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Community News

October 4, 2202

Atwater High School agriculture students Ayden Silveira, Kaleb Shannon, Alfonso Gomez, Zachary Shannon, and Evan Goucher celebrate their 3rd place team finish at the FFA bowling tournament.

Atwater FFA member Evan Goucher (center) is presented the "I'm Just happy To Be Here" award by Atwater FFA officers Alany Guzman and Alexa Bracamontes.

Atwater FFA Members Have A Ball During Recent Meeting!

Written by: Jacky Velazquez – Chapter FFA Reporter

 

Atwater High School agriculture students Rosemary Trindade, Marissa Silva, Emily Brazil, Destiny Perez, and Evelyn Correa-Montoya joined in on the Atwater FFA meeting and tournament held at Bellevue Bowl.

Atwater High School FFA members Alden Hansard, Caden Hultgren, and Nic Presto enjoyed the opportunity to join over two hundred other FFA members at Bellevue Bowl for the annual bowling tournament and FFA meeting.

Over 250 Atwater High School FFA members participated in the 19th annual FFA “Bowling Tournament” Meeting on September 28th at Bellevue Bowl in Atwater. The purpose of the meeting was to create an opportunity for FFA members to participate in a recreational activity and develop one’s social and team building skills.

The Atwater FFA holds monthly meetings, scheduled at a regular time and guided by a sound agenda, that provide an efficient transaction of business, promote chapter unity and encourage better attendance. Chapter meetings are excellent learning and teaching tools. “The important thing to realize is that the chapter meetings are planned and run by the students,” says FFA Advisor Kim Mesa, “Tonight’s meeting was an excellent way to bring everyone together as a chapter.”

Trophies were awarded to the top three teams. Atwater High School agriculture students Ruby Mondragon, Anthony Tucker, Louis Angel Chavez, Bryan Heitman, Luke Sanchez, and Erik Gonzalez placed 1st overall as a team and won the tournament. Tony Corarrubias, Julian Zaragoza, Favian Tristan, Adrian Tinoco, and Aadan Cisneros placed 2nd overall as a team. Ayden Silveira, Kaleb Shannon, Alfonso Gomez, Adrian Garcia, and Evan Goucher were recognized as 3rd place team finishers. Specialty awards were given to individuals during the tournament. The “Sports Center Highlight” award went to Zachary Karastathas, the “Maybe I Need a New Sport” award went to Eric Garibay, the “I’m Just Happy to be Here” award went to Evan Goucher, the “Ms. Queen Pin” award went to Danica Chrstofferson, and the “Strike It Up” award went to Marissa Silva.

FFA is a dynamic youth organization within agricultural education that changes lives and prepares students for premier leadership, personal growth and career success. FFA was created in 1928 as Future Farmers of America; the name was changed in 1988 to the National FFA Organization to represent the growing diversity of agriculture. Today, over half a million-student members are engaged in a wide range of agricultural education activities, leading to over 300 career opportunities in the food, fiber and natural resources industry. Student success remains the primary mission of the FFA.

This was the 19th year the newly rennovated Bellevue Bowl has sponsored and supported this popular student event. “Bellevue Bowl is just one example of the continued support our AHS students and agriculture program receives from our community and local businesses,” said Atwater High School FFA advisor Shelby Fishman. “Our goal is to make a positive difference in young people’s lives, and this event is an example of being able to get together and enjoy each other’s company.”

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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October 4, 2022

The Virginia Smith Trust — Keeping the Promise Nearly 50 Years Later

By Steve M. Tietjen, Ed.D.
Merced County Superintendent of Schools

The focus of my career as an educator has always been to serve students, families and the community, whether as a teacher, school district superintendent or in my current role as Merced County Superintendent of Schools.

Of the many programs and opportunities I have seen for students, a truly unique opportunity is the Virginia Smith Trust, which awards grants and scholarships for students to pursue higher education.

Virginia Smith was a native Mercedian whose grandfather settled in Merced in the 1850s. He built a land legacy that spanned more than 15,000 acres across three Central California counties. Virginia never married or had children so when the time came, she made a decision to benefit the children of Merced County with her wealth. Virginia provided in her will that the remaining land in her control would be granted to the Merced County Office of Education in a trust for the children of Merced County to be used for college scholarships, thus the Virginia Smith Trust was born.

The VST gifted 7,100 acres of land to the Merced County Office of Education Board of Trustees to support needy and deserving students, which has benefitted more than 3,000 Merced students through nearly $6 million scholarships since 1975.

The VST and land associated with it was vital in the University of California regents selecting Merced as the home for the tenth University of California campus.

I’ve worked with our Board of Trustees and several other organizations to fulfill the wishes of Virginia Smith in providing scholarships for Merced students. In fact, this year the Virginia Smith Trust for the first time provided nearly $100,000 in grants to high school seniors, along with $590,000 in scholarships to 83 students, which is an increase of 50 students from the previous year.

While the grant and scholarship is currently only available to students who attend school in the city of Merced, we are working on expanding this for students across Merced County.

Projected income for the endowment could be as much as $1.7M by 2026 and up to $10M for Merced County students by the time the VST development project is complete in the late 2030s.

The VST planned development will provide housing for all income levels, with large lots for residents in the custom home market and smaller lots for homes that are more affordable. In fact, more than 10% of the housing in the development, (more than 400 homes) will be targeted at affordable housing markets.

The VST development has set aside property for schools, parks and public safety, like police and fire stations. The development will fund these amenities and will not raise costs for other parts of Merced.

This is all possible because of the unique nature of the VST development.

One of the key reasons we can move forward now is that Assemblymember Adam Gray carried legislation that allows the city of Merced to annex UC Merced. Once annexed, the City has the ability to annex neighboring properties adjacent to the university. The VST will then have access to city services and those properties will begin paying appropriate use fees and taxes, as we all do. Property taxes from the UC will begin accruing to the city of Merced after annexation.

The future is bright, but it does need action by locally elected officials. The VST’s Environmental Impact Report and plan will go before the Board of Supervisors in Spring of 2023 and it will be up to the Merced City Council to annex the VST property later in the spring after annexation of UC Merced.

Let’s all support the dream of scholarships for all deserving students. When the time comes, I will need your support to make this long held promise a reality by calling on elected officials and attending meetings. Let’s make those meetings a true celebration of Virginia’s visionary gift for Merced.

Steve Tietjen, Ed.D.
Merced County Superintendent of Schools

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October 4, 2022

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
REST AREA, RAMP, LANE & FULL HIGHWAY CLOSURES
INTERSTATE 5 AND STATE ROUTES 99 & 152

MERCED COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will perform
various closures on Interstate 5 (I-5), State Route 99 (SR-99) and SR-152 for maintenance
and construction operations. Work to occur as follows;
INTERSTATE 5:
• Full closure of the John C. Erreca Rest Areas on northbound and southbound I-5
beginning Monday, April 4, 2022, through July 2023.
o ALTERNATE LOCATIONS: Motorists are advised to use either the Westley
Rest Area (San Joaquin/Stanislaus County line) or the Coalinga-Avenal
Rest Area (Fresno/Kings County line). Electric vehicle charging stations
are available at the Westley Rest Area.
STATE ROUTE 99:
• Alternating closures of the #1 (left) and #2 (right) lanes of northbound and
southbound SR-99 from Colony Slough to SR-140/SR-59 (V Street) beginning
Sunday, October 2, through Friday, October 7, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00
a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at Childs Avenue for
construction beginning Sunday, October 2, through Friday, October 7, 2022, from
8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at Childs Avenue for
construction beginning Sunday, October 2, through Friday, October 7, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at SR-140 East for construction
beginning Sunday, October 2, through Friday, October 7, 2022, from 8:00 p.m.
until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at SR-140 East for construction
beginning Sunday, October 2, through Friday, October 7, 2022, from 10:00 p.m.
until 6:00 a.m.
• Long-term, full off-ramp closure from northbound SR-99 at G Street for
construction through March 24, 2023.
• Full on-ramp closure from G Street to southbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Sunday, October 2, through Friday, October 37, 2022, from 10:00 p.m.
until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at SR-59/Martin Luther King Jr.
Way for construction beginning Sunday, October 2, through Friday, October 7,
2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at SR-59/Martin Luther King Jr.
Way for construction beginning Sunday, October 2, through Friday, October 7,
2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from northbound SR-99 at R Street for construction
beginning Sunday, October 2, through Friday, October 7, 2022, from 8:00 p.m.
until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from R Street to southbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Sunday, October 2, through Friday, October 7, 2022, from 10:00 p.m.
until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from SR-140/59 (V Street) to northbound SR-99 for
construction beginning on Sunday, October 2, through Friday, October 7, 2022,
from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from southbound SR-99 at SR-140/59 (V Street) for
construction beginning Sunday, October 2, through Friday, October 7, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from 16th Street to northbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Sunday, October 2, through Friday, October 7, 2022, from 8:00 p.m.
until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at 16th Street for construction
beginning Sunday, October 2, through Friday, October 7, 2022, from 10:00 p.m.
until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at Winton Parkway for
construction beginning Sunday, October 2, through Friday, October 7, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure on northbound SR-99 at South Avenue for pavement repair
on Thursday, October 6, 2022, from 7:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at Shanks Road for
construction beginning Sunday, October 2, through Friday, October 7, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
STATE ROUTE 152:
• Various closures of the #1 (left) lane of eastbound and westbound SR-152 from I
Street to Ward Road in Los Banos for striping operations, utility work and sign work
beginning Sunday, October 2, through Friday, October 7, 2022.
Motorists should expect five to 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.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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October 4, 2022

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
One-way Traffic Control on State Routes 49 and 140

MARIPOSA COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltans) will perform various operations next week on State Routes 49 and 140 next week.
Work is scheduled as follows:
Route 49
• One-way traffic control from Tiptop-Usona Road to Hirsch Road for tree work beginning Monday, October 3, through Friday, October 7, 2022, from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
• One-way traffic control from Moccasin Creek to Bear Valley Road for shoulder work beginning Monday, October 3, through Wednesday, October 5, 2022, from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Route 140
• One-way traffic control at Fourth Street for sign work from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Monday, October 3, 2022.
• One-way traffic control from Triangle Road to Ponderosa Way for tree work beginning Monday, October 3, through Thursday, October 6, from 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and from 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Friday, October 7, 2022.
• Long-term one-way traffic control from Bear Creek Bridge to Bull Creek Road for slope repair and clearing through October 2022.
• One-way traffic control at various points from the Merced/Mariposa County Line to the beginning of the passing lane for highway construction beginning
Monday, October 3, through Friday, October 7, 2022, from 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Motorists should expect 10-minute delays and use alternate routes 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.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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September 29, 2022

Delhi Students Learn to Save Lives with Hands-Only CPR Training

 

Nearly 800 students from Delhi High School will learn to save lives through the Hands-Only CPR Training on Friday.

Delhi High School Career and Technical Education (CTE) Medical Pathway Instructor Carolyn Rodriguez and students from the Delhi Patient Care Pathway, teamed up with Riggs Ambulance Education Manager Greg Peterson to help train students on proper Hands-Only CPR techniques.

All students, from ninth through 12th grade, will participate in the training during their Social Science or College and Career classes.

This is the third year that the training is provided to the entire Delhi High School student body.

Hands-Only CPR is CPR without rescue breaths and follows a two-step method. The training will help provide students with the knowledge, confidence and skills needed to stay calm in a medical emergency and potentially help a person in need.

According to the Center for Disease Control, performing CPR immediately can improve the odds of surviving cardiac arrest.

Rodriguez, who helped organize the event, says the training is all about empowering students to be the difference for someone they love.

For more information, contact CTE Medical Pathway Instructor Carolyn Rodriguez at (209) 656-2050 or Delhi High School Principal Edward Taylor at (209) 656-2050.

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September 27, 2202

Atwater High School agriculture student Giselle Lucatero hands community member Teresa Raco an Atwater FFA BBQ meal during the recent BBQ fundraiser held by the Atwater FFA to help support student FFA/agriculture events and activities throughout the school year.

FFA Cooks Up Successful BBQ Fundraiser

Written by: Jacky Velazquez – Chapter FFA Reporter

 

Over 1,000 BBQ tri-tip and pork loin dinners were cooked, prepared, and picked-up by various community families through the annual Atwater “FFA Take-Out BBQ” dinner. With 4500+ lbs of tri-tip, pork loin, salad, beans, and rolls packaged and sold by Atwater FFA students, the BBQ dinner turned out to be a successful for this FFA fundraiser. “This is a win-win situation. The community gets a great tasting BBQ meal and the agriculture program benefits from the funds that will be focused directly on the students,” said FFA advisor and BBQ coordinator Kim Mesa. This fundraiser is one of four take-out BBQ fundraisers for the Atwater FFA throughout the upcoming school year. The students sell the tickets in advance followed by the ordering of food. The Atwater FFA has worked closely with Atwater’s Smart & Final, Richwood Meats, Sysco, and Costco as they have supported the program’s fundraiser every year. The morning of the BBQ, students arrive early before school to prepare the salads, meat, beans, and dinner bags. Throughout the day, students take a “hands-on” approach towards the preparation, cooking, and organization of all the meals. “The students are invested in this event as they put forth tremendous effort in organizing and implementing the event,” said FFA advisor and “BBQ Extraordinaire” Sam Meredith.

The “FFA Take-Out BBQ” is one of two current fundraisers for Atwater FFA. The other current fundraiser taking place is the placemat ad sales. “All the money that is raised goes directly toward the students in providing resources and opportunities for all of them to achieve personal growth, academic success, and career objectives,” said FFA advisor Shelby Fishman. Over $25,000 in funds and agriculture resources is expected to be raised this school year to help support the agriculture program’s operation and activities.
The success and growth of the Atwater FFA and agriculture program is due to the continued support of the Atwater High School staff and administration, the Merced Union High School District, the Atwater Ag Boosters, and the hundreds of local community members and parents.
“We want to ensure that there is a return on the community’s investment by motivating and encouraging our students to go after their educational and career interests,” said FFA advisor Taylor Helton, “The excitement and effort we are seeing this year from our students is generating just a “taste” of what is still to come!”

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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September 23, 2022

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
REST AREA, RAMP, LANE & FULL HIGHWAY CLOSURES
INTERSTATE 5 AND STATE ROUTES 99, 152 & 165

MERCED COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will perform
various closures on Interstate 5 (I-5), State Route 33 (SR-33), SR-99 and SR-152 for
maintenance and construction operations. Work to occur as follows;
INTERSTATE 5:
• Full closure of the John C. Erreca Rest Areas on northbound and southbound I-5
beginning Monday, April 4, 2022, through July 2023.
o ALTERNATE LOCATIONS: Motorists are advised to use either the Westley
Rest Area (San Joaquin/Stanislaus County line) or the Coalinga-Avenal
Rest Area (Fresno/Kings County line). Electric vehicle charging stations
are available at the Westley Rest Area.
STATE ROUTE 33:
• One-way traffic control from SR-152 to I-5 for construction beginning Monday,
September 26, through Friday, September 30, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
STATE ROUTE 99:
• Alternating closures of the #1 (left) and #2 (right) lanes of northbound and
southbound SR-99 from Colony Slough to SR-140/SR-59 (V Street) beginning
Sunday, September 25, through Friday, September 30, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until
6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at Childs Avenue for
construction beginning Sunday, September 25, through Friday, September 30,
2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at Childs Avenue for
construction beginning Sunday, September 25, through Friday, September 30,
2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at SR-140 East for construction
beginning Sunday, September 25, through Friday, September 30, 2022, from 9:00
p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at SR-140 East for construction
beginning Sunday, September 25, through Friday, September 30, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from northbound SR-99 at G Street for construction
beginning Sunday, September 25, through Friday, September 30, 2022, from 9:00
p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from G Street to southbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Sunday, September 25, through Friday, September 30, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at SR-59/Martin Luther King Jr.
Way for construction beginning Sunday, September 25, through Friday,
September 30, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at SR-59/Martin Luther King Jr.
Way for construction beginning Sunday, September 25, through Friday,
September 30, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from northbound SR-99 at R Street for construction
beginning Sunday, September 25, through Friday, September 30, 2022, from 8:00
p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from R Street to southbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Sunday, September 25, through Friday, September 30, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from SR-140/59 (V Street) to northbound SR-99 for
construction beginning on Sunday, September 25, through Friday, September 30,
2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from southbound SR-99 at SR-140/59 (V Street) for
construction beginning Sunday, September 25, through Friday, September 30,
2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from 16th Street to northbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Sunday, September 25, through Friday, September 30, 2022, from 8:00
p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at 16th Street for construction
beginning Sunday, September 25, through Friday, September 30, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from northbound SR-99 at East Atwater Boulevard for
construction beginning Monday, September 26, through Friday, September 30,
2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from East Atwater Boulevard to southbound SR-99 for
construction beginning Monday, September 26, through Friday, September 30,
2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at Applegate Road for
construction beginning Monday, September 26, through Friday, September 30,
2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at Applegate Road for
construction beginning Monday, September 26, through Friday, September 30,
2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• West Atwater Boulevard on-ramp to northbound SR-99 will be closed to traffic
due to construction through September 26, 2022.
• Full off-ramp closure from southbound SR-99 at West Atwater Boulevard for
construction beginning Monday, September 26, through Friday, September 30,
2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from Hammatt Avenue to southbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Sunday, September 25, through Tuesday, September 27, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at Winton Parkway for construction
beginning Sunday, September 25, through Tuesday, September 27, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at Collier Road for construction
beginning Sunday, September 25, through Tuesday, September 27, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at South Avenue for construction
beginning Sunday, September 25, through Tuesday, September 27, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at Shanks Road for construction
beginning Sunday, September 25, through Tuesday, September 27, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from Bradbury Road to southbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Tuesday, September 27, through Friday, September 30, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from southbound SR-99 at Bradbury Road for construction
beginning Sunday, September 25, through Tuesday, September 27, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
STATE ROUTE 152:
• Various closures of the #1 (left) lane of eastbound and westbound SR-152 from I
Street to Ward Road in Los Banos for striping operations, utility work and sign work
beginning Sunday, September 25, through Friday, September 30, 2022.
Motorists should expect five to 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.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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September 23, 2022

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
One-way Traffic Control on State Routes 49 and 140

MARIPOSA COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltans) will perform various operations next week on State Routes 49 and 140 next week.
Work is scheduled as follows:
Route 49
• Moving lane closure for sweeping operations at Fairground Road Entrance and from the California Ranger Station to Bear Valley Point beginning Monday, September 26, through Tuesday, September 27, 2022, from 8:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
• Traffic breaks south of Penon Blanco Road/Haigh Road for utility work from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 27, 2022.
• One-way traffic control from Mocassin Creek to Bear Valley Road for shoulder work beginning Monday, September 26, through Thursday, September 29, 2022, from 7:00 .m. to 3:30 p.m.
Route 140
• One-way traffic control from Morse’s Nursery to Triangle Road for tree work beginning Monday, September 26, through Thursday, September 29, from 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and from 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Friday, September 30, 2022.
• Long-term one-way traffic control from Bear Creek Bridge to Bull Creek Road for slope repair and clearing through October 2022.
• One-way traffic control at various points from the Merced/Mariposa County Line to the beginning of the passing lane for highway construction beginning
Monday, September 26, through Friday, September 30, 2022, from 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Motorists should expect 10-minute delays and use alternate routes 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.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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September 20, 2202

Atwater High School FFA chapter officers (top row) Kayleigh Trindade, Dulce Campos,-Rodriguez, Alexa Bracamontes, Guadalupe Millan Solorio, Alany Guzman, and Giselle Varela join the Merced-Mariposa sectional FFA officers (bottom row) Taylor Nunez, Mikayla Silveira, Reena Grewal, and Anika Niles at the FFA SOLC hosted at Merced College.

Agriculture Students Prepare for Annual FFA Fall Plant Sale

Written by: Jacky Velazquez – Chapter FFA Reporter

 

The 2022-2023 Atwater FFA chapter officer team joined thirteen other FFA chapters from the Merced-Mariposa section at the annual FFA Sectional Officer Leadership Conference (SOLC) held at Merced College September 13th.
The annual leadership conference is held each year to help students develop and strengthen leadership skills and responsibilities within their offices. This year’s officer team includes Joshaua Medeiros , President; Alexa Bracamontes, Vice President; Dulce Campos, Secretary; Guadalupe Millan, Treasurer; Jacqueline Velazquez, Reporter; Kayleigh Trindade, Sentinel; Alany Guzman, Historian; and Giselle Varela, Parliamentarian.

This year the theme for the Merced Mariposa Sectional FFA is “Breaking Barriers”. Various activities were held at the conference which included understanding body language, proper etiquette, chapter fundraising, public speaking, facilitating a meeting, analytical skills, and finding team strengths. “I learned the advantages, strengths, and importance of communicating with my team, others, and to not be afraid to speak up,” said Dulce Campos. The conference one of many leadership conferences the officer team will be attending this year.
Other FFA chapters that attended the conference included Buhach Colony, Delhi, Pacheco, Livingston, Merced, Golden Valley, Hilmar, Gustine, Dos Palos, El Capitán, Los Banos, LeGrand, Stone Ridge Christian, and Mariposa FFA.

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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September 20, 2202

HEAD MEN’S SOCCER COACH ALBERT MARTINS NAMED NAIA COACH OF CHARACTER

MERCED, Calif. - University of California, Merced head men's soccer coach Albert Martins has been named the NAIA Coach of Character, a national honor presented annually to a NAIA head coach who is dedicated to teaching character through sport.
"Being named this year's NAIA Coach of Character recipient is validation of all the hard work these great student athletes have put in to thriving not only academically and athletically, but into being positive contributors to our community," Martins said. "Our alumni have helped set a wonderful foundation for our current team to continue showing that being a member of the UC Merced soccer program is about more than soccer. It is also about continuing to improve our communities, enhancing the opportunities for our youth, and receiving a world class education. I am very grateful for our athletic staff at UC Merced for continuing their support and encouragement of all of our student athletes to strive to become outstanding pillars in society."
From recruiting to coaching to teaching, the importance of building character is ingrained daily in all of Coach Martins' interactions and his commitment to his student athletes is unparalleled.
Celebrating each student athlete and being inclusive is a huge part of Martins' heart and with that comes creating an atmosphere where everyone wants to be a part of it all the time. He mentors good champions of character and good young men and multiple student athletes say Martins "serves as a father figure and role model when they need it most."
Helping develop these young men into great members of society are just as important as wins and losses to Martins. A key component of reaching that point includes providing his student athletes with countless opportunities for leadership and responsibility.
Martins is committed to reaching out to student athletes in the Central Valley of California for whom college has not been a priority, much less to play soccer at the collegiate level. It is this commitment to providing access to higher education, with a focus on developing character, that is the starting point for Martins to begin building the family spirit of his team.
"We are excited that Albert is receiving this recognition for the great work he has been doing since the inception of the men's soccer program," Dunham said. "Albert has built a strong foundation of providing opportunities for our student athletes to excel in soccer, in the classroom and in making a difference in the community in which they live and study. It is a pleasure to work with Albert and witness the energy he brings to the program every day."
An awards luncheon and ceremony will be held for Martins and other NAIA National Award winners during the 2023 NAIA National Convention in New Orleans, La., which takes place March 30-April 3, 2023.
Martins, who has been named the California Pacific Conference men's soccer Coach of the Year four times in his nine seasons at the helm, has guided the Bobcats to two regular season titles, two Cal Pac Tournament Championships, and five national tournament appearances. He has compiled an overall record of 108-46-13 and a 74-19-3 record in Cal Pac play. In 2020, Martins was a part of the United Soccer Coaches West Region Staff of the Year, and in 2018 he was named the Cal Pac Coach of Character.

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September 17, 2022

More Than 150 Backpacks, School Supplies Donated to El Nido Students

The school year is now well underway for students in Merced County, and with that comes the need for school supplies.

To help students start the school year off successfully, Project Support Services — a project management firm — provided backpacks and school supplies to more than 150 students at El Nido Elementary School.

Each student received backpacks stocked with books, notebooks, writing utensils and earbuds to use in school and at home. Students also received colorful insulated water bottles to use while at school to ensure student health.

“We want to give back to the districts that really need help,” said Project Support Services CEO Natassia Melenderez-Knutson in a statement. “Our purpose is to build better environments where students, educators and communities can prosper by a team that genuinely cares.”

El Nido Elementary School Interim Superintendent Paula Heupel said the school had received donations in the past but nothing compared to the donation provided by Project Support Services.

“We are grateful for their service and generosity to our community,” Heupel added. “Our students are more attentive and have already shown an increase in work completion.”

Project Support Services specializes in Division of State Architecture (DSA) issues to help districts, architects and engineers meet compliance. They have helped more than 50 school districts close out on old projects.

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September 17, 2022

Caltrans Conducting Roadway Repair Project
Update: Construction Will Occur During Daytime Hours
Along State Route 140 in Mariposa County

MARIPOSA COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will conduct a pavement rehabilitation project during daytime hours beginning Tuesday, September 20, 2022, weather permitting, on State Route 140 from the Mariposa/Merced County Line to approximately 1 mile east of Trower Road in Mariposa County.
Construction crews will employ one-way traffic control between 6:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday until winter 2022. Originally, one-way traffic control was scheduled from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. Monday through Friday.
The change is due to an industry-wide truck shortage during nighttime hours. Caltrans will monitor traffic conditions to ensure there are no long delays.
Approximately 24 lanes miles of roadway will be ground then overlayed with rubberized
asphalt concrete to improve ride quality and prevent costly repairs in the future on a key route for residents, businesses, and visitors of Mariposa, surrounding communities, and Yosemite National Park.
Motorists should expect delays of up to 10 minutes and are advised to take alternate routes whenever possible.
The estimated $5.1 million project will be conducted by Cal Valley Construction of Fresno, CA.
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.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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September 16, 2022

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
REST AREA, RAMP, LANE & FULL HIGHWAY CLOSURES
INTERSTATE 5 AND STATE ROUTES 99, 152 & 165

MERCED COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will perform
various closures on Interstate 5 (I-5), State Route 99 (SR-99), SR-152, and SR-165 for
maintenance and construction operations. Work to occur as follows;
INTERSTATE 5:
• Full closure of the John C. Erreca Rest Areas on northbound and southbound I-5
beginning Monday, April 4, 2022, through July 2023.
o ALTERNATE LOCATIONS: Motorists are advised to use either the Westley
Rest Area (San Joaquin/Stanislaus County line) or the Coalinga-Avenal
Rest Area (Fresno/Kings County line). Electric vehicle charging stations
are available at the Westley Rest Area.
STATE ROUTE 99:
• Alternating closures of the #1 (left) and #2 (right) lanes of northbound and
southbound SR-99 from Colony Slough to SR-140/SR-59 (V Street) beginning
Sunday, September 18, through Friday, September 23, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until
6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at Childs Avenue for
construction beginning Sunday, September 18, through Friday, September 23,
2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at Childs Avenue for
construction beginning Sunday, September 18, through Friday, September 23,
2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at SR-140 East for construction
beginning Sunday, September 18, through Friday, September 23, 2022, from 8:00
p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at SR-140 East for construction
beginning Sunday, September 18, through Friday, September 23, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from northbound SR-99 at G Street for construction
beginning Sunday, September 18, through Friday, September 23, 2022, from 8:00
p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from G Street to southbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Sunday, September 18, through Friday, September 23, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at SR-59/Martin Luther King Jr.
Way for construction beginning Sunday, September 18, through Friday,
September 23, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at SR-59/Martin Luther King Jr.
Way for construction beginning Sunday, September 18, through Friday,
September 23, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from northbound SR-99 at R Street for construction
beginning Sunday, September 18, through Friday, September 23, 2022, from 8:00
p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from R Street to southbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Sunday, September 18, through Friday, September 23, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from SR-140/59 (V Street) to northbound SR-99 for
construction beginning on Sunday, September 18, through Friday, September 23,
2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from southbound SR-99 at SR-140/59 (V Street) for
construction beginning Sunday, September 18, through Friday, September 23,
2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
* Full on-ramp closure from 16th Street to northbound SR-99 for construction beginning
Sunday, September 18, through Friday, September 23, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00
a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at 16th Street for construction
beginning Sunday, September 18, through Friday, September 23, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from northbound SR-99 at East Atwater Boulevard for
construction beginning Tuesday, September 20, through Friday, September 23,
2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at Applegate Road for
construction beginning Tuesday, September 20, through Friday, September 23,
2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• West Atwater Boulevard on-ramp to northbound SR-99 will be closed to traffic
due to construction through September 26, 2022.
• Full off-ramp closure from southbound SR-99 at Hammatt Avenue for construction
beginning Wednesday, September 21, through Friday, September 23, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at Winton Parkway for
construction beginning Tuesday, September 20, through Thursday, September 22,
2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at Collier Road for
construction beginning Monday, September 19, through Friday, September 23,
2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at South Avenue for
construction beginning Monday, September 19, through Friday, September 23,
2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at Shanks Road for
construction beginning Sunday, September 18, through Friday, September 23,
2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from Bradbury Road to southbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Monday, September 19, through Tuesday, September 20, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from southbound SR-99 at Bradbury Road for construction
beginning Sunday, September 18, through Monday, September 19, 2022, from
11:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from South Turlock/Golden State Boulevard to southbound
SR-99 for construction beginning Sunday, September 18, through Monday,
September 19, 2022, from 11:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
STATE ROUTE 152:
• Various closures of the #1 (left) lane of eastbound and westbound SR-152 from I
Street to Ward Road in Los Banos for striping operations, utility work and sign work
beginning Sunday, September 18, through Friday, September 23, 2022.
• Intermittent (10-minute) full closures at Flanagan Road for utility work on
Wednesday, September 21, 2022, from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.
STATE ROUTE 165:
• One-way traffic control from Merced College Campus to Phillips Road for survey
work beginning Thursday, September 22, through Friday, September 23, 2022,
from 8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.
Motorists should expect five to 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.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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September 16, 2022

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
One-way Traffic Control on State Routes 49 and 140

MARIPOSA COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltans) will perform various operations next week on State Routes 49 and 140 next week.
Work is scheduled as follows:
Route 49
• Moving lane closure from Mount Bullion to Route 132 for pavement marker replacement beginning Monday, September 19, through Thursday, September 22, 2022, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Route 140
• One-way traffic control from Morse’s Nursery to Triangle Road for tree work beginning Monday, September 19, through Friday, September 23, from 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
• Long-term one-way traffic control from Bear Creek Bridge to Bull Creek Road for slope repair and clearing through October 2022.
• One-way traffic control at various points from the Merced/Mariposa County Line to the beginning of the passing lane for highway construction beginning Sunday, September 18, through Friday, September 23, 2022, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.
Motorists should expect 10-minute delays and use alternate routes 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.

For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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September 13, 2202

Atwater High School agriculture students Anadalay Cabrera, Jennifer Adame, and Esmerelda Pena spend time checking on the various houseplants, annuals, and perennial transplants housed in the greenhouse during the hot weather in preparation of the FFA Fall Plant Sale October 7th and 8th.

Agriculture Students Prepare for Annual FFA Fall Plant Sale

Written by: Jacky Velazquez – Chapter FFA Reporter

Atwater High School agriculture students Paola Aguire, Anadalay Cabrera, Jennifer Adame, Yumalai Gastelum, Joshua Brumett, Jose Antunez, Juan Borges, Esmerelda Pena, and Oscar Sanabria attended a recent Atwater High Saturday Academy to help transplant pansies for the upcoming FFA plant sale.

Atwater High School horticulture students transplanted over 5000 flowering annuals and perennials the past two weeks in preparation of next month’s annual FFA plant sale scheduled for Friday, October 7th (8am-4pm) and Saturday, October 8th (8am-4pm) at the Atwater High School Agriculture department.

The recent efforts of the students will be followed by the regular care and maintenance of the plants and flowers over the next six weeks. The “hands on” learning represents knowledge and skills implemented in the nursery and landscape industry.The primary purpose of this sale is to generate funds to support the Atwater High School Horticulture program where funds go directly back into the program to assist in the funding of future student, school, and community horticulture and landscape projects.

A variety of flowering annual and perennials will be available to the community. “All plants are priced to sell,” says agriculture instructor Dave Gossman, “The students have put together great quality at a price that is under what you would find at our local stores and nurseries.” Plants being grown include, houseplants, ferns, succulents, flowing annuals & perennials, and “Spooky Halloween” pansies that will bloom both orange and black flowers for the holiday!

The Atwater High School Agriculture program was the first-ever recognized certified high school horticulture program through the California Association of Nurseries and Garden Centers (CANGC). The certification represents the quality of horticulture program, curriculum and facilities, career awareness by students in the horticulture industry, and encourages students to continue their education towards a career in horticulture. “People don’t realize that the horticulture industry is a multi-billion dollar industry in the state of California”, said Gossman, “There are numerous opportunities for students to be successful in this field of agriculture.”

