Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians Program Now Serving 4 Counties

WEST SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - The Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians announced today that they will be expanding Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) to Yolo County starting today.

“We are excited to be expanding the program to Yolo County,” said Tribal Chairperson Regina Cuellar.  “Every tribal family needs to have access to resources.  As of today, our Tribal TANF will now be able to help those Native American families in need from Yolo County.”

Yolo County’s Tribal TANF offices will initially share its space with Yolo County Health and Human Services Agency in West Sacramento. Those interested in Tribal TANF services in Yolo County can contact (888) 688-6816 to schedule an intake appointment at either 500 Jefferson Boulevard, West Sacramento or 25 N. Cottonwood Street, Woodland. In the coming months, Tribal TANF hopes to open its own offices in West Sacramento and Woodland. 

“These services are available for the neediest tribal families,” said Executive Director Daniel Delgado.  “We would not be able to provide services throughout the Sacramento Valley region and expand into Yolo County if not for the generosity, leadership, and support from the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians.”

The TANF program, which is time limited, assists families with children when the parents or other responsible relatives cannot provide for the family's basic needs.  The program provides educational development, career development, vocational training, child care, transitional services, teen pregnancy prevention, and parenting skills classes as well as monthly cash assistance.

The Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians runs the Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program in El Dorado, Placer and Sacramento counties.  The program serves hundreds of needy Native American families with the goal of providing the tools and teaching skills to allow the families to achieve self-sufficiency.

"Our program incorporates culture and traditions into all services provided to strengthen Native American families and assist with issues which create barriers to self-sufficiency,” added Delgado.

The mission of the Shingle Springs Tribal TANF Program is to shift Native Americans  from a pattern of chronic unemployment and welfare dependency to one of self-reliance and sustainable prosperity by developing a comprehensive web of support services and activities that form a pathway that income eligible and at-risk individuals and families can take as they make their journey toward self-sufficiency.

The Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians opened the Shingle Springs Tribal (TANF) Program in 2010.  

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The Yolo County District Attorney wrote and submitted the successful grant application

Woodland, CA (MPG) - December 31, 2018  Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig announced that on December 26, 2018,  his office’s grant team successfully assisted Fourth & Hope in obtaining funding to start a new transitional housing program. The grant will provide up to $1.5 million over a span of five years. This funding, awarded by the California Office of Emergency Services Transitional Housing (XH) Program, will provide community additional resources to effectively serve homeless victims of crime in Yolo County. 

Fourth & Hope has provided emergency shelter services in Yolo County since 1985. For 33 years, Fourth & Hope has demonstrated a commitment to addressing homelessness and helping some of the most vulnerable members of our community re-establish themselves. The organization is dedicated to changing lives, providing supportive services, and working closely with partners throughout Yolo County.

The Homeless Opportunity and Positive Engagement (HOPE) Housing Program will use a “housing first” model, which prioritizes placement in housing as the first step towards assisting the homeless in working towards self-sufficiency. The grant will fund a full-time Case Manager to work directly with homeless clients, with support from existing Fourth and Hope staff and volunteers. Empower Yolo will partner with Fourth and Hope on the project to provide rapid re-housing services to help clients secure permanent housing. Funds will also be used for security deposit financial assistance and short-term rental assistance for up to three months after moving into a permanent housing arrangement. Fourth & Hope will collaborate with the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office, the Public Defender’s Office, the Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA), the Woodland Police Department’s Homeless Outreach Street Team (HOST), Empower Yolo, and other local nonprofits to execute this new program.

The proposal was written by Jake Whitaker and Kevin Clark, two members of the District Attorney’s grant team, in collaboration with Amara Pickens at Fourth & Hope. This initiative is part of ongoing efforts by the District Attorney’s Office to partner with nonprofits and other county agencies in order to help secure funding to start new programs that align with Yolo County’s Strategic Plan priorities. During the past year, the District Attorney’s Office has assisted with putting together funding proposals on behalf of Fourth and Hope, Empower Yolo, the Probation Department, the Health and Human Services Agency, and CommuniCare Health Centers. In 2017, the District Attorney’s Office partnered with Empower Yolo and Shores of Hope to fund a new emergency shelter in West Sacramento. 

“We have an outstanding team of grant writers who are knowledgeable, dedicated and very creative,” said District Attorney Jeff Reisig.  “We are always pleased to assist our partners particularly when it comes to important causes such as homelessness.  We will continue to seek out partnerships with nonprofits and other county agencies to achieve shared policy goals.”

