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Joyous birth to gutsy leaps kick off 2013
Fremont Medical Center, Yuba City, 4:51 a.m.: The New Year started joyously for Yuba City's Jas and Keerat Bains, who became proud parents of the first baby born in 2013 in Sutter and Yuba counties.
Their son, Kavan Singh Bains, weighed eight pounds, 15 ounces and was 21 inches tall. He's a strong, healthy baby, his parents said.
"The best New Year's ever, the most memorable New Year's," Keerat Bains said later in the day.
Kavan was the first baby born in the early hours of New Year's Day and had the full attention of the staff at the Fremont maternity ward.
"I think we had just about every nurse in the hospital in the room," Keerat Bains said.
Rupi Sandhu, Kavan's aunt, had been joking with Jas and Keerat a month ago about possibly having the first baby of the year.
"The due date was (Wednesday), but I totally predicted this," Rupi Sandhu said. "I'm predicting lottery numbers (for a friend) now."
Kavan's grandmother, Amarjit Bains, beamed while looking at her new grandson.
"I always had a feeling, always thought he was going to be a boy," Amarjit said. "He's lucky he was born after Christmas so he can get more presents and his own party."
Jas Bains is a real estate broker and peach farmer, while Keerat Bains works as an occupational therapist. The couple married four years ago.
"He's going to be whatever he wants," his mother said.
Little Kavan will also be allowed to pick his own favorite sports teams — at least for the most part.
"But, he's going to be a Raiders fan," Jas Bains said. "Not Denver, definitely not Denver."
Gauche Aquatic Park, Yuba City, 8:30 a.m.: Hannah Shaw, Olivehurst's own "Supergirl," dove right into 2013 by plunging into the icy pool waters of Yuba City's public pool.
The 15-year-old wore her "Supergirl" costume while dunking herself into the 45-degree pool Tuesday morning at the 17th annual Polar Bear Plunge and Slide in Yuba City. It's a New Year's tradition for many like Hannah, who has taken the plunge the last five years, wearing a different costume each time.
"I always have a theme," Hannah explained.
Last year, the Olivehurst teen dressed as a zombie.
"I was a zombie because the world was supposed to end," Hannah said. "This year, I'm Superman because the world was saved — you're welcome by the way."
The caped superheroine jumped in and out of the chilly waters faster than a speeding bullet.
About 30 people jumped into the cold water this year, which was the lowest turnout since the event started in 1997, according to Abbie Cesena, a city recreation department spokeswoman.
Yuba City's Manny Cardoza is one of a small group who has made the drive every year. This year, the 55-year-old grandfather took the plunge with his twin grandchildren, Noah and Emma Moreau. The 4-year-olds were the youngest polar bear drivers on Tuesday.
"It's a great way to start a new year," Cardoza said.
Motocross City, Marysville, 11 a.m.: Marysville's Daniel Hames got a little dirty on New Year's Day.
Hames, 32, was one of more than 200 dirt-bike racers who descended on Marysville for the New Year's Day Hangover Marathon race at the MMX Racing track at the riverbottoms.
"It's a better way to spend your money," Hames said of the New Year's racing. "You get memories for a lifetime instead of just passing out and blacking out."
Eight marathon races kicked off starting around 8 a.m. and continued throughout the day.
Tuesday marked the first time the Marysville track hosted the Hangover Marathon. The race has been a Jan. 1 tradition for more than two decades and, until this year, was always held at the Sand Hill Ranch in Brentwood.
"But that track closed down and they moved it here," Hames explained.
Hames has competed in the marathon every year since he was 8 years old.
"I was happy they moved here, I could sleep in a little longer," he said. "It's a no-brainer to come out to it when you live just about two miles away."
Track owner Jerrad Fisher said he hopes to bring the race back next year.
"The oldest (racer) is in his 60s, the youngest is about 5," Fisher said. "It's just a lot of fun."
Race announcer Mike LaCara said a day at the dirt bike track was the best way to ring in the new year.
"Where else would you rather be?" LaCara questioned. "Inside watching college football?"
The Happy Viking, Yuba City, 4 p.m.: Inside watching college football was exactly what Marysville's Bob Center wanted to do Tuesday evening.
Especially with Stanford, a Pacific-12 Conference team, playing in the Rose Bowl.
"I'm a sports fan," Center said. "I go for Cal and pretty much all the PAC-12 teams."
Center, 45, just came back from three days of surfing with his two sons in Santa Cruz and spent New Year's morning taking down Christmas decorations around his home. Afterward, it was time to relax, have a beer and debate college football at The Happy Viking.
"Drinking a Coors Light, it's sort of a Marysville staple," Center joked.
Yuba City's Josh Armstrong, also a college game enthusiast, was up for the friendly football debate.
"I love college football, more than the NFL, they (college players) play with more heart," Armstrong said.
Armstrong, an Alabama native who moved to Yuba City in May, enjoyed the Rose Bowl, but said he was only really gearing up for next week's BCS Championship Bowl game between Notre Dame and Armstrong's beloved University of Alabama.
Whichever game or team you were pulling for, Center said, Jan. 1 is always a great day to watch football.
"Normally, I wake up in the morning (New Year's Day) and it's always college football day," Center said.