Author: Heidi Bunch

California Man Sentenced for Felony Killing of Big Game Animal

A California man recently was sentenced in the 11th District Court to a gross misdemeanor and booked into the Mineral County Detention Center for the felony killing of a big game animal. Alan Berryessa of Cedarville, Calif. was sentenced to pay a forfeiture of $5,000 to the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW), forfeit any property seized during the investigation and be placed on probation, not to exceed three years after NDOW officers discovered that Berryessa had been applying for resident Nevada big games tags “consistently from 1989 to 2015”. He also had claimed that he was a Nevada resident since April 1988, had been using an addresses which belonged to another person to claim residency and had harvested animals within Nevada. Berryessa had used four different Reno addresses from 1989 to 2015. Since 2000, he had drawn nine big game tags. In 2013, he drew a Desert Bighorn Sheep tag and the following year, drew a California Bighorn Sheep tag. A records check by NDOW showed that Berryessa held a valid Nevada driver’s license but had no vehicle registered within the state. The billing address for the credit card used to purchase the tags, was linked to a Cedarville, Calif. address. During an interview with Berryessa, he stated that he had lived in Reno for a couple of years and had “maintained possession of his Nevada driver’s license ever...

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School Superintendent Announces Retirement

Prior to the Mineral County School Board Trustees March 8 meeting, school superintendent Walt Hackford announced that he would be retiring from the district. In a statement to the Independent-News, he explains, “Following a 31-year career in Education I have decided to retire and move forward with other interests in life. I wish to thank all of the many students, staff, and community members who have worked beside me and friended me over my past 11 years in Mineral County. Certainly, I will reflect often upon the many wonderful memories of student achievements and accomplishments throughout my retirement years....

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Local Students Join Nation in Rally Against Gun Violence

Hawthorne Junior High students supported their fellow students during the March 14 National Walk Out Day. Standing for a moment of silence at 12:17 p.m., the students were provided with “17 Acts of Kindness – Ways to Remember Students Who Lost Their Lives” from Safe School Professional Kathy Trujillo. The list started with the first item being, “Thank hot lunch staff and janitors for their hard work.” Number 7 was: “Try to make sure every person in a group conversation feels included” and the last one being, “Thank a teacher for helping you in the classroom.” More importantly were...

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County Commissioners Give Public Works Director Evaluation

On March 7 during the Mineral County Board of County Commissioner’s meeting, the annual performance evaluation of Public Works Director Eric Hamrey was discussed. Hamrey gave himself an acceptable mark regarding safety. Commissioner Chris Hegg pointed out that some of his employees are still not wearing their seatbelts. He was directed again to get training for his grader operators as Commissioner Garth Price continues to get calls regarding road conditions and the level of experience of those hired. Hegg explained that possibly the road maintenance can be contracted out. “We need to concentrate more on the roads that we are using,” Hamrey told the commissioners. “Now that we have a foreman in place, I can leave and go out and inspect and work with these guys.” Hegg asked what time does Hamrey show up for work. He replied he gets to the office between 5:30-5:40 a.m. and leaves at 5 p.m. When discussion regarding the communication skills of Hamrey was brought up, Price gave Hamrey an acceptable score whereas Hamrey had marked commendable. Price questioned his past communication with department heads and Hegg questioned the “picking and choosing” of projects. Price advised Hamrey to only take on what jobs that he can complete. “Finish before you start another,” he directed Hamrey. Discussion about the swimming pool contractor issues as well as electrical work at the convention center. Tipton told...

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Wanted Felon Arrested in Sacramento

Last week, Mineral County Sheriff’s Office issued a wanted poster for Robert Maurice Wilson for failure to appear. Wilson was convicted of multiple charges during a jury trial on Dec. 14, 2017. He was convicted by said jury for trafficking of a controlled substance mid level (14-28 grams) a category B felony; trafficking of a controlled substance mid level (14-28), a category B felony; two counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance, a category E felony and child endangerment, a gross misdemeanor. During phase two of his trial, Wilson was charged with three counts of ex-felon in possession of a firearm. Before the trial began, Wilson and his counsel agreed to plead guilty to one count of ex-felon in possession of a firearm instead of going to trial. The other two counts were dismissed. Wilson, who was already released from custody at the time of his trial, was given a sentencing court date of Feb. 27. He failed to appear for that hearing. In a statement from the office of the sheriff, it states that on the morning of his sentencing hearing, the counsel for Wilson informed the court that “he had received a text message that morning from an unknown cell phone confirming the sentencing hearing.” After Wilson’s hearing passed, Judge Jim Shirley of the 11th District Court in Nevada issued a nationwide arrest warrant for felony...

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