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Headline News

An Epic Day for Eppie’s Athletes

Story and Photos by Susan Maxwell Skinner
Posted: 8/7/2015

A Dozen Cyclists Race Along the Path
Last weekend, Eppie’s Great Race tested athletes from across the nation. 1,300 cyclists turned bike trails into speedways.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG)- Almost two years after its founder died, Eppie’s Great Race endures as restaurateur and philanthropist Eppie Johnson’s legacy. Inspired by his love of the American River Parkway and dedication to fitness, Arcade resident Johnson began an annual event that has become almost as central to Sacramento summers as Independence Day.

For the 42nd Eppie’s Great Race last weekend, the American River flowed cool and fast. In contrast, morning Parkway temperatures rose to challenge more than 1,300 athletes. As it has since 1974, the “world’s oldest triathlon” set a cracking pace through stretches of Sacramento, Arcade, Carmichael, Fair Oaks, and Rancho Cordova. Participants ranged in age from 11 to over 80 years old. The overall winner was a 57-year-old Sacramento orthodontist, Dr. Vic Vicari. The Ironman sealed his 11th Eppie’s victory in less than one hour and 50 minutes.

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DMV Issues Nearly 400,000 Licenses Under AB 60

Posted: 8/7/2015

California Department of Motor Vehicles Logo

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - During the first six months of implementing Assembly Bill 60 (AB 60), the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has issued approximately 397,000 driver’s licenses to undocumented applicants who have met all requirements necessary to enjoy driving privileges in California. This figure represents more than half of the total 759,000 original driver’s licenses that have been distributed during the first half of 2015.

“The latest numbers reflect the continued successful implementation of AB 60,” said DMV Director Jean Shiomoto. “The DMV was determined to develop a process that would not only meet the stringent requirements of this new law, but also the unique needs of our newly expanded customer base.”

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Records Shattered During 2015 California State Fair

Posted: 7/31/2015

California State Fair Blue Ribbon

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA - Record numbers of guests attended the California State Fair in 2015 and business was incredibly strong for vendors and horse racing during the 17-day annual State Fair. Total attendance grew to 787,833 in 2015, up from 750,445 in 2014. This represented more than 37,000 additional visitors—a 5% increase year over year—that came to Cal Expo to celebrate the best 17 days of summer.

The average daily total attendance was the highest since 2007 at 45,992 and the average daily paid attendance was the highest in 10 years. Paid attendance was up 4.1% from 556,440 to 579,338. The State Fair has run for 17 days since 2013; from 2007-2009 and from 2011-2012 the Fair ran for 18 days. In 2010, the Fair ran for 19 days.

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On-the-Job Training Increases, Employment Pool Shrinks

Posted: 7/24/2015

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Employee retention, qualified applicants, and specialized skills are motivating more in-house training and opportunity in the Sacramento area. Internships and probationary and apprenticeship programs are growing as the pool of skilled workers shrinks. For several quarters, an increasing number of Sacramento’s top regional companies have noted growing problems with finding enough qualified applicants (those with specific, often technical skills) and keeping the employees currently on the job. Falling unemployment, recovery from recession years, and an aging workforce are thinning the formerly large numbers applying. Pacific Staffing discovered a “back to the future” approach when polling local companies, finding a vast majority (76%) report having existing or now using more on-the-job training in meeting specific workforce needs in hiring.

Sacramento regional employers were asked, “Is it time for employers to open work to entry levels and train on the job for specific proprietary needs?” Just 23% didn’t have or support on-the-job training, while 1% didn’t answer. The apprentice or “old school” approach to filling employment needs has never gone completely out of style with Sacramento regional companies. As some HR contacts noted when surveyed directly between May 19th and June 19th, 2015, a policy to recruit from local sources and train within the company for specific skills also reaps greater loyalty and individual company and geographic identity.

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New Landscape Watering Limits Set by SSWD

Offers Rebate Programs to Help Customers Conserve

Posted: 7/17/2015

Fight the Drought!  Make Every Drop Count!

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento Suburban Water District (SSWD) has put new outdoor watering restrictions in place that limit landscape irrigation to two days per week on specific days and times.

The new watering guidelines are designed to encourage water reductions in light of the severe drought plaguing California and new directives from the Governor and State Water Resources Control Board to reduce water use. SSWD is required to reduce its water use by 32%.

