A Fresno City Council proposal to ground the police helicopter and cut police overtime triggered a sharp retort Monday from Chief Jerry Dyer during a meeting on the city budget.
The two proposals were among several budget alternatives offered by Council Member Blong Xiong and seconded by Council Member Sal Quintero. Xiong said his police proposals would save $1.5 million.
Dyer opposed both proposed cuts, telling the council the reductions would jeopardize public safety.
The council took no vote on those or other motions on Mayor Ashley Swearengin's proposed budget.
Council members are to meet again today and Wednesday. Council President Lee Brand said the council could begin voting on the budget on Friday.
Swearengin's proposed budget offered two options to close an anticipated $18.5 million general fund budget gap. Her preferred option relies in part on an employee wage cut and outsourcing commercial trash collection. The budget year begins July 1.
Fresno councilman hurt in biking mishap
Fresno City Council President Lee Brand broke his collar bone last weekend while riding his bicycle on Friant Road near Ball Ranch.
Brand, 62, said he was returning to Fresno with a group of cyclists Saturday morning when a cyclist in front of him suddenly slowed. Brand's front tire hit the other cyclist's rear tire, causing Brand to tumble onto the road.
Brand had his right arm in a sling at Monday's council hearing on next year's budget.
Fire near Squaw Valley contained
A 133-acre grass fire that started Sunday near Squaw Valley is expected to be under control by 8 a.m. today, fire officials said.
Approximately 115 firefighters from Fresno, Clovis, Reedley, Cal Fire and correctional facilities were mopping up the blaze Monday night, Fresno County fire spokesman John Dominguez said.
The cause is under investigation.
Train kills woman on tracks in Kingsburg
A woman sitting on a railroad track was struck and killed by a train Sunday night in Kingsburg, police said. The unidentified woman in her 50s appeared to have been drinking before the train hit her about 8 p.m. along Simpson Street north of Sierra Avenue, Kingsburg Police Chief Jeff Dunn said.
Reading event planned in Fresno
The Fresno County United Way will hold a volunteer reading event today at the Zimmerman Boys and Girls Club in central Fresno. Volunteers will read to young children and lead them in literacy-building activities starting at 3 p.m.