2012 Year In Review

By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Editor
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The year 2012 was momentous in Loomis.

A number of new businesses opening in town signaled the softening of the recession and a bitter town council election heralded the winds of change in town politics. Del Oro High School graduated an athletic class of scholars.

Here are some of the highlights.


High Hand goes solar: Scott Paris, owner of High Hand Nursery, had 410 solar panels  installed to generate electricity in the historic building.

Reading for Rick: Loomis Grammar School students read 6,711 books in honor of Principal Rick Judd, who was undergoing treatment for throat cancer.

Priory workshop: A Loomis Planning Commission workshop for the Regina Caeli Priory project drew a full house. One of the issues was a tree fee of $662,000 for the removal of 199 trees that were arborist rated at poor to fair condition.

Horseshoe Bar Grill closes: Alexander’s Horseshoe Bar Grill restaurant closed after a lease agreement could not be reached.

Millie Beatie passes away: Local artist and community volunteer Millie Beatie, 68, died Jan. 6 from lung cancer.


Union Pacific closes crossings: Union Pacific Railroad closed crossings in Loomis to replace tracks and ties.

Wine tasting opening: Tre Vigne wine tasting Room opened at High Hand. Three local vintners – Popie Wines, Ciotti Cellars and Cristaldi Vineyards – share the facility.

School sports in red: Loomis elementary school sports programs were in the red after school sports participation “fees” was changed to “donations” and parents failed to pay the requested $30 per child per sport.

New publisher for Loomis News: Kelly Leibold was promoted to editor of the Loomis News, Placer Herald and Roseville Press Tribune newspapers.

Wrestlers win sections: Del Oro High wrestlers won their first-ever CIF Sac Joaquin section team dual championship.

Priory approved with conditions: The Planning Commission approved the Regina Caeli Priory to house up to 100 sisters, but included 108 conditions.

Council approves tree preserve: The Loomis Town Council approved the Heritage Park tree mitigation bank 3-1, with Miguel Ucovich casting the dissenting vote and Rhonda Morillas absent.

Boys basketball takes title: Del Oro boys varsity basketball took the Sierra Foothill League crown, their first since 2000.


Consignment store: The Horse and Buggy offered an eclectic and ever-changing mix of vintage furnishings and décor items. The store opened in September.

Loomis district balances budget: The Loomis Union School District balanced its budget by offering retirement incentives and did not need to pink slip any teachers.

Yogurt shop: The Yogurt Shop, in the Raley’s shopping center, has turned out to be a popular place for “making it your way” treats. The shop opened in November.

Town loses icon: Mary Frances Scherer, 90, passed away. She was a well-known resident who was a pioneer for women’s rights and a town founder.

Loomis couple arraigned: Joseph Campbell and Morgan Pryde were arrested for numerous counts of embezzlement, theft and grand theft.

Nancy Beck died March 10 after a short illness. Beck chaired the town’s Parks, Recreation and Open Space Committee and in the past served on the Planning Commission, Historical Preservation Committee, Parking and Traffic Safety Commission and Eggplant Festival Board.

Healthy eating proposed: Town Council drew fire from business owners, locals and Tea Party members who all opposed a healthy living resolution.

Koinonia gets new kitchen: A group home run by Koinonia Family Services received a kitchen renovation thanks in part for donations from Bank of Americal and Hebalife Family Foundation.

Teen aquaponics program: Del Oro student Pierre Beauchamp proposed a dirtless aquaponic system that he designed for the FFA greenhouse that would help provide fresh produce for high school cafeteria lunches.


Antique shop opens: The Vintage Brioleur antiques opened at High Hand and features repurposed items and antiques.

Healthy eating resolution dies: Loomis council killed a healthy living and eating resolution after residents said it reached too far into their personal lives.

Miracle baby survives. Baby Elizabeth Rose Navyoks survived after being delivered by  emergency ceasarean section after her mother’s heart stopped. Doctors were unable to save her mother, Kim Burgess, 23. Elizabeth was being cared for by her father, Robert, formerly of Loomis.


Town purchase property: The Town purchased .73 acres of land for $292,061 from the county that borders the railroad tracks on Taylor Road. The land includes parts of High Hand’s parking lot. The town plans to put in a walkway and sell some of the land to High Hand.

