After a record number of weekend visitors when the biggest problem was the long lines waiting to enter Sequoia National Park, emergency responders all breathed a sigh of relief. And although there was the usual amount of calls for service and traffic stops, in the past week there were no major incidents in Three Rivers.
Several longtime park workers and visitors commented they had never experienced such a crush trying get through the Ash Mountain entrance station to Sequoia National Park. Traffic was backed up for three miles on both Saturday, July 2, and Sunday, July 3, during the midday peak entrance hours.
But at the popular swimming holes in Three Rivers there was peace and mostly small family groups keeping cool at the Kaweah River.
“When Gary Cort finally closed off his property access to Slicky last month, it solved the problem,” said Mark Frick, Three Rivers resident deputy. “When the season quiets down in a few weeks, I’m going to take that man to lunch.”
Deputy Frick said the closures by property owners along the Kaweah River adjacent to Three Rivers Chevron Station has made his job a whole lot easier.
“We still herd [trespassers] from Airport Bridge, BLM sites on North Fork, and Edison on Kaweah River Drive but with Lake Kaweah going down, there is more parking and less hassle if they just go there,” Frick said.
Local business owners near Slicky are reporting that parking problems are over and there is less trash too. Margaret Roberts, owner of Rio Sierra Riverhouse, a bed-and-breakfast just upriver from Slicky, said there has been a huge change in her guests’ experiences.
Roberts said the closures have created the riverfront ambiance and privacy she had always envisioned. A full-time security person, who was hired to keep Slicky swimmers off the Rio Sierra property, is no longer needed.
There were several calls that required the use of sirens. These emergency calls consisted of five separate medical aids that occurred between Friday, July 1, and Monday, July 4.
Sheriff’s deputies spent their shifts keeping watch on the usual high traffic locales.
“We now have coverage up here [Three Rivers] even on the days I am out of service,” Deputy Frick said. “The extra coverage should be the case for the rest of the summer.”
Residential burglary and vandalism— On Tuesday, June 28, sheriff’s deputies conducted a follow-up to a prior disturbance call in the 42800 block of North Kaweah River Drive. While at one area home investigating an estimated $3,000 in property damage, deputies heard a loud noise coming from an adjacent residence.
From a vantage point at the rear of the house where the noise was heard, a woman was observed vandalizing the interior of the house. The woman was identified as Cynthia Slaughter, 48, of Visalia. She was taken into custody on a variety of charges.
Investigation of this incident is ongoing. Anyone with information in this case or any local crime, call Deputy Frick, (559) 740-8894.
False information / under the influence— On the evening of Sunday, July 3, sheriff’s deputies made a Sierra Drive traffic stop. The driver provided a false name, was found to be under the influence of a controlled substance, and was driving on a suspended driver’s license.
Arrested at the scene was Shay Rice, 25, of Three Rivers. His vehicle was towed from the scene. Rice later posted bail and was released from Tulare County Jail.