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COMMUNITY NEWS

August 23, 2019

Merced is seeing industry thrive

Most people have heard the great things happening in Merced’s retail world -- the arrival of Dutch Brother’s Coffee, Rally’s/Checkers Burgers and Planet Fitness.

The Merced Mall is transforming and at the Mission Interchange the Gateway Shopping Center is beginning construction and the Campus Parkway Plaza is in the planning stages.

And, people can’t miss the renovation going on Downtown with the El Capital Hotel, the Mainzer Theater and the Hotel Tioga.

But there’s more taking place in Merced than expanded retail, and that’s an industrial sector that’s prospering.

“Our retail and commercial sector is doing well, along with our housing market, and so is our industrial side,” said City Manager Steve Carrigan. “The industrial side of Merced is undergoing an expansion that is bringing jobs and revenue to the community.
“We are getting construction jobs, and then permanent jobs for Merced,” Carrigan said.

Merced’s industrial sector is flourishing with the expansion of existing businesses and the addition of new industrial buildings. The growth is spread across a variety of markets

“That’s a good indicator of the City’s economic vitality,” said Assistant City Manager Stephanie Dietz.

Another good sign is that the companies are located throughout the City’s industrial zones.

“We are seeing these expansions in several of our industrial parks across the southern section of the City,” said Assistant City Manager Stephanie Dietz. “It’s not just concentrated in one area.”

In the case of Titan Metal Products, the expansion is doubling the size of its facilities. Titan Doors, 1891 Wardrobe Ave., makes stock and custom doors, door frames and assemblies. Some of the firm’s doors are fire and ballistic rated. Titan’s products were recently used in the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco.

The existing Titan plant is 18,725 square feet, and it is adding on another 19,000 square feet of space to the door and assembly area.

 



Centurion Boats, 2047 Grogan Ave., has been a maker of high performance towboats since 1976, specializing in wake-surfing towboats. A division of Correct Craft, Centurion is headquartered in Merced and offers seven models for sale, along with the ability to custom build a boat.

The company is undergoing a 24,234 square foot shop and office expansion, putting in a 3,600 square foot development and engineering facility, along with a test tank. All of the growth of the facility increases the research and development capacity to the facility.

O’Keeffe Safti-First, 220 S. R St., has specialized in architectural glass and metal products for 75 years. Some of O’Keeffe’s custom skylights, ladders and aluminum building products are in the Stanford Medical Center, the Intel Campus and the Ala Moana Center in Honolulu. Safti-First is known for its fire-rated glass and framing systems, some of which are at the UC Davis campus, the U.S. Military Academy, West Point and Folsom Prison.

The firm is adding a 30,651 square foot manufacturing facility plus a 7,764 square foot cold room to accommodate growing market demands.

Pacific Gas and Electric, is a utility company providing electricity and natural gas to Merced customers. The firm has expansion work going on at its service center and corporation yard located on the corner of Childs Avenue and Kibby Road.

The utility company is locating its regional management office at that site in a 15,400 square foot building, and installing a 9,100 square foot operations building. The utility is also putting in a 23,500 square foot combination garage/warehouse at the site.

In addition to the existing plant expansions, developers are seeing a demand for more buildings that are ready for industrial tenants to move in.

Lawler Excavation is constructing two new industrial buildings on Cessna Way in the City’s industrial park. The buildings, one 8,400 square feet and the other 7,500 square feet, could be used as warehouses or for other light industrial uses.

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August 22, 2019

Schedule of Events Announced for 2019 California Food Expo
Featuring Educational Sessions Covering the Food Industry’s Hottest Topics and Expanded Award Platform

Fresno, California – August 21, 2019…The first official California Food Expo (Expo) will connect more than 140 California food and beverage companies with an estimated 750 pre-qualified local and national buyers at its annual food industry trade event, and will open its doors for over 1,200 members of the public during its evening celebration – Expolicious.
This year’s Expo will feature some of California’s most unique, innovative and diverse food and beverage companies, over 20 percent of which you will not find at other food industry trade shows. With a healthy mix of exhibitors from northern, central and southern California, Expo goers can expect to see products that range from vegan ice cream, to sustainably sourced vodka made from day-old baked goods.
An impressive line-up of educational sessions will kick-off the Expo on Monday, September 9, all of which is open exclusively to Expo sponsors, exhibitors and pre-qualified buyer attendees. Sessions will cover the food industry’s hottest topics including: Consumer Trends, Sustainability, eCommerce and Influential Food Brands. Speakers and panelists will be a combination of some of food industry’s experts and the innovators behind a variety of California’s leading food companies.
An expanded award platform provides valuable opportunities for exhibitors to increase their exposure before, during and after the Expo. This year’s awards include the Fred Ruiz Award; the Golden State Award; and the New Product Awards, which will include the Buyer’s Choice Awards and the Consumer’s Choice Awards, both of which will offer a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.


The Expo’s new website is mobile-friendly and includes the complete schedule of events, award details, who attends/who exhibits and social media feeds. The final exhibitor listing and map of the show floor will also be made available closer to the event.
About the California Food Expo:
The California Food Expo is an exclusive industry trade show for California food and beverage companies to connect with more than 750 pre-qualified retail and foodservice buyers, network with industry peers and showcase California’s thriving food industry.
More than 140 California food and beverage companies are expected to participate in the two-day event which includes educational sessions, business-to-business tradeshow, and a competition for California renowned chefs. The 2019 event will be hosted at the Fresno Convention & Entertainment Center starting Monday, September 9, through Tuesday, September 10, 2019. For more information about the California Food Expo including the complete event

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August 22, 2019

 

Atwater School District Earns Accreditation for Teacher Mentoring Program

The Atwater Elementary School District has developed a two-year program that helps its new teachers mature into seasoned professionals who are more likely to stay in their jobs for many years.
Ana Boyenga, the district’s assistant superintendent of Educational Services, said it took the district three years to get accredited by the California Teaching Commission to offer the teacher mentoring program.
Diana Heller, Stephanie Ludwig and Linda Lamerson, teachers on special assignment, head up the induction program.
Atwater, the Los Banos Unified School District and Merced Union High School District are the only school districts in Merced County to offer their own induction programs.
“We need to support our new teachers so they stay. It’s customized to their needs, not a cookie-cutter approach. This is a selling point that they are going to get a coach when they come. It’s really important for our school district and board,” Boyenga said.
Heller said new teachers are not sure what to expect when they start teaching. Expectations could be completely different from reality. She said Atwater’s induction program is unique and differs from others.
The district has 232 teachers and is still looking for new teachers, Boyenga said. In her 25th year in education, she said she had a mentor teacher when she started out.
The teacher induction program operates all year round. Participating teachers who have provisional credentials when they start take part in an exit interview at program’s end and then get a clear teaching credential.
Each induction participant receives a minimum of one hour per week of individualized support from a full-time mentor. Each participant develops a unique Individual Learning Plan which is used for professional growth. The plans are based on the California Standards for the Teaching Profession.
The ultimate goals of the program are to increase student achievement in meeting California’s adopted state standards by developing teacher competence. The district wants every student to have a highly qualified teacher who continues to grow as a professional through reflection, collaboration with colleagues and adoption of appropriate teaching methods.

Head Start, Early Head Start Recruiting Families Across Merced County

The Merced County Office of Education’s Head Start program is currently recruiting and enrolling families for the 2018-2019 school year. The goal is to ensure that all families in Merced County who qualify for services have access to the Head Start program.

