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Record news summaries for July 2, 1998


Fandango off to a good start
Modoc students about average in nation
Duck Races hits water July 4, 2:30 p.m.
Modoc median income one of lowest
Rite Aid has plans to build store in Alturas
Forest Service says be careful with fire on 4th

Fandango Days roll into Alturas


It's Fandango Days this weekend in Al turas and ev erything is pointing to good times.

Cal Pines will light up the night on Fri day, July 3 start ing with a barbecue from 3 p.m. - 8 p.m.

At 9:30 p.m. the annual fireworks show will begin over Cal Pines Lake, com pliments of the California Pines Property Owners As sociation. Watch the show at lake side.

Head to downtown Al turas on Saturday morning to witness the Fandango Days Pa rade roll down Al turas' Main Street at 11:00 a.m. and spill into Veter ans' Park for ac tivities from 12:00 noon until 4:00 p.m.

In keeping with the "Alturas Trails to Rails" 1998 theme, six Southern Pa cific Railroad employees who worked for SP for 40 plus years each in Alturas, have been named as Parade Grand Marshals. Those folks in clude Alturas resi dents John Simpson, Paul Robison, Norton Smith, Paul Liv ingston, Genevieve Drown and Janis Smith, who re sides in Redding, since her retirement from SP.

The Alturas Lions' Club Barbecue will be gin serving their barbecued tri-tip steak at noon on the park patio.

See classic autos during the eighth annual Classic Car Show on the lawn behind the Modoc County Museum. Don't forget to enter the drawing for the classic '58 restored Chevy pickup to be given a lucky ticket holder.

The park will be filled with games, food, a petting zoo brought by Peg Woodrich and the campers from the Wood 'n Peg Ranch, an old-fashioned melo drama on the park stage at 2:00 p.m. with lawn seating, and the Great Pit River Duck Race start ing at 2:30 p.m.

A horseshoe pitching tournament will be ongoing. The second annual three on three basketball tournament will begin at 3 p.m. in the Griswold Gym at Modoc High School, for all teams which registered in ad vance. Games are expected to continue through the early evening.

Modoc County Museum will host an Open House Sat urday evening from 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. with demonstrations by Native American drum mers, flint-knapping and beading, plus tatting, wool carding, weaving, quilts, basketry, metal working, pottery and an ex hibit of side-saddles.

Stock Car Races will be gin with time tri als at 6:00 p.m. at Cedarville Fair grounds. Racing starts at 7:00 p.m.


Sunday events


Railroad Fun Day opens Sunday, July 5, with Friends of the Alturas Railroad Mu seum hosting concessions, live music, a his torical NCO photo display plus motor car rides on the half mile of track already laid and a railroad collectible swap op portunity.

Travel to the old site of Calandor Pines Mill near the Alturas Airport to take part. The building which will be used as the future site of the Alturas Railroad Mu seum has been cleaned by volunteers and made safe for the public. Temporary track has been laid inside the building where antique handcars will be set up for rides.

The red engine, with an estimated value of 175,000 to 200,000 dollars is "virtually new" and parked outside the old mill building. It will have steps to give the public a chance to exam it. Admis sion is free.

The actual museum to house vintage rail equip ment may take five years to complete, but grants have been submitted toward the process.

Sunday morning at 9 a.m. the Fandango Golf Tournament will start at Arrowhead Golf Course.

Stock Cars will race Sun day afternoon in Cedarville with time trials at 2 p.m. and races at 3 p.m.

The California Pines Lodge will be host ing a wide range of ac tivities both Fri day and Sat urday. [see their ad for details].

For Fandango informa tion or Parade en try forms stop by Alturas Chamber of Com merce office, 522 So. Main St., Alturas.

This year's Fandango celebration is co-sponsored by the Alturas Chamber of Com merce, Friends of Wrymoo, California Pines Lodge and the Modoc County Tobacco Coalition.



State test scores show Modoc near average


Recently released test scores show that students in the Modoc Joint Unified School District are pretty much average when com pared with their peers across America. There were areas of strength and weakness and areas where Modoc students were in the middle of the pack.

Students throughout the country in grades 2-11 took the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) exams this past spring. The STAR tests all students on reading and math and also tests high school students in the areas of science and social studies.

The good news locally is in the area of science and social studies at Modoc High School. In those areas a sizable ma jor ity of students scored at or above the 50th percentile for the nation.

One-half of the students in the nation as a whole will score above the 50th percentile and one-half will score below. Therefore, any time Modoc has over half of it's students scor ing above the 50th percentile, it is doing better than the na tion as a whole.

For example, 68 percent of last year's 11th graders at MHS scored better than one-half of the nation in the areas of social studies and science, 53 percent of those same 11th graders also scored above the 50th percentile in math and reading as well.

Another strong class was last year's 4th graders who posted a mark of 63 in reading and 61 in math.

An area of low performance was in middle school math where only 37 percent of last year's 7th graders and 39 per cent of last year's 8th graders scored above the 50th per centile for math.

Modoc Superintendent Craig Drennan said those low numbers didn't come as a great shock. He said the District knew there was a weakness in math at those grade levels and pointed out that changes were made this past spring to remedy the sit uation. The District is begin ning a three-year plan that will focus on getting all stu dents ready for algebra by the 9th grade and even have some of them taking the sub ject in 8th grade.

"We've made some curricu lum changes knowing that there were areas we were weak in," Drennan said.

Another low mark for Modoc came in 2nd grade reading where only 38 percent of stu dents scored above the na tional 50th percentile.

Looking at a total of 26 dif ferent categories in 10 differ ent grades, Modoc scored at 50 or above in 12 of the 26 cate gories when compared against the national average. Those numbers are generally much better than the numbers for the State of California as a whole. California students only scored above the national 50th percentile in seven of the 26 categories.

Those State numbers could have been even lower since they did not include the scores for students who are not profi cient in English, a group that constitutes about 20 percent of the students in California. There is currently a court ac tion filed by the Oakland and Berkeley school districts about whether the test scores of stu dent who are not proficient in English should be released. A hearing in that case is sched uled for July 16.

Drennan emphasized that the current numbers for Modoc are "a snap-shot of a moving vehicle."

He said the numbers would be more valuable if the same test were given over several years and trends for each class could be spotted. However, that will not happen. Next year California will give it's own test which is designed to better measure what is taught in California's curriculum, which many say is different from the rest of the nation.


Duck race starts 2:30 p.m. winner gets great truck


The Great Pit River Duck Race starts at 2:30 p.m. Saturday and the winner will drive off with a brand new Chevy pickup.

The yellow racing ducks are dropped into the Pit River at the Estes Street Bridge and the finish line is at the Main Street bridge. There are areas all along the river for spectators to watch, thanks to the clean-up and weeding ef forts of the Devil's Garden Conservation Camp.

The Alturas Rotary Clubs will be setting up Duck Central at the corner of Carlos and Main at 9 a.m. Saturday and will have soft drinks and goodies for sale.

As of today there are some ducks left for sale, at Alturas Tire, Coast to Coast and Modoc Motor Parts. There are just a few ducks left, and people are asked to call Bill Madison at 233-3432 to check on availability and location.

The 3,000 ducks, at $25 each, have sold out each year of the Great Pit River Duck Race, the primary fundraiser of Rotary. Funds from the race are earmarked for the Youth Park fields between Fourth and Eighth Street in Alturas. Those fields are home to Little League, Senior League, Men's and Women's softball, Modoc Youth Soccer, Modoc High School baseball and softball, outdoor basket ball and the Junior Livestock arena.

Several new ballfields and soccer fields are under construction at the present time, with grass planting set to begin very soon. There is a possibility that the fields could be in use, at least in the practice stages by next spring."

In two years the Duck Race has raised over $60,000 for the ballfield projects, and another $30,000 is expected from this race. In total, the duck races nets $75,000 but more than $41,000 is expenses.

The first prize win ner will get a choice between a 1998 Chevy 4x4 step side pickup or a 1998 Chevy Silverado Extra-Cab two-wheel drive pickup, each val ued at about $26,000.

Also new for this year is a great sec ond prize of a 1998 fish ing boat and trailer with a value of $8,071.

Gold Crown Sponsors, those people who buy at least 10 ducks, will also have another shot at winning one of two Polaris Express four-wheel ers. Only Gold Crown spon sors have a shot at the four-wheelers.

The race is sponsored by both the Noon and Sunrise Rotary Clubs of Alturas.

The following is an order of other prizes in the Duck Race: third, $2,500 worth of custom lumber from High Desert Milling; fourth, Monitor Stove from Ed Staub and Sons; fifth new roof, sid ing or rain gutter ($1,000 value) from J.S. Roofing; sixth set of four tires from Les Schwab, $600; riding lawn mower from Coast to Coast, $568.41; Power lift/recliner from Home Medical, $500; One year on-line service from High Desert On-Line, $359 value; 25 tons of drive way gravel from Fitch Sand and Gravel, $350; Husquvarna chain saw from Modoc Engines, $330; custom bar becue from Surprise Valley Rotary, $300; 18-speed mountain bike from D&L Distributing; one dozen donuts weekly for a year from the Donut Shop, $260; $250 gift cer tificate from the Belligerent Duck; 55 gallon aquarium setup from Tahiti North, $250 value; three watt cell phone from Modoc Motor Parts, Napa, $225; The Big One fire works kit from Village Video, $199; Zenith 13 inch color television from Phillips Appliance, $199; Weekend retreat for two at Cockrell's High Desert Lodging, $150; free muffler and tail pipe, Ron Campbell, Inc. $125; complimentary two-night stay for two at the Best Western Trailside Inn, $110; CB Radio and gift cer tificate from High Desert Electronics, $109; one night stay for two at Mill Creek Lodge, $100; one free pair of Vans or Skechers from Family Footwear, value up to $100; Outdoor plant stand from Gary's Woodworks, $100; and one pair of Oakley Sunglasses from Tom Krauel, OD, $100 value.



Modoc near last in state median income


Modoc County ranks 56th out of 58 counties in median in come for people filing joint returns, according to the State Franchise Tax Board. Only Imperial and Colusa Counties rank poorer than Modoc.

Modoc's median income for joint returns was $28,848, well below the state median of $46,243. The county fares a little better when all returns are considered, moving to 49th at $19,764, still well below the state median of $25,336.

Neighboring counties were a little higher on the scale. Lassen County has a joint median income of $40,955 and a median of $27,296 for all returns, ranking 23rd and 11th re spectively. In Siskiyou County, the median income for joint returns is $30,462, ranked 52nd; and for all returns it's $19,684, ranked 51st.

Median income is that point when one half of the tax re turns are above and one half are below the midpoint. Median income represents the income reported by a typical California individual or couple.

The Bay Area counties of Marin, Santa Clara, Contra Costa and San Mateo have consistently reported the highest median income. For instance, Marin had the top median for joint returns with $72,953.

Of interest: Los Angeles County taxpayers filed 26.4 per cent of all tax returns in the state.


Rite-Aid store planning for Main


Rite-Aid is planning to build a store in Alturas, with pro jections to start construction this year, according to Alturas/Modoc County Planner Scott Kessler.

While firm construction dates have not been set, the store will go on the Main Street lot east of Jerry's Restaurant, be tween Plumas Bank and Gil's. The store will be set back about 80 feet from Main Street, said Kessler. Trees, land scaping and decorative street lights are in the plans.

The Rite Aid store will be similar to other stores through out the northwest, said Kessler, but at 11,000 square feet will not be as large as some stores.

The company has sent Kessler's office a building site plan, but has not yet filed for a building permit. Kessler ex pects the project to speed up in the near future.


Make fire safety part of July 4 plans


Many adults and children will be celebrating Indepen dence Day this weekend by using fireworks. Modoc Na tional Forest asks the public to make fire safety a part of their July 4 and Fandango Days Celebration.

Dan Bouse, Forest Fire Prevention Officer, said that although the woods seem green, recent days of winds are quickly drying a bumper crop of grass. Safe and sane fireworks are allowed in some counties, but all fire works are prohibited on fed eral lands.

If you use fireworks on your home property, be sure that an adult is supervising use of the fireworks and that they are used in a cleared or lawn area with water and shovel ready should the unex pected occur. Soak all fire works devices in a bucket of water after use to be sure noth ing hot is remaining for chil dren to touch, and check the area one more time before leaving where fireworks are used.

If you are planning a trip to national forest land, Bouse urges you to remember camp fire safety. A campfire permit is required for public lands. Clearances around your fire must be at least 10 feet away from trees, brush, etc. Even with the exceptionally wet year, the Modoc NF has al ready experienced its first fire from an abandoned campfire. The 1997 fire sea son brought 20 human-caused fires on the Modoc's protection area and the leading cause was abandoned unextin guished campfires. Before you leave your campfire, douse it with water, stir and feel it with the back of you hand to be sure that no hot spots still ex ist.

Remember, only you can prevent forest fires.






Betty Jean Savage, former owner of Fabrics Etc. in Al turas and a supporter of Alturas community activities for many years, died at Merle West Medical Center in Klamath Falls, Ore. on June 27, 1998, after battling a chronic pul monary disease she had dealt with for several years.

As an accomplished pi anist, Mrs. Savage's talents were enjoyed by the public during several Modoc Per forming Arts Theater pro ductions. She was not one to often play publicly, but played more for her own fami lies' enjoyment. She often played her own ar range ments and enjoyed "jamming" with local musi cal friends on occasion or for reunions. Her favorite music included Classical, Broadway show tunes and Jazz.

Born on March 6, 1931 in Beaumont, Calif. to Orlie and Mae [Jacobs] Brown, she was reared in the Beaumont area and lived in several other California locations with her family before her parents purchased a ranch the Bieber area. Betty or "B.J." as friends called her, graduated with a class of five from high school in Bieber. After high school she at tended University of the Pacific in Stockton, where she ma jored in music. Before she graduated from college, she mar ried Robert "Bob" Savage in Beaumont, Calif. on December 1, 1951. The two have shared almost 47 years of marriage.

When they moved to Alturas, Betty became involved in her community as a Cub Scout, Brownie and 4-H Leader while their children were growing. She also became a league bowler and later, as the owner of Fabrics, Etc., she chose to sponsor a bowling team. She took up golfing and was a member of the Arrowhead Golf Club at its start and through the years. She was also a sorority sister of Iota Master Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi.

She created the name Fabrics, Etc., and opened the shop next to the Niles Hotel. She later moved the business to Daft's Twelfth Street Mini Mall until she decided to sell the busi ness about 13 years ago. Once Bob retired, the two enjoyed traveling.

Mrs. Savage was very creative, not only musically, but with her garden at the family home. She loved to select the colors and design the landscape each season and decorate for the holidays. Passers-by always enjoyed looking at her handiwork. Her family and working in her yard with her husband brought her pleasure as well as going camping, playing golf and keeping in touch with friends.

She wanted her friends and family to gather, not to mourn her passing, but to remember the good times and enjoy shar ing those times and memories with one another. With that in mind, family and friends are welcome to Bob and Betty Savage's home, at 910 West Second Street in Alturas on Sun day, July 5 at 2 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be directed to the Modoc High School Music Department, care of Karen Siegel or to the Modoc County Library.

Mrs. Savage is survived by her husband, Bob Savage of Alturas; son Paul Savage and wife Susan of Beaverton, Ore.; daughters Wendy Ledesma and husband Max of Moreno Valley, Calif.; daughter Janice Savage and com panion Poco Forrest, Alturas; sisters Winifred Pfeiffer of Sonora; Joyce Zugelder, Beaumont; brother Larry Brown of Twenty-nine Palms; grandchildren Rebecca, Jessica and Nicholas Ledesma of Moreno Valley; Sean and Dylan Sav age of Beaverton, Ore.



Carroll Pepperdine



Carroll Pepperdine, 73, of Yreka, died on June 21, 1998. He was born October 14, 1924 in Eureka, Calif. He moved from Alturas to Yreka in 1952, where he was owner/operator of Jolley's Club Saloon for 27 years. Carroll was married to Carol Kemp and the couple made their home in Yreka. he was a member of the B.P.O. Elk's 1980 in Yreka, a member of the E. Clampus Vitus Humbug Chapter #73 and the Siskiyou County Historical Society. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II.

In addition to his wife, Carol Pepperdine of Yreka, sur vivors include a son Terry Pepperdine of Paradise and a daughter Karen Riordan of Maxwell; brothers Milo Pepper dine of Likely, Phillip Pepperdine of Fallon, Nev. and Nolan Pepperdine of Sacramento, five grandchildren, four step-grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his first wife Nelda, in 1983.

Funeral services were held in Yreka June 24, with inter ment following at the Evergreen Cemetery.



Dorothy Robinson Saxman


True Modocer Dorothy Frances Kistler Robinson Sax man, from a long-time Modoc family and a resident of Modoc County most of her life, died of a heart attack on June 24, 1998 at Modoc Medical Center, Alturas, Calif. She was 86.

Born to Molli [Hudspeth] and Irvin Wilson Kistler on Feb. 27, 1912 in Cedarville, Calif., she attended high school in Westwood for a time and Surprise Valley High School.

In 1928 she married Orin Paul Robinson and the couple lived in Lake City on what was known as the Robinson Ranches. They had three children, Betty Nell, Basye Paul "Tuffy" and Irvin Cressler "Sport". Her husband Paul pre ceded her in death in 1954, after 26 years of marriage and her son Irvin "Sport" preceded her in death in 1956.

In 1957, she sold the ranches and moved to Alturas for a short time, then moved to Winnemucca, Nevada where she spent 10 years.

On March 7, 1959, she married Peter M. Saxman in Guerneville. They moved to Alturas in 1969. She enjoyed be ing a homemaker and liked to cook. In 1983, her husband Peter preceded her in death, after 24 years of marriage.

Mrs. Saxman enjoyed reading, doing crossword puzzles, making afghans for friends and family and doing crafts. She was a private person, but proud of the 50-year member ship pin she received from the Order of Eastern Star.

She was able to live in her home and take care of herself until the morning of her death.

She is survived by her son Basye Paul Robinson and wife Betty of Sacramento; daughter Betty N. Smith and husband Floyd of Alturas; seven grandchildren, two great-grand children and two nephews.

A private graveside service was held at the Cedarville Cemetery at 1 p.m. on June 27. The Rev. Ben Zandstra offi ciated.

Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of the donor's choice.

Record news summaries fo July 9, 1998


Forest Service says $70,000 saving if BLM moves in
Ducks raced faster this year
Pair of 12-year-olds nabbed for car theft
Big flag needs more than stitches


The forecast:

Look for partly cloudy and warm days through Monday with highs in the 90s and 80s and lows only in the 50s to high 40s.

Combining FS, BLM will save $70,000 in rent


Wanted - a roommate to share an 18,000 square foot apartment with a federal em ployee. Current lease runs in 1999, then goes up 30 cents per square foot through 2004. Preference given to those who share common interests with the current tenant. No smok ers and no pets. Free parking and all amenities included. If interested call Smokey Bear.

At their Tuesday meeting, the Modoc County Board of Su pervisors heard from the For est Service about their search for a co-tenant to share the large building they are in along Highway 299. The leading candidate to share the space is the Bureau of Land Management.

Chris Knopp, Acting Direc tor of the Modoc National For est, told the board that because of downsizing in the Forest Service, there is plenty of space in their building and having a co-tenant could save $70,000 per year.

"The BLM is our first choice because of our similar missions," Knopp said. He also pointed out that the two organizations could share ex pertise as well as equipment.

Knopp stated, "As far as the Forest Service is concerned, we're all thumbs up," for hav ing the BLM as a co-tenant. However, he also said later, "This is not a totally clear-cut decision."

BLM Director Tim Burke said he will be making a de cision today (Thursday) about whether to move the BLM out of its current location.

Some on the Board raised the issue of whether the County governments input really mattered to either Federal agency.

"Does it make a differ ence?" Chairman Joe Colt asked. Supervisor Ron McIntyre echoed the senti ment with the question, "Why are we being asked anyway?"

Supervisors Pat Cantrall and Ben Zandstra said that even if it didn't make a dif ference, it was good for the county and the agencies to be talking with each other and hearing opinions.

"It's so much nicer to have an entity involve us in what they are doing," Cantrall said. "Thank you very much for coming."

Zandstra added, "These kinds of conversations go a long way towards enhanced communication."

Knopp told the Board that while the Forest Service has been directed to co-locate, there is "also some discre tion" that can be exercised and that can be influenced by the Board.

Burke said, "We do like to get advice and counsel from the Board." He also point out that he has appeared before several other groups in the community to get their input.

Burke said that when he has appeared before other groups some have expressed the con cern that the Forest Service and the BLM will join to gether to form a "Super Agency" that will rule over Modoc County. Burke said this would not happen. In stead, he theorized that his the

Forest Service, BLM, Natural Resources Conservation Ser vice Farm Service Adminis tration and Rural Develop ment could all be put in the same building, the people of Modoc would have "one-stop Federal shopping."

Chariman Colt expressed a concern about whether the BLM would be downsizing be cause of the move. Burke re sponded that the BLM is actu ally looking to increase its staff in Alturas.

The Supervisors also had a concern that if the Forest Ser vice doesn't find a co-tenant, the Forest Service might just move the entire Alturas opera tion down to Susanville. Knopp said the Forest Service would be staying in its cur rent building either way and was merely looking for a chance to save some money.

In other matters before the Board on Tuesday:

Sexual Harassment Pol icy: The Supervisors adopted a sexual harassment policy that defines sexual harass ment and provides complaint procedures. There was some question about whether the County has been operating without such a policy. Some of the supervisors said they could remember passing one a couple of years ago, but Ad ministrative Services Direc tor Mike Maxwell said there was not a current policy on the books.

The policy lists four differ ent types of harassment: ver bal, physical, visual (derogatory pictures, writ ings, etc.) and sexual favors - that is, offering employment or benefits in exchange for sexual favors.

Supervisors may be held liable under the policy if they fail to take corrective action when they know, "or reason ably should know" that one of their employees is being ha rassed. Supervisors may also be liable if they retaliate against an employee who has complained about sexual ha rassment.

The policy provides for two different complaint proce dures. One if an informal procedure where the com plainant is "encouraged, whenever possible, to confront and inform the harasser his or her behavior is unwelcome, of fensive, and if continued will lead to a formal com plaint."

The formal complaint pro cess requires filing a form with the complainant's super visor, or if the supervisor is the harasser, with the supervi sor's supervisor. Employees may also take confidential matters directly to the Admin istrative Services Director. Once a formal complaint is filed an investigation will take place. The findings of the investigation will be re ported to the Administrative Services Director who will take appropriate action, which may include dismissal of the harassing employee.

El Nino: Supervisor Nancy Huffman is concerned that the wet spring has hurt lo cal farmers, particularly those growing potatoes and sugar beets in the Tulelake area. She said they have still not been able to plant and things might be bad for them come harvest time. She asked the county to look into apply ing for emergency disaster relief.

Sheriff Bruce Mix reported to the Board that a recent Pres idential Act covering the time of February 2 to April 30 de clared all California counties disaster areas except for Lassen and Modoc.

As to future damages, dis aster relief is not available for crops that are privately in surable. Most crops grown in Modoc County are insurable.

Modoc Medical Center: MMC has a new interim Ad ministrator, Kent Allend of Lutheran Hospital Group. The hospital has also decided to change its emergency room physician provider to go with Valley Emergency, the group that had the lowest bid for the contract. Valley Emergency operates out of Oakland and has 22 other similar con tracts.

MMC sustained a loss of $79,553 in May and since in ception has a negative bal ance of $3,420,631.


Ducks were quicker for this year's race



U.S. Congressman Wally Herger stood nearly waist deep in the Pit River Saturday at 2:30 p.m. and fielded the yellow racing ducks coming into the chute.

The ducks were dropped into the river from about eight feet high at the Estes Street bridge and it took them less than 15 minutes to make the trek to the Main Street Bridge where hundreds of people were waiting. Last year the ducks got stalled because of low wa ter levels in the Pit River, but that was not a problem this year as the river is running freely because of an excep tional water year.

Walt Sphar, of Likely, had the first duck to cross the fin ish line and won the new 1998 Chevy Pickup. Sphar chose the two-wheel drive model. He was presented the keys to his new truck by Herger.

"Walt always donates gen erously to the community, so this is kind of a repayment," said Duck Race Chairman Billy Madison. "Overall, the Duck Race went very well and we were pleased. All the ducks were sold and we'll be able to add over $30,000 to the Youth Park funds."

All the proceeds from the Duck Race go to the Alturas Rotary Youth Park. Grass is ex pected to be planted very soon and it may be possible to use the new ballfields by next spring. The Alturas Rotary Sunrise and Lunch Clubs sponsor the Duck Race and have made the Youth Park its key benefactor. Plans include four new baseball/softball fields, soccer fields, conces sion stands, re strooms, and a playground area. This was the third annual Duck Race and more are planned.

"We are still going to need more funding, but the com munity's support of the Duck Race takes the Youth Park vi sion from just being a dream and is making it a reality," said Madison. "We can't thank the community enough for its support."

Most of the winners of the 27 prizes in the Duck Race were local folks, said Madison. He also praised the support the Duck Race gets from out-of-the-area buyers who choose to help Modoc's youth.

The second prize of a fish ing boat was won by Bob Gudgel, Alturas. The Gold Crown race saw Farm Credit of Alturas win the 4x4 quad and Edna Brown of Alturas, won the other quad.

A complete list of the win ners is as fol lows:

1998 Chevy pickup - Walt Sphar, Likely; 1998 Fishing Boat - Bob Gudgel, Alturas; Custom Milled Lumber - James Reed, Alturas; Monitor Stove - Cliff Grove, Tulelake; New Roof, Siding or Rain Gutter - L & B Ranch Supply, Alturas; Set of Four Tires - Jane Copp, Adin; Lawn Mower - Renae Sweet, Alturas; Power Lift/Recliner Chair - Larranaga Trucking, Alturas; One year free On-Line Service, Phyllis Broberg, Soquel; 25 tons of Driveway Gravel - Lynn Harris, Alturas; Husqvarna Model 51 Chainsaw - Jason Viehdorfer, Alturas; Custom Barbecue - Allen Keller, Alturas; Mountain Bike, 18 speed; Pat McMeechan, Jamestown; One dozen donuts weekly for one year, Jeanne Pearcy, Alturas; Gift Certificate, Modoc Steel & Supply, Alturas; Cellular Phone - Karen Carroll, Rancho Cordova; Aquarium set up, Rod Gately, Alturas; "The Big One" fireworks kit, Dennis and Nancy Netoff, Alturas; Zenith 12" Color TV, Joseph Potts, Alturas; Weekend Retreat for Two, Andy Hoxsey, Yountville; Free Muffler and Tail Pipe, Ed Staub & Sons Petroleum, Inc., Alturas; Two night stay for two, Dave Lee Trucking, Chico; CB Radio & Gift Certificate, Ken & Norma Franklin, Alturas; One night stay for two/ Bed & Breakfast, Kerr Mortuary, Alturas; One free pair of Vans or Skechers, David Hinze, Jr., Cedarville; Outdoor Plant Stand, William and Barbara Ogle, Alturas; One pair of Oakley Sunglasses, Mary Beth de Goede, Fresno.

Gold Crown Race: 1998 Polaris Magnum 4x4, Farm Credit Bureau, Alturas; '97 Polaris Xpress 400, Edna Brown, Alturas


Juveniles picked up for stealing, wrecking car


A pair of 12-year-old boys was picked up by Alturas Police this week after allegedly stealing a Forest Service car and wrecking it early Monday morning.

Chief of Police Larry Pickett said the boys, both from Alturas, went into the U.S. Forest Service Office about three days earlier and took a set of keys off the vehicle sign-out board.

Sometime Sunday night, probably around midnight the boys went to the Forest Service Building and tried the keys on several cars in the parking lot until they found the Plymouth sedan the keys fit. Then took the vehicle and drove to Canby, about 19 miles. On the way back from Canby, they lost control of the car and ran it off the road. Neither of the boys was hurt and they were picked up by the Highway Patrol and taken home.

An investigation by City Police resulted in the boys being charged. They were returned to the custody of their parents pending formal proceedings.


Big flag needs more than stitches


The giant red, white and blue stripes are waving in the wind and looking great in all their glory at the moment, because they've been repaired just before Fandango's Fourth of July Celebra tion.

But, it won't be long until its ragged edges begin showing from the flapping winds. The giant Alturas flag which flies over Plumas Bank is now five years old and wearing thin. The original "Big Flag" was first flown in 1988.

"When it starts tearing up, we bring it down right away for repair," says Gordon Heughen of Alturas, who serves as the tailor for flag repairs, a job he did in the U.S. Navy. Heughen serves as the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post Commander and Dis abled American Veterans Treasurer in the community where one often wears many hats with various organizations.

"Over a period of time, we've had to cut off four feet of ragged edges, fold them under and hem them each time. The flag that's fly ing now is the big one which started out at 30 by 50 feet at a cost of $1500. A smaller flag which is used is 20 by 30 feet, and was pur chased for $700.

It's time to build up the account to fund the purchase of the next Big Flag, to keep it flying over Alturas' Main Street.

What the veterans organizations are hop ing, is that the community will consider making donations toward the depleted "Big Flag" account fund which was established at Plumas Bank several years ago.

The three local veterans groups, Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion all put dona tions in toward the purchase of the new U.S. Flags this year, which lined Alturas' Main Street from the Memorial Day holiday through the Fourth of July.

Portions of the proceeds they have raised through their Fandango Days booths of con cessions will go toward the Big Flag account.

Anyone who would like to make a dona tion to the D.A.V. Flag Account, set up at Plumas Bank, may do so to 500 North Main Street, Alturas, CA 96101. For more informa tion contact Gordon Heughen at (530) 233-4610 or Wilbur "Tiny" Swisher, D.A.V. Com mander, at (530) 233-3757.





Ervin Leonel Fisher

Ervin Leonel Fisher, an Alturas native, died July 1, 1998 in a Pinole, Calif. hospital, at the age of 84 years. Mr. Fisher had worked as a carpenter at Selby's Ore Refinery in Crockett, Calif. for 23 years. He was active in the Pinole community where he served as the Eucharistic Minister of St. Joseph's Catholic Church, of which he was a member. He was a member of the BPOE, Elks Lodge #1251 in Richmond; the Society of the Crown of the Divine Holy Ghost of Vallejo and a member of the West Contra Costa County Unified School District Board. He married Marie Baptista and the two enjoyed traveling, and became affiliated with the Good Sam and Winnebago Clubs.

Mr. Fisher was born to Charles and Edith [Hammond] Fisher on June 21, 1914 in Alturas, Calif., where he was reared. He served in the U.S. Army from 1933-1937.

In addition to his wife Marie of Pinole, he is survived by many cousins, nieces and nephews.

Wilson and Kratzer Mortuary was in charge of ar rangements and services.



Jack Wesley Veverka


California Pines resident Jack Wesley Veverka died from surgical complications on June 30, 1998 in Alturas, Calif. He was 60 years of age.

Born July 21, 1937 in San Jose, Calif., he graduated from high school in Los Gatos, Calif. and entered the U.S. Air Force. He served with the U.S. Air Force until 1962. His career work was as a Communications Specialist for ITT.

Mr. Veverka had made his home in Modoc County for the past 12 years and was a member of the B.P.O.E. Elks Lodge 1756, Alturas.

He is survived by his mother Bertha Veverka of San Jose; sister Carol of San Jose; brother Dave Veverka of Lincoln; son Jon Veverka of Alturas and daughter Laurie Veverka of Alturas; grandchildren Robert, Jack, Crystal and Brandon Veverka, all of Alturas.



Lillian Jeannette Renner


Former Alturas resident Lillian Jeannette Renner of Woodland, died July 4, 1998 at the age of 88, in Concord, Calif.

Born to John and Ellen Ballard on March 2, 1910 in Al turas, Calif., she was reared in Alturas and graduated from Modoc Union High School. She married Charlie Renner in 1928 in Alturas and when she turned age of 22, in the year 1932, the Renners left Alturas.

Her career led her to become the Deputy Superintendent of the Yolo County School District. Mrs. Renner was a member of the Order of Eastern Star and served as a Director for the Rainbow Girls organization through Eastern Star in Yolo County. Her husband Charles and their only child, a son, Edwin Renner preceded her in death.

Services were held July 8 at graveside at the Woodland Cemetery.

Mrs. Renner is survived by her sister Wilma Norris of Alturas; three grandchildren, Dr. "Chip" Renner and Dr. Betsy Renner of Concord, Calif. and Carolyn Renner who lives on the East Coast.

Record news summaries for July 30, 1998


Modoc Forest gets new boss
Modoc Joint Unified tough for administrators
Lightning blasted Modoc, no major fires
New playgrounds for county parks
County wants groundwater comments

The forecast:

It will cool off some over the next week, with highs into the mid-80s and lows in the high 40s. Partly cloudy skies and a possibility of thunderstorms remain through Monday.

Scott Conroy named as new MNF Supervisor


Scott Conroy has been se lected to the top leadership post as Forest Supervisor on the Modoc National Forest head quartered in Alturas, Forest Service officials announced Tuesday.


"Scott's strong and bal anced background in all as pects of natural resource management, at both local and national levels, will be very valuable to the forest and surrounding communities," said Pacific Southwest Re gional Forester Lynn Sprague. "These skills, and his demonstrated leadership abilities and resource experi ence, make him an excellent choice as the Modoc's Forest Supervisor. I look forward to working with him."

Conroy is a 1977 graduate from the University of Idaho and holds a Bachelor of Sci ence Degree in Forest Re source Management. He re ceived a Master of Science Degree in Natural Resource Management from the Uni versity of Nevada, Reno, in 1988.

He is no stranger to eastern California. His first perma nent position was on the Beckwourth Ranger District of the Plumas National Forest in 1978, where he served until 1990 when he transferred to the Bridgeport Ranger Dis trict of the Toiyabe National Forest. From 1995 to 1998, he worked at the Forest Service's national headquarters in Washington D.C. on the Range Management staff. His principal responsibilities in these assignments have been in the areas of range land, watershed, wildlife and fish, and timber manage ment. Currently he is serv ing as a Brookings Institution Legislative Fellow in the of fice of Senator Harry Reid handling the Interior and Re lated Agencies appropriations bill and other legislation and issues related to natural re sources and public lands.

"My wife, Lorna, and I are very excited about coming to Modoc County and the Modoc National Forest. We lived and worked in the eastern Sierra Nevada mountains in Plumas and Mono Counties for 17 years. Coming to Modoc County is like coming home for us," Conroy said. "We have enjoyed our visits to Modoc County in the past when we helped the Modoc Chapter of Ducks Unlimited at their annual fund-raising dinners and I have particu larly enjoyed bird hunting in the area. We already have friends in Alturas and we look forward to making many more."

Scott is also looking for ward to undertaking the For est Supervisor assignment. "The Modoc National Forest employees are recognized for their expertise and profes sionalism in solving natural resource issues, and the community and forest have a well-known reputation for working together to resolve issues for the benefit of the community and national for est," he said.

Lorna is a loan documenta tion specialist for Century National Bank in Washing ton, D.C. She has worked in the banking industry for 20 years in positions such as loan administrator, opera tions office, and customer re lations. Before moving to Washington, Lorna was branch manager for the Bank of America in Bridgeport, California.

Scott's reporting date is October 11. Chris Knopp, Lake Tahoe Basin Manage ment Unit, is serving as Act ing Forest Supervisor for the Modoc National Forest in the interim.

county wants groundwater commentMJUSD continues to sput ter in hiring of good administra tors

By Geoff Griffin

Special to the Record


The Modoc Joint Unified School District is currently tak ing a summer course in economics and getting a first hand lesson in Adam Smith's famous law of supply and de mand.


The District is currently trying to hire a principal for Modoc Middle School since Principal Pete Swanson is leav ing MMS to take a job in Alaska. The District has al ready advertised the position and been through one round of inter views, but hasn't found any candidates it is pre pared to make an offer to.

The problem, according to Superinten dent Craig Dren nan and School Board Presi dent Bill Hall, is that there is a large group of school districts chasing after a very small number of available principal candidates who have appro priate adminis tra tive credentials.

"There's fierce competi tion right now for administra tors," Drennan said. "There were over 200 vacancies in the state last year. Not many peo ple are going into ad minis tra tion and there has been a great deal of retirement lately.

"The competition is very stiff and we're trying to keep our side of it selective as well."

Drennan also said that a recent publica tion of educa tional job listings had five newspaper size pages of open ings for ad ministrator posi tions.

On top of the shortage of candidates, there is also the is sue of attracting people to Alturas, not always the first choice of can didates who may have never even heard of the place.

"Many people don't recog nize the value of living in Al turas," Drennan noted. "They're more likely to look at what they are used to, and they're used to being in city ar eas."

Hall stated that in the first round of in terviews for the MMS job, the District only had one applicant with an ad min istrative credential, and a small number of appli ca tions from other candidates who do not have administra tive cre dentials. He also noted that the demand for ad ministra tors has reached the point where many other dis tricts are hiring principals who do not have administra tive cre dentials.

That point struck home for the Modoc District when MHS Dean of Students Jim McLaughlin recently re signed his post. He will be taking a principal job at Lay tonville High School even though he does not hold an ad ministrative cre dential ac cording to Hall. Though McLaughlin will be in a new position and town in Lay tonville, some things will still be famil iar. His new boss will be former MHS Principal Bob Larkins, now the Su perin tendent in Lay tonville.

"We're sorry to see him go and we wish him well in his promotion," Drennan said of McLaughlin.

After conducting a round of interviews recently, the Board did not find anyone it wanted to make an offer to for the MMS Principal job.

If that scenario seems fa miliar, it is. The same thing happened in the summer of '97 when the District was look ing for a principal for Modoc High School. No of fers were made after the first round of in terviews. An offer was made after the sec ond round of interviews but the candi date decided not to accept. It wasn't until the third round of interviews that the Board de cided to hire current MHS Principal Duke Pasquini.

Hall admitted that the Dis trict is "in more of a dire straight" this time around than it was last summlin was able to stand in and han dle the principal duties re quired to prepare for the com ing year and at the be ginning of the year, while the middle school has no such person handling those duties. Never theless, Hall said that the long hiring process at the high school taught him it's better not to be in a rush when it comes to an important posi tion.

"I learned a lesson," he said. "You need to feel com fort able about a decision."

As for the coming school year, Drennan said the posi tion will continue to be adver tised and that he hopes to have an other round of interviews during the week of Au gust 17 or August 24.

Hall said that the Board is also consid ering a variety of solutions to the problem.

"There's a lot of ideas floating around," he said. "There may be some alterna tives we can come up with."


Lightning kept forest crews running


A week of thunderstorms kept Modoc National Forest fire crews running over the past week, but no fires got out of hand.


According to USFS's Carol Sharp, there were 21 lightning caused fires on the forest, and one human-caused fire.

The largest of the fires occurred July 26 on the Doublehead District and burned about two acres. There were three light ning fires that day.

On July 22, the forest charted three light ning fires and on July 23 the skies erupted to cause six small fires. On July 24 there were two lightning fires.

July 25 was a busy day as lightning caused three fires and man stepped in to cause an other. Three lighting fires hit the Lava Beds July 27 and there was one fire in Newell on July 28 where the Forest Service assisted.

The Forest is currently sending fire crews to Washington and Oregon to battle major fires in those states.

