Experience the Union Pacific Rail Car

By Traci Rockefeller Cusack  |  2019-04-08

For more information about the Experience the Union Pacific Rail Car including stops and tour hours, please visit https://www.up.com/heritage/experience-up/index.htm

Available for Free Tours April 19-22

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - As part of a series of special events, activities and exhibits designed to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, the California State Railroad Museum & Foundation proudly invite the community to Experience the Union Pacific Rail Car that will be on display Friday, April 19 through Monday, April 22, 2019.

Free public tours will be available each day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. inside the visually-exciting rail car on display at Old Sacramento State Historic Park.

The Experience the Union Pacific Rail Car is a new, multi-media walk-through exhibition that provides a glimpse at the past while telling the story of modern-day railroading. Through sound, images and interactive technology, visitors will see how Union Pacific is building America in their communities and throughout the world. The Experience the Union Pacific Rail Car is part of Union Pacific's historic Heritage passenger rail car fleet going on a multi-stop tour that begins in Sacramento followed by a stop in Roseville before moving on to Sparks, Nevada and Ogden, Utah.

After entering the converted baggage car, guests will first learn about the investment, hard work and knowledge that went into building the Transcontinental Railroad. Moving forward along one wall they'll learn about the evolution of the locomotive, beginning with the world-famous UP No. 119 and leading to the modern-day diesel powerhouses. On the opposite wall, rail fans will trace how fresh apples are delivered from California and Washington to New York and understand every aspect of rail operations and innovation along the way. Next, exciting interactive technology will show how Union Pacific is using lasers, cameras and other detection devices to accurately inspect moving rail cars and railroad track. Guests will even be able to test their skills to see how they measure up as rail car inspectors. Before exiting, visitors will be able to communicate how they connect to the railroad using high-tech thermal reactive tiles. A final display celebrates the history of Union Pacific's Passenger Heritage Fleet through vintage photos.

For more information about the Experience the Union Pacific Rail Car including stops and tour hours, please visit https://www.up.com/heritage/experience-up/index.htm

For more details and updated information about events, activities and exhibits presented by the California State Railroad Museum & Foundation, please visit www.Railroad150.org; for more information about the Museum or Foundation visit www.californiarailroad.museum; and for more information about Waterfront Days happening over Memorial Day Weekend, please visit www.oldsacramento.com

The mission of the California State Railroad Museum Foundation (CSRMF) is to generate revenue and awareness on behalf of its destinations, while supporting the preservation, interpretation and promotion of our railroad heritage. The Foundation provides funding for ongoing support of numerous programs, both at the museum's Old Sacramento location and at the historic park in Jamestown, Calif. For more information, please visit www.californiarailroad.museum.

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Providing a SAFE space for Sacramento County Youth

By Andrea Hansen, Sacramento County  |  2019-04-08

The Safe Team from left to right Darla Garcia, Faith Whitmore, Darby Geller, Sarah Leatherby and Kandyce Seely. Photo provided by Sacramento County Media

SACRAMENTO COUNTY (MPG) - To reduce the stress and trauma experienced by children who are victims of sexual abuse and violent crimes, Sacramento County Department of Child, Family and Adult Services; local law enforcement agencies; and the District Attorney’s Office team up at the Sacramento County Special Assault Forensic Evaluation (SAFE) Center

The SAFE Center is an accredited member of the National Children’s Alliance and provides a safe and comfortable place for a child to be interviewed by a specially trained social worker, called a Forensic Interview Specialist. 

 “The SAFE Center conducts a thorough forensic interview in the least intrusive way possible, and the child only has to be interviewed once, rather than being questioned multiple times by different agencies,” said Michelle Callejas, Sacramento County Director of Child, Family and Adult Services. “Since the Center opened in 1991, we have conducted 12,000 interviews and last year alone we provided a safe space for over 350 children and youth.”

