Friday, 19 July 2024

Regional

GLENN COUNTY, Calif. — Caltrans is alerting motorists that the long-term closures of the north- and southbound Interstate 5 Willows Safety Roadside Rest Areas, or SRRA, in Glenn County have been extended to Aug. 31.

The Willows Rest Areas have been closed since January 2021 for construction and were originally expected to reopen by the end of June.

However, another time extension is required due to protracted supply chain delays for materials needed to complete facility improvements.

During the closure, northbound I-5 motorists will be directed to use the Red Bluff SRRA in Tehama County (about 42 miles north of Willows).

Southbound motorists will be directed to the Maxwell SRRA in Colusa County (about 34 miles south of the Willows SRRA).

Caltrans is investing more than $6.9 million to update the wastewater, water, and lighting systems at the Willows rest areas.

TSI Engineering Inc. of North Highlands, Sacramento County, is the contractor for the project.

Weather or unexpected events may delay or prolong the work. Caltrans advises motorists to “Be Work Zone Alert.”

The department will issue construction updates on Twitter @CaltransDist3 and on Facebook at CaltransDistrict3.

For real-time traffic, click on Caltrans’ QuickMap quickmap.dot.ca.gov/ or download the QuickMap app from the App Store or Google Play.

NAPA COUNTY, Calif. — The Napa County District Attorney’s Office said Thursday it has filed a criminal complaint charging Paul Pelosi, the husband of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, with driving under the influence causing injury for a crash that occurred last month.

Paul Pelosi, 82, was involved in a crash on Highway 29 and Oakville Cross Road at 10:17 p.m. May 28.

A blood sample taken from Pelosi about two hours after the crash was sent to the California Department of Justice for testing, which found his blood alcohol conte was .082%, just over the legal limit.

The charges filed against Pelosi on Thursday include driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury and driving with .08% blood alcohol level or higher causing injury.

Under California law, these charges can be filed as a misdemeanor or felony. Based upon the extent of the injuries suffered by the victim, the District Attorney’s Office filed misdemeanor charges.

“This decision is consistent with how our office handles these cases with similar injuries,” the agency said.

The punishment for driving under the influence causing injury as a misdemeanor is set by California law. It includes up to five years of probation, a minimum of five days in jail, installation of an ignition interlock device, fines and fees, completion of a court ordered drinking driver class, and other terms as appropriate, officials reported.

Pelosi was released from custody upon his promise to appear for an arraignment in Napa County Superior Court on Aug. 3.

The court date was selected by the Napa County Department of Corrections at the time of Pelosi’s release, officials said.

CHICO, Calif. — Authorities have taken a 14-year-old boy into custody after police said he attempted to kill a woman on the grounds of Chico High School.

The Chico Police Department said the name of the teenage suspect is not being released due to his age.

Police said that at 6:30 a.m. Friday, custodial staff at Chico High School located a severely injured 71-year-old female on the Warner Street side of Chico High School Campus, on the grounds of the school’s athletic stadium.

The agency said its Patrol Unit, Violence Suppression Unit and crime scene investigators conducted the investigation.

Investigators determined that the victim regularly utilized the campus track for exercise.

Approximately an hour after the conclusion of the Chico High School commencement ceremony, the victim was exercising at the facility grounds, police said.

Authorities said the woman was pursued and attacked from behind by a suspect with a large, bludgeoning weapon.

The teenage suspect fled the area and the incapacitated victim was left on the facility grounds until her discovery the following morning, police said.

Investigators determined the identity of the suspect to be a 14-year-old male.

He was located and arrested for attempted murder at 2:30 p.m. Friday.

Additional details about the case were not immediately available.

SONOMA COUNTY, Calif. — Fire Forward, in cooperation with the Cal Fire Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit, will be conducting a 17-acre prescribed burn on Wednesday, July 13, at the Mitsui Ranch.

The ranch is located at the top of Sonoma Mountain and is owned by the Sonoma Mountain Preserve Foundation.

Fire Forward, will be conducting this prescribed burn under a Cal Fire burn permit that was issued to control invasive species.

