Local

Blue Shield, Sutter Health sign a new contract

Blue Shield of California and Sacramento-based Sutter Health announced today they signed a new, two-year agreement giving covered patients access to Sutter Health hospitals and medical groups. The contract takes effect Sunday and runs until Dec. 31, 2016. The previous contract expired Dec. 31, causing affected Blue Shield members to fear they may be assigned to other doctors.

Local

Golden Valley’s behavioral health specialists vote to join union

Behavioral health specialists at Golden Valley Health Centers have voted to join other unionized workers. The vote was 12-0 for the mental health therapists and counselors to join Service Employees International Union Local 521, which represents about 450 medical assistants and office personnel who work for Golden Valley in Merced and Stanislaus counties.

Education

Ceres seeks feedback on keeping kids safe amid traffic

Traffic problems by two Ceres schools have prompted the city of Ceres to seek a grant for street improvements along East Whitmore Avenue. A community forum Feb. 3 at Cesar Chavez Junior High will gather neighborhood input and ideas, as required for the Safe Routes to School grant application. Ceres Partnership for Healthy Children will host the forum.

 

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Ken Carlson

More Latinos signing up through health exchange

Covered California reported that a larger number of Latinos are applying for insurance from the state’s health exchange. Through Monday, more than 300,000 state residents had inquired about coverage and were found to be eligible under the federal health law. Latinos made up 50 percent of those who gave information about their ethnicity.

Kevin Valine

Lots of room for growth in Modesto

The City Council’s Economic Development Committee will review on Monday how much land Modesto has for homes, stores and industry. The short answer: an awful lot. The city’s urban growth review identifies 1,680 acres within the city for development.