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The RSS feed for the blog is now at: http://www.sacbee.com/crime/index.rss
Please come see us in our new home.
A federal jury has found a Granite Bay man guilty of a conspiracy to commit fraud in a case involving aircraft parts repairs.
The conviction Monday of William Hugh Weygandt, 64, followed a three-week trial before U.S. District Court Judge John A. Mendez in Sacramento, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.
According to evidence presented during the trial, Weygandt is the former owner and president of WECO Aerospace Systems Inc., a Federal Aviation Administration-certified air repair station with facilities in Lincoln and Burbank. WECO was founded by Weygandt's father in 1974 in Burbank. Weygandt eventually became president and sole owner of the firm.
A three-alarm lumber mill fire was extinguished last night in Lincoln.
The fire at the Sierra Pacific Industries mill in 1400 block of Lincoln Boulevard was reported by plant security personnel at 10:40 p.m. Sunday. The first-arriving crews found fire in a large mezzanine above a lumber-drying kiln.
A fire sprinkler system kept the fire from spreading until it could be completely extinguished by firefighters. Firefighters from Rocklin, Roseville and Placer County Fire/Cal Fire helped Lincoln Fire Department control the blaze.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. The blaze is estimated by Lincoln Fire Department officials to have caused $75,000 in damage.
Law enforcement officers in the Sacramento area will be serving in a different capacity Saturday, working as waiters and waitresses at Red Robin restaurants and collecting tips to support Special Olympics.
Sacramento County sheriff's deputies will be serving lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner from 4 to 8 p.m. as part of the Tip-A-Cop event at four Red Robin locations: 360 Palladio Parkway, No. 410 in Folsom; 1184 Galleria Blvd. in Roseville; 751 E Joiner Parkway in Lincoln; and 7990 Greenback Lane in Citrus Heights.
Members of the Elk Grove Police Department will volunteer their services from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. at the Red Robin at 8245 Laguna Blvd., Elk Grove.
The Lincoln Police Department is warning residents to be on the alert for a mountain lion.
A mountain lion was reported to police about 12:40 p.m. near Auburn Ravine Park, said Jill Thompson, Lincoln city spokeswoman.
"An officer did verify the sighting, but we haven't seen the animal since," Thompson said.
Officers are searching for the animal. Residents are asked to call 911 if they see the mountain lion.
Marks, 47, has 26 years of public safety experience. He will replace interim chief Dan Ruden.
"Marks has a strong background in public safety, and his work history demonstrates excellent skills in communications, effective leadership and developing strong partnerships within the community," City Manager Jim Estep said in a written statement. "After an intensive recruiting process it became apparent that he was the right candidate for this position, and I am sure he is going to be a great asset to the city."
A Lincoln man was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon following a stabbing Sunday afternoon.
Lincoln police officers responded to a residence in the 100 block of F Street shortly before 6 p.m. regarding a stabbing that had just occurred. They were told that the suspect was still at the scene with a knife.
When officers arrived, they found a 25-year-old Lincoln man on the front porch of the home with a puncture wound to his abdomen, according to a Police Department news release. The suspect opened the front door of the residence, then tried to flee out the back of the home, police said.
About 3 a.m., a light-skinned man, shown in a surveillance photo, robbed the station on Twin Bridges Drive, armed with what appeared to be a small-caliber handgun, according to a Police Department news release. He was wearing blue jeans, a hoodie-type sweatshirt and a full-face ski mask.
The man took cash and lottery tickets.
A spokeswoman for CSUS confirmed that Jordan Tonya Louise Peters, 45, is an associate professor in the university's College of Business Administration. According the CSUS website, Peters is also a practicing attorney who represents employers in employment litigation matters.
Peters was arrested by Roseville police Tuesday and booked into Placer County Jail on suspicion of of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving under the influence of drugs after the vehicle she was driving allegedly triggered a chain-reaction collision in which one person was killed and three others were injured.
Police in Lincoln have arrested a 17-year-old Lincoln High School student in connection with a bomb threat called into the school Friday, authorities said.
The false report, made around 11:30 a.m. Friday, resulted in the school being evacuated and students being sent home early before it was determined to be a hoax.
The suspect, an Auburn resident, was arrested Tuesday afternoon in Auburn with the assistance of the Placer County Probation Department, said Jill Thompson a spokeswoman for the city.
By Ed Fletcher
Normal campus activities have resumed at Lincoln High School after campus and law enforcement officials determined the threat was a hoax.
