Jump back in, the water’s fine!
That was the word last week from the National Park Service regarding the water at the Overton Arm of Lake Mead. Last week, the Park Service lifted a no-swim advisory in the area after lab results showed no toxin producers were found in the water.
Park officials had issued an advisory on June 8 after a foamy substance, and around 25 dead carp, were observed across an 8-mile stretch of the northern part of the lake. It apparently had generated from the Virgin River confluence and stretched as far as Echo Bay.
But the advisory was lifted on Wednesday, June 12 after investigation into the foam had deemed that it was nontoxic. Park service officials say they have still not determined what the substance was.
“While we haven’t received anything definitive as to the cause, we have reasonably evaluated the situation,” said Christie Vanover, park spokesperson. “Through all the scientific investigation, nothing dangerous to humans has been found.”
The National Park Service worked with the Southern Nevada Water Authority, Nevada Department of Wildlife and the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection to test the water and conduct field observations. All water samples tested in the normal range for water temperature, specific conductance, pH and dissolved oxygen values. The foam appeared to be made up of proteins released from the dead algae.
“It is unclear if the fish die-off was related to the foam,” said Vanover. “The foam does seem to be dissipating and no recently dead fish have been found. We will continue to observe the area with routine patrols.”
The incident occurred during a time that has traditionally been busy on the northern end of the Lake. It affected one major event that was to be held over the weekend in the Overton Arm. The Nevada INT League, known as the “Little League of Watersports” was scheduled to bring its Wake Series to the Echo Bay area on June 14-15. Park officials expected this event to bring about 100 participants and their families to the area. But early in the week, in view of the swimming advisory, the organization opted for a change in venue holding the event in Newberry Springs, California instead. The organization is scheduled to hold additional events at Echo Bay later this summer.
“We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused our visitors,” Vanover said. “Our first priority is always visitor safety.”
By Stephanie Bunker
Moapa Valleey Progress
The students of Moapa Valley High School’s Class of 2013 celebrated a day they have long been waiting for. The school held its Commencement Ceremony at the Jeff Keel Stadium on Thursday June 6. In the warm evening the administration, students and proud family members gathered for this important event.
The audience stood as the graduates marched to the traditional Pomp and Circumstance by Edward Elgar. Graduates McKenzie Harris and Coralynn Stevens began the program by singing the National Anthem.
In attendance at the ceremony were CCSD Academic Manager Andrea Klafter-Phillips and CCSD Trustees Chris Garvey and Dr. Linda Young.
MVHS Principal Grant Hanevold recognized both board members for their role in the approval of a new gymnasium for the school.
“Garvey presented it to the board and Trustee Young gave the final vote,” Hanevold said. “They have had a huge part in making it a reality.”
Garvey thanked everyone for their help in the battle for the gym. “If we are a little lucky, we will be able to have graduation in air conditioning next year,” she said to applause from the audience.
MVHS Valedictorians Cody Gollahon, Kassandrya Goodman, Tabitha Witskin and Salutatorian Kenna McMurray gave their addresses to the class.
“How does having the highest GPA gives me the right to stand before you and give advice?” Gollahon asked his classmates. “Wisdom takes experience and we are all equal in that field.”
In his closing remarks Gollahon read a letter he wrote to Mr. Hanevold representing the class of 2013. In the letter Gollahon quoted Hanevold’s favorite movie, The Breakfast Club.
“Society sees us as it wants to see us, but what we found out through high school is that each one of us is a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, and a criminal,” he said.
Kassandrya Goodman said that the class has had a great 4 years but are now headed for better things.
“But one day we will be parents,” she said.
Those in the class will be able to raise their own kids that will one day be graduating too, she said.
“I hope every last one of us can take a challenge with stride,” Goodman said.
“My family has been my guiding compass,” said Valedictorian Tabitha Witsken in her speech. “I come from a long line of college graduates, it is my legacy.”
She asked the students what their legacy is. She gave examples that some may serve a church mission, go to college, enter the armed forces, or some may just party like there’s no tomorrow!
“Only live your own legacy,” Witsken advised.
Salutatorian Kenna McMurray reflected on the times the class had together.
“We have made memories that will make us miss this school,” she said. But there will also be many good times ahead.”
She said that the trials the students would face in life would mould them into who they will become.
McMurray thanked teachers, friends, and her parents. “People have helped us get here and without them we couldn’t be who we are today,” she said.
Hanevold said that he was sad that this was his last graduation at Moapa Valley High School. He has taken a new position as principal of Sunrise Mountain High School in Las Vegas.
Nevertheless he emphasized, “It doesn’t get any better than this!”
During the ceremony he told the students they have been a high achieving and exemplary school, “You name it we have it.” He said he has been in the school district for 24 years and the last 7 at MVHS years have been the best ones yet. Hanevold assured the community that he will remain a Moapa Valley resident and, “…a part of me will always be a Pirate!”