Head Start is a comprehensive prenatal, infant and preschool and family development program that is available to three and four-year-old children nationwide. MCOE Head Start provides an exceptional education complemented by health and social services for families in Merced County. The MCOE Head Start program can serve up to 1,157 children in a variety of settings, including full-day (10 hours), school-day (6 ½ hours) and part-day (3 ½ hours) classes, as well as a home-based program and services to pregnant women. Head Start families benefit from access to a variety of community resources, health and nutrition education programs, diverse parent education programs, and other social services to support the entire family.

Eligible families are those whose total annual income does not exceed the federal poverty guidelines. The program is also able to provide services to families who do not qualify under the federal poverty guidelines but have a child with a diagnosed special need. MCOE is proud to serve families of all cultures and bi-lingual staff is available as needed.

If your family could benefit from the Head Start program or you know a family that would, contact Head Start’s Administrative Offices at (209) 381-5170 today.

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August 20 , 2019

 

Jaime Caudillo, local leader of the Norteno Criminal Street Gang, and
Steven Rincon, member of the Norteno Criminal Street Gang,
sentenced to life in prison

Today, Judge Carol Ash sentenced Jaime Caudillo to 50 years, 8 months to
life in prison for shooting a police officer, illegally possessing a firearm, and
gang activity. She also sentenced Steven Rincon, a three strikes defendant,
to 80 years to life in prison for his role in the shooting, illegally possessing a
firearm, and gang activity. On May 23, 2019, following an eleven-day trial
prosecuted by attorneys Nicole Silveira and Katie Gates, a Merced County
jury found Mr. Caudillo and Mr. Rincon, guilty of shooting a police officer,
being felons in possession of firearms, and committing the crimes for the
benefit of a criminal street gang. Both defendants are convicted felons and
active members of the Norteno criminal street gang in Merced County. Mr.
Caudillo has status as a higher ranking Norteno within the gang.
On February 28, 2015, then Officer Ryan Rasmussen of the Merced Police
Department arrived to assist Officer Rinder in a routine traffic stop. Mr.
Rincon was the driver of the vehicle, and Mr. Caudillo was the passenger.
Within moments, Mr. Caudillo opened fire on Officer Rasmussen, while Mr.
Rincon sped off almost simultaneously. The shots fired by Mr. Caudillo hit
Officer Rasmussen’s hand, as well as his bulletproof vest. After a manhunt
involving support from multiple agencies and spanning several hours,
officers took both defendants into custody and discovered that Mr. Rincon
possessed a firearm.

 

MPD Officer Steven Odom testified as a gang expert during the trial. He
opined the crimes were committed for the benefit of the criminal street gang
and the act of shooting a police officer, the gang’s primary enemy, is the
ultimate act for violent members to demonstrate their commitment to the
gang.
As a result of the shooting, Officer Rasmussen lost his right pinky finger and
endured seven corrective surgeries. Ultimately, he was unable to continue
as a patrol officer due to the injuries he suffered in the line of duty. However,
earlier this year, Ryan Rasmussen returned to active service in law
enforcement when the Merced County District Attorney’s Office hired him as
an investigator. During the sentencing, Investigator Rasmussen told Judge
Ash he and his family will continue to fight against the criminal activities of
gang members like the defendants, vowing, “My family will not stop. They
will never quit, and, by God, they will never give up fighting people like
them.”
This is the second life sentence for Mr. Rincon. On July 30, 2019, he was
sentenced to 55 years to life in prison for his role in a 2017 jail homicide.
That sentence followed a January trial, with a jury verdict on February 1,
2019, finding Mr. Rincon guilty of first degree murder. Attorneys Matthew
Serratto and Tyson McCoy prosecuted that case.

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August 20 , 2019

 

Atwater High Ag Teacher Recognized With State Award

Written by: Eryka Lepper, Atwater FFA

Merced Union High School District and Atwater High School’s agriculture instructor and FFA advisor Kaylyn Davenport was recognized by the California Agricultural Teachers’ Association (CATA) with the “2019 Outstanding Young Teacher” award during a recent conference and awards ceremony held at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. The award recognizes an outstanding young teacher (5-7 years of service) for their participation and leadership in civic, community, agriculture. agribusiness, and professional activities.

Kaylyn Davenport’s father Phil Schiber was a former Atwater High School agriculture instructor when Kaylyn was a child. She grew up influenced by his passion for the job and his working with students. This inspired her at a young age to follow in his footsteps. She attended Atwater High School as a student and was a very involved agriculture and FFA student. As an agriculture teacher at Atwater High School, Kaylyn has focused on building and expanding the school’s floral program. She has coached three state champion FFA judging teams including a national championship.

Kaylyn’s future goals are to expand student Supervised Agriculture Experience (SAE’s) opportunities which is a component of the agriculture education 3-circle model of classroom/lab, leadership, and hands-on application of skills (SAE’s) in an agriculture skill areas.


Atwater High School agriculture instructor and FFA advisor Kaylyn Schiber was recognized by the California Agricultural Teacher's Association's "Outstanding Young Teacher" award at a recent awards and conference ceremony at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Kaylyn’s advice to new teachers is to “ask questions”! She appreciates the California Agriculture Teachers’ Association for their encouragement towards collaboration and mentoring among colleagues. “Utilizing the experience and wisdom of experienced teachers creates a culture of growth,” says Davenport. “I enjoy the opportunity to work with my coworkers and create a culture of making a positive impact on our students.”

For more information on the Atwater High School Agriculture Department and Atwater FFA, please log on the website www.AtwaterFFA.org .

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August 20 , 2019

 

Livingston Schools Recognized Nationally for Counseling Programs

Counselors at two Livingston elementary schools have been recognized nationally for their comprehensive counseling programs.
Andres Zamora, Livingston Union School District superintendent, said counselors at Selma Herndon and Campus Park schools have been singled out by the American School Counselors Association. That follows similar honors last year for Livingston Middle School from the organization.
“Our goal is to ensure students come to school well-adjusted, confident and ready to learn. They are one of the few elementary schools with a full-time counselor,” Zamora said.
Kuljinder Sekhon, the district’s assistant superintendent of instruction and pupil services, said counselors provide direct support to students.
“Society’s changing. We see more of a need for social-emotional support than ever. Support is always going to be needed,” Sekhon said.
Zamora said the counselors are teaching organization, responsibility and problem-solving skills with their peers on social issues. Livingston counselors were recognized during a formal ceremony at the association’s summer convention in Boston.
“As superintendent, I feel very proud we’ve been able to shape this program. Our counselors are really phenomenal, dedicated and caring, making a positive difference in students. The heart of the program is the people,” Zamora said.
Sekhon said for any program to be effective there has to be support from the superintendent and the school board. These efforts, including providing professional development, supplies and resources, make the program possible, she added.

Sekhon said the counselors’ association national model integrates data-informed decision-making, a developmentally appropriate curriculum focused on mindsets and behaviors that all students need for postsecondary readiness and success, and closing achievement and opportunity gaps. The result is improved student achievement, attendance and discipline.
This year, 71 schools in 21 states received the Recognized ASCA Model Program (RAMP) designation during a special ceremony at the American School Counselor Association’s Annual Conference in Boston, Mass.
The RAMP designation, awarded for aligning with the criteria in the ASCA National Model, recognizes schools committed to delivering a comprehensive, data-informed school counseling program and an exemplary educational environment. Since the program’s inception, nearly 900 schools have been designated as RAMP recipients.
“This year’s RAMP honorees have shown their commitment to students and the school counseling profession,” said Jill Cook, ASCA assistant director. “These schools used data to drive their program development and implementation so all students can achieve success. RAMP designation distinguishes these schools and encourages school counselors nationwide to strive for excellence.”

