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Orchard removal business hot when water is scarce


STOCKTON - G and F Orchard Removal is one of those businesses that gets very busy when water is scarce in the Central Valley. Growers choosing to save younger orchards will have older orchards taken out when water restrictions are tight.

"You can see a lot of them have bud failure, no leaves, they're in stress mode. It takes a toll on trees for future use as well," Stanislaus County walnut and almond grower Paul Wenger said.

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Modesto fire responds to overturned tanker on Highway 99

UPDATE: At 11:10 a.m. Caltrans tweeted that the lanes had been cleared.

Modesto Fire Department tweeted Monday morning that fire crews were responding to an overturned tanker that was carrying a whey product.

The tanker overturned on Highway 99 & Kansas Avenue.

Still life: Do Good Distillery brings spirits to Modesto

Still life: Do Good Distillery brings spirits to Modesto

MODESTO —  How does this sound as a business proposition? Make a product that will take as much as five years before it’s ready for market; the equipment you’ll need is very expensive and some of it is in short supply; there will be myriad regulatory hoops to jump through; and when your product finally is ready, you won’t be allowed to sell it directly to your customers.

It sounded good enough to Jim Harrelson and Dano Brocchini to get them to quit their jobs as police officers in Stanislaus County and join Ryan Woods to start Do Good Distillery a year and a half ago.

“I quit and threw my razor away,” said Harrelson.

He and Brocchini now have Duck Dynasty-worthy beards and are partners making gin, whiskey and other spirits. The company’s first bottles of gin are expected to hit store shelves this month... Read More

Man dressed as women robs Modesto bank

A man who was dressed as a women robbed a Modesto Westamerica Bank on Friday, police said.

The robbery happened around 4 p.m. when a black man, dressed as a woman, went into the bank and handed the teller a note, Modesto police said. The teller handed the suspect an undisclosed amount of money and the man left the bank.

Police are investigating whether the incident is similar to a bank robbery in Ceres where a black man dressed like a women also robbed a bank.

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California Drought: 10 Ways to Save Water

California Drought: 10 Ways to Save Water

There is no “I” in drought. There is also no “A”.

Because I live in Parched City, California, I know you little nanny goats have been dying to ask me what I’m doing to save water. Well, it doesn’t matter what I’m doing, what matters is that everyone else is doing it. And I’m here to tell them what for and how to. Did you know we’re suffering from the biggest California Drought ever (if you don’t go back more than 1200 years?)... Read More

VIDEO: Modesto officer surprises boy who had birthday present stolen

A Modesto police officer had a very special surprise for a young robbery victim.

Alex had his bike, a recent birthday present, stolen Saturday. Someone took it while it was parked in his front yard as he ran inside his house.

Officer Hall took the incident report from Alex, but his help didn't stop there. He decided to contact Walmart to make sure Alex had a set of wheels.

The officer and Walmart employees surprised Alex with the new bike this week.

(If you cannot see the video below, you can watch it on YouTube at

Developer pledges $1 million for Merced police foundation

Developer pledges $1 million for Merced police foundation

MERCED — Merced rancher and developer Greg Hostetler pledged $1 million in March to start a foundation for the Merced Police Department.

“I’ve done well enough in business to help others,” Hostetler said. “And I hope others who feel the same way will participate in the foundation.”

He made his announcement at the March 2 City Council meeting, and everyone was stunned... Read More