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In the News - Friday, DECEMBER 22, 2006

Three arrested in

Reimer’s Candies burglary

   Anyone who has ever entered Reimer’s candy store in Three Rivers has been tempted by an array of sweet treats. The delicious product can be downright overpowering.
   Evidently that temptation proved to much for three suspects who thought it prudent to help themselves by committing what law-enforcement officers routinely refer to as “smash and dash.” But these three got caught with their hands in the proverbial cookie jar.
   The recent burglary occurred on Friday, Dec. 1. Earlier this week, detectives announced that they had concluded the investigation.
   Arrested in the case were two juveniles and one adult, Michael Walton Johnson of Visalia. The juveniles were booked and placed in Tulare County juvenile hall. Walton was taken into custody and booked into the county jail.
   Details are scant in the case but one investigator said the reward was a factor in leading detectives to the suspects. According to a source in the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department, one of the perpetrators had a record of a prior arrest.
   The case has been referred to the Tulare County District Attorney. Burglary charges are pending against the trio of candy crooks.

Cherokee Oaks

newspaper box stolen

   If it’s not nailed down, sooner or later it will disappear. Apparently, the distinctive green box, that for the past two years has furnished thousands of free Commonwealths for local readers, has suffered such a demise.
   Kathy Casey, a resident of Cherokee Oaks and TKC circulation manager, noticed that the box was missing after last weekend.

  “It’s unfortunate that someone felt they just had to take that box,” Casey said. “That’s going to be a big inconvenience for those 100 folks who depend on getting their paper at that location each week.”
   The weatherproof boxes retail for $60. The owners of the paper said the box lost in the latest theft would not be replaced.
   Cherokee Oaks residents have a number of options to ensure that they won’t miss an issue. Of course, subscriptions via mail are the most efficient way, but the Commonwealth is also available at dozens of businesses around town and three remaining “green box” outlets at Old Three Rivers/South Fork drives, the Three Rivers Arts Center, and the Commonwealth office.
   In 2004, a Commonwealth distribution box at the Three Rivers Memorial Building was stolen a couple months after it was placed there to serve upper-canyon residents. A short time after that incident, the box serving South Fork residents was vandalized when someone lobbed a heavy piece of firewood that smashed the plastic door that protects the newspapers from the weather.

Fire destroys

rural Woodlake home

   Salvador and Herminia Arias were able to escape their burning home on Monday night thanks to an observant motorist who was driving by. The couple was watching TV and cooking supper on the first floor of the older two-story structure located on the road into Woodlake from Three Rivers, just west of the 20-mile-per-hour curve (22650 Avenue 344).
   At 6:55 p.m., the motorist, one of several who stopped, knocked on the front door to tell the couple their house was on fire. The wood shingle bungalow, believed to have been built circa 1910 when the area was first planted with citrus, is owned by Sun Pacific, Salvador’s employer.
   The 2,500 square-foot home was completely gutted by the blaze. Damage was estimated at $300,000 to the structure with an additional $100,000 to the contents.
   The cause of the blaze is under investigation. It started in the attic and may be due to a faulty chimney or wiring. Chief Mike Davidson said with the recent cold snap, fireplaces and heaters are really working overtime.

  “The number one cause of fires this time of year is chimney fires,” Chief Davidson said, “but also the regular inspection and maintenance of your heating system is extremely important.”
   Anyone wishing to assist Salvador and Herminia Arias and their family may contact the Tulare County chapter of the American Red Cross.

3R couple celebrates

50 years together

   Ned and Dee Pinhey, who reside on North Fork Drive in Three Rivers, will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2006.
   When just 15, Ned joined the U.S. Army. He was later released when his age was discovered.
   Dee graduated from Burbank High School and attended Glendale Junior College.
   When Ned was of legal age, he fulfilled his goal to serve in the military, this time in the U.S. Navy.
   Dee rode a Greyhound bus from Los Angeles to Newport, R.I., to meet Ned’s ship and, on Dec. 27, 1956, they were married in Elkton, Md.
   Two days after they wed, Ned’s ship left for the North Atlantic. Ned served 5 years at sea and his service included a post at Pearl Harbor while the couple resided on the island of Oahu.
   After Ned’s discharge from the service, he worked as a Los Angeles police officer. Dee also worked for the LAPD, helping Ned with his college and law school tuition with help from the GI Bill.
   After an early retirement as a Hollywood detective sergeant, Ned was admitted to the bar. He practiced law in Los Angeles and Santa Maria while Dee managed the law office.
   In 1991, the couple retired to Three Rivers. Dee raises exotic birds here.
   The Pinheys have three children, all of whom are college graduates, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
   The couple’s son, Steven, is retired from the Air Force and as an airline pilot and currently is a charter boat captain in the Virgin Islands where his family lives aboard their boat.
   Daughter Denise is a federal agent in the Bay Area. Their youngest, Peg, is a housewife in Oceano.



Last week, a 35-question, multiple-choice quiz on matters that have occurred in Three Rivers over the past 150 or so years was presented to readers. As promised, here are the answers:

1. Who named Three Rivers?
   C. Louisa Rockwell— In 1879, she suggested the name “Three Rivers” so an application could be filed for a post office.

2. What was the name of the first newspaper in the Three Rivers area?
   B. Kaweah Commonwealth— A publication of the Kaweah Colony, 1890 to 1892, that actually had a printing press onsite.

3. Who was the first person to be buried in the Three Rivers Cemetery?
   A. Montgomery Barton— In 1910, Adam Bahwell and Jason Barton donated land to the County of Tulare for the creation of the Three Rivers Cemetery. In September 1910, Jason’s younger brother, Mont, was electrocuted.

