Former Fox 40 anchor Paul Robins to host afternoon drive show for new radio station

Originally published by SacBee.com on Jan. 9, 2019

Radio listeners will soon hear a familiar voice on Sacramento’s 92.5 The Breeze.

Former Fox 40 morning anchor and longtime Sacramento radio personality Paul Robins recently announced he would be leaving the TV station to lead the digital communication and design degree program at William Jessup University.

According to an announcement from iHeartMedia, which operates KBEB-FM 92.5, which specializes in “relaxing favorites at work,” Robins will begin hosting the station’s afternoon drive show beginning Friday, Feb. 1.

Robins, who is currently traveling overseas with his wife, according to several posts on his Facebook page, will host the show from Jessup’s on-campus studio, which will provide an opportunity for students to gain some hands-on learning experiences with broadcast and digital content.

“I’m absolutely thrilled that Paul has agreed to join 92.5 The Breeze,” Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia in Sacramento Curtiss Johnson said in an announcement. “Nobody in Sacramento knows this music more than Paul Robins. He is a trusted and beloved personality and a downright institution in our city. I can’t wait for him to keep Sacramento relaxed on the drive home every workday.”

Robins announced his departure from Fox 40 in late November of last year. Robins was with the news station for 10 years, hosting the morning show for much of that time.

In the past, he has reported for PBS’s “America’s Heartland,” a weekly TV program, and appeared on the Discovery Channel. He is also a mystery novelist, according to his website.

In radio, he’s worked for stations in Detroit and Dallas, in addition to Sacramento. Robins is perhaps most well-known for his many years of bantering back and forth on Sacramento radio with co-host Phil Cowan.

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Deadline for Covered California open enrollment quickly approaching

Originally published by SacBee.com on Jan. 9, 2019

Californians hoping to sign up for medical coverage through Covered California have until Tuesday, Jan. 15, when open enrollment ends.

This year’s deadline is earlier than in 2018, when open enrollment for the state ended Jan. 31. Those who sign up for coverage by Jan. 15 will begin receiving benefits on Feb. 1. Those who do not sign up for coverage by Jan. 15 will miss their opportunity to be covered in 2019 unless they qualify for special enrollment.

“Covered California knows that many consumers are deadline driven and often wait until the final few days to sign up for health insurance,” said Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee in an announcement of the organization’s final statewide enrollment tour. “We want to make sure they know that this year’s deadline is earlier than it has been in the past, and they must take action in the next week in order to get the peace of mind and protection they deserve in 2019.”

Open enrollment for most states ended Dec. 21, 2018, after the partial government shutdown extended the deadline from Dec. 15. Covered California reports that more than 238,000 people had signed up for coverage as of that date.

On Monday, The Sacramento Bee reported that California’s new governor, Gavin Newsom, announced plans to institute a state tax penalty on people who don’t have insurance. The federal Affordable Care Act had created a national tax penalty, but Congress voted in 2017 to revoke it, starting with tax returns for 2019 income. 

Additionally, Newsom is seeking approval from the federal government to implement a single-payer health care system in California, which was a focus for Newsom on the campaign trail.

According to Covered California, “the majority of uninsured Californians who are eligible for financial help either do not know or mistakenly think they do not qualify.”

About 90 percent of the people who sign up for a health plan through the exchange receive financial help, with the average person paying about $5 per day for coverage, Covered California said.

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Get cultured for free: Check out 24 Sacramento-area museums as part of Museum Week

Originally published by SacBee.com on Jan. 9, 2019

Punxsutawney Phil may or may not see his shadow this Groundhog Day, but there will be plenty to see and experience around Sacramento on Saturday, Feb. 2, during Free Museum Day.

A total of 24 museums will participate in the 21st annual event. Free admission to the participating locations will begin at 10 a.m. and last through 5 p.m.

Some of the museums participating in Free Museum Day include the California Museum, Sacramento History Museum, Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park, Folsom History Museum, the California State Railroad Museum, which recently hosted some of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s inauguration events, and the California Capitol in downtown Sacramento.

A full list of the participating locations is on the official Sacramento Area Museums website.

“Our continuing goal as a collaborative organization is to introduce the community to the amazing array of arts, culture and museum offerings available in the greater Sacramento region,” said Sacramento Area Museums Chair Delta Pick Mello in a press release. 

