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Modesto police investigate homicide

A man was found dead at a home of the 100 block of I Street in Modesto on Monday.

Modesto police detectives have determined the death of Robert Lee Ross Jr., 52, is a homicide. They are not releasing how he died.

Police spokesperson Heather Graves said investigators learned neighbors last saw Ross on Saturday. She wasn't sure if neighbors or relatives of the victim found him on Monday.

Missing Modesto man found safe

A man missing from Modesto since Monday afternoon was found safe Tuesday morning, according to Modesto police.

Walsh Conmy was reported missing around 1:30 Monday afternoon.

Modesto police tweeted Tuesday morning, "UPDATE: Mr. Conmy has been located. He is safe and will be returned home."

Commy was considered at-risk as he suffers from dementia.

Modesto police did not say where they found Conmy.

Stanislaus County cracking down on nut thefts

MODESTO, Calif. (AP) - A Central California county is going after walnut thieves.

Stanislaus County supervisors are set to consider an ordinance on Tuesday that would require anyone buying, selling or possessing walnuts for commercial purposes to show proof of ownership. The proof of ownership would require more information than what state officials currently mandate.

The ordinance would also establish a buying period for nuts.

It comes as farmers have reported an uptick in walnut thefts. The nuts' price of six cents each along with the ease with which they can be gathered have made them a target.

Five other California counties have similar regulations.

Woman escapes, 2 dogs killed in 4-alarm fire at Isleton grill

ISLETON, Calif. - A woman escaped unharmed but two dogs were not as fortunate in a four-alarm fire in Isleton Friday morning.

The fire broke out at the former Happy Harbor bar and grill at 731 W. Brannan Island Rd.shortly before 6:30 a.m..

Firefighters on scene said the woman made it out of the property above the restaurant but two dogs were killed.

A witness at the scene said Happy Harbor has been closed for an unspecified amount of time.

The cause of the fire was unknown.

Central California attorney claims incompetence

MODESTO, Calif. (AP) - A defense attorney in Central California is facing possible court sanctions after refusing to continue representing his client in the middle of a murder trial.

The Modesto Bee reports that attorney Steven O'Connor told a Stanislaus County judge on Tuesday he was not competent and wanted off the case. Judge Linda McFadden urged him to reconsider, but O'Connor refused, saying he had failed his client, according to the Bee. He may now be held in contempt of court and face possible state bar action.

O'Connor was representing Nicholas John Harris, of Turlock, who was convicted of second-degree murder and was returning to court for the sanity phase of his trial.

The trial has now been suspended.

Saving water in Modesto since 2003

The drought of 2014 may have prompted water-saving measures in cities throughout California, but residents of Modesto have been following similar rules since 2003.

"By not watering on Mondays, we're saving 10 to 15 million gallons a day, that's a dramatic drop in flow, just by not watering on Mondays," Modesto Water Conservation Specialist Juan Tejeda said.

Tejeda is one of three full-time city employees who respond to reports of water wasting, watering on the wrong day or requests for help in setting up irrigation systems.

Tejeda said Modesto's goal in the early 2000s was reducing water useage by up to 20 percent, and it's largely been accomplished by prohibiting landscape watering on Mondays.

Residents can only water three times a week and on every other day; watering isn't allowed between noon and 7 p.m.

Middle of the nights stabbings leave 2 injured, 2 arrested

A young man and woman are accused of attempted murder and robbery after they allegedly attacked two people early Thursday morning.

The first call for help came at 3:11 a.m. from Ceres fire station personnel who were attending to a 51-year-old man who had walked into the station with a stab wound to his abdomen, Ceres police said. The victim told officers he had been riding his bike alongside a canal when an off-leash pit bull being walked by a man and a woman attacked him. The victim said as he tried to use his backpack to defend himself, the man stabbed him and the woman stole his backpack and bike and fled.