Category Archives: News

‘Cash for College’ help getting aid


It can be hard to navigate the paperwork to get financial aid for college.

Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada is hosting a number of “Cash for College” workshops to help college-bound students connect with financial aid.

The workshops will include help applying for Cal Grants and filling out the FAFSA.

In West Sacramento, a workshop for students and their families is planned for 6-8 p.m. on Wed., Feb. 8, at River City High School. Bring driver’s license or I.D., social security number, 2011 W-2 forms or pay check stubs, 2011 bank statements, 2010 tax info (or 2011 tax info if available), and a list of colleges in which the student is interested. If not a U.S. citizen, bring alien registration card if available. Before attending, make sure to obtain a FAFSA PIN: visit For information, call (707) 455-8025, visit, or to see additional workshops,

News nuggets: Sac City College trains on RCHS track; veteran gets his wish


Here’s a round-up of other small news items this week:

Sacramento City College athletes are training temporarily on the track at River City High School, as their usual facility at Hughes Stadium gets some remodeling work.

A well-known local news story has gone national: The online Huffington Post (part of America Online) has run an article about the reunion of local veteran Minoru Ohye with his brother in Japan after 60 years apart. The reunion was engineered by volunteers and donors, led by Debbie Reynolds at Eskaton Wilson Manor in West Sacramento.
The News-Ledger profiled Ohye a decade ago, and more recently published a brief article about attempts to raise money for him to travel and see his brother again.

News 10 reports that a woman falsely claimed to have breast cancer, earning sympathy and cash donations. Jaymie Litza admits to receiving about $9,000, said the station, although some peg the total as about $20,000. Fundraising efforts included a benefit held at a West Sacramento veterans post.
Litza has admitted lying about the illness and has promised to pay “every dime” back, said News 10. She told the station she has medical issues including “fictitious disorder” and is “heartbroken” over the lie.

The City of West Sacramento has installed new landscaping – supported by the Port – near the corner of Jefferson Blvd. and Lake Washington Blvd., across from port property.
The project includes seven crapemyrtle trees, 150 carpet roses, 140 plumbagos and 90 xylosma plants, along with an efficient watering system, said a statement from the Port of West Sacramento.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2012

School boundaries change near Sycamore


The local school district is changing attendance boundaries for Stonegate, Westmore Oaks, Westfield Village and Elkhorn Village elementary schools, beginning with the 2012-13 year.

Residential reas affected include a number of streets west of Sycamore Ave., including Orchard Way, Pine Street, Palomar Avenue, Lake Court, and more.

Town hall meetings for information are planned for 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 31 at Stonegate Elementary and 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 7 at Westfield Village Elementary. For questions, call Lisa Guillen, 375-7604 ext. 1371.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Car hits Southport power poles: outage


This morning at about 3 a.m., West Sacramento police responded to the area of 4315 Gregory Ave. after the report of a traffic collision.

Officers  determined that a single vehicle had left the roadway and collided with a power pole on the south side of the street. The vehicle then crossed the roadway and collided with another power pole on the north side.

The three occupants of the vehicle sustained only minor injuries. The driver, identified as 21 year old Cody Zito, was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

PG&E responded and reported that 1 to 25 houses were without power due to the downed poles.  PG&E officials estimated the problem would be fixed by about noon today.  More information regarding this outage may be found on the PG&E website at

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

A computer may help autistic youth

NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 25, 2012

By Steve Marschke

13-year old Qais Kakar is new to this country and new to the concept of school – he has just started his second year of formal education at Riverbank Elementary School. But those difficulties may pale in the face of another challenge Qais experiences.

Qais Kakar

Qais is autistic – unable to relate to the world in the ways most people take for granted.  (His name is pronounced like “Case.”)

One of the things that works for him at school is the shared use of an iPad tablet computer, which he uses for, among other things, watching videos explaining how to have a simple human conversation.

His older sister, Waheeda, has been in the country longer than Qais, and helped explain his situation to the News-Ledger. Qais, his mother, and another sister came to the U.S. from Pakistan in 2010, after the children’s father died. Their native language is Pashtoo, and before coming to the U.S., Qais had never been to school.

He now has limited language skills and limited means to interact.

“He has severe autism. He started in 7th grade here, and is now in 8th,” said Waheeda Kakar. “The iPad seems to help. When I go to my mom’s, I sometimes give him my iPhone (a computerized smart phone) and he really enjoys that. He knows how to work with (the website) Youtube – I type in a musician’s name, and he scrolls through that musician’s videos.”

Qais also uses computers for simple videos on language skills, and for Sesame Street.

