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Monday, 21 July 2008 03:08

Crash Prompts Two-County Search

7-21am11.pngA mysterious call from a motorcyclist who crashed last Thursday off Highway 26 resulted in a two-county search. TSPN’s contributing photographer Bill Lavallie was at the scene of the accident to bring you these dynamic images. 911 Operators received a call early Thursday morning from a man who claimed to be lying in the bottom of a ditch somewhere off the highway. The initial call went out to Amador fire and emergency personnel, who subsequently called for an air ambulance service. A California Highway Patrol helicopter joined in the search shortly thereafter. As the search continued with no evidence of a crash, Fire units from West Point Calaveras CHP joined in.

With precious minutes passing and no evidence of an accident, the situation could have turned tragic. Fortunately, the slide7.pngrider was able to inform 911 operators when he heard the helicopter passing above him. Officials located the scene of the accident off the road on Hwy 26 many miles south of West Point. The rider had skidded off the road at a high rate of speed and ricocheted off a tree before the motorcycle plowed into two adjoining trees, becoming tightly wedged between them. The momentum of the impact launched the driver about 30 feet down an embankment. With a broken leg and possible broken arm, all the rider could do was wait for help. Rescuers on the scene considered it fortunate that the rider’s cell phone held out long enough to maintain contact with the search party. A CHP officer at the scene stated that earlier that morning he had observed the motorcycle speeding on Hwy 26 traveling in the direction of Westpoint. The rider was transported by helicopter to a Stockton area hospital.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008 02:09

AFPD Responds To Far More Than Fires

slide8.pngThe Amador Fire Protection District, or AFPD, has released its latest statistics for June of 2008. The AFPD responded to a total of 178 incidents last month. 103 of these were medical aid related and 21 were vehicle accidents, a total which combined accounted for 69 percent of the incidents. As is typical yet surprising to many who are unaware of the types of incident calls the Fire District receives, only 19 of the incidents were fire related. Of these, there were 5 structure fires, 1 cooking fire, 1 generator fire, 1 chimney fire, 2 vehicle fires and 9 wild land fires. 56 percent of the total calls occurred between the hours of 8:00 am and 5:00 pm.

Monday, 28 April 2008 03:46

New Sex Offender Notification Service

slide25.pngThe Amador County Sheriff has released a new sex offender notification service that is now available on the Sheriff’s website. The new service, called OffenderWatch, is an Internet based, searchable database containing information about Amador County’s registered sex offenders that state law allows to be released to the public. OffenderWatch, unlike the Megan’s Law database, contains a new community notification component intended to enhance the safety of local citizens.

By going to, and signing up for the sexual offender email alert, Amador County citizen’s will receive a return e-mail from the Sheriff’s office, notifying them of all publicly discloseable registered sex offenders living within a one mile radius of each address they choose to register. In addition, there will be automatic follow up emails notifying them when a sex offender registers at a location within a one mile radius of a designated address. This email notification system also contains a link to a map showing where each registered sex offender resides along with additional discloseable information such as a photograph and physical description.

When law enforcement discovers a change in a sex registrant’s status, such as when they move in or out of Amador County, thatslide26.png information will also be transmitted to residents. In addition to the county area information, Police Chief Mike Johnson of Ione, Chief Scott Morrison of Jackson, and Chief Rob Duke of Sutter Creek are pooling their registrant information, which will also be available. Through this partnership, every existing and newly registered sex offender will be entered into the OffenderWatch notification system regardless of whether they are registered in a city or county jurisdiction. “This new system does not mean that as parents you can lower your guard when it comes to your family’s personal safety. You must still teach them how to be safe in the event they are approached by strangers,” said Sheriff Martin Ryan.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008 08:18

2 Suspects in Alleged Carjacking

slide3.pngTwo suspects were arrested Friday in the Silver Lake area for an alleged carjacking in Stanislaus County and for being in possession of stolen property.  Mark Raymond Whiteley and Solanda Sutherland, both residents of Waterford, CA, were found in the disabled vehicle along Highway 88 Friday morning by the CHP. A routine license check revealed that the car was stolen in an alleged carjacking. The suspects were taken into custody at gunpoint. Several chainsaws were found inside the vehicle. With assistance from other officers, it was determined that the suspects had allegedly committed several other felonies, including the theft of the chainsaws, which belong to a Pioneer man who helped the suspects with their car earlier that week. The suspects were transported to Jackson and booked into the Amador County Jail Friday afternoon. Both Whiteley and Sutherland reportedly have gang affiliations and are charged with carjacking, grand theft, and receiving stolen property. Each are being held on $100,000 bail.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008 00:53

Ice Factors into 2 Auto Accidents

TSPN has received reports of accidents over the weekend, two of which involved ice.  Both ice-related accidents occurred on Highway 88. Last Friday afternoon, two vehicles collided near the Carson Spur after a 2003 Toyota hit an ice patch and lost control. Saturday evening a patch of black ice caused the driver of a 1999 Acura to lose control and swerve off the road. The CHP reports only minor injuries to the passenger after the vehicle collided into a snow bank. The CHP advises Amador residents to slow down in icy conditions. Snow and ice make stopping distances much longer, requiring a safe distance between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead. Bridge decks and shady spots can be icy when other areas are not. 

Amador Fire Protection District released its activity report for December 2007. AFPD had a busy month personnel responded to a total of 158 incidents in December. 81 medical aid & 27 vehicle accidents accounted for 68% of the total incidents.  8 of the incidents were fire-related with 2 structure fires, 3 chimney fires and 3 vegetation fires. 56% of all the calls occurred between the hours of 8:00 am and 5:00 pm.
Monday, 10 December 2007 14:23

Plymouth To Withdraw From Fire District?

Plymouth City Council will consider withdrawing city fire department service from the Amador Fire Protection District. At a special city council meeting scheduled for 5 pm – just prior to Thursday evening’s regularly scheduled council meeting – the Plymouth City Council will hear a financial report on the city’s contract with the AFPD and receive public input on the subject of the county fire protection district’s services to the city.
Wednesday, 05 December 2007 00:52

River Pines Fire Clean Up

slide24The county will be cleaning up the rubble and burned walls remaining from a River Pines home that was totally destroyed in a fire last October. Partially burned walls, piles of lumber and trash, propane tanks and other debris are not only an eyesore, but also a safety hazard at the property on 14725 Emigrant Trail in River Pines. Owner Michael Coe said he doesn’t have the money to pay for clean up since his insurance company has not paid him for his loss, and he is currently making a mortgage payment on the house as well as rent payments for a place to live.
Wednesday, 14 November 2007 01:44

Accident on Emerson Way Bingo Drive

Weather was a likely contributor to an accident on Emerson Way and Bingo Drive early Sunday morning. According to the California Highway Patrol, a Stockton man was stopped at the stop sign at Bingo Way when a Nevada woman approached the stop sign, braked but slid on the wet roadway and rear-ended the Stockton man. Neither driver complained of injuries, but this is a reminder that, early in the rainy season, road oils built up over the summer and rain mix to make roads very slick.

And in other Amador County Sheriff news Sheriff Martin A. Ryan has issued a public service announcement warning all Amador County Citizens against fraud. He wishes to inform the public of a telephone scam which has again come to the attention of law enforcement.  To date, the Sherriff’s office has not received reports of this scam being perpetrated within Amador County, but the Sherriff wants to be sure that local residents are aware of the possible danger.  The scam involves a suspect contacting a citizen via telephone.  The suspect identifies himself/herself as a jury coordinator for the local court and states that the court is inquiring why the citizen did not appear for jury duty as required by law.