Dear Editor,

So I guess that now that we’ve lost all but one Walker Lake Advisory Board member, we residents of the Walker Lake village are now represented by a few folks demanding codes be upheld and policed. I’m just wondering if you insist to the county commissioners, they uphold and enforce codes. Why didn’t you attend any or some of the advisory board meetings that flat out failed miserably due to what appeared, lack of interest by the local residents?

An advisory board is the means to get done just what your rogue attempts at forcing the commissioners do your personal bidding. Granted our first attempt at forming and becoming a legal board was rather disastrous with members too busy to attend a meeting or using the meetings for their own personal agenda. So maybe going rogue is the only way to get the attention of our duly elected officials. But a legal board will not only gain legal traction, but is a representation of the general population of our community not just a few people wanting things done their way only.

Lawrence Worthen

Walker Lake

Dear Editor,

Dear Mrs. Dorothy Fortenberry:

I strongly believe in giving a person their flowers while they can smell them.

It comes out in discussion among co-workers, it comes out in discussion at a class reunion, it comes out in discussion at family reunions, it comes out – who was your favorite teacher? Some of us may have to ponder and others may not have to give it a second thought. As for me the answer is easy. You see, I had many favorite teachers and they all played a special part in my life. I’m afraid to list them for fear of missing someone.

Mrs. Fortenberry, I want to thank you for being an awesome teacher. You taught, you nurtured, you even prayed. Some of the skills I use today were taught by you in the Mineral County High School on A Street in Hawthorne. I am forever thankful.

Peace and Blessings to you always.

Toni Odom-McNeil


Dear Editor,

Political Contrast Today

When a parent constantly gives in to a toddler that screams, cries and has to have it’s way all the time, the child has no incentive to mature. That’s a pretty clear picture of the major liberal media these days along with the toddler being the college age and liberal adults. “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.”

A major CNN big-name news caster and a Fox News talk show host were walking away from a news organization convention. A reporter from a local station stopped them and pointed across the street, and asked, “What do you see?”

The liberal from CNN launched into a critique: “A really sad, pitiful example of prejudice, completely ignoring electric hybridization and fuel efficiency. There’s an obvious, blatant bias that rejects blue and tan and green… and the wording indicates violence and hate speech! It’s a shameful display!”

The reporter then turned to the Conservative talk show host and asked the same question. Her answer: “A fire truck.”

The Liberal media and “Left” needs to be sent to their rooms and be ignored while they throw their tantrums.

Jeff Barrow


Dear Editor,

I have given much thought about this since I first became aware of a death in the Mineral County Jail. Kelly Coltrain did not have to lose her life in this manner and the death highlights a serious issue in law enforcement in Mineral County.

There appears to be little dispute about the cause and manner of this death. Now the issue is how could this have come to pass that the jail staff could be so callous to not respond to her pleas for medical treatment? Training is certainly an issue but common decency would tell me that if someone is in medical distress that an appropriate response should be made. After all, the county hospital is only across the street. If this happened in your home to a visitor would you respond by kicking their foot and then leaving them for hours or would you render first aid and call for medical assistance? I doubt that the jail staff is certified, even though the sheriff is the ex-officio coroner, to pronounce death. You shouldn’t have to be trained to be a decent and caring person. That determination is usually made in the hiring process.

The sheriff, district attorney and whomever the private attorney hired to represent the county can babble about no training funds and lack of training but that doesn’t resolve the issue. Their lack of foresight is unforgiveable. Training is and has been available in a multitude of places from neighboring counties to the federal government. I would bet that every county in Nevada would be glad to assist by offering their jail manuals and general orders that could be modified and tailored to fit Mineral County’s needs. The larger counties would respond gladly to requests for classroom training and evaluations of the jail facility. There is a magic issue in all of this; the sheriff has to ask for help. He didn’t and therein lays the crux of the problem.

