You are the owner of this page.
A1 A1
top story
UPDATE: Woman who died in Hot Hole identified

ELKO – A woman bathing in the Elko Hot Hole apparently drowned and her body was found Tuesday morning by a family visiting the area.

Elko police were called to the geothermal pool on the south edge of town at 10:50 a.m. Tuesday.

“An out-of-area family had stopped to view the hot holes and observed a body in the water,” said police Capt. Ty Trouten.

The victim was identified as Christine J. Lincoln, 45, of Elko.

“Sometime, probably during the nighttime hours, this local lady decided to go for a swim, and may have been consuming alcohol,” said Deputy Coroner Nick Czegledi.

The is still under investigation, but Trouten said foul play is not believed to have been involved.

“As a reminder, this is not the first death at this location,” he said. “Water temperatures vary in the pool and can overcome anyone within it.”

The pool is fenced off but there was a break in the fence surrounded by paths indicating that people frequently swim there. The fence was repaired Tuesday by the city, which owns the Hot Hole.

Public Works Director Dennis Strickland said staff periodically check on the property, and occasionally receive reports that the fence has been cut.

“We’ve had it breached a few times over the past decade,” he said.

The Hot Hole was once a primary feature in Elko. In 1869, a resort was built near the pool, then called White Sulphur Hot Springs. It burned down and was rebuilt twice.

According to the late historian Howard Hickson, train-hopping hoboes camped near the pond and used the hot water to wash clothes, shave or cook.

Today, websites such as Free Arenas post directions to the site, along with warnings about the dangers and etiquette of swimming in geothermal pools.

Websites also direct visitors to other hot holes in the area, including several near the Ruby Marshes.

While some geothermal pools are relatively safe, Elko’s Hot Hole is not.

“The edges of the Hot Hole are somewhat bearable … but if you venture out closer to the middle and catch a wave of heat that will take your breath away and render you unable to get out of it,” Czegledi said.

He implored people to stay out of the pool.

Carousing with Krampus

ELKO – Nowadays Christmas is synonymous with joy and bounty. In pagan Europe the cold, dark season could be brutal. Winter solstice celebrations often portrayed these realities, and rituals formed to disburse the ghosts that were known to lurk in the shadows.

About 1,500 years ago a demonic figure named Krampus also took hold of the folklore scene in the Austrian and German alpine regions. As Christianity developed in the area, Krampus became an evil sidekick to Santa Claus, or the yin to Kris Kringle’s yang.

“Krampus is the polar opposite of Santa, but they travel together in Germany,” Kat Bradford said. “It’s not Santa who puts coal in your stocking, it’s Krampus. He also hits bad children with birch branches.”

In Germany, Dec. 5 is known as “Krampusnacht.” This is the time when Krampus, a horned and hooved devil, visits children’s homes and, if they have been bad, leaves them with a bundle of sticks. If they have been really bad, Krampus might grab the misfits, stuff them in a sack and dump them in the river.

The following day is called “Nikolastaug,” or St. Nicholas’ Day. This is when good children receive gifts.

Although Krampus was originally a sort-of Germanic “Boogie Man,” he is now a celebrated cultural entity. In modern day cities like Salzburg Krampus revelers gather in the streets to be a part of Krampus parades where people dress in horned and furred costumes. They carry sticks to thrash onlookers’ legs. Children run and scream and adults often dodge the sticks, as well, but the whole show is all in good fun.

Now the Krampus character has decided to come to Elko and the public can participate in a celebration of this devilish, yet much loved, beast.

“We are having contests for dressing up,” Eva Owsian, Bradford’s Krampus event collaborator said. We want them to be as original as possible. We also plan on having some crazy games.”

Businesses interested in donating prizes for the contests can contact Owsian.

Bradford and Owsian decided to hold the event because it would be a good time for the community.

“We thought this would be fun and different for adults,” Owsian said. “When I started leaning towards Wiccan and pagan belief systems he comes up. We pretty much know about all the bad guys.”

Good Time Charlie’s is hosting the party and they are brewing up a special “Krampus Punch” for the evening.

“Charlie’s is a really fun place and they were receptive to this,” Owsian said.

The celebration is open to those who are 21 and over.

Owsian, who is known as the “Crochet Queen,” has gone all out for the bash, taking two weeks to crochet a Krampus-style bonnet, complete with horns.

City will make its dark fiber available

ELKO – Elko City Council has put in motion a plan to lease out a portion of the city’s dark fiber to increase broadband capabilities, which may in turn boost economic development.

The council agreed at its Nov. 27 meeting to direct city staff to draft a lease, which will come back to the council for action.

Councilman and Mayor-elect Reece Keener said the city is missing an opportunity every day the fiber isn’t used. He is part of the Elko Broadband Action Team.

“We need to get off the pot and make a decision on this,” he said Tuesday.

“The sooner we can get this done, the better,” said Councilwoman Mandy Simons.

The council motion suggested by Mayor Chris Johnson states that the lease will be “at minimum value as appraised,” a value the city’s information systems director, Troy Poncin, estimated at $50 per month per strand mile.

Poncin said the $50 is based on talking with other cities. Keener said the Mighty River contractor used by the Governor’s Office of Science, Innovation and Technology was confident in the $50 number, as well. The city’s proposal is for a five-year lease.

