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West Nile virus poses special September threat

West Nile virus poses special September threat


SACRAMENTO - The West Nile virus continues to be a problem throughout California with more than twice the number of human cases compared to same time last year.

All month, public health officials have focused on preventive spraying across the region to combat the West Nile virus. One recent target was Oki Park, near Rosemont. That was good news for those gathered at the park Saturday afternoon, especially for Lyn Piegaro who was diagnosed with West Nile virus several years ago.

"It's debilitating. It's very hard, and I'm guessing for the kids and older people it's even worse, which is why I'm very happy that they spray," Piegaro said.

The website FIGHTtheBITE.net shows recently sprayed areas like the section of the American River just north of Oki Park.

Firefighters urge extreme caution when using fireworks

Firefighters urge extreme caution when using fireworks


SACRAMENTO - The Sacramento area has seen an average of one serious fire a day in recent weeks. And when fireworks go on sale at noon on Saturday, fire agencies start their busiest week of the fire season.

"We're seeing fires daily," Sacramento Metro Fire spokesperson Michelle Eidam said. "We all know that, so what we want people to hear clearly is, enjoy the fireworks but be really, really smart about them."

Eidam points out that safe and sane fireworks are illegal for anyone under 18 to use.

"Because of the fire danger. There's a million reasons, but that's a hard and fast rule," Eidam said. "Parents will be cited, parents can be cited."

Eidam said safe and sane fireworks should never be modified and or used more than one at a time. Fireworks that are not safe and sane are easily recognized, she said.

Windswept fires kept firefighters on the defensive for another day.

Windswept fires kept firefighters on the defensive for another day.


SACRAMENTO - Another day of wind kept firefighters on the run across Northern California, battling grass and brush fires.

A fire alongside Sacramento's old dump beside the Capitol City Freeway sent city fire crews on the offensive shortly before 1:30 p.m. Friday. The windswept blaze burned 8 acres before it was contained. Arson is suspected and police have detained a suspect for questioning.

A fire that broke out in Elk Grove along Civic Drive was contained to about 1 acre. The blaze was caused by someone mowing the grass in the middle of a windy day.

"This week is a classic example of when you should not be doing defensible space," Cal Fire spokesperson Daniel Berlant said. "In the hot temperatures, dry conditions and a little bit of wind, that's gonna allow a fire to quickly spark and ignite and spread very, very quickly."

Keep the fire triangle in mind this fire season

Keep the fire triangle in mind this fire season


The fire season started early and is already keeping firefighters busy.

The lack of rain during the 2013-2014 rainy season combined with the two previous dry years, added up to critical fire conditions.

Most fires require three elements to ignite: fuel, oxygen and heat. This is illustrated as a fire triangle. Removing one of the elements will extinguish or prevent fires. The triangle is a helpful tool when surveying our own fire risk.

When we look at our current year, there is plenty of dry brush for fuel due to the drought. Winds can help to further dry vegetation making it prime for catching fire and quickly spreading. Clearing dry brush can help to minimize this spreading.

Oxygen is present naturally in our atmosphere.

Finally, heat is especially common during the late spring and through the summer.

Home Depot to hire 80,000 amid Spring super sales

Home Depot to hire 80,000 amid Spring super sales


SACRAMENTO - Big-box retailers are pinpointing spring as the perfect time for industry specific super sales. Similar to the big discounts available on Black Friday, bargains at stores like Home Depot, Lowe's and even Walmart are predicted to increase shopping, and in time, require additional help.

Home Depot, for example, is hiring 80,000 employees to help with the spring season.

Walmart's specials started on the first day of spring and will continue for nine days. Home Depot and Lowe's do it a little differently. They have deals going on now, but will continue various offers throughout the season.

Visit the store websites for specific details.


Rocklin couple to adopt children from Ukraine


ROCKLIN - Rocklin residents Roman and Krystna Kravchuk are ready to dive into parenting. The rooms for their two adopted Ukrainian children, 10-year-old Andre and 3-year -old Katya, are all ready to go.

The couple is heading to the country, but they are worried about getting their children out safely.

Roman and Krystna will be heading to Ukraine, directly into the conflict zone of Kiev, to finalize all of the paper work for the adoption.

"We are taking a leap of faith and doing what is not comfortable for us, but just showing the love to those kids," said Roman Kravchuk.

The couple said the adoption process was moving smoothly until the uprising in the country began. With tension at a high level, they don't what to expect when they travel next week.

Roseville schools lengthening class day for kindergartners


One school district is adding the equivalent of more than 50 days of school for kindergartners, but they're not changing their school calendar a single day.

Kindergarten students at all nine elementary schools in the Roseville City School District will increase their class minutes from 200 to 300 a day.

"We find that students benefit from being in school longer both academically and socially," Sargeant Elementary School Principal Teri Seaman said.

According to the California Education Code, the minimum instructional minutes for kindergarten is 180 minutes a day.

School leaders say the reason they made the switch is to keep up with state and national standards.

"People may have said that it may be too much and we have not found that true at Sargeant school," Seaman said.