RCHS senior Jaylen Crim signs letter of intent to play soccer at St. Mary’s

RCHS senior Jaylen Crim signs letter of intent to play soccer at St. Mary’s

By Monica Stark editor@news-ledger.com Out of a somewhat reserved River City High School senior, Jaylen Crim, come extreme talent and force on the soccer field. This week the varsity soccer forward signs More »

Artwork for Joey Lopes Park

Artwork for Joey Lopes Park

By Thomas Farley thomasfarley@yahoo.com The art installation for Joey Lopes Park will be a knock-out. The City Council voted on Wednesday, Jan. 13 to accept a design from nationally known artist Michael More »

The Sail Inn is Back in Port

The Sail Inn is Back in Port

By Thomas Farley thomasfarley@yahoo.com The Sail Inn on Jefferson Boulevard is being reopened and rechristened as the Sail Inn Grotto & Bar. Launch date is late February. All aboard. The old Sail More »

 

9-year old wins gymnastics honors

LANDON WU, age 9 (Photo by Judy Vuu)

Landon Wu, a nine-year old who attends Southport Elementary School, became the 2012 level 6 All-Around Regional Champion for Region 1 (including California, Nevada, Arizona, and Hawaii) in competition on April 15. It was his second regional title in a row.

  Landon took gold in pommel horse, high bar, parallel bars and floor exercises, plus silver in rings. He and two teammates took first place for Team NorCal.

Landon, a third grader, trains under Abraam Nersesyan at the International Gymnastics Centre in West Sacramento. Landon had the top score of all gymnasts in the competition with a 93.75 total.   (Courtesy of David Wu)

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Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Stranded boater rescued

Fire boat gives a tow to a boater who had been without food and water for several days (courtesy of W.S.F.D.)

NEWS-LEDGER — APRIL 25, 2012 —

West Sacramento’s Fire Boat 41 gave a tow to a boater in need on the evening of April 17. The sailboat owner said he did not have any water to drink and hadn’t eaten in three days, reports the city fire department. He told local media all his belongings were on board the 20-foot boat, and he had been afraid to go ashore and leave it. Firefighters attended to him and towed his boat upstream to be secured.

  Yes, you can support local journalism, support this website, and see all the News-Ledger’s articles every week! Subscribe to the News-Ledge newspaper.  It’s only $20 per year within West Sacramento – once a week, delivered to your mailbox.

  You can even try it for free for two months if you live in West Sacramento. Just send your name and mailing address to FreeTrial@news-ledger.com (offer open to new subscribers in West Sacramento ZIP codes 95691 & 95605).

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Crime drama started on Harbor Blvd

Three of the owners of B&R Head & Block Repair: Bill Kutsch, Dieter Kutsch Sr., Billy Kutsch (News-Ledger photo)

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — APRIL 25, 2012 —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

A regional crime drama that included a huge manhunt and the six-hour closure of a major local freeway got its start when some employees of a West Sacramento repair shop arrived at work just before 6 a.m. on Friday.

B & R Head & Block Repair is a “family business,” reported Dieter Kutsch, a member of the family that runs it. The shop services big engine parts for a wide area around West Sacramento, and it’s located on an industrial stretch of Harbor Boulevard north of the freeway, where there isn’t a lot going on outside daylight hours.

Kutsch’s son, Dieter Kutsch, Jr., opened the door that morning for two employees, Keith and Robert.

  “He turned the alarm system off for the guys, and the other two went in, while he went to get coffee. They walked toward the back, hitting the lights. It was still dark inside.”

They made a turn and started heading back on the other side of the building.

“There were lights upstairs,” said Dieter Kutsch, Sr. “Robert yelled ‘what’s going on?’ At that time, the shooter opened the door and started shooting at Keith and Robert. He shot three rounds at first. The guys went down onto the ground. They weren’t hit.”

The suspect – later ID’d as 38-year old Jimmy Lee Graves of Dieppe Way, Sacramento – had a revolver with him. Kutsch’s employees were pinned down, but they had some cover from posts and engine parts inside the building.