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August 15, 2019

 

Cooling Zones open today through Friday, others open in County

A heat wave that hit the Valley has resulted in the City of Merced and other agencies in Merced County to open Cooling Zones from today through Friday.
The City Cooling Zone will be in the Sam Pipes Room of the Merced Civic Center, (City Hall) 678 W. 18th St. from 3 to 8 p.m. There will be water, snacks and other supplies available, along with some entertainment. The Cooling Zone is pet friendly.
City officials encourage everyone to get in out of the heat and take advantage of the cooling zone, especially if they don’t have air conditioning or just have a swamp cooler.
Residents should remember to stay hydrated and stay cool. And they should be good neighbors, checking in on friends and family, and making sure seniors and at-risk residents are OK.
“Don’t leave young children or pets in a vehicle under any circumstances. It can have deadly results in just minutes,” Fire Chief Billy Alcorn said.
A complete list of all the Cooling Zones in the County is available at www.countyofmerced.com/news
Below are some tips from the state Office of Emergency Services.
Tips to Prevent Heat Related Illness
• Never leave infants, children or the frail elderly unattended in a parked car.
• Drink plenty of fluids. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty.
• Dress in lightweight, loose-fitting clothing. Use a hat and sunscreen as needed.
• Drink fruit juice or a sports beverage to replace salts and minerals lost during heavy sweating. (If a client/resident is on a low-sodium diet, check with his/her physician first.)
• During the hottest parts of the day, keep physical activities to a minimum and stay indoors in air-conditioning and out of the sun.
• Use fans as needed.
• Open windows to allow fresh air to circulate when appropriate.
• Use cool compresses, misting, showers and baths.
• Avoid hot foods and heavy meals—they add heat to the body. Eat frozen treats.
Read more: Division of Occupational Safety & Health (bilingual resources), Center for Disease Control and Prevention Tips for Preventing Heat-related Illness

 

Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion
Heat stroke—which occurs when the body can’t control its temperature—may result in disability or death if emergency treatment is not given. Heat exhaustion occurs when the body loses a large amount of water and salt contained in sweat.
Warning signs of heat stroke vary, but may include:
• An extremely high body temperature (above 103 degrees Fahrenheit, orally)
• Unconsciousness
• Dizziness, nausea and confusion
• Red, hot and dry skin (no sweating)
• Rapid, strong pulse
• Throbbing headache
Warning signs of heat exhaustion vary, but may include:
• Heavy sweating
• Muscle cramps
• Weakness
• Headache
• Nausea or vomiting
• Paleness, tiredness, dizziness
What to Do
If you see any of these signs for heat stroke or heat exhaustion, you may be dealing with a life-threatening emergency and should do the following:
• Have someone call 911 while you begin cooling the victim.
• Get the victim to a shady area.
• Cool the victim rapidly with a cool bath or shower, or by sponging with cool water, until body temperature drops to 101-102 degrees Fahrenheit, orally.
• If emergency medical personnel are delayed, call the hospital emergency room for further instructions.
• Do not give the victim alcohol to drink.
• Again, get medical assistance as soon as possible.
If a victim’s muscles twitch uncontrollably as a result of heat stroke, keep the victim from injuring him/herself, but do not place any object in the mouth and do not give fluids. If there is vomiting, make sure the airway remains open by turning the victim on his/her side.

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August 14 , 2019

Michael Beltran named Merced City Engineer

Michael Beltran has been appointed City Engineer for the City of Merced. The announcement was made by City Manager Steve Carrigan.
Beltran has been serving as Interim City Engineer since March 2019.
“I am ecstatic to help build the City where I grew up and lived all my life,” Beltran said. “It’s an exciting time to be in Merced.
“I’m looking forward to working with all the residential and commercial developers that are building in the City,” he said. “And I’m eagerly anticipating completing some challenging projects we have coming up, such as the widening of Highway 59.”
“Michael is a good fit for the organization,” said City Manager Steve Carrigan. “He has the right experience, a good management style and a calm demeanor, no matter what is going on around him.”
Carrigan said he was impressed by the way Beltran handled a variety of situations while serving as the Interim City Engineer. “Not everything went smoothly, as you would expect. There were some bumps, but Michael didn’t let it bother him. He found the right solutions and settled everybody down.
“His private sector experience gives him a good understanding of what people need and what they are going through,” Carrigan said.
Beltran, 38, has a strong background in civil and geotechnical engineering that he obtained while working for Precision Civic Engineering and Kleinfelder, Inc..
Before coming to the City, his projects included Merced’s Wastewater Treatment Plant, and the Atwater Wastewater Treatment Plant. He has been involved in school construction projects in Merced, Atwater, along with UC Merced.
He worked on the Merced Center parking structure, natural gas facilities in Alberta Canada, the California High Speed Rail project, electrical substations owned by local utility districts and numerous interchanges and highway bridges in the region.
He has a bachelors degree in civil engineering from Fresno State and is a registered professional engineer in the State. He is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the San Joaquin Valley Chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies, where he held several offices. He also is a member of the San Joaquin Valley Road Commissioners and County Engineers.
Born at the old Mercy Hospital on M Street, Beltran was raised in Merced and attended Golden Valley High School, where he was part of its first four-year class.

 


Michael Beltran


Beltran and his wife, Samantha, have two daughters and two sons, ranging in age from 7 to 15.
He and his family are NASCAR fans, who enjoy attending the races together. Other family fun activities include mini vacations to Lake McClure, trips to the coast, family walks and movie nights.
“I watch all of their sports activities, too,” he said, “And I enjoy coaching them.”
One of his other pastimes is scuba diving. Usually it’s diving along the Monterey Coast, but every year he and a group of friends head to Santa Catalina and the Channel Islands for some variety.
Beltran will start the job Aug 26. The job pays $132,438.48 a year.

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August 14 , 2019

Working with Modesto student to push the strongest anti-vaping law in America

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of speaking alongside one of the brightest young people that I have ever met. Rana Banankhah, who will be starting her sophomore year at Modesto High School shortly, wrote a well-researched and eloquent op-ed in June which was published in the Modesto Bee describing her experience as a high school student seeing the upsurge in vaping among her classmates. In July, I invited Miss Banankhah to testify in support of my legislation, AB 1639, in the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee. AB 1639 seeks to enact the strongest and most comprehensive proposal any state has put forward to address the vaping epidemic that is consuming our youth.

This morning, the Modesto Bee published Miss Banankhah’s follow-up op-ed in which she details her experience in Sacramento and her thoughts on my legislation. Please take a moment to read her piece when you have a moment. I am proud to represent and work with students like Rana, and I am thankful that we have excellent educators and role models in our community.

As always, if you have questions or if I can do to be of assistance to you, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly.

Adam

 

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August 14 , 2019

Atwater FFA Branches Out During Leadership Retreat

Written by: Eryka Lepper, Atwater FFA

“We are all one piece of the puzzle” was selected as the 2019-2020 Atwater FFA theme as advisors and chapter officers gathered in Yosemite National Park for their annual Atwater FFA Chapter Officer Leadership Retreat on August 5th-7th. The primary goals of the three day retreat was to plan the calendar, identify yearly objectives to help strengthen and continue the growth of its members and program, and strengthen team building skills.

“Our officer team starts the school year with focus, vision, and enthusiasm in leading their organization and our students,” said FFA advisor Kim Mesa. This year’s officer team hopes to inspire student leadership, expand personal success, increase participation from current members, and strengthen recruitment of new members. “This year’s theme represents the goal towards inclusion and diversity among all students and the opportunities for them to explore academic success, personal growth, leadership, skill development, and career exploration through agriculture education and the FFA,” said Atwater FFA President Hayley Vargas.

