Lassen County Times from Susanville, California on May 27, 1981 · Page 1
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Lassen County Times from Susanville, California · Page 1

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Susanville, California
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Wednesday, May 27, 1981
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Page 1
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'assen County Free Library (-) Court. House Annex S Eoop ' Susanville, CA 96130 I J Cuts needed for 981 - 982 light fkiamces seem loir cononty throiiigliL . jpnie 2 WUh Lassen County in, the first stages of its 1981-82 budgeting process, the picture for the current fiscal year is not very optimistic and the county auditor's office reports it will be tough getting through to June 30. County Auditor Pete Ithurburn spent last week looking for an approximate $110,000 which could be transferred from other departments into the hospital account to meet requests from that area. On Tuesday he went before the board of supervisors to inform them there is Students to be honored Lassen Union High School (LUHS) will honor its music students tomorrow night at the school's annual Music Awards, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in the LUHS Student Center. Awards will be presented to members of the high school band and choir, and the music booster of the year will be named, according to Band Director Ray Craig. In addition, several national music awards will be presented. Desserts will be available before the awards ceremonies. . News of the band's recent in-viiaiion tq the Heritage Invitational Band Festival in Mexico next summer will also be disclosed, Craig said. Students are asked to bring some sort of dessert with them to awards night. Rubbish clean-up is suggested Susanville Fire Chief Ray Berettini has announced that grass and wild land fire season will soon be upon the area -where these combustiable fuels are very dry and will ignite readily- and he advises local residents to begin now in clearing their property of weeds and other debris. It is the duty, states Berettinin, of all residents whether they are owners or occupants of a building, structure or open lot to remove all rubbish, weeds and rank growth from the premises. This would include cleaning the sidewalk in front of the building from the gutter to the structure. Plumas Connritiy Sheriff seeks pair in Keddie Comnosite sketches of two men "seen around Keddie" in. relations to the April" murders there have been released by the Plumas County Sheriff's Department. f "We're not saying they are j suspects," commented Sheriff Doug Thomas last week, "but if t anyone recognizes them, please I call us and your information will ; be confidential." The sketches ) were compiled from information . received by investigators over the now six-week long investigation, Thomas added. : In their release, the department 'said "The Plumas County Sheriff's office wants to talk to these two persons, as it is believed Uhey have information pertinent to a homicide investigation which 1 occured in Keddie, CA. on April 11, 1981. enough money in the budget if the v departments hold down spending and state reimbursements come in as are planned. HOSPITAL REQUEST An original request of $220,000 had come to him from the hospital, but in reviewing the hospital budget he found that $110,000 would meet its present needs. . All departments, however, are in a bind, according to Ithurburn's interview Friday with the 'Times. The county is expecting $450,000 in state reimbursements from SB 240 VoL3 No. 32 oM khJ T NEW DAY CARE CENTER - Sunshine Day Care Center Johnson, from left, above, play Under the watchful eye of director preschool students, Grayson Friday on the equipment in the Jeanene Howard, three young Sievens, Dusty Spores, and Todd center's playground. Day Care Center marks first month of operation Susanville's brand-new Sunshine Day Care Center will mark its first month of operation this Friday, along with a growing enrollment. Director Jeanene Howard opened the doors of the new facility to children and their families April 29, and new students and inquiries have been trickling in ever since. Enrollment currently stands at seven. As enrollment grows so will the center's staff, according to Howard. Preschool children, two to six years old, are cared for all day long while their parents work. School-age children, six to ten years old, are cared for in the afternoons after school. Following the release of the sketches, Thomas ' did not expound on their significance other than what the official release stated. But the department is "still . making contacts and following leads," Thomas said. , "There's lots of dead ends.", Thomas appealed to community youth several weeks ago , for information concerning a party that victims Dana Wingate, 17, and John Sharp, 