Newspaper Archive of
Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
January 17, 2001     Feather River Bulletin
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January 17, 2001

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Reporter Wednesday, Jan 17. 2001 7}1 Photos by Victoria Metcalf Team Grant Program and Event Coordinator for Drunk Driving, presented Quincy area Highway Patrolman Jim Wheaton with a plaque in stopping those driving under the influ- highways. / From left: Quincy area California Highway Patrol Commander Paul Davis, Mothers Against Drunk Driving Coordinator Ron Miller, officer Jim Wheaton, Kellyn Wheaton, and Chief Alan P. Wolochuk, following a brief awards ceremony Tues- day, Jan. 9, at the main office in Quincy. am I I rs ago, California (CHP) officer said he prayed to asked for help in keeping highways safe from ing support for his outstanding those driving under the influ- activities in apPrehending once (DUI). those driving under the influ- As Wheaton stood before fel- once, he Said his prayers are low officers Tuesday, Jan. 9, being answered. and accepted their overwhelm- But, in the time prior to re- Photo by Victoria Metcalf Highway Patrol Chief Alan P. Wolochuk presented an award to officer Jim for the number of people he has apprehended for driving under the influence. his audience of officers that Wheaton's Job has been enhanced by having Hero, Kellyn Wheaton applauds as her husband receives his second lost control of the vehicle. It skidded out of control Policy across the number two, north- that appears in bound lane, and onto the east is compiled shoulder. It then collided with California High- a paddle marker, went up an activity logs in embankment, and overturned. tad, in some cases,William J. Young, 21, also of lle. The fact that Las Vegas, was a passenger in has been involved the Toyota. accident Both men were wearing liability their seat belts. In addition, the re- agency deter- Hi.way 70, RUm No injuries were reported injuries in when a Chico resident was in- are character- volved in a single-vehicle inci- minor, moderate or were reported Lirlgle vehicle over- Highway 395, south Friday, Jan. 12, D. Reagan, 20, of was driving a 1987 on High- In the number one of Highway 70, at the report, Rea- Was considered un- icy roadway condb dent Thursday, Jan. 11, at 8:56 p.m. Alejandro I. Solas, 24, was driving a 1996 Hyundai Sonata westbound on Highway 70 ap- proaching Rich Bar at a stated speed of 35 to 40 mph. Solas noticed an SUV parked on the east shoulder with its hazard lights on, and did not notice a large rock in the west- bound lane until it was too late to take evasive action. The right front of the vehicle struck the large rock, immedi- ately disabling the vehicle. The vehicle stopped, com- pletely blocking the west- bound lane. Solas was wearing his seat belt. Bucks Lake Road Moderate injuries to the pas- senger in a 1994 Chevy Blazer were reported Wednesday, Jan. 10, at 8:45 p.m. on Bucks Lake Road, east of Spanish Ranch Road. Darren Hoops, 20, of Quincy, was driving westbound on Bucks Lake Road at 30 to 35 mph in moderate snowfall. The roadway had a few inch- es of fresh snow and was wet. Due to the driver's speed on the wet pavement, he lost con- See CHP, page 12B high speed, the and Reagan to each and Who helped and of- to us during the recent fire at our includes the Lake West and other A1- departments able to stop the fine a portion of our Also, all of patients and in the Almanor Chester and Basin that prayers, emo- lodging and so truly live in a ramunity with ex- laeople, Finally, ) Bob and Linda and the Farmers In- eople for their in dealing with and Kathy Doms Prices at cost--:-Many things to choose from/Great selection Hours: 10 am- 5 pm Tues - Sat East Quincy (Next to Shadetree Automotive) 283-4982 If appointment is needed, call 283-3502 i | ceiving the award, presented through July 2000, Wheaton counted for 25 percent; I by a member of Mothers "distinguished himself by con- during August 1999 to Jui Against Drunk Drivers scientiously and aggressively 2000, they made up 21percen (MADD), he said he didn't be- seeking out and arresting per- Additionally, for these lieve he deserved the award sons who were driving underindicated, Wheaton's arre any more than any other offi- the influence of alcohol and/or accounted for over 50 perc , * cer on the Quincy area force, drugs." of the total arrests made by t!: Fellow officers who had voted During that time, from Au- CHP's Portola Resident to present