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Newspaper Archive of
The Gridley Herald
Gridley , California
June 2, 2000     The Gridley Herald
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June 2, 2000
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Since 1880 THE Vol. 118 No. 51 i  .  ,. Fifty Cents Friday, June 2, 2000 Local schools all face financial woes Gridley, Biggs and LO could face budget cuts Dan Ross Biggs school board members great deal of work ahead to tion asked us to do a budget revi- Staff Reporter Financial troubles seem to have spread through all three of this area's larger school districts. Live Oak's school district has just announced no money exists for teachers raises for the upcom- ing school year. have spent months juggling a $200,000-plus deficit for the 2000-01 school year and Gridley school board members are just beginning to look at a possible budget deficit for next year. The Live Oak Unified School District board members have a straighten out district finances,  according to Wayne Gadberry, the district's interim superintend- ent. A special board meeting will. be held Monday evening, Said l Gadberry. "The county office of educa-, sion for them. There is just one item and I will be presenting that to the board," said Gadberry. Once the special meeting is complete, Gadberry said he will begin to focus on the 2000-01 school year. "My goal is to have a budget for next year at the June 20 meet- ing," said Gadberry. "Being new to the district, I am working hard to close out this school year then get things going for next year," added Gadberry. Gadberry came to the district following the school board mem- bers asking for and receiving the resignation of then-superintend- ent Sam Hill in March of this year. Hill resigned abruptly follow- ing a series of board meetings revolving around a poor evalua- tion he gave of Brad Roberts the principal at Live Oak High School and a school board evalu- ation of Hill's duties as well. At the time of his resignation, the school board members said Hill was hired in 1992 when the district was facing financial trou- bles and credited Hill with See TROUBLES on page 5 EVERY 15 MINUTES A FAR TOO REALISTIC--Firemen work to free a student from a mock crash scene in front of Gridley High School. (photo by Mei Nieschulz) Production warns Gridley High, students of the danger of drinking and driving Mel Nieschulz Intem At approximately 12:15 Tuesday afternoon, May 30, an announcement was made at Gridley High School over the public address system which reported a head on traffic acci- dent in front of the school involving several classmates. Students gathered in front of the school and watched as six of their classmates, bloody and contorted were pulled from the crumpled vehicles. Despite the chaos the students remained quiet. One of the teens was declared dead on the scene by para- medics while another was arrested by police for driving under the influence. The victims were taken away in emergency vehicles with their sirens piercing the after- noon air. Afterwards only the twisted metal of the two cars remained like distorted statues to monument the occasion. The accident scene that stu- dents witnessed was actually a staged one which is part of a program called "Every" 15 Minutes." The name is based on the statistic that every 15 minutes someone dies as a result of an alcohol related acci- dent. The event was presented at the local high school in the hope that real tragedies of this nature will be prevented in the spring months where alcohol related accidents and casualties are on the rise. To combat this statistic, Gridley High School, Gridley Police Department, Gridley Ambulance, Enloe Flight Care, Gridley-B!ock Funeral Chapel, "Friday Night Live," Biggs- Gridley Memorial Hospital and CDF Fire/Gridley Fire Department stage this anti- drunk driving program to edu- cate juniors and seniors as to the danger of mixing alcohol, driving and spring activities such as prom and graduation. Tom and Toni Tamagni looked on as their son Trent was removed donning wounds and fake blood from the back of the car by paramedics on the scene. Regardless of the validity, the parents watched solemnly. "It gives you goose bumps," Toni Tamagni said. "You realize it can happen to any one of these kids," Tom Tamagni concluded. The accident, while involving six teens, focuses on three vic- tims' stories and the aftermath of drinking and driving. One victim, after being con- victed of driving under the influence of alcohol, was arrest- ed by the Gridley Police Department and booked into jail. Another victim was fatally injured at the scene and escort- ed by hearse to the Gridley- Block Funeral Chapel. The third victim was trans- ported to Biggs-Gridley Memorial Hospital. "Any signs of life?" a nurse asked. "Negative," is the answer he received. At 12:57 p.m. the patient was See EVERY 15 on page 9 Officers found not at fault in March shooting The officers involved in the Gutierrez was in a residence and March 29 