The goal of the Atwater FFA is to expand and develop plant products that meet the community’s needs and interests. This school year students have been taking part in horticulture class where they select and grow their own plants to sell at the school’s plant sales.

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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September 13, 2202

BRING YOUR BATTERIES TO HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE COLLECTION IN LOS BANOS

Held in conjunction with the Los Banos fall Cleanup

Los Banos – The Merced County Regional Waste Management Authority (Authority) is hosting a Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) event in conjunction with the City of Los Banos community clean up on Saturday, September 17, 2022 from 8:00am – 12:00pm. The HHW event will be held at the fairgrounds located at 403 F Street in Los Banos. Please note, the clean up is for City of Los Banos residents only, but the Household Hazardous Waste event is open to all residents and businesses of Merced County.
Recycling batteries is a top priority for the Authority this fall as there have been several fires at the Billy Wright landfill near Los Banos which appear to have been caused by batteries that had been improperly disposed of in household trash bins. All batteries are considered hazardous waste as they are prone to combustion and should never be placed in household garbage containers or blue bins. Lithium-ion batteries such as those in mobile phones, laptops, tablets, power tools, drones, scooters, and hover boards are especially dangerous. Batteries can be disposed of for free at the landfill, at HHW events, at Home Depot or through the biggreenbox.com program.
There is no cost for residents within Merced County to bring HHW to the event but a discounted rates will apply to businesses. Before bringing items out to the facility, residents may call Clean Harbors at 916-396-1505 to identify the amount and type of HHW that will be dropped off. Please note, under State of California transportation regulations, there are quantity limitations on how much HHW can be brought to the event at one time; contact Clean Harbors for details.
HHW is any household product that contains ingredients that are corrosive, reactive, flammable, and/or toxic. Some examples of HHW are ammonia-based cleaners, fluorescent tubes, car batteries, paint, and used motor oil. Items commonly found in homes that cannot be brought to the landfill at any other time except HHW collection days include wet chlorine tablets, full or partially full aerosol containers, and lithium-ion batteries that have started to bulge or become hot.
For more information on types of HHW or what quantities will be accepted at the landfill, please visit www.mcrwma.org/31/Household-Hazardous-Waste or call the Regional Waste Authority at (209) 723-4481.


The Merced County Association of Governments provides administrative oversight of the Merced County Regional Waste Authority. The Regional Waste Authority operates two regional landfills, one in Merced on North Highway 59 and the Billy Wright landfill in Los Banos. For more information, visit www.mcagov.org or the Regional Waste Authority page on Facebook.

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September 10, 2022

Merced County Combats Chronic Absenteeism Through S.A.F.E. Education

MCOE Caring Kids Project Manager and Behavior Support Specialist Monica Adrian teaches a S.A.F.E. parenting class

As part of a commitment to reduce chronic absenteeism throughout the county, the Merced County Board of Education recognizes September as National Attendance Awareness Month, with the goal to educate families through programs like the Supporting Attendance and Families through Education (S.A.F.E.) parenting class.

The S.A.F.E. parenting class – a collaboration between multiple Merced County agencies and families in the School Attendance Review Board (SARB) process – is designed to help educate families and increase understanding on the significant role attendance plays in student success.

MCOE Caring Kids Project Manager and Behavior Support Specialist Monica Adrian teaches a S.A.F.E. parenting class.

The S.A.F.E. parenting class – a collaboration between multiple Merced County agencies and families in the School Attendance Review Board (SARB) process – is designed to help educate families and increase understanding on the significant role attendance plays in student success.

“The S.A.F.E. program has been a great tool in reaching families and their educational needs.” said Supervising Deputy District Attorney Nicole Silvera. ”Ensuring our kids receive quality education is the one of the greatest ways to keep our county safe and community productive.”

The goal of S.A.F.E. is to reduce youth and family involvement in the criminal justice system, develop healthier families and provide resources to improve academic success.

“Sixty-one families have attended the S.A.F.E. parenting class since its inception, and we hope that families will take advantage of the resources offered to them throughout the county,” said Merced County District Attorney Investigator Andrea Valtierra Gongora, who works with school districts across the county on student attendance. “We look forward to seeing improvements in their child’s attendance and academics.”

S.A.F.E. began as a two year commitment, with the upcoming classes offered on Nov. 3, Feb. 2, 2023 and May 4, 2023.

S.A.F.E. is a collaboration between multiple Merced County agencies including Merced County Behavioral Health, Merced County Human Services Agency, Merced County Probation Prevention and Intervention Program, Merced Police Department School Resource Officers and Merced County District Attorney’s Office Attendance Engagement Program.

“We are grateful to all of the participating agencies for their involvement and proud of parents for taking an active role in bettering attendance for their children,” added Silvera.

For more information on S.A.F.E. and Attendance Awareness Month contact the Merced County District Attorney’s Office Here to Learn Attendance Engagement Program at (209) 385-7383.

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September 10, 2022

 

 

MCEF invites the community to the annual Oktoberfest Fundraiser in support of MCEF programs.

Oktoberfest Fundraiser to Support Camp Green Meadows Returns Oct. 8

Merced County Education Foundation (MCEF) will host the annual Oktoberfest Fundraiser on Oct. 8 at the MCOE Downtown Center, 1715 Canal St. Merced.

The annual fundraising event helps support programs like outdoor education at Camp Green Meadows, Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA), STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education and College & Career scholarships for students throughout Merced County.

“We are excited to be back in person and share all the great work the MCE Foundation has accomplished to support experiences outside the classroom for Merced County students,” said Merced County Education Foundation Executive Director Stacie Arancibia. “Camp Green Meadows Outdoor School turns 60 this year and we want to be sure that outdoor education and other important programs continue for generations to come.”

MCEF invites the community to the annual Oktoberfest Fundraiser in support of MCEF programs.

Tickets are $75 per person and include dinner, a commemorative mug and drink. Sponsor tables are also available for groups of eight and range from $750-$2500 per table. View all ticket options at www.bit.ly/mcefoktoberfest22.

Title sponsors include Educational Employees Credit Union (EECU), The Hate Dust Project, Merced School Employees Federal Credit Union (MSEFCU) and Tinetti Realty Group. Tinetti Realty group has also committed to matching donations up to $10,000.

The Merced County Education Foundation seeks to expand the horizon for Merced County students through meaningful educational experiences outside of the classroom. Last year’s drive-thru event raised more than $16,000 for MCEF programs.

To purchase tickets visit http://www.bit.ly/mcefoktoberfest22.

To make a donation visit https://bit.ly/donate2mcef.

For more information on the MCEF Oktoberfest Fundraiser contact Stacie Arancibia at (209) 381-6602 or email events@mcoe.org.


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September 10, 2202

KELLIE BERNARD NAMED UC MERCED’S HEAD WOMEN’S BASKETBALL COACH

MERCED, Calif. - University of California, Merced Executive Director for Recreation & Athletics David Dunham named Kellie Bernard the Bobcats new head women’s basketball coach on Friday afternoon.
“We are excited to have Kellie join our staff to lead our women’s basketball program,” Dunham said. “I look forward to working with her to continue to build on our tradition of success within our women’s basketball program.”
Bernard comes to UC Merced after spending 2021 as the lead assistant at Menlo College. While in Atherton, Bernard helped direct the Oaks to 16 wins and a berth to the NAIA Women’s Basketball National Championship Opening Round a year ago. She also coached an All-American center in Kiara Brown and saw her Oaks squad take down a Top-10 nationally ranked opponent on the road.
"I am thrilled and honored to be named the new head coach of UC Merced women’s basketball,” Bernard said. “This program has a history of success and excellence that I am excited to build upon. With this strong foundation, an exceptional school, and a skilled group of players, I am grateful to have the opportunity to lead this program to new heights. I'd like to thank David Dunham and the hiring committee at UC Merced for this opportunity, as well as the coaches I have worked with in the past who have helped form me into the coach I am today."
Prior to her position at Menlo College, Bernard was on the coaching staff for two years at Ohio Christian University. In her two seasons with the Trailblazers, she split time between an assistant coach as well as taking the helm as the interim head coach for time. Over those two seasons, Ohio Christian amassed a record of 29-22, produced two NAIA All-Americans, and in 2020, won the school’s first ever River States Conference Title.
Bernard also spent two years as an assistant coach at Ohio Wesleyan University, helping turn around their program and saw the team go from one win in 2017-18 to eleven wins the following season.
Prior to collegiate coaching, Bernard was the head coach of junior varsity and varsity girls basketball teams at Academia Los Pinares in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. In five seasons, Bernard led her squad to two second place finishes at the Honduran "Ten Best" Tournament and a second place finish at the Honduran National Championship.
The Swayzee, Ind., native was a two-sport athlete at Clarks Summit University in Pennsylvania, playing basketball and tennis. Bernard also played basketball in Honduras.
Bernard holds a bachelor's degree in Health and Physical Education from Clarks Summit University and a master's degree in Adapted Physical Education from Western Michigan University.

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September 9, 2022

 

 

 

 

MCOE, EECU to Host 17th Annual Excellence in Education Awards In Person

The Merced County Office of Education (MCOE) and Educational Employees Credit Union (EECU) once again invite the community to celebrate the annual Excellence in Education event with an in-person awards ceremony on Oct. 6.

The program has three categories that recognize teachers, school administrators and school employees who made an impact in their school district.

The awards ceremony, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the historic Merced Theatre.

In addition to learning about all 26 honorees and the reveal of the three county winners, guests will enjoy videos produced by Merced Educational Television (METV) that highlight the winners and their work, and comments from EECU CEO Elizabeth Dooley and Merced County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steve Tietjen.

There are six honorees for administrator of the year, ten honorees for school employee of the year and ten honorees for teacher of the year.

Winners of the Merced County Teacher of the Year and School Employee of the Year are eligible to move on to apply at the state awards program.

For more information on the Excellence in Education program or to RSVP, call Stacie Arancibia at (209) 381-5910 or email events@mcoe.org.

The district honorees this year are:

TEACHERS:

Cristen Camp
Atwater Elementary School District

Adam Suleiman
Delhi Unified School District

Bobby Hanning
Dos Palos Oro-Loma Joint Unified School District

Olga Iniguez
El Nido Elementary School District

Danet Estabillo
Gustine Unified School District

Maggie Santos Machado
Merced County Office of Education - Special Education Preschool

April Amaral
Merced County Office of Education - Educational Services

Tammy Rodriguez
Merced City School District

Kyle Clinton
Merced Union High School District

Julia Robertson
Weaver Union School District

SCHOOL EMPLOYEES:

Claudia Villafan
Atwater Elementary School District

Angelica Prado
Delhi Unified School District

Charlotte Coleman
Dos Palos Oro-Loma Joint Unified School District

Janneth Del La Torre
El Nido Elementary School District

Helen Encinas
Gustine Unified School District

Yadira DeMartinez
Merced County Office of Education - Special Education

Lucas Lopez
Merced City School District

Delcio Gois
McSwain Union Elementary School District

Mandie Onate
Merced Union High School District

Erendira Alamillo
Weaver Union School District

ADMINISTRATORS:

Diana Dietz
Atwater Elementary School District

Priscilla Whiteaker
Dos Palos Oro-Loma Joint Unified School District

Jesus Lopez-Moreno
Le Grand Union High School District

Mary Whited
Merced County Office of Education - Educational Services

Mary Williams
Merced City School District

Joel Sebastian
Merced Union High School District

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September 9, 2022

CALTRANS BEGINS STATE ROUTE 152 TRAFFIC SAFETY
MEDIAN PROJECT IN LOS BANOS

MERCED COUNTY – Caltrans recently began a traffic operations and safety
improvement project that will install new raised medians at various locations on State
Route 152 in the city of Los Banos.
Raised medians will be installed on SR-152 at the intersections of I Street, 4th Street, 6th
Street, 7th Street, and Ward Road. Medians at these locations are required to help
reduce or eliminate potential traffic collisions.
This $318,000 project began on September 7, 2022, with completion expected October
19, 2022 (weather permitting.) Work will be performed by Genuine Engineering Inc.,
(Corona, CA.)
Work is scheduled to occur mostly during night-time hours (Sundays-Fridays, 9:00 p.m.
until 5:00 a.m.) and will require various single-lane closures on eastbound and
westbound SR-152.
Caltrans will have changeable message signs alerting motorists of the lane closures and
potential delays.
Future traffic advisories will alert the public of scheduled lane closures on SR-152 to
perform this work.
Schedules are subject to change due to traffic incidents, weather, availability of
equipment and/or materials and construction related issues.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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September 9, 2022

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
REST AREA, RAMP, LANE & FULL HIGHWAY CLOSURES
INTERSTATE 5 AND STATE ROUTES 33, 99, 140 & 152

MERCED COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will perform
various closures on Interstate 5 (I-5), State Route 33 (SR-33), SR-99, SR-140, and SR-152 for
maintenance and construction operations. Work to occur as follows;
INTERSTATE 5:
• Full closure of the John C. Erreca Rest Areas on northbound and southbound I-5
beginning Monday, April 4, 2022, through July 2023.
o ALTERNATE LOCATIONS: Motorists are advised to use either the Westley
Rest Area (San Joaquin/Stanislaus County line) or the Coalinga-Avenal
Rest Area (Fresno/Kings County line). Electric vehicle charging stations
are available at the Westley Rest Area.
STATE ROUTE 33:
• Overnight, one-way traffic control from I-5 to SR-152 West for construction
beginning Monday, September 12, through Friday, September 16, 2022, from 9:00
p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
STATE ROUTE 99:
• Alternating closures of the #1 (left) and #2 (right) lanes of northbound and
southbound SR-99 from Colony Slough to SR-140/SR-59 (V Street) beginning
Sunday, September 11, through Friday, September 16, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until
6:00 a.m.
• Long-term full on-ramp closure from Childs Avenue to northbound SR-99
beginning at 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 11, through 5:00 a.m. on
Wednesday, September 14, 2022.
• Full off-ramp closure on northbound SR-99 at Childs Avenue for construction
beginning Sunday, September 11, through Monday, September 12, 2022, from
9:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at Childs Avenue for
construction beginning Sunday, September 11, through Friday, September 16,
2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at SR-140 East for construction
beginning Sunday, September 11, through Friday, September 16, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at SR-140 East for construction
beginning Sunday, September 11, through Friday, September 16, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Long-term, full off-ramp closure from northbound SR-99 at G Street for
construction beginning Sunday, September 11, through March 24, 2023.
• Full on-ramp closure from G Street to southbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Sunday, September 11, through Friday, September 16, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at SR-59/Martin Luther King Jr.
Way for construction beginning Sunday, September 11, through Wednesday,
September 14, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at SR-59/Martin Luther King Jr.
Way for construction beginning Sunday, September 11, through Friday,
September 16, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from northbound SR-99 at R Street for construction
beginning Sunday, September 11, through Monday, September 12, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from R Street to southbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Sunday, September 11, through Friday, September 16, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Long-term, full on-ramp closure from SR-140/59 (V Street) to northbound SR-99 for
construction beginning at 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 11, through 5:00 a.m.
on Wednesday, September 14, 2022.
• Full off-ramp closure from southbound SR-99 at SR-140/59 (V Street) for
construction beginning Sunday, September 11, through Friday, September 16,
2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from 16th Street to northbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Sunday, September 11, through Monday, September 12, 2022, from
9:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at 16th Street for construction
beginning Sunday, September 11, through Friday, September 16, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure on northbound SR-99 at Applegate Road for construction
beginning Sunday, September 11, through Friday, September 16, 2022, from 9:00
p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• West Atwater Boulevard on-ramp to northbound SR-99 will be closed to traffic
due to construction through September 26, 2022.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at Winton Parkway for
construction beginning Wednesday, September 14, through Friday, September
16, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at Collier Road for
construction beginning Sunday, September 11, through Wednesday, September
14, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
STATE ROUTE 140:
• Full highway closures for special events (parades) from SR-33 West to Sixth
Avenue/Fourth Street at the following dates/times;
o Saturday, September 10, 2022, from 9:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. and from 8:00
p.m. until 10:00 p.m. On Sunday, September 11, 2022, from 12:00 p.m. until
3:00 p.m., and on Monday, September 12, 2022, from 7:00 a.m. until 4:30
p.m.
STATE ROUTE 152:
• Various closures of the #1 (left) lane of eastbound and westbound SR-152 from I
Street to Ward Road in Los Banos for striping operations, utility work and sign work
beginning Monday, September 12, through Friday, September 16, 2022.
Motorists should expect five to 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.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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September 9, 2022

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
TRAFFIC SHIFT – NORTHBOUND STATE ROUTE 99 IN ATWATER

NORTHBOUND #2 (RIGHT) LANE TO SHIFT FROM NORTHBOUND MEDIAN TO
NEWLY CONSTRUCTED #2 (RIGHT) LANE
NORTHBOUND SR-99 ATWATER BOULEVARD ON-RAMP TO OPEN BY SEPT. 26, 2022

MERCED COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will perform a
traffic shift of northbound State Route 99 (SR-99) and is scheduled to complete
extended full closures of the Atwater Boulevard on and off-ramps in the city of Atwater,
as work progresses on the SR-99 Atwater Rehabilitation Project. Two travel lanes will
remain open on northbound and southbound SR-99 during this traffic shift.
Beginning Monday, September 26, 2022, the #2 (right) lane of northbound SR-99 will be
shifted from the median of northbound SR-99 to the newly constructed concrete
pavement of the standard #2 (right) lane, from just north of the Atwater Expressway
Overcrossing to south of Westside Boulevard Overcrossing.
The #1 (left) lane of northbound SR-99 will remain shifted to the median of southbound
SR-99 as motorists will then travel northbound between temporary k-rail (concrete
barrier) on southbound SR-99 and the newly constructed center median barrier. While
traveling between these barriers, motorists will not have access to off-ramps to exit the
highway.
Additionally, the Atwater Boulevard off-ramp of northbound SR-99 is scheduled to open
to traffic on September 8, 2022, while the Atwater Boulevard on-ramp is scheduled to
open on September 26, 2022. The Applegate Road on and off-ramps will remain open.
This closure will require the following detour route that will be marked with roadside
signage:
NORTHBOUND SR-99 ATWATER BOULEVARD ON-RAMP DETOUR:
• From all locations within the city of Atwater, use the Applegate Road on-ramp to
northbound SR-99
Motorists should expect 10 to 15-minute delays. Alternate routes should be taken
whenever possible.
These traffic shifts and ramp closures are required to ensure the safety of both
construction workers and the travelling public. Motorists are reminded that speed limits
will be reduced to 55 miles per hour within the work zone.
The SR-99 Atwater Rehabilitation Project will repave and make improvements to over 16
lane miles of northbound and southbound SR-99 from Buhach Road to Westside
Boulevard, providing a smoother and more reliable route for commuters and
commercial vehicles through the city of Atwater.
The project also calls for the reconstruction of the on- and off-ramps at Applegate
Road and at Atwater Boulevard. The project is estimated to be complete by
December 2022.
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.

For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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September 9, 2202

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
One-way Traffic Control on State Routes 49 and 140

MARIPOSA COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltans) will perform various operations next week on State Routes 49 and 140 in Mariposa County next week.
Work is scheduled as follows:
Route 49
• Moving lane closure from Blacks Creek Road to the Mariposa/Tuolumne County Line for pavement marker replacement beginning Monday, September 12, through Thursday, September 15, 2022, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
• One-way traffic control from Route 140 North to Mariposa Creek for crack sealing beginning Tuesday, September 13, through Friday, September 16, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Route 140
• One-way traffic control from Route 140 North to Lakeview Road for tree work beginning Monday, September 12, through Thursday, September 15, from 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and from 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Friday, September 16, 2022.
• Long-term one-way traffic control from Bear Creek Bridge to Bull Creek Road for slope repair and clearing through October 2022.
• One-way traffic control at various points from the Merced/Mariposa County Line to the beginning of the passing lane for highway construction beginning Tuesday, September 13, through Friday, September 16, 2022, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.
Motorists should expect 10-minute delays and use alternate routes 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.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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September 7, 2202

Atwater FFA chapter officers Giselle Varela, Alexa Bracamontes, Alany Guzman, Guadalupe Millan, and Dulce Campos meet with Atwater High School students Jennifer Gonzalez and Eliza Arreola durui during the annual high school "Club Rush".

Atwater High School student Kylie Cristofferson meets with Atwater FFA chapter officers Alexa Bracamontes, Giselle Varela, Alany Guzman, Guadalupe Millan, and Dulce Campos during the school's "Club Rush".

Atwater High School Students Get Connected with Club Rush

Written by: Jacky Velazquez – Chapter FFA Reporter

 

The 2022-2023 school year is off to a great start at Atwater High School with over 2100 students participating in the annual Atwater High School Club Rush last week. The purpose of this event was to promote and recruit programs, events, and students to the numerous activities and opportunities available at Atwater High School.

“Club Rush was an amazing event,” says FFA Chapter Vice President Alexa Bracamontes, “We were able to join other organizations and clubs on campus and expose the various opportunities available to all students.” With over thirty active clubs and youth organizations at the high school, students created various promotional activities in the quad during lunch. The event is organized by the Atwater High School Leadership class. Some of the highlighted clubs/organizations included Asian Youth Club, Art, Band, Chess Club, Choir, Drama, DECA/ROP, FCA, FFA, GSA, Key Club, Leadership, Link Crew, and Percussion.

“It was a great turnout overall, with a lot of kids having fun with genuine school spirit,” said Atwater High School Director of Activities Nathan Braga. “We feel it is especially valuable for the new 9th grade students as it helps them get connected with Atwater High School.”

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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September 7, 2202

JOHNNY BEGA CHOSEN TO LEAD UC MERCED WATER POLO

MERCED, Calif. - Johnny Bega, a NCAA National Champion while on the staff at Cal and a longtime San Jose State coach, has been named the first head men's and women's water polo coach at University of California, Merced, Executive Director of Athletics David Dunham announced today.
"I am excited to have Johnny to lead the start up of our men's and women's water polo teams," Dunham said. "He brings a wealth of experience from all levels of water polo and his experience with water polo in the Valley will allow us to build a successful program. I look forward to working with him to grow our water polo programs."
Bega comes to UC Merced with over 25 years of coaching experience across various levels and has been a part of winning teams at every stop of his coaching career. Bega, who has coached both men and women at the collegiate level, has also worked with some of the world's brightest water polo minds.
Bega was an assistant coach at Cal under Kirk Everist where he helped the Golden Bears men's team during their run to the 2016 NCAA Championship. Bega moved to Cal after ten years at San Jose State, including three years as the head women's water polo coach.
"I am truly excited about joining University of California, Merced Athletics and am looking forward to mentoring student athletes at the highest level," Bega said. "I'm coming with "Anything is possible". Anything is possible for student athletes and I look forward in guiding their journey. The Valley has such a rich history in men's and women's water polo, I'm excited! What an opportunity and new chapter. I want to thank David Dunham and his team for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to start water polo at UC Merced."
Bega led San Jose State to a pair of top-10 final rankings and 20-win seasons in his three years at the helm. The Atwater High School and Long Beach State alum was named the MPSF Coach of the Year in his interim year in 2014. Bega's team set school records for most goals in a
season with 393 that year and defeated three top-ten teams. Bega holds a collegiate head coaching record of 61-37.
Bega was the Associate Head Coach at SJSU under the late longtime women's water polo head coach Lou Tully from 2009-13 and was an assistant coach as early as the 2006 season.
Most recently, Bega served as the Aquatics Director at Great Wolf Lodge in Colorado Springs, CO., while also running water polo youth camps nationwide from California to Florida. Bega has also been working with five-time Olympian and Water Polo Silver Medalist Tony Azevedo and 6-8 sports.
Bega had stints as a volunteer assistant coach at Santa Clara and Long Beach State prior to San Jose State. In addition, he has reached lofty heights of success at several high schools and clubs around California, winning multiple CIF Division One titles and several medals at Junior Olympics.
On the international level, Bega has served as the USA National Zone 11 junior girls and youth boys head coach. From 1997-2001, he coached in Japan, Hungary, Brazil, Greece and Holland.
The 1999 Long Beach State graduate majored in vocational education. Bega will relocate to the Central Valley from Colorado with his wife Alexandra, daughter Keira, and two English bulldogs.
"I am super excited to come back to the Valley (Atwater High School graduate) and the rich history of water polo."

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September 7, 2202

Caltrans Conducting Roadway Repair Project
Along State Route 140 in Mariposa County

MARIPOSA COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will begin a pavement rehabilitation project next week on State Route 140 from the Mariposa/Merced County Line to approximately 1 mile east of Trower Road in Mariposa County.
Approximately 24 lanes miles of roadway will be ground then overlayed with rubberized asphalt concrete to improve ride quality and prevent costly repairs in the future on a key route for residents, businesses, and visitors of Mariposa, surrounding communities, and Yosemite National Park.
Construction is scheduled to begin on Monday, September 12 and continue until November 2022. Crews will employ one-way traffic control between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. Monday through Friday.
Motorists should expect delays of up to 10 minutes and are advised to take alternate routes whenever possible.
The estimated $5.1 million project will be conducted by Cal Valley Construction of Fresno, CA.
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.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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September 2, 2202

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
REST AREA, RAMP, LANE & FULL HIGHWAY CLOSURES
INTERSTATE 5 AND STATE ROUTES 33, 99, 140 & 152

MERCED COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will perform
various closures on Interstate 5 (I-5), State Route 33 (SR-33), SR-99, SR-140, and SR-152 for
maintenance and construction operations. Work to occur as follows;
INTERSTATE 5:
• Full closure of the John C. Erreca Rest Areas on northbound and southbound I-5
beginning Monday, April 4, 2022, through July 2023.
o ALTERNATE LOCATIONS: Motorists are advised to use either the Westley
Rest Area (San Joaquin/Stanislaus County line) or the Coalinga-Avenal
Rest Area (Fresno/Kings County line). Electric vehicle charging stations
are available at the Westley Rest Area.
• Full connector ramp closure from northbound I-5 to westbound SR-152 for
electrical work on Tuesday, September 6, 2022, from 7:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.
STATE ROUTE 33:
• Overnight, one-way traffic control from I-5 to SR-152 for construction beginning
Wednesday, September 7, through Saturday, September 10, 2022, from 9:00 p.m.
until 5:00 a.m.
STATE ROUTE 99:
• Alternating closures of the #1 (left) and #2 (right) lanes of northbound and
southbound SR-99 from Colony Slough to SR-140/SR-59 (V Street) beginning
Wednesday, September 7, through Friday, September 9, 2022, from 9:00 p.m.
until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at Childs Avenue for
construction beginning Wednesday, September 7, through Friday, September 9,
2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at Childs Avenue for
construction beginning Wednesday, September 7, through Friday, September 9,
2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at SR-140 East for construction
beginning Wednesday, September 7, through Friday, September 9, 2022, from
8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at SR-140 East for construction
beginning Wednesday, September 7, through Friday, September 9, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from northbound SR-99 at G Street for construction
beginning Wednesday, September 7, through Friday, September 9, 2022, from
8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from G Street to southbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Wednesday, September 7, through Friday, September 9, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at SR-59/Martin Luther King Jr.
Way for construction beginning Wednesday, September 7, through Friday,
September 9, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at SR-59/Martin Luther King Jr.
Way for construction beginning Wednesday, September 7, through Friday,
September 9, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from northbound SR-99 at R Street for construction
beginning Wednesday, September 7, through Friday, September 9, 2022, from
8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from R Street to southbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Wednesday, September 7, through Friday, September 9, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from SR-140/59 (V Street) to northbound SR-99 for
construction beginning Wednesday, September 7, through Friday, September 9,
2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from southbound SR-99 at SR-140/59 (V Street) for
construction beginning Wednesday, September 7, through Friday, September 9,
2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from 16th Street to northbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Wednesday, September 7, through Friday, September 9, 2022, from
8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at 16th Street for construction
beginning Wednesday, September 7, through Friday, September 9, 2022from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from northbound SR-99 at East Atwater Boulevard for
construction beginning Wednesday, September 7, through Friday, September 9,
2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at Applegate Road for
construction beginning Wednesday, September 7, through Friday, September 9,
2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• West Atwater Boulevard on-ramp to northbound SR-99 will be closed to traffic
due to construction through September 15, 2022.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at Collier Road for
construction beginning Wednesday, September 7, through Friday, September 9,
2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
STATE ROUTE 140:
• Full highway closures for special events (parades) from SR-33 West to Sixth
Avenue/Fourth Street at the following dates/times;
o Saturday, September 10, 2022, from 9:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. and from 8:00
p.m. until 10:00 p.m. On Sunday, September 11, 2022, from 12:00 p.m. until
3:00 p.m., and on Monday, September 12, 2022, from 7:00 a.m. until 4:30
p.m.
STATE ROUTE 152:
• Full off-ramp closure from eastbound SR-152 to northbound I-5 for electrical work
on Tuesday, September 6, 2022, from 7:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.
Motorists should expect five to 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.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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August 30, 2202

Atwater High School FFA chapter officer Dulce Camos and Guadalupe Millan serve Atwater High School agriculture student Michael Beltran a scoop of ice cream during the FFA social.

Hundreds of Agriculture Students Attend FFA Ice Cream Social

Written by: Jacky Velazquez – Chapter FFA Reporter

Atwater High School agriculture students Viviana Roach and Yahaira Carrillo enjoy ice cream during an FFA event welcoming students back to school.

 

 

Atwater High School agriculture students Logan Camp and Elijah Geier get a scoop of ice cream from Atwater FFA chapter officer Kayleigh Trindade during the FFA's ice cream social event held after school.

Over 400 Atwater High School agriculture students and FFA members participated in the annual FFA Ice Cream Social FFA meeting last week. The purpose of this events was to promote the high school’s agriculture program and the numerous academic, personal growth, leadership, and social activities and events scheduled for the upcoming school year.

Later this month, Atwater High School will have over twenty active club and youth organizations on display with the annual high school Club Rush with students promoting various clubs and organizations that get kids involved outside the classroom. The event is organized by the Atwater High School Leadership class. Some of the highlighted clubs/organizations included Asian Youth Club, Art, Band, Chess Club, Choir, Drama, DECA/ROP, FCA, FFA, GSA, Key Club, Leadership, Link Crew, and Percussion.

“The FFA “Ice Cream Social” was a tremendous turnout overall, with many students engaged and interested in FFA activities,” said Atwater High School FFA Advisor Kim Macintosh. “We feel the event is especially valuable for the new 9th grade students as it helps them get connected with Atwater High School and the agriculture program.”

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 26, 2202

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
One-way Traffic Control on State Routes 49 and 140

MARIPOSA COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltans) will perform various operations next week on State Routes 49 and 140 in Mariposa County next week.
Work is scheduled as follows:
Route 49
• One-way traffic control from Mariposa/Tuolumne County Line to Bear Valley Road for drainage work beginning Monday, August 29, through Thursday, September 1, 2022, from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Route 140
• Full closure from Fifth Street to Route 49 North for a special event from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 3, 2022.
• Long-term one-way traffic control from Bear Creek Bridge to Bull Creek Road for slope repair/clearing from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. through October 2022.
Motorists should expect 10-minute delays and use alternate routes 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.

For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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August 23, 2202

Membership in National FFA Organization Reaches All-Time High

Written by: Atwater FFA

Atwater High School FFA is one of the largest FFA chapters in the nation with over 1100 student members representing a diverse and culturally dynamic group of future leaders. Pictures are students who competed at the FFA State CDE Finals at Cal Poly, SLO last May.

As the importance of agriculture continues to be a focus throughout the world, students around the country understand the vital role it plays in everyday life. No more is this more evident than in the growth of membership in the National FFA Organization.

Today, the National FFA Organization announced a record-high student membership number of 850,823, an increase of 15% from last year. In addition, chapter numbers increased by 178, resulting in 8,995 chapters in the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Interest in FFA and agricultural education continues to grow as membership and the number of chapters increase. The top five student membership states are Texas, California, Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee. This year, the organization has more than 132,700 Latino members, more than 47,000 Black members and more than 13,000 American Indian and Alaska Native members. Forty-three percent of the membership is female, and 50% is male, with .5% reporting as nonbinary, 4.7% undisclosed, and 1.2% unreported.

“Our FFA members are the future generation of leaders who make a difference in their communities as well as agriculture and other industries,” said National FFA CEO Scott Stump. “As we continue to grow, we see the enthusiasm for agricultural education and FFA reflected in our membership.”

The National FFA Organization is a school-based national youth leadership development organization of more than 850,000 student members as part of 8,995 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
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 23, 2202

 

 

 

 

MCOE Regional Occupational Program Student Receives State Recognition

Photo of Diana Cortes, MCOE Adult ROP student who received statewide recognition

from the OTAN California Adult Education Students Succeed program.

Merced County Office of Education Adult Regional Occupational Program (ROP) student Diana Cortes received statewide recognition through the Outreach and Technical Assistance Network (OTAN) California Adult Education Students Succeed program.

