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Fresno Bee

Fresno family wins national Christmas lights competition
The Alexander family, who lives at the end of Fresno’s Christmas Tree Lane, were the big winner in Monday night’s telecast of the ABC competition series, “The Great Christmas Light Fight.” They picked up a trophy shaped like a giant Christmas tree light bulb and $50,000 for their winning holiday decorations. Read comments
16 Dec 2014 at 11:09pm

Overnight storm expected to shower Valley, with more rain possible
A small storm that hit the central San Joaquin Valley Tuesday evening was expected to bring about 0.25 inches of rain to the Fresno area by morning, and the National Weather Service in Hanford said another small storm has a chance to bring more needed rain on Friday. Read comments
16 Dec 2014 at 8:33pm

Matching funds for new Fresno County Jail project could come up short
Fresno County supervisors learned Tuesday that they may not be able to spend up to $2 million from tobacco settlement monies for preconstruction work for the county’s new downtown jail annex. Read comments
16 Dec 2014 at 7:35pm

Visalia police call out bomb squad in child porn search
The bomb squad was called out in Visalia after detectives investigating the home of a child pornography suspect found materials to make explosives, police said. Read comments
16 Dec 2014 at 8:08pm

Elderly woman identified who was killed by car while crossing Visalia street
The Visalia Police Department identified the 82-year-old woman who died Saturday after she was hit by a car while crossing a Visalia street. Read comments
16 Dec 2014 at 7:00pm

Northwest Fresno recycling robbery suspect arrested after hiding in tree
A man suspected of robbing a recycling center in northwest Fresno was arrested after an undercover officer spotted him climbing up a tree to hide Tuesday afternoon. Read comments
16 Dec 2014 at 6:52pm

Kaweah Delta Family Medicine Center holds open house Wednesday
Kaweah Delta Family Medicine Center will hold an open house from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday on the fifth floor at 202 N. Willow Ave. Read comments
16 Dec 2014 at 6:31pm

Fresno firefighter injured in early-morning blaze
A Fresno firefighter was hurt early Tuesday when a portion of a roof collapsed at a fire in the 4900 block of East Butler Avenue in southeast Fresno. Read comments
16 Dec 2014 at 6:48pm

Fresno foundation awards $275k in smart growth, environmental grants
The Fresno Regional Foundation, a link between donors and organizations investing in San Joaquin Valley improvement, has awarded $275,000 to smart growth and environmental causes, including the San Joaquin River restoration. Read comments
16 Dec 2014 at 4:30pm

Fresno shoe shop owner who died after robbery remembered for kindness
George “Georgio” Sheklian, 85, was recalled during his memorial service Tuesday as a man who was either “fixing shoes or fixing lives” — all the way to the end. Read comments
16 Dec 2014 at 8:05pm

'First Look': First News for Dec. 18

Lead stories from "First Look with Scott Cox's" Top Stories:

REPORT FINDS HIGH CHILD ABUSE, NEGLECT IN KERN: Kern County children ages 5 and younger are twice as likely as their statewide peers to be victims of abuse and neglect. The new report and findings were part of the Children's Data Network project at the University of Southern California School of Social Work, which followed children born in 2006 and 2007 over a five-year period....

18 Dec 2014 at 8:01am

Hall Ambulance awards two men for courageous action during crash

The collision left the ambulance on its roof.

Paramedic Armando Lazaro, 33, and Kern County firefighter Adam Bickford, 32, were inside, also upside down, hanging by their seatbelts.

17 Dec 2014 at 8:08pm

THE GRADE: New shoes bring big smiles to Greenfield kids

HAPPY FEET, HAPPY FACES: Tears welled up in the eyes of the Greenfield Union School District superintendent when he talked about a seventh-grader he helped Wednesday morning at a south Payless ShoeSource.

Superintendent Chris Crawford had kneeled down to help the student take off her shoes and noticed her socks were soaking wet.

17 Dec 2014 at 7:06pm

Report finds high child abuse, neglect in Kern

Kern County children ages 5 and younger are twice as likely as their statewide peers to be victims of abuse and neglect, according to a new report.

The findings were part of the Children's Data Network project at the University of Southern California School of Social Work, which followed children born in 2006 and 2007 over a five-year period.

18 Dec 2014 at 8:57am

Funeral services for Dec. 18

Services scheduled

Finest Elliott, 96, Bakersfield, Dec. 15. Visitation 9 to 10:30 a.m., graveside service 11 a.m. Dec. 23, Greenlawn Southwest Mortuary. Greenlawn Funeral Home Southwest.

