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Marysville Yuba Appeal Democrat Newspaper Archive: May 24, 2008 - Page 1

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Publication: Marysville Yuba Appeal Democrat

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   Marysville Yuba Appeal Democrat (Newspaper) - May 24, 2008, Marysville Yuba, California                                f Photos from \   our readers C.ALI t RY  PAC.I ( 1 INSIDE SATURDAY Clinton apologizes for mentioning ^ RFK assassination / Page A6 Police officers fired for ignoring ^ woman's miscarriage / Page A7 Oakland bar celebrates 125th ^ anniversary / Page A3 APPEAI- OCRAT Saturday, May 24,2008 Marysville-Yuba City, California OnHr^MvwWjaggejW ^in^leco^47^tax Grateful to be in America Hmong refugee aided CIA during conflict in Laos By Kancy Pasternack Appeal-Democrat The fading map of a U.S. military installation serves now as a reminder of his last home in Laos. East Linda resident Tong Vue, 58, spent his young adult years in the mountains near Long Cheng, the primary base of U.S. military operations in Laos from 1961 to 1975. He says that as one of the 39,000 Hmong guerrillas who fought in the Secret War - a CIA-led campaign against North Vietnamese-backed Communists - he helped supply food and weapons to his countrymen and U.S. troops in the jungles near the Ho Chi Minn Trail. Now, the wall-mounted map and framed photos of three of his sons in U.S. military uniforms remind him of his allegiance to his new country. Two of those sons are deployed by the U.S. Army in Iraq. A third is serving an Air Force tour in South Korea after two tours in Iraq. - "We are citizens of this country now, and we have to help the government," says Vue, who works as a cabinet maker in Yuba City. His wife, Chee Vue, 57, nods in agreement. The American flag that flies in front of their house helps announce this sentiment to others in the neighborhood. Not all Hmong refugees in the area are as unequivocal in their patriotism, explains Bright Vue, 27, the couple's third son and their first child born in the U.S. When U.S. troops and leadership pulled. out of Laos in 1975, they left behind thousands of the mountain tribespeople who had supported them. The widespread killing that followed still weighs on the minds of elders in the area's Hmong communities, Bright Vue says. "A lot of them do feel betrayed. At the same time, they are grateful now to be in the U.S.," he says. A flat-screen TV stands in the corner of the Vues' living room and a computer screen features an ongoing slide show of family photographs. These attest to a cultural overhaul the Vue family has undergone in the 20 years since their tribal hunter-gatherer roots in East Asia were severed, permanently. They escaped Laos in 1978 - three years after being left behind by U.S. forces. Dozens of family members and friends had been lost in those years. "My mom is heartbroken about what happened to their homeland," says Bright Vue, when he sees his mother's eyes become glossy. They spent a year at Ban Vinai, a sprawling refugee camp in Thailand where most Mid-Valley Hmong families have some history. Tong and Chee Vue, and their four then-small children, were finally expatriated to MJUSD 2006 07 TEACHER SALARIES � LOWEST: $40,389 � HIGHEST: $82,982 � AVERAGE: $58,627 Source: State Department of Education Web site Tong and Chee Vue have three sons serving in the U.S. military. Ana Pinwler/Appeal-Democrat the U.S., by way of a host family in Indiana. "It was a big shock," says Chee Vue, by way of her son Bright's interpreting skills. "They didn't know how to use the utilities around the (sponsor's) house," says Bright Vue. "Over here is the first time we see a faucet," says Tong Vue, laughing. "They had to learn how to use a stove and to use the restroom," said'Bright Vue. "Their sponsor had to show them." But the biggest change, said his mother, was that the family no longer struggled to find food. The Vues' 10 children have assimilated to Western culture to varying degrees. Their two eldest daughters married Hmong men in Georgia, where they now live. The rest attended Alicia Intermediate School and Lindhurst High School. The youngest is now a high school freshman. Bright Vue recently graduated from California State University at Northridge. Hmong kids in his generation, he says, are caught between two worlds and two different sets of expectations - those from their parents' culture, "and the way that modern society here wants me to behave." But, he says, all his family members share the same strong feelings for their adoptive country. "They know that America is a good country," he says. Contact Appeal-Democrat reporter Nancy Fasternack at 749-4712 or at npasternack@appealdemocrat.com Not-guilty pleas in East Linda slaying By Rob Young Appeal-Democrat Two more defendants in the fatal drive-by. shooting of a