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Cal Fire warns of severe fire season

Cal Fire warns of severe fire season


AUBURN, Calif. - Cal Fire is warning of what may be a very long and very difficult fire season ahead.

"Over the next couple of months almost all of Northern California's gonna be at an above average potential for large and damaging wildfires," said Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant.

The state has already seen 950 fires, triple the number in an average year. And the state is in the grip of the worst drought in recorded history.

"A lot of the green hillsides up and down the state are really just masking the dead grass that's been sitting there all winter long," Berlant points out.

At the Cal Fire station in Auburn, seasonal firefighters have been in place since the end of January, nearly three months earlier than usual.

Unlicensed contractors nabbed in El Dorado Co. sting

EL DORADO COUNTY, CA - A sting conducted in El Dorado Hills Saturday by Contractors State License Board investigators resulted in 11 arrests of contractors bidding on large jobs allegedly without a valid contractor's license.

Per California law, all home improvement jobs totaling $500 or more in combined labor and material costs must be undertaken by a CSLB-licensed contractor. State law requires that contractors include their license number in all print, broadcast, and online advertisements.

Three of those cited Saturday were repeat violators, according to CSLB, and most were also suspected of illegal advertising. The violations are misdemeanors and first-time offenses carry a penalty of up to six months in jail and/or a $5,000 fine.

Deputies: Man arrested after selling morphine, meth, heroin to undercover detectives

Deputies: Man arrested after selling morphine, meth, heroin to undercover detectives

PLACERVILLE, Calif. - A man was arrested earlier this month following an undercover drug-buying sting dating back to January.

According to El Dorado County Sheriff's Lieutenant Tim Becker, deputies launched the undercover operation following accusations that 51-year-old parolee Ronnie Chambers threatened the life of another man in January.

During the operation, undercover detectives learned Chambers was looking to sell cocaine, said Becker.

A deal was then set up for detectives to purchase $200 worth of cocaine from Chambers in Placerville. But after purchasing the substance, authorities determined it to be crushed pills containing morphine, said Becker.

Detectives called Chambers, complaining they were displeased with the purchase and demanded their money or the cocaine originally promised. Chambers agreed to provide half the cocaine and half the money, said Becker. 

2 pot dispensaries busted in El Dorado County

EL DORADO COUNTY, CA - A bust at two pot dispensaries continues after six people were arrested Thursday night.

El Dorado County sheriff's detectives investigated River City Wellness in Cameron Park and C4C in Shingle Springs after serving several search warrants, Lt. Tim Becker said.

Detectives served five warrants: one at each business, one at the business operator's home and two search warrants for bank accounts.

It's unclear what led the sheriff's department to investigate the dispensaries.

The six people arrested in the bust are Austin Lange, David Sisson, James Dungan, Mathew Wollman, Robert Sisson and Stacy Sisson.

Becker said detectives seized 60 pounds of processed marijuana, 9 firearms and $80,000 in cash.

More seizures are expected as the investigation continues.

Local Lions foundation officer facing embezzlement allegation

EL DORADO COUNTY, CA - The treasurer of a local Lions foundation with the mission of giving 100 percent of the money it raises to youth programs is being accused of stealing more than $275,000 from the charity.

Kent Maloney, who served as treasurer for the Lions Clubs Educational Fund Inc., which is associated with Lions Club International, allegedly used a secret account to hide the theft, according to the El Dorado County District Attorney's Office. Investigators say the funds were allegedly pilfered over seven years.

According to the foundation's website, no funds it takes in go toward administrative expenses.

Maloney was arrested on suspicion of embezzlement and booked into El Dorado County Jail. Bail was set at $250,000.

Teacher commits suicide during police investigation

LINCOLN, CA - A former Lincoln middle school teacher took his own life amidst a police investigation into allegations he had a relationship with a female student.

Jared Gonsalves, 27, was found in his Roseville home with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest last week, Placer County sheriff's spokesperson Dina Erwin said.

In early January, Lincoln police got a report from Western Placer Unified School District officials that Gonsalves, a Twelve Bridges Middle School teacher, had an inappropriate relationship with a female student last year, Sgt. Terry Kennedy said.

Gonsalves, who taught at the school for the past five years, resigned from his position in January. Police are not releasing the identity of the student because she is a minor.

Safety advice for when a stranger knocks at your door

There's an unexpected knock from a stranger at the front door. What to do?

1. Be cautious when opening the door. Do not blindly open the door to see who it is or what it is that they want.

2. Ignore the knock on the door . You may want to go about your normal business and NOT pretend that you are not home, but instead continue to do what you were doing, or even make some noise or turn on a light so that the person knows that someone IS home (possibly avoiding a burglary).

3. Look out a window first to see who it is - Avoid looking out a door window, but instead go and look through another window away from the door if possible. If you don't recognize them, you could shout through the door and ask what they want, or you could choose to ignore them.

4. Set the door chain. Be sure that your door chain is set well with LONG screws into the door frame to help resist a "push in." Crack open the door to speak to the person through the gap.