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Indian Valley Record
Greenville, California
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August 15, 2012     Indian Valley Record
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Vol. 82, No. 38 * Feather Publishing Co., of the Indian Valley Area .15,2012 50 Evacuations under way Chips Fire grows to 36,000 acres Dan McDonald Staff Writer dmcdonald@plumasnews.com About 600 residences were evacuated as of Monday, Aug. 13, because of the ex- panding Chips Fire. And more could be on the way. "We are in a very critical period for the next 24 to48 hours," fire information offi- cer Howard Hunter, said Monday. "A lot could change between now and Wednes- day." The fire, which has burned more than 36,000 acres, was just 12 percent contained. Fire officials said complete containment wasn't expected until Aug. 31 at the earliest. During a public meeting with about 200 people Sun- day night at Canyon Dam, residents were told to be ready to leave at a moment's notice. "They were told that if things don't change, they could be evacuated soon," Hunter said. Five strike teams, each equipped with five large en- gines, went through the Canyon Dam and Prattville 9qm. munities, helping resi- dents protect their homes. "These are bigger engines with a lot of water," fire in- formation officer Richard Hadley said: "It's just a pre- caution, because we are still having spot fire break out a mile ahead of the line. We Visit plumasnews.com for the latest fire info. are trying to stay ahead of this and keep the homes safe." Mandatory evacuations are in place for Rush Creek and the community of Seneca. Evacuations are also mandatory for Caribou Road from the junction of High- way 70 to Butt Lake Dam. Voluntary evacuations are in place for residents in the area south of Highway 89, which includes the Butt Lake area, Ohio Valley, the Humbug and Humboldt area, and Yellow Creek. Residents between Tobin and Twain on Highway 70 were under a sheriff's ad- visement to begin develop- ing evacuation plans. The area includes Belden, Mag- gie's Trailer Park and Little Haven. Butt Valley Reservoir recreation facilities and campgrounds were closed. Gangner Bar, North Fork and Queen Lily camp- grounds were closed. The fire continued to move toward the north and east. It had reached the west "There is a natural wind tunnel through that area," Hadley said. "Burning logs roll down the slope and start new spot fires that burn back up to the top of the ridge." Red Hill, the site of valu- able communication towers, was reportedly in less dan- ger than it was over the weekend. And the fire hasn't crossed Highway 70. Hadley said about 3.5 miles were burned by fire teams along the north flank to help secure the main fire line along Humbug Road. He said there were 28 doz- ers working to bolster the line. The west flank of the fire continued to burn in the footprint of the 2000 Storrie Fire. Residents in the Lake A1- manor Basin have been deal- ing with fire smoke that has been heavy at times. "The Almanor Basin is horrible right now," Feather Publishing employee Michael Condon said. "The smoke is real heavy." There is more moisture in the air than last week, which is helping fire crews. The humidity had risen from 8 to 15 percent in many areas. However, tempera- tures were still in the 90s. The higher humidity was shore of Butt Lake. Fire officials said the, fire helping to knock the fire was also backing into the down at night. And the win- Caribou drainage along Mos- do'w of time when the fire quito Ridge. See Chips, page 5A 'U Reserve Grand Champion Cassey Elzea, of Greenville, sweeps the ribbons in her first-ever horse shows at the Plumas- Sierra county Fair Fridayp Aug. 10, with the help andsupport of her trainer and her Morgan steed Midnight's owner, Nancy Francine (not pictured). Her awards,include first place in Stock/Hunt Seat Equitation, first place in Novice Rifler Stock/HUnt Seat Equitation, third in Western/English Pleasure 14 - 17, second in Western/English Pleasure NoviCe Rider and Reserve Grand Champion overall. Photo by Marsha Ebersole Budget officer says county is out of money Dan McDonald Staff Writer dmcdonald@plumasnews.com Plumas County's bleak fi- nancial outlook only seems to grow worse each week. Last week, the Board of Supervisors voted to sched- ule a series of seven work- shops aimed at cutting an- other $1.8 million to balance the general fund budget. During their meeting Tuesday, Aug. 7, the super. visors discussed, and some- times argued about, the op- tions available. , The county has already \\;,..t $1.4 million of the origi- nal'S-3.2 million deficit. Find- ing the other $1.8 million could involve further employee concessions and layoffs. It could mean elimi- nating some traditional county services all together. Board Chairman Robert Meacher set the tone for last week's discussion by quot- ing Winston Churchill. "Ladies and gentlemen, we're broke," Meacher said. "... Now we really have to start thinking." County employees took pay and benefit cuts to help balance this year's budget. They likely will be asked to absorb another cutback in the 2012-13 budget. Most county departments were directed to cut their budgets by 10 percent. Some have already done so, some haven't. The supervisors asked those departments that have "It's not a pretty picture by an)/means. But this is the picture. This is reality." Susan Scarlett Acting Budget Officer slashed i0 percent to make an additional 10 percent