Serving the communities of Valley Springs, Burson and Wallace
A windshield was shattered in the fifth roadway shooting Dec. 22.
Roadway shooting spree terrorizes Valley Springs
Peace in the Valley Springs area during the holiday season was
shattered by a roadway shooting spree last Tuesday.
The Calaveras County Sheriff’s Department received reports
from six motorists who were victims of the shootings and miraculously
none of them were injured.
It appears at this time the suspect is shooting at vehicles
from the side of the road as well as when he or she passes in a
vehicle, according to Sgt. Dave Seawell of the sheriff’s department.
There is one description that the suspect vehicle might be a
light-colored late model sedan
The sheriff’s department has called in all available personnel to patrol the Valley Springs area in response to the shootings and urges anyone with information regarding the case to call the department’s public line at 754-6500, or the anonymous tip line at 754-6030.
The first shooting occurred at 5:15 a.m. when a 37-year-old
female was on her way to work traveling north on Hartvickson Lane near
Partridge Road. The glass on the driver’s side window of her vehicle
shattered. The victim pulled to the side of the road and discovered a
bullet hole in the driver’s side door just below the window. The
victim reported she did not see any vehicles pass her.
The second shooting occurred a half-hour later on Highway 12
near Evans Road. A woman was traveling westbound on the highway when
she heard a loud bang. The victim thought her vehicle kicked up a rock
that struck the vehicle. The victim later discovered her vehicle had a
bullet hole in the driver’s side passenger door. The victim reported
she had passed a vehicle that was traveling eastbound on Highway 12,
but could not provide a description due to it being dark.
Ten minutes later at approximately 5:55 a.m., a 52-year-old
woman was driving was eastbound on Highway 26 near St. Andrews Road
when her vehicle was shot. Deputies recovered a bullet that traveled
through the vehicle's hood and lodged in the engine compartment. The
victim reported a vehicle had passed her westbound, but she could not
provide a description due to the darkness at that time.
The last shooting in the morning occurred at 6:10 a.m. on
Highway 26 at Silver Rapids Road. A 49-year-old man was driving
westbound on the highway when a bullet struck the side view mirror of
his vehicle. The victim said he did not pass any vehicles or see any
vehicles in the area.
The shootings resumed that night at 10:30 p.m. on Highway 26
west of Vista Del Lago. A 55-year-old man was driving eastbound on the
highway west of Vista Del Lago as an unknown vehicle approached from
the opposite direction. The victim said he heard a loud bang and his
vehicle’s windshield shattered. The victim stated he could not
identify the suspect vehicle as it had its high beams on.
The final shooting was at 10:50 p.m. on Highway 26 near the
Jenny Lind Approach Road. A 37-year-old male was westbound on the
highway when a bullet was shot through the driver's side window of his
vehicle. The bullet exited through the passenger side window. The
victim said he had passed a vehicle traveling eastbound on Hwy 26. The
victim observed a flash as the vehicle passed and then his windows
shattered. He said he pulled to the side of the road and noticed the
vehicle he had passed had stopped. The victim, fearing for his safety
proceeded to drive out of the area. The victim described the suspect
vehicle as being a light-colored late model sedan.
In addition, the department is investigating a drive-by
shooting on Dec. 17 at a residence on Highway 26 near Vista Del Lago.
It is unknown whether the drive-by shooting is related to Tuesday’s
roadway shootings. Investigators have recovered bullets from the
shootings and can confirm all of the bullets are similar and came from
a small-caliber weapon. Investigators have not found a link between
the victims or a motive for the shootings at this time.
Decorating contest winners 112 Gold Standard Court, above, and 1005 Mockingbird Hill, below.
Valley Springs' best decorated homes recognized
Tis the season for
outdoor decorating in the Valley Springs area with a wide array of
lights ushering in the Christmas season and two local homeowners groups
announcing the winners of their holiday decoration contests.
Gino and Jamie Baiocchi at 112 Gold Standard Court took
first-place honors in the Gold Creek Estates contest, while the third
annual Christmas Decorating Contest at New Hogan Lake Estates had
several winners in separate categories.