School honored: H. Clarke Powers School became a 2012 California Distinguished School.

Golf wins: Del Oro golfers win No, 2 in Sierra Foothill League tournament, but missed out on sharing league title after a protest of a dual match was upheld. DO golfers Austin Smotherman and Justin Raskin advance to state tournament after team takes fourth place.

Swimmers No. 2: Del Oro swimmers in both the boys and girls divisions took second in the Sierra Foothill League championship meet. DO girls and boys swimming took fourth place at CIF Sac-Joaquin Sections. Swimmer Brian Westlake placed first in the 500 freestyle and second in the 200 freestyle.

Softball winners: Softball won a championship banner with a 19-5 overall record.

NEV plan goes to bid: Town Council approved soliciting bids for a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle plan, in a 3-2 vote despite, objections from both Ucovich and Morillas.

Tennis champs: Golden Eagle boys tennis beat Granite Bay to win the CIF crown. Del Oro senior Brett Bacharach won the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Div. II singles championship.

Track champions: Black and Gold boys varsity, and girls varsity and JV track all earned SFL championship banners. Casey Wheeler won the 110 meter, Blake Covey won the 400 meter, the 4x400 boys relay team took first, Brie Simmons won the 100 and 200-meter dash and 100 meter and 300 meter hurdles.  Then, the teams won the Div. II title with Casey Wheeler, Brie Simmons and Amy Heyn each winning multiple events.

Animals seized: Humane Society Officers seized three more animals from a Loomis residence that was the subject of a much larger search and seizure in July 2011. The homeowner had been charged with felony and misdemeanors after 37 goats, 19 sheep, 14 dogs, two pigs and a bird were seized.

Soccer winners: Girls soccer captured a league soccer championship, then lost in the CIF

Div. II finals.

Go the Distance: Ultra-marathon runner Greg Bomhoff, along with 18 relay teams and 500 fun run participants raised $30,000 for Loomis District schools in a 24-hour event.


Class of 2012: Del Oro graduates a class with 80 magna cum laude students, six Sac-Joaquin Division II titles, a Division III title, three Sierra Foothill League titles and a first place at CIF Sac-Joaquin Div. III subsections.

Crashes increase: Rural Loomis roads have an increase in car crashes, with four occurring in a 30-day period.

Smotherman wins: DO golfer Austin Smotherman won the CIF State individual golf championship tournament.

Balanced budget: The town balanced its 2012-13 budget at $2.5 without dipping into reserves, but council indicated it would spend reserves on town projects.

Loomis has talent: Eighteen talented individuals were selected to go on to the finals in the Loomis Basin Has Talent contest, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce.

County approves apartments: The Placer County Planning Commission approved the controversial Orchard at Penryn apartment complex in a 3-2 vote.


New horse hospital: Loomis Basin Equine Medical Center broke ground on a new facility in Penryn.

Trapshooters are sharp: DO trap shooters on both varsity and JV won their second straight state series championships.

Fiery days: The Loomis Basin experienced three grass fires in three days that burned a total of almost four acres in Penryn and Newcastle.

AG rules: The attorney general’s office issued an opinion that says term limits can’t be retroactive and two council members keep their seats.

DUI driver leaves passenger: A drunk driver fled the scene of a crash, leaving a Del Oro graduate trapped inside the car with major injuries. She was rescued by passersby and he was arrested the next morning.

Cool treats served: SnoTopia specializes in Hawaiian-style shaved ice, slushies, ice cream and gelato. The shop opened in March.

Thomas the trapshooter: Del Oro’s Clay Thomas won the U.S. Open Clay Shooting Individual JV championship.

Thrify store: Second Blessings thrift store opened at the Loomis Basin Congregational United Church of Christ to help fund low-cost daycare for single mothers.


NEV plans proceed: Loomis Council included $30,000 for a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle plan in their five-year capital improvement plan.

Three vie for two seats: Incumbents Gary Liss and Rhonda Morillas along with Loomis Fire Protection District Chief Dave Wheeler filed papers to run for Loomis Town Council.

K-9 finds pot: A Placer County Sheriff’s K-9 sniffed out 175 pounds of pot during a traffic stop. Deputies found seven large bags of marijuana and a gun.