  The family has limited income, and would like some help providing Qais with an iPad computer of his own.

“We hope that while he’s at home with the computer, he could learn more from his English videos, and his language skills could get better,” said Waheeda Kakar.

Anyone interested in helping can go online to

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Solar array turned on at RCHS campus

Teresa Blackmer, president of the Washington Unified School District’s board of trustees, flips the switch at a new solar array at the district’s high school campus on Dec. 13. Looking on are fellow board member Dave Westin (left, with his daughter) and Superintendent Dayton Gilleland.


The array was built with the help of $8 million in federal bonds, administered by the state and used to finance several energy-efficiency projects in the district. The district expects the solar array to provide most of the school’s electrical needs — with money saved on utility bills essentially going instead to pay off bondholders in 16 years.

The ground-mounted array (all photos courtesy of Heather McGowan, Sounding Board Marketing & Communications, and WUSD)


Rows of panels on a southern field at the River City campus

FOR MORE INFORMATION on how the solar array came to be at the River City High School campus, see an earlier News-Ledger article, available here.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012




  Subscribers to the News-Ledger see the ‘Police Log’ every week! See the special offer at bottom to try a subscription.

  Information for this ‘Police Log’ has come directly from original police reports and documents It’s just a sampling of the reports, calls for service and arrests made by the West Sacramento Police Department during the past week. The information includes citizen complaints and other statements that have not substantiated or verified by an investigation or a courtroom.

Jan. 12, 1:19 p.m.
A supermarket on West Capitol reported that two men “took off with a shopping cart full of items.”

Jan. 12, 1:26 a.m.
A hitchhiker came to the police lobby to ask “where a safe place to stay in West Sac would be.” The traveler was not a transient, but was “just passing through.”

Jan. 12, 2:01 p.m.
A woman on Park Boulevard reported that somebody removed the turn signals from her Volvo.

Jan. 12, 5:59 p.m.
A man on Portsmouth Avenue said that, sometime in the past 90 minutes, his home had been burglarized. Someone had kicked in the door and made off with his .32 caliber pistol, his wife’s jewelry, and possibly other things.

Jan. 12, 7:06 p.m.
A witness said that a group of four teens was throwing things at cars passing by near A Street and Lighthouse Drive.

Jan. 12, 7:09 p.m.
A man said he had bought some car seats from a resident of Maryland Drive, who promised he could return them if they didn’t fit. The man was now trying to return them, but the seller was refusing a refund. A dispatcher advised him to contact a lawyer, but the man asked for police contact.

Jan. 12, 9:01 p.m.
A caller alleged that a motel on the 4700-block of West Capitol was “mistreating” its guests. The motel’s misbehavior included withholding toilet paper from lodgers.

Jan. 13, 7:45 a.m.
A jogger reported having been hit by a vehicle and injured near Redondo Road and Stonegate Drive. The driver provided his/her name and phone number, but the jogger requested a police report.

Jan. 13, 8:31 a.m.
Somebody cut a fence and cut the copper wiring out of “various equipment” at a Duluth Street property.

Jan. 13, 8:47 a.m.
A male subject was stabbed in the collarbone area during some kind of incident on the 700-block of Westacre. The victim was waiting for police.

Jan. 13, 4:13 p.m.
A supermarket on West Capitol said there was a man, apparently on drugs, in the store. The man was “twitching and talking to himself” while trying to use his store club card to get cash from an ATM machine. So far, the plan hadn’t worked, but the man was now “getting physical and agitated” with the machine in an effort to increase his odds of success.

Jan. 13, 6:16 p.m.
A witness said a man and woman had driven a truck up to a vacant home on Pheasant Hollow, and set up a ladder to reach a second-story window. It was unknown if the pair were inside the home at the moment.

Jan. 13, 8:35 p.m.
A caller said there was a group of about 25 juveniles partying on the levee near Marshall Road, and possibly there was under-age drinking going on.

Jan. 13, 12:25 p.m.
A 3rd Street resident reported someone had stolen a “brown, older wheelbarrow” worth $35.

Jan. 14, 12:45 a.m.
A Shore Street business reported it had just fired and employee and had him escorted from the business for being under the influence. The man was now walking away, dressed all in black and wearing a backpack.

Jan. 14, 1:52 a.m.
A caller from a business complex on Northport Drive to contact a tow company for him. He had locked his keys in his Ford Explorer, which was still running and had a dog in it.

Jan. 14, 7:40 a.m.
A caller reported just having been “sliced” by a woman with a hunting knife during a fight.

Jan. 14, 9:13 a.m.
A business at the 900-block of Sacramento Avenue said that there were four male transients harassing customers at the scene.

