MCIN File Photo
Some members of the 2018-19 Mineral County High boys and girls basketball team celebrate with their trophies after winning the state championship in early March. It was the first time in school history that both teams won the state title in the same year.

It was another eventful year in Mineral County from the Mineral County High School boys and girls basketball teams each bringing home a state championship, to water being released back into Walker Lake. Below are highlights from each month as seen in the pages of the Independent-News.


  • The Mineral County Commissioners met in a closed door meeting to discuss the settlement of a Mineral County Detention Center inmate. Kelly Coltrain, a 27-year-old female, died while in the facility in July of 2017. [The family would be awarded $2 million at the end of May.]
  • Sheriff Randy Adams tells commissioners that the low pay and officer shortage could eliminate graveyard shift. “We are at the point right now that if we go another officer down, we will have to cut service. Basically, there is a good chance we wouldn’t have graveyard shift,” he said.
  • A new penny engraving machine is installed at the Hawthorne Ordnance Museum. Representatives from Walker Lake Working Group, the depot and the school district were on hand for the unveiling.
  • Mineral County ordinance 249A was passed by the county commissioners. The ordinance deals with nuisances and their abatements within the county jurisdiction.


  • The original Sierra Pacific Power building, formerly Hawthorne Power, was torn down in conjunction with a Community Development Block Grant.
  • Construction continues on the new Dottie’s Casino on Highway 95 and Armory Road in Hawthorne.
  • A blanket of snow kept emergency personnel busy.
  • Both Serpent basketball teams advance to state playoffs. The Lady Serpents reach for the title after a thrilling win over Tonopah. The boys topped Spring Mountain to capture the regional title.


  • For the first time in the history of Mineral County High School, both the boys and girls win state basketball titles in the same season. The boys played hard to beat out Spring Mountain whereas the girls worked the floor to beat out Eureka.
  • Mineral County Economic Development Authority executive director Shelley Hartmann sits down with the Independent- News after the county commissioners voted 2-1 to drop the organizations services and participate with the Sierra Region Development Authority.
  • Hawthorne Army Depot played host to the first Nevada National Guard international military contest. Four Tongan Marines competed against eight Nevada Army Guard Soldiers for the title of “Best Warrior”.
  • Mineral County choir and band students receive top rating at festival in Virginia City.


  • Mitch Stevenson, LTG, US Army (retired) gave a presentation to the county commissioners regarding Leidos bidding on the ammunition depot contract this summer.
  • William James, age 78 was reported as missing from the Luning area last week. He was last seen in the area between Feb. 16-23. James is still currently listed as a missing person in Mineral County.
  • The coalition of Mineral County held an opioid summit in Mineral County.
  • The Walker Basin Conservancy was granted permission from the Walker River Decree Court to call for instream use of decreed water rights purchased from willing sellers to benefit wildlife and the restoration of Walker Lake.
  • Jesslyn Gomez and Seth Bozzi were named prom king and queen at this year’s Mineral County High School Junior Prom.


  • The Hawthorne Post Office is renamed after Sgt. Kenneth Bostic, a Mineral County soldier who was killed in the line of fire in Iraq. Members of Bostic’s family were on hand to witness the dedication.
  • Harold Fuller is named grand marshal of the Armed Forces Day parade.
  • Residents of Mineral County celebrated the 69th annual Armed Forces Day parade and events.
  • The Serpent 4×300 meter relay team consisting of Jerad Dore; Robert McFalls, Jonathan Scott and Tony Torres took home the state title for their efforts during the state championship held at Desert Oasis High School in Las Vegas.


  • Hawthorne Junior High solar rollers place fifth at the Reno race. The kit to build the car and entry fees were paid by Tesla.
  • Residents of Walker Lake meet with the commissioners to discuss the county taking over private and non-county streets and roads in the small community.
  • Pastor Robert and First Lady Lelia Cox celebrate 15 years of ministry at Bethel Baptist Church.
  • Walter “Wally” Francis returned from the four-day Honor Flight Nevada trip to Washington, D.C.
  • After 74 years, Joe’s Tavern officially locked their doors, ending a long-standing era in Hawthorne history.


  • Construction of the new “Hawthorne” sign near McDonalds is underway.
  • The water line to serve a marijuana grow facility southwest of Armory Road is approved by Nevada Division of Environmental Protection.
  • Drones are permanently banned from flying in the Hawthorne Army Depot “no fly zone” and “no spy zone” according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
  • A petition backing Mineral County Economic Development Authority is presented to the county commissioners.


  • The gunman who opened fire on the famous garlic festival in Gilroy, Calif. is found to have been living in Walker Lake. FBI agents assisted by Mineral County Sheriff’s Office searched the apartment.
  • Mt. Grant Electric completes a support project for the US Navy Blue Angels at the naval Air Station in El Centro, Calif.
  • Hawthorne Safeway pharmacy is ranked 15 nationwide for the dispensing of opioid pills.


  • The annual 9/11 Mt. Grant Memorial Challenge was slated for Sept. 14.
  • Mineral County Motorhead’s Shop, Swap and Car Show was held the same day as the 9/11 Mt. Grant Memorial Challenge at the El Capitan.
  • A DVD containing the closed session for the county commissioners was distributed to many in the area, showing a pending lawsuit against Commissioner Christine Hoferer filed by Under Sheriff Bill Ferguson.
  • Walker River Paiute Tribe holds their 89th annual Pinenut Festival in Schurz.


  • Cecil the Serpent gets permission to attend the Nevada Day parade in Carson City.
  • Funds from the Mineral County Motorhead’s Shop, Swap and Car Show were donated to Boys and Girls Club of Hawthorne. $34,176 was the total amount gifted to the organization.
  • Isabella Pearl, a gold mine located near Luning, announced that they had produced their first gold dore from the project.
  • Homecoming King and Queen Ethan Nelms and Jerzi Moody-Isom were crowned at the event.


  • An active shooter drill was held at Mt. Grant General Hospital. • The “Fight for Nevada” rally to recall Governor Steve Sisolak came to Hawthorne on Nov. 9.
  • It was announced that Cecil the Serpent took top honors at the Nevada Day Parade.
  • Members of the Walker River and Yerington Paiute tribes gathered on a unity prayer walk to bless a stretch of Highway 95A where many members of both tribes have been involved in car accidents.


  • Mt. Grant General Hospital receives a large donation from the Pennington Foundation in the amount of $1.3 million dollars. This gift will purchase a state of the art CT Scanner for the radiology department.
  • The annual Serpent Classic basketball tournament was held in Hawthorne with teams from Bishop; Lovelock; Virginia City; Battle Mountain; Sierra Lutheran; Pyramid; Smith Valley and Sierra Ridge playing for three days.