Man arrested in connection with Portola arson fires
|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
Caltrans continues Highway 70 repairs following gasoline spill
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
Supervisors reverse course on county budget
Plumas County employees will not be taking Fridays off after all.
Two weeks after most of the cuts and concessions in the county’s 2011-12 budget appeared to be set in stone, the Board of Supervisors changed course.
Read more: Supervisors reverse course on county budget
New camera provides valuable evidence in CHP crash
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.
Read more: New camera provides valuable evidence in CHP crash
Historic building goes up in flames
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
Lots of lightning, but few fires
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