According to Sharp, the forest is drying up quickly and with more lightning predicted, crews will probably be on their toes this week as well.



County seeks input on groundwater control ordinance


While much of Modoc's surface water flows south, the county is trying to slow any exportation of groundwater and is seeking the public's opinion on a proposed new local law.


The Groundwater Extraction and Exportation proposed ordinance is not yet set for public hearing, but the County Land Use Committee will be holding informal sessions in Davis Creek, Likely, Adin and Tulelake through August.

The first meeting will be held Monday, August 3, at the Davis Creek Fire Hall, 7:30 p.m. Sean Curtis said the Land Use Committee is looking for comments on the ordinance. The ordinance does not affect surface water.

"It's important to the county that we hear from the public prior to adopting the ordinance so we're all on the same page and agree with the language," said Curtis this week. "We're trying to get the draft ordinances out to the public, primarily in county offices and libraries."

The major concern of the county, said Curtis, is adopting an ordinance that protects the county's groundwater re sources. The ordinance would require a permit before any groundwater could be exported past county lines. That per mit would have to address several issues, including neigh bors, the overall aquifer health, stability impacts and others.

Groundwater means all water beneath the surface within the zone below the water table in which the soil is completely saturated with water, but does not include water which flows in known and definite channels.

"Much of the farm production of county depends upon the use of groundwater to produce crops which significantly contribute to the gross value of all agricultural crops and agricultural production of the county," the draft ordinance states. "It also provides water to several communities in cluding Alturas, Ft. Bidwell, Lake City, Cedarville, Eagleville, Tulelake, Newell, Canby, Adin, Lookout and Day."

According to the ordinance, surface water supplies will be used conjunctively with groundwater, meaning the surface water will be diverted in times of relatively high flows and groundwater will be used during dry periods.

"In this regard, the greatest readily and economically available asset the County has in dealing with its water needs is its groundwater," the ordinance says. "Loss of the groundwater would result in additional surface water needs. It is vital that the groundwater be preserved so that its capacity will be available for future conjunctive use."

The county is looking to secure prudent water manage ment practices that avoid overdrafting the water resource while maintaining local control of the groundwater. The county would be highly concerned if the state had control of groundwater.

Under the proposed ordinance, a permit would be required to export water outside of Modoc, directly or indirectly. Some of the items covered in the permit would be the effects on the aquifer including: hydraulic gradient, hydrology, percola tion, permeability, piezometric surface, porosity, recharge, safe yield, specific capacity, spreading water, transinissiv ity, usable storage, capacity, water table and zone of satura tion.

If the ordinance passes, it contains a penalty clause that would carry of fine of up to $5,000 per separate violation. A person would be deemed to have committed separate viola tions for each and every day or portion of a day in which the violation continued.

The county will assess the public opinions expressed dur ing these informal meetings in August, and will probably adopt the ordinance later this fall following formal public hearings on the issue.


County parks get ting new play grounds


New playground equip ment is scheduled for instal la tion at six county parks this summer, and soon.


According to county Department of Public Work's Rick Hironymous, the weather has kept his crew busy on other items, but they are now ready to start installing the play grounds.

County parks in Alturas, Canby, Cedarville, Adin, Lookout and Newell will be getting the new playgrounds.

The new equipment, all safety approved and of new start-of-the-art design will replace some very old and in some cases, broken down, playground units.

All parks will get units that include swings, spring an i mals, slides and climbing apparatus.

The change in the park equipment was prompted be cause existing equipment did not meet safety standards. The new playground will be installed in the near future, said Hironymous, with work starting in Alturas.

Record news summaries for August 13, 1998


  • Refuge fire burns nearly 10,000 acres
  • Local elections heating up for November
  • Oops, wrong serial number, no murder weapon
  • Hospital hires new clinic group
  • Diagonal parking set for Modoc High
  • New twists set for Modoc Fair


The forecast:

Sunny today with slight chance of thunderstorms, highs in the 100s. Look for cooling trend Friday through the weekend, into 80s Sunday.


Refuge Fire burns 9,700 acres of dry grass and brush


The Refuge Fire burned 9,700 acres of mostly brush and grass before being controlled by firefighters August 7 at 6 p.m.

The fire started onlife Refuge, west of Tulelake, from an equipment spark. It burned mostly Modoc National Forest lands and no struc tures were lost.

The fire had a perimeter of 23 miles and so far has cost over $450,000 to contain and mop up. More than 600 firefight ers from a variety of agencies battled the blaze.

According to fire incident commander Mike Welch, the potential for the fire to spark another blaze in the tall dry grass outside the fire lines was so high the fire crews mopped up 500 to 600 feet inside the fire line. Normal mop up is 100 feet.

Agencies involved in the fire fighting effort were U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, California Department of Forestry, California Department of Corrections, Oregon Department of Forestry, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Bureau of Land Management.

Federal state and local fire fighting agencies are urging the public to be extremely cautious when working in or en joying the great outdoors. The wet winter and spring has produced a continuous cover of tall grass which readily ig nites. They suggest removal of vegetation from working ar eas with caution and spraying the work area with water to lessen the chance of a flying spark reaching dry grass.

Smokers can prevent wildfires by disposing of smoking materials properly -- in vehicle ashtrays, or if on foot, by crushing smoking materials in bare mineral soil.

Travelers should make sure they don't park their cars over high grasses. Campers and hikers must maintain and make sure their campfires are totally out and homeowners should remove all dry grasses from around structures. The wet winter and spring has produced an abundant cover of grass and vegetation that is now drying out quickly.

Fire agencies in Modoc County reported two small fires August 5 caused by mowing equipment hitting rocks. Use extreme caution when using equipment in grassy areas.


Candidates enter fray for Nov. 3 lo cal elec tions


Interest in local school board races peaked last Friday and several people came out and tossed their hats into the ring.

In Surprise Valley's Joint Unified School District, in cumbents from Cedarville, Rick Hironymous and Gene Erquiaga have filed papers. Bill Tierney filed in Cedarville to make that election a race. Kevin Wood has filed for a short term in Eagleville. Fort Bidwell's Linda Schadler also filed and will be unopposed.

The nomination period is over and all races are set.

In the Modoc Joint Unified School District incumbent Bill Hall has filed for one of two seats. Incumbent Maxine Sonnevil did not file. Velda Moore, Barry Kinman, VeeAnn Ambers and Jerry Cooley have filed for election in that district.

There are three seats open on the Tulelake Basin Joint Unified School District, two full terms and one short term expiring Dec. 1, 2000. The short term is of Joan Loustalet, and the full terms are of Jerry LeQuieu and Tamara Staunton.

LeQuieu and Janet Orr have filed for the short term. Staunton, Loustalet, Roy E. Wright, Barbara Binderup, and Ava Edgar have filed for the long term seats.

There are three seats open on the Modoc County Board of Education: those of Trustee Area two's Sharon Colt, Trustee Area three's Dixie Server and Trustee Area five's Marcella Haynes. All three of those board members have filed for re election and as of this date are not being challenged.

The Big Valley Joint Unified School District has three openings this year, two full terms and one short term. Full term seats are open in Adin and Bieber and one Adin area representative will run for a short term until Dec. 1, 2000.

In addition, Lookout and Adin voters will help select three Lassen College Trustees.

In addition to the school elections, there are elections for two members of the Surprise Valley Hospital District, two members of the Mayers Memorial Hospital District, three members of the Cedarville Water District, two members of the Newell Water District, three members of the Hot Springs Irrigation District, two members of the South Fork Irrigation District, two members of the Tulelake Irrigation District, three members of the Adin Community Services District, two members of the California Pines Community Services District, one member of the Daphnedale Community Services District, and two members of the Canby Community Services District.

In the Cal Pines CSD, Randy Faver, Marvin Kitchen and Bob LaGabed have filed for election.

Various fire districts have elections to fill board member openings as follows: Adin, one; Alturas Rural, three; Canby, one; Cedarville, three; Davis Creek, one; Eagleville, one; Ft. Bidwell, one; Lake City, one; Likely, one; Lookout, one; Tulelake, two; Willow Ranch, two.


Oops, wrong serial number, no murder weapon in Lookout


A mistake in jotting down a rifle serial number has been corrected by local law en forcement and as it turns out the 30-30 rifle found at Bob Shaw's Lookout Ranch August 1 was not a murder weapon from Willits -- it was one of his neighbors.

Now, just why a neighbor would place three long guns in the entry way of a home on the Shaw Ranch was a little odd, but Sheriff Bruce Mix said it was nothing sinis ter.

Mrs. Shaw said the incident still un nerves her, and just wished the neighbor would have left a note with the guns. The blood on the guns was apparently from the neighbor's scratch or injury.

Mix said the Shaws had left the ranch for a couple of hours. When they returned to the home adjacent to theirs on the ranch they discovered the three guns in a entry hall.

According to Mix, the 30-30 and a shotgun each had blood stains on them. A .22 caliber rifle was also discovered. When law en forcement initially called in the serial num bers on the 30-30 it came up as one used in a murder in Willits recently. Mix said the serial number was reported wrong and when it was ran with the correct number, it showed it as belonging to the neighbor.

According to Mix, the murder in Willits involved a man shooting a girlfriend, but the boyfriend is in custody.


Hospital hires new clinic, ER team


Modoc Medical Center has hired Valley Emergency Physicians of Oakland to cover the Emergency Room and Clinic at the facil ity. There are some changes in doctors be cause of the new contract, and the hospital is hoping to transition those physicians in quickly.

The new contract replaces a contract that was held for years by Dr. Mike Denny. One doctor, Sam Medrano, M.D., will continue working in Alturas. According to Hospital Administrator Kent Alland, the transition will be effective September 1. The new ar rangement, said Alland, will bring about some changes for patients who have been see ing a particular clinic physician, who will no longer be working at MMC.

"We are sorry about this and regret any inconvenience or disruption this may cause," said Alland. " We also express our appreciation to all the doctors who have been so faithful in their service and commitment to the residents of this area."

According to the hospital, Doctor Denny's contract was up for renewal in September and bids for medical services he has been provid ing were received from three firms. Valley Medical Physicians' bid was the most com petitive. Valley has been in business for 18

years and enjoys an outstanding reputation, according to the hospital. The physicians who will be practicing at MMC are experienced rural California practitioners who are certi fied in primary care and emergency medicine.

Dr. Peter Beoris is the executive director of Valley and oversees similar operations to Modoc in 28 rural communities, all but one of which are in California.

The new physicians will be introduced to the community prior to their arrival for duty. Dr. Beoris has visited the community and will be returning to work with the staff to co ordinate quality assurance activities and administrative relationships prior to the September start up.



Diagonal parking set for High School


The Alturas City Council Tuesday approved the first reading of a change in the city parking ordinance that will allow diagonal parking on the north side of Modoc High School.

In cooperation with the high school, the city opted to allow students to park di agonally on the south side of East 10th Street between Main and Court. Students and staff had been parking perpendicular on that street, and city staff be lieves diagonal is much safer. The law will take ef fect at the start of this school year.

The school and city worked together this sum mer on a project in that area to install curb, gutter, sidewalk and new pave ment. That area was a muddy mess last year.

Some good news came from City/County Planner Scott Kessler, who told council members that the Army Corps of Engineers has finally certified the Pit River levee in Alturas as meeting flood protection requirements.

What that means, said Kessler, is that area in downtown Alturas will not be placed in a flood plane and property own ers won't be required to meet pro jected extra flood plane re quirements when remodel ing or building. Had the levee not been certified, said Kessler, there would have been some ma jor and expensive requirements placed on downtown build ing. According to Kessler, it was a five-year effort to get the certification in place.

Stacy Chase, City Public Works Director, told the council street crews were using some of 25 truckloads of grindings (ground up asphalt) donated by Caltrans to repair damaged streets and fill potholes. The primary streets getting atten tion are Fourth, East, Court, Josephine, West C, Warner and Thomason.

Chase told council mem bers Tuesday that Thomason and Warner were being fixed because they were well used by tourists. One goes to a trailer park, the other to the golf course. He also said the wet spring will probably mean they won't have time to get all the road work done they'd had planned for the year. A dry fall would be helpful, said Chase.

Councilman George Andreasen said the Railroad Museum raised enough funds in its fund raiser to buy a switch. He also said that Union Pacific called him and do nated another switch for the museum. Andreasen said the railroad is making progress and the switch will allow track to be built to move the cars and en gines into the buildings at the mill site.


Modoc Fair has some special twists this year


The Modoc District Fair has several new events this year, including a Destruction Derby, Sprint 100s racing and a va riety of entertainers.

The Fair starts August 20 and runs through August 23 at the Fairgrounds in Cedarville. The Destruction Derby is the highlight for August 22 as things start crash ing at 8 p.m. The Sprint 100s race is set for August 21 at 7:30 p.m. and it will be fol lowed by the Modoc Street Stockers racing.

One of the featured acts this year is American Made, a country band known through out the state and nationally. The band was voted Band of the Year by the California Country Music Association in 1992 and had the record of the year for 1993: Forty Miles from Lonely. The band is also a previous Marlboro Country Music Talent Roundup win ner. The band will be per form ing on the park stage Friday and Saturday night and has three shows daily.

Friday, August 21 will be gin with Kid's Day, free to all kids 12 years and under. Pay one price, $10 per person for unlimited rides at the Mid way of Fun Carnival from 1-11 p.m. Fun with clown and magician, Roundhouse Ronny, enjoy come dian/juggler/unicyclist Chaz Marquette and Dan Wiles, rope walker/juggler/stilt-walker. Contest, games and fun will be fea tured at the Park Stage.

This year the Junior & Se nior Horse Show will be start ing Thursday, August 20, Halter Classes, Junior Showmanship, Junior & Se nior Saddle Mount Classes, such as, Trail Horse, Hunter Hack, English Pleasure, En glish Equitation, and West ern Pleasure. The Thursday Junior Show will also include Gymkhana Classes. A Spe cial High Point Buckle will be given to the winner in each age group of the Junior and Senior Saddle Mounts. Fri day's Horse Show will open with Cutting Classes - Open Cutting, Non Pro, and Two-Handed and Junior Stock Horse.

As in the past, the Saturday Rancher's Day will be high lighted by competitions among the area's best cowboys in pursuit of the cov eted Tro phy Saddle. Events offered, during Rancher's Day are Working Cow Horse, Snaffle Bit, Ranch Horse, Penning and Open Team Branding and Mixed Team Branding. Winners of each of the Cut ting Classes and Rancher's Day Events will re ceive beautifully hand-crafted belt buckles made by Jim Dunn of Frontier Supplies, Inc. from Auberry.

Local ranches, the Jim Cockrell and the Bob Cockrell Ranch provide all the cattle for the Rancher's Day Events. Seventy percent of the entry fees will be Jackpotted out, plus, added state monies.

Prize money will be paid one place for ev ery five en tries. Also, available to out of town partic ipants are stalls and RV spaces. Eddy Lynn Kemble will be available to answer any questions about the Horse Show Events (530) 279-2315.

Thursday night, August 20, is the crowd pleasing Basque Barbecue with entertain ment by the singing trio "The Palominos." The BBQ will begin at 5:30 p.m. and the cost is $8.00 for adults and $5.50 for 12 & under. In addition to the BBQ, the ever popular Sheep Dog Trials will be held in the Jeanne Stevenson Memorial Arena beginning at 7:00 p.m.

Park Stage entertainment is featured all day, everyday. The fair will be featuring Legendary Country Singer, Myron Reed with his easy listening country sound. En joy a variety of songs by a new up and coming vo calist Char ity Allen and The American Made Band, whose enthusi asm and energy captivates and entertains any audience.

A new addition to the fair is the Midway Tent Stage, lo cated on the Midway roadway under the shade trees. This stage will also feature a vari ety of entertainment through out the afternoons.

This year the Pee Wee Showmanship, sponsored by the Modoc County Cattle women, will take place on the Livestock Lawn, for children three through eight years old. Animals that will be shown are ponies, calves, lambs, goats, rabbits, chickens and ducks.

Friday night, August 21, will feature an evening of Sprint 100's at the Modoc Fair Speedway, races starting at 7:30 p.m. Racers from Wash ington, Oregon, Nevada and California will be competing for the $4,000 purse. Pre-Sale tickets are available at Coast to Coast, Alturas and Page's Market and the Fair Office in Cedarville with prices being: $8.00 Adult, $5.00 12 & under. Pre-Sale tick ets will also be good for FREE admission on Friday - Just show ticket at the front gate. Following the Sprint 100's, the Modoc Street Racing Association will be taking their turn on the Speedway.

Saturday, August 22 will be Senior Citizen's Day free to everyone 60 years and over. The Cedarville and Alturas Rotary Clubs will be sponsor ing the Senior Luncheon to be held in the Dance Hall. The annual Styx Men's Invita tional Softball Tournament will be in full swing. Demonstrations and enter tainment will be featured all day at Louieville and the Park Stage. Starting at 4:00 the Surprise Valley FFA BBQ will be held at the Park Stage Lawn area. Tickets for the BBQ are $10.00 for Adults and $7.00 for 12 years and un der.

Surprise Valley Rotary sponsors the Demolition Derby at 8:00 p.m. on the track at the Speedway. Tickets are $8 for Adults, $5 for 12 years and under and six and under are free. The evening will conclude with a country dance fea turing local band "Heart less" located at the Dance Hall.

Sunday, August 23 is Pa rade Day on Main Street, fol lowed by the annual Junior Rodeo. Cowboys and Cowgirls will be competing in tough Rodeo Events.

Louieville offers a collec tion of historic buildings moved from the surrounding area and restored by the Cedarville Rotary Club. This Old Western Town will come to life - complete with black smith, wool spinners, quilt display and boothill.

Record news summaries for August 20, 1998

  • Cedarville business destroyed by fire
  • Modoc Fair opens for 1998 run and fun
  • County to close Eagleville Airport
  • MJUSD predicts black in for 1998
  • Reward offered in Likely burglary
  • Lost River, Modoc Indian War play opens


The forecast:

Partly cloudy skies are the view through Monday, with highs in the 80s and lows in the mid to high 40s. There is a chance of afternoon thunderstorms through the weekend.


Fire de stroys Arreche shop in Cedarville


Modoc County Sheriff Bruce Mix is inves tigating the cause of a fire that destroyed Arreche Enterprises in Cedarville August 13. The fire was reported at 11:25 p.m. and fire-fighters had it under control by about 2 a.m. Crews remained at the scene until late the next morning.

Mix said there are several "interesting" concepts sur rounding the fire, but he can't point any fingers yet.

John Love, a former employee of Arreche Enterprises, who sustained severe burns was found near the fire scene the next morning. Mix said he was found in a van behind the Chevron station across the street about 11:30 a.m. Friday.

Mix said a person Love was apparently with was arrested alleging arson, but was later released pending the results of a State Fire Marshal's investigation. No one has been charged in the case.

According to Mix, the man was seen leav ing the fire scene in a white Toyota 4-Runner just prior to fire fighters' arrival. Witnesses said he sped from the scene just before a pop and a loud explosion was heard. He was headed west. He and Love both reside in Alturas.

The cause of the fire remains under inves tigation. Mix hopes the State Fire Marshal will shed some light on the fire source and cause.

Business owner Louie Arreche said he didn't believe the blaze was started by arson ists, but agreed there were some weird cir cumstances surrounding the fire. He said Love had called him and asked to use a trailer hitch and had ap parently gone to pick up the hitch that night.

Arreche said there was no bad blood be tween he and Love, and said he just couldn't believe someone would purposely set fire to his business.

"The one thing I want to do is commend the Cedarville Fire Department for its quick ac tion and keeping the fire from getting to my neighbors' homes and businesses," said Arreche. "They did an incredible job. The fire was very hot and dangerous and could have spread quickly."

According to Arreche, investigators have determined the

fire started in front of a tractor in the shop. Just how the fire started has not been deter mined.

According to Mix, Love stated that he had tried to open the door of the shop and when it did open the fire exploded and blew him backwards. Mix said he hasn't yet learned why his friend left the scene without Love, didn't help Love get medi cal help, or why Love stayed in the van behind the Chevron rather than seeking help. He suspects Love was suffering from shock.

Love was transported by ambulance to Surprise Valley Hospital, stabilized then flown to a burn center in Portland, Oregon. He is in serious but stable condition with third de gree burns on parts of his body.

According to Mix, two residents called in to report the fire late Thursday night and an other resident, Darrol Hill, saw the flames and sounded the Cedarville Fire Alarm.

The rear of the shop was totally engulfed when firefight ers arrived. They suspect the fire had been burning for about 30 minutes before they arrived.

According to Mix, Dan Ross, Cedarville Fire Chief said the fire was made more dan gerous because of oil, fuel and chemical containers in the shop. While the fuels did not catch fire, the shop was destroyed and the smoke damage to taled the remainder of the business.

Six tractors, tools and other equipment in the shop were destroyed in the blaze. Intense heat, smoke and fire caused total damage in the front retail section of the business.

Two engines, two trucks and 15 firefight ers from the Cedarville Fire Department re sponded as well as assistance from the Bureau of Land Management and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.


Fair opens today, set for good week end run


Get ready for a full week end of fun at the Modoc District Fair in Cedarville, starting today and running full bore through August 23.

Fair Manager Jeanne Grove is excited about the venue this year, and expects larger crowds to take in the event. There's every thing from livestock shows, rodeos, barbe cues, dances, live mu sic, a destruction derby, auto races all the way to the tran quillity of the exhibits. Those exhibits include flowers, vegetables, art, argicultural items, booths, woodworking, sewing, baking, crafts of all sorts, and commercial ex hibits.

Friday, August 21 will be gin with Kid's Day, free to all kids 12 years and under. Pay one price, $10 per person for unlimited rides at the Mid way of Fun Carnival from 1-11 p.m. Fun with clown and magician, Roundhouse Ronny, enjoy come dian/juggler/unicyclist Chaz Marquette and Dan Wiles, rope walker/juggler/stilt-walker. Contests, games and fun will be fea tured at the Park Stage.

This year the Junior & Se nior Horse Show will be start ing Thursday, August 20, Halter Classes, Junior Showmanship, Junior & Se nior Saddle Mount Classes, such as, Trail Horse, Hunter Hack, English Pleasure, En glish Equitation, and West ern Pleasure. The Thursday Junior Show will also include Gymkhana Classes. A Spe cial High Point Buckle will be given to the winner in each age group of the Junior and Senior Saddle Mounts. Fri day's Horse Show will open with Cutting Classes - Open Cutting, Non Pro, and Two-Handed and Junior Stock Horse.

As in the past, the Saturday Rancher's Day will be high lighted by competitions among the area's best cowboys in pursuit of the cov eted Tro phy Saddle. Events offered, during Rancher's Day are Working Cow Horse, Snaffle Bit, Ranch Horse, Penning and Open Team Branding and Mixed Team Branding. Winners of each of the Cut ting Classes and Rancher's Day Events will re ceive beautifully hand-crafted belt buckles made by Jim Dunn of Frontier Supplies, Inc. from Auberry.

Local ranches, the Jim Cockrell and the Bob Cockrell Ranch provide all the cattle for the Rancher's Day Events. Seventy percent of the entry fees will be Jackpotted out, plus, added state monies.

Prize money will be paid one place for ev ery five en tries. Also, available to out of town partic ipants are stalls and RV spaces. Eddy Lynn Kemble will be available to answer any questions about the Horse Show Events (530) 279-2315.

Thursday night, August 20, is the crowd pleasing Basque Barbecue with entertain ment by the singing trio "The Palominos." The BBQ will begin at 5:30 p.m. and the cost is $8.00 for adults and $5.50 for 12 & under. In addition to the BBQ, the ever popular Sheep Dog Trials will be held in the Jeanne Stevenson Memorial Arena beginning at 7:00 p.m.

Park Stage entertainment is featured all day, everyday. The fair will be featuring Legendary Country Singer, Myron Reed with his easy listening country sound. En joy a variety of songs by a new up and coming vo calist Char ity Allen and The American Made Band, whose enthusi asm and energy cap tivates and entertains any audience.

A new addition to the fair is the Midway Tent Stage, lo cated on the Midway roadway under the shade trees. This stage will also feature a vari ety of entertainment through out the afternoons.

This year the Pee Wee Showmanship, sponsored by the Modoc County Cattle women, will take place on the Livestock Lawn, for children three through eight years old. Animals that will be shown are ponies, calves, lambs, goats, rabbits, chickens and ducks.

Friday night, August 21, will feature an evening of Sprint 100's at the Modoc Fair Speedway, races starting at 7:30 p.m. Racers from Wash ington, Oregon, Nevada and California will be competing for the $4,000 purse. Pre-Sale tickets are available at Coast to Coast, Alturas and Page's Market and the Fair Office in Cedarville with prices being: $8.00 Adult, $5.00 12 & under. Pre-Sale tick ets will also be good for FREE admission on Friday - Just show ticket at the front gate. Following the Sprint 100's, the Modoc Street Racing Association will be taking their turn on the Speedway.

Saturday, August 22 will be Senior Citizen's Day free to everyone 60 years and over. The Cedarville and Alturas Rotary Clubs will be sponsor ing the Senior Luncheon to be held in the Dance Hall. The annual Styx Men's Invita tional Softball Tournament will be in full swing. Demonstrations and enter tainment will be featured all day at Louieville and the Park Stage. Starting at 4:00 the Surprise Valley FFA BBQ will be held at the Park Stage Lawn area. Tickets for the BBQ are $10.00 for Adults and $7.00 for 12 years and un der.

Surprise Valley Rotary sponsors the Demolition Derby at 8:00 p.m. on the track at the Speedway. Tickets are $8 for Adults, $5 for 12 years and under and six and under are free. The evening will conclude with a country dance fea turing local band "Heart less" located at the Dance Hall.

Sunday, August 23 is Pa rade Day on Main Street, fol lowed by the annual Junior Rodeo. Cowboys and Cowgirls will be competing in tough Rodeo Events.

Louieville offers a collec tion of historic buildings moved from the surrounding area and restored by the Cedarville Rotary Club. This Old Western Town will come to life - complete with black smith, wool spinners, quilt display and boothill.



County to shut down Eagleville airport


In a close 3-2 vote on Tuesday, the County Board of Supervisors chose to close the Eagleville airport.

After Board members Ben Zandstra and Ron McIntyre voted for closure and Nancy Huffman and Pat Cantrall voted to keep the Eagleville airstrip open, Chairman Joe Colt broke the tie with a no vote.

The airport is currently in very poor condition and an estimate on getting the airstrip in working order was around $56,000 with about $45,000 of that amount being picked up by the State.

Eagleville ranch owner John Metzker is currently the only party that uses the Eagleville Airport on a regular basis, but he suggested that if the airstrip was repaired, other parties might use it as well. He read a letter from Simplot Corporation which owns two ranches in Eagleville. The letter stated that Simplot would like to use the Eagleville airport if the runway were maintained and also pointed out that sometimes it has had to land smaller aircraft on county roads.

In voting in favor of keeping Eagleville open, Cantrall pointed out that Modoc County would continue to receive $10,000 per year from the State, very little of which would be needed for upkeep at the Eagleville facility. The rest of the money would be a benefit to the County for use in bigger airports such as Alturas and Cedarville. She also noted that this has been the practice in the past, and that it's time to pay smaller airports like Eagleville back.

"We get $10,000 a year for that airport which we've been spending on other airports," Cantrall said. "We've been taking from the Eagleville kitty to benefit other airports."

Cantrall also said that the Eagleville airport could help the County to create more business, something that the Boards has been claiming is a priority.

However, for those who voted for closure, Cantrall's arguments were outweighed by the feeling that keeping the airport open would require too much money directed at too few people, particularly when there is an airport just up the road in Cedarville.

"In all good conscience I can't support this motion," Surprise Valley Supervisor Zandstra said. "Putting this kind of money into the Eagleville airport makes me feel like I'm working for the Forest Service...It's totally out of proportion to what's needed."

The County now has a total of five airports, located in Alturas, Cedarville, Newell, Adin and Fort Bidwell.

In other matters before the Supervisors:

Anti-Trapping Initiative: The Board adopted a resolution opposing an Anti-Trapping Initiative which might soon be placed on the California ballot. The Initiative has also been opposed by other rural counties. Cantrall told the Board that the Initiative would go as far as to ban mouse traps and sheep collars.

Tobacco Money: The Board approved a contract with the state that will pay $150,000 to the County Tobacco Education Program.


MJUSD remains in black for coming year


The Modoc School District Board reviewed their budget for last year and previewed the budget for the coming year at their meeting held on Monday night.

In the 1997-98 fiscal year that ended June 30, the District has total revenues of $7,688,200 and total expenses of $7,587,046. The difference between the two amounts left a positive balance of $101,154. The District also had $1,551,714 in the reserve fund at the end of the year.

The projected revenues for 1998-99 are $7,436,299. That figure is 3.3 percent lower than the revenues for last year. Modoc Superintendent Craig Drennan said the District is using a very conservative estimate at this time just to be on the safe side. Right now the District is listing revenues it is sure it will get. There are other funds that are likely to come in, but are not fully guaranteed at this point.

Drennan also noted that the State of California has still not passed a budget for the coming year. He said that various proposals could significantly alter the amounts of money the District would receive and pay out.

The projected expenses for the coming year are $7,395,104, a 2.5 percent decrease from last year.

In other matters before the Board:

New Principal: The District has hired Steve Iverson as the new Principal for Modoc Middle School. Iverson has been a principal in Westwood and will begin working at MMS this coming Monday.

GATE Program: The Board heard a report from Kathleen Fowler, the Director of the Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program at Alturas Elementary. Last year the pro gram had four fifth-graders and 11 fourth-graders and en gaged in a variety of interesting programs such as playing the stock market and getting international pen pals.

Of particular note was the groups participation in the state-wide News Bowl Competition. Alturas finished fifth in all California even though the group of mostly fourth graders had to compete as a fifth grade team.

The competition required students to read newspapers and follow the news over a period of three months and then take a multiple choice test on current events. Fowler said the only area the team didn't do well in was sports. (Hey par ents, you need to start having those kids stay up late to watch Sports Center on ESPN.)

The members of the News Bowl team were: Alisa Weber, Vince Hower, Bud Groff, Julie Miller, Vanessa Rosenthal, Nat Futterman, Travis Wood, Whitney Baker, Sean Jacobs, Ross Montague, Joey Catania, Juan Castro, Max Wise, Ross Cockrell and Myriah Busch.

RISE Programs: Resources for Indian Student Education (RISE) informed the Board of programs they will be running in the coming school year. The program also now has a satellite office in Fall River.

RISE will be offering tutoring Mondays through Thurs days from 3-6 p.m. There will also be a reading class for pre-schoolers and kindergartners every Friday from 2-4 p.m.

Fridays from 4-10 p.m. will be a "Social Time" for all RISE students and will feature a play station, pool table, videos and a kitchen for making snacks. This time is con sidered a privilege and all students will be required to have a signed report from all of their teachers stating that they are up to date in all of their classes. As the year moves on, RISE students will also be able to invite friends to these activities.

RISE will also be taking their "Medicine Wheel Project" throughout the State RISE will train groups as far south as Los Angeles in how to use the program.

Accreditation: Should Modoc High beware the Ides of March or will they have the luck of the Irish? It could go ei ther way since the Accrediting Commission has set its visit to MHS for March 15, 16,17 in 1999.


$1,000 Reward offered in Likely Garage burglary


Late night of August 13, burglars struck the Likely Garage owned by John Abbate and made off with thousands of dollars worth of tools and equipment.

Modoc Sheriff Bruce Mix is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the bur glars.

According to Mix, Abbate had worked until about 10 p.m. that night. Sometime after he closed up, the burglars forced their way through the front doors which face the highway, but are opposite of town and loaded the equipment. Mix said they stole a roll-away tool chest and tools, computer engine analyzer, other tool


Lost River gets set for open ing


The rehearsal pace is re ally starting to pick up for the world premiere of Lost River, a stage play written by Ben Van Meter, directed by Charles "Chip" Massie and produced by Dee Green.

Opening night is just one week away for the large cast of local actors taking part in this play about the fascinating 19th Century Modoc Indian War. The war was fought in and around what is now "Lava Bed National Monu ment" near Tulelake. The very small Modoc Tribe was able to hold off thousands of U.S. Army troops for months by using a stronghold in the lava beds.

The two main characters in this saga are Captain Jack, Chief of the Modoc Tribe, played by Laurence Harlan, and General Canby of the U.S. Army, played by Curt MacAdoo. Both men want peace, but they will only find tragedy. Both end up being killed by a conflict that they allowed others to drag them in to.

The story is narrated by Jeff Riddle, a man with a Modoc mother and a white father, played by Alan Cain.

Mike Halderman has constructed a beautiful stage set right on the shore of Cal-Pines Lake, where the four performances will take place. The shows on Thursday, Fri day and Saturday (August 27-29) will begin at 8:00 p.m., and the sunset off to the right of the stage makes for a pic turesque setting. Lost River will also run on Sunday, Au gust 30 at 3:00 p.m.

Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for seniors and stu dents. There will be regular seating but patrons may also bring their own lawn chairs and blankets to get closer to the action. For reservations or more information call 233-5600 or 233-5842.

Record news summaries for August 27, 1998


  • School starts next week for most
  • Rite-Aid store plan approved
  • Lost River premier is this week
  • New Principal comes to Modoc Middle School
  • Groundwater key issue for county
  • Obituary: Stevenson
The forecast:

Sunny skies with a few clouds over the mountains are in line today with temperatures increasing over the weekend. Lows should be in the 40s and 50s and highs in the 90s.

School bells signal end of long summer

Once again it's that time of the year that students dread and parents are more than ready for - the start of a new school year.

Modoc and Big Valley School Districts will open their doors this coming Monday, August 31, while Surprise Valley students have already completed three days of school, hav ing started on Monday, August 24. Schools around the County generally have about the same number of students that they had last year.

The only school that saw a significant increase was Modoc High. At this point, enrollment numbers are only es timates at best. Over the next couple of weeks the numbers will be adjusted up and down slightly. New move-in stu dents who are just now registering will add to the numbers, while previously registered no-shows who have moved over the summer will decrease the totals.

Modoc High ended last year with 307 students, but is planning for 335 to start this fall. MHS has a new Counselor in John Shirley, while Aurelio Danko will take over at Warner High. She will also be teaching two English classes at MHS.

The 270 or so students who show up at Modoc Middle School next week will get to meet a new principal, Steve Iver son, as well as a new sixth-grade teacher, Jay Carrithers.

Alturas Elementary has a projected enrollment of 460 and several new teachers. New Kindergarten teachers are Lanell Warnock and Mariah Cremer. Karen Littler will join the faculty as a third grade teacher while Susan Cameron will be teaching fourth grade.

There will also be several teaching changes in the outly ing Modoc District Elementary schools. Janice Lauppe will be moving from MMS to teach at South Fork Elementary in Likely. Deanna Tanner will be new at Arlington Elemen tary in Canby and Connie Badgley will be starting at State Line Elementary in New Pine Creek.

The Modoc District will also be starting the Alturas Community Day School this year, with Trace Callaghan as the school's first ever teacher.

In the Big Valley schools, the K-3 school in Adin has a projected enrollment of 110, Big Valley Intermediate (grades 4-8) is planning on 168 students, and Big Valley High will have around 106 students walking its halls. Big Valley Superintendent Boyce McLain has assumed the prin cipal duties at BVHS.

Surprise Valley Elementary has an enrollment of 148, down a few from last year. Regina McDaniel has joined the faculty there as a first grade teacher. Surprise Valley High School has 70 students, about the same as last year. Joanne Danielson will be taking over the duties of the SV District Continuation School.


Rite-Aid store plan ap proved


The Alturas City Planing Commission approved the site and construction plans last Wednesday for a new 11,000 square foot Rite-Aid store on Main Street.

According to Planner Scott Kessler, the plans were ap proved following a construc tive, give-and-take meeting. The store will be located at Fifth Street between Main and Court Street. That lot is currently vacant land between Plumas Bank and Gil's Gas.

Kessler said the company agreed to land scaping, as well as paving Fifth Street be tween Main and Court and in stalling curb, gutter and sidewalks. The parking lot for the store will be paved, but that may wait until next spring.

Kessler said he expects building permit application to ar rive soon and construction to start in the next two to three weeks. It's possi ble, said Kessler, that the store would be open in December.


Premiere of Lost River is tonight at Cal-Pines

Tonight Modoc County will make history by reviewing its history. Tonight at 8:00 p.m., on the banks of the Cal-Pines Lake, will be the time and place for the world pre mier of Lost River: The Story of the Modoc Indian War.

The play, written by Ben Van Meter, di rected by Charles "Chip" Massie and pro duced by Dee Green, re counts the in credible story of the Modoc Indian War. In that war, a small band of In dians were able to hold off thousands of soldiers for sev eral months by hiding out in the lava beds near pre sent-day Tulelake.

The story features two fas cinating and tragic lead charac ters on both sides of the battle, General Canby, played by Curt McAdoo, and Captain Jack, played by Lawrence Harlan. Each wants to help the other but both are held back by others less peaceful views. Their relationship ends with both of them being killed dur ing the Modoc War of 1872-73.

While both men are strong leaders who want to find a peace ful compromise, they also both have weaknesses that will lead to their mutual downfall. Captain Jack (played by Stan Yagi), Scar face Charlie (Rurik Davis), and Curly-Headed Doctor (Jeran Brown) humiliate Captain Jack and make him promise to kill General Canby when it has became ap parent that Canby will not grant the Modocs a reserva tion on Lost River or in the Lava Beds.

"Captain Jack is tragic in a Shake spearean sense," said Massie, the director of the pro duction. "He knows what is right and best in the long run, but because of intense pres sure from his people, he makes a deci sion he knows is bad. He does it because he re spects his people and their wishes."

Eventually Jack kills Canby at a meeting at the "peace" tent, and other Mod ocs kill Reverend Thomas (Ken Ballard) and seriously wound white settler A.B. Meacham (Dee Green).

The shootings lead to thou sands of U.S. Army troops seeking to hunt down Captain Jack and bring him to trial. Members of the army include: Captain Jackson (Kerry Davis), Major Curtis (Geoff Griffin), Corpo ral Jones (Jennifer Lucier), Private Bacon (Jodee Roberts) and General Gillem (Lawrence Shippen).

In the end, the same few Modocs who pushed Captain Jack into doing the wrong thing, help the U.S. Army track their Chief down so he can be brought to trial.

The script for Lost River skillfully avoids the pitfalls that have plagued attempts to dramatize relations between Native Ameri cans and white settlers during the 19th Cen tury. For many years, white settlers were portrayed as heroic while native Ameri cans were viewed as savages. On the other hand, more re cent attempts to be "politically cor rect" have gone overboard the other way in showing all Indians as no ble and morally superior and all whites as greedy and mur derous.

The historically re searched Lost River script shows that on both sides of this tragic history, there were those who wanted to live to gether peacefully as well as others who were hostile to those who were different from them. For example, white set tler Fairchild (Alex Chionetti), his wife (Aloha Pettit Schaefer), and daugh ters (Tiffany Ford, Tiffany Gwinn and Jeanetta Lucier) are a family who want to live in peace with the Modocs.