Leadership retreat highlights included two days exploring and hiking Yosemite National Park’s valley and all the scenery associated with its beauty. For many students and some staff members, this was their first trip inside the park. “The opportunity to explore and visit a beautiful park such as Yosemite while getting to know fellow students and teachers was a highlight and a lifelong memorable experience.” said FFA officer Jennifer Velazquez.

The Atwater High School agriculture program has been recognized as one of the state’s most productive agriculture programs by the California Agricultural Teacher’s Association (CATA) and the National Association of Agriculture Educators (NAAE). “We have tremendous support from our school administration, school district, and our community in supporting FFA and agriculture education as a way to get students involved and provide individuals with purpose, direction and self-confidence in life,” said agriculture instructor and FFA advisor Jose Vargas.

The new officer team is looking forward to the challenges and rewards that the upcoming 2019-2020 school year holds for them. This year’s officer team includes Hayley Vargas, President; Daniel Lopez, Vice President; Jennifer Velazquez, Secretary; Simarjot Gandhoke, Treasurer; Eryka Lepper, Reporter; Ethan Slate, Sentinel; Sabrina Lopez, Historian; and Vanessa Varela, Parliamentarian. In addition to the Atwater FFA chapter officers, three other Atwater FFA members Emmanuel Mejia and Alyssa Carrillo joined the leadership retreat as they will be serving as sectional FFA officers within the California FFA Association.

 

For more information on the Atwater High School Agriculture Department and Atwater FFA, please log on the website www.AtwaterFFA.org .


Atwater FFA chapter and sectional officers Ethan Slate, Halyley vargas, Simarjot Gandhoke, Alyssa Carrillo, Sabrina Lopez, Jennifer Velazquez, Daniel Lopez, Eryka Lepper, Emmanuel Mejia, and Vanessa Varela joined the Atwater High School agriculture instructors at Yosemite National Park for a 3-day leadership retreat.


Atwater High School agriculture students Jennifer Velazquez, Ethan Slate, Sabrina Lopez, Alyssa Carrillo,and Simarjot Gandhoke enjoy Atwater High agricultue instructors Kim Mesa and Jose Vargas with a communication-related team building activity.


The 2019-2020 Atwater FFA Chapter Officers Hayley Vargas (President), Daniel Lopez (VP), Jennifer Velazquez (Secretary), Sabrina Lopez (Historian), Eryka Lepper (Reporter), Ethank Slate (Sentinel), Vanessa varela (Parliamentarian, and Simarjot Gandhoke gathered at Yosemite National Park for their annual FFA leadership retreat.

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August 14 , 2019

MCSD students receive free shoes, backpacks, and haircuts

 

Hundreds of students at Stowell Elementary in Merced will be heading back to class in style, thanks to generous donations by local community groups.

The school hosted a “meet and greet” on Tuesday to give students and their parents a chance to say hello to their teachers and other staff members in hopes of preventing any first day jitters.

During the event, Costco employees handed out free backpacks, and Grace Community Church provided new shoes for the children. Christopher Mora from C6 Blendz set up a barber chair in the multipurpose room to give the kids haircuts.

Families could also cool down with refreshing drinks and snow cones made by local vendors, and cheerleaders from El Capitan High School volunteered their time to help keep the event running smoothly.

Principal Dalinda Saich and Learning Director Richard Alvarado say they are extremely grateful to everyone who took part in Tuesday’s event, and they are looking forward to a great school year!

All of the district’s 14 elementary schools and 4 middle schools will be back in session on Wednesday, August 14.




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August 14 , 2019

Weaver School District Makes Way for New Classrooms, Office Space

Pardon our dust.
That’s the plea of John Curry, Weaver Union School District superintendent, as the Childs Avenue campus is in the midst of a major renovation.
In the 4 to 5-acre space at Childs Avenue and Coffee Road, contractors have been demolishing four old portable classrooms, the parking drop-off area, a district portable, the old preschool and the soccer field.
In their places, by January 2021, will be 12 new classrooms and a main office complex facing the Coffee-Childs corner.
“Right now there is a lot of dust,” Curry said. “The community and staff have been patient during construction. They are all troopers! We should focus on what it will look like when it’s done, which will make all of this worth it.”
The $14.2 million construction project was made possible by voters passing the $9 million Measure G ballot measure seven years ago. The balance of the funds are coming from district coffers.
Some of the Weaver buildings on the 19-acre campus date back to 1949, including the district office which is scheduled to be demolished.
District administrators will be moving to a new office at 1240 D St. in December.

 

Most of the other buildings on the Weaver Middle School campus were modernized through to a previous bond measure. Planning for the current construction started in 2013 when architectural plans were drawn.
Before it’s finished, the entire campus will get a fresh coat of paint. The existing gym and locker rooms also will be modernized and freshened up, Curry said.
The new Weaver Middle School complex also will be surrounded by security fencing for the first time.

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August 14 , 2019

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
RAMP CLOSURES
STATE ROUTE 99 FROM THE FRESNO/MERCED COUNTY LINE TO GURR ROAD

MERCED COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)will conduct various construction activities on northbound and southbound State Route 99 (SR-99) from the Fresno/Merced County line to Gurr Road.
Work will be performed as follows:
• The #1, #2 lanes on northbound and southbound SR-99 will be closed alternately from the Fresno/Merced County Line to Billy Wright Road beginning Sunday, August 11, 2019, through Friday, August16, 2019, from 8:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. for paving
• Full off and on-ramp closures on northbound and southbound SR-99 at the John Chuck Erreca Rest Area will be closed beginning Sunday, August 11, 2019, through Friday, August16, 2019, from 8:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. for paving
• Full connector off and on-ramp closures on northbound and southbound SR-99 from SR-165 beginning Sunday, August 11, 2019, through Friday, August16, 2019, from 8:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. for paving
Motorists should expect delays of 10 minutes. Alternate routes should be taken if possible.

For the safety of workers and other motorists,please Slow For the Cone Zone.


TRAFFIC ADVISORY
FULL HIGHWAY CLOSURE
STATE ROUTE 140 FROM PARSONS AVENUE TO KIBBY ROAD

MERCED COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will perform a full highway closure on northbound and southbound State Route 140 (SR-140) for highway construction.
Work is scheduled on Tuesday, August 13, 2019, from 12:00 a.m. (midnight) until 5:00 a.m.
Signs will be posted for the following detour route:
• Motorists traveling eastbound on SR-140 are asked to take North Parsons Road to Childs Avenue to Kibby Road back to SR-140.
• Motorists traveling westbound on SR-140 are asked to take Kibby Road to Childs Avenue to North Parsons Road back to SR-140.
Motorists should expect 10-minute delays. Alternate routes should be taken whenever possible.
This work is scheduled to begin as listed, but is subject to change due to traffic incidents, weather, availability of equipment, and/or materials and construction related issues.

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August 3 , 2019

Annual Bloodless Bullfight to Benefit Valley Children’s Hospital Cancer Center and Families Living with Autism this Saturday!

Livingston, CA, Thursday, August 1, 2019: The California Portuguese Bloodless Bullfight Organization and the Carlos Vieira Foundation are proud to host the 8th Annual Bloodless Bullfight fundraiser to benefit children with Cancer and Autism in the Central Valley.

The 8th Annual Bloodless Bullfight will take place at the Stevinson Arena on Saturday, August 3, 2019. The annual bloodless bullfights have helped raise over $150,000.00 which has gone to Valley Children’s Hospital Cancer Unit and the Carlos Vieira Foundation’s Race for Autism campaign that provides grant services to families living with autism.

Patrons can purchase tickets to attend the event at a discounted pre-sale price of $15 or buy at the door for $20. Children ten and under are free. Most resources, including the Stevinson Bullring, bullfighters, the bull owners, and the Forcado Groups, donate their time for the cause. Every penny will go towards helping families raising a child with cancer or autism. To purchase tickets, visit www.carlosvieirafoundation.org where you can also find other ticket sales locations.