him with the award gust 1997 through July 1998, where he is stationed. disagreed. Wheaton's DUI arrest recordMADD also presented the And, the facts stand for made up 33 percent of the tire Quincy area unit with themselves. In the three-year Quincy area totals; from Au- award for its support and period from August 1997 gust 1998 to July 1999, they ac- vice toward stopping DUIs. PLUMAS .COUNTY GRAND JURY P.O. BOX 4262 QUINCY, CALIFORNIA 95971 FINAL REPORT ON COMPLAINT #02 Nature of the Complaint: The Portola City Administrator Jim Murphy and City Attorney Steven Gross alleged that the Plumas County Sheriff's Department and particularly Sheriff Len Gardner have not fulfilled the 1996 contractual agreement [which expires in June of 2001 ] for law enforcement services between the City of Portola and Plumas County. Discussion: The Grand Jury reviewed this complaint with all its attached documentation in a general meeting of all members. It was determined that it be assigned to the Law, Justice and Public Safety Committee for further review and investigation. The 1996 contract was independently evaluated and questions formulated for the purpose of conducting interviews with the parties involved. Appointments were made with Mr. Murphy and SheriffGardner. During the interview with Mr. Murphy, he stated that the Sheriffs Department was slow in responding to the needs of the City of Portola. He further alleged that in some cases investigations of crimes were not conducted. In his opinion there was a lack of communication between the two agencies and the city needed more frequent reports about law enforcement activities within the city limits. Mr. Murphy characterized the 1996 contract with the county as being too brief and poorly constructed. In a separate interview with SheriffGardner and Undersheriff Bergstrand, the Grand Jury was told that the City of Portola was receiving more law enforcement services [in dollar value for services] than the semi-annual payment from the city to the county would warrant. Moreover the Sheriffargued that the services rendered to the city were comparable to the rest of the county. The sheriff provided documentation supporting his case and rebutting the charges brought by Mr. Murphy. Sheriff Gardner agreed with Mr. Murphy's assessment that the contract was too brief and poorly constructed. He opined that the contract needed to be more substantive andspecific if it was to be renewed in 2001. Findings: An agreement is in place between the City of Portola and the County of Plumas for law enforcement services. Both sides agree that there is a need to improve this contractual agreement to better specify the content of the agreement and responsibilities of the Sheriff. Neither the Sheriffnor the current City Administrator was involved in the formulation of the current contract. The Grand Jury finds that no threat to public safety due to Sheriff's department negligence, as was inferred by the complaint, exists in Portola. Although the contract does not require it, the Sheriff has sent a deputy to weekly 'meetings of the City of Portola staff to provide liaison and communication between the department and the city. The City of Portola's expectation for services appears to exceed those provisions of the current contract. The Sheriff's Department is fulfilling its responsibilities to the contract and the citizens of Portola. Recommendations: The Grand Jury reconunends that the County of Plumas and the Cily of Portola consider using the services of an outside mexliator when preparing or disputing a future contract. Conflict or disagreements between the City of Portola and the Sheriffs Department should be handled in a less confrontational and more professional manner. The Grand Jury recommends that the parties involved not use the press to air disputes in such a way as to incite a war of words between public agencies, since this activity does not lead to solutions to the problems or improved communications between the city and the Sheriff. The City Administrator and the Sheriffs Department should be publicly respectful of each other as public servants and work toward better inter-agency communications. The Grand Jury recommends that the City of Portola and the Sheriffs Department be actively involved in the crafting of any fiaure contract for law enforcement services between the county and the city in the,future. The Grand Jury requests responses from the City of Portoln, the Sheriff's Department and the Plumas County Board of Supervisot . Grand Jury