incident in which an 18-year-old Gridley man fatally shot himself have been ruled to have acted appropriately during the tragic incident, according to a report from the Butte County District Attorney's Office. "Based on the investigation and the D.A.'s conclusion, the officers did everything they co.uld to prevent the tragedy as well as protect the general public at the scene," said Gridley Police Lt. Brian Cook. Porfirio Gutierrez suffered a single self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head during the incident? ..... Because the incident was clas- sified as an officer involved shooting, the entire event was investiglated by independent policing agencies within the county. District Attorney Mike Ramsey released the results of the investigation Thursday after- noon. Police were initially notified of a disturbance in the 1000 block of Pecan Street at approx- imately 6:40 p.m. March 29. of this year. Officers Jim Roberts, Alan Byers and Sgt. Dana Davis responded m the call and learned could possibly be armed. A search of the residence and an adjacent garage failed to turn up any sign of Gutierrez. He was later found by the offi- cers inside a beauty shop along- side the residence and was armed with a handgun, accord- ing to police. According to the D.A.'s report, Gutierrez was ordered to come out of the dark and pepper spray was used in an unsuccess- ful attempt to disarm him. Roberts then fired two rounds from a non-lethal weapon, com- monly referred to as a "bean-bag gun. ............ " " The officer's attempts to dis- arm Gutierrez were unsuccessful and he shot himself once in the head, according to the report. "The district attorney's office stated the officers were discharg- ing their legal duty to protect the public and Mr. Gutierrez when they attempted to disarm him with the "bean bag" shot gun," said Cook. Ramsey's report further stated that the officers acted in an appropriate manner to protect the public at the scene, Gutierrez and themselves. Local graduations es at 7 p.m. Tuesday in front of the school district office on Pennington Road. Live Oak Middle School's 8th graders will walk the stage at the high school's football field on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. The 8th graders from Manzanita Elementary School in Gridley will take their last steps before moving on to Gridley High with their commencement exercises on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the school. At the same time as Manzanita's commencement the continuation students from Gridley at Esperanza High Dan Ross High, kicks off graduation week with its commencement exercis- Staff Reporter The last classes and final exams are wrapping up as area high school seniors complete their preparations for graduation day. As the high school seniors pre- pare to advance to college or career, area middle school 8th graders gear up for the big step next fall for their first high school classes. Graduation week in the Gridley, Biggs, Live Oak corri- dor will be quite full, with cere- monies starting .Tuesday night, June 6 and continuing through Friday night, June 9. The continuation school for Live Oak students, Valley Oak See GRADS on page 9 City issues water quality report Scotty Williams Editor Residents received the City of Gridley 1999 Annual Water Quality Consumer -Confidence Report this week. Gridley Public Works Department Manager Ed Melton said he is pleased with the report, as it shows the city's drinking water to have levels of contami- nants which are far below the amounts allowed by state stan- dards. "We're well under any of the detectable limit of any of the chemicals. Basically I think we've got good water," said Gridley Public Works Director Ed Melton. Nearly all drinking water, including bottled water,  atains some level of contaminants. Contaminants most often are the result of natural deposits found in the ground. The report outlines the levels of contaminates found in city water and compares them to the levels allowed by State of California. For example: 20 samples of city water were tested for lead over the course of 1999. On average Gridley water was found to have 5.5 parts per billion of lead in city water. State standards allow the pres- ence of up to 15 parts per billion of lead in drinking water. City wells were also tested for copper in '99 with 304 parts per billion detected. State standards allow up to 1,300 parts per bil- lion. Lead and copper levels are the only two non-biological contam- inates the city is required to test for annually. The results of the most recent tests for other non-biological contaminates are also included in the report. "By comparing the numbers of what's detected and the maxi- mum contaminate level, we are way below what is allowable by state standards,' ',aid ublic Works Supervisor Tim Hill. Both Hill and Melton stressed that Gridley is fortunate to have such a pure source of wed water beneath the city. "I think not only in the quality of water, but the purity. You save See REPORT on page 5