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Sheila Crutcher will be teaching a dream catcher workshop Jan. 31 and Feb. 1. Other workshops and demonstrations can be found on the group's Facebook page.


Crime-and-courts
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Manhunt suspect arrested

ELKO – An arrest was made in connection with a kidnapping in August that led to a manhunt in Spring Creek.

John Glenn Hebel, 21, of Elko, was booked in Elko County Jail on multiple felony charges including first degree kidnapping, robbery with the use of a deadly weapon, assault with a deadly weapon and coercion and destroying evidence in the commission of a felony.

He was also charged with firearms charges including unlawful possession of a short-barreled rifle or short-barreled shotgun, changing, altering, removing or obliterating the serial number of a firearm and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.

His bail was set at $377,500.

On Aug. 30, a manhunt was launched in Spring Creek when two women in their early 20s were found on Boyd-Kennedy Road. They told an Elko County Sheriff’s deputy they had been kidnapped at a Southside residence in Elko earlier in the day.

That afternoon, a Nevada Highway Patrol trooper pursued a vehicle thought to be in connection with the crime. The trooper said he ended it when the high-speed pursuit endangered the public.

The vehicle was abandoned on Pleasant Valley Road near the Spring Creek Campground later that day and taken into evidence by law enforcement.

Hebel was one of three suspects identified by Elko Police Department, which handled the investigation.

Charges against Hebel in connection with the kidnapping were filed on Jan. 11 by the Elko County District Attorney’s office.

According to court documents, the incident stemmed over a suspected theft of $600 from the boyfriend of one of the victims.

The victims were not harmed in the incident, authorities said.

The Elko County Sheriff’s office could not be immediately reached for comment.

Hebel has been arrested six times between 2016 and 2018 on various drug and weapons charges, according to Elko Daily Free Press files.

On Oct. 3 in Elko District Court, Hebel pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the Uniform Controlled Substances Act and pleaded no contest to receiving, possessing or withholding stolen goods. He was given suspended sentence of 68 months in prison and was placed on probation for five years.

Hebel will appear Jan. 24 in Elko Justice Court to set a date for his preliminary hearing.

He has been in custody at the Elko County Jail since his arrest on Nov. 7 for trespassing on a parole and probation hold without bail.


Lifestyles
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Field trip fun at the Western Folklife Center

ELKO – Local learners experienced the Western lifestyle during a rendezvous at the Western Folklife Center this week. Saddle savvy and sarsaparilla-sated, this dude ranch demo gave kids a chance to live the Old West.

“For the past 20 years, the Western Folklife Center has hosted the Youth Festival the week before Cowboy Poetry,” volunteer Jan Petersen said.

Michele Wines taught the young buckaroos a thing or two about riding the range with a gear lesson. The third- and fourth-grade listeners answered questions about why cowboys wear wide-rimmed hats and “wild rags,” or scarves.

One young lady explained to Wines that the hat helps protect the rider from the sun.

Although these children live in the heart of cowboy country, few of them get to live the ranch life. The experience leaves them with a greater appreciation for Elko history and this type of lifestyle. Plus, as one teacher said, it’s a field trip. Every one of her students was in attendance for the outing.

“During the youth festival, we tour the exhibit,” Petersen said. “This year they are also watching a 16-minute video, ‘Why the Cowboy Sings.’ Really, it gives us the whole big picture of why we are here and what our traditions are. It’s about family; it’s about ranching.”

The children also practice leather stamping taught by Karla Chapin.

“I have been doing this for about 20 years,” Chapin said.

Twenty-five or so children pounding away on metal leather stamps was a deafening assault to this attendee. However, volunteers and youths had smiles on their faces. Each child left with a small piece of leather stamped with his or her initials, tucked in with the memories of the good times here.

“Wrangler generously has donated bandannas, so they each get one,” Petersen said.

The Youth Festival was Jan. 22-24.


News
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Council agrees to water for VA cemetery

ELKO — Elko City Council said yes to providing water for a proposed national veterans’ cemetery outside city limits, but the council rejected a request from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to give the VA a city water rate.