The OTAN California Adult Education Students Succeed program recognizes students who found success through adult education agencies and highlights their hard work in pursuit of personal, academic and professional goals.

Cortes completed the Foundations in Early Education Adult ROP course and is currently enrolled at Merced College where she is working towards an associate's degree in child development. In addition, Cortes was hired at the Merced College Child Development Center as an instructional assistant.

“My experience in the Foundation in Early Education program was great. I gained knowledge in infant/toddler development and caregiving practices.” Cortes said of the program. “Also, having the opportunity to intern helped me gain real-world skills and to be prepared to apply for a job.”

Cortes was nominated by MCOE Adult ROP Instructor Andrea Cruthird-Mays, who teaches the Foundations in Early Education course. Her instructor stated, “Diana is an amazing student who is modeling and teaching her young daughter that educational advancement is an economic equalizer. Diana is an inspiration!”

The Merced County Office of Education 2021-2022 Award of Excellence, which honors Adult ROP students for their educational and professional achievements, was also awarded to Cortes for her success.

Cortes’ achievements and story are featured on the California Adult Education Students Succeed website: https://adultedlearners.org/Students/Student/304

Program honorees were selected based on criteria such as employment status, contributions to the community, continued higher education, achievement of goals and the ability to overcome personal challenges in the pursuit of professional and educational advancement.

For more information on the MCOE Adult ROP courses contact Dora Robles at (209) 381-6684.

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August 23, 2202

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August 20, 2202

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
REST AREA, RAMP & LANE CLOSURES
INTERSTATE 5 AND STATE ROUTES 99 & 165

MERCED COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will perform
various closures on Interstate 5 (I-5), State Route 99 (SR-99) and SR-165 for maintenance
and construction operations. Work to occur as follows;
INTERSTATE 5:
• Full closure of the John C. Erreca Rest Areas on northbound and southbound I-5
beginning Monday, April 4, 2022, through July 2023.
o ALTERNATE LOCATIONS: Motorists are advised to use either the Westley
Rest Area (San Joaquin/Stanislaus County line) or the Coalinga-Avenal
Rest Area (Fresno/Kings County line). Electric vehicle charging stations
are available at the Westley Rest Area.
STATE ROUTE 99:
• Full off-ramp closure from southbound SR-99 at Mission Avenue for guardrail work
beginning Sunday, August 21, through Friday, August 26, 2022, from 8:00 p.m.
until 6:00 a.m.
• Alternating closures of the #1 (left) and #2 (right) lanes of northbound and
southbound SR-99 from Colony Slough to SR-140/SR-59 (V Street) beginning
Sunday, August 21, through Friday, August 26, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at Childs Avenue for
construction beginning Sunday, August 21, through Friday, August 26, 2022, from
8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at Childs Avenue for
construction beginning Sunday, August 21, through Friday, August 26, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at SR-140 East for construction
beginning Sunday, August 21, through Friday, August 26, 2022, from 8:00 p.m.
until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at SR-140 East for construction
beginning Sunday, August 21, through Friday, August 26, 2022, from 10:00 p.m.
until 6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from northbound SR-99 at G Street for construction
beginning Sunday, August 21, through Friday, August 26, 2022, from 8:00 p.m.
until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from G Street to southbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Sunday, August 21, through Friday, August 26, 2022, from 10:00 p.m.
until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at SR-59/Martin Luther King Jr.
Way for construction beginning Sunday, August 21, through Friday, August 26,
2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at SR-59/Martin Luther King Jr.
Way for construction beginning Sunday, August 21, through Friday, August 26,
2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from northbound SR-99 at R Street for construction
beginning Sunday, August 21, through Friday, August 26, 2022, from 8:00 p.m.
until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from R Street to southbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Sunday, August 21, through Friday, August 26, 2022, from 10:00 p.m.
until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from SR-140/59 (V Street) to northbound SR-99 for
construction beginning Sunday, August 21, through Friday, August 26, 2022, from
8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from southbound SR-99 at SR-140/59 (V Street) for
construction beginning Sunday, August 21, through Friday, August 26, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from 16th Street to northbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Sunday, August 21, through Friday, August 26, 2022, from 8:00 p.m.
until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at 16th Street for construction
beginning Sunday, August 21, through Friday, August 26, 2022, from 10:00 p.m.
until 6:00 a.m.
• East Atwater Boulevard off-ramp from northbound SR-99 will be closed to traffic
through August 31, 2022. DETOUR: Use Applegate Road.
• West Atwater Boulevard on-ramp to northbound SR-99 will be closed to traffic
due to construction through September 15, 2022.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at South Avenue for
construction beginning Thursday, August 25, through Friday, August 26, 2022,
from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at Shanks Road for
construction beginning Tuesday, August 23, through Thursday, August 25, 2022,
from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at Bradbury Road for
pavement work beginning Sunday, August 21, through Tuesday, August 23, 2022,
from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
STATE ROUTE 165:
• One-way traffic control from Wolfsen to Salt Slough Bridge for pavement work
beginning Monday, August 22, through Wednesday, August 24, 2022, from 6:00
a.m. until 3:00 p.m.
Motorists should expect five to 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.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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August 19, 2202

 

 

 

High-Speed Rail Board Completes Environmental Clearance in Northern California

Nation’s First High-Speed Rail Project Now Environmentally Cleared Between San Francisco and Northern Los Angeles County

SAN JOSE, Calif – The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) Board of Directors today certified the Final Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (Final EIR/EIS) and approved the approximately 43-mile project for the San Francisco to San Jose section. This action completes the environmental clearance for high-speed rail in Northern California and extends environmental clearance to 420 miles of the project’s 500-mile alignment from San Francisco to Los Angeles/Anaheim.

“With environmental studies completed in Northern California, we are closer than ever to realizing a first in the nation, statewide high-speed rail system,” said Authority Chairman Tom Richards. “We look forward to working with all of our regional partners and stakeholders in developing modern, sustainable transportation infrastructure, completing our work in the Central Valley and connecting to the Bay Area as soon as possible.”
The approval of the San Francisco to San Jose high-speed rail project section and its environmental document represents a major milestone in advancing the entire statewide program by linking the San Francisco Bay Area and the Peninsula to San Jose, the Central Valley, and Los Angeles County in Southern California. Connecting these major economic regions with high-speed rail will change how people travel throughout the state and foster more equitable employment and housing opportunities.

The Board’s certification of the San Francisco to San Jose Final EIR/EIS and approval of its project section will move the project section closer to being “shovel ready” when funding for final design, pre-construction and construction becomes available.

In approving this project section, the Authority Board of Directors selected the Preferred Alternative (Alternative A). This alternative builds on the Caltrain electrification project and incorporates the infrastructure necessary to run high-speed rail service in the corridor. The approved Alternative A extends from the previously approved San Jose high-speed rail station and includes new high-speed rail stations in San Francisco and Millbrae; construction of a light maintenance facility on the east side of the Caltrain corridor in Brisbane; and improvements for safety and speed in the region.

The Final EIR/EIS can be found on the Authority’s website here: https://hsr.ca.gov/programs/environmental-planning/project-section-environmental-documents-tier-2/san-francisco-to-san-jose-project-section-draft-environmental-impact-report-environmental-impact-statement/

California high-speed rail is currently under construction along 119 miles in California’s Central Valley at 35 active job sites. To date, more than 8,000 construction jobs have been created since the start of construction. For more visit: https://www.buildhsr.com/

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August 19, 2202

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
One-way Traffic Control on State Routes 49 and 140

MARIPOSA COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltans) will perform various operations next week on State Routes 49 and 140 in Mariposa County next week.
Work is scheduled as follows:
Route 49
• Lane restrictions at 4th Street for sign work from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Monday, August 22, 2022.
Route 140
• One-way traffic control from Bear Creek Bridge to Bull Creek Road for slope repair/clearing beginning Monday, August 22, through Thursday, August 25, from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Friday, August 26, 2022.
Motorists should expect 10-minute delays and use alternate routes 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.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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August 18, 2202

 

 

 

 

Cal-SOAP, MCOE to Host Free Financial Aid Workshop

The Merced California Student Opportunity Access Program (Cal-SOAP) and Merced County Office of Education (MCOE) will host a California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) statewide financial aid workshop for the Merced region on Monday, Sept. 19.

The free CSAC workshop will provide high school counselors, student outreach coordinators, community education partners and other youth advocates with financial aid knowledge they can use to help students apply for and receive financial aid benefits.

Training topics include updates to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), California Dream Act Application (CADAA), Cal Grant programs, Middle Class Scholarship (MCS), programs for foster youth and the California Dream Act Service Incentive grant.

Information on the AB469 legislation, which requires local education agencies (LEAs) to confirm that all high school seniors have completed the FAFSA or CADAA, is also included in the training.

The workshop will take place at the MCOE Downtown Professional Development Center at 8 a.m. and is open to the public.

Access the CSAC statewide financial aid workshop registration page here.

For more information contact Cal-SOAP Project Director Shawn McCall at smcall@mcoe.org or (209) 381-5917.

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August 18, 2202

 

 

 

California High-Speed Rail Board Approves Design Contracts to Prepare for Construction into Merced and Bakersfield

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) Board of Directors today approved contracts to advance design of the 52.4 total miles that will extend the project into Merced and Bakersfield. The contracts bring the project closer to constructing the final Central Valley packages that will complete the 171-mile high-speed rail electrified segment and ultimately connect to the Bay Area and Los Angeles.

“Taken together, these contracts bolster the Authority’s effort to have high-speed trains operating in the heart of California by the end of the decade,” said Authority Chairman Tom Richards. “These contracts demonstrate our ability to leverage lessons learned from past contracts, increase project readiness and prepare for continued progress on this transformative project.”

The Authority awarded the $41 million Merced to Madera extension design contract to Stantec Consulting Services Inc. which covers approximately 33.9 miles with 40 structures. The $44.9 million Fresno to Bakersfield (Locally Generated Alternative) extension contract was awarded to HNTB and covers approximately 18.5 miles between the cities of Shafter and Bakersfield in Kern County with 31 structures. The contracts are expected to last two years, and the two companies will work with the Authority to finalize the project configuration footprint and advance design work to refine costs and travel time enhancements, and map right of way and utility relocation. These critical steps will move the sections closer to construction, with the goal of electrified high-speed trains running between Merced and Bakersfield by the end of the decade.

Last week, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded the Authority $25 million in federal grant funding to advance the project into downtown Merced. The Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant will provide more than half of the cost for the Madera to Merced design contract.

The Board is expected to take action Thursday on the San Francisco to San Jose section environmental document, potentially finalizing environmental work for more than 420 miles of the 500-mile long project.

The California high-speed rail project is currently under construction along 119 miles in California’s Central Valley at 35 active job sites. To date, more than 8,000 construction jobs have been created since the start of construction. For more on construction, visit: www.buildhsr.com

The following link contains recent video, animations, photography, press center resources and latest renderings: https://hsra.app.box.com/s/vyvjv9hckwl1dk603ju15u07fdfir2q8

These files are all available for free use, courtesy of the California High-Speed Rail Authority.


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August 18, 2202

Caltrans Conducting Slope Repair Project
Along State Route 140 in Mariposa County

MARIPOSA COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will conduct a slope repair project on State Route 140 near the community of Briceburg in Mariposa County.
The project is needed to restore the integrity of the slope beneath an existing 84-inch concrete pipe culvert.
Crews will install rock slope protection to prevent further erosion of the roadway. Other work includes upgrading guardrails to current standards.
The project will take place along the eastbound side of Route 140 about 2 miles west of Bull Creek Road and 2 miles south of Briceburg.
Construction is expected to begin August 22, and conclude in November 2022. Crews are expected to work from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Friday.
Work may occur off the roadway on weekends. One-way traffic control via traffic signal lights will be employed during construction, beginning tentatively on August 26.
Motorists should expect delays of 10 minutes or longer at times and use alternate routes whenever possible.
The estimated $4.5 million project will be conducted by Granite Construction of Watsonville, CA.
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.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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August 17, 2202

The Exciting Atmosphere of Rat Pack Era Las Vegas in Merced!

 

Raise a glass: Merced Theatre kicks off its 2022-2023 season on September 10, 2022 with A Toast to The Rat Pack!
The legendary friends who made history on the stage of a Las Vegas showroom are brought to life again with this incredible tribute. With music, comedy, and spot-on impersonators, fans are transported to a bygone era as they sing along with such hits as Fly Me to the Moon, Everybody Loves Somebody, The Candy Man, and many more! You won’t want to miss this crowd-pleasing show!
A Toast to the Rat Pack will be at the Merced Theatre on September 10, 2022 at 7:00 PM. Tickets can be purchased online at www.mercedtheatre.org, by phone at (209) 381-0500, or in person at the Merced Theatre Box Office, located at 301 W Main Street. Box Office hours are Tuesday to Friday, from 1 PM to 5 PM.

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August 16, 2202

Atwater High Ag Program Welcomes New Ag Student Teacher

Written by: Jacky Velazquez, Atwater FFA

 

Atwater High School student teacher Kyle Pawling (far right) shares a brief introduction on welding equipment to Atwater High School Welding I students Giovanni Cruz, Liliana Aquino, and Russell Meyers during the first week of school.

The Atwater High School Agriculture Department welcomes Fresno State University’s Kyle Pawling to its agriculture and FFA program. Mr. Pawling is finalizing his agriculture teaching credential program as a fall student teacher. Over the past twenty years, Atwater High School has had over thirty-five university level student teachers. The process involves a semester of teaching in the classroom, agriculture project supervisions, and FFA leadership under the mentorship of experienced agriculture teachers and FFA advisors within the department. “This is an opportunity to shape, develop, encourage, and support new teachers into the profession which is in dire need of effective and productive educators to fill in the growing need throughout the state and nation,” said Atwater High School agriculture mechanics instructor Sam Meredith.

Mr. Pawling’s area of interest in the agriculture mechanics pathway which includes shop classes in welding, wood, and engines. “I wanted to be an agriculture teacher so I can give back to the next generation of students and impact their lives in a positive way just as my agriculture teachers did for me,” said Pawling. Originally from Riverside, California, Mr. Pawling was an active FFA member at Norte Vista High School and attended Mt. San Antonio College and Fresno State University. His goal is to learn, observe, and gain as much experience to establish a solid foundation towards his teaching tenure. “I hope to have the opportunity to teach in the central valley and continue to call the valley my home,” said Pawling.

The Merced Union High School District along with the agriculture high school programs within the district are strong supporters of the teacher credentialing program and student teachers. UC Davis, Chico State University, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and Cal Poly Pomona are the agriculture credentialing universities in California that send students to quality, productive agriculture programs to provide new teachers the experience associated with their chosen profession.

Atwater High School has over 1100 individual agriculture students. “The challenge agriculture education faces is the stereotype that agriculture education is for agriculture students only,” says Atwater High School agriculture instructor Dave Gossman. “The reality is that agriculture education and the FFA has value for all students in terms of skills, experiences, activities, and involvement that benefits all regardless of career interests.”

The Atwater High School agriculture education program and FFA focuses on academic success, personal growth, leadership, and career exploration for students. The Atwater and California FFA is a high school youth leadership and career development organization that is a state association of the National FFA Organization, a federally charted corporation under Public Law 105-225. The California Association currently serves over 95,000 student members in 338 high schools, from urban schools in Los Angeles and the Bay Area to rural schools all across the state.

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 13, 2202

Good afternoon Merced County community,

MCOE is thrilled to welcome students back for the 2022-23 school year.

The start of the school year is an exciting time as it represents new beginnings and opportunities for students to succeed.

As the school year kicks off, expect updated COVID-19 guidelines from Center for Disease Control in the next week or so. We will have more information on that soon from the California Department of Public Health.

Between students back in the classroom, upcoming events, staff professional development and new dual language programs, there is a lot to look forward to this year.

Have a great year!

Steve M. Tietjen, Ed.D.

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August 13, 2202

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
REST AREA, RAMP & LANE CLOSURES
INTERSTATE 5 AND STATE ROUTES 33, 99 & 165

MERCED COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will perform
various closures on Interstate 5 (I-5), State Route 33 (SR-33), SR-99 and SR-165 for
maintenance and construction operations. Work to occur as follows;
INTERSTATE 5:
• Full closure of the John C. Erreca Rest Areas on northbound and southbound I-5
beginning Monday, April 4, 2022, through July 2023.
o ALTERNATE LOCATIONS: Motorists are advised to use either the Westley
Rest Area (San Joaquin/Stanislaus County line) or the Coalinga-Avenal
Rest Area (Fresno/Kings County line). Electric vehicle charging stations
are available at the Westley Rest Area.
STATE ROUTE 33:
• One-way traffic control from Almond Street to Blossom Street for utility work
beginning Monday, August 15, through Friday, August 19, 2022, from 6:00 a.m.
until 6:30 p.m.
STATE ROUTE 99:
• Full off-ramp closure from southbound SR-99 at Mission Avenue for guardrail work
beginning Sunday, August 14, through Friday, August 19, 2022, from 8:00 p.m.
until 6:00 a.m.
• Alternating closures of the #1 (left) and #2 (right) lanes of northbound and
southbound SR-99 from Colony Slough to SR-140/SR-59 (V Street) beginning
Sunday, August 14, through Friday, August 19, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at Childs Avenue for
construction beginning Sunday, August 14, through Friday, August 19, 2022, from
8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at Childs Avenue for
construction beginning Sunday, August 14, through Friday, August 19, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at SR-140 East for construction
beginning Sunday, August 14, through Friday, August 19, 2022, from 8:00 p.m.
until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at SR-140 East for construction
beginning Sunday, August 14, through Friday, August 19, 2022, from 10:00 p.m.
until 6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from northbound SR-99 at G Street for construction
beginning Sunday, August 14, through Friday, August 19, 2022, from 8:00 p.m.
until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from G Street to southbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Sunday, August 14, through Friday, August 19, 2022, from 10:00 p.m.
until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at SR-59/Martin Luther King Jr.
Way for construction beginning Sunday, August 14, through Friday, August 19,
2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at SR-59/Martin Luther King Jr.
Way for construction beginning Sunday, August 14, through Friday, August 19,
2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from northbound SR-99 at R Street for construction
beginning Sunday, August 14, through Friday, August 19, 2022, from 8:00 p.m.
until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from R Street to southbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Sunday, August 14, through Friday, August 19, 2022, from 10:00 p.m.
until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from SR-140/59 (V Street) to northbound SR-99 for
construction beginning Sunday, August 14, through Friday, August 19, 2022, from
8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from southbound SR-99 at SR-140/59 (V Street) for
construction beginning Sunday, August 14, through Friday, August 19, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from 16th Street to northbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Sunday, August 14, through Friday, August 19, 2022, from 8:00 p.m.
until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at 16th Street for construction
beginning Sunday, August 14, through Friday, August 19, 2022, from 10:00 p.m.
until 6:00 a.m.
• East Atwater Boulevard off-ramp from northbound SR-99 will be closed to traffic
through August 31, 2022. DETOUR: Use Applegate Road.
• West Atwater Boulevard on-ramp to northbound SR-99 will be closed to traffic
due to construction through September 15, 2022.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at Hammatt Avenue for
construction beginning Thursday, August 18, through Friday, August 19, 2022,
from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at Winton Parkway for
construction beginning Wednesday, August 17, through Thursday, August 18,
2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at Collier Road for
construction beginning Tuesday, August 16, through Friday, August 19, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at South Avenue for
construction beginning Monday, August 15, through Tuesday, August 16, 2022,
from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at Shanks Road for
construction beginning Tuesday, August 16, through Wednesday, August 17,
2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at Bradbury Road for
pavement work beginning Monday, August 15, through Tuesday, August 16,
2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
STATE ROUTE 165:
• One-way traffic control from Santa Fe Grade Road to Salt Slough Bridge for
pavement work beginning Monday, August 15, through Friday, August 19, 2022,
from 6:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.
Motorists should expect five to 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.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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August 12, 2202

$25 Million in Federal Funding Awarded to Advance High-Speed Rail in California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Today, the California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) was notified that it has been awarded $25 million in federal grant funding to advance the project beyond the 119-miles under construction and into downtown Merced. This grant was awarded through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) discretionary grant program, and $25 million is the maximum grant award.

“This grant is vital for the Authority to advance its initial electrified service between Downtown Merced and Bakersfield. It reflects the strong state-federal partnership now in place to see the nation’s first true high speed rail service commence right here in California,” said Authority CEO Brian Kelly. “Next week, our Board will consider awarding the contract to advance the design work for this transformative project.”

The funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation will provide more than half of the expected $41 million cost for the Madera to Merced design contract. That contract will be brought before the Authority’s Board of Directors during their two-day Board meeting next week for consideration.

This is the second grant the high-speed rail program has received under the Biden Administration since November 2021. Last fall, California’s high-speed rail project was awarded $24 million for crucial safety, efficiency and construction projects in and around the City of Wasco and State Route 46. Construction in the region will build safe, multimodal connectivity projects around Wasco to prepare for future high-speed rail service.

The Authority is also pursuing $1.3 billion in federal grant funding to double-track the 119 miles currently under construction and purchase new, clean, electric train sets capable of speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour. The funding requested by the Authority will help accelerate construction for electrified high-speed between Merced and Bakersfield by the end of the decade.

Since the start of construction, the California high-speed rail project has created more than 8,000 construction jobs, a majority of which go directly to those living in the Central Valley. There are currently 119 miles under construction in the Central Valley with more than 30 active construction sites.

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August 12, 2202

One-way Traffic Control on State Route 49

MARIPOSA COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltans) will perform various operations next week on State Route 49 in Mariposa County next week.
Work is scheduled as follows:
Route 49
• Moving lane closure from Mount Boullion to Route 132 for pavement marker replacement beginning Tuesday, August 16, through Thursday, August 18, 2022, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
• One-way traffic control from Bear Valley Road to the Mariposa/Tuolumne County Line for drainage cleaning/inspection beginning Tuesday, August 16, through Thursday, August 18, 2022, from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Motorists should expect 10-minute delays and use alternate routes 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.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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August 11, 2202

 

 

 

Poster display at the Merced Mall from the 2021 Young Patriot Challenge competition.

Local Patriotic Contest Open to Students Throughout Merced County


This September marks the tenth year of the Young Patriot Challenge (YPC) — the annual competition that offers students throughout Merced County the opportunity to share their perspectives on the U.S. Constitution.

The contest is open to all Merced County public school and homeschool students and helps them learn about the U.S. Constitution in a creative and fun way.

YPC also provides both public and homeschool teachers with the opportunity to meet the federal requirements to teach students about the U.S. Constitution every year on Constitution Day, Sept. 17.

Kindergarten to sixth-grade students will create posters, middle school students will write essays and high school students will prepare speeches as part of the annual competition.

Poster display at the Merced Mall from the 2021 Young Patriot Challenge competition.

Students who participate have the chance to win cash, gift cards and other prizes.

The prompt for this year is “Which amendment of the U.S. Constitution would you repeal or rewrite? Please explain why you would take this action and the beneficial outcome(s) for the nation.”

Constitution Week takes place between Sept. 12-16 with all submissions due to the Merced County Office of Education by Sept. 16. Selected posters are displayed at the Merced Mall from Oct. 6-18.

The award ceremony for parents and contest winners of all grade levels is scheduled for Oct. 19 at 6:30 p.m. at the Atwater Community Center, 760 E. Bellevue Rd.

When asked about the competition, YPC Chairperson Barbara Riis-Christensen quoted Abraham Lincoln, “Don’t interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.”

For more information on this year's Young Patriot Challenge contact YPC Chairperson Barbara Riis-Christensen at 358-8404 or visit https://www.ypcusa.net.


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August 10, 2202

New Hmong and Spanish Dual Language Immersion Program Begins this Fall


Merced Scholars Charter School is starting a new Hmong and Spanish classroom-based Dual Language Immersion program that will begin this week.

The Dual Language Immersion program takes the place of a traditional public school where students learn only one language.

While in the program, students will receive instruction in a second language, which includes either Hmong or Spanish.

The benefits of Dual Language Immersion programs include improved cognitive development, proficiency in multiple languages, cultural awareness and strong social connections with Merced County communities.

Enrollment for the 2022-23 school year is currently open for students in transitional kindergarten, kindergarten and first grade.

Space is limited and some students may be placed on a waitlist until space is available. Waitlisted students are chosen based on a lottery system.

Click here to view the Dual Language Immersion program intent to enroll form.

For more information on the Merced Scholars Charter School Dual Language Immersion program, contact the school at (209) 381-5165 or email MSCS at mercedscholars@mcoe.org

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August 9, 2202

The 2022-2023 Atwater FFA officer team comprised of Alany Guzman, Giselle Varela, Alexa Bracamontes, Jacky Velazquez, Guadalupe Millan, Dulce Campos, and Kayleigh Trindade prepare to venture on the ropes and zip line course at Treetop Adventure Park in Lake Tahoe.

Atwater FFA “Leads Tomorrow’s Legacy” During Leadership Retreat

– Written by: Jacky Velazquez, Atwater FFA


Staff and students of the Atwater FFA prepare to venture off on a kayak adventure on Lake Tahoe as part of their Atwater FFA leadership retreat team building activities.

“Leading Tomorrow’s Legacy” was selected as the 2022-2023 Atwater FFA theme as advisors and chapter officers gathered in South Lake Tahoe 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 past successes and contributions of agriculture students and FFA members with the goal of continuing, expanding, influencing, and developing more opportunities and successes to current and future agriculture students and FFA members,” said Atwater FFA Secretary Dulce Campos.

Leadership retreat highlights included a ropes and zip line course at Treetop Adventure Park and kayaking at Lake Tahoe. For many students and some staff members, this was their first trip to South lake Tahoe and the activities involved. “The opportunity to explore and visit a beautiful place such as Lake Tahoe while getting to know fellow students and teachers was a highlight and a lifelong memorable experience.” said FFA officer Guadalupe Millan.

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 opportunities and rewards the upcoming 2022-2023 school year holds for them. This year’s officer team includes Joshaua Medeiros , President; Alexa Bracamontes, Vice President; Dulce Campos, Secretary; Guadalupe Millan, Treasurer; Jacqueline Velazquez, Reporter; Kayleigh Trindade, Sentinel; Alany Guzman, Historian; and Giselle Varela, Parliamentarian.

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 5, 2202

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
REST AREA, RAMP & LANE CLOSURES
INTERSTATE 5 AND STATE ROUTES 33, 99 & 140

MERCED COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will perform
various closures on Interstate 5 (I-5), State Route 33 (SR-33), SR-99 and SR-140 for
maintenance and construction operations. Work to occur as follows;
INTERSTATE 5:
• Full closure of the John C. Erreca Rest Areas on northbound and southbound I-5
beginning Monday, April 4, 2022, through July 2023.
o ALTERNATE LOCATIONS: Motorists are advised to use either the Westley
Rest Area (San Joaquin/Stanislaus County line) or the Coalinga-Avenal
Rest Area (Fresno/Kings County line). Electric vehicle charging stations
are available at the Westley Rest Area.
STATE ROUTE 33:
• One-way traffic control at Cypress Road for core drilling beginning Monday,
August 8, through Friday, August 12, 2022, from 7:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.
STATE ROUTE 99:
• Full off-ramp closure from southbound SR-99 at Mission Avenue for guardrail work
beginning Sunday, August 7, through Friday, August 12, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until
6:00 a.m.
• Alternating closures of the #1 (left) and #2 (right) lanes of northbound and
southbound SR-99 from Colony Slough to SR-140/SR-59 (V Street) beginning
Sunday, August 7, through Friday, August 12, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at Childs Avenue for
construction beginning Sunday, August 7, through Friday, August 12, 2022, from
8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at Childs Avenue for
construction beginning Sunday, August 7, through Friday, August 12, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at SR-140 East for construction
beginning Sunday, August 7, through Friday, August 12, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until
5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at SR-140 East for construction
beginning Sunday, August 7, through Friday, August 12, 2022, from 10:00 p.m.
until 6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from northbound SR-99 at G Street for construction
beginning Sunday, August 7, through Friday, August 12, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until
5:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from G Street to southbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Sunday, August 7, through Friday, August 12, 2022, from 10:00 p.m.
until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at SR-59/Martin Luther King Jr.
Way for construction beginning Sunday, August 7, through Friday, August 12,
2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at SR-59/Martin Luther King Jr.
Way for construction beginning Sunday, August 7, through Friday, August 12,
2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from northbound SR-99 at R Street for construction
beginning Sunday, August 7, through Friday, August 12, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until
5:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from R Street to southbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Sunday, August 7, through Friday, August 12, 2022, from 10:00 p.m.
until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from SR-140/59 (V Street) to northbound SR-99 for
construction beginning Sunday, August 7, through Friday, August 12, 2022, from
8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from southbound SR-99 at SR-140/59 (V Street) for
construction beginning Sunday, August 7, through Friday, August 12, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from 16th Street to northbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Sunday, August 7, through Friday, August 12, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until
5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at 16th Street for construction
beginning Sunday, August 7, through Friday, August 12, 2022, from 10:00 p.m.
until 6:00 a.m.
• East Atwater Boulevard off-ramp from northbound SR-99 will be closed to traffic
through August 31, 2022. DETOUR: Use Applegate Road.
• West Atwater Boulevard on-ramp to northbound SR-99 will be closed to traffic
due to construction through September 15, 2022.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at Shanks Road for pavement
work beginning Sunday, August 7, through Monday, August 8, 2022, from 11:00
p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at Bradbury Road for
pavement work beginning Monday, August 8, through Tuesday, August 9, 2022,
from 11:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from South Turlock/Golden State Boulevard to southbound
SR-99 for construction beginning Sunday, August 7, through Monday, August 8,
2022, from 11:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
STATE ROUTE 140:
• One-way traffic control from Kibby Road to Santa Fe Avenue for electrical work
beginning Wednesday, August 10, through Friday, August 12, 2022, from 9:00
p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
Motorists should expect five to 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.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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August 5, 2202

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
One-way Traffic Control on State Route 49

MARIPOSA COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltans) will perform various operations next week on State Route 49 in Mariposa County next week.
Work is scheduled as follows:
Route 49
• Moving lane closure from Agua Fria Road to Route 132 for pavement marker replacement beginning Monday, August 8, through Friday, August 12, 2022, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
• One-way traffic control from Bear Valley Road to the Mariposa/Tuolumne County Line for drainage cleaning/inspection beginning Monday, August 8, through Thursday, August 11, 2022, from 7:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Motorists should expect 10-minute delays and use alternate routes 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.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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August 4, 2202

Caltrans Begins Widening Southbound State Route 99

Merced County — Caltrans announced
today it is beginning work to widen
southbound State Route (SR) 99 from two
to three lanes for nine miles from
Livingston to Turlock. The $41 million
project stretches from south of the
Hammatt Avenue exit in Livingston to the
Merced/Stanislaus County line.
Approximately 77,000 vehicles use this SR
99 corridor every day, and of that, more
than 24 percent of the trucks are five-axle, heavy trucks.
“This project will benefit commuters, local traffic, and of course, Merced
County’s important farming communities,” said Caltrans District 10 Director
Dennis T. Agar. “Upon completion, trucks carrying Central Valley goods such as
almonds, grapes, dairy and tomatoes will move more efficiently throughout the
state.”
Crews are scheduled to work mostly during weekdays and perform temporary
lane, ramp, and shoulder closures. No two consecutive ramps will be closed
simultaneously. There are no current plans for full highway closures on SR-99;
however, motorists should expect reduced speed limits throughout the work
zone while crews are at work. Motorists are encouraged to plan ahead, use
alternate routes, and Be Work Zone Alert.
The contract was awarded to Security Paving of Westlake Village, California.
Work is scheduled to be completed by fall 2023.
The work schedule is subject to change due to traffic incidents, weather,
availability of equipment and/or materials, and/or construction-related issues.