The economy may be down this year, but the spirits were up on Mockingbird Hill and all the other streets in New Hogan Lake Estates. More than 30 homes were decorated and there was even a motor home decorated whose owners were visiting friends for the holidays.
The New Hogan Lake Estates winners were: Nick and Sheena
Sauders, 1005 Mockingbird Hill, best lights; Cloves and Tiffani Tennis,
best theme; Larry and Diane Wolff, best yard display, and Lynn MacKenzie,
best effort. Each of the winners received a $100 cash prize.
The judges felt this was the toughest year yet to decide
upon the winners and New Hogan Estates is planning on having more
categories next year so more people can win. The public is invited to
drive through the neighborhood and enjoy the holiday spirit.
Christmas is a special time of year for Gino Baiocchi. He and his
family have been decorating their house for a number of years. The
Baiocchis finished second in last year’s Gold Creek contest.
“It’s a huge team effort,” Gino said. He concentrates on
decorating the outside, while Jamie and their daughters decorate the
He doesn’t decorate with the intent on winning.
“I always decorate,” Gino said. “This has a lot of meaning
to me. It brings up special feelings of how it ought to be.”
The Baiocchis switched from regular to LED lighting this year and
Gino said it made a huge difference in the number of lights in use and
they hope to see their electric bill decrease.
“LED is the way to go,” Gino said.
They paid an extra $350 last year on their Christmas time
electric bill and hope to see the cost lowered by two-thirds.
“We’ll know more in January when the bill comes,” Jaime
The family also is big on Halloween decorations
and a popular stop for trick-or-treaters.
Liz and Phil Weaver accepting the Valley Springs Area Business Association's annual Citizen of the Year Award Saturday evening.
Liz and Phil Weaver selected Citizens of the YearBy Nick Baptista
The couple instrumental in
working behind the scenes organizing the annual Christmas Parade will be close
to the beginning of the entourage at next year’s event in the grand marshal
car as Liz and Phil Weaver have been named the Valley
Springs Area Business Association’s Citizens of the Year.
Liz, among her many civic duties has been the parade’s chairwoman, and Phil
does the heavy lifting.
Phil has lived in Calaveras County for 20 years and Liz for nearly 12. Phil has
been in the martial arts business for 15 years and seven years ago the couple
opened Sheng Chi, which is located at 139 Main St.
In addition, the couple can be found in the kitchen cooking for the Valley
Springs Friends of the Library’s annual melodrama, and their business sponsors
the annual Kid’s Day celebration.
Phil is also a director for the Society
for the Preservation of West Calaveras History, while Liz has been a board
member for the Calaveras Unified School District’s Education Foundation the
past six years, is an advisory member on the ABA board, and is a member of the
Rotary Club of West Calaveras.
The couple also started the Sheng
Chi Foundation, which provides funding for the area’s returning veterans,
at-risk and special needs children to receive martial arts instruction and enjoy
its mental and physical benefits. The foundation is looking at the possibility
of expanding the program next year to serve the area’s senior citizens.
“We were very surprised, especially after hearing who else was under
consideration,” Liz said. “We’re in very good company.”
In addition to the Weavers, Dr. Jim Green, Dave and Jan Evans, Valley Springs News owners Nick Baptista and Vip Hale, and Cliff and Willene Seavey were under consideration.
The multipurpose room at Toyon Middle School was filled last Wednesday with more than 300 pieces of student artwork on public display.
Toyon students display artistic talents
Students at Toyon Middle School treated the public to more than
300 pieces of artwork during Wednesday’s end of the semester art show.
The show was entitled “The Power of Peace – A Journey Towards
Peace As Seen, Imagined and Painted by Toyon Middle School Art Students”
and also contained poems by students in teacher Teresa Fasola’s
creative writing class and students in teacher Cyndy Larson’s tech
class used their computer skills to typeset the poems in customized
The artwork of approximately 168 students appeared at the
exhibit, said art teacher Kevin Hesser. Student paintings, collages and
other pieces of artwork from the semester were displayed in the school’s
multipurpose room. Almost every art class student chose to display at
least one of the pieces they prepared during the semester.
