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Stockton police were looking for three men who robbed a jewelry store Monday in Stockton's Lakeview District and injured one of the employees. The men, who were wearing ski masks entered the store in the 6400 block of Pacific Ave., assaulted a 63-year-old employee, and took an undisclosed amount of jewelry, police said. A customer walked in on the robbery, and the men fled. The employee was taken to the hospital. Police said he was in stable condition. The first robber was described as a black man in his mid-20s, about 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing 180 pounds. He was wearing a black shirt and dark jeans. Witnesses described the second robber as a man of unknown race wearing a red hat and dark shirt. The third robber was described as a black man, about 6 feet tall with a slender build. He was wearing a tan sweatshirt and blue jeans. Police said one of the men may have been armed with a handgun.

Deputies from the Merced County Sheriff's Tactical and Reconnaissance Team seized cash, marijuana plants and several pounds of processed marijuana following an investigation in the Delhi area.

Deputies served warrants at several locations last week and found nine guns, more than 1500 plants, $5,000 worth of edibles and $10,000 in cash, a sheriff's department official said.During one raid on Friday in the 17000 block of Schendel Avenue in Delhi, deputies found plants, cash and weapons, including two handguns, officials said. Residents there said the marijuana was for medicinal use, but deputies said only one person there had a medical marijuana card. No one was arrested.

Under the Compassionate Use Act, the STAR Team will talk with the Merced County district attorney's office to determine if criminal charges will be filed.[gallery]

By The Central Valley Business Journal

A renowned economist this morning told Stockton business and community leaders what they suspected – there’s economic growth ahead, but it’s going to be slow economic growth.

“It appears that the bottom is behind you,” John Mitchell told the crowd gathered at the University Plaza Waterfront Hotel in downtown Stockton. The invited guests were there for the Bank of Agriculture and Commerce’s 24th annual economic forecast.

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Traffic controls will be in place on the Carpenter bridge over Highway 99 over the coming week as crews continue seismic retrofit work on the structure. Drivers can expect narrow lanes and delays from Monday, Feb. 1 through Friday, Feb. 15, according to Modesto's public works administration. Motorists should travel slowly through the work zone and use alternate routes when possible. Oversized and Wide Load Vehicles should use alternate routes.

By The Central Valley Business Journal

"The Seven Wonders of the Dairy World"/Photo courtesy Safeway

An art student from Stockton is among nine finalists in The Art of Dairy contest, sponsored by Safeway's dairy brand Lucerne, and is in the running for the $30,000 grand prize.

The student, identified only as Gissella M., is a student at Weber Institute. Her entry was called The Seven Dairy Wonders of the World."

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Saturday, 09 February 2013 06:01

California wine grape tonnage, prices climb

By The Central Valley Business Journal

The California Department of Food and Agriculture today reported that the preliminary 2012 report shows nearly 4.4 million tons of wine grapes were crushed, 13 percent more than the 3.87 million tons the previous year and 1 percent higher than the previous high in 2005.

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Saturday, 09 February 2013 05:43

New veterans clinic opens in Modesto

By The Central Valley Business Journal

Veterans in the Modesto area will soon have a outpatient clinic. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for the new clinic Friday.

The new clinic, which opens Feb. 27 at 1225 Oakdale Rd., is more than double the size of the current clinic and will offer expanded services for veterans.

Rep. Jeff Denham was the keynote speaker at the ceremony, attended by more than 100 veterans and supporters.

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Modesto police are investigating two sexual assaults that happened three weeks ago on the Virginia Corridor.

Both attacks happened on Jan. 18 near the pedestrian foot bridge that crosses Briggsmore Avenue.

In the first case, a woman was running on the Virginia Corridor path just before 4 p.m. As she approached the foot bridge, she noticed a man running behind her. She told police he caught up to her and wrapped his arms around her, then began fondling her. She said she repeatedly told him to leave her alone. The woman was able to escape and she began yelling to get attention. The man then distanced himself from the woman and walked away.

The woman told police the man was black, in his late teens, about 5 feet 7 inches tall with a slim build. She said he had an “Afro” hairstyle with long sideburns and was wearing a large brown sweater, black jeans, headphones and was carrying a backpack.

Police said the second incident happened at about 6:15 p.m. that same day on the south end of the same pedestrian bridge. In that case, a female runner said she was grabbed by a man who was similar in appearance to the attacker in the first attack. She said he fondled her until she was able to shove him away. The man fled and was last seem running west on Granger Avenue.

On Feb. 5 at 5:30 p.m. police received a call stating a man was following women on the Virginia Corridor near Stoddard Avenue. Officers checked the area but were unable to locate the man. He was described as having an “Afro” hairstyle and was wearing a blue and black striped shirt.

