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In the News - Friday, October 26, 2012





TRUS Reunion was one for the history books

A photo gallery of graduates

from the 1930s through 2000



3R motorists escape injury

in separate solo crashes

  There are least two more local drivers who can count themselves extremely fortunate after surviving separate crashes; one occurred on the evening of Saturday, Oct. 20, and the other in the predawn hours of Monday, Oct. 22.
   The first accident occurred when Phillip Woods, 17, of Three Rivers was driving a 1994 Toyota Tacoma pickup eastbound on Sierra Drive. He told a CHP officer that he had leaned over to adjust the radio when the next thing he knew his vehicle had hit the rock embankment and overturned.
   The investigating officer reported that Woods had been traveling at 40 mph and, had he been going faster, the accident could have been much worse. Woods was not cited for the mishap because no one was injured nor was any property damaged other than the vehicle.
   Officer Scott Harris, CHP public information officer, said Woods did exactly what he was supposed to do in that situation: he remained at the scene until the CHP officer arrived.
   The other solo vehicle crash occurred at 4:45 a.m. last Monday when Timothy Garner, 36, of Three Rivers was driving a 1991 Toyota Camry eastbound around Lake Kaweah.   According to the CHP report, when Garner crashed he had been traveling at 55 to 60 mph.
   As he approached Horse Creek he failed to negotiate the curve and crossed over the center  divider. Garner then over-corrected and careened into the guardrail on the opposite side of the roadway.
   The impact of the crash into the guardrail flipped Garner’s vehicle upside down. The crashed Camry came to rest on its top 30 feet below the roadway down an embankment.
   According to the investigating CHP officer, he noticed the wreck while patrolling a few minutes before sunrise. Garner later notified the CHP claiming responsibility for the crash.
   Although the driver left the scene, because he contacted the CHP to report the accident, he was not cited.
   Officer Scott Harris of the Visalia CHP said when drivers observe the speed limit they have a better chance of arriving alive even if they have a crash. More than one-third of all fatalities occur because a motorist is speeding.

Hiker missing in
John Muir Wilderness

  Larry Conn, 53, of Pacific Palisades and an experienced backpacker, remains the subject of an intensive search by the Inyo County Search and Rescue Team. On Friday, Oct. 19, Conn started his hike at the Taboose Creek Trailhead (Inyo National Forest) with plans to travel over Taboose Pass in the vicinity Bench Lake area of the John Muir Trai/Pacific Crest Traill in Kings Canyon National Park.
   Conn planned to return Monday, Oct. 22, but apparently got caught in a snowstorm that passed through the region on Sunday night. His route may have included Split Mountain to the north or the more southerly Pinchot Pass.
   Conn wears a distinctive bandana, carries a dark gray/blue pack, and is using a red and tan dome tent. Anyone who might have seen Conn or his campsite is asked to call the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks dispatch at 565-3195 or Inyo County Sheriff’s Department at (760) 878-0383.

TRUS scores in county’s top five schools

By Holly Gallo

  Academic Performance Index scores came in for California schools on October 11, and Three Rivers Union School has again achieved its annual growth target, ranking it as one of the five top-scoring schools in Tulare County. Though the results show an 18-point decrease in test score performance compared to its 2011 base score of 856, TRUS did exceed its target growth score of 800.
   Three Rivers students generally performed better than the average California school on the California Standards Tests. The second through eighth grades scores surpassed the state averages in math, science, or both. Standardized tests are not given to grade levels before second grade.
   Principal Sue Sherwood sees some positivity in the fact that TRUS has maintained its target growth score, which remains at 800 for any school surpassing that benchmark, for the last five years. The only exception, she said, is 2007, when the school received a score of 799.
  “With a small school, you have to be aware of the ramifications of such a small sample size,” she said. “A small sample can result in minor fluctuations from year to year.”
   In 2011, TRUS had statewide ranking of 8 out of 10, meaning that it is in the top 20 percent of California elementary schools. Compared to similar schools, which are configured on statistics of parent education level, socioeconomic status, and other demographic factors, TRUS is ranked 5 of 10.


  Re: ’Recycling more of a challenge in Three Rivers,’ Oct. 19, 2012— Select areas of the town receive a recycling and/or green waste container. These areas include, but are not limited to, Kaweah River Drive and Cherokee Oaks, according to a representative from the Three Rivers Disposal Service (now Waste Connections of the Central Valley).
   The said representative reported that the company is currently working on acquiring an additional trash route that would further enable residents to have curbside recycling opportunities in addition to their non-segregated cans.
   Currently, all refuse from trash cans is taken to a recycling center for sorting regardless of the container provided at a person’s residence. This service, along with the selected curbside recycling opportunities in Three Rivers, is in accordance with the State of California’s solid waste disposal regulations.

