120 years ago
The people of Clairville, located at the terminus of the Sierra Valley Railroad in Plumas County, felt “hell was about to begin popping” in the aftermath of an emotional rape trial. It seemed a “culled gentleman” was charged with rape and though the charges were later dismissed for lack of evidence, gunfire erupted in the tiny community.
Prior to the trial, the defendant, L.F. White, had warned a man named Spratt not to meddle with the case. Spratt did not heed the warning and after the trial whipped out a pistol and shot the defendant several times.
Later that evening, White who was apparently not seriously injured, reportedly took a shot at Roberts, shattering a bar window.
“Excitement is now intense,” claimed the frontier newspaper. “The town is nearly evenly divided and there may be some men dead by the morning.”
70 years ago
The California state Automobile Association advised changes to make it easier for motorists to get around Susanville.
Although the traffic flows at the intersection on Main and Weatherlow streets warranted the installation of a traffic signal, the association didn’t recommend one at the time. Instead, it suggested the elimination of slanted parking on Main Street, a one-hour parking limit on Main and other streets in the business district and the installation of stop signs on North, Weatherlow, Ash and Roop streets.
45 years ago
Fast work by two local men with a backhoe and a small bulldozer saved several buildings from a fast-moving fire. The blaze, started by children playing with matches, blackened one acre along Richmond Road just west of the new Lassen Transfer and Storage Company, of Johnstonville.
30 years ago
Rowdy and unruly campers forced closure of the Dusty Campground at Lake Britton during the holiday weekend as nearly a dozen law enforcement officers armed with a closure order cleared the campground.
“It was a mess,” said a Lassen National Forest ranger. “People were throwing bottles in the lake and shooting them, using illegal fireworks, including aerial rockets, and threatening and intimidating other campers. There were other public intoxication problems, loud partying past 3 a.m. and uncontrollable dogs and dogfights. Throughout the years, the campground earned a reputation for its rowdiness.
25 years ago
Fire season hit the Susanville area with a series of spectacular grassfires. A welder’s spark caused a 20-acre blaze in the Susan Hills and children playing with matches blackened two acres near Johnstonville; burning debris caught by the wind ignited a 20-acre fire on Center Road.
20 years ago
Three positive drug tests made Lassen High School students ineligible to participate in school activities for one year if the revised drug-testing policy was adopted.
The school board was scheduled to approve a “three strikes” random drug testing policy for all students involved in extra-curricular activities, including sports, band and student government.
“I don’t want to take a kid who is going to be a freshman and say you’re never going to play again,” said trustee Ken Theobald. “But if they test positive three times, they should not play again for six months.”
In the original policy, the students were ineligible to participate for 60 school days but were permitted to practice after a third positive test. The school board decided instead to allow a student who tests positive for drugs three times to apply to participate in activities again after one calendar year.
15 years ago
Susanville residents could find they had to pay more for some city services.
Monthly residential and commercial water service costs went up a few dollars or so, but some of the current costs for services such as fire hydrant use, residential connection and inspection fees could double. The costs of the various encroachment permits would triple what customers were paying.
Lassen High School administration and the safety task force are continuing to look into ways to improve the overall safety on campus.
From talks about fencing to magnetic strips to cover door windows, the board was presented with a rough calculation of how much each safety measure discussed would cost during the June board meeting.
“We’ve had a number of incidents that call into question how safe our campus is,” Superintendent/ principal Bill McCabe noted, discussing the various soft and hard lockdowns the past school year.