Tag Archives: west sacramento local news

Teens invited to ‘youth symposium’ at River City High School on March 8

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER —

River City High School and a local chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., will present “Partners for Progress: Working To Build Bridges for Youth,” on Saturday, March 8, at the school.

The event will focus on community partnerships supporting youth. There will be “STEM” (science, technology, engineering and math) activities, Zumba, “MESA” (math, engineering, science achievement) activities, and a workshop on being smart with money.

Students age 12-18 are welcome to participate. It’s free, and lunch is provided.

Contact Anna Trunnell, (916) 509-5122.

Copyright News-Ledger 2014

Teen injured by gunshot in car

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — FEB. 19, 2014 —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

Four teens face charges after an apparent accidental shooting inside a parked car on February 7.

The shooting happened at about 1 p.m. on the 2600-block of Franklyn Way in West Sacramento. A neighbor heard a gunshot and called police.

Investigators believe a handgun went off inside a car occupied by four teens age 16-17. A 16-year old male was shot in the abdomen.

The car then began driving and encountered a patrol car nearby.

“The only got to the end of the block and the cops showed up on scene,” said Lieutenant Tod Sockman of the West Sacramento Police Department. “They weren’t trying to hide.”

All of the teens – including the injured victim, who is now recovering – say the shooting was an accident.

“One of the other kids had it and they were playing with it,” said Sockman. “I think they thought it was a BB gun. They were playing with it and it went off.”

The gun turned out to be reported stolen.

The teens were cited for reckless discharge of a firearm, possession of a loaded firearm in a vehicle, and possession of a stolen firearm.

The victim was treated at UC Davis Medical Center.

 

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Copyright News-Ledger 2014

Former W.S.P.D. officer’s fate now in the hands of a jury

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — FEB 19, 2014 —

The fate of disgraced former West Sacramento police officer Sergio Alvarez went into the hands of 12 jurors on Friday.

SERGIO ALVAREZ, accused West Sacramento Police Officer (booking photo, Yolo County Jail)

Former West Sac
police officer
Sergio Alvarez
(booking photo)

Alvarez was arrested a year ago and charged with sexually assaulting five women “under color of authority” while on patrol in the city. The alleged victims tended to be people in marginal situations – prostitutes or those with drug or alcohol problems.

Prosecutors say Alvarez detained women he found while patrolling the West Capitol Avenue area during the graveyard shift, pressuring them for sex in exchange for not arresting them.

Defense attorney J. Toney has conceded misdoings by the officer – including “consensual” sex while on duty with three of the alleged victims – but has argued that the charges of rape and sexual assault are made up by unreliable witnesses hoping to cash in on a civil lawsuit against the department.

As the News-Ledger went to press, a verdict on the 27 felony charges had not yet been announced.

 

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Copyright News-Ledger 2014

 

RCHS students create ‘blankets of love’

Yakima Huerta, chairperson of the ‘Blanket of Love’ project for a River City High School student club, presents a blanket to Lola Savala (Photo & information courtesy of Charyl Silva, club advisor)

Yakima Huerta, chairperson of the ‘Blanket of Love’ project for a River City High School student club, presents a blanket to Lola Savala
(Photo & information courtesy of Charyl Silva, club advisor)

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — FEB 12, 2014 —

Inspired after hearing about a project in which volunteers made scarves, in silence, for charity, the Interact Club at River City High School decided to do something similar.

  Students in the club started “Blankets of Love,” joining in silent meditation or prayer while cutting and double-knotting pieces of fleece into blankets to give to those in need.

   They were taught the blanket-making technique by Patty Gianatasio.

   The student club is sponsored by the city’s two Rotary chapters and advised by local chiropractor Charyl Silva.

Copyright News-Ledger 2014

Oscar Villegas: from council to county

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — FEB 12, 2014 —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

The office of Governor Jerry Brown announced Friday that he has appointed Oscar E. Villegas to fill the remaining term as the District 1 representative to the Yolo County Board of Supervisors.

That board seat was vacated in December by longtime supervisor Michael McGowan, after McGowan accepted the governor’s appointment to a special position in the Department of Motor Vehicles.

CITY COUNCILMAN OSCAR VILLEGAS said West Sacramento has carefully studied the issue before acting. (News-Ledger file photo)

CITY COUNCILMAN OSCAR VILLEGAS said West Sacramento has carefully studied the issue before acting. (News-Ledger file photo)

Villegas, 47, has been on the West Sacramento City Council since 2000. He has been a field representative for the California Board of State and Community Corrections since 2008.

Among other applicants for the vacancy on the Board of Supervisors was fellow city council member Bill Kristoff, who has served on the council since its inception in 1987.

Villegas told the News-Ledger he hasn’t heard yet when he will begin service on the board. When he sworn in, he will vacate his current city council seat (its term ends in 2016 and the council has yet to take up a discussion of how to fill the remaining part of the term).