cut. Departments that haven't made a 10 percent reduction were directed to cut by 20 percent. Some of the reductions will likely come from fur- loughs and reduced work- weeks. "It's not a pretty picture by any means. But this is the picture. This is reality," said acting budget officer Susan Scarlett. The supervisors and coun- ty department heads thanked Scarlett for her no- nonsense, bottom-line ap- proach to dealing with the budget crisis. "I don't like the news she presents. But I do like how she gets it," Supervisor Jon Kennedy said. "I only know one way to do it," Scarlett responded. "And that's to tell the truth." She said the truth is the county is "out of money." Scarlett, who is the fi- nance officer for the city of Portola, was hired to guide the county through the bud- get process after the supervi- sors fired County Adminis- trative Officer Jack Ingstad last fall. Scarlett stressed the need for the county to update its master fee schedule, which reportedly hasn't been done consistently over the past several years. She said the county needs to address its retirement and sick-leave benefits. And she identified departments that have not yet made 10 percent cuts, for whatever reason. She admit- ted that some departments might not be able to make further cuts. She also noted that the elected county department heads -- not including the supervisors -- hadn't taken the 3 percent cut in benefits that they agreed to. Although Scarlett said the budget savings associated with those cuts wouldn't put much of a dent in the deficit, the board considered them symbolic at the very least -- especially considering coun- ty emPloyees are facing more cuts. According to County Clerk-Recorder Kathy Williams and District Attor- ney David Hollister, the elected department heads were willing and ieady to take the cuts. But they said See Budget, page 4A Investigation finds deputy justified in shooting Dan McDonald Staff Writer dmcdonald@plurnasnews.corn The actions of Plumas County Sheriff's Deputy/Tom Froggatt June 19 prolably saved several lives. That was the finding of:a seven-week investigation in- to a violent disturbance at the Evergreen Trailer Park in Quincy. The confrontation ended with Froggatt fatally shooting 36-year-old Quincy !1111!1!!1!!11!!!!1!!!11 To subscribe to the Record, e call 530-283-0800 resident Dennis Jason Ma- jewski. The extensive investiga- tion by the Plumas County District Attorney's Office, which included at least two dozen witness interviews, concluded the shooting was justified. "The overwhelming credi- ble evidence shows Deputy Froggatt acted in self-defense and in defense of others," District Attorney David Hol- lister said. "I think he saved not only his own life, but a number of lives in that trail- er park." Some of the most credible evidence came from Majews- ki's own video surveillance system. The digital video recorder was charred during the fire that destroyed Majewski's mobile home minutes after the shooting. However, in- vestigators from the district attorney's office were able to salvage the hard drive. The video captured some of the events surrounding the fatal confrontation -- includ- ing images of Majewski working himself into a rage after injecting drugs and drinking alcohol. A toxicology report found the presence of a variety of drugs, including marijuana, morphine and hydroCodone in Majewski's system. He had a blood alcohol concen- tration of 0.20. : The video showed him trashing his living room, kitchen and the outside of his trailer while wielding a knife in one hand ar/d a hammer in toward Froggatt with the hammer and knife still in his hands. The districtattorney, along with the department's inves- tigators Jeff Wilkinson and Jessica Beatley, presented the investigation's findings Thursday, Aug. 9, at the dis- trict attorney's office in Quincy: County Supervisors Lori Simpson and Jon Kennedy attended the presentation, along with a Feather Publish- ing reporter. "I can't show 20,000 people the pictures you are going to see," Hollister said before showing the surveillance video. "But as their elected representatives and as the press, I think yot can help the other, verify what we are talking The video Captured Majew- about in our report." ski shouting and walking The 25-page report and a summary by Hollister are available online at countyof- plumas.com/index.aspx?NID =2213. The report was compiled with the help of the Califor- nia Highway Patrol, the De- partment of,Justice, CalFire and the sheriff's office. It in- cludes statements from wit- nesses, including Froggatt, and a timeline of events tak- en from the surveillance video. Simpson and Kennedy commended the investigators for finding and salvaging the video evidence. They said it clearly showed the danger Majewski posed to Froggatt and people in the trailer park. "I think we are both just flabbergasted at this piece of evidence that you guys found," Simpson said after watching the video. "That was amazing." Before the shooting Froggatt had no idea what he was walking into when he was dispatched to a "disturb- ing the peace" call at 3:57 p.m. June 19. Froggatt had actually been to the trailer park earlier in the day for an incident not involving Majewski. Frog- gatt said he spoke to Majews- ki at that time and said everything seemed fine. But by the time Froggatt returnedat 4:02 p.m., Majew- ski was a different person. By that time Majewski had already threatened to kill his live-in girlfriend, some of his neighbors and his doctor. See Shooting, page 6A t