The Best of Sacramento, CA News of 2020

No Teen Homicides for two years

Sacramento has started the year with some excellent news. In the last two years, Sacramento has not had one single teenager victim of a homicide. This massive improvement from 2007 to 2017 when teens living in Sacramento were more than twice as likely to get killed as any other age group in Sacramento County. During that decade, 114 local teenagers were victims of homicide.

Three years ago, a total of seven teens were killed. One local pastor’s aid was when he was carrying out more funerals than weddings.

This exciting news is part of an equally satisfying decline in overall Homicides for all age groups. Homicides in Sacramento have gone down by 21% in the last five years. According to the Sacramento Police Department, there has been a year drop in homicides in the city since 2015. The total homicides in Sacramento in 2015 was 43, but by 2019 it had gone down to 34.

Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn said ït was a positive step heading in the right direction, but much work to be done.

Source ABC10 News – 30 January 2020

sacramento, california

Sacramento takes first place in the list of the best cities to live in California in 2020

More good news for Sacramento broke in February 2020 when it was announced that Sacramento is the Best Place to Live in CaliforniaYes, it’s official, Sacramento is a great place to live, according to Bankrate. The survey takes into account six different factors in calculating the best city


Here are the results for Sacramento:

  • Affordability: 9 from 10
  • Culture: 4 from 10
  • Safety: 7 from 10
  • Job Market: 3 from 10
  • Education: 4 from 10

We can see from this that the key positives were Affordability and safety, which ties in nicely with the January Homicide rate announcement (see above).

It was noticeable that most of the cities that scored highest were from the northern part of the state.

Source – 19 February 2020

Sacramento’s Fairytale Town celebrates Dr. Seuss’s 116th Birthday.

To celebrate the birthday of the popular children’s author Dr. Seuss, Sacramento held a special event at the Fairy Town in Land Park. Children were invited to participate in Dr. Suess themed crafts and activities in this special event. There were also readings from some of his books at the Mother Goose Stage. The children dressed in “Cat in a Hat suits” ran around the park and seemed to be having a wonderful time celebrating Dr.Suess and taking part in these themed activities.

The works of Dr.Suess have sold over 6 million copies and been translated into over 20 languages. Born in Massachusetts, he died in La Jolla, California, in 1991 at 87.

Fairy Town is a non-profit park in Sacramento built by General Contractors in Sacramento CA that has served the community for over 60 years. It is a place where families can safely imagine, learn, and, most importantly, play together. It has over 26 sets, which are centered around nursery rhymes and fairy tales. There is a flock of farm animals, two stages, and several gardens, and it has been a firm favorite from generation to generation. Their mission is to “promote the imagination, creativity, and education in the city.”

Source: KCRA 3 – 1 March 2020

Good Samaritans Rescue Two Men from Sacramento River After Aluminum Boat Sinks

On Sunday, July 19th first responders were dispatched to the Sacramento River to investigate reports of two people in the water near the Deschutes overpass. People had noticed a cooler and a lifejacket floating by in the river. They were concerned and headed upstream to see if they could see what had happened. They found two men in the water, with one of them sitting on top of the upturned boat. Clinging on to a pillar. Call Fire arrived and assisted the two good Samaritans with the rescue. It is not clear why the boat capsized, but the important thing is that nobody was hurt, unlike another accident that occurred just two months later when another boat overturned. An air ambulance had to be called to transfer one of the two people to the hospital.

Source ABC KRCR 20 July 2020

Iconic Sacramento Pastor Retires After 50 Years

Dr. Ephraim Williams, the Pastor at St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church in Sacramento, has just retired after 50 years of service to the community. The pastor, who is now over 80, says he is not done yet, and he plans to continue serving the local community during his retirement. Normally there would have been a special service to mark his retirement, but the church has not met in person since March because of the pandemic. The congregation would not let that stop them from honoring the Paster, so they held a Socially Distant Drive Through Parade in his honor instead.

Dr. Williams was born in Mississippi more than eighty years ago, moving north to Chicago as a teenager, and then to Sacramento in the 1960s. He had a memorable introduction to Sacramento when he saw a house for rent sign. On knocking at the door, the occupant saw Dr. Williams, a black man, and slammed the door in his face. Other places he tried would not even talk to him.

Dr. Williams concluded the interview with one last statement, “Don’t forget God, don’t forget him.

Source: ABC10 – 14 August 2020

Marine Who Survived the Battle of Iwo Jima Celebrates 105 Birthday

A World War II Vet who survived the battle of Iwo Jima reaches the age of 105. Major Bill White is the oldest living marine, and his 105th birthday was marked with a Socially Distanced Drive-By Parade. The parade even included a Highway Patrol cruiser in the community organized parade.

Because of the pandemic, Bill’s family has not been able to visit much, and they realized that so many people wanted to honor him.