Fourth & Hope Executive Director Doug Zeck, Jr. expressed his appreciation for the community’s ongoing support of their mission.  "We are excited to increase capacity to serve the most vulnerable neighbors within our community. The ability to develop strong partnerships is key to long lasting stability for those we serve. Projects like this turn hope for housing into a reality.”

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Woodland, CA (MPG) - Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig announced December 21, 2018 that his office has secured a judgment against a cannabis cultivator, 28-year old Daniel Lopez from Antioch, who had grown hundreds of cannabis plants in Yolo County without a license.  The Honorable Kent O’Mara issued the judgment which requires Mr. Lopez to pay $2,808,000 in penalties and to comply with Yolo County’s cannabis laws.

Yolo County law requires commercial cultivators to obtain a license from the County before cultivating cannabis.  The District Attorney’s investigation found Mr. Lopez planted and cultivated 600 cannabis plants in the County without a license—and he did so after being previously informed of the need to have a license before cultivating.  Unlike licensed cannabis operations, Mr. Lopez’s plants were not tracked to ensure against diversion into the black market, the plants were not tested to ensure against excessive and harmful pesticide use, and his property was not inspected to prevent the many environmentally harmful practices commonly associated with unlawful cannabis operations.

Based on its investigation, the Yolo County District Attorney’s office filed a civil complaint against Mr. Lopez in December of 2017.  After Mr. Lopez impeded progress in the case and ignored several court orders, Judge Thomas Warriner issued terminating sanctions against him that ultimately resulted in a default judgment being issued against Mr. Lopez.  

“Yolo County law is clear that commercial cannabis cultivation is prohibited unless the cultivator holds a County license,” said District Attorney Reisig.  “This judgment sends a strong message that these rules serve a purpose, one of which is to protect the environment.”

The Yolo County Cannabis Task Force and Yolo County Department of Agriculture provided significant assistance in the investigation and prosecution of this matter.


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Woodland, CA (MPG) -  In January, Yolo County will be joining a number of neighboring cities and counties that have made their properties completely smoke-free. 

Following approval of the Board of Supervisors in August 2017, and effective January 1, 2019, county-owned properties throughout Yolo County will be smoke-free. This includes outdoor areas of the property, such as walkways and parking lots. The new policy prohibits smoking any product on property owned or leased by the county, including cigarettes, little cigars, marijuana and all electronic smoking devices.

To date, smokers have only been required to go 20 feet away from an entrance of a county buildings or to a designated smoking area to smoke. As employees, clients and visitors were still being impacted by the secondhand smoke, staff with the Yolo County Tobacco Prevention Program researched smoke-free policies in other counties meant to protect people from breathing in unwanted smoke in an effort to bring a similar policy to Yolo County. 

“Diseases caused by secondhand smoke continue to kill over 40,000 people in the United States each year,” said Yolo County Health Officer Dr. Ron Chapman, MD, MPH. “Smoke-free policies that address both indoor and outdoor spaces are some of the best ways to protect our community, reduce that number and keep our county healthy.”

Nearby counties such as Solano, Contra Costa and Placer have all made their properties smoke-free. West Sacramento made its city-owned buildings and parks smoke-free in 2017, and UC Davis has had a smoke-free campus since 2014. According to Tobacco Prevention Program staff, Yolo County’s new policy will not only protect the community from secondhand smoke, but will also make it easier for current smokers to quit with provisions for cessation programs. Additionally, the impact of the policy is expected to reduce tobacco waste surrounding county buildings and promote positive role modeling for youth and children who visit county facilities. These all fit into the county’s broader goal of creating a safe and thriving community. 

For those with questions about the new policy, contact the Yolo County Tobacco Prevention Program at (530) 666-8616. Those who wish to quit smoking are encouraged to call the California Smokers’ Helpline at 1-800-NO-BUTTS or visit Yolo County’s smoking cessation webpage at

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Sacramento Area Cadets Become CHP Officers

Story by Trina L. Drotar  |  2018-12-22

Photos by Trina L. Drotar and courtesy CHP

WEST SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) – When they woke on the morning of Friday, November 16, the 46 men and women who arrived for final inspection spent their last morning as California Highway Patrol cadets. The class of 43 men and 3 women received their stars in a ceremony filled with pomp, circumstance, and a lot of fun.

