactory would be housed near Reno, will also make its mark in Elko.

A six-stall charging station is under construction in the Elko Junction Shopping Center at 2405 Mountain City Highway.

The Tesla charging station, which resembles gas pumps, will be hooked up to a transformer, powered by NV Energy.

The city building department confirmed Tesla applied for a building permit in late December. Its valuation was determined at $130,000.

The company’s website touts the stations, called “superchargers” as the fastest charging stations in the world.

“Superchargers are free connectors that charge Model S in minutes instead of hours,” it states. “Stations are strategically placed to minimize stops and are conveniently located near restaurants, shopping centers, and WiFi hot spots.”

Tesla Motors – The Future of Electric Cars [Full Documentary]

The site hosts a map of the United States dotted with more than 350 lightning bulb icons depicting where charging stations are located or soon will be. Three across Interstate 80 in Nevada are to be built this year.

Superchargers are already in Reno and West Wendover, according to Tesla.

“Using a Supercharger is as easy as using a Wall Connector,” reads the company’s website. “You simply plug in, walk away and in approximately 30 minutes you have enough range to get to your destination or the next station.”

The half-hour charge, Tesla says, allows the car to drive 170 miles before a recharge is needed.

Along with superchargers in America, stations can be found in Europe, Asia and Australia.

The gigafactory near Reno will be in a 5 million square-foot building and employ around 6,500 people, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

To entice the company, state officials offered a package of tax exemptions that totaled $1.3 billion. The Legislature unanimously voted in favor of the deal during a three-day special session in September. The factory will be located in Storey County.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk wrote in a Nov. 21 blog post that the state will reap enormous benefit by having the battery factory.

“The deal is not merely slightly good for the people of Nevada, it is extremely good,” he wrote.

Carson City DA Jason Woodbury’s Dad, Former Elko DA Gary Woodbury takes plea deal, receives deferred sentence

Gary Woodbury

Elko attorney Gary Woodbury listens during his plea hearing Tuesday in Elko Justice Court.

 

Gary Woodbury entered a no contest plea Tuesday to a charge of breach of peace instead of fighting the accusations at trial, which was originally scheduled to take place that afternoon.

The attorney general’s office, which filed the charge against Woodbury in August of last year, agreed to dismiss the case so long as Woodbury has no new charges that result in convictions, other than minor traffic violations, through mid-October.

Michael Bongard, deputy attorney general, said after the hearing that the agreement will require Woodbury to behave for a short time in order for the criminal charge to be thrown out.

“It’s basically a deferred sentence,” Bongard said. “… At this point, I would rather have him on the hook and put the onus on Mr. Woodbury rather than us having the case sit and get stale for nine months.”

Bongard said he spoke with the sheriff’s office to ensure that law enforcement signed off on the plea deal.

Sherburne Macfarlan III, defense counsel for Woodbury, told the Elko Daily Free Press that both sides had been working on a plea deal for a while.

“The bottom line is he entered no contest as a means of resolving this matter,” Macfarlan said. “I’m sure all sides are happy to have this resolved without going to trial,”

Senior Judge Barbara Nethery scheduled a status hearing for Nov. 3. If the state drops the charges, the hearing will be removed from the calendar.

“If the court does not receive the paperwork (that requests a dismissal), we will expect all parties to be present,” she said.

Woodbury served as Elko County District Attorney for 16 years before retiring from that post to work as a private practice attorney. He has continued to work for the county on a 15-year-old lawsuit regarding a road right-of-way in Jarbidge.

District Attorney Mark Torvinen, who worked with Woodbury as a deputy DA, forwarded the case to the attorney general’s office to avoid potential conflicts or the perception of conflicts. fuckthepolice

During the 2013 Elko County Fair, Woodbury pushed a reserve deputy who was working at the event and cursed him with obscene language, telling hin to “Fuck off” according to court records.

Fair ground staff had asked officers to keep bleacher walkways clear. After two reserve deputies asked a group of people to move out of the way, Woodbury swore at the officer and refused to move, according to documents.

gary woodburyWoodbury then pushed Joshua Gallegos, one of the reserves, from behind, it states. When the officer asked Woodbury to leave, the former DA reportedly used more obscene language.

A sheriff’s detective later asked Woodbury if he had pushed Gallegos, to which Woodbury admitted that he had, court documents state.

