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Creatures Great and Small are Effie Yeaw Stars

Story and Photos by Susan Maxwell Skinner
Posted: 11/6/2015

Nadine Ozeir and One-Eyed Owl Pickwick
A wink and a smile. Junior naturalist Nadine Ozeir (10) is enraptured by raptor Pickwick. The one-eyed owl was among educators at the recent Effie Yeaw Nature Fest.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Raptors, marsupials, mammals, and reptiles paraded for visitors at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center’s recent Nature Fest.

The event temporarily boosted American River Parkway animals with 1,100 wannabe naturalists. Up-close wildlife encounters were the main attraction. “It’s fantastic to see raptors up close,” enthused a bird watcher. “You see a golden eagle’s talons and realize how she can catch a wolf.”

A coyote pup called Cody was another crowd pleaser. Resident of Wild Things Inc., an animal refuge near Newcastle, the rescued baby provoked much oohing and aahing but proved a feisty handful for handler Gabe Kerschner.

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Local Film Festival Features “Win, Lose, or Draw”

By Ben Barber
Photos by Kristene Newbold
Posted: 11/6/2015

Scott Preston and Donna Preston on the Set
Writer and producer Donna Preston with husband, Scott Preston, on the set of “Win Lose or Draw.”

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - For the past 16 years, Access Sacramento has sponsored “A Place Called Sacramento” (PCS) Film Festival. Access Sacramento is a non-profit organization that provides media resources to the Sacramento community. The PCS challenges local scriptwriters to write 10-minute scripts about the people, places, and events that make our community such a unique place to live. Every year 10 scripts are chosen to be produced for the festival.

After working as Script Supervisor on the TV pilot RELLIK, Orangevale’s Donna Preston was anxious to keep the production ball rolling. “I wanted to use the PCS Festival as an opportunity to showcase the amazing talent and professionalism of the local Sacramento film community,” explained Preston. Her script, “Win Lose or Draw,” was one of the 10 scripts chosen. It follows the path of Jimmy Draw, played by Eric Olsson, and Lisa, played by Courtney Conklin. The couple’s relationship is strained when the unexpected death of Jimmy’s father offers a life-changing opportunity. Sarab, played by Michael Ray Clark, a single father mourning the death of his wife, is caught up in the event. Lisa is forced to make some tough decisions as Jimmy’s behavior escalates beyond appropriate levels. “The festival inspired me to write a compelling story with relatable situations and characters,” continued Preston.

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Workers Sift Through the Wreckage of a House
Valley Fire cleanup and debris assessment.

Valley and Butte Fire Update

Posted: 11/6/2015

CALIFORNIA (MPG) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its federal, state, and local partners continue the assessment and clean-up of household hazardous wastes in the aftermath of the Valley Fire in Lake County, CA and the Butte Fire in Calaveras County, CA. EPA mobilized to the two fire-impacted areas first to clear properties near public schools in Lake County, then more broadly in fire impacted communities under mission assignments from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

As of the end of October, the number of properties cleared are as follows:

  • Butte Fire: 610 parcels have been cleared as of Oct 24th, 2015 (approximately 90%)
  • Valley Fire: 632 properties have been cleared as of Oct 27th, 2015 (approximately 61%)

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Homecoming Honors Casa Roble's Graduating Class

Story and Photos by Ben Barber
Posted: 10/23/2015

Nominees for Casa Roble’s Homecoming Court Await the Call
The homecoming candidates themselves, while nervous, had the hand of either their closest family or friends who came to support them in their moment of honor.

ORANGEVALE, CA (MPG) - On Friday, October 16th, the Casa Roble Rams celebrated their 49th homecoming. As people on floats patiently waited around the bend of the track, the homecoming court—geared up and dressed to the nines—were driven to the stage in classic Model Ts, where the school’s Air Force J.R.O.T.C. members proudly presented their sabers overhead.

Smiling and waving, the court traveled through the salutes and up the stage as the crowd roared and cheered for their favorite candidates. The candidates themselves, while nervous, had the hand of either their closest family or friends who came to support them in their moment of honor.

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Carole Brewer Potrait
Women who share their faith are featured in a nationally-broadcasted radio show anchored by Fair Oaks singer/speaker Carole Brewer.

Bible Chick is Loud and Clear and on Air

Story and Photo by Susan Maxwell Skinner
Posted: 10/23/2015

FAIR OAKS, CA (MPG) - Though Carole Brewer was named for a Christmas song, she didn’t embrace religion until her college years. “My difficult childhood left me with low self-esteem,” she recalls. “My college friends—including my future husband—were Christians. They introduced me to the Bible. It resonated. I thought I’d give God a try and he didn’t disappoint.”

The Fair Oaks woman has built a career singing, ministering, and running organizations that apply Bible principles to daily life. In recent months, Brewer extended her mission across the United States through broadcasting. She calls her weekly radio and internet show “Bible Chicks.”

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Beloved Deputy Remembered

Danny Oliver Joins Park Heroes November 7th

Story and Photos by Susan Maxwell Skinner
Posted: 10/9/2015

Previous Attendees at Fair Oaks Wall of Honor Ceremony
Slain North Area Deputy Danny P. Oliver will join Wall of Honor heroes in Patriots Park on November 7th. The ceremony also recalls other local men who fell in service to community or nation.

FAIR OAKS, CA (MPG) - A new name will soon join those inscribed on the Wall of Honor at Patriots Park. November 7th remembrances will induct Sheriff’s Deputy Danny P. Oliver to the ranks of treasured local heroes.

Oliver died during a 2014 criminal incident that spread from Arcade to Placer County. The 47-year-old father of two was slain as he and another officer investigated activity in an Arden Way motel parking lot. The shooter and a female companion then fled to Auburn. En route, they carjacked two vehicles, shooting and injuring one car owner. Near Interstate 80, the male suspect fired on two Placer County officers. One investigator, Michael Davis, died from his wounds.

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Parents and Teachers Examine Homework

By Lanaya Nilsson
Posted: 10/9/2015

A Mother and Child Do Homework Together
There are many conflicting claims on how much of an increase we have had in homework loads on children in the last 20-30 years. Some claims say it has doubled, others argue that it has stayed pretty much the same. When the communication manager of Sacramento Unified School District was asked if there had been any recent changes in homework policies, she said not at the district level, but that schools handle it on a case-by-case basis.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Now that school is underway and schedules are being set, one particular subject comes to the forefront for many students, teachers, and parents: homework.

The topic has become controversial in recent years. Books like The Case Against Homework (2007, Sara Bennett and Nancy Kalish), The Homework Myth (2007, Alfie Kohn), Rethinking Homework: Best Practices that Support Diverse Needs (2009, Cathy Vatterott), and documentaries like Race to Nowhere (2010) explore the educational policies in our country and within our school districts and how they compare to other countries that are performing the highest in the world, despite many of them having little to no homework for their students. Even NPR featured the subject in an article titled “Homework: A New User’s Guide.”

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Best of Broadway is Back

Posted: 9/18/2015

Intel Employees, Local Nonprofits, and School Districts Celebrate Volunteer Work

Posted: 9/18/2015

Oh Deer, It’s Hot Out There

American River Parkway Sizzles in Heatwave

Story and Photos by Susan Maxwell Skinner
Posted: 9/4/2015

Advocates Advise Disabled Veterans

Story and Photo by Susan Maxwell Skinner
Posted: 9/4/2015

A Lifetime of Dedication

Story and Photo by Elise Spleiss
Posted: 8/21/2015

Great Nosh at Beth Shalom

Story and Photo by Susan Maxwell Skinner
Posted: 8/21/2015

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