To reduce the stress on the child, the Forensic Interviewer is the only other person present in the room during the interview. The Forensic Interviewers have many hours of specialized training and years of experience talking with children about difficult subjects. They also use interviewing techniques that preserve the integrity of the investigation. The interviews are conducted in a room with a one-way mirror so law enforcement, the District Attorney’s office and Child Protective Services staff can observe.

The SAFE Center interviews are an efficient way to investigate child abuse cases and are core to identifying new leads and gathering evidence in a case. Although the interviews cannot be used in lieu of testimony and children may still have to testify in court, this approach greatly reduces the trauma of having to repeatedly talk about the abuse they have endured. 

The SAFE Center moved in February of 2018 to 3701 Power Inn Road to join services and co-locate with the Sacramento Regional Family Justice Center. The co-location has enabled the SAFE Center and the Department’s Adult Protective Services program to have a stronger working relationship with the Family Justice Center in serving the community. 

“We could not be more excited about our new location and collaboration with the Sacramento Regional Family Justice Center,” said Darby Geller, SAFE Center Director. The Center now acts as a multifunctional place for families to receive services pertaining to abuse, counseling, safety planning and so much more. I’m proud to see how the program continues to grow, evolve and become such an important asset to the community.” 

The partnership with Sacramento Regional Family Justice Center allows the SAFE Center to offer new opportunities in 2019 which include on-site therapeutic crisis intervention, assessment, psycho-education and ongoing therapeutic treatment through the addition of a trauma-informed mental health clinician. These additional services were made possible through a grant funded by the California Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) and will be provided by the UC Davis CAARE Center, a long-standing partner in providing trauma-informed services for children and families in Sacramento County. 

To learn more about the SAFE Center, please visit the Sacramento County Department of Child, Family and Adult Services Resource Family web page. If you are interested in donating new toys/comfort items for youth visiting the SAFE Center, contact Darby Geller, SAFE Center Director

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FBI Seeking Serial Bank Robber Suspect Wanted for Series of Four Sacramento Area Bank Robberies

FBI Release  |  2019-04-08

FBI released image

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is seeking information to aid the identification and apprehension of a bank robbery suspect who is allegedly tied to four robberies in the greater Sacramento region. The young Caucasian male is suspected of the following robberies:

Friday, November 23, 2018, at approximately 1:55 p.m. at
River City Bank located at 239 E Street in Davis;
Tuesday, November 27, 2018, at approximately 2:05 p.m. at
U.S. Bank located at 903 Colusa Avenue in Yuba City;
Wednesday, January 2, 2019, at approximately 1:43 p.m. at
U.S. Bank located at 1020 White Rock Road in El Dorado Hills;
Friday, February 15, 2019, at approximately 3:25 p.m. at
U.S. Bank located at 1020 white Rock Road in El Dorado Hills;

Additionally, the suspect also allegedly attempted to rob the Wells Fargo Bank located at 1235 Stratford Avenue in Dixon on Saturday, March 2, 2019, but was unsuccessful.

During the commission of each of the robberies, the suspect entered the bank, approached the teller, and presented a demand note. After receiving money, the suspect then departed on foot.
The suspect—believed to be 20 to 30 years old—stands 5’6” to 5’10” tall with a thin build. He has frequently worn hooded sweatshirts with the hood pulled over baseball-style caps, dark basketball-style shorts, and black shoes. Images of the suspect, including a composite developed from surveillance footage from the robberies, are available on the FBI’s Wanted Bank Robber website: https://bankrobbers.fbi.gov/robbers-container/2018-12-20.9882688550.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department, Davis Police Department, Dixon Police Department, and Yuba City Police Department are investigating this series of bank robberies.

Individuals with information about this man may call the FBI Sacramento Field Office. Tips may also be submitted online at: tips.fbi.gov. If the subject is spotted in the community, the public is urged to call 911 and not approach the individual. Wanted fugitives, bank robbers, and other cases in need of additional information from the public are posted on the FBI Sacramento Division’s Most Wanted page.

