News for the week of July 24, 2014
WHILE the week had some great skies, it also got a pounding by lightning, but no big fires were reported. The fire crews jumped on them early. Photo by Jean Bilodeaux
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Lightning sparks new fires on the MNF
After a fairly quiet day on the Modoc National Forest, afternoon thunderstorms July 22 again moved across the area and sparked at least three new fires. They are located north of Alturas on the Devil’s Garden Ranger District.
The Dutch Two incident is northwest of Big Sage Reservoir; the Rim incident is on the far northern end of the Devil’s Garden near the Oregon border and the Diamond Fire is between the Diamond and Baseball reservoirs just northwest of Crowder Flat. Engines, crews and helicopters are working to contain these fires.
At least 22 fires have been confirmed across the forest since thunderstorm activity started July 20. All of the fires, except the three new ones today, have been contained.
More than 130 personnel are assigned to the Modoc National Forest to assist with suppression efforts.
SV Hospital takes steps to brighter future
Time appears to be the key word for Surprise Valley Hospital: there’s no time, yet the timing is perfect.
“Three months ago the board would have incurred the wrath of hospital staff and the Dr. Roberts group. Nothing would have been accomplished,” said Jason Diven, president of the board of directors at the troubled hospital.
Last Wednesday, the Board accepted the resignation of interim administrator Bill Bostic. Administrator Wanda Grove had resigned earlier in the month.
In an impassioned plea to staff and members of the public, Diven said in part, “The red ink has been growing quickly, and those of you with financial backgrounds recognized it earlier than did many on the board, and sounded alarms long ago. Over three months ago, the board felt desperate that we had to do something, as we felt we were getting little more than hand-wringing from the administration, and no solutions, no fiscal analysis, no projections, and no alternatives. We formed an ad hoc committee and Carl and I approached several members of the Last Frontier Healthcare Board about getting help with our financial situation. After a long series of many meetings, and with Kevin Kramer’s team’s donated help, we began the first part of getting a plan together to address the roughly $31,000 loss each month. Kevin was the first to define the problem in that way, and in hindsight, it was a fairly simple analysis, but it took someone from the outside to do the math for the first time.”
County accepts grant for groundwater plan
Should the County try to get ahead on ground and surface water management, or just wait for the state to make the rules?
That was the basic question facing the Modoc Board of Supervisors in Tuesday.
In somewhat of a gift from the Gods, grant funding appeared that could give the County a real push into local control. The California Office of Emergency Services offered a one-time grant of $283,197 to the County Office of Emergency Services “to compile data to aid in the development of future water management plans.”
After a long period of discussion, the Board voted unanimously to accept the grant and begin the process. The grant requires a 100 percent match, which Modoc OES Director A.J. McQuarrie told the Board she was confident the County could meet. Much if that match will be of in-kind services.
McQuarrie said the grant offered to Modoc County was “unprecedented” from the state and gave the County a chance to put together a pilot program on water management.
When asked by Supervisor Dave Allan why Modoc was selected OES’s Region Three representative Grizz Adams, said it was because Modoc was the first in line. He felt the County had a real shot at putting together a model plan.
Modoc jobless rate drops to 8%
The Modoc County unemployment rate dropped to 8.0 percent for June 2014, drown from 9.1 percent in May and from 10.4 percent in June last year.
The California Employment Development Department released the statistics this week. The county’s civilian workforce numbered 3,880 in June, compared to 3,550 in May with 3,570 working and 310 claiming unemployment. In May, 3,230 were employed and 320 were unemployed.
The 2014 number are significantly lower than June 2013, when the labor force numbered 4,050 with 3,630 employed and 420 unemployed.
Total non-farm employment showed an increase from 2,210 to 2,440 jobs. Local, state and federal employment jumped up from 1,240 employees to 1,430. Local government increased from 940 to 1,080 jobs while federal employment went up from 220 to 270. Seasonal farm labor increased from 420 to 510.
Alturas resident Mary Elizabeth Gilmore, former elementary school teacher and member of Faith Baptist Church, went to be with our Savior on July 16, 2014, enduring her illness with much grace and dignity.
Mary, also known to some as Betty, was born in Antlers, OK in 1931
A memorial service will be held in celebration of her life on July 25, 2014 at 10 a.m. at the Faith Baptist Church in Alturas, CA.
Stacy Deanlerey Jarvis was born in Los Angeles County to Roy Jarvis. Her mother passed away giving birth to her, so her Daddy raised her. She passed away at the age of 45 on July 8, 2014 in Alturas, CA.
Charles R. Roethler
1937 - 2014
Charles Robert “Chuck” Roethler, 76, passed away July 9, 2014, with family by his side. He was born July 10, 1937, in Alliance, Neb., to Loyal and Mary (Gapter) Roethler. At a later date, Chuck and Ila’s ashes will be laid to rest at Misty Fjords National Monument, surrounded by the beautiful ocean waters and peaceful beaches of Alaska.
Denise Fogle Nasland
A memorial service for Denise Fogle Nasland will be held July 26, 2014 from 11 a.m.-1p.m. at the Fogle residence, 500 N Court Street, Alturas. Family and friends are encouraged to come and share their favorite memories of Denise as we gather to celebrate her life well lived. Snacks and soft refreshments will be served.
A Memorial service and Celebration of Life for Harold William Siemer and Alice June Clark Siemer will be held Wednesday, July 30. Adin Cemetery Memorial Service at 11:30 a.m. at Adin Cemetery, followed by a catered lunch at Adin Community Hall at 1 p.m., including Harold’s favorite dessert: pie.
William “Bill” Prock
William C. Prock, 83, passed away at his home near Alturas, CA on July 21, 2014. There are no services planned at this time. A celebration of his life may be held at a later date. Mr. Prock took in and cared for over 100 children with his late wife Mary Ann, who passed away in 2011. An infant son Robert Charles Prock preceded them in death. No further information was available at presstime.
Services for Deloss Michael “Mike” Jeppson will be held on August 9, 2014 at 2 p.m. at the Alturas Cemetery with a gathering to follow at the Niles Hotel, Alturas.
Mike and his family settled in Likely where he attended Likely Elementary and Modoc High, graduating in 1962.
Mike died suddenly of a heart attack, while working in Phoenix, AZ on June 4, 2014.
Contributions in Mike’s name may be made to High Plateau Humane Society in Alturas CA, Butte Humane Society in Chico, CA, or your local Ducks Unlimited.
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