The sheriff may have now read the Nevada Revised Statutes that pertain to his duties regarding jails but I wonder if he did when he was elected or any time prior to this issue arising? The sheriff and district attorney can talk lack of funds but that is “bull.” State statutes would lead me to believe that the sheriff can expend the monies necessary for the care and wellbeing of the inmates in the sheriff’s custody and the necessary upkeep of the facility.

Now let’s look at the issue of oversight. I wonder if the county commissioners made their required quarterly inspections of the jail facility? This should be documented in two places, the minutes of the commission meeting following the inspection and in the jail log for the day of the inspection. Did they look at the training and general readiness of the sheriff and jail staff to respond to critical issues? Did the district attorney read, evaluate and assist in the writing of the several policies necessary to cover the jail? There is a reason for their minor intrusion into the sheriff’s duties; to insure the sheriff is doing his duty.

A few years ago, the sheriff resigned and I was asked to apply for the office. I was offered the position even though I expressly stated the primary issue was training and I would not run for election. I was unable to come to terms when one commissioner wanted me to give up my retirement to take the position. All of that is water under the bridge but I cannot pass on the point that I offered to train anyone on any issue necessary to make the sheriff’s office better. I was never asked.

Law enforcement is the conscience of your community. You set the tone and tenor of this most important of county functions. Our Constitution and specifically the Fourth Amendment covers arrest. An arrest is the most powerful tool to maintain peace in a law enforcement officer’s area of responsibility. The seizure of a person and the taking of his freedom is without a doubt the highest responsibility of any that can exist. Once that arrest or seizure is made that person’s wellbeing then becomes the responsibility of the person making the arrest or whoever might later have custody, but in all instances the sheriff is the ultimate person responsible.

A minor point is that a deputy sheriff is in fact the sheriff when acting under the umbrella of the sheriff. The sheriff is responsible for every act his deputies take when acting under the color of law and his office. The sheriff cannot abdicate his responsibilities nor can he blame someone else. In this case, I believe the sheriff was malfeasant in his duties and failed to uphold even the most minimum of standards when representing you, the residents of Mineral County.

I was raised in Babbitt and Hawthorne and have relatives continuing to live in Mineral County. I care immensely about Mineral County.

James L. Bagwell

Humboldt County Sheriff 1982-1990

Carson City

Dear Editor,

To the residents of Mineral County,

The Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health will be assisting Mineral County Stakeholders in conducting a community needs assessment Nov. 1 – Nov. 3, 2018 throughout Mineral County. The assessment is called a CASPER – Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response, originally created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide guidance for public health and emergency management officials when conducting community assessments. This upcoming project will be used to collect information about the public health needs, emergency preparedness capabilities, and resource availability within Mineral County. With the help of your local stakeholders, Local Emergency Planning Committee members, the Mineral County Housing Committee, and volunteers from your community, the assessment will be implemented as a door-to-door household-based survey. This provides an opportunity for your community to partner with state preparedness entities in order to improve emergency response plans for public health, natural or manmade disaster situations.

The assessment is best completed with the involvement of the community being surveyed. Your time is valuable, and we understand the commitments you have first and foremost to your community. If you do have the time and are capable, please consider volunteering to help conduct the assessment. The survey should take no more than three days to complete, with volunteer training included on the first day. Participation is not mandatory all three days; volunteers are welcome to work one day or all three. The survey itself is minimal: two pages that would take around 10-15 minutes to complete. The questions will be focused specifically on community needs topics that your community stakeholders decide upon. In total, we would be surveying 210 households at random. All of the information collected is confidential, and survey questions do not ask for personal or identifiable information.

At the end of the assessment, a final analysis will be made on the data collected and will be returned back to Mineral County. The information presented in the analysis will help your local stakeholders decide where to improve preparedness plans or allocate necessary resources.

If you would like additional information about this assessment or have questions regarding it, please contact Emily Gould, Nevada Public Health Preparedness Program, at, or (775) 684-3216 or visit the CDC website at We greatly appreciate your time and participation in this assessment. Thank you!

Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health

Mineral County Emergency Planning Committee