Ben Deci
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When it comes right down to it, I’d have to admit that I’m a romantic. See also: those images in my head of the hard-bitten street reporter, in worn-out shoes and a rumpled trench coat, in perpetual pursuit of “The Scoop.” (Capital letters intended). Even in the many ways I’m not that guy, I’d like to be. Except the streets these days are largely digital, and no one wears fedoras with a little “press” card stuffed in the band anymore. That’s okay by me, I don’t look good in hats.

Over the last decade-and-a-half, I’ve been a correspondent in every corner of this beautiful county- from Alaska to Arkansas. I’ve covered Hurricane Katrina from the cockpit of a C-130, the Iditarod from a sub-zero sleeping bag at the side of a lonely trail in the Alaskan bush, and OJ Simpson’s arrest (the time it stuck) from the Las Vegas Hotel/Casino where the shenanigans happened.

I’ve loved every step of the way, not even really knowing what love was until my son Sam was born.

And just to show you that I’m a serious guy, the obligatory brag: Along the way I’ve racked up my share of recognition. Most recently I won the Society of Professional Journalists “Best Investigative Story” award, and I was nominated for a “Best Reporter” Emmy.

My spare time is precious and little, so I spend it wisely. I teach News Writing at Cal State Sacramento, and volunteer with the children’s charity, Sacramento Active 20-30 Club. Both experiences are a genuine thrill for me.

Now I’ve got to go. Sam is waiting for me to come home and read “Goodnight Moon” to him. And among all the things I’ve mentioned here, doing that is the biggest thrill of all.

Recent Articles
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    Indian Creek Swells, Covering Driveways

    EL DORADO COUNTY — It doesn’t have to be a major river to cause major problems. Just ask people who live along Green Valley Road north of Shingle Springs. There, Indian Creek jumped its banks, swallowed up driveways and kept some stuck in their homes Tuesday morning. “If we don’t get this trailer up now, we’re not getting it out of here,” said Dennis Given, who was taking advantage of a break in the rain to prepare his son’s horse […]

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    Maxwell Begins Recovery After Flooding

    MAXWELL — This isn’t a story about things getting back to normal. Not yet. But it is a story about people getting back. Martin Mayfield was supposed to meet his wife at their Maxwell home. Instead, in the dead of night there was a knock on his door from somebody else. “It’s a guy in a boat saying you need to evacuate,” “I’m looking at him in a boat saying ‘how’s there a boat here?'” Mayfield spent the night in […]

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    Residents Living Along San Joaquin River Deal with Flooding

    STANISLAUS COUNTY — Portions of Stanislaus County along the San Joaquin River remain flooded even as the area is preparing for a new round of rain storms. Flooding at one mobile home park east of Crows Landing happened suddenly Saturday night. “Well, we left a bunch of stuff down there — washing machine, shed, plants, yard tools,” said Kathy Runge, an evacuee. It’s a scene repeated at spots up and down the San Joaquin River in Stanislaus County. The sheriff’s department […]

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    Emergency Work Underway on Garden Highway Levee

    As most eyes were trained on the Oroville Dam up river, emergency work was underway on the Garden Highway levee in Sutter County. The levee at the confluence of the Feather and Sacramento rivers showed signs of trouble Monday, with work continuing through the day Tuesday. Inspection teams from the Army Corps of Engineers, the California Department of Water Resources and the local water district were also out Tuesday, looking for more problems. They are looking for so-called “boils,” spots […]

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    Department of Water Resources Tries to Ease Fears as Oroville Dam Spillway Continues to Deteriorate

    OROVILLE — California’s Department of Water Resources is scrambling to allay the fears of people who live downstream of Oroville Lake after large sections of a spillway there crumbled. The lower third or so of the spillway at Lake Oroville Dam is completely blown out by the 35,000 cubic feet of water per second rushing over it. The water is instead cutting its own channel in the hillside. That started in the early morning hours of Thursday. By Thursday afternoon, […]

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    Potholes Prompt Emergency Roadwork

    SACRAMENTO — We’ve got a problem. A pothole problem. And Sacramento commuters during the Tuesday evening rush-hour were very much feeling the pain. Despite being scheduled from noon to 3 p.m., an emergency project to fill in a massive pothole that opened up on I-80 eastbound north of Sacramento stretched well into the evening commute. “Had some reports of folks basically having blowouts from driving over that surface. So it made all the sense in the world to get out […]

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    Tree Trimmer’s Body Found in South Sacramento Tree

    SOUTH SACRAMENTO — It was the stuff of nightmares for a South Sacramento neighborhood, suspended 20 feet above the ground. The tree trimmer, his chainsaw hanging next to him, was pinned to a branch that snapped and fouled his safety lines, killing him. “I saw the tree snap. I actually saw him there struggling, you know?” said Kou Vang. For firefighters, it was a difficult balancing act. They had already climbed up once to see if the man could be […]

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    A Long Path to Recovery for One Ghost Ship Fire Survivor

    The Ghost Ship warehouse fire started Dec. 2, and it burned well into the early morning hours of Dec. 3, 2016. It may be out now. But it’s not over. Not for Wendi Maxwell. “Sam used to always say to me, ‘The only way out is through.’ I believe that’s what got him out of the fire. And I believe that’s what will get him through this long recovery,” said Wendi Maxwell, Sam’s mother. In a fire that killed three dozen, […]

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    Sacramento County Home to Large Number of Refugees with Special Immigrant Visas

    After a weekend of nationwide protests and legal wrangling, detainees from the seven countries listed in President Donald Trump’s executive order, some at least, were granted access to U.S. soil beyond the airports where they landed. One of the first released was Hameed Khalid Darweesh. “I have a special immigration visa on my passport — me and my family. Because I work with the U.S. government. I supported the U.S. government from the other side of the world. But when I […]