News for the week of May 19, 2016

SVHS SENIORS banned together to spiff up the Fort Bidwell barbecue grounds last Thursday. The Class of 2016 worked hard cleaning, raking, weeding, scraping, sanding and painting with no complaints; a job well done for the upcoming Fort Bidwell Barbecue on May 29. Submitted photo

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State’s ‘Top Two’ election model is different

California is now under a “Top-Two” model for primary elections and that issue has some voters a bit confused.
Basically, according to the Secretary of State, “A Top Two Primary lets you vote for any candidate (for most races) even if you are not in the same political party. The top two candidates – the two who get the most votes in the primary – will be on the General Election ballot in November.”
Prior to the Top Two model, each party could have one candidate on the General Election ballot for all party races. Now only two candidates get on the General Election ballot for most races – the ones who got the most votes in the primary – no matter what party they’re from. It is possible that the top two candidates in the General Election could be from the same party.
It’s important to note that only the following races follow the Top Two rules: Governor, U.S. Senator, U.S. Congress, State Senator, State Assembly, Secretary of State, Controller, Treasurer, Attorney General, Insurance Commissioner and Member, State Board of Equalization.
Modoc County Clerk/Auditor Stephanie Wellemeyer reminds voters the deadline to register to vote in the June 7 Primary, or to change party registration status is May 23.
The last day for the elections office to receive an application for a vote-by-mail ballot is May 31.
The Primary election will include the offices of President, U.S. Senator, First District U.S. Congressman, Modoc County Supervisor in District Two and other issues.


Ft. Bidwell grounds get an upgrade

Fort Bidwell is looking great and is all ready for the Memorial Day Barbecue on May 29, thanks to a recent renovation and some fresh paint.
Since the 1960’s the Civic Club building has been used for various community events, from baby showers to brandings, holiday celebrations, memorials and even the antique car club luncheons. But all that use had begun to show and highlighted the buildings need to modernize a bit.
Last year the local Rotary Club invited the Civic Club to apply for a Rotary International grant, the Civic members were delighted to find out they had been selected for funding recently.
The remodel began thanks to local tradesmen and fire department volunteers.
The Rotary International grant helped with an upgrade to the electrical system, new light fixtures and fans. In early spring the Surprise Valley Rotarians came up for a work party to place the lighting and ceiling fans. Civic members held a hearty luncheon for the Rotarians and even welcomed them to the annual Saint Patrick’s Dinner free of charge.
Last week Surprise Valley High School seniors came by to freshen up the paint around the barbecue grounds and pull weeds. These were finishing touches to welcome the annual Memorial Barbecue celebration.
“Now that the work is completed, we hope you will visit us for the Fort Bidwell Fire Departments Barbecue on May 29,” exclaimed the Civic Club.

Public meeting May 31 for wild horse gather

The Modoc National Forest is currently planning to gather and remove wild horses from private and tribal lands. Wild horses to be gathered originated from the nearby Devil’s Garden Plateau Wild Horse Territory.
A public meeting will be held on May 31 to provide information about this gather operation. Forest personnel will provide an overview of planning activities and expected operations associated with the private and tribal lands gather including the use of helicopters and motorized vehicles.
This informational meeting is scheduled for 3-4 p.m. at Forest Headquarters at 225 W. Eighth St., Alturas. A questions and answer session is planned to address public concerns.
Gathering of wild horses that have left the Wild Horse Territory will allow recovery of range and riparian ecological conditions on the private and tribal lands, as well as reduce damage to privately owned fences and competition among wild horses and other uses.
Along with affected land owners, grazing permit holders, tribes and local governments are all partners in this effort.
Modoc County has been an invaluable partner in planning for this gather and overall management of the Devil’s Garden Plateau Wild Horse Territory. The BLM will be assisting with gather, holding and adoption operations.
For more Information, please email


BioBlitz is Coming to Lava Beds National Monument

Grab your magnifying glass and explore nature like never before in Lava Beds National Monument. On May 20-21, national parks across the country, including Lava Beds National Monument, will participate in the National Parks BioBlitz.
BioBlitz is a fun, fast-paced biological survey of a park’s creepers and crawlers, plants and pollinators, mammals and more. The National Park Service is celebrating its 100th birthday with more than 100 BioBlitzes across the country.
The Lava Beds National Monument BioBlitz will take place on Saturday, May 21. Volunteers can join scientist-led inventory teams to discover, count and document different invertebrates (bugs) both above and below ground. Participants of all ages are welcome and no previous experience is necessary. There will be sessions throughout the day and each will last about an hour and a half.
To register for the Lava Beds National Monument BioBlitz and to find out more information about the event, follow this link: or visit and search for “Lava Beds.” Participants who register in advance will receive free entrance into the park on May 21, as well as a free lunch.



C.L. “Tony” Duncan
A military graveside service for C.L. “Tony” Duncan will be held at the Alturas Cemetery on Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. There will be a Celebration of Life after services at the Duncan residence in California Pines, 175 Ridge View Drive.

Wes Utter
Ernest Westly “Wes” Utter passed away May 16, 2016 in Alturas, CA at the age of 60. “Wes” was born in Cedarville, CA on October 18, 1955 and attended Surprise Valley schools.
In lieu of flowers, Wes would have said, “take a kid fishing.”
An informal gathering will be held at Wes’ home in Alturas on Saturday, May 21 at 1 p.m.

Michael “Mike” R. Main
Our loving husband and devoted father and friend Michael "Mike" Richard Main went to be with our forgiving Lord at the age of 56, on the evening of April 12, 2016.
Mike was born on February 25, 1960 in Redding, California.
A memorial will be planned sometime in June. Our hearts are broken. They will never be completely well again. They will heal and we will function again, but healing the heart takes time. There is no hurry.

Robert W. Reeves
Robert William Reeves, better known as Robbie, was born April 3, 1973, to Bill and Evelyn Reeves. He succumbed to a short unexpected battle with cancer on May 11, 2016 in Reno, Nevada. He is survived by his parents, brother Matt, grandmother Marie of Eagleville and numerous aunts and uncles. Services are pending at this time.

Tina Penn
Tinarisa “Tina” Penn, age 54, beloved mother, daughter, grandmother and friend, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in her sleep on April 20, 2016 in Cedarville, CA.
A celebration of life and potluck will be held Saturday, May 21 at noon at the Cedarville Rancheria in Cedarville, CA. All are welcome.

Jefferson W. Kelley
Jefferson Walter Kelley of Cedarville, CA passed away peacefully, surrounded by loved ones on May 13, 2016, while under the excellent care of the ICU in the Renown Hospital in Reno, Nevada.
He was born to Dexter and Beatrice Kelley on April 2, 1943 in Alturas, CA.
There will be a private memorial sometime in June. Please contact Jeff’s family at 530-279-2775 for memorial information if you would like to attend.

Donna M. Blodgett
Family and friends are invited to a service for Donna Marie Blodgett at Cedarville Cemetery, May 28, 2016 at 10 a.m. in direction of Rev. Ben Zandstra. The former Surprise Valley resident passed away December 7, 2016 in Eureka, CA. She was born in Fort Bidwell to Austin and Catherine Sweeney.


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