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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
February 10, 2010     Feather River Bulletin
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February 10, 2010

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FEATHER RIVER / / Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2010 ,rrounding Areas Since 1866 50 CENTS UIT I NST PDH Petitioners ask court to appoint election official Delaine Fragnoli Managing Editor Five citizens filed suit Monday, Feb. 8, in Plumas County Superior Court ask- ing the court to appoint an election official for Plumas District Hospital so their proposed initiative can pro- ceed through the election process. Frank "Skip" Alexander, Robert Zernich, Robert Herr, Dennis Clemens and Martin Brutlag are asking the court to appoint Plumas County Clerk-Recorder Kathy Williams as the election offi- cial for the district so the signatures on their initia- tive petition can be verified. They are also asking the court to reserve jurisdiction to order the initiative to a vote, should the district not do so in a timely manner af- ter the petition is certified. In addition, the men want a temporary restraining or- der and preliminary injunc- tion to stop the district from issuing or selling any fur- ther bonds, pending adop- tion of the proposed initia- tive or election by the voters of the district. PDH officials have refused to name an election official, saying the petition is illegal, because it would require the district to break its contract with bondholders. Chief Executive Officer Richard Hathaway said late Monday afternoon that he had just received the papers and was turning them. over to the district's counsel. He declined further comment at that time. The district had been ex- pecting the lawsuit. When PDH directors met in closed session Tuesday morning, Feb. 2, to discuss potential litigation, they anticipated being served papers at that evening's public board meet- ing. But no such drama ma- terialized. Instead, the 30 people in attendance heard what is becoming familiar rhetoric. Hospital directors and administrators continued their efforts to pacify critics of their bond measure by pledging to hold two commu- nity forums within 45 days. The district made good on that promise by announcing Friday it had scheduled two special board meetings to function as community forums. The first forum is slated for Wednesday, Feb. 24, 6- 7:30 p.m. at the Plumas County Library, 445 Jackson St. The second forum is scheduled Tuesday, March 9, at the same time and place. The board also indicated its intent to form a commit- tee, which would include members of the public, to work on a community sur- vey. Both advocates and foes of the bond measure would be represented. "We want to let people know we're serious about what we said last month," said Chief Executive Officer Richard Hathaway. Directors also asked Facil- ities Director Dan Brandes to select some dates for community members to tour the hospital to see for themselves some of the problems with the 50-year- old building. Amid pleas of "can't we all get along," petitioners con- tinued to call for a ballot measure and a cap of the hospital tax assessment. Petition leader Skip Alexander asked the board point blank: "Have you des- ignated an election official yet?" "No, we have not," replied board chairman Dr. Mark Satterfield. Dennis Clemens, another petitioner, and Chief Finan- cial Officer John Nadone had a terse exchange about whether the district was meeting code requirements See Suit, page 11A I [ i t Officer assault stories false Joshua Sebold Staff Writer Representatives for the Plumas County Sheriff's De- partment have announced their beUef that Sergeant .... Todd Posch, a correctional officer at High Desert State Prison, fabricated two strange incidents in which he reported being attacked. According to a press re- lease written by Investiga- tions Sergeant Steve Peay, the department's dispatch center reported receiving a 911 report Wednesday, Feb. 3, from Posch. The release said Posch re- ported a vehicle struck him in the early morning in front of his Greenville residence and that Posch reported the vehicle fled the scene. It added that Posch was taken to Plumas District Hospital, where he was treat- ed for his injuries and re- leased the next day. The release indicated deputies and investigators were dispatched to the hospi- tal and the scene and later determined "Posch's allega- tions were false and fabricat- ed." The release continued, "Further investigation re- vealed that the early morn- ing attack on Posch at the Highway 147 rest stop back in March of 2009 proved to be fabricated by Posch as well." In a phone interview, Sher- iff Greg Hagwood said Posch confessed to detectives that he fabricated both incidents and inflicted the injuries up- on himself. Hagwood explained inves- tigators confiscated a utility knife that they determined Posch had used to severely lacerate his legs to support his hit-and-run story. "The investigators led by Sergeant Steve Peay did a tremendous job in exposing