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IN THE NEWS
August 23, 2016
Good Clean Fun on the Pit
By Alex Colvin
Kayakers from Northern California, Nevada, and Oregon gathered
at the Madesi River Access above Big Bend to enjoy the thrill of
riding level III, IV, and V rapids on a 9.3 mile stretch of the
Pit River last Saturday.
This was the first day of the two weekends in 2016 that PG&E
will be providing high water flows onthe Pit 5 Reach from Pit 5
Dam to the J.B. Black Powerhouse.
By 10 a.m. PG&E had increased the flows from 450 to 1500 cubic
feet per second. They remained at this level until about 4 p.m.
when they were gradually reduced to 600. Sunday morning the
flows were raised again to 1500 and the after 4 p.m. gradually
lowered back to 450 feet per second.
The most challenging stretch is from Madesi River Access to the
bridge at Big Bend. There is river access just below the bridge.
From Big Bend to J.B. Black Powerhouse the ride is easier.
My wife Linda and I arrived at 12:30 p.m. to watch the kayakers
come round the bend in the river and ride the white water above
the bridge. It’s fun for the kayakers but it’s fun for
As we walked out onto the bridge, we saw two watchers from
Spring Rivers. Spring Rivers is a company that provides
biological and physical assessments of aquatic and riparian
ecosystems. PG&E contracts with them to monitor the event,
registering the kayakers at the Madesi access and then keeping
count as they pass under the bridge and disembark at the Bridge
access or J.B. Black Powerhouse.
By the time we arrived, one raft and 13 kayakers had passed
below the bridge. A Spring Rivers truck arrived and told us that
so far 32 kayakers had registered.
As we waited for more to appear round the bend of the river
upstream, we met two of the group of 32, Sarah from Fair Oaks
and Erica Gold from Oakland.
Sarah and Erica had opted to wait for some friends to ride the
current to the bridge and then join them to ride down to J.B.
Black Powerhouse. One of them had done this run in a previous
year. The other hadn’t but had kayaked the Pit One run that goes
over Pit River Falls to the Pit One campground. She said that
was really exciting.
They told me that they were part of a group of kayakers that had
gathered together for the weekend. In addition to Fair Oaks and
Oakland, friends came from Reno, San Jose, Coloma near
Placerville, and Trinity County.
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Twenty Year Old Earns Four Years in Prison
— J. Tucker Belegante, 20, of Johnson Park entered a plea
bargain in Shasta County Superior Court and was sentenced to
4-years in state prison last week for illegal possession of
ammunition, stealing a vehicle, knowingly receiving stolen
property, sale of a controlled substance and corporal injury to
a spouse or co-inhabitant.
As of Friday, he was being held in Shasta County Jail on a
no-bail hold, pending his transfer to state prison.
West Nile Victim Not in our
REDDING — A Shasta County adult is
the first person in Shasta County to be reported this season
with probable West Nile Virus (WNV) this year according to
Shasta County Public Health. The person lives in the Shasta
Mosquito District’s area and is recovering at home.
West Nile Virus is almost always
transmitted to people from the bite of an infected mosquito and
is not transmitted from person to person, or from horses or
other animals to humans. Symptoms of West Nile Virus can include
high fever, severe headache, worsening confusion or stiff neck.
If you have symptoms, contact your
health care provider immediately. Tell your doctor if you have
had recent mosquito bites. It is important to note that 80% of
people infected with West Nile Virus have no symptoms.
Air Ambulance Plans to Fly Out of Adin
By Walt Caldwell
Mountain Echo editor
BIEBER – There are still hoops to
jump through, but the Sierra Medical Services Alliance (SEMSA),
The Southern Cascade Community Service District (the ambulance
district in Big Valley), and the Big Valley Joint Unified School
District, are in agreement – SEMSA will be a tremendous asset
not only to Big Valley or the Intermountain Area, but much of
the northeastern corner of California.
The plans as presented at Wednesday
night’s school board meeting is for SEMSA to partner with the
Big Valley School District and put a ground ambulance, Medical
Helicopter, and advanced life support school covering EMT and
Paramedic training, and housing at the now vacant Adin Primary
School. The helicopter would then be available for medical calls
as far away as Cedarville to the northeast and Fall River Mills
and Burney to the west if they buy into the program.
SEMSA would need to add showers, do
some modification, and maintain the facility. The Ambulance
District already has the money to build both the structure to
house the ambulance and a hangar to house the helicopter. The
school district would be able to re-establish its Adult
Education Program and provide the training.