The main narrator is Jeff Riddle, played by Alan Cain, a man whose father (Ben Casad) was a white settler and whose mother (Melody Wind song Sheline) was a Modoc Indian. In a telling scene, white soldiers killed in the Modoc War come to join Modoc "ghost" narrators, played by Nathaniel "Chief" Forrest, Margaret Forrest and Rosemary Forrest Nelson, at an other worldly campfire where the story is told from. The scene effectively shows that what ever the two sides were fighting over, in the long view of history, the vio lence and fight ing only brought them the same end.

As Captain Jack states at his trial in the final scene, "There are good and bad men in all tribes and races. Good men want peace. Bad men want war."

Other characters in the play include: Court Baliff (Midge Dier), Kmukamtch (Marya Gates), Carnival Barker (Karen Hays), Travis Bean (Dennis King), Louise Canby (Shirley Jo McAdoo) and young Jeff Riddle (Jeremy Lucier).

The Modoc children will be played by Tanesh Almanza, Frank Almanza, Alyssa Al manza, Dakota Holloway, Ryan Colt, Adrean Francis and Dustin Barlese.

The play will also feature the Rising Na tion Drum mers, composed of Lisa Craig, Sarah Wyatt, Jacie Matzke, Ann Marie Sanchez, Christo pher Craig, Matt Wyatt and Director Dr. April Go Forth.

The crew consists of Assis tant Director Nancy Ballard, Stage Manager Sandy Boldon, Set Design and Tech nical Direction by Mike Hal derman, Costume Design by Nancy North-Gates, Props by Karen Hays, Make-Up by Kerry Davis, Lighting and Sound by Nick Contaxis and Program by Tracy Massie.

Lost River will play Thursday, Friday and Satur day, Au gust 27-29 at 8:00 p.m. and on Sunday, August 30 at 3:00 p.m. Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for seniors and students. There will be regu lar seating but people can also bring their own lawn chairs and blan kets to get "close to the action" as Massie puts it.

For further information or ticket reserva tions call 530-233-5600 or 530-233-5842.


New principal takes over at Modoc Middle School


Steve Iverson was looking for a middle school principal job in a place with mountains and outdoor recreation nearby. Modoc School District was looking for a middle school principal. It couldn't have gone any better in Iverson's opinion.

"It has just all worked out," Iverson said with a shrug and a smile.

Iverson has been the principal in Westwood for the past twelve years in a school that had grades 7-12. However, he had started his career as an elementary school teacher and wanted to get back to working with kids below high school age. Being an avid outdoors man, he also wanted to find a job in a small town in the mountains.

"There aren't many middle school positions in the mountains," Iverson said. "There are a lot of positions down in the valleys."

Iverson said he had also met people who had lived in Al turas in the past "who really spoke highly" of the town.

At the same time, Modoc got an experienced principal at a time when credentialed administrators are in short supply and many districts are having to hire non-credentialed peo ple.

Iverson said he is looking forward to working with the 11-14 year-olds who will populate MMS and the "level of enthu siasm" that age-group brings to school each day.

"It's a really important age," Iverson noted. "It's an age where you can really make a difference. This is where kids start making some decisions about school and what they will be doing in the rest of their education careers."


Water key issue in new county


Protecting Modoc County's sovereign right to its ground water is something the county is taking seriously. Meetings on a draft ordinance covering groundwater are in the works.

A meeting will be held August 31, 7:30 p.m. at the Likely Fire Hall. The meet ing is open to the public and the draft ordi nance will be available to read and com ment upon. Copies of the ordi nance can be found at the Modoc Farm Advisor's Office, the Farm Bureau and the Likely General Store.

While much of Modoc's surface water flows south, the county is trying to slow any exportation of groundwater and is seeking the public's opinion on a proposed new lo cal law.

The Groundwater Extraction and Exportation proposed ordinance is not yet set for public hearing, but the County Land Use Committee will be holding these in for mal sessions on the draft doc ument in Davis Creek, Likely, Adin and Tulelake through August.

Land Use Committee's Sean Curtis said the Land Use Committee is looking for com ments on the ordinance. The ordi nance does not affect surface water.

The major concern of the county, said Curtis, is adopt ing an ordinance that pro tects the county's groundwater re sources. The or dinance would require a permit be fore any groundwater could be exported past county lines. That per mit would have to address several issues, including neigh bors, the overall aquifer health, sta bility impacts and others.

Groundwater means all water beneath the surface within the zone below the wa ter table in which the soil is completely satu rated with water, but does not include water which flows in known and definite chan nels.

"Much of the farm produc tion of county de pends upon the use of groundwater to pro duce crops which signifi cantly con tribute to the gross value of all agricultural crops and agricultural production of the county," the draft ordi nance states. "It also provides wa ter to several communities in cluding Alturas, Ft. Bidwell, Lake City, Cedarville, Eagleville, Tulelake, Newell, Canby, Adin, Lookout and Day."

According to the ordi nance, surface water supplies will be used conjunctively with groundwater, meaning the surface water will be di verted in times of rela tively high flows and groundwater will be used during dry peri ods.

"In this regard, the greatest readily and economically available asset the County has in dealing with its water needs is its groundwater," the ordinance says. "Loss of the groundwater would result in addi tional surface water needs. It is vital that the groundwater be preserved so that its ca pacity will be avail able for future conjunc tive use."

The county is looking to se cure prudent water manage ment practices that avoid overdrafting the water re source while maintaining lo cal control of the ground wa ter. The county would be highly con cerned if the state had control of groundwa ter.

Under the proposed ordi nance, a permit would be re quired to export water outside of Modoc, directly or indi rectly. Some of the items cov ered in the permit would be the ef fects on the aquifer includ ing: hydraulic gradient, hy drology, percola tion, perme abil ity, piezometric surface, porosity, recharge, safe yield, specific capacity, spreading wa ter, transinissiv ity, usable storage, capacity, water table and zone of satura tion.

If the ordinance passes, it contains a penalty clause that would carry a fine of up to $5,000 per separate violation. A person would be deemed to have committed sepa rate vio la tions for each and every day or portion of a day in which the violation continued.

The county will assess the public opin ions expressed dur ing these informal meet ings in August, and will probably adopt the ordi nance later this fall follow ing for mal public hearings on the is sue.




Vickie Kim Stevenson


Vickie Kim Stevenson of Bieber died unexpectedly on August 21, 1998 at Fall River Mills, just six days shy of her 43rd birthday.

Services will be held at graveside on Friday, August 28 at 1:00 p.m. at the Alturas Cemetery, Alturas, Calif. Pastor Walt Fisher will conduct the service.

Born August 27, 1955 in Alturas, Calif. to Ramona and Bob McDonald, Vickie graduated with the class of 1973 from Modoc High School in Alturas, Calif. She received her li cense to practice cosmetology after finishing beauty school in 1990 in Susanville. A year later, she married Charles Stevenson on May 19, 1991 in Lookout. She was a home maker and had worked as a cosmetologist. Vickie was also talented at making crafts and en joyed gardening.

She is survived by her husband Charles Stevenson of Bieber; son Jeremy Yarborough of Reno; daughter Kelli Yarborough of Reno; daughter Kacie Stevenson, Bieber; mother Ramona McDonald, Red Bluff; father Bob McDon ald of Adin; brother Doug McDonald, Susanville; sister Robin Greer, Red Bluff; brother Scott McDonald, Red Bluff and grandmother Hazzel McDonald of Canby.

Record news summaries for Sept. 3, 1998


  • Mayor says private prison still in starting gate
  • Is Modoc Forest part of Sierra Nevada -- yes
  • Register by Oct. 5 for General Election
  • Police warn of mail thefts
  • Obituaries:
  • Vernon
  • Easley

The forecast:

It will stay warm this week with partly cloudy skies today and Friday and a chance of showers. Look for highs in the 90s, and dropping into the low 80s by Monday.

Mayor says prison still in starting gate


While the Corrections Corporation of America has indi cated it will file an application to build a private prison at the mill site west of Alturas, approval of that application is a long ways off, according to Mayor Dick Steyer.

"While we've had some informal discussions about the application process, CCA has not yet filed an application with the city," Steyer said Tuesday. "We have been doing our homework, and the city will have plenty of questions for CCA once they file an application. It's important that people understand the project cannot proceed until an application is filed."

Steyer anticipates an application within the next 30 days, but stresses that step just begins a long process, and that the issue is certainly not decided at this point. CCA does own the mill property and the lumber dry kilns of the former Alturas Lumber Mill are now being torn down.

According to Steyer, discussions have centered around a privately-owned 1,000 bed correctional facility located on the mill site west of the Railroad Museum. Voters in the City of Alturas approved the location of a private prison on a May, 1995 ballot.

"I favor the economic development, jobs and spin-offs that come with this project," said Steyer. "But that certainly doesn't mean we're going into this project with blind ap proval. There are issues CCA is going to have to address, in cluding our safeguards and infrastructure needs, especially the sewer plant upgrades. We definitely want open and frank communication."

Additionally, said Steyer, the city has been investigating some negative news reports about CCA and its opera tions in Youngstown, Ohio. The reports are sending some concerns through the council people and Steyer said CCA will have to address those issues when they come to Alturas. No date for a meeting has yet been confirmed.

"The reports and information coming from Ohio are disturbing," said Steyer. "I believe the private prison concept is sound and would be good for the community, but we are go ing to have to insure that the corporation operating it is will ing to meet our needs and safeguards."

The problems in Ohio came when CCA accepted high security prisoners into a medium security facility. The sit uation erupted in violence, including murders within the prison, and an escape of several violent prisoners. CCA has also had similar problems in Texas, South Carolina and Tennessee. While those incidents are alarming, most of CCA's facili ties have not had those types of problems. The city is being very cautious, because of various reports of CCA operations, said Steyer. While other facilities may not have reported problems, Steyer said the council takes the Ohio matter very seriously. The mayor said he also wants to talk with CCA and other mayors and cities where CCA facilities are located.

"We're not going to sell the city down the river," said Steyer. "It's our job to work out what's best for the city resi dents and each of the councilmen takes that job seriously. We are now putting together packets from all the reports we have on CCA, including news reports from the Wall Street Journal and other information we have gotten through our staff. I'd say trusting in CCA is going to be a very big ques tion. I've told them they will have to answer a lot of questions concerning the Ohio situation."

The city is also keeping up with CCA plans on another prison in California and the relationship of the private company with the State Department of Corrections.

"I'd have to say I'm a little apprehensive with this corpora tion at the moment," said Steyer. "We are going to be talking with other cities and officials and try to get a well-rounded view of their operations. CCA is currently working on a similar project in California City that has had little opposi tion. We are certainly willing to listen to both sides of the story. The bottom line is that we have to make a decision that works in the best interests of city residents."

Steyer was instrumental in the movement to locate the Devil's Garden Conservation Camp in Modoc and is striving to obtain the same positive results for the community as have come from that project.

"We know we're not talking about the same type of facilities, but we're looking and working to get the same type of results," said Steyer. "What the people of the city and County have to understand at this point is there is no blanket approval or behind-the-scenes deal in place."


Forest says Modoc is treated as Sierra Nevada in plan


by Geoff Griffin


Is the Modoc National Forest part of the Sierra-Nevada Range? Or is it a completely different type of place? Should Modoc be part of a framework that includes nine other national forests?

The Modoc County Board of Supervisors have already an swered that last question with a very strong "No!" A couple of weeks ago they sent a letter to the Forest Service (USFS) stat ing that they did not want the Modoc Plateau included in the Sierra-Nevada Framework, which includes nine other na tional forests. The Forest Service came back with a re sponse of "Tough luck" accord ing to Supervisor Nancy Huffman.

The Board gave further consideration to the issue at their meeting on Tuesday. Nancy Gardner and Robert Haggard of the Forest Service were present to explain the USFS position and ask that the public, including the Supervisors, be involved in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) planning process for the Sierra-Nevada Framework.

To that end two workshops have been set up that the public is invited to attend. The first will be a field trip that will take place on Saturday, September 12, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Participants will have the chance to travel to various sites in the Modoc National Forest (MNF) and hear presentations on a variety of issues.

The second workshop will be on Tuesday, September 22, from 6:00-9:00 p.m.

"We really encourage your involvement," Gardner told the Supervisors. "We want you to rally round and go with us.

"Our goal is bringing folks together before we start the NEPA Process."

Haggard informed the Board that the Forest Service is making an "effort to meld cur rent science and cultural val ues."

The public will then have the opportunity to suggest changes "based on issues" that come out of that process.

"It's a different way of do ing things," Haggard said.

Haggard also stated that MNF is being included in the Sierra-Nevada Framework be cause it faces many of the same issues, needs and con cerns that are faced by na tional forests all across the country. He then went through a list of issues to give exam ples of "national" concerns.

The advantage, according to Haggard, of taking this new "issue" based approach, is that it might allow the local Forest Service to get things done quickly on site specific issues in the Modoc Forest. Supervisor Ben Zandstra asked if that would mean that the local USFS could get a timber sale out faster than it has done in the past.

Supervisor Huffman stated, "We'll take part in this, but we want to make ev eryone aware we're not part of the Sierra-Nevada range.

"Even though this is 'issue driven,' scientific is sues...are site specific."

In other matters before the Board on Tuesday:

Water: Washoe County has filed an application for water rights. The Supervisors voted to file a formal protest to that ap plication because of the ef fect it may have on Modoc County water rights.

Property Taxes: Besides the standard rate of one percent, some areas of the County will have to pay an additional .0004 percent in taxes for this fiscal year. The additional funds will go to paying off the remaining balance of a loan the State gave to the Modoc Joint Unified School District. County Auditor Judi Stevens said that the loan should be paid off this year.

Employees: The Board ap proved a labor agreement with the Modoc County Employee's Association that has a four per cent salary increase for the coming year. It also makes changes in benefit plans.

At their next meeting, the Supervisors will vote on whether the salary increase and other changes should also apply to those in management positions, including the Board of Supervisors.



Big Sage wildfire continues to burn


A lightning-caused fire in the Big Sage Fire Management Unit of the Modoc National Forest con tinues to burn this week and has grown to about 700 acres.

According to Modoc National Forest Information Officer Nancy Gardner, the Forest Service will continue to let it burn as long as it re mains within the manage ment unit. Fires within that unit are allowed to burn them selves out as long as they do not threaten valuable timber or range lands or private property.

Gardener said the fire could double in size before it finally burns out. The weather forecast for the next seven to 10 days calls for more hot, dry weather. Fueling this fire, said Gardner, is some very high grass. The Forest Service will be monitoring the fire. The fire started on August 22.

So far, there has been little complaint of smoke or health problems in the Alturas area, although the smoke has been an impact in the Goose Lake Valley and in Davis Creek. The fire is burning in the Crowder Mountain area of Devil's Garden.

The 430,000 acre Big Sage Fire Management Unit is de signed to save suppression costs and personnel for fires which threaten resource val ues. More than 300 fires have occurred in the unit since it was established in 1981.


Oct. 5 is final day to regis ter to vote in General Election


October 5 is the final day to register to vote in the November 3 General Election, which includes several local school and special district races.

Modoc County Clerk Maxine Madison reminds voters to report any change of address prior to Oct. 5 to be able to vote in the proper dis trict or community.

Incumbent Bill Hall, in the Modoc Joint Unified School District has filed for one of two seats. Incumbent Maxine Sonnevil did not file. Velda Moore, Barry Kinman, VeeAnn Ambers and Jerry Cooley are in that race.

In Surprise Valley's Joint Unified School District, in cumbents from Cedarville, Rick Hironymous and Gene Erquiaga have filed papers. Bill Tierney filed in Cedarville to make that elec tion a race. Unopposed will be Kevin Wood for a short term in Eagleville and Fort Bidwell's Linda Schadler.

There are three seats open on the Tulelake Basin Joint Unified School District, two full terms and one short term expiring Dec. 1, 2000. The short term is of Joan Loustalet, and the full terms are of Jerry LeQuieu and Tamara Staunton.

LeQuieu and Janet Orr have filed for the short term. Staunton, Loustalet, Roy E. Wright, Barbara Binderup, and Ava Edgar have filed for the long term seats.

There are three seats open on the Modoc County Board of Education: those of Trustee Area two's Sharon Colt, Trustee Area three's Dixie Server and Trustee Area five's Marcella Haynes. All three of those board members have filed for re election and as of this date are not being challenged.

The Big Valley Joint Unified School District has three openings this year, two full terms and one short term. Full term seats are open in Adin and Bieber and one Adin area representative will run for a short term until Dec. 1, 2000.

In addition, Lookout and Adin voters will help select three Lassen College Trustees.

In addition to the school elections, there are elections for two members of the Surprise Valley Hospital District, two members of the Mayers Memorial Hospital District, three members of the Cedarville Water District, two members of the Newell Water District, three mem bers of the Hot Springs Irrigation District, two mem bers of the South Fork Irrigation District, two mem bers of the Tulelake Irrigation District, three members of the Adin Community Services District, two members of the California Pines Community Services District, one member of the Daphnedale Community Services District, and two members of the Canby Community Services District.

In the Cal Pines CSD, Randy Faver, Marvin Kitchen and Bob LaGabed have filed for election.

Various fire districts have elections to fill board member openings as follows: Adin, one; Alturas Rural, three; Canby, one; Cedarville, three; Davis Creek, one; Eagleville, one; Ft. Bidwell, one; Lake City, one; Likely, one; Lookout, one; Tulelake, two; Willow Ranch, two.



Police warn: be wary of theft from mail boxes


Sometime between August 22 and August 30, someone stole mail from 18 street mail boxes on the West side of Alturas.

Chief of Police Larry Pickett cautions residents to report any person at a mailbox who shouldn't be there. Tampering with mail is a felony offense.

According to Pickett, someone removed the mail from boxes in the 10th and 11th and Bonner Street areas. The mail was found by a young girl in an alley between 10th and 11th Street. She found a man's driver's license in the mail and returned it to him. She then showed that man where the mail was located and he reported the theft to police. Most of the mail was opened, said Pickett.




Ruth Frances Vernon


Surprise Valley native Ruth Frances Vernon, an accom plished pianist, died August 25, 1998 in Redding, Calif. from complications due to a stroke. Mrs. Vernon was 86. Mrs. Vernon was often invited to provide the music for the hymns at church services in Alturas, Lake City and surrounding communities.

She was born to Issac Clint and Alice Naomi Bachtel in Cedarville, Calif. on May 23, 1912. She at tended elementary school in Lake City and Surprise Val ley schools through her high school years. At age 19, she married Earl E. Vernon on July 3, 1931 in Lakeview, Ore. and the two shared al most 34 years of marriage and were blessed with seven children. Earl passed away on April 6, 1965.

Mrs. Vernon made her home in Lake City until 1960, when she moved to Alturas. She was a homemaker, and was good at crocheting, gardening and quilting. She also en joyed fishing and camping as well as playing the piano.

Mrs. Vernon enjoyed having lunch and visiting with friends at the Modoc Senior Citizens Center in Alturas, as often as she could.

In 1979 she moved to Freedom, Idaho, but returned to Al turas nine years later in 1988 and continued to make Al turas her home until her passing.

In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents, four children and two grandchildren.

She is survived by her son Arthur "Shorty" Vernon of Al turas; daughter Earlene and husband Willard Conklin, Alturas; daughter Nelda and husband Mark Robinson of Alturas and numerous grandchildren and great-grand children.

A memorial service is pending. In lieu of flowers dona tions may be directed to Modoc Senior Citizens Center, 906 West Fourth St., Alturas, CA 96101 or to North Valley Baptist Church 2690 Hartnell Ave., Redding, Calif. 96002. The North Valley Baptist Church ministers visited Mrs. Vernon to comfort her daily while she was in Redding.




Mildred "Midge" Easley


Mildred "Midge" Easley of Alturas, died August 30, 1998 in Fort Stockton, Texas. Mrs. Easley had made Alturas her home for eight years, having moved from Corning to Al turas. She had been staying with her daughter who was car ing for her while she was battling cancer. Mrs. Easley was 71 at the time of her passing.

She was born Mildred Nance in Neosho, Missouri on April 24, 1927. She and Ira Harold Clayton Easley were married on July 19, 1947 in Reno, Nev. Four children were born to their union, three sons and one daughter.

She is survived by her sons Billie and wife Jan Easley of Yuba City, Calif.; Larry and wife Leslie Easley of West wood; Steve and wife Wendy Easley of Alturas; daughter Pam and husband Hank Ortega of Fort Stockton, Texas; 16 grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her hus band.

Cremation was chosen. The Fort Stockton Funeral Home handled arrangements.

Record news summaries for September 10, 1998
  • Big Sage Fire chars nearly 3,000 acres
  • CCA, City Council to meet on application process
  • City Clock project nears goal of $13,500
  • Free seminar offered for small business
  • Highway work slowing some traffic in Modoc
  • Obituaries:
  • Fisher
  • Smith
  • Vernon

The forecast:

Partly cloudy skies are in the picture through the weekend with highs in the 70s through Friday and moving back up to the high 80s for the weekend.

Big Sage wildfire dampened by rain

Burns nearly 3,000 acres


The lightning fire started August 22 on the Big Sage Fire Management Unit of the Modoc National Forest has charred some 2,694 acres. But, wildlife officials are pleased with the burn.


Fires within that unit are allowed to burn them selves out as long as they do not threaten valuable timber or range lands or private prop erty.

Modoc National Forest Information Officer Gardener said the fire has not caused any damage to valu able lands and has done what the Forest Service wants to see. Fueling this fire, said Gardner, is some very high grass. The Forest Service will be monitoring the fire. Rain through the beginning of the week dampened the fire.

The fire is burning in the Crowder Mountain area of Devil's Garden. Over time the area is expected to more closely mimic the natural fire regime of the ecosystem.

Forest Biologist Tom Ratcliff sees the fire as bene ficial to the area and wildlife population.

"This fire becomes intense in some of the juniper stands but is a light under-burn -- a good mosaic pattern," said Ratcliff. Our objective is one of confine and monitor right now. Forest Officials fly over the area at least twice daily.

The burn, according to the California Department of Fish and Game, is just what the DFG's most recent bitter brush survey in the Devil's Garden reveals is needed. The area, the agency says, is being overtaken and cut off from the sun by a relentless encroachment of juniper that has expanded 470 percent in the past 41 years.

Ratcliff said the fire is ex pected to improve habitat for deer and other wildlife by in ducing the growth of new, nu tritious forage plants, such as bitterbrush and sage. The in vasion of juniper has been a phenomenon of this century brought about by the arrival of white man, his livestock and his forest practices, the DFG says.

According to Ratcliff, a similar 1,200 acres fire in the area in 1990 turned poor wildlife habitat into peren nial grasses and shrubs. In recent years, aerial surveys of the area almost always record sightings of deer, ante lope and elk.

"It ties back to the canopy problem," Ratcliff said. "When the forest canopy is opened by fire or timber thin ning, we get more sunlight through and more grass and forb growth."

The 430,000 acre Big Sage Fire Management Unit is de signed to save suppression costs and personnel for fires which threaten resource val ues. More than 300 fires have occurred in the unit since it was established in 1981.


CCA, council meet on application procedures


The Corrections Corporation of America will meet with the Alturas City Council Sept. 15, 7 p.m. to discuss the appli cation process for construction of a private prison.


Mayor Dick Steyer said officials from CCA will be on hand and the primary business under discussion will be how CCA plans to proceed with the application and what terms the city will require.

The meeting is open to the public and Steyer said the group Modoc Majority Against an Alturas Prison will be on hand to voice its opinion and ask questions of CCA representa tives.

Steyer also said members of the council will have ques tions of their own and hopes the process and the project be comes clearer by the end of the meeting.

CCA, the largest private prison operator in the nation, owns about 214 acres of the former Alturas Mill site. The city is expecting CCA to file an application to construct a 1,000 bed minimum to medium security prison at the mill site and to request the city annex the property.

The company has come under fire lately because of its op erations in Ohio, Texas and other states. CCA has had prob lems with inmate murders, violence and escapes, stemming in most cases from placing maximum security prisoners into medium security facilities. Some communities have said CCA has not lived up to its agreements.

The City Council has a mountain of information on CCA with most of it not painting a pretty picture, said Steyer. The mayor said CCA will be able to address the council's con cerns Tuesday night, and he asked them to be prepared to answer some questions about their operations in other areas.


Clock still needs funds


The Alturas Chamber of Commerce will be mount ing an effort this fall to raise the rest of the $13,500 for the town clock. To date, nearly $11,000 has been raised.


The clock will be placed at the Alturas Post Office. Work on the rock base of the clock will be started soon. That base will include a plaque honor ing last year's Modoc High School girls state champion basketball team.

The City of Alturas has pledged $5,000 and Sierra Pacific Power Company has pledged an additional $5,000. The clock has a price tag of about $13,500 and the Alturas Chamber of Commerce has taken on the task to raise the additional money. The Chamber was instrumental in obtaining the donation from Sierra Pacific.

A half-size model of the clock is on display at the cham ber. The chamber has provided pre-addressed dona tion en velopes with the clock model.

The clock will have a ded ication plaque to the 1998 Modoc High School State Championship girls basket ball team. That plaque is be ing donated by Modoc Motor Parts and the Modoc County Record.

The clock is about 16 feet high with a 44.5 inch face. For more information or to donate call the Chamber at 233-4434.

"Start Smart" business start-up seminar coming to Alturas

A FREE "Start Smart" small business start-up sem inar will be presented in Alturas September 14 through 17. The four-day, 32 hour training program is open to both small business owners and people consider ing starting a business of their own.


The Start Smart seminar will be presented by Sierra College Small Business De velopment Center counselor Bob Talbot. The classes will be held at New Directions, 802 N. East Street, Suite B, Alturas, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Septem ber 14 through Thursday, September 17. The course helps people analyze their aptitude for small business success and to develop a step plan by step to start their business and keep it on the road to success.

Graduates of the Start Smart program who go on to start a business and any other current or potential business owners can take advantage of free one-on-one counseling from the Sierra College Small Busi ness Development Center. SBDC consultant Bob Talbot is in Alturas once each month to provide personal ized assistance for small business owners. Counsel ing appointments can be made through New Direc tions.

Free enrollment in the Start Smart program is pro vided through the sponsor ship of New Directions. To register or obtain more in formation about the Start Smart program, call New Directions at 233-7703.


Highway work in Modoc

Roadwork is scheduled from Sunday, September 6, 1998 through Saturday, September 12, 1998 as follows:

Highway 139 from 3 to 9 miles south of Tulelake; maintenance project for pavement one-way traffic controlled by pilot cars. Delays up to 10 minutes expected. Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Highway 299E on Adin Pass; maintenance project for shoulder repair; one-way traffic controlled by pilot cars. Delays up to 15 minutes expected. Tuesday through Thursday from 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Highway 299E (288404) in and near Canby to 20 miles west of Alturas; $3.3 million construction project for pavement repair, structural repair, drainage work, shoulder backing and updating guardrail repair; one-way traffic controlled by pilot cars; delays up to 15 minutes expected. Monday through Friday 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., anticipated completion mid September.

Highway 299E (328904) at various locations around Alturas, $883,000 construction project for placing a thin blanket of asphalt concrete over the existing roadway; one-way traffic controlled by pilot cars; delays up to 15 minutes expected. Monday through Friday 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Anticipated completion mid September.

Highway 299E 3 miles west of Cedarville to Cedarville; maintenance project for shoulder repair; one-way traffic controlled by pilot cars. Delays up to 10 minutes expected. Tuesday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Highway 299E (340504) in and near Alturas; $597,000 construction project for placement of as phalt concrete over the existing highway; one-way traffic controlled by pilot cars; delays up to 15 min utes expected. Monday through Friday 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Highway 395 (259104) at and near Likely from the Lassen County line to approximately 4 miles south of the Juniper Overhead, $2.4 million construction project for asphalt concrete surfacing; one-way traffic controlled by pilot cars. Delays up to 15 min utes expected. Monday through Friday 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Anticipated completion mid October.




Winona Elizabeth Fisher


Winona Elizabeth Fisher, a resident of Alturas since 1944 and an active member of her community, passed away at the Plum Ridge Care Center in Klamath Falls, Oregon, early Friday morn ing, September 4, 1998. She was 84.

Winona was born in Fresno, Calif. on October 19, 1913 to Floyd and Esther [Eggert] Benson. She was reared in and attended schools in Anaheim, Calif. and graduated from Santa Barbara State College with teaching credentials. She worked for the University of California Extension Ser vices which sent her to rural counties of California as a Home Demonstration Agent. She was sent to Al turas in 1943 to work. That is when she met Marion Fisher and the two were married on September 17, 1944. They purchased the family ranch in June 1945 and moved onto the ranch in January of 1946. While raising their three children, Winona was also very active within the com munity.

Mrs. Fisher was a past member of the Alturas Ele mentary School Board, a past member of the P.T.A. hav ing held several offices. She was a 58-year member of the Order of Eastern Star Chap ter #51. She was a two-time past matron of Alturas Chapter 51 and held other of fices on the local and state levels. She was a leader of both the DeMolay and Rain bow Girls of Alturas. Her leadership in Rainbow Girls included being a Grand Deputy for the Northeastern counties of California. She was a leader and helper for Cub and Boy Scouts, Brown ies and Girls Scouts. Mrs. Fisher was a charter mem ber and the charter president of the Modoc County Cow Belles in 1965 and served as president and on multiple committees in the following years. She was named Cow Belle of the Year in 1978. She also was a member of the Modoc County Farm Bureau, was an Election Judge for Modoc County, was a judge at local fairs. Mrs. Fisher was a member of the Board of Deacons of the Federated Church of Alturas, a member of the Fellowship Tea Group of Alturas and the Canby Mothers' Club for which she was honored as "Mother of the Year" in 1986. Mrs. Fisher was an active 4-H leader for Alturas and helped 4-H and FFA mem bers throughout Modoc County. She was also in volved in many other com munity services and orga nizations.

During the 1960s and 1970s, Mrs. Fisher was a substitute teacher throughout Modoc County and taught Home Economics, Shop, Physical Education, Math and any other classes that required a substitute.

She enjoyed sewing, knitting, needlepoint, along with other hand crafts, cook ing, canning and garden ing.

Mrs. Fisher was preceded in death by her husband Marion Fisher who passed away on February 4, 1996. She is survived by her son Ted R. Fisher and daughter-in-law Louise of Gloucester Point, Virginia; two daugh ters, Virginia A. Longworth and son-in-law Michael of Auberry, Calif.; Frieda L. DuBois and son-in-law Pe ter of Klamath Falls, Ore.; a brother Lee Benson of Castro Valley; and two sisters Louise Dickenson of Lind sey and Esther Burke of LaVerne, Calif. Five grand children: Ronald Fisher, Elk Grove; William and Alan Longworth of Auberry; Tami and Stephanie DuBois, Klamath Falls; and great-granddaughter Kayla Fisher, Elk Grove, along with numerous nieces and nephews.

Visitation hours will be held on Thursday, Septem ber 10 from 2:00-7:00 p.m. at the Kerr Mortuary Chapel in Alturas. Friends are invited to attend funeral services at the Federated Church at 307 East First Street in Alturas on Friday, September 11 at 2:00 p.m., followed by burial at the Alturas Cemetery. All are invited back to the church following the ser vices for a potluck and gath ering.

The family would appre ciate that memorial contri butions be made in lieu of flowers to the CattleWomen Scholarship Fund, c/o Shirley Flournoy, P.O. Box 428, Likely, CA 96116.

Arrangements are under the direction of Kerr Mortu ary of Alturas.




William D. Smith

Former Alturas resident William D. Smith, a longtime engineer for Southern Pacific Railroad, died at his home in Redding on September 2, 1998 of natural causes. Mr. Smith was 83.

He was born January 19, 1915 at Ash Creek, Calif. Mr. Smith was a member of the Alturas Masonic Lodge #248 of Free and Accepted Masons; Alturas Chapter #51 Order of Eastern Star and received a Dr. Rob Morris award in 1982. He worked for Southern Pacific Railroad for 50 years, retir ing as a railroad engineer. His work with the railroad took him from Alturas to Dunsmuir and then to Shasta County in 1978.

He is survived by his sister Sheila Wright and brother-in-law John R. "Bob" Wright of Ventura and nephews Thomas C. Wright of LaPalma, Ca. and John R. Wright of Ventura.

Alturas Masonic Lodge #248 conducted a service at graveside at the Alturas Cemetery on Tuesday, September 8 at 1:00 p.m.

Memorial contributions may be made to Dogs for the Deaf, 10175 Wheeler Rd., Central Point, OR 97502 or Mercy Hospice.

Anderson's Chapel in Anderson took charge of arrange ments.


Services for Ruth F. Vernon


A memorial service for Ruth Frances Vernon will be held on Tuesday, September 15 at the Modoc Work Activity Cen ter, 310 West C Street, Alturas at 5:00 p.m.

Mrs. Vernon, a native of Surprise Valley, was 86 at the time of her passing in Redding, Calif. on August 25, 1998. Alturas had been her home for many years.

She is survived by her son Arthur "Shorty" Vernon of Al turas; daughter Earlene and husband Willard Conklin of Alturas; daughter Nelda and husband Mark Robinson of Alturas; numerous grandchildren and great-grandchil dren.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be directed to the Modoc Senior Citizens Center, 906 West Fourth St., Alturas, CA 96101 or to North Valley Baptist Church 2690 Hartnell Ave., Redding, CA 96002.

Record news summaries for Sept. 24, 1998

Modoc loses big in job discrimination case
City, FEMA still battle over street funds
Mountain lion prowling just south of town
Oct. 5, last day to register to vote
Sierra Pacific starts flurry of building activity


County loses big in Johnston sex bias case


Modoc County lost big in the sexual discrimination case filed by former Deputy Danyiel Johnston against the Modoc County Sheriff's Department.

A jury in Federal Court in Sacramento ruled unani mously Sept. 22 and awarded Johnston $300,000 in damages, broken down as follows: $110,000 for past wage loss; $90,000 for future wage loss; $100,000 for general damage. The county could still be liable for Johnston's attorney fees, which could be well over $100,000. Johnston was represented by Attorney Paul Arons of Redding.

The trial started September 8 in Sacramento and was wrapped up Sept. 21. The jury deliberated about nine hours before bringing in the verdict.

Modoc County was represented by District Attorney Hugh Comisky and Sheriff Bruce Mix was defended by Paul Coble, an attorney from Long Beach. Mix was not held per sonally liable for payment of the damages, but was found guilty by the jury in the same areas as the County and Sheriff's Department.

The jury found that Johnston would have been hired as a full time employee of the Modoc County Sheriff's Office, but for the gender-specific jail hiring policy.

The jury also found that the County of Modoc, Modoc County Sheriff's Department and Sheriff Bruce Mix dis criminated against Johnston in employment decisions on the basis of her gender.

Finally, the jury found that the County of Modoc, Modoc County Sheriff's Department and Sheriff Mix retaliated against Johnston for complaining about her alleged dis criminatory treatment or for pursing the lawsuit.

According to Arons, in January, 1998, Johnston requested unpaid time off from the department until the lawsuit was over. He said Mix immediately suspended her peace officer powers and took her badge and gun.

"In discussing their decision afterwards, jurors told Ms. Johnston that they were heavily swayed by the testimony of other women employees in the department who were never given the same training and opportunities (as males) to ad vance their careers," said Arons.

Modoc County Administrative Officer Mike Maxwell said the county had not had time to review the decision yet, but was disappointed, obviously in the outcome. He said it's "highly probable" the county will appeal the case. That deci sion will rest with their insurance carrier as well as the Board of Supervisors.

According to Maxwell, the county's insurance (Modoc be longs to a self-insured group) will cover the general dam ages, the future wage loss and attorney's fees, if awarded. The county, he said, would be liable for the $110,000 in back wages.

This ruling comes on top of an April 1, 1997 decision where Judge David F. Levi, in the U.S. District Court in Sacramento, ruled that the jail's long standing policy that females guard only females and males guard only males violates the U.S. Constitution and the federal Civil Rights Act.

The issue was brought to light when Johnston filed suit claiming discrimination against the hiring policies. She claims she was originally hired in 1992 to fill the next available patrol position in the Modoc's Sheriff Office. She continued to work part-time in the jail, and claims several men were hired to full time po sitions during the time she's been employed. She claimed many were not as qualified.

Modoc County Sheriff Bruce Mix maintains he was fol lowing state law which prevents deputies from searching inmates of the opposite sex in the gender-specific hiring practices and in no way discriminated against Johnston.

He admitted that he was hiring gender specific for the jailer jobs, but felt he was doing so in accordance with state law and in light of a tight budget.

While Judge Levi did decide the jail's hiring practices were illegal, he did not specifically decide whether Johnston was discriminated against. That issue was decided Tuesday.

Arons said the practice of hiring female patrol or jail of ficers is common throughout the state and the ruling issued by Judge Levi brought Modoc into modern times.

Sheriff Mix maintains his gender-specific hiring policy was in response to section 4021 of the state Penal Code which says, in part, that it's "unlawful for a jailer, deputy . . . to search the person of the opposite sex or to enter into the room or cell oc cupied by any prisoner of the opposite sex, except in the com pany of an employee of the same sex as the prisoner."

Mix argued that his policy protects the rights of prisoners in local detention facilities who have been arrested but not yet convicted of crimes. Therefore, he said, they have not sacrificed their rights to privacy. Additionally, said Mix, if he is required to follow the ruling it will mean an increase in personnel at the jail. That's one thing, he said, the budget can not handle.

Other jail and sheriff's offices in the north state have fe male jailers or deputies who they say do routinely "pat down" male inmates or suspects.

Maxwell said he still believes the county was following state law in its jail hiring practices and said an appeal could confirm that stance.


City, FEMA still battling over streets


The long and winding road between the City of Alturas and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, hasn't straightened out yet. And like a bridge over troubled waters, it may get worse.

According to City Public Works Director Stacy Chase, FEMA has denied the city's last appeal and there is one last chance to get the job done. In Chase's mind, it means getting the job done right.

FEMA has approved $365,000 in funds for placing a one-inch overlay over about six miles of crumbling Alturas streets. The damage was done by heavy storms a few years ago. The city is asking that FEMA approve an additional $275,000 to cover a "leveling course" on those streets.

Chase explains that without the leveling course work, which involves placing a thin layer of asphalt on existing roads so that a one-inch min imum of asphalt can be ob tained is essential.

Chase said not only will the leveling make the street re pairs last longer, it will meet FEMA's own requirements. He said without the leveling course, the city could place the asphalt on existing streets, but in many cases would not be able to achieve one inch of as phalt. That would violate the FEMA guidelines and the city could be liable to repay the initial funds.

Chase said the city is in a Catch-22 situation and may be damned if it goes ahead and damned if it doesn't. "We want to get these streets repaired, that's one of our top priorities," said Chase. "But we don't have the money for the leveling work and we don't want to put the city at risk. I'm hoping FEMA will see it our way this time around, but I'm not real opti mistic."

The final review will be heard this fall or winter, and actual streets repairs would begin next spring, if all goes well.



Mountain lion prowling south of hospital area


A mountain lion is the suspected culprit in the death of a pet goose recently just south of Alturas.

According to Marilyn Hill, who resides just southwest of Modoc Medical Center, Eddie Hill searched for the goose af ter it was missing and found its carcass in some tall grass in a field near their home. The grass was matted down by a large animal and Hill said he discovered a lion track in that area.

