Category Archives: News

‘Police Log’: the News-Ledger’s weekly crime call & arrest roundup

NEWS-LEDGER — FEB 4, 2015 —

  News items below are collected from police dispatchers’ notes and arrest reports. The information in them has often not been verified beyond the initial reports.

  To see the News-Ledger’s ‘Police Log’ every week, be sure to subscribe to the weekly newspaper. See the special offer at bottom.

Jan. 24
A police officer responded to a market on the 2600-block of West Capitol, where a homeless man reported he “was digging through the trash” when he “located a key that he thought looked important.”
“(He) did not want the key to fall into the wrong hands, so he called WSPD. The key has a tag to it that shows a business name, address and phone number.”
The officer accepted the key to be booked as found property.

Jan. 25, 2:37 a.m.
An officer contacted a 27-year old Lake Road man “loitering” at Kegle and Sacramento Avenue. The man was confirmed as a wanted “parolee at large,” or PAL, and also found in possession of methamphetamine and a drug smoking pipe. He went to jail.

Jan. 25, 5:44 p.m.
“Shots fired at unoccupied residence Rivermont Street, no suspects.”

Jan. 26
A pair of Southport residents reported separately that they had been victims of ID theft. One lived on Hornby Island Street and the other on Independence Avenue.

Jan 26, 6 a.m.
An auto service center on Merkley Avenue reported being hit with graffiti.

Jan. 26, 7:50 a.m.
A diesel particulate filter was stolen from a vehicle parked on Long Island Street. The damage was estimated at $2,000.

Jan. 26, 5:51 p.m.
Police responded to a “battery” report involving the use of pepper spray on the 800-block of West Capitol. Those involved provided “conflicting statements,” and there was no immediate arrest.

Jan. 27, 7:30 a.m.
Someone slashed tires on a man’s car parked on Canvasback Way.

Jan. 27, 9 a.m.
Somebody took 20 feet of steel cable and metal plates from the Broderick Boat Ramp on 4th Street. The loss was estimated at $1,600.

Jan. 27 11:06 a.m.
A 23-year old homeless man was contacted after littering in front of a police officer.
The man said he was not on probation, although a records check showed otherwise – he was on probation out of Tehama County. The man was also found to be in possession of “shaved keys” (often used in thefts) and a knife. He was arrested.

Jan. 27, 7:07 p.m.
Police responded to the report of a shoplifter who tried to take $10.85 worth of batteries and candy from a Riverpoint Court store. They issued the thief a notice to appear in court.

Jan. 28
On Holland Drive:
A woman was “cleaning her deceased brother’s residence and could not find (his) wallet, keys and savings bonds. Landlord also made inconsistent comment which raised concern.”

Jan. 28
Somebody stole an auxiliary fuel tank from a company vehicle parked on Industrial Boulevard. The loss was valued at $150.

Jan. 28, 12:13 a.m.
An officer conducted a traffic stop on a 19-year old man driving at Jefferson and Park Boulevards. The officer spotted “metal knuckles in plain sight” and cited and released him for that infraction.

Jan. 28, 1:45 a.m.
Police responded to a domestic violence incident in Southport. The woman said her intoxicated husband was angry that she wouldn’t give him back a phone, and he jumped on her in bed and pushed over a dresser to intimidate her. After being arrested and read his Miranda rights, the man declined comment.

Jan. 28, 8 a.m.
Someone stole copper wiring from 14 light posts in an apartment complex on the 2400-block of West Capitol, causing about $1,000 in damage.

Jan. 28, 1:30 p.m.
During one of several West Sacramento parole/probation checks, police at a Kinsington Street home found two shotgun shells in the 46-year old subject’s bedroom. He was arrested.

Jan 28, 5:45 p.m.
Police took a report regarding a 29-year old smoke shop clerk who sold tobacco products to a minor.

Jan. 28, 4:24 a.m.
An officer contacted a homeless woman “on the sidewalk yelling for help” at 4th and F streets. She was apparently the victim of an assault by her boyfriend in Sacramento. She was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Jan. 28, 3 p.m.
A Mulvaney Place woman said an unknown man who knew her name called her and said “she was going to find her dead body in a ditch.”