This year’s event kicks off the organization’s new Museum Week, which is sponsored by Visit Sacramento, Sutter Health and California Family Fitness. Museum Week will feature special attractions each day at select locations through Feb. 8.

According to SAM, some of the Museum Week activities are listed below with the full rundown on sacmuseums.org. Keep in mind that regular admission fees apply for all of the events aside from Free Museum Day.

▪ Sunday, Feb. 3 (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) – The California Automobile Museum offers “Downtown Sunday Drives” in vintage cars.

▪ Monday, Feb. 4 (11 to 11:30 a.m.) – The California State Railroad Museum presents an “All Aboard for Story Time” children’s reading activity.

▪ Tuesday, Feb. 5 (6 to 8:30 p.m.) – Verge Center for the Arts offers a real-life Adult Drop-In Figure Drawing class.

▪ Wednesday, Feb. 6 (10 a.m.) – The California State Library will conduct special guided tours on this day and during Museum Week Tuesday and Thursday. Museum Day tours will be on request.

▪ Thursday, Feb. 7 (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) – Locke Art Studio will offer a free Joy Kuo Master silk screen printing demonstration.

▪ Friday, Feb. 8 (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) – Sacramento Historic City Cemetery volunteers will be available to answer questions about the cemetery, help visitors find specific graves or assist with their genealogical research.

Though many of the museums are within walking distance of one another, Sacramento Regional Transit is offering free rides on Feb. 2 to help museum attendees get from one museum to the next. A printed or digital event flier, which can be found on the Sac RT website, is required to get a free lift on RT buses and light-rail trains.

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Roommate stole Vacaville man’s lottery ticket, police say. Turns out, it was worth $10 million

Originally published by SacBee.com on Jan. 8, 2019

Should you ever win a big prize playing the lottery, you may want to be careful who you tell.

According to the Vacaville Police Department, after purchasing a $30 California Lottery Scratcher ticket on Dec. 20 from Lucky Grocery Store on Peabody Road, a Vacaville man was excited to learn that he had won $10,000. Or so he thought.

The next day, he took the ticket to the lottery’s district office in Sacramento to cash it in but he was met with the news that the ticket could not be redeemed because it was not a winner. In fact, the ticket had been altered.

Suspecting one of his roommates of stealing the real ticket and replacing it with a fraudulent one, he reported it to the police department. The following day, the man’s roommate, Adul Saosongyang, 35, attempted to turn in the real winning ticket and was informed that the ticket was actually worth $10 million.

Unaware the ticket had been reported stolen, the lottery office began its standard administrative investigation for any winnings of more than $600. Part of the investigation included viewing the surveillance cameras at the store where the ticket was purchased.

Upon visiting the store, they learned the ticket had been reported stolen.

On Monday, following a joint investigation of the District Lottery Office and the Vacaville Police Department, lottery’s investigators invited Saosongyang to its office to collect his winnings. When he arrived, he was arrested.

Saosongyang faces a charge of grand theft.

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No bricks for you! Arden Fair’s Lego store closes its doors

Originally published by SacBee.com on Jan. 8, 2019

Budding architects and lovers of tiny plastic bricks in Sacramento will have to search harder to find their building material of choice.

The Lego store inside the Arden Fair mall has closed it doors. A listing on the official website of the shopping center confirms that the store is no longer open for business.

Nathan Spradlin, senior marketing manager for Arden Fair, did not immediately respond to The Bee for comment, but told Sacramento Business Journal that the store closed over the weekend.

According to that report, Victoria’s Secret offshoot Pink could fill the space along with the neighboring Boost Mobile store, which is slated for closure at the end of January.

Pink already exists elsewhere in the mall, but will be moving to the new location, which will combine the former Lego Store and Boost Mobile into a larger space for the clothing retailer.

One sad fan of the Lego Store took to Twitter and YouTube to offer his “fond farewell” to the location that sold everything from miscellaneous bricks to the biggest sets offered by the toy company.

The nearest Lego Store for capital region is at the Galleria in Roseville.

Fans of the Danish toy maker’s colorful construction sets still have time to check out the Lego art display by Sacramento native David Tracy called “Bricking Bad” through Jan. 12 in Rancho Cordova.

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Raley Field job fair to offer positions in more than a dozen areas

Originally published by SacBee.com on Jan. 8, 2019

Need a job? Love baseball? The Sacramento River Cats may have just the opportunity for you.