Since several people walk along the Pit River in that area, Hill advises them to be aware and believes the lion may still be in the area. Pet dogs and cats have turned up missing, but Hill said she couldn't confirm a lion was to blame. She's certain a lion was to blame in the loss of the goose.

Oct. 5 final day to register to vote


Don't forget that October 5 is the final day to register to vote in the November 3 General Election, which in cludes national, state and lo cal issues.

Modoc County Clerk Maxine Madison said the county has lost voters since the June primary, down from 5,958 voters to 5,864. She does expect that number to increase by the registration deadline. Be sure to report any change of address or name prior to Oct. 5 to be able to vote in the proper dis trict or com munity.

Incumbent Bill Hall, in the Modoc Joint Unified School District has filed for re-election. Velda Moore, Barry Kinman, VeeAnn Ambers and Jerry Cooley are in that race for two open seats.

In Surprise Valley's Joint Unified School District, in cumbents from Cedarville, Rick Hironymous and Gene Erquiaga have filed papers. Bill Tierney filed in Cedarville to make that elec tion a race.

There are three seats open on the Tulelake Basin Joint Unified School District, two full terms and one short term expiring Dec. 1, 2000. The short term is of Joan Loustalet, and the full terms are of Jerry LeQuieu and Tamara Staunton.

LeQuieu and Janet Orr have filed for the short term. Staunton, Loustalet, Roy E. Wright, Barbara Binderup, and Ava Edgar have filed for the long term seats.

There are three seats open on the Modoc County Board of Education and all trustees have filed for re-election: Trustee Area two's Sharon Colt; Trustee Area three's Dixie Server; and Trustee Area five's Marcella Haynes. There were no challengers in the race.

The Big Valley Joint Unified School District has three openings this year, two full terms and one short term. Full term seats are open in Adin and Bieber and one Adin area representative will run for a short term until Dec. 1, 2000.

In addition, Lookout and Adin voters will help select three Lassen College Trustees.

In addition to the school elections, there are elections for two members of the Surprise Valley Hospital District, two members of the Mayers Memorial Hospital District, three members of the Cedarville Water District, two members of the Newell Water District, three mem bers of the Hot Springs Irrigation District, two mem bers of the South Fork Irrigation District, two mem bers of the Tulelake Irrigation District, three members of the Adin Community Services District, two members of the California Pines Community Services District, one member of the Daphnedale Community Services District, and two members of the Canby Community Services District.

In the Cal Pines CSD, Randy Faver, Marvin Kitchen and Bob LaGabed have filed for election.

Various fire districts have elections to fill board member openings as follows: Adin, one; Alturas Rural, three; Canby, one; Cedarville, three; Davis Creek, one; Eagleville, one; Ft. Bidwell, one; Lake City, one; Likely, one; Lookout, one; Tulelake, two; Willow Ranch, two.


Sierra Pacific storms into Modoc with flurry of building


The construction of the Alturas Intertie power line project in Modoc got going this week with a flurry of activity.

Most impressive was a Chinook helicopter picking up the huge H-frame power poles, flying them to predrilled holes and setting them from the air. The helicopter operation at tracted plenty of attention from local people as they parked their cars to watch the chopper at work.

The Chinook would pick up the pre-assembled power poles out of the Alturas Mill yard by sling, fly them to the selected site, hover and lower them until a catch crew guided them into the holes. The entire operation per pole took about 10 to 15 minutes each.

According to Sierra Pacific's John Owens, the helicopter can make short work of setting the poles, especially in diffi cult terrain. The chopper was in Modoc Monday and had planned a couple of days working out of the Mill site before moving further south. The Alturas Intertie is 180-mile power line from Devil's Garden to Sparks, Nevada.

On Friday, a huge transformer was delivered by train to the mill site where it was moved to a flatbed trailer and trucked to the substation on Devil's Garden early Monday.

The transformer is a 230KV to 345KV unit that steps up the voltage from the Bonneville power line from 230KV to 345KV. It provides enough electricity to power 42,000 homes. It's 31 feet long, 25 feet wide and 28 feet tall.

Moving it from the mill site to the substation site up Crowder Flat road took several hours.

Record news for October 1, 1998


  • County plans to appeal discimination award
  • Options for hospital operation don't look good
  • Local doctors oppose closing OC, surgery
  • Candidates' night set for MJUSD
County says it will appeal Johnston case


Modoc County Attorney Hugh Comisky is planning to ap peal the recent decision in Johnston v. Modoc County made by a jury on September 22 in Federal District Court in Sacramento.

The jury found that the County, the Modoc Sheriff's Department, and Modoc Sheriff Bruce Mix (Defendants) discriminated against Danyiel Johnston in hiring and em ployment deci sions and then retaliated against her after she com plained about it. The jury awarded Johnston total dam ages of $300,000 plus attor ney's fees, which could add another $200,000 or more to the total.

Comisky will appeal the case to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and he claims he will have plenty of support in do ing so. He said that 15 other small counties in California are concerned about the effect the case has on gender re quire ments for hiring in jails. Those counties will file "amicus" or "friend of the court" briefs urging the Ninth Circuit to overturn the District Court decision.

Comisky said he also an ticipates getting support from the California Department of Corrections and the Attorney General's office. He also stated that the County insurer is "very, very concerned that it be appealed."

The argument for the ap peal will be that the District Court was incorrect when it ruled that the gender specific hiring policy used by the Defendants violated federal anti-discrim ination law.

The Defendants argued they were merely complying with state law which requires that guards be the same sex of the prisoner they search. Therefore, the defendants had tried to hire a certain number of male and female guards so that one of each sex could be on duty at the jail at all times.

Comisky is relying on a 1998 Ninth Circuit case to have the ruling overturned. In Robino vs. Iranon the Court held that male prison guards did not have a right to be guards in certain spots in a female correctional center in Hawaii. Therefore, gender was a "bona fide occupational qualifica tion" for a guard, and could be considered in making hiring decisions.

According to Johnston Attorney Paul Arons, the case Comisky is using as an appeal was cited during the trial and the judge ruled it did not apply to the Johnston case. That doesn't mean is can't be appealed, said Arons.

Arons said while the gender-based hiring was a part of the case, it was not the centerpiece. "The focus of the trial was the retaliation and the refusal to put the plaintiff (Johnston) in a patrol job," Arons said.

Arons contends that even if the county is successful in an appeal, which he feels is improbable, it would not affect the $300,000 judgment in favor of Johnston. It could, he said, add more than $100,000 to the overall judgment in filings and attorney's fees should the county lose its appeal.

Comisky said that the Robino case has a "significant im pact on this case."

The Judge in the Johnston case ruled that the hiring pol icy was illegal back in April of 1997. When the trial began, Comisky said the jury was told in the beginning that the Defendants had already been found to have engaged in un lawful hiring practices, and that "set the tone" for the rest of the trial that the jury was watching through "shaded glasses."

Comisky said he talked to jurors after the trial who said they were influenced by that, and that they would have viewed the case differently if it had not started with the premise that the Defendants were engaging in unlawful hir ing practices.

Therefore, even though the Court ruling only applied to hiring practices, Comisky is asserting that it was also tied the discrimination and retal iation claims Johnston made, because the jury had already been prejudiced before they de cided on those claims.

"They (the jury) were told we had done something wrong and it all flowed from that," Comisky said. "From our meet ings with members of the jury, that was clearly stated."

Before an appeal can be filed, Comisky must first file a motion for a new trial in the District Court. He estimated that an appeal could take two to three years if it were to go all the way through the sys tem.

He said he could not be sure at this point how much an ap peal would cost. Comisky also anticipates that there will be settlement talks with Johnston while the appeal is pending.


Hospital boards looks at options for future


The Board of Trustees for the Modoc Medical Center (MMC) has decided on the recommendation it will make to the County Board of Supervisors regarding MMC's future.

At a meeting on Monday morning, the MMC Board decided that the best route to go is a plan that calls for closing Warnerview Skilled Nursing Facility and not having obstetrics or surgery at MMC.

This is only a recommendation to the County Supervisors, who will make the final deci sion on how to proceed. The Supervisors must still hold public hearings on these is sues before taking action. It is estimated that it could be sev eral months before a final de cision is made.

The MMC Board chose its recommendation from a list of four options provided by Lutheran Health Systems (LHS), a group the County contracted with to study MMC and provide options. Last Wednesday, before a joint meeting of the Supervisors and the MMC Board, Lutheran Health made a pre sentation of its findings and potential options for the County to pursue.

The presentation included findings that MMC only gets 49 percent of the market share in its primary area, with many people seeking health care outside the County. The study also found that MMC has a very high number of employees per patient com pared to industry standards, and that those employees get higher benefits than the in dustry standard.

MMC has been losing money and is already $3,300,000 in debt to the County. The Supervisors have proposed limiting MMC's loss to $300,000 for 1999.

As the system currently ex ists, LHS projects that the County will need to provide an average subsidy of $534,373 each year from 1999 to 2003 so that MMC can break even.

LHS proposed four options. Under all four options, Warnerview would be closed. The facility has 59 beds available, but only 46 are cur rently being used.

Of the four options listed be low, the MMC Board chose Option 3.

Option 1 - would discon tinue hospital services. There would only be a clinic (including dental) open dur ing regular business hours. There would be no 24 hour emergency room, "but ambu lance services would be uti lized to triage and stabilize emergency patients before transferring them to area providers for more extensive care." Under this option, the average yearly subsidy from 1999-2003 required from the County would be $98,574.

Option 2 - would discon tinue hospital services but would provide 24 hour emer gency room services along with clinic and ambulance services listed in option 1. The average yearly County subsidy over a five-year pe riod would be $269,342.

Option 3 - would provide all services listed above plus a limited service hospital. However, there would be no long term care services, ob stetrics or surgery. Under this option, 18 patients (presumably from Warnerview) would be able to receive skilled nursing care. The average yearly County subsidy needed under this op tion is $247,814.

Option 4 - would provide a full-service hospital as well as all services listed above. The cost to the County per year would average $298,331.

Board member Vernon Knoch explained, "It was the most economical option," for MMC, particularly when hav ing to face the realities of the current fiscal situation.

Board member Joe Coffin said Option 3 was, "The best compromise to shoot for."

The motion to recommend Option 3 to the Supervisors was made by Coffin, who included two other planks as part of that motion. The other two parts of the motion call for closing Warnerview as soon as possible and exploring the possibility of creating a spe cial district in Supervisor ar eas 2, 3 and 4 to fund the hospi tal. Such funding would come from new taxes. A two-thirds majority would have to ap prove that.

Coffin noted, "It's easy to get a district. It's much harder to get it funded."

Kent Aland, Acting Administrator at MMC, said that the choice of Option 3 would mean the elimination of approximately 40 full-time jobs, or over one-third of the current 115 jobs (approximately) at MMC.

Aland emphasized that the study should be read as a whole, and that people shouldn't just focus on how one number here or there might be changed.

"The study can be picked apart by anybody who wants to," Aland said. "But the rela tionships are true. It's not just one thing. You have to look at everything."

Two local physicians who use MMC for obstetrics and surgery have voiced opposi tion and concern to going with Option 3. (See related article.)

Aland stressed the impor tance of going through the pro cess first.

"It's premature for medical staff to start running a public campaign," he said. "It's un healthy. We need to go through the hearing process and not try to polarize the community.

"This is a very difficult process. It's critical that we come up with the best answer for the community."

Aland, Knoch and Coffin all stated that MMC might be able to look at doing low-risk obstetrics in the future. As to questions of having to travel in the winter to have babies, all three pointed out that there are already a significant number of people leaving the County to have their babies without having problems.

"The question it comes down to is this, 'How much can we support?'" Joe Coffin said. "It's not a case of in creasing profits, it's a case of increasing loss.

"Who's going to pay. Is the whole County willing to pay for (obstetrics) that?"

There may also be an issue of which group of people is footing the bill for another group of people.

Emma Johnson, the Interim Director of Nursing at MMC, and a non-voting member of the Board, sees ob stetrics as a socio-economic area for many of the women who use MMC as a birthing facility.

"There are a lot of people who can afford to go to Lakeview," she said. "But there are a lot of people who cannot afford to go out of town for pre-natal care."

Johnson also noted that peo ple on Medi-Cal would have difficulty obtaining treatment in Oregon or Nevada.


Local doctors against cut ting OB


Modoc Medical Center may be in finan cial straits, but cutting obstetrics and surgery is not the answer, according to a pair of local physicians.

Dr. Ed Richert said he views obstetrics as a matter of pub lic health and safety. Richert is not only a private physician in the city, he is the county's public health officer. He and Dr. Owen Panner are concerned that the county may be plac ing itself in the way of amazing liability if an emergency situation comes up with a pregnant woman.

In the recent past, both doctors have deliv ered babies in the parking lot or cars when the mother simply did not have enough time to make it into the hospital. Both of those chil dren are doing fine, but without the obstetrics facilities and the physicians, both could have died.

If the hospital here cuts both obstetrics and surgery, it means the closest delivery hospi tals are Surprise Valley, Fall River, Lakeview and Klamath Falls.

Panner and Richert are the primary ob stetric physicians in Alturas and each year deliver between 50 and 60 new borns at Modoc Medical Center. Panner is also the contract anesthesiologist.

While the two doctors agree the loss of ob stetrics and surgery will impact their busi ness and ser vices, they say that is not the driving force in their opposition to cutting the services.

They believe the county needs to take the issues to the peo ple and get a feel of their de sires. Both believe cutting obstet rics and surgery will also further downgrade the repu tation of the facility and could cause cuts in other services includ ing laboratory or X-rays and more.

While some people can afford to go to Lakeview or other hospitals during their pregnancies, some people simply cannot af ford that option, said Panner. Cutting obstet rics at Modoc Medical Center, could create a real hardship, as well as an unsafe situation for that mother and child.

First of all, said Panner, records and a fi nancial report given to them by former hospi tal administrator Woody Laughnan shows that obstetrics makes money for the hospi tal.

For instance, said Panner, in 1997 the net profit for obstet rics was $86,000 and for fiscal year 1999 the profit is expected to be $72,000.

In addition, said Richert, a reputable sur geon has indi cated a desire to practice at Modoc Medical, which would nearly double the number of surgeries.

The pair has discussed options to their practice should the final cuts at Modoc Medical include obstetric and surgery, but neither has made up his mind to the future.

Both doctors also see an ominous situation if the county shuts down the long term care facility and keeps just 18 pa tients.

"That's going to create some real hardship on local fami lies," said Panner. "Of the 44 patients at the facility, only two are from out of the area."


Candidates night set for MJUSD election


A Candidate's Night has been scheduled Oct. 19, 7 p.m. for the Modoc Joint Unified School District Board of Trustees race.

The event, sponsored by the Modoc County Farm Bureau, will be held at City Hall in Alturas. The format will be as usual: an opening statement, questions from the audience and a closing statement.

Incumbent Bill Hall has filed for re-election in the MJUSD. Velda Moore, Barry Kinman, VeeAnn Ambers and Jerry Cooley are in that race for the two open seats.

October 5 is the final day to register to vote in the November 3 General Election, which in cludes national, state and lo cal issues.

Be sure to report any change of address or name prior to Oct. 5 to be able to vote in the proper dis trict or com munity.

Absentee ballots will be available after Oct. 5 by mail or a voter can go to the Clerk's office to cast a ballot. Ballots for Modoc's mail-in precinct should be out the second week of October and can be voted and returned as soon as they are received. Madison reminds voters that those ballots must be in to her office by 8 p.m. on election day.

In Surprise Valley's Joint Unified School District, in cumbents from Cedarville, Rick Hironymous and Gene Erquiaga have filed papers. Bill Tierney filed in Cedarville to make that elec tion a race.

There are three seats open on the Tulelake Basin Joint Unified School District, two full terms and one short term expiring Dec. 1, 2000. The short term is of Joan Loustalet, and the full terms are of Jerry LeQuieu and Tamara Staunton.

LeQuieu and Janet Orr have filed for the short term. Staunton, Loustalet, Roy E. Wright, Barbara Binderup, and Ava Edgar have filed for the long term seats.

Other than the school elections, there only other contested race is for the California Pines Community Services District where Randy Faver, Marvin Kitchen and Bob LaGabed have filed for election.

Other special districts in the county have open seats, but since not enough people filed, the Board of Supervisors will be making appointments to those boards.

Record News summaries for Oct. 8, 1998


  • Braves host Homecoming Friday night
  • Modoc Med saved from oblivion
  • Domestic violence a nightly call for police
  • Candidates on hot seat Oct. 19
  • Rite Aid boosts building in Alturas
  • Deer herds need better habitat management


The forecast:

Look for showers today and mostly cloudy on Friday and Saturday. The sun returns on Sunday. Temperatures will be cool with highs in the 58-59 range and lows dipping to 34 or so.


Modoc High's Homecoming brings out the purple and white Friday for game


Filled with a purple and white pride, the Modoc Braves and Modoc High School stu dents will be taking their show on the road Friday as they parade down Alturas' Main Street on Oct. 9 at 1:00 p.m. from the high school to Veterans' Park.

They hope to see the community lining the sidewalks to hear the band, see each class-constructed float and watch the cheerleaders perform a new flag routine in preparation for Modoc Highs' Football Homecoming Game Friday night against the Trinity High Wolves from Weaverville.

The Homecoming Football game at Modoc High's Ed Carver Stadium on Eighth Street, will start with Junior Varsity game at 5:00 p.m. followed by the Varsity game at 7:00 p.m.

During half-time of the Varsity game, the surprise announcement will be made as to who will reign as Homecoming Queen and court. The student body voted Wednesday for their senior choice.

Senior Class Homecoming royalty in cludes Leah Siegel; daughter of Paul and Karen Siegel, Alturas; Barbara Carroll, daughter of Mike and Bette Carroll, Alturas and Stephanie Northrup, daughter of Rex and Debra Northrup, Alturas.

Modoc High Athletic Booster Club will be operating concessions and selling barbecued hamburger dinners throughout the night.

Tonight, October 8, Modoc Athletic Boost ers are hosting a hamburger dinner for the athletes and their families at the field from 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. The Girls Powder Puff Foot ball Championship play-off game will be played at 7:00 p.m. on Carver Field for all spectators. The traditional Bonfire rally for students and the community will start at 8:00 p.m. in the parking lot.

All week Homecoming activities were taking place with Boxershort Volleyball tournaments, dress-up days including Pa jama Day, Twin Day and Friday's Purple and White Day.

Friday's post parade rally is scheduled to be held in the Griswold Gym. Students will be picked up by bus at Veterans' Park to return to the gym for the rally.

Saturday night at 9:00 p.m. doors will open at Oxley Hall for the traditional Homecom ing Dance.


Modoc Med saved from oblivion


Since October is tradition ally the month of the World Series, it seems only appro priate that the Warnerview Skilled Nursing Facility should be saved in dramatic fashion in the bottom of the ninth with two outs when things were looking their bleakest. Or as Supervisor Ron McIntyre put it, "What a dif ference a day makes."

On Monday morning the County and the Board of Supervisors woke up wonder ing what parts of the Modoc Medical Center (MMC), in cluding Warnerview, they would have to close and how much money they would still be losing after doing all that cutting. On Tuesday, the Board got official word that it could keep everything and have a surplus for the year.

There were still six months of public hearings ahead be fore anything would be closed, but the entire process was scheduled to start with Tuesday's meeting of the Board of Supervisors.

The big slugger that deliv ered the blow to put the fi nances in the black was the State Department of Health Services, which informed MMC that it would be raising its daily compensation rates for patients in skilled nurs ing facilities such as Warnerview from $127.63 per day to $153.82, retroactive to August 1, 1998.

That extra $25 or so a day times 46 patients over 365 days adds up to an additional $382,000 per year. Before the rate change, MMC and Warnerview had been ex pected to lose $220,051 for the current fiscal year based on a study done by Lutheran Health Systems (LHS). Now they are expecting to turn a profit of $162,000, based on the LHS study combined with the new compensation rates.

County Administrative Services Director Mike Maxwell and MMC Chief Financial Officer Theresa Jacques also reported to the Board that the rate is expected to rise again in the 1999-2000 fiscal year to $192.00 per day. There had been an expected loss of $579,273 for that year, but at rates of $192.00 per day, there could actually be a sur plus of $343,000 for the year.

Just last week, before the new compensation rates were known, the MMC Board of Trustees had made a recom mendation to the Supervisors to close Warnerview and eliminate obstetrics and surgery at the hospital because of the financial losses MMC was accruing. Maxwell told the Supervisors that the MMC Board was withdrawing its recommendation in light of the good news.

The MMC Board had based its recommendation on dif ferent options suggested by the LHS study. Now LHS will plug the new compensation rates into the study.

While there was much re joicing over the good news, there was also the realization that there are many hospital issues that still need to be dealt with. The game may not have been won in the ninth after all, it may have just been sent into extra-innings by buying the County more time to make difficult decisions.

"This is not our salvation," Supervisor Ben Zandstra told the rest of the Board. "We've avoided the immediate crisis only. We will not be doing the public a service if we just breathe a sigh of relief and go back to business as usual."

While Maxwell called Monday's news, "the best news I've had in the last two and-a-half years," he also pointed out to the Board that it now had a "window of oppor tunity" to deal with issues "that should remain on the table."

Maxwell also noted that compensation rates for health care facilities tend to cycle up and down over the years. Therefore, the time is now to prepare so that those cycles, "don't hit as hard."

The projections for now are that compensation rates will go back down to $175 per day in the fiscal year of 2000-2001. After that, they could go down even further and Maxwell emphasized that what MMC does with its costs this year, will have an effect on what the compensation rate will be for 2001-2002. Therefore, he feels it is important to get a short-term plan in place to address those issues.

One issue that the Supervisors definitely want considered by everyone is whether to create and fund a Special District for MMC for Supervisor Districts 2, 3 and 4, or the Modoc Joint Unified School District boundaries. Getting special tax funding for such a district would re quire a two-thirds majority vote by the citizens living in such a district.

Board Chairman Joe Colt said he would like to see the issue placed on the ballot for March of the year 2000 so that the Supervisors can get their "marching orders" from the people.

Supervisor Pat Cantrall said she had researched the issue and found that a tax of $150 for each homeowner in the district would raise $286,000. She also said that the tax rate would be lower if the tax were issued on a parcel basis since there are approx imately 9,000 parcels within the district boundaries.

In other matters before the Board on Tuesday:

1991 Prison Vote: Mike Dunn of the group Modoc Majority Against an Alturas Prison appeared before the Board on two issues.

The first was the 1991 ini tiative passed by the voters of the County. "Measure D", as it was known in that election, prohibits putting a prison in Modoc County, requires a two-thirds majority vote to place a prison in the County, and pro hibits making a land-use ap plication for the prison.

Even though the measure passed easily in 1991, it has never been published in the Modoc County Code Book as a law of Modoc County.

Back in 1991, Ruth Sorenson, then the County Attorney, analyzed Measure D and said it would not apply to the City of Alturas or the State of California. She also questioned whether the super majority requirement and the land-use restrictions could pass Constitutional muster or might conflict with State laws.

Since 1991, there has been considerable informal debate about how Measure D might stand-up if challenged in Court.

Nevertheless, current County Attorney Hugh Comisky told the Board on Tuesday that the law should be put on the books and be con sidered valid until it is over turned by a court.

"It's not for any of us in this room to decide," Comisky said. The only person who can make the decision is "somebody wearing a black robe."

Comisky also said that Measure D has a "saving clause" that provides that if one portion of the measure is held unconstitutional, the rest is still valid.

The Board agreed that the law should be in the books.

Supervisor McIntyre has advocated having the law challenged so that a court may review it and the County can have an idea of how to proceed on the issue.

He didn't make a motion to that effect on Tuesday, but he did express concern to Comisky that the County would end up having to defend the law at some point, and that such defense might require considerable time and ex pense.

Comisky said the County would only have to get in volved in a suit if it wanted to. He said that even if the law were challenged, the County would not have to defend it, but could instead defer to the court.

"The Board could simply take the position, 'You decide court,'" Comisky said. "In many cases its better that the Board remain neutral. This is a matter the people have spoken on."

Planning: Dunn also re quested that the Board termi nate the agreement between the County and the City of Alturas which allows the two entities to share Planning Department personnel, space and time.

Dunn said there is a con flict of interest for the Planning Department to be working on prison issues for Alturas when the County has an ordinance stating that a prison cannot be put in Modoc.

Members of the Supervisors, as well as mem bers of the Alturas City Council, both stated that they thought the current arrange ment worked well for both en tities.

Board Chairman Joe Colt stated that the only problem was the prison issue, other wise the agreement was fine.

Planning Director Scott Kessler said he had already made arrangements back in April to deal with the conflict by removing himself on both sides.

Should Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) make application to Alturas, an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) would need to be done. Kessler said he would contract that out to a consultant chosen by the City Council.

Should the project reach the stage where annexation needs to be considered, Kessler will again contract the job of doing a study and advising LAFCO out to an independent contrac tor chosen by LAFCO.

Alturas Mayor Dick Steyer told the Supervisors that Alturas representatives have only had one contact with CCA people, and that was through a conference call in Yuba City in August.

Steyer said that CCA was also concerned about a poten tial conflict for Kessler and was told that the problem had already been recognized and taken care of by the plan out lined above.

CCA's other request at that meeting was to allow it to hire it's own consultant to do the EIR. The City rejected that proposal.

"The Council has taken strong action to keep the rules of the game the same," Steyer said. "I don't trust CCA at this point in time. CCA...can't be trusted."

After the meeting Kessler said that his office has been working on many other is sues besides the prison, which has been getting all the atten tion.

He noted among the Planning Departments ac complishments the new Post Office, Rite-Aid, the indus trial incubator program and the Wrymoo Railroad Museum.

Electricity: The County has been asked by Siskiyou and Del Norte Counties and the City of Yreka to join them in a "Joint Powers Agency" to buy facilities that Pacific Power is selling.

The Board chose not to act on the issue on Tuesday be cause of concerns about how the County's actions might ef fect Surprise Valley Electric (SVE) which is also bidding for the facilities.

The issue has been placed on the agenda for the next Board Meeting when repre sentatives of SVE will be in vited to address the Supervisors.


Domestic vio lence calls keep police busy at night


Night patrol officers in the City of Alturas get to see far too much of the unhappy side of homelife -- domestic vio lence.

"On an average I'd say we get at least one domestic vio lence call a night," said Alturas Chief of Police Larry Pickett. "It's a pretty sad state of affairs, but over the past 10 years there has been a large increase in domestic violence cases."

Pickett said the incidents are generally spawned by al cohol or drugs and more than 50 percent of the calls come from homes where police have had to respond to domestic vio lence calls previously.

"The bottom line is there is just no reason for a man ever to hit a woman," said Pickett. "But it happens and it happens a lot in Alturas. I know that we're not getting called to all the incidents of domestic vio lence, there are a lot of people who just won't report the beat ings."

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month and Pickett said getting more people to understand the na ture of the crime and how to avoid it is important. He said it's also impor tant that people report the crimes to authorities so they can get help.

"In the old days women didn't report it when their husbands beat them up," said Pickett. "That's changed and women, or men, need to know there's help for them to get out of those situations or at least get counsel ing to deal with the problem."

According to Pickett his of ficers have gone through sev eral domestic violence train ing courses and have another one scheduled in the near fu ture.

"If we arrive at a home and can see physi cal evidence of a beating, we're going to ar rest the perpetrator," sad Pickett. "We have to have proof and when we do we book those peo ple. It's sad that often the wife will call the next day and say she doesn't want to press charges, it wasn't all the hus band's fault and so on. The District Attorney has been good about prosecuting those people who have committed crimes against their part ners."

Education and interven tion are the key components of stopping domestic violence, Pickett said. He said the Modoc Crisis Center has been very instrumental in dealing with victims and providing valuable information and as sistance. Abusive relation ships don't often heal them selves, said Pickett.

Anyone who needs help or advice should contact the Modoc Crisis Center at 233-4575.


Lack of habitat management key to thinning herds


The California Department of Fish and Game is working with the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management in an effort to get more equal footing for deer in land management issues in the northeast corner of the state.

In the latest edition of Tracks, the DFG magazine, the agency says more emphasis needs to be placed on deer man agement, when, for instance, about 72 percent of Modoc is administered by federal agencies.

The DFG report, "An Assessment of Mule and Black Tailed Deer Habitats and Population" makes a strong plea to land managers -- namely the USFS and BLM -- to make deer a higher priority when land management decisions are made.

According to the Tracks article, the DFG attributes low deer numbers to "declining abundance of early succes sional vegetation communities," "biomass thinning" and "livestock impacts."

"In simpler terms," said DFG, " much of the land is man aged to produce livestock and timber, not deer. The hard re ality facing California's wildlife is that deer apparently lack the economic value needed to influence habitat man agement decisions."

But, according to the DFG study, hunters spent over $2 million in northeast California during the 1997 deer and antelope season. The decline in the deer herd is affecting lo cal store owners' bottom line.

Last weekend's deer season opening, coupled with the opening of waterfowl season, was a boon to local business as grocery stores, restaurants and motels saw plenty of hunters. Most long time business owners in Alturas understand the severe drop in hunter business over the past decade.

According to the study, the most dramatic herd declines have been in northeast California.

"The northeast California deer assessment unit, has de clined more than any other in the state, estimated from about 90,000 in 1992 to 25,000 in 1996." said the DFG. "The reasons for the declines are well-documented in the report, the ur gency to act is apparent; and the appropriate response seems obvious -- at least to wildlife managers. Perhaps when the question about economic worth is answered, the appropriate response will be obvious to those with the power to act."

The results of the 1997 economic survey in northeast California showed deer hunters spent about $2 million and Pronghorn antelope hunters another $200,000. The DFG con ducted the survey of deer zones X-1 through X6b to show that wildlife, particularly game wildlife, have a definable eco nomic value.

"Consider the number of deer tags issued for northeastern California is about one-fifth the number issued in 1987, when deer herds where in much better shape," the DFG's Eric Loft, a wildlife biologist writes. "This translates into sev eral million dollars in lost revenue to the local economy ev ery year."

According to the survey, in 1987 there were 15,010 deer tags issued for the northeast corner, and hunters spent more than $8.5 million dollars. In 1997, 5003 tags were issued and hunters spent about $1.8 million.

The results of the survey are being sent to local govern ment agencies chambers and private landowners in this area. The hope of the DFG is that the decision makers will do what is necessary to bring deer -- and revenue -- back to northeastern California.


MJUSD candidates to face off Oct. 19


A Candidate's Night has been scheduled Oct. 19, 7 p.m. for the Modoc Joint Unified School District Board of Trustees race.

The MJUSD Candidate's Night sponsored by the Modoc County Farm Bureau, will be held Oct. 19, 7 p.m. at City Hall in Alturas. The format will be as usual: an opening state ment, questions from the audience and a closing statement.

On the hot seat will be incumbent Bill Hall and Velda Moore, Barry Kinman, VeeAnn Ambers and Jerry Cooley. There are two seats open on the board.

According to County Clerk Maxine Madison requests for absentee ballots or people coming in to vote absentee are very heavy in this election. She expects a very good absentee turnout, but isn't sure what the overall turnout will end up.

Voters should have received their sample ballots by now, said Madison. Several areas in the county are on a mail-in only status and those ballots may be voted and returned when they arrive soon, but must be in to the clerk's office by election day. Late bal lots will not be counted.

In Surprise Valley's Joint Unified School District, in cumbents from Cedarville, Rick Hironymous and Gene Erquiaga have filed papers. Bill Tierney filed in Cedarville to make that elec tion a race.

There are three seats open on the Tulelake Basin Joint Unified School District, two full terms and one short term expiring Dec. 1, 2000. The short term is of Joan Loustalet, and the full terms are of Jerry LeQuieu and Tamara Staunton.

LeQuieu and Janet Orr have filed for the short term. Staunton, Loustalet, Roy E. Wright, Barbara Binderup, and Ava Edgar have filed for the long term seats.

Other than the school elections, there only other contested race is for the California Pines Community Services District where Randy Faver, Marvin Kitchen and Bob LaGabed have filed for election.

Other special districts in the county have open seats, but since not enough people filed, the Board of Supervisors will be making appointments to those boards.


Lack of habitat management key to thinning herds


The California Department of Fish and Game is working with the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management in an effort to get more equal footing for deer in land management issues in the northeast corner of the state.

In the latest edition of Tracks, the DFG magazine, the agency says more emphasis needs to be placed on deer man agement, when, for instance, about 72 percent of Modoc is administered by federal agencies.

The DFG report, "An Assessment of Mule and Black Tailed Deer Habitats and Population" makes a strong plea to land managers -- namely the USFS and BLM -- to make deer a higher priority when land management decisions are made.

According to the Tracks article, the DFG attributes low deer numbers to "declining abundance of early succes sional vegetation communities," "biomass thinning" and "livestock impacts."

"In simpler terms," said DFG, " much of the land is man aged to produce livestock and timber, not deer. The hard re ality facing California's wildlife is that deer apparently lack the economic value needed to influence habitat man agement decisions."

But, according to the DFG study, hunters spent over $2 million in northeast California during the 1997 deer and antelope season. The decline in the deer herd is affecting lo cal store owners' bottom line.

Last weekend's deer season opening, coupled with the opening of waterfowl season, was a boon to local business as grocery stores, restaurants and motels saw plenty of hunters. Most long time business owners in Alturas understand the severe drop in hunter business over the past decade.

According to the study, the most dramatic herd declines have been in northeast California.

"The northeast California deer assessment unit, has de clined more than any other in the state, estimated from about 90,000 in 1992 to 25,000 in 1996." said the DFG. "The reasons for the declines are well-documented in the report, the ur gency to act is apparent; and the appropriate response seems obvious -- at least to wildlife managers. Perhaps when the question about economic worth is answered, the appropriate response will be obvious to those with the power to act."

The results of the 1997 economic survey in northeast California showed deer hunters spent about $2 million and Pronghorn antelope hunters another $200,000. The DFG con ducted the survey of deer zones X-1 through X6b to show that wildlife, particularly game wildlife, have a definable eco nomic value.

"Consider the number of deer tags issued for northeastern California is about one-fifth the number issued in 1987, when deer herds where in much better shape," the DFG's Eric Loft, a wildlife biologist writes. "This translates into sev eral million dollars in lost revenue to the local economy ev ery year."

According to the survey, in 1987 there were 15,010 deer tags issued for the northeast corner, and hunters spent more than $8.5 million dollars. In 1997, 5003 tags were issued and hunters spent about $1.8 million.

The results of the survey are being sent to local govern ment agencies chambers and private landowners in this area. The hope of the DFG is that the decision makers will do what is necessary to bring deer -- and revenue -- back to northeastern California.

Record news summaries for Oct. 15, 1998


  • City adopts $2.8 million budget
  • Candidates square off for MJUSD race
  • Wrymoo needs help for Santa Train
  • Cruisers put new flag on Main
  • Physical Therapist begins new job

The forecast:

Partly cloudy and cool is in the future, with highs in the low 50s and lows to the low 30s. Sunny skies are expected Saturday and again on Monday. Lows will dip into the 20s.


City adopts 2.8 million budget


The Alturas City Council Tuesday night adopted a 1998-99 budget totaling $2,841,259, which includes a three pere for employees and department heads.

The budget was adopted with the following projected fund amounts: general fund, $178,029; police, $592,194; planning, 444,660; railroad, $6449; building $25,411; streets, $737,061; public works, $5,909; parks, $2,071; community projects, $6,350; golf course, $93,662; other recreation, pool, $51,307; business enhancement, $5,000; water, operation, $352,092; water (loan repayment), $245,720; sewer, $367,548; fire de partment, $126,336; medical response, $1,400.

The biggest fund sources for the city include; sales tax, $450,000, property tax, $203,000; and occupancy tax, $91,000. City street funds come from state gas tax and funds to operate water, sewer are from fees.

The business enhancement funds come from 10 percent of the city business license fee. Those funds were used to help purchase the new town clock for the Alturas Post Office. That clock will be set up in the near future.

In other business, the council agreed to make some con cessions on a parking area for K&K Produce/Alturas Creamery on Carlos Street. Recently, the city passed an or dinance restricting parking on Carlos Street from Rine to West.

That ordinance directly impacted the historic business of the Ken Roberts' K&K/Creamery on Creamery Hill. The lack of customer parking was creating some serious and negative impacts. Roberts came to council Tuesday feeling like he was getting singled out and was trying to find a set tlement.

The council agreed with Robert's assessment that the parking signs placed on Carlos did look like he was being targeted.

In the end, the council felt that a 20-minute parking area on the north side of Carlos at the Creamery, for customers, was a good idea.

The no parking areas were set up because of safety con cerns. The Creamery sits on the south side of Carlos at point of a steep incline. The city was concerned about the site be cause with truck and regular vehicle traffic it gets con gested. The creamery has operated at the same location for more than 50 years. The council also will look into lowering the 35 m.p.h. speed limit on that section of Carlos Street. Drivers are cautioned to slow down and take care on that part of Carlos Street.


Candidates Night set in MJUSD election


A Candidate's Night is scheduled Oct. 19, 7 p.m. for the Nov. 3 Modoc Joint Unified School District Board of Trustees election.

The Candidate's Night sponsored by the Modoc County Farm Bureau, will be held at City Hall in Alturas. The format will be as usual: an opening state ment, questions from the audience and a closing statement.

Candidates included are incumbent Bill Hall and Velda Moore, Barry Kinman, VeeAnn Ambers and Jerry Cooley. There are two four-year terms open on the board.

In Surprise Valley's Joint Unified School District, in cumbents from Cedarville, Rick Hironymous and Gene Erquiaga have filed papers. Bill Tierney filed in Cedarville to make that elec tion a race.

There are three seats open on the Tulelake Basin Joint Unified School District, two full terms and one short term expiring Dec. 1, 2000. The short term is of Joan Loustalet, and the full terms are of Jerry LeQuieu and Tamara Staunton.

LeQuieu and Janet Orr have filed for the short term. Staunton, Loustalet, Roy E. Wright, Barbara Binderup, and Ava Edgar have filed for the long term seats.

Other than the school elections, the only other contested race is for the California Pines Community Services District where Randy Faver, Marvin Kitchen and Bob LaGabed have filed for election.



Wrymoo making its plans for 1st Santa Train


As a special and exclu sive treat for children in Modoc County, Friends of Wrymoo - Alturas Railroad Museum will operate the first northern California "Santa Train" on Saturday, Dec. 5.

Santa will ride aboard one of the trains with up to a maximum of 20 children at a time, hearing the wishes of each one, while riding along a short line of track. The event is expected to run from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. to accommo date all children at the Al turas-Wrymoo Rail road Museum.

"We're expecting to draw a lot of children and their families from a wide area," Dave Rangel envisioned aloud. "It will be the only Santa Train in northern California and we're excited about doing this."

The elves, train crew members and volunteers will be helping with the event and con cessions. More help is welcomed.

Friends will be holding several free drawings in cluding two train sets to be given away to two different age groups of children and a basket filled with treats for a lucky adult ticket holder.

"We'll be selling hot chocolate, chili, baked pota toes with toppings and more. We've already had several folks volunteer to make chili," shared Marcella An dreasen.

Friends would like to host a con signment shop for craft items in addition to their regular souvenirs. They will sell the items for 10-20 percent extra to benefit the Alturas-Wrymoo Railroad Museum Project. The crafter need not be present to partici pate.

