Category Archives: MacArthur

Fireman’s Carnival fun for children and parents

For more than forty years the fireman’s carnival has been raising money for the McArthur Fire Department.

Lots of fun for all

This year, Saturday evening March 2, hundreds of children and parents came to the Inter-Mountain Fairgrounds to win prizes in a dozen different events.

Hoping to win a loveable bear

Made it

A fun drive

A team effort

Ready for a dunk

Won a goldfish

The do-do duck tried to escape

Meanwhile in Ingram Hall over a hundred people enjoyed playing Bingo for prizes.

Bingo is fun too

This year Inter-Mountain royalty was there to assist the Carnival.

Princesses Sara Dean and Hallee Olsen

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Filed under Fire Departments, Intermountain Fair, MacArthur, youth

Greg Hawkins to retire as FRJUSD Superintendent

Greg Hawkins has informed the Fall River Joint Unified School District Board of Trustees that he will be retiring as Superintendent at the end of the 2018-2019 school year.

Looking back over a career in the school district spanning almost four decades, Hawkins said with a smile, “The whole picture just been great, from my first teaching job up to the present day.”

FRJUSD Superintendent Greg Hawkins

Hawkins moved to Fall River Mills with his family in 1959 when he was three years old. He attended Fall River Elementary School and Fall River Junior Senior High School. He was in the 9th grade when Burney High School opened. He graduated from Fall River High School in 1974.

After graduating he attended Shasta Community College and received his AA and then went on the California  State University, Chico where he earned his BA in Physical Education in 1978. He continued on to get his teaching credential doing his student teaching at Red Bluff High School and received his teaching credentials in 1979.

That summer was an eventful summer. After receiving his teaching credentials, he returned home to marry his high school sweetheart, Rena Oiler. They have been happily married for 40 years and have three sons: Brent, 36, Tyler, 34, and Preston 32. They have two grandchildren, one boy Rider who is three years old, and a seven month old granddaughter Raiya.

For their honeymoon, the couple  went to Happy Camp, where Hawkins was hired by the Siskiyou Union High School District to teach English and Drama at the high school. He also coached Football, Basketball, and Baseball . He was named Happy Camp’s High School Teacher of the Year in 1979.

Hawkins taught at Happy Camp though 1981. In 1982, he came to Burney to teach English at Burney High School.

“It was one of my best years of teaching. Great town, great staff,” he said.

It was also interesting experience coaching the Burney sports teams who had been his rivals not so many years before.

Concerning his years of coaching, Hawkins said that over time he realized that the relationships with the students was more important than winning or losing. Some years you have really talented players and an extraordinary season. But the years when the players you work with are not as gifted, the kids still work just as hard with just as much enthusiasm and it is just as inspiring.

Then from 1982 through 1983, Hawkins worked with the Regional Occupation Program, assisted some teachers, and taught English part time.

From 1983 until 1996, he taught English, Social Studies, and PE at Fall River High School.

After receiving his Pupil Personnel Services Credential, Hawkins served as full time school counselor for Fall River Junior-Senior High School from 1997-2000. He earned his M.S. in Pupil Personnel Services from the University of LaVerne in 1997.

From 2000-2006, he served as Vice Principal at Fall River Junior Senior High School. He also continued to serve as counselor and in addition became athletic director. Then from 2006 to 2011, he was Principal of the Fall River High School. In 2011, he was appointed District Superintendent.

In the role of Superintendent, Hawkins said the budget is always of primary concern. It would be nice to always have the money for everything you want to do, but there are often changes in state funding. The challenge is to make sure that we continue to meet the needs of our students and the community for optimum education.

He also said that maintaining a safe environment for students and teachers has become a top priority. He believes that the district has done its best to ensure that the schools are safe and that teachers, staff, students and law enforcement are prepared to respond quickly and appropriately in case of any emergency.

“One thing that I am most proud of is when one of our graduates goes on to become successful and then comes back to give back to our community. Thirty percent of our teachers are graduates from this district. That’s rewarding!”

Many of the employees of the District were once his students.

