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Grass Valley weather: Sunny all week

The Red Flag Warning that started Monday is set to expire at 11 a.m. today, the National Weather Service said.

The week will be sunny. Today’s highs will reach 88, with lows dropping to 63 tonight.

Wednesday’s highs will climb to 84. Lows will dip to 60.

The autumnal equinox is Wednesday.

Thursday’s high will hit 89, and Friday’s will top out at 88. Lows will settle in the mid- to low 60s both nights.

Saturday’s high will make it to 86, and Sunday’s will reach 84. Lows will be in the upper 50s to 60.

Expect highs of 80 on Monday.

The Yuba River and bridge down Highway 20 with the Sutter Buttes in background. Looks like a lot of water considering the drought. Photo taken Sunday, Sept. 19.
Submitted by Elany Prusa

Promoting Eye Health at a Young Age

Experts recommend children undergo a thorough eye exam performed by an optometrist before they start school to ensure their eyes are healthy and that they don’t need prescription glasses.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, just over half (51.9%) of children aged 3-5 years old have never had their vision tested by a doctor or other health professional. Eye experts say regularly seeing an eye doctor should be part of every child’s health care plan.

“Children’s eyes are constantly undergoing many changes during child development,” says Tiffany Chan, OD, optometrist at Chan Family Optometry in Grass Valley. “It is important to assess any visual problems or diseases that may disrupt a child from reaching their greatest visual potential during their critical years of development.”

Dr. Chan says that some vision problems can have a significant impact if left untreated.

“Poor eye health can cause a child to develop misaligned eyes and/or improper connections to the brain,” she explains. “This can lead to ‘lazy’ eyes. Through an eye exam, doctors are able to rule out any risk factors a child may have and to determine proper treatment to prevent poor visual development.”

Because of the importance of eye health in children, Dr. Chan and her team recently welcomed the area’s first optometrist who specializes in pediatric eye health – Dr. Tina Khieu.

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Khieu join our practice,” Dr. Chan says. “Many of the eye doctors in our area are knowledgeable about caring for patients of all ages, including children, but Dr. Khieu has pursued specialty training in this age group. This is an exciting time for our community to bring on board a doctor with a passion for pediatrics, and advanced knowledge about visual development.”

While many parents may rely on the vision screening offered at their child’s physical or through school as being a good indicator of their eye health, the American Optometric Association says that a vision screening can actually give a false sense of security. Such screenings only assess one or two areas of vision and may not evaluate how well the child can focus his or her eyes or how well the eyes work together.

In addition, screenings do not typically test color vision, which is important for children when they are young and much of their learning involves color-coding.

An eye exam is performed by a Doctor of Optometry and covers all facets of eye health and can be done at any age.

“Children can be seen as early as infancy,” Dr. Khieu says. “The critical period for visual development where the eyes and brain are developing visual connections ends around the age of seven, thus, initial eye exams prior to this age are crucial.”

Dr. Khieu says it’s especially important that children have their eyes checked prior to starting school. The AOA agrees and recommends a thorough eye exam between the ages of three and five.

Thanks to technology and advanced diagnostic testing equipment, children do not need to know the alphabet or how to read in order to have his or her eyes examined.

Dr. Khieu explains that the first eye exam requires several baseline tests to ensure that the patient’s vision, eye teaming skills, prescription and ocular health are within what is expected for the child’s age.

“The child will undergo several engaging tests with the technicians and doctor,” she says. “During their first visit, parents should expect dilation of the child’s pupils to determine if glasses are required for the child and to fully assess the health of their eyes.”

If glasses are needed, Dr. Khieu says there are plenty of kid-friendly options available. Her best advice is to find something that your child likes.

“Having their input on what kind of frames they choose, such as the style and color, is something that may motivate the child to wear them,” Dr. Khieu says. “Also, focusing on positive factors, such as how it can help them improve in school and/or playing sports are great pointers to discuss with your child.”

Lenses for children are all made with shatter-resistant material, which provides added protection for their safety.

For small children, wrap-around glasses are available, which can help keep the actual frames from falling off.

Dr. Khieu says she has found that once a child notices the improvement in their vision, they are often more motivated and excited to wear them.

“Parents should keep in mind that a child’s eyes may change as they continue to grow and the prescription may change year after year,” she says. “It is certainly helpful to invest in a great pair of glasses but know the prescription will likely change as they continue

to develop.”

