You have time to get out there for some last-minute seasonal cheer. Sure, events and activities start to taper as the big day nears, but there are still plenty of final-week fa-la-las to be enjoyed if you know where to look.
The Salvation Army’s Modesto Citadel Corps has received a big donation: a 2-carat diamond ring that could be worth thousands of dollars and go a long way in aiding the charity in its work of helping the needy.
The Police Department is moving 10 officers from specialty units – including those who work at Modesto’s high schools – and putting them into patrol to meet a staffing shortage. Police Chief Galen Carroll said he is doing this because the department is losing officers to retirement and better-paying Bay Area agencies faster than it can replace them.
There’s good news for fans of the Central Catholic High School football team: Starting tailback Justin Rice, who has rushed for 2,096 yards and 30 touchdowns this season, will start in today’s CIF Division IV state championship game against St. Margaret’s of San Juan Capistrano at the StubHub Center.
Stanislaus County has hired NCM Engineering Corp. to handle the work of getting government approvals for upgrading the Sperry Avenue and Interstate 5 interchange, though building the upgrades still depends on growth in Patterson and Diablo Grande.
The city could know within six months whether commercial flights will return to Modesto Airport next year. The city and its airport consultant – Sixel Consulting Group – say they are talking with Utah-based SkyWest Airlines about resuming passenger air service. Modesto is aiming for twice-daily flights between Modesto and Los Angeles in 50-seat jets.
Brian Whiteside, a 1988 Downey High grad and now president of VDOS Global, last week was granted an exemption by the FAA that will allow his company to use drones to perform safety inspections on oil and gas facilities in the Gulf of Mexico, along with other hard-to-reach structures.
Computer Science Week just wound up, but the whole month has felt tech-centric. There is a tech-tonic shift happening, pardon the pun, from the inkwell world where classrooms got their start. Encyclopedias to Google-ing. Wide-ruled binder paper to spreadsheets. Pencils to styluses.
Cleanup is underway at Coulterville’s historic Hotel Jeffery, with crews tearing out debris from the hotel’s burned and smoke-damaged areas, and it turns out a direct descendant of the hotel’s founder, George Jeffery, still lives nearby. Also, a Modestan shares his dream of transforming Modesto’s Dry Creek into a tourist mecca.
Industry apprentices got some hands on how-to Friday and Saturday, and high school students got to sit in on the lessons, at the Stanislaus County Area Manufacturing Maintenance Joint Apprenticeship Program Workshop, held in Patterson.