Briefs |


As thousands of Californians prepare to load up their vehicles and hit the highways, the California Highway Patrol is reminding motorists to drive defensively during the heavily-traveled Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

“Obey the speed limit, don’t drink and drive, and be sure to buckle up,” Grass Valley CHP Lt. Charles Whitmore said. Drivers should prepare for traffic jams on the Wednesday before and Sunday after the holiday, and give themselves plenty of time to get to their destinations.

During last year’s Thanksgiving holiday, 60 people died on California highways. Half were not wearing seat belts.

At the same time, police arrested more than 1,500 people for driving under the influence, according to the CHP.

Wine tasting benefits local kids

Big Brothers Big Sisters will host a benefit at the Grass Valley Veteran’s Hall on Saturday featuring live music, wine tasting and a live auction.

Guests will have a chance to sample and buy wines and bid on items donated by local businesses, including a signed Fender Telecaster guitar from the rock band REO Speedwagon and a week vacation in Spain.

A full line-up of songwriters and musicians will cap the evening with a live acoustic variety show.

All proceeds from the event will directly benefit county youth in the Big Brother Big Sister mentoring program.

Tickets are $25 per person or $80 for four when purchased in advance at Big Bothers Big Sisters or Beam Easy Living Center in Grass Valley, or at J. J. Jackson’s or Citizens Bank in Nevada City.

The benefit starts at 6 p.m. at the hall at 255 S. Auburn St., Grass Valley.

For more information, call 273-2227 or go to

– The Union staff

New den receives help

The Scout Lodge and Cub Scout Den at Grass Valley’s Memorial Park is being remodeled, thanks to help from local businesses and the City of Grass Valley. Additional help with labor, tools and donations is welcome; those interested should contact local Cub Scout volunteer John Curtis at 272-8496.

“It’s a little hole,” Curtis said of the den’s current appearance, citing the room’s cement floor and dark interior.

Improvements to the den include installing a furnace, and adding lights and insulation. Much of the work is taking place on Sunday, with many local businesses providing services and materials for reduced rates.

If the Cub Scouts themselves show up Sunday, they may paint the lodge’s tables, Curtis said. Improving the den will make it possible for more Scouts to use the room, he added.

– Josh Singer

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