Jan. 29, 12:45 a.m.
An officer responded to Gadwall Court to talk to a man who said he had been robbed during an incident on Evergreen Avenue.
The man said he had been driving eastbound when “a white and blue RV pulled out in front of him and blocked his path while another vehicle pulled behind him.”
Then, the RV driver got out, as did the victim. The other driver pulled a handgun and hit him in the head with it. The victim fell to the street unconscious. Meanwhile, two or three other men got out of the vehicles and assaulted him, taking two rings and a wallet with $600 to $800 in it.
The RV was later located near 7th and G Street, and the driver was arrested. He was identified as a 53-year old Elverta man.

Jan. 29, 6 a.m.
A man reported his $499 bike stolen at his Dorothy Adamo Lane apartment complex.

Jan. 29, 11:30 a.m.
At Southport’s Town Center Plaza, a woman reported a female acquaintance had phoned her at work and “made threats to assault” her. It was an “ongoing problem.”

Jan. 29, 3:30 p.m.
A woman reported her 12-year old grandson’s $700 bike was stolen at a Riverpoint Court store.

Jan. 29, 4 p.m.
A police officer spotted a known 41-year old transient, who was on probation, in a Ford truck on Maple Street. A search showed he was in possession of a $60,000 bone saw reported stolen from a Sacramento hospital.
The man also had a stolen all terrain vehicle (“ATV” in the back of the truck, and had cannabis in the form of “honey oil” and a “marijuana shake” in a backpack.
The officer contacted a Sacramento deputy, who reported that a security video showed the suspect stealing the saw from the hospital after receiving treatment in their emergency room.
The man “admitted he knew the medical equipment was stolen, and he was returning it.”
Same with the ATV.
The man went to jail anyway.

Jan. 29, 7:30 p.m.
Reported by a Huckleberry Circle woman:
“Unknown person took the victim’s shoes from her front porch.” The loss was valued at $50.

Jan. 29, 9:45 p.m.
At a drug store on West Capitol:
“The two suspects entered the store and grabbed vodka. An employee at the front door told them they would not leave with the bottle. The employee was pushed out of the way and another employee was hit in the face. The suspects left with the booze.”

Jan. 30, 1:43 a.m.
An officer stopped a Honda for a vehicle code violation near Jefferson Boulevard and the Tower Bridge Gateway. The driver, a man from Vacaville, appeared intoxicated. He was arrested and showed a blood alcohol level of 0.16% (twice the legal limit).
During his interview, the told the officer he last had a drink at 1:30 a.m. and he believed it to be 10 a.m. now.

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West Sacramento gets grant to help new urban farm program

Farmer Sara Bernal at the 5th & C urban farm soon after the new soil was trucked in. Neighbors include older homes, newer urban townhouses, a liquor store and the I Street Bridge. (News-Ledger photo/May, 2014)

Farmer Sara Bernal at the 5th & C urban farm soon after the new soil was trucked in. Neighbors include older homes, newer urban townhouses, a liquor store and the I Street Bridge. (News-Ledger photo/May, 2014)

NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 28, 2015 —

The City of West Sacramento has received $40,000 in grants and in-kind donations for its urban farm program, courtesy of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Scotts Miracle-Gro Company. The city was one of four national winners in a program to support gardening and green spaces.

West Sacramento, partnering with the Center for Land-Based Learning, opened up an urban farm last year at the corner of 5th and C streets in the “Washington” neighborhood, near the I Street Bridge.

The new grant will help the partners improve that farm – including creation of a new “point of sale” farm stand – and pursue other urban farms in the city.

The farm is meant to help new young farmers launch their career, bring fresh produce to an underserved area, and create a positive use on a former vacant lot. City officials believe that eventually, courtesy of market forces, the temporary farm at 5th and C will give way to new development as the neighborhood is revitalized.

“The level of excitement and community support for the urban farming initiative has been extraordinary,” said Mayor Christopher Cabaldon in a city press release. “West Sacramento residents recognize urban farms as an asset and are eager to have more sites like our flagship 5th and C farm in our town. . . We will use the funds to improve livability and food access while increasing the visibility of West Sacramento as a regional food hub.”

Other grant-winners were Dallas, Texas; Rochester, New York; and Hartford, Connecticut. The winners were chosen by a panel of former mayors and national gardening experts.

