Local/Breaking News

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Special needs teacher charged with abuse

9a1c4e75-0d0a-4881-8e97-ceee87887e91ROCKLIN, CA – A Rocklin Unified School District teacher has been charged with child abuse and other charges.

On Tuesday, the Placer County Districts Attorney’s Office filed a complaint charging Sherry Ann McDaniel with seven misdemeanor counts of cruelty to a child by abuse, neglect or endangering health, and four misdemeanor counts of simple battery.

The charges are a result of an investigation that began in April of last year after the Rocklin Police Department received an anonymous tip that McDaniel was subjecting special-needs students to physical and psychological abuse.

The Rocklin Unified School District cooperated with police during their investigation and suspended McDaniel once they were made aware of the allegations. Investigators interviewed several teacher’s aides, students and parents. A child forensic interviewer was brought in to interview the students.

The case was turned over to the District Attorney’s Office in June of 2014 and the school district began disciplinary proceedings in November against McDaniel and placed her on unpaid leave.

The charges involve students ranging in ages from 9 to 14 that occurred during the 2013-14 school year. Some of the allegations include:

– Taping a student’s hands to a desk for hours

– Disciplining students by lying on top of them and telling them to “shut up.”

– Throwing a student down a stairwell and onto the ground.

– Taking a child alone into an empty classroom, in violation of procedure, and later ask an aide if the child’s face looked bruised or swollen.

– Picking up a student, folding him in half by pressing his legs to his chest, throwing him bodily out of the classroom and locking the door to leave him alone outside and unsupervised as he screamed to be let back in.

In a statement the school district wrote:

The Rocklin Unified School District is committed to the safety and well being of all students.

The District learned this week that criminal charges have been filed by the Placer County District Attorney’s office against teacher Sherry McDaniel.

The District was first notified by Rocklin Police Department on May 5, 2014 of alleged misconduct of child abuse by Sherry McDaniel and Ms. McDaniel was placed on Administrative Leave the next day.

The District fully cooperated with the law enforcement investigation.

The District initiated disciplinary proceedings against Ms. McDaniel.

As part of the disciplinary process, the District placed Ms. McDaniel on Unpaid Leave effective November 20, 2014.

The California Education Code requires a detailed and time consuming process before a teacher may be dismissed for misconduct.

The District is currently working through the required disciplinary process and a Dismissal Hearing is scheduled for the end of May before the State Office of Administrative Hearings.


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Yuba City Police officer arrested for drug trafficking

Police-lightsSACRAMENTO, CA – On Wednesday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced the arrest of two men involved in cocaine trafficking, including a Yuba City police officer.

On Wednesday morning special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) arrested 35-year-old Harminder Phagura, an officer with the Yuba City Police Department and 39-year-old Gursharan Phaguraon, of Yuba City and Roseville, on federal charges related to their alleged involvement in a cocaine trafficking scheme.

The criminal complaint accuses the pair of conspiring to possess a controlled substance with intent to distribute; and use of a communication facility in narcotics trafficking activity.

Both men made their initial appearance in federal court Wednesday afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Carolyn K. Delaney. Following the hearing, Harminder Phagura was released on $100,000 bond. Gursharan Phagura remains in custody pending a detention hearing Thursday. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California.

Wednesday’s arrests are the latest development in a long-term HSI probe targeting suspected cocaine trafficking by Gursharan Phagura. According to information in the complaint affidavit, which was unsealed today, special agents developed information during the course of the investigation implicating Officer Phagura in the scheme.

HSI representatives underscore the Yuba City Police Department has cooperated fully with the investigation.

As part of Wednesday’s enforcement actions, investigators also executed search warrants at three locations tied to the defendants, including two residences in Yuba City and a home in Roseville. HSI officials emphasize the investigation is ongoing.

Body found in downtown Sacramento home

Area where body was found Google Maps

Area where body was found
Google Maps

SACRAMENTO, CA – Sacramento Police are investigating the discovery of a body in the area of X Street in the early morning hours of Wednesday.

According to police, the body of a man was found at approximately 3:20 a.m. Wednesday in the 1300 block of X Street. The body was found inside a home that also served as a business. There was no sign of trauma, but investigators are calling the death suspicious.

Neighbors heard a commotion earlier and contacted police.

Investigators are questioning a couple who was spotted loading up a vehicle with personal belongings as police arrived.

X Street between 13th and 14th Streets is closed while homicide detectives investigate.

3 and 5 year old boys die after ATV crash

Pond where boys crashed Google Maps

Pond where boys crashed
Google Maps

LINCOLN, CA – Two boys have died after the ATV they were riding on crashed into a private pond near their home.