The campus was evacuated shortly before noon Friday after a non-specific bomb threat was called, said Interim Police Chief Dan Ruden.
School officials decided to evacuate the premises as a precaution while a search is being conducted.
At about 2:30 p.m., police had not yet cleared the scene but police were interviewing a juvenile with information about the incident, authorities said. The incident was taxing on the small department. Five volunteers and three paid employees came on to help out on the incident.
More details will be reported as they become available.
A pedestrian walking on a Placer County road near Lincoln Thursday night was struck and killed by a car.
Candido Perez Jr., 33, of Roseville, was walking in the southbound lane of Industrial Avenue near Athens Avenue about 10:15 p.m. Thursday when he was hit by a car traveling at about 55 mph.
The driver swerved in an attempt to avoid Perez, who was walking with his back to traffic. Perez was pronounced dead at the scene.
The California Highway Patrol said it is not known why Perez was walking in the roadway.
Placer County residents are advised that an off ramp from Highway 65 will be closed for about an hour on Thursday.
Caltrans reports that the southbound exit from Highway 65 to Ferrari Ranch Road in Lincoln is scheduled to be closed from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Thursday for electrical work. Southbound motorists will be directed by message board to the next exit, Twelve Bridges Drive.
In the past five months, Placer County police and sheriff's department personnel have used a state grant to crack down on underage drinking.
A total of 27 citations have been issued for selling booze to minors. In addition, 15 people have been cited for buying alcohol for a minor.
The concerted effort to stem underage drinking was funded with a grant of about $100,000 from the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
The primary objective was to reduce youth access to alcohol, statistics showing that minors generally have a higher rate of drunken driving crashes than adults, stated an ABC press release.
Rocklin police have arrested two men in connection with vehicle burglaries at Sierra College and in the city of Lincoln.
Mark Dingman, 39, and Jordan Edwards, 29, both of Rocklin, were arrested today following an investigation of four separate auto burglaries reported Wednesday on the Sierra College campus.
Based on physical evidence and investigative leads, officers within hours obtained a search warrant for a residence in the 2300 block of South Whitney Boulevard in Rocklin. When they served the search warrant, officers found evidence from the Sierra College burglaries, according to a Police Department news release. Officials said the investigation also tied Edwards and Dingman to a vehicle burglary that had occurred earlier in the morning near Twelve Bridges and East Joiner Parkway in Lincoln.
California Highway Patrol officers have arrested the motorist they suspect was driving drunk when he caused a head-on collision near Lincoln that killed a man.
The suspected drunken driver has been identified as Andrey Yushchuk, 43, of Lincoln. He was arrested at the hospital where was treated for his injuries.
The dead man has been identified by the Placer County Sheriff's Department as Gabriel Rodriguez, 53, of Live Oak.
The driver who died this morning in a head-on collision near Lincoln has been identified by the Placer County Sheriff's Department as Gabriel Rodriguez, 53, of Live Oak.
The collision was caused by a suspected drunken driver, who suffered major injuries, according to the California Highway Patrol.
CHP officers were called to the crash on Sierra College Boulevard near Twelve Bridges Drive about 6:20 a.m. The CHP reported that the crash involved two minivans and a truck.
A Granite Bay man pleaded guilty today in federal court in Sacramento to recklessly endangering the safety of an aircraft.
According to court documents, Jerry Edward Kuwata, 63, conspired with others to conceal from customers and the Federal Aviation Administration facts about repairs done by WECO Aerospace Systems Inc.
The firm was founded in 1974 with a repair station in Lincoln and another in Burbank. Among other activities, WECO repaired and overhauled aircraft electronic components and flight instruments, including electromechanical rotables and converters. But those repairs were not being done in accordance with the manufacturer's Component Maintenance Manual and FAA regulations, and false information about the repairs was communicated to customers, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.
A federal grand jury today returned a superseding indictment charging a Granite Bay man with conspiracy to commit fraud involving aircraft parts.
According to court documents, William Hugh Weygandt, 63, is the former owner and president of WECO Aeropsace Systems Inc., a Federal Aviation Administration-certified aircraft repair station based in Lincoln, which was purchased n 2007 by Gulfstream Aerospace Corp.