Hawkins is an affable people person. He spoke warmly of his appreciation for all of the support that individuals and organizations in the community give to the schools. He also praised the staff, teachers, and Board Members who have worked hard to make the school system successful. Most of all he spoke of how much he has enjoyed interacting with the students as a teacher, coach, counselor, and administrator for the past 36 years and how rewarding it is when past students come up to say hello and remind him of experiences they shared in the past.

After retiring, Hawkins looks forward to traveling with his wife and spending time with his children and grandchildren.

Hawkins will retire at the end of the school year on June 28. He believes that the FRJUSD is in good shape. During the remainder of his term, he wants to ensure that everything will be in order so that there will be a smooth transition for his successor.

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Filed under Burney, Fall River Mills, MacArthur, Schools, youth

Community Foundation Grant Opportunity Deadline is June 7th

The Shasta Regional Community Foundation is a resource building organization in Shasta and Siskiyou counties dedicated to promoting philanthropy by connecting people who care with causes that matter. Since 2000, the Community Foundation has awarded over $18,000,000 in grants to area nonprofit organizations.

Artist Kim Solga received a grant to paint a prominent public mural in Dunsmuir celebrating the town’s heritage.

The deadline of June 7th is fast approaching for grant applications for funding from two field of interest funds managed by the Shasta Regional Community Foundation. These opportunities are provided thanks to the efforts and investments made by many generous donors in our region. The Animal Welfare Endowment Fund was established in 2009 to benefit projects that will provide care for animals in Shasta and Siskiyou counties; the Community Arts Endowment Fund was established to support grants to nonprofits, public entities, and individual artists for the creation and presentation of new work in any media in the region. Grant review committee members from the areas served evaluate the proposals and make recommendations for funding.

More details about making donations to or requesting funding from these and other funds are available on the Community Foundation’s website at

For further information, contact Program Officer, Amanda Hutchings at or call 530.244.1219.

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Filed under Art, Burney, Fall River Community Choir, Intermountain Art, MacArthur, Montgomery Creek, Round Mountain

Hope is Alive 9! at Old Merc Pizza: A selection of videos

More than eighty people filled Old Merc Pizza in McArthur Friday evening to enjoy three hours of performance and sharing by more that a dozen artists. The evening’s offerings included poetry, song, dance, drumming, Broadway musical, as well as inspirational messages from participants in Stand Against Stigma and Brave Faces.

So much talent! Such diversity! Linda and I were unable to capture all of the dozens of acts, but this playlist has videos will give you a taste of some of the performances.

I hope you enjoy.

Thanks to Marc Dadigan from Stand Against Stigma for organizing the event, Old Merc for hosting, Stu Stoore for and excellent job with the sound, and all those who came to make this a wonderful evening.

Hope is Alive!

PS. There are 12 videos in the playlist. Click on the triple bar in the upper left-hand corner to see a menu listing all of the individual titles.

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Filed under Entertainment, Hope is Alive!, MacArthur, Mental Health

Four Local Volunteers Honored at Heritage Day

Saturday October 9 was the 27th annual celebration of Heritage Day at McArthur-Burney Falls Park. As part of the celebration, Catherine Campbell, Chairperson of the McArthur-Burney Falls Interpretive Society, and Brett Mizeur, Supervising Ranger, honored four local volunteers for their valuable assistance to the park and the event.

Catherine Camp and Ranger Mizeur recognize awardees

Catherine Camp and Ranger Mizeur recognize awardees

Melissa Madden teaches English and leadership and serves as the youth activities director for Burney High School. She helps to organize and co-ordinate student service organizations, such as the Leos, to assist at Heritage Day and other local events. The teaching and assistance by Leos and Scouts under the supervision of Ms. Madden and the Scout leaders at the activity and craft stations has been essential to the success of these events. Because Melissa Madden is a good leader, she can help her students to become good leaders.

Supervising Ranger Brett Mizeur presents Melissa Madden with a certificate of appreciaton

Supervising Ranger Brett Mizeur presents Melissa Madden with a certificate of appreciation

The second awardee Stan Vigolo is a member of the Pit River Pioneers. He came to the first Heritage Day 27 years ago and has come every year since helping to set up a display showing how the pioneers to this area lived, hunted, camped, fished, etc. A picture of him at the first Heritage Day in full Buckskins appeared on a flier for the Park for several years.

