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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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Lots of lightning, but few fires

Feather Publishing
09/13/2011

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.

Read more: Lots of lightning, but few fires

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