"We know there will be several other craft bazaars going on that day, so we don't expect those folks to have to stay here with their items to sell," explained Andreasen. "They will just have to let us know what price they will want for their items."

"In order for us to provide all these activities, we will need a lot of help and support from our members and folks interested in helping with the day," states Jill Porter, Friends President.

Those interested in sub mitting crafts for the con signment shop, help ing in any way from provid ing concession items to assist ing with set up, clean up or helping as station managers during two hour shifts, as elves or more, are welcome to contact Jill Porter at 233-5746 or Marcella Andreason at (530) 233-2576 by Novem ber 6, so they can organize plans ac cording to volunteer support.

The same day several holiday bazaars will be tak ing place in Alturas.

Currently the sister loco motive of the red "Spirit of Alturas" which is already in place at the museum, is en route from Oklahoma. Track has also been donated but the means of getting it to Alturas is being considered.

The newly-elected offi cers for Friends include President Jill Porter; Vice-president Jack Ochs; Secre tary-treasurer Marcella Andreasen and board mem bers David Rhoades and Phyllis Dust man. Wrymoo Board liai son is Dave Rangel.



Cruisers gift brings big Ol' Glory


Take hope, Alturas. A new big flag will begin fly ing over Alturas, as seen from a distance and in town beginning this week.

Thanks to "greatly appre ciated" dona tions and a big boost from the Modoc Clas sic Cruisers, a new 20 by 30 foot flag, val ued at $725 will ar rive from Marty and Val Smith's Banner and Flag business in Sparks, Nev.

The last heavy winds whipped a four-foot rip into the old flag, which was be com ing shorter and shorter. It was the last straw for the existing flag, said DAV 113 Treasurer Gordon Heughen, whose job it was to repair the well-worn flag.

Through veterans' group donations and gifts from the public, the Disabled Ameri can Veterans Unit 113 will be able to also purchase a second flag to rotate as one flag is being repaired.

The Modoc Classic Cruisers car club recently gave $500 toward the new flag, which was the boost needed to be able to pur chase the new flag on Tuesday morning, much to the delight of the D.A.V. and vet erans groups.


New Physical Therapist starts at Modoc Medical


In a way, Physical Therapist Bruce Ovitz is new to Modoc County, but in a way he's also been around here for a very long time.

He's new to Modoc in that he will be working for the Modoc Medical Center Physical Therapy Department two days a week. Ovitz will see patients on Mondays and Tuesdays and Gavin Kleiman will continue to cover Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at the clinic.

While this is the first time Ovitz has done outpatient work at the Medical Center, he knows his way around Modoc County and has plenty of ex perience with patients here.

Way back in 1974, Ovitz moved to Janesville, just out side Susanville, to take a posi tion with the Elks' Handicapped Children's Program. The position al lowed him to cover Modoc, Lassen and Plumas counties doing home treatments for children.

Ovitz has specialized in pe diatric physical therapy and has a history of working with Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, Muscular Dystrophy, orthope dic-neurological disabilities, motor growth and develop ment deficiencies, evaluation of specialized equipment and family education. He is a Pediatric Section member of the American Physical Therapists Association and has 28 years of experience.

Ovitz said that the first time he worked with children, "It just struck a responsive note. They're growing and vibrant. They're young and curious.

"With children it's long term. You think about it in terms of years instead of just weeks like you do with other patients.

"I've had a blast working with the kids."

After working for the Elks program for 22 years, Ovitz went into private practice for the past three years and is ex cited to be back in Modoc County with what he calls a "win-win" situation. He will get to see both outpatient clients at the clinic, and con tinue to see children in their homes as he has been doing for so many years.

He will also be seeing chil dren in Plumas and Lassen counties under contracts he has with those entities.

"I think it's going to work out," Ovitz said. "This (MMC) is an excellent department and a very good program.

"I like Modoc County. I'm having a great time here."

Ovitz was born and raised on a cattle ranch in South Dakota. After a stint in the Marines, he got his bachelor's degree in physical therapy from Long Beach State in Southern California. He and his wife, a school teacher, live in Janesville. In his spare time, Ovitz is a volunteer fire fighter for the Janesville Fire Department.

Record news summaries for Oct. 22, 1998

  • County backs SVEC in PP&L bid
  • Safety issues concern schools
  • New boss takes over at Modoc Forest
  • Alturas gets new face--a town clock
  • Fire season declared over for this area


County backs SV on bid for PP&L


The Modoc County Board of Supervisors decided on Tuesday to get behind Surprise Valley Electric.

At the last Supervisors meeting, Modoc had been asked to become part of a Joint Powers Agency (JPA) with Siskiyou and Del Norte Counties as well as the city of Yreka. The pur pose of the JPA was to acquire an electricity transmission and distribution system that is being sold by Pacific Corp.

At that meeting, the Board said it didn't want to make a decision without first consult ing with Surprise Valley Electric (SVE), also a bidder on the project.

On Tuesday, SVE Manager Dan Silveria told the Supervisors that SVE has made a joint bid with Coos-Curry Co-Op, which currently runs an operation on the coast of Oregon.

Silveria said that between the two, "Our intention is to create a non-profit electric co operative. We feel it would be a very efficient operation."

According to Silveria, members would govern the new co-op and there is financ ing in place to cover the bid. Neither SVE nor Coos-Curry covers Siskiyou County right now, but the partnership, if successful, would reach into that area.

County Administrator Mike Maxwell informed the Board that he had researched the issue and found that the group proposing the Joint Powers Agency had not put to gether all of the necessary in formation needed to make the bid. He also said that one of the other parties to the agree ment had yet to ratify it, con trary to what the Board had been told by those seeking to get Modoc into the JPA.

The Supervisors decided not to go with the JPA and in stead support SVE in its bid. Silveria said the County's sup port may be helpful when the sale comes before the California Public Utilities Commission for review.

In other matters before the Board on Tuesday:

New MMC Administrator: Jim Knight is the new interim Administrator for the Modoc Medical Center. He will be at MMC for at least the next six months.

Eagleville Airport: The airstrip in Surprise Valley got resurrected on Tuesday after being voted out of existence a couple of months ago. The vote to close it was 3-2, the vote to re-open it was also 3-2.

Surprise Valley Supervisor Ben Zandstra was the one who made the switch after deter mining that it would cost just as much, if not more, to close the airstrip and return the land to the BLM in its natural state, as it would to just put down a gravel runway.

"We don't really need it," Zandstra said of the Eagleville Airport. "But if it's going to cost the same either way, I don't want to do another take away."


Safety issues dominate school actions


Several Safety issues were on the agenda at the Modoc Joint Unified School District (MJUSD) Board meeting on Tuesday night.

Recent updates in state law have given the District a clearer picture of what can be done in terms of guns and gangs, which have thankfully not been a problem in the Modoc District thus far.

Under state law, any stu dent caught bringing a gun to school must be suspended for one year. The District has no other alter native in deciding how to punish the student.

State law also allows schools to create a dress code that "prohibits students from wear ing gang-related apparel when there is evi dence of a gang presence that disrupts or threatens to disrupt the school's activities."

On Tuesday the Board also approved a state required "Comprehensive School Safety Plan" to be followed in times of emergency such as flood, earthquake, toxic spill, etc. The Plan goes into detail about chain of com mand and "even goes so far as to say things like who goes and turns the gas off" accord ing to Board President Bill Hall.

In other matters before the Board on Tuesday:

Math: The Board reviewed statistics show ing that 68 per cent of 9th graders at Modoc High are registered in an al ge bra class.

The Board announced a plan last year to move toward teaching algebra at an ear lier age and eventually phase out basic math classes at MHS. Next year algebra will be of fered for 8th graders at Modoc Middle School.

The State tests this spring will already be testing 8th graders on algebra.

Grants: Governor Wilson recently an nounced several state-wide grants that will send money to the Modoc District.

The "School Site Grants" provide for $180 million to be distributed based on the num ber of students at the school. Minimum grants will be $10,000.

A fund of $250 million has been set up for the purchase of "Core Curriculum Instructional Materials." Funds are awarded based on the average daily atten dance a school or district has at a rate of about $32.74 per student. There is a related fund of $71.5 million for pur chasing materials for science laboratories.

Finally, libraries through out the state will get $158.5 mil lion in funding to pur chase books, periodicals, computer software, CD ROMs, etc.


New boss takes rudder of Modoc Nat'l Forest


The Modoc National Forest, absent a Forest Supervisor since January 1, now has a new boss, Scott Conroy. Conroy arrived Friday from Washington, D.C.

The first task for Conroy will be getting out and meet ing with local gov ernment, agencies, em ployees and the general public. He wants to take the pulse of the community.

"My objective over the next 30 days is to meet as many folks as I can and find out what they feel are the issues fac ing the for est," said Conroy. "I'll also be visiting with all the dis tricts and staff to listen to what they have to say."

Conroy comes to Modoc fresh from a three-and-a-half year stint in Washington D.C. where he was detailed to the Executive Branch and worked as an assistant to a Nevada Senator Reed. He was the Senator's natural resources advi sor and dealt quite extensively with range management is sues.

"I wouldn't trade that experience," said Conroy. "I learned about the inner workings and specifically about the interaction between the executive and legislative branches. I also believe I made some good contacts in Washington."

His goal when he went to Washington was to eventually get back to the west coast once the assignment ended. The opening on the Modoc forest fit his needs.

He's been with the Forest Service since 1977 and has worked for the Plumas and Toiyabe National Forests. He has a Masters Degree from the University of Nevada, Reno, in Natural Resources Management. Much of his study and work areas concern riparian management. He has plenty of expertise in management, wildlife and fish issues, timber, range, and recreation.

Conroy and his wife, Lorna, are in Modoc now and are looking forward to settling in and becoming part of the community. He is also active in the Ducks Unlimited organization and was on hand when the Modoc chapter was organized. He was president of the Sierra Valley Chapter of DU and plans to be active in Modoc's unit.


New face for Alturas -- a town clock


After months of a community-wide fund rais ing campaign sponsored by the Alturas Chamber of Com merce, the Alturas town clock is a reality.

Scott Kessler, City Plan ner, approached the Chamber early this spring with the pro posal to purchase a town clock to be placed in front of the new post office on Main Street. During construction of the post office, a pedestal was formed to hold the clock, with wiring included for its operation.

Residents, in typical fash ion, have shown their dedica tion to enhancing the town with their contributions. A generous donation from the City of Alturas and Sierra Pa cific Industries have helped toward the goal of the pur chase price of $13,500. To date $11,300.50 has been raised. The company required $7,000 to confirm the order, with an additional $5,000 upon deliv ery of the clock.

Holiday Market is provid ing an opportunity for further funds. All cash register re ceipts placed in their desig nated receptacle will generate a donation from Holiday. The community is urged to take advantage of their gen erosity and help with the bal ance of the costs. All commu nity donations are being gratefully accepted.

Devil's Garden Conserva tion Camp inmates are fabri cating the rock work, de signed by Rick Holloway, that will cover the clock's pedestal. In honor of the 1998 girls basketball champi onship, Modoc Motor Parts and Modoc County Record purchased a bronze plaque that will be placed in the base. Local rock is being used for the base.

Surprise Valley Electric crews installed the clock that came from Herwig Lighting Company, Russellville, Arkansas. Mr. Herwig per sonally delivered the clock to Alturas.


1998 Fire Season closes for Modoc NF


Modoc National Forest declared 1998 fire season offi cially closed Sunday, October 18. According to Chuck McElwain, Assistant Fire Management Officer, it was a relatively slow fire season, although acres burned met seasonal averages due to the amount of tall dry grass.

Lightning caused 64 fires, which burned 2746 acres. There were 16 human caused fires, including the 9901 acre Refuge Fire that started on Fish and Wildlife land and immediately moved to BLM and Forest Service land.

The comparatively quiet season allowed fire personnel to help in other areas. Modoc National Forest engines, hand crews and overhead per sonnel provided assistance in Florida, Texas, Virginia, Nevada, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, New Mexico, Alaska and Canada.

Lookouts are no longer staffed and the Interagency Command Center has re turned to regular business hours, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Record news summaries for Oct. 29, 1998


  • County looking for 60 percent voter turnout
  • Modoc takes hard look at statutory rape issues
  • Couple who avoid trial have $300,000 bail
  • Cattlemen host Fall Dinner meeting
  • Rock Art that's been around awhile
  • Modoc Mystery theater for Halloween


The forecast: Following patches of fog, the weather turns clear today and tomorrow. Look for highs in the mid 60s and lows in the mid 20s. Partly cloudy on Sunday. Not real cold.


Modoc looking for better than 60% voter turnout


While a low voter turnout is predicted statewide for the November 3 general elec tion, Modoc County is hoping for a better than 65 percent showing.

County Clerk Maxine Madison is buoyed by the number of absentee ballot requests in so far, above 700, and expects the overall turnout to be close to what it was in the 1994 General Election, at 69.2 percent.

One thing that could boost totals is that about 40 percent of Modoc voters either vote absentee or have mail-in-only bal lots. Madison said at this point, 2,403 of the coun ty's 5,885 voters will either vote by mail or ab sentee.

"We're getting more and more people con sistently voting absentee," said Madison. "I think our voter turnout will be good, at least above 60 percent."

Helping that turnout, she said, should be local races in school districts in Modoc, Tulelake and Surprise Valley. State and na tional races are also going to bring interested voters to the booth.

Candidates in the Modoc Joint Unified School District for two open trustee seats are: Bill Hall, Velda Moore, Barry Kinman, VeeAnn Ambers and Jerry Cooley. There are two four-year terms open on the board.

In Surprise Valley's Joint Unified School District, in cumbents from Cedarville, Rick Hironymous and Gene Erquiaga have filed papers. Bill Tierney filed in Cedarville to make that elec tion a race.

There are three seats open on the Tulelake Basin Joint Unified School District, two full terms and one short term expiring Dec. 1, 2000. The short term is of Joan Loustalet, and the full terms are of Jerry LeQuieu and Tamara Staunton.

LeQuieu and Janet Orr have filed for the short term. Staunton, Loustalet, Roy E. Wright, Barbara Binderup, and Ava Edgar have filed for the long term seats.

Other than the school elec tions, the only other contested race is for the California Pines Community Services District where Randy Faver, Marvin Kitchen and Bob LaGabed have filed for elec tion.

Polls will open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. All mail-in or absentee ballots must be in to the County Clerk's office or a polling place no later than 8 p.m. election day.


By Geoff Griffin

An interesting statistic on teen pregnancy has led to a helpful program in Modoc County.


The statistic is that two-thirds of the babies born to teen mothers are fathered by men who are 20 or older.

California Governor Pete Wilson saw that statistic and created and funded a program to help take care of it - the Statutory Rape and Vertical Prosecution (SRVP) program. The program gives funds to the District Attorney's office in all counties, including Modoc County.

The SRVP program is de signed to provide information and education to teens and their parents who are in volved in relationships with persons who have reached the age of ma jority. In a small number of cases, the older person may be prosecuted by the D.A.'s office under California's statutory rape law which makes it a crime to have sex with anyone under 18, regardless of consent.

Minors who have sex with each other are also violating the law, but Johnalynn O'Malley and Vera Spahr, who work in the program, both emphasize that education is more the goal than prosecu tion.

"We don't want to hang 'em, we want to help 'em," O'Malley pointed out.

"In most of our cases we want to deter them from con tinu ing in actions that are go ing to ruin their lives," D.A. Hugh Comisky said. "We want to steer them in the right direction rather than give them a criminal record."

A big part of the education is letting teenagers know "they are a victim" as Spahr puts it.

"A lot of them say, 'This is my friend,'" Spahr said of the teens. "They don't know that the older person knows better and is using them in many cases."

Other assistance includes making sure that pregnant moms get the health care they need and continue their edu ca tion. That is particularly important because, according to Spahr, under welfare re form a person can only be on


welfare for 18 months - that's it. The child can still get wel fare until age 18.

The program not only looks at older male/younger fe male cases, but also at what O'Malley calls, "the Mrs. Robinson syndrome" of an older female with a younger male.

"We don't want them teach ing our boys things they'll learn soon enough on their own," O'Malley noted.

And that is one of the main messages the SRVP program wants to get across to the community, teens need to wait and experience their own youth and put off becoming involved in sexual relation ships.

"Once they've crossed that bridge, they're no longer our babies," Spahr pointed out.

Spahr has a plethora of statistics to help make the point that early sexual rela tionships can lead to a variety of problems.

For example, for teen moms, 61 percent do not get enough child support from the father, and 52 percent are still living with their parents or relatives three years after the baby is born.

For teen dads, 58 percent live under the poverty level and 84 percent live apart from their children.

The decision of whether to prosecute someone depends on many different factors, or as O'Malley puts it, "Each case is soooo different."

"These cases really run the gamut," Comisky said. "At one end of the spectrum you've got a guy in middle age hav ing sex with a girl under 18, and at the other end you've got a guy who is 18 having sex with a girl who is 17, which we've had a lot of."

Comisky said that the first case would be prosecuted as statutory rape and sexual abuse while in the second case ed ucation and assistance would be more in order.

In a case with a teen mother and a father in his early 20's, the father might be charged with a misdemeanor and given probation. If, during his probation, the father pays child sup port, attends parent ing classes, earns his high school diploma and shows that he is trying to make a differ ence in the child's life, the charges will be dropped.

However, in cases where there is a large age differ ence, the older person can be prosecuted on felony charges. Spahr points out that the statu tory rape law provides pun ishments of up to six years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

Comisky said that in such cases, the statutory rape law might be the least of the defen dant's worries. There are other laws which can also be used to put an offender behind bars for much longer.

Parents may also seek out the program if their teenager is in a relationship with an older person and request that charges be brought.

"It's been a very worthwhile program," Comisky said. "It's something that's needed in every community, includ ing this one."


Couple who avoided trial face $300,000 bail

A former Alturas couple who failed to appear at their scheduled jury trial in Modoc October 13, has been ar rested in Nevada and will be brought back to the county this week.


According to Modoc Undersheriff Mark Gentry, Robert and Mindy Budmark will be transported to the Modoc County Jail where they will each face $150,000 bail.

The were arrested in Henderson, Nevada, Oct. 15 on a bench warrant from Modoc County.

The couple was originally arrested in August, 1997 on drug charges and were facing several felony counts stem ming from that arrest. Mindy Budmark is charged with the following felony counts: child endangerment, posses sion of a controlled substance for sale (methamphetamine); posses sion of cocaine; and misde meanor charges of possession of paraphernalia and pos session of less than an ounce of mari juana.

Robert Budmark is being tried on felony counts of child endangerment, possession of a controlled substance for sale (methamphetamine); and misdemeanors of posses sion of paraphernalia and possession of less than an ounce of mari juana.

An additional felony charge of failure to appear for trial will be added.

Judge Alan Phielen, retired from Plumas County, is pre siding over the case.



Cattlemen host fall dinner meeting Nov. 7


The Annual Fall Dinner Meeting of the Modoc County Cattlemen's Association will be held November 7 at the Catholic Parish Hall in Alturas.


Plumas Bank wil be sponsoring refreshments from 6 p.m. until 7 p.m. and dinner will be served at 7 p.m. Cost for the dinner is $10 per person. Please RSVP by November 2 to the Farm Advisor's Office, 233-6400.

California Cattlemen's Association officers will be on hand to discuss the current issues facing the cattle indus try and to answer questions. The evening will conclude with the presentation of Cattleman of the Year, sponsored by the Intermountain Farm Credit and a new Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the Modoc County Cattlemen's Association.


Rock art

that's been


for awhile


By Geoff Griffin


What do the Modoc National Forest, films, an cient Native Americans chip ping at rocks, Edinburgh Scotland, art and archaeology all have in common? A great deal more than you might think.


This past summer two young people from Edinburgh, Chris Dooks (27) and Sarah Thompson (26) have been working as volunteer archae ologists for the Modoc National Forest. Back in the British Isles, Dooks is a film maker and Thompson is an artist. Here in Alturas, both have applied their talents to produce a 20 minute video ti tled, Eyes in Stone - Rock Art in Modoc.

The video will have its World Premiere at the Niles Hotel on Monday, November 2, at 6:30 p.m. Drinks and food will be available.

While Dooks handled the video and production duties, Thompson researched the lo cations, conducted interviews and also did drawings and photographs of the rock art. The drawings and photos will be on display at the Niles on Monday night.

The video shows a variety of rock art sites from around Modoc County, as well as in terviews where three experts help to explain the history and significance of the rock art.

The three are Gerald Gates - archaeologist for the Modoc National Forest, Arlene James - an archaeologist spe cializing in rock art, and Cheewa James -a member of the Modoc Tribe of Oklahoma.

Music is provided by "Rising Nations" a local youth group that does singing and drumming, Floyd Buckskin of Fall River, and most notably, Ruby Miles, a 90 year-old woman who is one of the last people left who can speak the Pit River language.

So how did two people living in Scotland end up tracking down rock art in Modoc County while encountering rattle snakes and mountain lions?

"We were looking for a way to get a break from the whole rat race, get away from the city," Thompson said.

"It was a really great way to get to come to America," Dooks added.

Thompson had been look ing at ways to combine her drawing talents with science. She was looking in an ar chaeology book and saw a section on the Modoc tribe.

That set in motion a chain of events to bring Thompson and Dooks to Alturas, and they say they have loved being in a small town for these past few months.

Thompson even said that when she gets back to the British Isles in December, she will be looking to move out of big city Edinburgh and into a smaller town.

"Alturas is nice because it's like it's own country," she said. "It's so wonderful be cause everybody has been so friendly and open."

"Alturas feels separate from many of the problems of the world," Dooks noted. "There are a lot of quirky things here that spark our creative interests."

Both have also been moved by the power of the rock art they've been studying.

"How much of our own culture will last as long," Dooks asked. "Especially with the 'instant' culture we live in today."

"It's amazing that thou sands of years ago this art was used to communicate, and it still survives," Thompson said. "The way the visual language was used was fascinating."

Dooks and Thompson also noted that rock art was some times used as a way to open the doorway to the spiritual world, and both have felt a greater connection to the spiritual side of their lives as a result of their many days in remote places looking at ancient pictures.

Around 100 copies of Eyes in Stone - Rock Art in Modoc will be made and will be available for use by schools, libraries and other organiza tions. Anyone interested in using the video can contact Gerald Gates at the Forest Service, 233-5811.


Come to a murder, mystery

for Halloween sensations


On October 30 and 31, Al turas Community Theater and Modoc Tobacco Educa tion Pro gram will present the Second annual "Murder on Tobacco Road II Phantom of the Niles" murder mys tery play and dinner at the Niles Hotel, Main St., Al turas.


Both evenings will be filled with fun, mystery and murder as the audience tries to figure out the "whodunit." Paul Warshauer of Klamath Falls is writing and direct ing the mystery once again and the cast will include lo cal performers.

Last year's show drew a large crowd to A.C.T. Niles Theater to help support the on going film and live the ater programs at the Main Street facility.

This year's show has moved to the Niles Hotel for the added mystery of this beautiful, antique-filled, historic Alturas building.

The audience will never know when the murder may take place, but suspects will fill the room and the chase will be on before the evening concludes. Clues will be left, mo tives will be discussed and the best sleuths will pre vail.

"Murder on Tobacco Road II" is sponsored by the Modoc County Tobacco Control Pro gram.

Join the fun on either night by purchasing tickets in advance at Pizza & Pasta Place, A.C.T.'s Niles The ater, the Niles Hotel or at the door. Tickets are $12 for adults; $8 for students and seniors and include a Lasagna dinner presented by Pizza & Pasta Place, the Niles Hotel, K & K Produce and Sysco Food Services of San Francisco. A no-host bar will open at 7:30 p.m. with the dinner and play to start at 8:00 p.m.

Special room packages are available at Niles Hotel by calling (530) 233-3261.

All net proceeds will aid Alturas Community The ater. For information on the mystery or to reserve tickets please call (530) 233-5454 or 233-5600.

Record news for November 5, 1998


  • News faces on Modoc school Boards
  • Modoc voters, state, differ on views
  • Sage Stage gearing up for service
  • Studded tire use okay as of Nov. 1
  • Veterans' Day ceremony set for big flag

The forecast:

Snow and rain is predicted for Friday and Monday with temperatures getting downright cold. Expect a high of 37 Friday and lows in the 20s. The temperatures should warm to the 40s for the weekend.


Local school boards have new members


There will be some new faces on local school boards fol lowing results of Tuesday's General Election.Studded twas 60.9 percent.

In the Modoc Joint Unified School District, Velda Moore of Alturas narrowly beat VeeAnn Ambers for one of two seats. Moore had 931 votes and Ambers finished with 919. Ambers said she may seek a recount of the ballots in the race.

Incumbent Bill Hall survived the challenge by winning 27 percent of the vote with 1,010. Hall is the current chairman of the embattled board. Two other challengers in the race, Barry Kinman, Alturas, had 478 votes and Jerry Cooley had 394.

An incumbent in the Surprise Valley Joint Unified School Cedarville District, Rick Hironymous was defeated in Tuesday's vote. Gene Erquiaga won a return to his seat with 215 votes, Bill Tierney won the second seat with 155 votes and Hironymous finished with 149 votes.

In the race for two seats on the Tulelake Basin Joint Unified, Modoc voters choose Roy Wright with 186 votes and Tamara Staunton with 156. Barbara Binderup received 100 votes, Ava Edgar had 93 and Joan Loustalet had 72.

In the race for the short term in the TBJUSD, Jerry LeQuieu holds a lead over Janet Orr, 207 to 121.

Rich Fitzer was the top vote getter in Modoc for the Big Valley Joint Unified School District race with 157, Michael Haury had 85 and Edna Bell had 74.

Marvin Kitchen was the winner of one seat in the California Pines Community Services District with 110 votes, Robert LaGabed had 99 to win the second seat. Randolf a had 70.

While overall voter turnout was 60.9 percent, the follow ing is the Supervisor District turnout: District 1, 54.1; District 2, 43.9; District 3, 50.3; District 4, 44.9; District 5, 55.7; Absentee, 11.6. Of Modoc's 5,885 registered voters, 3,582 cast ballots.


Modoc vote doesn't agree with rest of state


In what should not be a sur prise to local residents, Modoc was out of touch with State of California voters in Tuesday's election. Of the major state races, Modoc voted very conser vatively, and statewide, the other side won.

In the major state races, Modoc voters agreed with the rest of the state on only three races: for Insurance Commissioner, Controller and for Secretary of State.

Modoc's voters turned out in favor of Republican Dan Lungren for Governor by 53 percent, 1,855 to 40.8 percent for Democrat Gray Davis. Davis won the race in a land slide taking 58.1 percent of the statewide vote to Lungren's 38.4. Davis received 4,305,746 votes to Lungren's 2,842,173.

Other party gubernatorial candidates received the fol low ing votes in Modoc, Nathan Johnson, American Independent, 71 votes; Dan Hamburg, Green Party, 45; Steve Hubby, Libertarian, 41; Harold Bloomfield, Natural Law, 25; and Gloria Estela La Riva, Peace and Freedom, 39.

Incumbent Democrat Barbara Boxer won the state's U.S. Senate seat with 53.2 per cent of the vote at 3,910,981 over Republican Matt Fong with 3,154,936, or 42.9 percent. Modoc voters favored Fong over Boxer by a 60.9 percent to 31.8 per cent margin. Fong re ceived 2,046 votes in Modoc to Boxer's 1,068.

Republican Wally Herger retained his U.S. Representative seat for the Second District with 62.3 per cent of the district vote, 117,687, while Democrat Roberts Braden received 65,602 votes, 34.8 percent. Braden ran a grass-roots campaign with no help from the Democratic Party. Herger received 2,343 in Modoc and Braden received 886.

In the State Assembly race, Republican Sam Aanestad won with 71,769 votes, 60.7 percent to Democrat Scott Gruendl's 46,648 votes. In Modoc Aanestad received 2,042 votes to Gruendl's 1,186.

Democrat Cruz Bustamante had no trouble winning the Lieutenant Governor' seat with 52.8 per cent of the vote, 3,806,737. Republican Tim Leslie was well behind with 2,787,321, 38.7 percent of the vote. However, Modoc voters liked Leslie by a 62.8 percent to 27.3 percent margin over

Bustamante, 2,176 votes to 946 votes.

In a very close race statewide, Secretary of State Bill Jones, a Republican, nar rowly defeated Democrat Michelle Alioto, 46.9 percent to 46 percent: 3,340,005 to 3,281,496. Modoc voters were in favor of Jones by a wide margin, 2,139 votes (62.9 per cent) to 960 (28.3 percent).

Democrat Bill Lockyer won the state Attorney General seat with 51.7 percent of the vote, over Republican Dave Stirling with 42.3 per cent. In Modoc, Stirling was favored by a 1,986 to 1,132 margin over Lockyer.

Democrat Phil Angelides won the State Treasurer posi tion handily by a 52.7 percent to 39.8 percent margin over Republican Curt Pringle. Modoc voters, however, chose Pringle by a 1,886 to 1,158 margin.

In the race for state Superintendent of Public Instruction, incumbent Democrat Delaine Eastin won with 53.5 percent of the vote over Gloria Tuchman's 46.5 percent. Modoc voted for the loser at a 1,606 to 1,412 differ ence.

Modoc did agree with the rest of the state on the State Contoller race where Democrat incumbent Kathleen Connell won with 61 percent of the vote over Republican Ruben Barrales with 33.1 percent. Modoc voted 1,632 for Connell and 1,460 for Barrales.

The Propositions

Modoc County voters voted in favor of Propositions 1, 2 but found the "no" button on the rest of the issues. Statewide, Propositions 1A, 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 10 and 11 passed. The following is a breakdown on those measures.

Proposition 1A, School Bond Act (passed): statewide vote, 62.4 percent, yes; 37.6 percent, no; Modoc vote, 1,367 yes; 1,963, no.

Proposition 1, Property Taxes (passed): statewide, 70.6 percent, yes; 29.4 percent, no; Modoc vote, 2,025, yes; 1,236, no.

Proposition 2, Transportation (passed): statewide 74.9 percent, yes; 25.1 percent, no; Modoc vote, 2,053, yes; 1,137, no.

Proposition 3, Presidential Primary (failed): statewide 54 percent, no; 46 percent, yes; Modoc vote, 2,119, no; 1,168, yes.

Proposition 4, Animal Trap Ban (passed): statewide, 57.4 percent, yes; 42.6 percent, no; Modoc vote, 2,585, no; 780, yes.

Proposition 5, Tribal Gaming (passed): statewide, 62.6 percent yes; 37.4 percent, no; Modoc vote, 2,039, no; 1,357, yes.

Proposition 6, Sale Horsemeat (passed): statewide, 59.4 percent, yes; 40.6 percent, no: Modoc vote, 2,245 no; 1,087, yes.

Proposition 7, Air Quality (failed): statewide, 56.6 per cent no; 43.4 percent, yes; Modoc vote, 2,338, no; 934, yes.

Propositon 8, Class Reduction (failed): statewide, 63.1 percent, no; 36.9 percent, yes; Modoc vote, 2,263, no; 1,047, yes.

Proposition 9, Electric Utility, (failed): statewide, 73.5 percent, no; 26.5 percent, yes; Modoc vote, 2,345 no; 979, yes.

Proposition 10, Tobacco Tax (passed): statewide, 50.1 per cent, yes; 49.9 percent, no; Modoc vote, 2,434, no; 991, yes.

Proposition 11, Sales and Use Tax (passed): statewide, 53.1 percent, yes; 46.9 percent, no; Modoc vote, 1,891, no; 1,419, yes.


Sage Stage gears up for Service


It will soon be easier to get around Modoc County, or even out of Modoc County.

The Modoc Transportation Agency (MTA) will soon be gin running the "Sage Stage" bus service. Such a service has been discussed and planned for a long time, and will come to fruition very shortly.

The tentative starting date is December 15, but planners caution there is still a great deal to be taken care of, so don't make plans just yet.

The Sage Stage will go to and from Cedarville on Mondays and Fridays, and to and from Davis Creek on Thursdays. The proposed cost is $2 round-trip with children under 12 just $1.

There will be both mid-morning and mid-afternoon runs. Reservations for these trips must be made one day in advance.

The bus system will make two trips per day to Klamath Falls on Mondays and Thursdays with stops in Canby, Newell, Tulelake, Merrill and Altamont. The trip will take about two and one-half hours.

The bus will leave Alturas at 7:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. and return back from Klamath Falls at 9:45 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. One could therefore leave Alturas at 7:00 a.m., spend seven hours and 15 minutes in Klamath Falls (9:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.) and return to Alturas at 7:15 p.m.

The proposed round-trip cost for the Klamath Falls trip is $8 with children riding at $4.

The service will run to Susanville on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, with buses leav ing Alturas twice a day and arriving in Susanville in about two and one-half hours later. That round-trip will be a circular route that will also make stops in Likely, Madeline, Litchfield, Adin and Canby.

The proposed round-trip cost for the Susanville route is $9 for adults and $4.50 for children.

The Record will publish more information about the Sage Stage as the start-up date draws closer. Anyone who wants more information on the bus service is encouraged to attend a meeting of the MTA on Tuesday, November 17, 1998, at Alturas City Hall.

At that meeting, the MTA will also be looking at the pos sibility of getting a state grant for installing bike lanes for commuters who use bikes. Another MTA plan is to widen and fix Carlos and Warner Streets, which are considered truck routes.

Finally, the MTA has allo cated funds for creating a park-and-ride parking lot near the County Courthouse for those using the bus ser vice.


Studded tires okay as

of November, 4 best


As of November 1, studded tires are allowed on vehicles in this part of the northwest as a safety precaution for winter driving.


The Northwest Tire Dealers Association is also out ex plaining to drivers that when using studded tires on front-wheel drive vehicles, four matched, studded tires must be used.

Using studded tires on just the front drive wheels creates a safety problem, according to the organization. The Tire Industry Council, AAA Traffic Safety Council and the Northwest Tires Dealers all require the use of four studded tires for stability and safety.

"Front wheel drive vehi cles are less forgiving than rear wheel drive when it comes to unequal traction," states the NWTD. "What this means is you may get away with having different tires on rear wheel drive cars, but on front wheel drive cars, you may have trouble with trac tion. Most car manufacturers warn drivers that using just two studded tires is danger ous."

The four studded tires work best for winter driving, states the association. During win ter driving conditions, the rear end of a front wheel drive vehicle can spin around dur ing braking and cornering, causing loss of control of the car. Stopping distances are reduced with four studded tires as op posed to just two.

Most tire dealers in the area will not put just two stud ded tires on front wheel drive cars. They will insist, be cause of safety concerns and the requirements of the NWTD, that all four wheels have studded tires.

"Studded tires bite in and grip on icy winter road condi tions better than any other tire," the association states. "Without question, four matching studded snow tires work best for winter driving. It's also important to have four stud ded tires on four wheel and all wheel drive vehicles."



Veterans' Day ser vices set under Big Flag


The Veterans' Day Flag Ceremony in Alturas will begin at 11:00 a.m. Wednes day, Nov. 11, under the "Big Flag" in Plumas Bank's parking lot, Main St. in Al turas.


In case of inclement weather, the cere mony will be moved indoors to the Vet erans' Hall.

Everyone is in vited to honor all veterans. This year, the service will be con ducted by the Disabled American Veter ans Chapter 113 .

For Surprise Valley resi dents, the Veter ans of For eign Wars Post and Auxil iary 7888 will host a Veter ans' Day program at the VFW Hall just north of Cedarville on Nov. 11 start ing at 10 a.m. with memora bilia to look at and stories to hear from veterans. The Veterans' Day service to honor veterans be gins at 11 a.m. A brief program and re freshments will be in cluded. Everyone wel come.

The annual Clifford Harter American Legion Post #163 and Auxiliary Pancake Breakfast will be held Wednesday, Novem ber 11 at the Veterans' Memorial Hall, Al turas from 7 a.m. - 10 a.m.

The public is invited to enjoy pancakes, sausage, scrambled eggs, orange juice, cof fee and milk. Tickets are adults, $4; chil dren 12 and under, $2 and may be purchased from any auxiliary member or at the door.

Record news summaries for Nov. 12, 1998


  • Winter hits Modoc with a blast
  • Thoms Creek folks want county road
  • Several accidents blamed on icy roads
  • Rancher honored by MMCA
  • Slow down on snow and icy roads

The forecast:

Look for sunny skies today with partly cloudy skies on Friday. Increasing clouds for the weekend and showers likely. Highs in the 40s and lows will be freezing.


Winter blasts way into Modoc with snow, cold


Winter made itself well known in Modoc as storms hit Friday night and continued through Wednesday, with six to eight inches of snow falling in Alturas and more than a foot in the mountains.

The big storm hit Tuesday and dumped heavy, wet snow throughout the county. The advent of winter created some serious driv ing problems and several vehicles slid off area highways.

The wet, cold weather was not unpre dictable and forecasters have been saying the La Nina impact would be felt in wet weather through December and temperatures are ex pected to be cool.

La Nina is just the opposite of last year's El Nino conditions. El Nino is created by warming Pacific ocean water and La Nina is caused by a cooling of those waters.

So what's in store? Depends upon who is asked, but according to the National Weather Service, La Nina will have severe impacts, including wet, big storms through December in this area. The precipitation levels are sup posed to be about normal or below during the first quarter of 1999. Temperatures are pre dicted to be cool.

Last November it did not snow in Alturas, but the mountains got some hits. Actually last winter was moderate in the valleys and snow in the mountains was heavy, almost a perfect scenario.

According to Tim Harris, the Cedar Pass Ski Hill now has about two feet of snow, a good start for this early. Last year the ski area opened for business December 20 for the Christmas vacation. The ski hill was able to stay open longer last season and had one of its best-ever years.

While it would be nice to open the hill this year for the weekend of Thanksgiving vaca tion, a lot of volunteer work still needs to be done and the snow will have to continue falling in the higher elevations.

According to Harris, the hill had about a foot of snow on the weekend and picked up another good dumping with the Tuesday storm.


Thoms Creek folks ask county board for road inclusion

Thoms Creek and Tionesta are two communi ties the Modoc County Board of Supervisors are going to be looking at in coming meet ings. Representatives from both commu nities appeared before the Supervisors at Tuesday's meeting.

Harry Braff of Thoms Creek asked to be put on the agenda for the next meeting with regard to getting a county road go ing off 395 and into Thoms Creek.

Braff said that there are many new homes in the area, and that the main road into Thoms Creek can be very dif ficult to drive on when there is snow.

He said the citizens of that area are mainly concerned about emergency situations and having a road that can be plowed during the winter.

Surprise Valley Electric also sent a letter of support for having the County Road sys tem extend into Thoms Creek.

The Supervisors also spent a great deal of time on an is sue that is developing in Tionesta.

Two issues are intermin gled, the creation of a 500 foot fire break in Tionesta, and the sale of small parcels of property to a group of small landowners by large landowner Beatty and Asso ciates.

Beatty wants to sell small parcels to a group of 10 prop erty owners who were repre sented by Larry Hearne at the Super visors meeting. Beatty's purpose in making the sale, is to create a straight property line for one mile, and to also take care of situations on two properties where permanent fix tures are built over the property line and onto Beatty property.

