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Monday, 13 May 2013 01:48

Police Investigate Auto Theft Surge

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Los Banos Police are investigating a rash of auto thefts and are warning residents to protect their vehicles.

On May 7th, authorities took reports of several stolen Honda Civics and Accords. Officers located and recovered four out of the five stolen at various locations in the city.

“Car alarms, steering wheel club devices, and parking your vehicles in the garage are just some of the ways to reduce your risk of being targeted by potential thieves." Police Commander Ray Reyna said in a news release.

The thefts are still under investigation and anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Justin Melden at (209) 827-7070 ext. 114.

To leave an anonymous crime tip call 209-827-7070 Ext. 288. If you have access to a computer and the internet you can also leave an anonymous tip at the Police Department’s web page at www.losbanos.org. At the bottom of the “Contact” page simply click on the “report graffiti and other crime” link or visit the Merced Area Crime Stoppers by telephone at 1-855-725-2420, or at www.mercedareacrimestoppers.org

Sunday, 12 May 2013 07:40

Valley Springs: Brother Arrested

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On Saturday May 11th, officials with the Calaveras County Sheriff's Office announced the arrest of Leila Fowler's 12 year old brother in her murder. The arrest came just after 5pm.

8 year old Leila was found stabbed in her bedroom. Her brother was the only other person in the home with her at the time of the incident. At that time, the brother stated he witnessed a male fleeing the residence before discovering his sister. A witness, possibly a neighbor gave a similar statement, but was later discredited in the investigation.

The news came as a shock to the community, many residents attended press conferences along with the outnumbered media staff. "We have put in over 2000 man hours to provide answers to Leila Fowler's family in her death." said Calaveras County Sheriff Gary Kuntz.

No further details were provided regarding motive citing an ongoing investigation. The Sheriff's speech was met with applause from the community. "The citizens of Calaveras County can sleep a little better tonight." he said.

Stockton city Councilman Moses Zapien, Stockton Professional Firefighters Local 456, San Joaquin County Deputy Sheriff's Association, Stockton Police Department police officers (off-duty), SEIU Local #1021, and local neighbors will be hosting a community park clean up at American Legion Park at 9 a.m., Saturday, May 11. “It is important that our parks are places that are clean and safe for neighborhoods to enjoy, and we all have a role to play in making that happen,” said Councilmember Zapien.  “Our May Day of Service is a chance for the community to come together to volunteer and help cleanup American Legion Park and make it shine in time for summer. We welcome everyone to come out this Saturday.” A variety of projects are planned throughout the park, including painting the pump station, benches, tables and bathrooms; cleaning vegetation along Yosemite Lake; and pulling debris out from the lake.  Long pants and shirt sleeves are recommended.  Paint and other supplies will be provided or bring your own favorite tools and gloves. Stockton Professional Firefighters Local 456 and SEIU Local #1021 will provide hot dogs and hamburgers for the event. American Legion park resident Rob Quaschnick is looking forward to a day of hard work and community engagement.   "Community building takes work and the work of cleaning a park builds community. It is this type of work that creates positive change in Stockton."

All volunteers are welcome and encouraged to participate. Anyone with question should call Grace or Rob Quaschnick at (209) 401-8225.

The sun has always been necessary to grow crops, but now many farmers are using the sun’s energy for other parts of their businesses. More farmers in the Central Valley are turning to solar power because technology has made it increasingly affordable.

“Business is good and we’ve had growth over the last four years,” said Chad Cummings, manager of marketing and analytics for JKB Energy in Turlock, which is heavily involved with providing solar power to the agriculture market. “Solar panels are less expensive than power company electricity for running irrigation pumps, processing operations, and packing sheds.”

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The Stockton Police Department Traffic Unit will be conducting a DUI/drivers license checkpoint on Saturday, May 11 at an undisclosed location within the city limits between  6 p.m. and 2 a.m. DUI checkpoints are a proven enforcement tool effective in reducing the number of persons killed and injured in alcohol involved crashes. Research shows that crashes involving alcohol drop by an average of 20 percent when well-publicized checkpoints are conducted often enough.

Officers will contact drivers passing through the checkpoint for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment. Officers will also check for proper licensing and will strive to delay motorists only momentarily. Drivers caught driving impaired can expect jail, license suspension, and insurance increases, as well as fines, fees, DUI classes, other expenses that can exceed $10,000.

“Over the course of the past three years, DUI collisions have claimed 27 lives and resulted in 292 injury crashes harming 410 of our friends and neighbors,” said Sgt. Walt Vancil.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), checkpoints have provided the most effective documented results of any of the DUI enforcement strategies, while also yielding considerable cost savings of $6 for every $1 spent. Checkpoints are placed in locations that have the greatest opportunity for achieving drunk and drugged driving deterrence and provide the greatest safety for officers and the public.

“Deaths from drunk and drug-impaired driving are going down in California,” said Christopher J. Murphy, Director of the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS). “But that still means that hundreds of our friends, family and co-workers are killed each year, along with tens of thousands who are seriously injured. We must all continue to work together to bring an end to these tragedies. If you see a Drunk Driver – Call 9-1-1.”

Funding for this checkpoint is provided to the Stockton Police Department by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, targeting those who still don’t heed the message to designate a sober driver.

Mother’s Day officially may be celebrated on May 12, but area businesses are trying to make moms happy every day of the year by offering options that make it easier for them to shop.

That’s because marketing to moms can really pay off. According to the Marketing to Moms Coalition’s 2011 State of the American Mom Report, moms represent a $2.4 trillion market. Targeting moms isn’t a new trend, said Carrie Cardoza Bordona, president of Cardoza & Associates marketing firm in Modesto.

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Federal agriculture officials predict the 2013 California almond crop will produce 2 billion pounds.

The subjective production forecast is 6 percent higher than 2012’s production.  If the forecast is realized it will be the third billion-pound crop in a row.

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Wednesday, 08 May 2013 12:32

Boys and Girls Club coming to Modesto

A group of prominent Modesto leaders is poised to launch its solution to crime and gangs in Stanislaus County. Thanks to these community advocates, come August, Modesto will no longer be one of the most populous cities in the country without a Boys and Girls Club.

“This really kind of began in a think tank at the Modesto Chamber of Commerce,” said David Gianelli of the Modesto law firm Gianelli and Associates. “We were talking about Modesto’s image and what Modesto needed. We kept discussing the crime, the gang issues, all of the negatives and what we can do about it. The solutions kept coming back to youth.”

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STOCKTON – The city of Stockton will host a series of town hall meetings to discuss its Marshall Plan on Crime. They will be held in each of the six Council districts beginning May 16.  The councilmembers, city manager and chief of police will present at each meeting. An update on the city’s bankruptcy will also be provided.

The Marshall Plan town hall meetings will be an opportunity for citizens to ask questions and share ideas.  Once community input is received, the City Council will review a specific proposal to fund the plan.

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Wednesday, 08 May 2013 12:23

Visit Lodi! unveils new logo

LODI – Visit Lodi! has rebranded and unveiled its new logo today at its annual tourism luncheon.

The new brand is “Lodi, behind the wine,” which is meant to send the message that a visit to Lodi doesn’t end with a visit to the area’s wineries but includes other family and recreational activities.

The organization’s new logo features a wine glass with “Lodi” behind it.

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