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The California Highway Patrol is reminding drivers to play by the rules and help make the state’s roads a safer place during the Thanksgiving holiday. Beginning Wednesday, November 21 at 6 p.m. through Sunday, November 25, the CHP will implement a maximum enforcement period, putting every available officer on the road. In addition to busy roadways, inclement weather is another factor motorists may have to contend with. Rain, fog, wind and snow have been known to create not only frustrating, but also hazardous conditions for drivers. Last year, during the Thanksgiving holiday, 42 people died in the 4,768 collisions that occurred in California. More than half of those killed were not wearing their seatbelts. Another sobering statistic -- last year 1670 people were arrested by CHP officers for driving under the influence over the Thanksgiving holiday; nearly a 10 percent increase from the same time period the previous year. The local Amador CHP office hopes that everyone has a safe and enjoyable holiday. Please buckle up and “Designate Before You Celebrate.

slide9.pngDistrict Attorney Todd Riebe announced yesterday that Justin John Massaro, 20, of Pine Grove has been arrested in connection with a plot to frame his former girlfriend by planting controlled substances in her vehicle, which resulted in her arrest by police. The Jackson woman was arrested last month when police, acting on a tip, searched her car in a Jackson parking lot and found multiple pills of Ecstasy, or MDMA, a controlled substance. A male caller claimed he had observed the woman purchase the illegal drugs and provided police with a specific description of the vehicle and its location.

A follow up investigation by an experienced agent from the Amador County Combined Narcotics Enforcement Team determined the evidence pointed in a direction away from the woman as a suspect and, in fact, indicated she was the victim of a set-up. The investigation led to Massaro, who admitted his involvement and explained how he had purchased the pills and drove them to the woman’s place of work where he planted them in her vehicle. Massaro told the agent he waited until the woman left work before he called the police to report the alleged crime. Massaro now faces several felony counts, including false imprisonment by fraud and deceit and transportation and possession of controlled substances. Massaro posted a 20,000 dollar bond for release from jail and is scheduled to appear in Amador County Superior Court on August 8, 2008. The District Attorney’s Office has declined to file any charges against the woman based on all the facts of the case.

Wednesday, 06 August 2008 02:04

Wildfire on Defender Grade Road

slide19.pngAmador Fire Battalion 10 and CDF responded to a call of a wildfire last Friday off of Defender Grade Road via Highway 26 in Pioneer. TSPN’s contributing photographer Bill Lavallie was on scene to photograph the battle. The fire started around 1 pm, and quick action by the responding agencies kept the blaze from spreading towards the Mokelumne River area, where several homes and barns lay in the fire’s path. One Calfire aircraft also responded to help fight the blaze.

slide20.pngCooler temperatures and higher humidity around the state allowed firefighters to continue chipping away at dozens of wildfires Monday. The favorable weekend weather led to considerable progress in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, where a wildfire that was threatening Junction City reached about 56 percent containment. Mandatory evacuation orders, however, remained for parts of the rural town for a fourth day. The month-old fire has charred about 89 square miles. "They're gaining ground on it, and with the weather cooperating, they're able to do burnout operations within the fire to remove hazardous fuels," said Tom McCampbell, a spokesman for the U.S. Forest Service.

Only 33 fires remained active around the state Monday, down from 2,010 that have charred nearly 1,480 square miles since a massive lightning storm ignited hundreds of blazes across Northern California last month. State officials have called the cluster of fires since June 21 the largest fire event in California history. A handful of residents also are still affected by evacuation orders in Humboldt, Lake and Mendocino counties. Authorities say most of California's remaining fires are on remote federal forest lands and pose little threat to homes. Near the coast, a deep marine layer and backfires helped crews in their battle against a wildfire that previously had threatened thousands of homes in the Los Padres National Forest around Big Sur. That blaze was 70 percent contained after burning about 209 square miles and 27 homes.

Tuesday, 06 May 2008 08:54

Local Law Hunts Lodi Bank Robber

slide22.pngLocal law enforcement is on the lookout for a bank robber caught on tape while robbing a Bank in Lodi. The robbery occurred at 1:43 pm in a Bank of America at 700 West Kettleman Lane last Wednesday. The black male suspect demanded an undisclosed amount of money before leaving in a white sedan. No further information is being released at this time. If you have any information you feel may help the investigation, contact Officer Schaeffer in Lodi at 209-329-4897.

Tuesday, 29 April 2008 09:32

Reported Break-In


slide13.pngAmador County Sheriff Officers were called to the scene of a reported break-in in progress late Friday afternoon. TSPN contributing photographer Bill Lavallie was on the scene to bring you these photographs. The reporting party claimed that 18630 Clinton Road was being burglarized at aproximately 4:30pm. Sheriff's Deputies and a K-9 unit dispatched to the location found three males and a female in the residence. All four were detained while police worked out the details with the owner. All four individuals were held for suspicion of burglary.


slide22.pngAlso at Thursday’s Plymouth City Council meeting, District 5 Supervisor Brian Oneto presented Rich Martin, Project Manager for the Plymouth Fire Department, with a 15 hundred dollar check. The funds, which were taken from Supervisor Oneto’s discretionary fund, are to aid in improvement and construction projects for the Plymouth Fire Department, and to commend all of the hard work that has accomplished thus far.

Thursday, 14 February 2008 05:11

Burglary Suspects

The Jackson Police have arrested two suspects in a string of theft and burglary cases across Northern California. On February 8, Officers Courtney and Collins responded to a suspicious vehicle in the 900 block of North Main Street in Jackson. Upon arrival, the officers observed the vehicle had no license plates. The female occupant told the officers she did not have identification but identified herself as Heather Ketcher.
Thursday, 17 January 2008 10:21

"Rico" Joins the Sherriff's Office

The Amador County Sheriff's Office is welcoming a new member to the local law enforcement team – 20-month old “Rico” – a Belgian Malenois service dog. Until last year, the Sheriff’s office had three canines on staff, however with the unexpected retirement of two of those service dogs over the past year, the Sheriff's Office was left with only one service dog available for Sheriff's Office duties and for mutual aid requests from the city police departments and CHP. The Sheriff’s 2007/2008 budget did not include money for new service dogs, so the Amador County Deputy Sheriff's Association explored options to purchase a canine which would eventually be assigned to one of its members.
Tuesday, 15 January 2008 09:56

Weekend Accidents on Hwy 88

A Minden Nevada woman was seriously injured Friday morning on Hwy 88 east of Plasse’s Resort. According to the California Highway Patrol, the Minden woman lost control of her Ford F-250 pick-up truck on the icy highway, slid across both lanes and hit a tractor trailer truck head on. After impact with the semi, the pick-up came to a stop blocking both lanes of the highway. Another semi approached the accident, attempted to slow and began sliding on the slick roadway. That driver was able to steer past the first semi but struck the pick-up broadside. The Minden woman was flown to Reno with major injuries. The first semi driver suffered moderate injuries but sought his own aid. The second semi driver was uninjured. On Sunday morning, a 22-year-old Linden man slid on an icy curve on Hwy 88 east of Peddler Hill and rolled his Chevy pick-up when it hit a snow bank. He was taken to Sutter Roseville Hospital for injuries sustained in the accident. And on Sunday morning, an Oakland woman was driving west on Hwy 88 near Foster Meadows when she reduced her speed so she could turn off the road into the pull-out. A San Jose man, who CHP say was driving too fast for the traffic conditions, rear-ended the Oakland woman. Neither driver in that accident was injured.