17 Dec 2014 at 4:22pm

McCarthy leads delegation to Middle East

Bakersfield Congressman Kevin McCarthy just returned from leading a congressional delegation to the Middle East, including Iraq, to learn more about the fight against ISIL and other regional threats, his office announced Wednesday.

Traveling with the House majority leader was the incoming chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, incoming chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, R-Visalia, ...

17 Dec 2014 at 4:36pm

Family gives back; will you?

Though most of us no doubt would be considered human-kindness slackers by contrast, Stephen Ariey feels a little guilty about his commitment to helping the poor: He does it only at Christmas -- but every Christmas and for 13 of his 25 years.

Not bad by anyone's standards except, perhaps, Ariey's, whose resume of philanthropy stretches back to age 11 when he led efforts at St. Francis of Assisi Church to help build houses for families in n...

17 Dec 2014 at 5:02pm

Dolls cast own glow at CALM

The story sounds like one of those classic animated Christmas specials -- a bunch of once-beloved toys are discarded and then, after hardship and tough times, find a new home and once again are loved by all.

Ten Christmas seasons ago, California Living Museum proudly displayed a set of dolls in fancy costumes, re-creating a moment from Tchaikovsky's beloved "Nutcracker" ballet. Anyone who had grown up in Bakersfield in the 1960s through t...

17 Dec 2014 at 2:15pm

Taft superintendent 'disappointed' by Oliver mistrial

Blanca Cavazos, superintendent of the Taft Union High School District, said in a statement Wednesday she was "disappointed" by Tuesday's mistrial in the Kern County Superior Court trial of school shooter Bryan Oliver.

"We are disappointed that this tragic incident has not been resolved in the judicial system so that we can move forward," she wrote in an email.

17 Dec 2014 at 1:39pm

'First Look': Lois Henry discuses Bryan Oliver trial outcome

On Tuesday afternoon after Judge John W. Lua declared a mistrial in the Bryan Oliver case, Californian columnist Lois Henry thought about the conversations she'd been having with other staff.

"I would hate to be a juror in this trial," Henry said Wednesday on "First Look with Scott Cox."

17 Dec 2014 at 1:55pm

Modesto Bee

Jeff Jardine: Will billboard heat up Riverbank cold case?

Tuesday?s mishmash begins with hopes that a billboard will help solve a 2010 hit-and-run case that left a 25-year-old woman dead east of Riverbank.

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27 Oct 2014 at 7:55pm
by (Jeff Jardine)

Joseph Kieta: gets a major upgrade

If you follow The Modesto Bee online, you’re in for a treat. Our digital home – – this morning debuts a major upgrade.

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27 Oct 2014 at 10:56pm
by (Joseph Kieta)

Two arrested in Ceres drive-by shooting

Police arrested two men in connection with a drive by shooting Saturday that injured a man in downtown Ceres.

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28 Oct 2014 at 6:30am

Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department incidents for Monday, Oct. 27, 2014

Click here to read the report.

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28 Oct 2014 at 6:05am

Modesto Police Department incidents for Monday, Oct. 27, 2014

Click here to read the report.

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28 Oct 2014 at 6:03am

Ceres council splits police, fire departments

The Ceres City Council on Monday voted to dissolve the Department of Public Safety in favor of establishing separate police and fire departments.

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27 Oct 2014 at 9:44pm
by (Erin Tracy)

Stanislaus County to focus attention on causes of social ills

Stanislaus County officials want to focus more attention on the causes for homelessness, crime and other social ills that have degraded the quality of life.

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27 Oct 2014 at 8:44pm
by (Ken Carlson)

Stanislaus considers new rules for groundwater wells

A new Stanislaus County groundwater ordinance and possible well-drilling moratorium will be considered Wednesday.

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27 Oct 2014 at 8:28pm
by (J.N. Sbranti)

Defendant in fatal Modesto stabbing not a gang member, expert says

Gang membership was again the focus of testimony in a trial for three defendants accused of murder in a Modesto park stabbing. But this time the defense had its gang…

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27 Oct 2014 at 6:59pm
by (Rosalio Ahumada)

Valley tourism leaders share ideas at Modesto summit

About 100 people gathered in Modesto on Monday to talk about boosting tourism in the San Joaquin Valley.

