Fallon’s Hat Trick

Former Mayor Mert Domonoske died during the summer.

Former Mayor Mert Domonoske died during the summer.

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The Lahontan Valley News looks at the top stories of 2015 as determined by the editorial staff, readers’ input during the year and impact to the overall community and/or area.

Today we look at the year’s top story followed by the next four events.


Between social media postings, the LVN’s website and newspaper sales, the Greenwave’s quest to claim a state football title clearly outpaced the other stories in terms of community intererst and feedback.

Fallon, nevertheless, pulled off the hat trick in claiming major state athletic championships in 2015.

The football, baseball and softball teams each captured a state title, but it was the Greenwave football team’s persistence during the past three seasons that finally led Fallon to a state title, the first since the late 1970s.

The Greenwave became the state champion of the Division I-A football world after defeating Moapa Valley for the second time in three years in the playoffs.

Despite some lapses on defense, Fallon came through when it needed to and clawed out a 34-27 victory in November at Reno High School to give the school its first state football title since 1978 and first fall sports title since 2000 when the volleyball team won back-to-back championships. The 1978 football championship was also the last time a boys fall team captured the crown.

The Fallon baseball team dropped nemesis Faith Lutheran, 11-8, in the second game to claim the program’s second Division I-A title under coach Lester de Braga and a Nevada record 10th overall championship at Las Vegas High School. It is also the program’s first title since 2011.

After a 16-0 loss to the Crusaders to open the day, Fallon refocused and took the fight to Faith Lutheran, the two-time defending state champs who beat Fallon, 9-2, in last year’s final.

A roller coaster ride was capped with another all-Northern showdown in the Division I-A state softball title game on Saturday at Bishop Gorman High School.

Rivals Fallon and Fernley met for the third consecutive season in the state softball championship series, but it was Fallon who overcame a 10-3 loss to open the day to slip past the Vaqueros 7-5 to claim its fourth title in five years and second straight over Fernley.


Drought affected Northern Nevada in many ways, while the Truckee-Carson Irrigation District remembered the past and looks forward to the future.

The Carson River has experienced new record lows for insufficient water flow but water supplies for certain areas remain in good shape, said Ed James, general manager of the Carson Water Subconservancy District.

He said water supplies for the Carson Valley, Carson City and Churchill County appear to be in good shape.

For landowners who depend on wells, he said residentS in the Stagecoach, Silver Springs and Churchill County must drill deeper.

The Truckee-Carson Irrigation District’s board of directors approved a sale agreement of Donner Lake assets dependent on a special election among the valley’s water users.

A special election for registered electors of the district occurred on Jan. 4.

At an October special meeting to discuss the possible sale of water rights and the Donner Dam, TCID District Manager Rusty Jardine said the sale would satisfy existing legal claims including compensation to Fernley property owners whose property was damaged by floodwaters in January 2008.

Steeped in history, the 100th anniversary of the Lahontan Dam was in June in a ceremony led by the Truckee-Carson Irrigation District.

The dam was erected in part of the United States Reclamation Service’s (now Bureau of Reclamation) plan to build farms in the desert.


A Minden family and a friend from Illinois were on their way home to Douglas County in October, heading west toward the 4,464-foot Sand Springs Pass, three miles east of Sand Mountain near milemarker 53. For some unknown reason, though, they never made it across the valley floor.

One of the worst U.S. Highway 50 crashes in Churchill County in more than a decade affected three communities — Minden, South Tahoe and Fallon as three people were killed and four injured in a single-vehicle rollover near the Rawhide Mine turnoff.

Law enforcement agencies said the previous worst traffic accident on the highway occurred when six people died near the Carroll Summit turnoff from U.S. Highway 50.

The Churchill County Sheriff’s Office initially released information on the accident and those killed. The deceased were Mark Hounsell, 42, a South Lake Tahoe policeman, and his wife, Jeanne Hounsell, 34, of Minden, and Laura Fisher, 33, of Washington, Illinois.

Four children were hospitalized as a result of the accident but later released.

According to the initial investigation, the vehicle overturned several times.


Fallon’s economic outlook is looking up.

The latest steps in establishing a downtown food hub began in 2015, said Rachel Dahl, executive director of the Churchill Economic Development Authority.

But the big day Dahl has circled on her calendar is opening doors to the former Kent’s Market on March 1. Meanwhile, CEDA is asking for volunteers to work on many facets of the co-op ranging from fundraising to processing and planning.

CEDA and the Kent family have a five-year lease renewable with five more years.

Jason Espie and Amanda Douglas from the Renaissance Planning Group guided the participants through various stages in building the local food economy during a two-day workshop earlier in the year. Dahl showed both presenters what the county has to offer.

Dahl said developing food hubs is a national movement.

After years of planning, a new eight-plex cinema opened in Fallon on Nov. 6, marking a new episode for local movie goers.

Toni Burton, the economic development specialist for the Fallon Tribal Development Corporation, has been overwhelmed with emotions since plans were announced earlier this year to build an $11.5 million eight-screen multiplex cinema east of downtown Fallon. During the day, workers have been showing snippets of movies and testing the sound systems while others take their breaks in one of the theaters.

Fox Peak Cinema features wall-to-wall screens, an enhanced sound system, luxury Irwin seating and digital presentation in every auditorium. In addition, several auditoriums will have RealD-3D capability as well as the new Dolby Atmos sound system that makes viewers feel they are part of the action.

New Millennium Building Solutions is expanding their Northern Nevada operations in Fallon by recently beginning a two-phase expansion at their current facility.

New Millennium will be hiring up to 17 additional employees during the next six months.

The first phase of New Millennium’s expansion looks to hire positions including sales representatives, designers, drafters and engineers. Phase two will focus on welders, riggers, production and end traffic positions.

Churchill County’s taxable sales for fiscal year 2015 was up 12.2 percent to $283.5 million, and unemployment hovered in the 6-7 percent range for most of the year.


Former councilman and mayor Merton Domonoske died in July after a lengthy illness at Reno’s Renown Regional Medical Center.

The 92-year-old Domonoske served on the Fallon City Council from 1960-71 before he was elected mayor, a post he held until 1987. He was also involved with other organizations and boards ranging from the Churchill County Central Republican Committee to the Nevada League of Cities.

When the Korean War began in 1950, Domonoske commanded the Nevada Army National Guard armory in Fallon before he received an honorable discharge in 1952.


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