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   These are the stories we are working on for this week's newspaper:
  • Image makeover needed: In the soon-to-be-released grand jury report, the jurors said the county’s Alcohol and Drug and Mental Health departments are suffering from a poor public image.
  • Help at the jail: The Board of Supervisors approved the sheriff’s request to hire four corrections officers, but not before reminding him the county is facing a $3 million budget problem.
  • Water disaster?: The state has already enacted emergency conservation measures. The county is thinking about declaring a local disaster as well.

Man arrested in connection with Portola arson fires

Dan McDonald
Staff Writer
Updated 9/20/2011


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MugAName
Arson suspect Harold Ellis Johnson

An 18-year-old Portola man was arrested Thursday, Sept. 15, and charged with two counts of arson for two recent fires, including the blaze that destroyed the historic Western Pacific Hospital in Portola.

Harold Ellis Johnson was arrested by Plumas County Sheriff’s deputies and booked into the county jail, where he is being held on $100,000 bail.

Sheriff’s Investigator Steve Peay said his office acted on information received over the past several days that led to Johnson.

Read more: Man arrested in connection with Portola arson fires

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Caltrans continues Highway 70 repairs following gasoline spill


Dan McDonald
Staff Writer
Updated 9/20/2011

Drivers taking Highway 70 between Plumas and Butte counties can expect delays near the county line until at least Friday, Sept. 23.

State Route 70 is undergoing repairs by Caltrans following a gasoline spill Wednesday, Sept. 14.

Caltrans spokeswoman Denise Yergenson said traffic is limited to one lane in each direction.

Read more: Caltrans continues Highway 70 repairs following gasoline spill

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Historic building goes up in flames

Diana Jorgenson
Staff Writer
9/14/2011

The old Western Pacific Hospital burned to the ground last Wednesday, Sept. 7, at 1:30 a.m.

Incident Commander Travis Schiavone, fire chief for the Portola Volunteer Fire Department, deems the building a complete loss. Beckwourth Volunteer Fire Department and Eastern Plumas Rural Fire Protection District joined Portola in fighting the fire that encompassed all three structures comprising the old hospital.

Read more: Historic building goes up in flames

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