Woodbury was never arrested in connection to the incident.

A person who commits battery on a person who “possesses some or all of the powers of a peace officer” can be charged with a gross misdemeanor under Nevada law.

Indoctrination of the POLICE STATE: Officers begin patrolling county schools in Elko, NV

011315-elk-nws-school-resource-officers-1

Local law enforcement and education officials stand in front of a new school resource officer vehicle Monday near Elko High School. From left: Elko Police Chief Ben Reed, Elko County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jim Carpenter, Elko Police Officer Mike Gustafson, Elko County Sheriff’s Deputy Shawn Sherwood, Sheriff Jim Pitts, Elko Police Office Aaron Hildreth, Elko County Sheriff’s Deputy Ana Bribiesca, and Superintendent Jeff Zander.

The school resource officers began patrolling schools in Elko, Spring Creek and Carlin on Jan. 5. The Elko County School District, Elko County Sheriff’s Office and Elko Police Department spent the past year raising funds to implement the program.

“This is a big deal,” said Police Chief Ben Reed. “We’ve been pushing for this for a long time.”

In their first week, the officers found drugs in cars, investigated vandalism, confiscated weapons and issued traffic tickets. The officers also worked during the weekend sporting events.

“We’ve hit the ground running,” said Sheriff Jim Pitts. “The guys have been busy, very busy.”

Superintendent Jeff Zander said having the officers in the schools will create a cultural change. Officers will develop relationships with students, parents and teachers, he said, and those relationships will change how the officers are seen in the community.

“I think over time hopefully we’re going to build support,” Zander said.police state

He added the school district hopes to take over funding the program in the next few years, after the federal grant money has been used.

In October, the sheriff’s office received $375,000 of grant money and the police department received $125,000 to fund a portion of the officers’ salaries over the next three years.

Pitts said the three agencies raised $262,000 for the program, which will augment the grant money budget.

The program has received a lot of community support, Reed said. He added the collaboration between the three agencies has been impressive.

Meet the Officers

Elko County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jim Carpenter is the program supervisor. Elko County deputies Ana Bribiesca and Shawn Sherwood and Elko police officers Mike Gustafson and Aaron Hildreth make up the rest of the team.

Carpenter, a 25-year veteran of the sheriff’s office, said he decided to apply for the position because he wanted to do something good for the children in the community.

“We’ve just been trying to be visible,” Carpenter said. “ … We’re not trying to be the bad people. We’re trying to help.”

Sherwood said he got into law enforcement to make a change for younger adults and children. He has worked at the sheriff’s office for three years, and he jumped at the opportunity to apply to be a school resource officer, he said.

Sherwood has spent some time patrolling in the Carlin schools, and he said the teachers and the students there were excited to see the officers.

“The children there have been very inviting,” he said.

At Adobe Middle School, two students approached Sherwood and asked him for help on a class project on texting and driving, he said.

Bribiesca was a school resource officer a few years ago, when the school district hired and trained its own officers. The program was nixed when the district had to make budget cuts, Zander said.

“I had a good time doing that,” Bribiesca said, adding she developed relationships with teachers and students at the time.

Bribiesca has worked at the sheriff’s office for two years.

“Hopefully, we can continue and help the kids and parents,” she said about the new program.

For now, the five officers will patrol only in Elko, Spring Creek and Carlin. Pitts said his department is working on making it possible for deputies in Wells and West Wendover to patrol the schools in those towns.

Carson City DA Jason Woodbury’s Dad Gary Woodbury, A former DA, due in court next week on charge of saying “FUCK YOU” to an Elko cop!!!

FUCK THE POLICE – GO GARY GO!

Freedom-of-Speech!!!

Former Elko DA Gary Woodbury went to the concession stand, and the reserve deputies followed him and asked him to leave the fairgrounds. He reportedly said, “F— you, arrest me,” according to the criminal complaint.
woodburyfight

Former Elko District Attorney will be in court again next week but in a different role than what he is used to. Instead of prosecuting a scofflaw Woodbury will be defending— himself against a 2013 misdemeanor charge of battery on a police officer.

The confrontation between the young 20-something reserve deputy Joshua Gallegos and the 70-something Woodbury occurred during the 2013 Elko County Fair.

