Saturday, March 28, 2015

Sheepdogs, handlers flock to Rio Vista for trials

RIO VISTA — The hills are alive with . . . no, not the singing von Trapps of “The Sound of Music” with the Alps as a backdrop, but rather the sound of barking dogs, baa’ing sheep, whistles and voice commands. Instead of Maria and the captain, there’s Gardnerville, Nevada, resident Gloria Atwater and her […]

Chances of being locked up vary widely across California

SACRAMENTO — The number of inmates in California’s county jails has fallen significantly since peaking in 2007, but new statistics show a wide disparity still exists among locales, with liberal enclaves like Marin and San Francisco far less likely to lock up criminals than conservative places like Kings, Lassen and Tuolumne counties. The different incarceration […]

California couple’s kidnap-for-ransom claim: Things to know

SAN FRANCISCO — A California woman and her boyfriend say kidnappers entered their house in the middle of the night this week, abducted the woman and held her for ransom before releasing her two days later. Police are skeptical. Here are some key things to know: ___ WHAT HAPPENED? At about 2 p.m. Monday, 30-year […]

Fraisure Smith hearing delayed twice Friday

FAIRFIELD — The court hearing about placing sexually violent predator Fraisure Smith into a Suisun Valley home was delayed twice Friday – and rescheduled for April 7.

The attorney representing Smith had a preliminary hearing in another case – delaying the matter until Friday afternoon, when the attorney said he needed more time to review documents in a filing by the Solano County District Attorney’s Office opposing Smith’s placement.

Attorney James McEntee said after the second brief hearing Friday that he had to formally ask the court in the afternoon to delay the matter rather than just alert the judge earlier about his request for more time to . . .

Luncheon honors women for their work to help others

SUISUN CITY — Two women who have spent years working to make Solano County better for others were singled out Friday during the eighth annual Women’s History Luncheon. At the largest luncheon of the Solano Library Women’s History Project, which aims to honor women who have made contributions to their community by raising awareness and bringing […]

Lawyers dispute hoax claim, boyfriend says he was drugged

VALLEJO — The strange case of a California woman who disappeared for two days grew stranger still Thursday, with her uncle and a lawyer for her boyfriend insisting she was kidnapped while police said it was a hoax. Attorney Dan Russo said his client Aaron Quinn had good reason for not immediately calling police when […]

Co-pilot believed to have purposefully crashed plane

PARIS — Passengers with moments to live screamed in terror and the pilot frantically pounded on the locked cockpit door as a 27-year-old German co-pilot deliberately and wordlessly smashed an Airbus carrying 150 people into an Alpine mountainside. The account Thursday of the final moments of Germanwings Flight 9525 prompted some airlines to immediately impose […]

Brasher new president, CEO of Jelly Belly

FAIRFIELD — Lisa Rowland Brasher has been named president and CEO of Jelly Belly Candy Company, it was announced Thursday. Four generations of the family before her have made candy in America and she will now lead all executive and operational activities for the company. She will report to company Chairman of the Board Herman […]

See site where Fraisure Smith may be sent, community will ask judge

FAIRFIELD — A Suisun Valley resident who compiled community comments will ask Judge Arvid Johnson to tour the property proposed as the home for sexually violent predator Fraisure Smith – a Willotta Drive site less than 2,000 feet from Solano College and less than a quarter-mile from a licensed home school for children. …

Vallejo woman’s story a hoax, police say

VALLEJO — A Northern California woman and her boyfriend concocted her reported abduction that spurred a two-day search, police said late Wednesday. The revelation came just hours after she had reappeared 400 miles away in Southern California to the emotional relief of her family. Denise Huskins and Aaron Quinn have now become the target of […]

Vacaville honors top cops, support staff

VACAVILLE — The best of the best in the Vacaville Police Department were honored Wednesday during their 2014 awards ceremony.

The annual event provides an opportunity to recognize the excellent work in the department, said Police Chief John Carli.

In his remarks, Mayor Len Augustine thanked those in the department for their work.

“It’s a very unpredictable type of profession you serve in,” he said. “It’s not an easy job. It’s very difficult.”
He commended the department for making Vacaville such a safe city.

