The 67th annual Armed Forces Day parade took place under picture-perfect skies in Hawthorne on May 20.

From the earthquakes that shook residents last January to the first state title since 1964 for the Mineral County High boys basketball team, there was plenty that happened in Mineral County over the last 365 days. We look back at the top stories of 2017 by month in our annual Year in Review:


• Mineral County residents are still feeling aftershocks of two magnitudes 5.7 and 5.5 earthquakes that hit the county on Dec. 28, 2016. The historic Nine Mine Ranch house was extensively damaged.

• Mineral County Search & Rescue received a new search boat from Nevada Department of Wildlife. The 1998 Boston Whaler had been previously used at Lake Mead.

• Best in the Desert off-road race founder, Casey Folks died on Jan. 12 at the Parker race where he was starting the race.

• The United States Postal Office in Hawthorne has patrons frustrated over misplaced mail and lost mail at the facility.


• John Lockwood of Schurz puts used Christmas trees to use by placing them in Weber Reservoir as a habitat for fish eggs.

• Alyssa Richmond of Walker Lake takes second place at the Nevada State VFW “Voice of Democracy” speech contest.

• Wind gusts up to 75 miles per hour blow over trees and a semi-truck. The highway was closed until the lanes could be opened.

• Robert Peterson was sent to Nevada Department of Corrections after receiving multiple life sentences for crimes involving producing child pornography and luring a minor child.


• The Mineral County Serpent Boys Basketball team win the first state title since 1964 after beating Pahranagat Valley 63-46.

• Governor Brian Sandoval announced that U.S. 95 south of Fallon will be closed from Mar. 5- 17 while Nevada Department of Transportation installs culverts to help divert water during the spring thaw.

• Mineral County residents question the new proposed Walker River State Recreational Site. The area encompasses lands within Mineral and Lyon Counties such as Nine Mile Ranch, Flying M, The Pitchfork Ranch and Rafter 7. The park will include around 267,000 acres of land.

• Mineral County Economic Development Authority’s fate after Commissioner Chris Hegg brought it to the attention of the Mineral County Commissioners areas of concern.


• The icon Hawthorne sign located at Veterans Park in Hawthorne was damaged after it was discovered that the winds of this year had damaged the pole. The sign had been rescued from the now demolished Hawthorne Club.

• Mineral County residents traveled to Carson City to support Nevada Assemblymen to ensure that Intermountain West Corridor (I-11) does not bypass Mineral County.

• Mineral County School District special education teacher Michael Harris and his female passenger, Sherry Treagresser are booked into the Mineral County Jail after a traffic stop leads to methamphetamines found in the car and at the home of the couple.

• The Nevada Division of Child and Family Services presented a foster care recruiter program in Hawthorne.

• The completion of the Luning Solar Energy Center was celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the facility.


• Consolidated Agency of Human Services celebrates 40 years of service to Mineral County.

• Cheyenne Walker was crowned Miss Armed Forces Day.

• Maggie’s Once More is named SOC recipient of 2016 Supplier of the Year. Owners Cal Lattin and Sharon Lattin were presented with a plaque, as well as daughter Sarah Llewellyn.

• Mineral County celebrated the 67th Armed Forces Day with the traditional parade. This year, the Old Courthouse was opened for self-guided tours.


• Taylen Wachsmuth and Tiera McFalls are named Athletes of the Year at the Mineral County High School Sports Banquet.

• Tierra Jones, a Hawthorne native, was named the first black female state court judge on Friday, June 2 in Las Vegas.

• Hawthorne Boys & Girls Club receives a check from Hawthorne Elks Lodge 1704 Exalted Ruler Kent Wofford for $2,500.

• The former Stanley Ranch is transferred to the Walker River Paiute Tribe from the Walker Basin Restoration Program.

• The Independent-News covered the story of Michael David Jones, who went missing from Hawthorne when he was only 15 years old on Nov. 14, 1973. He was later found near Brady Hot Springs in Churchill County on Sept. 17, 1974. To this day, his case remains open with the Mineral County Sheriff’s Office.


• Hawthorne Ordnance Museum receives two Huey Gunship helicopters for display.

• Brenda Jones was recognized for 35 years of service to Mineral County.

• “Take the Stage” is exactly what a few local youth did in California at the Young Americans Performing Arts Summer Workshop in Corona, Calif.


• A Celebration of Life was held for former Mineral County Commissioner Paul MacBeth.

• The Mineral County Sheriff Randy Adams met with the commissioners regarding approval of grand funded overtime for exempt employees.

• Longtime Mineral County School District superintendent Arlo Funk passed away at the age of 91. He began his career with the district on June 14, 1961.

• 1st Sgt. USMC (Ret.) Chris Carlisle was involved in a solo accident between Pit 8 and Pit 9 of the Best in the Desert race. Carlisle succumbed to his injuries at Mt. Grant General Hospital.

• The Mineral County Serpent football team opened with a big win over the Tonopah Muckers with a score of 82-56.


• Supporters of Walker Lake traveled to Pasadena, Calif. when the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals met to sort out who governs the waters that flow into the Walker River Basin.

• Jack and Sudha Desai celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Monarch Motel.

• The community came together to remember 9/11 with the annual hike to Mt. Grant.

• Geothermal units arrive for installation at Mineral County schools.


• The tragic shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival has friends and family checking in on those Mineral County members who were in attendance. The Independent-News covered the stories of Christy and Noah Joyce, Nicole Ferrell, Chase Lawrence and Tana Gurule. Gurule met with President Donald Trump when he flew into Las Vegas to assist victims and law enforcement agencies.

• After 44 years of service to Mt. Grant General Hospital, Richard Munger official retired his position as the administrator of the facility.

• Christine Mayes, a counselor at Hawthorne Elementary shared information from a summer conference entitled, Beyond Paper Tigers. This conference focused on bullying.

• The killing of a bighorn sheep at Walker Lake by a hunter leaves some residents of that community in an uproar.


• Mina Postmistress Ruth Dellinger passes away after an ATV accident.

• Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt stops in Mineral County on a 17 county swing to announce his run for governor.

• The Battlefield Cross is installed at Veterans Park as a memorial to those who have served our country and have given the ultimate sacrifice of their lives.

• Congressman Ruben Kihuen urges the secretary to the Department of Transportation to discuss Interstate 11 and the economic boost it will give to Mineral County.

• Mineral County Fire House experiencing “hiccups” after the resignation of Chief T.C. Knight. Interim fire Chief Vern Watson has been working on issues as they arise. On Jan. 1, Chris Lawrence will become the new fire chief.


• Walker Lake residents meet to re-form advisory board.

• County clerk Chris Nepper asked for a resolution authorizing a medium-term obligation in the amount of $91,000 to purchase new election equipment.

• The Hawthorne Elementary first graders wrote letters to Santa Claus. Many asked for Elf on a Shelf as well as underwear, this year.

• Tim and Nancy Rutherford held their fifth annual Christmas Eve movie event at their home at 815 Fir Street. Hot cocoa and candy canes were distributed to those who stopped by to watch the movies.