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Bookings and Blotters

Police Hanford

Sunday, Feb. 12

2 a.m. Vagrancy, Civic Park/all alleyways in downtown.

6:49 a.m. Burglary, Kaweah/West Florinda streets.

7 a.m. Stolen vehicle, 1100 block of Summerfield Drive.

11:43 a.m. Burglary, 400 block of West Myrtle Street.

12:28 p.m. Vagrancy, 400 block of West Myrtle Street.

4:32 p.m. Battery, 1300 block of West Cortner Street.

6:19 p.m. Illegal fireworks, 1000 block of Goleta Way.

6:19 p.m. Illegal fireworks, 100 block of Campus Drive.

6:28 p.m. Illegal fireworks, 900 block of West Sixth Street.

9:18 p.m. Public intoxication, 2400 block of North 10th Avenue.

8:01 p.m. Injury traffic accident, West Hanford Armona Road/South Anacapa Avenue.


Sunday, Feb. 12

1:16 a.m. Shots heard, 800 block of East Hanford Armona Road.

11:20 a.m. Stolen vehicle, 200 block of Champion Street.

9:48 p.m. Stolen vehicle, 1000 block of Janine Way.


Wednesday, Feb. 15

12:59 a.m. Assault, 17200 block of Jersey Avenue, Lemoore.

9:29 a.m. Theft, 4600 block of 11th Avenue, Hanford.

1:33 p.m. Fraud, 12400 block of Fargo Avenue, Hanford.


Wednesday, Feb. 15

Larry Nathenal James, 22. Suspicion of criminal threats and intimidating a witness/victim by force related offenses.

Alejandro Reyes Flores, 40. Suspicion of spousal abuse, carrying a concealed weapon, receiving stolen property, bringing stolen property into the state and probation related offenses.

Jessica Mary Barrios, 30. Suspicion of spousal abuse, carrying a concealed weapon, receiving stolen property, bringing stolen property into the state, bringing controlled substance into prison/jail, possession of narcotic controlled substance and probation related offenses.

David Matthew Owens, 46. Suspicion of two lewd and lascivious acts, two rape and continuous sex abuse of a child related offenses. 

Dam questions

Watching the evacuations around the Oroville Dam shows at least two things.

The first, government bureaucracy that is tasked with keeping citizens safe and managing water held behind dams, isn’t foolproof.

And two, Mother Nature is wily and will find ways to prevail.

As a result, about 200,000 people were evacuated last week after the dam’s spillway developed a gigantic hole and efforts to use the emergency spillway caused more erosion that endangered roads, power lines and other infrastructure and raised fears of a catastrophic flood.

Crews have been busy trying to shore up both spillways with boulders and other fill. Water has been drained out of the lake and down the main spillway in an effort to make room for more rain as a series of three storms bring more rain. Officials say they believe the main spillway should be able to handle the overflow without resorting to the unpaved emergency spillway again, but if they have to use the emergency spillway, they believe it will hold.

Still, more than half the people who evacuated have opted not to return home despite officials lifting the mandatory evacuation order. If they return, they have been told they might have to leave again, and most have decided to stay away. Better to be safe than sorry, they say.

Inspectors had checked the spillway every summer. They found some cracks, but believed they were superficial. The cracks were filled.

They say they probably will never know what caused the spillway to fail – whatever evidence there was of a problem has been washed away. Mother Nature covered her tracks.

The problems at Oroville Dam raise other questions, beyond inspections. The Sacramento Bee reported that the dam’s operation manual is more than 50 years old and does not take into consideration floods that occurred after 1950, or changes in weather patterns.

The same is true of dams across the state. For example, the manual for Folsom required water to be drained in February 2015 despite the five-year drought and no rain anywhere in the forecast. Dam operators said they had no choice; the manual designates water to be released at specific times no matter how much rain is falling. So, water that could have been used in a dry thirsty summer was gone.

Updating the manuals would cost millions, and Congress would have to approve the expenditures. With water as precious a commodity as it is in California, it needs to be done.

We need safe dams, but we also need dams that fulfill the job of holding water for when we need it. The manuals need to be flexible enough to accommodate drought and flood.

After all, we never know what Mother Nature has in store for us next.

Sheriff: Parolees had stolen gun in car

HANFORD — Two people were arrested Wednesday after deputies found a stolen handgun in their car, the Kings County Sheriff’s Office said.

Around 3 p.m., deputies stopped to check on a blue 2007 Honda Accord that had stopped on a dirt road near a vacant home at Ninth and Houston avenues. The sheriff’s office said the driver, later identified as Alejandro Flores, 40, had stopped to use the restroom.

The passenger, Jessica Barrios, 30, reportedly gave deputies permission to search the car. The sheriff’s office said deputies found a multicolored bag on the rear floorboard that contained a 9mm Glock handgun. The gun was reported stolen during a recent burglary in Hanford.

Flores and Barrios were both booked into the jail on suspicion of possession of stolen property, carrying a concealed weapon and violating probation. Flores is being held in lieu of $55,000 bail.

During the booking process, jail staff found Barrios had 1.4 grams of concealed heroin. She faces additional charges for bringing a controlled substance into the jail and possession of a controlled substance. Her bail was set at $85,000.