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(Premium) News Briefs: fundraiser, bucket list, gate controversy

Fill the boot for burns
Firefighters collect donations during the 2018 ‘Fill the Boot for Burns’ fundraiser at Sunrise Boulevard and Greenback Lane. // CH Sentinel

Latest local news briefs include firefighters collecting donations at the corner of Sunrise Boulevard and Greenback Lane, Citrus Heights council members voting on whether to allow a new housing development to be gated, a local 20-year-old man with cancer living out his “bucket list,” as well as a burglary arrest, job opportunity,and a $26 million claim filed against the city.

Firefighters gather donations for burn treatment at Citrus Heights intersection
Cars are honking, news cameras are rolling, and donations are flooding in each day as firefighters raise funds at the corner of Sunrise Boulevard and Greenback Lane through Sunday. KCRA video showed footage of firefighters walking through stopped traffic at the intersection on Saturday, holding boots and taking donations from drivers passing by. Tyler Craft, a firefighter-paramedic from Station 21 in Citrus Heights, is one of two firefighters who vowed to stay atop a ladder truck extended in the air at the intersection during the full four days of the event, from Feb. 8 through Feb. 11. Craft told KCRA the experience has been an “eye-opener” and said “once you get to be a part of it, you just don’t want to stop.”

A safety fair held in conjunction with the boot drive on Saturday featured two helicopters landing in the Sunrise Mall parking lot, as well as various activities for kids. The boot drive effort this year has a goal to raise over half-a-million dollars to improve burn treatment and fund burn recovery programs through the Sacramento-based Firefighters Burn Institute. The drive concludes at 4 p.m. on Sunday. (See KCRA video)

Citrus Heights council votes 5-0 to reject appeal seeking to stop gated community
The Citrus Heights City Council on Thursday voted unanimously to reject an appeal by city “godfather” William Van Duker, who sought to stop a developer from installing gates at the entrance to a 46-home community under construction at 5555 Mariposa Avenue. Van Duker, who was involved in the city’s incorporation efforts in the 1980’s and 90’s, argued that the city should not allow gates to be installed on the project, due to the city’s general plan “discourag[ing] features in residential development that tend to isolate residents from the sense of an integrated community, such as walls and gated single family neighborhoods.” After hearing testimony from Van Duker, as well as the developer and several residents who spoke in favor of the gates, the council voted to allow the gates, noting that while gated communities are discouraged in the general plan, they are not prohibited. Van Duker had filed his appeal following a narrow 4-3 vote in December by the planning commission to allow the gates.

Fox 40: Friends help 20-year-old Citrus Heights man with cancer live fulfill ‘bucket list’
A 20-year-old Citrus Heights man has been living out his “bucket list” of 50 things he wants to do, after doctors said he has less than a year to live. According to a Fox 40 news report on Wednesday, Chris Betancourt was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia in the fifth grade, which is a form of cancer that attacks blood cells in bone marrow. Although his cancer went into remission for many years, doctors said it returned, and –without a bone marrow donor — they say he doesn’t have much time left.

The news video shows Betancourt and two close friends taking a trip to the Bay Area to check off several items on the bucket list — a big pillow fight with strangers, feeding the homeless, getting matching tattoos, spending a day at Reddit, and more. “Life is never done being lived,” he told Fox 40. “You can never cross off all of your life’s items because there is always gonna be something new.” (See full story)

More briefly:

  • Truck theft. A vintage truck was stolen from a Citrus Heights man; but was later recovered. (See Fox40 story)
  • Job opp. The City of Citrus Heights announced it is hiring a full-time finance manager. Salary for the position is listed between $103,000 to $133,000. (See application)
  • $26M claim. A $26 million claim has been filed with the City of Citrus Heights seeking compensation related to a 2017 incident where a suspect, James Nelson, was severely burned on hot pavement while being taken into custody by Citrus Heights police. (See SacBee story)
  • Burglary arrest. Christopher Shipp, 31, was arrested after the Placer County Sheriff’s Department said deputies responded to a residential alarm in Granite Bay and caught the suspect running out the back door. (See full statement)
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