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Man who fled from authorities arrested 2 days later

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, CALIF. — A man who fled from authorities last week while they were serving an arrest warrant was taken into custody a couple of days later.

Adrian Gannion

Adrian Gannion, 43, was taken into custody jointly by the South Tahoe Police Department and El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office on Sunday, Aug. 1 without incident, officials reported on Sunday.

“We would like to thank the public for the various tips that helped lead to his capture,” South Tahoe Police wrote in a social media post.

Gannion had fled from authorities on Friday from the 900 block of Glorene Avenue which led to a search in the Gardner Mountain area.

Deputies and officers from the Sheriff’s Office, SLTPD and California Highway Patrol assisted in the search. A CHP helicopter also assisted in the search to no avail.

The search was called off later that day when Gannion could not be found.

Officials said Gannion was on post release community supervision and had a no bail warrant for failing to abide by the conditions of his release.

Gannion was still in custody as of Wednesday morning in the El Dorado County Jail.

The Tahoe Daily Tribune is a sister publication of the Sierra Sun.

Authorities release names of Truckee plane crash victims

The Nevada County Sheriff’s Office has released the names of the six victims of a July 26 Truckee plane crash.

They are:

Thomas Ebaugh, 56, Lakeville MN

Kevin Kvarnlov, 34, Mendota Heights MN

Christine Thomas, 33, La Quinta CA

Ryan Thomas, 38, La Quinta CA

Alberto Montero De Collado De La Rosa, 43, Nevada City CA

John Dunn, 62, Dallas TX

The crash led the Truckee Tahoe Airport District Board to indicate it would cancel the air show scheduled for Sept. 10-12. The board hasn’t yet formally voted on the cancellation.

‘As cases have climbed’: Highest number of cases per day this year recorded Tuesday

Bruce Thome gets a nose swab COVID-19 test last week at Nevada County’s free walk-in testing center set up inside of the former Summer Thyme’s Restaurant off Colfax Avenue in Grass Valley.
Photo: Elias Funez

Amid rising numbers of new COVID-19 cases reported in the county, Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital has seen an increased number of patients with the virus, according to the hospital’s president and CEO, Dr. Brian Evans.

“What has happened throughout the pandemic is that an individual hospital like this will kind of fluctuate … so it’s a little easier to spot the trends when you start to spread out and look at multiple hospitals or a whole region,” said Evans on tracking the trend.

Evans said Monday that, as has been the case at other hospitals that Sierra Nevada Memorial partners with in the region, an increase in emergency room visits and hospital admissions related to COVID-19 had become notable during the preceding one to two weeks.

A line forms along the front of the county’s COVID-19 testing facility at 231 Colfax Ave. last week.
Photo: Elias Funez

Evans said that, throughout the pandemic, Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital peaked at around 15 admitted patients, noting that the hospital has so far avoided being “overwhelmed.”

“With this most recent wave, and they’re calling it the fourth COVID wave here in California, I think we got up to 12,” Evans said Monday, adding that the number fluctuates on a daily basis.

As of Tuesday, according to the state Department of Public Health, there were 11 active hospitalizations related to COVID-19 in Nevada County.

“I would certainly encourage people to get vaccinated,” said Evans, explaining that areas of the country with high vaccination rates are seeing the prevention of “a big surge from this Delta variant” relative to areas with low vaccination rates.

Jason Dokimos gets a COVID-19 test conducted on him last week at the county’s free testing facility in Grass Valley.
Photo: Elias Funez

According to Evans, the vast majority of hospitalizations across the country are in unvaccinated individuals, and this has been reflected in hospitalizations seen at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital.

While some other weeks have seen a spike in reported new cases early in the week due to pauses for weekends and holidays, as well as other logistical aspects involved in recording cases, the 126 new cases reported Monday represented the highest number of new cases reported for the county in a single day since December. It was then surpassed Tuesday, when 140 new cases were reported.