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One day only: free or cheap admission at many Sacramento museums

A family of visitors at the Discovery Museum Science and Space Center -- one of the destinations offering free or reduced ticket prices for one day only (courtesy photo)

A family of visitors at the Discovery Museum Science and Space Center — one of the destinations offering free or reduced ticket prices for one day only (courtesy photo)

NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 21, 2015 —

From the Sacramento Association of Museums

Nearly twenty-five local museums will offer free or half-priced admission from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, February 7, during the 17th Annual Sacramento Museum Day. Most of the nearly 25 museums will offer free admission whereas two destinations located in residential areas — the Sacramento Zoo and Fairytale Town — will offer half-priced admission to offset traffic control and security costs.

Coordinated by the Sacramento Association of Museums (SAM) and the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau, Sacramento Museum Day is a popular cultural tradition designed to encourage all members of the community to experience the Capital City’s wealth of art, history, science and wildlife — at little or no cost.  Many of the museums are within walking distance of each other and easily accessible via public transportation. Event coordinators suggest that guests plan to visit no more than two or three different museums on this day in order to allow adequate time to enjoy the experience and to travel between individual sites.

In addition to offering free or reduced cost admission, many of the destinations are offering special activities during Sacramento Museum Day.  A sampling of the special activities include the following:

• The Aerospace Museum of California will offer an “open cockpit” day where most aircraft will be open for viewing (weather permitting), a children’s art contest and on-site exhibitors such as the Tuskegee Airmen;

• The Masonic Service Bureau will be on-site at the Discovery Museum Science & Space Center providing free electronic fingerprints of children for their parents;

• The Sacramento History Museum will offer hands-on gold panning activities for kids;

• The crowd-favorite Sacramento Children’s Museum mascot “Leo” will make special appearances throughout the day;

• And, the Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum will serve cake to celebrate the birthday of Laura Ingalls Wilder and mark the anniversary of Sacramento’s first public school in 1854.

While admission is free at most of the museums, admission to two destinations located in residential areas are half-priced as follows:  Sacramento Zoo is $6 for adults, $4 for children ages 2-11 and free for children under two;  Fairytale Town is $2.75 per person and free for children ages one and under.

Some locations must limit the number of admissions for safety reasons.   The event is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. but note the last guests will be admitted at 4 p.m.  More detailed information is available at www.sacmuseums.org (click on “Events”), or by calling the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau at (916) 808-7777.

Participating Museums for Sacramento Museum Day 2015:
Aerospace Museum of California – California Automobile Museum – California State Capitol Museum –  California State Railroad Museum –  Discovery Museum Science and Space Center – Don & June Salvatori California Pharmacy Museum – Fairytale Town –  Heidrick Ag History Center (Woodland) – Leland Stanford Mansion State Historic Park – Maidu Museum & Historic Site (Roseville) – Museum of Medical History – Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum – Old Sacramento State Historic Park – Roseville Utility Exploration Center – Sacramento Children’s Museum – Sacramento Historic City Cemetery – Sacramento History Museum – Sacramento Zoo – Sojourner Truth Multicultural Arts Museum – State Indian Museum – Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park – Verge Center for the Arts – Wells Fargo History Museum (Capitol Mall) – Wells Fargo History Museum (Old Sacramento)

Copyright News-Ledger 2015

South River Road: land use transition and rail safety become issues

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 21, 2015 —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

A petroleum “tank farm” has bumped up against concerns by city leaders about the safety of rail cars loaded with hazardous materials and also the about the changing role of South River Road in West Sacramento. The facility has sued the city about the dispute.

Buckeye Terminals operates a gas distribution facility on both sides of South River Road to serve local BP stations and other operators. As part of its operation at 1700 South River Road, the company has, until December, been operating under a series of “conditional use permits” by which it’s been allowed to bring some of its ethanol supply in by train. The last permit expired in December after the city planning commission opted not to renew it.

Meanwhile, West Sacramento officials – like others in the country and Canada – have become increasingly concerned by their lack of control over rail cars moving through the community or being parked in it. Rail operators like Union Pacific are largely immune from local regulation and they don’t have to disclose what’s in those parked cars, or even if they are full of hazardous materials or they’re empty.

Also, since the 1980s, that old industrial riverfront off of South River Road has been zoned to become something more urban and vibrant, although old land uses are “grandfathered in” as long as they don’t plan on making big changes to their operations. That strategic change in land use is now finally beginning to look imminent –last year’s opening of the Mike McGowan Bridge connecting South River Road to Southport, the likely construction of a new Sacramento River bridge connecting Broadway in Sacramento to the 15th Street area in West Sacramento, and the demolition of the old Cemex Silo just south of the freeway all look like early harbingers of that transition.

