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Violations found in many Thunder Valley Casino buses

13 February 2009

LINCOLN, California -- As reported by the Sacremento Bee: "A California Highway Patrol 'bus strike' at Thunder Valley Casino near Lincoln found violations in 12 of the 13 buses inspected, officials said today.

"Ten of the buses were taken out of service, at least briefly, during last week's surprise inspection. Most were repaired in the casino parking lot, said Lance Ward, an officer with the commercial enforcement unit of the CHP's Valley Division.

"The buses were owned by "six or seven" charter companies based in the Sacramento, San Jose and San Francisco areas, said Ward, who directed the Feb. 3 operation. The companies were not identified Thursday by the Highway Patrol.

"None of the buses was owned by the casino, said Doug Elmets, spokesman for the United Auburn Indian Community, which owns and operates Thunder Valley. The casino has a fleet of small, shuttle-type vans for local customers, he said, but no large tour buses.

"Inspectors found 74 violations that ranged from brake deficiencies to loose lug nuts, cracked wheels, lighting and steering problems. Ward said the operation revealed a surprisingly high number of serious violations, 'which reflects some poor maintenance policies on behalf of these companies...'"

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