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August 4, 2202

CALTRANS COMPLETES BRIDGE MAINTENANCE PROJECT AT
NINE LOCATIONS IN MERCED & MARIPOSA COUNTIES

STOCKTON – Caltrans recently completed a bridge preventative maintenance project
that made necessary repairs at nine different locations within Merced and Mariposa
Counties.
Work began the week of April 24-30, 2022, and varied per location to include the repair
of existing bridge deck concrete, installation of polyester concrete overlays, and the
replacement of various joint seals and bridge deck approach and departure slabs. This
project finished well ahead of schedule, with the original estimated completion date
not expected until September 2022.
Project locations included structures at:
This estimated $2.93 million maintenance project was performed by Myers & Sons
Construction LP, of Sacramento, CA.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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July 31, 2202

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
REST AREA, RAMP & LANE CLOSURES
INTERSTATE 5 AND STATE ROUTES 59, 99 & 152

MERCED COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will perform
various closures on Interstate 5 (I-5), State Route 59 (SR-59), SR-99 and SR-152 for
maintenance and construction operations. Work to occur as follows;
INTERSTATE 5:
• Full closure of the John C. Erreca Rest Areas on northbound and southbound I-5
beginning Monday, April 4, 2022, through July 2023.
o ALTERNATE LOCATIONS: Motorists are advised to use either the Westley
Rest Area (San Joaquin/Stanislaus County line) or the Coalinga-Avenal
Rest Area (Fresno/Kings County line). Electric vehicle charging stations
are available at the Westley Rest Area.
STATE ROUTE 59:
• One-way traffic control at Gerard Avenue for shoulder work beginning Monday,
August 1, through Friday, August 5, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
STATE ROUTE 99:
• Full off-ramp closure from southbound SR-99 at Mission Avenue for guardrail work
beginning Sunday, July 31, through Friday, August 5, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until
6:00 a.m.
• Alternating closures of the #1 (left) and #2 (right) lanes of northbound and
southbound SR-99 from Colony Slough to SR-140/SR-59 (V Street) beginning
Sunday, July 31, through Friday, August 5, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at Childs Avenue for
construction beginning Sunday, July 31, through Friday, August 5, 2022, from 8:00
p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at Childs Avenue for
construction beginning Sunday, July 31, through Friday, August 5, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at SR-140 East for construction
beginning Sunday, July 31, through Friday, August 5, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until
5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at SR-140 East for construction
beginning Sunday, July 31, through Friday, August 5, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until
6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from northbound SR-99 at G Street for construction
beginning Sunday, July 31, through Friday, August 5, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until
5:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from G Street to southbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Sunday, July 31, through Friday, August 5, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until
6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at SR-59/Martin Luther King Jr.
Way for construction beginning Sunday, July 31, through Friday, August 5, 2022,
from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at SR-59/Martin Luther King Jr.
Way for construction beginning Sunday, July 31, through Friday, August 5, 2022,
from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from northbound SR-99 at R Street for construction
beginning Sunday, July 31, through Friday, August 5, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until
5:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from R Street to southbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Sunday, July 31, through Friday, August 5, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until
6:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from SR-140/59 (V Street) to northbound SR-99 for
construction beginning Sunday, July 31, through Friday, August 5, 2022, from 8:00
p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from southbound SR-99 at SR-140/59 (V Street) for
construction beginning Sunday, July 31, through Friday, August 5, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from 16th Street to northbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Sunday, July 31, through Friday, August 5, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until
5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at 16th Street for construction
beginning Sunday, July 31, through Friday, August 5, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until
6:00 a.m.
• East Atwater Boulevard off-ramp from northbound SR-99 will be closed to traffic
through August 31, 2022. DETOUR: Use Applegate Road.
• East Atwater Boulevard on-ramp to northbound SR-99 will be closed to traffic
beginning Sunday, July 17, through September 21, 2022. DETOUR: Use Applegate
Road.
• West Atwater Boulevard on-ramp to northbound SR-99 will be closed to traffic
due to construction through September 15, 2022.
STATE ROUTE 152:
• Full connector ramp closure from eastbound SR-152 to northbound SR-33 (south
of Santa Nella) for electrical work beginning Monday, August 1, through
Thursday, August 4, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full connector ramp closure from westbound SR-152 to northbound SR-33 (south
of Santa Nella) for electrical work beginning Monday, August 1, through
Thursday, August 4, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 4:00 a.m.
Motorists should expect five to 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.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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July 31, 2202

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
One-way Traffic Control on State Routes 49 and 140

MARIPOSA COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltans) will perform various operations next week on State Routes 49 and 140 in Mariposa County next week.
Work is scheduled as follows:
Route 49
• One-way traffic control from Route 120 South to Bear Valley Road for drainage work beginning Monday, August 1, through Thursday, August 4, 2022, from 7:15 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.
Route 140
• One-way traffic control at Midpines Rest Area for electrical work from 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Friday, August 5, 2022.
• One-way traffic control at Buffalo Gulch Road for utility work from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Monday, August 1, 2022.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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July 27, 2202

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
State Route 140 Reopened in Mariposa County

MARIPOSA COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), in conjunction with Cal Fire, California Highway Patrol and Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office, has reopened State Route 140 from the north junction of Route 49 to Ponderosa Way in Mariposa County after it was closed on July 22, 2022, due to the Oak Fire.
Motorists are advised to avoid the area to allow room for fire crews and emergency responders.
The Oak Fire started at approximately 2:10 p.m. on Friday, July 22, 2022, at Route 140 and Carstens Road near Midpines. The fire has burned 18,532 acres and is 26 percent contained, according to Cal Fire.
For information about the Oak Fire and other active fire incidents in California, visit Cal Fire’s web site at fire.ca.gov/incidents/.
For road information regarding Yosemite National Park, call 209-372-0200 (then press 1) or visit nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/conditions.htm.

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July 26, 2202

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
State Route 140 Closed from Route 49 to Ponderosa Way
Due to the Oak Fire in Mariposa County

MARIPOSA COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), in conjunction with Cal Fire and the California Highway Patrol, has closed State Route 140 from the north junction of Route 49 to Ponderosa Way in Mariposa County due to the Oak Fire.
There is no estimated time of reopening. Motorists are advised to avoid the area and find an alternate route.
The Oak Fire started at approximately 2:10 p.m. on Friday, July 22, 2022, at Route 140 and Carstens Road near Midpines. The fire has burned 16,791 acres and is 10 percent contained, according to Cal Fire.
For information about the Oak Fire, including road closures and evacuation orders, visit Cal Fire’s web site at fire.ca.gov/incidents/2022/7/22/oak-fire/.
For road information regarding Yosemite National Park, call 209-372-0200 (then press 1) or visit nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/conditions.htm.

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July 22, 2202

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
REST AREA, RAMP & LANE CLOSURES
INTERSTATE 5 AND STATE ROUTES 59, 99 & 152

MERCED COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will perform
various closures on Interstate 5 (I-5), State Route 59 (SR-59), SR-99 and SR-152 for
maintenance and construction operations. Work to occur as follows;
INTERSTATE 5:
• Full closure of the John C. Erreca Rest Areas on northbound and southbound I-5
beginning Monday, April 4, 2022, through July 2023.
o ALTERNATE LOCATIONS: Motorists are advised to use either the Westley
Rest Area (San Joaquin/Stanislaus County line) or the Coalinga-Avenal
Rest Area (Fresno/Kings County line). Electric vehicle charging stations
are available at the Westley Rest Area.
STATE ROUTE 59:
• One-way traffic control at Oakdale Road for electrical work on Tuesday, July 26,
2022, from 7:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.
STATE ROUTE 99:
• Full off-ramp closure from southbound SR-99 at Mission Avenue for guardrail work
beginning Sunday, July 24, through Friday, July 29, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 6:00
a.m.
• Alternating closures of the #1 (left) and #2 (right) lanes of northbound and
southbound SR-99 from Colony Slough to SR-140/SR-59 (V Street) beginning
Sunday, July 24, through Friday, July 29, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at Childs Avenue for
construction beginning Sunday, July 24, through Friday, July 29, 2022, from 8:00
p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at Childs Avenue for
construction beginning Sunday, July 24, through Friday, July 29, 2022, from 10:00
p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at SR-140 East for construction
beginning Sunday, July 24, through Friday, July 29, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00
a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at SR-140 East for construction
beginning Sunday, July 24, through Friday, July 29, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00
a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from northbound SR-99 at G Street for construction
beginning Sunday, July 24, through Friday, July 29, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00
a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from G Street to southbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Sunday, July 24, through Friday, July 29, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00
a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at SR-59/Martin Luther King Jr.
Way for construction beginning Sunday, July 24, through Friday, July 29, 2022,
from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at SR-59/Martin Luther King Jr.
Way for construction beginning Sunday, July 24, through Friday, July 29, 2022,
from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from northbound SR-99 at R Street for construction
beginning Sunday, July 24, through Friday, July 29, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00
a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from R Street to southbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Sunday, July 24, through Friday, July 29, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00
a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from SR-140/59 (V Street) to northbound SR-99 for
construction beginning Sunday, July 24, through Friday, July 29, 2022, from 8:00
p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from southbound SR-99 at SR-140/59 (V Street) for
construction beginning Sunday, July 24, through Friday, July 29, 2022, from 10:00
p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from 16th Street to northbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Sunday, July 24, through Friday, July 29, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00
a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at 16th Street for construction
beginning Sunday, July 24, through Friday, July 29, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00
a.m.
• East Atwater Boulevard off-ramp from northbound SR-99 will be closed to traffic
through August 31, 2022. DETOUR: Use Applegate Road.
• East Atwater Boulevard on-ramp to northbound SR-99 will be closed to traffic
beginning Sunday, July 17, through September 21, 2022. DETOUR: Use Applegate
Road.
• Full on-ramp closure from Applegate Road to southbound SR-99 for striping
operations beginning Sunday, July 24, through Friday, July 29, 2022, from 8:00
p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from southbound SR-99 at Applegate Road for construction
beginning Monday, July 25, through Friday, July 29, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00
a.m.
• West Atwater Boulevard on-ramp to northbound SR-99 will be closed to traffic
due to construction through September 15, 2022.
STATE ROUTE 152:
• Full connector ramp closure from eastbound SR-152 to northbound SR-33 (south
of Santa Nella) for electrical work beginning Sunday, July 24, through Friday, July
29, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full connector ramp closure from westbound SR-152 to northbound SR-33 (south
of Santa Nella) for electrical work beginning Sunday, July 24, through Friday, July
29, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 4:00 a.m.
Motorists should expect five to 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.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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July 22, 2202

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
One-way Traffic Control on State Routes 49, 132, and 140

MARIPOSA COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltans) will perform various operations next week on State Routes 49, 132, and 140 in Mariposa County next week.
Work is scheduled as follows:
Route 49
• One-way traffic control from Tiptop-Usona Road to Brooks Road for tree work beginning Monday, July 25, through Friday, July 29, 2022, from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
• One-way traffic control from Brooks Road to Boyer Road for utility work from 8:00 a.m. to 4;00 p.m. on Friday, July 29, 2022.
• Moving closure of the No. 1 (left) lane from Agua Fria Road to the Mariposa/Tuolumne County Line for pavement marker replacement beginning Monday, July 25, through Thursday, July 28, 2022, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
• One-way traffic control from Mocassin Switchback Road to Bear Valley Road for drainage work beginning Monday, July 25, through Thursday, July 28, 2022, from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Route 132
• One-way traffic control from Josephina Way to Bonds Flat Road for shoulder work beginning Monday, July 25, through Thursday, July 28, 2022, from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Route 140
• One-way traffic control north and south of Route 49 for electrical work from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 27, 2022.
• One-way traffic control at Midpines Rest Area for electrical work from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 28, 2022.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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July 15,2202

New Training Prepares Teachers for Merced County History Day Competition

Merced County Office of Education will host an Introduction to National History Day workshop to prepare teachers for the Merced County History Day in the spring, where nearly 80 student projects can advance to the state competition.

The training goes in-depth on the National History Day program specifics, how it fits with the California-History Social Science (CA-HSS) standards and how it helps students develop historical thinking skills.

Annie Olson, a key member of the California Foundation for History Education and National History Day - California is the instructor for the training.

The training is $150 per participant and is open for all 4-12 grade teachers in or around Merced County.

As part of plans to start the program district-wide for the 2022-23 school year, Merced City School District has a number of prepaid spots available for MCSD teachers.

“As a former history teacher and history day coordinator, I understand the importance of the program and look forward to expanding to more districts,” said Merced County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steve Tietjen. “Attending the workshop is not required to start History Day at your site or district but we are excited to bring this opportunity to our teachers and staff to help them implement History Day in their classrooms.”

The Merced County History Day competition encourages students from across the county to conduct historical research on a topic of their choice that connects with the annual theme. After research is complete students choose a category to display their project. Categories are paper, poster, exhibit, website, performance, podcast or documentary and can be done in a group or individually.

Last year’s competition saw a total of 30 Merced County students advance to the state competition from Hilmar Middle School and High School.

Click here to register for the workshop.

For more information on the Merced County History Day Program or the Intro to History Day Professional Development contact Stacie Arancibia at sarancibia@mcoe.org.

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July 15, 2202

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
REST AREA, RAMP & LANE CLOSURES
INTERSTATE 5 AND STATE ROUTES 59, 99 & 152

MERCED COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will perform
various closures on Interstate 5 (I-5), State Route 59 (SR-59), SR-99 and SR-152 for
maintenance and construction operations. Work to occur as follows;
INTERSTATE 5:
• Full closure of the John C. Erreca Rest Areas on northbound and southbound I-5
beginning Monday, April 4, 2022, through July 2023.
o ALTERNATE LOCATIONS: Motorists are advised to use either the Westley
Rest Area (San Joaquin/Stanislaus County line) or the Coalinga-Avenal
Rest Area (Fresno/Kings County line). Electric vehicle charging stations
are available at the Westley Rest Area.
STATE ROUTE 59:
• One-way traffic control at Oakdale Road for electrical work on Wednesday, July
20, through Thursday, July 21, 2022, from 7:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.
STATE ROUTE 99:
• Full off-ramp closure from southbound SR-99 at Mission Avenue for guardrail work
beginning Sunday, July 17, through Friday, July 22, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 6:00
a.m.
• Alternating closures of the #1 (left) and #2 (right) lanes of northbound and
southbound SR-99 from Colony Slough to SR-140/SR-59 (V Street) beginning
Sunday, July 17, through Friday, July 22, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at Childs Avenue for
construction beginning Sunday, July 17, through Friday, July 22, 2022, from 8:00
p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at Childs Avenue for
construction beginning Sunday, July 17, through Friday, July 22, 2022, from 10:00
p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at SR-140 East for construction
beginning Sunday, July 17, through Friday, July 22, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00
a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at SR-140 East for construction
beginning Sunday, July 17, through Friday, July 22, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00
a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from northbound SR-99 at G Street for construction
beginning Sunday, July 17, through Friday, July 22, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00
a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from G Street to southbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Sunday, July 17, through Friday, July 22, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00
a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at SR-59/Martin Luther King Jr.
Way for construction beginning Sunday, July 17, through Friday, July 22, 2022,
from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at SR-59/Martin Luther King Jr.
Way for construction beginning Sunday, July 17, through Friday, July 22, 2022,
from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from northbound SR-99 at R Street for construction
beginning Sunday, July 17, through Friday, July 22, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00
a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from R Street to southbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Sunday, July 17, through Friday, July 22, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00
a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from SR-140/59 (V Street) to northbound SR-99 for
construction beginning Sunday, July 17, through Friday, July 22, 2022, from 8:00
p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from southbound SR-99 at SR-140/59 (V Street) for
construction beginning Sunday, July 17, through Friday, July 22, 2022, from 10:00
p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from 16th Street to northbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Sunday, July 17, through Friday, July 22, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00
a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at 16th Street for construction
beginning Sunday, July 17, through Friday, July 22, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00
a.m.
• Atwater Boulevard off-ramp from northbound SR-99 will be closed to traffic
through August 31, 2022. DETOUR: Use Applegate Road.
• Atwater Boulevard on-ramp to northbound SR-99 will be closed to traffic
beginning Sunday, July 17, through September 21, 2022. DETOUR: Use Applegate
Road.
• Full on-ramp closure from Applegate Road to southbound SR-99 for striping
operations beginning Sunday, July 17, through Friday, July 22, 2022, from 8:00
p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
STATE ROUTE 152:
• Full connector ramp closure from eastbound SR-152 to northbound SR-33 (south
of Santa Nella) for electrical work beginning Sunday, July 17, through Friday, July
22, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full connector ramp closure from westbound SR-152 to northbound SR-33 (south
of Santa Nella) for electrical work beginning Sunday, July 17, through Friday, July
22, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 4:00 a.m.
Motorists should expect five to 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.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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July 15, 2202

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
One-way Traffic Control on State Routes 41, 49 and 140

MARIPOSA COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltans) will perform various operations next week on State Routes 41, 49 and 140 in Mariposa County next week.
Work is scheduled as follows:
Route 41
• One-way traffic control from Fish Camp Lane to Summit Camp for utility work from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Monday, July 18, 2022.
• One-way traffic control from Wass Road East to Hirsch Road for tree work beginning Tuesday, July 12, through Wednesday, July 13, 2022, from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Route 49
• One-way traffic control from Tiptop-Usona Road to Brooks Road for tree work beginning Monday, July 18, through Tuesday, July 19, from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 20, and from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 21, through Friday, July 22, 2022.
• One-way traffic control at Stockton Creek Bridge for paving from 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Monday, July 18, 2022.
• One-way traffic control from Crown Lead Road to Schilling Road for utility potholing from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 20, 2022.
• One-way traffic control from Moccasin Creek to Bear Valley Road for shoulder work beginning Monday, July 18, through Thursday, July 21, 2022, from 7:00 a.m.
to 3:30 p.m.
Route 140
• One-way traffic control at Miller Road for utility work from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 17, 2022.
• One-way traffic control at Midpines Rest Area for utility work from 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 22, 2022.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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July 9, 2202

Caltrans Conducts Slope Repair Project in Mariposa County
Thanks to SB 1 Funds

MARIPOSA COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will conduct a slope repair project on State Route 140 near the community of Briceburg in Mariposa County. The $4.5 million project is fully funded by Senate Bill (SB) 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017.
“This important SB 1 project will allow crews to perform proactive maintenance work that will prevent deterioration of the roadway,” said Caltrans District 10 Director Dennis T. Agar. “Rehabilitating this slope will significantly improve water drainage beneath a state highway that serves residents and businesses throughout the region and millions who visit Yosemite National Park each year.”
Construction will take place along eastbound Route 140 about two miles west of Bull Creek Road and two miles south of Briceburg from July through November 2022. The project will restore the integrity of the slope beneath an existing 84-inch concrete water passage to prevent further erosion. Crews will install rock slope protection with concrete grout and a rock-filled wall with stone-base support. Other work includes upgrading guardrails to current standards.
SB 1 provides $5 billion in transportation funding annually split between the state and local agencies. Road projects progress through construction phases more quickly based on the availability of SB 1 funds, including projects that are partially funded by SB 1. For more information about other transportation projects funded by SB 1, visit RebuildingCA.ca.gov.
More information and updates on projects can be found at dot.ca.gov/d10/projects.html or on Twitter via @CaltransDist10.


For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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July 9, 2202

One-way Traffic Control on State Routes 49 and 140

MARIPOSA COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltans) will perform various operations next week on State Routes 49 and 140 in Mariposa County next week.
Work is scheduled as follows:
Route 49
• One-way traffic control at Stockton Creek Bridge for paving from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Monday, July 11, 2022.
• One-way traffic control from Wass Road East to Hirsch Road for tree work beginning Tuesday, July 12, through Wednesday, July 13, 2022, from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Route 140
• One-way traffic control from from Smith Road to Old Highway for slope repair and clearing from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 14, 2022.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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July 8, 2202

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
REST AREA, RAMP & LANE CLOSURES
INTERSTATE 5 AND STATE ROUTES 99, 140 & 152

MERCED COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will perform
various closures on Interstate 5 (I-5), State Route 99 (SR-99), SR-140 and SR-152 for
maintenance and construction operations. Work to occur as follows;
INTERSTATE 5:
• Full closure of the John C. Erreca Rest Areas on northbound and southbound I-5
beginning Monday, April 4, 2022, through July 2023.
o ALTERNATE LOCATIONS: Motorists are advised to use either the Westley
Rest Area (San Joaquin/Stanislaus County line) or the Coalinga-Avenal
Rest Area (Fresno/Kings County line). Electric vehicle charging stations
are available at the Westley Rest Area.
• Full connector ramp closure from northbound I-5 to westbound SR-152 for bridge
work beginning Sunday, July 10, through Friday, July 15, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until
6:00 a.m.
• Full connector ramp closure from southbound I-5 to eastbound SR-152 for bridge
work beginning Sunday, July 10, through Friday, July 15, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until
6:00 a.m.
STATE ROUTE 99:
• Alternating closures of the #1 (left) and #2 (right) lanes of northbound and
southbound SR-99 from Colony Slough to SR-140/SR-59 (V Street) beginning
Sunday, July 10, through Friday, July 15, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at Childs Avenue for
construction beginning Sunday, July 10, through Friday, July 15, 2022, from 8:00
p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at Childs Avenue for
construction beginning Sunday, July 10, through Friday, July 15, 2022, from 10:00
p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at SR-140 East for construction
beginning Sunday, July 10, through Friday, July 15, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00
a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at SR-140 East for construction
beginning Sunday, July 10, through Friday, July 15, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00
a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from northbound SR-99 at G Street for construction
beginning Sunday, July 10, through Friday, July 15, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00
a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from G Street to southbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Sunday, July 10, through Friday, July 15, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00
a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at SR-59/Martin Luther King Jr.
Way for construction beginning Sunday, July 10, through Friday, July 15, 2022,
from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at SR-59/Martin Luther King Jr.
Way for construction beginning Sunday, July 10, through Friday, July 15, 2022,
from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from northbound SR-99 at R Street for construction
beginning Sunday, July 10, through Friday, July 15, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00
a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from R Street to southbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Sunday, July 10, through Friday, July 15, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00
a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from SR-140/59 (V Street) to northbound SR-99 for
construction beginning Sunday, July 10, through Friday, July 15, 2022, from 8:00
p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from southbound SR-99 at SR-140/59 (V Street) for
construction beginning Sunday, July 10, through Friday, July 15, 2022, from 10:00
p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from 16th Street to northbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Sunday, July 10, through Friday, July 15, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00
a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at 16th Street for construction
beginning Sunday, July 10, through Friday, July 15, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00
a.m.
• Atwater Boulevard off-ramp from northbound SR-99 will be closed to traffic
through August 31, 2022. DETOUR: Use Applegate Road.
• Atwater Boulevard on-ramp to northbound SR-99 will be closed to traffic
beginning Sunday, July 17, through September 21, 2022. DETOUR: Use Applegate
Road.
• Full on-ramp closure from Applegate Road to southbound SR-99 for striping
operations beginning Monday, July 11, through Friday, July 15, 2022, from 8:00
p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Intermittent, full on-ramp closures from Shanks Road to southbound SR-99 for
bridge inspection on Saturday, July 9, 2022, from 6:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
STATE ROUTE 140:
• One-way traffic control from Kibby Road to Santa Fe Avenue for utility work
beginning Monday, July 11, through Thursday, July 14, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until
6:00 a.m.
STATE ROUTE 152:
• Full connector ramp closure from eastbound SR-152 to northbound I-5 for bridge
work beginning Sunday, July 10, through Friday, July 15, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until
6:00 a.m.
• Full connector ramp closure from westbound SR-152 to southbound I-5 for bridge
work beginning Sunday, July 10, through Friday, July 15, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until
6:00 a.m.
Motorists should expect five to 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.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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July 2, 2202

MCAG SEEKS PUBLIC INPUT ON REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION PLAN AND HOUSING NEEDS

MERCED - Merced County Association of Governments (MCAG) is asking for community feedback on two important regional issues in the coming weeks. The public comment period for both the Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (RTP/SCS) and the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) are now open, and residents of Merced County are encouraged to provide their thoughts about the region’s future plans for both transportation and housing needs over the next several years.
The RTP/SCS is a long-range planning document that seeks to ensure the region's multimodal transportation network will meet the needs of Merced County residents and the local economy through 2046. The SCS portion of the plan addresses the planned growth in local communities and how it is linked to transportation with the overarching goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. A preferred scenario that focuses new development in existing communities near services and jobs has been selected through community input and endorsed by the MCAG Board of Directors. The scenario also minimizes the conversion of agricultural land and urban sprawl. The Board will take action on the RTP/SCS at the conclusion of the comment period at their meeting in August.
The RHNA is a process required by the state that assesses how much, and what kind of housing is needed to keep pace with population growth in Merced County. The amount and types of housing required is divided up between the County of Merced and the six cities within the county so that those jurisdictions can prepare to incorporate the needed units through the Housing Elements of their General Plans. The number and type of units for each city and the County are assigned after the consideration of several factors such as affordability and income levels, preservation of agricultural land, access to transit service, and proximity to jobs. The RHNA must be consistent with the transportation and land use patterns outlined in the RTP/SCS. The MCAG Governing Board will take action to adopt the RHNA methodology at their August meeting after all comments are received. It will then be sent to the state Department of Housing and Community Development for review and approval.
There are several ways that residents can provide their comments on either, or both, the RTP/SCS and RHNA:
• Attend the public hearing either in-person or via Zoom on Thursday, July 21st at 3:00pm
o In-person: Merced County Administration Building, 2222 M Street in Merced
o Virtual: https://zoom.us/join - Webinar ID: 865 7267 7382, Passcode: 36918, for audio only: 1-669-900-6833
• Send an email to: info@mcagov.org with ‘Public comment’ in the subject line
• Call (209) 723-3153 and dial x123 for RTP/SCS comments or x127 for RHNA comments
• Send comments by mail to: MCAG 369 W. 18th Street Merced, CA 95340
The public comment period for the RTP/SCS closes on August 4, 2022 and for the RHNA methodology on July 26, 2022.
For more information about the RTP/SCS visit: https://www.mcagov.org/364/2022-RTP. For more information about RHNA visit: https://www.mcagov.org/363/RHNA---Regional-Housing-Need-Allocation.
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.

CLICK HERE TO MCAG MONTHLY NEWSLETTER

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July 2, 2202

 

Thank you in advance for giving back to the kids in your community!
We are excited to announce that we will be partnering with Walking Faith Ministries to get 100 new backpacks donated for our Backpack Giveaway event coming up on July 27 (more details coming soon!)

We are ONLY looking for backpacks right now, so don’t worry about supplies!
Kind hearts can drop off new backpacks at Hoffmeister Center at 1920 Canal St. in Merced or call Love INC at the office (209) 383-1265

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July 2, 2202

California Allocates More Than $3 Billion for Transportation Infrastructure

SACRAMENTO — The California Transportation Commission (CTC) allocated more than $3 billion today to repair and improve transportation infrastructure throughout the state, including $1.3 billion in funding from the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to support local projects and to protect local roads and bridges from extreme weather and natural disasters. Senate Bill (SB) 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, accounts for more than $930 million of the total funding.
“The CTC’s decision to invest in our state highways while protecting city and county infrastructure will help make California’s roadways safer and more resilient one shovel, one project and one community at a time,” said Caltrans Director Tony Tavares.
Projects approved this week in District 10 include:
• A project in San Joaquin County received $1.1 million to rehabilitate and address structural and load carrying deficiencies on the Stockton Channel Viaduct Bridge.
• A project in Amador County received $1.8 million to rehabilitate pavement, modify traffic signals, upgrade guardrails, and rehabilitate drainage systems near Martell from State Route 124 to Route 49, covering approximately 20 lane miles.
• A project in Calaveras County received nearly $2.5 million to replace the North Fork Calaveras Creek Bridge near San Andreas.
The $1.3 billion federal local assistance allocation in fiscal year 2023 is thanks to programs that were created or expanded under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, also referred to as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Caltrans oversees funds that are available to more than 600 cities, counties, and regional agencies for the purpose of improving their transportation infrastructure and services. Funding from new programs that were created by the law includes $45 million to build community resilience in the face of extreme weather and natural disasters and $63 million to help develop carbon reduction strategies that address the climate crisis.
SB 1 provides $5 billion in annual transportation funding annually that is split between the state and local agencies. Road projects progress through construction phases more
quickly based on the availability of SB 1 funds, including projects that are partially funded by SB 1.
For more information about transportation projects funded by SB 1, visit RebuildingCA.ca.gov.

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July 1, 2202

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
REST AREA, RAMP & LANE CLOSURES
INTERSTATE 5 AND STATE ROUTES 59 & 99

MERCED COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will perform
various closures on Interstate 5 (I-5), State Route 59 (SR-59) and SR-99 for maintenance
and construction operations. Work to occur as follows;
INTERSTATE 5:
• Full closure of the John C. Erreca Rest Areas on northbound and southbound I-5
beginning Monday, April 4, 2022, through July 2023.
o ALTERNATE LOCATIONS: Motorists are advised to use either the Westley
Rest Area (San Joaquin/Stanislaus County line) or the Coalinga-Avenal
Rest Area (Fresno/Kings County line). Electric vehicle charging stations
are available at the Westley Rest Area.
STATE ROUTE 59:
• One-way traffic control at Oakdale Road for electrical work beginning
Wednesday, July 6, through Thursday, July 7, from 7:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., and
on Friday, July 8, 2022, from 7:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.
STATE ROUTE 99:
• Full off-ramp closure from southbound SR-99 at Mission Avenue for guardrail work
beginning Wednesday, July 6, through Friday, July 8, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until
6:00 a.m.
• Alternating closures of the #1 (left) and #2 (right) lanes of northbound and
southbound SR-99 from Colony Slough to SR-140/SR-59 (V Street) beginning
Wednesday, July 6, through Friday, July 8, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at Childs Avenue for
construction beginning Wednesday, July 6, through Friday, July 8, 2022, from 8:00
p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at Childs Avenue for
construction beginning Wednesday, July 6, through Friday, July 8, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at SR-140 East for construction
beginning Wednesday, July 6, through Friday, July 8, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until
5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at SR-140 East for construction
beginning Wednesday, July 6, through Friday, July 8, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until
6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from northbound SR-99 at G Street for construction
beginning Wednesday, July 6, through Friday, July 8, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until
5:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from G Street to southbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Wednesday, July 6, through Friday, July 8, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until
6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at SR-59/Martin Luther King Jr.
Way for construction beginning Wednesday, July 6, through Friday, July 8, 2022,
from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at SR-59/Martin Luther King Jr.
Way for construction beginning Wednesday, July 6, through Friday, July 8, 2022,
from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from northbound SR-99 at R Street for construction
beginning Wednesday, July 6, through Friday, July 8, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until
5:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from R Street to southbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Wednesday, July 6, through Friday, July 8, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until
6:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from SR-140/59 (V Street) to northbound SR-99 for
construction beginning Wednesday, July 6, through Friday, July 8, 2022, from 8:00
p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from southbound SR-99 at SR-140/59 (V Street) for
construction beginning Wednesday, July 6, through Friday, July 8, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from 16th Street to northbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Wednesday, July 6, through Friday, July 8, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until
5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at 16th Street for construction
beginning Wednesday, July 6, through Friday, July 8, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until
6:00 a.m.
• Atwater Boulevard off-ramp from northbound SR-99 will be closed to traffic
beginning Sunday, June 26, through August 31, 2022. DETOUR: Use Applegate
Road.
• Atwater Boulevard on-ramp to northbound SR-99 will be closed to traffic
beginning Sunday, July 17, through September 21, 2022. DETOUR: Use Applegate
Road.
• Full on-ramp closure from Applegate Road to southbound SR-99 for striping
operations beginning Wednesday, July 6, through Friday, July 8, 2022, from 8:00
p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Intermittent, full on-ramp closures from Shanks Road to southbound SR-99 for
bridge inspection on Saturday, July 9, 2022, from 6:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
Motorists should expect five to 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.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

 

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July 1, 2202

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
One-way Traffic Control on State Routes 49 and 132

MARIPOSA COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltans) will perform various operations next week on State Routes 49 and 132 in Mariposa County next week.
Work is scheduled as follows:
Route 49
• One-way traffic control at Stockton Creek Bridge for K-rail installation beginning Wednesday, July 6, through Friday, July 8, 2022, from 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
• One-way traffic control from Bear Valley Road to the Mariposa/Tuolumne County Line beginning Tuesday, July 5, through Wednesday, July 6, 2022, from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
• One-way traffic control from Crown Lead Road to Shilling Road for utility potholing from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Wedneday, July 6, 2022.
Route 132
• One-way traffic control from Josephina Way to the Mariposa/Tuolumne County Line for shoulder work from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 7, 2022.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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July 1, 2202

Free At-home COVID-19 Tests for People Who Are Blind or Have Low Vision

The Biden-Harris Administration has launched a new initiative to expand the availability of at-home tests that are more accessible for people who are blind or have low vision. The tests work with a compatible Bluetooth-enabled smartphone and a free app to provide users with audible instructions and audible test results. Read more about the tests.

How to get the tests:
Order online or by calling 1-800-232-0233.
• Each order will include two rapid-antigen tests that are more accessible for people who are blind or have low vision.
• Orders will ship free, while supplies last.
Because supplies are limited, please order the more accessible tests only if you do not have options for using the standard tests. If you have someone you trust who can help you administer the test and interpret results (in person, or through a video platform like FaceTime or Zoom), or can use assistive technology (such as AIRA or Be My Eyes), please order the standard tests.

This initiative complements the Administration’s efforts to expand production of more accessible tests and work with private sector partners on the development of new accessible tests.