Former WECO executives -- Jerry Edward Kuwata, 60 of Granite Bay; Michael Dennis Maupin, 58, of Arbuckle; Scott Hamilton Durham, 39, of Roseville; Christopher Warren MacQueen, 53, of Lincoln; Douglas Arthur Johnson 52, of Granite Bay; and Anthony Vincent Zito, 47 of Saugus -- were previously indicted by the grand jury in September 2011 for conspiracy and fraud involving airplane parts, and mail fraud. Kuwata, Durham, MacQueen and Johnson are also charged in the superseding indictment. Maupin and Zito have pleaded guilty to federal offenses and await sentencing, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.
An Orangevale man was sentenced today in federal court in Sacramento to 21 months in prison for conspiring to distribute hydrocodone.
According to court documents, Brandon Savaloja, 27, conspired with Raymond Reyes, 20, of Lincoln and others to distribute the drug in Placer, Sonoma, San Joaquin and Yuba counties. Hydrocodone is an opiate pain reliever found in such common medications as Vicodin, Norco and Lortab.
Savaloja was sentenced by U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez. Reyes was sentenced March 28 by Judge Mendez to four years and nine months in prison for conspiring to distribute hydrocodone and aggravated theft.
Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.
QUESTION: What became of the two people arrested in Lincoln for possession of multiple firearms and hand grenades. One of them was a woman, the other a man. Have they gone to court yet? What was the outcome?
Submitted by: Jim, Boston
ANSWER: Eric William Smith and Jennifer Mulhern, both of Lincoln, were arrested in January 2011 following a drug and gang investigation by the Roseville Police Department's Crime Suppression Unit.
Placer County residents who want an inside look at their sheriff's department can sign up for the Community Awareness Academy.
Topics include air operations, search and rescue, bomb squad, the Special Enforcement Team, the boat unit, investigations, hostage negotiators, the canine unit and the drug task force.
Field trips are planned to the jail and morgue, the dispatch center and the air operations hangar.
The Placer County Sheriff's Department has received a grant to help combat underage drinking and alcohol sales to minors during the coming year.
The Auburn, Lincoln, Rocklin and Roseville police departments also will participate in activities funded by the $99,760 grant from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.
Throughout the year, the Sheriff's Department plans to target problematic ABC-licensed establishments that sell alcoholic beverages to minors and obviously intoxicated adult patrons. Minor-decoy and "shoulder-tap" operations also will be conducted countywide to minimize minors' access to alcohol, officials said.
By Denny Walsh
A grand jury indictment unsealed Friday in Sacramento federal court charges three men with conspiring to rip off more than $18 million from the United Auburn Indian Community, which owns the lucrative Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Lincoln.
Bart Wayne Volen, Greg Scott Baker, and Darrell Patrick Hinz are accused of using their strategic positions to unlawfully inflate charges paid by the tribe in 2006 and 2007 for work on a four-building construction project on property owned by the tribe on Indian Hills Road in Auburn.
All three are charged with conspiracy, wire fraud and money laundering.
The grand jury returned the indictment Aug. 9, but it was sealed at the request of the government.
Volen, 53, of San Diego and Haiku, Hawaii, was arrested Friday at the San Francisco International Airport by Internal Revenue Service agents.
Shortly thereafter, the indictment was unsealed.
No-bail arrest warrants were issued for all three defendants the day the indictment was returned. It was not clear late Friday whether Baker, 45, of Newcastle, and Hinz, 47, of Cameron Park, have been arrested.
A former human resources manager at Thunder Valley Casino Resort has pleaded guilty to theft from Indian tribal government.
Erika Michele Carlton, 38, of Roseville, entered her plea Thursday in federal court.
For five years ending in 2011, Carlton embezzled and stole up to $400,000 in money and property from Thunder Valley, the Lincoln casino owned by the United Auburn Indian Community, according to the U.S. Attorney's office in Sacramento.
Carlton had access to Thunder Valley credit cards and other funds she could use to buy items for employees. Carlton used Thunder Valley funds to buy raffle prizes that were given out at employee functions, such as Christmas parties.
The prizes included gift cards, iPods and televisions. Prizes were either kept by Carlton or returned to the store for cash or merchandise credit for her own use, according to the press release.
Carlton is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 1.
Most road construction work that could interfere with traffic on Interstate 80 will be put off during "Hot August Night" events in Reno.
Hot August Nights, the annual celebration of cars and cruising, begins today and gets into full gear late next week. Caltrans announced that most traffic-interfering work will be limited on the highway today through Aug. 13.