Halloween Carnival fundraiser this weekend

By Holly Gallo

  Three Rivers Union School will host the annual Halloween Carnival, organized by the TRUS Eagle Booster Club. The event will be held Saturday, Oct. 27, from 4 to 8 p.m., at the school. Admission is free and it is open to the public.
   In addition to the traditional festivities, including the costume parade, game booths, Cake Walk, raffle, and a sit-down dinner prepared by the eighth-graders and their parents, the TRUS Eagle Booster Club is also planning to host a photo booth, a “Mad Birds” game, horseback rides, a bonfire, and a fortune-teller.
   The Carnival will feature live music from local musicians, including Out of Passion, Mankin Creek, The Gray Cats, Kaweah River Drum Circle, and more. Organizers also announced the return of Lori Van De Kieft, better known as Lori the Clown.
  “I’m really excited about the community-service support,” said Liz Harrelson, president of the Eagle Booster Club. “It’s going to be a really fun time.”
   In addition to organizing the Carnival, EBC members will be participating in the festivities by dressing up as “Twisted Miss America Contestants.”
   This year is also a little different than previous carnivals in that the organizers have put more effort into encouraging people from all over the valley to join in the fun rather than just Three Rivers residents. In addition to the sign advertising the event near the Lazy J Motel, for the first time there will also be a sign at Spruce and Highway 198.
   As with all of the projects organized by the Booster Club, all of the proceeds of the Halloween Carnival go directly back to the Three Rivers School. In the past, money raised by the club has paid for new computers in the computer lab, additional lighting for the upper playground, and four iPads for the kindergarten classroom. The Carnival alone typically nets $7,000 to $8,000.

TRUS seeks applicants for Oversight Committee

  Three Rivers School is seeking interested community members to serve on the Measure I Oversight Committee. The Citizen’s Oversight Committee will review revenues and expenditures related to Measure I.
   The Oversight Committee will be composed of 11 members who are Three Rivers property owners. The TRUS board will randomly select qualified members with a goal of having a wide representation of the community within the group.
   Selection will be based on several categories of members: senior citizen, business owner, parent, community member at large, one certificated staff member, and one classified staff member. A TRUS board member and the administrator will also be in attendance to present information to the committee in a non-voting capacity. The committee will meet twice a year with additional meetings as necessary.
   If interested in serving, submit a paragraph to the board stating why you are interested in participating by Friday, Nov. 2, 2012. Applications may be dropped off at the Three Rivers School office or mailed to Three Rivers School, P.O. Box 99, Three Rivers, CA 93271.
   The committee will be selected and presented at the November 14, 2012, meeting.

Price-hike deadline looms
For Kaweah Country Run

  There are so many things to do in Kaweah Country, locals are legendary for waiting until the last minute to choose what they are going to do. This Saturday night (Oct. 27) is a prime example; it’s the annual Three Rivers School Carnival, a Halloween Party at the River View, a free Nashville music fest at Twilight Park in Woodlake, a full moon walk on Moro Rock, and undoubtedly there’s more.
   But another local event that’s growing in popularity — the Kaweah Country Run/Walk — is set for Saturday, Nov. 24 (Thanksgiving weekend), and it pays to plan ahead. If you are entering, you might want to make certain you sign up before November 1 — that’s the day the $25 fee goes up to $30, although either price is a great bargain for a worthy cause.
   This year’s proceeds will benefit Three Rivers School sports programs. The first two events raised nearly $2,000 for the Kaweah Post Office (2010) and the Laura Olson Memorial Fund (2011).
   The 2012 event in the Lake Kaweah basin promises to be bigger and better than ever. New this year is a 5K run and a possible triple-crown winner. To win the triple-crown, a runner will have posted the fastest 5K (3.1 miles) time, 10K (6.2 miles) time, and best combined time.
   For the majority of recreationists, one event is plenty. Whichever event(s) you choose, it’s all in the name of fitness for a cause.
   So run, or walk fast to the nearest computer and download a racing registration, stop by any Sole 2 Soul running store (Visalia, Bakersfield, Fresno), or visit the office of The Kaweah Commonwealth and save a few bucks through Oct. 31.

  Information/registration form: www.kaweahcountryrun.com.


Paul Lowry
1967 ~ 2012

   Paul Lowry of Columbia, Mo., died at his home on October 16, 2012. He was 44.
   A celebration of Paul’s life will be held at his childhood home in Columbia on November 18 at 2 p.m.
   Paul was born November 19, 1967, in Cape Girardeau, Mo., to Paul David Montgomery and Jerri Anne (Cook) Lowry. Paul was later adopted by Tom Lowry.
   An intense passion for the outdoors was always a definitive trait in Paul. He was most inspired by the beauty only nature could provide and his enthusiasm was infectious. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Parks and Recreation from the University of Missouri.
   For 10 summer seasons, he worked at Crystal Cave in Sequoia National Park, providing tours.
   During his years in the West, he took full advantage of all that the mountains had to offer. In the winter months, Paul lived and worked at several ski resorts at Lake Tahoe, Mammoth Mountain, and Boulder, Colo.
   Later, he made his way back to Missouri where he continued to guide wild cave tours, Missouri River canoe trips, and a number of other outdoor adventures for the City of Columbia, Columbia College, and Rock Bridge State Park. At the time of his passing Paul worked as a Recreational Therapist at Missouri University Psychiatric Center, helping people learn healthy recreational skills.
   Paul’s hobbies included bonsai, landscaping, cooking, reading, and cartooning. In his younger years he worked as a freelance illustrator for the Orange County Business Journal.   He shared a love and appreciation of art with his wife, Jeri, whom he married in 2002 under the rock bridge at Rock Bridge State Park.
   Paul is survived by his wife of 10 years, Jeri Donoho; two sons, Cale and Jude; his mom, Jerri Lowry; and two sisters, Tracey Steele and husband Jim, and Beth Lowry. Paul also leaves behind his extended family who cared so much for him, his nieces and nephews who were all dear to him, as well as his good friends that he made along the way.
   In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made for his sons’ educations to the Paul Lowry Memorial Fund at Landmark Bank, P.O. Box 1867, Columbia, MO 65205.
   Tributes may be made online at www.memorialfuneralhomeandcemetery.com.




THE KAWEAH COMMONWEALTH is published every Friday in Three Rivers, California.
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