Need more assistance?
The trained staff at the Disability Information and Access Line (DIAL) can provide additional assistance with:
• Ordering tests.
• Understanding instructions for test administration and test results.
• Providing alternative instructions for traditional at-home tests for people who are unable to access, read, or understand the manufacturer’s version.
• For those who cannot use an at-home test, DIAL operators can:
o Assist with ordering “swab and send” kits to collect a sample and mail it back for results.
o Connect callers to local organizations for assistance locating other testing options in their community, including in-home testing programs or transportation or companion support to visit a community-based testing site.
Call 888-677-1199 Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Eastern) or email DIAL@usaginganddisability.org.

--
Center of Vision Enhancement - COVE
Resource Center for Blindness and Low Vision
1901 G Street
Merced, CA 95340
209-722-8118


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June 30, 2202

With Clean California, Caltrans and Butte County Office of Education Launch Merced’s First Back 2 Work Crew

MERCED –Through an expanded partnership between Caltrans and the Butte County Office of Education (BCOE) Back 2 Work Program, underserved and often-marginalized workers in Merced are finding paths to gainful employment and a fresh start thanks to Governor Gavin Newsom’s Clean California initiative, a sweeping $1.1 billion, multiyear clean-up effort led by Caltrans to remove trash, create thousands of jobs and engage communities to transform public spaces. One of the first Back 2 Work crews in Merced began picking up litter on highways this week.
“It's not just about picking up the litter in the city. It's also rebuilding us, rebuilding that integrity and that character within us that maybe we lost along the way,” said Teresa Bryner, the first female to join the Merced crew. “I had suffered from homelessness and hadn't been able to keep a job for over six months. So, I'm getting back to working and restoring my life.”
Through BCOE’s Back 2 Work Program, participants who have experienced homelessness, re-entered society after incarceration, or encountered barriers to finding employment learn life and job skills and receive temporary paid employment, job placement assistance and social services in counties throughout California.
BCOE’s Back 2 Work crews support Caltrans in collecting and disposing of litter and debris along the state highway system. Building on the success of this partnership, Caltrans significantly expanded the program in 2021, signing a $127 million contract with BCOE – funded by Clean California – to hire 82 additional Back 2 Work crews statewide. Each crew has an estimated 50 participants annually, providing more than 4,000 people with the opportunity to reintegrate back into the workforce. Additional Clean California job postings are available on CalCareers.
“Clean California is benefiting communities throughout the state by removing litter and focusing on critical efforts to maintain the highways and keep people safe,” said Caltrans District 10 Director Dennis Agar. “Our partnership with BCOE accomplishes this while helping people get a fresh start.”
Since launching Clean California in July, Caltrans has removed nearly 731,000 cubic yards of litter from state highways – the equivalent of more than 12,000 tons, or enough to fill 224 Olympic-size swimming pools – and hired 723 new team members as part of Clean California, including 469 maintenance workers who collect litter and remove graffiti.

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June 24, 2202

SARAH HOPKINS-CHERY ACCEPTS HEAD COACHING JOB AT CAL STATE MONTEREY BAY

MERCED, Calif. - After seven years as the head coach of the University of California, Merced women's basketball program, Sarah Hopkins-Chery has been named the head women's basketball coach at Cal State Monterey Bay.
Hopkins-Chery led the Bobcats to three California Pacific Conference Tournament Championships and 103 wins in her time at the helm. This past year, Hopkins-Chery guided the Bobcats to an 18-win season, including 10-0 in Cal Pac play, and a Cal Pac Championship.
The Bobcats were 103-66 (.609 winning %) all-time and 57-17 (.770%) in the Cal Pac under Hopkins-Chery, who started in the navy and gold just prior to the 2015-16 season and was named the Cal Pac Coach of the Year in her first go-around.
Hopkins-Chery also led the Bobcats to a regular season title, three NAIA National Tournaments, and a No. 22 national ranking. The Bobcats, who never missed a conference tournament, were consistently amongst the best in the Cal Pac and the NAIA in multiple offensive and defensive statistical categories. This past year, Hopkins-Chery's team ranked fifth in the nation having allowed just 52.5 points per game. The Bobcats ranked first in the country giving up just 47 PPG in league action.
Hopkins-Chery's student athletes had great success athletically and academically under her direction. She coached 17 All-Cal Pac selections, including the 4X Cal Pac Defensive Player of the Year and the conference's all-time leading scorer Mia Belvin. Belvin was also a 3X NAIA Third Team All-American. Courtney Danna was a 2X Honorable Mention All-American under Hopkins-Chery. Mikayla Mabie became the program's latest Honorable Mention All-American at the conclusion of the 2021-22 season.
Academically, women's basketball has been named a Scholar Team four times since 2015-16 and has achieved a 3.0 team GPA or higher in eight straight semesters dating back to the fall of 2018. Hopkins-Chery's team had a phenomenal 3.4 GPA in the fall of 2020 and the spring of
2021. Recently, women's basketball's Rainah Smith was named the UC Merced Female Intercollegiate Scholar Athlete of the Year after maintaining the highest GPA out of all of UC Merced's graduating student athletes.
A national search for UC Merced's next head women's basketball coach will begin immediately.

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June 23, 2202

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
TRAFFIC SHIFT – NORTHBOUND STATE ROUTE 99 IN ATWATER
NORTHBOUND #2 (RIGHT) LANE TO SHIFT TO NORTHBOUND MEDIAN
EXTENDED FULL CLOSURE OF ATWATER BOULEVARD ON & OFF-RAMPS
DETOUR: USE NORTHBOUND SR-99 APPLEGATE ROAD ON AND OFF-RAMPS

MERCED COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will perform a
long-term traffic shift of northbound State Route 99 (SR-99) and extended full closures of
the Atwater Boulevard on and off-ramps in the city of Atwater, as work progresses on
the SR-99 Atwater Rehabilitation Project. Two travel lanes will remain open on
northbound and southbound SR-99 during this traffic shift.
Beginning Sunday, June 26, 2022, the #2 (right) lane of northbound SR-99 will be shifted
to the new pavement on the median of northbound SR-99, from just north of the
Atwater Expressway Overcrossing to south of Westside Boulevard Overcrossing.
The #1 (left) lane of northbound SR-99 will remain shifted to the median of southbound
SR-99 as motorists will then travel northbound between temporary k-rail (concrete
barrier) on southbound SR-99 and the newly constructed center median barrier. While
traveling between these barriers, motorists will not have access to off-ramps to exit the
highway.
Additionally, the Atwater Boulevard off-ramp of northbound SR-99 (only) will be closed to
traffic beginning Sunday, June 26, through August 31, 2022, and Atwater Boulevard onramp
will be closed to traffic beginning Sunday, July 17, through September 21, 2022.
These closures will require the following detour routes that will be marked with roadside
signage:
NORTHBOUND SR-99 ATWATER BOULEVARD ROAD OFF-RAMP DETOUR:
• Exit northbound SR-99 at Applegate Road (Exit 195), turn right on Sycamore
Avenue, turn left at Applegate Road, turn right at Atwater Boulevard
NORTHBOUND SR-99 ATWATER BOULEVARD ON-RAMP DETOUR:
• From all locations within the city of Atwater, use the Applegate Road on-ramp to
northbound SR-99
Motorists should expect 10 to 15-minute delays. Alternate routes should be taken
whenever possible.
These traffic shifts and ramp closures are required to ensure the safety of both
construction workers and the travelling public. Motorists are reminded that speed limits
will be reduced to 55 miles per hour within the work zone.
The SR-99 Atwater Rehabilitation Project will repave and make improvements to over 16
lane miles of northbound and southbound SR-99 from Buhach Road to Westside
Boulevard, providing a smoother and more reliable route for commuters and
commercial vehicles through the city of Atwater.
The project also calls for the reconstruction of the on- and off-ramps at Applegate
Road and at Atwater Boulevard. The project is estimated to be complete by
December 2022.
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.

For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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June 21, 2202

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
REST AREA, FULL HIGHWAY, RAMP & LANE CLOSURES
INTERSTATE 5 AND STATE ROUTES 59, 99, 140, 152 & 165

MERCED COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will perform
various closures on Interstate 5 (I-5), State Route 59 (SR-59), SR-99, SR-140, SR-152 and SR-
165 for maintenance and construction operations. Work to occur as follows;
INTERSTATE 5:
• Full closure of the John C. Erreca Rest Areas on northbound and southbound I-5
beginning Monday, April 4, 2022, through July 2023.
o ALTERNATE LOCATIONS: Motorists are advised to use either the Westley
Rest Area (San Joaquin/Stanislaus County line) or the Coalinga-Avenal
Rest Area (Fresno/Kings County line). Electric vehicle charging stations
are available at the Westley Rest Area.
• Full connector ramp closures from northbound and southbound I-5 to SR-152 for
bridge work beginning Sunday, June 19, through Friday, June 24, 2022, from 9:00
p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
STATE ROUTE 59:
• One-way traffic control at Oakdale Road for electrical work beginning
Wednesday, June 22, through Friday, June 24,2022, from 7:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.
STATE ROUTE 99:
• Alternating closures of the #1 (left) and #2 (right) lanes of northbound and
southbound SR-99 from Colony Slough to SR-140/SR-59 (V Street) beginning
Sunday, June 19, through Friday, June 24, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at Childs Avenue for
construction beginning Sunday, June 19, through Friday, June 24, 2022, from 8:00
p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at Childs Avenue for
construction beginning Sunday, June 19, through Friday, June 24, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at SR-140 East for construction
beginning Sunday, June 19, through Friday, June 24, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until
5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at SR-140 East for construction
beginning Sunday, June 19, through Friday, June 24, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until
6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from northbound SR-99 at G Street for construction
beginning Sunday, June 19, through Friday, June 24, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until
5:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from G Street to southbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Sunday, June 19, through Friday, June 24, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until
6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at SR-59/Martin Luther King Jr.
Way for construction beginning Sunday, June 19, through Friday, June 24, 2022,
from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at SR-59/Martin Luther King Jr.
Way for construction beginning Sunday, June 19, through Friday, June 24, 2022,
from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from northbound SR-99 at R Street for construction
beginning Sunday, June 19, through Friday, June 24, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until
5:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from R Street to southbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Sunday, June 19, through Friday, June 24, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until
6:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from SR-140/59 (V Street) to northbound SR-99 for
construction beginning Sunday, June 19, through Friday, June 24, 2022, from 8:00
p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from southbound SR-99 at SR-140/59 (V Street) for
construction beginning Sunday, June 19, through Friday, June 24, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from 16th Street to northbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Sunday, June 19, through Friday, June 24, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until
5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at 16th Street for construction
beginning Sunday, June 19, through Friday, June 24, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until
6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at Franklin Road for electrical
work beginning Monday, June 20, through Tuesday, June 21, 2022, from 8:00 p.m.
until 6:00 a.m.
• Long-term full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at East Atwater
Boulevard for construction through July 22, 2022. DETOUR: Use Applegate Road
on and off-ramps.
• Full on-ramp closure from Applegate Road to southbound SR-99 for striping
operations beginning Monday, June 20, through Friday, June 24, 2022, from 8:00
p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
STATE ROUTE 140:
• One-way traffic control from I-5 to SR-33 for pavement work beginning Monday,
June 20, through Friday, June 24, 2022, from 8:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.
• One-way traffic control from Kibby Road to Santa Fe Avenue for utility work
beginning Monday, June 20, through Friday, June 24, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until
6:00 a.m.
• One-way traffic control at the Merced/Mariposa County line for bridge work
beginning Monday, June 20, through Thursday, June 23, 2022, from 6:00 a.m. until
6:00 p.m.
STATE ROUTE 152:
• Full connector-ramp closure from eastbound and westbound SR-152 to I-5 for
bridge work beginning Sunday, June 19, through Friday, June 24, 2022, from 9:00
p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
STATE ROUTE 165:
• Full highway closure from Third Avenue (Stevinson) to Canal Drive for a special
event on Sunday, June 19, 2022, from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.
Motorists should expect five to 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.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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June 21, 2202

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
ONE-WAY TRAFFIC CONTROL
On State Routes 41, 49 and 140

MARIPOSA COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has scheduled an additional lane closure this week on State Routes 41, 49 and 140.
Route 41
• One-way traffic control from Summit Camp to Fishcamp Lane for utility work from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Monday, June 20, 2022.
Route 49
• One-way traffic control from Mocassin Creek to Bear Valley Road for pavement repairs beginning Monday, June 20, through Thursday, June 23, 2022, from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Route 140
• One-way traffic control from Guenthart to Cathey’s Valley Drive for utility work from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 22, 2022.
• One-way traffic control from Mariposa Creek to Coakley Circle for concrete pouring beginning Tuesday, June 21, through Friday, June 24, 2022, from 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Motorists should expect 10-minute delays and use alternate routes if possible. Work is scheduled as listed, but is subject to change due to traffic incidents, weather, availability of equipment, and/or materials and construction related issues.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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June 10, 2202

UC MERCED TO ADD MEN’S AND WOMEN’S WATER POLO & OUTDOOR TRACK

MERCED, Calif. - University of California, Merced Executive Director of Recreation & Athletics David Dunham has announced the addition of men’s and women’s water polo and men’s and women’s outdoor track as varsity intercollegiate sports beginning in the 2022-23 academic year. This announcement gives UC Merced Athletics 12 sponsored varsity sports, six men’s teams and six women’s teams.
“We are excited to be able grow our programs as our campus continues to grow,” Dunham said. “Water polo has a rich history in the Central Valley and will be great addition to our campus.”
UC Merced last added varsity programs in 2013-14 with the introduction of men’s soccer and men’s volleyball. Since then, UC Merced Athletics has gone through substantial growth with the likes of new facilities such as Bobcat Field and the Aquatics Center.
Water polo, which will be elevated from a UC Merced sports club team and is one of the fastest growing sports in America, will call the Aquatics Center home and compete as a member of the Collegiate Water Polo Association. Men’s water polo will play in the fall, while the women’s water polo team will begin competition in the spring. Water polo thrives in the state of California, providing UC Merced with elite regional competition. A more concrete plan to determine UC Merced’s opponents in its inaugural year will be released later this summer. A national search for the Bobcats’ first men’s and women’s water polo head coach will begin immediately.
Current UC Merced head cross country coach Vicente Velarde will lead the outdoor track program. Velarde has led his men’s and women’s cross country teams to runner-up finishes in the California Pacific Conference each of the last two years and has qualified 13 individuals for the NAIA National Championships.
The track program aims to focus on distance track at the start while competing as a member of the Cal Pac in the NAIA. The inaugural Cal Pac Track & Field Championship was held this past April. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University claimed both the men’s and women’s team titles.
“I look forward to working with Coach Velarde as he builds our track program,” Dunham said. “There is great synergy between cross country and track. We have had success in our cross country program for many years and look to build upon that solid cross country foundation while building an competitive track program.”
“We couldn't be more excited or grateful for the addition of track,” Velarde said. “I was pleasantly surprised we added it for this upcoming year, but it has been something the team and I have wanted for a while now. This allows us to have more measurable goals in the spring semester, when in the past, we would typically focus on areas we could grow for cross country. It also opens the possibility of competing for a Cal Pac championship and qualifying for the national meet. This spring, Jonathan Chavez made huge progress and managed to hit the A-standard qualifying time for the 5000m run. It just happened to be that his time of 14:38 ended up winning the national meet as well. So, when I see our runners accomplishing things like that and now we know there are possibilities of them becoming All-American or getting those experiences to enter the national championships, it has me excited to see them enjoy the rewards of their hard work. More than anything, I'm excited to lead this program and set a foundation that we can be proud of in our first season.”
Track season will begin in the spring of 2023.

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TRAFFIC ADVISORY
REST AREA, FULL HIGHWAY, RAMP & LANE CLOSURES
INTERSTATE 5 AND STATE ROUTES 59, 99 & 140

MERCED COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will perform
various lane and ramp closures on Interstate 5 (I-5), State Route 59 (SR-59), SR-99 and
SR-140 for maintenance and construction operations. Work to occur as follows;
INTERSTATE 5:
• Full closure of the John C. Erreca Rest Areas on northbound and southbound I-5
beginning Monday, April 4, 2022, through July 2023.
o ALTERNATE LOCATIONS: Motorists are advised to use either the Westley
Rest Area (San Joaquin/Stanislaus County line) or the Coalinga-Avenal
Rest Area (Fresno/Kings County line). Electric vehicle charging stations
are available at the Westley Rest Area.
• Full connector ramp closure from northbound I-5 to SR-140 near Gustine for
electrical work beginning Sunday, June 12, through Monday, June 13, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
STATE ROUTE 59:
• Full highway closure of SR-59 from Childs Avenue to SR-99 North/SR-140 for a
special event on Saturday, June 18, 2022, from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.
• One-way traffic control at Oakdale Road for electrical work beginning Monday,
June 13, through Thursday, June 16, from 7:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. and on Friday,
June 17, 2022, from 7:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.
STATE ROUTE 99:
• Alternating closures of the #1 (left) and #2 (right) lanes of northbound and
southbound SR-99 from Colony Slough to SR-140/SR-59 (V Street) beginning
Monday, June 13, through Friday, June 17, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at Childs Avenue for
construction beginning Monday, June 13, through Friday, June 17, 2022, from
8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at Childs Avenue for
construction beginning Monday, June 13, through Friday, June 17, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at SR-140 East for construction
beginning Monday, June 13, through Friday, June 17, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until
5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at SR-140 East for construction
beginning Monday, June 13, through Friday, June 17, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until
6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from northbound SR-99 at G Street for construction
beginning Monday, June 13, through Friday, June 17, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until
5:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from G Street to southbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Monday, June 13, through Friday, June 17, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until
6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at SR-59/Martin Luther King Jr.
Way for construction beginning Monday, June 13, through Friday, June 17, 2022,
from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from southbound SR-99 at SR-59/Martin Luther King Jr. Way
for a special event (Juneteenth Parade) on Saturday, June 18, 2022, from 10:00
a.m. until 11:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from northbound SR-99 at R Street for construction
beginning Monday, June 13, through Friday, June 17, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until
5:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from R Street to southbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Monday, June 13, through Friday, June 17, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until
6:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from SR-140/59 (V Street) to northbound SR-99 for
construction beginning Monday, June 13, through Friday, June 17, 2022, from
8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from southbound SR-99 at SR-140/59 (V Street) for
construction beginning Monday, June 13, through Friday, June 17, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from 16th Street to northbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Monday, June 13, through Friday, June 17, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until
5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at 16th Street for construction
beginning Monday, June 13, through Friday, June 17, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until
6:00 a.m.
• Long-term full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at East Atwater
Boulevard for construction through July 22, 2022. DETOUR: Use Applegate Road
on and off-ramps.
STATE ROUTE 140:
• One-way traffic control from I-5 to SR-33 for pavement work beginning Monday,
June 13, through Friday, June 17, 2022, from 8:00 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.
Motorists should expect five to 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.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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June 10, 2202

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
ONE-WAY TRAFFIC CONTROL
On State Routes 49 and 140

MARIPOSA COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has scheduled an additional lane closure this week on State Routes 49 and 140.
Route 49
• One-way traffic control from Allred Road to Varain Road for tree work from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Monday, June 13, 2022.
• One-way traffic control from Allred Road to Varain Road for utility work from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 18, 2022.
• One-way traffic control from near Bear Valley Road to Pendola Garden Road for utility work from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 16, 2022.
• Both shoulders will be closed from Bear Valley Road to Route 120 South for paving beginning Monday, June 13, through Thursday, June 16, 2022, from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
• One-way traffic control at Bear Valley Road for drainage cleaning/inspection from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 16, 2022.
Route 140
• One-way traffic control from Midpines Summit to Cobey Lane for utility work from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 14, 2022.
• One-way traffic control from South Incline Road to Foresta Road for utility work from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 15, 2022.
Motorists should expect 10-minute delays and use alternate routes if possible.
Work is scheduled as listed, but is subject to change due to traffic incidents, weather, availability of equipment, and/or materials and construction related issues.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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May 25, 2202

California High-Speed Rail Authority Pursues First Major Award Of New Federal Infrastructure Funds

Seeks Nearly $1.3 Billion in Federal Funds for MEGA-projects

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The California High-Speed Rail Authority has submitted two applications totaling nearly $1.3 billion in federal grant funding for the nation’s first high-speed rail project. The applications are the first major push for a continued federal partnership under the newly enacted Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, signed by President Biden in November, 2021.

“With the state’s continued commitment and the Biden Administration’s leadership and support, we are confident we will deliver a project the country will be proud of,” said Governor Newsom in his support letter for the grants. “California is the home of innovation, and we are committed to advancing this very innovative project to improve our economy, advance clean mobility and expand economic opportunity for all.”

More than 40 letters of support from up and down the state of California accompanied the Authority’s grant applications, including letters from United States Senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla, members of the Legislature, mayors and other elected officials, along with national and statewide business, transportation and labor leaders.

The Authority’s two applications include funding for:
• Constructing the second track for the initial operating segment between Merced and Bakersfield, beginning with the two tracks on the first 119 miles currently being built in the Central Valley.
• Advancing design work for the extensions to Merced and Bakersfield.
• Station development in Fresno and Kings/Tulare.
• Purchasing six fully electric train sets capable of speeds in excess of 200 mph.
• Advancing the next phase of design for two segments into the Bay Area (Merced to San Jose and San Jose to San Francisco) and into Southern California (Bakersfield to Palmdale and Burbank to Los Angeles).
If awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation, these grants will help California accelerate progress toward the opening of the nation’s first 220 mph, electrified high-speed train system. They will also advance design on crucial segments in both Northern and Southern California that cleared the environmental process in the past year.

You can read a factsheet detailing the Authority's MEGA grant applications here.

California’s high-speed rail project is currently under construction in the Central Valley, employing an average of 1,000 men and women on more than 30 active job sites daily. For continued progress information visit www.buildhsr.com.

The following link contains recent video, animations, photography, press center resources and latest renderings: https://hsra.app.box.com/s/vyvjv9hckwl1dk603ju15u07fdfir2q8

These files are all available for free use, courtesy of the California High-Speed Rail Authority.

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May 25, 2202

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
NORTHBOUND STATE ROUTE 99 RAMP CLOSURES

APPLEGATE ROAD ON AND OFF-RAMPS CLOSED UNTIL MAY 26, 2022
FOR TRAFFIC SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS – ATWATER BOULEVARD RAMPS OPEN

MERCED COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is closing the
Applegate Road on and off-ramps on northbound State Route 99 in Atwater to perform
traffic safety improvements.
Following extended closures of the Applegate Road on and off-ramps on northbound
SR-99 due to construction, both ramps were recently re-opened on May 22, 2022. It was
determined that additional traffic safety improvements were required to before fully reopening
the ramps.
These traffic safety measures include installation of additional detour and guide signs,
improved pavement markings and striping, and reconfiguration of k-rail (concrete
barriers.)
This work is expected to be complete with both Applegate Road on and off-ramps
open to motorists on Thursday, May 26, 2022, (time to be determined.) Meanwhile, the
Atwater Boulevard on and off-ramps on northbound SR-99 will remain open and serve
as an alternate route.
This work is part of the SR-99 Atwater Rehabilitation Project that will repave and make
improvements to over 16 lane miles of northbound and southbound SR-99 from Buhach
Road to Westside Boulevard, providing a smoother and more reliable route for
commuters and commercial vehicles through the city of Atwater.
The project also calls for the reconstruction of the on- and off-ramps at Applegate
Road and at Atwater Boulevard. The project is estimated to be complete by
December 2022.
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.

For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.


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May 24, 2202

TRAFFIC ADVISORY (ADDITIONAL LANE CLOSURE)

ONE-WAY TRAFFIC CONTROL
On State Route 140

MARIPOSA COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has scheduled an additional lane closure this week on State Route 140.
One-way traffic control will be employed on Route 140 north of Midpines County Park for electrical work beginning Tueday, May 24, through Friday, May 27, 2022, from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Motorists should expect 10-minute delays and use alternate routes if possible.
Work is scheduled as listed, but is subject to change due to traffic incidents, weather, availability of equipment, and/or materials and construction related issues.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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May 20, 2202

Livingston High Hosts Science Field Trip for Elementary Students

More than 100 kindergarteners and elementary students from Campus Park Elementary visited Livingston High School for the Science Exploratory Field Trip today, May 19.

Science stations were led exclusively by the high school students, nearly 35 different science stations were set up across campus, where they showcased and performed science experiments for the elementary students.

Science projects varied from chemical reactions, ocean pollution, insects/bugs, energy, matter, volcanoes, physiology, and robotics, among others.

Livingston High School Science Teacher Edith Hernandez coordinated the event.

All science projects included hands-on activities that correspond to the project and a souvenir for elementary students to walk away with.

Teachers from disciplines like art, photography and Career Technical Education (CTE) Medical Technology were also recruited to participate in science stations.

“The field trip continues to grow and evolve every year.” said Hernandez, who started the field trip to help encourage her child’s interest in science.

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May 20, 2202

California Invests $700 Million to Repair and Improve Transportation Infrastructure

Senate Bill 1 provides more than $272 million in funding

FRESNO — The California Transportation Commission (CTC) allocated $700 million today to repair and improve transportation infrastructure throughout the state. Senate Bill (SB) 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, accounts for $272 million – more than a third of the funding.
“This critical investment will help Caltrans continue repairing, maintaining and upgrading our state’s aging transportation infrastructure for improved safety and sustainability,” said Caltrans Acting Director Steven Keck. “It reflects both the CTC’s and Caltrans’ commitment to providing travelers and communities – as well as California’s dynamic and growing economy – with a world-class, multimodal transportation system.”
Projects approved in District 10 this week include:
• The Greater Downtown Bike and Ped Connectivity Project received $75,000 to support a project that will build bicycle and pedestrian improvements on Lincoln Street north-south of the Port of Stockton, Rose Street, and Aurora to 5th Street in downtown Stockton. The project will construct 5.4 miles of bicycle facilities, new and reconstructed curb ramps, speed cushions, rectangular rapid flashing beacons (RRFB), and more than 70 crosswalk installations and enhancements.
• The Waterford Safe Routes to School Project received $15,000 to support a project that will install curbs, gutters, sidewalks, lighting, and conventional style crosswalks along Yosemite Boulevard in Waterford, which will become a Class III bicycle route. This project will help ensure safe active transportation, especially for children walking and bicycling to and from school.
• A project in Amador County received $2.4 million to support a project that will rehabilitate pavement, upgrade guardrails, replace signs, rehabilitate culverts, and construct rumble strips on State Route 88 near Kirkwood from west of Foster Meadow to 1.1 miles east of Shot Rock Vista Point.
SB 1 provides $5 billion in transportation funding annually split between the state and local agencies. Road projects progress through construction phases more quickly based on the availability of SB 1 funds, including projects that are partially funded by SB 1.
For more information about transportation projects funded by SB 1, visit RebuildingCA.ca.gov.

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May 20, 2202

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
REST AREA, CONNECTOR RAMPS & LANE CLOSURES
INTERSTATE 5 AND STATE ROUTES 33, 59, 99, 140, 152 & 165

MERCED COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will perform
various lane and ramp closures on Interstate 5 (I-5), State Route 33 (SR-33), SR-59, SR-99,
SR-140, SR-152 and SR-165 for maintenance and construction operations. Work to occur
as follows;
INTERSTATE 5:
• Full closure of the John C. Erreca Rest Areas on northbound and southbound I-5
beginning Monday, April 4, 2022, through July 2023.
o ALTERNATE LOCATIONS: Motorists are advised to use either the Westley
Rest Area (San Joaquin/Stanislaus County line) or the Coalinga-Avenal
Rest Area (Fresno/Kings County line). Electric charging stations are
available at the Westley Rest Area.
• Full connector ramp closure from northbound I-5 to westbound SR-152 for bridge
work beginning Sunday, May 22, through Friday, May 27, 2022, from 9:00 p.m.
until 6:00 a.m.
• Full connector ramp closure from southbound I-5 to eastbound SR-152 for bridge
work beginning Monday, May 23, through Friday, May 27, 2022, from 9:00 p.m.
until 6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from northbound I-5 to SR-165/Mercy Springs Road for
bridge work beginning Sunday, May 22, through Friday, May 27, 2022, from 9:00
p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound I-5 at SR-33 for electrical work
beginning Monday, May 23, through Friday, May 27, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until
5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off ramp closures on northbound and southbound I-5 at the East and
West Truck Scales for electrical work beginning Sunday, May 22, through
Tuesday, May 24, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
STATE ROUTE 33:
• One-way traffic control from Centinella Road to San Luis Wasteway for utility
work beginning Sunday, May 22, through Friday, May 27, 2022, from 10:00 p.m.
until 6:00 a.m.
STATE ROUTE 59:
• One-way traffic control from West Olive Avenue/Santa Fe Avenue to South
Fork/Black Rascal for utility work beginning Monday, May 23, through
Wednesday, May 25, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
STATE ROUTE 99:
• Alternating closures of the #1 (left) and #2 (right) lanes of northbound and
southbound SR-99 from Colony Slough to SR-140/SR-59 (V Street) beginning
Sunday, May 22, through Friday, May 27, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at Childs Avenue for
construction beginning Monday, May 23, through Friday, May 27, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at SR-140 East for construction
beginning Sunday, May 22, through Monday, May 23, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until
5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at SR-140 East for construction
beginning Monday, May 23, through Friday, May 27, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until
6:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from G Street to southbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Monday, May 23, through Friday, May 27, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until
6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at SR-59/Martin Luther King Jr.
Way for construction beginning Monday, May 23, through Friday, May 27, 2022,
from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at 16th Street for construction
beginning Monday, May 23, through Friday, May 27, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until
6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from northbound SR-99 at East Atwater Boulevard for
construction beginning Sunday, May 22, through Monday, May 23, 2022, from
9:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Long-term full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at East Atwater
Boulevard for construction beginning at 5:00 a.m. on Monday, May 23, through
July 22, 2022. DETOUR: Use Applegate Road on and off-ramps.
• Full on-ramp closure from West Atwater Boulevard to northbound SR-99 for
construction beginning Sunday, May 22, through Monday, May 23, 2022, from
9:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from Hammatt Avenue to northbound SR-99 for landscape
work beginning Monday, May 23, through Thursday, May 26, 2022, from 8:00 a.m.
until 2:00 p.m.
STATE ROUTE 140:
• One-way traffic control from Eighth Street to Sixth Street for utility work beginning
Tuesday, May 24, through Friday, May 27, 2022, from 7:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.
• One-way traffic control from Keaton Road to Wainwright Road for utility work
beginning Monday, May 23, 2022, from 7:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.
• One-way traffic control from Kibby Road to Santa Fe Avenue for utility work
beginning Sunday, May 22, through Friday, May 27, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00
a.m.
• One-way traffic control at the Merced/Mariposa County line for bridge work
beginning Monday, May 23, through Thursday, May 26, from 6:00 a.m. until 6:00
p.m., and on Friday, May 27, 2022, from 6:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.
STATE ROUTE 152:
• Full connector-ramp closures from eastbound SR-152 to northbound I-5 beginning
Sunday, May 22, through Friday, May 27, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Long-term closure of the #1 (left) lane of westbound SR-152 from Highline Canal
to Delta Mendota Canal for bridge work until June 30, 2022.
STATE ROUTE 165:
• One-way traffic control at Mercy Springs Road Overcrossing for bridge work
beginning Sunday, May 22, through Friday, May 27, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00
a.m.
Motorists should expect five to 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.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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May 20, 2202

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
TRAFFIC SHIFT – NORTHBOUND STATE ROUTE 99 IN ATWATER

NORTHBOUND #2 (RIGHT) LANE TO SHIFT TO NORTHBOUND MEDIAN
EXTENDED FULL CLOSURE OF ATWATER BOULEVARD ON & OFF-RAMPS –
APPLEGATE ROAD RAMPS SCHEDULED TO RE-OPEN ON MAY 22, 2022

MERCED COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will perform a
long-term traffic shift of northbound State Route 99 (SR-99) and extended full closures of
the Atwater Boulevard on and off-ramps in the city of Atwater, as work progresses on
the SR-99 Atwater Rehabilitation Project. Two travel lanes will remain open on
northbound and southbound SR-99 during this traffic shift.
Beginning Sunday, May 22, 2022, the #2 (right) lane of northbound SR-99 will be shifted
to the new pavement on the median of northbound SR-99, from just north of the
Atwater Expressway Overcrossing to south of Westside Boulevard Overcrossing.
The #1 (left) lane of northbound SR-99 will remain shifted to the median of southbound
SR-99 as motorists will then travel northbound between temporary k-rail (concrete
barrier) on southbound SR-99 and the newly constructed center median barrier. While
traveling between these barriers, motorists will not have access to off-ramps to exit the
highway.
Additionally, the Atwater Boulevard on and off-ramps on northbound SR-99 (only) will
be closed to traffic beginning Sunday, May 22, 2022, and will require the following
detour routes that will be marked with roadside signage:
NORTHBOUND SR-99 ATWATER BOULEVARD ROAD OFF-RAMP DETOUR:
• Exit northbound SR-99 at Applegate Road (Exit 195), turn right on Sycamore
Avenue, turn left at Applegate Road, turn right at Atwater Boulevard
NORTHBOUND SR-99 ATWATER BOULEVARD ON-RAMP DETOUR:
• From all locations within the city of Atwater, use the Applegate Road on-ramp to
northbound SR-99
The Applegate Road on and off-ramps on northbound SR-99 which have been in an
extended closure are scheduled to re-open on Sunday, May 22, 2022.
Motorists should expect 10 to 15-minute delays. Alternate routes should be taken
whenever possible.
These traffic shifts and ramp closures are required to ensure the safety of both
construction workers and the travelling public. Motorists are reminded that speed limits
will be reduced to 55 miles per hour within the work zone.
The SR-99 Atwater Rehabilitation Project will repave and make improvements to over 16
lane miles of northbound and southbound SR-99 from Buhach Road to Westside
Boulevard, providing a smoother and more reliable route for commuters and
commercial vehicles through the city of Atwater.
The project also calls for the reconstruction of the on- and off-ramps at Applegate
Road and at Atwater Boulevard. The project is estimated to be complete by
December 2022.
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.