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Terminally-Ill Man Receives NASCAR Dream

Special Dream Foundation Release  |  2019-04-08

Winston Cain (Dream Foundation Dreamer), Glory Ariche (Genentech), Rene Hamlin (Snowline Hospice), Jeremy Lansing (Snowline Hospice), and Janice Curtin (Snowline Hospice). Photo provided by Dream Foundation

Dream Foundation celebrates Winston Cain’s life with a final NASCAR Race

El Dorado Hills, California (MPG) - Despite being diagnosed with ALS, which has left him paralyzed from the neck down apart from the use of one arm and hand, 71-year-old El Dorado Hills resident, Winston Cain, hasn’t stopped dreaming.

Winston has always loved NASCAR and car racing, having attended many races throughout his life. Now bed bound, Winston watches NASCAR intently every Sunday. He loves to imagine himself as the announcer, “Start your engines!” and dreams of attending one final race with his family.  

With support from Autoclub Speedway and Homewood Suites, Dream Foundation fulfilled Winston’s final Dream. This past month, Winston, his wife, daughter, and son-in-law enjoyed VIP treatment and a special meet and greet with his favorite driver, Chase Elliot at the Fontana NASCAR race of March 16th. The foundation will also provide accommodations, a wheelchair accessible van rental and extra travel funds for the trip.

Glory Ariche from Genentech, one of Dream Foundation’s Mission Partners, served “Dream Host” at the intimate gathering of Thursday, March 14th delivering everything that Winston needed for his Dream journey. Also in attendance were Snowline Hospice’s Rene Hamlin, Jeremy Lansing, and Janice Curtin who referred Winston to the organization’s dream-granting program. Their commitment to Winston was instrumental in bringing his final Dream to life.

Dream Foundation, the only national dream-granting organization for terminally-ill adults, fulfills final Dreams that provide inspiration, comfort and closure at the end of life. With the support of a nationwide network of volunteers, hospices, health care organizations and committed donors, Dream Foundation has given life to more than 30,000 final Dreams over the last twenty-five years.

The Foundation is proud to maintain Charity Navigator’s four-star rating—its highest—for sound fiscal management, ensuring its donors and partners that their investment will be used wisely. Dream Foundation receives no state or federal funding—we rely solely on private donations. To support our mission please visit: DreamFoundation.org/donate.

Snowline Hospice serves the Sacramento, El Dorado, and Placer Counties, delivering end of life care and support to patients and their families.  Since 1979, Snowline has been dedicated to meeting the unique physical, emotional and spiritual needs of those who are nearing the end of life's journey.  Our goal is to enhance living, comfort the dying and support the grieving with compassion and dignity.


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I Spy with my Bird’s Eye

By Susan Maxwell Skinner  |  2019-04-05

Naturalist David Rose and Bird and Breakfast supporters watched nesting California wood ducks and hummingbirds at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center. Photos by Susan Maxwell Skinner

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Avian species provided a plumed pageant for the Effie Yeaw Nature Center’s recent Bird and Breakfast fundraisers.

During two events, more than 100 nature-lovers viewed many nesting critters. A red-tailed hawk hauled twigs to a eucalyptus nest; a hummingbird patiently incubated her clatch; woodpeckers checked acorn pantries. Forty or more feathered species inhabited the Nature Center’s 100-acre preserve.

Audubon Society-guided forays were favored by weather – even after a wet start on the final Saturday. “Kids love to splash in puddles and see foot tracks left on paths by animal passersby,” said a nature Center volunteer. “Nature’s guestbook isn’t so visible on dry trails.”

The events have been a sell-out hit at the center for 32 years. On spring mornings, house-hunting wood ducks provide harlequin interludes. Close to the American River, killdeer moms are belly-down on flood-plain nests.

Nesting above a walking trail last weekend, a hummingbird nursery was a rarer – usually invisible – treat. “We saw the hen incubating on her tiny nest,” explained the volunteer. “She seemed used to people walking nearby  and wasn’t fazed by tourists. It’s amazing to view something so seldom discovered. Audubon people combed  the area in previous weeks and observed nests being built. Such secrets of nature are what our Bird and Breakfast event offers every year.”