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27 Oct 2014 at 7:12pm
by (John Holland)

Recordnet Stockton Local News

Miller steps in: New Human Services Agency director plans to build on what ag...
STOCKTON — The San Joaquin County Human Services Agency weaves the social safety net meant to protect the county’s poor while helping them lift themselves out of poverty.It’s a $371 million-a-year operation with 1,300 employees, and since the start of the month it has been headed by Michael Miller, who had been a deputy director in the agency for the past four years. But his history in county government stretches back 30 years, most of which he spent in [...]
16 Dec 2014 at 12:00pm
by Zachary K. Johnson Record Staff Writer

Free Christmas concert is Friday in Lodi
LODI — Fountainview Academy Orchestra and Choir presents its Christmas concert, “O Holy Night,” 7 p.m. Friday at Lodi English Oaks Seventh-day Adventist Church, 1260 W. Century Blvd., Lodi.On tour from British Columbia, the orchestra and choir have put together a celebration of the wonders of the Christmas season. They will perform a variety of uplifting and inspiring favorites including “Go Tell It On the Mountain,” “O Holy Night, [...]
16 Dec 2014 at 2:35am
by The Record

UCP Tracy celebrating one year of service with open house
TRACY — United Cerebral Palsy, celebrating the one-year anniversary of its Applied Abilities Program serving people in Tracy and Mountain House, will hold an open house from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday at its facility at 324 E. 11th St.Forty people from 21 to 72 are enroled in the program, which offers classes to promote functional and vocational skills. Classes such as math, social skills, rhythmic arts, health management, independent living, workability, self-advocacy, cooking, [...]
15 Dec 2014 at 8:53am
by The Record

Doctor discusses Ebola risks and fears
LODI — Just hearing the word Ebola elicits fear. Since earlier this year when the epidemic in West Africa was first realized, millions of dollars have been spent preparing for a global pandemic. But for at least one physician, that is money not well spent.That’s one of the messages Dr. James Appel shared last Monday at Lodi Memorial Hospital with area health professionals — many of them front-line workers in emergency and critical care medicine [...]
14 Dec 2014 at 10:07am
by Joe Goldeen Record Staff Writer

Suspect in crash that killed six to face murder charges
STOCKTON — A judge on Friday determined there was enough evidence to charge Ryan Morales with second-degree murder and other serious charges in the deaths of six members of a Lodi family.Morales, 29, is accused of driving drunk at speeds exceeding 90 miles per hour in a busy school zone and causing a multiple-car crash that claimed the lives of a couple and their four children, including a near full-term unborn child.San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Xapuri [...]
12 Dec 2014 at 11:00am
by Jennie Rodriguez-Moore Record Staff Writer

Water district prevails against PG&E
A commission cleared the way late Thursday for a public water district to wrest away control from investor-owned Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and become the retail electric provider for 38,000 homes and businesses in south San Joaquin County.The 4-1 vote came after two days of complex and often contradictory testimony from experts on each side.Ultimately, the five voting members of the little-known Local Agency Formation Commission sided with the water district, despite [...]
11 Dec 2014 at 1:30pm
by Alex Breitler Record Staff Writer

New skydiving school to land in Tracy
Look for colorful parachutes floating through the skies near Interstate 5 east of Tracy over the next few weeks as a new skydiving school, Skydive California, opens for business.San Joaquin County approval of a use permit for the business earlier this week was the last major hurdle to opening the parachute center, said Aaron Oehrle-Steele, a Walnut Creek resident and owner of the school.Oehrle-Steele, who has been a skydiving instructor at Bay Area Skydiving in Byron for a [...]
11 Dec 2014 at 11:30am
by Reed Fujii Record Staff Writer

Foreclosures rise in San Joaquin County
San Joaquin County foreclosure filings rose in November, up 40 percent from activity in October and a smaller 3.2 percent rise compared to November 2013, RealtyTrac Inc. reported today.The Irvine-based real estate data firm tallied 315 foreclosure filings — notices of default and trustee sales and lender repossessions — affecting county residences last month, compared to 225 such actions in October and 305 in the same month last year.Looking more closely [...]
10 Dec 2014 at 4:00pm
by The Record

South San Joaquin County: PG&E urges agency to let it keep control
As Pacific Gas and Electric Co. linemen patrol the streets for power outages today, consultants and attorneys for the San Francisco-based utility will be engaged in their own urgent work on the sixth floor of the San Joaquin County administration building.Their task: To convince a board made up mostly of local elected officials that PG&E should remain the retail electric provider for south San Joaquin County.It is no small wonder that this case, which has dragged on for [...]
10 Dec 2014 at 11:37am
by Alex Breitler Record Staff Writer

Two seats available on county Planning Commission
STOCKTON — The application period is open for two slots on the San Joaquin County Planning Commission.Current terms are coming to the end for District 2 Commissioner Clem Lee and District 4 Commissioner Randy Hamilton on the five-member body that oversees the implementation of planning rules in unincorporated San Joaquin County.This year the commission is expected to make recommendations on the county General Plan update, which is in the final stages of a years-long [...]
10 Dec 2014 at 4:04am
by The Record

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