Jan. 14, 10:52 a.m.
A witness said that a woman had been yelling at a juvenile and trying to hit the juvenile at a bus stop near West Capitol and Merkley avenues. The woman was now walking away towards a supermarket.

Jan. 14, 11:04 a.m.
An Alabama Avenue resident said that, sometime in December or January, the home had been robbed of cash, jewelry and more, probably by a house sitter or his friend.

Jan. 14, 11:11 a.m.
A woman reported that her car had been followed by a woman in a black Rodeo who believed she was having an affair with the Rodeo driver’s husband. The pair were, in fact, friends only. The Rodeo had stopped following her, and the caller was now waiting to speak to an officer.

Jan. 14, 3:20 p.m.
A vehicle-versus-bike accident was reported at Andrew Street and Casselman Drive. A juvenile on bike had run into the back of a Chevy Silverado.

Jan. 14, 2:22 a.m.
An officer pulled over a car with a license plate light out, and the plate “obstructed” by a ball hitch. The 39-year old driver from Redwood Avenue consented to a search. The officer found a clear bag containing what turned out to be about half a gram of methamphetamine in the driver’s side door pocket. The man was arrested.

Jan. 14, 11:15 a.m.
A refrigerator and stove worth about $1,100 were reported stolen from a 19th Street house.

Jan. 14, 5 p.m.
Thieves took about $14,000 worth of communication cable from a Drever Street property.

Jan. 15, 2:06 a.m.
A woman called from a motel on the 800-block of West Capitol called police, complaining that her roommates were trying to prevent her from driving drunk by refusing to give her keys back.

Jan. 15, 8:14 a.m.
A burger place on the 1700-block of West Capitol reported that a “transient keeps walking through the drive-through and is refusing to leave.”

Jan. 15, 10:46 a.m.
A vehicle was found “keyed” (its paint scraped with a sharp object) in a parking lot on Ikea Court.

Jan. 15, 11:07 a.m.
A citizen reported that there was an abandoned car parked in front of a fire hydrant on KOVR Drive, with its driver’s-side window broken out. A records check of the Honda showed it hadn’t been reported stolen.

Jan. 15, 11:09 a.m.
Police received a suicide threat from the north city.

Jan. 15, 1:06 p.m.
The rear license plate was reported stolen from a 2000 Accord on the 2400-block of West Capitol.

Jan. 15, 1:59 p.m.
The water treatment plant on North Harbor Boulevard reported that there were transients sleeping on the property, under the freeway. Police were asked to move them along.

Jan. 15, 4:35 p.m.
A caller from Milano Drive said somebody left a vehicle parked, blocking three driveways.

Jan. 15, 5:25 p.m.,
A witness reported seeing three males with a pit bull dog, spraypainting the bathrooms on River Walk Park.

Jan. 15, 6:53 p.m.
The owner of a recently foreclosed house on Reuter Drive said there were apparently some people living inside it. There was a Honda with no plates parked in front.

Jan. 15, 7:18 p.m.
A resident of Alder Way asked for extra patrols due to “ongoing problems with teenagers roaming the area and tires being slashed.”

Jan. 15, 10:01 p.m.
A Walker Road resident said a neighbor had “backed his vehicle up into the (caller’s) house, and damaged it.” The neighbor had promised to “take care of” the matter, but the caller wanted to file a police report.

Jan. 15, 12:44 a.m.
At a gas station on the 800-block of Harbor, a citizen found two license plates, miscellaneous documents, a key, and a membership card that had all been reported stolen from Sacramento the day before. The items were turned in to police.

Jan. 16, 7:39 a.m.
A man reported that his 1996 Infinity had been stolen from him in the business district.

Jan. 16, 8:58 a.m.
A caller from the 3100-block of Jefferson said a man had just taken a shovel from the front yard, and was walking away with it southbound.

Jan. 16, 10:35 a.m.
A citizen said there were “approximately ten transient camps along the river between the Rivers development and the boat ramp.”

Jan. 16, 12:44 p.m.
The owner of a house on Silverwood reported being advised by a real estate agent that somebody had stolen copper materials from the home.

Jan. 16, 2:04 p.m.
A woman from Southport asked for police contact. Her 15-year old girl and 14-year old boy had been fighting, and she believed the girl had cut the boy with a knife. No medical aid was needed.

Jan. 16, 2:26 p.m.
A supermarket on the 1200-block of West Capitol said there was a man in the store who “keeps eating and drinking items and refusing to pay for them, “ and is also refusing to leave. The man was now “walking around in the checkstand area.”

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Copyright News-Ledger 2012