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Tuesday, 11 December 2007 23:46

CAL FIRE Officially Closes Fire Season

And this time they really mean it--- CAL FIRE has officially closed Fire Season within the Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit. This includes theSan Joaquin and Stanislaus that are within the State Responsibility Area. CALFIRE closed Fire Season several weeks ago but rescinded the order when weather conditions remained dry through November. During the 2007 Fire Season, 303 vegetation fires burned 1,874 acres with a total of a little over 1.8 million dollars in damages. Total fires to date for 2007 including: vegetation, vehicle, structures and personal property is 647 with 1,920 total acres burned. Total year to date dollar damage is estimated at about 7.15 million dollars.  With the end of fire season, burning will be permitted 24 hours a day, but only on “Permissive Burn Days” as established by the Air Pollution Control District in each county. CAL  counties of Calaveras, Tuolumne, and those eastern portions of FIRE burn permits will not be required until May 1, 2008.


The CHP has been kept busy with weather related accidents. A big rig accident blocked traffic on Hwy 88 near Pine Grove for about an hour Tuesday morning. According to the CHP semi and trailer was traveling east on Hwy 88 just east of Tabeaud Road in light rain. As the truck headed downhill and the driver applied his brakes, the truck trailer began to slide, causing the cab of the semi to hit the dirt embankment. The trailer continued to swing around, pulling the entire truck and trailer across the westbound lanes. Dirt and boulders from the embankment were also knocked into the roadway. The partially jackknifed truck blocked the lane for about an hour until it could be towed out of the way and the rocks cleaned up. The driver of the truck was not injured and no other vehicles were involved.

An icy roadway contributed to a single car accident over the weekend. According to the California Highway Patrol, a 21-year old Davis man was southbound on Mormon Emigrant Trail, approaching Highway 88 at about 30 miles per hour. As he followed a curve in the road and applied his brakes, his 2004 Subaru slid into a ditch where it overturned. The driver was not injured in the accident.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007 01:47

Suspected Drunk Driver Causes Accident on Hwy 88

slide8 manner on Hwy 88, leaving cars and trucks scattered along both sides of the highway. The accident occurred at about 6:30 pm on Monday evening near Sunnybrook on Hwy 88. Michael Storey, 45, of Ione, pulled into the lane of oncoming traffic and struck the side of a pickup driven by a 17-year old Ione boy, who was forced into the embankment on his side of the highway. Storey then steered back into his lane, running into a second car driven by a Stockton man, who then ran off the road and down an embankment.Amador County Sheriff Sergeant Middleton flushed the hit and run driver out of his hiding place about 25 minutes later. Five people were injured in this accident -- four were taken to SutterAmador Hospital by ambulance. The truck driven by the young Ione driver, who lives less than a mile from the scene, was severely damaged but the young man escaped with only scratches to his hands and face. According to the CHP, Storey was arrested for driving under the influence, and hit and run, both resulting in bodily injury. A Bill Lavallie story Storey fled the scene and hid in a cluster of bushes nearby.

Thanks to a quick thinking employee and an arrest by the Amador County Sheriff’s Office a burglary suspect was captured and an unsolved burglary case in Modesto solved. On Monday November 5, at approximately 6:15 am, the Amador County Sheriff’s Office received a call reporting a burglary at the Cemex Plant at 6080 Jackson Valley Road in Ione.  The caller reported that a female subject wearing dark clothing was observed hiding in the bushes near the plant.  The female subject reportedly fled the area after being approached by Cemex Plant personnel, but before the subject fled, one of the employees was able to photograph the female with his cellular telephone.

slide5 The Sheriff’s Office has released the press release regarding yesterday’s Officer involved shooting. Yesterday around 2:37pm pm the Amador County Sheriff’s Department received a 911 call from a male suspect at 15732 Butte Mountain Road in Jackson. According to the press release the suspect stated he had a firearm and was going to kill his family. The caller refused to provide any other details and terminated the call.  The Sheriff’s Department responded to the address in force while a 911 Dispatcher attempted to re-contact the caller.


