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IN THE NEWS
September 1, 2015
USDA Okays 22.8 Mil.
By Walt Caldwell
Mountain Echo editor
BURNEY – It was over midway through a two-hour agenda in the
Mayers board room with 10-13 board members and managers sitting
around the long table and a couple of members of the public in
chairs along the wall when it happened.
The District’s Chief Financial Officer Travis Lakey who was
sitting a little over halfway down the right side, looked at his
laptop. He squirmed a little, whispered something to Keith
Earnest, the Hospital’s Chief Clinical Officer, unplugged the
laptop and holding it open in one hand left the room quickly.
The presentation in progress went on uninterrupted. “We got it!”
Travis Lakey CFO
Roughly five minutes later Lakey returned, laptop in hand, sat
down and without interrupting the speaker grinned at the Interim
Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Louis Ward, seated across the
table and Earnest next to him.
A few minutes passed as other agenda items were cleared. Finally
Lakey broke in and saying he knew it wasn’t on the agenda,
simply said something to the effect “We got it!”
No one had to be told what “it” was. The room erupted into
Earlier in the meeting, Lakey and Ward had told the board that
Lakey had been pursuing the District’s $22.8 million loan
application that had been submitted to the US Department of
Agriculture, to the calling so many times each day that the
agency staff knew his phone number by heart. Lakey had told his
board that everything looked positive and that he hoped to have
the answer at any time. He just hadn’t expected it to come in
during the board meeting.
It was a historical milestone for the district which had been
working under a statewide mandate to “Make your hospital
seismically safe by January 1, 2020 or shut it down.” Through
the following 12 plus or minus years, staff and management along
with at least three CEO’s, Katherine Ann Campbell, Matt Rees and
now Louis Ward, had put hours and days of effort into solving
the problem and it had finally got a kick start and was off and
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Hole on Edge of the Road Repaired
FALL RIVER MILLS — Road crews doing routine highway
maintenance on the top of the Pit One Grade reportedly
noticed that there was nothing under the roadway on the
They reportedly determined that it had to be taken care of
and that, because of its location, would take personnel
qualified to work on the edge of cliffs to repair it.
Wednesday was the day. The eastbound lane was shut down for
much of the day while personnel in harnesses completed the
Caltrans Public Affairs Officer for the Caltrans Region 2
office in Redding says, “We had relatively minor cracking in
the roadway surface in that location. Maintenance found that
water had leeched through and undermined a small portion
from about a foot and half inch in under the wall.” They
ground it out and removed the loose material and used a
harder cement mix for repair. He said it will prevent any
more erosion from the outside or edge of the slope.
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Burney Man One of Two Killed in Crash
ANDERSON — A 26- year
old Burney man was one of two men killed in a single car
accident in Anderson Sunday evening.
Daniel Gomesbarba, AKA Daniel Bara, a 2007 graduate of
Burney Jr/ Sr high school, was riding in the right rear
passenger seat of the 2010 Toyota Scion, driven by Anthony
Wilson, 33, of Anderson ran off the roadway hit a tree and
ended up in a field in the 5900 bock of Missouri Lane.
Both Barba and the other passenger, Andrew Thetford
(Keluchie) were wearing their seatbelts. Both were trapped
inside the vehicle and pronounced dead on scene.
Wilson fled the scene enered a private residence and refused
to surrender to police, making them come into the residence
and subdue him.
Wilson was arrested for felony DUI causing injury or death,
felony hit and run, and two charges of gross vehicular
manslaughter while intoxicated.
He has been booked into Shasta County Jail.
Chickens Test Positive to West Nile Virus
BURNEY – Four out of six of the chickens in the flock kept
in the Burney Falls area tested positive for West Nile Virus
last week, Burney Basin Mosquito Abatement District Manager
Rick Daugherty says. Additionally he said he has learned
that a horse has died from West Nile Virus in Bella Vista.
“It proves what we already know,” Daugherty says. “West Nile
A few years ago a horse in the Burney area was also lost to
the virus, but no human cases have been reported.
The district has maintained flocks of chickens at the
district headquarters in Burney and in the vicinity of Old
Four Corners/Burney Falls for the past several years and,
even though not mandated, plans to continue to do so as long
as they have the money available.
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The Night the Lights Went Out
PONDOSA —– What had started out to be a routine run to the
mill for a driver of a loaded logging truck turned
nightmarish with the flip of a switch last Tuesday morning,
Marshal Kirkpatrick of Alturas was driving a truck owned by
Charlie Sherer of Canby at 3:05 a.m. on Highway 89 two miles
north of the Pondosa turnoff when he hit the dimmer switch
to either go from low beam to high or high to low. The
switch malfunctioned and his lights went out.
According to the Mount Shasta office of the Highway Patrol,
Kirkpatrick did everything he could to keep the truck in a
straight line on the roadway and slow the vehicle to bring
it to a stop while trying to get the lights back on, but the
truck went off the roadway and overturned on the soft
Investigators determined that the dimmer switch had failed.
No one was injured in the crash.
Car Goes Over,
BURNEY – A report of a car off the roadway near Big Bend
Road caused an hours search and the Highway Patrol’s
helicopter last Thursday morning.
Highway Patrolman Eric Schmidt says he got the call at
approximately 8:45 a.m. He and fire rescue crews scoured the
roadside between Hatchet Mountain to Big Bend Road before it
was determined that the car had gone off the roadway on a
brush covered hillside west of Hatchet Mountain Summit.
Schmidt says the helicopter happened to be in the air, in
the vicinity so it was called in to assist in spotting the
car and take part in any rescue that might be needed.
The helicopter located the car approximately 100 feet below
the roadway. It was learned that the occupants, an unknown
male and female, had gotten out of the vehicle, climbed back
up to the roadway and hitchhiked into Burney.
Who the occupants were and what caused them to go off the
roadway is unknown, Schmidt says.
New Bridge is Five Years Out
FALL RIVER MILLS – Shasta County Public Works engineer
Ankeny Shaw has announced that a new bridge to replace the
old one across the Pit River connecting Main Street to the
Cassel Fall River Road is at least three to four years away
The concept originally presented to the Fall River Valley
Municipal Advisory Committee by Public Works on July 21,
2011 has raised a number of questions which must be answered
before construction can go forward.
That plan called for the current entrance to the bridge on
the Fall River Mills side to be changed, going up what is
now the driveway to the old Fall River Feed Mill site and
then span the River, connecting to the Cassel-Fall River
Road above what is now a parking lot for kayak enthusiasts
instead of the route currently taken.
According to Shaw the California Department of
Transportation which is going to fund the project has
identified a number of archeological issues that must be
addressed before they will okay the funding. Those issues
may involve such things as moving the entrance and/or exit
of the bridge which would cause a major redesign. He said
the earliest he thinks the project can start construction
will be in 2019 or 2020.