Another art show is planned for the second semester and students
can submit pieces from either semester.
Junior and Natalie Hernandez of Valley Springs take advantage of Monday morning’s rare snowfall by tossing snowballs at one another near the Chevron station located on Highway 26 at Nove Way.
week starts with snow in Valley Springs
It was turmoil for some and
fun for others as Calaveras County was hit with an unusually cold storm
that left snow at low levels Monday morning including a few inches in
Between 5 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Monday, the San Andreas office of the CHP responded to 72
weather-related incidents. Of those, 26 were traffic collisions or
spinouts. In addition, there were numerous reports of downed trees,
power lines and rockslides blocking lanes and disrupting traffic.
PG&E crews were hard at work in the wet and cold conditions on
several power outages throughout the county.
It was fun for local youngsters as the Calaveras Unified School District and the county’s other school districts closed for the day. The telltale signs of the snow mixed with children included a number of snowmen dotting the local landscape.
There were no major injuries
locally attributed to the storm.
State Route 4 was closed for
approximately three hours between Angels Camp and Copperopolis due to
numerous vehicles, including a big rig, spinning out.
The county Government Center
closed at 3 p.m. Monday due to the storm and did not resume regular
hours until 10 a.m. Tuesday. The Board of Supervisors meeting was
delayed from its regular starting time of 9 a.m. on Tuesdays until 10:30
The National Weather Service
issued a frost advisory through Wednesday morning and the CHP has issued
a warning due to the cold weather and icy roads.
The CHP is asking motorists to
carry chains at all times since the snow level may fluctuate and reduce
speed and allow additional space between vehicles. In addition, allow
extra time for travel in inclement conditions and carry blankets, water,
food and extra warm clothing in case of emergencies.
The Calaveras County Sheriff’s
Department is asking residents to limit their movement to essential
travel only during the icy conditions.
The five-day forecast calls
for stormy weather to return on Thursday and last until Sunday.
Although flooding is not
expected, sand and sand bags are available locally at the county road
department’s Jenny Lind station, 11558 Milton Road, or at the
government center in San Andreas below the red barn and past the series
of modular buildings.
Historically speaking, it was
back in 2006 when the snow level reached New Hogan Reservoir. In the
spring of 2007, snowfall was recorded at Pardee Lake and in March of
this year, a storm left several inches of snow on nearby Buena Vista
The Calaveras County Sheriff's Department and Foothill Fire Protection District cordoned off Laurel Street last Wednesday morning after an explosive device was found in the area.
3 arrested in connection with bomb case
Three Valley Springs residents were arrested last week on
suspicion of a variety of felonies – including drug, cruelty to a
child and possession of explosive device offenses.
Vernon Keith Moore, 25, was arrested at 1:45 p.m. Tuesday a short
distance from his Sequoia Avenue residence. He fled on foot from his
residence while Calaveras County deputies were attempting to serve a
warrant. A day later, a pipe bomb was located in the vicinity of his
initial arrest. The Calaveras bomb squad was dispatched to the scene and
Laurel Street between Sequoia and Daphne Street was closed for about an
The sheriff’s department then obtained a search warrant for a
residence Moore was frequenting.
Cameron Patelzick and Brandy Felts-Patelzick, both 36, were
arrested at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday after the search warrant was served at
their 5975 Thornicroft Drive house.
Approximately .6 grams of methamphetamine and approximately 20
prescription pills were located inside the house, according to the
sheriff’s department. A .357-caliber revolver and ammunition were
located in a case in the garage.
In the course of the investigation, bomb making materials and
unspent explosive devices were also located. The department says Moore
made numerous destructive devices and he detonated three of them and two
more unspent devices were taken as evidence.
The Patelzicks were arrested on suspicion of possessing a
controlled substance, committing a felony while armed and willful
cruelty to a child. Bail for each has been set at $105,000.
In addition, to Moore’s warrant, he faces new charges of resisting arrest, destroying or concealing evidence, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a dangerous weapon, possession of an explosive device in public, use of an explosive device with intent to injure, willful cruelty to a child, committing a felony while armed and conspiracy to commit a felony. Bail for him has been set at $7.3 million.