NOON HOUR UPDATE: Local reaction to new pope; state of the Auburn Fire Department; two die in vehicle wreck and ballerina brings home the gold

What’s happening and what we’re working on
By: Staff Report
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Welcome to the Auburn Journal’s “Noon Hour Update,” where we’ll present you with stories and updates on what’s going on in the news and what we’re working on for our Friday edition.

What we’re working on: The world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics now have a leader in Pope Francis, the first pope chosen from the Americas, and the first outside of Europe in more than 1,000 years. Reporter Andrew Westrope is talking to local Catholics and other religious institutions to get their response to the new pontiff.  Andrew will also have a piece on how area mental health services are wrestling with increased demand.

A familiar face at the Club Car bar and restaurant in Auburn was killed, along with her child, in a vehicle crash in Grass Valley. Reporter Gus Thomson will have a profile on the waitress and her son. Also look for another weekly installment of Gus’ Media Life column.

The Auburn Fire Department gave a report to the city on its response times and how the department is working with the addition of five new firefighters thanks to a government grant. Reporter Jon Schultz will write about how keeping those five firefighters might be more difficult with the passage of the sequester.

In Arts & Entertainment, Features Editor Paul Cambra profiles an Auburn ballerina who recently brought home the gold from an international competition in France.

Sports Editor Matthew Kimel will have a feature piece on Placer High School grad and pitcher Ryan Mason, who is now leading the University of California, Berkeley baseball team in wins and strikeouts as a true freshman.

Pi Day fun: Today is Pi Day, a worldwide celebration of the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant. More specifically, the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, which is – 3.14159. Local schools are celebrating the mathematical holiday today and we’ll be out getting photos, especially at one school where a local business has donated pies in celebration. 

What you’re talking about: Some of our stories receiving your opinions include our profile on Auburn Councilman Dr. Bill Kirby’s daughter winning an elected office, and the upcoming 75th LeFebvre Relays coming to Placer High School. Read these stories and more and share your thoughts.

Have a news tip or photo to share?: Let us know, email us photos or information at; on Facebook or on Twitter at @AuburnJournal