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REMCO CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT TO PROCEED JKB 1/28/11

  • THE 9TH U.S. CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS HAS RULED THAT A TRIAL JUDGE WAS WRONG IN DISMISSING A CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT FILED BY SCORES OF WILLITS RESIDENTS WHO CLAIM THAT POLLUTION FORM THE REMCO HYDRAULICS PLANT MADE THEM CRITICALLY ILL.

THE RULING YESTERDAY NOW CLEARS THE WAY FOR THE SUIT TO CONTINUE AGAINST REMCO AND ITS MOST RECENT OWNERS, PEPSI-AMERICAS. THE LAWSUIT AT ONE TIME INCLUDED MORE THAN 1,000 RESIDENTS, MANY OF WHOM SETTLED WITH THE COMPANY FOR DAMAGES CAUSED BY EXPOSURE TO CHROMIUM AND OTHER TOXIC CHEMICALS DURING THE PLANTS 30 YEARS OF OPERATION. SEVERAL OTHER CASES WERE DISMISSED ON VARIOUS LEGAL GROUNDS INCLUDING EVIDENCE THAT WAS INADMISSIBLE IN COURT. ABOUT 160 RESIDENTS WHO REMAINED IN THE SUIT HAD THEIR CASE DISMISSED WHEN A TRIAL JUDGE RULED THE STATUE OF LIMITATIONS HAD RUN OUT ON THEIR CLAIMS IN AUGUST OF 2000. A DIVIDED 3 JUDGE PANEL ON THE 9TH CIRCUIT DISAGREED YESTERDAY, AND PLACED THE DEADLINE FOR THE FILING OF THE SUIT AT SOMETIME IN THE YEAR 2001. THE PANEL DID UPHOLD THE DISMISSAL OF ALL OF THE OTHER PLAINTIFFS.

MARIN TEACHER SOUGHT AFTER MYSTERIOUS MESSAGE JKB 1/28/11

  • MARIN COUNTY AUTHORITIES ARE LOOKING FOR A SAN RAFAEL HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER WHO LEFT A MYSTERIOUS MESSAGE ON HER CLASSROOM BLACKBOARD BEFORE DISAPPEARING LATE LAST WEEK.

53 YEAR OLD DEBRA SCHMITT ALLEGEDLY LEFT THE MESSAGE, THANK YOU EVERYONE TO GREET HER ENGLISH CLASS AT TERRA LINDA HIGH SCHOOL LAST THURSDAY. SHE WAS LAST SEEN A DAY EARLIER IN ROSS, WHERE SHE LIVES. INVESTIGATORS SAY THERE WERE NO INDICATIONS SCHMITT HAD BEEN KIDNAPPED OR ATTACKED. POLICE LOCATED HER CAR, IDENTIFICATION AND PURSE AT HER HOME. FAMILY MEMBERS SAY SCHMITT, WHO HAS A SON IN THE 8TH GRADE, WAS GOING THROUGH A DIFFICULT TIME AS SHE WAS IN THE MIDST OF A DIVORCE AND HAD LOST 3 CLOSE RELATIVES IN THE PAST YEAR. AUTHORITIES ARE UNSURE IF THOSE EVENS ARE CONNECTED TO HER DISAPPEARANCE. SCHMITT IS CONSIDERED A MISSING PERSON AT RISK.

REWARD IN HIT AND RUN BICYCLE CRASH JKB 1/28/11

  • TWO SONOMA COUNTY BICYCLING GROUPS ARE OFFERING A $2000 CASH REWARD FOR INFORMATION IN A HIT AND RUN ACCIDENT THAT INJURED A PARTICIPANT IN THE GRAN FONDO BICYCLE RACE LAST OCTOBER.

