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Tour of California strengthens anti-doping program

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Tour of California has strengthened its anti-doping program to start pre-race testing earlier and have the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, not cycling's governing body, oversee in-competition testing.

The race, which runs May 15-22, dropped a provision that excluded riders who were the subject of a pending doping investigation.

Tour officials were peppered with questions Wednesday about how the rule change might affect the participation of Lance Armstrong, who has yet to say whether he will compete.

A federal grand jury in Los Angeles has been hearing evidence for months on cheating in professional cycling. The investigation turned toward Armstrong -- and several of his associates have testified -- since former teammate Floyd Landis accused him of systematic doping.

Armstrong has always denied using performance-enhancing drugs.

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Police arrest man suspected in Loyalton arson

LOYALTON, CA - Sierra County Sheriff's Office arrested a man suspected of setting fire to a home at 205 Hill Street in Loyalton on Jan. 24.

Eric D. Tenant, 38, was arrested after he returned to the fire scene hours after the fire was extinguished, said Sierra County Sheriff John I. Evans.

Loyalton fire department extinguished the fire and an initial investigation with witness statement ruled the fire to be arson.

A deputy was stationed at the arson scene to protect the evidence that may still be there when Tenant was seen at the crime scene, said Evans.

Also, during the investigation, police found that Tenant drove to Sierraville and allegedly stole a wallet from someone unrelated to the fire. Police also found property that was from a home burglary also in Loyalton, Evans said.

Tenant is charged with arson, vandalism and theft.

Tenant's next court date is Feb. 8.

CHP: Man arrested in I-80 police pursuit, suspected carjacking

PLACER COUNTY, CA - The California Highway Patrol has taken a man into custody following an alleged carjacking and high-speed pursuit on Interstate 80.

The incident began at 11:25 a.m. in North Sacramento when a man in a stolen vehicle struck a white Ford 150 pick-up at Norwood Avenue and Grove Avenue, according to CHP Officer Lizz Dutton.

The car thief then got into the victim's pick-up and drove off, Dutton said. It wasn't known if the victim was injured.

A CHP unit picked up the truck at Watt Avenue and began following it, Dutton said.

The pursuit continued onto eastbound Interstate 80. Officers deployed spike strips at I-80 and Highway 174 near Colfax. The suspected carjacker pulled off the interstate with a flat tire and that is when officers arrested him, said CHP Officer David Martinez.

Grass Valley Police Department reminds Superball fans not to drive drunk

Grass Valley Police Department reminds Superball fans not to drive drunk

The Grass Valley Police Department is reminding football fans that if your Super Bowl celebration includes alcohol, make the right decision before kickoff and always have a designated sober driver. This local message to Super Bowl fans joins with the national “Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk” message from the National Football League (NFL), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the HERO Campaign and Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management (TEAM) Coalition.

The Nevada County Avoid the 5 DUI Task Force will be deploying special roving DUI patrols in several communities throughout the area looking to stop and arrest drivers who are impaired. These DUI patrols are in addition to regularly scheduled patrol officers, all looking for the tale-tell signs of an intoxicated driver behind the wheel.

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Congressman Tom McClintock to hold town hall meetings

Congressman Tom McClintock to hold town hall meetings

Representative McClintock will hold a Grass Valley town hall meeting.

When: Friday, February 4 at 6:00 p.m.
Where: Hennessy Elementary School, Multi-Purpose Room
           225 S. Auburn Street, Grass Valley

The Trust book review

The Trust book review

The Trust: A Secret Society Novel.  The Trust is the 2nd book in the Secret Society Series. I read this book twice and love the mystery behind the society. Phoebe, Lauren, Patch and Nick are part of the society and they all want out of it. Nick’s Grandpa leaves them clues to get out of the society. Read more…

Auburn police officer assaulted by suspected DUI driver

AUBURN, CA -- An Auburn police sergeant attempting to pull over a driver he suspected of DUI was lucky to walk away from the incident without injury.

Shortly after 10:30 p.m Thursday, Sgt. Dale Hutchins activated his emergency lights after seeing the driver of an older model Chevy truck blow through a stop sign.

As the driver turned west onto the eastbound I-80 off-ramp, Hutchins positioned his police unit behind the pick-up as the driver attempted to make a U-turn.

That's when the driver of the pick-up, identified as 22-year-old Eric Hill, stopped his vehicle, put it in reverse and slammed into the right front of Hutchins' patrol car.

Hill then drove forward, stopped, and backed right into Hutchins' car then took off into Old Town Auburn with three other Auburn police units in hot pursuit.

Old town Auburn historic guided walking tour

If you'd like to explore old town Auburn and enjoy walking, here's a great tour for you.

Every Saturday the Placer County Museum Docent Guild offers a walking tour.

When: Every Saturday at 10:00 a.m.
Where: Courthouse Museum , 101 Maple St

For more information, call 530-889-6500 or go to the Placer County website

Sheriff releases photo of man wanted in Auburn stick-up

AUBURN, CA - Placer County sheriff's detectives are looking for a man who robbed an Auburn gas station Tuesday and tied up a newspaper deliverywoman.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Dena Erwin said the robber entered the Chevron at 13381 Lincoln Way at 2:22 a.m. and pointed a silver, semi-automatic handgun at the clerk while demanding the cash register be emptied.

As the clerk was complying, a woman delivering newspapers walked into the station. The robber forced the woman behind the counter and taped her hands together, Erwin said.

The robber then grabbed the money, Erwin said, and drove away on northbound Lincoln Way.

The robber was described as white, 18 to 25 years old, about 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing about 150 pounds. He had blond, shoulder-length hair under a striped beanie cap and wore a black camouflage jacket over a red t-shirt.

March 8 election sample ballots in the mail

March 8 election sample ballots in the mail

All Placer County registered voters should start checking their mailboxes for the March 8 Special Consolidated Primary Election Sample Ballot Pamphlet. Sample ballot pamphlets will begin to mail on Thursday, Jan. 27. 

The sample ballot pamphlet will provide voters with important information about the Assembly 4th District to be voted on this election. In addition, your polling place location is listed on the back cover of your sample ballot pamphlet. If you are a permanent vote-by-mail voter or if you reside in a mail ballot precinct, your pamphlet will read Permanent Vote-by-Mail Voter or Mail Ballot Precinct in the polling place location area of the pamphlet.

For voters who are not permanent vote-by-mail voters and voters who do not reside in a mail ballot precinct, the back cover of the sample ballot pamphlet can be used as a vote-by-mail ballot application. Simply sign the form and return it to the Placer County Office of Elections.