Motorists are advised a construction zone narrows lanes on I-80 from Emigrant Gap to Rainbow. Beware, warns Caltrans, the construction zone has a maximum speed of 55 mph and no passing is allowed.
California Highway Patrol officers will be on duty with increased enforcement in that stretch of freeway.
A Lincoln man died when he crashed after losing control of his motorcycle in Roseville on Wednesday, police said.
Richard Alton Geitz, 60, and a passenger were on a 1993 Harley Davidson motorcycle about 5 p.m. Wednesday when for unknown reasons Geitz lost control of the bike while traveling south on Industrial Avenue near Galilee Road.
Geitz was taken to Sutter Roseville Medical Center where he died a short time later, according to a Roseville police press release. His passenger, a 48-year-old Lincoln woman, suffered non life-threatening injuries.
Both Geitz and his female passenger were wearing helmets. Roseville's Major Accident Investigation Team is trying to determine why Geitz lost control of his vehicle.
Highway 65 between Lincoln and Sheridan was closed this morning due to a collision between two vehicles.
The crash occurred about 5:30 a.m. on the highway near Nader Road when a small pickup and another vehicle collided. Two people had to be extricated by rescue workers, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The crash backed up some traffic in both directions as the highway was closed to allow a medical helicopter to land. Motorists were detoured off the highway at Nader Road.
The highway re-opened at about 7 a.m.
Firefighters have contained a grass that burned approximately 105 acres near Lincoln.
Daniel Berlant, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said the fire near Watz and North Dowd roads in the area of the Highway 65 bypass was reported about 5:30 p.m.
He said there are a number of ranches in the area.
A fire in south Placer County has been contained after burning 184 acres west of Roseville.
Daniel Berlant, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said the fire was reported at 1:23 p.m., burning in a flat, undeveloped area of grasslands in the area of Fiddyment Road and Athens Avenue.
Thirteen fire engines, two water tenders and a bulldozer responded to the scene. Berlant said Cal Fire and the South Placer County firefighters were assisted by firefighters from Roseville, Rocklin and Lincoln.
Although the cause of the fire has not been determined, he said this is a reminder to residents to use caution in outdoor activities, especially given the forecast for strong winds and temperatures in the 100-degree range this weekend.
A contractor who was killed this morning when a fence collapsed on him in Lincoln has been identified by the Placer County Coroner's Office as Kurt Allen Clark, 53, of Newcastle.
Clark and an employee were preparing to take down a heavy ceramic tile fence on E Street and replace the structure, which was about 50 feet long.
About 7:30 a.m., Clark was at one end of the fence and an employee in a small tractor was at the other end. Clark was marking where utility lines run underground when the tractor came in contact with the fence.
A city of Lincoln spokeswoman said the fence should have come down one section at a time. However, the entire structure fell at once, fatally injuring Clark.
The Yuba County Sheriff's Department has recovered the body of an 18-year-old Lincoln man from the waters of Camp Far West Lake.
Sheriff's spokesman Lt. Damon Gil said a California Highway Patrol helicopter crew that had been called in to assist in the search spotted the body of Spencer Loper about 10:13 this morning in what is known as the overflow area near the lake's north shore.
Gil said Loper and friends arrived at the lake Saturday and spent the night in a campground. Friends reported seeing him about 2 a.m. Sunday, but when they awoke later that morning, he was gone. They initially thought he had left on his own, and Gil said the Sheriff's Department wasn't notified that he was missing until Tuesday.
Three people were injured this morning in Lincoln when a driver fell asleep at the wheel and ran into them.
Lincoln police were called to Sun City Boulevard and Tiger Lily Lane about 9 a.m. where they found three injured women in the intersection. The car that hit the three had stopped after the collision, police said.
The women, two of them 61 years old and the third 64 years old, were transported to Sutter Roseville Medical Center. Two of the women had moderate injuries and the third minor injuries.
The 71-year-old driver told officers he fell asleep at the wheel just before failing to come to a halt at a stop sign, then hitting the pedestrians, according to Lincoln police. The driver was issued a citation for failure to stop and a request will be sent to the state Department of Motor Vehicles to re-test the motorist's driving ability.
Nine men received notices to appear in court for misdemeanor violations of state home improvement contracting laws during a sting in Lincoln.
The nine workers bid on painting, flooring and concrete jobs during a sting, according to the Contractors State License Board. The board's investigative fraud team set up an undercover operation on Tuesday in a single-family home in Lincoln.
