The Morning Report

Thursday, October 23, 2014

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Lake Mead NRA - NV, AZ
Three Charged In Homicide Case

Early on the afternoon of October 1st, rangers responded to a call of a man’s body floating off North Swim Beach at Cottonwood Cove and found the body of 27-year-old Domingo Alva-Gonzalez within the beach’s buoy line. He appeared to have a large contusion on the back of his head. During the autopsy, the Clark County coroner listed the death as suspicious and asked Las Vegas Metro Homicide to follow up on the case.

Alva-Gonzalez’ wallet, paycheck, keys and truck were missing from the crime scene. Detectives reported that the truck was stolen and an officer found it parked in front of a home in Las Vegas four days later.

After finding out about the report the next day, the officer returned to the Las Vegas home and again saw the vehicle, according to the report. As the officer was completing paperwork to have it towed, a man, identified as 18-year-old Esdras Lanza-Martinez, came outside and told the officer he was the truck’s owner. He was then arrested and found to have Alva-Gonzalez’ identification card and paycheck in his possession.

During an interview with detectives, Lanza-Martinez said he, Alva-Gonzalez's ex-girlfriend, 20-year-old Joselin Martinez-Aguilar, and 18-year-old Bryan Melendez decided to kill the victim after he would not leave Martinez-Aguilar alone. The trio met up with Alva-Gonzalez and the group went to the lake. He said that the group was drinking and arguing, which escalated to a fight. Melendez picked up a rock and hit the victim in the back of the head, and he then fell to the ground. Lanza-Martinez said he helped Melendez put Alva-Gonzalez’ body in the lake.

Martinez-Aguilar told a similar story to detectives, but said she heard a loud noise at the lake and turned around to find Alva-Gonzalez lying on the ground. She said the victim then stood back up, and Lanza-Martinez asked her if he should kill him. She replied, "If you want to kill him, kill him." She said Lanza-Martinez and Melendez took the victim into the water and held him under.

Melendez also told detectives a story similar to Martinez-Aguilar's version. All three were charged with conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to commit robbery and burglary. Lanza-Martinez was also charged with murder with a deadly weapon. Additionally, Martinez-Aguilar and Melendez were charged with murder with a weapon, robbery with a weapon and conspiracy to commit burglary. All three are being held at the Clark County Detention Center.

[Submitted by Warren Schlesinger, Park Ranger]


Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site (AR)
Film Festival Held On School Desegregation Anniversary

Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site commemorated the 57th anniversary of the school’s desegregation by presenting The Reel Civil Rights Film Festival with director Oliver Stone as a special guest and by honoring local educators and social activists.

“We are very grateful to all our park and community partners, as well as our honored guests, who supported this week’s events,” said Superintendent Robin White.

The park partnered with the Little Rock Film Festival to present The Reel Civil Rights Film Festival from September 19th to September 25th. Free screenings of civil and human rights focused films and documentaries were followed by panel discussions and civic dialogue.

The premiere event of the film festival was the showing of an episode of a documentary called “The Untold History of the United States,” with commentary by Academy Award-winning director Oliver Stone, American University professor Dr. Peter Kuznick and principal researcher Dr. Eric Singer in the auditorium of Little Rock Central High School. An audience of over 1400 gathered to watch the episode, which was followed by a moderated discussion, audience questions, and a book signing.

For the September 25th anniversary, the park partnered with the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center in downtown Little Rock to honor ‘Liberators of a Collective Conscious Community’.

“We were able to honor some of the local educators and social activists for their influential roles in advancing educational opportunities in Little Rock,” said White. “Their candid stories and experiences inspired attendees to look for ways to become active in the work still to be done.”

The night consisted of a keynote speech by Little Rock Nine member Dr. Terrence Roberts, which was followed by a panel discussion on current trends and challenges faced in the modern educational system.

The final night of events welcomed Mary Liuzzo Lilliboe and Sally Liuzzo-Prado, the daughters of civil rights activist Viola Liuzzo, who was murdered during the 1965 Selma to Montgomery March. The night was hosted by former seven-term Arkansas Congressman Dr. Victor Snyder.

The audience watched a screening of the documentary “Home of the Brave,” a film that reexamines the murder of Viola and follows the ongoing struggle of those who survived her. The night concluded with an open discussion with the Liuzzo sisters, Dr. Snyder, and members of the audience.

Special thanks to law enforcement rangers from Hot Springs National Park and Buffalo National River for supporting the events of September 20th.

[Submitted by Nick Roll, Visual Information and Interpretation Assistant]

Fire Island National Seashore (NY)
Bat Survey Completed In Time For National Bat Week

Fire Island National Seashore recently participated in the inaugural Long Island Century Bat Survey. Events took place in August and October and included public education programs and citizen science surveys on Fire Island and Long Island.

