|These are the stories we are working on for this week's newspaper:|
As pieces of shattered glass pelted him from all directions, Kip Hymas thought about his family.
He feared the worst.
The veteran California Highway Patrol officer had just been hit by an alleged drunken driver and his car was sliding sideways on Highway 70.
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.
Summer thunderstorms are not at all un-common in Plumas County. The storms usually produce fires, often lots of fires..
This year has been different. We have seen very few thunderstorms this summer and, thankfully, fewer fires than normal.
That has changed somewhat during the past week.
We have experienced severe thunderstorms the past few days and more are expected today. Fortunately the storms have also produced lots of rain; unusual amounts of rain for summer thunderstorms in our area. As a result there have only been a few fires so far.
The woman arrested on aggravated arson charges after three Portola homes were destroyed by fire Sept. 1 could face more than 30 years in prison.
Hana Saeko Nay, 45, faces felony arson charges with enhancements for burning multiple structures.
She is also charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm as well as vandalism.
The mounting frustration level of area ranchers is almost tangible, like smoke from a fire.
They and other water rights holders are in a fix with the increased state watermaster fees, which for most will rise by more than 400 percent.
The fees will be on the property tax bills this December.
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