4. What is the origin of the Blossom Peak/Drive name?
   D. A pioneer family with the surname Blossom

5. How much does the Paul Bunyan statue weigh?
   C. 26,000 pounds— 13 tons.

6. Kaweah is the native Indian name for what local wildlife?
   B. Raven

7. The Savage Ranch on the North Fork was famous for what fall attraction?
   A. Apple cider— The Savage Ranch was in operation from 1900 to 1968.

8. Who was the first “white man” to settle in Three Rivers?
   C. Hale Tharp— Settled in 1856 on land near the confluence of Horse Creek and the Kaweah River (now Lake Kaweah).

9. How many forks of the Kaweah River are there?
   D. 5— Middle, South, North, East, and Marble forks.

10. Where is the oldest house in Three Rivers located?
   C. North Fork Drive at Kaweah River Drive— Built in 1880 by James and Susan Barton.

11. What was the name of the first school in Three Rivers?
   A. Cove— Founded in 1873 near what is now the Cherokee Oaks neighborhood; relocated in 1885 to the intersection of Old Three Rivers and Blossom drives; renamed Three Rivers School in 1910.

12. Where was the Three Rivers Airport located?
   B. Lions Roping Arena— In operation from 1935 to 1970, the runway was located to the immediate south of the arena grounds.

13. Why was Terminus Dam built?
   D. To provide flood protection for Visalia and other flatland communities— During a 100-year flood in 1955, downtown Visalia, Woodlake, and hundreds of acres of agricultural land were flooded by the Kaweah River.

14. What was the origin of the name “Terminus”?
   D. A railroad line ended here— A spur line of the Visalia Electric Railroad ended here. The area was known as Terminus Beach and was a popular recreational area.

15. What was the controversial economic goal that the Kaweah Colony had when it settled in the area in 1886?
   A. To build an access road and mill to harvest Giant Forest timber— It was the impetus for the creation of Sequoia National Park in 1890.

16. What is a famous lasting vestige of the Kaweah Colony?
   B. Kaweah Post Office— An application for the Kaweah Post Office was granted May 17, 1890, at the Kaweah Colony’s Advance settlement. The structure was moved several times and relocated to its present site in 1910. In 1948, it was designated a California Historical Landmark.

17. What major event occurred during Christmas 1955?
   B. Devastating flood— During the night of December 23 to 24, a massive rain-flood swept away many homes, caused extensive damage to others, and destroyed bridges, marooning many sections of Three Rivers.

18. What two well-known actors own Three Rivers ranches?
   C. Anjelica Huston and William Shatner— On North Fork and South Fork drives, respectively.

19. Where was the destination of the original road through Three Rivers?
   A. Mineral King— Following the discovery of silver in 1872 and the subsequent creation of the Mineral King Mining District in 1873, a trail, built by John Meadows (who later founded Silver City near Mineral King), was extended from Three Rivers to link with a stock trail that led from Milk Ranch into the Mineral King valley. In 1879, the Meadows Trail was improved to accommodate prospectors and travelers who made their way up the East Fork. This wagon road became known as the Mineral King Road.

20. Who was the first president of the Three Rivers Lions Club?
   C. Walt Wells— 1947-1948

21. What is the longest-running service club in Three Rivers?
   C. Three Rivers Woman’s Club— Founded in 1916.

22. What was the first church to organize in Three Rivers?
   D. Community Presbyterian— Organized in 1939.

23. What is the first wildflower to bloom in the spring?
   B. Fiddleneck

24. What confused tree buds in the winter and is dormant in the summer?
   A. Buckeye

25. In 1888, what was the population of Three Rivers?
   B. 150

26. In 1888, what was the prevalent occupation in Three Rivers?
   A. Farmer— There were 23 farmers, 8 stockmen, 2 fruit growers, 1 lumberman, 1 carpenter, 1 surveyor, 1 county supervisor, 1 laborer, and 1 teamster.

27. What was the name of the South Fork meeting place for local weavers during the 1960s-70s?
   C. Loom Room

28. What was the fate of the first public library in Three Rivers?
   C. Destroyed by fire— On Dec. 10, 1910, Three Rivers residents were granted a request to establish a deposit station. The community’s first local library was set up in the River Inn, a hotel owned by Jason Barton near the present-day North Fork Bridge. It contained a collection of 51 books and six magazines. On Sept. 15, 1911, the River Inn was destroyed by fire as was the entire library collection.

29. Who was the first principal of Three Rivers School?
   A. Mary McDowall— From 1929 to 1969.

30. What year was Highway 198 extended into Sequoia National Park?
   C. 1926— The Generals Highway was completed in 1926, replacing the previous access road to Sequoia, which was up the North Fork and the old Colony Mill Road.

31. What was the original name of the power company in Three Rivers that was eventually acquired by Southern California Edison?
   B. Mt. Whitney Power & Electric Company— Founded in 1899.

32. Why is Pierce Drive so named?
   B. For a resident who owned a motel along the highway— Named for Pierce Franks, who owned Mid Breeze Cabins along this short street, which is actually a portion of the first highway into Three Rivers.

33. In 1924, what modern technology was introduced in Three Rivers?
   C. Electricity— Although the first hydroelectric facility was built in Three Rivers in 1899, Three Rivers wasn’t a beneficiary of this new technology for another 25 years.

34. What year was the first Jazzaffair held?

  B. 1974

35. What is the latitude and longitude of Three Rivers?
   A. 36°27’15”N, 118°53’11”W— The other choices were Hawaii, New York City, and Mount Everest, respectively.

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