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Modesto police chief scrambles to replace officers who leave


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STOCKTON - Modesto Chief of Police Galen Carroll has a big job the next several months: Get his department back to full officer staffing after many of his people have left for Bay Area policing jobs.

"It's frustrating. It's an expensive training ground, not what you want to do as a police department," Carroll said about training so many officers who end up leaving.

The chief said officers leave for cities like Sunnyvale and Hayward because they can make $40,000 more in salary and benefits.

Modesto police convince man wielding sword to surrender


Modesto police convinced a man, who was wielding a sword in the bed of a truck, to surrender Wednesday morning, according to Modesto police spokeswoman Heather Grave.

Grave said the department received a call at 7:04 a.m. about a man wielding a sword behind the transportation center on 8th Street. Officers arrived to find the man standing in the bed of a truck holding a sword.

Officers negotiated with the man for about an hour before they got him to surrender, said Grave.

There was information given on if the man will face charges or not.


Modesto flood prevention not a hit with neighbors


Public work officials in Stanislaus County would like to think they're solving flood-related problems in the Parklawn neighborhood in Modesto. Residents claim the effort has created new problems.

"That was my parking spot before. All the neighbors got cars everywhere, with no room to park," resident Jose Cortez said.

The county is about 80 percent finished building swales (small ditches) in front of hundreds of homes in this unincorporated area of southwest Modesto.

"A swale is a dirt shoulder, graded down to hold water, rain water," pubic works director Matt Machado said.

Some residents said the new ditchs have eliminated parking because they're so deep.

"It doesn't look right. Can't park in front of your own yard. Don't think it's right," Larry Hernandez said.

But Machado said it's the best solution for a neighborhood that often floods.

Feather Raft inventor wins first Stanislaus Innovation Challenge

Feather Raft inventor wins first Stanislaus Innovation Challenge

MODESTO — A Turlock middle school teacher won Stanislaus County’s first Innovation Challenge with his invention for a lightweight raft called the Feather Raft.

Elias Ruiz of Hughson won $2,500 in cash and $2,500 in professional services.

“I’m excited. We put a lot of work into this to get to this point,” Ruiz said. “We can really use this win, because we’re at that stage where this is something that we needed to get us to the next level.”

Ruiz, a math and science teacher at Dutcher Middle School in Turlock, said he invented his raft made of foam core because others in the marketplace were too heavy or bulky to transport or were too unstable on the water... Read More

Pedestrian struck and killed by car in Ceres


UPDATE: Police identify woman hit by car

CERES - A woman was struck and killed by a car in Ceres Friday morning.

It happened on the 2900 block of Mitchell Road just before 2:30 a.m.

According to Ceres Police, a car was traveling northbound on Mitchell Road when it struck a female pedestrian wearing all dark clothing.

The driver immediately stopped and cooperated with police.

The pedestrian was unresponsive after suffering major visible injuries, according to police.

Police called for an ambulance. Attempts to revive the pedestrian were unsuccessful, and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Stanislaus County almond grower frustrated despite big rain


STOCKTON - Even though about three inches of rain fell on his almond orchards Thursday, grower Jim Jasper isn't celebrating. He's happy, but not celebrating.

"It makes us feel good to see the drought turn around a bit. But we've been in two droughts: the political drought and the climate drought," he said.

Jasper was referring to the lack of water he's received during the California drought the last couple of years. He said last year, federal officials allocated zero percent of what he requested. He expects the same result next year.

Jasper said government agencies should be concerned with shipping water to farms in the valley as well as providing water to the delta and the environment.

"We don't mind some water going to smelt or endangered species, but there has to be some common sense put into it," Jasper said.

Local marketing director nominated for national award

Local marketing director nominated for national award

TURLOCK — Adrenna Alkhas, marketing director for the Stanislaus County Fair has been nominated for a national award by the PR News Group.

Alkhas is nominated in two categories: Event Marketer of the Year and Publicist of the Year for her work on the Stanislaus County Fair.

“Adrenna is absolutely deserving of this award,” Fair CEO Chris Borovansky said, “Through her hard work, and with her leadership, the Stanislaus County Fair is being recognized, not just within the fair industry but in the national spotlight. We are extremely proud of her.”

Other organizations nominated include MasterCard, The National Geographic Channel, KPMG LLP, Guitar Center and CISCO. Winners will be announced at the PR News PR People Awards luncheon Dec. 9, at the National Press Club in Washington D.C... Read More