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Valley man accused of taking $360,000 from victims in real estate scheme, U.S. Attorney charges


A Modesto man was arrested Tuesday on allegations he mislead victims into putting funds into what they believed were legitimate real estate investments.

Xue Heu, 37, faces eight counts of wire fraud for allegedly taking more than $360,000 from investors and using the money for his own accounts and purposes, stated the U.S. Attorney, Eastern District of California in a news release.

Portraying himself as an officer of Liquid Assets & Land Investments Inc. and Capital Land Investments, LLC, Heu convinced clients to invest in a real estate business that bought and sold real estate, according to the federal indictment. That was between August 2007 and October 2013.

The indictment reads Heu showed potential investors fictitious and forged grant deeds, fraudulent HUD-1 settlement statements, and properties he claimed he intended to purchase. Some of those properties had already been sold.

Flash Flood Warning Issued in Tuolumne County until 10:45 p.m.


SACRAMENTO - UPDATE 4:44 p.m: The San Joaquin County Office of Emergency Services and the National Weather Service tweeted that there is no threat of the Twain Harte Dam failing. The flash flood warning as been cancelled.

Earlier, National Weather Service in Sacramento issued a flash flood warning due to the Twain Harte Dam failure in Tuolumne County Sunday morning.

The operator of Twain Harte Dam reported cracks being observed in the dam Sunday at 10:45 a.m. with water flowing through the cracks according to the National Weather Service's website.

Family of Manteca man killed in Gaza strike

Family of Manteca man killed in Gaza strike


Even as the violence escalates following the breakdown of Friday's ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, some Palestinian-Americans are slowly learning about family members affected by earlier incidents.

Like many Palestinian-Americans, Manteca's Mohammad Elfarra has been watching the news from Gaza closely, but the worst report came in the form of a phone call from a friend in the West Bank.

"He said, 'hey give me a call back. We just saw something on the news that reported a family of eight from the Elfarra family in the Gaza Strip in Khan Younis, which is our home town, that they were killed in one air strike,'" Elfarra recalled.

Soon other family members began confirming the reports.

"There's no words for it until you experience it," Elfarra said. "You have nothing that can describe that pain and that hurt."

Crews battle fire at Modesto power station


SACRAMENTO – An early morning fire at a Modesto power station was expected to keep firefighters busy through Thursday afternoon.

Modesto Regional Fire Battalion Chief Hugo Patino said an explosion in a cabinet at the MID Power Station on Parker Rd. sparked the fire around 5:19 a.m.

Patino said the cabinet contained capacitors, which are kept cool with mineral oil.

When firefighters arrived at the scene, they tried using dry chemicals to extinguish the flames but were unsuccessful. They eventually decided to let the fire burn itself out, Patino said.

Patino estimated the fire would continue burning into the afternoon.

The fire did not pose a threat to the surrounding area and the rest of the plant was able to stay energized.


2 suspects identified in Modesto home invasion robbery


There has been another home invasion robbery since Monday, this one in Modesto.

STORY:
Police: Woman assaulted by armed intruders in Elk Grove robbery

STORY:
Home invasion victim fights back, gets shot

One teen killed, another injured in Modesto auto vs. bicycle collision


Two teens on a bike were injured, one fatally when they were struck by a car while in a Modesto intersection Monday night.

The collision was at Sylvan Avenue at Keller Street at about 8:45 p.m.

Modesto police Officer Scott Nelson said a 2014 Volkswagen heading eastbound on Sylvan and the bicyclists collided.

Killed was 17-year-old Thomas Johnson of Modesto, according to the Stanislaus County coroner. The other 17 year old was transported to an area hospital with several injuries. Nelson said the boy's condition was upgraded from critical condition Tuesday and he was expected to survive.

The 23-year-old Modesto woman driving the Volkswagen was not hurt.

Nelson said there were no obvious indications of alcohol or drug use by the driver. He said there were signs of possible alcohol consumption by the boys. They were not wearing safety helmets.

State approves fines in Turlock robocall case


SACRAMENTO (AP) - Former Turlock City Councilman Kurt Vander Weide and his campaign consultant will be hit with $32,500 in fines for their roles in four robocalls placed during the 2008 campaign and other violations.

The Modesto Bee reports the Fair Political Practices Commission voted unanimously for the fines on Thursday.

Vander Weide and consultant Carl Fogliani were accused of failing to disclose the source of the automated calls, some of them targeting then-incumbent Mary Jackson.

The panel said the robocalls were designed to benefit Vander Weide and current Councilwoman Amy Bublak. Jackson and Bublak eventually won, and Vander Weide lost his seat by a narrow margin.

The call with the largest reach was from a woman who falsely claimed to be Jackson and urged voters to reject Proposition 8, a statewide measure against same-sex marriage on the same ballot.