John Byrne/MCIN file photo
Mineral County’s Andre Davis rises to shoot against Word of Life in the basketball state semifinals in March at Reed High School in Sparks. The Serpents lost an overtime thriller 59-54.

As we end the year and get ready to start a new one, we look back at some of the top stories that happened in Mineral County in 2016.


• Borealis Mining Company, LLC announced another round of lay-offs at the mine located approximately 16 miles from Hawthorne.

• Signage is discussed at the Mineral County Convention and Tourism board meeting to help draw travelers into the county.

• Chandler Isom was named Hawthorne VFW Post 2313 winner of the “Voice of Democracy” contest.

• Walker River Tribal Police confiscate 30.8 pounds of marijuana after stopping a speeding vehicle. The street value was listed at $98,560.


• A “Tonopah Low” blew through Mineral County leaving much snow on much of the valley floor of Mineral County.

• Hawthorne VFW member, Senior Chief Petty Officer Edward Byers, received the Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama on Feb. 29.

• A town hall meeting is conducted to discuss the possibility of a four-day week for Mineral County schools.

• Mineral County High School boy’s basketball team moved on to the state playoffs after winning two in regionals.


• Mineral County High School boy’s basketball team loses by five points in semifinal game that went into overtime.

• Some Mineral County registered Republican voters were turned away at the Republican Caucus on Mar. 23.

• Work began on the Luning Solar Energy Project outside of Luning in Mineral County. The expected life span of the project is 30 years as they supply power to California.

• Mineral County Commissioner Cliff Cichowlaz passed away suddenly at the age of 69.

• A drone successfully delivered a package to an abandoned residence in Mineral County. This was the first fully autonomous urban drone delivery in the U.S.


• Mineral County residents gathered to have their input heard on the I-11 route that could possible come through Mineral County.

• Glenn Bunch is named Elks Citizen of the Year.

• The Lady Serpents win in a double-header against Carlin.

• Jaci Norman was named Mineral County prom queen. Brandon West was named king.


• A new 18,000 acre industrial park on land managed by SOC and owned by the U.S. Army is currently under development.

• Incoming Commander Lt. Col. Scott Bishop received a command overview briefing from Lt. Col. Gregory Gibbons before Bishop takes over the Hawthorne Army Depot next month.

• 2016 Miss Armed Forces Day pageant was held. Alisia Palacios was named queen. Shaylee Gavin was named Junior Miss Armed Forces Day.

• Hailey Lahre and Tony Dominguez are named top male and female athletes of Mineral County from Hawthorne Elks Lodge 1704.

• The Mineral County High School baseball team received an escort as they left town for the state playoff.

• Wind couldn’t stop the 66th Armed Forces Day celebration.


• The Mineral County High School class of 2016 was featured as well as their scholarship awards.

• An apartment complex is evacuated due to missing ordnance concerns. The FBI was contacted and conducted the search of the residence on the 400 Block of H Street in Hawthorne.

• Hawthorne residents discuss life one year after a freak tornado hit the town and damaged many businesses and homes.

• A ribbon cutting is held at the Hawthorne Army Depot which became a certified Diversify Nevada site. The 16,800-acre industrial center is open to industrial lease and is the largest of its kind in Nevada.

• Lt. Col. Scott M. Bishop takes command of Hawthorne Army Depot from Lt. Col. Gregory Gibbons. Lt. Col. Bishop served as a Logistics Lieutenant Colonel Assignments Officer in Fort Knox, Ky. prior to taking command.


• The Cliff Cichowlaz Training and Learning Center was dedicated in the late commissioner and former manager of SOC.

• Mineral County residents helped “Cram the Cruiser” for school supplies. CAHS distributes the supplies to students.

• The El Capitan celebrates their 75th anniversary with street party

• Congressman Mark Amodei met with Mineral County Commissioners to clear up concerns on the I-11 project.


• Esmeralda Mill, located at the historic Aurora Mine site, sold for $80 million to Klondex Mine.

• John Shelton, age 43, was killed when his Jeep Cherokee rolled near the “Elbow” on Walker River.

• Hawthorne schools begin a four-day school week.

• Caitlyn Rogers and Alyjah Dotson attend the Young Americans workshop in California.


• The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation purchases the Flying M Ranch once owned by Barron Hilton for a price tag of $20 million.

• The Fallon Naval Air Station looks at increasing their training ground into Mineral County.

• Walker River Paiute Tribe files a suit against Mineral County wanting in-person voter registration and in-person early voting sites on the reservation.

• Mineral County Independent-News is named best community paper in the state at the annual Nevada Press Association awards. General Manager of the Independent-News, Eric Dahlberg accepted the award.


• The US Justice Department sided with the Walker River Paiute Tribe in their petition to allow satellite voting sites on the reservation.

• The Naval Warfare Department from the Fallon Training Complex set up a town hall meeting to discuss the expansion of training grounds in Mineral County.

• Jordi Medlock and Brandon West are named Mineral County High School homecoming king and queen.

• Mineral County School District makes a push for the approval of their school bond issue on this year’s ballot.


• Mineral County Clerk Chris Nepper dropped his lawsuit against Mineral County, after votes were found uncounted in a drawer from the 2014 election.

• A large deadly blaze leaves one dead in Mina after the fire gutted nearly half a block.

• Chris Hegg and Garth Price are voted in as new commissioners for Mineral County.

• Many Mineral County residents were on hand for the Walker Basin Research Project, which featured over 100 researchers, scientists and other members to discuss the future of the ancient lake.


• Mineral County is one of four counties asked to recount votes from the general election due to a request filed by presidential candidate Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente.

• Mineral County High School boys finish 3-2 at Serpent Classic.

• Jeffrey Van Arkel is jailed in the Mineral County Detention Center after a DNA test in Oregon comes back to him after a 2005 alleged rape.

• Betty Easley, volunteer at the Hawthorne Airport, is featured by the FAA after her hard work and dedication to the airport.