Students with the Enochs High School Gay-Straight Alliance have made it onto, and on top of, the traditional homecoming court. In the past year students elected the school’s, and Modesto’s, first gay homecoming king and transgender homecoming princess.
A gathering of hundreds was held at a Modesto church Friday evening to to pray for the safe return of Assyrian Christians taken hostage this week by Islamic State militants in northeast Syria. Among the more than 250 hostages taken from Assyrian villages in northeast Syria is former Modesto resident Hanno Amo. The vigil was held at St. Zaia Cathedral on Mable Avenue. The cathedral is a parish of the Assyrian Church of the East, Diocese of California. Stanislaus County has one of the United States’ largest Assyrian communities, estimated at about 20,000.
A defendant on Friday unexpectedly agreed to a plea deal and was sentenced to 36 years to life in prison for beating a Modesto couple before kidnapping and sexually assaulting their 3-year-old daughter more than 15 years ago.
Leonard Nimoy, the sonorous, gaunt-faced actor who won a worshipful global following as Mr. Spock, the resolutely logical human-alien first officer of the Starship Enterprise in the television and movie juggernaut “Star Trek,” died on Friday morning at his home in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles. He was 83.
The Symbiosis Gathering will return to Woodward Reservoir near Oakdale in September as the arts and music festival marks its 10-year anniversary. Similar to the 2013 festival at Woodward regional park, it will feature music, large-scale art installations, entertainment, gourmet organic food, yoga, dance classes and more. But this year’s gathering also will feel like a reunion.
Employees at the American Medical Response billing center in Salida will continue working on borrowed time, but their employer is firm about closing the office in mid-August, according to recent letters to Stanislaus County’s Board of Supervisors. Centrex Revenue Solutions notified the county that another 66 employees will lose their jobs when the operation comes to an end in August. They include medical records employees, billing assistants, quality assurance specialists, a mail room clerk and supervisors who were not included in previous layoff notices.
In May 2013, James Ramirez missed his junior high graduation because of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type of cancer. Next week, the Beyer High sophomore will dive into less threatening waters when he swims for the Patriots.