Poor air quality had cancelled the cadets’ run to the state capitol earlier in the week, and the final inspection had to be moved from the quad into the dining hall, and the emergency vehicle operator course (EVOC) demonstration was also cancelled, but none of those things dampened the spirit and the joy shared by cadets and their family and friends upon finishing a grueling six months at the state’s only CHP Academy.

Among the graduates was Margarito Meza, the first graduate in the Law Enforcement Candidate Scholars (LECS) program at Sacramento State which began in 2017 to prepare college students from all disciplines for careers as sworn law enforcement officers at the local and state level. Program director Shelby Moffatt and a large group of LECS students were on hand to support Meza. Four are currently in the CHP Academy and are expected to graduate in 2019.

Early arrivals toured the Academy’s museum and learned the history of the CHP and its role in popular culture. Timelines, motorcycles, including a rare 1941 model, and communications equipment spanning several decades are on display in the museum which is open to visitors Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:45 p.m. and is free of charge.

Not free were the hours of intense physical and mental training that cadets endured during their six months away from family and friends. Cadets live on the West Sacramento campus for the duration of their training and education which includes a host of courses from basic Spanish to marksmanship to how to perform field sobriety tests. They must pass the EVOC driver training, attain certification in arrest techniques, and keep on top of their physical training. During the ceremony, a short film created by the graduating class provided family and friends a glimpse of life during the past six months at the Academy.

Prior to the ceremony in which cadets received their badges, they underwent their final inspection. Photos were snapped and hugs were given to cadets for a few minutes before the inspection began. Commissioner Warren Stanley, Deputy Commissioner Scott Silsbee, Assistant Commissioners Amanda Ray and Nick Norton, and Captain James Mann greeted each cadet, moving through the ranks, shaking hands, and providing encouraging words to each.

In that group was Erik Rodriguez of West Sacramento whose family was joined by several of his military buddies who had flown in from Texas for his special day. The 34-year old veteran was honored with a plaque for being the class’s most inspirational cadet, and he was recognized for his work as one of the company commanders. He will report to the San Francisco Bay Area for his first assignment as an officer.

Graduates are required to report to their first assignments within ten days and are sent where the greatest need is so many were sent to the southern part of the state. Cadets select up to three possible choices and are never first stationed in Sacramento.

Perhaps the brightest smiles to be found were from Cortez Sanders of Sacramento, his parents, and his extended family. His proud father, Bennett, was also recognized during the ceremony as he is a CHP employee. Sanders’ mother, Adrienne, said that she is very proud of her son and all the work he put into becoming an officer. It was his father who held the honor of pinning the badge on his son, one of the traditions that did occur outside as is custom.

Cortez will report to Redwood City for his first assignment and will be joined there by fellow Sacramentan David Waggoner who was honored as outstanding athlete. Also headed to Redwood City are Trevor Gossett of Sacramento and David Tran of Elk Grove.

                For additional information, visit: For additional information about the LECS program, visit:

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Religious Freedom Conference

By Gary Zavoral  |  2018-12-22

From left, Associate Justice George Nicholson of the Third District Court of Appeals; Dr. John Mark Reynolds, a Houston Christian college administrator and popular Evangelical speaker; Elder Paul Watkins of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Dr. John Jackson, president of William Jessup University in Rocklin.

Area Christians Counseled to Be Civil When Debating Religious Freedom

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - About 600 Christians who gathered Friday, Nov. 16, to learn how to help preserve religious freedom in America were told to boldly declare their beliefs, but to debate civilly.

“And why must we do it civilly? Because the alternative is civil war,” said Dr. John Mark Reynolds, a Houston Christian college administrator and popular Evangelical speaker. “Not a shooting war, but a civil war of the soul, where we tear apart people … because we cannot compromise, because we cannot speak civilly, because we cannot just agree to disagree, but to boldly disagree.”

Reynolds, an expert on culture, society and philosophy, was the featured speaker in the first of three conferences bringing people of different faiths together to learn how to work side by side to preserve religious freedom. The series is presented by the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento, Rocklin’s William Jessup University and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This first conference was held at The Church of Jesus Christ’s Chapel on Temple Hill in Rancho Cordova.

To show how far the United States has come in its intolerance of religious views, Reynolds quoted former U.S. Pres. Teddy Roosevelt, who said at a national convention at the turn of the 20th century, “We stand at Armageddon and we battle for the Lord.”

“Can you imagine what the Washington Post would do to the presidential candidate who would dare to say that today?” Reynolds asked.

Reynolds drew from history – especially the Bolshevik revolution in Russia – to show the result of what happens to a culture and even entire nations when a society blocks religious rights.