TESTING

According to county Administrative Analyst Taylor Wolfe, while a reduction in hours had been considered for the western Nevada County COVID-19 testing site recently, the county received approval from the state late last week to continue its current schedule instead.

Wolfe wrote in a message Tuesday that the approval to continue opening the testing site five days per week came “after seeing appointments fill up as cases have climbed.”

Nurse Marisol Tapia admits people for COVID-19 nose swab testing last week in Grass Valley.
Photo: Elias Funez

The county testing site is located at 231 Colfax Ave. in Grass Valley, and appointments can be made at https://www.lhi.care/covidtesting or by calling 1-888-634-1123.

According to the state’s dashboard, which tracked testing in Nevada County through Saturday, the county’s seven-day average test rate per 100,000 residents was around 331.

As of July 15, the same state dashboard showed a seven-day average of 225.9 for the county, and as of June 30, a seven-day average of 174.1.

Jason Dokimos gets checked in to have his nose swabbed for a COVID-19 test last week at Nevada County’s free testing facility.
Photo: Elias Funez

Victoria Penate is a staff writer for The Union, a sister publication with the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at vpenate@theunion.com

Authorities issue more details about bear shooting in South Lake Tahoe

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Authorities have issued more information in an attempt to end speculation about a bear shooting in June in South Lake Tahoe.

The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office said due to ongoing dialogue about the incident, that it wanted to be transparent and clarify a few details, including that the man who shot the bear was not an off duty officer as has been widely speculated.

“Contrary to speculation on social media, it should be known the man who shot the bear is not employed as a law enforcement officer and is in no way affiliated with a law enforcement agency,” said the Sheriff’s Office in a statement. “He is a private business owner from out of the Tahoe area.

Deputies responded to a call of a bear threat on the evening of June 24 at a residence in Meyers.

The department said that the visitor returned home at approximately 10:30 p.m. and heard something upstairs. The man retrieved his firearm, that the Sheriff’s Office said was lawfully possessed and appropriately registered, from the downstairs area.

When walking upstairs, the man was confronted by the bear on the lower staircase. The bear raised up on its hind legs and pushed the man to the floor, according to the statement. The man reported, with the bear standing over him at the base of the stairs, he shot the bear. He said he fired additional shots as the bear thrashed around downstairs. The bear finally fled through a sliding glass door.

The man called to report the incident.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife located the gravely-injured bear the following morning and euthanized it.

The Sheriff’s Office said it works cooperatively with CDFW and that it provided direction and took over the investigation after the incident.

“The public should know, this season is a particularly busy season with bear incidents in the Tahoe area, likely due to the drought and a shortage of available resources for bears,” the statement said. “As a reminder to Tahoe area citizens and visitors, the best way to protect our bears is for us to properly secure our food, our trash, our vehicles, and our residences.”

The Sheriff’s Office said reports are public record and may be requested by emailing recordspv@edso.org.

The Tahoe Daily Tribune is a sister publication of the Sierra Sun.

Officials looking for escaped bear cub that was rescued from Tamarack Fire

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — An injured bear that was rescued from the Tamarack Fire has escaped from Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care, officials reported Tuesday.

“Tamarack,” a 6-month-old black bear tunneled under an electric fence and escaped the enclosure.

LTWC officials said the bear is not in immediate danger, and is not a threat, but that they would like to locate him as soon as possible.

Residents in the Black Bart, Heavenly Valley and Tahoe Sierra neighborhoods in particular should be on the lookout.

Officials ask that if the bear is spotted, to stay away but keep an eye on him and call 530-577-2273.

Tamarack, a brown colored cub weighing about 25 pounds, is scared of humans and close contact will make him flee. He also may have bandages on his paws from recent treatment to burn injuries.

Officials said he is likely to be active in the evening and overnight hours and ask motorists to slow down while driving through neighborhoods.

“We need your help, hearts and eyes to locate him quickly so that he can be returned to get the medical care he needs,” said a social media post from LTWC.