According to reports Woodbury got into a shoving match with Gallegos who was working as a volunteer security officer at the fair.

Fair staff members asked the volunteer officers to keep people from congregating on the walkway on the grandstands so that people sitting could watch the events. Gallegos and another reserve deputy were asking people to move out of the way when Woodbury, started swearing at the two volunteers and refused to move. The sheriff’s office provides security for the fair each year, Under sheriff Clair Morris said. Sworn deputies and reserve officers work the event together.

According to an affidavit filled by Gallegos, Woodbury  walked toward Gallegos, and pushed him from behind, causing Gallegos to step forward and down one step at the edge of the platform. Woodbury then reportedly told Gallegos he couldn’t be standing there.

Woodbury went to the concession stand, and the reserve deputies followed him and asked him to leave the fairgrounds. He reportedly said, “F— you, arrest me,” according to the criminal complaint.

A sheriff’s office detective spoke with Woodbury and asked him if he had pushed Gallegos, to which Woodbury reportedly responded, “God damn right I did.”

The sheriff’s office sent reports of the incident to the district attorney’s office last year, Morris said. The DA forward the complaint to the attorney general’s office because of a possible conflict of interest, Morris said.

Almost a year later, Woodbury was issued a summons of complaint for battery.

Morris said he was not sure why it took so long for the summons to be issued.

Woodbury served as district attorney for 16 years winning four elections by landslides.

He endeared himself to voters with a tough no nonsense approach to crime and readiness to call a spade a spade sometimes accompanied by profanity,

He now works as a private practice lawyer, has been appointed counsel for numerous defendants, and continues to do work for the county in a Jarbidge road lawsuit.

He was charged with battery, a misdemeanor. Under Nevada law, a person can be charged with a gross misdemeanor if they commit battery on a person who “possesses some or all of the powers of a peace officer.”

Prosecuting attorney is assistant Nevada Attorney general for Ely Michael Bongard.

 

ELKO — Trial is set for former district attorney Gary Woodbury, who is accused of pushing a reserve sheriff deputy in the back at the 2013 Elko County Fair.An arraignment hearing was scheduled Wednesday, but Woodbury — who hired local law firm Lockie & Macfarlan to represent him — filed an appearance waiver and the simple battery case will continue to trial. It is scheduled for Jan. 13, according to justice court.Woodbury served as district attorney for 16 years. He works as a private practice lawyer, has been appointed counsel for numerous defendants, and continues to do work for the county in a Jarbidge road lawsuit.fuckthepoliceHe was charged with battery, a misdemeanor.Under Nevada law, a person can be charged with a gross misdemeanor if they commit battery on a person who “possesses some or all of the powers of a peace officer.”Because the case is pending, prosecuting attorney Michael Bongard declined to comment on the attorney general office’s decision to charge Woodbury with the lesser crime.

The charges stem from an alleged confrontation at the Elko County Fairgrounds, after a reserve officer, at the request of fair staff, asked attendees milling in a walkway to disperse, according to a charging document. Woodbury allegedly refused to listen, swore at the deputy, and later pushed him from behind.

 

Justice court schedules Woodbury trial for January

ELKO — Trial is set for former district attorney Gary Woodbury, who is accused of pushing a reserve sheriff deputy in the back at the 2013 Elko County Fair.

An arraignment hearing was scheduled Wednesday, but Woodbury — who hired local law firm Lockie & Macfarlan to represent him — filed an appearance waiver and the simple battery case will continue to trial. It is scheduled for Jan. 13, according to justice court.

Woodbury served as district attorney for 16 years. He works as a private practice lawyer, has been appointed counsel for numerous defendants, and continues to do work for the county in a Jarbidge road lawsuit.

He was charged with battery, a misdemeanor.

Under Nevada law, a person can be charged with a gross misdemeanor if they commit battery on a person who “possesses some or all of the powers of a peace officer.”

Because the case is pending, prosecuting attorney Michael Bongard declined to comment on the attorney general office’s decision to charge Woodbury with the lesser crime.

The charges stem from an alleged confrontation at the Elko County Fairgrounds, after a reserve officer, at the request of fair staff, asked attendees milling in a walkway to disperse, according to a charging document.

Woodbury allegedly refused to listen, swore at the deputy, and later pushed him from behind.

