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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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October 3, 2001     Feather River Bulletin
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October 3, 2001
 

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Serving Quincy and Surrounding Areas Since 1866 fell again " By Dave Keller Staff Writer The number of working Plumas County residents continues to rise. Unemployment fell to 4.8 ercent in August--a no- .table change from 5.2 percent In July. In real numbers, out-of- Work residents plunged from 530 to 470, according to stats from the state. Historically, the summer is the best time to find work in Plumas County because jobs are plentiful in tourism, agri- =ulture and construction. History aside, 2000 and 001 have bestowed the best employment numbers in a decade. During the mid- and late- 1990s, unemployment rates in the summer rocketed to 10 Percent after reaching record lows in 1990 and 1991. Even with the current resurgence, there are signs Dave Keller Wr er The Plumas County Board )f Supervisors disagrees with of the grand jury's com- nents about the board. In its 2000-2001 report, the grand jury reported that it has a legal obligation to ex- "lude the supervisors from liscusslons about certain is- lues. In addition, the jury repri- handed the board for allow. ng the county's administra. ive officer to have too much )ower on what issues it mard at meetings. But the supervisors do not !gree with the grand jury's inflings on those issues. The supervisors filed their sponse last month in a let- er to Plumas County Superi- )r Court Judge Ira R. Kauf- nan. The exchange between the 'and jury and the board can )e traced to the previous rand jury's attack on county |overnment. Although the 2000-2001 jury members were less critical of the SUpervisors than their predecessors, they still Voiced SOme COncerns. In fact, the 2000-2001 grand referred to the previous that the employment picture is not all bright and sunny, according to the state. When you compare 2000 with 2001, there are fewer ac- tual jobs and fewer people who are considered part of the labor force. In addition, Plumas Coun. ty probably will struggle to stand apart from statewide and nationwide problems. In August, unemployment reached a two-year high in California and a four-year high in the country. The county also ranked 22nd among the state's 58 counties and fifth among the state's small counties. In Plumas County, August marked the sixth straight month that unemployment has fallen here, and it's ex- pected to decline again in September since it is one of the strongest months of the year for people seeking work. panel's findings when it stat- ed, "The board of supervisors expressed frustration with the 1999-2000 grand jury be- cause it did not consult them prior to reaching their con- clusions." But the grand jury noted in its report that laws prevent it from discussing issues with the board. "When county management problems are identified through the investigation of complaints and department reviews, California law re- quires confidentiality," the grand jury explained. The board, which has two new members since the con- cerns originally surfaced, dis- agreed with the grand jury, according to a response by Supervisor Don Clark. "The board believes that greater communication could have taken place without vio- lating the confidentiality pro- visions of state law/Clark contended. In the second area of con- tention, the grand jury said the board gave the county ad- ministrative officer the "sole discretion for what presenta- Jury, Page From the heart clermm expreemm his grati- tude to Jeanne Flolk who uncle a ooa lbatlen to the Quincy Fire Department. The department was col- lecting money to send to the widows and orphans fund for the New York CIty flreflghters killed in the line of duty S pt. ny Thomas, a Quincy volun- toer, was stationed at the Sofeway paddng k)t to cok lect donations. From 5-7 p.m., fire department mem- bers from Quincy and Meadow Valley, and mem- bers of the Plumas Dist ot Hospital umbulenc crew, were out in full force. Their efforts paid off, too, by raising $7,1OO that evening, and the money continued to come in, eventually raising the amount to $10,000. ~ WVk~0m Met~f I I Managing Editor Where did $822,339 in addi- tional expenses come from? That's what Bob McElhaney, the school district's fiscal of- ficer, tried to explain to the school board last month. When the school board adopted the 2001-2002 budget for the Plumas Unified School District in June, $14.5 million was allocated for salary and benefits. But, when the budget was updat- ed in September, that num- ber jumped to $15.3 million. McElhaney said $262,535 could be