these circumstances for what they truly were," he added. The release concluded, "The circumstances sur- rounding these two events and entire investigation will be submitted to,he Plumas County District Attorney's Office." Hagwood elaborated fur- ther on this point. See Posch, page 14A Hoopla royalty crowned Quincy High School's Hoopla activities culminated with the crowning of the court during last Friday night's basketball games. From left: Prince Caleb Collins,King Nolen Lewis and Page Jack Flanigan. County revenues decline sharply Joshua Sebold Staff Writer A report by County Ad- ministrative Officer Jack In- gstad dated Monday, Feb. 1, reported that-the county's midyear budget was rela- ' tively balanced with $11,3 million in revenues and $11.8 million in expendi- tures. Construction permits and tax collections were basical- ly on target compared to projections for the year, meaning that they contin- ued to go down on a year-to- year basis, although at a slower rate than in prior years. Sales tax revenue was also on target for the first part of the year, but Ingstad report- ed seeing something disturb- ing for the last three months, a jump from a 3 per- cent drop in that revenue to a 33 percent drop. Ingstad said the budget was still on track, but the sudden drop made him wor- ry about the hit the busi- nesses that generate that revenue must have taken re- cently. He also reported that the See Revenues, page 11A G HS to PUSD: Go your own way Alicia Knadler Indian Valley Editor In Greenville, where high school classes and programs have been cut time and again, and where rumors of immi- nent school closure abound, a growing number of locals are ready to tell Plumas Unified School District management and trustees where to go. District trustee Jonathan Kusel has heard about their concerns--legitimate con- cerns--many times. Talk of the immediate clo- sure of Greenville High School may not be exactly true he said. As far as Kusel knows, there is no move to close the high school this year or next, though he was unsure if some- thing might change that--like trustees might suddenly change their minds, he said. "Regardless of how things play out, we've got some very committed and knowledge- able people here," Kusel said. "And what I hear is that no matter what, the people of Greenville and Indian Valley can pull it together--it's that spirit that gives me hope." The committed group of people he talked about in- cludes community leaders: Mike Chelotti is a former teacher, coach, administrator and superintendent for the school district, as well as a former trustee. Centella Tucker, also a for- mer trustee, is a local busi~ nesswoman and has raised her children in Greenville schools. She has also worked for FEMA as a disaster relief specialist and has written training material with her background in instructional development. Bill and Judy Gimple are the parents of four grown chil- dren and 10 grandchildren. Judy is a retired elementary school teacher and program development specialist, who also worked for 13 years as a senior legal assistant for a group of Stanford-educated lawyers in San Jose. Bill is a retired executive from several high-tech compa- nies in the Bay area including Hewlett Packard and Pyramid Technology. In the last two years he has worked with Sue Weber and Travis Rubke to promote a first-class science fair at GHS. The Gimples currently serve on the Greenville Streetscape Committee and in the past have worked to keep healthcare available in Indian Valley. Sue Weber, a former nun, has been a mover and a shak- er for many years in bringing needed services and programs to the children and youths of Indian Valley. She founded a successful community center for youths in Taylorsville, Providence School in Greenville, and she was instrumental in bringing the highly successful APOL- LO After School Program to Greenville and Portola, and along with other residents, was involved in the initial stages of creating a soon-to- open community center for the enrichment of the lives in Indian Valley. Everyone but Weber was able to make a round-table meeting Thursday, Feb. 4, to talk about efforts to ensure quality educational options are available to Indian Valley students. Just the night before, Che- lotti and Tucker presented their work to their fellows in the Greenville Rotary Club. "We all have our own rea- sons for being part of this," Chelotti said. "We're fed up and we have a plan to save education in Indian Valley, especially in keeping GHS open." The others nodded in agree- ment. He compared what seemed like a never-ending struggle between the district and the school to a classic Peanuts cartoon. "We're like Charlie Brown," he said. "We go to kick the ball, and they pull it away." To Chelotti it is obvious dis- trict management has been letting the school die. Since he retired last year, he's seen more than 20 students walk away to get the classes they either need or want. "There's no excuse," he said. "When I left they had the biggest reserve ever at 20 per- cent." In the five years he served as superintendent and the See GHS, page 12A