WEST SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – West Sacramento is testing its own rideshare program for people travelling in the city. $3.50 will get you a ride anywhere within the West Sacramento city limits. The price drops to $1.75 a ride for those 65 and older who meet ADA requirements. The prices may change during the one-year pilot program. Drivers in a marked Mercedes Benz van will pick up a maximum 6 passengers within a block of their starting point. Wait times are estimated around 5-10 minutes based on driver availability. Passengers must be 18 to ride alone. Those ages 13-18 can ride alone with a parent or guardian’s permission; those under 13 must be accompanied by an adult. READ ALSO: Uber Changes Its Sexual Assault Policy The on-demand program is operated through New York-based Via, which also owns the 10 vans. Passengers can book the flat-rate ride using the Via app or by calling 916-318-5101. Currently, rides are available on weekdays from 7 am-7 pm and Saturdays from 9 am-7 pm. SEE FAQ According to West Sacramento, the rideshare program may expand to surrounding cities and towns based on demand from customers. Via drivers must undergo a criminal background check and have the required insurance.
WEST SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A trucker shortage across the state, and the country, is bringing some unwanted changes to consumers. According to the American Trucking Association, there’s a shortage of 50,000 truck drivers nationally. It’s increasing shipping costs not just to businesses, but to consumers, too. Jesica Robinson is hauling her way into a new career, and a change of scenery. Robinson says her aspiration to become a truck driver came easy. “I’m always traveling,” she said. She’s been training at the Western Truck School in West Sacramento for the past eight weeks, along with a few other truck drivers in the making. “It’s a good switch, it’s relaxing sometimes too, it also holds a lot of responsibility,” said Andrew Machado, another aspiring truck driver. And truck driving is in high demand. Truck schools, even large-scale businesses say they’re hurting for drivers. “The market doesn’t have enough new drivers coming in to replace the drivers that are retiring or moving on out of the industry,” said Mike Nord, president of Western Truck School. He says he started noticing a decline in the number of students about a year and a half ago. “Our student class size would go from as high as 25 students per month and now it could be six or eight per month,” Nord added. Nord says younger people are choosing different career paths, and the ones who do enter the trucking industry are in their mid-30s. Nord says the average age used to be 21. The shortage is driving up shipping costs across the nation. Amazon’s chief financial officer says that’s one reason the company increased its Prime membership by $20 earlier this month. Trucking experts say the shortage will only get worse for businesses and consumers. The California Trucking Association says it’s getting ready to roll out a new task force to entice more people to get behind the wheel. “We are gonna start looking at job fairs throughout the state,” said Eric Sauer, senior vice president of the association. The CTA estimates in the next decade, California will have a shortage of 70,000 truck drivers, and 1 million nationwide.
WEST SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — West Sacramento Police say it was around 10:20 Sunday morning when a fire department recovery team found a man’s body in the Sacramento River just south of the Port of West Sacramento. Police say the body had surfaced to the point where it could be seen and recovered, however, the victim was not wearing a life jacket. The coroner’s office has yet to officially confirm the man’s identity, but police say they are “fairly certain” the body is that of 54-year-old fisherman, Paul Beverly of Oakland. Police say the boat Beverly was on capsized last Wednesday and they’ve been searching for his body ever since. Two others on the boat at the time made it out safely. The deep water channel near the port is a busy area for boating and fishing and enthusiasts say there are hazards that you must watch out for. “Debris, you know, stuff in the water” said boater Patrick Mullen. “There’s a lot of sticks and you try not to run over anyone’s line who’s fishing from the bank” he said. Mullen says a person can get into trouble quickly if they go overboard. “Especially when you’re in a deep water channel like this. 40 feet doesn’t seem that deep until you’re flailing around trying to get back into your boat” Mullen said. Police have notified Beverly’s family, including his fiancée.
WEST SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Police say a fisherman drowned in Lake Washington off the port of West Sacramento, Wednesday morning when strong winds flipped his boat over. Rescue crews searched the choppy water for four hours, but say they exhausted all their resources with no sign of the missing fisherman. Winds around 30 mph made for dangerous fishing conditions. “The water’s cold, it’s very windy so the waters very choppy,” said West Sacramento Police Sgt. Roger Kinney. Police say three friends were out fishing when their boat capsized. Two of them had on life vests and safely made it out. “If you’re not wearing a life jacket and you do go over, the clock is ticking on how cold you get and how much energy you can muster to get to shore,” said windsurfer Gerry Mockler. Rescuers eventually pulled a small fishing boat out of the water. There was no other sign of the fisherman. “Regardless of any activities.. adults or kids… wear your life vest, that’ll save your life,” said Sgt. Kinney.