The Tahoe Daily Tribune is a sister publication of the Sierra Sun.

In this July 25, photo provided by Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care is a bear cub that was taken in for treatment after it suffered burns in Tamarack Fire, to Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care in South Lake Tahoe. The staff at the care center has named him "Tamarack" after the fire that burned through the Sierra south of Tahoe and into Nevada. They say he was underweight and dehydrated, but otherwise doing well. (Provided / Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care)

Truckee weather: Red Flag Warning for Thursday

A Red Flag Warning starts at midnight Thursday and lasts until 10 p.m. that day, the National Weather Service said.

Today will be sunny with highs around 87. Winds will be 10 to 15 mph this afternoon. Lows will drop to 50 tonight, with winds falling to 5 to 10 mph. Gusts could reach 25 mph.

Sun will remain in the forecast into next week.

Thursday’s highs will reach 78. Winds will start at 5 to 10 mph, growing to 10 to 15 mph that afternoon. Gusts could reach 30 mph that day and night. Lows will drop to 44.

Friday’s highs will top out at 82, with lows settling around 49.

Saturday’s high will hit 84, and Sunday’s will climb to 82. Lows will land around 50 both nights.

Monday’s high will reach 81, and Tuesday’s will make it to 83.

Hoping all impacted by the fire are doing well.
Submitted by Margie Lockwood

 

Tamarack Fire management changes hands with blaze mostly contained

The Tamarack Fire is 82% contained and the uncontained part is along the southeast edge where it is being confined by natural barriers, officials said. (Provided)

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Management of the Tamarack Fire has switched hands as the blaze that forced thousands from their homes and burned dozens of structures is now mostly contained.

The Rocky Mountain Type 1 Incident Management Team that took control of the fire in mid July handed over control on Monday night to the Sierra Front Type 3 Team.

The lightning-caused fire that started on July Fourth is 82% contained and has burned 68,696 acres. The uncontained part of the blaze is along its southeast edge where it is confined by natural barriers and limited fuels, fire officials said.

Fire crews continue to patrol and mop up containment lines by extinguishing residual fire near the perimeter to make sure it doesn’t spread outside of the established containment line.

Officials said a Burned Area Emergency Response team has started on-the-ground assessment, validating information from satellites. The interagency team starts by looking for opportunities to protect soils and watersheds. Additional specialists will join them to support assessment of recreation, vegetation, archaeological, and geological resources.

The weather forecast is not favorable to fighting fires. The National Weather Service in Reno on Tuesday issued a fire weather watch for the region due to gusty winds and low humidity.

For closures and fire restrictions on National Forest lands visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/htnf/alerts-notices.

The Tahoe Daily Tribune is a sister publication to the Sierra Sun.

Truckee Tahoe Airshow to be canceled

This year’s Truckee Tahoe Airshow & Family Festival has been canceled.
Justin Scacco / jscacco@sierrasun.com

The annual Truckee Tahoe Airshow & Family Festival won’t be making a return to the area in 2021.

On Wednesday, July 28, the Truckee Tahoe Airport District Board made the decision to cancel this year’s airshow following last week’s fatal plane crash near the airport.

“This decision was reached in an effort to assist those in our community, as well as airport staff recovering from the tragic aircraft accident of July 26, 2021,” said Kevin Smith, Truckee Tahoe Airport District general manager. “In an abundance of caution, as well as respect for those most affected by the accident, the Airport District Board and Airport Staff agree that the cancellation of the 2021 Air Show is in the best interest of the community and District. The District would like to thank all those who put forth so much time and effort into preparing for this annual event.”

The Truckee Tahoe Airshow annually raises funds through sponsorships, vendor booth sales, VIP hospitality tent ticket sails, and the sale of other miscellaneous items. Funds raised go toward helping Truckee Optimist Club, KidZone Museum, EAA Chapter 1073, and others. Since 2012, the airshow has helped raise more than $350,000 for local youth. The goal of this year was to raise $60,000.