This burn is planned to be held between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Due to the location of the burn, smoke will be visible throughout most of Sonoma County.

Prescribed fires are carefully planned and must meet strict criteria for ecological benefit, weather parameters, smoke management, and fire safety guidelines.

Trained personnel will be monitoring weather conditions throughout the burn to ensure low-intensity fire is maintained and the fire remains within the parameters established within the burn permit.

Burning operations will not be initiated or cease if the temperature exceeds 95 degrees Fahrenheit, relative humidity falls below 20%, or winds are greater than 10 miles per hour.

Benefits of low-intensity burning in the natural environment include:

Cleansing of wildland debris. Excessive non-native grass thatch, dead and down branches, brush, and small trees are burned, converting fuels that are hazards in the summer into rich soil nutrients.

Controlling invasive species. Invasive species such as Medusahead can be effectively reduced through controlled burning, allowing native grass and forb species to recolonize their natural habitat. Native species are important food and habitat for a wide range of animals.

Ecosystem health. Low intensity fire helps eliminate and control diseased plants and trees.

New growth. Controlled burning encourages the healthy growth of new plants, especially those that are dependent on fire for renewal or seed dispersion.

Reduced opportunity for destructive fires. Controlled burns can decrease the size and frequency of large, uncontrolled destructive wildfires.

For more information about fire safety or controlled burning and its benefits, visit us at https://www.readyforwildfire.org/forest-health/prescribed-fires/.

The Meridian drawbridge on Highway 20 at the Sutter-Colusa County line in Northern California. Photo courtesy of Caltrans.

MERIDIAN, Calif. — Motorists may expect travel delays Thursday, June 23, on State Highway 20 at the Meridian Bridge on the Sutter-Colusa County line.

The bridge is scheduled to be closed intermittently between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. as Caltrans crews open the swing bridge to conduct their annual routine inspection of the historic steel structure over the Sacramento River.

Motorists should expect delays of up to 20 minutes during each of the two planned openings.

Motorists are advised to find alternate routes during the temporary highway closure, which is subject to change due to unexpected weather or other events.

Electronic roadside message boards will be used to post the latest information.

Built in 1977 to replace an earlier bridge destroyed by fire, the swinging, turntable bridge is swung open once a year for inspection.

The U.S. Coast Guard requires the structure remain operational to allow large maritime vessels to pass through.

Caltrans advises motorists to “Be Work Zone Alert.” The department will issue construction updates on Twitter @CaltransDist3 and on Facebook at CaltransDistrict3.

For real-time traffic, click on Caltrans’ QuickMap or download the QuickMap app from the App Store or Google Play.

Jack Stanley Seprish, 43, was arrested for arson following a fire in Monte Rio, California, on Thursday, May 26, 2022. Photo courtesy of Cal Fire.

NORTH COAST, Calif. — Cal Fire said its law enforcement officers have arrested a man on suspicion of setting a fire in Monte Rio in Sonoma County last week.

Jack Stanley Seprish, a 43-year-old transient, was arrested in the case, officials said.

At 6:12 p.m. Thursday, May 26, firefighting resources from Cal Fire’s Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit along with Monte Rio Fire Protection District and Sonoma County Fire District responded to a vegetation fire in Monte Rio located in the 9500 block of Bohemian Highway.

While firefighters were at the scene a second fire was reported nearby, Cal Fire said.

Cal Fire said residents reported seeing a white male adult later identified as Seprish in the area of the fires.

After a search of the area by law enforcement officers from the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office, the California Highway Patrol and Cal Fire, Seprish was located by sheriff’s deputies, who arrested him, transporting him to the Sonoma County Jail on a charge of burglary to a house in the area of the fires.

As the result of an ongoing Cal Fire law enforcement investigation, Seprish has since been charged with 10 counts of arson to forest land for 10 separate fires to which he has been linked.

Seprish was arraigned on Tuesday afternoon, and bail has been set at $920,000.

If you suspect an arson-caused fire, call Cal Fire’s anonymous hotline at 1-800-468-4408.

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