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Tracy Mayor Completes Ice Bucket Challenge, Nominates Other Local Officials

City of Tracy Mayor, Brent Ives completes the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in remembrance of former Tracy Mayor, Clyde Bland who passed away from the disease in 2007. Find out which government officials he calls out!

Valley chicken farm operators banned from working with animals

Operators of a Turlock chicken farm accused of abandoning some 50,000 hens in 2012 have been barred from ever working with animals again, according to a civl suit settlement announced by the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

Owner Andy Cheung and manager Lien Diep ran A & L Poultry in the Stanislaus County town. They have been charged with animal cruelty for allegedly abandoning the egg-producing hens, leaving them without food and water for two weeks. Most of the chickens, who were found in February 2012, died from starvation or were put down because of poor condition.

Three animal rescue groups saved about 5,000 hens which have since been restored to health and adopted, according to Animal Place, one of the rescuers.

Modesto Irrigation District identifies alleged water thieves

MODESTO - The Modesto Irrigation District website now includes the names of people caught stealing water from one of the many canals operated by the district. Six names were recently added, most of them residents of the town of Empire.

"The whole idea is to stop water theft. If people serve themselves, by connecting hoses, that takes away from everyone else operating in the right way," District General Manager Roger VanHoy said.

VanHoy said a district employee discovered pipes, pumps and hoses while patrolling on a canal bank. He also said customers have received plenty of notice the district would start enforcing new rules and penalties for water theft.

"If you choose to steal, or have an illegal connection, you'll be posted (online)," VanHoy said.

But one of the people named as a thief isn't happy about that announcement, or even agreeing he was doing anything wrong.

A man was killed when he failed to yield to an oncoming train in Turlock Saturday night.

A man was killed when he failed to yield and was subsequently struck by an oncoming train in Turlock Saturday night.

Turlock Police Department received a call at 9:43 p.m. from a conductor of a Union Pacific Railroad train that passed through the town.

The conductor believed the train had struck someone on the tracks. When police arrived they located a man on the east side of the tracks, 75 yards north of Marshall Street.

Further investigation showed that bicyclist had rode his bike westbound on Marshall Street across the tracks when he failed to yield for the northbound train according to Turlock Police Department spokesman Lt. Ron Reid

Even though the crossing arms were down and functioning, the bicyclist moved across the tracks before he was hit.

There was no positive identification on the victim

Assyrian Americans react to plight, persecution of Iraqi Christians

TURLOCK - Thousands of Assyrian Christians have fled Mosul, Iraq in the past few months because of terrorist activities. What's happening in Iraq is hitting home with many of the estimated 30,000 Assyrian-Americans currently living in Modesto, Ceres and Turlock.

Assyrians Christians are a religious minority in Iraq. Terrorized Assyrians in Iraq have been forced from their homes because of religious persecution by jihadist group ISIS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

They and many Yazidi refugees are trapped on Mt. Sinjar, a mountain in Northern Iraq.

Turlock's Assyrian American Civic Club President Sam David said he is monitoring the news from Iraq.

"It's modern day genocide," David said. "For them to be directed this way, attacked this way because of Christianity, it's sad."

Stanislaus County confirms 2 death from West Nile virus

Stanislaus County health officials said Wednesday that two people in the county have died from contracting the West Nile virus.

The men were both age 65. One patient succumbed July 27 and the other died on Tuesday.

County health said the men had the neuro-invasive form of the infection.

On Wednesday, the California Department of Public Health Wednesday confirmed the first two deaths in the state in 2014 from West Nile virus. They were a 74-year-old woman who lived in Sacramento County and an adult in Shasta County.

Humans contract the illness from the bite of a mosquito infected with West Nile virus.

To curb the spread of West Nile virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend:

Man charged with causing 2013 Rim Fire in California

A man has been charged for allegedly causing last summer's massive Rim Fire.

The suspect is Keith Matthew Emerald, 32, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California. He is facing charges of timber-set fire and lying to a government agency, both felonies, and fires left unattended and not extinguished, and violating a fire restriction order, both misdemeanors. At the time of Rim Fire, there was a temporary fire restriction in place.

Emerald, who is from Columbia in Tuolumne County, was rescued by a helicopter crew from Clavey River Canyon near where the Rim Fire started about an hour earlier on Aug. 17, 2013, court documents stated. He told authorities he had been on a hunting trip.