Seven who bid more than $500 for labor and materials face misdemeanor charges for contracting without a license. Some also must appear in court for illegal advertising. Contractors must place their license numbers in all advertisements.
A man suspected of climbing onto a neighbor's roof with a firearm on Monday, was re-booked Tuesday on suspicion of making meth, Lincoln police said.
Police said that Jason Michael Arnold, 27, lived with a 91-year-old relative in the 2100 block of Third Street. On Monday, police went to the home on a report that he was acting strange and was atop the neighbor's house with a loaded gun.
Police determined he was under the influence of methamphetamine. Officers also found a firearm in Arnold's home.
A Lincoln man has been sentenced in federal court for conspiring to distribute a controlled substance and for identity theft.
Raymond Reyes, 29, was given four years and nine months in prison by U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez in Sacramento on Tuesday.
Reyes worked for a Sacramento cardiologist as a medical assistant. The doctor caught Reyes calling in fraudulent prescriptions for hydrocodone, an opiate prescribed for pain, according to court documents.
The doctor never prescribed the drug, according to a U.S. Attorney press release. The doctor fired Reyes in late 2008.
Reyes would call pharmacies using false names. He would either pick up the prescriptions himself or others would collect them and give the pills to Reyes for payment, said the press release.
A database shows that about 508 prescriptions for hydrocodone, about 97,000 pills, were distributed by about 89 pharmacies under the purported authority of the doctor for whom Reyes worked, according to the press release.
Reyes admitted in a plea agreement that he was responsible for the distribution of at least 40,000 pills, according to the press release.
By Denny Walsh and Sam Stanton
Federal agents are moving to seize 32 properties stretching from Sacramento to Hawaii to San Diego in an alleged kickback and money laundering scheme that they say drained $18 million from the coffers of the tribe that runs the Thunder Valley Casino in Lincoln.
Documents filed by the Internal Revenue Service in U.S. District Court in Sacramento late Tuesday allege that Sacramento developer Bart Volen and two others systematically siphoned off millions from the United Auburn Indian Community while they oversaw the construction of office buildings that now serve as the tribe's headquarters.
The IRS is seeking to seize the properties -- including condominiums in Hawaii, San Diego and South Lake Tahoe -- that the agency says were purchased with money taken from the tribe in an overbilling scheme.
A 17-year-old boy was stabbed in the arm on a Lincoln sidewalk this afternoon, according to police.
Callers reported the stabbing at 3rd and R streets to police about 4 p.m. When officers arrived at the scene, they found a "semi-conscious" teen laying on the sidewalk with a "severe laceration" on his arm, according to a Lincoln police news release.
The boy was transported to Sutter Roseville Hospital.
Police have not identified a motive for the stabbing, nor have they identified a suspect, the release states. The incident is under investigation.
Justin Graham, 30, of Lincoln pleaded guilty today in federal court in Sacramento to sharing child pornography over the Internet.
Graham was arrested Jan. 20, 2011, by the FBI after an undercover investigation into online distribution of child pornography over a file sharing network, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.
Graham is to be sentenced March 25 by U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr.
The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in 2006 by the Department of Justice.
Justin Phillip Lombardo-Barton, 19, of Camptonville, was sentenced in October to five years probation and time served. A Sierra Superior Court judge gave Lombardo-Barton credit for 122 days served in county jail.
Sierra County District Attorney Larry Allen said in an e-mail that Lombardo-Barton was recently brought back into court on a probation violation for failing to keep in contact with his probation officer.
This time the judge game him 360 days in jail and reinstated probation.
Lombardo-Barton, who pleaded no contest to felony animal cruelty and hit-and-run badly injured the border collie that Nevada County rancher John Reader raised from a pup.
On June 19, Maggie was helping Reader and mounted riders herd about 300 head of cattle along Alleghany-Ridge Road in Sierra County en route to summer pasture. Pilot cars were in front and back of the herd.
As the cattle moved along the road, cars stopped to let the herd pass. But a white Jeep Cherokee pushed through instead of waiting. Reader said the driver gunned the car, ran into a calf and cow, and struck Maggie, who was on the road's shoulder.
Maggie suffered a broken right hind leg and a deep cut to her left hind leg, and her liver and stomach were pushed into her chest cavity. She underwent surgery to repair her broken leg with a pin and screws.
A few days later, Sierra County sheriff's deputies arrested Lombardo-Barton.
