It seems black cats are always getting a bad rap

Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015 — I’ve been known to root for the underdog. Currently, my underdog is a cat — of the raven-coated kind.
    Last week I was working on a story about National Black Cat Appreciation Day, Aug. 17. Animal experts told me the misunderstood felines are often unjustly stigmatized because of their dark hue and are often the last to find a forever home.
    That’s a tragedy. I mean, who wants to go through life constantly plagued by prejudice? Especially when you have nine of them.

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Are you up to no good? Someone is watching you

Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015 — Fed up with crime, residents who live around the historic Railroad Depot and near Riverside Park in Susanville have taken the first step toward ending the crime in their neighborhood by launching a new neighborhood watch.
    Several residents shared scary stories of criminal activity in the neighborhood including burglaries, drug dealing and drug use. One woman talked about a strange, uninvited man coming into her home and scaring her daughter. Another victim talked about windows being shot out. Another alleged someone threw a loaded pistol in the gutter, but he couldn’t get the police to do anything about it. The residents said they’ve had to endure drug houses — two of which have been closed down with help from the property owners, but a third is still in operation — and people the residents believe are up to no good roam up and down their streets all night long.

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Can residents defeat the bad guys and gals? You bet!

Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015 — I have a love/hate relationship with the good old police scanner — a staple in every newsroom in which I’ve worked for nearly half my life.
    Frankly, the scanners help reporters and photographers gather the news because we hear the call go out when there’s an incident — a fire, an automobile accident or worse.
    Unfortunately, we also have to listen to all the tones, buzzes and crackles that come across the airwaves. Most annoying is when some dedicated public servant leaves a microphone open even though he or she is not talking. If we’re lucky, all we hear is static.

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Roops’s Fort will be saved for generations to come

Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015  — A project to preserve the original logs of Roop’s Fort, the oldest and perhaps most historic building in Lassen County, is finally underway. With a financial contribution of $15,000 and volunteer labor from the Sunrise Rotary Club, a licensed contractor to oversee the work and the blessing of city planners, the old building that served as a trading post and provided a fortress for county founders during the Sagebrush War will finally receive a new roof.
    Tony Jonas, of the Lassen County Historical Society, notes this is a preservation project and not a restoration of the old fort. Jonas said 95 percent of the logs in the old fort — built in 1854 — remain from the original construction, and some even have bullet holes from the Sagebrush War when Plumas and Lassen County battled over taxes and nearby

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Mingling with thru-hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail

Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015  — I recently drove through Chester on my way home from a trip to Chico and noticed a group of hikers waving a banner to alert drivers to their need for a ride back to the Pacific Crest Trail. With the trailhead only a few miles from Chester, hikers frequently hitchhike to town to shop for supplies, take a shower, do laundry, enjoy a respite in a motel room for a few days, pick up packages sent by loved ones at the post office and sometimes embrace hospitality offered by locals.
    It seems this summer I have interacted with many thru-hikers who began their trek in the desert on the border of Mexico and plan to complete the entire 2,600 miles to the border of Canada. These are men and women who put their lives on hold for about five months.

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Visitor's Guide
Monday, August 31, 2015