Newspaper Archive of
Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
October 16, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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October 16, 1997

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Expanding weather radio service comes before board _) Fire Safety class and demonstration given by Southern Inyo Fire Protection District in conjunction with Fire Prevention Week at Tecopa Frances Elementary School in Shoshone, California. Hank Messer, Fire Chief on left and fire fighter Paul Postle pose with students. photo by Ethel Messer Davis sentences Sandy to life imprisonment TONOPAH--Virginia Lee Sandy was sentenced to life imprisonment with the possibility of parole Tuesday, October 15 by Fifth District Court Judge John Davis. Sandy is the Pahrump woman who allegedly stabbed her roommate, Connie Elaine Wersder, in the chest on May 3,1996 supposedly over a dispute about how Wersfler was treating Sandy' s dog. There may have been other factors involved with the stabbing, according to David Polley, Sandy's attorney. The case has been a complicated and involved one as Polley completed a plea agreement with the then Nye County Assis- tant District Attorney Tom Cochrane, for Sandy to plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter. Judge John Davis rejected the plea, according to Polley, and the matter was sent to the state supreme court on a Writ of Mandamus. Mandamus is an order in which a higher court directs a lower court to do or not to do an action. A plea justification hearing was held in fifth district court, the case was remanded to the Pahrump justice court for a piefiminary hearing, then it was bound over to the fifth district court in Tonopah again. Robert Lane, deputy district attorney, handled the case for District Attorney Robert Beckett in Tonopah Tuesday. Beckett had been handling the case as Cochrane had died of an apparent heart attack around November of last year. Sandy ended up pleading guilty to second degree murder and that charge was what she received the life sentence for this week. She will be eligible for parole in 10 years, according to PoUey. "It was my opinion that justice would be served if she (Sandy) pied guilty to second degree murder," Beckett said. "Eventually they agreed with me that it would be a fair thing for her to do. We went ahead and asked for the maximum. It was a fair and just result of the case. Her actions after the stabbing moved it to second degree," be said. by Andy Holtmann PVG Staff In the wake of recent severe weather conditions, the town of Pahrump is thinking about the future. Discussion of expanding the National Oceanic Atmo- spheric Association weather radio service to the town and surrounding areas came before the Town Board Tuesday October 14. Ron McQueen, a warning coordinator for the National Weather Service (NWS) told why, in the future, better warnings would be beneficial. "The last series of rains to this area caused quite a bit of damage," McQueen said. "Right now, under the current system, weather warnings are hit or miss." McQueen said the signal that is relayed to the area now comes from Red Mountain, near Boulder City. The high terrain of the Spring Mountains and Mount Potosi block the signal, making it hard for radio operators and emergency services to receive up-to-date reports. According to McQueen, three options exist. One is to re- adjust the transmitters on the radio tower in the Pahrump Valley to better receive the messages. McQueen said he couldn't guarantee it would work. The second was to relay the messages using UHF, VHF or telephone cables. This option would be expensive and there was concern that under certain atmospheric conditions the signal could be easily broken up. The third suggestion was that they choose Mt. Potosi as a site to construct a transmitting tower. The tower, McQueen said, would be at a high enough location to provide service to a large portion of southern Nevada and Inyo County in California. "We don't want to purchase any equipment for this until we're sure it will work," Board Member Steve Rainbolt said. McQueen said that the NWS would supply all of the equipment including antennas and transmitters. Other entities outside of the NWS would be asked to cover Continued on page 2 Vic Vmo lovo IUFoz.'8 JLU tho JLzn, onil00o8