Maggie was nursed back to health by Loomis Basin Veterinary Clinic and eventually went back to the Reader ranch. Dozens of people donated to help cover her medical costs.
PHOTO CAPTION: Maggie, the injured cattle dog, is released from Loomis Basin Veterinary Hospital in July 2011/Autumn Cruz/Sacramento Bee
Anthony James Karas (pictured), 47, was taken into custody and booked into the Placer County Jail on suspicion of grand theft and possession of stolen property, according to a Placer County Sheriff's Department news release.
The California Registered Historical Landmark plaque was reported stolen in January. It had been found at Lozanos and Bald Hill roads. Sheriff's detectives said it was valued at $951.
Last week, deputies found the sawed-up marker (pictured) dumped along Fiddyment Road and were able to trace it back to Karas, officials said. The marker had been cut into many pieces and all of the writing was ground from the solid brass piece.
Monique Smith (pictured, left), 38, of Brentwood, and Bailey Lucas (right), 21, of Hayward, were arrested Tuesday afternoon near Interstate 80 and Highway 65 by deputies who were watching the roadways for the suspected getaway car, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.
Officials said an investigation revealed that the women visited Target stores in Lincoln, Roseville and Auburn that day, purchasing VISA gift cards with counterfeit credit cards. Security officers at the Auburn Target store became suspicious and began watching Lucas. They also notified patrol deputies.
Gerarado Constantino Ramirez (pictured), 37, is wanted for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution for the murder of Antonio Morales, according to an FBI news release. Ramirez allegedly shot Morales, 36, during an argument the evening of Oct. 10 at a residence in the 1600 block of First Street.
After a local arrest warrant was issued, a federal arrest warrant was issued Oct. 20. According to the FBI, Ramirez is considered armed and dangerous.
Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts is asked to call the FBI's Sacramento Field Office at (916) 481-9110.
Angel Casarez Romero (pictured), 28, walked into the Lincoln Police Department about 4:30 p.m. Thursday, according to a Police Department news release.
Romero was sought after his wife was found with multiple stab wounds early Sunday morning in the 400 block of Joiner Parkway. She was hospitalized in critical condition.
Angel Romero (pictured) is sought in connection with the stabbing of his wife, who police said remains in critical condition in Sutter Roseville Hospital.
Officers responded about 1 a.m. Sunday to the 400 block of Joiner Parkway after receiving a call that a woman had been stabbed multiple times. They found a woman inside her apartment with several life-threatening stab wounds, according to a Police Department news release.
By Ed Fletcher
A 33-year-old Lincoln third strike offender will serve 27 years to life in prison for spitting on and fighting with two Placer Sheriff's deputies.
Joshua Daniel Mills was sentenced on Dec. 16 by Placer County Judge Colleen Nichols. Mills had previously been convicted of making criminal threats and false imprisonment.
The third strike conviction came as a result of a September 2008 assault, according to a press release from the Placer County District Attorney's office.
Mills was in court for a family court matter. Two sheriff's deputies tried to remove Mills from the court, whereupon Mills spat on the officers and fought with them, according to the release.
Lincoln police are investigating the attempted homicide of a woman early Sunday morning.
Police were called to the 400 block of Joiner Parkway at 1 a.m. Sunday where a woman had been stabbed several times. Officers said the woman's wounds were life-threatening when they arrived at her apartment.
She was transported to a local hospital. Her condition was reported to be critical today.
Officers have been following up on leads, but have little to go on. Anyone with information is asked to call police at (916) 645-4040.
The first defendant in an airplane parts fraud case involving former employees of a Lincoln company has pleaded guilty in federal court.
Anthony Vincent Zito, 48, of Saugus, pleaded guilty Thursday to one county of conspiracy to commit fraud involving airplane parts in interstate or foreign commerce, according to a U.S. Department of Justice news release.
Zito was indicted in September along with five other executives or supervisors of WECO Aerospace Systems Inc., an aircraft parts repair and overhaul business.
Lincoln Fire Chief Dave Whitt will step down Dec. 29, just four months after the successful resolution of a propane train car fire in which he showed his leadership skills.
"Lincoln's recent propane tanker fire revealed to the entire region what those of us in Lincoln already know," said Lincoln Mayor Paul Joiner. "Chief Whitt was the right man, in the right place, at the right time."