According to reports, 5-year-old Blake Lee Cronkhite was driving an ATV with his 3-year-old Jayden James Secrest, when they drove into a private pond near a home on Wise Road in Lincoln.

Both boys were airlifted to UC Davis Medical Center where they both eventually succumbed to their injuries. Initially the 3-year-old was reported to be in grave condition, but has since died.

The parents have not been cited or arrested. The California Highway Patrol along with the Placer County Sheriff’s Department are investigating.

Driver dies after running red light in Sacramento

Area of accident Google Maps

Area of accident
Google Maps

SACRAMENTO, CA – A man is dead after running a red light at the intersection of Florin Perkins and Elder Creek roads Sunday night.

According to police, at approximately 8:30 p.m. Sunday night, a driver, later identified as 22-year-old Steven Charles Watts, of Rancho Cordova, was driving a vehicle when he ran a red light at the intersection of Florin Perkins Road and Elder Creek Road. According to witnesses, Watts was driving around 80 mph when he ran the red light.

Watts was ejected from the vehicle when he hit the first of two vehicles. Both drivers of the other two cars were rushed to a local hospital with serious injuries. Watts was declared dead at the scene.

The northbound lanes of Florin Perkins Road at Elder Creek Road were closed for about four hours as officers investigated the crash.

Eddie Money drummer kicks off an up close and personal tour

Glenn performs at home

Glenn performs at home

SACRAMENTO, CA – In celebration of his upcoming fifth album “Beautiful Detours,” original Eddie Money drummer Glenn Symmonds kicked off his Living Room Detours Tour from his very own living room.

The tour will be invitation-only as Glenn entertains fans across the country.

The accomplished musician will not be performing at your typical venue either, but in a more intimate environment where friends and family can gather to hear Glenn’s original music sprinkled with stories of his years on the road with Eddie Money and the Eddie Money band.

The Living Room Detours Tour is an invitation-only house concert hosted by fans across the country. The best part? Glenn will not be charging for his performance and anyone can host the event. All he asks is to please consider a donation to help cover his time and expenses, and if you enjoy the music, pickup one or more of his CD’s or other merchandise available at the event.

If you host a party with Glenn, you can expect a 75-minute set featuring an up-close & personal musical encounter with Glenn in your very own living room! The evening includes stories behind the songs, as well as photo opportunities.

Glenn telling stories

Glenn telling stories

According to Glenn, this is his way of giving back to his fans as they have supported him throughout his music career and more recently through his fight with cancer. The house concerts will be scheduled around his tour with Eddie Money. Fans can get more information and schedule their own event by contacting Glenn directly.

As for his kick-off performance? Glenn performed for 25 to 30 friends and family with a 2 hour set that started with Cat Stevens’ “Wild World” followed by Marc Cohn’s “Walking in Memphis.”

One of the first things that stands out when Glenn performs solo, is his guitar skills as he picks his way through the melody. The second thing you notice, is his smoky smooth vocals as he pours out his soul in every song he performs – something you wouldn’t expect from a drummer.

Glenn picked up the pace with his original song “Jump in Let’s Go,” and then “California,” another original song about his own journey from being born and raised in California to his recent return to the golden state.

Glenn performs with Eddie Money at Thunder Valley Casino Resort

Glenn performs with Eddie Money at Thunder Valley Casino Resort

Fans were treated to a couple of songs that Glenn had never performed in public before, “Waiting” and “Mary Jane Repetta.”

Sprinkled throughout his performance were stories behind songs such as “Hey Walter,” “Troubadour,” “Sailboat” and more. Glenn also shared a number of his experiences on the road with Eddie Money including the time the band left Eddie behind – You’ll have to hear that one from Glenn.

Glenn played “Little Italy” a song he co-wrote with his fiancé Tami Landrum. Towards the end of his set he played “This Town,” a song that Tami wrote.

Glenn’s musicianship, coupled with his storytelling abilities, makes his performances extremely entertaining and something you won’t want to miss, so consider hosting your very own event with Glenn.

In an era where more artists are turning to online venues to engage fans, it’s refreshing to see an artist of this caliber willing to entertain fans in the comfort of their own homes. The experience is priceless.

For Sacramento area fans, you can catch Glenn performing with Eddie Money at Thunder Valley Casino Resort on July 31st, or better yet invite Glenn over to your house!


Wild World (cover)
Walking in Memphis (cover)
Jump in Let’s Go (original)
California (original)
Waiting (original)
Hey Walter (original)
Sailboat (original)
Big Boy Now (original)
Eddie’s Almost 65 (original – Lyrics Jeff Symmonds)
Guacamole (original)
Heart of Gold (cover)
Mary Jane Repetta (original)
Folsom Prison Blues (cover)
Charlie Sheen (original)
Three Men Named Bob (original)
This Town (original – Lyrics by Tami Landrum)
Stir it Up (cover)
Here Comes the Sun (cover)
Railroad (cover)

Pedestrian identified in Sacramento fatal hit and run

Collis Carkhum Facebook

Collis Carkhum

SACRAMENTO, CA – The man killed in Saturdays hit and run has been identified.