Walmart opens in Suisun City with 3 mayors, 4-figure checks, a lone protestor

SUISUN CITY — A Walmart opening Wednesday included three mayors, four-figure checks from the retailer to community groups, a corporate cheer – and a lone protestor. “I can almost hear the cash registers ‘ca ching, ca ching’ ” Suisun City Mayor Pete Sanchez said during the early morning opening ceremony. He concluded his joke-rich talk […]

Most Measure P money goes to public safety

FAIRFIELD — Sixty-four percent of Measure P funds are being spent this fiscal year on public safety, says a report by the Oversight Committee for the voter-approved tax. A total of 48 percent of funds will go to police services and 16 percent to keep open five fire stations and expand services, according to the […]

Cities die when growth stops, Vacaville mayor says

VACAVILLE — An updated land use plan for the city encourages sprawling development, an attorney for the Solano County Orderly Growth Committee said Tuesday – while Mayor Len Augustine described Vacaville as seeking to preserve quality of life but added that,”When growth stops, cities die.” Augustine noted residents asking when promised parks will open. “That’s one […]

Police, school district investigate Crystal student fight

SUISUN CITY — Police and school officials are still piecing together the puzzle of what happened last week during a schoolyard fight at Crystal Middle School that injured school staff and sent one child to the hospital via ambulance. The early morning fight on March 18 that brought police and medics to the campus involved multiple students […]

White House: US to slow troop withdrawal from Afghanistan

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama announced Tuesday that the U.S. will slow its military withdrawal from Afghanistan, maintaining 9,800 troops in the country through the end of 2015 instead of cutting the number by about half as originally planned.

“Afghanistan remains a very dangerous place,” Obama said in explaining his decision at a press conference after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s first visit to the White House …

Recordings show police response to murder-suicide at winery

NAPA — A police dispatcher told deputies that a man later identified as a Silicon Valley investor had been shot and wounded while an assailant chased him through a California vineyard, recordings released Tuesday showed. The initial dispatch was issued at 11:49 a.m. PST on March 16 telling Napa County sheriff’s deputies that a 911 […]

California overtime tops $1 billion, hits pre-recession high

SACRAMENTO — Overtime for California’s state workers rose 20 percent last year and topped $1 billion even though there are 20,000 fewer employees than in pre-recession 2008, the last time the state paid out so much, according to new payroll data. The increase comes after years of recommendations from the state auditor and budget analyst calling […]

US trains Iraqi forces as battle for Tikrit continues

TAJI, Iraq — As the U.S. mission to Iraq expands, so do its efforts to arm and train the country’s security forces to combat the Islamic State group, with large-scale operations continuing to recapture territory from the Sunni militants. Hundreds of American advisers are working at the Camp Taji military base just north of Baghdad to […]

Battle flag at center of Supreme Court free speech case

WASHINGTON — Texas commemorates the Confederacy in many ways, from an annual celebration of Confederate Heroes Day each January to monuments on the grounds of the state Capitol in Austin. Among the memorials is one that has stood for more than a century, bearing an image of the Confederate battle flag etched in marble. But you’re […]

Top 5 California department overtime spending in 2014

SACRAMENTO — California’s overtime spending spiked 20 percent last year even though the overall state workforce is down by 20,000 from 2008. Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration attributes the growth to unexpected costs and difficult-to-fill vacancies. Here are the top five state departments with the highest overtime spending in 2014: Corrections and Rehabilitation, $542.6 million Forestry […]

Born to hunt

SUISUN CITY — Lily, a 5-year-old black Labrador retriever clad in a camouflage wetsuit, waits for her cue from her owner Mike, of Fairfield, to recover a rubber duck tossed off a dock into the Suisun Slough at the Suisun City boat launch, Sunday. Lily has been in the hunt and in the water since she […]

Quilt show delves into future by preserving past

FAIRFIELD — Generally speaking, Norman Rockwell’s America is largely gone. The milkman, soda fountains and soap operas broadcast over the radio are mostly things of the past. Though nostalgia might jostle our memories for days gone by, society is mostly happy replacing the past with a faster, more portable, technologically advanced future. For members of the […]

Quilts of Honor pay respects to veterans, active duty

FAIRFIELD — A quilt is an object of comfort. It’s warm, soft and often reminds people of something secure and safe. In the case of the North Wind Quilters Guild, it can sometimes be an object of gratitude, as was the case Saturday afternoon during the group’s biennial quilt show. North Wind Quilters donated 22 […]