2017-12-07 / Local News

Hagen leaving CHP office for new position in Merced

By GREG LITTLE Editor


California Highway Patrol Lt. Becky Hagen is shown addressing the Mariposa County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. Hagen will be leaving the local office for a position in Merced. 
Photo by Greg Little California Highway Patrol Lt. Becky Hagen is shown addressing the Mariposa County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. Hagen will be leaving the local office for a position in Merced. Photo by Greg Little California Highway Patrol Lt. Becky Hagen will be leaving the Mariposa office next year.

Hagen, commander of the Mariposa office, made the announcement on Tuesday morning at the weekly meeting of the Mariposa County Board of Supervisors.

She announced being promoted to the rank of captain, which will go into effect in February. Hagen said smaller offices like Mariposa, Oakhurst and many more have lieutenants as commanders.

However, when someone is promoted to captain, they are eligible to be commanders at larger offices.

Hagen will be the new commander at the Merced office of the CHP, she said. Hagen said she was not sure when she will be permanently assigned to the office, but it will likely be shortly after the promotion is official on Feb. 1.

“This is a great opportunity but hard for me emotionally,” said Hagen. “It’s truly bittersweet for me.”

Hagen did say she will continue to live in Mariposa County, where she is involved in many local organizations.

“We’re happy for you, for sure,” said Supervisor Kevin Cann.

“I’m happy for you,” said Supervisor Miles Menetrey.

Supervisor Marshall Long praised Hagen for her work in Mariposa and the partnership the CHP has formed with the County.

Cann then asked Hagen if she was still going to be involved in Mariposa-Yosemite Rotary Club events, noting not having her baked beans would be a “great loss.”

Hagen smiled and said she would continue to volunteer for various organizations “if they will have me.”

There’s little doubt her famed baked beans will continue to be part of the Mariposa County landscape.

Still a threat?

Also during the meeting, for administrative purposes, several issues were on the agenda related to the County ending emergency declarations related to the flooding at the beginning of this year.

Menetrey said in one of the declarations it stated the threatening conditions “don’t exist” anymore.

“In my opinion, we do have threatening conditions on Triangle Road,” said Menetrey.

The issue of the dangers along Triangle Road have been discussed by the board for many months — nearly since the flooding happened in February.

Large washouts remain on the heavily traveled road and officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency have yet to provide the promised funding to make the necessary repairs.

Mariposa County Chief Administrative Officer Dallin Kimble said officials realize the problems do exist, but the declarations don’t have an impact on repairs.

In other business:

• It was announced that Lee Westerlund of Mindpines has been named the new Assistant County Administrative Officer.

Westerlund has been with Nature- Bridge for the past 26 years and has expertise in finances. She is originally from the Kansas City area.

“I am thrilled to be here,” said Westerlund.

• Supervisor Rosemarie Smallcombe announced Pacific Gas & Electric has donated $4,000 to the service dogs for veterans program sponsored by the Mariposa Veterans of Foreign Wars post.

• Menetrey said he recently met with officials in Wawona about the building used to house an ambulance.

He said the National Park Service recently obtained a new ambulance “and it won’t fit in the garage.”

Menetrey said he is working with local officials to find a way to get a new building to house the ambulance.

• Supervisor Merlin Jones said there were reports of many trees which fell during a high-wind event in the Greeley Hill area on Monday evening.

He also said a pickup truck belonging to the Mariposa County Department of Public Works was destroyed by a falling tree. Nobody was injured

Jones said crews from public works were out most of the night on Monday removing downed trees from roadways.

Jones also announced the long-awaited Coulterville drainage project is now underway. He said the contractor is working to complete the project as quickly as possible.

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