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|At approximately 10 pm last night, the Amador Co. Sheriff’s Office, and the California Highway Patrol, received several reports of vehicles along Hwy 16 between Plymouth and the Sacramento C. line being struck by large softball size rocks. A Plymouth resident, and an Ione resident, both reported, with in minutes of each other) that when they were traveling east bound on Hwy 16 in the area of Latrobe Road, their vehicles were struck by a large rock. They both reported that their vehicles were struck just as another vehicle traveling westbound on Hwy 16 past them going the opposite direction. Both witnesses described the vehicle as a light colored sedan, unknown make or model. The rock had reportedly struck the front of their vehicles causing minor damage. However, a 33 year old Carmichael resident, who was driving eastbound on Hwy 16 near Welch Pond Road, was knocked unconscious by a large rock, which came through the front windshield of his vehicle. The driver lost control of his 1997 Saturn, crashed through a fence, and ended up in a large pasture, about 400 feet off the highway. He reportedly crawled to a nearby residence to get help. The driver was air lifted by Reach 2 to Sutter Roseville Hospital. The Sacramento Office of CHP also received 8 reports of vehicles being struck by large rocks along Hwy 16 in the Rancho Murrieta area. If you or anyone you know has any information regarding these incidents please contact the Amador Co. Sheriff’s Office at 223-6500 or CHP office at 223-4890.(end)am|
At approximately 5pm yesterday evening, as Jackson Police officer and Amador County Unified Resource Officer Mike Collins was taking a break he noticed that two individuals were attempting to steal a car parked in the parking lot below the Jackson Civic Center. Fortunately that also happens to be the location of Jackson Police department and Officer Troy Ortega quickly joined Officer Collins and the suspects were quickly apprehended. Arrested at the scene were Tyler Johnson, a transient and a juvenile. (end)am
The San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors is now wrangling with some serious issues surrounding the Buena Vista Band of Me-Wuk Indians proposed Flying Cloud Casino. They are taking a serious look at off reservation impacts to San Joaquin County including impacts to roads and traffic patterns, social services, law enforcement and health services. According to the Tribe’s Final Tribal Environmental Impact Report nearly 54 percent of all traffic bound for the casino here in the Jackson Valley will come thru or from San Joaquin County. This, according to the tribe’s own estimates will create intersection traffic problems of the most severe nature, by the state’s intersection ranking system, at nearly every major intersection between Buena Vista Rd and the Hwy 99 corridor. The millions upon millions of dollars that it will cost to improve the intersections the county simply does not have. According to San Joaquin County Administrative Officer Manuel Lopez, the cost of social services from off reservation impacts such as gambling addiction, increased law enforcement presence, medical services to aid victims of traffic collisions, and support services such as the district attorney office and probation department are all also of concern to the neighboring county. Under the terms of the Buena Vista Band’s compact with the Governor the tribe is not required to negotiate with San Joaquin county for impact mitigations, as the tribe is required to do with Amador County. The San Joaquin County Board in their meeting Tuesday instructed CAO Lopez and the San Joaquin County Counsel to meet with Amador County Administrative Officer Pat Blacklock and County Counsel John Hahn, who are also Amador County’s negotiation team for the current talks with the tribe. According to Lopez, San Joaquin County is interested in working with Amador County to have Amador County officials represent their interests in official negotiations with the tribe. The two counties will be meeting soon as negotiations between the tribe and Amador County must be completed by Dec. 11 2005. (end)am
A long standing Amador County tradition has apparently come to an abrupt end. For the first time in modern memory, Amador High School was forced to cancel their annual big game week bonfire rally Tuesday. The bonfire tradition began sometime after 1954 and has been a staple of the big game week ever since that time. Generally, Tuesday night of the big game week is the bonfire which in recent times has been the burning of a large stack of pallets donated by Meeks lumber. According to Amador High School Principal Eli Johnson, he first became aware that there may be an issue with the bonfire Tuesday morning when contacted by Jim Harris of the Amador Air District. Principal Johnson was told that the bonfire could not be burned because it would be a violation of law which the Air District is charged with enforcing. Amador High School students were so upset by the Air District Board’s implementation of the law that they arrived at an empty Air District office to discuss the problem but left frustrated. According to Air District Air Pollution Control Officer, Jim Harris, he received an inquiry at the air district office that morning as to why the school was being allowed to burn the pile of pallets in a bonfire which was scheduled for 6 pm yesterday evening. The general concerns regarding the traditional bonfire is multifold and includes that the pallets being used could contain chemicals which are illegal and unhealthful to burn. Local Air District Regulations require that materials burned must be natural vegetation that originated on the property. Also, under no circumstances can a fire be burned on a school campus. According to Jim Harris this fire is not an allowable fire at the school and he thought that the issue had been resolved in the early 90’s under Superintendent Ken Sherer. These school rules were implemented back in 1973 according to Harris. Harris stated that this problem would have been resolved a longtime ago if the Air District had been aware of it. According to Harris the citizens that inquired wanted to know why the Air District would allow such a fire. Harris stated that the Air District rules do not allow such fires and if any one has any questions about outdoor burning of any type Harris and his staff are happy to speak them at 257-0112. According to Principal Johnson the students at Amador High School are very disappointed at the end of the celebrated and coveted tradition. (end)eve