Police ask anyone who may have information regarding these incidents to call Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636. Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward. Tipsters can also text information to Crime Stoppers by sending a text message to 274637. Just type “TIP704” along with your message.

By Justin J. Crowder

Although Marco Scutaro would take a nasty blow from Cardinals Right Fielder Matt Holliday as he slid into second base during the 1st inning of game 2 of the NLCS, Scutaro would remain in the game and energize not only the Giants players but also the 42,679 fans on hand to watch the Giants route the Cards 7-1. Giants Right Fielder Hunter Pence would say "it just kinda pumps you up...when you see on of your guys go down, you always want to win the game, but it's like 'let's go! Let's put it on the scoreboard'". Scutaro would leave in the 5th inning to have X-Rays on his hip, which came back negative. Good thing for the Giants as Scutaro's tremendous postseason play has captured the hearts of Bay Area fans much like former Giants outfielder Cody Ross did during the 2010 World Series run.

Ryan Vogelsong (the 2011 Willie Mac Award winner) would pitch beautifully giving the Giants a much needed 7 strong innings scattering 4 hits to go along with 4 K's and allowing just 1 run. Giants closer Sergio Romo who is also the owner of the coolest beard this side of Brian Wilson would get some much needed work in the ninth during a non-save situation. Vogelsong would be the first Giants starter to get past the sixth inning during this years postseason play, and it couldn't have came at a better time.

Giants outfielder Angel Pagan would hit his second home run of the postseason in the bottom of the first. The stat line was stellar for the Giants lead-off man as he compiled 2 hits, 2 runs, 2 RBI's, and a walk. The Giants look to become the 1st team in 25 years to have the fewest home runs of any team in the majors and make it to the World Series. What the Giants lack in pop they make up for with outstanding pitching, good solid defense, and a very smart veteran team and coaching staff. Filling in for Scutaro, 2nd baseman Ryan Theriot would also add a hit and 2 RBI's with National League MVP hopeful Buster Posey and a slimmed down always fun to watch 3rd baseman Pablo Sandoval both contributing with a hit each.

The series will take a travel day tomorrow as the two teams get ready to battle it out in St. Louis at the beautiful Busch Stadium on Wednesday Oct. 17th at 1pm. The Giants will send ace Matt Cain who went 16-5 with a 2.79 ERA and 193 strikeouts to the mound. The Cards will counter with right hander Kyle Lohse who went an impressive 16-3 with a 2.86 ERA and 143 strikeouts. Cain and Lohse both in this years hunt for the National League Cy Young Award will look to capture the all important and pivotal game 3 match-up in the NLCS.

ROSWELL, NEW MEXICO: After flying to an altitude of 39,044 meters (128,097 feet) in a helium-filled balloon, Felix Baumgartner completed a record breaking jump for the ages from the edge of space, exactly 65 years after Chuck Yeager first broke the sound barrier flying in an experimental rocket-powered airplane. The 43-year-old Austrian skydiving expert also broke two other world records (highest freefall, highest manned balloon flight), leaving the longest freefall record to project mentor Col. Joe Kittinger.

Baumgartner landed safely in the desert of New Mexico after jumping out of his space capsule at 39,044 meters and plunging back towards earth, hitting a maximum of speed of 1,137 km/h through the near vacuum of the stratosphere before being slowed by the atmosphere later during his 4:19-minute long freefall. Baumgartner's jump lasted a total of 9:03 minutes. Countless millions of people around the world watched his ascent and jump live on television broadcasts and live stream on the internet. At one point during his freefall Baumgartner appeared to spin rapidly, but he quickly re-gained control and moments later opened his parachute as members of the ground crew cheered and viewers around the world heaved a sigh of relief.

"It was an incredible up and down today, just like it's been with the whole project," a relieved Baumgartner said. "First we got off with a beautiful launch and then we had a bit of drama with a power supply issue to my visor. The exit was perfect but then I started spinning slowly. I thought I'd just spin a few times and that would be that, but then I started to speed up. It was really brutal at times. I thought for a few seconds that I'd lose consciousness. I didn't feel a sonic boom because I was so busy just trying to stabilize myself. We'll have to wait and see if we really broke the sound barrier. It was really a lot harder than I thought it was going to be."

Baumgartner and his team spent five years training and preparing for the mission that is designed to improve our scientific understanding of how the body copes with the extreme conditions at the edge of space.

Baumgartner had endured several weather-related delays before finally lifting off under bright blue skies and calm winds on Sunday morning. The Red Bull Stratos crew, watching from Mission Control, broke out into spontaneous applause when the balloon lifted off.