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Sierra businesses adjust to lack of snow


The golf balls are flying at the Old Brockway Golf Course in Kings Beach.

"I love it, there's not too many places to golf and this is a beautiful course," said Jonathan Marks, who spent his Sunday on the golf course.

The course, near the the north shore of Lake Tahoe, should be closed for the winter season, but as of Jan. 31, the putting green was open for business.

This is the earliest opening in the course's 91-year history. The month of January was the driest on record for the Northern California; and, the lack of rain and snow is taking a toll on many Sierra businesses that rely on a strong winter season.

"We always anticipate we're going to get a snowfall, we haven't had a snow fall so we said let's get her open," Old Brockway Golf Course owner Lane Lewis said.

Raid reveals suspected explosive booby trap in tree


A potential explosive device in a tree at a Nevada City property halted a warranted search for firearms at the felon's home Thursday morning.

According to the Nevada County Sheriff-Coroner's Office, before the discovery of the possible booby trap device, county major crimes, narcotics, search and rescue, and Placer County special enforcement team officers recovered a large number of firearms, ammunition, and marijuana cola at the residence of 54-year-old Daniel Meinke in the 19000 block of Purdon Road.

Additionally, officers reported discovering a butane honey oil lab on the property, two buried 50-gallon drums believed used to hide the firearms, and a book about booby traps.

Shots fired at CHP officer in Auburn


The California Highway Patrol was questioning the driver and passenger of a white box truck following what the CHP believes were shots fired at one of their officers in Auburn Friday morning.

The truck was located at Sierra College in Rocklin and impounded. The CHP said the truck's occupants were cooperating.

What were believed to be gunshots were heard shortly after 10 a.m. near westbound Interstate 80 and Ophir Road.

The CHP officer was on the Nevada Street off ramp and was not hit.

According the driver of a big rig who had been pulled over by the officer for allegedly speeding, while he and officer were talking, someone drove by and three gunshots rang out. The truck driver was not hit either.

The Placer County Sheriff's Office was assisting. Sheriff's spokesperson Dena Erwin said the gunshots were fired from a white box truck going westbound on I-80.

Cold case double-homicide solved after 24 years; man arrested


A cold case involving a couple found shot to death at their Weimer home in 1991 appears to be solved 24 year later.

The Placer County Sheriff's Office announced Thursday that 54-year-old Joseph Victor Foster was arrested at Soledad State Prison. Investigators believe Foster is responsible for the deaths of 33-year-old Jacqueline Barton and 37-year-old Hugh Cleveland Gresham on Jan. 7, 1991 at their Ponderosa Way residence.

Foster was transported to Placer County Jail where he was booked on two counts of murder. He was already serving a 50-years-to-life sentence in prison for kidnapping and raping a family member in Modesto in 2006.

Sheriff's spokesperson Dena Erwin said dozens of people were interviewed following the deaths of Barton and Gresham but the case soon went cold.

Placer missing teen found safe


COLFAX, Calif. - Missing teenager, 14-year-old Robert Erickson, has been found safe less than 100 yards from his mother's home where he seemed to vanish early Sunday morning.

His younger brother told family members Robert had gone out a window of the house at 8:30 on Sunday morning.

Community members and his family began searching for him soon after, putting missing posters up at local stores and restaurants.

A major search was scaling up Monday evening when searchers suddenly spotted Erickson walking down a neighbor's driveway near his mother's house.

"He said that he's been just on the hills here, that he tried to get down to the river, but saying he doesn't remember parts of it," said Robert's father, Chad Erickson.

"He seems to be ok. I know he's scared," he said. "There's gonna have to be a lot of additional support that comes behind this."

Ecoterrorist released from prison due to government misconduct


Eric McDavid of Foresthill, sentenced to prison for nearly 20 years after being convicted of eco-terrorism, was released from prison Thursday after it was demonstrated the federal government didn't share documents at his 2007 trial.

McDavid's defense team successfully argued FBI misconduct led to his arrest and conviction for conspiracy to destroy property by fire or explosion. McDavid and two co-defendants were accused of plotting to blow up Nimbus Dam in Sacramento County.

According to a news release from the Civil Liberties Defense Center defending McDavid, the FBI withheld documents from his trial defense attorneys indicating they used informant "Anna" to entrap him.

Man wanted in Nevada County double shooting arrested


A man wanted in connection to a double shooting in Penn Valley was arrested Friday night.

James Donald Carman, 61, was wanted for allegedly shooting a man in the face and a woman multiple times in her upper body Friday morning, Nevada County Sheriff Keith Royal said. The victims were taken to area hospitals to get treatment, but their conditions are unknown.

Deputies were searching for Carman since Friday morning after getting reports of the double shooting near Flying T and Rex Reservoir roads. A California Highway Patrol helicopter assisted deputies from the sky during the search.

Carman was taken into custody that night after sheriff's detectives talked to him and arranged a meeting, Cpl. Shane Peltzer said Saturday. He was booked into Nevada County Jail for assault with a deadly weapon and parole violation.