Local

Improving third-grade reading skills is goal of initiative in Stanislaus County

Children need to be proficient readers by the end of third grade because reading is crucial to learning in fourth grade and beyond. More than 60 percent of third graders in Stanislaus County are not reading at grade level, according to a report presented Tuesday to county supervisors. Chances are those kids will struggle to earn good marks as they continue in school, won’t attend college and could live in poverty as adults.

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Crime

Victim, defendant speak in court about Stanislaus County bee colony theft

A victim and a defendant spoke in court Tuesday morning about a case involving the theft of nine bee colonies in Stanislaus County. The victim says these kinds of thefts need to stop. The defendant says he made a mistake in an act of desperation. Bees are a critical commodity to the agricultural industry in the Northern San Joaquin Valley.

News

Woman drives onto railroad tracks in East Modesto

A car crashed through a barrier and onto the Burlington Northern Santa Fe tracks Tuesday morning in east Modesto, Fortunately, a witness works near by and was able to contact railroad officials to stop trains scheduled to come through.

Blogs & Columns

Jeff Jardine

Cemetery trail is worn as family, friends bury another cowboy in Hornitos

It seemed like they’d just been through this, saying goodbye to a friend and cowboy in Hornitos. And they had, twice in the less than three years. Cowboys who worked the same ranch were buried close by, in the same cemetery. The coffin was made by the same friends who made the last one, with a notable exception: Instead of helping build it, Gary Thompson was inside it, destined to join his two dear friends in the rocky ground at the top of the hill.

Ken Carlson

Son goes to bat for elder parents over ambulance bill

Dan Golden is not the first person to dispute with Medicare over an ambulance bill. No doubt, many people have shared his frustration. The federal program for Americans age 65 and older denied payment for an ambulance transport between Modesto and Oakdale for his father Oct. 10.

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