The pair hurriedly talked to each other and agreed to make a break for it, one at a time. They did — and the gunman shot at them again.

“They ran out (of the building) and at that time, Robert called 911 and then he called me,” said Kutsch. “They also wanted to contact my son, so he wouldn’t go back into the building not knowing what was going on.”

Kutsch’s son didn’t get the message – and he returned to the building to enter it evidently just as the shooter went out a window elsewhere.

William Lee Graves: shot by deputies in Sacramento after allegedly starting a fire, refusing to surrender

Police arrived, not sure whether all the suspects were out of the building. They used tear gas to make sure it was clear.  They established a perimeter, but the shooter was gone.

Graves allegedly took a Remington rifle with a scope from the shop – but dropped it nearby.

“I had my gun there because I had been hunting the previous day,” said Kutsch.

Why the break-in?

“It was a random deal,” said Kutsch. “There was no money in the shop, all our business is through accounts.”

Then, at 6:39 a.m., police received a phone call from near a liquor store at Poplar Avenue and West Capitol: the caller reported that a man in a long coat, with a gun, had just carjacked a brown Ford Focus.

  Police spotted the vehicle and pursued at high speed. The suspect bailed on foot on the 2900-block of West Capitol, and then carjacked a white Ford F-150 pickup.

“Officers confronted the suspect, ordering him to surrender, and were fired on by the suspect,” reported Sgt. Nathan Steele of the West Sacramento Police Department.

The pickup fled west, shooting again at an officer and ramming a patrol car on West Capitol, causing the officer driving it to lose control. Then the pickup got on I-80 westbound, losing control and hitting a center divider. Law enforcement personnel set up a perimeter around this Yolo Causeway site – and entirely shut down traffic on the causeway.

The freeway wasn’t reopened until after noon. The closure by then had caused major Sacramento-area traffic trouble. Before stopped traffic was allowed to pass, vehicles were inspected by officers to make sure the suspect wasn’t hiding inside.

At this point, there were several law enforcement agencies involved – including SWAT teams, K-9 teams and helicopters, said Steele. The manhunt eventually grew to involve 12 agencies.

Now there were two “active crime scenes” – but a call came in at about 10 a.m. that there had been another carjacking, near County Road 127 and River Road. Yolo sheriff’s deputies responded, learning that somebody in a suspected-stolen tractor had approached a male victim and struck him over the head. The victim’s vehicle – a 2008 Ford F-150 – was taken.

The victim was said, in some media reports, to have been a birdwatcher. He wasn’t seriously injured.

That victim’s pickup was later found abandoned near Lenwick and Morse Avenue in Sacramento, said Steele.

Investigators followed leads, checking on “numerous potential suspect locations.”

  At about 6:55 p.m., the Sacramento sheriff’s department checked out one of those locations, an apartment at 1968 Ethan Way.

“While attempting to secure the scene in the 1900 block of Ethan Way a suspect fled from Sacramento County Deputies, barricaded himself and started a fire in the apartment,” reported Steele in a press release. “After a standoff in which the suspect was repeatedly ordered to surrender, the suspect was shot by Sacramento County deputies to allow for emergency personnel to extinguish the rapidly growing fire.”

Graves was killed.

Steele declined to discuss whether the suspect had a criminal history.

The Sacramento Bee reported that family members said the man had trouble holding a job, as well as drug problems, a failing marriage, and pending charges on a robbery.

  If you would like to comment on this article, please go to our sister website, WestSac.com, by clicking here.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2012

NEWS-LEDGER EDITORIAL, April 18

EDITORIAL: from the News-Ledger, April 18, 2012 —

The mayor’s recap of West Sacramento’s 25-year history as a city during last week’s “State of the City” address brought back some fond memories.

Mayor Christopher Cabaldon noted that one of the things that delayed the creation of this city was a level of distrust between its neighborhoods. This distrust was a factor in the failure of a couple of prior attempts to create a city here.

