Noon Hour Update: Trayvon Martin case, Justine Vanderschoot benefit, new charter school, Mega Millions and more

What's happening and what we're working on
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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 weekend edition.

Mega Millions history: The buzz around the huge lottery jackpot continues to grow, as does the size of the prize. This morning the California Lottery reports that the $540 million jackpot is officially the largest payout in the history of lotteries worldwide. For more on this, click here.
Vote in our Facebook poll on what you would do with the money here.

Gaines responds to challenger accusation: Current District 4 Assemblywoman Beth Gaines (R-Roseville) is responding to challenger Andy Pugno's claim that Gaines' listing as a small business owner on her ballot designation for District 6 is inaccurate. See her response here.

What we're working on: Reporter Sara Seyydin will have a story on the Justine Vanderschoot benefit dinner, which will be held at 5 p.m., Saturday, April 21 at the Gold Country Fairgrounds. Vanderschoot was killed in September 2003 by her ex-boyfriend Danny Bezemer and his friend Brandon Fernandez. Each year her family holds this benefit to raise funds for local law enforcement that helped bring Justine's killers to justice.
Sara will also have a story on the Auburn Union School District's approval of a charter school that will be housed at the former Alta Vista School.

In light of the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida, who was wearing a hooded sweatshirt, also known as a "hoodie," reporter Gus Thomson is asking locals their opinions on the case and the clothing Trayvon was wearing. Some businesses forbid this type of clothing in their stores, and regionally, protests over Trayvon's death are taking place with the "hoodie" being used as a rallying point.
Click here for the latest from the Associated Press on the Trayvon Martin case.
Gus will also bring us his Media Life column, where he will reveal the headliner of this year's Party in the Park.

What you're talking about: In Opinion, the letters "Rush a mere diversion" and "Thank you to all teachers who inspire" are the most read so far today and have plenty of comments from readers. Also, the letter "Soldier rampage an atrocity" has prompted plenty of reader feedback. Click on these letters and more and share your thoughts.

Have news?: If you see something where you're at, let us know. Email us at or call us at (530) 885-5656.