Stan Vigolo receiving his award

Stan Vigolo receiving his award

At 6′ 5″ Stan is a mountain of a mountain man. He is an avid enthusiast of pioneer sports and has participated in many competitions such as tomahawk throwing and sawbucking. Here’s a tip from past champion Stan on sawbucking. If you want to get a good, clean, quick cut, have a left-hand and a right hand man as a team. That will equalize the pressure on the saw to keep it from bowing.

The third recipient was Chuck Evans. 89 year-old Chuck has also participated in every Heritage Day. One of the things he has done is to help organize and direct the parking. Lion Chuck was in the hamburger line when his name was called but Ranger Brett caught up with him afterwards to present his certificate.

Chuck Evans receiving and award from Rangers Brett Miseur and Dan Toth

Chuck Evans receiving and award from Rangers Brett Mizeur and Dan Toth

The final awardee was Craig Harrington, publisher of the Intermountain News. Every year Craig donates his time and labor for the layout and graphic design for the Burney Falls Park publication that is given to thousands of visitors. This provides a lot of interesting information and a great souvenir. He also assists the park and the interpretive association with other work on publications and publicity.

As Catherine Camp said, Heritage Day would not be a success each year without the help of scores of volunteers. Thanks to these four noble souls and to all the others who have donated their time, talents, and resources.


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Filed under Burney, Burney Falls, Burney Lions Club, Fall River Mills, MacArthur, Pit River Area History, Pit River Country Events

Dec. 5th – Crafts Flourish in Pit River Country

December 5 was not officially named Craft Day, but it could have been.

Linda bought this one in Round Mountain

Linda bought this one in Round Mountain

From McArthur to Round Mountain a half dozen different events treated Intermountain residents  to a celebration of local creativity and Christmas cheer. In McArthur, shoppers flocked to Santa’s Workshop and 12 Days of Christmas  at the Inter-Mountain Fairgrounds. In Burney, The VFW Women’s Auxiliary Craft Show and the New Hope Evangelical Presbyterian Church Annual Christmas Bake Sale and Craft Show were taking place. In addition, the first annual Christmas Boutique at Hearthstone Health Foods also featured local crafters and artists.

Then as events in Burney and the Fall River Valley were winding down, the Mountain Community Center in Round Mountain hosted its 2015 Holiday Open House and Free Santa Store.

Beautiful pattern on a handmade pot holder

Click on image for larger view

Click on image for larger view

Events actually began on Wednesday December 2 with the 12 Days of Christmas at the Inter-Mountain Fairgrounds in McArthur. This is the first week of a three-week craft event.  Each week from Wednesday through Saturday the holiday fair will be open. The 12 days of Christmas will culminate in a ginger bread contest on December 19.

On Saturday, Santa’s Workshop, was held from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. in Ingram’s Hall. This is a major annual holiday event. This year’s show featured local artists, a Wayside Garden Club Greens Boutique, and locally made Christmas decorations.  Santa came at 12:00pm. Food was offered by the Fort Crook Historical Society.

Because Linda and I had a table at the VFW Christmas Craft Show, we weren’t able to get over to the fairgrounds in McArthur but we did meet shoppers who were making a day of it trying to hit all of the craft shows in  Burney and Fall River. What a great day for visitors to tour the area and witness the creative output of the area.

VFW Auxiliary Gift Baskets

VFW Auxiliary Gift Baskets

In addition to hosting their craft fair, the Woman’s Auxiliary 5685 had a table selling  tickets for gift baskets to be raffled of at the American Legion Ham Dinner on December 12th.

Anita "Cricket" Allen with baked goods, candles and homemade jellies

Anita “Cricket” Allen with baked goods, candles and homemade jellies

Amongst the vendors at the VFW Hall, Anita “Cricket” Allen, one of my favorite people, was selling some delicious baked goods and homemade jellies.

One of the things I like about Cricket, is that she is generally cheerful and kind and always seems to have good advice. My advice is that if you ever have a chance to get some of her breads or jellies seize the opportunity. I got a banana nut bread and some choke cherry jelly.