The mission of Valley Children's Hospital is to provide high-quality, comprehensive healthcare services to children, regardless of their ability to pay, and to continuously improve the health and well being of children. Valley Children’s Hospital has one of the largest service areas in the nation, treating severely ill and injured children in California’s Central Valley.

 

 

 


The California Portuguese Bloodless Bullfight Organization is dedicated to the humane treatment of animals and the sportsmanship of bloodless bullfighting throughout the State of California.

The Carlos Vieira Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization who focuses primarily on assisting families living with autism through Direct Help Grant Program in 21 counties in California’s Central Valley. We also work with communities to provide healthy, safe and drug-free youth activities, including Boxing and Jujitsu, and we support the mental health community through education, fundraising and facilitating resources. For more information about the Carlos Vieira Foundation, visit our website, www.carlosvieirafoundation.org, call (209) 394-1444, or email info@carlosvieirafoundation.org.

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August 3 , 2019

Reviving the fight to count hydropower to fight climate change

For years, the people of the Northern San Joaquin Valley have been trying to get hydropower recognized for what it is: the original source of clean electricity. Our efforts have been stymied by people who feel entitled to decide what is green enough. Recently, I introduced ACA 17 to require that hydroelectric power be counted as a renewable resource under California's various climate policies, including SB 100.

Signed into law in 2018, SB 100 established a goal of achieving 100% renewable energy by 2045; however, hydropower is prohibited from being considered renewable under that law. Hydropower is clean, safe, and produces no emissions. In places like Merced, Turlock, and Modesto, we used local money to build local hydroelectric projects. We had greenhouse-gas free energy for decades before the impacts of climate change were ever realized. Rather than be rewarded for our forward-thinking, state law penalizes local ratepayers with higher energy bills that subsidize more expensive sources of clean energy -- like wind and solar.

 

 

 

ACA 17 puts hydro on the same playing field as every other zero-emission energy source. It will lower energy bill in the communities that benefit from hydropower, accelerate the adoption of renewable energy, and allow us to fight climate change in a cost-effective way. Please read my recently-published OpEd, and as always, don't hesitate to reach out to me if you have questions or if there is anything that I can help you with!

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August 3 , 2019

Chancellor honored, fireworks update on agenda

The City Council will honor UC Merced Chancellor Dorothy Leland and hear an update on the Celebrate Safe Fireworks Campaign at its Monday night meeting.

The meeting will be at 6 p.m. in the Council Chamber on the second floor of the Merced Civic Center, (City Hall), 678 W. 18th St.

On the agenda:

• The City will recognize Chancellor Dorothy Leland for her time and contributions to UC Merced and the City of Merced. In addition, a reception will be held in her honor at 5:30 p.m. on the Second Floor Landing outside the Council Chamber prior to the meeting.

• Hear the final report on the Celebrate Safe Fireworks Campaign 2019 from the Fire Chief and the Police Chief. The campaign is an effort to curb the use of illegal fireworks within the City.

• Hear a report on the recommended size and configuration of the proposed police station and future fire stations, and funding requirements for a potential bond measure.

• Conduct a continued public hearing on accessory dwelling units, and consider modifying the City’s zoning regulations.

 

The Council will meet in closed session at 5 p.m. regarding existing litigation.


The meetings are streamed on Facebook Live on the City’s Facebook, City of Merced. A link to the live meeting is also on the City’s web site at https://cityofmerced.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx. Videos of previous meetings can be found at that link, and are tied to each agenda item. Those services are in addition to the live broadcast of the regular meeting on Comcast’s Government Channel 96.

The Council agenda is posted online at www.cityofmerced.org, outside the chambers prior to the meeting and 72 hours before the meeting at the City Clerk’s Office. Request to Speak forms are available at the meeting or can be downloaded from the City's website. Cards must be turned in to the City Clerk in order for a person to be recognized by the Council. Hmong and Spanish translators are available at all regular Council meetings.

The City Council meets the first and third Monday of the month, except when there is a holiday, when it meets the following day.

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July 31, 2019

Students Wrap Up Math Camp at Atwater Elementary School District

The Atwater Elementary School District will wrap up this week a two-week Math Camp for approximately 200 incoming fourth-graders.
Nine district teachers went through math training June 11-12 at Stanford University let by Dr. Jo Boaler, a professor at Stanford and the author of "Mathematical Mindsets."
Back in January, the Merced County Office of Education brought Boaler to Valley Community School in Atwater to give presentations to teachers.
Ana Boyenga, assistant superintendent for Educational Services with the Atwater district, said Math Camp is designed to demonstrate that math is for everyone.
Boyenga said training emphasizes even skilled mathematicians work slowly and that's fine. Math Camp sessions are designed to build competency and confidence in math skills for students.
Math Camp sessions were offered from 8 a.m. to noon at Bellevue, Aileen Colburn, Elmer Wood, Peggy Heller, Thomas Olaeta, Shaffer and Mitchell K-6 schools.
"Our camp includes students from across the achievement ranges. Teachers will combine mindset messages each day along with math instruction. We want students to see math as a growth subject, and that every problem could be seen and solved differently," Boyenga said.
In conjunction with Math Camp, the Atwater district will once again hold Jump Start Academy for students entering first grade. Students will have an opportunity to review literacy skills that are key to that grade. These sessions also run from through Aug. 2 at all elementary schools sites in the district, Boyenga said
Math Camp and Jump Start are both intended to help students extend their learning through the fun and enriching experiences to help avoid the “summer slide.”



PHOTOS COURTESY ATWATER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL DISTRICT

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July 31, 2019

More than 200 Students Attend Delhi Unified Summer Literacy Program

DELHI — Delhi’s elementary school students just wound up a summer school program designed to boost their literacy skills.
Adolfo Melara, superintendent of the Delhi Unified School District, said more than 200 students from third grade were enrolled in sessions from June 17 to July 19.
Melara said 139 students took part in corrective reading training along with 19 newcomers. Twenty-five students took part in Gifted and Talented Education classes. Another 25 special education students participated in an extended year program.
Credit recovery options also were available for 225 students in secondary grades, middle school and high school students.
“Many students lack word attack skills to benefit from grade-level academic content. Students in third grade and above had a perfect opportunity to learn how to read. We’ve seen a lot of benefit from it,” Melara said.
The corrective reading program concentrates on explicit reading skills. Vocabulary and word-attack skills are covered and students learn basic vocabulary words and how to read fluently on a daily basis.
Rosa Gonzalez, summer school principal, said students were excited to be there and everything went well.