Beatty is only interested in selling all 10 parcels at once. All of the parcels would have 100 feet of the 500 foot fire break, and the owners might not be able to do anything with the 100 foot firebreak area.

Most of the other neighbors are willing to buy the parcels to help out the two neighbors who have gone over the Beatty line. Several of the property owners are on fixed-incomes and it could cost them over $1000 for closing costs on a quarter-acre parcel with a value of $90. Hearne therefore asked the Super visors if the county could provide any help.

The Supervisors indicated that they would be willing to help by reducing or wiping out various fees because this spe cific situation presents a col laboration of neighbors trying to help each other out.

"The fact that this is a community effort is reason enough to help them," Super visor Ron McIntyre said.

However, a reduction in fees may also mean that the county will want to have cer tain restrictions apply to those parcels, particularly with re gard to the firebreak.

Supervisor Nancy Huff man said the property owners will have to decide what bal ance they want between get ting help from the county and also accepting restrictions from the county.

In other matters before the Board:

Health Care for Veterans: At the request of Supervisor Pat Cantrall, Gary Whitfield of the Veteran's Administra tion Hospital in Reno, ad dressed the Supervisors and said that the VA and Modoc Medical Center, "are explor ing ways of making health care more accessible for vet erans."

The VA and MMC hope to have more communication so that veterans won't have to travel to Reno to get primary care.

Modoc Movie: The Supervi sors received a letter from Barry Kinman requesting that the county purchase $1000 worth of videos to help fund the Modoc Movie that Kinman is producing.

In the letter, Kinman also stated that he spent close to $1000 making a sample video to show the Board, and servic ing ex isting debt while the county applied for a grant to help get the movie completed. The grant did not come through and Kin man is look ing for other ways to finance the picture.

Various Board members stated they felt they had not told Kinman he had to make the sample video, and would have told him not to if they had known that such a cost issue would arise.

"If he was going to incur some costs, I'd have been much more comfortable if he had told us that beforehand," Supervi sor Ben Zandstra said. "I still think it's a worthwhile pro ject. The prob lem at this point is the fi nances."

"This has gotten out of whack so quickly," Chair man Joe Colt said. "How can we authorize $1000 on an un known."

The Board said they would reconsider making a pur chase when there was more information about financing the com pletion of the movie.


Ice, snow blamed for several accidents


The winter weather is billed as the cause for several acci dents over the weekend and into the first of the week. There were no serious injuries reported in any of the mishaps.

The California Highway Patrol reported more accidents during Tuesday's major storms, but because of the Veteran's Day holiday, those reports were not sent to the Record.

On November 5, 9:15 a.m., Alana Bredeau, 21, Cedarville lost control of her 1984 Mercury on Cedar Pass because of the icy roads and went over the embankment.

The California Highway Patrol reports Bredeau's car slid down the steep embankment and came to rest against a tree. Seatbelts and an infant car seat are credited with pre venting serious injury.

There were no injuries in a single-vehicle accident on Highway 299 west of Canby Nov. 4, 9 p.m.

The CHP reports that James Bruce Sallee, 52, Alturas, was driving a 1993 Plymouth van eastbound at about 55 m.p.h. when a deer crossed the highway and was struck by the van.

A McArthur man, Antonio Gomez, 26, was not hurt in an accident Nov. 5 7:15 a.m. on Highway 299 at the Rush Creek Bridge.

The CHP states Gomez was driving a 1997 Chevy truck eastbound at an undetermined rate of speed. He entered a sweeping left hand curve at the bridge and encountered ice on the road. The ice, combined with the unsafe speed for the conditions caused the driver to lose control of the vehicle. It traveled to the south edge of the highway where it struck a steel guardrail and came to rest in the eastbound traffic lane.

Ice was blamed again in an accident Nov. 7, 5:10 p.m. on Highway 139 south of Loveness Road.

The CHP reports that Kurt Harris, 52, Roanoke, Va., was driving a 1998 Subaru southbound at an unsafe rate of speed for conditions and lost traction in a right-hand turn. He lost control of the car and it left the road and rolled onto its top. The use of seatbelts by Harris and his passenger Charlotte Harris, 49, Roanoke, Va., prevented any serious injury.

There were no injuries in a single vehicle accident Nov. 7, 7 p.m. on Highway 395 at the Rimrock Motel just east of Alturas.

According to the CHP, Robert-Leo Illia, 54, Valley Ford, Ca., was driving a 1989 Ford pickup southbound and lost control on the icy road. The vehicle overturned and the driver was arrested alleging driving under the influence.

On Nov. 6, two people escaped injury in a single vehicle accident on Highway 395 north of Ash Valley Road.

The CHP reports that Claire Duncan, 76, Merrill, Or., was driving a 1975 Ford pickup southbound north of Ash Valley Road at about 35 miles per hour. She lost control of the pickup on the icy roadway. It slid across the northbound lane and onto the east shoulder overturning onto its side. There was minor damage to the pickup.

Minor injuries were reported in a single vehicle accident on icy Highway 299 Nov. 7, 5:50 p.m. about a mile west of County Road 75.

The CHP states that Karrie Cole, 28, Fresno, was driving a 1991 Ford Explorer westbound when she lost traction and control of the vehicle. It slid across the eastbound lane and off the south shoulder. It began overturning and struck a barbed wire fence, then a tree and came to rest on its side.

Cole and two passengers, Jeffrey Parolini, 30, and India Vara, age two, both of Fresno, sustained minor injuries and were treated at Modoc Medical Center in Alturas.


Rancher John Weber honored by MCCA


Modoc rancher John Weber, who says he keeps trying to retire, was honored by the Modoc County Cattlemen's Association with its first ever Lifetime Achievement Award.

Weber received the honor at the MCCA's annual dinner Nov. 7 at the Catholic Church Parish Hall in Alturas. He's a third generation Modoc cattleman who has a long list of credentials to back up the award.

Currently, he is the First Vice President of the National Cattleman's Association.

While Weber is well known in local circles, he has the led the cattle indus try in many arenas and at the very top level.

In 1984, Weber was elected as President of the National Cattlemen's Association and served in that capacity during times of extreme pressure on the cat tle industry and grazing practices.

Weber has also served in the prestigious and powerful of fices as follows: President of the California Cattlemen's Association, President of the Public Lands Council; a Director of the NCA; chairman, NCA Public Lands Committee; Region VI Vice President of the National Cattleman's Association; Chairman, California Cattleman's Association Legislative Committee; member California Beef Council during its formative years; member California State Chamber of Commerce Natural Resource Committee; member Susanville District BLM Grazing Advisory Board; past member and chairman of the Modoc National Forest Grazing Advisory Board.

In addition, he has been honored with the following awards: California Livestock Man of the Year in 1974; Modoc County Cattleman of the Year in 1982; California Farm Bureau Distinguished Service Award in 1975; California State Assembly Resolution commending him for his contribution to the livestock industry of Modoc County and the State of California; California State 4-H Alumni Award for Cooperative Extension Service, 1966.

In addition to his impressive service to his industry, Weber has also been an integral part of his community throughout his life. He served one term as a Modoc County Supervisor; was a member of the school board, local Cattleman's Association and Farm Bureau; on rural fire district boards, the Chamber of Commerce and more.

Weber was born in 1921 and has spent his life in Modoc. He attended elementary school and high school in Alturas and college at the University of California at Davis. He also served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. In 1942, he married Mary Brooks and they have four children: Mrs. Jerry Smith, Sacramento; Mrs. Dick Matthews, Elko; and sons Pete and Andy of Alturas.

Today, he and sons operate a cow, calf yearling operation on part of their original ranch holdings at Alturas, along with ranches in Cedarville and Northwestern Nevada. He has adequate Forest Service and BLM grazing to balance the operation.

One of his crowning achievements came during his tenure as President of the California Cattleman's Association when he worked with other organizations in drafting the California Williamson Act and helped to steer it successfully through the state legislature. The Act has saved California farmers and ranchers millions of dollars in property taxes.

While President of the Public Lands Council, Weber was instrumental in initiating a uniform fee schedule for public land permittees of the western states.

He is a progressive cattleman, vitally interested in the overall health of his industry and continues to work for im provements. He is respected by his peers as a man who works quietly, effectively and unselfishly.


Slow down is key to driving in winter


Winter has returned to Modoc County, and has brought with it perilous driv ing conditions. Be tween last Friday and Monday, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) for this area had re ports of six cars going off the road.

On Tuesday night, four more went sliding. Those were just the situations that were reported to the CHP. There were probably sev eral more.

In giving advice on winter driving, CHP Sergeant Keith Averett said, "The big thing is speed. The biggest problem we have is people sliding off the road and getting stuck in a ditch.

"Slow down. Take your time. Get where you're go ing.

"Five miles per hour slower isn't going to make a lot of difference in the time it takes you to get somewhere, but if you slide off the road you could be out there for hours."

Averett also pointed out that how well a vehicle is doing on a snowy or icy road may be very deceptive.

"You think you're doing fine while your driving, and then you get out and you can't even stand up be cause it's so icy," he said.

According to Averett, many CHP officers have developed a sixth sense for knowing who they will be helping out of a ditch, just by observing the way some one is driving.

"I've seen people going along and I'll think, 'They're not going to get very far.' Sure enough, when I come back around they've slid off the road."

Besides lightening up on the gas pedal, there are sev eral other things that can be done to make winter driv ing safer.

One of the most impor tant, is getting snow tires. Averett advises that four-wheel drive vehicles should have snow tires and that all vehicles should have four snow tires.

"Four wheel drive is good for when you need to get going when you're stuck," he said. "But people tend to exaggerate what four-wheel drive can do. Once you start sliding, a four-wheel drive slides just like a two-wheel drive. We (the CHP) get a lot cases where a four-wheel drive has slid off the road."

In the past, many people with front-wheel drive ve hi cles have just used two snow tires in the front. Averett said the consensus now is that four snow tires are needed.

It is not illegal in Cali fornia to use just two snow tires, but, "On a front wheel drive with just two snow tires on the front, you're go ing to lose the back end a lot eas ier," Averett noted.

There are a variety of things that can go in the trunk to be better prepared when mishaps do occur - an ice scraper, chains, a shovel, flares, warm cloth ing or blankets and sand or a simi lar substance for traction when getting out of snow banks.

Averett also said that in a remote are like Modoc, "a cell phone is a good idea."

Cell phone or not, it is also a good idea to call ahead and let people know when you are leaving and when you expect to get there. If you are long overdue they will know to go for help.

Record news summaries for Nov. 19, 1998


  • Y2K should not shut off Modoc
  • Community center takes a new direction
  • Steel Magnolias play opens tonight
  • Likely crew is Cattlemen of the Year
  • Obituaries:
  • Burgoyne
  • McCowin
  • Baxter
  • McQueen
The forecast:

Don't get out the swimsuit for this weekend. It goes from partly to mostly cloudy Friday and then showers are a major deal through Monday. Highs in the 40s, lows to 25.


Y2K situation should not shut off Modoc


It's called "the Millennium Bug," "Y2K" or the "Year 2,000 Problem," and it has the potential to create havoc. But what is it and how will it affect Modoc?

The problem seems simple, the Y2K means that some computer software and equipment will not recognize the year 2,000. Computers were designed to recognize two-digit dates: 1998 is 98 and 1999 is 99. Computers that turn over to the year 2,000 on that January 1 will show a date of 00. Sounds fine, except that the computer may read that as 1900 not the year 2,000. A credit card that expires 2002, for in stance, could be read by scanners as expired in 1902.

And while the problem is being dealt with locally by all agencies contacted by the Modoc County Record, many are further along and have the situation in better control. What they all are concerned about is that some entities, especially on a national level, may not be up to speed.

When Y2K is mentioned, the pundits go anywhere from brushing it off as not a problem to the extreme of calling it a doomsday event. The reality probably lies somewhere in the middle, but it is a serious problem.

While much has been said about personal computer chips and personal or business computer problems, some of the major areas of concern may come from gas, water and electrical utilities, stock markets, transportation, national defense, financial institutions and so on.

One of the major areas of concern, for example, is the electrical utilities on a national basis and how the power grid will operate. The situation in many of those type of utili ties is they have millions of "embedded chips" on switching units and so on. They can not simply be reprogrammed, they have to be replaced. If the power grid malfunctions on January 1, 2000, the country could have a brown-out or a blackout.

According to Surprise Valley Electric Manager Dan Silveria, that may be a time when people living in rural ar eas may be happy that's where they are.

"Bonneville Power Administration is telling us they are on top of the situation and that it will not be a problem," said Silveria. "BPA is also working with other suppliers to make sure there are no problems. At SVEC, we are in stalling a new computer system that is Y2K compatible."

BPA has a strategic plan and timeframe to insure the power distribution system does not go down. According to BPA, the agency is on or ahead of schedule on those issues.

"Our goal is to be methodical and thorough in our prepara tion and to reassure our many audiences that we are doing everything we know it takes to make this a non-event," said BPA Chief Information Officer Joe O'Rourke.

One of the problems cropping up around the nation is city water or sewer control facilities. Many of those are operated with automatic, computerized switching and routing equip ment.

In Alturas, the situation has been investigated, and ac cording to Public Works Director Stacy Chase, tested for compliance. "Luckily, a lot of our sewer and water equip ment has been replaced and is newer and not affected by the Y2K problem," Chase said. "We would be worried if we had a lot of traffic signals or something like that, but I don't expect any problems for our city."

Modoc Joint Unified School District Superintendent Craig Drennan, said the district has done its checks on the heating and cooling systems and has checked with their vendors who have indicated there are no problems. He said there may be some problems with software the district uses, but that will be checked over by Bert Trevail, the recently hired com puter specialist.

According to banking sources, all banking institutions in the state are moving ahead of schedule on the Y2K situation.

Plumas Bank said it is on schedule to complete its com puter processing conversion enabling recognition of the year 2000.

While the testing process will be completed, main com puter updates took place earlier this month and the bank is confident the project will be completed and tested at least nine months in ad vance of the January 1, 2000, deadline.

"We are working with our federal and state regula tors, and our primary soft ware suppliers," said Presi dent and Chief Executive Of ficer Bill Elliott, "to com plete the task successfully. Our next challenge is to en courage our busi ness cus tomers and suppliers who may be impacted to also pre pare."

Like all other computer-dependent businesses, banks face the challenge posed by the inability of many com puters and computer pro grams to recognize eight digit dates. Unless rewritten or replaced, many computer programs will inter pret the digits "00" in the year part of a date as 1900 instead of 2000 at the turn of the century. A few businesses throughout the country have already ex perienced problems accept ing credit cards that have expiration dates later than December, 1999 (12/99). If, for example, the expiration date is written 9/00, some systems will "think" the card expired 98 years ago!

Because businesses must depend on one another to a great degree, Plumas Bank is taking the education of their busi ness customers very seriously.

"We may be perfectly pre pared for the New Year's day in 2000," said Elliott, "but if the power is off, our phone lines are down, or our busi ness customers can't do business for a while, we will have a problem and every one in Northeastern Cali fornia will have a problem."

Recent research indicates only a small percentage of U.S. small businesses say they are now taking the Y2K prob lem seriously. Roughly half of them plan to do noth ing about it even though they are aware of the issue and 78% of them rely to some ex tent on computers. Re searchers estimate that 370,000 businesses will be di rectly affected by this prob lem.

Using various methods of communication including brochures, announcements, white papers, and presenta tions at local service clubs, Plumas Bank is working to help all its customers and neighbors understand the nature of the prob lem and its potential wide spread im pact. The bank deposits and account information of ev ery customer of Plumas Bank are safe. However business owners should know that this Y2K issue may have a significant im pact on their operations and its not something that can just be ignored.

"We've been working on this issue since 1997," said Elliot. "Our plan and Y2K Committee chaired by Senior Vice President Doug Biddle, are in place. We've in stalled over 100 new comput ers and our main computer has been brought up to date. We'll be ready. We now want to be sure our suppliers and business customers are ready too."

Anyone wishing more in formation may pick up a brochure or detailed white paper at their local Plumas Bank office. This offer is not limited to existing bank customers.



Community center takes new direction


Imagine a community center conveniently located near Alturas Elementary School and Modoc Middle School. Kids can go there af ter school for a variety of pro grams and families can drop by at night for activities.

Everyone would love to see such a center in Alturas, the question is how to pay for it.

A group of Alturas citizens is in the very early stages of looking at getting a bond to fund a community center. Such a bond would have to be approved by a two-thirds ma jority of local voters.

One of those citizens, Deb bie Mason, Director of "Families Matter," said that a "grass-roots" group of peo ple is interested in "looking at what's possible."

She said the group may form a citizens steering com mittee to further study ways of financing a commu nity cen ter, and hopes to hold a com munity meeting to get in put.

Mason pointed out that "Families Matter" would like to schedule more after school and evening activities for youngsters and families, but is unable to do so for the sim ple reason they have no place to do them.

The only large indoor area in Alturas is Griswold Gym at Modoc High, and it is very hard to get time there when MHS has athletic programs going.

A possible site for the com munity center would be on Modoc Joint Unified School District (MJUSD) property between Alturas Elementary School and Modoc Middle School.

One possible scenario is that the community center building would be owned by the MJUSD and used for a cafeteria and gym during the school day. After school, pri ority would go to the commu nity for using the facility at no cost.

MJUSD Superintendent Craig Drennan said that the school district is not involved with any community center activities, but also noted, "We're interested in any thing that improves facilities for students."

However, a community center will have ongoing costs, and Drennan pointed out, "We're not in a position to add on significant staff time," to take care of a center.

The area between AES and MMS has been targeted as a site for an "events center" that has been discussed for years, but a community center would probably focus on different groups and activities than an events center.

Alturas Planning Director Scott Kessler said he doesn't think there would be a prob lem with potentially having two facilities there.

"I think that's a great idea," he said of the community center.

Kessler also said that the events center is on the "back-burner" for the time being. Klamath Falls is considering building a large events center which might negate how ef fec tive an events center in Al turas would be.


Don't miss 'Steel Magnolias' this week at the Niles Theater


Modoc Performing Arts Theater's produc tion of "Steel Magnolias" opens tonight at the Niles Theater, with cur tain time at 8 p.m.

According to director, Chip Massie, the re hearsals have gone better than almost any other play the local theater troupe has per formed. And, said Massie, the cast is very strong.

"Steel Magnolias" is the story of six women in a small Louisiana town who come to gether in the beauty shop of Truvy Jones, played by Nancy North-Gates. Her as sistant, Annelle Dupuy, played by Anna Baker, is new to town and its inhabi tants with some thing myste rious in her past.

The play is not the same as the popular movie, and Massie said the play is even more comedic and dramatic than the film.

"The last week of rehearsal has gone ex tremely well and the characters have grown," said Massie. "The cast is working well together and feeding off one another's en ergy. This really is going to be a great show."

Regulars in the shop in clude Clairee Belcher, widow of the former mayor, played by Midge Dier; M' Lynn Eatenton, a socially promi nent career woman, played by Terri Jacob son; her daughter Shelby, played by Jennifer Pent; and Ouiser Boudreaux, a wealthy cur mudgeon, played by Kerry Davis.

The relationships between these six women provide a rich story. The women face mar riage, birth and death with wit and intel li gence, carrying on through both sor row and joy. The beauty shop is the center of activity and portrays the life and times of the com munity in fine fash ion.

Nancy North-Gates has had several memorable roles, including Kate in Shakespeare's 'Taming of the Shrew". She is also the cos tume designer for the show.

Local actor Terri Jacobson appeared as Natalie/Angela Butler in last season's "The Butler Did It". Jennifer Pent was hilari ous as Trani, Lucen tio's sis ter masquerad ing as a suitor to Bianca, in "Tam ing of the Shrew".

Kerry Davis is best known for her roles in mu sicals, most recently as Fiona in "Brigadoon". In tradi tional roles, she has been Martha, one of the kindly, if murder ous aunts, in "Arsenic and Old Lace".

Midge Dier is a relative newcomer, hav ing been in the chorus for "Brigadoon" and playing the bailiff/court re porter in "Lost River". Anna Baker makes her first stage appearance in an MPAT pro duction with "Steel Magnolias". She chore ographed por tions of both "A Midsummer's Night Dream" and "Brigadoon".

The cast is backed up by the technical crew of Dee Green as assistant to the di rector; Mike Halderman, who de signed the set and is technical director; and Karen Hays, who is re spon sible for set dec oration and props.

"Steel Magnolias" can be seen at ACT's Niles Theater in Alturas Nov. 19, 20 and 21 at 8 p.m., and Nov. 22 at 3 p.m. Tickets are available at the Niles Theater Box Of fice, Pizza and Pasta Place, and at the door. Prices are $6 general ad mission or $4 for students and senior citizens. For in forma tion fall 233-5454 or 233-5600.

"Everyone involved in this play has worked very hard, and the play itself is ex cel lent," said Massie. "We're hoping to draw more from the community with this play. If people have not yet seen one of our shows, they should really come out to this one. I tell you, people will not be disap pointed. We've had a lot of fun putting this together, and the audi ence will get to share in that energy and ex citement."




Likely Land and Livestock receives Cattlemen's honor


Bill, John and David Flournoy, owners and opera tors of the Likely Land and Livestock ranch, (along with their parents Don and Shirley Flournoy) were honored as Modoc County Cattlemen of the Year at the annual dinner last week.

Neighbor and longtime Modoc rancher Ken McGarva made the presentation, saying each of the brothers has con tributed "much to his commu nity, county and the profes sion of livestock production. Likely Land and Livestock has been in the same family since 1871.

Bill Flournoy, the eldest, graduated from Modoc High School, attended University of Nevada Reno. He has served as a school board trustee, BLM multiple use advisory board member, and was the spear head of the Cedar Creek ripar ian project. He is past pres i dent, vice-president and di rector of the MCCA and past-president of the Likely Roping Club. He is married to Athena and has two children Roxann and Dawne.

John, the middle brother, graduated from Modoc High School, attended UNR and Cal Poly, obtained instructor cer tification at Admore, Oklahoma flying school, in structed Air Force cadets in Texas and served two years in Vietnam. He is a director of the South Fork Irrigation District, and a member of the Modoc High Boosters Club. His wife is Sydney, and is the father of Daniel and Miles.

David attended Modoc High School and Shasta Junior College. He is active in the lo cal auto racing asso ciation and other areas. His wife is Joanne and children are Monica and Aaron.

All three are members of the Likely Fire Department, National, State and Modoc Cattlemen's Associations, Lassen County Cattlemen's Association and the Farm Bureau. John and David have both served as 4-H leaders.

Bill oversees the cattle op eration, often from the saddle, and manages range on BLM and Forest Service permits. The ranch calves out approx imately 2,000 cows on some 12,000 deeded acres and thou sands of federal land grazing acres. John oversees the pro duction of 6,000 tons of hay, ir rigation and harvesting part of the business. Following weaning of calves, he is in charge of the feed mill which has been in operation since 1969. David is in charge of keeping about 70 types of ma chinery running as well as driving the commercial cattle truck owned by the com pany.

"These men are not only knowledgeable, but are ac tively involved in the work done and are closely in touch with their land, cat tle and employees," said McGarva. "As an example of their pro gressive ventures, they have purchased several bulls which have EPDs rated to hit certain criteria of ribeye measure ments, marbling and backfat to qualify for Harris Ranch Partners in Quality Beef Program."

The ranch also operates a cookhouse for the family and employees, county visitors, politicians, salesmen, neigh bors and cattle buyers.

"The testament to the Flournoy's success is the 125-plus years of existence and proven ranch management," said McGarva. "Don's al ways said that to have good neighbors, you have to be one yourself . . . and Don has in stilled this in his boys."

The brothers were honored in 1998 and Don was named Cattleman of the Year in 1987.






Services for Lyle LeRoy Burgoyne will be held today, Nov. 19 at 2 p.m. at Kerr Mortuary Chapel in Alturas. Mr. Burgoyne who was reared in Surprise Valley, died of natu ral causes at his Alturas, Calif. home on November 15, 1998. He was 70 years of age.

Born in Jerome, Idaho on July 12, 1928, the Burgoyne family moved to Surprise Valley, while he was a young boy. He graduated from Surprise Valley High School. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army, discharged in March of 1952. He worked at Alturas Tire for 17 years; for both Staub and Fitch Trucking and retired from Modoc Wildlife Refuge after 15 years. He was a me chanic.

Lyle married Velma Rae Goudie on July 3, 1954. She survives him.

His children remember him as "always taking time for his family." In addition, he gave of his time and volunteer services to the Alturas Rural Fire Department for an active 24 years, for which the ARFD honored him. He enjoyed fish ing and hunting. Mr. Burgoyne lived in Modoc County for some 65 years.

Survivors include Velma [Goudie] Wilkie of Alturas; daughter Donna Rocha and husband Jim and their two chil dren of Carson City, Nev.; daughter Cindy Velasco and hus band Eddie of Alturas and their eight children; daughter Janet Lasley of Lakeview and her four children; daughter Sandy DelMoral and husband Mario and three children of Port land, Ore.; family members Ron Black, Ronelle and two children of Lakeview; seven great-grandchildren; sis ter Noreen Hill McMullen of Lake City; brother Addis Bur goyne and wife Mildred of Lake City; sister-in-law Erma Burgoyne of Cedarville; sister-in-law Ann Clayborn of Lakeview and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by a sister Marcella John and brother John Burgoyne.

Visitation will be today, Nov. 19 from 1:00 p.m. at Kerr Mortuary. The service begins at 2 p.m.

Committal and burial will be at the Ft. Bidwell Cemetery at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 20.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Alturas Ru ral Fire Department or the Fort Bidwell Cemetery.



Ferrol Sally Roos Mc Cowin


Services for Lake City resident Ferrol Sally Roos McCowin will be held Fri day, Nov. 20 at 11:00 a.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Cedarville.

Branch President Eugene Jensen will conduct the ser vices. The Lake City Ladies Club will host a potluck and time of fellowship at the Lake City Fire Hall, follow ing interment at the Lake City Cemetery.

Mrs. McCowin passed away quietly in her sleep on November 15, 1998 in Lake City, Calif. at the age of 91. Her wish to be reunited with her husband and children has been fulfilled.

Ferrol was born at home to Albert and Edith Roos on June 7, 1907 in Leorin, Idaho, as the second of two chil dren. Her early years were spent in the Idaho Falls area where she attended school in the winter months. During the summer she would go with her father, a sheep-shearing contractor, to the shearing corrals located about 60 miles away on the Black Foot Indian Reserva tion. They traveled by wagon, stopping at various camp sites along the way. Ferrol spent her summers hiking, doing chores, and playing with her brother Gus. They were very close. Once a month they traveled into a little town about 12 miles away called Henry to get supplies for the ranch and shearing crew.

After graduating from high school, Ferrol worked for the phone company until she married Logan Leonard [Mack] McCowin October 26, 1927 in Rexburg, Idaho. They lived in Idaho Falls, where Mack worked on a ranch. Two children were born to them: Audrey Mau rine and Bert Roos.

They moved to Spenser, Idaho before the children were in school. Mack hauled lumber while Ferrol cooked for 22 men at the sawmill.

Then they moved to Dubois, Idaho, Mack worked on a ranch caring for race horses that had been injured or had gone bad. They also took care of the foaling and raised alfalfa hay. In the winters, they lived in town, so the children could attend school.

Ferrol went with Mack when he took a job near Salmon, Idaho, doing as sessment work on mining claims. They were packed in by horses and camped in a tent in the winter. They then moved to a ranch near Pinole, Calif. in 1940 where they both went to work in the shipyards in Richmond dur ing the war.

After a few more years with Mack working as a foreman for the Modesto Livestock Yards and Ferrol as a bookkeeper and secre tary, they decided to work for themselves, so they leased a dairy ranch for about 10 years in the Modesto area. Mack had a string of horses and he and Ferrol rode in many parades with the Stanislaus Horsemen's As sociation; he carrying the American Flag and Ferrol the State Flag. Their group won a prize in a parade in San Francisco.

When they came deer hunting to Surprise Valley in about 1955, they liked what they saw. After a couple more trips, they leased the McMullen ranch, which is now the Ed Stevenson ranch south of Lake City. They planted grain and had milk cows. They kept the ranch and bought the Lake City Va riety Store where Ferrol worked as store clerk, post master and local informa tion center. They lived in what is known as the "pink house" in Lake City. When they first leased the ranch, Ferrol stayed on the ranch while Mack stayed behind for three months to complete his contract of hauling turkeys and chickens in the Modesto area. Their next move was to the back of the Variety Store, which they renovated. They later bought the place on the corner where their grandson Gary and his wife Martishia Romesha now live.

The McCowins bought the inventory from the Lake City Grocery Store and pur chased the building in 1959. After Ferrol retired from the post office, where she had worked for nearly 20 years, they moved into their present home, the original Lake City Grocery Store Building.

Ferrol was an active member in the Lake City Ladies Club and Hospital Auxiliary. She was also an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving as Visiting Teacher and Relief Society President. She was also the organist for many years.

She loved and appreciated others and was kind to those who came to her for advice. She was always willing to carry what she considered her share of the load and was a person one could depend on and a "wonderful friend."

Her example of faith was an inspiration to many. For her 91 years, she had great wisdom and a quick-wit, say those who knew her.

Ferrol is survived by her grandson Gary Romesha and family of Lake City; granddaughter Christina Bybee and family of Yuba City; granddaughter Molina Davis and family of Provo, Utah; 13 great-grandchil dren; three great-great-grandchildren; and daugh ter-in-law Barbara Mc Cowin of Alturas. Her hus band Mac, daughter Mau rine, son Bert and brother Gus preceded her in death.

Great-grandchildren will serve as Pall-bearers: Travis, Preston, Tanya and Clinton Romesha, Jason By bee, Jonathan and Romney Davis.

In lieu of flowers, the family will appreciate dona tions in her name to the Sur prise Valley Community Hospital.




Jean Elizabeth Baxter


Jean Elizabeth Baxter, a Lake City resident, died in San Rafael, Calif. on November 13, 1998. She was 88 years of age.

Pastor Craig Klatt con ducted services at graveside on Wednesday, Nov. 18 at the Lake City Cemetery.

She was born to Amelia [Reed] and Ernest Gaggard, both of England on October 11, 1910 in Canada.

Mrs. Baxter was appreci ated as the pianist for over 20 years at the Seventh-day Ad ventist Church in Cedarville. She was also a homemaker.When she be came ill her family moved her to San Rafael to care for her.

Her son Lee Baxter and his wife Megan survive in San Rafael. Her husband preceded her in death.


Beatrice Libby McQueen


Beatrice Libby McQueen, a resident of Eagleville for the past 28 years, died November 11, 1998 at the Sur prise Valley Community Hospital in Cedarville, Calif., where she had been a long-term care resident since last December.

"She was very special to us," said Arlene Beeman of her good friend and neigh bor.

Beatrice was born to Lath rup and Barbara Libby on July 11, 1911 in Oakland, Calif. and was reared in Berkeley. She became a cosmetologist during the late 1920s. On February 19, 1934, Bea married Myrl McQueen in Reno, Nevada. When she moved to Eagleville she worked out of her home as a cosmetologist.

Known to her friends as Bea, she was very active in the Senior Center in Cedarville and enjoyed go ing to the Ea gleville Store for lunch and visiting.

"Bea was always a proud lady and enjoyed her many friends in and out of Modoc," recalls Beeman. Tennis and bowling were also very important in her life. She loved all animals, espe cially dogs and horses.

She was preceded in death by her parents, a sister and brother and her beloved Myrl. The McQueens had no chil dren.

Survivors include her one nephew Richard Libby and his wife Dorothy of San Lorenzo.

Services were held at the Eagleville Community Church at 11 a.m. on Tues day, Nov. 17. Interment fol lowed at the Eagleville Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, her nephew suggests memorial dona tions be made to the Surprise Valley Community Hospital.

Record news for Nov. 26, 1998

  • Winds raise havoc with Modoc
  • Body of transient found off Highway 299
  • Children are focus of integrated plan
  • Volunteers help to make Thanksgiving special
  • Salvation Army looking for some good ringers
  • New refuge manager takes over for Modoc

The forecast:

Look for rain and snow in the higher elevations for Thanksgiving Day. Rain and possible snow showers are forecast through Saturday with lows in the 30s to lower 40s and highs 40s to 50s.


High winds create havoc in Modoc


Tornado-like winds ripped the roof off a home southwest of Alturas Monday, but there were no injuries in the inci dent.

The tornado hit about 7:55 a.m. at the Terri and Steve Brown home just off Centerville Road and County Road 76. No other homes in the area were damaged.

Terri Brown was outside her home when the winds struck. She described the scene as weird, spooky and down right scary. Her 13-year-old son, Landon, was in the house when about a third of the roof was ripped off.

"It was really strange," said Brown Tuesday. "I was out side and I could see something spooky coming from across the road. There was no debris or anything, but the tall grass was being parted and clumps of it being popped out like someone was underground pushing it up. The wind was blowing hard and it was noisy, but there was no real loud noise."

Brown said the whirling wind seemed to die down as it hit the road but when it reached the rim rock behind her home, it pulled up some large buck brush and sucked it straight up into the air.

"That really shocked me and then it hit the back gable of our roof and the roof just exploded," said Brown. "I jumped into my truck at that point. The roof probably went straight up about 40 feet and splinters were flying everywhere." Brown said the wind ripped off the metal roofing, the frame and the trusses from about a third of their roof. "The roof was in the air three or four seconds and when the splinters came down, they embedded themselves into the ground," said Brown. "It looked like someone had come out and placed stakes around our yard. It was really weird."

Landon was in the house when the winds took off the roof. Luckily, said Brown, he had gone from upstairs down into the basement. "Landon said it was loud, but sounded like a wreck outside on the road," said Brown.

There was major damage to the roof of the home, but the ceiling remaining intact so nothing inside was damaged, said Brown. She's hoping the rains subside long enough to get a waterproof repair in place.

Winds measured at 56 miles per hour Monday morning also created some problems for electrical customers in Modoc County.

According to Surprise Valley Electric Corporation's Lynn Culp, the winds caused power outages throughout the service area, including Thoms Creek, Cedarville, California Pines, Big Valley and near Alturas.

"We've had crews running all over the area," said Culp Monday afternoon. "Most of the outages are just for short pe riods of time, and none were for very long."

In most cases, said Culp, the outages were caused by the wind blowing trees or limbs into wires or other wind-related impacts.

Pacific Power said they were not experiencing any major problems in the Alturas or Cedarville areas, and credited the summer's tree trimming program for limiting its impacts.

Along with the high winds, very wet and strong storms hit the area. Nearly an inch of rain fell in Alturas, Cedarville, Adin and Canby in a 24-hour period and the forecast calls for more wet weather on the way.

Snow levels remained high and temperatures on the warm side for a winter storm. While Alturas was drenched, there were no real problems associated with the storms through Monday.

Man's body found at Stone Coal turnoff


The body of a 66-year-old man was found Nov. 20, about 7:50 a.m. just off Highway 299 at the Stone Coal road west of Canby.

According to Modoc Undersheriff Mark Gentry, initial investigation reveals the man died of exposure. There was no evidence of foul play.

Gentry identified the man as William McClinn, but few other details are available. He was born in West Virgina and the last known mail-delivery box was in Medford, Oregon.

Gentry said McClinn was wearing only light clothing and that clothing was soaked. A passer-by saw the body early Friday morning and reported to the Sheriff's Office. McClinn had been seen alive the afternoon before sitting near some trees in the area.

According to Gentry, he was carrying a pair of black powder pistols, very little cash and little else.


Children are focus of integrated service


Directors of several de partments within the Modoc County government have found a problem common to their agencies that they want to team up on.

The target is the growing problem of children being put in "out-of-home" placements, particularly placements that are outside of the county. The attack plan is the "Modoc County Children's System of Care."

"The key is that we want to keep kids at home, in school and out of trouble," Chief Pro bation Officer Smith Pineo said. "What more could we want?"

Modoc County currently has between 40 and 50 chil dren in out-of-home place ments. About half of those placements result from delinquency problems by the youth, and about half are the result of Child Protective Ser vices (CPS) needing to re move the child from the home.

The numbers in both in stances have grown dramati cally in the past three years. In CPS cases, the numbers have doubled since January of 1996. Delinquency out-of-home placements have risen from just five in January, 1996, to 24 at present.

In the majority of the total cases, the child is in a place ment outside of Modoc County because there are not suffi cient services within the county. There are several problems with this.

The first problem is cost. The current cost to Modoc County per year for out-of-county placements is close to one-million dollars.

Second, is the fit of the pro grams the kids are being placed in. For example, some youths are sent to a juvenile detention facility in Yreka when they could just be placed in a much less restrictive en vironment in Modoc County for a couple of days.

The third problem is dis tance. Many of the place ments are far away, which hampers chances of family reunification and forces staff to use a large amount of work time just traveling.

The System of Care will be taking a new approach to this problem in four ways.

First, the various depart ments will all work together. Whether a child comes into the system through CPS, Pro bation, Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol, Education, So cial Services, etc., that child will have the services of all of those agencies working to gether.

"We're starting to talk about these being 'our chil dren' and not just 'a CPS child' or a 'mental health ser vices child'," Public Health Director Phil Smith said.

Having all agencies work ing together will also help to keep children from falling be tween the cracks between var ious single programs.

In the past, funding from the state to the county has had very stringent requirements on how the money could be used. Now the state is allow ing, and even encouraging, blending budgets and having various agencies work to gether.

The second new approach is that the System of Care will focus on entire families, and not just the children.

Third, there will be ser vices that actually go into the home, for long periods if nec essary, to fix problems. The workers in the programs will also go beyond the traditional 9-5 work schedule.

Fourth, and perhaps most important, the System of Care will try to make what Smith calls a "paradigm shift" to having families tell the agen cies and workers what ser vices they need, instead of having the agencies and workers tell the families what they need.

"We want the families to be members of our team," Smith said.

The program will not only focus on children and fami lies who are already having problems, but also those who are "at-risk."

Various department direc tors give credit to Superior Court Judge John Baker for helping to bring everyone to gether.

"This never could have been worked out if we did not have the courts behind us," Education Superintendent Carol Harbaugh said. "He (Baker) wants information from these teams. He's en couraging working together. He's been strongly involved from the beginning."

As of right now, the System of Care is just an application for a grant. On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors gave their support to the applica tion.

The county will negotiate with the state during Decem ber, and the System of Care will begin functioning in January of 1999.

"We're sure they're going to fund us at a certain level," Harbaugh said. "We're just not sure what level is yet."

Smith estimates that if things continue as they are, around 2002 Modoc County will be spending about $1.6 million dollars per year on this problem. He thinks that the System of Care can cut that figure by half or more.

Depending on the funding level, here are eight "components" that the System of Care may provide.

Pineo noted, "But for these types of programs, these kids would otherwise be out of their homes and outside Modoc County at considerable ex pense and without much prospect for re-unification with their families."

1. Clean & Sober Severely Emotionally Disturbed Classroom. This would be a year-round school for 10 ju veniles.

The Office of Education would provide a teacher, while Mental Health Services, Al cohol and Drug Services and the Probation Office would also provide staff.

2. Intensive In-Home Ser vices. A team made up of a mental health clinician and two Family Services workers will have a caseload of five to 10 families that they will visit three times a week for three to four hours at a time.

Harbaugh gave the exam ple that if the family is not getting the child to school, the team will show up at 6:00 a.m. and get people going.

