United Way to Hold Trivia Night Fundraiser

By Kristin Thébaud  |  2019-02-06

Teams of young professionals works together to solve a round of trivia over beers and dinner at United Way’s Young Leaders Society’s Brews & Brains fundraiser. Photo courtesy Thébaud Communications

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Sacramento-area young professionals can show off their knowledge of early 2000s trivia while raising funds to help local kindergarteners save for college at United Way’s Young Leaders Society’s annual Brews & Brains trivia night on Feb. 8 from 5:30-8 p.m. at the Sacramento Masonic Temple, 1123 J Street. Guests, who must be age 21 or older, will enjoy beer, food and chances to win prizes. Guests who register as a team of six by Jan. 28 will receive the early bird rate of $135, which includes a Brews & Brains pint glass, and food and drink tickets for each team member. Individuals and couples can register for $25 each to be placed on a team and receive food and a drink ticket. To learn more: www.yourlocalunitedway.org/brewsandbrains2019

“Whether you want to show off your useless knowledge, enjoy beer, help kids or all of the above, this is the event for you,” said Creston Whiting-Casey, chair of United Way’s Young Leaders Society. “The energy in the room is always a lot of fun as we tackle questions ranging from pop culture to politics – all to help kids in our region get excited early about going to college.”

Research shows that children with even modestly funded college savings accounts are three times more likely to attend college – and four times more likely to complete college – than those without a college savings account. Parents and guardians who attend two free financial education and empowerment courses earn a $200 college savings account for their kindergartener. Parents, relatives and friends may make additional contributions to help grow the student’s account. The program recognizes that early intervention and continued parental involvement dramatically increase the probability that children will achieve higher education.

“We want to create the expectation very early in every child’s life that higher education is both a desirable and achievable goal,” said Stephanie Bray, president and CEO, United Way California Capital Region. “It’s fantastic to see young professionals coming together to make sure all kids have the same access to education beyond high school.”

For nearly 100 years, United Way California Capital Region has brought local people together to make community change happen. Today, the nonprofit is bringing people together across Amador, El Dorado, Sacramento, Placer and Yolo counties for its Square One Project, a 20-year promise to significantly increase the number of students in our region who graduate from high school ready for success in college and beyond. United Way believes ending generational poverty starts in school and is working to ensure kids meet important milestones and their families receive support and resources. To learn more and make a donation: www.yourlocalunitedway.org

Source: Thébaud Communications

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Monster Jam Series Returns

By Heather Atherton  |  2019-01-09

All photos courtesy Atherton Public Relations


SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Unexpected, unscripted and unforgettable!  Monster Jam®, the most action-packed motorsports experience for families in the world today, returns to Sacramento with a new level of high-flying, four-wheel excitement!  Be prepared for another high-octane weekend of Monster Jam Triple Threat Series events featuring six different competitions of speed, racing and freestyle stunts at the Golden 1 Center from January 18–20, 2019.

Featuring eight of the most intense athletes of Monster Jam, Central Valley fans will witness a fierce battle for the championship with each Triple Threat Series competitor contending in customized high-powered vehicles: Monster Jam Speedsters, Monster Jam ATVs and of course, the iconic Monster Jam trucks in six events sure to leave fans on the edge of their seats.

Monster Jam drivers are trained, world-class male and female athletes who have mastered not only the physical strength and mental stamina needed to compete, but the vital dexterity to control 12,000-pound machines capable of doing backflips, vertical two-wheel skills and racing at speeds up to 70 miles per hour to produce jaw-dropping, live motor sports action seen around the world. Now across all Monster Jam events, fans in every city will have the chance to vote for the winner in the two-wheel and freestyle competitions by real-time, in-stadium fan voting on their smartphones. 

Fans also have the unparalleled opportunity to get up close and personal to their favorite Monster Jam trucks and drivers at the Monster Jam® Pit Party pre-show experience for photos & autographs.  

Tickets are affordably priced for the whole family with seats starting at just $20 each. Pit Passes available to purchase for $15 each.