“A culture will die when religious freedom dies,” he said, “because religious freedom is the first freedom.”

He told about his great-great-grandfather leaving his family and farm to volunteer to fight for “Mr. Lincoln and liberty” in the Civil War.

“When I am told that religious people should be quiet about their religious beliefs, I point out that my great-great-grandfather did not leave to fight for a secular state. But instead he marched to a song that said, ‘In the beauty of the lilies, Christ was born across the sea, with a glory in His figure that transfigures you and me, as He died to make men holy, let us’ – in the version I was taught – ‘die to make men free,  His truth is marching on.’ … His motivation was purely religious.”

Asked how we can effectively engage in a discussion about religious freedom among our neighbors in California, where there are so many voices wanting to squelch these freedoms and often are uncivil in their tone, he told of the four-fold lesson he learned from his mother, who loved to debate:

  1. If you lose your temper, you lose. He said to follow the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you, no matter how unpleasant others may be.
  2. Some people aren’t going to like you, even if you’re nice. “You can’t be so nice that you won’t have enemies.” After all, he said, “They killed Jesus, and you can’t get nicer than Jesus. I’m not trying to be flippant, but if you state your views clearly and you’re totally nice, there are still people who won’t like you.”
  3. Love your enemies. “Our Savior believed that you had to love your enemies, which means that Christians must be capable of making enemies. And some people are so nice that they’re incapable of making enemies. That’s not called being nice, that’s called being spineless.”
  4. Sometimes shut up. “When somebody is really suffering or hurting on an issue,” he said, “they come to you and say, for example, ‘Look, this sexual identity is central to my life and you disagree with me,’ just sit and listen. You’re probably not going to change anyone’s mind.” Reynolds said when he has had such disagreements, even with some in his own family, he tells them, “Here’s what I think, and I’ll tell you when I change my mind. … Because there’s more to life than this and we’ve clearly expressed our views, and we should just move on.” The relationship with family and friends is more important than the issue, he reminded the audience.

In closing, Reynolds told how Daniel of the Old Testament endured 70 years in Babylon, thanks in part to three or four miracles, but mostly because he was smart and cagey, having learned how to live among the Babylonians without having to compromise his core values and beliefs.

Emphasizing the need for civility in our conversations and debates, Reynolds said, “Some of us are so obnoxious that we need the miracle ratio to be daily, not one every 20 years. But if you’re getting yourself thrown into a lion’s den every day, you’re doomed.”

The next conference in this “Preserving Religious Freedom” series is planned for March 2019. For more on the series, including videos from local leaders on the importance of religious freedom, go to

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Sutter’s Fort to Present “Hands on History

By Traci Rockefeller Cusack   |  2018-11-25

"A Simple Emigrant Christmas" event at Sutter

"A Simple Emigrant Christmas" on December 8

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - California State Parks, Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park (SHP) and Friends of Sutter’s Fort are proud to present an interactive, fun and festive “Hands on History: A Simple Emigrant Christmas” event on Saturday, December 8, 2018, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.   

Fort visitors will be delighted to have the opportunity to step back in time to the 1850s to enjoy festive holiday traditions from early in California’s early history when people from around the world passed through the Fort gates, each with their own customs and traditions for the holiday season. Friends and families are encouraged to visit the Fort to experience a variety of early holiday traditions and cultural activities similar to what early emigrants enjoyed. Complete with docents in period attire, entertaining vignettes will be set up that showcase a few of the diverse holiday scenes that will include food, music, decorations and other holiday traditions. As a special treat for kids of all ages, Father Christmas will be on-hand to hear holiday wishes.

Fort visitors can also participate in a number of hands-on activities such as dipping and creating their own holiday candles, crafting their own “keepsake” holiday ornaments – that include snowflakes, cornhusk angels and bird nests – plus making holiday cards with nib (or “dip”) pens and colored ink, grinding raw wheat into “Christmas flour,” singing Christmas carols with Fort musicians and more.  And, of course, popular demonstrations of black powder weaponry in action will take place including the crowd-favorite firing of the Fort’s cannon. Additionally, Friends of Sutter's Fort Trade Store will be open, providing complimentary samples of gold nugget chocolates and offering a special holiday sale. 

Admission costs for this special “Hands on History: A Simple Emigrant Christmas” event at the Fort are as follows: $7 per adult (18 and older), $3 per youth (ages 6 to 17) and free for children 5 and under.  For more information, please call 916-445-4422 or visit

Source: T-Rock Communications

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