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Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
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March 6, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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March 6, 1997
 

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j, Contuned from page 1 whom were sent copies of the board's letter _ to scrutinize include some of the count)' government's most controversial actions. Topping the list is the county commission's borrowing of $3.5 million at no interest from PETT (payment equal to taxes) funds earmarked for capital projects and using the money for operating expenses. Such borrowing is against the Local Government Budget Act and it was also done without the required approval of the Nevada Dept. of Taxation, the board claims. Its letter says that county and commission staff members have admitted that the loans will never be repaid. The Amargosa board also charges that the county's closing budget figures for 1996 are "misleading" and hide a major problem. That problem, the board says, is that $1,228,729 owed the county by the Nye Regional Medical Center was reported as an asset when the county was "fully aware on June 30, 1996 that this money would never be recovered and is lost forever." The board also alleges that the county manager and his staff have a "common practice" of transferring as much as a million dollars a month "from one fund account to another without prior approval or notification, by or to, the Nye County Commission," as required by law. When the notification that the board says is required by the state's Local Government Budget Act is later given, it is, the board charges, "routinely buried in the consent agenda of a commission meeting with no verbal or written explanation t Contuned from page 1 the years by the people of the communities in the Death Valley region, said an emotional Humprreys, one of the original organizers and participants in the memorial marathon. "There are so many, yourselves included, I am sure that someone will be overlooked, so I will just ask your indulgence in a blanket 'Thank You' from the bottom of our hearts." While every year of the marathon was an emotional experience for everyone involved, this year in particular marked the most sentimental of all our journeys. The 100-mile marathon was dedicated to Capt. Don Kiefer, a two tour Marine Corps, Veteran, who was killed on impact when his parachute failed to open during a ceremonial jump during last year's marathon. This final race was dedicated to his memory, and followed an emotion packed unveiling of the symbolic "Moving Wall", containing the names of the 50,000 Americans who lost their lives in the tragic war. A granite plaque was placed at the Jackass Flats airstrip in the Armagosa Valley by the veterans during an outdoor ceremony conducted by Amargosa VFW Post 6826, under the direction of Commander Alan Hinaman. There was not a dry eye in the audience which included the fallen Keifer's 18- year- old- son, Luke, and his 22-year-old daughter, Allison, both of whom ran in memory of their father. Luke did the entire 100 miles from Scotty's Castle to the Nevada State Line, and Allison, who had never run in a marathon, completed 30 miles through the rugged desert terrain. The Gazette was an original co-sponser or the marathon, although this writer had not personally participated in the annual run since 1985. Those veterans participating in this year's event included: Bob Cook, Madison Wisc., Ray Guzman, Flordia, Jack Spaur, Iowa, John Quirk, New York, Mike Tanner, Arizona, Joan Mahoney, California, Henry Sczanski, NewYork, Michael Jackson, Wisconsin, Don Helmbracht, New York, Denise Fluentes, Death Valley, Bruce Fuestenthal, Colorado, Jim Murphy, California, Ralph Sirianni, NewYork, Bill Redding, Texas, Jim Carney, NewYork, Doc Nuteriso, Arizona, Thelma and Clarence Wafford, Oregon. Special runners this year included John Maslow, Kevin Hoffman, Mike Moore of the Amhurst, New York Police Department and Joseph Girard of the Ontario Canada Police Department running in memory of their friend Don Keiffer, along with his son and daughter Luke and Allison. Advertising in the Gazette is like following a rainbow. It'll lead you to a pot of gold. Call 72 7-.558 to the commission or the public." Closer to home. the town claimed that thecounty has robbed it of federal payments in lieu of taxes (PILT) for the acreage occupied by the Ash Meadows Wildlife Prese,'ve. Out of $27,665 the reds paid for the preserve in the 1995-96 fiscal year, Amargosa received only $3,748, the board states. And when they ask county officials about it "we are met with blank stares. It is as if we are considered some tbrm of sub life that is not worthy of a response." Similarly, they charge, the town of Beatty has received only $7,541 of the $247,339.51 in taxes paid by the Barrick/Bullfrog Mine. As an example of what they call "rogue" and "lawless" action, the board members told Miller that the commission has ignored an opinion District Attorney Robert Beckett issued in December. That opinion stated that the manner in which the commission created a post for fired Deputy District Attorney Rachel Nicholson in County Manager Les Bradshaw's office constituted multiple class C felonies. The prime mover of the initiative, newly elected board member (and Gazette columnist) Brent Mathewson says the Amargosa board is sending copies of the letter and the package of documentation accompanying it to the county's other four town boards, asking them to write letters of Pahrump Valley Gazette, Thursday, March 6, 1997 7 support to Governor Miller. After his muckraking Gazette columns failed to effect a wholesale cleanup of county government, Mathewson said, he had conceived the appeal to state authorities as "simply another approach." Asked what he thought would come of it, Mathewson replied: "I think if they launch an investigation, whatever it begins as it will become criminal." Governor Miller's office had not received the letter on Wednesday, the governor's press secretary, Richard Urey, told the Gazette. But, he said, "the governor will definitely respond, and I'm certain that he will instruct his staff to contact the attorney general's office." Urey added that the Amargosa board's appeal will "certainly get a thorough review" Told about the plea to the governor Commissioner Bobby Revert commented: "It's overdue. Whether it be a grand jury investigation or another [inquiry]. I question the county's practices," he told the Gazette. Mathewson says his fellow board members reacted positively to the idea, when he proposed it. Amargosa Valley citizens' reaction was not overwhelming, he acknowledged. But one reason might have been that the board didn't get to the appeal until 11:30, by which time most people had gone home. 1997 Rhyolite Resurrection Festival A festival to celebrate the town of Rhyolite and the exciting mining history of Nevada will be held March 15-16, 1997. See the Schedule of Events below. Anyone interested in being in the parade Saturday morning or in the talent show or Miss Rhyolite Pageant Saturday evening should contact either Linda Greene (619-786-2590) or Mary or Bill Davis (702-553-2082). This is a community event and we want everyone to particiPate. This includes people and pets (within reason). We have some pe- riod costumes that we could provide (if you're the right size). Kickoff Parade: Saturday morning, 9:00 a.m. in Beatty Tours of Rhyolite: People in period costumes giving tours of the town 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 on Sunday There will be tours of the jail, school, red light district, Newton's Grill, the Overbury Building, the cemetery, and walking tours of the town. Exhibits: Picture and artifact exhibits, the old Yucca Mountain Science Center, at the corner or 95 and 374 in Beatty Noon to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday 10:00 to 3:00 on Sunday Fashion/Talent Show: Fashion show, talent show, Miss Rhyolite Pageant Beatty community Center 6:00 p.m. on Saturday Refreshments will be served during intermission Descendant Brunch: Beatty Senior Center 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Sunday Public invited after 12:30 p.m. I I