Signs of Eye and Vision Problems in Young Children

According to the American Public Health Association, about 10% of preschoolers have eye or vision problems. However, children this age generally will not voice complaints about their eyes. Parents should watch for signs that may indicate a vision problem, including

• An eye turn, whether it is inward or outward

• Excessive rubbing of eyes or squinting

• Holding items too close

• Difficulties seeing the front of the classroom

• Difficulties concentrating on schoolwork

• Headaches, especially around the forehead region

• Seeing double vision or needing to close an eye to see clearly

• Skipping words while reading or notices words “swim” while reading

• Avoiding up close schoolwork such as reading

• Failing a vision screening test at school

Dr. Tina Khieu

To learn more about what you can do to support your child’s eye health, contact Dr. Tina Khieu and Chan Family Optometry.

Chan Family Optometry

360 Sierra College Dr., Suite 100

Grass Valley, CA 95945


Obituary for Mario Rosaire Rodrigues

Mario Rosaire


November 20, 1975 – September 6, 2021

Mario Rosaire Rodrigues was called to the service of the Angels on September 6, 2021. He was 45 years old. Mario was born November 20, 1975 in Auburn, California to Carlos and Lorraine Rodrigues. Mario loved going to the ocean, swimming at the Yuba River, Rodrigues family traditional back woods picnics, cooking his famous prime rib Christmas dinner, playing softball, playing miniature golf, the Oakland A’s, the Sacramento Kings, and the Las Vegas Raiders. More than anything, Mario loved his family and friends. He had a big heart and would go out of his way to bring joy to all the people in his life. He is survived by his parents Carlos and Lorraine Rodrigues; brothers and sisters Tony Rodrigues (Beth), Carlos Rodrigues, Lorraine Olson, Dave Rodrigues (Deanna), Louis Rodrigues (Karen), Theresa Dreher (Shaun Rainsbarger), Kathy Prichard (Paul), Angelina Andes (Harley), as well as countless nieces, nephews, and cousins.

There will be a celebration of life to be held on Nov 20th, 2021 at the Horseman’s Lodge in Grass Valley. For more information please call 530-263-4306. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the funeral fund for Mario Rodrigues at gofundme.com.

Obituary for Major Theodore Paul Lingenfelter

Major Theodore

Paul Lingenfelter

December 7, 1932 – January 29, 2021

The family and friends of Major Theodore Paul Lingenfelter, U.S.M.C, of Grass Valley, California, celebrate his life and commemorate his passing at the age of 88. This larger-than-life figure, who survived combat in Korea and Vietnam, died peacefully on January 29, 2021, with his loving wife of 68 years, Mary Lou (Allen) Lingenfelter, at his side.

He will be remembered as a quintessential man of honor—a patriot and man of action who loved his family, his country, and the Marines. Ted was a caring and loyal husband, a devoted father, grandfather, and uncle, an amazing and unselfish listener and counselor, a poet and storyteller, an avid reader, a Star Trek fan, a great teacher, a wonderful conversationalist, and a successful executive. His word, always carefully considered, was his bond.

Ted Lingenfelter was born in Johnstown Pennsylvania on December 7, 1932, to Lowell and Marie Lingenfelter. He attended Mt Diablo High School in Concord California. Ted was proud to be the last surviving sibling of a large nuclear family that produced remarkably successful individuals—Marion, Dot, Jim, Sarah, Ruth, Helen, Dick, Janice, Nancy, and Stan.

Ted enlisted in the Marines at the age of eighteen. Early in his career, he experienced the rare honor of becoming a “Mustang”—an enlisted serviceman or women who is commissioned as an officer as a result of extraordinary merit. He served in combat in Korea, where he was wounded in battle, and did two tours of duty in Vietnam during which he supervised the Corp’s air traffic control system, which he helped to design. He was twice stationed in Japan where he served as an air traffic controller. In October, 1962, Ted served aboard a Navy ship that was part of the armada that blockaded Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis, an action that prevented the shipping of Soviet missiles to that island nation and helped avert nuclear war.

As consequential as it was to become a Marine, the most important decision Ted made in his eighteenth year was to marry his vivacious high school sweetheart, Mary Lou Allen, of Concord, California, a woman of enormous energy, wisdom, and inner strength. He took joy in every moment of her presence and in their lifelong mutual respect and cherishment. Ted and Mary Lou raised four wonderful children while navigating the stresses and adversities of military life: Linda Chase, Ted Paul Lingenfelter Jr, Stewart Lingenfelter, and Paula Biela. Ted leaves behind eleven grandchildren; Eric Robert Chase, Kristin Nichole Torres, Sarah Ruth Gresham, Shane Paul Lingenfelter, Kyle Allen Lingenfelter, Corine Ann Lingenfelter, Casey Alan Lingenfelter, Daniel James Lingenfelter, Heather Lynn, Matthew Scot Biela and Nicole. He is also survived by thirteen great grandchildren: Callen Chase Gresham, Eisley Ryan Gresham, Alexandria Rose Torres, Stevie James Chase, Bradey Paul Lingenfelter, Caleb William Lingenfelter, Lily Elise Lingenfelter, Austin Douglas Lingenfelter, Jeremy Daniel Lingenfelter, Jordan Lynn Lingenfelter, Aiden Alexander Biela, and Javan.