The council unanimously agreed at its Jan. 22 meeting to design a 4-inch water line to the chosen cemetery site now owned by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and build a pump station to provide 200 gallons per minute, with the VA to reimburse the city for the work.

VA’s request that the city charge the water rate residents pay rather than one and a half times that amount because the cemetery would not be within city limits was denied, as was a request for a waiver for connection fees.

The council was concerned about waiving rates and fees because of city codes and fear of setting precedent, as well as concerns the city would need the higher rate to maintain the pump station in future years.

“I hate waivers, but for this we should bend over backwards. It has to happen. If we can’t rewrite code, there has got to be an option out there,” City Councilwoman Mandy Simons said.

City Attorney David Stanton said waivers are “always problematic,” but the city could rewrite code.

He also said that based on a conference call with the VA, his impression was that the VA felt it couldn’t hurt to ask for the lower water rate, but he also didn’t see the lack of waivers “as something that would kill the project.”

Utilities Director Ryan Limberg also said he didn’t believe keeping the water rate at the rate charged those outside city limits “would kill the project.” He said he thought VA would concede to the water rate, if the city would provide the water. “If yes, we can work on an agreement.”

Because the cemetery would use water only in the warm weather seasons, even at the higher water rate “it’s going to be fairly inexpensive unless they simply can’t pay their water bill,” Elko City Manager Curtis Calder said.

“Everyone agrees we want to make this happen, but we also need to be smart about it,” Mayor Reece Keener said.

Councilman Bill Hance said with additional costs for pumping water to the cemetery and maintaining the pump station, he didn’t feel the city could waive the higher water fee for the VA.

The council also talked about asking Elko County Commissioners to get involved in the project because a better road would be needed for the national cemetery at the intersection of Cattle Drive and Western Way on 15 acres near the Adobe Middle School, if the BLM turns the land over to the VA.

Vietnam War veteran Gil Hernandez said veterans have “pushed really hard for this national cemetery.” The veteran cemeteries in Fernley and Boulder City are state owned. “We fought for this.”

Hernandez suggested the city reach out to the county and ask for support because the county had proposed a site near the Hot Hole in the past.

Elko County Manager Rob Stokes said on Jan. 4 that the VA hadn’t approached the county regarding this latest proposal, but commissioners talked last February about the bill proposed by then-Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., that would require the BLM to turn over the site for a national cemetery.

That bill is still pending in Congress, Limberg told the council.

Veteran Mike Musgrove of Spring Creek said he felt “the bugs could be worked out” to see that the cemetery is built.

Councilman Chip Stone thanked the veterans attending the meeting and said that “we need to do everything we can to make this happen.”

The council also talked about an alternate site for the national VA cemetery near Eight Mile Creek on city-owned land. Calder said the city at one point thought it would partner with VA for a city and veterans cemetery at that site and wasn’t going to ask the VA to pay for the land.

“It seemed a way smarter location,” he said.

In a Jan. 8 letter to the city, Almaira Garcia, deputy director of the VA’s Land Management Division of the Office of Real Property, wrote that “for several years, the National Cemetery Administration has been searching for a site to construct a new veterans cemetery in the Elko, NV area. We have finally found a site that is very desirable and fitting for such a place to honor our nation’s veterans and families.”

She said the VA has conducted “our due diligence and one obstacle remains, adequate water for irrigation.” Garcia wrote that the VA’s study showed the 4-inch line and pump station would be required.

The pump station is needed because the cemetery site is on a hill above the city’s water tanks, and the city’s nearest connection to a water supply is roughly 2,600 lineal feet from the BLM land.

Garcia also wrote that the water line and station construction would occur after the cemetery is developed, roughly a year to 18 months after enactment of the legislation transferring the BLM land to the VA.

Keener at one point in the lengthy discussion at the council meeting asked why the VA doesn’t put a well on the property, but Limberg said the VA looked at that, but a well would be too deep and too costly. Also, a well for the cemetery could impact domestic wells in the vicinity, he said.

While there are no official estimates for the water line and pump station at this point, Councilman Robert Schmidtlein said the city could be looking at $300,000 and “ultimately at the end of the day, a half million dollars.” Limberg thought the project might be possible for under $250,000, but “we haven’t scrubbed the costs yet.”