Man suffers burns in flash fire
A 38-year-old man was flown by helicopter to UC Davis Medical Center on Wednesday evening with second- and third-degree burns over 40 percent of his body, according to Battalion Chief Jeff Larson.
The man was spray-painting in his basement in the 200 block of East Redwood Street when he threw the aerosol can aside. It was punctured, likely by a nail, and caused a flash fire when it came in contact with the hot water heater, firefighters said.
They arrived on scene after the fire was extinguished. The basement, however, was still full of fumes, and the odor could be detected from the street.
The victim was able to run outside, grab a garden hose and extinguish both the fire and himself.
He suffered burns over the front of his legs and on his forearms and one shoulder, and was wrapped in yellow burn sheets. His hair was singed and he received facial burns.
Firefighters on scene originally did not believe the man inhaled any fumes which can be potentially deadly, and he was transported by ground ambulance to Lodi Memorial Hospital.
His condition worsened, however, and was flown to a hospital with higher care after his tongue swelled, redness increased and body blistered. Further, Larson said, he ended up with respiratory burns.
Judge orders doctor's report for arson suspect
After two doctors disagreed on the mental status of a Lodi man charged with arson, a San Joaquin County judge ordered a third doctor's report Tuesday.
Charged with arson of an inhabited building, Brian Lehr, 42, is being held in the county jail in French Camp on $25,000 bail.
He is accused of starting a fire May 10 in a garage attached to his parents' house in the 2400 block of Corbin Lane. Damage from the fire was estimated at $50,000.
Shortly after the fire, Lehr was taken to a mental health facility, and he was arrested after walking away from the center June 5. He has since pleaded innocent to the arson charges.
Though Lehr was originally found competent to stand trial, a second doctor had a different opinion.
On Wednesday, Judge Michael N. Garrigan appointed a third doctor to evaluate Lehr, according to court records. That report is scheduled to be reviewed in court Sept. 30.
Cleaning up the Mokelumne River
Residents are invited to help clean up the Mokelumne River on Saturday at a special event to coincide with California annual "Coastal Cleanup Day."
In cooperation with the city of Stockton and San Joaquin County's Stormwater Education Coordinators, several studies from Elkhorn School's 7th and 8th grade classes have requested that the city of Lodi host such an event.
Elkhorn's students have to satisfy a seven-hour per quarter community service project, and this event will satisfy this requirement.
On Saturday, work groups will be assigned to various "hot spots" along the lake and river. Sponsors include California Waste Recovery Systems which is providing trash removal services, Starbucks Coffee and lake docent Pat Fehling.
Those who are interested should wear work clothes and arrive at the Lodi Lake Park Discovery Center at 8:30 a.m. Crews will work until approximately noon.
For more information, call the city Parks and Recreation Department at 333-6740.
Clare first vice president of League of Cities
Galt Mayor Darryl Clare was recently named first vice president of the League of California Cities' Central Valley Division.
The Central Valley Division covers 26 cities in San Joaquin, Calaveras, Madera, Merced, Stanislaus and Tuolumne counties. Galt is the only city in Sacramento County within the Central Valley Division.
BMD president is guest speaker at luncheon
Steve Ellinwood, president of Building Materials Distributors in Galt, will be the guest speaker at today's Galt Chamber of Commerce luncheon.
The luncheon will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Hunan House Restaurant, located in the Galt Plaza shopping center, 1067 C St. Door prizes will include a savings bond, car detailing and a gift certificate. For more information, call 745-2529.
Orangevale man gets time for airgun shooting
An Orangevale man was sentenced to nearly six years in federal prison Wednesday for shooting a postal worker in the neck with a pellet.
Matthew J. Burdick, 33, pleaded guilty in federal court in Sacramento in May to shooting a pellet gun at letter carrier Dalvir Sangha as Sangha was delivering mail to a nearby home in Orangevale on July 19, 2002.
The pellet lodged in Sangha's neck, which Sangha said left him with physical limitations and fear. He underwent surgery to remove the pellet and remains under medical care, prosecutors said.
District Judge William Shubb sentenced Burdick to 70 months in prison, short of the 10 years he could have faced for assault with a dangerous weapon. Burdick also was ordered to pay restitution of $25,395.
Sacramento parade rules under criticism
Activists urged the Sacramento City Council to rescind a parade ordinance they say led to violations of their First Amendment rights.
The ordinance, passed just a week before an international agriculture conference last June, prohibits people in parades or protests from carrying dangerous items or wearing gas masks or bandannas over the face.
So far 10 people have filed complaints with the city's Office of Police Accountability and two claims have been filed citing police misconduct for the way police interacted with protesters during the Ministerial Conference and Expo on Agricultural Science in late June.
Interim Police Chief Albert Najera Tuesday praised law enforcement's handling of the event, saying although First Amendment rights were protected, safety was a priority.
"We were not going to allow anyone to cause physical damage, to hurt anybody. They were not going to shut down Sacramento," Najera said.
More than 1,500 protesters marched against the biotechnology conference. They were met by hundreds of officers in riot gear and on horseback, bikes and motorcycles.
"I want to live in a safe community, but I don't want to hand over my civil liberties," said Craig Tucker, a member of the Sacramento Coalition for Sustainable Agriculture, a group that helped organize the protest. "This ordinance goes too far. The police response was clearly over the top."
Two die, one injured in collision near Fairfield
Two people were killed when a van traveling on eastbound on Interstate 80 near Fairfield crossed the center divide and struck an oncoming car head on.
Westbound I-80 was completely closed at Travis Boulevard for two hours Wednesday morning, California Highway Patrol Officer Chuck Monroe said. At one point traffic was backed up to Vacaville.
A third driver involved in the chain reaction crash caused by the collision was injured and taken to a local hospital by ground ambulance.
The CHP said they received reports of a small silver van swerving through traffic and traveling in all four lanes on eastbound I-80 Wednesday morning. Just as they put out dispatches to track down the vehicle, the van swerved far to the right, cutting through the center divide and into the fast lane of westbound I-80.
The van crashed into a small green car head on. Both drivers died at the scene.
- From staff and wire