When the planning commission voted in November not to extend Buckeye’s rail permit, the company appealed the decision to the city council. The council listened on Dec. 17 (quotes below come from city video of that meeting).

Braiden Chadwick, an attorney for Buckeye, argued that the permit should be approved because moving the ethanol by rail is safer than the alternative.

“Rail traffic is not only safer than truck, but also is cleaner in terms of movement of hazardous materials,” he said. He added that in the last couple of years, “there’s been zero complaints out there” about rail crossings that impeded local traffic.

“There have been no accidents,” he added.

Braiden criticized staff for misidentifying ethanol cars and other petroleum product cars, and for putting too much blame on Buckeye for times when rail crossing arms were down at local intersections such as one on Jefferson Boulevard.

West Sacramento’s fire chief, Rick Martinez, said the decision between moving a limited amount of ethanol traffic from rail to truck was one of “managed risk.”

“We have, as I’ve stated in the past, no jurisdiction over the movement of rail in our community,” said Martinez. “These tanker cars come into our community, they sit for days. . . adjacent to housing, parks and obviously the terminal. With the migration from tank cars to truck, it’s just a ‘managed risk’ situation. It allows us to influence the speed at which they travel through our community, the route which they take, and where they’re stored overnight.”

City Councilman Bill Kristoff commented at the meeting that he had recently come off of westbound 80 at the South River Road exit, and drove past the water tank and Ironworks subdivision:

“As you look to the left, you saw 20-30 rail cars – I didn’t count them, but it took me by surprise,” said Kristoff. “I don’t know the rail business well enough to know why all of these cars have to stay in our community for as long as they stay, and at the same time we don’t get to know what’s in them. That’s sort of alarming to me.”

He noted that many of those cars probably do not contain product for Buckeye.

As the council readied for what would be a unanimous vote against issuing the permit, Mayor Christopher Cabaldon added:

“There is no animus toward the project and Buckeye.”

“We’re firmly committed to the transition of this area,” he said. “But the existing Buckeye facility is absolutely welcome to remain and operate at its existing site to the extend that it’s complying with the terms of its permits. If it’s not invading the public right of way or engaging in any otherwise illegal activity, it’s perfectly welcome to stay in our community in the South River Road district.”

He said it’s always been clear that the time would come when the city would stop making “extraordinary allowances to nonconforming uses” along South River Road, and that this time has come.

“The era where we would waive our policies around what this district is supposed to be – that era is coming to a close,” said Cabaldon.

Buckeye has filed a lawsuit over the decision, saying that putting the ethanol in trucks will increase the threat to public safety.

Copyright News-Ledger 2015

Target store doesn’t let RCHS students inside during the day

The Target logo looms over a football game at River City High School’s home stadium (Laura Asatryan, River City H.S. Journalism staff)

The Target logo looms over a football game at River City High School’s home stadium (Laura Asatryan, River City H.S. Journalism staff)

NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 21, 2015 —

By Bailey Hill and Rebecca Schwartz
River City High School Journalism Class

Groups of students at River City High School, ever since they moved into the new campus on 1 Raider Lane in 2008, have made a habit of spending time after school at Target, which is directly across Linden Road.

Recently, school administration sent an email to teachers to inform students that Target is now restricting minors from entering the store before 5:00 pm unless accompanied by an adult.

River City High School senior Kimi Crist, who frequently went to Target after school said, “…My friends and I go there all the time so we can have time together. I don’t think the entire school should be punished for the actions of a few kids.”

As news of the restriction began to circulate around campus, reactions to the policy were mixed.

“I think it’s kind of a sad commentary on the community’s perception of what River City students are like… They [Target] are more frustrated at the students that they would rather lose the money that they are gaining from the students rather than dealing with their behavior,” Vice Principal Mrs. Kristin Rodriguez had said.

Officer M. Kirkland, a West Sacramento police department School Resource Officer, had a different perspective. He mentioned the fact that when students steal from target they often try to steal alcohol and that causes both a legal and medical concern.

“…When they go to steal it mainly has to do with alcohol and that gives us a medical concern as a town. Target has been too lenient with the immature students,” says Kirkland.