attributed to a shift in accounting programs, and $307,400 for extra duty pay was not included in the origi- nal budget. An additional $252,660 was lacking for health and welfare benefits. Overall, revenues were down, while expenditures were up. As a result, the. school district will use an ad- ditional $550,000 in timber re- ceipt reserves to balance the budget. School district superinten- dent Dennis Williams said that the budget changes were the result of three factors: The budget was originally prepared by Assistant Super- intendent Randy Meeker, who no longer works for the school district, and Mc l- haney has been unable to fol- low Meeker's reasoning in some budget entries A new state-requlred ac- counting system A new state-adopted bud- get. "There is quite a lot of variance," Williams said. "Bob (McE]haney) inherited this budget and he has not been able to track all of the reasoning." Other changes included: A loss in state lottery funding, but a new energy grant totaling $227,460 A loss in interest revenue of $s&000 Contributions to restrict- ed programs increased by $111,621 A $273,000 increase in ser- vice and operations due to utility and transportation costs. In reviewing the budget, Williams told the school board, "You will have to make difficult decisions as a board if this trend contin- ue~," I i :lmes Chester, Greenville and Quincy post wins. See lC. Country Style: 4-H Club kicks off Celebration. See Page 12B. ,'--..._,...,.. Obituaries: Page 8B l a leds: Page 2D Page lOB Page 11B By Victoria Metcalf Staff Wnter Lightning lit the night sky. Thunder rolled and rumbled, challenging any midwestern storm for sound. And then the rains came. Water poured from the night sky, drenching the ground as rivulets formed, puddles filled, and the earth was dampened as it hadn't been in many months. The first lightning was recorded on the Plumas Na- tional Forest Monday, Sept. 24, at 3:01 p.m. The last strike hit the following day at 8:50 a.m. In all, 194 strikes were recorded on the forest. Thir- ty-two of those strikes were recorded as positive strikes, and 162 were negative, ac- cording to Stephen Myers, PNF Emergency Commtmica- tion Center manager and act- ing forest center manager. The highest amount of pre- cipitation on the forest was recorded at Pike County look- out where .79 inches was re- ported. Mt. Hough lookout record- ed .41, Red Rock lookout had .30, Dyer Mountain had .23, Dixie Mountain reported in Fi res l m_Upda 9/2~/01 Beckwourlb Mount Houlh Feather River An PNF PNF Emergency Communications Center 2001 Activity Page Human Caused Flra Amount 20 34 Acr~J 58.1 8.2 0.S 66.8 Li~tm~ Cmmed Fires Acres Amollnt 34 38 l0 64 9 81 2.6 3568.9 0.6 357"2.1 Amount 54 74 19 147 Torah Acrl~ 60.7 3577.1 1.1 3638.9 All Incidents Incklemts tmrrmt as of 9/25/01 Stst False Public Law Non-Stst! Mutus! Rmource Aircrmfl Misc. Total Firm Alarms A~ist Enforcemenl ILmu~t Fires Aid/Cever Orders Orders /ncidentl 147 136 58 783 4 ! 9 30 91 42 30 1340 The Plumas National Forest released records to clate oe fWes, their soumes and otl - erflre infurmatio with .19, Smith Peak with .13, ways," Myers said. erage of one fire for each 10 and Thompson Peak had the "Contrary to popular be-strikes," he said. "However, least amount with just .10 lief, both negative and posi- the cell Which caused the inches of rain. tive strikes can ignite fires," Stream Fire near Antelope "Wind speeds were ex- Myers said. Lake on July 26 put down six tremely high around some of The majority of lightning mapped strikes and ignited the active cells," Myers ex- fires are caused from nega- six fires." plained, tive strikes although positive On the forest, at least 14 Dyer Mountain reported strikes are usually of higher fires were discovered after gusts between 50-70 mph. intensity and duration and the late September storm. "This type of wind ham- more likely to start a fire, he Significant precipitation, pers the effectiveness of the said. up to .79 of an inclL can cause rain cotlectors for measuring "This storm conformed lightning fires to smolder un- as the rain is blown side- close to the rule of thumb av- tfl the ground dries and the smokes appear, Myers ex- plained. This is common es- pecially true in higher eleva- tions where red fir duff cov- ers the forest floor. "It is quite common for lightning.caused fires to avoid detection for 4-10 days after ignition thus the term 'sleepers' is used when they are eventually detected," My- ers said. Air reconnaissance is nor- mally used for 3-4 days fol- lowing a lightning storm. The public may access two remote weather stations' data via the Internet. One is at Quincy and the other at Pike County Lookout near Chal- lenge on the southern edge of the forest. Check out , or 'All weather stations in nation can be found by name at .