Tickets and Pit Passes will be available for purchase online at Ticketmaster.com, charge by phone at 800-745-3000 or visit the Golden 1 Center Box Office. Ticket prices are subject to change, venue/ticketing fees may apply.

For all the latest news, announcements and updates, be sure to watch the Monster Jam 2019 Season Kickoff Show live streaming on www.MonsterJam.com

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Society for the Blind Members to Join National Fitness Challenge

By Kristin Thebaud  |  2019-01-04

Society for the Blind members join the challenge. Photo courtesy Society for the Blind.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Society for the Blind, a Sacramento-based nonprofit serving blind and low vision people in Northern California, has received a grant from Anthem Blue Cross and CareMore Foundations to create opportunities for individuals to participate in the National Fitness Challenge, an initiative founded by the United States Association of Blind Athletes and the parent Foundation of Anthem Blue Cross and CareMore. Society for the Blind is one of 17 organizations across the nation that is participating in the National Fitness Challenge and is using grant funding to offer adaptive yoga classes, walking groups, running clinics and other sports and fitness activities that can help people who are blind or low-vision to maximize healthy lifestyles. These activities will be offered over the course of eight months to help hundreds of youth and adults to increase physical fitness levels and live healthier lives.

“The goal of the National Fitness Challenge is to help people with visual disabilities to live more active lifestyles,” said Shari Roeseler, executive director, Society for the Blind. “The program launched during Blindness Awareness Month in October, and through May 31, 2019, will highlight what people with visual disabilities can do, rather than what they cannot do. We are lucky to live in an age where a person with vision loss can achieve most anything they set their mind to doing, and we are grateful to Anthem Blue Cross Foundation and CareMore Foundation for helping us to empower this year’s participants.”

This year’s challenge integrates technology and social media to inspire participants to set goals, create team environments and encourage leadership. Each participant has been provided with a Fitbit Flex 2 wearable – a universal way to measure activities, calories burned and number of steps taken. Participants also have the opportunity to utilize Fitbit Coach, which is a personalized training app that provides adaptive video workouts and audio coaching. Foundation grant funding is being used to provide Fitbits, fitness and nutritional instruction, performance prizes as well as technical and financial support for all participants.

“Research has consistently shown that individuals who participate in regular physical activity to improve their health have higher energy levels, lower risk of health-related diseases, improved psychological health, and lower rates of depression and anxiety,” said Ricardo Young, CareMore Health Medical Director. “We are proud to support members of the Society for the Blind through our collaboration with the National Fitness Challenge, and to create access to activities supporting healthier individuals and stronger communities.”

More than half of those who are blind or low vision in the United States do not participate in even a limited physical fitness routine, mostly due to barriers to accessible fitness or misconceptions about their abilities. Individuals of all abilities should have equal opportunities to engage in activities that improve health outcomes, so the National Fitness Challenge aims to increase access to fitness and health for blind and low vision people. 

“Anthem Blue Cross Foundation is committed to removing barriers and increasing access to critical programs and services that help individuals and communities to lead healthier lives,” said Dr. Barsam Kasravi, Interim Anthem Blue Cross Medicaid Plan President. “We are proud of our Foundation’s ongoing support of people with visual disabilities and are confident that this support will go a long way in helping Californians to improve their overall wellness while enjoying the physical and emotional benefits of exercise and group sports.”

Since 2011, the parent Foundation of Anthem Blue Cross and CareMore has provided $1.3 million in grant funding to U.S. Association of Blind Athletes for the National Fitness Challenge initiative and has impacted thousands of Americans with visual disabilities by partnering with 40 different agencies across the country. To learn more about the National Fitness Challenge, visit www.usaba.org/NationalFitnessChallenge

For more than 60 years, Society for the Blind has created innovative ways to empower individuals living with low vision or blindness to discover, develop and achieve their full potential. Society for the Blind has grown from a dedicated group of volunteers to a nationally recognized agency and the only comprehensive rehabilitative teaching center that provides services for a 27-county region of northern California. The nonprofit provides low-vision eye care, life and job skills training, mentorship, and access to tools to maintain independence for more than 5,000 youth, adults and seniors experiencing vision loss each year. For more information: SocietyfortheBlind.org

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AMERICAN PICKERS to Film in California!

