News for the week of May 16th, 2013
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Brooke resigns position as Modoc District Attorney
Modoc County District Attorney Chris Brooke surprised several people Tuesday morning when he told the Modoc County Board of Supervisors he was resigning the position as of May 31.
Brooke, who was Assistant District Attorney under Gary Woolverton, defeated local attorney John Lawson in June 2010 with 1,660 votes (50.55 percent) to 1,611 votes (49.06 percent). He took office in January 2011 and would have served though January 2014.
“After a lot of prayer, pondering and many discussions with my wife, I have made the decision to resign from my position as the Modoc County District Attorney,” Brooke said. “My final day in office is anticipated to be May 31, 2013. A short time ago, I made the decision that I would not be seeking re-election. My plan was to announce that intention later this year. However, I feel it is no longer safe for me or my family to stay in my position and perform my duties.”
He has been under major criticism from local law enforcement over the past couple of months, with both the Modoc County Deputy Sheriff’s Association and Alturas Peace Officers Association vote of “no confidence” in his ability to prosecute cases.
It will now be up to the Board of Supervisors to appoint a replacement DA to serve out the remainder of Brooke’s term. They have a very short time frame and started to work on that this week.
“I would like to thank God for the many blessings He has given me,” Brooke said. “I would like to thank each and every member of my staff, without whom I could not have done my job. I would like to thank those law enforcement officers who have shown their continued support towards my office. I would like to thank the people of Modoc County for their kind words and support for me.”
Task Force busts illegal pot grow
On Tuesday, May 14 the Modoc County Inter-Agency Narcotics Task Force contacted two private property marijuana grows in the California Pines area.
After investigating the first location near the intersection of Angels Camp and Woodleaf, two suspects, Merick Buxbaum and Nolan Burch both of Thousand Oaks, CA, were arrested for unauthorized cultivation of marijuana.
The pair had 154 marijuana plants growing on a vacant lot with no permitted residence, well or septic system. All marijuana plants were removed by the Task Force.
Additionally, there were issues of trespassing, cutting trees on neighboring property and blocking public right of way roads. Both suspects were booked at the Modoc County Jail.
Forest, CDF declare fire season opens
It should come as no surprise that Modoc National Forest fire managers announce the 2013 Fire Season will officially begin Friday, May 17 at midnight. This means stations and the Modoc Interagency Communications Center will be staffed seven days a week with extra personnel and equipment to respond to fires.
In addition, the Lassen-Modoc-Plumas Unit of CAL FIRE officially declared the opening of wildfire season Wednesday, May 1st. This announcement is made each year to remind residents that as the weather warms, fire risks increase. CAL FIRE resources have already responded to several large and devastating wildfires this month.
The MNF’s decision to declare the start of the official fire season is based upon many factors including fuel moisture, drought conditions, precipitation and weather trends.
“According to meteorologists at the Northern California Geographic Area Coordination Center in Redding, Calif., this has been one of the driest January-April periods in Northern California history,” Dave McMaster, Fire Management Officer, says, In addition, meteorologists report below normal precipitation, warmer than normal temperatures and moderate drought are expected to continue in Modoc County.
Modoc under 50% of precip average
The state of California and Modoc are experiencing an incredibly dry year, and the outlook for summer is for continued dry, probable irrigation shortages and a dangerous fire season.
The County to date is at 46.9 percent of normal precipitation and coming off last year when it was about 76 percent of normal.
According to local records, so far since January, there has been 2.90 inches of precipitation in Alturas, well below the normal to date of 6.18 inches. January measured only .48 inches (normal 1.65 inches), February had .25 inches (normal 1.45 inches), March had .32 inches (normal 1.52 inches) and April 1.44 inches (normal 1.56 inches). May has recorded .41 inches to date, with the normal full month average of 1.36 inches.
New FEMA flood maps affect Pit River, Alturas
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is working with the city of Alturas and Modoc County, Calif., to update flood hazard risk information.
FEMA released preliminary flood maps that will help community officials, individuals and business owners identify known flood risks. When finalized, the maps will be used for flood insurance, land use and development decisions. The revised maps are digital, incorporating the latest technology to identity flood risk based on detailed engineering models, decades of rainfall, storm gauge information and current topographic data.
The preliminary flood maps propose changes to areas for structures near the Pit River, North Fork Pit River and South Fork Pit River. Currently, there are approximately 210 structures located within the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) or high risk flood zone. The preliminary flood maps propose approximately 145 structures may be added to the SFHA, from moderate to high flood risk and 15 structures may be removed from the SFHA, from high to moderate flood risk. The last map update was June 4, 2010.
If you have any questions, please call 530-233-5811 for more information.
Rawleigh Wayne Wilkerson of Alturas loved living in Modoc County and exploring all it had to offer, from the events to the great outdoors and back roads everywhere.
Mr. Wilkerson was 78, when he passed away in Reno, NV on April 30, 2013. He was born in Los Angeles, CA in 1935. He was educated at Redondo Beach High School.
Church of Christ Pastor Dewey Potter conducted graveside services at 10 a.m. May 8, 2013 at the Alturas Cemetery with full military honors.
A Memorial service for Lewis “Louie” Edward Vermillion will be held May 18, 4:00 p.m. at Modoc Fair Grounds, Cedarville. Family wishes all to join them for dinner after the service at Fairgrounds restaurant. Meat will be furnished, side dishes appreciated.
Memorial donations may be made to The Surprise Valley Rotary Club for the upkeep of Louieville and the Buggies or the charity of your choice. Interment at a later date. Mr. Vermillion passed away April 30, 2013 at the age of 83.
Ronald G. Harden
A Celebration of Life for Ronald Gordon Harden of Alturas will be held at 12 noon on Saturday, May 18 at Federated Church Social Hall, Alturas. All those he touched during his life, are welcome to join this time of sharing with his family. A lunch will be catered.
“Ronnie” passed away at his home in Alturas, CA on April 30, 2013, at the age of 57. Born October 20, 1955 in Alturas, CA, he was a 1974 graduate of Modoc High School.
Memorial donations may be made to Alturas Little League Baseball. Full obituary to follow. Services under the direction of Kerr Mortuary.
Call us Monday through Thursday 8:30AM - 5:00PM and 8:30AM-1PM on Friday at (530) 233-2632 or e-mail us at email@example.com.