 


 

PHOTOS COURTESY DELHI UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

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July 31, 2019

Delhi Unified Partnership Focuses on Community, Sustainable Energy

DELHI — Delhi schools and a Los Angeles-based company are partnering on a program to spread sustainable energy in the community, bringing all-electric cars and charging stations to town.
The Sustainable Energy Pilot Program is a cooperative effort of the Delhi Unified School District, Greencommuter and the Leadership Council to bring electric vehicles and electric charging stations here, school Superintendent Adolfo Melara said.
Melara said the partnership is part of a California Air Resources Board plan to expand awareness of sustainable energy in Delhi. Seven Level 2 charging stations are being installed next to the district’s business office at Shanks and Schendel avenues.
Tentatively, six Chevrolet Bolt all-electric vehicles and two Teslas will be available for rental by Delhi residents for commuter and excursion purposes. The charging stations and the accompanying lot are near completion; two of the stations are fast-charging stations.
“We want to be participants in the next wave of society’s use of sustainable energy,” Melara said. “We believe this will bring ancillary businesses to the local area and provide services for the community. That’s good for Delhi.”
Leslie Graham, director of grants and partnerships for Los Angeles-based Greencommuter, said the partnership is a great opportunity and she’s excited to see how the community of Delhi will adapt to the new technology.
Graham said Greencommuter is a private, benefit corporation which has a mission to eliminate pollution. Greencommuter has been approved to conduct business in a number of California counties, including Fresno, Kern and Los Angeles.
Melara said over the past four years the Delhi Unified School District Board of Education has discussed ways to bring sustainable energy to the community and the schools. Discussion of the actual partnership began in earnest last September.
Delhi trustees, the Municipal Advisory Council, parent and community groups heard informational presentations about the sustainable energy partnership. Melara said community members have been overwhelmingly supportive.
“Our community is very excited,” Melara said.
A number of Delhi area residents commute north and south along Highway 99 and some commute to the East Bay. Local residents are being trained to provide vanpool and ridesharing services to the public.
Before creation of the Delhi charging station, Melara said there are not very many electric vehicle charging stations in northern Merced County.



Delhi Unified School District has partnered with a Southern California corporation to provide sustainable ridesharing in electric vehicles.

PHOTOS COURTESY DELHI UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

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July 31, 2019

California Food Expo Expands Proven Award Platform

New Golden State and Fred Ruiz Awards unveiled
promising brand exposure and exclusive connections for Expo exhibitors

Fresno, California – July 29, 2019 …The California Food Expo’s expanded suite of awards promises expanded brand exposure and exclusive new opportunities with the unveiling of the Golden State Award and the Fred Ruiz Award. Applications for these awards and the New Product Awards announced in June are available on the Expo’s website now through August 23, 2019.

“The Expo’s first priority is connecting exhibiting companies with business opportunities through new retail and foodservice buyer introductions, heightened brand awareness, and valuable industry and peer network connections,” said Amy Fuentes, Manager of the California Food Expo. “Our award programs have served as a catalyst for new product launches and reinforced longstanding company brands in valuable retail stores including Whole Foods, William Sonoma, Safeway, Vons, Vallarta Supermarkets and others.”

The Golden State Award invites all exhibitors to submit a product of their choice for a chance to be voted the most ‘liked’ California Food Expo product. All submissions will be posted on the Expo’s Instagram page and Facebook where followers will be able to vote by liking the product of their choice beginning on Monday, August 26 through Sunday, September 8, 2019. Award participants are encouraged to rally their followers for a chance to win a complimentary 10x10 booth at the 2020 California Food Expo. All submissions will be displayed on a photo backdrop at this year’s Expo.

The Fred Ruiz Award, named in honor of Fred Ruiz, founder of Ruiz Food Products Inc., the largest frozen Mexican food manufacturer in the U.S. will recognize one innovative California food or beverage company who is recognized by their peers as a pioneer in innovation and a steward in their community. Award finalists will have the honor to present their company to a member of the Ruiz family and the Expo’s founding partners for an opportunity to be chosen as the sole winner of this prestigious award


The New Product Awards announced in June offers awards in two distinct categories: the Buyer’s Choice Award and Consumer’s Choice Awards, giving participants an opportunity to have their entries reviewed and judged by both buyers and consumers for a chance to win 1st, 2nd or 3rd place in each category.

The Buyer’s Choice Award will be judged by the Expo’s Retail Advisory Council – an esteemed group of retail buyers who represent a diverse range of categories and store formats. The Consumer’s Choice Award will be judged by the Expo’s official Consumer Panel which mirrors the demographics of California for gender, ethnicity, age, income and education.

All award applications are available exclusively to 2019 confirmed exhibitors and are open for submission now through August 23, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. For more information about the full suite of Expo awards, including complete contest rules and how to apply, please visit: https://californiafoodexpo.com/awards.

About the California Food Expo:
The California Food Expo is an exclusive industry trade show for California food and beverage companies to connect with more than 750 qualified retail and foodservice buyers, network with industry peers and showcase California’s thriving food industry.

More than 150 California food and beverage companies are expected to participate in the two-day event which includes educational sessions, business-to-business tradeshow, and a competition for California renowned chefs. The 2019 event will be hosted at the Fresno Convention & Entertainment Center starting Monday, September 9, through Tuesday, September 10, 2019. For more information about the California Food Expo including the complete event agenda, or to register to exhibit or attend, please visit:www.CaliforniaFoodExpo.com

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July 27 , 2019

Joaquin Flores, leader of the local A-Town Surenos, sentenced to life in prison by Merced County Superior Court Judge Schechter

Defendant Joaquin Flores was sentenced on July 25, 2019, to fifteen years to life in prison for his role in a 2018 attempted murder. Flores was also sentenced to an additional fourteen years and four months to be served consecutively to the life sentence. On June 21, 2019, a Merced County jury found defendants, Joaquin Flores and Eric Cruz Madero, guilty of premeditated attempted murder. The jury also found it true that both defendants were acting for the benefit of a street gang. Flores and Madero are documented members of the A-Town criminal street gang based in Atwater. A-Town is the largest Sureno criminal street gang in Merced County, and Flores is a known leader.
On June 1, 2018, defendants Madero and Flores were inmates at the Merced County Jail where they conspired with several other Sureno gang members to kill a fellow incarcerated gang member. In a coordinated gang attack, members of the Sureno gang supplied intelligence and weapons to defendants Flores and Madero to carry out the killing at the downtown jail. Defendant Flores was the highest-ranking gang member in the cell at the time of the attack and provided a knife and instructions to defendant Madero. Utilizing two jail-made knives furnished by the gang, Defendant Madero viciously stabbed the victim in the head, chest, and torso in attempt to take the victim’s life. The victim suffered numerous stab wounds and bone fractures, but ultimately survived thanks to the lifesaving efforts of first responders and medical personnel.

 


Defendant Madero is currently awaiting sentencing on August 6, 2019 and faces a life sentence. Deputy District Attorneys Tyson McCoy and Kimberly Madayag prosecuted this case. Defendant Flores’ other convictions, resulting in the additional fourteen years in prison, were for 2017 incidents involving conspiracy to smuggle drugs into the jail and being a felon and gang member in possession of a firearm.
Merced County Sheriff’s Sergeant Eugene Collins conducted an exemplary investigation, exposing the elaborate gang conspiracy in this case. Detective Matthew Vierra from the Atwater Police Department and California Department of Corrections, Special Agent James Rochester assisted in the investigation. All three officers played a vital role in the successful prosecution of these violent gang offenders. The District Attorney’s Office thanks the agencies of all three officers for their diligence and commitment to bringing some of Merced County’s most violent gang members to justice.


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July 27 , 2019

Caltrans Upgrading Drainage on State Routes 59 & 140
In Merced County Due to SB 1 Funds Project Will Protect Integrity of Roadway to Provide Safer Commute for Motorists

MERCED COUNTY — Caltrans is replacing four culverts on State Routes 59 and 140 in Merced County due to funds from Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. This project will remove old culverts and install upgraded culverts near Sandy Mush Road and the Merced River bridge on SR-59, and near Los Banos Creek in Gustine and the Le Grand Canal on SR-140.
“Keeping Merced County’s highways safe and structurally sound, especially during storms, is crucial for the great folks of the Central Valley and the local agricultural industry,” said Acting Caltrans Director Bob Franzoia. “Funds from SB 1 will continue to upgrade our drainage systems throughout the state, and this is a great example of what can be done.”
SR-59 is a vital route for local commuters and agricultural traffic in Merced County, and SR-140 is a heavily-used interregional connector between the Central Valley and Sierra Nevada and an allseasons route into Yosemite National Park. Heavy, five-axle trucks use these highways to carry locally-grown crops like tomatoes and walnuts, as well as cattle and dairy products. In recent years, more than 65 percent of the traffic on SR-59 has been these heavy trucks. On SR-140, that number is approximately 60 percent.

