Humboldt County News


Rural fire dept introduces Flash the Firedog

The Winnemucca Rural Fire District (WRFD) introduced their new mascot, Flash the Firedog, during the 44th annual Basque Festival on June 8. Flash was adopted by the WRFD after he lost everything in a tragic fire when he was just a pup. Now, Flash is working to help the WFRD to spread awareness and education about fire safety, especially to youth.

LHS honors 229 seniors during graduation ceremony

With bittersweet excitement in the air the Lowry High School (LHS) class of 2024 met for the final time as high school students to celebrate their graduation on June 7, with 243 seniors graduating and 229 seniors walking during the ceremony. “Graduation is a culmination of years of hard work,” said LHS Principal Shaun Taylor during his opening speech.

McDermitt Combined School graduates eight seniors

For one of the final times, the group of eight graduates at McDermitt Combined School gathered for one of the most important days of their lives. In front of large crowd of family and friends, McDermitt Combined held its graduation ceremony on Wednesday, June 5. Even though there were eight students on the stage, a ninth was also honored. Quinn McKee was part of the class but tragically died in 2022.

Commission approves final budget for next fiscal year

Although Humboldt County is characterized as fiscally responsible, the final budget for fiscal year 2024-25, approved at a regular meeting of the Humboldt County Board of Commissioners on May 20 (with all members present), revealed that expenditures are set to exceed revenues for the next year.

Tri-County Market kicks off this weekend

The Tri-County Market will be in the Winner’s parking lot on select Friday and Saturday afternoons, and even a few evenings, from June through October with fresh produce, local artisan crafts, food trucks and more. Tri-County Market Board President Susan Galland said that the Market has about 30 different vendors that will be at the markets throughout the season and she and the other Tri-County Market Board members are excited to roll out some new elements.

City Council in brief—

At their regular meeting on May 21, the Winnemucca City Council (with all members present):

Macdonald will head 44th Annual Basque Festival as Grand Marshall

The 44th Annual Winnemucca Basque Festival is kicking off Friday, June 7 with the 3K run/walk beginning at the Humboldt Museum, in the evening. Then, the next morning, there will be a parade at 11 a.m. and live music and dance performances on Nixon Lawn. The weekend will wrap up with a special Basque mass and breakfast on June 9.

Vandalism on Winnemucca Mountain is under investigation

WINNEMUCCA — Vandalism to Winnemucca Mountain occurred approximately May 12 and is currently under investigation.

Spare Time Bowling celebrates 40th anniversary

Chasing the dream of opening a bowling alley, Don and Jessel Peters opened the Spare Time Bowling Center on May 18, 1984, converting the old Dyer Lumber Co. store (owned by Jessel’s parents Joe and Gertrude deArrieta) into a gathering place for the community. On May 18, 2024, Spare Time celebrated its 40th anniversary with free bowling open to the community, raffle prizes, and of course, a great deal of their notorious fry baskets.

Chamber hosts candidates night in preparation for local Primary Election

The Humboldt County Chamber of Commerce held its Candidates Night on May 21 in the East Hall of the Winnemucca Convention Center, hosting local election candidates and the public. In a different form than previous years, the night began with a meet and greet for candidates and voters and then allowed for a three-minute introduction by the candidates and a one-on-one question and answer forum as opposed to the questions which are regularly answered on stage by candidates.

Great Basin College holds graduation, 74 local students receive degrees

A total of 432 students earned their degrees this year as a part of the entire Great Basin College (GBC) graduating class of 2024; 74 of those students earned their degrees at the local GBC campus and walked in the ceremony on May 18 with multiple students earning their degrees while also attending high school concurrently.

Learn how local drinking water is being protected during the Water Quality Summit next week

Water quality is vital for everyone and Humboldt County is hosting the 2024 Water Quality Summit on May 30 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the west hall of the Convention Center. “Water is one of our number one resources. We as a community need to understand what measures are being taken to protect our drinking water and what they can do to help,” said Humboldt County Economic Development Officer Michelle Hammond-Allen.

Community focuses on importance of mental health during Brain Health Summit

The Brain Health Summit, hosted by Age & Dementia Friendly Winnemucca and Humboldt Connections Suicide Prevention Task Force, presented many different community stakeholders and brain health advisors to highlight the vastness of mental health.

Council enables Airport Board to weigh in on signage project construction

Back in August 2023, the Winnemucca Airport Board approved the beginning design phases of a project with Armstron Consultants to update the Magnetic variation (MAGVAR) displayed on the Winnemucca Municipal Airport runway, wind cones, and lighting, all necessary for pilot and public safety, costing $89,590. The next phase of the project will cost $56,020 and will involve entering into an agreement for professional services from Armstrong Consultants for bidding, construction and the closeout phase of the updates.

Public Works implements watering schedule in hopes of lowering nitrate levels

By Julia Maestrejuan Recently the Humboldt County Public Works Department implemented a watering schedule for users of Grass Valley's Star City and Gold Country watering systems with the intent of lowering creeping nitrate levels that tend to surge during the summer. “It’s a tool. It’s not a fix, and it’s something that we can do away with if we get another solution in place and operating in the near future,” explained Public Works Director Dan Ferraro during the most recent meeting of the Humboldt County Board of Commissioners on May 6 (Commissioner Mark Evatz absent from the meeting). Ferraro said that the idea is to reduce the overall nitrates going into the water supply and eventually back into the system itself throughout the heavy water usage months. The county’s domestic well near the airport area can handle the volumes and pressures during the winter season independently, See WATER, Page 5 WATER — From Page 1 but as water usage ramps up in the summer months to water lawns, fill pools, and other activities, the secondary well becomes active, which is higher in nitrates, according to Ferarro. “We don’t have a lot of enforcement, but it is just for overall water quality and users of the water system to protect them and keep their interests in mind and we can reduce the volume [of nitrates] through the summer,” said Ferarro. Humboldt County Code pertaining to water resource planning and Nevada revised Statute does allow the Public Works Department to implement water schedules in order to conserve water and/or protect users from things like dangerous levels of nitrates (NRS 540). The schedule has some users watering on certain days based on their address to keep it simple and users were notified via pamphlets, letters and on their water bills. However, Ferarro said there is no real way that the schedule can be enforced, so it is voluntary for users and the schedule only applies to those on the Star City and Gold Country watering systems. “Anybody that’s on a well or has their own system we have no say and they can do as they please,” said Ferarro. Commissioner Tom Hoss questioned the validity of the water schedule and its enforceability. Regulatory laws at the state level require that nitrate levels be measured and not exceed a level 10. During winter, according to Ferarro, the levels measure at a two or three with water coming primarily from the primary domestic well, but during the summer when the secondary is active, they are measuring between 12 and 15. With the blending of the domestic well and the secondary well though, the levels are currently between seven and nine. “We’re right on the cusp of playing with some state involvement,” said Ferarro. Commissioner Jesse Hill questioned whether the implementation of a water schedule should be brought before the board before application. “We should probably have a conversation as a board or an agenda item, whether this sort of thing goes out—is it a commission decision or is it a public works decision? And if it is going to be mandatory on the letter that is sent out then we make it mandatory, we figure out how to enforce it or we just call it a voluntary thing and when we change our wording so that everybody’s on the same page,” said Hill.