Stephens Media, parent company of the Las Vegas daily newspaper, continues to shed personnel and assets. The latest leaf to fall is the Mesquite Local News weekly newspaper and online website, which have been purchased by Battle Born Media, a company owned by former, longtime Las Vegas Review-Journal publisher Sherman Frederick and globetrotting Associated Press sports columnist Tim Dahlberg, who has been based in Nevada for decades.
BBM already publishes the Lincoln County Record, The Ely Times, Eureka Sentinel and Mineral County Independent-News. In the story announcing the acquisition, Frederick was quoted as saying: “Mesquite is a wonderful town with no shortage of news. It fits in nicely with our other newspapers and our style of providing uncompromising community news in rural Nevada. We’re looking forward to becoming a vital part of the region and its communities.”
The Las Vegas paper made no note of the transaction.
Today’s edition contains a column on the Bundy confrontation under the headline: “What choices did Cliven Bundy have?”
It points out, as few news accounts have, that Bundy was literally in a Catch 22 when he was told by the BLM that could not graze cattle in the spring in order to protect threatened desert tortoises:
“The whole premise that Bundy owes $1 million in unpaid fees, fines and interest is suspect.
“Bundy explained to the BLM that he had no feed lot in which to hold cattle and his only option would be to sell his cattle for slaughter in February and buy new stock to put out to pasture in July. But from July to February desert range cattle actually lose weight.
“When Bundy was told he could not graze in the spring, he also was told to remove all his water tanks and the lines that fed them from local springs. The reason for this has never been explained, and never mind that water rights are granted by the state and the federal government is not allowed to interfere with those rights, as several federal court cases have upheld.
“So, if he had paid his fees and grazed when the BLM told him he could, Bundy would have gone out of business. It is a Catch-22. Pay your fees and go broke. Defy an unsound and unscientific order and get broken. If Bundy had written the BLM a check for grazing his cattle when the BLM said he shouldn’t, they would not have accepted it.”
The paper also carries an editorial talking about the destruction of Bundy’s private property by the BLM and calling on Bundy to call up Sheriff Doug Gillespie, show him his destroyed 12,000-gallon water tank and demand an arrest warrant be issued. The water tank — torn apart by BLM agents — was undeniably Bundy’s private property as a part of his water rights, granted by the state of Nevada.
The Mesquite Local News is published in print and online on Thursday.