Last night the Amador County Unified School District Board of Trustees met for their regularly scheduled meeting. The meeting agenda was very light and off the top the district awarded several more students with the High Five Award. These awards are given to students that raise their grade point averages .5 or more. Honored last night was Ashley Adams a sixth grader from Sutter Creek Elementary , and several Amador High School students including 9th grader Alexis Dashiell, 9th grader Kevin Donovan, 10th grader Peter Donovan, 10th grader Courtney Garland, 9th grader Alix Purintun, and 11th grader Josh Wadsworth. Congratulations to all those students on their hard work and outstanding efforts. The main discussion of the evening centered around the Amador County Schools Facilities Task force recommendation that the district look at establishing kindergarten through eighth grade schools as part of the strategy to cope with pending growth in the county. The facilities taskforce was formed as an ad hoc committee made up of parents, administrators, teachers and citizens representing all towns and areas of Amador County. The task force met monthly through last June while developing their recommendations which were presented to the school board last June. The goal of the taskforce was to work towards a solution that will address the needs of the district's school facilities. The task force has introduced a concept from other school districts, that of a multi-school campus. In this model, two schools are placed on one campus. The two schools are housed on opposite sides of the campus and are divided by a common area where administrative offices, library, cafeteria and multipurpose rooms are located. This structure may provide a lower cost overall as opposed to building two schools on two separate properties. Once a suitable design is found for the multi-school campus, it could be used for each of the campuses that will be built across the county, providing a cost savings and allowing for minor revisions as needed in each area. The taskforce’s recommendations were proposed as K-8 campus consisting of an Elementary School (K through 4, 5 or 6) separated from a Middle or Jr. High School (5, 6 or 7 though 8). Specific recommendations included building a new Jackson K-8 campus, building a new Ione K-8 campus for 600 students, building New Pine Grove - Pioneer K-8 campus for 600 students, building a new Sutter Creek K-8 campus for 750 students, maintaining Plymouth Elementary K-3, or K-6 for 200 students, Maintaining Pioneer Elementary K-3 for 160 students, Combine Ione into K-8 for 600 students, and Modernizing the current Ione Junior High for 700 students to fit in the K-8 scheme. Last night’s discussion centered around the educational philosophy for developing a k-8 system. Last night Dr. Mike Carey, Superintendent of Schools presented an article from Time magazine in which research indicates that the current middle school system that became popular during the 70’s has become known as the Bermuda Triangle of education. Among statistics discussed was the conclusion of the Rand Corporation in a 20 year review of middle school education that more than half of 8th graders fail to meet proficiency standards for math, reading and science on national tests. The report also cited that the onset of puberty which generally occurs for children during the middle school years is a particularly bad time to begin a new era of schooling. The study cites that this is a very fragile period in a child’s life and k-8’s offered a more nurturing environment with greater consistency for kids. That combined with the economic benefits is something our local board of Trustees will continue to look at seriously. No decisions were made or direction given at last night’s meeting.(end)pmBREAK
Amador County Waste Management Dept. wants to know how you are celebrating “America Recycles” day on November 15th. America Recycles Day was formed by a national all-volunteer organization who’s goal is to encourage Americans to recycle and to buy recycled products. Since its inception in 1997, the America Recycles Day campaign has grown substantially. In 2003 President Bush made the following proclamation: “On America recycles Day, I encourage individuals, businesses, communities, ribs, and government to continue to work together as good stewards of America’s resources. By using our resources wisely, we help build stronger economy and a healthier future.” The Amador County Waste Management Dept. would like to remind you to please do your part to recognize America Recycles Day by Reducing, reusing, recycling, and rebuying products made from recycled materials. Well last year, students in Amador Co. participated in America Recycles Day and pledged to recycle. This year the Waste Management Dept. will provide students in Amador Co. schools with a packet of recycling information including a recycle Pledge Card, Recycling Fun Facts, Recycler Ricky Sticker, and a green Reduce, Reuse Recycle rubber band bracelet. For more information on recycling programs in Amador Co., call the Amador Co. Waste Management Dept. at 223-6429. You may want to visit their website at: www.co.amador.ca.us or the America recycles Day website at: www.americarecyclesday.org.(end)eve BREAK
Argonaut’s down town rally was last night at 7pm in downtown Jackson. Argonaut kicked the evening off with dinner and then a float parade on Main St. that started at 6:30 pm. The actual rally was held at the National hotel and as you can see was a very popular event. Amador’s down town rally is today at 1:30pm. The high school students walk through downtown Sutter Creek in their high school get-up to the Sutter Creek Park. So drivers beware that between 6:30 and 7 tonight and also tomorrow between 1:30 and 2 o’clock hwy 49 will have traffic control while the students cross the streets.(end)pm