After repeated attempts to contact Target’s Chief of Security, they declined to issue an official statement, however claimed that this was a preexisting agreement that they had with the school dating back to when it was first established, and are only asking River City to reemphasize the rule again as they had in the past. Employees of Target had said that they wouldn’t have minded the students, if they had been more respectful of Target as a private business.

“We’re probably going to open up some after school activities at the Rec Center,” said RCHS principal Stan Mojsich, “So maybe some kids, instead of hanging out in front of the store, the number of people hanging out won’t be as great, there’ll be people doing hopefully some things at the rec center.”

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West Sac looks to public art to help unify Sac/West Sac streetcar line

NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 14, 2014 —

The West Sacramento City Council voted last month to work with regional partners to apply for a public arts grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) . The “Our Town” grant of up to $200,000 would focus on bringing art pieces to the city’s Washington neighborhood and the future streetcar route connecting Sacramento and West Sacramento.

Also involved in the art planning project are the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, the City of Sacramento and Crocker Arts Museum.

“The ‘Our Town’ proposal envisions art installations as a place-making feature of the planned streetcar route and way-finding for bicyclists and pedestrians moving between West Sacramento’s waterfront neighborhoods and civic center and Sacramento’s railyards, capitol and museums,” said a staff report. “The cities would also use the funds to select one artist that will create two pieces which will engage, interact or connect with each other to be installed in each side of the river respectively. Another installation will be analyzed within the Washington District depending on the final grant award amount and budget.”

The plan being proposed to the NEA calls first for a consultant to work with the public and create a “curatorial vision” for the Washington district and streetcar area. No actual art pieces have yet been picked.

The city has already received a $400,000 grant for art from the state parks department, for art at the corner of Riverwalk and Tower Bridge Gateway, with a $200,000 local match.  These funds will be used as the “local match” needed for the proposed NEA grant.

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Don’t buy that new toy – borrow it

Six-year-old Sasha Stanchits checks out the foosball toy with the West Sacramento Toy Library program coordinator, library assistant Carly Brotherton. (Photos by Al Zagofsky)

Six-year-old Sasha Stanchits checks out the foosball toy with the West Sacramento Toy Library program coordinator, library assistant Carly Brotherton.
(Photos by Al Zagofsky)

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 21, 2014 —

By Al Zagofsky
Correspondent

Have you ever had your child pull your sleeve, cry and beg that they need the latest and greatest toy that they saw on television or at their friends’ home?

And then, the next day you spend big bucks for the toy, they love it—they love you, and the following day it’s pushed aside, perhaps never to be played with again, and relegated to the junk pile. There is a solution—the West Sacramento Toy Library at the Turner Community Library.

“We have toys for kids of all ages,” explained program coordinator, library assistant Carly Brotherton. “The program focuses mostly on ages from newborn to 6 years old. We have puzzles, blocks, baby dolls, musical instruments, balls, gloves and even a T-ball set.”

The West Sacramento Toy Library is a membership organization, and is open on Tuesdays from noon to 2 pm, and on Wednesdays from 4 pm to 6 pm. Membership is $15 per year and entitles members to take out up to five toys at a time for three weeks. Toys can be returned to the library circulation desk any time the library is open.

“Members can swap out toys, so they are constantly able to get fresh toys to take home,” Carlie said. “When they get tired of them, they bring them back, and go home with new toys.”

“The most popular toys are ones that make noise,” She explained. “This includes the big ambulance, various musical instruments, and the keyboard. The parents enjoy the advantage of having the toys returned after three weeks—often sooner.”

After they are returned, toys are cleaned by a volunteer before they are made available for the next person to check out. If a toy is returned broken, sometimes a volunteer can repair it, otherwise the borrower is asked to replace the damaged toy with one of a similar value.

Although the Toy Library is housed at the Turner Community Library, the five-year-old program is operated by Child  Care Services of Davis. For many years, the Toy Library was housed in the West Sacramento City Hall. The Toy Library currently has 50 members. They are always seeking new members and clean toys in good condition.

“The Toy Library helps cut costs for parents, and saves them the time and trouble of having to go out and buy a lot of toys,” Carly noted. “We get donations from our community, and that helps keep the supply fresh. Patrons are not seeing the same toys over and over again.”

The Toy Library is located at the Arthur F. Turner Community Library, 1212 Merkley Avenue in West Sacramento., telephone number: (916) 375-6465.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2015