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Citrus Heights News Briefs: art show, arson, community projects, garage fire

Hidden Treasures art show
A wall of paintings created by local residents is on display at the Hidden Treasures art show at Sunrise Mall through March 12. // Image credit, City of Citrus Heights

Latest local news briefs include an investigation of a garage fire on Sperry Drive, news reports on the “Hidden Treasures” art show at Sunrise Mall, an arson spike in Citrus Heights, and the city’s unveiling of the top 20 community projects since cityhood.

Metro Fire investigating cause of Citrus Heights garage fire
Emergency crews were dispatched on Wednesday to the scene of a structure fire on the 5900 block of Sperry Drive, located near Kohl’s in Citrus Heights. Metro Fire Captain Chris Vestal told The Sentinel the fire was reported around 12:30 p.m. on March 8 and was contained to the garage of a duplex. He said the fire was “extinguished very quickly,” but the garage sustained fire damage and one of the duplex units received minor smoke damage. Vestal said the cause of Wednesday’s fire is still under investigation. No injuries were reported.

City announces ‘Top 20’ community projects since cityhood
The City of Citrus Heights unveiled its latest celebration theme for the month of March during a council meeting Thursday night, announcing the “Top 20” community projects in the city since incorporating in 1997. Each month of 2017 features a different “Top 20” theme, with January focusing on top city accomplishments and February featuring top 20 “things you love about Citrus Heights.”

The list of community projects, which was presented in alphabetical order, included Christmas lights on Orelle Creek Court, the annual Community Campout at Rusch Park, National Night Out, graffiti abatement in the Northwest Neighborhood Association, street sign toppers for the various neighborhood associations, a new park bench and grill at Van Maren Park, and the “Yard of the Month” program hosted by the Park Oaks Neighborhood Association. According to Stephanie Cotter, a city staff member who presented the March theme, only projects that the city did not initiate were included in the list. As of March 11, the full list of projects did not appear to be posted on the city’s website.

Report: arson in Citrus Heights spiked last year
In an annual crime report to the city council on Thursday, Citrus Heights police reported a spike in arson cases in the city in 2016. Police reported 16 arson cases last year, compared to six cases in 2015.

An ABC 10 news report on Friday highlighted the sharp rise in arson and interviewed Metro Fire Capt. Chris Vestal, who said one fire had been counted twice and some transient fires may be counted as arson. He also said one person had been arrested in connection with four fires and noted an increasing number of people reporting fires. “We’re finding out about more fires,” the captain told ABC 10. “We want people to report the fires.”

*Note: The Sentinel will have a full story on the latest Citrus Heights annual crime report next week. (See ABC 10 arson story here)

Citrus Heights art show featured on Fox 40, CBS
The 4th annual “Hidden Treasures” art show at Sunrise Mall received attention on two TV stations over the past few days, with cameras focusing in on several hundred locally produced pieces of art on display. The annual art show is put on by the Citrus Heights History and Arts Commission and this year featured art from local residents, including paintings, photography, and sculptures — 70 of which were made by veterans, according to organizers.

Local artist Ed Chaney could be seen on the Fox 40 television spot working on a leopard painting he estimated would take about a month to complete. He also showed off a completed painting of a prisoner of war from the Civil War era, and another painting of a San Fransisco man from a 1907 photo. Another local artist showed Good Day’s camera crew his wall of paintings, highlighting one of Venice, Italy. The art show was scheduled for the first two weekends in March, with the final date being March 12, from noon to 5 p.m. (See Fox 40 spot) (See Good Day spot)

Also in the news last week:

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