3. Coordinated Treatment Services. A team of a mental health clinician and two so cial workers will help fami lies formulate a treatment plan, with input from the fam ily as to what they think needs to be done.

4. Therapeutic Behavioral Assistance. This is also known as the "friendly go rilla" program. A para-pro fessional will be assigned to "shadow" a student all day long - during school, during lunch, during homework time, etc., and help the student with "daily social interac tion."

5. Out-of-Home Placement Committee. This committee will look at placements on several levels and identify ways to return kids to their homes.

6. After Hours Urgent Care. This will be a safe place within the county where a child can stay for a night or two while the family situation is assessed.

Under the current system, youths often have to be trans ported to Yreka to stay at the juvenile hall and then trans ported back two days later.

7. Alternative Response Team. This team will consist of a child protection worker, a public health nurse, and a so cial services case worker. They will step in to handle cases where parents are hav ing difficulty caring for chil dren, but the situation has not yet moved to the point where CPS needs to take action.

Pineo stated, "People often ask later, 'Why wasn't something done?' This is get ting something done."

8. Therapeutic Foster Care. This will be a foster home in the county that will have spe cially trained foster parents who are reimbursed at a higher rate than normal. It is designed for juveniles who need more than a foster home but do not need to be in a group home.


Community efforts help take care of the leaner times, Thanksgiving bounty


A solid eight hours and more of making and baking 60 pies filled the light hours into the dark hours for three women on a blustery Mon day at the Modoc Emergency Food Bank kitchen.

Tucked away in the back room of the TEACH, Inc. building, the three volun teers turned out to dedicate their time to help Food Bank Coordinator Peggy Alexan der, after she had spent Sat ur day assembling 60 food baskets for the Thanksgiv ing give-away to those in need throughout Modoc County. Alexander's mother Dolores Vaughn, Debbie Reynolds and Ola Richard son of Alturas showed up as the bakers. Eight pies an hour could be baked in the two available ovens over the watchful eye of Alexander and Richardson.

The number of Thanks giving food bas kets to be de livered by Family Service work ers this year seemed to double at the Food Bank since last year, and fewer hands were available to help with the pie making this year.

But the number may have doubled because this year's effort was coordinated and not splintered by individual groups giving out food boxes. Last year, churches provided 35 food boxes and the Food Bank gave 30. There still may be others which aren't going through the Modoc Emergency Food Bank.

In October, Alexander sent out a letter to churches and youth groups to let them known they could refer someone who needed assis tance to the Food Bank and any and all dona tions were welcomed at the Food Bank.

All requests for this year's baskets had to be re ferred either by a Family Service worker, church or Modoc Resource & Refer ral, explains Alexander, so as not to dupli cate.

In Surprise Valley the Boy Scout Troop #48 and Living Water Fellowship Youth Group collected food they turned in to the Food Bank of the Community Church in Cedarville to help their community residents.

Loads of bags and boxes of non-perishable food items, gathered by youths from Alturas Troop 49 Cub and Boy Scouts, Modoc High stu

dents led by the MHS Lead ership Class of Harold Montague, Modoc Middle School students of Jamie Bush, Modoc National For est employees, California De partment of Forestry and Fire Protection, Citizen Com munications employees and individual do nations were donated to the Food Bank by last Saturday.

Vol unteer Chris Himel who has helped make the Food Basket pies for several years, took it upon herself over the week end to pre-make enough pie dough for 70 crusts, which she had ready for the three volunteer pie makers on Monday morning.

There were almost enough donated cans of pumpkin pie filling from last Christmas through Sat urday to complete 60 pies. Alexander filled in the pumpkin gap by bringing frozen pumpkin pulp from her veg etable garden harvest this summer.

With grant funding re ceived by TEACH, Inc. for the food program, Alexander went shopping locally for the 60 turkeys and hams, marshmallows, yams, rolls, cases of evapo rated milk for the pies, 30 pounds of flour, 28 pounds of sugar, 14 dozen eggs, and has filled in where donations didn't quite com plete with olives, cranberry, turkey stuffing, potatoes and more. Sixty new plastic laundry baskets hold the complete Thanksgiving feasts and enough food to last for several days.

Baskets were delivered Tuesday by Fam ily Service workers to destinations county-wide and in every community including Tule lake, Adin and Fort Bidwell, Canby, Likely, Alturas and Surprise Valley.

Alexander is grateful to the community for the many donations which will also reach through the Christmas season and beyond she hopes.

She is now working full-time at the Food Bank since October 1 and the Food Bank is now open from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday through Fri day. She sees about 25 people a month and explains they are allowed to use the Food Bank's assistance three times a year, with a month apart. But, on occasion ex emptions are made when families whose Food Stamps have been "messed up by the system" and they need the Food Bank's help to get through.

One thing Alexander wishes everyone is a "healthy and happy Thanksgiving."

"Even if in time of need, there can be something we're grateful for," she stressed. "Thanksgiving is a good time to stop and think about it; then give that thanks to some thing we are grateful for."


Salvation Army Kettle Drive looks for ringers


Finding volunteers to ring the bell for the Salva tion Army's Christmas Ket tle Drive in Modoc is no easy task.

The Red Kettle Christmas Drive which officially be gins in Alturas on Friday, November 27, needs volun teers.

Organizer Becky Givan hopes people will come forth to ring the bell but as yet has had no response.

Basically bell ringers are sought for an hour to two hour shifts beginning at 9 a.m. and ending at 4 p.m. on Fri days and Saturdays from this week until Christmas.

Volun teers may choose an hour or longer on any given day. Givan hopes to find enough volunteers to ring the bell on Fridays and Satur days, but if no, any other day may be selected, she of fers.

"Any group, individual or family who might be willing to help is welcome to let us know. We will work with them when they call to set up what days or hours they want to do this," says Gi van.

Cedarville residents will ring the bell on Friday, Dec. 18 for one day in Surprise Valley.

Givan would like to hear from volunteers in Adin to set up the red kettle drive in Adin for a day.

The Salvation Army has always been there, but the re sources are only there if the community pitches in dur ing their holiday drive and volunteer bell ringers are available. The Salvation Army as a whole throughout the country relies on dona tions.

"One hundred percent of the funds raised through the kettle drive here -- stay in Modoc County," Givan noted.

Givan has seen the needs first hand, as a member of the SA local committee which handles the re quests for assistance. Vouchers, not cash, are used and made payable to the local ser vice on which the need relies.

In addition, the SA local unit cheers residents each Christmas at both the Sur prise Valley Long-term Care Hospital and Skilled Nurs ing Facil ity Hospital in Al turas.

Givan is organizing the vol unteer effort and wel comes calls from individu als, families or groups who would like to help the Red Kettle Christmas Drive Fri days and Sat urdays until Christmas.

"It will be in the spirit of giving that we will start at Thanksgiving time," Givan said.

For more information or to volunteer for a few hours, please call Becky Givan at (530) 233-6501 at Modoc So cial Services. The office will be closed on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 26-27.

Donations to the Modoc Unit of the Salva tion Army are welcomed at any time of the year. Make donations payable to "Salvation Army" and mail to 120 North Main St., Al turas, CA 96101.


New manager for Modoc Refuge


A new manager, Anna Marie LaRosa, has taken over the Modoc National Wildlife Refuge, replacing David Johnson who was reassigned to Hawaii.

LaRosa comes to Modoc from Pinedale, Wyoming where she managed a wildlife refuge in that area.

She has worked with the Fish and Wildlife Service since 1990 and prior to that worked for the National Parks Service for eight years. Her assignments have taken her as far east as Florida's Everglades and as far west as Hawaii's volcano parks.

A Michigan native, she attended the University of Michigan then traveled to the University of Hawaii to complete college.

LaRosa said she's excited about working in Modoc and is impressed with the refuge and the community. She plans to get more involved with community events and is looking forward to becoming a part of the community. At her last as signment, a 90-minute commute didn't allow her to spend much time participating in the overall organization and volunteerism of community events.

She and her husband, Jeff Halford, have a four-year-old-son, Jackson.

November rain turns white, heavy early

While November is generally a fairly normal precipita tion month in Alturas, about 1.3 inches on average, snow is usually light, averaging 3.3 inches.


The first weekend of 1998, between five and eight inches of very wet snow blanketed the town, with more snow measured in the foothills and more than a foot falling in the higher eleva tions. Since Nov. 1, precipitation in Alturas is 1.59 inches, well above average.

Early this week snow fell in the foothills while rain drenched the valleys.

So far this year, annual precipitation is well above the normal of around 12 inches. The Alturas weather station has measured 17.73 inches since January 1. The same pe riod the year before had just 11.46 inches.

Record news summaties for December 3, 1998


  • November sets records for water
  • School boards hears about site report cards, math
  • County takes up employee insurance
  • Former Canby resident suspect in church fire
  • Niles hosts 19th Art Faire
  • Sacred Heart is a bazaar place
  • Obituaries:
  • Goulden
  • Clerk
  • Cantrall
  • Taylor
  • Carleton

Records set for November rain


People in Canby are ready for some sunshine and dry weather, following a November that produced a record 7.78 inches of precipitation.

Canby is normally much wetter than Alturas or Cedarville and November proved that fact. Alturas had a record of 3.26 inches of precipitation for November (set in 1988), and this year set a new mark of 3.85 up until Nov. 30. But that's about 49 percent of Canby's total. The old record for November rain in Candy was 4.11, set last year.

"It has been really wet this year in Canby," said Diana McCulley, who charts the weather for the area. "We had a couple of storms that had about two inches each last week and those were very wet storms. Tuesday morning, when I left home for Alturas it was snowing hard in Canby, but the closer I got to Alturas, the more the sun came out and the drier it got."

Since January, a record 29.46 inches of precipitation has fallen in the Canby area.

The normal November precipitation for Alturas is 1.31 inches, so this last November nearly tripled that total. The U.S. Forest Service, measured 1.25 inches of precipitation from Nov. 5 to Nov. 11 and 1.21 inches in the Nov. 19-24 week and 1.05 Nov. 25-20.

While Surprise Valley did not set a monthly record for moisture, USDA's Tom Hill measured over three inches. "That's a pretty good total for this area," Hill said. This last week, the valley saw 1.05 inches of rain fall.

Lois Bailey, who takes weather readings at her Parker Creek ranch about six miles east of Alturas measured 3.93 inches of precipitation for November, nearing the record of 3.95 inches set in November, 1989.

Bailey said she has measured 24.94 inches of precipita tion since January.


MJUSD approves site report cards, hears lows of MMS math scores



At their last meeting of 1998 on Monday night, the Modoc Joint Unified School District Board of Trustees reviewed and approved "Accountability Report Cards" for all of the schools in the District.

The report cards are re quired by the state and are available for review by any one who wishes to do so.

The report cards contain some interesting statistics about the schools within the District.

Expenses and salaries: The District spends $5,818.00 per student each year.

Modoc teachers make slightly higher salaries than the state average for teachers who are in similar salary ranges. However, the District spends slightly less on teach ers as a percentage of the total budget than the state average.

As for administrative salaries, the aver age school district in California spends 6.0 percent of its budget on administrative salaries, whereas MJUSD only spends 2.93 percent of its budget on that area.

Teacher-student ratios: MHS has a ratio of 23.3 stu dents to each teacher com pared with a state average of 24.8.

Modoc Middle School has a ratio of 20-to-1, compared with a state average of 28-1.

Alturas Elementary has 20 or less per class in kinder garten through third grade. Fourth grade classes at AES average 25 stu dents and fifth grade averages 24 students.

Test scores: About 40 to 45 percent of the MHS graduat ing class takes college en trance exams.

In 1996-97, MHS students scored above the national av erage on the ACT college en trance exam. The average score for the na tion was 21.0 while Modoc students com piled an average score of 22.6.

MHS students scored slightly below the national average on the SAT in 1996-97.

National STAR testing was conducted in grades one through 11 last spring, and the Accountability Reports list the results in the form of the per centage of Modoc students who scored above the 50th per centile for the nation, which denotes the average perfor mance for that grade.

The tests measured a total of 45 areas in three grades at MHS. Modoc students scored above the 60th percentile in two categories, between 50 and 60 in nine categories, between 40 and 50 in 25 categories, and below the 40th percentile in nine categories.

At Modoc Middle School, three grades were tested in a total of 21 areas. MMS stu dents scored above the 50th percentile in four areas, and between 40 and 50 in the rest.

At AES, students in first through fifth grades were measured in 22 areas. The stu dents scored above the 60th percentile in three areas, be tween 50 and 60 in six areas, be tween 40 and 50 in 12 areas and below 40 in one area.

Attendance and Activities: MHS had an average atten dance rate of 93.65 percent in 1996-97. MMS had a rate of 95.89 percent last year.

The state dropout rate is 3.3 percent, but Modoc has a mere 0.1 percent dropout rate.

Approximately 70 percent of the students at MHS partici pate in ex tracurricular activi ties.

In other matters before the Board on Mon day night:

Middle School Math: New Middle School Principal Steve Iverson, gave a report on how middle school students did on STAR math testing in rela tion to their grades and when measured in terms of family income.

Middle School math is an area that the District has said it wants to target. The goal is to teach algebra to many eighth grade stu dents and have most students ready for alge bra when they enter ninth grade.

Although students probably wouldn't agree, Iverson's charts show that there may have been some grade infla tion at MMS last year. A much larger group of students re ceived grades of "A" or "B" in MMS classes than scored above the 60th percentile for the nation in STAR testing.

A percentile rank of 60 would indicate that a student performed better on the STAR test than 60 percent of the stu dents in the nation in that same grade.

"Our top 'A' students didn't test like they should," Iverson noted.

For example, in last year's eighth grade class, 13 students received "A" grades in math, but only three scored in the top 20 per cent on the STAR tests. The numbers were similar for the 6th and 7th grades.

The graphs presented by Iverson also showed that last year's seventh grade had a very difficult time with the STAR tests. While over 40 students scored "A" or "B" in math class, less than 20 of them scored above the 60th percentile on the STAR tests. Fur thermore, nearly half the class scored below the na tional 40th percentile mark.

Iverson said this was prob ably due to the fact that the math teaching position for that grade was unstable last year, and the stu dents had somewhere in the neighbor hood of four different teachers during the year.

He also presented charts showing scores for students getting free and reduced school lunches in comparison to "average income" students.

In last year's seventh and eighth grades, the "free & re duced" group had similar scor ing patterns when com pared with the rest of the class, while the sixth grade "free & re duced" group scored well be low the rest of the class.

Iverson did have some "good news." Last year's fifth graders, who are just starting at MMS this year, did ex tremely well on STAR test ing. The fifth graders actu ally did better than their school grades would have in di cated.

The number of 5th graders scoring above the 80th per centile on STAR tests was twice the number of students who received a school grade of "A". Over half the class scored above the 60th per centile and only one out of six scored below the 40th per centile.

"That's the first time we see more students concentrated on the upper end," Iverson said of the class. "That means we're going to spend less time in middle school on remedia tion and more time on getting ready for alge bra."

Iverson will give a report on English scores at the Board's January meeting. At the February meeting he will give a further re port on math at the request of Board mem ber Cindy Culp who asked for information on "what changes are taking place in math pro grams," to help meet the District's goals for im provement.

Philosopher's Club: Warner High School student David Duncan has proposed creating a "Philosopher's Club" for students that would meet after school twice a month.

New Member: Newly elected Board mem ber Velda Moore was sworn in. The Board elected to have Bill Hall continue as Presi dent.


County employees go with union in surance


Health insurance issues have featured prominently in meetings of the Modoc County Board of Supervisors over the last two weeks.

In choosing between cost and access, the Modoc County Employee's Association (MCEA) opted for a health plan with lower costs but lim ited access.

The MCEA had a choice between a PERS plan that had

higher costs but greater ac cess, or a Laborer's Trust plan with lower cost but less access, particularly in Oregon and Nevada.

The management and non-union employees of the County chose the PERS plan and will get to use that plan.

The general union employ ees and hospital union em ploy ees chose the Laborer's Trust plan, much to the cha grin of ap proximately 10 county retirees who preferred the PERS plan.

The PERS plan has a life-time maximum payout of $1,000,000 for retirees, whereas the Laborer's Trust has a maximum of $25,000, unless the retiree moves to an HMO area such as Shasta County.

The Supervisors felt that the employees would be better to go with the PERS plan, but had to give approval to the choice of the MCEA.

"I personally don't agree, but you can only protect people so long," Supervisor Nancy Huffman said in making the mo tion to approve the employ ee's choice of the Laborer's Trust plan.

"The county didn't recog nize the union plan as being ade quate for either retirees or employees," Administrative Ser vices Director Mike Maxwell said. "Management made it very clear that it was not recommending the union plan."

In other matters before the Board:

Timber Tax: County Audi tor Judi Stevens told the Board that tax revenues from the sale of local timber are down sig nificantly. The most re cent assessment produced just $129,034.34, compared with $282,172.17 at the same time last year.



Former Canby resident suspect in church fire


A former Canby resident, Lawrence "Larry" Gates, is considered a suspect in the burning of a Catholic Church in French Gulch Nov. 20 and for making a threat to St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Lakeview Nov. 17.

Various newspaper reports indicated Gates is from Canby, but local residents and law enforcement officials state he hasn't lived permanently in the area for several years. He does maintain a Post Office box in Canby, was in the town recently and does come and go intermittently.

Modoc County Undersheriff Mark Gentry said his office has been cooperating with other law enforcement agencies in the area, but Gates was not located locally. Gentry said there have been no threats aimed at local churches.

According to Lakeview Chief of Police Dennis Ross, Gates was identified as the person who delivered a letter to Lakeview Emergency Services containing a cover note and two pages of cryptic religious symbols and verse Nov. 17. A Lakeview clergyman interpreted the letter to be a warning of potential terrorism against the Lakeview Catholic Church.

Lakeview police kept a close eye on the Catholic Church there and the Alturas Catholic Church was also notified of possible danger. Neither church was harmed.

The case has been turned over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, They have apparently contacted Gates, but he is not in custody at this time.


Niles Art Faire opens 19th annual show, sale


The nineteenth year of the Niles Christmas Art Faire will open at its original loca tion in the historic Niles Hotel, on Main Street, Al turas this Saturday, Dec. 5 from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Join local artists, arti sans and crafters for a one of a kind event featuring unique gift items, both large and small and tempting items to take home for all ages.

Everything from obsidian birds to fused glass picture frames, quilts, teddy bears, photographic works, leather jackets, floral arrange ments, wreaths and barn wood furniture plus much more will be among the dis plays for sale to the public.

Admission is free. Visit the J.E. Niles Room, Stronghold Room and up stairs parlor for the array of gifts and boutique items. The Niles Restau rant will be open for lunch. Photos with Santa will be taken by George Cooper of Alturas.


Sacred Heart opens bazaar


Sacred Heart Parish Hall will be filled with holiday treats created by local crafts people especially for the Christmas Bazaar on Satur day, Dec. 5 from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

The hall is located on East Fourth Street behind the Sa cred Heart Catholic Church in Alturas.

Everything from com puter art work with photos on ornaments [bring your own photo or have a photo taken at the bazaar], Christmas Let ters and personalized Christmas cards; wood-crafted gifts including jew elry boxes, ceramics, quilts and quilt racks, crocheted items, pillow and gift items will be available.

Tickets can be purchased for the special drawing at $1 each or six for $5 for chances at winning a Christmas quilt, hand crafted quilt rack and mirror stand, unique and portable "mouse house" soft toy for a child; quilt holder and more.

Those participating have rented 25 tables from the parish and are not necessar ily members of the parish.




Doran W. Goulden


Doran W. Goulden, 59, died of cancer on November 24, 1998 at Lake District Hospital, Lakeview, Ore.

Doran was born in Al turas, Calif. on December 8, 1938 to Wallace and Claire Goulden. He attended schools in Likely and Al turas, graduating from Modoc High School in 1957. He spent approximately 20 years in law enforcement, in cluding service with the Oregon State Police, and the Lake County Sheriff's De partment. He semi-retired in 1992, but continued to be active as a private investiga tor, property manager and custom gun maker.

Doran will be most remembered for his love of the out doors which included fishing, hunting and horse packing.

Survivors include his wife Patricia [Patty] of Lakeview, Ore.; his mother Claire Goulden of Alturas; his daughter Tami Goulden of Reno, Nev.; son Cory Goulden of Pheonix, Ariz.; step-daughter Salina Monreal of San Diego; sister and brother-in-law Judy and Milton Garamendy of Cal abasas, Calif.; numerous nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins, the majority of who live in Modoc County.

He was preceded in death by his father, Wallace Goulden.

A service was held at graveside on Saturday, Nov. 28 at the Likely Cemetery, Likely, Calif. Kerr Motuary handled arrangements. Chaplain Richard Greene and the veterans groups of Alturas represented by D.A.V., V.F.W. and American Legion members provided the service and bugle rendition of TAPS.

Memorial donations may be made to the Cancer Treat ment Center, 2610 Uhrmann Road, Klamath Falls, OR 97601 or the charity of the donor's choice.


Floyd William Clark


Floyd William Clark, a native of Modoc County and a long-time Alturas resident died November 28, 1998 at the Skilled Nursing Facility at Modoc Medical Center, Alturas, Calif. He was 83 years of age.

Born in New Pine Creek, Calif. on October 3, 1915, Floyd attended the New Pine Creek School as a youth.

His occupations during the years included working for the U.S. Forest Service for 10 years and as a log truck driver.

On March 8, 1986, he married Ellen Banister in Medford, Ore.

He enjoyed hunting and fishing and being with his grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his first wife Alice [Jay], brothers Henry and Don and sister Ethel Chatfield.

Mr. Clark is survived by his wife Ellen of Alturas; son Bob Clark and wife Rita of Alturas; son Ron and wife Gayle of Klamath Falls, Ore.; son Bill and wife Marilyn Clark of Klamath Falls, Ore.; daughters Judy Coffman of Medford and Glenda Busch of Burns, Ore.; grandchildren Joshua and Betty Clark of San Jose; Jeremiah Clark of San Jose; Bill Clark, Jr. and Tony Clark of Klamath Falls; Tammy Clark Ringfield of Colorado and two great-grand children; brothers Virgil Clark of Michigan and Chris Clark of Al turas.

Family and friends will gather in remembrance on Sat urday, Dec. 5 from 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. at the Clark residence in Alturas.


Aileen Cantrall


Aileen Cantrall, age 90, died at the Surprise Valley Dis trict Hospital, on November 30, 1998, She was born on May 21, 1908, in Alturas, California, to William Earn Busch and Elizabeth Stout Shields.

Aileen's early years were spent at Eagles Swamp on Dev il's Garden, where her father was employed by the Huffman Ranch. The family later moved to Alturas, where her father had a blacksmith shop.

Aileen went to school at Clover Swale and in Alturas. She graduated from high school in Chico, California. She at tended Heald's Business School for one year in Alameda, California. Upon completion, she moved back to Alturas and married Laurence Alonzo Cantrall, on December 25, 1926.

Laurence and Aileen ranched on Pine Creek until 1947 when they purchased the A. J. Cantrall place in Jess Valley, California. Laurence and Aileen spent the next 30 years in Jess Valley enjoying their ranch, hunting, fishing, garden ing, and their many friends and relatives who came to visit.

Aileen lived in Alturas from 1977 until 1988, then resided in Cedarville for approximately four years. Aileen spent the last six years of her life in the convalescent home at the Sur prise Valley District Community Hospital.

Aileen is survived by her daughter, Phyllis Harris and son in law, Harold Harris of Lake City, California, four grandchildren: Dian Wickenden of Tonopah, Nev., James (Bucky) Harris of Cedarville; Wanda Grove of Eagleville; Edward Harris of Alturas and 11 great-grandchildren.

Aileen was preceded in death by her husband, Laurence Cantrall, parents, William and Elizabeth Busch, a sister, Hazel Young and brothers, Gilbert and Donald Busch.

Services for Mrs. Cantrall will be held at Kerr Mortuary today, December 3 at 2:00 p.m. Burial will follow at the Al turas Cemetery. The family requests donations to your fa vorite charity in lieu of flowers.


Bruce Mitchell Taylor


Bruce Mitchell Taylor was born on January 26, 1908 in Elkton, Ohio to Harry William Taylor and Claudia M. Mitchell Taylor. He passed away on November 23, 1998 at the Surprise Valley Community Hospital.

When Bruce was about five years old his family moved to the San Francisco bay area.

He completed high school education at Richmond High in 1925.

He was employed by Standard Oil and Kaiser Shipyards of Richmond, California as a certified welder until his en listment into the Army in January 1943. He served with the 854th Engineer Aviation Battalion in the Kwajaleins on the Marshall Islands. He was the recipient of a unit commenda tion and bronze star for accomplishing mis sions of diffi culty, as in building airports and run ways with minimum support and supplies.

He was given an honorable discharge for a medical con dition in July, 1945 at the rank of Corporal.

He returned to Kaiser Shipyards as a welder and was later employed by CalTrans as an equipment operator and maintenance specialist until his retirement in the early seventies when he moved to Cedarville.

He had frequently visited the area since 1937 as an avid hunter and all around sportsman.

He was a member of the Alturas Elks Lodge No. 1756 and the Surprise Valley Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7888.

He is survived by a sister, Helen Knight of Napa, Cali fornia, nieces, Danielle Yarnold of Napa, Lynne Sautter of Oakland, California, Wendy Freeborn of Lafayette, Cali fornia, and one nephew, John Knight of Hope, Idaho. He also had five great nieces and nephews and five great-great nieces and nephews. Also an extended family of friends in Surprise Valley. He was preceded in death by a sister, Mar jorie Splawn.


George W. Carleton


George W. Carleton, 63, former resident of Willow Ranch, Calif., and a graduate of Modoc High School, passed away in his sleep unexpectedly on October 29, 1998 at his home in Sanford, North Carolina.

Mr. Carleton was a veteran of the U.S. Army in which he served for over 20 years in Europe, Korea and Vietnam. He retired at the rank of sergeant first class. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge, Veterans of Foreign Wars and was a lifetime member of the Disabled American Veterans.

On October 17, 1972, he married Margaret Tubbs of Con necticut. The two have shared 26 years of marriage together.

"He was a Christian and his memory will always be in the hearts of those who loved and cared for him," said his wife.

He is survived by his wife Margaret Carleton of Sanford, NC; two sons, a daughter, his mother Elizabeth Brunnemer of Cedarville, four grandchildren, a brother, a few distant relatives and many friends.

Burial was on November 5 in Sanford, NC with full mili tary rites.

Record news for December 10, 1998


  • Lost Alturas pair found safe by searchers
  • Ski Hill opens this weekend
  • Santa Trains was a great success
  • Alturas students make music for holidays
  • Obituaries:
  • Brown
  • Mason
The forecast:

Look for morning fog and otherwise cloudy today. Variable clouds with a chance of rain Friday and Saturday. Lows zero to around 30. Rain or snow likely Sunday, remaining very cold.


Pair rescued after losing direction in Christmas tree hunt


The search for the perfect Christmas tree turned down right dangerous for two Alturas residents Monday night.

The pair was found early Tuesday morning after spend ing several hours lost in the Joseph Creek area of the Warner Mountains.

According to Modoc Undersheriff Mark Gentry, Gary Hayes, age 52, and Shirlene Snow, age 48, apparently be came disoriented as they were looking for a Christmas tree in the popular area and starting moving in the wrong direc tion.

Family members contacted the Sheriff's office in the early evening Monday to report the them missing when they didn't return on time.

Gentry said the Sheriff's Office had just received its re paired snow cat this week, so the timing was extremely for tunate. Sheriff Bruce Mix led a search and rescue party, in cluding a dozen Sheriff's Posse members and a couple of deputies. The posse members used snowmobiles to comb the forest. According to Genrty, searchers followed tracks in the snow until the two people were located.

According to Gentry, the area was covered with knee to thigh deep snow and the temperatures had dropped well into the teens. Both Hayes and Snow were wearing light winter clothing, more suitable for daytime wear.

They were found about 1:30 a.m. six to seven miles off of Highway 395. They were transported to the search headquar ters by snowmobile and then to Modoc Medical Center in Alturas, where they were treated for exposure.

Gentry said the two were in fairly good health, but were heading towards Davis Creek when they were found. He said there was some concern they would not have made it that far.


Ski Hill opens this weekend


The Cedar Pass Ski Hill is covered with two feet of groomed and packed snow, and all set for an opening this weekend.

The Ski Hill will open Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. All equipment and lifts are operating and the rope tow has a new rope. Gone are the duct tape splices.

The hill will have concessions, ski rentals and ski lessons are available. The Ski Hill welcomes skiers and snowboarders.

Lift tickets are $15 for an adult all-day and $12 for youth all day. A half day adult is $12 and youth is $10. Season passes are $150 for adults and $113 for youths. If those passes are purchased before January 15, there is a $20 discount.



Santa Train melts hearts amid the cold


It was cold, but it didn't deter the crowds last Satur day as the first Northern Califor nia Santa Train rolled down the tracks De cember 5, with a full load of children and adults each ride from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Alturas-Wrymoo Railroad Museum.

"We figure about 800 peo ple came Satur day," de scribed Dave Rangel, WRYMOO Board liaison and secretary treasurer for the non-profit WRYMOO Railroad Historical and Educational Society. "It was extremely exciting. Decem ber is our one year anniver sary. It's hard to imagine when we started what it looked like piled six feet high with scrap wood from front to back and to see where we've come through volun teer efforts."

"Our volunteers are so strongly commit ted. I thank my lucky stars to have them," of fered Rangel. "Jack Ochs was patching holes on the roof, thawing frozen pipes and George An dreasen was out working until dark with a flashlight to get things ready for last Satur day's event. And that was after his regular job!" said Rangel.

It was not a monetary re ward any of them received for their efforts. The emo tional re wards were great though, said Rangel.

Some children came to give Santa their lists and some just wanted to see Santa. One little boy touched the hearts of all the Santa Train 'elves, Santa and Rangel.

"He was a scared little boy, but he loved trains so much and he was so excited," de scribed Rangel. "We let him sit on the engi neer's lap. When he had to leave, he was so worried that we wouldn't be there next time. We looked at one another and he really touched our hearts. We all were sorry that Christmas came only once a year. This is what we're here for."

Rangel expressed his gratitude to the spon sors and volunteers, from Santa to Friends of the WRYMOO Museum who provided con cessions of hot chili, baked potatoes and hot beverages. Every child walked away with a complimentary candy cane.

Once on the train, Santa's crew sang Christmas carols, let the children ring the jin gle bells and generally pro vided a good and festive time and visit with Santa. It was not a profit making venture, but a free gift to all children. Of the three, free drawings for train sets, the youngest winner was three-months-old. The gift shop sold sev eral handmade carved wood NCO signs during the day.

"At 10 a.m. the crowd was waiting and we ran every train full," described Rangel. "It was getting so cold by 3 p.m., that we wrapped it up." The day's temperatures ran from a low of minus 5 degrees to a high of 28 degrees.

WRYMOO's wish list for next year in cludes a sealed off building to provide warmth for the Santa Train event.

Rangel said he expects federal grant peo ple to visit the museum in February to be shown the need for grant funding for reha bilitation of the building.

"We need new walls, lighting, heat and we have a plan and a purpose," he noted. "With that funding it would allow us to hire local people to do work, putting money back into the local economy," he shared aloud of his vision.

"We've come this far and look what we have now. Wow, just think what's it gonna be in another year and how great it can be," Rangel said excitedly.

"Next year we'll have a bigger train, more rail and more tracks. And for the coming year we've had a flatcar from Washington state that is being donated to us by the Navy and a vintage 1940 era boxcar - like brand new - from St. Louis, Mis souri expected at the end of January."

The Museum will concen trate on two ma jor events for the year - Fourth of July and the Santa Train.

Right now, after a year of hard work by volunteers, they will take a well-earned hiatus until March.

"They did a helluva job this year," Rangel praised.


Alturas Elementary students bring cheer with holiday perfor mances


Alturas Elementary School students will be doing their best to provide holiday cheer in the form of songs, dances, skits and a band performance throughout next week at the A.C.T. Niles Theater, Main Street, Al turas.

All performances will be gin at 7 p.m. with the excep tion of the Kindergarten per formance at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 17 and also staged this year in the Niles Theater.

Beginning on Monday night, Dec. 14, hear the first grade classes present the "A,B,C's of Christmas" and the poem "Stopping by the Woods," along with a host of familiar snow songs and acting with in a scene with Santa Claus.

Tuesday night, Dec. 15, the second grade classes will share their "Christmas Around the World" theme through songs, solos, dances and timeless favorites and a scene for Hanukkah and Christmas in Mexico.

Wednesday night, Dec. 16 the big fifth grade band with its 30 student performers will provide "Christmas Traditions" music and "the big attraction" will also be a rock 'n roll dance by the young couples. Carols will also be sung.

Thursday morning, 9:30 a.m. on Dec. 17 Kindergart ners have their turn on stage to perform a celebration of poems, finger plays and songs.

All performances are open to the public with free admis sion.

"All our classes are ex tremely enthusiastic this year," says Musical Director Eileen Ramos. Ramos cred its Mike Halderman for providing the lighting, sets and sound for all the shows and Jo Harder for creating this year's reindeer cos tumes for one of the shows.

Fourth grade classes per formed Tuesday night, Dec. 8 with "Christmas - A Time of Sharing" and third grade classes presented "How the Penguin Saved Christmas" in costume on Wednesday night, noted Ramos.




Ruby Jewel Brown


Former California Pines resident Ruby Jewel Brown, 73, died November 24, 1998 in Manteca, Calif.

Born in Arkansas, Mrs. Brown had made Cal Pines her home for five years. She had moved from Manteca to Cal Pines and back again due to ill health. She had been a resi dent of Manteca for 14 years. Her husband and son still maintain a residence at Cal Pines, which they continue to visit.

Mrs. Brown was a homemaker and a member of First Christian Church and the Women's Christian Fellowship at the church. She was a collector of dolls and unique and un usual plates and tea pots.

She is survived by her husband William Robert Brown of Manteca; children Phyllis Kay Matthew of Arnold, Angel Joseph Garcia III of Virginia, Lola Ann Tenorio of Elk Grove, Daniel James Garcia of Manteca, Ewilda Louise Blackmore of Morgan Hill, David Manuel Brown of Ore gon, Cynthia Lee McDaniel of Manteca and Nancy Gail Marlow of Manteca; 20 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

A funeral service was held Saturday, Nov. 28 at First Christian Church, Manteca.

Remembrances may be sent to First Christian Church, 1125 N. Union Rd., Manteca, Calif. 95337. P.L. Fry & Son in Manteca took charge of arrangements.



EDC "Babe" Mason


Alturas resident EDC "Babe" Mason died of cancer on December 8, 1998, eight days following her 84th birthday. Mrs. Mason had been a patient for the past three weeks at a Klamath Falls hospital in Oregon where she died.

Mrs. Mason had made Alturas her home for the past 27 years. She loved to bowl and had a soft spot in her heart for stray cats, which she fed in her neighborhood.

She was born at Copper City, California, on Novem ber 30, 1914. Copper City was covered by Shasta Lake when Shasta Dam was built. She was reared in Redding and was married to Charlie Mason. The couple had two daughters Audrey and Ar lene, both of Redding today and a son Bobby, now of Connecticut. EDC's sister Lala Curl resides in Red ding.

Mrs. Mason was a homemaker throughout the years. She was also appreciated as a sponsor for several local stock car racers and enjoyed the stock car races at the Cedarville track. She was considered a "heavy promoter" of the local races, recall relatives.

Services are pending, but were expected to be announced today. For information on funeral services please call Rus sell's Garage in Alturas at 233-2825.

Contributions in Mrs. Mason's memory may be directed to the American Cancer Society.

Record news summaries for Dec. 17, 1998


  • Assessor balks at new assessment policies
  • Buckle up your kids for safety
  • The Wish Tree still needs some wish givers
  • Assessor balks at new assessment rules
  • Fish and Wildlife completes pest assessment
  • Stories wanted for tobacco edition
  • Modoc jobless rate is 9.3 percent

The forecast:

Sunny and high is the outlook for the coming week, with highs in the 50s and lows in the 20s and 30s. Some patchy morning fog is expected, but no precipitation is forecast.

Assessor balks at new assessment rules


At itsTuesday meeting, the Modoc County Board of Su pervisors heard from County Assessor Josephine Johnson about a recent decision by the State Board of Equalization (BOE) that could drastically change the way in which prop erty is valued in California for purposes of tax assessment.

The BOE has changed its handbook that advises assessors on how to gauge the value of a property. The BOE's new ad vice states that only tangible property should be assessed, and intangible property, which has been included as part of the assessment in the past, should no longer be taken into consideration as part of the assessment.

Johnson gave the example of two identical housing lots, one with a view and one without. Even though a real estate agent would list the view lot at a higher price than the non-view lot, under BOE's new guidelines, the county assessor should assess them at the same price. The intangible asset, the view, would not be included as part of the assessment.

Another example would be a business in a building. While the business has many intangible assets besides the building that add to its overall value, the BOE recommends only assessing for the amount it would cost to replace the building.

"Anything above replacement costs would not be as sessed," Johnson explained.

These new procedures could lead to a drastic reduction in revenues that are used to fund schools and local govern ments.

Assessors from every one of California's 58 counties, in cluding Johnson, objected to BOE making the change before the action was taken. They have also stated that they will not follow the new BOE procedures because they violate state law.

"We feel there is a very large contradiction between these procedures and the law," Johnson said. "We have a duty to uphold the law."

Johnson pointed out that the BOE handbook is only advi sory, it is not a law. However, should an assessor make an assessment using both tangible and intangible assets for a property, the taxpayer could appeal the assessment to the BOE and argue that correct assessment procedures were not fol lowed. Therefore, the new procedures could lead to a flood of tax appeals which would be very costly to the county.

Johnson said that efforts are being made to clarify the sit uation. The Office of Administrative Law may review BOE's procedures and strike them down, or the county asses sors may file a lawsuit against BOE to have the matter re solved.



Make sure kids are buckled up


The Alturas Police Department is noticing more children not being buckled up properly in vehicles. For the children's sake, the APD is reminding drivers to pay attents.

"Most parents are really good about buck ling in their children," said Sergeant Stacy Callaghan. "But we are see ing many who are putting their kids at risk. Our concern is for the safety of those children."

Callaghan said some of the common viola tions include parents strapping more than one child in a seat belt, or al lowing a small child to ride on a parent's lap under the par ent's seatbelt.

"We don't see much of a problem with in fants, parents are good about putting infants into child car seats," he said. "We notice that as kids get more active, parents sometimes won't put them in car seats or in the proper seat belt or harness."

The law is pretty simple, kids age four and under and 40 pounds and under must be in a car seat. Kids age 4 and over 40 pounds must be restrained in a seatbelt or harness. Car seats should face the rear of the vehicle and children should not be placed in the passen ger side of a vehicle when an airbag is pre sent, unless that air bag can be turned off.

According to Callaghan a driver's side airbag deploys at about 200 m.p.h. and the passenger side can deploy at about 140 m.p.h.

They are dangerous for small children.

"Seatbelts and car seats have been proven to safe lives," said Callaghan. "We are ask ing parents to place their chil dren in proper restraints."

Callaghan also states that citations can and will be writ ten for violations.



