CARSON CITY — Nevada is appealing a federal judge’s ruling to allow the future transfer of nuclear material from South Carolina to a federal site in Nye County.
The state filed a request for a preliminary injunction to stop the Department of Energy from shipping a metric-ton of weapons grade plutonium from South Carolina into the state in November, but a judge last week denied that injunction.
On the day of the judge’s ruling, the Energy Department disclosed that it had delivered half a metric ton of the material, which is used as the core material in nuclear weapons, into the state before the initial lawsuit was filed.
In a news release, committee chairman Robert Thomas III explained, “The court decision, Reynolds v. Sims, mandated that state senators be elected by population. This decision created what our Founding Fathers feared; a tyranny of the majority (‘mob rule’). Now, large population centers out-vote all the rest of rural Nevada with distressing regularity. That injustice can be corrected by the formation of a New Nevada State.”
The release goes on to state the group’s belief that the interests and values of rural Nevadans differ greatly from those who reside in large cities. It further asserts that advances for the urban areas often come at the expense of the remainder of the population.
To help generate interest in the New Nevada State Movement, the group hosted a “Declaration Day Rally” in front of the Nye County Courthouse on Jan. 21. There, a Declaration of Independence was read, outlining the intent to have rural counties secede from Nevada and form a brand new state, with its own government, which would be controlled by the vote of the rural people.
After issuing a temporary postponement earlier this month, the Nevada Supreme Court has now ordered that the district court ruling reversing Nevada State Engineer Order #1293A be stayed until the appeal filed by the engineer’s office has made its way through the system and a final determination is made.
“Appellant state engineer filed an emergency motion to stay the district court’s order pending appeal and we entered a temporary stay pending receipt and consideration of any opposition, which respondents (Pahrump Fair Water) have now filed. Having considered appellant’s motion and supporting documents, respondents’ opposition and appellants’ reply under the NRAP8 (Nevada Rules of Appellate Procedure) factors, we conclude that the balance of harms weighs in favor of a stay,” the filing, signed off by Supreme Court Justices Jim Hardesty, Lidia Stiglich and Abbi Silver, states. “Accordingly, we grant appellant’s motion and stay enforcement of the district court’s Dec. 6 order granting judicial review and reversing state engineer Order #1293A, pending further order of this court.”
The Nevada Supreme Court has issued a temporary stay in the case of Water Order #1293A, allowing the Nevada state engineer, for the moment, to continue requiring water rights relinquishments for all new domestic wells drilled in Pahrump.
The temporary stay comes as part of the appeal process, with the state engineer going to the Nevada Supreme Court after a district court judge ruled against the office in the lawsuit brought forward by Pahrump Fair Water.
However, it is only a temporary stay and it is possible that the Nevada Supreme Court could reverse that stay after considering the opposition provided by Pahrump Fair Water.
The hearing today was attended by many of the disenfranchised Nye County voters whose presence showed support for my lawsuit against the unlawful actions of the outgoing Nye County Board of County Commissioners in the process to replace Dennis Hof. However, it becomes a very expensive process to fight city hall (the county) and the court did not grant our petition for injunctive relief,” Goedhart said. “With an unlimited taxpayer-funded checkbook, Nye County clearly has the upper hand moving forward.”
Regardless of this, Goedhart said he plans to continue pressing his case. “In speaking with my legal team… the consensus was that… there are excellent grounds to continue the lawsuit. I have received hundreds of phone calls, texts, and emails from Nye County voters encouraging me to press on. After careful consideration, I have instructed my legal team to press forward in our pursuit of justice,” he stated.
WASHINGTON — Nevada has filed a federal lawsuit seeking a halt a court-ordered shipment of military-grade plutonium from South Carolina to a temporary storage facility in Nye County.
The state cited health, environmental and transportation in its filing with the federal district court in Nevada.
“I don’t want Interstate 11 to become the plutonium expressway,” Robert Halstead, executive director for the Nevada governor’s Agency for Nuclear Projects and Nuclear Waste Project Office, said Tuesday, referring to the planned north-south freeway that would bisect the state.
The state’s motion, filed Nov. 30, seeks to prevent the Trump administration from shipping a metric ton of weapons-grade plutonium from the Department of Energy’s Savannah River site in South Carolina to the Nevada National Security Site, about 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas., in Nye County.
Former Nevada Assemblyman and Nye County resident Ed Goedhart is not letting the confirmation of the appointment for Nevada Assembly District 36 take the wind out of his sails and he is continuing to pursue legal recourse with the courts.
On Nov. 27 Goedhart filed for an injuction with the Fifth Judicial District Court, seeking to bar the current Nye County Commission from making the appointment for the assembly seat, the vacancy for which was created by the passing of Dennis Hof. Following this, he filed a request for an emergency hearing but that request was denied by Judge Robert Lane.
