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Placer County files Mosquito Fire lawsuit against PG&E, is set to open low-barrier shelter for the unhoused and more in this week's Placer County newsletter

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American River


Photo of the week

This #PlacerLife photo of the American River near Auburn was taken by @rodolfotografo on Instagram.

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Featured story

Placer County, others file suit against PG&E for Mosquito Fire damages

Placer County and four other public entities filed a lawsuit against PG&E for damages resulting from the 2022 Mosquito Fire. The lawsuit alleges that PG&E’s equipment was the cause and origin of the Mosquito Fire. Learn more


Winter safety

Sierra residents advised to monitor snow loads on roofs, utilities

snow on house

With the potential for snow buildup, public safety agencies are advising residents and businesses in the Sierra Nevada to monitor buildings, propane tanks and natural gas lines for signs of excessive loading due to heavy snow. Learn more


Newcastle celebrates Fire Station 41 with grand opening

fire station

Newcastle celebrated the grand opening of Fire Station 41 earlier this week. Placer County Board of Supervisors Chair and District 3 Supervisor Jim Holmes represented the county in welcoming the facility to the community. Watch video

Wildfire resiliency

County to open low-barrier shelter to assist unhoused, avoid lawsuit

Homeless shelter

The county is establishing a mobile temporary shelter for unhoused individuals in Auburn. The low-barrier shelter will be located at the Placer County Government Center and consist of about 50 tents with cots. Learn more

Health and safety

‘Red Sand’ raises awareness of human trafficking

red sand

No one should fall through the cracks. Families and organizations throughout Placer County are invited to join us in raising awareness of human trafficking through the “Red Sand Project.”

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This week in Placer County history

cortopassi-tombstone-1_crop.jpgOn Jan. 14, 1919, the jury in the trial of Rita Cortopassi for the murder of her husband, Abdenago (Tony) Cortopassi, returned with a verdict of not guilty.

Rita and Tony were newlyweds in the summer of 1918 just before he was drafted and shipped off to Camp Lewis in Washington State for basic training in the Army and later to Camp Fremont in Palo Alto, California. 

Tony, an Italian immigrant, owned the Orleans Hotel in Auburn and became a U.S. citizen in 1916. Rita, who was also from Italy, struggled to operate the hotel and bar in Tony’s absence. She didn’t like the man Tony left in charge of the bar, Rodolfo Giraldini, so she fired him and hired John Pieroni to replace him. She urged Tony to take a furlough and return to Auburn before going overseas to fight in the Great War. She wanted him to sell the business and for them to move to a new city because salacious rumors were circulating about her. 

Tony returned to Auburn on Oct. 8. Rita prepared a nice dinner, but Tony invited his friend, Rodolfo over. This incensed her and when Tony tried to give a violin to Rodolfo (that Rita claimed was hers), she had enough. Rita picked up a pistol and pointed it. It’s unclear if she pointed at Rodolfo or Tony, but Tony reached for the gun, and it went off. The bullet pierced his heart. The defense argued, successfully, that Tony’s death was accidental.

During the trial, it was revealed Rita was five months pregnant. We don’t know what happened to Rita or her baby after the trial except that she left Auburn. Tony is buried in the Old Auburn Cemetery and will likely be memorialized in a future Old Auburn Cemetery Tour.


Fun things to do this week

Man jumping between rocks with Donner Lake in the background

Don’t miss the fun coming this next week in...

Roseville: Lottery for the Arts

...and many Placer County Library and Placer County Museum events.

Visit our regional partners to discover more of the fun happening right here in Placer County!

Placer County Visitors' Bureau
North Lake Tahoe Resort Association
The Arts Council of Placer County
Placer Valley Tourism
Placer Wine Trail

Find current state COVID-19 guidance, along with local data and resources, here.



Upcoming public meetings and events

People seated at a town hall meeting in a log-paneled community meeting hall

Greater Auburn Area Fire Safe Council meeting, Jan. 20, 9 a.m. Information
Placer County Historical Society meeting, Jan. 23, 10 a.m. Information
Board of Supervisors meeting, Jan. 23, 9 a.m. Information
Board of Supervisors meeting, Jan. 24, 9 a.m. Information
Tahoe Basin Design Review Committee meeting, Jan. 24, 4 p.m. Information
Placer County Fish and Game Commission meeting, Jan. 25, 6 p.m. Information

To learn about other Placer County committees and commissions and current opportunities to serve your community click here.

List of active projects throughout Placer County

Projects are listed alphabetically and by Board of Supervisors districts. A hard copy of the list is available at the Placer County Community Development Resource Agency, 3091 County Center Drive in Auburn. 

Active Projects



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