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SMUD Receives Recognition for Reliable Electric Operations

Posted: 7/17/2015

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) is one of 191 of the nation’s more than 2,000 public power utilities to earn the Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) designation from the American Public Power Association (APPA) for providing consumers with the highest degree of reliable and safe electric service.

Kenneth Stone, energy services and accounting manager at Braintree Electric Light Department of Braintree, Massachusetts, and executive committee member of APPA’s RP3 Review Panel, presented the designees on May 18th during the association’s annual Engineering and Operations Technical Conference held in Sacramento.

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Debbie Olympius and Lilly, the Head Goat
Flock leader Lilly greets her boss.

Goats in the Moat

Wilhaggin Basin Has Eco-Friendly Trim

Story and Photos by Susan Maxwell Skinner
Posted: 7/3/2015

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - If it takes 100 goats two weeks to do what machines and herbicides might achieve in days, American River Drive residents have few complaints.

Employed by Sacramento County for brush clearing in Wilhaggin Detention Basin, the herd was recently trucked in from Herald. Over 14 days, the herbivores munched through the 10-acre trough that protects lowland Carmichael/Arden from floods. “It’s the second year we’ve employed them here,” said County senior engineer Rod Goss. “Goats take time to do the job but they’re more cost-effective than sending in men and machines. They’re good on steep terrain where human ankles have been turned. They free up County staff to deal with emergency situations at times of fire risk. After goats do their work, we’ve found weed regrowth is limited. Less ongoing maintenance is needed.”

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'Rabbit Ears' Contributors Discuss Comedic Contributions
Victoria Cain discusses Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) and the art of movie riffing. Since MST3K ended in 1999, finding comedy in bad filmmaking has become something of an art among niche groups. Members of this panel have their own comedy riffing show called Rabbit Ears.
Photo by Christie Spurlock

Comic Con Captivates Crowds

By Christie Spurlock and Allison Buchholtz
Posted: 7/3/2015

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - From June 19th through 21st, pop culture fans of all kinds swarmed into the Sacramento Convention Center to see their favorite celebrities, buy geeky wares, and show off their best costumes. Before the official start of the Con, Wizard World organized a Thursday pre-party and red carpet event, featuring Chris 51 (Epic Ink), Sean Patrick Flannery (The Boondock Saints), and Jason David Frank (Power Rangers). It also included a 3D IMAX screening of Jurassic World.

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Emily Marie Grant, Jason F. Knittle II, Tessa Zehnder, Charlie Holliday, Jodi L. Church
Cast members from left to right: Emily Marie Grant plays the part of Mandy Sanders, the mother of Robert Sanders (played by Jason F. Knittle II). Jason F. Knittle II plays the part of a 17 year old who witnesses a murder. Tessa Zehnder plays the part of Sara in RELLIK. Charlie Holliday is an actor and a SAG (Screen Actors Guild) Union Representative for Northern California. Jodi L. Church on the red carpet.
Photos by Christie Spurlock.
Photo illustration by Messenger Publishing Group.

Local Filmmakers Premiere Crime Thriller

By Christie Spurlock
Posted: 7/3/2015

SACRAMENTO REGION , CA (MPG) - On June 21st, the locally based crime thriller pilot of RELLIK premiered at both Wizard World Sacramento Comic Con and the Tower Theatre in Roseville. The Roseville premiere featured most of the cast and crew, and the excitement was palpable as everyone saw the results of their work on the big screen.

RELLIK was directed by Tim Russ, known primarily for his role as Tuvok on Star Trek Voyager. Originally contacted to act in the series, Russ was intrigued by the script and ended up directing instead. The cast and crew hope that the web series will be picked up by a streaming service for wider distribution.

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Lady Antebellum: A Traveling Family

By Shaunna Boyd
Posted: 6/19/2015


Drop in Folsom Lake Levels Could Lead to Half Million Without Water

Posted: 6/19/2015


The Crocker Art Museum Presents ‘David Ligare: California Classicist’

Posted: 6/5/2015


State Indian Museum Presents Annual Gathering of Honored Elders

Posted: 6/5/2015


Wizard World Comic Con Returns to Sacramento

Posted: 6/5/2015


On the Streets

An Uncertain Future for Area’s Homeless

Story and Photos by John-Michael Kibrick
Posted: 6/5/2015


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