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Best barbeque named during Rotary’s annual challenge

Monday, Aug. 31, 2015 — Several cooks accepted the challenge to test their barbeque skills and entered the third annual Backwoods BBQ Challenge hosted by the Westwood/Lake Almanor Rotary on Saturday, Aug. 8.
    Albert Vagas, who headed the team Vagas Double Down BBQ, was the overall winner. Doug Bonneville, of Chef Boy R Doug, was second and Dusty Vaughn, of Dusty’s BBQ, was third. Vagas also received the taster’s choice trophy.
    All competitors prepared ribs, chicken and tri-tip during the event held on the grounds of the Double G Ironhorse Saloon in Westwood. Charcoal, wood or gas grills could be used to prepare the meat as well as smokers. Samples were presented to the judges in a blind tasting and first-, second- and third-place winners were selected in each division. Also, tickets for tasting the contestant’s barbeque were sold and these tasters cast their vote for taster’s choice.

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Wolves return to California

Monday, Aug. 31, 2015 — The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has photographic evidence of five gray wolf pups and two adults in Northern California.
    After  trail cameras recorded a lone canid in May and July, CDFW deployed additional cameras, one of which took multiple photos showing five pups, which appear to be a few months old and others showing individual adults. Because of the proximity to the original camera location, it is likely the adult previously photographed in May and July is associated with the group of pups.
    “This news is exciting for California,” said Charlton H. Bonham, CDFW director. “We knew wolves would eventually return home to the state, and it appears now is the time.”

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Teen court visits San Francisco

Monday, Aug. 31, 2015 — Nearly 30 Lassen County Teen Court Commissioners traveled to San Francisco on Aug. 3 and 4 to tour some of the city’s most historic and legally significant sites, including: the California Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, San Francisco City Hall, the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Quentin State Prison Museum. The annual Teen Court trip serves as an educational experience for the students and as recognition of the many hours that they dedicate to the Teen Court program.
    Throughout the school year, the Lassen County Teen Court program provides high school students an opportunity to directly impact their community through public service in the juvenile justice system. In the fall of each year, new student volunteers receive training from local professionals covering a variety of topics, including: bailiff and court clerk duties, juror responsibility and deliberations, confidentiality and the role of a Teen Court attorney.

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Food safety tips for parents

Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015 — Back to school, back to the books, back shuttling students to and from extracurricular activities. The new school year likely means back to packing lunches and after-school snacks for students, scouts, athletes, dancers and all the other children who carry these items to and from home. One ‘back’ you do not want to reacquaint children with, however, is food-borne bacteria.
    Bacteria that cause foodborne illness, commonly known as food poisoning, grow rapidly at temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. In this temperature range, these microorganisms can multiply to dangerous levels in just two hours, increasing the risk of food-borne illness. To make sure lunches and snacks are safe for those for whom you pack, you should follow the USDA’s four steps to food safety: clean, separate, cook and chill.

Packing tips

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City shows off new type III fire engine

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Members of the Susanville City Council and the public get their first peek at the Office of Emergency Services type III fire engine that will be used by the Susanville Fire Department. The department had a type I engine that was returned to the state because the department did not have the personnel to man both engines. Fire Chief James Moore, center, said the engine is worth about $275,000, and “It’s ours to use as long as we staff it, house it and treat it like our own.” But Moore noted the engine is “a statewide resource,” and with all the fire activity in the state, he expects it may soon be put into service for the rest of the summer.
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