By Emily Chafetz, CINEFLIXUSA  |  2019-01-04

Photos courtesy AMERICAN PICKERS

Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz, and their team are excited to return to California! They plan to film episodes of the hit series AMERICAN PICKERS throughout the region in March 2019!

AMERICAN PICKERS is a documentary series that explores the fascinating world of antique “picking” on History. The hit show follows Mike and Frank, two of the most skilled pickers in the business, as they hunt for America’s most valuable antiques. They are always excited to find sizeable, unique collections and learn the interesting stories behind them.

As they hit the back roads from coast to coast, Mike and Frank are on a mission to recycle and rescue forgotten relics. Along the way, the Pickers want to meet characters with remarkable and exceptional items. The pair hopes to give historically significant objects a new lease on life, while learning a thing or two about America’s past along the way.

Mike and Frank have seen a lot of rusty gold over the years and are always looking to discover something they’ve never seen before. They are ready to find extraordinary items and hear fascinating tales about them.

AMERICAN PICKERS is looking for leads and would love to explore your hidden treasure. If you or someone you know has a large, private collection or accumulation of antiques that the Pickers can spend the better part of the day looking through, send us your name, phone number, location and description of the collection with photos to: americanpickers@cineflix.com or call 855-OLD-RUST.

facebook: @GotAPick

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Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians Program Now Serving 4 Counties

WEST SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - The Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians announced today that they will be expanding Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) to Yolo County starting today.

“We are excited to be expanding the program to Yolo County,” said Tribal Chairperson Regina Cuellar.  “Every tribal family needs to have access to resources.  As of today, our Tribal TANF will now be able to help those Native American families in need from Yolo County.”

Yolo County’s Tribal TANF offices will initially share its space with Yolo County Health and Human Services Agency in West Sacramento. Those interested in Tribal TANF services in Yolo County can contact (888) 688-6816 to schedule an intake appointment at either 500 Jefferson Boulevard, West Sacramento or 25 N. Cottonwood Street, Woodland. In the coming months, Tribal TANF hopes to open its own offices in West Sacramento and Woodland. 

“These services are available for the neediest tribal families,” said Executive Director Daniel Delgado.  “We would not be able to provide services throughout the Sacramento Valley region and expand into Yolo County if not for the generosity, leadership, and support from the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians.”

The TANF program, which is time limited, assists families with children when the parents or other responsible relatives cannot provide for the family's basic needs.  The program provides educational development, career development, vocational training, child care, transitional services, teen pregnancy prevention, and parenting skills classes as well as monthly cash assistance.

The Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians runs the Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program in El Dorado, Placer and Sacramento counties.  The program serves hundreds of needy Native American families with the goal of providing the tools and teaching skills to allow the families to achieve self-sufficiency.

"Our program incorporates culture and traditions into all services provided to strengthen Native American families and assist with issues which create barriers to self-sufficiency,” added Delgado.

The mission of the Shingle Springs Tribal TANF Program is to shift Native Americans  from a pattern of chronic unemployment and welfare dependency to one of self-reliance and sustainable prosperity by developing a comprehensive web of support services and activities that form a pathway that income eligible and at-risk individuals and families can take as they make their journey toward self-sufficiency.

The Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians opened the Shingle Springs Tribal (TANF) Program in 2010.  

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The Yolo County District Attorney wrote and submitted the successful grant application

Woodland, CA (MPG) - December 31, 2018  Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig announced that on December 26, 2018,  his office’s grant team successfully assisted Fourth & Hope in obtaining funding to start a new transitional housing program. The grant will provide up to $1.5 million over a span of five years. This funding, awarded by the California Office of Emergency Services Transitional Housing (XH) Program, will provide community additional resources to effectively serve homeless victims of crime in Yolo County. 