The McKay brothers were there too with items hand-crafted from wood and other natural products. They also have a booth at the 12 Days of Christmas. Their hand-made pens are very popular. While at the Vets Hall, they got a call from McArthur saying that they needed to bring in more pens because they were selling out.

Nancy Crafts and Collectibles had a beautiful display featuring dazzling crystals.

Nancy's Crafts and Collectibles

Nancy’s Crafts and Collectibles

Linda was busy showing her hand made Christmas cards featuring beautiful pictures of wintry Burney Falls and Burney Mountain as well as gift items, framed and matted photos, and artwork.

Linda Colvin from LACE Photography

Linda Colvin from LACE Photography

There was also a large and lovely display of hand-made soaps and numerous other Christmas crafts and items. I actually didn’t have time to get around to all of it. While Linda manned the table, I snuck away to go over and check out the 87th Annual Holiday Gift Sale at New Hope Evangelical Presbyterian Church. They are in their new location behind Burney Valley Real Estate.

Everything was cozy and beautifully decorated. While there I ran into Sarah Clark and Barbara Watson. A few weeks earlier I had seen these gracious ladies doing folk dances at the Hope is Alive! Open Mic.

Sarah Clark and Barbara Watson at New Hope Evangelical

Sarah Clark and Barbara Watson at New Hope Evangelical

We talked about what a great event it was, hoping that there will be another one in a few months. They said that if there is they will invite more international folk dancers up from Redding.

I also had a chance to talk with Bobby and Ramona about how the church is doing since their transition. Actually, spirits are high and faith strengthened. It is still unclear what will become of the old Presbyterian church building where they formerly held services. I think that the Burney Presbyterian Church is the first church that I ever attended when I was child back in the 1950’s.  (See Churches of Burney)

As I talked with Bobby and Ramona I felt the spirit of prayer in the church and I told them that I would try to come this month to visit one of their services.

When I got back to the Vet’s Hall it was time to pack things up. But the day was not yet over. Linda and I jumped into our sleigh (actually Jeep) and headed over Burney Mountain to attend the Mountain Community Center Holiday Bazaar. On the way, we stopped at the vista point to get some pictures of snow-covered Burney mountain.

Mt. Burney

Mt. Burney

When we arrived at the community center,  we saw that the hall had been beautifully decorated with red table cloths and Christmas decorations. There were tables full of baked goods, tables of gift items, tables with items donated for a silent auction, and nicely decorated tables for people to sit down and enjoy. Most thrilling perhaps was the Santa Shop.

Young'uns lined up for Santa Shop

Young’uns lined up for Santa Shop

When youngsters entered they received tickets that enabled them to shop in Santa’s shop for gift items for family members. Then after selecting the gift items, they went to a table where Santa’s helpers dressed as elves helped them to wrap the presents.

Santa's elves gift-wrapping

Santa’s elves gift-wrapping

There was also great music performed by the Mountain Messengers. I even got a chance to get up and sing a few Christmas songs.

Me singing Christmas songs with Jerry, and Kay

Me singing Christmas songs with Jerry and Kay

A highlight of the evening came when some of the children got up to sing Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, Jingle Bells, and other great Christmas songs backed up by the band.

Children singing Christmas songs

Children singing Christmas songs

Deb Klein was the main organizer for this year’s event. Kay Nichols, Elena Norman, Angela Bartolomei, and Sally Durrett also put in many hours of work to ensure success.

Deb was really excited by how much the community pitched in.  She said that over 400 toys had been donated, plus the baked goods and auction items. In addition, many local folks volunteered their service during the function.

“This was really a big event for the community,” she said.

Everyone did an outstanding job. Everything was beautiful. The atmosphere glowed with the joy of community Christmas spirit.

Deb also made some delicious home-canned jellies for the occasion.

Deb's Jellies

Deb’s Jellies

Just after 5 p.m., people gathered outside and sang more Christmas songs as the community Christmas tree’s lights went on.

Christmas Tree Lighting at the Mountain Community Center

Christmas Tree Lighting at the Mountain Community Center

Then the evening concluded with raffle prizes and the announcement of the winners of the silent auction.

