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   These are the stories we are working on for this week's newspaper:
  • Deputy shooting fallout: The children of a Portola man who was shot and killed at Eastern Plumas Health Care last year are seeking millions of dollars in damages.
  • The trout must go: The state is planning to pull all of the brook trout out of a Plumas County lake in order to protect the yellow-legged frog.
  • Inspections delayed: Cal Fire was scheduled to begin property inspections this week, but decided to wait until the public could better understand what the inspectors are doing.

Who’s on the chopping block?

  Fair manager John Steffanic wants $123,000 from the county, but was thrilled to get a used lawnmower.

  Steffanic appeared before the Board of Supervisors during the board’s Sept. 3 meeting to talk about his budget.

  As Steffanic sat before the board, Supervisor Jon Kennedy posed the question: “Is the fair important to this community and should we pay for it?”

  “I vote ‘yes!’” Steffanic replied.

  It was an unusually quiet board as budget consultant Susan Scarlett presented the latest revenue figures, and Steffanic as well as Public Health Director Mimi Hall and interim Probation Chief Doug Carver appeared.

  After Steffanic spoke about trying to tap donations both during the fair and throughout the year, Supervisor Lori Simpson said, “I think we need a fair,” and then turned to fellow Supervisor Kevin Goss and asked, “Is Cupcake still alive?”

  Goss said his daughter sold her pig, “Cupcake,” during the fair’s annual 4-H auction, prompting someone to chime in with “Now it’s Pork Chops.”

  But that moment of levity aside, Steffanic stressed the need for county assistance.

  “I’m hustling wherever I can,” he said. “I’m finding ways to make money; I’m finding ways to cut money.”

  While the supervisors aren’t making final budget decisions until the Sept. 18 publicly noticed budget hearing, Simpson told Steffanic that he would be getting a used lawnmower from facility services, which visibly pleased him.

  Hall talked to the supervisors about the needs of veterans services and senior nutrition, and Carver talked about the issues he had recruiting probation officers to come to Plumas County.

  “Geographic location seems to be the biggest problem, not wages,” he said.

  Carver told the supervisors that they had “a good staff at the probation department,” but that currently they “were really just providing triage,” when they “should be providing community supervision.”

  “We need to have the officers going to their home,” he said.

  During an interview following the board meeting, Supervisor Sherrie Thrall said that his admission concerned her. In contrasting the needs of the fair with probation, she said that with more state prisoners being released to the county, she saw staffing probation as a priority.

  The supervisors were scheduled to discuss the budget more during their Sept. 10 meeting and continue the discussion to 9 a.m. on Sept. 11.

  A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 18, at 10 a.m. in the Board of Supervisors’ chambers.

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