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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
March 3, 2010     Feather River Bulletin
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March 3, 2010

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FE00ATHER RIVER Wednesday, Mar. 3, 2010 /UI. IcF, I10..U ,unding Areas Since 1866 50 CENTS Quincy students prove community minded ... For his senior project, Zach Prewitt rebuilt the bench in front of Quincy High School, near the bus loading zone, Mentor Ed Oviatt and Zach spent more than 20 hours working on the project. The bench was very old and in dire need of repair said Prewitt. "1 worked very hard and learned how to do a lot of things. The fun part of my job was getting the boards on and doing the dedication Feb. 11." Prewitt dedicated the newly reconstructed bench to Lisa Oviatt for her years as Future Farmers of America advisor and Jerry Thomas (right) for his contributions as teacher, vice principal and proponent of the new Trojan Terrace. Photos submitted and talented It's always a highlight of the year for Quincy Rotarians when students from Quincy High School and Plumas Christian School demonstrate their musical talents on the piano, violin, cello and trumpet during the service club's annual music contest. From left: Second-place winner Kelsey Kepple, who received a check for $75; first place and $100 went to Natalie Kepple; and Austin Hagwood won third place and $50. The other equally talented contestants: Caleb Collins, Haddie Sturley, Luis Rubalcava- Cunan and Garrett Hagwood were each presented with a certificate of excellence by club vice president Ken George. As is always the case, the judges (not shown) Judy Wright, John Probst and Angela Elliott recognized it was going to be an ex- tremely close tally to select the top three from the gifted group of young musicians. As the first-place winner, Natalie Kepple moves on to the area competition in Portola in March. That winner advances to the regional competition in Reno in May for a chance to win $1,000. Preceding the contest, 9-year-old Sylvia Woods (also not shown) delighted the audience by play- ing a couple of songs on the piano, including one she wrote herself, Photo by Mike Taborski For more pictures, see page 4A Demand for aid hits 12-year high Joshua Sebold Staff Writer Plumas County Social Ser- vices Director Elliott Smart told the Plumas County Board of Supervisors his department received 300 applications for assistance in November, the largest number since 1997. Smart presented his quarterly trends report for winter 2009 to the board at a Tuesday, Feb. 9, meeting. The background material for the presentation read, "While there has been some speculation that recovery from a very deep recession has begun, the applications being received by the depart- ment indicate that for many, there has not yet been recovery." Smart explained the department has received more than 200 applications per month for 18 months and the current average of 231 applications per month was higher than it had been for 10 years. "An application in my de- partment typically requires three hours to process, even with the automated tools that we have in place," he added. "I do publicly want to acknowledge the terrific work my staff has done to process these applications." Board chairwoman Sherrie Thrall asked Smart if each of those applications was from a person who had never received services before. "Some of those may be a re-application from some- body who's had a break, but typically those are a new application that requires loading the information into the system, processing it, conducting an in-person interview and then generat- ing an authorization or a de- nial," the director responded. Doing some math in her head to get an idea of the applications turned in over the last year, around 3,000, she said, "Seems like that's a significant percentage of our county population." The back-up document in- dicated the average monthly case count of 159 for cash as- sistance programs like Cal Works through the first six months of the fiscal year was at an eight-year high. See Demand, page 15A School district to recruit for teachers Mona Hill Staff Writer At its retreat Wednesday, Feb. 24, Vice Superintendent Bruce Williams told Plumas Unified School District board members that he plans to hire as many as 15 certifi- cated staff for the 2010-11 school year. He informed the board that the move is to replace certifi- cated staff who will take advan- tage of the district's retirement incentive program this June. He also told the trustees the district was at 96 percent, be- low the 100 percent "highly qualified teacher" require- ment imposed by No Child Left Behind. He said because of a policy change, teachers in the contin- uation high schools, the com- munity day school and the district's opportunity classes were not "highly qualified." The 4 percent also includes one elementary math specialist who also is not highly qualified. To be highly qualified in those particular schools, teach- ers must meet the standards for the four core subject areas: English/language arts, math, social science and science. In a later telephone conver- sation, Williams confirmed the state has notified the dis- trict that it is currently in its second year of the state's sanc- tion process for its failure to achieve a 100 percent "highly qualified" level. Those teachers have begun a training program with Shasta County Office of Education to achieve the necessary special settings cer- tification, via PolyCom. Each of the four core subject areas will require a 10-day course. To avoid a 40-day in-service training in a single year, the training is set to cover three or four years. This year the training is in mathematics. Williams said the district's four high schools are in compliance under NCLB guidelines, an improvement over last year. He said as the district enters year three of non-compliance in fall 2010, the state would probably visit the district for a more thorough analysis of the district's teachers. In part, the state would want to ensure less qualified teachers were not dispropor- tionately placed in poorer district schools and that there was a process in place to correct discrepancies. In the same telephone conversation, Williams said he anticipated 17 certificated staff would retire this year, including two English See Recruit, page 15A To subscribe to the Bulletin, call 530-283-0800 Sports Section has moved temporarily. Look for sports coverage inside of Regional. See page 11B