Elko sheriff denies allegations in jailhouse suit

– Associated Press 

RENO, Nev. (AP) – Elko County Sheriff Jim Pitts said Wednesday an internal investigation into a former county jail inmate’s claims that he was nearly beaten to death by three other inmates in 2012 determined that the accuser was the perpetrator, not the victim of the jailhouse fight.

Pitts also denied allegations in the inmate’s lawsuit against the county that sheriff’s officials tampered with the jail surveillance tape so as to try to cover up the alleged beating.

Former inmate Ryan Fosmo is seeking more than $50,000 in damages in a federal civil rights lawsuit accusing jail guards of idly standing by while the other inmates beat him on Sept. 10, 2012.

Fosmo was “basically a caged animal fighting to stay alive,” Elko attorney Gregory Corn wrote in the lawsuit on behalf of the 40-year-old man who was released on parole in April after serving a sentence for being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm.

Pitts told The Associated Press on Wednesday has not formally been served any papers in connection with the lawsuit so he could not comment fully. But he said his office investigated the incident and is confident the surveillance tape was not altered.

“The internal investigation found he was the suspect and not the victim,” Pitts said

The lawsuit states that although the videotape had been altered, enough of the attack was captured to prove three other inmates – one of them currently serving a prison sentence for murder – lured Fosmo into a cell, slammed the door shut and severely beat him, according to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Reno on Sept. 10.

Corn told AP on Tuesday he knows the surveillance tape exists because he saw part of it during Fosmo’s sentencing hearing in Elko County District Court in October 2012. He said he intends to file a motion soon asking U.S. District Judge Miranda Du to issue an order to “freeze and take possession” of the videotape.

The footage was “intentionally adulterated by the defendants … to decrease, eliminate and/or hide the totality of what should have otherwise been on the video had portions of it not been altered or eliminated,” the lawsuit states.
Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/sep/17/elko-sheriff-denies-allegations-in-jailhouse-suit/#ixzz3LXCbQl7Q

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An Elko police officer shot and killed a 24-year-old man during a domestic dispute — the first officer-involved shooting in the rural northeast Nevada town in more than 15 years.

ELKO — An Elko police officer shot and killed a 24-year-old man during a domestic dispute — the first officer-involved shooting in the rural northeast Nevada town in more than 15 years. The man is Tabanico Pirtle, 24, of Elko.

The man and a woman were fighting over a rifle when police responded to a report of domestic violence at a home at about 6:30 a.m. Sunday, Elko Police Chief Ben Reed said.

The man, who hasn’t been identified, got control of the gun and then ignored police commands to drop the weapon. That’s when the officer fired several shots at the man, hitting him in the arm and lower extremities, Reed told the Elko Daily Free Press.

The man died several hours later at Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital. The woman was not seriously injured.

The Nevada Department of Public Safety and Washoe County Crime Lab were investigating the case.

“It’s going to take some time to sort all this out,” Police Lt. Rich Genseal told the newspaper.

The officer, a three-year veteran of the Elko police whose name has not been released, is on paid administrative leave pending conclusion of the investigation, Reed said.

Reed said the last officer-involved shooting in Elko was in 1998, when former Police Chief Mike Smith shot and killed an Indiana man who was holding a 16-year-old girl hostage on a Greyhound bus.

Reed said several officers responded to the incident within three minutes of a 911 call, which he said they believe came from a neighbor, not from inside the home.

Elko County Courthouse cleared after bomb threat

elko courthouseELKO — Elko County Sheriffs say they found nothing suspicious at the Elko County Courthouse where they responded to report of a bomb threat.

Undersheriff Clair Morris said the courthouse was evacuated at about 10:30 a.m. Monday and reopened two hours later after authorities searched the rooms.

Morris says a caller with a male voice called a courtroom at about 10:25 a.m. and said a bomb in the building would explode in five minutes.

Morris says about 40 employees were working at the time.

No trials were scheduled Monday.

Authorities responded to another bomb threat at the courthouse in May.

Morris says he doesn’t believe the two threats were made by the same individual.