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Native American tribes in California received a big boost to the future of the Indian Heritage Center plans last week. Inside Gov. Jerry Brown’s revised budget is $100 million for a new cultural center to be built. It’s a project that was discussed more than a decade ago. “It’s as good a use for the riverfront as we could ask for,” said Chris Ledesma, West Sacramento Mayor Pro Tem. “We’ll have to go back and dust off the old plans and see OK where were we and pick back up and go,” said Ledesma with a smile. He recalls discussions years ago about a new Indian Heritage Center. “There will be a welcoming center,” pointed Ledesma while showing CBS13 around the proposed West Sacramento site. “It’s mostly going to be trails and walkways that people can explore.” The project was put on hold after the economic downturn in 2008. The money wasn’t available, until now. “It’s historic,” said Lisa Mangat, the director of California State Parks. The governor’s budget sets aside $100 million for a new Indian Culture Center. Another $100 million would need to be raised through donations and state and tribal fundraising efforts. Mangat says the planning and development of the public center will be a partnership with the tribal communities. “It’s going to be a place to gather and celebrate the cultures,” said Mangat. A roughly 4,500-square-foot building on the grounds of Sutter’s Fort is the state’s recognition of Native American History. “We haven’t as a state always celebrated the rich contributions of these peoples,” said Mangat. The entire state museum consists of a handful of exhibits in a building near Sutter’s Fort. “We need to do a better job of recognizing and celebrating the contributions of these communities and to really go big and go bold,” said Mangat. But the large money amount raises some concerns. “It was unclear exactly how the dollar amount was determined and if that was the right amount that we should be thinking of,” said Ashley Ames with the Legislative Analyst’s Office. She says they were provided few details on the project. “We really don’t know exactly how much we would end up spending on them,” said Ames. The legislative budget hearing happens on Wednesday. Elected leaders will decide how to proceed with the governor’s recommendation of $100 million for the new center.
WEST SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — West Sacramento is the first city to launch a controversial new program that watches what people post about it online. The pilot project gives city leaders a look at what’s trending in the city, whether it’s good or bad. It’s also creating privacy concerns around how the data is being used. When a wave of mailbox thefts hit the city last year, people complained on social media, and West Sacramento was watching. City leaders were alerted to the community concerns by a new system. “We saw the thing that most people were talking about were mailbox thefts,” said Mayor Christopher Cabaldon. “That’s something that we might not have noticed just by waiting for people to come to city hall or filing a complaint.” The city is using Zencity, a system that crawls through publicly available social media posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It taks all of that data and sorts through to find what people are talking about and whether it’s positive or negative. “The purpose of Zencity is to see the big picture,” he said. In January, concerns came from the closure of a Safeway store and the brutal murder of two sisters at the hands of their father. In March, a shooting threat at River City High School generated negative posts over the lack of updates from police and school staff. “It’s not that Zencity replaces our other forms of civic engagement, its just a way to listen more,” he said. But in the wake of the Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal and concerns over data collection in general, some are worried about where that data goes and who sees it. “There are ways this could go wrong,” said Peter Eckersley with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “Once you get into policing there are many more potential concerns around the use of artificial intelligence.” The ACLU worries about the potential misuse of the technology. Facebook started as a social engagement tool, then turned into a behemoth that exposed user data, even in unplanned ways. “There’s no privacy issues because we’re not opening up anything that hasn’t already been published publicly for the purpose of being public,” Cabaldon said. Instead, he hopes it will give all residents an equal say in civic matters. “It allows us to hear the whole community and not just the loudest voices that come to our chambers for a public hearing,” he said. The city is spending $12,000 from the Measure E sales-tax increase to license the software for one year. It gets a 66 percent discount as an early user.
WEST SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — An Oroville man has received a second chance at life, thanks to a dedicated firefighter. Perry Choy, a 20-year San Francisco firefighter, died last year after a massive stroke. His organs were donated, including his heart, which helped save the life of the Oroville man. Sunday, that man got to meet Choy’s family in West Sacramento. “It was loud, it was strong, as strong as his love for us actually,” cried Aletha Gomez. Emotions ran through Gomez as she heard the heartbeat of her son’s father, for the first time in nearly a year. Perry Choy’s heart, now beating strong inside an Oroville man. “I feel thankful and grateful that he lives on,” said Gomez. Choy, a San Francisco firefighter, unexpectedly passed away last year, after suffering from a stroke. His last wishes to Gomez: “He told me, you know when I pass away when I die, what am I gonna do with it? Might as well donate it and save more lives,” Gomez added. Choy’s sudden death became the gift of life for many, including 63-year-old Jim Donovan. “I’m proud, really proud,” said Donovan. It’s been a rough journey for Donovan, who moved from Bakersfield several years ago, hoping his Valley Fever would go away. The condition transformed into congestive heart failure. “I actually gave up and I gave up for a long time and I didn’t think anything would happen,” said Donovan. Donovan waited almost two years before his doctors found an exact match, for a heart transplant, last August. That match came from Choy, who had passed just days before Donovan received his new heart. “This is his will, this is what he wants,” Gomez said. Choy’s spirit now breathes life in Donovan and other people who may have never gotten the chance. “I’m gonna go see my grandchildren and celebrate life again, a second life,” Donovan said. Donovan walked a 2K race in Land Park two weeks after getting his heart transplant. He says he went against doctors orders because he felt healthy. He ended up getting a medal which says he gave to Gomez.
WEST SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — West Sacramento Police are investigating reports of shots fired in the area of West Capitol Avenue and Cedar Street. According to police, officers are investigating whether or not someone shot at a police officer. There is a very large police presence in the area and several streets have been blocked off. Police are asking residents to avoid the area. It’s not known if anyone has been injured in the shooting or if any police officers were involved in the shooting.
WEST SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Police are searching for a suspect accused of firing a gun during a theft from a vehicle on Wednesday morning. Police say the incident happened on the 1500 block of Limewood Road at around 4 a.m. on Wednesday. During an incident where the suspect tried to steal something from a vehicle, police say he fired at least one shot. No one was injured. The suspect is a white male adult, standing 6 feet tall with a receding hairline and longer hair in the back and scruffy, unshaven facial hair. He was seen driving a white Econoline vane with an unknown license plate.