According to the Sacramento County Coroner’s website, 64-year-old Collis Carkhum, of Sacramento, was the man killed in the early morning hit and run.

Carkhum was struck and killed by an unknown vehicle in the area of Franklin Blvd and Armdale Way at approximately 1:30 Saturday morning.

Fire personnel responded to the scene and rushed Carkhum to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The Major Collision Investigation Unit responded to the scene.

Identity of suspect in North Highlands officer involved shooting released

Police-lightsNORTH HIGHLANDS, CA – The man who fired at witnesses and forced a Sacramento County Sheriff Deputy to shoot him has been identified.

According to officials, 28-year-old Sonny James Benavides was booked into Sacramento County Main Jail today after being medically cleared.

On Friday at approximately 12:40 p.m., deputies responded to a disturbance call at a local convenient store on Watt Avenue and Elkhorn Boulevard. A woman called to report an unknown Hispanic male, later identified as Benavides, harassing her. He was yelling and cussing at her while following her through the parking lot and refusing to leave her alone.

When deputies arrived, they attempted to contact Benavides, but the suspect dropped a backpack he was carrying and fled south through an adjacent shopping center parking lot. Benavides pulled a gun and shot at a witness who was reportedly attempting to assist the deputies. The citizen was not hit by gunfire.

Benavides continued through a hole in a chain-link fence into an empty field south of the shopping center parking lot as citizens tried to assist. Benavides was cornered and shot at least one additional round toward the citizens. A patrol deputy who was positioned on the south side of the field, fired a round at Benavides, striking him and causing him to drop his weapon.

Benavides was taken into custody and transported to the hospital to be medically treated for a non-life threatening gunshot wound. There were no citizens hit by gunfire during the incident.

Benavides was booked on charges of felony assault with a deadly weapon/firearm, felony possession of a firearm by a felon, felony violation of probation, misdemeanor resisting arrest and felony outstanding arrest warrant.

The deputy involved in the shooting is a 19-year veteran of the department and has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.


1 dead 1 injured in South Sacramento crash

Sac Fire

Sac Fire

Sac Fire

Sac Fire

SACRAMENTO, CA – One person was killed and another critically injured after crashing on Fruitridge Road.

According to the Sacramento County Coroner’s website, the person killed in Friday’s crash was 41-year-old Pattana Songsawatwong, of Sacramento. The second person was rushed to a local hospital in critical condition, their identity has not been released.

Sacramento Police responded to Fruitridge Road near Power Inn Road at approximately 11 p.m. Friday. The fatal accident that involved at least two vehicles closed eastbound traffic along Fruitridge Road.

According to the Coroner, the accident is being treated as a criminal investigation.

A short time later another accident occurred on Fruitridge Road near Watt Avenue. No other details were available, but from photos taken by Sac Fire it appears one of the vehicles was almost sheared in half.

2nd accident on Fruitridge Sac Fire

2nd accident on Fruitridge
Sac Fire


Knife wielding man shot by police


Area of confrontation Google Maps

Area of confrontation
Google Maps

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA – A man armed with two knives attacked and injured one officer before being shot by police.

According to the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department, just after midnight Saturday, Rancho Cordova Police responded to a call from family members to check the welfare of an adult male who was reportedly intoxicated and trying to fight people inside of a residence located in the 9900 block of Zion Way.

Upon arrival, officers were confronted by an Armenian male in his late 40’s, in front of the residence. The suspect was holding a folding knife in each hand and refused the Officer’s directives to drop the weapons.

The suspect threw one of the knives at the officers, striking one of them in the leg. Officers deployed a Taser at the suspect which proved to be ineffective. The suspect then charged at officers with the remaining knife in his hand. One officer shot the suspect striking him at least once in the torso. The suspect was transported to a local hospital where he is currently being treated for a non-life threatening gunshot wound.

The Sacramento Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau and Professional Standards Division and the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office will be conducting an investigation into the officer involved shooting. The officer involved in the shooting will be placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. The officer is a nine year veteran of the Sheriff’s Department, currently assigned to the Rancho Cordova Police Department / Field and Investigative Services.

This was the second time in as many days a Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputy was involved in a shooting. On Friday a deranged man was harassing a woman in the North Highlands area. When Sacramento Sheriff Deputies arrived the suspect shot at some witnesses, forcing a 19-year veteran with the department to shoot the suspect. The suspect suffered non-life threatening wounds.


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