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Friday, 08 December 2017 01:38

Fire Crews Respond to Tiki Lodge

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MODESTO - Fire crews responded to a report of smoke from a building early Friday morning.

Firefighters responded to the Tiki Lodge on the 900 block of McHenry Avenue at about 1:15am for a report of smoke seen from the roof. Firefighters arrived and after investigating located signs of smoldering in the attic space of the office area.

Firefighters inspected the rooftop and after about 30 minutes, the smoke was no longer visible.

Cause and damage estimates were not available at time of publication.

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MODESTO - An upcoming measure on the November 7th Ballot outlining a vote on taxing cannabis businesses is important for voters to understand, citizens say.

"November the 7th is going to be a historical day in the City of Modesto," said Mark Gray. "The city is giving us as patients an opportunity to vote on a tax that will build the general fund while not taxing the patients, or anyone involved in recreational cannabis purchases."

Measure T on the ballot outlines a plan to tax cannabis related businesses and states the following:

"Shall the City of Modesto outline an ordinance establishing a cannabis business tax on all cannabis businesses in the City, up to 10% of gross receipts of each business potentially generating approximately one million dollars or more in revenues annually for general City services, including neighborhood safety, maintaining parks and recreation, and job creation, with all revenues remaining local, and which continues until repealed by the City Council or the voters?"

The tax would not apply to those harvesting cannabis legally for personal use.

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An impartial analysis by City attorney Adam Lundrigan reads as follows on the ballot:

"The City Council of the City of Modesto placed Measure T on the ballot asking voters to consider a Cannabis (marijuana) Business Tax of up to ten percent (10%) on gross receipts of all cannabis businesses. The tax is a gross receipts tax only on cannabis businesses; it is not a sales tax imposed on individuals purchasing cannabis.

Currently, cannabis businesses are not permitted in the City of Modesto. The Cannabis Business Tax would not change this. However, cannabis businesses could be allowed in the City if the City Council approves changes to the City’s Municipal Code, if voters pass an initiative to allow cannabis businesses in the City, or if the state Legislature requires the City to permit cannabis businesses.

If cannabis businesses are permitted in the City, Measure T allows the City Council to set a maximum tax rate, by resolution, on all cannabis businesses of up to ten percent (10%) on gross receipts. For example, a cannabis business with gross receipts totaling $100,000 would pay up to $10,000 in taxes to the City.

The Cannabis Business Tax would apply to any business activity involving the distribution, delivery, dispensing, exchanging, bartering or sale of either medical or non-medical cannabis or cannabis products, including cultivation, planting, harvesting, transporting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, processing, preparing, labeling, storing, packaging, testing and/or retail sales of cannabis, cannabis products, and any ancillary products, whether or not done for profit. The tax would not apply to the legal cultivation of cannabis for personal use allowed under the City’s Municipal Code and state law.

Because Measure T does not limit the City’s use of Cannabis Business Tax revenues to specific purposes, it is a “general tax” rather than a “special tax.” Revenues from the tax would be placed in the City’s general fund. The City could use the tax revenues for any legitimate governmental purpose. All of the revenues from the Cannabis Business Tax would go to the City of Modesto; none would go to the state. The tax would continue until repealed by the voters or the City Council.

A “yes” vote on Measure T would approve the Cannabis Business Tax and authorize the City Council to establish a tax rate of up to ten percent (10%) on gross receipts on cannabis businesses if they are allowed to operate in the City in the future. A “no” vote would reject the Cannabis Business Tax. Measure T would be approved if it received a simple majority of “Yes” votes.

The entire text of Measure T will be printed in the Voter Information Guide for the November 7, 2017, election."

The full text can be found by clicking HERE.

Gray was previously the operator of the Prop 215 Information Center on J Street in Modesto as well as an oversight officer of a cannabis facility in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is also aware of the concern of voters regarding the potential misuse of funds.

"What happens to the general fund? There's no accountability," Gray said. "Well there's something called get involved with the city," he urged.

"It's the best thing you guys can do as patients," he continued. "It's the best thing for our city."

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Wednesday, 30 August 2017 17:29

Modesto Police Sergeant Honored in Memorial Service

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MODESTO - Sergeant Michael Pershall was honored in a memorial service by friends, family and peers Wednesday morning.

Pershall was described as someone who touched all of Modesto, but touched the Modesto Police Department family even deeper.

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The recently promoted sergeant was killed when he was struck by an impaired driver on Merle Avenue on Tuesday August 22nd. Pershall was riding his bicycle training for an event for peace officers when the crash occurred. He was thrown off his bicycle and killed instantly.

Prior to joining the Modesto Police Department, Pershall was a deputy with the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Office. For the memorial service, the neighboring agency showed strong support, sending multiple deputies to attend.

"Mike was a victim of a drunk driver," Police Chief Galen Carroll said Wednesday. "There's no excuse for driving drunk." 

Matthew Gibbs, 32, was arrested and charged with the murder of Sergeant Pershall. He pleaded not guilty in court Tuesday afternoon.

"Mike was the kind of man who made everyone feel like his best friend," Chief Carroll said.

He was 38 years old.

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MODESTO - Authorities have identified the member of the Modesto Police family who was killed in an off-duty collision.

Sergeant Michael Pershall, who was recently promoted on August 8th, was riding his bicycle on Merle Avenue when he was struck from behind by a suspected drunk driver shortly after 6:00pm Tuesday. Officers with the California Highway Patrol responded to investigate the crash and arrested 32 year old Matthew Gibbs.

Pershall joined the Modesto Police Department in 2012. Prior to that, he was a deputy with the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Office for four years. 

He served as a canine handler, field training officer, police explorer advisor and was also a negotiator for the critical incident team. Sergeant Pershall was described as a positive role model for new and young members of the department who led by example. He was also involved in several community outreach programs such as giving canine presentations during "National Night Out."

"Mike's loss creates a tremendous void within our organization and within the hearts of those he touched," Modesto Police Chief Galen Carroll said in a press release. "We are forever grateful for the moments we shared with him."

The suspected impaired driver is being charged with homicide and several DUI related charges.

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Tuesday, 22 August 2017 19:56

Modesto Police Chief Reports Loss of Officer

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MODESTO - Police Chief Galen Carrol reported the loss of an officer in a traffic collision Tuesday evening.

The crash happened near Savage Middle School on Merle Avenue shortly after 6:00pm.

Authorities rushed an American Flag to the scene to cover the officer. The officer's identity was not released at time of publication.

No further details were released, only that the investigation was turned over to the California Highway Patrol.

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KNIGHT'S FERRY - Authorities investigated a deputy involved shooting that took place late Sunday night.

Shortly before 11:30pm, a Stanislaus County Sheriff Deputy contacted two men in a vehicle on Sonora Road. The 35 year old driver was detained and placed in the back of the patrol car. As the deputy engaged the passenger in a brief conversation, the man ran off north and struggled with the deputy after being caught.

During the struggle, the deputy fired his gun, striking the passenger. He was transported to the emergency room. The deputy was treated and released from the hospital.

Authorities are conducting an investigation of the shooting. The passenger's condition was not available at time of publication.

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Mark Nelson

LOS BANOS - Two officers and a suspect were injured in a shooting early Monday morning at an apartment complex.

The incident happened at about 6:30am at the apartments at the end of Gilbert Gonzalez Jr Drive. 

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One building in the complex was taped off as investigators worked the area. Los Banos Police and Merced County Sheriff officials were both at the complex during the investigation.

Early reports indicate the suspect and officers were involved in a struggle with each other and was able to get a hold of one of an officer's gun. The suspect was also shot.

Their conditions at time of publication were not available.

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