Dark fiber is fiber that isn’t being used.

Elko owns 12 bundles of cable with 12 strands of fiber per bundle. Poncin recommended leasing two of the bundles. The city, Elko County and the dispatch center currently use four bundles, but there are future projects possible for remaining bundles, he told the council.

If both bundles for a total of 24 fibers were to be leased that would bring in $7,200 per month for the city at the $50 fee per strand for six miles.

“I have been using the six-mile number as a benchmark because this is about the length of fiber between the airport (Elko Regional Airport) and City Hall. In reality, the lease will likely be from I-80 by the airport tower to somewhere before City Hall,” Poncin said Nov. 28.

“What’s the market potential?” the mayor asked Poncin at the meeting.

“They would use the fiber to increase broadband penetration within the city,” and companies wouldn’t need to pay for construction, he said.

Councilman John Patrick Rice said the city has been wrestling with the shortage of broadband capacity for years “so I think it’s a good direction to be going. We’re not in it to make money but to maintain and improve it.”

David Peissner of Sky Fiber told the council “customers are dying to get access to this fiber,” and the dark fiber availability “opens the way for technology companies.”

He also said the $50 fee was a “very fair price,” and the broadband expansion would lead to more tax revenue for the city as businesses start up or grow.

The city has the option of leasing the dark fiber under an economic development provision of state statutes or putting a lease up for auction, City Attorney David Stanton said. The lease would be written much the same way under either option.

Stanton said state law “clips the city’s wings” so the only exception to an auction would be to use the economic development provision in state statute. “An auction is designed to get money for the city,” he said, adding that the dark fiber would be considered real property.

Peissner said his company would prefer leasing without an auction. He also warned that in an auction a company might bid for more fiber than it can use to keep out competition.

Councilman-elect Bill Hance, who has communication experience, said the leasing without auction was the better way to go to so things don’t get “bloody” among competing firms. He told the council there are at least two providers interested in the dark fiber “and both are here.”

He said he talked to both providers, Sky Fiber and White Cloud, and each wants four fibers each.

“That’s two-thirds of one tube,” Hance said.

One of the questions was whether a lease would be for only one company or more. Elko City Manager Curtis Calder said he thought the city could still lease under the economic development provision, if two or three companies lease portions of the fiber.

“That keeps competitive pricing low,” he said.

Poncin also wrote on Nov. 28 that the draft lease agreement would propose a minimum length of fiber “so we don’t end up having pieces of fiber in the middle that are useless to both the city and potential lessee.”

The approved motion also asks that the draft lease minimize the city’s liability in case of interrupted service and provide for shared risk, both concerns raised by the mayor.

Still, the revenue generated from leasing dark fiber may not cover increased liability to the city, according to Poncin. A company could ask the city to compensate it for loss revenue while the system is down, for example.

Peissner said his company “builds in our own redundancy” and “set up multiple pathways” so a problem wouldn’t affect service to customers. “I am sure White Cloud is the same way.”

38 people apply for 3 vacant seats in Nevada Legislature

LAS VEGAS — Thirty-eight people have applied for three southern Nevada vacancies in the state Legislature created in the wake of this month’s election.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that nine people applied for the Senate seat held by Democrat Tick Segerblom, who was elected to the Clark County Commission.

Ten people applied for the Las Vegas-area Senate seat held by Democrat Aaron Ford, who was elected attorney general, and 19 people have applied for an Assembly seat won by Republican brothel owner Dennis Hof.

Hof died in October but won the election.

Clark County Commissioners will pick two Democrats to replace Ford and Segerblom and they’ll join with Nye and Lincoln commissioners to pick a Republican replacement for Hof.

The applicants include attorneys, professors and several people in government, including Assemblyman Chris Brooks, who applied for Segerblom’s seat.

Elko Daily file 

The Hot Hole geothermal pool at the south edge of Elko 

top story
GOP donation to purchase police dog

ELKO – A comment about how well Elko’s public safety personnel handled the recent visit from President Donald Trump resulted in a donation from Republicans across the state to the city’s K9 program.

On Tuesday, Elko County Republican Party Chairman Lee Hoffman presented a check for $3,500 from Republicans as a thank you for the way the city, county, state and neighboring departments handled the rally. The event was attended by 8,600 people, and required considerable overtime expenses to cover.

The donations came after Hoffman reported on the Trump visit during a statewide Republican Party meeting.

“I said we can’t even begin to defray the costs … but I was going to go back to my Elko County executive committee and just say we would like to give a little contribution, just kind of a thank you to the city,” Hoffman said.

That’s when a man stood up and said, “Here’s my hundred dollars.”

By the end of the day Hoffman had received $2,600 from people from Nye, Clark, Washoe, Humboldt, Elko and other counties.

An additional $900 from local party members brought the fund to $3,500.

Hoffman then spoke to Elko City Manager Curtis Calder about what to do with the money. He suggested the donations go the police department’s K9 program.

“They were there working that day, too,” Hoffman said of the specially trained dogs.

Elko Police Chief Ben Reed and Cpl. Jason Checketts were on hand at Tuesday’s Elko City Council meeting to accept the donation.

Reed said the money will go toward the purchase of two dogs to be used in police work.

He said the department is down to two dogs and was looking at buying a third while hoping for four.

The check will make acquisition of a fourth police dog possible.