“Important state highways like SR-59 and SR-140 continue to be reliable serving the Central Valley, including Merced County, a statewide hub for the dairy industry,” said Caltrans District 10 Director Dan McElhinney. “These improvements will enhance reliability.
“With the help of SB 1, we’ll continue to fix deteriorating foundational aspects of our roads such as these culverts.”
BRM Construction has been awarded this estimated $390,000 project. Work began Monday, July 22, 2019, and is scheduled to conclude by the end of August 2019.
More information and updates on projects can be found at http://www.dot.ca.gov/d10/projects.html or on Twitter via @CaltransDist10. SB 1 provides an ongoing funding increase of approximately $1.8 billion annually for the maintenance and rehabilitation of the state highway system. SB 1 funds will enable Caltrans to fix more than 17,000 lane miles of pavement, 500 bridges and 55,000 culverts by 2027.
Caltrans is committed to conducting its business in a fully transparent manner and detailing its progress to the public. For complete details on SB 1, visit http://www.rebuildingca.ca.gov/.

For the safety of workers and other motorists,please Slow For the Cone Zone.


TRAFFIC ADVISORY
REST AREA CLOSURE
CHUCK ERRECA REST AREA ON
INTERSTATE 5 IN MERCED COUNTY

MERCED COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will close the northbound and southbound off-ramps from Interstate 5 to the Chuck Erreca Rest Area for pavement work.
The ramps – as well as the rest area – will be closed Sunday, July 28, 2019, through Friday, August 2, 2019, from 8:00 p.m. through 6:00 a.m.

 


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July 24 , 2019

City opens Cooling Zones as temperatures climb

The City of Merced is opening its cooling center immediately because temperatures will stay in triple digits and the National Weather Service has declared an excessive heat watch. Other agencies in Merced County are also opening Cooling Zones to accommodate their residents.

Cooling zone will open Tuesday through Sunday from 3 to 8 p.m. in the Sam Pipes Room in the Merced Civic Center, (City Hall), 678 W. 18th St.

The Cooling Zone is open to anyone who needs to come in out of the heat. People can bring their pets as long as they are housebroken and get along with other animals and people in the Cooling Zone. Water and some snacks are available, along with family-oriented entertainment.

“It’s going to be hot and humid, so be careful,” said Merced Mayor Mike Murphy. “Stay hydrated and make sure everyone in your family drinks lots of fluids and stays cool.”

“This is the time to be extra neighborly and check up on your friends and the people around you to make sure they are doing OK,” he said. “Remember, the heat is hard on our vulnerable populations.”

“If you only have a swamp cooler, if you don’t have air conditioning or it’s broken, visit a friend or family member with AC, or come to our Cooling Zone,” said Fire Chief Bill Alcorn.

“And whatever you do, don’t leave young children or pets in a vehicle under any circumstances. It can have deadly results in just minutes,” Alcorn said.

When you’re outside drink plenty of water and dress in light, comfortable clothes. Exercise in the mornings or after the sun goes down, he said.
The heat index is expected to reach 104 to 105 degrees today and Wednesday, and then temperatures will hit 104 degrees by the weekend, according to the National Weather Service. An excessive heat watch has been posted for Thursday through Sunday.
Below are some tips from the state Office of Emergency Services.
Tips to Prevent Heat Related Illness
• Never leave infants, children or the frail elderly unattended in a parked car.
• Drink plenty of fluids. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty.
• Dress in lightweight, loose-fitting clothing. Use a hat and sunscreen as needed.
• Drink fruit juice or a sports beverage to replace salts and minerals lost during heavy sweating. (If a client/resident is on a low-sodium diet, check with his/her physician first.)
• During the hottest parts of the day, keep physical activities to a minimum and stay indoors in air-conditioning and out of the sun.
• Use fans as needed.
• Open windows to allow fresh air to circulate when appropriate.
• Use cool compresses, misting, showers and baths.
• Avoid hot foods and heavy meals—they add heat to the body. Eat frozen treats.

 


Read more: Division of Occupational Safety & Health (bilingual resources), Center for Disease Control and Prevention Tips for Preventing Heat-related Illness
Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion
Heat stroke -- which occurs when the body can’t control its temperature -- may result in disability or death if emergency treatment is not given. Heat exhaustion occurs when the body loses a large amount of water and salt contained in sweat.
Warning signs of heat stroke vary, but may include:
• An extremely high body temperature (above 103 degrees Fahrenheit, orally)
• Unconsciousness
• Dizziness, nausea and confusion
• Red, hot and dry skin (no sweating)
• Rapid, strong pulse
• Throbbing headache
Warning signs of heat exhaustion vary, but may include:
• Heavy sweating
• Muscle cramps
• Weakness
• Headache
• Nausea or vomiting
• Paleness, tiredness, dizziness
What to Do
If you see any of these signs for heat stroke or heat exhaustion, you may be dealing with a life-threatening emergency and should do the following:
• Have someone call 911 while you begin cooling the victim.
• Get the victim to a shady area.
• Cool the victim rapidly with a cool bath or shower, or by sponging with cool water, until body temperature drops to 101-102 degrees Fahrenheit, orally.
• If emergency medical personnel are delayed, call the hospital emergency room for further instructions.
• Do not give the victim alcohol to drink.
• Again, get medical assistance as soon as possible.
If a victim’s muscles twitch uncontrollably as a result of heat stroke, keep the victim from injuring him/herself, but do not place any object in the mouth and do not give fluids. If there is vomiting, make sure the airway remains open by turning the victim on his/her side.

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July 24 , 2019

CONSTRUCTION COMPLETE
CALTRANS REHABILITATES STATE ROUTE 140
IN FERGUSON FIRE SCAR OF MARIPOSA COUNTY

MARIPOSA COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) recently completed a $5.4 million project rehabilitating eastbound and
westbound State Route 140 (SR-140) in the Ferguson Fire scar of Mariposa County.
The work was needed after the Ferguson Fire burned through the region in summer 2018. The project included replacing 17 culverts (underground drainage systems) and performing 12 miles worth of hazardous tree and vegetation removal and slope scaling. Slope scaling refers to working on roadside slopes, including implementing erosion control measures, to mitigate future instances of mudslides and debris flow during storms.
The Ferguson Fire started July 13, 2018, in Mariposa County and burned more than 96,900 acres, causing power outages, road damage and road closures. Burnt vegetation and trees exposed slopes to erosion, mud flows and rock falls.
Work began in November 2018 and was completed in July 2019. Caltrans would like to thank motorists and local residents for their patience and cooperation during this process.


For the safety of workers and other motorists,please Slow For the Cone Zone.


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July 24 , 2019

2019 Bloodless Bullfight Festival Fundraiser for Autism and Cancer

On August 3, 2019, the Carlos Vieira Foundation and the California Portuguese Bloodless Bullfight Organization will host their 8th Annual Bloodless Bullfight fundraiser at the Stevinson Arena (2936 Lander Ave Stevinson, California 95374). Doors open at 5pm, and the event begins at 7pm. This annual event has gained great support over the years in its efforts and success in raising money for Carlos Vieira Foundation’s Race for Autism campaign and Valley Children’s Hospital’s oncology unit. We invite the public to join us for this exciting event for a great cause!
Tickets are now on sale for the pre-sale price of $15. They are available online at carlosvieirafoundation.org/shop or at one of our ticket-stop locations: Hilmar Portuguese Bakery, 51FIFTY Apparel, A.V. Thomas Produce, and M&S Portuguese Bakery. Tickets can also be purchased at the gate on the day of for $20. The proceeds raised will assist Valley Children’s Hospital in continuing to help children living with cancer and the Race for Autism campaign in continuing to help and provide grants to families living with autism in central California.