What a full day of heart and creativity in Pit River Country.  What a great way to usher in the holiday season. Feel the love. Joy to the world!

Let us pray for peace on earth. Amen.


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Filed under Art, Burney, Entertainment, Fall River Mills, Intermountain Art, Intermountain Fair, MacArthur, Montgomery Creek, Music, Pit River Country Events, Round Mountain

A Taste of the 97th Annual Inter-Mountain Fair

From September 3-7, the 97th Annual Inter-Mountain fair featured five

Sculpture in the school art exhibit

Sculpture in the school art exhibit

days of events, competitions, exhibits, and fun. This is a major family-friendly event involving sponsors, businesses, volunteers, and participants from throughout the Intermountain area. It is a showcase of the life, work, and creativity of the people and towns of the Pit River Basin in Northern California and draws tens of thousands of visitors each year.

The five day fair offered such a large array of events, I knew I could not take it all in. Just as when one goes to a smorgasbord, one can’t eat all of the dishes, so in attending the fair each person has a unique experience. Here I share my taste of the fair.

Saturday afternoon on the fairway.

Saturday afternoon on the fairway.

My wife Linda and I went on Thursday morning because I wanted to get pictures of the horse show. I watched the English and Western classes and was particularly thrilled to see the performance of Bendito, one of the finest horses in the United States.

Johan-Nass riding Bendido in competition

Johan-Nass riding Bendito in competition

“Bendito” in Spanish means “Blessed One.” This beautiful Andalusian horse is owned and trained by Kim Johan-Nass who moved to Fall River Valley 20 years ago and loves it here.

Johan-Nass riding Bendido in competition

Johan-Nass and Bendito taking a break

When I told Johan-Nass that I had never seen a horse with such a steady temperament, she just laughed and said, “He’s so fun!”

The other horses and riders also gave excellent performances. The competition was spirited and friendly. Bendito and Johan-Nass won multiple blue ribbons, which were handed out by the delightful Intermountain Queen and her First and Second Princess.

2015 Inter-Mountain Royalty Alesha Johnson, Taryn Gagnon, and Baylee Berlt at the horse show

2015 Inter-Mountain Royalty Alesha Johnson, Taryn Gagnon, and Baylee Berlt at the horse show

Around 12:30 p,m, there was a lunch break in the horse show and we took the opportunity to visit some of the exhibits and grab a bite to eat.

First Prize Squash

First Prize Squash

As we were enjoying a corn dog and polish sausage during our break, Linda Corr came by to invite us to Albaugh Hall for a sampling of baked goods.

Blue Ribbon awardee Linda Corr

Blue Ribbon awardee Linda Corr

Kevin and Linda Corr were chosen as Inter-Mountain Fair Blue Ribbon winners for 30 years of service to the fair. The fair has been integral to their lives. Over the years,  Kevin has been the fairground’s maintenance supervisor, announced the Inter-Mountain Fair parade, and helped with security. Linda has been an active participant and volunteer in a myriad of affairs and events.

Cattlewomen display

Intermountain Cattlewoman are big supporters of the fair

On Saturday, we returned to the fair. We had volunteered to man the art show from 7-10 p.m. My wife had entered some photography in the professional division and I had entered some paintings and poetry. We came early to see the animals and get more pictures.

Boys on bungies

Boys on bungies

One of the things that really impressed me about the fair is how much fun the children were having. There were numerous activities for kids, young and old.

Having a ball in a ball

Having a ball in a ball

For the first time, the fair had a children’s circus with clowns.

Swan Brothers presenting a swan

Swan Brothers presenting a swan

For the amusement of young and old there was also a comedy show on the fairway.

Hollywood on Wheels

Hollywood on Wheels

Adults were also joining in the fun.

Woman climbing rock wall

Woman climbing rock wall

When I got to the stock pens, I was able to see and meet some of the prize winners. Young Austin Prichett from Aden had won the award for 4H Grand Champion Steer for his steer Outlaw that he had raised from a calf.