Recent declines in bat populations have spurred conservation efforts across the country, including the first ever National Bat Week, scheduled for October 26th through November 1st.

Nearly 40 bats representing three different species – Eastern red bat, Northern long-eared bat, and big brown bat – were recorded during surveys in August and October on Fire Island and at the William Floyd Estate, a unit of Fire Island National Seashore located in Mastic Beach. Bat specialist Mike Fishman, who led the survey efforts, was excited to find a Northern long-eared bats, a species that is “rare in the northern part of New York State” and has been proposed to be listed under the Endangered Species Act.

The Long Island Century Bat Survey was designed not only to collect information about bats but also to educate the public about the current status of bats. Fire Island National Seashore offered three public programs this year, drawing more than 100 visitors to the park to learn more about these flying mammals.

“The Secret Life of Night Flyers,” a public program on bat ecology, is scheduled for October 26th - the first day of National Bat Week. A November 1st Junior Ranger Workshop, “Spooky Seaside Creatures,” will include bat-centered kids’ activities. Both programs will be conducted at Fire Island National Seashore’s Wilderness Visitor Center.

Bat surveys and educational programs were also conducted at Gateway National Recreation Area and Sagamore Hill National Historic Site. More than a dozen citizen scientists volunteered to assist with the surveys, helping to collect data that will help Long Island land managers better protect bats and bat habitat.

Fire Island National Seashore was one of 23 national parks selected to receive a 2014 impact grant from the National Park Foundation. Now in its seventh year, the impact grants program provides national parks with the critical financial support they need to transform innovative, yet underfunded, ideas into successful in-park programs and initiatives.

[Submitted by Elizabeth Rogers]

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Mammoth Cave National Park (KY)
Bicycling Event Held On New Park Bike Trail

On October 4th, the Southwest Kentucky Mountain Bike Association (SWKyMBA) and Mammoth Cave National Park sponsored a “Take a Kid Mountain Biking” event in conjunction with the IMBA national effort. 

The bicyclists rode Big Hollow Trail, the IMBA Gateway Trail of the Year. It was a great turnout – 20 kids and 17 adults.  

Big Hollow Trail, a 10-mile hike-bike trail, was dedicated earlier this year.  Its purpose, design and maintenance are models for all national parks and public lands:

  • The purpose is two-fold – to initiate a new way to use the park that is compatible with protecting its resources, and to have a trail where hikers, runners, and bikers can share a common space. 
  • The trail design is sustainable, meaning it is easy on the landscape and will be easy to maintain. 
  • The users of the trail will maintain it.  SWKyMBA members signed a partner agreement with the park, making them the stewards of Big Hollow Trail. 

Opening the Big Hollow Trail provides the public with a new use of Mammoth Cave National Park. 

[Submitted by Vickie Carson, Public Information Officer]

Washita Battlefield National Historic Site (OK)
Archaeology Days Held At Washita Battlefield

Washita Battlefield National Historic Site celebrated Oklahoma Archaeology Month and International Archaeology Day on October 18th and 19th.

Rangers Kathryn Harrison and Barbara Ford interpreted the 1995 and 1997 archaeological surveys on the battlefield, which resulted in 190 artifacts found, mostly Spencer cartridge cases, related to the attack on Chief Black Kettle’s village by Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer and the 7th Cavalry. 

Members of the Dale and Betty Wesner family, original owners of the 316 acres of farmland that eventually became Washita Battlefield National Historic Site and for whom the park’s permanent archaeological artifact collection is named, attended Sunday’s program.  Park visitors and locals  were delighted to hear the Wesner family’s account of the archaeological survey. 

For information on Oklahoma Archaeology Month, go to

[Submitted by Carol A. Mapel, Park Support Assistant]


Pacific West Region
GS-1640-12/13 Chief Of Maintenance

Dates: 10/22/2014 - 11/12/2014

Lassen Volcanic National Park has a vacancy for a supervisory facility operations specialist.  The person selected will serve as Lassen's chief of maintenance. 

Click on the link below for a copy of the announcement with full details on duties, area information, and procedures for applying.

It closes on November 12th.

[Submitted by Janet Rogers,, 530.595.6110]

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Cultural Resources, Partnerships and Science Directorate
GS-030-13 Information Management Specialist

The Cultural Resources, Partnerships, and Science Directorate in the Washington Office has issued an announcement for an information management specialist.

Click on the link below for a copy of the announcement with full details on duties, area information, and procedures for applying.

It closes on November 10th.
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