short-order cook from East Linda pleaded not guilty Friday to murder charges. Pheng Kue, 14, and Thang Yang, 16, entered the pleas in Yuba County Judge Julia Scrogin's court as five armed bailiffs kept a close eye on their family members and relatives of the victim, Raymond Garcia Casta*). IA third defendant, Meng Thao, pleaded not guilty earlier. All are being charged as adults. Kue, Yang and Thao, all dressed in Bi-County Juvenile Hall blue jump suits, sat silently as Scrogin scheduled a two-day preliminary hearing starting at 9 a.m. June 5. Castro,/29, was shot in the head with a 9mm handgun, according to a complaint filed by the District Attorney's Office. The shooting happened May 8 near the intersection of Oak-wood and Fernwood drives in East Linda. The preliminary hearing will determine if there's enough evidence to hold each of the defendants to answer on 36 charges, including first-degree murder and the attempted murder of a man who was with Castro. That man is expected to be a principal prosecution witness at the hearing. Prosecutors added penalty enhancements to the list of charges because the crimes allegedly were committed for the benefit of the defendants' gang, the Hmong Nation Society. The defendants are facing possible sentences of life in prison with the possibility of parole. At the conclusion of Friday's hearing, bailiffs escorted Castro's family from the courthouse before family members of the defendants were allowed to leave. Deputy District Attorney Michael Byrne, the county's lead gang prosecutor, told the judge earlier that witnesses are in danger from the Hmong Nation Society while they wait to testify. Contact Appeal-Democrat reporter Rob Young at 749-4110 .or at ryoung@appealdemocrat.com. Teachers, district reach deal Pay boost in MJUSD proposed at 4.5 percent By Ryan McCarthy , Appeal-Democrat J A tentative pact that provides a 4.5 pay percent increase for Marysville Joint Unified School District teachers is expected to win approval and end salary negotiations that began last fall. . "We believe we can afford that," Superintendent Gay Todd said Friday of the cost-of-living adjustment for teachers. Michael Schlusser, president of the teachers association, said his members "deserve a bigger raise than this," but "rather than continue to fight it out over the summer, we're accepting this as a compromise," Todd said the most recent budget figures from the governor's office showing an improved outlook for education funding in the state helped make the tenr; tative agreement possible. "We as a district recognize that not only teachers but all staff members are working extremely, hard," Todd said. Trustee Jim Flurry said of the tentative, three-year agreement, "I think both sides are happy." Schlusser said the district's nearly 500 teachers will vote beginning Wednesday. He said the 4.5 percent increase represents a cost-of-living adjustment that school district officials had initially offered but then withdrew. "This settlement should have come months ago," he said. "Using the district's own budget documents, our consultant showed the district that they had the money to do this. However, we were still forced to hold informational picketing and district-wide organizing before the district finally came Turn to MJUSD/A8 Ex-guard at Chesney gets jail for sex act By Ryan McCarthy Appeal-Democrat . , A Linda man convicted of having sex with a female inmate when he was a corrections officer in Live Oak was sentenced Friday to 120 days in jail. The lawyer for Mark Stephen Susoeff called the crime "stupid." Sutter County Judge Chris Chandler said it was "beyond stupid. It's disgusting." Susoeff, 45, who worked at the Leo Chesney Community Correctional Facility, received oral sex in January 2007 from an inmate near her locker in the early morning at the facility, according to Susoeff s probation report. Chandler said Susoeff s actions undermine "every bij of legitimacy that the system has." "You're going to have make amends for the institution that you have let down," said Chandler. Texas-based Cornell Companies contracts with the California Department of Corrections to house about female offenders in the minimum-security facility. "We feel strongly that any improper conduct should be punished," said Cornell spokesman Charles Seigel. Turn to CHESNEY / Al FREEDOM COMMUKICATIOMS, IIC. Vol. 157  Ito. 145 WHY 6T50863"00O09"�1 �I :70 LOW: 48 Bridge	17	Lottery	A2 Calendar	D4	Movies	15 Classified	E4	Nation	A5 Classic Comics Et		Obituaries C2	 Comics 	B	Opinion	a Crosswords	Cf	Sports	R1 QearAbby	a	State	A3 Entertainment RS		Sudoku	Ef Finance	a	Weather	At Local	A2	World	O appealdemocrat Want to be in the know? Sign up for breaking news alerts by e-mail at appeal-democratcom H,m,) Nod, i < i mii i�( t s \.vi! h thi- tli' 11 ,ind li.n (I of In1.ii 111
                            

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