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Fishing Access to Pit River Clarified
PIT ONE – In the past there has been
some confusion regarding fishing access to the Pit River in the
vicinity of the Pit One Power House west to the Lions Picnic
The Grant Deed shows that Michelle
Titus purchased what had once been the PG&E Pit One club house
and the PG&E compound surrounding it effective October 12, 2012.
Since that time she has made a
number of improvements to the buildings, fenced most of the
property and locked off what were once dirt roads on the
property. She has also put up a number of “Guest Only” and “No
Trespassing signs which is her right.
PG&E Public Affairs Officer Paul
Moreno took a look at the agreements that had been in place and
were in place between the company and the various owners of the
Pit One property.
He says, “We concluded that there are three roads described in
the deed that were reserved as ‘Public Access.’
“One of the roads extends (from the main PG&E road to the Power
House) past the BLM campground towards the Lions Club Park which
is currently not being blocked by the Pit 1 Lodge. The other two
roads described in the grant deed both laed towards the
“The first is the main road (through the compound) past the
lodge and ending at the powerhouse. “The second is a spur off
the northern road (toward the BLM campground) by the old tennis
courts and leads to the tailrace bridge. However, PG&E has
provided access to the tailrace bridge via the road to the
powerhouse (the first main road through the compound) once the
road passed thelodge and crosses back onto PG&E property,
therefore (the second) is not needed to access through the
middle of the lodge property. The end point is the same.”
Titus says that since the “second” route leads to the same place
as the first one, it wasn’t needed to provide access and has
been blocked off to all but PG&E employees.
In addition to the access at the tailrace, fishermen and women
can fish in the vicinity of the BLM campground and further to
the west at the Lions Picnic Park.
She says the section of the Pit River in the vicinity of the
tailrace is steep, rocky and dangerous and she does not advise
even her clients to fish the banks in that area.
Sweep Nets Familiar Offenders
On August 18, 2016 the Sheriff’s
Office AB109 team, members of the Shasta County Probation
Department and resident deputies from the Sheriff’s Office
assigned to the Burney Division conducted probation searches,
compliance checks and residence verifications at ten locations
in the Burney, Johnson Park and Cassel area.
Five probationers were arrested:
1. Lyna Phipps was arrested for a
probation violation for possessing 2 ounces
2. Aaron Phipps was arrested for a
probation violation for transporting illegal narcotics and
possession of illegal narcotics for sale.
3. Kyle Christie was arrested for an
outstanding felony warrant
4. Jonathan Searl was arrested for
failure to comply with the terms of his Supervised Own
Recognizance (SOR) conditions.
5. Douglas Wilson, a registered sex
offender, was arrested for failure to comply with his court
ordered treatment plan.
Two other probationers who were not
home at the time their homes were searched will have cases filed
against them with the District Attorney’s Office.
Lonnie James Corona will be charged
with possession of methamphetamine for sales due to 24.8 grams
of methamphetamine being located in his home along with evidence
to show sales.
Quentin Winn will be charged with
possession of methamphetamine due to 1 gram of methamphetamine
being located in his home.
Late last week the Southern Cascades
board did take formal action to Adopt a resolution “approving in
concept an agreement to co-locate with Sierra Emergency Medical
Services Alliance( SEMSA) for an EMS Station and Training
Facility and pursue agreement with the Sierra Emergency Medical
Services Alliance for Managementof EMS operations for the
Southern Cascades EMS District.”
The details of the agreement will be
worked out by staff and the Planning and Community Relations
Committee and to be brought back to the Board for final
consideration and approval over the next few weeks.
In Addition, the Board accepted a
report from staff and SEMSA representatives on the
prioritization of potential EMS station locations in Adin and
directed Staff and the Planning and Community Relations
Committee to pursue an agreement proposal with the Big Valley
Joint Unified School District for the Adin Primary School Site.
OPENING DAY “BODY COUNT” 2016 FR SCHOOL DISTRICT
BURNEY — The Fall River Joint
Unified School District gained 60 students on opening day of
this school year as compared to opening day, 2015.
• East Burney - 376, up 28 from 2015
• Fall River - 306, up 16 from 2015
• Burney Community Day School - 0,
down four from 2015
• Fall River Community Day School,
four, up two from 2015
• Burney - 100, up 18 from 2015
• Fall River - 70, down 22 from 2015
• Burney - 127, down Four from 2015
• Fall River - 158, up eight from 2015
• Mountain View - 19, up three from
• Soldier Mountain - 8, up three
• Mt. Burney - 15, up seven from