Odell man racks up DWS docket

November 12, 2005

An Odell man has racked up 23 traffic tickets during 2005 – and 15 have been for driving with a suspended license.

While investigating the case, a reporter learned that Jose De Jesus Magana-Garcia had lost his driving privileges due to a medical condition.

Every few weeks this year, the Hood River County Sheriff’s Office has gotten an anonymous tip that Jose De Jesus Magana-Garcia is again behind the wheel, according to Capt. Jim Tomson.

He said deputies have learned to be watchful for the 63-year-old Davis Drive subject while out on patrol. When he is spotted traveling along a roadway, Tomson another ticket is added to his growing roster.

“It really isn’t all that uncommon for people with a suspended license to keep on driving -- but maybe not to this level,” he said.

In recent months, Tomson said Magana-Garcia appears to be using an old strategy for getting his vehicles out of the impound yard. Since the senior citizen can’t redeem a car without being in possession of a valid license, Tomson said he apparently works around the system.

Recently, Magana-Garcia has purchased automobiles for a few hundred dollars and left the registration in the name of another individual. Tomson said the rightful “owner” then pays the $50 necessary to drive the vehicle off the lot for Magana-Garcia.

Tomson said it is frustrating for deputies to repeatedly write Magana-Garcia tickets, only to see him back out on the highway days later. He said if the subject has been prohibited from driving, it must be for some reason that concerns public safety.

According to Tomson, anyone allowing an unlicensed driver to operate a motor vehicle that he/she owns can also be ticketed for that offense.

“The people who are helping him play this game don’t really seem to care about the consequences,” he said.

Magana-Garcia’s infractions have not yet reached the level that qualifies for criminal prosecution, according to Hood River District Attorney John Sewell.

“Right now, the officers are limited by the law in terms of what their response to Mr. Magana-Garcia can be,” he said. “He’s not doing anything at this time that allows them to take him into custody, but it looks like he could be getting there.”

Sewell said once Magana-Garcia receives 20 citations for moving violations -- including driving with a suspended license -- the state takes action.

At that time, he said the Department of Motor Vehicles will send Magana-Garcia a letter of warning that he has become a habitual offender. With his 21st ticket, Sewell said the subject will have his license revoked altogether. From that point on, Sewell said any further driving violations could earn Magana-Garcia a conviction for a Class A misdemeanor and up to one year in jail.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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