The Sacramento Bee from Sacramento, California on January 25, 1988 · 9
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The Sacramento Bee from Sacramento, California · 9

Sacramento, California
Issue Date:
Monday, January 25, 1988
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Scene Editorials The Sacramento Bee Final Monday January 25 1 988 He was a mystery man News vendor had secret past By Steve Gibson Bee Staff Writer When Sacramento news vendor Charles “Chuck” Scheel paid occasional visits to relatives in Pennsylvania he reportedly flashed a wad of $100 bills Yet he lived a meager existence in Sacramento eating fast food and occupying a bare $150-a-month hotel room until his death from heart disease last May 8 Scheel left $67000 in cash in a white paper McDonald's sack but no will — and no hint that he was survived by a daughter and 22 cousins in Pennsylvania In fact he gave a phony age hen coroner's investigators sorted through Scheel's belongings they found papers listing his age as 76 — wrong it turns out by 17 years He was 59 Though Scheel hawked newspapers in downtown Sacramento for a quarter of a century friends and acquaintances knew little of his background A familiar sight at his 10th and K streets newsstand he was unfailingly cheerful offering a friendly greeting to virtually everyone who walked past But he never mentioned his family “lie was a mystery man very much so” John C March Jr a probate investigator who tracks down missing heirs said m an interview last week "Nearly everyone we interviewed said the same thing They didn't know much about him "Selling newspapers was his sole occupation although we've heard stories from some of his friends that he might have made book” March said “When he’d visit Pittsburgh he’d (have) quite a bit of money Hundred dollar bills "He sold racing forms here in town at his stand so we thought that might be a natural tie-in All speculation but really interesting “Being a newspaper vendor is a pretty good cover He was pretty well hidden that way But he didn’t change his name” Other mysterious sides to Scheel’s life: None of Scheel's cousins knew that he had married and fathered a daughter Jacquelyn Sweet now 30 and also living in Pennsylvania She had no inkling of her father’s whereabouts and was surprised to learn she had cousins living nearby See PAST page B2 Charles Scheel was a familiar sight at his 10th and K streets newsstand Special to The Bee Walter Gunnison Bingo! Bee Owen Brewer A bingo game at Mayhew Center on Asian Community Night made Mary Davis of Sacramento $250 richer Friday Is bingo a losing game for capital’s charities? By liana DeBare Bee Siatf Writer Until this winter Tom Ryan ran his charity bingo operation the same way he had for ears — slightly outside of the law "Our volunteers would get a free book tof bingo cards) on a regular basis” said Ryan executive director of the Sacramento Society for the Blind "We were just using that to motivate our volunteers U e argued it was more of a gratuity than a payment” But county officials saw the handout as payment — and as a violation of a state law that says bingo workers must be volunteers Last fall an undercover sheriff's agent caught the society in the act On Jan 14 an administrative law judge ordered the chanty to cease its bingo operations for 45 days The court ruling which the organization is appealing is one of the first results of a new county policy of keeping close tabs on Sacramento's booming bingo industry "There's a consensus on the Board (of Supervisors) that since we have bingo activity we ought to ensure that it's enforced properly" county Treasurer John Dark said “Our primary concern" sheriff’s Detective Keith Royal said "is to maximize the return to charity" Officials have focused on the game because — contrary to the old image of a few players winning a few dollars in a parish hall — bingo has become big business in Sacramento In 1984 bingo players in the city and county spent a combined total of $142 million By 1987 that had more than doubled — reaching $374 million according to county officials See BINGO pageB2 Where the money goes Bingo revenues in the Sacramento County unincorporated area 1983-84 1986-87 Gross receipts $8 9 million Gross receipts $30 6 million Source Sacramento County treasurer-tax collector Bee graphic Santa Cruz a city with own foreign policy This is another in a series of articles spot lighting cities and towns in California — and the people who live in them Bill Lawrence Bee Staff Writer SANTA CRUZ — Roger Hylton makes his living giving people thrilling roller coaster rides But he finds the ride to work — on streets choked with tourists heading for the amusement park — anything but thrilling !“I don’t like it” he said “but then I remember it’p because of the them that I’m making a living and all that traffic doesn't seem so bad” Hylton 24 is a graduate of the University of California Santa Cruz He loves this resort and cdllege town with a liberal outlook His degree Is in biology but for now he’s having fun supervising the roller coaster crew at the Boardwalk park Mayor John Laird like Hylton is a local grad He’s a liberal who admits good naturedly that while Santa Cruz doesn’t have a secretary of state it does have a foreign policy on Central America and South Africa that contrasts with Ronald Reagan’s But Laird said one thing most people here — liberal or conservative — agree on is the importance of tourists “There are times” he said “when the litter and traffic congestion can be awful But we need our visitors" Endowed with natural beauty the town was given