Smotherman wins again: Austin Smotherman capped his high school golf career by winning the 44th Annual Big I National Jr. Golf Championship.

Battle For Veterans: The Battle For Veterans showcase was held at Del Oro with the Golden Eagles losing to Oaks Christian.


Yoga studio opens: BridgeYoga studio offers yoga classes at levels for everyone. The studio opened in May.

Home on the Grange: The Loomis Grange opened in 1937, but is searching for its niche as ranching and farming wane.

Antiques shop opens: Sarah Whitcomb Antiques, located in the Blue Goose Fruit Shed, offers buying, selling, trading and restoring of antiques. The shop opened in July.

Animal abuser sentenced: The Loomis animal owner charged with neglect pleaded no contest to keeping animals without proper care and was sentenced to 180 days in jail and cannot own any animals for four years.

U.S. ambassador killed: U.S. Libyan Ambassador Christopher Stevens, whose father and stepmother live in Loomis, was killed in an attack on Sept. 11.

Apartment hearing delayed: County supervisors postponed hearing appeals by a group of Penryn residents and the Town of Loomis on the Orchard at Penryn 150-unit apartment complex.


Historic train: Historic Engine No 844 thundered through Loomis on its way to the State Railroad Museum drawing crowds along the way.

Candidates debate: Stories on the Loomis Town Council debates mark the beginning of a highly contentious council race that pitted conservatives against liberals.

Pot grow draws gunfire: An illegal pot grow at a rural Loomis residence drew gunfire after a man guarding his 100 marijuana plants reported to law enforcement that masked men tried to raid his grow and fired shots. Placer County Sheriff’s Office personel removed and confiscated all the plants.

NEV study awarded: The Loomis Council awarded a $26,000 neighborhood electric vehicle plan study to a Roseville business in a 3-2 vote.

Going pink: The Loomis News printed in pink for breast cancer awareness.


Ninety years strong: Loomis Boy Scouts of America Troop 12 celebrated its 90 anniversary with a dinner honoring Eagle Scout and long time supporter Ed Horton.

Girl runners win: The Oro girls varsity cross country team ran to the Sierra Foothill League championship.

Raley’s strike: Raley’s employees went on strike for the first time in the company’s 77 year history.

Football team in playoffs: The Black and Gold made it to the playoffs after earning the SFL’s No. 2 automatic playoff berth.

Council elections over: Dave Wheeler and incumbent Rhonda Morillas won the two town council seats, with incumbent Gary Liss trailing with 24 percent of the vote.

Election appeal: Supporters of Gary Liss planned to challenge to the state attorney general Dave Wheeler serving on both the council and as the fire district chief. They called the offices incompatible.

Mushroom poisonings: Two elderly residents of Loomis board and care facility die after eating poison mushrooms served by their caretaker. Four others were hospitalized. The poisonings are deemed accidental.

Cross country champs: Del Oro’s varsity girls cross country team won the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Div. III championship.

Recall threatened: Residents attending the Loomis council meeting threatened Mayor Sandra Calvert with recall after she placed an action and discussion item on the council agenda. Dave Wheeler vowed to take his on council despite threats of an attorney general challenge.

New principal: Penryn Elementary School welcomed new principal Cara Alfonso.

Sign hacking: A sign announcing a Wells Avenue construction project was hacked to read “Caution loose gorilla,” and “Smoke weed every day.”

More mushroom deaths: Two more elderly people die as a result of eating gravy made with wild mushrooms picked and prepared by their caretaker at a Loomis elder care facility.

Local man dies in crash: Christopher Sainsbury, son of Loomis Grammar School teacher Susan McQueen, died in a car crash in Utah on the way home to her house for Thanksgiving. His young daughter survived the crash.


Supes approve apartments: Placer County supervisors denied the appeal by the Town of Loomis and Penryn residents regarding the 150-unit Orchard at Penryn apartment project.

Wheeler seated: Dave Wheeler and Rhonda Morillas were sworn in on the Loomis Town Council. Walt Scherer became mayor.

Man jailed: A former Penryn care facility worker was jailed and plead no contest for the rape of a severely  disabled woman in his care. The woman became pregnant and the baby’s DNA led to the arrest. The assailant faces 13 years in prison.