Former Nevada district attorney Gary Woodbury charged with battery Elko Justice court schedules Woodbury trial for January

Former Elko DA Gary Woodbury went to the concession stand, and the reserve deputies followed him and asked him to leave the fairgrounds. He reportedly said, “F— you, arrest me,” according to the criminal complaint.
ELKO — Trial is set for former district attorney Gary Woodbury, who is accused of pushing a reserve sheriff deputy in the back at the 2013 Elko County Fair.

An arraignment hearing was scheduled Wednesday, but Woodbury — who hired local law firm Lockie & Macfarlan to represent him — filed an appearance waiver and the simple battery case will continue to trial. It is scheduled for Jan. 13, according to justice court.

Woodbury served as district attorney for 16 years. He works as a private practice lawyer, has been appointed counsel for numerous defendants, and continues to do work for the county in a Jarbidge road lawsuit.

fuckthepoliceHe was charged with battery, a misdemeanor.

Under Nevada law, a person can be charged with a gross misdemeanor if they commit battery on a person who “possesses some or all of the powers of a peace officer.”

Because the case is pending, prosecuting attorney Michael Bongard declined to comment on the attorney general office’s decision to charge Woodbury with the lesser crime.

The charges stem from an alleged confrontation at the Elko County Fairgrounds, after a reserve officer, at the request of fair staff, asked attendees milling in a walkway to disperse, according to a charging document. Woodbury allegedly refused to listen, swore at the deputy, and later pushed him from behind.

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Justice court schedules Woodbury trial for January

ELKO — Trial is set for former district attorney Gary Woodbury, who is accused of pushing a reserve sheriff deputy in the back at the 2013 Elko County Fair.

An arraignment hearing was scheduled Wednesday, but Woodbury — who hired local law firm Lockie & Macfarlan to represent him — filed an appearance waiver and the simple battery case will continue to trial. It is scheduled for Jan. 13, according to justice court.

Woodbury served as district attorney for 16 years. He works as a private practice lawyer, has been appointed counsel for numerous defendants, and continues to do work for the county in a Jarbidge road lawsuit.

He was charged with battery, a misdemeanor.

Under Nevada law, a person can be charged with a gross misdemeanor if they commit battery on a person who “possesses some or all of the powers of a peace officer.”

Because the case is pending, prosecuting attorney Michael Bongard declined to comment on the attorney general office’s decision to charge Woodbury with the lesser crime.

The charges stem from an alleged confrontation at the Elko County Fairgrounds, after a reserve officer, at the request of fair staff, asked attendees milling in a walkway to disperse, according to a charging document.

Woodbury allegedly refused to listen, swore at the deputy, and later pushed him from behind.

Sabo wins, Elko loses – Elko pays Cassandra Sabo $22,500 because officers treated her unfairly because of her gender and created a hostile workplace

Image

Sabo wins, Elko loses

ImageELKO — The city paid $22,500 to settled a lawsuit with a former police officer who claimed ranking officers treated her unfairly because of her gender and created a hostile workplace.

Cassandra Sabo, hired as an officer in October 2012, filed suit against the City of Elko and individual members of the police department, claiming she was bullied and told, among other sexist comments, that women didn’t belong in law enforcement. Sabo resigned from the force in January 2013.
In its response, the city denied the allegations. In May, the two sides agreed to a settlement, which was finalized a month later. The settlement dismisses the lawsuit.

Image“It’s behind us as far as we’re concerned,” City Manager Curtis Calder said. Calder said the estimated cost to go to trial would have likely been higher than settlement.Image

“For the mere fact of entering into the agreement neither party has admitted fault or wrongdoing,” Calder said. Instead, the agreement was a means of resolving the dispute, he added.

Jeff Dickerson, co-counsel for the plaintiff, released a statement arguing the lawsuit was less about monetary rewards and more about standing against gender discrimination.


“It was never about the money,”
Sabo said in a statement released by her attorneys, Dickerson and Julie Cavanaugh-Bill. “I wanted to educate the chain of command about federal law against discrimination against women in the workplace. Hopefully, bringing them into federal court has inspired re-examination of City policies, so women entering the force will find a better working environment.”Image

Calder said the city’s insurance carrier, Nevada Public Agency Insurance Pool, paid the plaintiff $22,500 on behalf of the city. Both sides were ordered to pay their own legal costs. Calder said the city paid a $5,000 deductible for attorney fees.