“These groups work very hard. They’ve worked very hard all year. They use this money from the airshow to run a lot of programs in your community,” said Smith at Wednesday’s board meeting.

“The airport is in a different position than it was on Monday morning, and we really need to take into account what people have been through.”

The Truckee Tahoe Airport District Board later reached a consensus on canceling this year’s show. A special board meeting date will be set to put the item on the Airport District Board Meeting agenda for official action to be taken.

“I think we need to cancel the airshow. I think we need to pay the nonprofits so that they continue the good work … being at the crash site, and listening to all the people,” added Director Rick Stevens. “We talk about doing something. This will affect many people but this is something we can do right now, and I believe that we should cancel it.”

Justin Scacco is a Staff Writer at the Sierra Sun. He can be reached at jscacco@sierrasun.com

Nevada County gives update on redistricting process

Every 10 years, the census rolls around.

It’s used as a tool when determining boundaries for congressional districts. However, it also plays a role in the shape of school and county supervisor districts.

A redistricting meeting held last week in Nevada County was one of the first steps toward possibly redrawing district lines.

Douglas Yoakam, consultant from the National Demographics Corporation, and Steve Monaghan, county chief information officer, led the meeting.

“Every Nevada County resident should be a part of the redistricting process,” Monaghan said.

Census data will become available Aug. 16, a late date because of the pandemic and a debate in Congress over what should be included in the census, Yoakam said.

According to Yoakam, every 10 years supervisor districts could be redrawn, to make them work more efficiently and equitably. That requires resident feedback. However, the process is driven by the population count certified by the Census Bureau.

Supervisors in February opted to have a County Staff Advisory Committee recommend district boundaries. Supervisors will have the final say on those boundaries.

Additional data will be included at the first official public hearing, set for Aug. 24 in Truckee, which will encompass input from residents comprising Communities of Interest. COIs are geographical areas that have a shared social or economic interest that can be affected by county policy such as transportation, housing or public safety emergencies, like fire protection.

At subsequent public hearings residents will be able to contribute their ideas on maps and access mapping tools.

GUIDELINES

Under state law counties are required to follow numerous redistricting guidelines. A district must be approximately equal in population. And elections must follow the Federal Voting Rights Act.

“We cannot deliberately discriminate against a protected class of voters, either by splitting them up or combining them in a way that takes away their right to elect a supervisor of their choice — no racial gerrymandering,” said Yoakam.

The state’s Fair Maps Act requires a district to be geographically contiguous. If possible, it cannot divide geographical areas kept together through unity of interest (COIs), ethnic enclaves or Census Designated Places. In addition, a district must use easily identifiable boundaries, such as rivers or a major highway, rather than a meandering boundary used to break up neighborhoods.

“Also, make districts compact to the extent possible, by not bypassing one group of people to get to another group, which could favor one political party over another,” Yoakam said.

It is vital county residents consider participating in redistricting, said Taylor Wolfe, administrative analyst with the county.

“This process happens every 10 years following the census to ensure each board member represents the same amount of constituents,” she said. “Redistricting determines which neighborhoods and communities are grouped together into a district for purposes of electing a board member.”

Oct. 22 is the deadline for the initial draft maps from public input, Yoakam said. Nov. 9 will be the second official hearing. The final adoption of the redistricting ordinance is set for Dec. 14.

William Roller is a staff writer with The Union, a sister publication to the Sierra Sun. He can be reached at wroller@theunion.com

Truckee weather: Fire weather watch on Thursday

A fire weather watch is set for Thursday, the National Weather Service said.

Today will be sunny with highs around 87. Winds will be 5 to 10 mph this afternoon, with 20 mph gusts possible. Lows will drop to 53 tonight.

Skies will remain sunny into next week.

Wednesday’s high will reach 86, Thursday’s will climb to 78, and Friday’s will make it 82. Lows will settle in the mid- to upper 40s all three nights.

Saturday’s high will top out at 83, Sunday’s will reach 81, and Monday’s will hit 79.