Whitt was not the only one who quickly responded to the rail tanker fire last summer. The quick work of a dispatcher and first responders prevented disaster after a rail tanker car filled with 30,000 gallons of propane ignited Aug. 23, prompting the evacuation of homes, businesses and City Hall in the northern part of the city.
However, Mayor Joiner praised Whitt's leadership, experience and his relaxed, straight forward manner for Lincoln avoiding a devastating explosion.
Whitt, 50, has been Lincoln's chief since 2006. Before that, he was a Battalion Chief for the City of Sacramento. Whitt, who said it was time to move on, regretted a lack of resources in a city press release.
"It is time for me to look at other opportunities," Whitt said. "Given the climate in the city, I have come to a point where it is frustrating to not be as effective as I would like to be. We have good people with very little resources to support them in carrying out the mission of this department."
City Manager Jim Estep credited Whitt with a list of accomplishments, including helping with the completion of two new fire stations, improving mutual aid and working relationships with other fire agencies and making sure firefighters have state-of-the art breathing apparatus.
The fire department went from volunteers to a paid 24-hour department in 2001. Since that time, Lincoln has boomed, growing to a population of 41,000 today -- a 236 percent increase.
The city said the number of fire and medical aid calls have more than tripled.
The department has 24 full-time employees and five volunteers. An interim chief will be appointed before Whitt leaves.
Transportation officials expect to reopen Highway 65 though Lincoln at around 1 a.m. after an semi truck with a load of onions overturned Thursday evening.
Both northbound and southbound Highway 65 was closed through Lincoln about 8 p.m. Thursday evening as a result of the accident.
Southbound 65 was closed at Ferrari Ranch Road. Northbound traffic was closed at the Twelve Bridges exit, a news release from the city states.
The truck was unable to manage a 20 mph curve in place because of ongoing construction.
Information on when the roadway would be cleared was not yet available.
By Ed Fletcher and Bee Metro Staff
Highway 65 reopened about 6:30 p.m. after a semi truck filled with grocery products overturned in Lincoln early this afternoon. The cleanup took hours and blocked traffic in both directions.
City officials said the cleanup took longer than anticipated because grocery items had to be manually unloaded to upright the truck.
The highway was closed during afternoon commute hours and motorists were advised to avoid the area.
During the closure, northbound traffic was required to exit Highway 65 at Twelve Bridges Drive and southbound traffic exited at Sterling Parkway.
"We have messy traffic here for a while," Jill Thompson, a spokeswoman for the city, said shortly after the spill.
Bee staff writers Cathy Locke and Melody Gutierrez contributed to this report.
PHOTO: Drivers were advised to avoid Highway 65 through Lincoln after a semi-truck overturned Monday, September 26, 2011. Special to Sacbee.com: Jill Thompson, Public Information Officer, City of Lincoln
By Matt Weiser
Roseville police today searched a home in Lincoln as part of their investigation into the killing of a local businessman in May.
Christopher Dale Northam, 44, was shot and killed May 30 at the warehouse in Roseville where he was about to open an innovative new business: indoor skim-boarding. Northam had at least one gunshot wound in the head.
On Friday, homicide investigators from the Roseville Police Department served a search warrant at a home on China Rose Court in Lincoln. Lt. Mark Toupin declined to detail how investigators suspect the home is connected to the case.
"I'm not going to go into the reason for the warrant," Toupin said.
At the time of his death, Northam was reportedly negotiating with a major investor in Dubai who was interested in helping launch and expand the business. Dubbed Skim X, the venture aimed to combine skim-boarding and skateboarding in an indoor water park. Northam was a partner in the business with his son, Christopher J. Northam.
Northam had received death threats shortly before his killing, his uncle told The Bee in June, but considered the threats insignificant and did not report them to police.
Roseville police are still seeking the public's help in solving the murder. Anyone with tips to offer is urged to call the department at (916) 774-5000 or (916) 783-7867.
By Cathy Locke
Lincoln fire and police officials credit the quick work of a dispatcher and first responders with preventing disaster after a rail tanker car filled with 30,000 gallons of propane ignited Aug. 23, prompting the evacuation of homes, businesses and City Hall in the northern part of the city.
Recordings of 911 calls, and police and fire radio traffic during the first few minutes after the fire was reported, were released Friday at a City Hall news conference.
Fire Chief Dave Whitt said the recordings reveal what the lone dispatcher, Teri Leedy, was dealing with as she sought to field 911 calls reporting the fire, while dispatching police and fire units, and summoning aid from surrounding communities.
