Category Archives: News

Eight from West Sac on grand jury

NEWS-LEDGER — JULY 31, 2013 —

Eight West Sacramento residents are among the 43 empaneled for duty on the 2013-2014 Yolo County Grand Jury, which began service this month.

Included from West Sacramento are Jeanne Binns, Margie Campbell, Albert Freitas, Sara Noceto, Chalon Rogers, Belinda Shaw, Robert Stoinoff and David Valverde.

Also hailing from East Yolo is fellow juror Diane Hoschler of Clarksburg. Remaining jurors are from Davis, Woodland and Dunnigan.

A total of 43 people were named to this year’s jury after volunteering and being selected.

The grand jury is empowered to indict criminal suspects and to investigate citizen complaints about government agencies.

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

Children’s art class starts tomorrow


 Children age 7-12 are invited to explore the seven main elements of art, in a class beginning Aug. 5, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Mondays for four weeks at the West Sacramento Community Center. $85. Register at the center, 1075 West Capitol Ave., or call 617-4620 for information.

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

City calls for water savings now: voluntary measures in effect


By Steve Marschke, News-Ledger Editor 

  Short of a really wet winter, West Sacramento officials anticipate a water-supply problem in 2014, and they want residents and businesses to start conserving the wet stuff right now.

  “The City is requesting a ‘Stage 2’ water conservation effort and encourages residents to irrigate lawns and gardens with less water and during nighttime hours only, to repair leaks in indoor and outdoor plumbing, and to be generally diligent about preserving this precious resource,” said a statement from Paulina Rosenthal, environmental services manager.

  Rosenthal told the News-Ledger that, because the state hasn’t yet cut back the city’s water supply, there is no official “Stage 2” drought condition. For this year, the conservation measures are merely suggestions, and not laws.

  “We’re anticipating another shortage next year, so we’re trying to get the conservation message out in advance,” she said. “These are all voluntary measures at this point. Unless something changes drastically over the next winter, we anticipate having to cut back next year.”

  The City of West Sacramento is asking residents to voluntarily follow rules like these:

Don’t use potable water to wash sidewalks, driveways, parking lots, streets, or buildings, or to cool roofs.

Water your landscaping and gardens before 10 a.m. or after 7 p.m.

Water your lawns and landscaping on alternate days based on your address, and not on Mondays. Addresses ending with an odd number may water on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays; even numbers may water on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Ditto for washing cars.

For other tips, visit

  Since the state hasn’t cut West Sacramento’s allotment of water from the Sacramento River this year, the News-Ledger asked city reps how conserving water now would help manage a potential future water problem.

  “The reservoirs will have that much more water (if we conserve now),” answered Dan Mount, operations manager for the Public Works Department. “They release water based on our demand. If most organizations within the Regional Water Authority conserve, they will not need to release as much water from the reservoirs.”

  The Regional Water Authority includes 18 agencies including West Sacramento and the city and county of Sacramento, said Mount.

    State water officials will take a look at water supplies and snowpack – essentially, a frozen reservoir itself – over the winter. By May, they’ll make decisions on whether water allotments will need to be cut.

  “Usually, we see something by April,” said Mount.

  Absent an above-average rainfall this winter, said Rosenthal, an official “Stage Two” drought condition next year looks likely.

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

Jail inmate: drank too much water?


By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

The Yolo County Sheriff/Coroner’s Office hasn’t finished its investigation into the May 18 death of a jail inmate. But the sheriff’s department has released a “cause of death” finding that appears somewhat unusual.

Todd Alexander Phillips, a 29-year old from West Sacramento, died of acute cerebral edema, reported sheriff’s spokesperson Mark Persons. This swelling of the brain was itself due to acute hyponatremia (low blood sodium) and to water intoxication, added Persons.

In other words, Phillips may have consumed an unusually high amount of water.
Persons said the coroner’s department may soon release its findings on the “manner of death” for Phillips, which may explain more about the circumstances behind the incident.

According to the sheriff’s department, Phillips had been in custody for “various felony and misdemeanor offenses” since April 12. At about 12:49 p.m. on May 18, a correctional officer found Phillips “agitated and upset.”

“Phillips was lying on the side of his bed having labored breathing,” said a statement released May 20 by Sheriff’s Lieutenant Dale Johnson. “He was placed in restraints for safety reasons. Medical staff inside the facility was notified and they immediately notified emergency personnel from outside the facility. Phillips was transported to the Woodland Memorial Hospital. Ultimately, efforts to revive Phillips failed, and he was pronounced dead at the hospital.”

UPDATE: On August 2, sheriff/coroner spokesman Mark Person provided an update:

  “The investigation is closed,” said Persons. “The manner of death fot Todd Alexander Phillips has been determined as ‘undetermined.’

  Persons said that the various possibilities — homicide, suicide, natural causes or accidental — had been ruled out, and the exact “manner of death” for Phillips was not clear. 


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Copyright News-Ledger 2013