For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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May 20, 2202

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
ONE-WAY TRAFFIC CONTROL
ON STATE ROUTES 49 AND 140

MARIPOSA COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will perform various operations on State Routes 49 and 140 next week in Mariposa County.
Route 49
• One-way traffic control from Route 120 to Bear Valley Road for drainage work beginning Monday, May 23, through Thursday, May 26, 2022, from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Route 140
• One-way traffic control at School House Road for utility work from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 26, 2022.
• One-way traffic control from Briceburg Road to Bear Creek Bridge for shoulder work beginning Monday, May 23, through Tuesday, May 24, 2022, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
• One-way traffic control from Bear Creek Bridge to Sweetwater Creek for shoulder work from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 25, 2022.
Motorists should expect 10-minute delays and use alternate routes 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.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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May 19, 2202

The Merced Theatre Closes it’s 2021-2022 Season with a Trip to Jennyville!

Country western artist Jenny Tolman will perform live in concert on June 3, 2022 at 8 PM at The Merced Theatre!
Tolman, 26, was raised in Nashville, Tennessee to Stephen and Kathy Tolman. Having received her love of country music from her father, Tolman spent much of her childhood singing, playing instruments, and writing stories. When she received her first guitar at 16, it was like she had received the missing piece needed to weave all her interests together, and she was on the road to becoming a country music artist.
Years later, Jenny Tolman is the breath of fresh air the country music genre needs. On her new album Married in a Honky Tonk, Tolman pulls from that love of writing stories to bring a kaleidoscope of emotion to the country music table with the swagger of a certified superstar.
You can listen to Married in a Honky Tonk now on all streaming platforms, and get a glimpse of Tolman’s own nuptials on people.com as well as season 19 of Say Yes to the Dress
Sweet yet sassy, vintage yet fresh, an old soul with a new vision and some incredible comedic timing, Jenny Tolman is one country music songstress you won’t want to miss!
Tickets can be purchased online at www.mercedtheatre.org, by phone at (209) 381-0500, or in person at the Merced Theatre Box Office, located at 301 W Main Street. Box Office hours are Tuesday to Friday, from 1 PM to 5 PM.

 

 

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May 17, 2202

Merced County Student Places 2nd at California State Elementary Spelling Bee

Rishabh Saha, a sixth-grader from Burbank Elementary School, was the runner-up at the California State Elementary Spelling Bee.

Hosted by the San Joaquin County Office of Education in Stockton, the California State Elementary Spelling Bee saw students from counties across the state compete in the written state championship competition.

Saha placed first at the Merced County Spelling Bee in March, and then advanced to the state competition where he placed second out of 36 other fourth through sixth grade students from counties across the state.

This is the highest a student from Merced County has placed in the California State Elementary Spelling Bee in recent history. Before Saha, the highest placed student was Nikhil Parikh from Sheehy Elementary in 2017, who placed as a top 7 finalist in the state competition.

Saha, who was joined by his father Ramendra Nath Saha at the competition, was eliminated in round six on the 81st word.

The final round of the competition featured words like: colloquy, whippoorwill and opprobrious. The final word was bacciferous.

When asked to give advice to future spellers, Saha said, “Have fun while doing this.”

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May 17, 2202

Merced County Schools and Districts Recognized for Health Crisis Response in New Awards Program

Students from Hilmar High School compete at the 2022 National History Day (NHD) state competition in Rocklin.

Schools and school districts throughout Merced County were selected as 2022 California Pivotal Practice (CAPP) Award Program winners for their responses to the COVID-19 health crisis during the 2020-21 school year.

The newly created awards program recognizes schools and districts that implemented innovative practices when California required schools to offer distance learning.
Livingston Union School District (LUSD) and Atwater Elementary School District (AESD) were selected as winners for the school district category of the awards program. Gustine Elementary School from Gustine Unified School District (GUSD) and Yamato Colony Elementary School from LUSD were selected as winners for the school category of the awards program.

“Our county and school district educational and health professionals responded to the health emergency of 2020-2021 like few other regional agencies in the state,” said Merced County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steve Tietjen. “I am tremendously proud of how so many people came together to support children and families in Merced County.”

Winners were chosen based on one completed 2022 CAPP application that highlights a pivotal practice that was implemented during distance learning. Each district or school could choose to highlight one of the following categories: student engagement, distribution of technology, nutrition services and social emotional well-being of students.

All 2022 CAPP winners will receive a certificate from the State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, who also announced the winners earlier this month. Winners will also receive a 2022 CAPP Award Program flag to display at their school or district.


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May 14, 2202

Merced County Students Advance to National History Day State Competition

Students from Hilmar High School compete at the 2022 National History Day (NHD) state competition in Rocklin.

History projects from students across the state were recognized at the 2022 National History Day (NHD) California competition this past weekend, with a total of 30 students representing Merced County from Hilmar Middle School and Hilmar High School.

Baylor Bloom from Hilmar Middle School received an award in the Conference of California Historical Societies special awards category for the historical paper, “Watering California.” The project received first place in the Junior Historical Paper category at the Merced County History Day competition in March.

“History Day is a great opportunity for students to become historians and learn how history is written and communicated.” said Merced County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steve Tietjen.

Students from Hilmar High School compete at the 2022 National History Day (NHD) state competition in Rocklin.

A former history teacher and history day coordinator, Tietjen also said “when students research a topic of interest, history comes alive for them and they learn to never take another person’s interpretation as the absolute authority on the topic.”

Students created projects in one of six categories related to this year's theme "Debate and Diplomacy in History." Students researched, drew conclusions and presented exhibits, performances, multimedia documentaries, podcasts, research papers or websites to submit for review at the school, county and then finally the state level.

This year, the California state competition brought 1,230 students from 210 schools across 24 counties. More than 160 historians, educators and other professionals interviewed students and evaluated their work at the competition.

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May 14, 2202

Merced Come Back Charter School Announces Upcoming Orientations

Merced Come Back Charter School announced all upcoming dates for orientations from now through June 2023.

Come Back Charter School, operated by the Merced County Office of Education, is an independent study program for students 18 and older where student needs are addressed individually rather than in a traditional classroom setting.

The program caters to students who have faced challenges learning in a traditional setting and provides flexibility to accommodate work and child care responsibilities.

Come Back Charter School offers individualized learning plans with online and general instruction coursework, college and career readiness, programs focused on obtaining high school diplomas and counseling services.

Individuals who are interested must fill out the intent to enroll form in order to get onto the orientation list.

Orientation is required for every new or returning student before they start the program. A list of upcoming orientation dates can be found here.

For more information Come Back Charter School visit www.mcoe.org/comebackcharter or call (209) 386-6025.
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May 14, 2202

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
TRAFFIC SHIFT – NORTHBOUND STATE ROUTE 99 IN ATWATER

NORTHBOUND #2 (RIGHT) LANE TO SHIFT TO NORTHBOUND MEDIAN
EXTENDED FULL CLOSURE OF ATWATER BOULEVARD ON & OFF-RAMPS –
APPLEGATE ROAD RAMPS SCHEDULED TO RE-OPEN ON MAY 22, 2022

MERCED COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will perform a
long-term traffic shift of northbound State Route 99 (SR-99) and extended full closures of
the Atwater Boulevard on and off-ramps in the city of Atwater, as work progresses on
the SR-99 Atwater Rehabilitation Project. Two travel lanes will remain open on
northbound and southbound SR-99 during this traffic shift.
Beginning Sunday, May 22, 2022, the #2 (right) lane of northbound SR-99 will be shifted
to the new pavement on the median of northbound SR-99, from just north of the
Atwater Expressway Overcrossing to south of Westside Boulevard Overcrossing.
The #1 (left) lane of northbound SR-99 will remain shifted to the median of southbound
SR-99 as motorists will then travel northbound between temporary k-rail (concrete
barrier) on southbound SR-99 and the newly constructed center median barrier. While
traveling between these barriers, motorists will not have access to off-ramps to exit the
highway.
Additionally, the Atwater Boulevard on and off-ramps on northbound SR-99 (only) will
be closed to traffic beginning Sunday, May 22, 2022, and will require the following
detour routes that will be marked with roadside signage:
NORTHBOUND SR-99 ATWATER BOULEVARD ROAD OFF-RAMP DETOUR:
• Exit northbound SR-99 at Applegate Road (Exit 195), turn right on Sycamore
Avenue, turn left at Applegate Road, turn right at Atwater Boulevard
NORTHBOUND SR-99 ATWATER BOULEVARD ON-RAMP DETOUR:
• From all locations within the city of Atwater, use the Applegate Road on-ramp to
northbound SR-99
The Applegate Road on and off-ramps on northbound SR-99 which have been in an
extended closure are scheduled to re-open on Sunday, May 22, 2022.
Motorists should expect 10 to 15-minute delays. Alternate routes should be taken
whenever possible.
These traffic shifts and ramp closures are required to ensure the safety of both
construction workers and the travelling public. Motorists are reminded that speed limits
will be reduced to 55 miles per hour within the work zone.
The SR-99 Atwater Rehabilitation Project will repave and make improvements to over 16
lane miles of northbound and southbound SR-99 from Buhach Road to Westside
Boulevard, providing a smoother and more reliable route for commuters and
commercial vehicles through the city of Atwater.
The project also calls for the reconstruction of the on- and off-ramps at Applegate
Road and at Atwater Boulevard. The project is estimated to be complete by
December 2022.
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.

For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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May 13, 2202

Merced County Regional Occupation Program Offers Culinary Classes

MCOE ROP Culinary Instructor Tisha McParland and student Madison Strauss-Bland in the ROP Culinary Essentials class.

The Merced County Office of Education Regional Occupational Program (ROP) is accepting enrollment for the Culinary Essentials program, where students learn fundamental skills and knowledge of cooking techniques, menu planning, food safety, nutrition, sanitation, customer service and more.

In collaboration with the Gateway Adult Education Network (GAEN) and Merced County Probation, the class is designed to serve students of all abilities.

Classes meet Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the MCOE Yosemite Education Center 350 W. Yosemite Ave. in Merced.

MCOE ROP Culinary Instructor Tisha McParland and student Madison Strauss-Bland in the ROP Culinary Essentials class.

MCOE ROP Culinary Instructor Tisha McParland teaches both morning and afternoon classes.

Students have the opportunity to earn a Food Handlers card, a ServSafe certification and have access to internships at local businesses in the industry. The program is also in the process of acquiring a coffee trailer so students can earn hands-on experience out in the community.

A high school diploma or equivalent is recommended for enrollment and students must be at least 18 years of age to enroll. Priority enrollment is given to students who identify as having a disability.

For more information, contact Dora Robles at Drobles@mcoe.org or (209) 381-6684.

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May 13, 2202

PUBLIC NOTICE
Virtual Public Meeting Scheduled for State Route 59 Intersection Control in
Merced County
AVISO PÚBLICO
Reunión Pública Virtual Programada para el Control de Intersección de la Ruta
Estatal 59 en el Condado de Merced5

STOCKTON — The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will hold a public
information meeting in the form of a Virtual Public Meeting regarding the State Route
59 Intersection Control Project in Merced County.
STOCKTON — El Departamento de Transporte de California (Caltrans) llevará a cabo
una reunión de información pública en forma de una Reunión Pública Virtual sobre el
Proyecto de Control de Intersecciones de la Ruta Estatal 59 en el Condado de Merced.
The Virtual Public Meeting will be held
online from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on
Tuesday, May 17, 2022.
La Reunión Pública Virtual se llevará a
cabo en línea de 6:00 p.m. a 7:30 p.m.
el martes 17 de mayo de 2022.
Caltrans proposes to improve safety at
the intersection of State Route 59 and
Gerard Avenue in Merced County near
the City of Merced. Two build
alternatives and a no-build alternative
are being considered. The proposed build alternatives feature the choice of a traffic
signal or a single-lane roundabout.
Caltrans propone mejorar la seguridad en la intersección de la Ruta Estatal 59 y la
Avenida Gerard en el Condado de Merced, cerca de la Ciudad de Merced. Se están
considerando dos alternativas de construcción y una alternativa de no construcción.
Las alternativas de construcción propuestas incluyen la elección de una señal de
tráfico o una rotonda de un solo carril.
The Virtual Public Meeting will include a presentation with an opportunity for attendees
to speak with the project team and ask questions about the proposed alternatives.
La Reunión Pública Virtual incluirá una presentación con la oportunidad para que los
asistentes hablen con el equipo del proyecto y hagan preguntas sobre las alternativas
propuestas.
To attend the virtual meeting and for more project information, visit the District 10
website at https://dot.ca.gov/caltrans-near-me/district-10/district-10-currentprojects/
10-1k620.
Para asistir a la reunión virtual y para obtener más información sobre el
proyecto, visite el sitio web del Distrito 10 en: https://dot.ca.gov/caltrans-nearme/
district-10/district-10-current-projects/10-1k620.
Phone lines will be available for anyone without internet access: (209) 479-4083
(English), or (209) 986-1262 (Spanish).
Las líneas telefónicas estarán disponibles para cualquier persona sin acceso a
Internet: (209) 479-4083 (inglés) o (209) 986-1262 (español).
Comments will be accepted via the Virtual Public Meeting website, and in written form
by postal service mail or email.
Los comentarios serán aceptados a través del sitio web de la Reunión Pública Virtual, y
en forma escrita por correo postal o correo electrónico.
Anyone who can’t attend the meeting can submit comments in writing to C. Scott
Guidi, Senior Environmental Planner, District 10 Environmental Division, California
Department of Transportation, 1976 East Dr. Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard,
Stockton, California 95205, or by email to scott.guidi@dot.ca.gov.
Cualquier persona que no pueda asistir a la reunión puede enviar comentarios por
escrito a C. Scott Guidi, Planificador Ambiental Mayor, División Ambiental del Distrito 10,
Departamento de Transporte de California, 1976 East Dr. Martin Luther King Junior
Boulevard, Stockton, California 95205, o por correo electrónico a
scott.guidi@dot.ca.gov.
Caltrans will consider all comments before continuing with the project’s environmental
process and design.
Caltrans considerará todos los comentarios antes de continuar con el proceso
ambiental y el diseño del proyecto.
For more information, contact Project Manager Saurabh Jayant at (209) 608-5777 or
saurabh.jayant@dot.ca.gov.
Para obtener más información, comuníquese con el Gerente de Proyecto Saurabh
Jayant al (209) 608-5777 o saurabh.jayant@dot.ca.gov.
For other State Highway matters in the area, contact Public Information Officer Skip
Allum at (209) 948-7176 or Skip.Allum@dot.ca.gov.
Para otros asuntos de carreteras estatales en el área, comuníquese con el Oficial de
Información Pública Skip Allum al (209) 948-7176 o Skip.Allum@dot.ca.gov
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, individuals who require
accommodation (American Sign Language interpreter, documents in alternative
formats, etc.) are asked to contact the Caltrans District 10 Public Information Office at
(209) 948-7543 or district10publicaffairs@dot.ca.gov.
Bajo la Ley de Estadounidenses con Discapacidades de 1990, se les pide a las personas
que requieren adaptación (intérprete de lenguaje de señas estadounidense,
documentos en formatos alternativos, etc.) que se comuniquen con la Oficina de
Información Pública del Distrito 10 de Caltrans al (209) 948-7543 o
district10publicaffairs@dot.ca.gov
Telecommunication Devices for the Deaf (TDD) users may contact the California Relay
Service line at 1-800-735-2929, Voice Line at 1-800-735-2922, or contact the California
Relay Service Teletype Voice Line by dialing 711.
Los usuarios de Dispositivos de Telecomunicaciones para Sordos (TDD) pueden
comunicarse con la línea del Servicio de Retransmisión de California al 1-800-735-2929,
la Línea de Voz al 1-800-735-2922, o comunicarse con la Línea de Voz de Teletipo del
Servicio de Retransmisión de California marcando el 711.
dot.ca.gov

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May 13, 2202

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
REST AREA, CONNECTOR RAMPS & LANE CLOSURES
INTERSTATE 5 AND STATE ROUTES 99, 140, 152 & 165

MERCED COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will perform
various lane and ramp closures on Interstate 5 (I-5), State Route 99 (SR-99), SR-140, SR-
152 and SR-165 for maintenance and construction operations. Work to occur as follows;
INTERSTATE 5:
• Full closure of the John C. Erreca Rest Areas on northbound and southbound I-5
beginning Monday, April 4, 2022, through July 2023.
o ALTERNATE LOCATIONS: Motorists are advised to use either the Westley
Rest Area (San Joaquin/Stanislaus County line) or the Coalinga-Avenal
Rest Area (Fresno/Kings County line). Electric charging stations are
available at the Westley Rest Area.
• Full connector ramp closure from northbound I-5 to SR-152 for bridge work
beginning Thursday, May 19, through Friday, May 20, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until
6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from southbound I-5 to SR-165/Mercy Springs Road for
bridge work beginning Sunday, May 15, through Friday, May 20, 2022, from 9:00
p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
STATE ROUTE 99:
• Alternating closures of the #1 (left) and #2 (right) lanes of northbound and
southbound SR-99 from Colony Slough to SR-140/SR-59 (V Street) beginning
Sunday, May 15, through Friday, May 20, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at Childs Avenue for
construction beginning Sunday, May 15, through Friday, May 20, 2022, from 8:00
p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at Childs Avenue for
construction beginning Sunday, May 15, through Friday, May 20, 2022, from 10:00
p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at SR-140 East for construction
beginning Sunday, May 15, through Friday, May 20, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00
a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at SR-140 East for construction
beginning Sunday, May 15, through Friday, May 20, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until
6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from northbound SR-99 at G Street for construction
beginning Sunday, May 15, through Friday, May 20, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00
a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from G Street to southbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Sunday, May 15, through Friday, May 20, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until
6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at SR-59/Martin Luther King Jr.
Way for construction beginning Sunday, May 15, through Friday, May 20, 2022,
from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at SR-59/Martin Luther King Jr.
Way for construction beginning Sunday, May 15, through Friday, May 20, 2022,
from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from northbound SR-99 at R Street for construction
beginning Sunday, May 15, through Friday, May 20, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00
a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from R Street to southbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Sunday, May 15, through Friday, May 20, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until
6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from southbound SR-99 to SR-140/SR-59 (V Street) for
construction beginning Sunday, May 15, through Friday, May 20, 2022, from 10:00
p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from 16th Street to northbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Sunday, May 15, through Friday, May 20, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00
a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at 16th Street for construction
beginning Sunday, May 15, through Friday, May 20, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until
6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closures on northbound and southbound SR-99 at Hammatt Avenue
for electrical work beginning Monday, May 16, through Friday, May 20, 2022,
from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closures on northbound and southbound SR-99 at Winton Parkway
for electrical work beginning Monday, May 16, through Friday, May 20, 2022,
from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closures on northbound and southbound SR-99 at Collier Road for
electrical work beginning Monday, May 16, through Friday, May 20, 2022, from
9:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 and off-ramp closures on
southbound SR-99 at South Avenue beginning Monday, May 16, through Friday,
May 20, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 and on- and off-ramp closures on
southbound SR-99 at Shanks Road beginning Monday, May 16, through Friday,
May 20, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure on northbound SR-99 and on-ramp closure on southbound
SR-99 at South Turlock/Golden State Boulevard for electrical work beginning
Monday, May 16, through Friday, May 20, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
STATE ROUTE 140:
• One-way traffic control from Kibby Road to Santa Fe Avenue for utility work
beginning Sunday, May 15, through Friday, May 20, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• One-way traffic control at the Merced/Mariposa County line for bridge work
beginning Monday, May 16, through Thursday, May 19, from 6:00 a.m. until 6:00
p.m., and on Friday, May 20, 2022, from 6:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.
STATE ROUTE 152:
• Full connector-ramp closures from eastbound SR-152 to northbound I-5 beginning
Sunday, May 15, through Friday, May 20, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full connector-ramp closures from westbound SR-152 to southbound I-5
beginning Sunday, May 15, through Friday, May 20, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00
a.m.
• Long-term closure of the #1 (left) lane of westbound SR-152 from Highline Canal
to Delta Mendota Canal for bridge work until June 30, 2022.
• One-way traffic control at the 7th Street Pedestrian Bridge for bridge work
beginning Sunday, May 15, through Friday, May 20, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00
a.m.
STATE ROUTE 165:
• One-way traffic control at Mercy Springs Road Overcrossing for bridge work
beginning Sunday, May 15, through Friday, May 20, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00
a.m.
Motorists should expect five to 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.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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May 13, 2202

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
ONE-WAY TRAFFIC CONTROL
ON STATE ROUTES 49 AND 140

MARIPOSA COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will perform various operations on State Routes 49 and 140 next week in Mariposa County.
Route 49
• One-way traffic control from Moccasin Creek to Bear Valley Road for drainage work beginning Monday, May 16, through Friday, May 20, 2022, from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Route 140
• One-way traffic control from Mariposa Creek to Coakley Circle for electrical work beginning Monday, May 16, through Friday, May 20, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.
• One-way traffic control from Bull Creek Road to Slate Gulch for shoulder work from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Monday, May 16, 2022.
• One-way traffic control from Bear Creek Bridge to Savage Trading Post for tree work beginning Wednesday, May 18, through Friday, May 20, 2022, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
• One-way traffic control from Slate Gulch to Savage Trading Post for shoulder work beginning Tuesday, May 17, through Wednesday, May 18, 2022, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
• One-way traffic control from Savage Trading Post to South Fork Merced River for shoulder work from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 19, 2022.
Motorists should expect 10-minute delays and use alternate routes 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.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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May 12, 2202

State Route 4/Ebbetts Pass, SR-108/Sonora Pass Will Open Thursday

ALPINE AND TUOLUMNE COUNTIES — The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will open State Route 4/Ebbetts Pass and Route 108/Sonora Pass at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 12, 2022 for the spring season.
Caltrans opened Route 89/Monitor Pass on Wednesday, May 11, 2022, from a storm closure.
District 10’s goal always is to open the mountain passes the Friday prior to Memorial Day weekend. We thank our crews for their hard work to meet this goal.
Our top goal is safety for the traveling public. Even though the pass is open, motorists still should be prepared for emergencies, as weather and road conditions can change rapidly.
For the latest information on road conditions throughout District 10, follow us on Twitter (@CaltransDist10) or Facebook (CaltransDistrict10).
Before you hit the road, plan your trip with the Caltrans QuickMap app or website at quickmap.dot.ca.gov. You can also call the Road Condition Hotline at 1-800-427-ROAD (7623).

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May 10, 2202

5th Annual Schelby School Prom Returns to Livingston

Erik Maldonado and Damaris Carillo were voted prom king and queen at the 2022 Schelby School Prom in Livingston.

More than 70 students from several Merced County Office of Education Special Education programs attended a formal dance in their honor at Schelby School on Friday April 29th.

The Schelby School Prom gave students an afternoon full of glamor and fun activities with the theme of Hollywood.

“Students from preschool through transition had a great time getting together as a group for the first time since COVID began,” said Program Coordinator for Schelby School Lissa Mitchell.

Erik Maldonado and Damaris Carillo were voted prom king and queen at the 2022 Schelby School Prom in Livingston.

According to Mitchell, the Schelby School Prom is typically held annually, but this is the first event since 2019.

Put together by the Schelby School staff with help from the Merced Downtown Transition Center and Delhi Education Park, the occasion featured traditional prom activities that involved music, dancing and the crowning of the prom king and queen.

Erik Maldonado was voted prom king and Damaris Carillo was voted prom queen; both are graduates this year. The prom king and queen are chosen through votes from school staff.

This is the fifth Schelby School Prom.

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May 7, 2202

Le Grand Elementary will open 50-year-old time capsule

Students from Le Grand Elementary School will experience what the school was like decades ago as they prepare to open a 50-year-old time capsule on Friday, May 27.

The time capsule was buried on campus by students from the Le Grand Elementary School class of 1972 – exactly 50 years ago.

“The community is excited to reconnect around this event,” said Le Grand Union Elementary School District Superintendent Scott Borba. “Many former scholars who have since moved out of the area will be returning for the festivities. It's going to be an incredibly groovy celebration!”

The event begins at 9:30 a.m. at Le Grand Elementary School with plans to broadcast the event on the Le Grand Union Elementary School District Facebook page for individuals who would like to watch virtually.

Students, members of the community and former graduates of Le Grand Elementary are all invited to the celebration.

After the unveiling, a new time capsule will be buried in its place and will not be opened until the year 2072.

For more information, contact the Le Grand Elementary School Office at (209) 389-4515.

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May 7, 2202

Merced Symphony Performs for Los Banos, Dos Palos Students

More than 750 students from Los Banos and 480 students from Dos Palos enjoyed performances by the Merced Symphony Orchestra this week.

The symphony played two performances at Pacheco High School in Los Banos for fourth grade students and then traveled to Dos Palos High School for a third performance for the third, fourth and fifth grade students from Marks Elementary School in Dos Palos.

The symphony performed for students from the Merced City School District and Atwater Elementary School District in April at the Merced Theatre.

This is the first time the Merced Symphony has performed in Dos Palos. "We want to see the long-running children’s concerts expand to reach all students in the County," said Jennifer Summers, Merced Symphony Association executive director. "We hope that starting a concert with the Dos Palos-Oro Loma Joint Unified School District is a step in reaching that goal."

Buses transported students to and from the 50-minute performances.The performances were intended for students and school staff.

With performances in Merced, Los Banos and Dos Palos, the Merced Symphony Association has reached more students than ever before. These performances mark the end of student performances for this school year.

For more information on the school performances or access to the virtual release, contact Stacie Arancibia at (209) 381-5910 or sarancibia@mcoe.org.

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May 7, 2202

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
ONE-WAY TRAFFIC CONTROL
ON STATE ROUTES 49 AND 140

MARIPOSA COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will perform various operations on State Routes 49 and 140 next week in Mariposa County.
Route 49
• One-way traffic control from Hirsch Road to Brooks Road for tree work from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Monday, May 9, and Tuesday, May 10, 2022.
• One-way traffic control from Allred Road to Varain Road for tree work from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Friday, May 13, 2022.
• One-way traffic control from Allred Road to Ben Hur Road for utility work from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 14, 2022.
• One-way traffic control from Moccasin Creek to Bear Valley Road for drainage work beginning Monday, May 9, through Thursday, May 12, 2022, from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Route 140
• One-way traffic control from Mariposa Creek to Coakley Circle for electrical work beginning Monday, May 9, through Friday, May 13, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.
• One-way traffic control from Crane Creek to Cold Canyon Creek for utility potholing beginning Tuesday, May 10, through Wednesday, May 11, 2022, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Motorists should expect 10-minute delays and use alternate routes 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.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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May 6, 2202

HABITAT FOR HUMANITY OF MERCED COUNTY
Local housing nonprofit now partnering with The Fuller Center for Housing

The local affordable housing ministry formerly known as HABITAT FOR HUMANITY OF MERCED COUNTY is now operating as a covenant partner of The Fuller Center for Housing of Merced County, CA. It’s mission remains the same — extending a hand-up to families in need of simple, decent and affordable places to live.
The Fuller Center for Housing — headquartered in Americus, Georgia — was founded in 2005 by Millard and Linda Fuller, the same couple who founded Habitat for Humanity in 1976. The Fullers founded the nonprofit as a re-commitment to the grass-roots, Christian principles with which they launched their affordable housing movement in the early 1970s.
A 1996 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Millard passed away in 2009, but Linda remains active in the ministry. Millard was succeeded as president by long-time friend and colleague, David Snell, who continues to lead the international organization today. The Fuller Center for Housing has been given a 100% score for accountability and transparency by Charity Navigator and has received GuideStar’s highest-level Platinum rating for transparency.
The Fuller Center for Housing (FullerCenter.org) builds and repairs homes in more than 70 U.S. communities and more than 20 countries around the world. Homeowners are full partners in the building process — contributing sweat equity as they work alongside volunteers and then repaying the costs of materials on terms they can afford, with no interest charged or profit made. Those repayments stay in the local community to help others get the same hand-up.
Jan Sorge, President of the Fuller Center for Housing of Merced County said that a primary reason for joining The Fuller Center is the international headquarters’ guiding principles that place emphasis on local decision-making rather than a top-down, bureaucratic approach.
“The Fuller Center believes that local leaders are in the best position to decide what our community needs and the most effective ways to address those needs,” Jan said, “They provide assistance and expertise while we promise to adhere to the simple, grass-roots, Christian principles that guide the work. Locally, our work will not appear any different, but we believe this transition will allow us to be more productive and maximize the generosity of our supporters.”
For more information, contact Jan at 209-726-0850 or visit www.thefullercenterforhousing.com or email info@thefullercenterforhousing.com

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May 6, 2202

Website Live, Winners Announced for Annual Merced County Writing Festival



More than 2,100 writing entries from students throughout Merced County were received for the Merced County Writing Festival. Similar to previous years, students submitted entries virtually to show their skills in poetry and prose.

Students from preschool through 12th grade selected topics in 40 different categories including short stories, essays, songs, letters and poems.

Winning entries are now live and available for public viewing at http://mcoe.org/writingfestival.

All entries were submitted through a digital platform and were judged by teachers from participating schools.

First, second and third place students will receive ribbons and the top two entries for each grade will receive gold medals; one for poetry and one for prose. Awards are delivered to school sites and districts for distribution during the end of year activities.

This year, Merced County Writing Festival, sponsored by the Merced County Office of Education, celebrates its 38th year.

For more information on the Writing Festival, contact Stacie Arancibia at (209) 381-5910 or sarancibia@mcoe.org

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May 4, 2202

Westside, Peggy Heller, Washington Top Winners in Academic Pentathlon

After weeks of intense competition, the Academic Pentathlon concluded last weekend with the Super Quiz event and awards ceremony on Saturday, April 30 at the Art Kamangar Center at the Merced Theatre.

Nearly 300 6th, 7th and 8th grade students from schools throughout Merced County competed in the competition to demonstrate their academic knowledge in literature, fine arts, math, science and social science.

The largest student competition hosted by the Merced County Office of Education, families and guests joined students for both the super quiz and awards.

“Congratulations to the winners and all the students who competed in this year’s Academic Pentathlon,” said Merced County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steve Tietjen. “We are thrilled to again host in-person events for our students and families.”

Westside Elementary School in Los Banos was first for 6th grade, Peggy Heller Elementary School in Atwater took the top spot for 7th grade and Washington Elementary School in Winton was first for 8th Grade. Individual awards for top scoring students were also announced during the award ceremony, sponsored by the Merced Irrigation District.

The first place overall top scoring student for the Pentathlon was Rylin Gamble, an 8th grader from Washington Elementary School in Merced River School District.

Teams were comprised of up to 12 students, four from each division of “A” Honor, “B” Scholastic and “C” Varsity students. This team composition gives students the opportunity to develop skills working with students of different ability levels, motivation and interests.

For more information, contact Stacie Arancibia at (209) 381-6602 or sarancibia@mcoe.org

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May 3, 2202

Winton Middle School Takes First Place at Middle School Battle of the Books Competition

The Merced County Middle School Battle of the Books winners were announced on Thursday, April 28 at the competition which featured special guest – writer and best-selling author W. Bruce Cameron.

Students from Livingston Middle School, Winton Middle School, Washington Elementary School, Peggy Heller Elementary School and Mitchell K-6 Elementary School faced off in teams of up to six students from sixth, seventh or eighth grade.

Teams answered four rounds of questions prepared by the Merced Union High School District Book Club students and librarians based on the 12 books selected for the competition. One of which was Cameron’s best-seller “A Dog’s Purpose.”

List of top teams:

3rd place team: Livingston Middle School - “McNuggies”
2nd place team: Mitchell K6 - “The Book Was Better”
1st place team: Winton Middle School - “The Bloos Cloos”
Best overall school score: Mitchell K6

For more information on the Middle School Battle of the Books contact Janis Edwards at jedwards@muhsd.org or (209) 398-3248.

