Briefs: Not guilty plea made in Yuba City bar shooting
A Marysville man pleaded not guilty on Friday to charges of shooting two people last year during a gang-related gunfight outside a Yuba City bar.
Bryce Wayne Nicholes appeared briefly in Sutter County Superior Court in connection with the Jan. 29, 2012, shootout in the parking lot of Big John's Bar and Grill.
Eric Baca, 26, and Michael Ybarra, 21 were shot during the fight, but survived.
Investigators have said the incident was gang-related, but have not said what prompted the violence.
Nicholes, 24, was transferred to Sutter County earlier this month to stand trial after pleading guilty in federal court to drug charges.
He was indicted in April after NET-5 agents seized crack cocaine, methamphetamine and two stolen firearms from a home in east Linda.
Nicholes remained in custody at the Sutter County Jail.
He is due back in court Feb. 22.
Several places close for King Day
The following businesses and agencies are closed Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Government offices: Closed.
Post office: No services.
Trash pickup: No interruption in service.
Yuba-Sutter Transit: No service; office closed.
Appeal-Democrat: No interruption of service.
Griego takes overas SACOG leader
The Sacramento Council of Governments began a new year this week with Yuba County Supervisor Mary Jane Griego formally taking the helm as chairwoman for 2013.
Griego, a county supervisor since 2000, served as SACOG's vice chairwoman last year. In the role of chairwoman, she will run meetings for an agency charged with regional planning and funding for transportation across the greater Sacramento metropolitan area.
At the first meeting on Thursday, Griego moved to expand topics covered by the Land Use and Air Quality Committee to also address water supply and floodplain management, and also renamed it the Land Use and Natural Resources Committee.
Several employees receive awards
Several employees from the Olivehurst Public Utility District received awards from their peers this month at the California Water Environment Association's Northern Sacramento Valley Section banquet.
Rob Price was named supervisor of the year, while John Peterson received the award for laboratory analyst of the year.
As well, OPUD itself received an award as the collection system of the year. Price and OPUD employees Wes Nott, Dave Duncan, Matt Hewitt and Curtis Mills accepted awards at the banquet.
Winning the section award advances the recipients to statewide competition. Those winners will be announced before April 1.
Nielsen named to GOP leadership
New state Sen. Jim Nielsen has been named a member of the Republican caucus leadership in the state Senate.
Nielsen, R-Gerber, will be a caucus whip for the Republicans, after being selected for the post by Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar.
In addition, state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg named Nielsen Thursday to serve on committees dealing with several issues of high importance to Yuba-Sutter residents
He will serve on committees for health, insurance and veterans affairs, the latter in connection with his advocacy for completion of veterans' homes in Redding and Fresno.
Nielsen will be vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Governmental Reorganization.
Before winning a Assembly seat in 2008, Nielsen served in the state Senate, including for a stint as Senate Republican leader, during the 1970s and '80s.