While there may have been more than a dozen candidates to put their name forward for appointment to Dennis Hof’s Nevada Assembly District 36 seat, it was clear from the start of the Nye County Commission’s Dec. 5 meeting that in the public’s eye, there were only two real contenders.
Republican Pahrump residents Greg Hafen II and Joe Burdzinski easily commanded the majority of attention on Wednesday as the commissioners were poised to make their nomination.
During the highly intense meeting, members of the public were pitted against each other in a verbal battle as they voiced their support for one or the other, often with harsh criticisms and obviously elevated, passionate emotion.
Environmentalists have filed suit against federal regulators over protections for eight rivers in California, including one that originates in Nevada, the Amargosa River.
Congress designated portions of the Amargosa and seven other rivers as wild and scenic in 2009, but the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management never completed comprehensive management plans for them as required by law, according to the Center for Biological Diversity.
The Tucson, Arizona-based group sued the two agencies in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles late last month, arguing that the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act required the development of management plans for the rivers within three years of their designation.
Nye County Commissioner Dan Schinhofen has initiated a crucial step in the effort to bring the first-ever county-owned public shooting range to the Pahrump Valley, posing an agenda item that could trigger forward movement on the longstanding concept.
With a unanimous vote in favor of the item, county staff is now tasked with bringing forward figures outlining the costs that would be associated with establishing a public shooting range at one of various locations throughout the valley so as to identify the most likely location for such a project.
Schinhofen explained in an interview that the county has been striving toward opening a public shooting range for many, many years.
“We’ve never let this idea go, we’ve been working on getting land for a range for a very long time but now it’s really time to find out what the costs are going to be and how we are going to do it,” he stated. Schinhofen’s item directed county staff to draft options for the Nye County Commission so they can review them and decide what is best for the community.
An inmate’s attempted escape from the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) facility along East Mesquite Avenue on Saturday prompted the response from Nye County sheriff’s deputies, authorities said.
CCA officials contacted the sheriff’s office regarding the escape attempt from the facility, also known as the Nevada Southern Detention Center, at approximately 12 p.m., a news release reported.
The release noted that sheriff’s office staff responded and set up a perimeter while CCA staff conducted a facility-wide headcount.
Last week, Cliven Bundy’s lawyer, Bret Whipple, said his client turned down U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro’s conditions of release because he believed he was innocent and would not accept restrictions on his freedom. He also said Cliven Bundy did not want others jailed in connection with the standoff.
Now that two more of his sons who were charged in the Bunkerville case have been let out of jail, and none of the standoff defendants awaiting trial remains behind bars, Whipple plans to discuss with his client the possibility of being with family for the holidays.
“I’m going to encourage him to allow me to help him,” Whipple said. “But at the end of the day, Cliven is a very principled man, and he follows his own principles, and I respect that.”
Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval is seeking legal guidance into whether the state can implement the stalled background-check law for private gun sales and transfers that voters approved in 2016.
Sandoval spokeswoman Mari St. Martin said Tuesday the governor’s office is asking Attorney General Adam Laxalt’s office if Nevada can operate as a “dual point of contact state.”
That means two systems of background checks for firearm purchases: one for licensed dealers and another for private sales and transfers. No evidence has emerged that background checks for private sales would have stopped Stephen Paddock, who didn’t have a criminal record and purchased firearms in retail gun stores after passing background checks.
The Center for Biological Diversity and the Sierra Club filed a lawsuit this week challenging the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s June sale of oil and gas leases in parts of Nevada, including Nye County.
On June 14, the BLM offered nearly 200,000 acres of public lands in Nevada’s Battle Mountain district for fossil fuel development, including fracking. Among the affected areas are Big Smoky and Railroad valleys in Nye County, Diamond Valley in Eureka County and the Diamond, Fish Creek and Sulphur Creek mountain ranges.
The lawsuit, filed Monday in the federal court district of Nevada in Reno, alleges the BLM failed to consider the potential consequences of oil drilling in the area, from contamination of critical desert water sources to increased seismic activity and emission of climate-altering greenhouse gases.
Thursday was day seven for protesters camped out in front the Nevada Southern Detention Facility in support of inmate Ryan Bundy.
Bundy and additional defendants are scheduled for trial next month for their alleged, respective roles in the armed standoff against officials from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management back in 2014.
Protester John Lamb said he traveled to Pahrump from Montana in support of Bundy and other inmates.
Lamb was joined by others outside the facility who claim Bundy and other inmates are being mistreated by detention officials, a claim denied by the U.S. Marshals Service.