The team is hosting a job fair at Raley Field later this month to hire for multiple positions. The hiring event will be held on Saturday, Jan. 26, from 9 a.m. to noon and Saturday, Feb. 9, from 1 to 4 p.m.

According to a Facebook event posting, jobs are available in the concessions stands, parking lot, ticket office and in merchandise sales. Open jobs include positions for cooks, dishwashers, bartenders and groundskeepers, among others. In all, there are jobs up for grabs in 19 areas of the stadium.

It’s important to note that these are seasonal, part-time positions.

Raley Field is located at 400 Ballpark Drive in West Sacramento. Those interested in attending the job fair on either day can find out more from the event’s Facebook page.

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Here’s what to expect at Gavin Newsom’s California Rises wildfire relief concert

Originally published by SacBee.com on Jan. 4, 2019

Gavin Newsom’s inauguration events may go down as the most memorable in the history of the state. Rather, they should at least prove that the governor-elect is more hip than previous officeholders.

On Sunday, Jan. 6, a benefit concert downtown at Golden 1 Center for the California Fire Foundation, which supports firefighters and communities harmed by wildfires, will include performances by Common, Pitbull, X Ambassadors, Betty Who and Cold Weather Sons, a musical duo that was formed as a direct result of the Camp Fire.

The tickets, which run $25 each, are on sale now and will follow a free afternoon event for families where attendees can meet Newsom at the California State Railroad Museum.

The event will also feature kid-friendly activities. It’s one of several inauguration-related events that are scheduled to take place in Sacramento over the weekend with Newsom to be sworn into office Monday.

According to the website for the concert, the goal of the show is “to help fund long-term recovery for the individuals and areas impacted by the 2018 wildfires. California Rises will bring first responders and others impacted by the fires together with our state’s leaders in a celebration of hope, healing and renewal.”

Ranging in genres from hip hop, to rock, to pop, the group of artists chosen for the concert all have connections to political or social activism. For those interested in attending, here’s what to expect from each performer.

Cold Weather Sons

Nathaniel Smith And Miykael Goodwin formed Cold Weather Sons following Smith’s home being destroyed by the Camp Fire in November of last year, according to the duo’s Facebook page.

The musical team wrote a song, which features the sounds of strumming guitars and a country twang, about their beloved town of Paradise. The song is called “One Of These Days” and is a tribute to the town that was mostly wiped out as a result of California’s most devastating wildfire in history.

According to NPR, the song, which was recorded in Nashville, is raising money to benefit victims of the fire.

Common

This won’t be the first time Common will perform at a Gavin Newsom event.

The Grammy-award winning rapper, actor and activist, who is outspoken on many social justice issues and integrates his thoughts on society’s problems into his methodical rhymes with songs like “Glory” from the movie “Selma,” performed along with Cypress Hill and DJ Jazzy Jeff of “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” fame at a private event in Sacramento in May 2017.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Common also performed at the former San Francisco mayor’s governorship victory event in Los Angeles this past Novermber, where a Sacramento resident even got up close and personal with the rapper.

Betty Who

An activist on LGBT issues, 27-year-old Australian singer Betty Who hasn’t been shy about her thoughts on the subject.

The singer of hit songs like “Somebody Loves You” is set to belt out her synth-pop tunes at Newsom’s California Rises relief concert.

She’s been dubbed an “Aus-merican” by her mother, according to a report from The Bee’s sister-publication The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., because of the influence she’s taken from some of her favorite American singers. She puts Britney Spears at the top of the list.

“There is no recording artist more than Britney Spears who had such an effect on me. When I was a kid, I was all about Britney and her performance,” she told the News & Observer.

Pitbull

This rapper and activist in the Latino community is known for his fast-paced and hard-hitting songs, including “I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho),” and “Give Me Everything” as well as 2013’s No. 1 U.S. Billboard Hot 100 song “Timber,” which featured musician Kesha.

According to looktothestars.org, a website dedicated to highlighting “celebrity giving,” Pitbull has supported causes like adoption, fostering, poverty and education. He even opened a charter school in his hometown of Miami in 2013.

Dubbed, “Mr. Education,” he is also a supporter of the Sports Leadership And Management Academy (SLAM).

“If sports is what you love, one way or another, it’s a business you can get involved with,” Pitbull told NPR.