Five more days to fill small wishes


From the total of 230 name tags on the Christmas Wish Tree, 100 name tags still hang untaken at the TEACH, Inc. office.

"We've had a lot of people bring gifts in for children. But we still have a lot of tags left," offers Margaret Rees, Wish Tree Coordinator for 1998. Wrapped gifts are sought by 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 21.

The Wish Tree is meant to make Christmas brighter for children who would otherwise go without due to family hard ships. It relies on donations of gifts and cash to make the wishes come true.

Located in TEACH's lobby, the Wish Tree displays the green tags denoting girls' wishes and red tags for boys. An even mix of boys and girls ages infant to 12 have one need item and one want item listed on the tagged or na ments with their age and sizes. Names are kept anonymous.

Anyone is welcome to be come a Wish Tree gift spon sor. Just visit or call the TEACH office anytime be tween 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday (open through the lunch hour) to pick out a child's tag. Return the wrapped gift to the TEACH of fice by Monday, Dec. 21 at 5 p.m.

The Wish Tree hopes to meet the needs of children who have been registered from Adin and Lookout to Tulelake/ Newell and Al turas areas. Up to 250 tags were accepted this year and 230 children were registered as of Tuesday. The Wish Tree for Surprise Valley is separate and of the 50 allow able registrants, 44 have reg istered.

In lieu of picking up a Wish Tree child's tag at the office, cash donations will also be accepted if made payable to the TEACH, Inc. of fice at 112 East Second St., Alturas - located behind the Beacon Coffee Shop. Call (530) 233-3111 for further informa tion.The Wish Tree sponsors are representing a wide range of donors this year, from teens and young children to local service clubs and organiza tions.

This year, a few over 250 children will be served if in dividuals, businesses, clubs and organizations are will ing to purchase Christ mas gifts for the children who are registered for the Wish Tree. Children in the Cedarville, Tulelake and mainly Alturas area have been registered and all Wish Tree tags are now filled.

For more information please call the TEACH office at (916) 233-3111.


Fish and Wildlife Service completes environmental assessment


The U.S. Fish and Wild-life Service has com pleted an en vironmental assess-ment for an integrated pest management program for agricultural leased lands at Lower Klamath and Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuges in the Klamath Basin of southern Oregon and Northern Cali fornia.

Integrated pest manage ment programs treat pests as part of the crop production system that includes not only crops, pests, and benefi cial insects, but the entire bi ological and physical set ting. Emphasis is placed on knowing about and prevent ing problems before they oc cur. An integrated pest man-agement program does not exclude pesticides, but att-empts to use them as a last line of defense against pests.

Based on a review of the environmental assessment and over 400 public com ments, the Service has se lected phased im plementa tion of an integrated pest management program for the leased lands at Lower Klamath and Tule Lake Refuges as its proposal man-agement action.

The environmental as sessment evaluated four al terna tives:

* Alternative 1, No Action - Current management by the Agencies and current practices by growers. No comprehen sive IPM pro gram.

* Alternative 2, Phased IPM Program - Preferred Alterna tive - Comprehen sive IPM program to imple ment the "Inte grated Pest Management Plan for Leased Lands at Lower Klamath and Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuges, Ore gon/California."

* Alternative 3, Modified IPM Program - Same as the Pre ferred Alternative except that all required IPM tech niques and alternative crops would first be locally field trailed and demonstrated beneficial and cost effective to growers.

* Alternative 4, Transi tion from Synthetic Pesticide Use to Long-term Organic - Only crops beneficial to wildlife (food or cover) would be grown. Pests would be managed primarily through non-chemical means, but organic-certified pesti cides would be allowed, subject to Service approval. Synthetic pesticides would be used only when fish, wild-life, or their habitats were threatened by a pest, or if a public health emer gency existed.

Based on a review and evaluation of the informa tion con tained in the envi ronmental assessment and the administra tive record, including public comments, we have made a pre liminary determination that imple mentation of the proposed action would not constitute a major Federal action signif i cantly affecting the quality of the human environment within the meaning of sec tion 102(2)(C) of the National Environmen tal Policy Act of 1969. Accordingly, we do not plan to prepare an environ mental impact statement for the proposed action. This determination will be final ized in approximately 30 days.

If you wish to review and comment on the draft "Find ing of No Significant Im pact" (FONSI), a copy may be obtained by contacting Scott Stenquist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Divi sion of Refuge Operations Support (ARW-OPR), 911 N.E. 11th Ave., Portland, OR 97232-4181 (Telephone: 503-231-6171). In order to be considered in the final de termination, all comments on the FONSI need to be re ceived by the above named individual no later than January 11, 1999.


Tobacco stories wanted for special holiday magazine


Remember that uncle who used to light up and smoke a dirty, smelly cigarette all the way through dinner, then ask you to come and sit on his lap, presumably so he could blow smoke in your face?

How about your aunt, who always smelled like she'd just dabbed on some cologne called "hint of ashtray" and al ways wanted to give you a hug so she could share the aroma?

Remember when you used to go on long trips with your parents in the winter with the car windows rolled up tight and visibility in the car near zero from tobacco smoke? Why was it you always seemed to have a cough?

Well let the public know what happened to those aunts, un cles, parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, cousins and friends because of the smoking habit.

The Modoc County Tobacco Education Program is en couraging everyone to write a short story or paragraph about: why you wish you never started using tobacco or the ef fects tobacco has had on your health and life; or, a story of a loved one who has suffered due to tobacco use.

Anyone with a story concerning to bacco use or abuse is encour aged to submit that story to the Modoc Record for pub lication in a holiday magazine.

The deadline to submit the stories is January 8, 1999. The stories can be submitted anonymously, with fictitious names or real names. Names do not have to be printed on the stories, but writers are also invited to sign and use their names.

Tobacco use has affected almost everyone in the coun try, either directly or indi rectly. For more information, call Kahusi at 233-6311 or Modoc Record Editor Rick Holloway at 233-2632.


Modoc jobless rate 9.3%


Modoc's unemployment rate jumped up to 9.3 percent in November, from an October level of 7.7 percent. The na tional unemployment rate is 4.1 percent and the state is 5.5 percent.

The good news is that the November, 1998 rate is lower than the November, 1997 rate of 11 percent. The civilian la bor force is also down from last year from 4,000 to 3,690. In November 1997, 440 people were unemployed and this year 340 are jobless. In October, 290 people were unemployed.

Of the state's 58 counties, Modoc had the 39th highest un employment rate. Siskiyou County had a November unem ployment rate of 12.1 percent and Lassen's rate was 7.3 per cent.

Record news summaries of Dec. 24, 1998


Merry Christmas from the Record Staff
  • Natural gas a possibility in Alturas
  • Mama, it's been cold outside
  • Community donations were up for Christmas
  • Modoc High Band performs at Inaugural
  • Got a tobacco related story to tell?
  • Obituaries:
  • Stratton, 105 years old
  • Porter
  • Wells
  • Olsen

The forecast:

This one's simple: put on a down jacket and warm winter boots.

The weather's darn cold, it's not going to change. Stay in by the fire and have a warm Christmas. It might even be white.

Natural gas a possibility in Alturas, Modoc


Is natural gas service feasible for residents of the City of Alturas? That's what a work session between City Council and ARB Inc. is about December 29.

The session is for study only and no action will be taken by the council, but there will be a free sharing of informa tion.

Ken Teague of Cypress Energy, a subsidiary of ARB, headquartered in Lake Forest, California will be on hand to introduce his company, provide an overview of plans to bring natural gas into Alturas, discuss the start of the pro cess for a natural gas distribution franchise and present a plan for developing the project on an expedited basis. Teague will also be available to answer questions about the project.

According to the City, ARB is one of the largest construc tion companies in California and is the largest pipeline/distribution contractor on the Pacific Coast. They have operations in California, Texas, North Carolina, Maine, Mexico, Argentina, Ecuador, Columbia and Chile.

When Tuscarora built the natural gas pipeline through Modoc County recently, they left a spur connection to that line southwest of Alturas. Previous efforts to bring natural gas into the city have been deemed unfeasible. This project would use gas delivered from Tuscarora.

According to preliminary information presented to the city by Teague, there is a mix of potential customers includ ing 800 residential, 120 small commercial and a few large customers, including the schools, hospital and government offices. According to ARB, its proposal is not dependent upon construction of a private prison west of Alturas. That project is still in the proposal stage as well.

According to ARB, its market analysis indicates citizens of Alturas will be able to realize "a significant savings on their heating costs by utilizing natural gas."

According to the project overview, a new local company would be established for the gas system, rates would be regu lated by the California Public Utilities Commission and are proposed to be competitive with current energy options. The area's main heating sources now are heating oil, wood and propane.

The plan also states that to speed up construction and gas service, ARB and the City may wish to form an interim coop or community regulated system.

While the project is suggesting a possibility of starting service by Sept. 1999 or 2000 several steps must be taken. First of all, a franchise agreement would have to be reached, the environmental review process would be done, authority from CPUC would have to be granted and so on.

According to ARB, the availability of natural gas would provide economically competitive options to current choices, would provide safe, reliable service through a typical natu ral gas distribution system, provide new franchise fee rev enues for the city, and could expand the availability of nat ural gas to other communities.

The work session is set for Dec. 2, 7 p.m. at City Hall. No action can be taken at the meeting.


Mama, it's cold outside, Mercury shivers down to -17


Yes, Virginia it is cold outside in Modoc County. Unofficially, the low on Monday was eight below zero, but residents on the outskirts of Alturas reported temperatures as low as -20.

According to the weather observer in Canby, the mercury plummeted to -17. Surprise Valley recorded a low of -11.

The cold blast started over the weekend and dropped very quickly Sunday night and into Monday morning. The cold is credited to an biting Arctic wind that blew into the north west and is expected to keep things very cold through Christmas.

Local plumbers were kept very busy over the past few days, thawing frozen pipes or re pairing broken pipes caused by the cold.

According to Nancy Heard of Heard Plumbing, the plumbing shop has received a steady steam of calls, more than since the last really cold spell in the early 90s.

"The wind really caused a lot of the prob lems," said Heard. "It blew cold air into places where it normally doesn't get that cold. That cold wind made things worse."

According to A&M Pump and Plumbing, hundreds of people were calling with frozen or broken plumbing and crews were kept busy for the first part of the week.

Local plumbers advise against using blow torches or propane torches to thaw pipes. They offer the following advice on how to prevent frozen pipes: make sure to close the air vents around the house foundation, keep the heat on inside the house, insulate piping expose to the cold, such as pipes in a shed or garage, and run a trickle of warm water through pipes frequently to prevent freezing.

Alturas Chief of Police Larry Pickett re ported a couple of minor fender-benders, but nothing out of the ordinary. "I think most people tried to stay inside and keep warm," said Pickett.

While it is cold, it is not yet a record for December. That mark goes back to Dec. 12, 1972 when the temperatures in Alturas dropped all the way to -34 and nothing moved.

The intense cold came as a bit of a shock, following a week where temperatures were unseasonably warm. According to the National Weather Service, it caught many people off guard.

Local folks are now snuggled in for the holidays and the forecast for today and to morrow calls for a chance of snow and con tinued cold, but warming into the 5-10 degree range on the low end and 20s and 30s on the high end.



Community shows it cares , Salvation Army, Food Bank get help


Becky Givan's faith in humankind has been rekin dled by an outpouring of overwhelming community support across Modoc County.

"We're just going great," she said of the contributions to Salvation Army Modoc Unit in food and cash this year. "It's more than we ever expected. It's awesome."

Givan was concerned earlier during the month in locating volunteers who would ring the Salvation Army's Kettle Drive bell to raise the needed donations for this holiday season and the coming year.

Salvation Army units in other cities reported volun teers were so hard to come by, they were considering re sorting to paying people to ring the bell. But, they knew that would cut into the contri butions donated to help their communities.

Givan's fears were put to rest when individuals began coming forth to help make a difference in Modoc; even on the sub-zero thermometer mornings standing outside at the Alturas Post Office.

"I was taking blankets over there this week to try to keep our bellringers warm," she said. Tuesday was to be the last day for the kettle drive.

On the one day the kettle was stationed in Cedarville, Givan noted it took in a sur prising $300 in contribu tions. Over $900 was dropped into the Alturas kettle and several generous checks were received in the mail this week to help throughout the year. The donations came from local residents helping their communities.

The donations will be providing Christmas gifts for residents at both the Modoc Medical Center Skilled Nursing Facility and Surprise Valley long-term care facility. Dona tions to SA also remain local to brighten Christmas and the coming year for those who need a helping hand for various reasons during the year.

Individuals who showed they cared made the collec tive difference. With collec tion boxes in county offices called for by Modoc County Supervisor Patricia Cantrall these past two weeks, Givan said she "filled up her vehi cle two times" carting all the food that county employees and others had donated. She delivered it all to the Modoc Emergency Food Bank last Friday and Monday. One couple who recently moved to Modoc stocked 10 food bas kets on their own which they donated and delivered to the Food Bank to help the effort. Some 70 baskets were created by the Modoc Emergency Food Bank for residents throughout the county.

"The Salvation Army was given pounds and pounds of turkey and three hams today which we donated to the food bank," described Givan Tuesday afternoon. "It has been incredible what local people have done here."

On a chilly Tuesday af ternoon, just before dark and Wednesday morning, Gi van was delivering boxes filled with gifts to be dis tributed to nursing homes residents.

"We were able to pur chase three personal type gifts like body lotion for each person this year," shared Givan.

"We're really blessed this year," said a tickled Givan. "The Salvation Army dou bled what it did last year; it's just fantastic."

Modoc Emergency Food Bank Coordinator Peggy Alexander feels grateful to have a surplus even after preparing the 70 food baskets for Christmas, just like at Thanksgiving. Local churches pitched in provid ing provisions and food baskets as did businesses such as K & K Distributing, Holiday Market, Four Cor ners, Coast to Coast, Modoc Middle School students and Bureau of Land Manage ment, noted Alexander.

Once the holidays have passed, she will be restock ing the shelves for the leaner months of winter to come.

Donations to the Food Bank and Salvation Army are wel comed at any time of the year for times of emer gency.


Modoc High band to perform at Inaugural


In an unprecedented ef fort to celebrate both the di versity and unity of Califor nia at the Governor-elect Gray Davis inaugural ev-ents, organizers invited one student organization to represent each of the 58 counties.

The Modoc High School Band, representing Modoc County, will perform at the Inaugural Gala in Sacra mento on January 3. Some 36 members of the band will make the trip.

Darius Anderson, execu tive director of the Califor nia Inaugural Committee for Gray Davis, voiced his enthusiasm about the group's involvement.

"I marvel at the incredi ble diversity and talent showcased by California's children in this program. These young people repre sent the future of our state. Their skilled contribution to this inaugural event makes it very special for all of us and a memory of a lifetime for them," Anderson said.

Each group or participant will receive free tickets to the Inaugural Gala and the Rock & Roll Ball at Cal Expo.

The Democratic Central Committee Chair in each county either selected or nominated the most repre sentative organization for their own community, with specific local criteria in mind. "We are proud to rep resent Modoc County," said MAS Band Director, Karen Siegel, "It's quite an honor."

"I'm excited that every county will be represented for once, instead of just the huge dominant ones," said Anderson. In this way, ev ery Californian can feel part of this event. We hope these young people will be our am bassadors to take this sense of unity back to their home communities."

Some other student groups which will participate in clude; Lyman Gilmore School Band from Nevada County; Baler Band from San Benito County; Bur roughs High School March ing Band and Color Guard from Ridgecrest in Kern County; Paradise High School Choir from Butte County; "Jazz at Eight" from Tuolomne County; the In lakech Dancers from Ven tura County; the Righetti High School Marimba Band and Ballet Folklorico Dan-cers from Santa Bar bara County; and Saint Do minic's Youth Choir from Glenn County.

Berkeley's Crowden Qua-rtet will represent Alameda County, Enterprise Starship travels from Shasta County, the Seevyees Hmong Dan-cers from Merced County, and the No vato High Jazz Choir from Marin County. San Fran cisco sends their City Col lege Choir, while Placer County sends the W.T. Eich Wildcats Junior High Marching Band. Fre-sno's Mariachi and Folk-lorico and Yreka's Jackson Street School Band from Siskiyou County have also confirmed their attendance.


Tobacco and death, illness, Tell readers about situations


The Modoc County Tobacco Education Program is en couraging everyone to write a short story or paragraph about why you wish you never started using tobacco or the ef fects tobacco has had on your health and life; or, a story of a loved one who has suffered due to tobacco use.

Anyone with a story concerning to bacco use or abuse is encour aged to submit that story to the Modoc Record for pub lication in a holiday magazine.

The deadline to submit the stories is January 8, 1999. The stories can be submitted anonymously, with fictitious names or real names. Names do not have to be printed on the stories, but writers are also invited to sign and use their names.

Tobacco use has affected almost everyone in the coun try, either directly or indi rectly. For more information, call Kahusi at 233-6311 or Modoc Record Editor Rick Holloway at 233-2632.




Ollie Mae Stratton


Ollie Mae Coonse Pinneo Stratton, 105, died Thursday, Dec. 17, 1998 at Surprise Valley Health Care in Cedarville, Calif. She was born June 15, 1893 to Edward and Thema Coonse in New Pine Creek. No one decided if it was on the California or Oregon side at that time. She grew up attend ing school there.

She and her sister worked at the Fairport Hotel which was located on the shore of Goose Lake. She met her first husband Cy Pinneo there. They made their home in Alturas.

In 1930, she married Jerry Stratton who was a foreman on cattle ranches. They lived many places like Steel Swamp, Willow Creek, and the Lake Shore Ranch. Ollie cooked for many cowboys and haying crews. After re tirement, they lived in Ore gon until Jerry's death. She moved to Cedarville with her sister Rilla, where they shared a home for 26 years. Ollie enjoyed dancing, play ing cards and bingo.

She is survived by nieces Alleva Cook of Eagleville; Fern Tennyson of North Bend, Wash. and one nephew Donald Coonse of Alturas. Other family members include great nieces and nephews and great-great nieces and nephews.

Cremation was held in Klamath Falls, Ore. A private service will be held. Donations in Mrs. Stratton's memory may be made to a charity of choice or to Surprise Valley Health Care, Cedarville, CA. 96104.



Sarah Elizabeth "Sally" Porter


Memorial services were held December 22 at Kerr Mortu ary in Alturas for long-time Modoc resident Sarah Elizabeth "Sally" Porter. Grandson Randall Hartley officiated.

Sally was born October 4, 1907 in Nevada City, Calif. and entered into rest Friday, December 18, 1998 at Washoe Medi cal Center, Reno, Nevada, where she had been a patient for a short time.

She was educated in Sacramento and met her husband Millard J. "Mike" Porter while they were both students at Heald's Business College. They were married in 1925 and six children were born to them. Mike preceded Sally in death in 1983.

Sally's employment and personal life centered around cooking. She was a cook of some renown. The first venture was in manag ing the coffee shop at Haggin Oaks Golf Course in Sacra mento.

After moving with her family to Modoc in 1942, she be came an excellent wild game cook. Later, Sally was Head Cook at Modoc High School cafeteria for over 20 years. In addition to the daily lunch, she cooked many banquets and special dinners for school functions. Summers were spent as a cook for the Forest Service at Ambrose Camp.

Sally also found time to cook special birthday dinners ev ery year for her children and also for their spouses. The whole family would gather for these feasts.

One of Sally's greatest pleasures was cooking dinners and making pies for the Alturas Fire Department. In 1983, she was honored with a plaque naming her "Sweetheart of the Alturas Fire Department."

Sally also loved to garden, hunt arrowheads, play cards and teach card tricks to her grandchildren. She did beauti ful crocheting and enjoyed giving afghans to her family.

She leaves her beloved children, Millard, Mildred Turner, Edward [Bud], Jim and Perry, all of Alturas and daughters Doris Hartley of Red Bluff, their spouses, 18 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren and nine great-great grandchildren to mourn the passing of this kind and good lady. Of her three brothers and three sisters, her last sur viving brother, Malcolm Walker, resides in Sacra mento.

As one granddaughter put it, "She was the glue that held us all together."

There will be private burial at a later date.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Alturas Fire Department or the Modoc County Historical Society, P.O. Box 1689, Alturas, CA 96101.



Howard Charles Wells, Jr.


Howard C. Wells, Jr. died December 16, 1998 at his Wil low Ranch, California home of natural causes a the age of 62. Services were held at the First Baptist Church in New Pine Creek on Sunday, December 20 with Interment in the New Pine Creek Cemetery.

Howard was born to Howard and Nina Briley Wells at Bakersfield, California on January 28, 1936. He grew up in the Willow Ranch-Fairport area and attended the New Pine Creek grade School and graduated from Modoc High School in Alturas. After high school, Howard enlisted into the Air Force and was honorably discharged in 1960. He then at tended Shasta Junior College.

He married Lucille Terry in Oakdale, California and they were later divorced. He lived in the Sacramento area until 1986 when he moved back to Willow Ranch, where he settled on his ranch.

Howard thoroughly enjoyed hunting, fishing, collecting just about anything and generally raising hell.

He is survived by a daughter and son-in-law Lynette and Rick kingsley of Minneapolis, MN.; son and daughter-in-law Mike and Debbie Wells of Carmichael, CA.; brothers, Virgil, Norman, Gordon, Robert and Dwayne; sisters, Janice, Grace and Virginia; grandchildren, Arliss Kingsley, Tom, Pat, Shannon and Jennifer Carlson and foster family, Nook Burrell, Mark Burrell and Karen Baldwin.

Contributions in his memory may be sent to Shriner's Crippled Children's Hospital, 3101 SW Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, Oregon 97201.

Desert Rose Funeral Chapel of Lakeview, Oregon was in charge of arrangements.



Patricia Ann Olsen


A memorial service for Patricia Ann Olsen will be held at Kerr Mortuary Chapel in Alturas on Monday, Dec. 28 at 2:00 p.m.

Mrs. Olsen, 53, a resident of Madeline, died on Sunday, December 20. 1998 at Modoc Medical Center, Alturas.

She was born in Long Beach, Calif. on April 7, 1945 as Patricia Ann Gore. Her husband John "Marty" Olsen of Madeline survives.

Record news for Dec. 31, 1998


  • Judge rules in favor of refuge farming practices
  • New county officials sworn in Jan. 4
  • Canby Hotel burglars leave a trail
  • A review of 1998 news

The forecast:

Mostly cloudy today with chance of snow around 5000 feet. Friday sees clearing skies and valley fog. The weekend is mostly clear with lows in the 20s and highs in the upper 40s.

Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge prevails in lawsuit over farming


A federal judge has up held the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's determi nation that commercial farming is compatible with waterfowl management on the Tule Lake and Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuges on the Oregon-Cali fornia border.

In a Decem ber 24, 1998 ruling, U.S. District Judge Garland Bur rell said, "a thorough review of the record reveals" that the Service's decision to allow farming on the refuges was consistent with laws guiding its refuge management. Judge Bur rell, ruling from U.S. Dis trict Court in Sacramento, rejected claims by plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the Ser vice that the agency's deter mination was "arbitrary and capricious."

A coalition of 12 envi ronmental groups, led by the Klamath Forest Alliance, filed suit on December 8, 1997, claiming that the commercial farming pro gram on the refugees had degraded water quality, led to declining waterfowl popu lations, and reduced fish and wildlife numbers and diversity. Tule Lake Irriga tion District and Modoc and Siskiyou Counties inter vened in the suit on the Ser vice's behalf.

Judge Burrell said the le gal record supported the Ser vice's determination that pesticide use by farmers had not significantly degraded water quality and that agri cultural fields benefited fall migrating waterfowl.

"We have taken signifi cant steps to reduce or elimi nate potential impacts of farming on refuge wildlife," said Mike Spear, Manager of the Service's California-Nevada Opera tions Office in Sacramento. "The Refuge has adopted integrated pest management practices and no-spray zones next to water and has elimi nated pesticides or applica tion methods believed harm ful to fish and wildlife."

Numerous studies of po tential pesticide impacts that were conducted before re strictive measures were adopted failed to document problems with pesticide use.

Refuge Manager, Tho-mas Stewart said he plans to work cooperatively with the plaintiffs and others to ad dress the critical issue of water supply for the refuges.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which allo cates water in the Klamath Basin Project, recently reprioritized its allocations to give preference to endan gered species and tribal fishery resources. Under the new priority scheme, farm ers are third in line for wa ter and refuges are last. The new system has the potential to leave wetlands on the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge mostly dry during summer and fall in nearly half of future water years, impacts that will be felt throughout the Pacific Flyway, Stewart said.

"Support by the public for adequate water supplies is needed if we are to preserve the biological integrity of these refuges," Stewart added.

Tule Lake and Lower Klamath NWRs are unique in the National Wildlife Refuge System in the man agement is guided by the Kuchel Act of 1964, which mandates a coexistence of wetland habitats and com mercial agriculture. The Act states that the refuge is dedicated to wildlife conser vation for the major purpose of waterfowl management. The law requires that the lands leasing program con tinue within certain areas of the refuges.

The Service agrees that water quality is poor on both refuges and that waterfowl populations have declined on Tule Lake NWR. The rea sons for these problems com prised the primary dispute in the lawsuit. Plaintiffs char-ged that the farming pro gram was directly re sponsi ble while the Service believes that a better inter spersion of productive di verse wetlands with crop lands will alleviate most problems. To this end, the Service is pursuing an in novative program whereby wetlands and crop lands are rotated on Tule Lake NWR for positive ben efits to both. This program promises to restore fish and wildlife populations on the refuge while demonstrating meth ods of farming that will re duce inputs of fertilizers and pesticides. The program has nationwide implications on how to productively inte grate land uses consistent with the concepts of ecosys tem man agement.



County officers sworn in January 4


Newly elected and re-elected county officers will be sworn in by Modoc Superior Court Judge John Baker at 12 noon January 4 in Supervisors' Chambers.

The new officers include District Attorney/County Council Tom Buckwalter; Treasurer/Tax Collector Cheryl Knoch; and Supervisor Terry Williams of Surprise Valley.

Supervisor Ben Zandstra and Treasurer/Tax Collector Linda Monroe chose to retire and did not run for re-elec tion. Buckwalter soundly de feated DA/County Council Hugh Comisky in the June election.

Municipal Court Judge Larry Dier won re-election to his bench in June. Nancy Huffman, Supervisor in District 5, won re-election narrowly.

Williams and Huffman join Supervisors Joe Colt, Ron McIntyre and Pat Cantrall on the board which will be reor ganized January 5.

Other county officers who remain are: County Clerk Maxine Madison; Assessor Josie Johnson; Auditor Judi Stevens; Superintendent of Schools Carol Harbaugh; and Sheriff Bruce Mix.


Burglars nabbed in Canby Hotel heist


Canby is not a big town, so finding the suspected bur glars who lifted beer, cash and whiskey from the Canby Hotel the morning of December 20 didn't take all that long.

According to Modoc County Sheriff Bruce Mix, snow on the ground that morning and the resulting tracks from the Canby Hotel to a Canby resi dence were easy to follow. In ad dition, said Mix, his office was informed the suspects had a large quaintly of beer and liquor.

Mix said the burglary to the hotel occurred sometime be tween 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. Dec. 20. Investigation found that an upstairs door in the hotel was left open by one of the sus pects during regular business hours. Once the hotel closed, the suspects came back and allegedly removed $86 in cash, sev eral cases and six packs of beer and several bot tles of whisky. Mix said they made more than one trip.

Two of the suspects were arrested soon after the inci dent was reported. They are David Hill, age 20, and Dustin Hill, age 18, both of Canby. Another suspect, Dennis Jackson, 25, Canby, was arrested later. All three were booked into the Modoc County Jail alleging burglary and were released on their own recognizance pending court dates.



Modoc, the year in review



Modoc drivers were warned about a stronger law affect ing school bus red lights. All drivers must stop, going both ways until the red lights stop flashing. The county received $2 million in Forest receipts. A couple of cows died after tumbling out of a trailer on Main Street. Judge John Baker imple mented a new program, (Court Appointed Special Advocate) for juveniles. Alturas' newly paved city streets developed holes and truckers responded to a city parking plan that would have kept them away from home. The county considered join ing a lawsuit concerning farming on Tulelake-Lower Klamath Refuge. Blood sup ply in the north state was low, donors were needed. There was no opposition, no election for City of Alturas. Steve Bishop took over as in terim Modoc National Forest Supervisor. Tim Burke took over as Caltrans Alturas area boss. The majority of county officials decide they'll run for re-election. Supervisor Ben Zandstra and Treasurer/Tax Collector Linda Monroe chose not to seek another term. January weather was wet, but warm. Modoc Joint Unified looked into drug testing stu dents. Judge Larry Dier an nounced he would seek an other term.


The snow survey showed lots of water, snow in the moun tains, with Cedar Pass having 46 inches of snow. Forest Supervisor Steve Bishop told county supervisors the forest was changing from commodity production to ecosystem management. Building levels dipped to just 13 permits. Several arrests of Lakeview men were made in connection with Post Office burglaries in the north state. Ted Combis was sentenced to 57 months for a fraudulent timber operation in Cal Pines. The City of Alturas purchased 103 acres of the old Alturas Mill site. Attorney Barry Kinman decided to run against Judge Larry Dier. The Modoc Refuge acquired prime Sandhill Crane habitat on County Road 56. The County treasurer race drew the most interest as four can di dates tossed hats into the ring. The county chose to in tervene in the Tulelake Refuge lawsuit. Construction started on the Alturas Intertie power line project. Most county incumbents were un opposed in elections. The California Highway Patrol arrested two people in connec tion with an Oregon bank rob bery. Snow and ice-covered roads caused several acci dents. The precipitation total from January 1 to February 25 was 3.86 inches.


Controversial District Attorney Hugh Comisky faced op position for re-elec tion: attorney Tom Buckwalter. David Porter Misso announced a run against Supervisor Nancy Huffman. February was wet. The Alturas Western Events Center was brought up again. Modoc girls won the first game of the state basketball tourney. Modoc Joint Unified pon dered the use of drug dogs on campus. East Street, closed be cause of holes in the new pavement, targeted for re pairs. Terry Williams an nounced a run against Sandra Stevenson for Surprise Valley Supervisor. Modoc girls bas ketball won second game of state tourney. Klamath Water Users re jected the Environmental Assessment on Upper Klamath Lake. The Modoc Health Fair was a big event and a federal judge ruled that Modoc could intervene in the refuge lawsuit. Modoc's girls beat Mission Prep of San Luis Obispo 67-53 to win the state championship. The campaign for the June election began to heat up. Money, timber and drug testing dominated MJUSD discussions.


The Cowhead Tui Chub is recommended for endan gered species listing. Teenage boys were arrested for lighting a fire bomb at the Modoc High football practice field. The Forest Service asked for comments on outfit ter guides. Shopping for elec trical service providers began under deregulation. Modoc County began steps to protect forest re ceipts. Ted Combis began his 57-month prison sentence. A new engine was on its way to the Alturas-Wrymoo Railroad Museum. The water content of snow in the mountains was above the 10-year average. Supervisors weighed options on the Modoc Hospital. A Reno mail truck wreck delayed mail delivery, but no damage to mail. Winter started losing its icy grip on roads and an arrest was made in a pipe bomb base. Modoc's unemployment rate was at 15 percent, well above the state and national aver ages. The county closed the Home Health unit at Modoc Medical Center. MJUSD wanted to take new routes in math, science. Most Modoc precincts would have mail-in ballots for June. The Alturas Intertie construction project was in full force. Telephone area code 916 would disap pear, 530 appeared. Haze was a problem in Modoc and southern Oregon. The city made an effort to re duce red tape in the building process and claimed economic devel opment as the top priority. Support of the railroad Museum was high on the list.


Surprise Valley Hospital rejected any connection or help for, or from, Modoc Medical Center. Modoc's land use com mittee took an interest in timber, the Sierras. The BLM-Forest Service consid ered moving into one office building. Sheriff Bruce Mix said crime rate of the year was about the same as the pre vious year. Mountain lions were reported within the Alturas city limits. Modoc Medical Center Administrator Woody Laughnan resigned. An Eagleville woman faced at tempted murder charges in shooting. Spring has been wetter than normal. First open primary election in June caused some confusion for others. More absentee bal lots indicated increased voter in terest. MJUSD approved a community school for ele mentary students. The Children's Fair shined through the rain. The county wrestled with the hospital sit uation. It was too cool to open the pool on time. Medicine Lake geothermal project drew opponents because of impacts. Strong voter turnout predicted for June election. The Rotary Club Duck Race entered its final ticket sales push.


Tom Buckwalter unseated District Attorney/County Counsel Hugh Comisky by gaining nearly 60 percent of the vote. Judge Larry Dier was re-elected without trouble. Cheryl Knoch won the Treasurer seat, Terry Williams won the District One Supervisor Seat, Nancy Huffman staved off a chal lenge to win re-election in Tulelake, the Surprise Valley Hospital District and funding measure passed. John Schnieder won election to the Cal Pines Community Services Board. Voter turnout in Modoc was 60.4 percent. May, 1998 was second wettest on record. The Junior Livestock show celebrated its 50th year. Local schools grad uated their senior classes. Lots of highway work sched uled for Modoc. CHP Officer Mike Nardoni's traffic stop resulted in a major drug bust. Local growers were praying for some sunshine. Citizens for Safety started drive to place guardrails on Cedar Pass. The county got tough on junker cars and trash piles. The south state's water grab was a big issue for county. Modoc High's Ag Boosters were not pleased with school district. Five people were ar rested following a stabbing at the Court Motel. The city sought grants for the mill site and a housing study. The state's tougher teen driv ing law went into effect. Alturas Firemen hosted an annual Muster. Modoc near last in state's median income. Local school test scores about aver age with nation. Rite Aid plans store on Main Street.


Walt Sphar, Likely, won the new pickup truck in the Rotary Duck Race. Forest Service BLM look at $70,000 sav ings by combining of fices. The Big Flag needed more than stitches. A pair of 12-year old boys were picked up for steal ing, and wrecking a car. Pacific Power an nounced it was for sale. An Alturas manhunt nabbed two suspected car thieves out of Oregon. Jeanne Bunyard was selected Fair Queen with Amanda McGriffin and Veronica Allan as princesses. The BLM decided not to share space with Forest Service. School board election dominated the news for Nov. ballot. Scott Conroy an nounced as Modoc National Forest Supervisor. The county sought input on groundwater control ordinance. MJUSD sputters in hiring of adminis trators. Thunderstorms kept forest crews hopping. New playground equipment set for county parks.


Modoc taxable value up modestly over 1997. Lighting continued to slam the forest. Land donation in 1933 lauded as birth of Modoc Fair. Weird find at Lookout Ranch con sidered murder weapon. Interest peaked in school board races. Klamath Refuge Fire burned about 10,000 acres. Weird find in Lookout turns out to be innocent. Several peo ple file for school board races. The Alturas Clock project needed a wind up. A major fire destroyed the Arreche Shop in Cedarville. MJUSD remained in black for coming year. A $1,000 re ward was offered for informa tion in a Likely Garage bur glary. Modoc supervisors voted to close the Eagleville Airport. Groundwater ordi nance explained as protecting county's sovereign right. The Modoc Fair opened and had good run. School bells would soon ring. Lost River, an out door play about the Modoc Indian War, opened at Cal Pines. Steve Iverson took over as Modoc Middle School Principal. The Rite Aid store plan was approved.


The private prison project for Alturas was not yet a pro posal. The Modoc Forest was included in the plan to save the Sierra Nevada. Police warn to be wary of mail box mail thefts. The county parks got new playground equip ment in stalled. A big fire near Big Sage Reservoir con tinued to burn under the watchful eye of the Forest Service. The Sage Fire was dampened by rain. The Corrections Corporation of America, City Council met on private prison application plans. School districts ex plained new policies on unex cused absences. Surprise Valley Electrification cele brated its 60th birthday. The City opted to maintain control of the environ mental process concerning the private prison plan. School districts looked to increase student standards. The old dry kilns at the Alturas Mill site were torn down. Hot Air Balloons and trains dominated celebra tions. John Shirley was hired as counselor for Modoc High School. Power poles for the Alturas Intertie were erected by helicopter. Modoc lost a huge discrimination lawsuit against the Sheriff and Jail in favor for Deputy Danyiel Johnston. The cost could near $1 million. The County said it would appeal. The city and FEMA battled over street re pair funds.


County considers closing Warnerview, cutting obstet rics, surgery at hospital. Local doctors express support for OB ser vices. County ar gued to appeal Johnston case. Several school candidates speak at forum. Modoc Medical plucked from obliv ion when the state increased daily compensation rates. The new rates could mean black ink for the facility. Rite Aid filed a building permit with Alturas for $774,144. TCI Cable became Falcon Cable. Domestic violence calls dom i nated city police activity. The city adopted a $2.8 mil lion budget. The Modoc Classic Cruisers car club made a great donation to the Big Flag. The Railroad Museum gained ground and public support. The county backed the bid of SVEC to pur chase PP&L. Scott Conroy ar rived to take over as MNF Supervisor. Safety issues dominated school action. Alturas got its new commu nity clock. Modoc looked for bet ter than 60 percent turnout for general election. Modoc elk management workshops were set. The county took aim at statutory rape cases. A cou ple who avoided trial was ar rested, bail set at $300,000 each.


Bill Hall, Velda Moore elected to MJUSD Board. Gene Erguiaga and Bill Tierney elected in Cedarville to Surprise Valley Board. Marvin Kitchen, Robert LaGabed win in Cal Pines CSD. Overall voter turnout was 60.9 percent. Rich Fizter won in the Big Valley school race and Roy Wright, Tamara Staunton and Jerry LeQuieu won the Tulelake dis trict. Modoc voters, rest of state disagreed on results. Modoc voters picked losing side in many state races, in cluding Governor and U.S. Senator. The Sage Stage geared up for service. Thoms Creek residents asked county to include their road. Ice and snow were blamed for several area acci dents. Winter blasted its way into Modoc with heavy snow, cold. More than eight inches of snow fell the week of Nov. 12. The Year 2000 Bug, Y2K, should not affect Modoc govern ment. Snow continued to fall in Alturas. The driver of a log truck, hits kills calves twice. New direction for community center plan ad dressed, no movement made. Strong winds raised havoc in Modoc the week of Nov. 26. The body of a 66-year old drifter was found at the Candy Bridge off Highway 299; died of exposure. The county inte grated a system to care for children who were in out-of-home placement. The com munity gave big for Thanksgiving.


November rains set a pre cipitation record of 3.26 inches. Canby measured 7.78 inches for the month, also a record. A former Canby resi dent, Larry Gates was sus pected of setting a church fire in French Gulch and threat ening church in Lakeview. Caltrans looked into guardrails on Cedar Pass, following a meeting with lo cal groups, agencies. No word yet. An Alturas pair was res cued after getting lost in Warners on a Christmas Tree hunt. The city repealed no parking zones on Carlos Street at Creamery Hill. Early snows gave ski hill hope, warm weather dashed them in mid-month. Temperatures then dropped to 17 below zero. The assessor balked at new rules of ap praising property. City Police stressed the need to buckle up children correctly in vehi cles. Natural Gas was pro posal for city council. The community showed care with Christmas donations to Salvation Army, Food Bank, Wish Tree. It was cold, but warmed up in last week of month.



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