Ted’s chivalry and kindness will live on in hearts of all who knew and loved him. He will be interred at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery in Dixon, Solano County, California. Those wishing to honor the memory and service of Major Theodore Lingenfelter and the sacrifices and participation of his family, are encouraged to donate to the Marine Corp Veteran’s Association. Semper Fi.

Garbage in, garbage out: Volunteers remove thousands of pounds of trash

Volunteers take part in the 24rd annual Yuba River cleanup hosted by SYRCL on Saturday at the Parks Bar area off Highway 20 near Smartsville. Volunteers collected more than 2 tons of trash from this location, which included motor oil, and refuse from both sides of the river.
Photo: Elias Funez


More than 6 tons of trash were collected during Saturday’s SYRCL river cleanup, with more than two of that coming from the Parks Bar location off Highway 20 near Smartsville.
Photo: Elias Funez
Volunteers unload trash from the back of a vehicle during Saturday’s Yuba River cleanup, which took place over dozens of miles and multiple locations.
Photo: Elias Funez

From the headwaters along Donner Summit to the confluence of the Yuba and Feather rivers, hundreds of people turned out for the South Yuba River Citizens League’s 24th annual Yuba River Cleanup that took place from Sept.11 to Saturday.

This year’s event had two different phases: the self-guided cleanup that took place Sept. 11 through Friday, and the community cleanup on Saturday. During the self-guided cleanup, more than 150 volunteers removed 2,600 pounds of trash and recycling from 12 sites along the South Yuba River, Deer Creek, and Wolf Creek. These volunteers included students from SAEL and Forest Charter, as well as Nevada Irrigation District employees. Tahoe National Forest lent a special helping hand in areas of the watershed that were closed to the public earlier in the week.

“This event is successful each year because so many of our community members are committed to keeping the Yuba wild and scenic,” said Melinda Booth, SYRCL’s executive director, in a news release. “The annual cleanup is also a great way to close the river ambassador season, which works all summer to educate the public on river safety and etiquette with the hope of reducing the trash we find each year during the cleanup.”

The over 250 volunteers who participated in Saturday’s community cleanup collected and disposed of an additional 10,000 pounds of trash across 13 sites that included river crossings, dump sites on Tahoe National Forest land, and abandoned encampments. Mattresses, illegal mining equipment, and fire grates were found, along with countless pieces of micro-trash.

“For many of our participants, cleaning up is a year-round activity,” said Betsy Brunner, SYRCL’s communications and engagement director. “We are grateful to everyone who packs out a little — or a lot of — extra trash when they visit. Every little bit helps.”

Source: South Yuba River Citizens League

Man faces lewd acts charges

Mark Steven Brocke

A Tennessee man was arrested Monday on decades’ old child molestation accusations, authorities said.

Mark Steven Brocke, 49, faces seven counts related to lewd or lascivious acts against a child under 14, reports state.

According to District Attorney Jesse Wilson, Brocke’s conduct is alleged to have occurred between July 26, 1998, and July 25, 1999, as well as from 1999 to 2012.

“And, when we reviewed the reports, the prosecutor decided to file charges,” Wilson said.

At the time that charges were filed, according to Wilson, Brocke was out of state and had to be brought to Nevada County.

Brocke remained jailed Monday under $800,000 in bond, reports state.

Victoria Penate is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at vpenate@theunion.com

One dead, 2 injured after car crash

Authorities have identified a Grass Valley women killed in a wreck last week.

Kimberly Lumpkins, 34, died around 5 p.m. Friday at Brunswick and Brunswick Pines roads, authorities said.

According to California Highway Patrol Officer Mike Steele, Lumpkins died after her Plymouth Voyager swiped one vehicle and struck another head on.

Lumpkins was driving northbound on Brunswick, at Brunswick Pines Road, when she crossed into the southbound lanes. Lumpkins sideswiped a Nissan Versa before hitting a Honda Pilot head on, Steele said in an email.

A 27-year-old Auburn man driving the Nissan Versa sustained minor injuries. A 37-year-old Grass Valley man driving the Honda Pilot sustained major injuries, Steele said.

According to authorities, alcohol is not a suspected factor in the collision. The investigation is ongoing.

Carriage Fire contained within 1 hour (Video)

The fire that plumed smoke near the Dew Drop Inn on Monday was contained within the hour by the Cal Fire Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit, reports state.