He rose to the rank of major in a thirty-year marine career. It is not Bill’s first brush with the media. In January, he received 300,000 cards, letters, and gifts following a request for valentine’s cards.

Bill received a purple heart for his actions at Iwo Jima back in March 1945. This is his most prized possession. He recalls that there were not many who did survive, and when a grenade exploded a matter of inches from him, he nearly lost his own life.

His final statement was, “Now I am trying for 106, just one at a time.”

The Battle of Iwo Jima was a major battle in WW2 when the United States Marines attacked and captured the island of Iwo Jima. Capturing the island was of great importance to the allies, and the marines needed to capture the island with its two airfields. The attack resulted in the death of over 20,000 Japanese deaths, with just 216 survivors. The famous photo showing American Troops raising a US flag on top of a hill was taken at Iwo Jima. 20% of all the Medal of Honor recipients in World War II were awarded due to the action at Iwo Jima.

Source Fox23 News – 3 August 2020

Sacramento’s SmaRT Ride Microtransit Service Declared Among Most Successful in the US

Sacramento regional Transport announced that it’s demand microtransit shuttle called SmaRT Ride is considered one of the most successful in the USA. It has even managed to continue growing during the Pandemic. It has been growing in popularity all summer, and in July, it clocked its highest ridership month with12,200 rides.

It was well on track to beat that, but the smoke from the fires and the excess heat stopped that from happening. However, they still managed 11,500 rides. Recent growth in September has been 4% per week, which is the highest growth of any similar system in the USA. The operation’s continued growth is in stark contrast to the contraction showed by most other systems in the USA.

Using modern technology, passengers can hail a ride from Smartphones or online, which connects to the call center where advanced algorithms match passengers with specific vehicles.

Source: TTI – 9 September 2020

Bear seen on video ransacking California grocery stores is now roaming the wild again November

A local bear decided to forego scavenging in the woods for food and decided it would be a lot easier and quicker to take a trip to the local grocery store instead. A Black bear at Lake Tahoe had a plan and was seen on video visiting local businesses in his search for food.

The Fish and Wildlife Officials estimate the bear was around 500 lbs and between 16 and 18 years old. Whereas a younger bear might have been taken and placed in a zoo, they believed he would not be happy in captivity because of the bear’s advanced age. So they returned him to the wilds but fitted him with a tracking device so that the department can keep a close eye on him and stop him from going on any more shopping trips.

However, Anne Bryant from the “Bears League” explained that she did not think this was the right move, and she is worried about the safety of the bear, who may have been placed in another bear’s habitat. This may cause friction between the two bears.

Safeway seems to be the bear’s favorite store, it was filmed there twice on different days, but it also chose to visit the Chevron Station where store cameras caught it having a ly down while munching on candy.

Source: Sacramento Bee – 11 November 2020

This Sacramento school teaches outdoors: rain or shine.

In Sacramento, Camellia Waldorf School had a unique solution to keeping children safe during the pandemic by setting up classrooms outside. The school is home to around 120 students who are ranged from pre-school to eighth grade. The school has a staggering drive, though drop-off and screening in the morning. All the adults and the second to eighth grade wear masks. They have installed six outdoor sinks and encourage frequent handwashing.

When asked about the cold, Cindy Stinson, representing the school, said that Sacramento is not as cold as New York, and in 1918, new york had classes outside, so we figured we could definitely do it.

Stinson said, “We did not have a huge budget to make these changes, but we just tried to be practical.”

We originally thought about four different models to deal with the pandemic.

  1. Outdoor in-person
  2. Full-Time distance learning
  3. Inclusive learning (mix of individual and distance)
  4. Reverse distance learning where the teacher is at home and instructs students on campus.

The school says that there have not been any cases of COVID. There are plans to continue with the outside learning until the 2020-2021 school year.

Source: KCRA – 15 December 2020

Sacramento Taco Bell employees were surprised with a $500 gift from a customer.

Taco bell staff at an outlet in the pocket Area were still reeling after a “Secret Santa” rewarded the staff for their ongoing, customer-facing work in the pandemic by leaving each staff member $100 as a Christmas Gift.

Staff says he is a stranger; they do not know his name or anything about him. However, it turns out that a former Taco Bell employee had worked in a branch in Flagstaff as a teenager. And he knows how tough the job can sometimes be.

His name is Shan Dan Horan, and 20 years ago, he was almost killed when working in one. The memories of that frightening event are still with him. Horan works in Sacramento’s music industry. Before he gave the money, he gathered around the staff, told them the story of his near-death experience working in Taco Bell, and then asked them to take it easy and spend some time with their family. He then dished out the amazing Christmas gift.

What a wonderful story of generosity from Sacramento, just a perfect way to end our quick flip through news events in the city over the last year.

Source: ABC10 News – December 16th