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Citrus Heights News Briefs: $4.2M, checkpoint results, obits, shop with a cop

Sentinel staff report–
Latest local news briefs include Bearpaw buying up a pair of buildings for $4.2 million, the passing of one of Citrus Heights’ longest residing residents, results from Friday night’s DUI checkpoint, and a Shop with a Cop event at Walmart.

Bearpaw expands footprint with $4.2M purchase in Stockton
 The Stockton Record reported Monday that a rundown area of downtown Stockton could soon be on its way to better days, noting the recent purchase of two dilapidated downtown buildings being purchased for $4.2 million by Bearpaw, a Citrus Heights-based company best known for its footwear. Remodeling of the buildings is expected to be completed early next year and will feature 68 rental units, including artist lofts and several “live/work ground-floor units.” ABC 10 also published a story on Friday about the purchase, with video showing a tour of one of the buildings.

Bearpaw’s CEO, Tom Romeo, has also spearheaded recent ventures into residential and commercial development in Citrus Heights, including buying up two commercial properties on Auburn Boulevard in October and receiving the go-ahead from the city’s Planning Commission in January to proceed with plans for a 42-unit townhouse development near Sylvan Corners. Related: Bearpaw buys up two more commercial plazas on Auburn Blvd; here’s why

Obituary: Betty Leonard-Bentzen (1929-2018)
Betty J. Leonard-Bentzen, one of Citrus Heights’ longest residing residents, died last month at the age of 89. A short obituary published in the Sacramento Bee on Dec. 5 said she was born in Sacramento in 1929 and passed away peacefully on Nov. 23, 2018. She graduated from San Juan High School in 1947 and was recognized by the City of Citrus Heights last year as one of the “Top 20” longest residents — having lived in the city for over 50 years.

A December newsletter from the San Juan Alumni Association also recognized her, and a comment from an alumni in her online obituary said she was a long-term volunteer and “Sunshine Secretary” for the association. A memorial service was held on Dec. 6 at Ascension Lutheran Church in Citrus Heights. (See full obituary)

Police release results of Dec. 14 DUI checkpoint
A total of 483 vehicles were stopped and one DUI drug arrest was made during a Friday night checkpoint operation held on eastbound Greenback Lane near Birdcage Street, police reported Saturday morning. The Dec. 14 checkpoint also resulted in 11 citations for various traffic and vehicle code violations. No vehicles were impounded. The checkpoint was funded by a grant through the California Office of Traffic Safety.

More briefly:

  • Swearing-in. Newly elected City Councilwoman Porsche Middleton was officially sworn in during a Dec. 13 council meeting. (See video)
  • New Mayor. Jeannie Bruins was unanimously voted in as mayor by her fellow councilmembers on Thursday. Jeff Slowey was also appointed vice mayor.
  • Shop with a cop. Citrus Heights police officers and staff participated in the annual “Shop with a Cop” event at Walmart on Wednesday. (See video)
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