“For me, I really feel like it’s the perfect fit,” Villegas said of the seat on the county board of supervisors. “My experience growing up in West Sacramento, my work on the planning commission and city council, and my professional day job working with probation agencies, social service agencies and other agencies all made it look like this role was the perfect fit.”

Villegas’s “day job” is with California’s Board of State and Community Corrections.

“We administer state and federal grants to local municipalities and nonprofit organizations to help those who are going to be released or who are at the risk of being incarcerated,” he said. The grants are intended to help steer people away from a life of crime or give them a “soft landing” back into society when they come out of jail or prison.

Villegas said he will switch to part-time work for the state when he takes the full-time position as county supervisor.

Does he view the county and its government as something that needs “fixing”?

“If you’d asked me that ten years ago, I would have said there were major issues,” Villegas answered. “But Mike McGowan has paved the way for a wonderful relationship between the city and county, and it’s up to me to maintain the relationship.”

Following the recession, he said, “the county is emerging in good shape, and the city is as well.”

He said he hopes to become involved in public safety issues within Yolo County, and also to help the county follow the West Sacramento city council’s disciplined practice of pursuing strategic goals. He called that “focused leadership.”

“We’ve been very fortunate in West Sacramento to have this focused leadership,” he remarked. “I can bring my experience with me. . . We say, ‘here’s where we need to go, and how do we ensure staff has the resources to get it done? How do we stay out of the way and not micromanage?’”

Villegas will fill the remainder of McGowan’s term, which is scheduled to end in December. The seat is up for election in the June primary, and Villegas intends to run for reelection.

Does he have higher political ambitions?

“Right now, I just want to focus on the task at hand,” he answered. “I don’t have the ambitions at this time for something else.”

Villegas’s appointment drew praise from other local leaders. The Sacramento Bee quoted Mayor Christopher Cabaldon as predicting he will be a “terrific asset” to the board, and said  Supervisor Matt Rexroad called Villegas a “first round draft choice.”

State Senator Lois Wolk, in a press release, said she could think of “nobody better suited than Oscar Villegas” to replace McGowan on the Yolo board:

“He is a homegrown leader who cares deeply about his community and has the skills and good working relationships in the region that will enable him to come to the Board of Supervisors and immediately get to work,” added Wolk.

Villegas’s wife, Katie, is on the local school board and serves as executive director of the Yolo County Children’s Alliance, a nonprofit organization.

The county supervisor position pays $59,004 annually, reports the governor’s office. District 1 serves Clarksburg and most of West Sacramento – excluding a slice of the “Bryte” neighborhood in the city’s northwest.

  Villegas is a Southport resident who grew up in the city’s north.  Like Governor Brown and former supervisor McGowan, Villegas is a Democrat.  Do you like what you see here?

 

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Copyright News-Ledger 2014

 

Southport bike/walk trail now open

 At the trail’s ribbon cutting, left to right: former Yolo County Supervisor Mike McGowan; Urban Forest Manager Dena Kirtley; City Councilmember Chris Ledesma; Chamber of Commerce Board Chair Marty Swingle; City Councilmember Oscar Villegas; (behind Mr. Villegas) SACOG Executive Director Mike McKeever; Mayor Christopher Cabaldon; (behind Mayor Cabaldon) Terry Preston, WalkSacramento; Mayor Pro Tem Mark Johannessen; (behind Mayor Pro Tem Johannessen) Jim Brown, Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates; City Manager Martin Tuttle; Chamber Executive Director Denice Seals; and Project Manager Vin Cay.   (City spokesman Art Schroeder contributed the photo and  information to this report)

At the trail’s ribbon cutting, left to right: former Yolo County Supervisor Mike McGowan; Urban Forest Manager Dena Kirtley; City Councilmember Chris Ledesma; Chamber of Commerce Board Chair Marty Swingle; City Councilmember Oscar Villegas; (behind Mr. Villegas) SACOG Executive Director Mike McKeever; Mayor Christopher Cabaldon; (behind Mayor Cabaldon) Terry Preston, WalkSacramento; Mayor Pro Tem Mark Johannessen; (behind Mayor Pro Tem Johannessen) Jim Brown, Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates; City Manager Martin Tuttle; Chamber Executive Director Denice Seals; and Project Manager Vin Cay.
(City spokesman Art Schroeder contributed the photo and information to this report)

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — FEB 5, 2014 —

NORTH-SOUTH TRAIL CONNECTS SOUTHPORT FROM HIGH SCHOOL TO BARGE CANAL

West Sacramento officials and community members performed a “ribbon cutting” to celebrate the opening of the new Clarksburg Branch Line Trail in Southport on Friday morning.

The 1.25-mile trail for bikes and pedestrians is built on a stretch of the former Yolo Short Line Railroad tracks. It runs from near Target and River City High School northward to South River Road, where a new bridge is now under construction along the barge canal.

The “rails to trails” project is part of the city’s master plan for bicycle and pedestrian links. You can view a map of the full master plan on our website here.

 

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  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 2014