Fire brings pot grow in home to light
A fire blamed on faulty wiring led to the discovery of a home marijuana growing operation and an arrest. Modesto Regional Fire Authority firefighters responded to a home in the 1300 block of Markham Avenue shortly before 10 p.m. Friday, said Battalion Chief Cecil Ridge. Firefighters put out a small fire that damaged the ceiling of a downstairs bedroom, he said. The fire was blamed on makeshift electrical connections in the room and bedrooms above, which had extensive rigging to power lights and fans for growing marijuana, Ridge said. The Turlock Irrigation District was called in to cut off power to the smoking wires. Narcotics officers arrested Elda Valenzuela, 53, on a felony charge of cultivation of marijuana after finding about 100 plants growing, according to Modesto Police Department records.
NO INJURIES IN PLANE CRASH IN MERCED
No one was injured when the landing gear failed on an incoming plane to the Merced Regional Airport, according to authorities.
“It was a minor accident,” said Battalion Chief Shawn Henry of the city of Merced Fire Department. The plane sustained damage to its underside, he said. Fire crews were called to the airport about 6:20 p.m., and the airport closed, according to the department’s Facebook page. Initial reports indicated the pilot had been injured. No other information was available.
St. Stanislaus marks 100th anniversary
St. Stanislaus Catholic Church marked a century of worship and community history with a service in the original church on J Street in Modesto. Page B2
CDC: Valley fever hit state hard this year
California’s Central Valley has been hit heavily by coccidioidomycosis, or Valley fever, in the past year, The Sacramento Bee reported. The disease is caused by Coccidioides fungus – or “cocci” – found in the soil of warm, dry regions with low annual rainfall, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Digging, agricultural production and high winds pick up the fungal spores from the soil and carry them to where humans can inhale them and become ill. Valley fever cannot be transmitted person to person.
From 2000 to 2011, California has seen more than 25,000 Valley fever-related hospitalizations. In addition to respiratory distress, patients can experience a red skin rash that can worsen to lesions.
MJC classes FAST TRACK JOB SKILLs
Modesto Junior College will be offering courses in real estate and office administration in accelerated format, enabling students to obtain a certificate in one semester. The three courses required to take the exam for a California real estate salesperson license will be offered in the spring, with the state exam in May.
All courses needed to satisfy the records management/data entry specialist certificate also will be offered next semester. Students will have the opportunity to complete all courses (16 units) during the 16-week spring term. The courses provide entry-level job skills in the areas of records management/filing and data entry for such positions as filing clerks, records clerks and data-entry operators.
For more information, go to www.mjc.edu or call Cece Hudelson at (209) 575-6128.