15, were believed to be at earlier on the evening of April 11 . At that time, Thomas assured possible informants thay they would not be scrutinized for being at a party that most likely included alcohol and minors. But so far, no one has come forth with any information about the party, who was in attendance or who the two victims may have (which '.. provides emergency legislation to reimburse the costs of recent trials in Lassen County and other areas). This will only speed up receipt of funds by about two months. Of that $110,000 will go to the Susanville Correctional Center for reimbursements. The bill, sponsored by Senator Ray Johnson, was signed Friday by Governor Jerry Brown and is expected to have funds available soon. Last week Ithurburn estimated a total possible shortfall of $125,138, but with reviewing the departments where local news comes first! Susanville, Lassen County, California 96130 The day care center, operated by the non-profit Lassen Economic Develoment Corporation (LEDC), is located a short distance south of the offices of KSUE radio on Johnstonville Rd. LEDC shares staff and offices with the Lassen County Council on Aging at 621 Richmond Rd. Work on the building which houses the center began in July of last year, resulting in a bright, clean and modern facility. The building, unrecognizable as such now, began life as a barracks at the Sierra Army Depot in Herlong. Money for the renovation of the building and its assemblage of equipment, toys, etc. came largely left with. The victims were seen hitchhiking toward Keddie from . the corner of Crescent and , Lawrence Streets in downtown Quincy between 9 and 10 p.m. that same evening. The next morning, they were bound, stabbed, bludgeoned and in one case, strangled, along with John Sharp's mother, Glenna, 36, in the front room of the Sharp home. Daughter Tina Sharp, who reportedly came " home at 9:30 that same evening v to go to bed, has never been seen or heard from since. At this date in the case investigators are all but certain that she is a fourth victim of the murders. A multitude of blind alley leac and physical evidence have kept the sheriffs office and the state's Department of Justice busy on topple slaying trom a CETA-Balance of State grant. LEDC recently assumed operation of the center. Lassen County has other day care centers, but according to LEDC Director Phil Stowe, the "completeness of design" and the quality of the equipment of the Sunshine Day Care Center make it unique. The investment of "money, material, and labor have created a day care center whose interior looks something like a well-kept home. Carpet cushions the floors of many of the rooms, most of which have windows. Photographs, art and drawings, some of them the work of students, line the walls of the different rooms . the case since its inception. Compounding the case is that the Sharp home is in an area with homes that are extremely close by. .: Blood samples and other evidence from the murder scene indicated some sort of struggle took place, according to the Sheriff's office. But no one heard anything, including two other children sleeping in the adjacent room, the close-by neighbors and late evening strollers who passed right by the home. The investigation has cost the county approximately $15,000 so far, according to Thomas. The overall cost is much more than that, but the time and equipment being utilized from DOJ is free, he added. The investigation's financial status is not in need of monetary help from the state at this time, Thomas said. : T and including the expected state reimbursements, he reported this week there would be enough money. , He also said, that the overall budget problem could probably be blamed on trial costs related to the Madaline murders, inasmuch as state reimbursements are so long in . coming back to the county. DIM PROSPECTS -The 1981-82 fiscal year is presently looking even dimmer, with a prospect of the county having to cut nearly $2 million from its preliminary budget proposals. Wednesday, May 27, 1981 i f Emergency Koom aired hj supe The Lassen County Board of Supervisors and the medical staff of Lassen Memorial Hospital yesterday heatedly debated changes the supervisors propose to make in operation of the hospital's emergency room. Thediscussion- often - became emotional and antagonistic, and at one point caused one local physician to confront one of the supervisors, and then leave. After and hour and a half of talk, the board voted to continue the discussions with the hospital committee, which is composed of two supervisors, two members of the hospital's medical staff, and two members of the community. The debate centered on amendments the supervisors propose for the contract the county has with the hospital's emergency room group. The supervisors want to make each physician solely responsible for the collection of fees from emergency room patients