CHP INVESTIGATORS SAY THEY BELIEVE BICYCLIST ANOUSH ZEBARJADAIN OF SAN FRANCISCO WAS INTENTIONALLY HIT BY SOMEONE DRIVING A MAROON MID 1990S FORD EXPLORER WHILE RIDING ON GRATON ROAD DURING THE RACE. EYE WITNESSES REPORTED SEEING THE VEHICLE DRIVING ERRATICALLY AND HAVING CLOSE CALLS WITH OTHER CYCLISTS MOMENTS BEFORE ZEBARJADAIN WAS STRUCK. HE SUFFERED SERIOUS INJURIES WHEN HE WAS HIT IN THE BACK OF THE HEAD BY THE PASSING VEHICLES SIDE MIRROR. THE SONOMA COUNTY BICYCLE COALITION AND THE NON PROFIT ORGANIZATION VELO-STREET HAVE EACH PUT UP $1000 FOR INFORMATION LEADING THE ARREST AND CONVICTION OF THE PERSON RESPONSIBLE. THE GROUPS ARE HOPING TO RAISE THE REWARD AMOUNT TO $10,000 THROUGH DONATIONS. ANYONE WITH INFORMATION ABOUT THIS INCIDENT IS ASKED TO CONTACT THE SONOMA COUNTY SHERIFFS DEPARTMENT.

WILLITS MAYOR BURTON SUPPORTS RDA ELIMINATION JKB 1/28/11

  • WILLITS CITY MAYOR BRUCE BURTON RAISED SOME EYEBROWS AT THIS WEEKS CITY COUNCIL MEETING WHEN HE WENT AGAINST THE PREVAILING LOCAL GOVERNMENT TIDE AND BROUGHT FORTH A LETTER IN SUPPORT OF GOVERNOR BROWNS PLAN TO ELIMINATE REDEVELOPMENT AGENCYS ACROSS THE STATE.

GOVERNOR BROWN HAS PROPOSED ELIMINATING THE REDEVELOPMENT AGENCIES AND TURNING THOSE FUNDS OVER TO STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS TO USE FOR OTHER PURPOSES. CRITICS CLAIM IT WILL BRING INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS TO A STANDSTILL FOR MANY MUNICIPALITIES. PROPONENTS SAY REDEVELOPMENT FUNDS ARE ROUTINELY BEING MISUSED. MAYOR BURTON SUGGESTED THAT EVERYONE HAS A RESON WHY THEIR PROGRAM OR STATE REVENUE SHOULD NOT BE CUT, BUT THAT ON PRINCIPAL, SOMEONE NEEDED TO STEP UP AND BE WILLING TO SACRIFICE. THE COUNCIL VOTED 3 TO 2 WITH BURTON AND HANSON IN FAVOR, AGAINST SENDING THE LETTER OF SUPPORT TO GOVERNOR BROWN.

IN OTHER WILLITS CITY COUNCIL NEWS, IT WAS NOTED THAT THE CITY HAS REDUCED ITS OPERATING EXPENSES BY HALF DURING THE PAST FISCAL YEAR. REVENUES HAD ALSO DECREASE BUT THE DROP IN GOVERNMENT SPENDING PUT THE CITY OF WILLITS IN THE BLACK BY ABOUT A MILLION DOLLARS.

CASE TURNED OVER TO PROSECUTORS JKB 1/28/11

  • THE INVESTIGATION INTO AN ACCIDENT THAT KILLED A 2 YEAR OLD GIRL AND SEVERELY INJURED HER MOTHER WHILE THEY WERE WALKING IN A CROSSWALK IN ROHNERT PARK LAST MONTH HAS BEEN TURNED OVER TO THE SONOMA COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEYS OFFICE FOR POSSIBLE PROSECUTION.

2 YEAR OLD CALLI MURRAY DIED AT THE SCENE OF THE DECEMBER 1ST ACCIDENT. HER 40 YEAR OLD MOTHER LING MURRY SUFFERED CRITICAL INJURIES AND FACES YEARS OF RE-HABILITATION. 18 YEAR OLD KATLYN DUNAWAY ADMITTED TO INVESTIGATING OFFICERS THAT SHE WAS USING HER CELL PHONE AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT, BUT POLICE HAVE NOT INDICATED IF SHE WAS TALKING ON THE PHONE OR TEXT MESSAGING. THEY COMPLETED THEIR INVESTIGATION LATE LAST WEEK AND HAVE TURNED IT OVER TO THE DISTRICT ATTORNEYS OFFICE. A SPOKESPERSON FOR THE D.A.S OFFICE SAID THE FILES WOULD BE THOROUGHLY REVIEWED BEFORE MAKING A DETERMINATION AS TO WHETHER OR NOT CHARGES WOULD BE FILED AGAINST DUNAWAY.

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