Friday, 01 August 2008 02:19

Vandals Hit Sutter Creek Primary School

The Sutter Creek Primary School, located on Broad Street in Sutter Creek, suffered some vandalism this week. At approximately 3:30 AM Sunday morning, a 911 call was made from a neighbor, who reported awakening to the sound of broken glass at the school. The neighbor said she witnessed four male suspects, who looked to be between the ages of 17-22, exiting the school property via a rear parking lot. Officers from the Sutter Creek Police Department and the Amador County Sherriff’s Department responded to the scene, but were unable to locate the suspects. The next morning, a school maintenance worker reported that three windows to one of the classrooms had been shattered by three large rocks. If you have any information on this crime, please contact the Sutter Creek Police Department at 267-5646.
slide9.pngTwo prisons in the Sierra Nevada foothills will be the first to implement a racially integrated housing policy after a court settlement. Officials said this week that the Sierra Conservation Center in Jamestown and Mule Creek State Prison in Ione will stop considering race when making cell and bunk assignments this month. All 30 male prisons are scheduled to comply by 2010. In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court said California's unwritten policy of segregating inmates by race in their cells needed to be reviewed by an appellate court. A settlement later created a policy mandating that prison staff fill open bunks regardless of race or ethnicity. The changeover was supposed to begin July 1, but has been delayed by discussions with employee unions and concerns over possible violence. The women's prison system is already integrated.
Tuesday, 22 July 2008 04:31

Vehicle Fire On Highway 88

slide7.pngA vehicle fire last Friday stalled traffic on Highway 88 in both directions while fire personnel extinguished the blaze. TSPN’s contributing photographer was on the scene to bring you these photographs. A pickup truck traveling east on Highway 88 began leaking fluid and then burst into flames. The driver was able to safely stop the vehicle and get out while a CHP officer who spotted the flames as he passed by quickly began to douse the flames with a fire extinguisher. Amador fire arrived shortly thereafter and began to pour large quantities of water on what had become a gas fire. Traffic was backed up for about three quarters of a mile during the Friday “crush” while emergency personnel made sure the scene was secure. Fire investigators blamed the blaze on a gas leak. No one was hurt during the incident.
Monday, 19 May 2008 01:50

Fatal Accident in Jackson

slide11.pngTwo people were killed after a van crossed into oncoming traffic and slammed head-on into another vehicle near Jackson Saturday, Amador CHP officials said. The crash happened on State Route 16 west of Latrobe Road near Jackson around 3:40 p.m. Saturday when a Dodge minivan traveling westbound crossed the center line into oncoming traffic, hitting a Ford Taurus heading eastbound. The driver of the van, identified as a 42-year-old man, and the female driver of the Taurus were both pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities said witnesses reported the van had been traveling at a high rate of speed just before the crash and may have been attempting to pass other cars when the accident occurred.

Tuesday, 06 May 2008 09:00

Firefighters Start Fire of Their Own

slide16.pngAs part of their regularly scheduled training, fire fighters last week burned down two houses and a barn in Jackson. Although the activities could be seen as contradictory, the drill gives the firefighters valuable training skills for dealing with live fires. The purpose of the drill went far beyond just extinguishing the flames. Firefighters had to strategically position themselves between the burning structures and surrounding residences, and were careful no to let the blaze escape to dry cattle land nearby.

The burnings were supervised by the Jackson Fire Department. Training extended to member of the Jackson, Sutter Creek, Ione, and Lockwood Districts, as well as Cal Fire’s District 10. According to the Ione Fire Department, the structures were donated by a man who had trouble renting them and wanted to use the property for other purposes. The owner felt that donating the deteriorating structures would be in both parties best interest. Because there were no worries about sparing the structures and emphasis was on observing the evolution of a burn, fires were purposely lit to affect the structures in a particular way. Jackson Fire Chief Mark Morton considers training a top priority. Training with live fire is  a vital component of the all-volunteer fire departments already rigorous training schedule.