Community, Police

Citrus Heights News Briefs: shooting, homeless, marijuana, fire update

Citrus Heights police shooting
Citrus Heights police respond to a shooting at an apartment complex next to Kmart on Auburn Boulevard, Jan. 29. // CH Sentinel

Local news briefs this week include local homeless outreach efforts, a Friday night shooting, local medical marijuana regulation, and an update on the cause of a Citrus Heights garage fire.

Friday night shooting in Citrus Heights injures one; police investigating
Citrus Heights police detectives are investigating a Jan. 29 shooting at an apartment complex next to the Auburn Boulevard Kmart, which sent one man to the hospital. In a news release issued Saturday morning, police said officers responded to a 911 call around 8:15 p.m. on Friday and found a man in his mid-twenties with an “upper body” gunshot wound, on the 7300 block of Auburn Oaks Court. The man was taken to a local hospital where he underwent surgery, and is currently in stable condition and expected to survive.

Police said detectives are currently investigating the incident and request anyone with information about the shooting to contact the Citrus Heights Police Department at (916) 727-5500, or via an anonymous crime tips hotline at (916) 727-5524. The news release did not indicate any arrests have been made, but police said “there is no specific risk to the members of the community, as this incident appears to be isolated.”

Metro Fire: space heater caused Citrus Heights garage blaze
An early morning fire which torched a garage and vehicle last week was caused by a space heater, Metro Fire Captain Michelle Eidam told The Sentinel on Friday. The fire occurred around 2 a.m. on Jan. 21, inside a garage attached to a Twin Brook Court home, near Van Maren Lane. A next-door neighbor said she awoke to flames and “swarms” of firefighters who used saws to cut open the garage in order to gain access.

Metro Fire also determined a space heater to be the cause of a house fire earlier this month in Antelope, according to a Fox40 news report. Fire officials recommend keeping space heaters at least three feet away from flammable objects, and to always use properly rated extension cords.

City council hears update on local homeless outreach
At a Thursday-night council meeting, City leaders heard a 20-minute report from the head of the Citrus Heights Homeless Assistance Resource Team (HART), a group formed in late-2014 to “craft and implement long-term solutions to a long-term problem” of homelessness, through public-private partnerships.

HART Chairwoman Kathilynn Carpenter said she believes connecting homeless individuals with available services and resources, in addition to enforcement of existing laws, is “the most cost-effective model” to addressing homelessness. Carpenter, who also serves as executive director of Sunrise Marketplace, said her group has several events planned this year and seeks to launch a winter shelter in Citrus Heights by 2017, primarily through working with churches and other volunteer groups.

Councilmembers also heard an update from “navigator” Fatima Martinez, who works with HART to help connect homeless individuals with available resources. The one-year navigator pilot program was funded by a $10,000 grant through the City, and has currently been in operation for six months. Martinez reported engaging 19 homeless individuals, 14 of whom agreed to participate in services like general assistance, bus passes, free government cell phones, motel vouchers and transportation. She said out of the 14 participants, four were connected with Rancho Cordova’s winter sanctuary, two were permanently housed, and three are temporarily housed. (Full story coming next week with additional details and councilmember responses.)

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Public hearing held on medical marijuana code amendment
A public hearing on a medical marijuana code amendment was short and uneventful Thursday night, with no members of the public speaking in favor or against the proposed change during the hearing. According to City staff, the amendment made no changes to current marijuana cultivation regulations in the city, but protects local control by adding references to existing regulations into the zoning code’s “land use” tables. City officials said motivation behind the amendment was a deadline set by Assembly Bill 243, which requires cities to have medical marijuana land use regulations in place by March 1, 2016, in order to retain local licensing authority over marijuana cultivation — otherwise licensing power would reside at the state level only. Councilmembers passed the amendment unanimously.

See what else happened over the past week: Citrus Heights This Week: what’s happening in town (Jan.24-30)

[Related update on Fox40: Brother of Man Shot In Face During Robbery Speaks Out]