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Beatty Town Advisory Board honors EMT trainers

Beatty Town Advisory Board members listened to a couple of presentations at their Aug. 12 meeting, but the evening started with a presentation of their own.

Board Treasurer Erika Gerling presented letters and certificates of appreciation to Beatty Volunteer Fire Department Chief Mike Harmon and Beatty Volunteer Ambulance Service Coordinator Allison Henderson in recognition of their success in training new emergency medical technicians.

The two trainers started with 12 students in the recent class, seven of whom finished the course. Six of the seven passed the rigorous National Registry EMT Exam on the first try, and the seventh was preparing to re-take it. This represents an unusually high pass rate.

Some of the new EMTs are from Amargosa Valley and may be able to help revive the service there. Chief Harmon, however, said that they will begin by making runs with the seasoned EMTs in Beatty, rather than going out on their own. He said they didn’t want to “throw them to the wolves.”

Mining presentation

The board then heard a presentation from Richard Yancey, site manager for Coeur Sterling. Yancey said that the Sterling mine, located on the opposite side of Bare Mountain from Beatty, has been in operation, in one form or another, for more than 30 years. Currently, they are reprocessing ore in the leach heap at the mine, but they hope to develop it further.

Coeur purchased the Sterling operation from Northern Empire, and is one of the companies exploring for gold in the Beatty area, as he put it, “drilling to expand from known resources.”

“We’re serious about building a mine here,” Yancey said. “About making things happen.”

He said that they have workers fencing dangerous old mines. They also have installed watering facilities for burros and bighorn sheep. He said a representative of the Nevada Department of Wildlife told him that what they were doing was “life-sustaining” for the sheep.

Asked how soon they might be able to put a mine in operation, Yancey said he didn’t have a real answer, but that “a couple of years of exploration work would not be unusual at all.”

Highway 95 project

After Yancey’s presentation, the board heard from Lee Jacoby, of Horrocks Engineers, who provided information on the project to reroute U.S. Highway 95 just north of Goldfield. This is being done to enable the mining of gold located beneath the existing roadway.

Jacoby said that the existing highway should be open during almost all of the four to six months construction is anticipated to take. He said they hope to have it done before temperatures drop below what is needed for paving.

He said that the only time there would be a need for lane closure and a pilot car would be when they were working toward the end of the project on the tie-ins with the existing highway.

He also said that the new section, which is about two-and-a-half miles, would include some left-turn lanes for increased safety.

Other business

The board took up one item of business, approving the sending of a letter to the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection in support of a permit modification at the Beatty U.S. Ecology site. Gerling said that the modification did not involve anything new at the facility, just an expansion.

During public comment Nye County Sheriff’s Lt. Alan Lynn displayed a portable security camera that had been purchased for Beatty. He said that it could be put wherever people thought “something shady” was going on.

Richard Stephens is a freelance reporter living in Beatty.

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