Event sponsors included: Fred and Betsy Weiland; Wild Birds Unlimited (Roseville). 

Learn about Effie Yeaw Nature Center events at www.sacnaturecenter.netH 

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Find and Follow Your Passion

Story by Trina L. Drotar  |  2019-04-03

Captain Carole List, Tom Jones, Rear Admiral Bonnie Potter. Photo by Trina Drotar

Celebrating Women in Aerospace

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) – Aerospace Museum of California Executive Director Tom Jones invited five women from across STEM careers to share their real world experience with young people, their families, and other interested parties in a STEM Education Day event, Celebrate Women in Aerospace. The morning kicked off with activities throughout the museum for children and their families which included a scavenger hunt, photo challenge, phonetic alphabet activity, but the most popular was the paper airplane table situated between some of the indoor display aircraft.

The weather also provided opportunities to view outside exhibits and look into some of the airplanes, including the FedEx classroom plane used by Sacramento City College Aviation students. Docents were on hand to share stories and history, and Warren Searles and his crew were helping aviators in training in the museum’s Flight Zone.

The event’s highlight was the panel talk which kicked off with keynote speaker, Rear Admiral Bonnie Potter.

 “I don’t fly,” said Potter, but that did not hinder her distinguished career which includes becoming the first female physician in the US Navy to be selected for flag rank.

 “My parents encouraged me to do anything I wanted to do.”

She wanted to be a veterinarian, a desire shared by panelist Chelsea Engberg, CEO and founder of Aviatrix LLC. Potter’s road led her to the US Navy where she received a scholarship through the US Navy Health Professions Scholarship Program. She quickly learned that Title 10 prevented her from serving her residency on a ship, as a flight surgeon because she would not be permitted to land on any ship, or on a submarine.

 “How you think is everything.” She was determined to become the best doctor she could be. In 1990, she was assigned to the USNS Comfort, a 1000 bed floating hospital that was deployed in support of Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. Part of her responsibility was to set up the hospital, which meant unpacking crates, improvising when parts were not available, and developing an evacuation plan. She became certified as a Life Raft Commander.

“You can’t just wait for things to come to you. You have to go out and look for them,” she said. “Take chances. Test your ability.” These words and phrases were echoed by the panelists who highlighted their careers, challenges, and successes.

 “Live your life with honesty and integrity,” she said, reminding them that “the wrong post can keep you from getting the job you want,” referring to social media.

Following Potter’s address, Jones asked the panelists questions beginning with who their greatest supporters were or still are.

Captain Carola List, US Coast Guard Commanding Officer Air Station Sacramento, credited the support of Chief Petty Officers and her lifelong interest in flying.

 “If you don’t know your passion, try many things,” she said. “Don’t be afraid to fail.”

Chelsea Engberg said that the film, Top Gun, was a huge inspiration.

 “I wanted to be a fighter pilot.” She wrote many unanswered letters to President Reagan asking why she could not be a fighter pilot.

 “I fell deeply in love with physics.” She also fell in love with flying and earned a master’s degree in aeronautical science. Her parents purchased her one hour of flight time with Sean Tucker, and that was the start of a lifelong career, leading to her becoming the school’s COO. “Don’t give up. It’s all about the journey.”

She is a tough woman, even by military standards, having spent fifteen hours in centrifuges. She is a flight instructor, aviation safety expert, movie and television consultant, and aerobatic pilot. She also credits the strong women in her life and a flight to Europe as a child when she was invited to sit in the cockpit with the pilot.

 “The journey will take you where it’s going to take you. Don’t close the door on finding your passion.” She dreams of solo hiking the John Muir Trail.

Sarah O’Meara is currently a Ph.D. student at UC Davis and intern at the Johnson Space Center focusing on human-robotics integration and physiology, and she is a Link Foundation Fellow who uses all aspects of STEM in her research.

