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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.

Two arrested in alleged murder of police officer

Feather Publishing
1/6/2011

Joanna McElrath (Beckett), 36, and Robin Glen James, 46, of Susanville, were arrested on charges of murder and conspiracy in the death of Susanville Police Officer Robert McElrath, 37.

mcelrath5
Officer Robert McElrath's death an apparent homicide.
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They were booked into the Lassen County Jail on no bail.

McElrath’s body was found in the mid-morning of Sunday, Jan. 2, near the railroad trestle at Devil’s Corral.

According to a press release from the Lassen County Sheriff’s Office, the case was determined to be a homicide. The press release said the investigation is on-going and further information will be released when possible.

At 10:59 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 2, deputies received a report of a deceased person in the area of Devil’s Corral, near the railroad trestle. Deputies responded to the location and identified the body.

The Susanville Police Department confirmed McElrath was an officer in their employ.

In June 2006, the Susanville City Council approved promoting McElrath from reserve officer to police officer. He had been a reserve officer for two years, had been previously been employed as a LCSO deputy and Sierra Army Depot’s security department.

In a written statement posted on police.cityofsusanville.org and the police department’s Facebook page, Susanville Police Chief Jeff Atkinson said, “Rob was an important part of our police department family and we will miss him greatly. Rob was always quick with a smile and his positive attitude made our department a better place. We are grateful to our fellow law enforcement agencies and citizens of our community for all of the support shown to us in this most difficult time. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”


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