 

 

 

If you would like more information about the Carlos Vieira Foundation or would like to make a charitable donation, please visit www.carlosvieirafoundation.org.

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July 23 , 2019

Four new officers sworn in Friday, plus Stas

The Merced Police Department added four more officers to the department Friday at a ceremony that also saw the swearing in of the newest K9, Stas.
Conducted by Police Chief Christopher Goodwin, the ceremony took place in the Council Chambers at the Merced Civic Center.
The Department has now filled all 98 positions in its budget, although four of those are in the classification of police officer trainee.
“I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, although we are six months to a year from being fully staffed and fully trained,” said Goodwin.

The latest officers to be sworn in are:
Matthew Calicagno, 26, is a native of Los Banos who received top academic honors while attending the police academy. He has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and has worked as a substitute teacher. He was a police volunteer in Los Banos.
His pastimes include spending time with family, including his parents, Marylou and Charles, and sisters, Laura and Katie. He also enjoys cooking and working out.
Steven Floratos, 27, is a Fresno native, who earned a number of awards during his five years in the U.S. Army. Prior to entering the Army, he attended college while working part-time.
In his spare time, he enjoys playing softball, but mostly spending time with his wife, Sandra, and young daughter, Reagan.
Justin James Saldivar, 28, a Fresno native, has an associate’s degree in criminology and a bachelor’s degree in business management. Before entering the police academy, he was an estate property assistant for the Fresno County District Attorney and a shift supervisor for CVS Pharmacy. He served as a youth football coach in his spare time.
He enjoys watching movies with his family that includes his fiancé and two children.
Jennifer Shaw, 32, is from Atwater, where she was active in Atwater Youth Cheer. She has been a probation officer and a K9 officer. She received an award for saving a life. She has a bachelor’s in psychology from UC Merced.
When not working, she can be found at the gym or busy with kids’ activities with her son, Carter, or daughter, Natalie.

Stas, 16 months, is from Novato, and is a German Shepherd-Belgian Malinois mix. He will begin training July 22 through Aug. 23 for handler protection, apprehension and detection of firearms.

 


Officer Matthew Calicagno, Officer Justin Saldivar, and Officer Jennifer Shaw.

 


Stas

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July 23 , 2019

City of Merced Emergency Services to include Text-to-911 services within its 911 Center

A new way of contacting 911 is being implemented in the City of Merced.
The Merced Police Department, in conjunction with the State of California 911 Emergency Communications Branch and AT&T, is providing the availability of a new integrated text-to-911 System.
This service is available to all residents in the City of Merced who may not be able to safely make a voice call to 911 in an emergency. The City of Merced strives to provide additional services to the deaf and hard of hearing community, but also to those residents who may not be able to safely make a voice call. Our preferred way of receiving emergency calls is through a voice call to 911.
The Merced Police Communications Center completed testing with the major network carriers in our area: AT&T, Verizon T-Mobile, Sprint, and Xfinity mobile. All of the testing was successful, and we are now ready to accept text-to-911 messages. We will be the second agency in Merced County to begin accepting text-to-911 messages with others soon to come on board.

 

 

The text-to-911 system is an integrated part of our new phone system. Just as the 911 dispatcher answers a voice call, the text message will come directly to the dispatcher in the same way.
We encourage people to make a voice call to 911 when you are physically safely able to call. When time is of the essence, a voice call is handled faster due to the immediate interaction between the caller and the dispatcher. Remember… “Call when you can, text when you can’t.” The Federal Communications Commission recommends voice call to 911 instead of text-to-911. However, text-to-911 is available when the need arises.

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July 23 , 2019


MCAG seeking applications for committee appointment

MERCED - Merced County Association of Governments (MCAG) is seeking applicants for appointment to the Social Services Transportation Advisory Council (SSTAC). The SSTAC is a nine-member council appointed by the MCAG Governing Board to solicit the input of persons who rely on public transit because of youth, advanced age, or mental or physical impairment. The SSTAC is convened annually, at minimum, to conduct public hearings to identify any “unmet transit needs” that are “reasonable to meet” that may exist in Merced County, as required by the Transportation Development Act. The SSTAC also offers input to the MCAG Governing Board on transit service issues.
SSTAC members are appointed to serve a three-year term. The council is comprised of social service and transit providers representing the elderly, the disabled, and persons of limited means while striving for geographic and minority representation. Currently, MCAG is seeking candidates for appointment to the council in the following category:

 

• Local Social Service Transportation Provider for the Disabled
Applications for the SSTAC can be obtained at www.mcagov.org or at MCAG, 369 W. 18th Street, Merced. For more information, please contact Natalia Austin at (209)723-3153 x 127 or natalia.austin@mcagov.org.
MCAG is the regional transportation planning agency and metropolitan planning organization for Merced County. In addition to regional transportation planning, MCAG also manages The Bus, YARTS, the Merced County Regional Waste Management Authority and administers Measure V funds. For more information, visit www.mcagov.org.

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July 12, 2019

Planada Superintendent Elected to Lead State Association

Planada Elementary School District Superintendent Jose Gonzalez is taking on an additional role as executive director of the California Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators.
Gonzalez will guide the 600-member statewide organization based in Sacramento. He has been a member of CALSA for nearly 20 years and a board member for 10 years.
The 46-year-old superintendent said he will continue to proudly serve the Planada learning community and expects the executive director duties to take an average of five to seven days a month.
CALSA is a sister organization to the Association of California School Administrators, also headquartered in Sacramento.
Gonzalez was appointed a regional representative to the board by Dr. Fernando Elizondo. He holds the distinction of being the first-ever elected president of the CALSA board.
His plan is to elevate CALSA’s prominence as the advocate for the continued development and placement of Latino educational leaders who are committed to quality public education.
In seeking the role of executive director, Gonzalez articulated for the board a leadership plan aligned with CALSA’s strategic goals.
“I am passionate about providing the best education possible for students. As executive director, I look forward to working with the board, a group of educational leaders who are creative thinkers, collaborative problem solvers, and responsible for shaping our children’s future,” Gonzalez said following his announcement at the 2019 CALSA Summer Institute.
A CALSA board statement reads: “We look forward to having Jose at head of the organization as our executive director. He is conscientious of the needs of our diverse community of educational leaders. He recognizes our past, is focused on addressing our immediate needs and will be trusted to drive our vision of excellence for the future.”
Gonzalez has been Planada superintendent since November 2010.


Planada Elementary School District Superintendent Jose Gonzalez

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Merced Fish & Game, Inc 
proposes plans to develope
a Merced Public Range & Sporting Complex Olympic Training Center with City Council. To see proposal, go to Merced Fish & Game, Inc's website:
mfginc.org


Collyn Roper


Click picture to enlarge

The undertaking the Merced Fish & Game,Inc is proposing will be a professionally designed project consisting of:
• 40 Trap fields, 12 of which will be overlaid with Skeet fields,
• A sporting clays course in future plans,
• A meeting house,
• A registration building,
• Several bathroom facilities,
• The California Waterfowl Association Museum,
• RV parking with full hook-ups,
• Additional RV parking,
• Several storage facilities,
• One workshop,
• One pre-manufactured home for the resident manager,
• General parking for additional vehicles.

For Information or Questions:
Contact MERCED FISH & GAME, INC
by email:
mercedfishandgame@yahoo.com


 

 


 

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