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Citrus Heights News Briefs: Tree Lighting, new ramp meter, sex abuse

Tree lighting, city hall
A photo posted on social media by the City of Citrus Heights shows a night view of the large fountain in front of City Hall, with the city’s colorful tree lit up in the background. // Image source: City of Citrus Heights.

Latest local news briefs include Caltrans announcing a multi-million dollar plan to install a new ramp meter at a Citrus Heights on-ramp, the lighting of the city’s tree, a man alleging sexual abuse at Holy Family Catholic Church and an upcoming “Active Shooter Training” being offered by a local gun shop at the Citrus Heights Community Center.

Caltrans announces new ramp meter at Citrus Heights on-ramp
Caltrans announced Monday that a $12.5 million contract has been awarded to a private contractor for the installation of four new ramp meters on Interstate 80, including one in Citrus Heights. The local ramp meter will be installed on Eastbound I-80 at Antelope Road, with the other three meters to be installed in West Sacramento. The agency said funding for the project is provided by SB 1 “gas tax” funds, with the contract awarded to Granite Rock Construction.

Caltrans said ramp metering is “an important part of our ‘Intelligent Transportation System’ program to relieve congestion on California freeways and cut travel time for motorists,” and said the metering results in “[d]ecreases in stop and go traffic directly translate to reductions in vehicle emissions and fuel consumption.” The agency said over 191,000 vehicles travel east on I-80 past Antelope Road every day, with over 11,600 vehicles per day enter that stretch via the Antelope on-ramp, which causes congestion during commute hours. (See news release)

Citrus Heights celebrates season with tree lighting
A large crowd gathered outside City Hall Thursday night for the annual Tree Lighting ceremony in Citrus Heights, which included photos with Santa, hot drinks and live music from the Citrus Heights Community Marching Band. Video of the event was streamed live on Facebook by the city, showing members of the Citrus Heights Community Marching Band performing “Frosty the Snowman” and “Carol of the Bells” just prior to the city’s tree being lit. The event has been held at the new City Hall since 2016 and is an annual tradition dating back to the city’s incorporation in 1997.

Man alleges abuse took place at Catholic Church in Citrus Heights
Multiple news reports on Monday detailed accounts of a man who alleged he was sexually abused three decades ago by two former priests, including at least one incident at Holy Family Catholic Church in Citrus Heights. One of the church leaders allegedly involved is retired, while the other, a former monsignor at Holy Family has since died, KCRA reported. 

The alleged victim, only identified as John Doe, appeared before reporters with his lawyer to tell his side of the story. He said he wants Wallace “to come forward and tell the truth and help those that are suffering in silence.” The news station said the Diocese of Sacramento has taken action and has directed the retired leader, Msgr. Murrough Wallace, “to withdraw from ministry until more facts can be gathered.” (See KCRA story)

More briefly: 

  • Active Shooter Training. A local gun shop will be hosting a free Active Shooter Training at the Citrus Heights Community Center on Dec. 10th. (See more)
  • Arrest rates. Citrus Heights Police Chief Ron Lawrence was quoted in an SF Chronicle article about a new report showing historic lows in arrests, along with racial disparities. (See article)
  • Coach arrested. A basketball coach from Citrus Heights was booked into jail on suspicion of having sex with an underage student, KCRA reported Monday. (See article)
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