Feather Publishing

The new year has, unfortunately, started off with a nasty streak. Our staffs in Susanville, Chester and Quincy have been working overtime to cover two major breaking news stories.

In Plumas County, a plane crash at the Chester airport left two dead. In Susanville, a police officer was killed and his wife and her boyfriend have been arrested on murder and conspiracy charges.

While it may be sad to acknowledge, nothing generates hits on a website like bad news. Our website had 13,000 hits in 36 hours - a huge volume for us. We probably haven't had that kind of traffic since the Moonlight Fire.

All the activity had our server working at maximum capacity. Our tech crew worked diligently to free up as much band width as possible, but despite their best efforts, a few of you may have experienced some difficulty accessing our site or moving from one page to the other. In most cases, if people tried again in a couple of minutes or if they hit "refresh," they were able to access our site.

That kind of volume tells us that you've come to rely on for local breaking news. We wouldn't be able to provide that up-to-the-minute service without the help of our partners. In the case of the plane crash in Chester, we relied on our contacts at the Plumas County Sheriff's office and the Chester Fire Department.

We can't say enough about the improved relations with the sheriff's office since Greg Hagwood took the helm. He personally called our Quincy office from the field Thursday night in Chester. He did the same last year during the manhunt in Graeagle.

That kind of proactive involvement extends to the rest of his staff. We had questions about previous aviation accidents in Plumas County. All we had to do was ask and presto, we had a comprehensive list from Commander Gerry Hendrick. With the date of each incident in hand, we were able to quickly scour our archives and find the related news story. The result, which you will find elsewhere in today's paper, is a chart of all fatal aircraft crashes in Plumas County since 1961.

The net result of improved cooperation with the sheriff's office is better service to you, our reader. And that's our ultimate goal.


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