an intellectual bent when the state established the university However to tourists the town rath er than the university is what California’s all about It was at a beach party here that Mike Crete of Lodi concocted the California Wine Cooler and became a millionaire by age 30 Telephone callers to the Santa Cruz Seaside Co the park operator hear Beach Boys tapes instead of canned ersatz music when they’re put on hold On a recent day refugees from Eastern snow gawked at surfers riding waves and skateboarders zooming down hilly streets They snapped pictures of brightly painted Victorian homes and shopped in a downtown that offers both quaint and modern stores Perhaps some noted a scattering of shabby people with the defeated air of the homeless looking See SANTA CRUZ page B2 Deputy won’t be forgotten in Cordova By Gretchen Kell Bee Staff Writer Three days after sheriffs deputies waged a daylong manhunt in a Rancho Cordova neighborhood residents there are anxious to forget the gunfire that left two men dead But a group of neighbors pledged Sunday not to block out the memory of Sgt Richard Deffner a Sacramento County deputy who while protecting them died Thursday night at the hands of the violent ex-convict he’d pursued “This guy gave his life and he doesn’t even live m the area” said Kale Hudson one of 15 people organizing a community tribute to Deffner “I just think somebody should stop and say ‘Thank you’ ” Kyle Lamar Brammer Jr who authorities said shot Deffner 36 outside The Trees Apartments on White Rock Road died in a barrage of bullets fired by deputies moments later Deffner leader of one of the department’s two elite Special Enforcement Detail teams will be eulogized at 10 am Wednesday at St John’s Lutheran Church 17th and L streets He will be buried in his uniform at Mount Vernon Memorial Park 8201 Greenback Lane Members of the memorial committee which met for the first time Sunday evening said they wanted to make sure Deffner — a man most of them never knew — is remembered after his funeral Pedro Hernandez who developed the idea of a memorial said he appreciated the long hours deputies spent searching for Brammer They looked carefully for Brammer inside his 75-year-old aunt’s house — three doors down from where Brammer was gunned down — thinking he might be hiding there Brammer had threatened to take hostages in a nearby apartment moments before his death Hernandez’s wife Lupe said deputies also have helped control drug traffic in the neighborhood’s White Rock Park and dispersed dealers at White Rock elementary school “We want to express not only to (Deffner’s) family but to other communities in Sacramento that we’re behind our police” said Pedro Hernandez Haynes Davis echoed his neighbor’s thought “Too often we expect certain things of law enforcement” he said “but we don’t give them praise once it happens” At first the group considered collecting donations for charities in Deffner’s honor But Darryl Petersen vice president of the Sacramento County Deputy Sheriffs’ Association suggested to the committee Sunday that a community gathering such as a candlelight vigil in Deffner’s honor “may be a more viable demonstration of how they feel” The committee after discussion agreed “Fund raising may be nice but something that would affect and educate children is what we're aiming for” said Lupe Hernandez So the committee is organizing a See TRIBUTE page B2 US attorney targets area drug dealers Law enforcement region includes Valley By Jim Lewis Bee Staff W riter It’s a long way from the quiet academic neighborhood near the University of Chicago where David Levi spent his childhood to Sacramento where he oversees the federal prosecution of drug dealers embezzlers and other assorted criminals At a party he could easily be mistaken for a mild-mannered young college professor instead of US attorney for the huge 34-county Eastern Federal District of California Until he begins to speak of law enforcement Of drug dealers he says “We want to send these people to prison for a long time and we want to bankrupt them” Environmental abusers draw tough words too “I think it would be useful to make it a felony for companies to endanger the lives of working men and women” Levi says “The way the law is now drafted to make it a felony someone has to die That makes the law very difficult for us to use” Levi also has made prosecution of white-collar crime a high priority Besides political corruption and financial scams he defines white-collar crime as “fraud against the government and public corruption in all of its manifestations" “We look at bank fraud money laundering which is often related to drug dealing public corruption bankruptcy fraud espionage and ex- 4 David Levi Me is also eager to prosecute environmental abusers port violations defense procurement fraud environmental violations and consumer fraud” Levi says Despite Levi’s tough talk about drug peddlers and white-collar criminals he says his father taught him to use his power with care and “not to assume one is right and not to act in anger” “And then I think to have a sense of caution about putting into motion the forces that the government has to bear” says Levi “It’s better that one criminal defendant get off — and of course we all suffer from that — than it is for the government to flex its muscles in an overly eager way and hurt the innocent" As US attorney Levi oversees federal law enforcement — - both civil and criminal cases — in a district that extends from the Oregon border to the Mojave Desert In that vast See LEVI page B2

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