Fourth & Hope has provided emergency shelter services in Yolo County since 1985. For 33 years, Fourth & Hope has demonstrated a commitment to addressing homelessness and helping some of the most vulnerable members of our community re-establish themselves. The organization is dedicated to changing lives, providing supportive services, and working closely with partners throughout Yolo County.

The Homeless Opportunity and Positive Engagement (HOPE) Housing Program will use a “housing first” model, which prioritizes placement in housing as the first step towards assisting the homeless in working towards self-sufficiency. The grant will fund a full-time Case Manager to work directly with homeless clients, with support from existing Fourth and Hope staff and volunteers. Empower Yolo will partner with Fourth and Hope on the project to provide rapid re-housing services to help clients secure permanent housing. Funds will also be used for security deposit financial assistance and short-term rental assistance for up to three months after moving into a permanent housing arrangement. Fourth & Hope will collaborate with the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office, the Public Defender’s Office, the Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA), the Woodland Police Department’s Homeless Outreach Street Team (HOST), Empower Yolo, and other local nonprofits to execute this new program.

The proposal was written by Jake Whitaker and Kevin Clark, two members of the District Attorney’s grant team, in collaboration with Amara Pickens at Fourth & Hope. This initiative is part of ongoing efforts by the District Attorney’s Office to partner with nonprofits and other county agencies in order to help secure funding to start new programs that align with Yolo County’s Strategic Plan priorities. During the past year, the District Attorney’s Office has assisted with putting together funding proposals on behalf of Fourth and Hope, Empower Yolo, the Probation Department, the Health and Human Services Agency, and CommuniCare Health Centers. In 2017, the District Attorney’s Office partnered with Empower Yolo and Shores of Hope to fund a new emergency shelter in West Sacramento. 

“We have an outstanding team of grant writers who are knowledgeable, dedicated and very creative,” said District Attorney Jeff Reisig.  “We are always pleased to assist our partners particularly when it comes to important causes such as homelessness.  We will continue to seek out partnerships with nonprofits and other county agencies to achieve shared policy goals.”

Fourth & Hope Executive Director Doug Zeck, Jr. expressed his appreciation for the community’s ongoing support of their mission.  "We are excited to increase capacity to serve the most vulnerable neighbors within our community. The ability to develop strong partnerships is key to long lasting stability for those we serve. Projects like this turn hope for housing into a reality.”


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Woodland, CA (MPG) - Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig announced December 21, 2018 that his office has secured a judgment against a cannabis cultivator, 28-year old Daniel Lopez from Antioch, who had grown hundreds of cannabis plants in Yolo County without a license.  The Honorable Kent O’Mara issued the judgment which requires Mr. Lopez to pay $2,808,000 in penalties and to comply with Yolo County’s cannabis laws.

Yolo County law requires commercial cultivators to obtain a license from the County before cultivating cannabis.  The District Attorney’s investigation found Mr. Lopez planted and cultivated 600 cannabis plants in the County without a license—and he did so after being previously informed of the need to have a license before cultivating.  Unlike licensed cannabis operations, Mr. Lopez’s plants were not tracked to ensure against diversion into the black market, the plants were not tested to ensure against excessive and harmful pesticide use, and his property was not inspected to prevent the many environmentally harmful practices commonly associated with unlawful cannabis operations.

Based on its investigation, the Yolo County District Attorney’s office filed a civil complaint against Mr. Lopez in December of 2017.  After Mr. Lopez impeded progress in the case and ignored several court orders, Judge Thomas Warriner issued terminating sanctions against him that ultimately resulted in a default judgment being issued against Mr. Lopez.  

“Yolo County law is clear that commercial cannabis cultivation is prohibited unless the cultivator holds a County license,” said District Attorney Reisig.  “This judgment sends a strong message that these rules serve a purpose, one of which is to protect the environment.”

The Yolo County Cannabis Task Force and Yolo County Department of Agriculture provided significant assistance in the investigation and prosecution of this matter.



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