ImageAccording to the complaint, while a cop Sabo was pinned in a choke hold by a police sergeant who was not trained or certified to teach and apply chock holds.

Sabo alleged that an internal investigation regarding the matter was conducted to discredit her. She claimed that a male who was hired around the same time wasn’t treated the same way.Image

Two of the four defendants named in the complaint — Chief Don Zumwalt and Capt. Will Lehmann — retired in the past year and are no longer with the police department. Lt. Ty Trouten and Sgt. Matt Locuson were also named as defendants.

Nevada Highway Patrol – Northern Command Rural Dispatch Live Audio Feed/Scanner

NHP scanner

ImageNevada Highway Patrol – Northern Command Rural Dispatch Live Audio Feed: http://streema.com/radios/play/50754

Dick Gammick agrees with Mike Weston, the NHP edited dash cam video and Mr. Weston’s case/conviction should be vacated and expunged as stipulated by Washoe DA Dick Gammick.

JP Scott Pearson “Obstruction of Justice”Is Judge Scott Pearson obstructing justice by being the judge, jury and prosecutor to abuse his desecration in denying Mr. Weston justice after 8 years of fighting this corruption.

https://nevadastatepersonnelwatch.wordpress.com/2013/06/30/mike-weston-to-finally-get-his-day-in-court-july-8th-2013/

RICO Lawsuit against NHP about drug-sniffing dog programImage

RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) – Attorney Kenneth McKenna has filed a Federal Lawsuit on behalf of Nevada Highway Patrol Troopers and a retired Sergeant of Police who in part created and established the K-9 Drug Interdiction Unit for the Nevada Highway Patrol.

They are suing the Department of Public Safety, Nevada Highway Patrol, the City of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and individual members of the Highway Patrol Command Staff and Officers of the Las Vegas Police Department in a 103-page complaint filed in the United States District Court of Nevada.

The Plaintiffs are alleging that the Command Staff of the Nevada Highway Patrol intentionally destroyed the K-9 program.  They claim the program had been instrumental in “getting drugs off Nevada Highways and achieving seizures in the multi-millions of dollars to the benefit of the State of Nevada’s revenues”. Continue reading

Before joining the Elko Band of Indians’ Dinner in the Park, Gov. Brian Sandoval spoke to the Free Press Thursday about his positions on several key issues

nevada governor brian sandoval
We would have asked why the Department of Taxation office was closed in Elko in 2009 under former Director Dino DiCianno’s gold mine lack of audit cover-up scandal... What has changed since?

ELKO — Before joining the Elko Band of Indians’ Dinner in the Park, Gov. Brian Sandoval spoke to the Free Press Thursday about his positions on several key issues.

Sandoval will stay in town today for the Elko County Fair.

His visit is part of a four-town tour of rural communities in Nevada.

EDFP: Last spring you signed a bill to create a task force that will study the possibility of the transfer of public land from federal to state control. Locally, a lot of community leaders have supported that bill and supported the transfer of public lands. Do you think such a transfer of public lands would benefit the state?

GOV: Absolutely. Backing up, it was really an honor for me because some of the Elko County Commissioners were in the Governor’s Office when I signed that bill. … It’s a bill that I supported from its inception, so I was very pleased when the Legislature passed it and put me in a position to be able to sign it. I think it’s a good thing for Nevada. It’s been a long time coming. Continue reading

FEMA region 9 update – Fema Camps 2013 exposed

Published on Jul 17, 2013  LAS VEGAS, NV – A stockpile of military vehicles were recently discovered occupying a secluded commercial property on the outskirts of Las Vegas at the address of 5750 Sky Pointe Dr.

LAS VEGAS FEMA CAMP

It doesn’t seem as if the Humvees and other military-grade vehicles are for sale, even though they are stationed at a former car dealership that has been stripped of its business logo and signs.

By KEITH ROGERS
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

The headlines for a YouTube video clip make it sound like the second coming of Area 51 or some conspiracy by the U.S. military preparing to invoke martial law in the northwest Las Vegas Valley.

“Unmarked Military Base Discovered in Las Vegas,” reads one header for the 79-second video.

Another attached to the footage of military vehicles parked behind the barbed-wire-top fence of a nondescript car lot on Sky Pointe Drive reads, “Secret Base for Martial Law in Las Vegas?” Continue reading