The last 12 months have in Mineral County had highs and lows that have affected each of us in one way or another. As another year draws to a close, let’s reflect back on what 2015 had to offer.
• Lithium samples were discovered at Teels Marsh and were being sampled by Dajin Resources.
• The Mineral County School Board failed to renew Superintendent Chris Schultz’s contract in a 3-0 vote.
• Two Mineral County Sheriff’s Office deputies were honored for their service in an August 2014 AMBER Alert. Deputy Adam Fortier and Sergeant Earl Perry both received letters of commendation and meritorious service department ribbons from outgoing sheriff, Stewart Handte.
• Hawthorne youth Cailean Sterling recovers from brain surgery at the University of San Francisco Children’s Hospital. Sterling is an aspiring model.
• Volunteers assist to cleanup the shoreline of Walker Lake after cholera-infested birds had washed up upon the shore.
• The Mineral County Commissioners call it quits for Green Energy Nevada (GEN). GEN had been in discussion with the commissioners to purchase the old Babbitt property to raise chickens.
• Sean Rowe, Mineral County District Attorney, asks for patience in the investigation of allegedly uncounted votes in the 2014 General Election.
• Walker Lake Crusaders and Walker Lake Working Group give a presentation at Walker Lake to those interested in saving the ancient lake in Mineral County.
• William Leaming, medical clinician, at Mt. Grant General Hospital tendered his resignation after calling Hawthorne his home for 20 years.
• Mineral County Sheriff’s Office is awarded a grant for new breath testers, Sheriff Randy Adams informs the commissioners. Undersheriff Bill Ferguson also lets the commissioners know that he is working on an electronic citation program for the office.
• VFW National Commander and Hawthorne resident, John Stroud, sits down with President Barrack Obama to discuss veteran’s benefits.
• Walt Hackford, Schurz Elementary principal, is named the new superintendent for Mineral County School District.
• SOC donated to the Mineral County High School special education program for a field trip to Mammoth, Calif.
• Talk begins about redistricting the Fifth Judicial District into a possible Eleventh Judicial District.
• Hawthorne Elks Lodge 1704 played host to the annual Nevada State Elks Convention. The event brought in more that 200 people to the community.
• Mineral County High School crowned Chandler Isom as prom king and Tennicee Reynolds as their queen during a masquerade ball.
• Jerzi Moody was named as “Miss Armed Forces” at the close of the pageant. Virginia Prichard was named “Jr. Miss Armed Forces Day”. Moody will represent the Armed Forces Day event at various activities during the Armed Forces Day weekend.
• Nevada Backroads group camped at the Luning Flats while members of their organization explored the outback of Mineral County.
• Borealis Mine gave notice that the operation was suspending operations and laid off 18 workers.
• Mineral County Clerk/Treasurer Lorraine Haight resigns after five months in the position. The commissioners open the position after accepting her resignation.
• Mineral County become part of the newly developed Eleventh Judicial District. Included with Mineral are Lander and Pershing Counties. Jim Shirley is named as the new district judge.
• Six Mineral County Serpent baseball players are named to all-conference teams. Included in the listing were: Tanner Owens; Spencer Benjamin; Tyshawn Bonner; Daniel Owens; Brandon West and Taylon Wachsmuth.
• The first ever recorded tornado ripped through Hawthorne, destroying homes, businesses and industrial buildings. The tornado was categorized as an EF-1.
• District Attorney Sean Rowe concluded that there was no signs of fraud or tampering of voting machines in a report he gave to the commissioners. An investigation had been opened after it was noticed that votes did not total in the 2014 Mineral County General Election.
• Chris Nepper is appointed to the position of Mineral County Clerk/Treasurer. Nepper had previously worked in the assessor’s office.
• Hawthorne Little League hosted an eight-team tournament in the District III All Star Tournament that began on July 1.
• A civil lawsuit was filed regarding the missing votes from the 2014 General Election.
• An interactive monument was installed at Walker Lake. The rock tribute includes information on the lake and a geocache. It is located at the former State Beach below the cliff area.
• Mineral County resident Tim Hall prepares to run in the Best In The Desert – Vegas to Reno off-road race.
• Mt. Grant General Hospital will help with patients as neighboring Nye Regional Medical Center in Tonopah shuts its doors. Mineral County Ambulance will rendezvous with Nye County Ambulance to transfer emergency patients.
• The Independent-News encouraged all Mineral County residents to participate in the first Mineral County Community Yard Sale Day.
• The Hawthorne Army Depot will be renting bunkers at the depot under the United States Armament Retooling and Manufacturing Support program.
• A 4.4 earthquake was recorded by the University of Reno’s seismologist lab. The quake hit Mineral County approximately 13 miles northwest of Hawthorne.
• A 92-year old hiker was rescued from the Alum Creek area after a call was placed to Mineral County Search and Rescue personnel. SAR volunteers were alerted to the hiker’s whereabouts by his dog.
• Green Energy Nevada filed a lawsuit against Mineral County after county commissioners chose to stop negotiations with the company. The county had given numerous extensions in 2014 and early 2015 for the purchase of land that had formerly housed Babbitt.
• Bethel Baptist Church in Hawthorne celebrated its 72nd anniversary.
• Reno’s improv group, The Utility Players, entertained residents during the annual Kenny Bostic Memorial Youth Athletic Fund fundraiser.
• A male inmate, Jack Reese, was identified after he was found deceased in his cell on Oct. 9 in the Mineral County Detention Facility.
• Jesslyn Knight and Spencer Benjamin were named Homecoming Queen and King.
• Hawthorne landmark, Joe’s Tavern, is purchased by The Cashell Family Trust from the Holder Group.
• The Boys & Girls Club of Hawthorne gets funding support from KARRS who pledged $20,000 to help fund the community program.
• A lease on the Hawthorne Centennial Speedway was approved on Nov. 18. Scott Moderson has plans to redevelop the property.
• Lt. Col. Gregory Gibbons holds a town hall forum to discuss and answer questions about Hawthorne Army Depot.
• The El Capitan Lodge & Casino begins a million dollar renovation.
• Drone companies were shown what Hawthorne Army Depot has to offer after an event was held in Hawthorne.
• Walker River Police Department and Mineral County Sheriff’s Office deputies give of themselves after taking children shopping in neighboring Fallon. Children were able to purchase toys for Christmas.
• Mineral County School District is looking for answers after a $264,130 deficit leaves the district questioning a formula set forth by the Nevada Department of Education.