To learn more about special guest W. Bruce Cameron, visit https://www.wbrucecameron.com/

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TRAFFIC ADVISORY
REST AREA, FULL HIGHWAY, CONNECTOR RAMPS & LANE CLOSURES
INTERSTATE 5 AND STATE ROUTES 59, 99, 140, 152 & 165

MERCED COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will perform
various lane and ramp closures on Interstate 5 (I-5), State Route 59 (SR-59), SR-99, SR-140,
SR-152 and SR-165 for maintenance and construction operations. Work to occur as
follows;
INTERSTATE 5:
• Full closure of the John C. Erreca Rest Areas on northbound and southbound I-5
beginning Monday, April 4, 2022, through July 2023.
o ALTERNATE LOCATIONS: Motorists are advised to use either the Westley
Rest Area (San Joaquin/Stanislaus County line) or the Coalinga-Avenal
Rest Area (Fresno/Kings County line). Electric charging stations are
available at the Westley Rest Area.
• Full connector ramp closure from northbound I-5 to SR-152 for bridge work
beginning Wednesday, May 4, through Thursday, May 5, 2022, from 9:00 p.m.
until 6:00 a.m.
• Full connector ramp closure from southbound I-5 to SR-152 for bridge work
beginning Sunday, May 1, through Friday, May 6, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00
a.m.
• Full connector ramp closure from southbound I-5 at SR-165 for bridge work
beginning Sunday, May 1, through Friday, May 6, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00
a.m.
STATE ROUTE 59:
• Full highway closure from West Olive Avenue/Santa Fe to Buena Vista Drive for
bridge work on Sunday, May 1, 2022, from 7:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.
STATE ROUTE 99:
• Alternating closures of the #1 (left) and #2 (right) lanes of northbound and
southbound SR-99 from Colony Slough to SR-140/SR-59 (V Street) beginning
Sunday, May 1, through Friday, May 6, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at Childs Avenue for
construction through May 7, 2022.
• Full on-ramp closure from SR-140 East to northbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Sunday, May 1, through Friday, May 6, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 5:00
a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at SR-59/Martin Luther King Jr.
Way for construction beginning Sunday, May 1, through Friday, May 6, 2022, from
9:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from northbound SR-99 at R Street for construction
beginning Sunday, May 1, through Friday, May 6, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 5:00
a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from R Street to southbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Sunday, May 1, through Friday, May 6, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00
a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from SR-140/SR-59 (V Street) to northbound SR-99 for
construction beginning Sunday, May 1, through Friday, May 6, 2022, from 8:00
p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from southbound SR-99 to SR-140/SR-59 (V Street) for
construction beginning Sunday, May 1, through Friday, May 6, 2022, from 10:00
p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure on southbound SR-99 at 16th Street for construction
beginning Sunday, May 1, through Friday, May 6, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00
a.m.
• Long-term closure of the off-ramp from northbound SR-99 at Applegate Road for
construction through Saturday, May 7, 2022.
STATE ROUTE 140:
• One-way traffic control from Kibby Road to Santa Fe Avenue for utility work
beginning Sunday, May 1, through Friday, May 6, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00
a.m.
• One-way traffic control at the Merced/Mariposa County line for bridge work
beginning Monday, May 2, through Thursday, May 5, from 6:00 a.m. until 6:00
p.m., and on Friday, May 6, 2022, from 6:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.
STATE ROUTE 152:
• Full connector-ramp closures from SR-152 to I-5 beginning Sunday, May 1,
through Friday, May 6, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Long-term closure of the #1 (left) lane of westbound SR-152 from Highline Canal
to Delta Mendota Canal for bridge work until June 30, 2022.
STATE ROUTE 165:
• One-way traffic control at Mercy Springs Road for bridge work beginning
Sunday, May 1, through Friday, May 6, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
Motorists should expect five to 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.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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April 29, 2202

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
ONE-WAY TRAFFIC CONTROL
ON STATE ROUTES 49 AND 140

MARIPOSA COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will perform various operations on State Routes 49 and 140 next week in Mariposa County.
Route 49
• One-way traffic control from Hirsch Road to Brooks Road for tree work from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 3, 2022.
• One-way traffic control from Allred Road to Varain Road for utility work from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Friday, May 6, 2022.
• One-way traffic control at Stockton Creek Road for utility work from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m, on Wednesday, May 4, 2022.
• One-way traffic control from Bear Vallley Road to Route 120 South for drainage work beginning Monday, May 2, through Wednesday, May 4, 2022, from 7:00 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
Route 140
• One-way traffic control from Mariposa Creek to Coakley Circle for electrical work beginning Monday, May 2, through Friday, May 6, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.
• One-way traffic control from Mariposa Creek to Coakley Circle for striping operations beginning Tuesday, May 3, through Wednesday, May 4, 2022, from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Motorists should expect 10-minute delays and use alternate routes 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.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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April 28 2202

Merced County Students Awarded for Biliteracy Proficiency

Students from throughout Merced County were recognized at Livingston High School on April 26 for completing the Seal of Biliteracy Proficiency.

The accolade, which is listed on student transcripts and includes a seal affixed to their diploma, is awarded by the Merced County Office of Education in partnership with school districts, and recognizes attained proficiency in English and at least one other world language by high school graduation.

“Congratulations to all the students for their hard work earning the Seal of Biliteracy,” said Merced County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steve Tietjen. “Students who are proficient in more than one language are better prepared to compete in a global job market.”

This year, students completed the steps to demonstrate proficiency in Spanish, Portuguese, Hmong, German, Punjabi, Farsi and Japanese.

Introduced in early 2011 by Assembly member Julia Brownley, Assembly Bill 815 is a verification of linguistic proficiency.

Some students were asked to write speeches about why they feel it is important to be multilingual. They read their speeches at the awards event in English and their target languages, which included Spanish, Portuguese, Hmong, Punjabi and Japanese.

MCOE awarded 389 Seals for the program from 14 high school throughout the county: Atwater, Buhach, Delhi, Dos Palos, El Capitan, Golden Valley, Hilmar, Le Grand, Livingston, Los Banos, Merced, Merced Scholars Charter, Pacheco High and Stone Ridge Christian High.

For more information contact Stacie Arancibia (209) 381-5910.
Students from throughout Merced County were recognized at Livingston High School on April 26 for completing the Seal of Biliteracy Proficiency.

The accolade, which is listed on student transcripts and includes a seal affixed to their diploma, is awarded by the Merced County Office of Education in partnership with school districts, and recognizes attained proficiency in English and at least one other world language by high school graduation.

“Congratulations to all the students for their hard work earning the Seal of Biliteracy,” said Merced County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steve Tietjen. “Students who are proficient in more than one language are better prepared to compete in a global job market.”

This year, students completed the steps to demonstrate proficiency in Spanish, Portuguese, Hmong, German, Punjabi, Farsi and Japanese.

Introduced in early 2011 by Assembly member Julia Brownley, Assembly Bill 815 is a verification of linguistic proficiency.

Some students were asked to write speeches about why they feel it is important to be multilingual. They read their speeches at the awards event in English and their target languages, which included Spanish, Portuguese, Hmong, Punjabi and Japanese.

MCOE awarded 389 Seals for the program from 14 high school throughout the county: Atwater, Buhach, Delhi, Dos Palos, El Capitan, Golden Valley, Hilmar, Le Grand, Livingston, Los Banos, Merced, Merced Scholars Charter, Pacheco High and Stone Ridge Christian High.

For more information contact Stacie Arancibia (209) 381-5910.

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April 26 2202

Academic Pentathlon Super Quiz, Awards Scheduled for Saturday at Merced Theatre

More than 250, 6th, 7th and 8th grade students from schools throughout Merced County will demonstrate their academic knowledge and cooperative learning skills at the Merced County Academic Pentathlon Super Quiz on Saturday, April 30 at the Art Kamangar Center at the Merced Theatre.

After weeks of intense study and practice, junior high teams competed in five exciting tests to demonstrate their knowledge in literature and fine arts, math, science, social science from their school sites on April 12. The Super Quiz is the final event on Saturday, April 30 before the winners are announced later that evening.

The Super Quiz competition differs from that of the other written testing formats because it is a relay-type competition among all of the teams by grade level. The Super Quiz is open to the public, and is one of the most memorable and exciting parts of the Academic Pentathlon competition. Before a crowd of cheering parents, students and supporters, team members will engage in a battle of wits against other participating teams.

This year’s Super Quiz theme is Water: A Most Essential Resource and kicks off at noon.

Each team is comprised of up to 12 team members, four from each division of “A” Honor, “B”
Scholastic and “C or below” Varsity students. This team composition gives students the opportunity to develop skills working with students of different ability levels, motivation and interests.

The awards ceremony, sponsored by Merced Irrigation District, is scheduled for 5 p.m. at the Merced Theatre.

For more information about this event, contact Stacie Arancibia at (209) 381-5910.

 

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April 26 2202

8th Annual Parent Institute Conference Focuses on Resiliency, Parent Empowerment

Registration is now open for the Merced County Parent Institute Conference on Saturday, May 14. The eighth-annual event is hosted by the Merced County Office of Education, the Merced Union High School District and other community partners with a theme of “Resiliency: What You Do Matters.”

This year’s conference is offered as a hybrid; in-person and virtual from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The in-person portion is hosted at the MCOE Downtown Professional Development Center at 501 W. Main St.

MCOE Early Education Support Programs Director Rosa Barragan said “We are so happy to be back in person for the Merced County Parent Institute. This conference includes amazing presenters who will speak on topics related to resiliency in children, youth, parents and the community as a whole.”

Barragan said workshops are offered in English and Spanish. Topics include resiliency, college readiness, disaster preparedness, self-care and more. In addition, there is a youth strand where students, ages 13 to 18, are provided tools to help them take ownership of their academic success and future.

Barragan also stressed that this event will call attention to the important role parents play in the lives of their children and community. The keynote speaker, Shayla Collins, will present “A Parent’s Journey” and the importance of finding purpose.

For more information, call David Ramos at (209) 381-6793 Ext. 6156 or email him at daramos@mcoe.org.

 

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April 26 2202

Merced County Students to be Awarded Seal of Biliteracy Proficiency

LIVINGSTON – Students from throughout Merced County will be recognized at Livingston High School on April 26 for completing the Seal of Biliteracy Proficiency.

The accolade, which is listed on student transcripts, is awarded by the Merced County Office of Education in partnership with county school districts and recognizes attained proficiency in English and at least one other world language by high school graduation.

Introduced in early 2011 by Assembly member Julia Brownley, Assembly Bill 815 is a verification of linguistic proficiency.

Students will read speeches in their target languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, German, Hmong, Punjabi, and Farsi.

MCOE received 730 applications for the program from 14 high schools throughout the county: Atwater, Buhach, Delhi, Dos Palos, El Capitan, Golden Valley, Hilmar, Le Grand, Livingston, Los Banos, Merced, Merced Scholars Charter, Pacheco High and Stone Ridge Christian.

Students must hold a 3-year 2.0 GPA or above in English and can meet the criteria for the target language by completing 3 years of the target language with a GPA of 3.0 or above. If students do not meet the minimum GPA, they can display their reading and writing of the language through an essay. After the essay round, all students must complete an interview in their target language. This year, 490 juniors and seniors advanced to the final round. Of those, 389 Seniors earned the Seal of Biliteracy. The juniors that completed the process will be verified for their English GPA next year to finalize their Seal placement.

The event starts at 6 p.m. and will be held in Livingston High School’s gym, 1617 Main Street. in Livingston.

For more information, contact Stacie Arancibia at (209) 381-5910.

 

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Merced County Middle School Battle of the Books Welcomes Best-Selling Author

Author of best-selling novel, "A Dog's Purpose," W. Bruce Cameron with Tucker.

Students from across Merced County will test their book trivia knowledge in the Merced County Middle School Battle of the Books competition and this year’s event will feature a special guest – writer and best-selling author W. Bruce Cameron.

Cameron, best known for the #1 New York Times best selling novel and film of the same name, “A Dog’s Purpose,” has published nearly 30 books throughout his career, several of which became international bestsellers and have been translated into more than 50 languages.

As part of the Battle of the Books competition, Cameron will discuss his books, answer questions from students and cheer on competing teams as well as present awards to the winners.

Author of best-selling novel, "A Dog's Purpose," W. Bruce Cameron with Tucker.


Livingston High School Teacher Librarian and former Merced County Teacher of the Year Janis Edwards organized the competition which will feature teams of up to six students, facing off from Livingston Middle School, Winton Middle School, Washington Elementary School, Peggy Heller Elementary School and Mitchell K-6 Elementary School.

Student teams will answer four rounds of questions prepared by the Merced Union High School District Book Club students and librarians. Questions are written in a “In which book…?” format, which tests students’ knowledge of selected book titles. Bonus points may also be given to students who correctly guess the author’s name.

The event is open to friends and family of competing students and will take place at Livingston High School from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 28 with school visits from Cameron on April 27 and 28.

Selected books for the competition:

“Refugee” by Alan Gratz
“Hello Universe” by Erin Entrada Kelly
“Ghost” by Jason Reynolds
“Echo” by Pam Munoz Ryan
“The Benefits of Being an Octopus” by Ann Braden
“As Brave as You” by Jason Reynolds
“The Girl Who Drank the Moon” by Kelly Barnhill
“A Dog’s Purpose” by W. Bruce Cameron
“Trevor Noah: Born a Crime (adapted for young readers)” by Trevor Noah
“The Unteachables” by Gordon Korman
“The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise” by Dan Gemeinhart
“The One and Only Ivan” by K.A.

For more information on the Middle School Battle of the Books, contact Janis Edwards at jedwards@muhsd.org or (209) 398-3248.

To learn more about special guest W. Bruce Cameron, visit https://www.wbrucecameron.com/

 

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April 22, 2202

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
REST AREA, CONNECTOR RAMPS & LANE CLOSURES
INTERSTATE 5 AND STATE ROUTES 99, 140, 152 & 165

MERCED COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will perform
various lane and ramp closures on Interstate 5 (I-5), State Route 99 (SR-99), SR-140, SR-
152 and SR-165 for maintenance and construction operations. Work to occur as follows;
INTERSTATE 5:
• Full closure of the John C. Erreca Rest Areas on northbound and southbound I-5
beginning Monday, April 4, 2022, through July 2023.
o ALTERNATE LOCATIONS: Motorists are advised to use either the Westley
Rest Area (San Joaquin/Stanislaus County line) or the Coalinga-Avenal
Rest Area (Fresno/Kings County line). Electric charging stations are
available at the Westley Rest Area.
• Full connector ramp closure from northbound I-5 at SR-152 for bridge work
beginning Sunday, April 24, through Friday, April 29, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00
a.m.
• Full connector ramp closure from southbound I-5 at SR-165 for bridge work
beginning Sunday, April 24, through Friday, April 29, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00
a.m.
STATE ROUTE 99:
• Alternating closures of the #1 (left) and #2 (right) lanes of northbound and
southbound SR-99 from Colony Slough to SR-140/SR-59 (V Street) beginning
Sunday, April 24, through Friday, April 29, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Long-term full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at Childs Avenue
for construction through May 7, 2022.
• Long-term full on-ramp closure from SR-140 East to northbound SR-99 for
construction through May 14, 2022.
• Full off-ramp closure from northbound SR-99 at SR-140 East beginning Sunday,
April 24, through Friday, April 29, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at SR-59/Martin Luther King Jr.
Way for construction beginning Monday, April 25, through Friday, April 29, 2022,
from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from northbound SR-99 at R Street for construction
beginning Sunday, April 24, through Friday, April 29, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00
a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from R Street to southbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Sunday, April 24, through Friday, April 29, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until
6:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from SR-140/SR-59 (V Street) to northbound SR-99 for
construction beginning Sunday, April 24, through Friday, April 29, 2022, from 8:00
p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from southbound SR-99 to SR-140/SR-59 (V Street) for
construction beginning Sunday, April 24, through Friday, April 29, 2022, from 10:00
p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at 16th Street for construction
beginning Sunday, April 24, through Friday, April 29, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until
6:00 a.m.
• Long-term closure of the off-ramp from northbound SR-99 at Applegate Road for
construction through Saturday, May 7, 2022.
STATE ROUTE 140:
• One-way traffic control from Kibby Road to Santa Fe Avenue for utility work
beginning Sunday, April 24, through Friday, April 29, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00
a.m.
• One-way traffic control at the Merced/Mariposa County line for bridge work
beginning Monday, April 25, through Thursday, April 28, from 6:00 a.m. until 6:00
p.m., and on Friday, April 29, 2022, from 6:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.
STATE ROUTE 152:
• Full connector-ramp closures from westbound SR-152 to I-5 beginning Sunday,
April 24, through Friday, April 29, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Long-term closure of the #1 (left) lane of westbound SR-152 from Highline Canal
to Delta Mendota Canal for bridge work until June 30, 2022.
STATE ROUTE 165:
• Full closures of August Avenue at SR-165 for utility work beginning Sunday, April
24, through Friday, April 29, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• One-way traffic control from Scripps Drive to East Wilmott Road for striping
operations beginning Sunday, April 24, through Friday, April 29, 2022, from 8:00
p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• One-way traffic control at Mercy Springs Road for bridge work beginning
Sunday, April 24, through Friday, April 29, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
Motorists should expect five to 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.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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April 22, 2202

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
ONE-WAY TRAFFIC CONTROL
DELAYS EXPECTED ON STATE ROUTES 132 AND 140

MARIPOSA COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will perform various operations on State Routes 132 and 140 next week in Mariposa County.
Route 132
• One-way traffic control from Hayward Road to Route 49, Coulterville, for drainage work beginning Monday, April 25, through Thursday, April 28, 2022, from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Route 140
• This week: Full highway closure from Route 49 North to Fifth Street for the Mariposa Butterfly Festival Parade from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 23. 2022.
• One-way traffic control from Mariposa Creek to Coakley Circle for electrical work beginning Monday, April 25, through Friday, April 29, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.
• One-way traffic control from Mariposa Creek to Coakley Circle for paving work beginning Tuesday, April 19, through Friday, April 22, 2022, from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
• One-way traffic control from South Incline Road to Foresta Road for drainage cleaning and inspection from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Monday, April 25, 2022.
Motorists should expect 10-minute delays and use alternate routes 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.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.
For the latest road conditions, visit quickmap.dot.ca.gov.

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April 19, 2202

RWA TO GIVE AWAY FREE COMPOST IN CELEBRATION OF EARTH DAYS

Merced – The Merced County Regional Waste Management Authority (RWA) is kicking off the celebration of its 50th anniversary with a special Earth Day event. On Saturday, April 23rd, Merced County residents can visit the Highway 59 landfill anytime between 8:00am-12:00pm and receive free compost. RWA makes compost onsite as a way to divert green waste from the landfill. Compost is used as a soil amendment in yards and gardens to provide additional nutrients to grass, trees, and plants.
In conjunction with the compost giveaway, RWA is partnering with the UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners program to conduct free home composting demonstrations on site. The compost demonstration is open to all and free to attend. However, those who wish to register in advance will receive a free gift. Participation in the demonstration is not required to receive free compost but recipients must be a resident of Merced County and be able to collect and cover the compost they wish to take home. For information about composting and how to register for the Earth Day event visit: www.mcrwma.org/EarthDay.
“Celebrating Earth Day is the perfect way to mark our 50 years of service to Merced County,” said Eric Zetz, Director of RWA. “Landfill sites are at their best when they are reducing, reusing, and recycling materials to keep them out of the ground and that is exactly what we do with our wide array of diversion services, including the compost we make from local residents’ green waste.”
Both of RWA’s landfill sites in Merced and Los Banos allow for disposal of a range of items at no cost and have recycling and diversion programs for things such as mattresses, carpet, clothing, tires, e-waste, household hazardous waste and more. Disposal fees apply to most material brought to the landfill, but some recycling programs accept specific items for free or a reduced rate. For more information, visit www.mcrwma.org or the /MCRWMA Facebook page.


Merced County Association of Governments is a joint powers authority responsible for administering the Merced County Regional Waste Management Authority. The Merced County Regional Waste Management Authority operates two regional landfills, one in Merced on North Highway 59 and the Billy Wright landfill in Los Banos.

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April 16 2202

Merced County Office of Education Announces Speech Festival Winners


The Merced County Office of Education announced the winners of the 2022 Merced County Speech Festival competition at an awards ceremony Thursday night in downtown Merced.

Trophies and certificates were presented to the top three students in each grade level along with honorable mentions. First place winners were also invited to present their award-winning speeches at the awards ceremony.

In this year’s competition, students presented their speeches in front of families, staff and a panel of three judges. The competition featured more than 75 fourth through eighth grade students from 11 schools in 10 school districts.

Participating students gave speeches on any subject based on selected categories from the Spring Writing Festival. This year's speech categories were persuasive, tall tale, legend and fable.

First Place

4th Grade: Delissa Mejia-Guzman, Peggy Heller, “Diversity”
5th Grade: Owen Pedrozo, Our Lady of Mercy, “Support Community Theater”
6th Grade: Anisha Jain, Our Lady of Mercy, “Equality for Women”
7th Grade: Liesl Schwartz, Peggy Heller, “Speech with Apraxia”
8th Grade: Hallie Billings, Peggy Heller, “Cell Based Ice Cream”

Second Place

4th Grade: Genevieve Royal, Peggy Heller, “Looks can be Deceiving”
5th Grade: Hailey Hurtado, Winfield, “Don’t Judge Others”
6th Grade: Logan Boesch, Ballico Elementary, “Vaping”
7th Grade: Bithia Xiloj, Ballico Elementary, “Music While Studying”
8th Grade: Gabby Fuentes, Our Lady of Mercy, “Sexual Assault in College”

Third Place

4th Grade: Akoumae Kouadio, Our Lady of Mercy, “Sports are Import”
5th Grade: Ellery Hunter, Our Lady of Mercy, “Dogs”
6th Grade: Matthew Brown, Our Lady of Mercy, “Social Media”
7th Grade: Grant Mullen, Ballico Elementary, “Child Pageants”
8th Grade: Adam Harding, Ballico Elementary, “First Responder Pay”


2022_Merced_County_Speech_Festival:Students, friends and family joined winners of the 2022 Merced County Speech Festival at the awards ceremony at the Merced County Office of Education Downtown Professional Development Center Mondo on Thursday, April 14.

Anisha_Jain_1st_Place_Speech:
First place winner Anisha Jain, sixth grade, from Our Lady of Mercy School presents the award winning speech “Equality for Women.”

Gabby_Fuentes_2nd_Place_Award:
Second place winner Gabby Fuentes, eighth grade, from Our Lady of Mercy School poses with her award.

Genevieve_Royal_2nd_Place_Award:
Second place winner Genevieve Royal, fourth grade, from Peggy Heller Elementary School receives a trophy from Merced County Speech Festival Coordinator Stacie Arancibia.

Owen_Pedrozo_1st_Place_Award:
First place winner Owen Pedrozo, fifth grade, from Our Lady of Mercy School presents the award winning speech “Support Community Theatre.”

(Photos by Nate Gomes courtesy of the Merced County Office of Education)


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April 15, 2202

Merced County Regional Occupational Program Offers Free Automotive Technology Class

The Merced County Office of Education Regional Occupational Program (ROP) is accepting enrollment for the Automotive Technology class, where participants will learn the basics of automotive technology and become job-ready in four months.

The program’s curriculum includes maintenance, light repair, engine performance, electrical systems, gas engine operation and much more. Participants will earn a certification in Safety and Pollution Prevention training.

The class meets Monday through Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. starting June 6 through Oct. 20.

Eligible participants must be at least 18 years of age, have a high school diploma, equivalency diploma or GED, possess a valid driver’s license and have the ability to complete physically strenuous activities such as lifting, bending, reaching and climbing.

The goal of the Regional Occupational Program is to prepare adult students for long-term employment through quality vocational training. In addition to the Automotive Technology program, ROP offers training in a variety of industries throughout the year.

The program is free to enroll.

For more information contact Dora Robles at Drobles@mcoe.org or (209) 381-6684.

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April 15, 2202

Merced County Regional Occupational Program Receives National Accreditation

After an extensive evaluation and review process, the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education (COE) has granted accreditation to the Merced County Office of Education Regional Occupational Program (ROP) on March 3.

The commission voted to grant accreditation after a review of Merced County ROP’s self-study report, team report, institutional response report and other supporting documents. The accreditation process includes an extensive self-study and review by a visiting team of educators and can take at least 12 months to complete once candidacy is achieved.

“This accreditation shows that MCOE’s Regional Occupational Program has high quality, relevant programming,” said Merced County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steve Tietjen.

By achieving accreditation, Merced County ROP has demonstrated that the program not only meets the standards for educational quality but also successfully meets the needs of students, employers and the community.

ROP Coordinator Mary Whited emphasized the importance of the accreditation status. “This accreditation is a recognition that our programs maintain a certain level of educational standards," she said. "The U.S. Department of Education also recognizes this accreditation that opens many opportunities for growth within our programs.”

The mission of the Merced County Office of Education Regional Occupational Program is to prepare adult students with relevant, high-quality career training to secure sustainable employment and advancement.

Accreditation through COE is viewed as a seal of excellence for occupational education institutions nationwide as well as a representation of honesty and integrity. Programs that receive COE accreditation may also be eligible for federal student financial aid.

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April 15, 2202

CALTRANS TO BEGIN BRIDGE MAINTENANCE PROJECT AT
NINE LOCATIONS IN MERCED & MARIPOSA COUNTIES

STOCKTON – Caltrans is preparing to begin a bridge preventative maintenance project
that will make necessary repairs at nine different locations within Merced and Mariposa
Counties.
Work will vary per location and will include the repair of existing bridge deck concrete,
installation of polyester concrete overlays, and the replacement of various joint seals
and bridge deck approach and departure slabs.
This project is scheduled to begin the week of April 24-30, 2022, (weather permitting)
with completion expected in September 2022.
The majority of work is to be performed during night-time hours and will require lane
closures, including one-way traffic control. Caltrans will have flaggers and/or
changeable message signs alerting motorists of the lane closures.
This estimated $2.93 million maintenance project will be performed by Myers & Sons
Construction LP, of Sacramento, CA.
Schedules are subject to change due to traffic incidents, weather, availability of
equipment and/or materials and construction related issues.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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April 15, 2202

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
REST AREA, RAMP & LANE CLOSURES
INTERSTATE 5 AND STATE ROUTES 99, 140, 152 & 165

MERCED COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will perform
various lane and ramp closures on Interstate 5 (I-5), State Route 99 (SR-99), SR-140, SR-
152 and SR-165 for maintenance and construction operations. Work to occur as follows;
INTERSTATE 5:
• Full closure of the John C. Erreca Rest Areas on northbound and southbound I-5
beginning Monday, April 4, 2022, through July 2023.
o ALTERNATE LOCATIONS: Motorists are advised to use either the Westley
Rest Area (San Joaquin/Stanislaus County line) or the Coalinga-Avenal
Rest Area (Fresno/Kings County line). Electric charging stations are
available at the Westley Rest Area.
STATE ROUTE 99:
• Alternating closures of the #1 (left) and #2 (right) lanes of northbound and
southbound SR-99 from Colony Slough to SR-140/SR-59 (V Street) beginning
Monday, April 18, through Friday, April 22, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at Childs Avenue beginning
Monday, April 18, through Friday, April 22, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at Childs Avenue beginning
Monday, April 18, through Friday, April 22, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at SR-140 East beginning
Monday, April 18, through Friday, April 22, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure on northbound SR-99 at G Street for construction beginning
Monday, April 18, through Friday, April 22, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closures from G Street to southbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Monday, April 18, through Friday, April 22, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until
6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at SR-59/Martin Luther King Jr.
Way for construction beginning Monday, April 18, through Friday, April 22, 2022,
from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at SR-59/Martin Luther King Jr.
Way for construction beginning Monday, April 18, through Friday, April 22, 2022,
from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from northbound SR-99 at R Street for construction
beginning Monday, April 18, through Friday, April 22, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until
5:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from R Street to southbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Monday, April 18, through Friday, April 22, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until
6:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from SR-140/SR-59 (V Street) to northbound SR-99 for
construction beginning Monday, April 18, through Friday, April 22, 2022, from 8:00
p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from southbound SR-99 to SR-140/SR-59 (V Street) for
construction beginning Monday, April 18, through Friday, April 22, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from 16th Street to northbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Monday, April 18, through Friday, April 22, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until
5:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from 16th Street to southbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Monday, April 18, through Friday, April 22, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until
6:00 a.m.
• Long-term closure of the off-ramp from northbound SR-99 at Applegate Road for
construction through Saturday, May 7, 2022.
STATE ROUTE 140:
• One-way traffic control from Kibby Road to Santa Fe Avenue for utility work
beginning Monday, April 18, through Friday, April 22, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until
6:00 a.m.
STATE ROUTE 152:
• Long-term closure of the #1 (left) lane of westbound SR-152 from Highline Canal
to Delta Mendota Canal for bridge work until June 30, 2022.
STATE ROUTE 165:
• Full closures of August Avenue at SR-165 for utility work beginning Sunday, April
17, through Friday, April 22, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• One-way traffic control on SR-165 from Scripps Drive to East Wilmott Road for
striping operations beginning Monday, April 18, through Friday, April 22, 2022,
from 8:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
Motorists should expect five to 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.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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TRAFFIC ADVISORY
ONE-WAY TRAFFIC CONTROL
DELAYS EXPECTED ON STATE ROUTES 49 AND 140

MARIPOSA COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will perform various operations on State Routes 49 and 140 next week in Mariposa County.
Route 49
• One-way traffic control from Mocassin Creek to Bear Valley Road for drainage work beginning Monday, April 18, through Friday, April 22, 2022, from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Route 140
• Full highway closure from Fifth Street to Route 49 North for the Mariposa Butterfly Festival from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 23. 2022.
• One-way traffic control from Mariposa Creek to Coakley Circle for electrical work beginning Monday, April 18, through Friday, April 22, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.
• One-way traffic control from Mariposa Creek to Coakley Circle for paving work beginning Tuesday, April 19, through Friday, April 22, 2022, from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
• One-way traffic control from the passing lane to the Mt. Bullion Cutoff for drainage cleaning and inspection beginning Monday, April 18, through Tuesday, April 19, 2022, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
• One-way traffic control from Sweetwater Creek to Savage Trading Post for drainage cleaning and inspection from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday,
• One-way traffic control from Savage Trading Post to South Incline Road for drainage cleaning and inspection from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 21, 2022.
Motorists should expect 10-minute delays and use alternate routes 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.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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April 15, 2202

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
FULL HIGHWAY CLOSURE
FOR THE MARIPOSA BUTTERFLY FESTIVAL PARADE ON APRIL 23, 2022

MARIPOSA COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will close State Route 140 from the Route 49 North junction to Fifth Street for the Mariposa Butterfly Festival Parade from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 23, 2022.
Traffic will be directed to use Bullion Street as a detour.
For more information about the Mariposa Buttlerfly Festival, visit mariposabutterflyfestival.net/.

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April 14, 2202

Castle Air Museum Hosts 100 year Old WWII Veteran to Golf

Castle Air Museum will have the honor of hosting WWII Combat Veteran Ralph Graham who at 100 years young will be golfing in the Museum's Charity Benefit Tournament at Pheasant Run Golf Course in Chowchilla on Friday April 22! Mr. Graham is one of the last remaining of the Greatest Generation, and is making the trip out along with his family from Waco, Texas. Please view the attached television news story from their local affiliate in Waco to get more on Mr. Graham and his incredible journey! He is also an accomplished author with his Book titled "12 Minutes" which recants the story of an epic bombing mission over Europe on December 24, 1944 involving 2,000 Bombers in formation, led by Brigadier General Frederick W. Castle, in which General Castle, namesake of the Museum lost his life and awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously for his heroic actions on that day.

Registration at Pheasant Run Golf Course will begin at 11 AM on Friday April 22, with a 1:00 PM Shotgun start. For more information please contact the Museum at the information provided below.