X Ambassadors

X Ambassadors, a New York indie rock band, is no stranger to benefit and tribute concerts.

According to a newspaper in the band’s hometown of Ithaca, X Ambassadors organized and performed at a concert that brought the band back to its roots in September as a tribute to the city.

It should be pretty clear why Newsom chose X Ambassadors for his concert as the band has come out in support of causes like the 2017 women’s marches and Planned Parenthood, issues that are closely-aligned with Newsom’s Democratic values.

The band even produced a single in support of the ACLU, according to a report by Billboard. The band explained to Billboard that the song, titled “Hoping,” was a direct response to President Donald Trump’s actions toward illegal immigration in the United States.

“We will continue to fight against sexism, racism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, homophobia, xenophobia, and the pervasive intolerance being encouraged under our current administration,” the band told Billboard.

Newsom hasn’t seen eye-to-eye on policy issues with President Donald Trump either.

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You’ll soon have a shorter wait to catch a Sacramento light-rail train on weekends

Originally published by SacBee.com on Jan. 3, 2019

Light-rail riders will soon have a shorter wait to grab a train on weekends.

Sacramento Regional Transit announced Thursday that beginning Sunday, light-rail service will increase from 30-minute intervals to 15 minutes between pickup times during busier travel hours.

“By offering more frequent service on the weekends, people will be able to travel to their destinations as safely and quickly as possible,” General Manager and CEO for Sacramento RT Henry Li said in a news release.

The new 15-minute intervals will run from approximately 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays and holidays, RT said.

The announcement noted that all other times on weekends and holidays as well as service to Folsom stations will continue to run every 30 minutes. RT recommends checking sacrt.com for specific schedule changes before heading out to catch a train.

Other changes RT has made recently include longer service hours to Folsom light rail stations, lower fares and transfer ticket prices, and reduced fees for student monthly passes.

Many of these changes reflect RT’s efforts to combat a decline in ridership since its peak shortly before the recession more than a decade ago.

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Pedestrian struck by Amtrak train in West Sacramento

Originally published by SacBee.com on Nov. 25, 2018

A pedestrian was struck by an Amtrak train in West Sacramento near the Sacramento River just after 5 p.m. Saturday when he entered an area closed to foot traffic.

The train was traveling from Sacramento to Oakland and carrying 52 passengers, none of whom were injured, according to a statement from Amtrak.

“On November 24, Amtrak Capital Corridor train 745 came into contact with an individual illegally trespassing on the tracks near Sacramento,” the statement said.

Officer Michelle Mizzi, a spokeswoman with the West Sacramento Police Department, confirmed the incident and said the male victim was taken to a hospital. The victim’s condition was unknown.

The incident is under investigation by the Amtrak Police Department.

Check back for more information on this developing story.

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Find your umbrella: Rain, light winds to return to Sacramento, capital region Tuesday

Originally published by SacBee.com on Sept. 29, 2018

The calendar says it’s autumn, but summer temperatures have held on across Northern California – that is until next week. A low-pressure system is set to bring a bit of wet weather back to the area.

According to forecasts, steady showers will begin late Monday and continue into the morning hours Tuesday.

The National Weather Service says the wet weather should clear up by late Tuesday afternoon with temperatures expected in the upper 80s by Thursday and into the weekend. Winds of up to 20 miles per hour are also expected.

Sacramento has not seen rain since May 25 with 0.32 inches and next week’s storm is expected to dump less than a tenth of an inch on the region, NWS said.

NWS meteorologist Johnnie Powell cautioned drivers to be careful as the first rains for the season can cause dangerous road conditions.

“We haven’t seen rain since around Memorial Day weekend, so any amount of moisture is going to cause us some slick roads,” he said.

Capture

According to the Associated Press, rain has already returned in other parts of California, including in areas that have recently dealt with lasting effects of drought and recent wildfires. Thunderstorms and rain throughout the northern region of the state are forecast through the weekend with some areas getting hit with showers Saturday.

“In the south, surf generated by the cyclone off Mexico is expected to build overnight, followed by rain on Monday as (Hurricane) Rosa’s moisture expands northward from Baja California.,” the AP reported.

Residents near the Holy and Cranston fires are being warned by the Riverside County Emergency Management Department that “intense rain could cause dangerous debris flows,” according to the AP.

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