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Citrus Heights News Briefs: arrests, fire, lights contest, local politics

A Citrus Heights Police Department vehicle parks outside Christ Community Church on Thursday as part of a surprise gift delivery at a holiday party for children in group homes. // Photo courtesy, CHPD

Latest local news briefs include results from a weekend DUI and drivers license checkpoint on Antelope Road, a commercial fire on Greenback Lane, Supervisor-elect Sue Frost naming her new chief of staff, a “Yard of the Month” winner announced for best Christmas light display, and a surprise gift delivery by Citrus Heights police officers.

REPORT: latest DUI checkpoint nets multiple arrests, citations
A Friday-night DUI and drivers license checkpoint held on Antelope Road near Rusch Park stopped a total of 1,033 vehicles and led to three arrests and 10 citations for various violations, Citrus Heights police reported. Lt. Jason Russo said a total of four sobriety field tests were conducted during the six-hour checkpoint, but no DUI arrests were made. Arrests made during the checkpoint included one for a felony warrant, another for a stolen vehicle, and a third arrest for “burglary tools, drugs, and probation violations.” Additionally, four vehicles were impounded and citations were issued for violations that included driving without a license or driving with a suspended license. The checkpoint was funded by a $145,00 grant through the California Office of Traffic Safety. (Learn more)

Fire damages old Northridge Music building on Greenback Lane
A fire last week at the old Northridge Music building on Greenback Lane caused an estimated $50,000 in damage, according to Metro Fire. Emergency crews forced entry into the building to douse the blaze, apparently breaking into the front fascia and roof above the business in order to access the fire, according to video posted on Twitter by Metro Fire. Restoration crews could later be seen removing carpets and other material from inside the store on Thursday. The cause of the Dec. 11 fire was determined to be electrical in nature. Northridge Music was unoccupied at the time of the blaze, as it had closed its doors earlier this year after 44 years in business. (See Metro Fire video)

Neighborhood group announces best Christmas light display winner
The Park Oaks Neighborhood Association (PONA) announced its 2016 “Christmas Light Display Yard of the Month” award during its Dec. 15 monthly meeting. The home’s light displays and inflatables can be viewed at 7170 Mary Ann Way in Citrus Heights, where passerby’s will also see a “Yard of the Month” sign posted in the front yard.

PONA Secretary and Treasurer Tim Schaefer said the monthly yard recognition program has been in place for many years and is used as a way to recognize residents who improve their yards and help promote participation in the neighborhood group. He said the program runs April through October each year, with Christmas light displays recognized each December. (See list of 10 top Christmas local light displays)

Local politics: Frost names chief of staff, Daniels celebrates victory
On Thursday, former Citrus Heights councilwoman and Supervisor-elect Sue Frost announced Matt Hedges as her pick for the top full-time position in her cabinet. Hedges, who lives in Citrus Heights, currently serves as the legislative director for California Senate Minority Leader Jean Fuller. He has also served on the Sylvan Cemetery District board and has held several positions with the Sacramento County Republican Party. In a Dec. 15 news release, Frost called Hedges “the right choice” for the job, citing his “experience, skills, commitment and character.” Frost will be sworn in on Jan 10, 2017.

Newly elected Councilman Bret Daniels held a Dec. 13 victory party with a group of supporters at Stones Casino, following his surprise win in November. Local musician Ava Leimert provided live jazz and R&B during the hour-and-a-half event, and several dozen guests dropped in to congratulate Daniels on his win. He said “the secret” to his victory was having five strong candidates in the race, which allowed him to pull enough votes from social media campaigns and past name recognition — while the other candidates “diluted” the vote among themselves. Daniels said he wanted to wait until after he was seated in office before holding a victory party. He was officially sworn in as a councilman on Dec. 8.

CHPD, Walmart surprise kids at local group homes with gifts
60 kids from 13 local group homes were surprised by police at a holiday party on Thursday when officers and other volunteers showed up with dozens of wrapped presents. Officers and volunteers previously collected the presents during a three-day gift drive in front of Walmart in Citrus Heights earlier this month, where shoppers offered to donate money or buy items from personalized wish lists that included a child’s name, age, and several gift requests. Lt. Jason Russo said the effort was coordinated by Walmart, CHPD, and the Citrus Heights Police Activities League, designed “to promote a positive experience with law enforcement in hopes of making their holiday special this year.”

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