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Caltrans equips fleet with high-tech devices

Caltrans equips fleet with high-tech devices

SACRAMENTO (AP) - California's transportation agency is spending $2.5 million to update its fleet of vehicles with high-tech gear.

The Sacramento Bee reported Saturday that Caltrans is installing GPS tracking devices on its 7,500 sedans, snow plows, trucks and other vehicles. The devices will report where vehicles are traveling, how long they idle and their speed among other things.

The devices will also track which employee is driving.

In July, the California Highway Patrol found a stolen Caltrans vehicle and arrested a thief within an hour of it going missing because of a GPS tracking device.

The devices cost $2.5 million and Caltrans will spend another $1.5 million on a reporting system annually.

California officials unveil 'Johnny Cash Trail'

SACRAMENTO (AP) - The city of Folsom has completed the first section of the "Johnny Cash Trail" that will pay tribute to the country music icon and his 1968 album "At Folsom Prison."

City officials planned to unveil the first section of the 2.5-mile trail on Saturday - a pedestrian and bike bridge designed to echo Folsom State Prison's east gate guard towers, according to the Sacramento Bee.

The trail will traverse prison property and link to area trails.

The newspaper reports that the city is planning a $3 million fundraising drive to pay for a 2-acre park next to the bridge and art installations along the trail - including a 40-foot steel statue of Cash.

Cash's daughter Rosanne Cash was at the ribbon cutting ceremony and spoke to the crowd.

Folsom to challenge approved increase in cargo flights to Mather Airport

On Tuesday, the Folsom City Council unanimously agreed to file a lawsuit challenging the recent approval by Sacramento County of the Mather Master Plan and related environmental documents.

In a release issued by the City of Folsom, spokesperson Sue Ryan stated the lawsuit cites a failure by Sacramento County to consider significant noise impacts on residents and neighbors from increased air traffic directly over Folsom.

"We value our relationship with the County and this decision was not taken lightly," said Folsom Mayor Kerri Howell. "The long-term impacts to Folsom residents are too great and a legal challenge is the only alternative remaining. If the Master Plan proceeds as planned and Mather is converted to a significant cargo hub, the impacts on the residents of Folsom will be significant into perpetuity, and that is unacceptable."

West Nile virus poses special September threat

West Nile virus poses special September threat

SACRAMENTO - The West Nile virus continues to be a problem throughout California with more than twice the number of human cases compared to same time last year.

All month, public health officials have focused on preventive spraying across the region to combat the West Nile virus. One recent target was Oki Park, near Rosemont. That was good news for those gathered at the park Saturday afternoon, especially for Lyn Piegaro who was diagnosed with West Nile virus several years ago.

"It's debilitating. It's very hard, and I'm guessing for the kids and older people it's even worse, which is why I'm very happy that they spray," Piegaro said.

The website FIGHTtheBITE.net shows recently sprayed areas like the section of the American River just north of Oki Park.

Couple missing from Folsom elderly community found

Two people missing from an elder care community in Folsom were located Thursday afternoon.

Police Officer Andrew Bates said Harriet Ensrud, 92, and Steven Gallagher, 63, were reported missing from Park Folsom Senior Retirement Community on the 200 block of Wales Drive Thursday morning.

No information was provided on where they were found.

The Folsom Police Department thanked all who provided tips on the pair's disappearance.

Orangevale man invents 'coolest' wheelchair

Taking risks and living life to the extreme hasn't changed for Trevor Snowden. The only difference - he's doing it in a wheelchair.

"In a lot of aspects, the life I led as an able bodied person, being fast, wild, obnoxious -- I became humbled," Snowden explained.

Snowden was a hot-shot snowboarder until he got injured during a competition in 1997.

"I overshot my landing and I broke my T12 vertebrae," Snowden said.

He suddenly found himself paralyzed from the waist down. As someone who lived without limits, he wasn't happy with any wheelchairs on the market.

"There's no freedom in it, most of the products that exist," Snowden said.

So he invented Trevair, a lightweight manual wheelchair with suspension. For the more daring, he also made an add-on electric scooter with a throttle.

Craft beer lovers to tap Folsom Friday night

FOLSOM, Calif. - About 2,000 people are expected to drink Historic Folsom dry Friday night when the inaugural Tap Folsom craft beer festival takes place.

Twenty five craft breweries will be pouring samples during the four-hour event. Nationally renowned brewers, such as Ballast Point, Dogfish Head, Anchor, New Belgium, Ommegang, Avery and Bear Republic will be joined by local favorites Mraz Brewing Company, Knee Deep Brewing Company and Lockdown Brewing Company.

Several live bands will be playing throughout the night and a variety of food options will be available from mobile vendors and food trucks, in addition to Sutter Street's resident eateries.