Supes honor local heroes, volunteers

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Placer County Supervisors recently honored nine individuals with commemorative coins, presented in recognition of their acts of heroism, longstanding community service or exceptional acts that dramatically improved or impacted people’s lives. The coins were presented during the regularly scheduled Board of Supervisors meeting held in the County Administrative Center. Honorees included: Diane Howe and Col. John Lathrop, who received the commendations from Board Chairman F. C. “Rocky” Rockholm, representing District 1; Shirley Russell and Richard Wyatt, who were honored by District 2 Supervisor Robert Weygandt; Sheriff’s Deputy Kenneth Skogen, who was recognized by District 3 Supervisor Jim Holmes; Jim Lane, who received recognition from District 4 Supervisor Kirk Uhler; and Sheriff’s Sergeant Bill Walton, who was honored by District 5 Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery for helping to talk a woman contemplating suicide from the Foresthill Bridge. Also honored for the same event were Deputy Paul Long and Deputy Michael Bennett; however neither was able to be present. Diane Howe, who was honored in District 1, has been extremely involved in Dry Creek community activities for many years, including serving on the Dry Creek Fire Advisory Committee, the Dry Creek Joint Elementary School District Board of Trustees, and the West Placer Municipal Advisory Council. Named the Placer County School Board Trustee of the Year in both 1995 and 2006, she also provides day care in her home and a weekend business at Denio’s. Jim Lane, a District 4 resident, has provided extensive leadership to the annual Eureka Union School District Canned Food Drive and Christmas Basket Program. He has also provided support and leadership of a variety of other service programs. The community efforts there typically generate several hundred boxes of canned food. He is also a member of the Granite Bay Rotary, and received the Community Service Award for 2008. District 2 honoree Shirley Russell is a long-time community activist with a special interest in public libraries in Lincoln. When the Lincoln public library was about to close for lack of funding, she helped rally volunteers in a “Save Our Library” project. Honoree Richard Wyatt, District 2, has been very active in historic preservation and restoration of old Lincoln. District 1 honoree Col. John W. Lathrop, now serving in the California Army National Guard, Commanding Officer, 115th Regional Support Group, has also served his community and his country in a variety of other military settings. Sheriff’s Sergeant Bill Walton, Deputy Michael Bennett and Deputy Paul Long, received District 5 honors for helping a woman on the Foresthill Bridge who was contemplating suicide. Sheriff’s Deputy Ken Skogen was honored for saving the life of an older woman trapped in her burning home during the 49 Fire. The recipients were personally chosen by the Board members. The Commemorative Coin program was instituted seven years ago.