A 16-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with the burglary of a home that occurred last week while the neighborhood was under emergency evacuation due to a rail tanker fire.
Lincoln Police Sgt. Terry Kennedy said this was one of three burglaries reported in areas within a 1-mile radius of the propane tank fire that were under mandatory evacuations for two days last week. The 16-year-old is believed to have been involved in only one of the three burglaries, he said.
In this case, the homeowners discovered that someone had broken into their home and stolen several items, including a shotgun. Officers and detectives followed up on leads and arrested the youth at his home. Kennedy said the teenager's parents assisted police in recovering all the stolen items, including the shotgun. The youth was booked into Placer County Juvenile Hall on suspicion of burglary, looting and possession of stolen property.
Whitt's preliminary report on the tanker car blaze that resulted in the evacuation of approximately 4,800 homes in the city for two days leaves unanswered why the fire erupted that day.
It could be some time before federal officials release a possible cause. Whitt said he understands that federal investigators with the Federal Railroad Administration want to take the the burned rail car away on a flatbed car to a location where they can closely exam the tanker.
Lincoln Fire Chief Dave Whitt, 50, was the man at the center of the successful resolution of the tanker propane fire this week -- a stubborn fuel fire that had the potential to result in major devastation.
Whitt, the leader of the 24-firefighter department, has been chief since 2006. Before that, he worked fighting wildland fires for the federal government for 6 years and for 18 years was a member of the Sacramento Fire Department.
At Sac City he worked his way up from firefighter to Battalion Chief. For a time, as a fire captain, he was the public information officer for Sacramento City Fire.
By Cathy Locke
Emergency aid workers in Lincoln endeavored tonight to help not only people displaced from their homes due to the burning propane tanker but their pets as well.
Noah's Wish set up an emergency animal shelter at Azevedo Park in Rocklin, but many people arrived at evacuation shelters with their pets in tow.
"People want to stay with their pets," said Trista Jensen, communication director with the American Red Cross, who was assisting at the Lincoln Community Center, one of three evacuation shelters in the city.
Fire officials have announced that they now believe the tanker car burning in Lincoln since Tuesday is virtually empty of liquid propane, and that they may be able to render it inert before midnight.
Flames from the top of the car died down around 9 p.m., leading firefighters to run tests attempting to determine how much propane was left in the car, said Lincoln Fire Chief Dave Whitt. They are now pumping the rail car full of water and aqueous foam in an attempt to force out any residual liquid and propane vapors, said Whitt.
"As the tank fills up with foam and water, it's pushing the residual vapors outside the tank," he said. "So we re-lit the fire again and as the tank fills up it'll continue to burn off the residual vapors. We should have a stable tank once that foam ... fills up that tank."
By Matt Kawahara and Cathy Locke
A mandatory evacuation order remains in place in Lincoln after propane coming from a rail tank car caught fire around noon and continues to burn at the Northern Energy tank farm.
Highway 65 in Lincoln has been closed to traffic since Tuesday afternoon, and a mandatory evacuation was put in effect for homes and businesses within a 1-mile radius of the burning, 29,000-gallon rail car.
The possibility of an explosion prompted the evacuation of about 4,800 homes by Placer County and Lincoln law enforcement, said Daniel Berlant, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman, in a news release. Cal Fire is assisting the Lincoln Fire Department.
Pilot Jeff Barbao and flight officer Jonathon Pierce have won the fixed wing operator of the year award sponsored by aircraft-maker GippsAero for the impact of their work.
Barbao and Pierce are assigned to the CHP Valley Division air unit based in Auburn. The division covers an area 160 miles in length and 130 miles wide, including Sacramento, Stockton and South Lake Tahoe.
Lincoln Police today confirmed identities and circumstances in the deaths of two people inside a home in the 1500 block of Fourth Street.
Police said that evidence indicates that Noland Thomas, 67, shot his wife, Jo Ann Thomas, 71, and then killed himself.
City spokeswoman Jill Thompson said police dispatchers received a call about 4 p.m. Friday from a man who said he had shot his wife and was going to shoot himself.
Lincoln Police report that two bodies have been found inside a home in the 1500 block of Fourth Street.
City spokeswoman Jill Thompson said police dispatchers received a call about 4 p.m. from a man who said he had shot his wife and was going to shoot himself.
Police arrived at the home within two minutes. When they arrived, officers reported hearing a pop that sounded like a gunshot.