 “Math is an everyday thing,” said the quiet young woman who dreams of someday ice diving in Antarctica.

She created, with several classmates, SOAR (STEM Outreach for Academic Reinforcement) Mentorship program.

 “I guess our parents all went to the same camp,” she said when asked about mentors. Her mother had a Ph.D. and encouraged her to follow her dream, with a twist. O’Meara was directed to pursue engineering for her undergraduate degree. After that, she was free to study whatever she wanted.

 “Stop being a perfectionist,” she said, adding that enjoying the process and not being afraid to share ideas are important.      

Shannon Sanders Swager owns Sanders Aviation in Ione and has her master’s degree in business administration.

 “I’ve got a pacifier in my pocket,” she said, a reminder that she is also a mom who, like many women, wears many hats. She also credits her grandmother as a role model and many of the men she encountered on the journey which took her from possible history teacher to working at Disney and returning to college.

“Don’t let people tear you down,” she said. “Look to people who build you up.”

She advised students to enjoy life because they never know where it will lead. “Don’t be afraid to try. If you don’t try, you may never find your passion,” she said.

Upcoming events include Rocket Appreciation Day on Saturday, March 30 and ACE Career Expo 2019 on Saturday, April 6 where interested students and others can learn about STEM career pathways and meet professionals in all of the STEM areas. 

For additional information on Aerospace Museum of California, visit: https://aerospaceca.org.   




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Assemblyman Cooley, California Legislature  Recognize Callejas

By Jillena Hernandez  |  2019-04-03

Michelle Callejas has worked in the health and human services field for over 25 years. She received the award from Ken Cooley. Photo courtesy Office of Ken Cooley

Named as Extraordinary Woman at Annual Celebration

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Assemblyman Ken Cooley joined the California Legislative Women’s Caucus to recognize extraordinary women from across the state in celebration of Women’s History Month. This year, the Assemblyman honored Michelle Callejas of Sacramento. 

“Recognizing Michelle on this momentous occasion at the Capitol brings me great pride,” said Assemblyman Cooley. “Michelle’s dedication to working collaboratively with families and partners within our community fosters better experiences and exemplifies outstanding community service.”

Michelle Callejas has worked in the health and human services field for over 25 years and is currently the Director of Child, Family and Adult Services for Sacramento County. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice, a Master’s Degree in Counseling, and is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. 

She began her career at W.E.A.V.E., a local domestic violence agency, providing services for victims of intimate partner abuse and sexual assault.  She also provided group counseling for children exposed to domestic violence and delivered court-ordered counseling services for women involved in Child Protective Services trying to reunify with their children. 

She began working for Sacramento County in 1996, and has served in child welfare, mental health, and the District Attorney’s Victim-Witness program working with family members of homicide victims and victims of hate crimes. 

Michelle served as Deputy Director of Child Protective Services for seven years, where she identified opportunities to work with system and community partners to better address the complex needs of children and youth in foster care. She and several other leaders in Sacramento completed a Multi-System Integration Certificate Program at Georgetown University and have implemented practices to reduce the number of foster children that cross over to the Juvenile Justice system. The team also worked with other community partners to develop a county-wide protocol to identify and serve child victims of commercial sexual exploitation. She is currently co-leading efforts to develop a county-wide prevention plan that focuses on strengthening families and preventing child abuse.

 “It is truly humbling to receive this award.  I consider it a privilege to serve our community and want to acknowledge the dedicated staff in the Department of Child, Family and Adult Services who are serving and supporting children, families and adults each and every day in District 8 and the larger Sacramento area,” said Michelle. 

Assemblyman Ken Cooley represents the 8th Assembly District which includes the communities of Arden-Arcade, Carmichael, Citrus Heights, Rancho Cordova, Rancho Murieta, Rosemont, Wilton and other portions of unincorporated Sacramento County.   For more information, please visit http://asmdc.org/members/a08/

Source: Office of Ken Cooley

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