County News

Apr 23, 2014 11:19am
Outdoor marijuana crops will be prohibited in unincorporated areas of Sacramento County, following a unanimous vote by the Board of Supervisors Tuesday. The new ban is set to take effect in mid-June. “We’ve seen a profusion—an explosion—of marijuana grows,” said Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones, who cited a lack of clarity surrounding federal and state medical marijuana laws. Prior to the vote, supervisors were shown aerial photos of reported grow sites, including one near a high school. They were also warned of the dangers these sites can pose by attracting theft, violence, and...
Apr 23, 2014 11:17am
The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office will use nearly a half million dollars in federal grants to combat a problem related to international drug smuggling along its coastline.  On Tuesday, the County Board of Supervisors granted the Sheriff’s Office’s request to use $493,013 in federal grant money to tow drug-smuggling panga boats that periodically wash ashore. The majority of the money ($342,813) will go towards a 27-foot Defender Class response boat that will be used to refloat the panga boats so that they can be properly disposed of. Mobile license plate readers, a thermal...
Apr 23, 2014 11:15am
El Dorado County Supervisor Ray Nutting went on trial Tuesday to face a myriad of fraud and corruption allegations nearly one year after his arrest.   Nutting faces four felony counts related to his receipt of $70,000 in state grants for the clearing of brush on his property. He has also been charged with a felony conflict of interest charge and seven misdemeanors stemming from his $55,000 bail which prosecutors claim was borrowed illegally. In 2003 and 2009, Nutting accepted over $70,000 under the California Forrest Improvement Program, which reimburses landowners for the removal of...
Apr 23, 2014 11:13am
As recent stories indicate, California has been seeing a rise in contagious diseases that were once thought to be a thing of the past. Shasta County and Orange County (among many other counties) have reported a rise in measles cases in the area, and state health officials are urging Californians to get vaccinated in order to fight these preventable diseases. In addition, whooping cough, a potentially fatal disease that is characterized by a brutal cough that can last for months, is beginning to make an appearance across the state, especially in Ventura County. Ventura County has reported 27...
Apr 23, 2014 11:12am
Kern County’s Animal Services department currently has hundreds of animals—mostly dogs and cats—brought in either as unwanted pets or strays. Their director says that especially during the spring during “baby season,” the department shelters a large amount of Kern County animals. In 2013, residents brought in a staggering 13 thousand puppies and kittens.  Unfortunately, many of these animals are too ill or unable to survive without their mother and must be euthanized. The “Friends of Kern County Foundation” attempts to help this situation by running a spay and neuter voucher in order to...
Apr 21, 2014 12:58pm
After an initial uptick in 2012, violent crimes in San Diego County have fallen to their second lowest in 30 years, according to numbers released by the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG). There were a total of 11,515 violent crimes—including rape, murder, robbery, and aggravated assault—in 2013, which represents a 5 percent drop from the previous year. Homicides showed the biggest decline, having dropped by 33 percent since last year. Of those which did occur, fewer were gang-related. Robberies also declined by 4 percent, though the number of bank robberies actually rose by 22...
Apr 21, 2014 12:56pm
Two San Joaquin Valley lawmakers are asking President Obama to revive a comprehensive task force aimed at strengthening economic development in the region. Reps. Jerry McNerney (D-Stockton) and Jim Costa (D-Fresno) have sent a letter to the president, requesting the use of an executive order for the creation of a task force which would assist the counties of Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Tulare. The task force would be headed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and would largely be modeled after a cohort previously created by President...
Apr 21, 2014 12:52pm
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week that the rights of an Anaheim resident were not violated when his speech drew strong interruptions at an Orange County Supervisors meeting. The court also upheld a rule that bars “personal, impertinent, slanderous or profane remarks” from public meetings, but this ruling is unpublished, and cannot be used as precedent for future cases. The Anaheim man, William D. Fitzgerald told the court he was intentionally abrasive when speaking to the board, which was apparent as he compared the board’s clerk to a commander at a concentration camp when...
Apr 21, 2014 12:51pm
While Fresno’s unemployment rate went upward in March due to many agricultural jobs being seasonal, when looking at the big picture, the county’s March unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in six years. This March also marked the 30th consecutive month where the unemployment rate has been lower than it was a year earlier. Steven Gutierrez, an EDD labor market analyst in Fresno revealed that this is the lowest March unemployment level since 2008, when it was 11.2%. Last month it was estimated to be approximately 13.8%--up slightly from February’s 13.5%. Compared to March of 2013’s 14.5%...
Apr 21, 2014 12:49pm
Sierra County was formed from parts of Yuba County in 1852 during the California gold rush after in influx of more than 16,000 miners moved into the Sierra Nevada foothills searching for a nugget of the precious metal to call their own. In the 2010 census, the population of Sierra County was recorded at approximately 3,240, making it the second smallest county in the state when it comes to population just after Alpine. Like Alpine, Sierra County’s small population means that life is very different for its residents. For example, it is reported that there is only one traffic light in all of...
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