Per the California Highway Patrol website, a grass fire was reported near a residence at Lady Bird Lane and Highway 49 at 1:54 p.m.

One residence was burned before responding units were able to extinguish the quarter-acre Carriage Fire.

“There were four residents cleared from the structure,“ said Mary Eldridge, public information officer for the Cal Fire unit

According Eldridge, the cause of the fire is still under investigation. Firefighters will patrol the burnt region into the evening to abate any threat left still smoldering.

According to the National Weather Service, the Red Flag Warning that began Monday will remain in place until tonight. The service forecasts another high risk day to take place Thursday.

To the south in El Dorado and Amador counties, the Caldor Fire is 75% contained after burning 219,101 acres and destroying 782 structures over six weeks.

The Dixie Fire that spanned Butte, Plumas, Tehama, Shasta and Lassen counties to the north is nearing 1 million acres burned, with 963,415 acres consumed after nine weeks of activity.

Rebecca O’Neil is a staff writer with The Union. She can be reached at roneil@theunion.com

Nevada City’s Alexander Rossi spins out early at Laguna Seca

Nevada City native Alexander Rossi waves to fans prior to the start of the penultimate race of the IndyCar season Sunday at Laguna Seca. Rossi started the day in second place, but quickly fell to the back of the pack after a spin out during the second lap while trying to challenge race leader, and ultimate winner of the race, Colton Herta.
Photo: Elias Funez
Spectators watch as Alexander Rossi, in second place, chases behind the first place Colton Herta at the beginning of the second lap Sunday at Laguna Seca. His challenge of teammate Herta would be short-lived as he would spin out later in the second lap, putting him behind a lap in the race for a 25th place finish.
Photo: Elias Funez
Nevada City’s Alexander Rossi, bottom, makes his way through the Corkscrew turn at Laguna Seca in his 27 NAPA AutoCare car after falling to the back of the pack of racers Sunday in Monterey.
Photo Elias Funez
Pieter Rossi embraces his son Alexander Rossi before the start of Sunday’s penultimate IndyCar race of the 2021 season at Laguna Seca. While Rossi is not in the points lead for the season, he did qualify well enough to start in second place.
Photo: Elias Funez
Spectators watch Sunday’s IndyCar race near the famous Corkscrew turn at Laguna Seca.
Photo: Elias Funez
Andretti Motorsports teammates Alexander Rossi, left, and Colton Herta exchange words before the start of Sunday’s IndyCar race at Laguna Seca. Herta began the race in the pole position while Rossi started in second place before falling behind a lap early in the race.
Photo: Elias Funez
Alexander Rossi’s 27 NAPA AutoCare IndyCar is wheeled from the garage onto the track Sunday at Laguna Seca, where Rossi was hailed as the local racer.
Photo: Elias Funez
Nevada City native Alexander Rossi makes his way around the track Sunday at Laguna Seca. Rossi had the fastest lap time during the morning track session, but spun out in the second lap to put him at the back of the pack for the the rest of the race.
Photo: Elias Funez

Local pilot survives plane crash at Nevada County Airport

A pilot walked away unscathed from a crash landing at the Nevada County Airport Sunday afternoon.

According to the airport’s manager, Kevin Edwards, the flier crashed his Cessna 172 into the overrun beyond Runway 25 during touch-and-go practice.

“Right after he took off he was in a pattern,” Edwards said, referring to pilot practice involving a series of sequential take-offs and landings. “He was up here getting kind of current, developing a proficiency.”

Edwards said the pilot temporarily “lost situational awareness” when his radio went out and was left with two options for landing, neither of them smooth.

According to Edwards, the pilot noticed some of his equipment was not working and made the decision to return to the airport. Amid the stress of troubleshooting aircraft technology mid-flight, the pilot temporarily lost situational awareness.

The pilot landed long, Edwards said, just off the steep runway overrun. The aircraft tipped up on the right wing, amid the overrun’s dirt and shrubbery, but the pilot inside was fine.

“He walked away, so no injuries at all,” Edwards said. “He actually refused medical services.”

Edwards said planes can be repaired after accidents like this one, but does not think the damage sustained in this accident can be repaired. Fortunately, this particular Cessna 172 was not one of the private planes Cal Fire employs to fight fire threats in the area.

Edwards said the runway’s overrun exists for a reason, and no fire began as a result of the plane crash.

Edwards said any time an accident can be attributed to a pilot error, it has to do with situational awareness.

“Sometimes you don’t have time to react,” Edwards said.

Rebecca O’Neil is a staff writer with The Union. She can be reached at roneil@theunion.com