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April 14, 2202

MCAG RELEASES 5-YEAR REPORT ON MEASURE V SUCCESS

Merced – The 5th anniversary edition of On the moVe – the annual Measure V report to the community – has been released to the public by the Citizens Oversight Committee. The 2022 report highlights transportation improvements that have been completed throughout Merced County since the local, half-cent sales tax went into effect in April 2017.
Most notable in this year’s report is the celebration of the Measure reaching the $100 million mark in new revenue collected. These funds have resulted in significant enhancements in local road, bridge, bicycle, sidewalk, and public transit networks in the first five years of the Measure’s 30-year span. The most impactful infrastructure projects in each of the Measure V funding categories are showcased in On the moVe 2022. This includes work done by the County of Merced, the cities of Atwater, Dos Palos, Gustine, Livingston, Los Banos and Merced, as well as The Bus. In addition, large, regional transportation projects completed with Measure V funds dedicated to the East and West side Regional Project Committees are also presented.
“Measure V has done so much more for local transportation systems in its first five years than we even imagined,” said Stacie Guzman, Merced County Association of Governments Executive Director. “To reach the $100 million milestone as quickly as we have and to see all that has been accomplished throughout the County in only five years is a testament to how much these funds were needed in our region.”
This 2022 On the moVe report is available online at: www.mcagov.org/onthemove or in hard copy at each of the six city halls, the County Administration building, and MCAG office. In addition to both English and Spanish versions of the report, the public can also find additional work happening in each Merced County community by viewing the slideshow and interactive map on the website.
Measure V was passed by Merced County voters in November 2016 and will be in place until 2047. Half of all Measure V revenue goes directly to the six cities and the County of Merced and must be used for local transportation improvements; of this share, the jurisdictions must use 20 percent on alternative transportation modes projects such as sidewalks and bike lanes. Regional transportation projects located on both the east and west sides of the county receive 44 percent of the Measure V dollars and five percent goes toward public transit. Merced County Association of Governments (MCAG) receives one percent of the funding for administrative work related to Measure V.
MCAG, is the designated Local Transportation Authority for Merced County responsible for the implementation and administration of Measure V. To keep the community informed about this transformative measure, MCAG features monthly updates in their electronic newsletter which can be found on the MCAG website www.mcagov.org. Additional information about Measure V, including financial statements and specific project information, can be found at www.mcagov.org/MeasureV.
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 and the Merced County Regional Waste Management Authority.

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April 12, 2202

Atwater FFA State Conference Group- Atwater High School students joined 5500+ California FFA members for the 2022 California FFA State Conference held at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California.

Atwater FFA Students Earn State Recognition at FFA Conference

Written by: Shayleigh Miller Atwater FFA

State Proficiency Winners- Atwater FFA Student, Ethan Slate, Atwater FFA Advisor, Shelby Fishman and Atwater FFA Student, Tristan Cardey showcasing their state championship plaque for their proficiency projects.

The Atwater High School FFA earned top honors during the 94th annual California FFA State Leadership Conference in Sacramento, California on March 26-29th. This annual event gathered over 5500 FFA students representing 342 high schools throughout California to participate in a variety of leadership workshops, Leadership Development Events (LDE’s), college and university recruitment workshops, a career fair, and the recognition of California’s top agricultural education and FFA students.

This year’s theme for the conference was “Embrace The Adventure”. The conference began with students attending various sessions at the Golden One Center in Sacramento, California. Students were given the opportunity to attend a variety of leadership and development workshops. One example was “Meeting in the Middle” led by UC Davis college students. They presented a meaningful message "Every single individual has a different perspective and personality traits, but if we all work together, we can create a better future.” Students also participated in various tours, visiting Flora Fresh, a wholesale florist; Students were also able to attend a tour of Universal Technical Institute, UTI, of Sacramento where students learned about the various programs the campus has to offer. "The FFA has so many different opportunities for each and every single student and you never know how much that one opportunity can influence a child's life,” said FFA advisor Sam Meredith.

Atwater FFA students Ethan Slate and Tristan Cardey were state proficiency finalists; proficiencies honor FFA members who, through their supervised agricultural experiences (SAE’s), have developed specialized skills that they can apply toward their future careers. Ethan Slate was a finalist for the Beef Production Entrepreneurship Proficiency and won the Diversified Agricultural Productions State Proficiency. Tristan Cardey won the State Proficiency Award for Diversified Livestock. “Students have spent countless hours with their projects and it is rewarding to see that the hard work and dedication paid off,” said FFA advisor Shelby Fishman.

In addition, the Novice and Advanced Parliamentary Procedure teams competed and qualified for the final round at the state level. The Advanced Parliamentary Procedure team placed 2nd overall in the state and the Novice Parliamentary Procedure team placed 6th in the state.

For more information on Atwater FFA, please log on their award winning website at www.atwaterffa.org
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April 12, 2202

RYAN STEELE NAMED AVCA NAIA HONORABLE MENTION ALL-AMERICAN

MERCED, Calif. - University of California, Merced men's volleyball senior setter Ryan Steele was unveiled as an AVCA NAIA Honorable Mention All-American, as announced Monday morning by the national office.
Steele is one of three All-Americans in program history, joining Cole Smith (2018) and Chris Morikawa (2021).
This year was Steele's best and he became the first player in the country since men's volleyball became a championship sport to average at least 9.9 assists, 1.6 digs and 0.9 kills per set. His career-high 9.99 assists per set ranks ninth in the nation and second on the West Coast.
Steele also averaged 0.48 blocks and 0.31 service aces per set. Eight of his 34 total blocks were solo.
The Sacramento, Calif., native was also named the California Pacific Conference Setter of the Year and All-Cal Pac First Team for the third consecutive season.
Steele registered multiple monster performances over the 20-match campaign, including two double-double's down the stretch to help the Bobcats clinch a postseason berth. He went for a program-record 61 assists and 12 digs against Westcliff University, while recording 59 assists and ten digs on Senior Day against Simpson University. He also had five kills in each match. He started the year with 56 assists and three service aces in the Bobcats first ever home win against UC Santa Cruz.
After 99 career matches and 346 games played, Steele finishes his storied career ranked first in program history with 3,018 assists and 73 service aces. He is tied for first with 46 solo blocks, is second with 542 digs, and is third with 172 total blocks.
Steele also led the Bobcats to three straight postseason berths and a pair of California Pacific Conference Championship games.
To stay up to date with everything UC Merced men's volleyball in the offseason, follow @UCMercedMVB on Twitter and Instagram.

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April 12, 2202

Event Name
• The Merced County Fair Job Fair

Location
• Merced County Fairgrounds (900 Martin Luther King Jr. Way Merced, CA 95341)

Date & Time
• Tuesday, April 26
• 4 PM – 6 PM

Contact
• 209-722-1506
• info@mercedcountyfair.com

Price
• FREE to attend
• FREE Parking Available on Grounds (Just enter off Martin Luther King Jr. Way)


Event Details
• The Merced County Fair will hold its Annual Job Fair on Tuesday, April 26 from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. in the Yosemite Hall located at the Merced County Fairgrounds. The fair is seeking individuals who can demonstrate excellent customer service in an entertaining and family-friendly environment. Available positions include but are not limited to:

• Admission Ticket Sellers
• Ticket Takers
• Parking Attendants
• Exhibit Staff
• Janitorial Staff
• Maintenance Staff
• Guest Services (Security)
• Concessions
• And More!

Volunteer opportunities are also available! Please bring several copies of your resume to hand out for each available position you are interested in applying for. For more details and to view the flyer, visit www.mercedcountyfair.com/jobfair.

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April 9, 2202

CONSTRUCTION & ROAD CLOSURE ALERT


Multiple Lane and Shoulder Closures in Merced County


Merced County, Calif. – The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority), in cooperation with geotechnical consultant Kleinfelder Inc., announces multiple lane and shoulder closures in Merced County for geotechnical exploration. Work is scheduled from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. starting Monday, April 11 through Friday, April 15, 2022.

This work is being conducted within the Central Valley Wye project section, an approximately 50-mile stretch of high-speed rail between Merced and Madera. This work is conducted to explore geologic and hydrogeologic conditions in locations in proximity to the high-speed rail alignment.

A final alignment through this region has been selected through a public environmental review process and Records of Decision have provided for full environmental clearance for 171 miles of the high-speed rail alignment between Merced and Bakersfield.


MULTIPLE LANE AND SHOULDER CLOSURES IN MERCED COUNTY FOR GEOTECHNICAL EXPLORATION WORK:
• Northbound lane closure along Lingard Road, between Doppler and Thrift roads;
• Southbound lane and shoulder closure along Athlone Road, between Doppler and Sandy Mush roads;
• Westbound lane and shoulder closure along Sandy Mush Road, between Athlone Road and Vista Avenue;
• Eastbound lane and shoulder closure along Roosevelt Road, between Road 11 and Bliss Road;
• Shoulder closure on north side of Avenue 26, between Roads 11 and 12.
Work is scheduled from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. starting Monday, April 11, through Friday, April 15, 2022.

Access will be maintained for all property owners and local businesses.

Drivers should watch for field vehicles and personnel.

Signage will be in place to direct traffic.

All construction activities and schedules are subject to change. The California High-Speed Rail project is considered a critical infrastructure sector, and as the project continues, staff, contractors and construction workers are following specific guidelines to ensure the health and safety of all employees due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For up-to-date information please visit BuildHSR.com or the Caltrans Quickmap. Traffic laws will be fully enforced and commuters are expected to be aware of the surrounding activities, remain alert and watch for construction vehicles and personnel. The public is asked to drive carefully and be extra cautious while traveling through construction areas.

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April 8, 2202

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
REST AREA, RAMP & LANE CLOSURES
INTERSTATE 5 AND STATE ROUTES 99, 140, 152 & 165

MERCED COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will perform
various lane and ramp closures on Interstate 5 (I-5), State Route 99 (SR-99), SR-140, SR-
152 and SR-165 for maintenance and construction operations. Work to occur as follows;
INTERSTATE 5:
• Full closure of the John C. Erreca Rest Areas on northbound and southbound I-5
beginning Monday, April 4, 2022, through July 2023.
o ALTERNATE LOCATIONS: Motorists are advised to use either the Westley
Rest Area (San Joaquin/Stanislaus County line) or the Coalinga-Avenal
Rest Area (Fresno/Kings County line). Electric charging stations are
available at the Westley Rest Area.
STATE ROUTE 99:
• Alternating closures of the #1 (left) and #2 (right) lanes of northbound and
southbound SR-99 from Colony Slough to SR-140/SR-59 (V Street) beginning
Sunday, April 10, through Thursday, April 14, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at Childs Avenue beginning
Sunday, April 10, through Thursday, April 14, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at Childs Avenue beginning
Sunday, April 10, through Thursday, April 14, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at SR-140 East beginning
Sunday, April 10, through Thursday, April 14, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure on northbound SR-99 at G Street for construction beginning
Sunday, April 10, through Thursday, April 14, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closures from G Street to southbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Sunday, April 10, through Thursday, April 14, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until
6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at SR-59/Martin Luther King Jr.
Way for construction beginning Sunday, April 10, through Thursday, April 14, 2022,
from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at SR-59/Martin Luther King Jr.
Way for construction beginning Sunday, April 10, through Thursday, April 14, 2022,
from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from northbound SR-99 at R Street for construction
beginning Sunday, April 10, through Thursday, April 14, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until
5:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from R Street to southbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Sunday, April 10, through Thursday, April 14, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until
6:00 a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from SR-140/SR-59 (V Street) to northbound SR-99 for
construction beginning Sunday, April 10, through Thursday, April 14, 2022, from
8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from southbound SR-99 to SR-140/SR-59 (V Street) for
construction beginning Sunday, April 10, through Thursday, April 14, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Long-term closure of the off-ramp from northbound SR-99 at Applegate Road for
construction through Saturday, May 7, 2022.
• Full off-ramp closure from southbound SR-99 at Hammatt Avenue for electrical
work beginning Tuesday, April 12, through Friday, April 15, 2022, from 9:00 p.m.
until 5:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from northbound SR-99 at Bradbury Road for electrical work
beginning Monday, April 11, through Friday, April 15, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until
5:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from northbound SR-99 at South Turlock/Golden State
Boulevard for electrical work beginning Monday, April 11, through Friday, April
15, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
STATE ROUTE 140:
• One-way traffic control from Kibby Road to Santa Fe Avenue for utility work
beginning Sunday, April 10, through Friday April 15, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00
a.m.
STATE ROUTE 152:
• Long-term closure of the #1 (left) lane of westbound SR-152 from Highline Canal
to Delta Mendota Canal for bridge work until June 30, 2022.
STATE ROUTE 165:
• Full closures of August Avenue at SR-165 for utility work beginning Sunday, April
10, through Saturday, April 16, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
Motorists should expect five to 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.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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April 8, 2202

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
ONE-WAY TRAFFIC CONTROL
DELAYS EXPECTED ON STATE ROUTES 49 AND 140

MARIPOSA COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will perform various operations on State Routes 49 and 140 next week in Mariposa County.
Route 49
• One-way traffic control from Allred Road to Ben Hur Road for utility work from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 16, 2022.
Route 140
• One-way traffic control from Mariposa Creek to Coakley Circle for electrical work beginning Monday, April 11, through Friday, April 15, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.
Motorists should expect 5- to 10-minute delays and use alternate routes 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.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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April 7, 2202

Education, Community Partners Hosts First Merced County Training and Hiring Event

Educators and employers from across the region are gearing up for the first Merced County Career & Technical Education (CTE) Training and Hiring event on Friday, April 29 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Merced County Fairgrounds.

In collaboration with Central Valley Opportunity Center (CVOC), Gateway Adult Education Network (GAEN), Merced College, Merced County Office of Education (MCOE) and Merced Union High School District (MUHSD), the Merced County CTE Training and Hiring event will feature more than 60 employers and many countywide CTE programs.

The training and hiring event is open to the public.

The event will provide participants from CTE training programs with the opportunity to connect with employers seeking candidates to fill open positions and offer opportunities to learn more about the Adult CTE training programs available to high school seniors in the program and anyone interested in a new career.

Jobs skills and training are focused in CTE fields that include Medical Assisting, Truck Driving, Automotive Repair, Construction, Welding, Early Education and many more.

Partners such as Worknet, Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) and the Empower program will also be in attendance to offer additional support.

For more information visit https://mercedcountycte.org/

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April 7, 2202

‘Blue Dogs’ want Adam Gray to join them in Congress


(MERCED) – Adam Gray (D—MERCED) announced today that he has earned the endorsement of one of the most important groups in the United States Congress, the Blue Dog Democrats. Known for their pragmatic, bipartisan, and no-nonsense approach to enacting legislative priorities, the Blue Dogs endorsed Gray in his bid to win California’s 13th Congressional District.

“In the Valley, being a ‘Blue Dog’ is considered a badge of honor,” said Gray, who has represented part of Stanislaus and all of Merced Counties in the California State Assembly for the past ten years. “The Blue Dogs are fearless. For 30 years, they have been willing to cross party lines and buck party leaders to get things done.

“I look forward to joining the Blue Dog Caucus when I get to Washington,” said Gray, upon confirmation of the endorsement.

Gray is running in California’s newly-drawn 13th Congressional District, which runs north from southern Fresno County through Madera, Merced, and Stanislaus Counties, into San Joaquin County. Gray already represents roughly 67% of the district’s residents in the Assembly. He is the only candidate in the race who resides in the district.

“Congress needs Blue Dog representatives,” said former U.S. Representative Gary Condit, one of the original founders of the Blue Dog Caucus when he represented Stanislaus County in Congress from 1989 to 2003. “The Blue Dogs work to solve problems, cut across party lines, and stand up for their constituents even when that is against the wishes of leadership. Adam Gray has always done that in Sacramento, and he will be a great Congressman in Washington.”

In addition to former Rep. Condit, Gray has the support of former Reps. Tony Coelho and Dennis Cardoza, both of whom also represented large portions of the Central Valley. Sitting California Blue Dog Rep. Jim Costa, Rep. Lou Correa, and Rep. Mike Thompson have also endorsed Gray, as have the Peace Officers Research Association of California, Sheriff Jeff Dirkse of Stanislaus County, Sheriff Vern Warnke of Merced County, and Sheriff Margaret Mims of Fresno County.

“I’m really proud of the endorsements from our community’s current and former Representatives,” said Gray. “They know what it takes to do the job for the Valley. I’m honored to have their support.”

Gray also has been endorsed by Senator Dianne Feinstein and Senator Alex Padilla, among hundreds of other elected leaders, small-business owners, teachers, first responders, farmers, and working people from across the Valley.

The primary election is scheduled for June 7, with mail-in ballots available on May 9. The top two candidates advance to the general election in November. Voting will begin a month in advance of the election.
# # #
Adam Gray is running to represent California’s 13th Congressional District in Congress, which includes all of Merced County and portions of Fresno, Madera, Stanislaus, and San Joaquin Counties. He currently serves in the California State Assembly, representing all of Merced County and part of Stanislaus County.

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April 6, 2202

CALTRANS DISTRICT 10 AND MERCED COUNTY HOST FREE DUMP DAY

STOCKTON — Caltrans District 10 and Clean California are partnering with Merced County to hold a FREE Dump Day event for West Merced County residents this Saturday, April 9, 2022 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. or until capacity is reached.
This household waste collection event will be held at the Merced County Corporate Yard, 20925 Pioneer Road in Los Banos as part of the Clean California program, encouraging responsible trash-handling practices and disposing of waste materials safely and properly.
Dump Day collection items to be accepted:
• Appliances
• Bulky Items – old furniture, chairs, tables, etc.
• Mattresses
• Auto Car tires (with or without rims)
• Household trash (make sure loose items are properly bagged) up to two cubic yards of trash (approx. the equivalent of a small trailer or pickup load)
Items NOT accepted at this event:
• Hazardous waste (such as paints, oils, treated lumber and other chemicals)
• E-waste (computers, televisions, monitors, video games, microwave ovens, etc.)
• Green waste (leaves, prunings, grass, brush, vegetation, etc.)
• Concrete and demolition materials
Caltrans reminds motorists to properly secure and tarp all cargo loads prior to driving. Transporting unsecured loads is unsafe, illegal, and pollutes California's roads and waterways. Loads that are not tied down/secured by tarps/nets or enclosed will not be accepted.
Tips for securing your load:
• Completely cover loads with tarps or cargo nets. Debris can escape from gaps
• Remove loose material and trash before driving
• Don't overload; keep materials level with your truck bed
• Put light items lower, tie large items to the vehicle for traffic safety
Part of Governor Gavin Newsom’s California Comeback Plan, Clean California is a sweeping $1.1 billion, multiyear cleanup effort to remove trash, create thousands of jobs and engage communities to transform roadsides and restore pride in public spaces.

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April 5, 2202

Adam Gray’s Congressional Candidacy
Gains Momentum with Endorsements, Contributions


(MERCED) – Riding an unprecedented surge of support and enthusiasm for his candidacy for the U.S House of Representatives, Adam Gray (D-Merced) reported that his supporters had raised more than $500,000 for his campaign during the first quarterly federal reporting period for California’s new 13th Congressional District (“CD13”).

Gray is the leading candidate in the race to represent CD13 in Washington, D.C. Redrawn following the 2020 Census, the vast district stretches from Coalinga in southwest Fresno County all the way into San Joaquin County and includes much of Gray’s current 21st Assembly District.

“It’s hard to be exhilarated and humbled at the same time,” said Gray, “but that’s how it feels. I’m excited that so many people support what we’re trying to accomplish. There’s so much that needs to be done to help our Valley. That people are entrusting this work to me is, well, humbling.”

In the ten weeks since the announcement of his candidacy, the Gray campaign received donations and support from a broad range of individuals and organizations. More importantly, he has been endorsed by physicians, school teachers, farm workers, police officers, small business owners, firefighters, members of labor unions and dozens of individuals who have been elected to represent their communities on school boards, city councils, irrigation districts, boards of supervisors and special districts. His endorsements include those on both sides of the political divide and feature both California U.S. Senators, U.S. Representative Jim Costa, and Sheriffs Vern Warnke, Jeff Dirkse, and Margaret Mims, among more than 300 others.

“This is a great start,” said Gray spokesman Mike Lynch. “It builds on ten years of elected service with dozens of measurable and important accomplishments. It proves that the voters within the district embrace Adam Gray’s leadership style, commitment and dedication to our area. And it doesn’t hurt that he has had a real impact on so many lives.”

Lynch went on to point out that two-thirds of the voters in the new Congressional District live within Gray’s current Assembly District.

“The people know Adam, they trust Adam and they’re supporting Adam,” said Merced County Supervisor Josh Pedrozo. “When we sent him to Sacramento, Adam got the job done and never forgot us and never let us down. That’s why we’re sending him to Washington.”

There are five candidates running to represent the 13th Congressional District, but Gray is the only candidate who actually lives in the district. The primary election is scheduled for June 7 with mail-in ballots arriving to voters as early as May 9. The top two candidates advance to the general election in November. Voting will begin a month in advance of the election.
# # #
Adam Gray is running to represent California’s 13th Congressional District in Congress, which includes all of Merced County and portions of Fresno, Madera, Stanislaus, and San Joaquin Counties. He currently serves in the California State Assembly, representing all of Merced County and part of Stanislaus County.

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April 5, 2202

MCOE to host Merced County Speech Festival

The Merced County Office of Education will host the 2022 Merced County Speech Festival at the MCOE Downtown Professional Development Center, 1715 Canal St., on April 6-8 and hold the awards reception on April 14.

The speech festival will take place in the Mondo conference room, on the corner of Canal and Main streets in Merced, from 9 a.m. to noon on April 6, 7 and 8. Families and guests are welcome to attend.

Eleven schools are expected to participate from 10 school districts throughout Merced County with more than 75 students competing.

The speech festival spans from grades 4 to 8 and is open to all Merced County students in those grades.

Students may give a speech about any subject using one of the specified categories, which are based on some of the categories from the Spring Writing Festival. The categories are Persuasive Speech, Tall Tale Speech, Legend Speech or Fable Speech.

Students will stand in front of the audience and a panel of three judges to deliver their speeches. First, second and third place winners will be announced at school sites after the competitions along with fourth through eighth place earning an honorable mention.

The award ceremony is scheduled at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 14 in the Mondo conference room at MCOE’s Downtown Center. First place winners are invited to give their award-winning speeches in front of other guests later that evening.

For more information, contact Stacie Arancibia at (209) 381-5910.

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April 4, 2202

RYAN STEELE, CHRIS MORIKAWA HIGHLIGHT BOBCATS ALL-CAL PAC HONORS

MERCED, Calif. - Ryan Steele has been named the California Pacific Conference Setter of the Year and Chris Morikawa has been named the Cal Pac Attacker of the Year, as announced by the league office. Both players also earned unanimous All-Cal Pac First Team honors. Libero Zach Brill is a honorable mention.
The Bobcats are one of just two Cal Pac teams with multiple major award winners and unanimous first team selections.
Steele, now a 3X Cal Pac Setter of the Year, and Morikawa are appearing on the All-Cal Pac First Team for the third consecutive season. Brill is a postseason honoree for the second straight year.
Steele is just the second student athlete in school history to earn a *of the year award* three times, joining 3X Defensive Player of the Year Mia Belvin from the women's basketball program.
This year was Steele's best and he became the first player in the country since men's volleyball became a championship sport to average over ten assists, 1.6 digs and 0.9 kills per set. His career-high 10.1 assists per set led the Cal Pac and he also led all setters with 107 total digs and 59 kills. He was also tied for first with 30 blocks. Among all Cal Pac players, he ranks third with 0.34 service aces per set and tallied a career-best 22 on the year. Steele registered multiple monster performances over the 18-match regular season, including two recent double-double's against postseason qualifiers. He went for a program-record 61 assists and 12 digs against Westcliff, while recording 59 assists and ten digs in a postseason clinching win on Senior Day against Simpson. He also had five kills in each match.
Morikawa leads the Cal Pac for the third straight year with 3.9 kills per set and is the only player ranked top ten in kills P/S, digs P/S, service aces P/S, and hitting percentage. He is seventh and leads all non-liberos with a career-high 1.89 digs per set, while ranking eighth with 0.26 aces per set. He is fourth in the league with a .277 hitting percentage and is the only player to
hit over .200 with a minimum of 400 attempts. Morikawa also notched 23 blocks on the year, including seven solo. Morikawa opened the year with double figure kills in ten straight matches and hit double figures in 14 of his 16 matches overall. He smacked at least 20 kills against three different opponents, including a career-high 25 in just four sets against Park University Gilbert. Morikawa ended the year with three consecutive double-doubles, where he never had less than 18 kills and 11 digs.
Brill completed his fourth consecutive season averaging at least two digs per set and ranks fifth in the Cal Pac this year with 143 total digs and 2.2 per set. Brill also had 24 assists and two service aces while appearing in a team-high 93% of the Bobcats total sets played. Brill registered season-high's of 16 digs in five sets, 15 digs in four sets and nine digs in three sets. He had double figure digs in seven of the eleven matches in which he played at least four sets, four of which came in conference play.
UC Merced men's volleyball will play the top seed and eighth ranked Benedictine University Mesa Redhawks for the California Pacific Conference Tournament Championship and an automatic bid to the NAIA National Championship at 4:00pm today in San Marcos, Calif.

UC Merced Men's Volleyball Falls in Straight Sets to BenU Mesa in California Pacific Conference Championship Game

SAN MARCOS, Calif. - The University of California, Merced men’s volleyball team fell in straight sets to Benedictine University Mesa in the California Pacific Conference Tournament Championship match, 0-3 (19-25, 20-25, 18-25) Saturday afternoon at the USK Sports Complex.

The Bobcats (10-10) earned a right to compete for the Cal Pac trophy back-to-back years and finish the campaign with double figure wins for the second straight year and for the fourth time in the last five years.

Ryan Kilgore highlighted the Bobcats efforts with eight kills and two solo blocks. Chris Morikawa and Lance Nua each had six kills and four digs.

Ryan Steele, who went over 3,000 career assists in his final career game, recorded 23 assists, two kills and a block.

Freshman Colin Ryan notched three blocks.

BenU Mesa, back-to-back Cal Pac champs, was led by Cal Pac Player of the Year Landon Fuller. Fuller was good for 16 kills on a .565 hitting percentage.

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April 1, 2202

Friday, April 1, 2022

Happy Friday, Merced County!

A lot has happened since we last shared updates, there are many exciting events throughout the county and spring break is right around the corner for most school districts.

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March was a huge milestone as it officially marked two years since schools closed due to the COVID-19 health crisis. Also in March, we released the 2021 Merced County Schools Annual Education Report which focused on the role of the County Office of Education, workforce development opportunities and how MCOE and its partners provide education and job training to the community. Both the report and video can be found in this newsletter.

This month, we have a lot to look forward to with Week of the Young Child, the first-ever Merced County High School Honor Choir and many more special events on the horizon.

Read below for more in this week’s newsletter.

• Annual Education Report
• Week of the Young Child
• National History Day
• High School Honor Choir
• Literacy Conference
• ABC30 Educational Spotlight
• Employee Recruitment

Have a great weekend!

Steve M. Tietjen, Ed.D.

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April 1, 2202

RUN FOR RYAN, RYAN NUÑEZ MEMORIAL 5K TO TAKE PLACE ON SUNDAY, APRIL 3

MERCED, Calif. - The University of California, Merced Athletics Department will be hosting the Run for Ryan, Ryan Nuñez Memorial 5K on Sunday, April 3.
The Ryan Nuñez Memorial 5K honors the late Ryan Nuñez, head coach of the UC Merced men’s and women’s cross country teams (2014-16), and the passion for the sport he loved and the student athletes he mentored.
The race begins at 9:00am at the Recreation Fields on the UC Merced campus. An award ceremony will follow.
Registration is available for $40 here. On site registration is also available for $40. Ages five and under are free.
Parking is free in the Bellevue and Scholars Lot.
All proceeds go to the Ryan Nuñez Memorial Scholarship.

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April 1, 2202

Merced County celebrates the Week of the Young Child

First Five of Merced County and the Merced County Head Start program will host activities and events as part of the Week of the Young Child – the annual celebration, sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), that highlights the needs of young children, their families and the early childhood education programs that meet those needs.

The week kicks off with a day at the park on Saturday, April 2, at Pacheco Park in Los Banos and ends with a closeout celebration on Saturday, April 9 at Applegate Park in Merced. Additional partners include Merced Community College and MCOE Early Education Support Programs. Both events are free and open to the public.

Families can expect food, fun activities and educational events the whole family can enjoy as well as activities throughout the week for students in the Head Start and Early Head Start programs. Merced County Head Start is operated by the Merced County Office of Education.

Week of the Young Child schedule of events (April 2 - April 9):

Saturday, April 2
Kick off celebration: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Pacheco Park, Los Banos, CA. Children and their families are invited to the free community event to enjoy games, food, resources and much more.

Monday, April 4
Pajama Day: Teachers will focus on language and literacy through storytelling, role playing, and sharing the love of reading. For children napping, teachers are encouraged to read "bedtime" stories to the children.

Tuesday, April 5
Sports Day: Teachers are encouraged to provide a variety of "sports" like activities for children. This is an excellent opportunity to extend outdoor play by allowing children the experience of learning more about sports while supporting their physical development. Children are encouraged to dress in their favorite sports attire.

Wednesday, April 6
Music and Movement: Teachers will celebrate music by introducing children to different genres of music. This is a great time to make instruments and allow children to engage with music actively. Children are encouraged to show their Head Start spirit by dressing in Red and Blue.


Thursday, April 7
Creative Arts, Art Gallery: Teachers will provide art activities throughout the day, including the outdoor environment, to celebrate the children's creativity with various art modalities. Art is to be displayed in the classroom, replicating an Art Gallery idea.

Saturday, April 9
Closeout celebration: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Applegate Park, Merced, CA. Children and their families are invited to enjoy free, fun and educational activities to close out the week.

For more information, contact Elycia Pimentel at 209-381-5170.

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April 1, 2202

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
REST AREA, HIGHWAY, RAMP & LANE CLOSURES
INTERSTATE 5 AND STATE ROUTES 99, 152 & 165

MERCED COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will perform
various lane and ramp closures on Interstate 5 (I-5), State Route 99 (SR-99), SR-152 and
SR-165 for maintenance and construction operations. Work will occur as follows;
INTERSTATE 5:
• Full closure of the John C. Erreca Rest Areas on northbound and southbound I-5
beginning Monday, April 4, 2022, through July 2023.
o ALTERNATE LOCATIONS: Motorists are advised to use either the Westley
Rest Area (San Joaquin/Stanislaus County line) or the Coalinga-Avenal
Rest Area (Fresno/Kings County line). Electric charging stations are
available at the Westley Rest Area.
• Intermittent closures of the connector ramp from SR-152 to northbound I-5 for
special event on Tuesday, April 5, 2022, from 12:00 a.m. until 4:00 a.m.
STATE ROUTE 99:
• Alternating closures of the #1 (left) and #2 (right) lanes of northbound and
southbound SR-99 from Colony Slough to SR-140/SR-59 (V Street) beginning
Sunday, April 3, through Friday, April 8, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at Childs Avenue beginning
Sunday, April 3, through Friday, April 8, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at Childs Avenue beginning
Sunday, April 3, through Friday, April 8, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at SR-140 East beginning
Sunday, April 3, through Friday, April 8, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at SR-140 East beginning
Sunday, April 3, through Friday, April 8, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure on northbound SR-99 at G Street for construction beginning
Sunday, April 3, through Friday, April 8, 2022, from 9:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off--ramp closures from G Street to southbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Sunday, April 3, through Friday, April 8, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00
a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on northbound SR-99 at SR-59/Martin Luther King Jr.
Way for construction beginning Sunday, April 3, through Friday, April 8, 2022, from
8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full on and off-ramp closures on southbound SR-99 at SR-59/Martin Luther King Jr.
Way for construction beginning Sunday, April 3, through Friday, April 8, 2022, from
10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from northbound SR-99 at R Street for construction
beginning Sunday, April 3, through Friday, April 8, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00
a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from R Street to southbound SR-99 for construction
beginning Sunday, April 3, through Friday, April 8, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00
a.m.
• Full on-ramp closure from SR-140/SR-59 (V Street) to northbound SR-99 for
construction beginning Sunday, April 3, through Friday, April 8, 2022, from 8:00
p.m. until 5:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from southbound SR-99 to SR-140/SR-59 (V Street) for
construction beginning Sunday, April 3, through Friday, April 8, 2022, from 10:00
p.m. until 6:00 a.m.
• Full off-ramp closure from southbound SR-99 at 16th Street for construction
beginning Sunday, April 3, through Friday, April 8, 2022, from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00
a.m.
• Long-term closure of the off-ramp from northbound SR-99 at Applegate Road for
construction through Saturday, May 7, 2022.
STATE ROUTE 152:
• Long-term closure of the #1 (left) lane of westbound SR-152 from Highline Canal
to Delta Mendota Canal for bridge work until June 30, 2022.
STATE ROUTE 165:
• Full closures of northbound and southbound SR-165 at August Avenue for utility
work beginning Sunday, April 3, through Friday, April 8, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. until
6:00 a.m.
Motorists should expect five to 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.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

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April 1, 2202

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
ONE-WAY TRAFFIC CONTROL
DELAYS EXPECTED ON STATE ROUTE 140

MARIPOSA COUNTY – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will perform various operations on State Route 140 next week in Mariposa County.
Route 140
• Moving closure of one lane from Old Yosemite Road to El Portal Road for sweeping operations beginning Monday, April 4, through Friday, April 8, 2022, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
• One-way traffic control from Mariposa Creek to Coakley Circle for electrical work beginning Monday, April 4, through Friday, April 8, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.
Motorists should expect 5-minute delays and use alternate routes 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.
For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.

 



 
 
 


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