News for the week of August 27, 2015
CHIEF OF POLICE Sid Cullins inspects the equipment and drugs found at the honey lab location.
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Pair seriously injured when honey oil lab explodes
Two people were seriously burned last Wednesday when a honey oil lab at 900 Maple Street exploded about 4 p.m.
According to Alturas Police, Sean Wolfe, 27, and a juvenile female were allegedly in the lab, a loosely pieced together shack south of the home, working on the process to make honey oil, which is concentrated hash oil.
A third juvenile may have also been in the lab at one point, according to police, but they are still trying to confirm his version of the events.
Apparently after the explosion, the fires were extinguished by the victims. Wolfe and the juvenile female sustained moderate to severe burns on 45 percent of their bodies. Both were transported to Modoc Medical Center by private party and both were flown out to burn centers. Both remain in serious condition.
Police are interviewing the third party eyewitness in the incident, but have not yet been able to talk with Wolfe or the injured juvenile.
The Alturas Fire Department responded to the scene after it was called in and Police warned it was a possible honey oil lab. The AFD and APD secured the scene.
Supervisors tentatively approve new jail grant
Following a long, and often tense, discussion Tuesday, the Modoc County Board of Supervisors approved the grant application for a new jail at $9,416,000.
The approval, however, came with a serious safeguard that the application could be pulled before the award date if needed information from the Sheriff’s Office is either incomplete or questionable.
The initial vote on the issue was tabled so that County Administrative Officer Chester Robertson could phone the state and insure that the County could back out of the application if necessary. Once that issue was answered the Board voted unanimously, with some reluctance, to move the grant forward.
None of the Supervisors was happy with the grant application as submitted. It lacked necessary information concerning staffing levels and the determination of ongoing costs. That information from the Sheriff’s Office had been requested by County Administration and the Board for months. They did not wholly disagree that a new jail may be needed.
In addition, while Supervisors were told the existing jail was in need of repair, they pointed out there was never a cost estimate presented about what the repairs or renovation would cost.
The new jail would be located at the Northeast Corner of W. 16th Street and West Lucilane Blvd. on County-owned property near the Road Department shop. The new jail would have 32 beds, two fewer than the existing jail. That would include 20 medium security beds, four maximum security and eight special use beds.
County settles Nessling abuse case for $98,000
The Modoc County Supervisors Tuesday announced a settlement of $98,000 in the civil lawsuit filed by Jason Colt (Wilson) against Sergeant Dan Nessling and the Modoc County Sheriff’s Office.
This is the second civil suit involving Nessling for alleged abusive behavior. Both were settled in the victim’s favor and the total cost to the County exceeded $170,000.
Colt had filed a claim against the two entities in March for well above $98,000. The claim stemmed from a November 4, 2014 arrest of Colt by Nessling. Colt claimed abusive force. The initial March claim was dismissed as part of the settlement agreement, which was dated August 17.
The issue involves an alleged abusive arrest of Jason Colt by Nessling. Modoc District Attorney Jordan Funk is investigating Nessling for possible criminal charges in that case. The DA’s office has video evidence that “provided probable cause to believe that Sgt. Daniel Nessling assaulted Jason Colt (an unarmed arrestee who was handcuffed behind his back).”
Jobless rate jumps up in July
The Modoc County unemployment rate increased from 7.4 percent in June to 8.1 percent in July, according to the California Employment Development Department.
EDD reports the civilian workforce at 3,500 in July with 3,210 employed and 280 unemployed. That compares to last July when the workforce number 3,460, with 3,140 employed and 320 unemployed. In June the workforce numbered 3,490 with 3,230 employed and 260 unemployed.
Local government jobs dropped from 920 in June to 780 in July, while federal jobs increased from 290 to 300 and state jobs were level at 80. Total farm jobs increased from 450 to 520 while total nonfarm jobs decreased 100 positions to 2,310.
Sharon Lee Wolter
Sharon Lee Wolter, an Alturas resident for the past 22 years, passed away in the comforting care of Modoc Medical Center staff and her family in Alturas, CA on August 21, 2015.
Born in Billings, Montana on January 10, 1940, Sharon accompanied her family to California, when her father was stationed in Benicia, CA.
Not a Catholic herself, Sharon enjoyed attending services with her husband at Sacred Heart Church and attended, even when he couldn’t. Plans are pending for a memorial celebration of life service.
Ernie Barlese, Jr. was born October 31, 1960 in Alturas, CA and went home to the Creator, August 17, 2015 in Redding, CA.
Ernie was raised in Cedarville, CA by his mother Edith (Brown) Barlese and his father Ernie Barlese, SrServices will be held Saturday, August 29 at 11 a.m. at the Fort Bidwell Reservation Gymnasium. Potluck to follow.
Dolan Wayne Tiffee
Dolan passed away in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, at the young age of 61. He was preceded in death by his father, Gilbert Lee Tiffee and his brother John A. Tiffee.
Dolan served in the U.S. Army from 1973-74, being honorably discharged in 1974. He lived in Modoc County on and off all his life from the 1960s forward. He was born in Indio, CA.
He will be laid to rest in the near future, next to his father in Likely, CA, at a family graveside service.
The family would like to thank the Veterans Administration and Hospice of Lake Havasu City, AZ for the dedicated assistance they gave Dolan. We loved him and will miss him.
A memorial graveside service for Charlene Marie Northrup will be held at the Likely Cemetery in Likely, CA on September 12, 2015 at 11 a.m. A family dinner will follow. All family and friends of Charlene’s are invited. Charlene died in Reno, NV on January 15, 2014.
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