Austin Priichett with Outlaw his 4H Grand Champion Steer

Austin Prichett with Outlaw his 4H Grand Champion Steer

Nathan Dougherty from Burney 4H got a blue ribbon for Dixie, his Southdown market class lamb, as well as a ribbon for Polly for wool-bearing sheep and a blue ribbon for his Olde English Game/Serama cross chickens.

 Dixie the prize-winning market lamb

Dixie the prize-winning market lamb

There were many fine animals. Here’s the Grand Prize Market Hog raised by Triston Welander.

 Welander's Grand Champion Market Hog

Welander’s Grand Champion Market Hog

The quilt show in Ingram Hall amazed me. Kaye Burns from McArthur won best of show for a machine quilted illustration of Pegasus. The artwork and design was original.

Best of Show Large Quilt By Kaye Burns

Best of Show Large Quilt By Kaye Burns

The annual Boster Award for best hand-made quilt went to Jeanne Danielson from Montgomery Creek.

Best hand-made quilt

Best hand-made quilt

Making my way to the art show, I picked up a delicious barbequed shrimp kebab and sat for awhile to listen to one of the bands. The music was excellent. The singer was soulful and expressive and the lead guitar player was fantastic.

Band at the Fair

Band at the Fair

This was one of several bands that played throughout the evening. As the band finished, I went into the art show where Linda and I worked with Rose Peer from Intermountain Artists for the next three hours to greet people as they came to view the display of paintings, photography, drawings, art crafts, and poetry.

 Best of Show at the Inter-Mountain Fair Art Show by James Pell

Best of Show at the Inter-Mountain Fair Art Show by James Pell

There was a steady flow of viewers throughout the evening. Linda cheerfully encouraged people to vote for the “Give it your best shot” category in which the public decided the winners. Patty Williams, the 2015 Honorary Mayor of Burney stopped for a while to chat. I was fascinated to learn that she had grown up in Arizona. She said that as a child she loved it when the tarantulas came out.

“If you touched them with a stick, they would jump way up in the air.” she said, holding her hand up to show how high they would leap.”

Photography and Art

Photography and Art

We also had a delightful conversation with rancher Tim DeAtley and his daughter Haylee about the history of the Intermountain area. Tim was able to tell us about several of the people in the photographs which made the pictures come alive.



One of the things that I love about the fair is the friendly atmosphere and the people one meets. As Shakespeare said, “Make new friends but keep the old, the one is silver the other gold.”

We met people from Redding and Sacramento. Kay Nichols and other friends from Round Mountain came through and commented on the artwork and photography.

Before the days events ended, I had a chance to get out and shoot a few pictures of the carnival.

Everyone loves a carnival

Everyone loves a carnival

On Monday, Linda and I headed back to the fair to pick up our entries. Between the two of us we collected 11 first and second place ribbons. We also had a chance to visit the flower show and the exhibition of school art.

Garden Shop in the Flower exhibit

Garden Shop in the Flower exhibit

So much work from so many people went into making this year’s Inter-Mountain Fair a success carrying on a great tradition going back to 1918 when Roderick McArthur, W.J. Albaugh and James R. Day organized the first fair with a rodeo in the McArthur corrals and exhibits in George Rose’s barn. The spirit of cooperation and commitment continues. The Grand Marshall of this year’s fair was Shirley McArthur who has participated in the fair for 71 years. In the Fall River Valley and surrounding areas, so many people have grown up with and contributed to maintaining the tradition.

Volunteers at the school art exhibit

Volunteers at the school art exhibit

It was an honor and a pleasure to attend and participate in the 97th annual fair. This article shares my taste of a great tradition. Yet it is just a small taste. What did I miss? What did I leave out?

The Parade, the Monster Truck Show, the Demolition Derby, the Junior Rodeo, the Lady’s Lead, the stock auctions, small animal shows, many of the displays, the Friday evening concerts, and so much more. As I said in the beginning, the Inter-Mountain Fair offers so much that no one person can take it all in. It is the contributions and experiences of everyone combined that makes it so great.

Next year, you will have to come and experience it for yourself.


Filed under Art, Fall River Mills, Intermountain Art, Intermountain Fair, MacArthur, Music