they attend. Under the amendments, the county would not be responsible to members of the emergency room group for services they render, except to indigent patients. Currently, Lassen Memorial provides billing services for emergency room doctors and the county pays 15 percent of the doctors' uncollectable bills. The physicians assume 85 percent of the uncollectables. The hospital physcians told supervisors that if the changes were made the hospital could lose the two full-time 24-hour emergency room physicians it now has, Drs. Swanson and Larson. And if they left, the physicians said the county couldn't afford to hire a new physician or physicians. According to the physicians, the current agreement for emergency room billing provides the steady cash flow a doctor must have to stay in p practice. The medical staff told the supervisors that Swanson and Larson couldn't afford to privately bill Medicare and MediCal patients. The doctors quoted figures which showed that 26 percent of emergency room patients pay their medical bills through MediCal, while only nine percent can pay out of pocket or have other insurance. Medicare payments take 90 days to be processed, while MediCal payments are processed in 60 days. Supervisors Frank Kimberling and Jim Chapmanboth heatedly 1 criticized the hospital's medical staff and doctors. "People in this county, as taxpayers, are not etting their money's worth. We don't belong in the hospital b business," Kimberling said. Several of the other supervisors agreed w with his remark that the supervisors shouldn't be in the business of running Lassen Memorial. Supervisor Harold Stoy argued that a privately-owned hospital could be run more efficiently, and in In a May 18 budget session of the supervisors, ' it was reported there were $13,164,320 in departmental ' requests and projected revenues of $11,942,271. The approximate difference of $1.2 million, plus an estimated employee salary increase of X) percent phis a $200,000 for a contingency fund takes the total shortfall potential to the $2 million figure.. PROBLEM AREAS -Several problems are currently plaghig the county budget. These include the Continued to back page 25cente VED MAY 3 ' 1981 debate the interests of keeping occupancy up, would keep a lid on prices. Supervisor Chapman came down hard on hospital mismanagement. "As members of the board, we have to start getting tough, and darn right mean at who's screwing up the operation out there, whether its the doctors, v the administration, or whoever," he said. He , accused hospital administrators and doctors of mismanagement saying "they're letting money go out the door." At that point, one of the hospital physicians in the audience stood up, told Chapman he was "fed up with your badmouthing the doctors in this community," and walked out of the board room. Fred Reger, the hospital's acting controller, noted that patients who pay $160 a day for medical care at Lassen Memorial would have to pay about $500 a day in Sacramento for comparable care. The Lassen Memorial emergency room fee is currently $28. For comparison, the physicians quoted emergency room fees of $50 at the Chester hospital, $45 in the-Modoc County hospital, and $34 at Seneca Hospital. The physicians pointed out that more doctors are needed in the county, a fact the supervisors and most residents agree on, but said the county must be able to guarantee a certain income to attract an incoming physician here, and should bolster his salary if that income isn't generated. The supervisors also acted on two fiscal changes proposed to them by County Auditor Pete Itherburn. Both changes were approved. The first change raises the appropriation level for several county offices, including the district attorney, public defender, sheriff, and court reporter, by $360,000 to meet the unexpected expenditures resulting from the recent trials of six California Correctional Center inmates for murders at that facility. The second reccomendation of Itherburn's that the board approved was to transfer the county's contingency fund to supplement departmental budgets. From now until June 30, the end of the 1980-81 fiscal year, only "essential" items will be allowed to be bought from this fund. If a question arises as to what is an "essential" item, County Purchasing Agent Mark Totten will come before the board with the departmental request. In other action, the board: -Hired a new county librarian, Paul Knoblich, of Gillette, Wyoming. Knoblich will assume the position July 1, upon the retirement of Librarian Beth Hallum, who has served the county's book-lovers for over 20 years. Knoblich and his wife, Karen, will take up residence in Susanville in about two weeks. The supervisors interviewed in closed session three candidates for the librarian post, choosing Knoblich. J (ORIGINAL DEFECTIVE ..... v . thh'-'-1i

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