Missing from the mayor’s address, though, was any mention of another element that complicated both the 1986 incorporation effort and the early years of West Sacramento: the influence of developers. Property developers hoping to earn a nice living off all that undeveloped real estate here in “East Yolo” joined citizens concerned about crime and the lack of shopping opportunities in campaigning for cityhood in 1986. They won.

And the city eventually made a lot of progress in improving public safety and creating retail shopping.

But the developers and land speculators also got a lot of what they wanted, and had an undue influence over the early West Sacramento city council. Any retrospective on these early years needs to note the city’s tension over development issues.
______________________________

The News-Ledger doesn’t know for sure that this is a growing problem. But a look over our “Police Log” in recent weeks seems to show something alarming:

There has been an apparent small rash of home burglaries committed while a resident was home and asleep inside.  This kind of brazen break-in has occurred on Buckeye Drive, Fremont Boulevard and Meadow Road. In a couple of cases, the thief has taken car keys along with other things from inside, and then stolen a parked car from outside.

Burglaries of vacant homes are more common. But it’s easy to see the potential for something to go horribly wrong when thieves are breaking into a home while somebody is inside.
______________________________

  When West Sacramento planned its West Capitol Avenue streetfront improvements, it needed to buy some small strips of property along edges of some privately-held land. Some property owners negotiated as hard as they could to get the best possible price.

At least one – the “City of Dharma Realm” Buddhist monastery at West Capitol Avenue, simply gave the needed square feet to West Sacramento’s taxpayers. That’s something you don’t see very often.

So it’s especially painful to see that the institution has been plagued by a lengthy serious of petty crimes and break-ins. Let’s all keep an eye out for them.

  Yes, you can support local journalism, support this website, and see all the News-Ledger’s articles every week! Subscribe to the News-Ledge newspaper.  It’s only $20 per year within West Sacramento – once a week, delivered to your mailbox.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Open house, sailboat rides

Sailing action at the Port of West Sacramento (courtesy of Lake Washington Sailing Club)

NEWS-LEDGER ONLINE —

Too late for publication in this week’s News-Ledger: the Lake Washington Sailing Club will hold an open house, with free sailboat rides, from 10:30 to 3:30 tomorrow (Sat., April 28).

The club is based at the Port of West Sacramento. Look for the entrance on Industrial Boulevard just west of Harbor.

For more information on the club, click here.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Final home meet for RC swimmers

Alyssa Ringor, RCHS swim team

River City High School senior Alyssa Ringor (photo by Memories for Generations by De’Onna Jack)

NEWS-LEDGER — APRIL 25, 2012 —

On April 17, the River City High School swim team held its final home match of the season — a double-meet with visiting Vista del Lago and Union Mine high schools.

An RCHS boys team of Chris Irish, Jeret Tiller Johnathan Keilman and Sterling Liffring) set a school record while winning the 200 medley relay, and the Raiders’ Keilman also set a school record while winning the 100-yard butterfly.

RCHS sophomore Jeret Tiller (photo by Memories for Generations by De’Onna Jack)

The season culminates with the conference championships this weekend and sectionals in May.

(Facebook members can find up-to-the-minute info on RCHS sports at contributor De’Onna Jack’s Facebook page. Click here.)

  Yes, you can support local journalism, support this website, and see all the News-Ledger’s articles every week! Subscribe to the News-Ledge newspaper.  It’s only $20 per year within West Sacramento – once a week, delivered to your mailbox.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Farmers Market returns May 17

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — April 25, 2012 —

The West Sacramento Chamber of Commerce has set a date for its popular market to return this year.

The market will once again be held on Thursday evenings beginning May 17 at 1271 West Capitol Avenue (behind Walgreens and almost across from city hall).

    More details will follow on this seasonal market. The chamber can be reached at 371-7042.

  Yes, you can support local journalism, support this website, and see all the News-Ledger’s articles every week! Subscribe to the News-Ledge newspaper.  It’s only $20 per year within West Sacramento – once a week, delivered to your mailbox.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2012