Lincoln County Correspondence – February 2016

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Lincoln County

New Ash Springs Proposal

The popular Ash Springs Hot Springs picnic area, about seven miles north of Alamo on U.S. 93, was closed by the BLM in 2014 because they determined the swimming area had become too unsafe after one of the walls to the swimming pool had been broken down. Not by natural means, but by “unauthorized maintenance.”

Little Ash Springs as it appears today.
                                          Little Ash Springs as it appears today.

A big lock and chain on the gate and fence keeps people out.

This year, however, a local group in Alamo, called Friends of Pahranagat Valley, have created a proposal to have the hot springs reopened and greatly expanded. There is a website that people are invited to look at and make comment. The website: Friends of Little Ash Springs Proposal.

The BLM is interested in the proposal and will be reviewing it themselves.

Artist's concept of proposed improvements and expansion of Little Ash Springs.
         Artist’s concept of proposed improvements and expansion of Little Ash Springs.

The proposal would create a larger park, but would not interfere with the adjacent Big Ash Springs, that is private property. There would be a limited occupancy, an entry fee charged and seasonal hours of operation.

There will likely be several modifications made to the original proposal, and no funds have been raised as yet, nor is it known how long a period of construction would be necessary.

Ash Springs have a been a popular destination for many years to those traveling along U.S. 93, and desires to continue to be for all visitors, in state and out.

Higbee Named Nevada Coach of the Year

In keeping with the honors the record setting Pahranagat Valley High School football team in Alamo had in 2015, one of the best was Dr. Ken Higbee being named Nevada Coach of the Year in the awards presented by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

This is a unique honor, since normally, such an award goes to the coach of a much higher division school.

Pahranagat Valley plays 8-man football in Division IV, the smallest classification, and usually players or coaches from Division IV are not selected for the All-State team, however there have been exceptions. For example, Pahranagat’s Austin Poulsen was named Second Team defensive back in 2012 because of his 10 interceptions that season. And this year, Pahranagat junior quarterback Tabor Maxwell, Whittell’s Cory Huber, and Division III Lincoln County quarterback McClain O’Connor were given  Honorable Mention.

Dr. Ken Higbee, right, with NBC News correspondent Harry Smith in 2014.
     Dr. Ken Higbee, right, with NBC News correspondent Harry Smith in 2014.

It would also be fair to say that the Panther team certainly contributed to Higbee being selected Coach of the Year. They won a record eighth consecutive state championship, beating Whittell 54-28 in the title game. They also stretched their national winning streak to 93, which ranks as No. 3 on the all-time list as noted by the National Federation of High School Sports in Indianapolis, tied with Shattuck, Oklahoma (2003-2009).

They can break the tie with their first game next season with Wells in Alamo.

Over the past eight years, PVHS has been ranked very often in the top 10 teams in the nation for 8-man football by MaxPreps.com, even No. 1 at one point, one year.

They were the subject of an NBC Nightly News piece in Sept. 2014, when their record was 72 straight.

Higbee, who is also school principal at the C.O. Bastian Youth Center in Caliente, is not one much for award recognition and quickly said he wanted to share the honor equally with the other coaches on the staff. “Our program is about what everybody does, not one individual. It goes just as much to the parents and our community as well.”

Dave Maxwell

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