Stanislaus State gets big mystery gift
An anonymous donor has given California State University, Stanislaus, $500,000 for student scholarships. The donor requires the money to be spent on scholarships, and university President Hamid Shirvani is figuring out how to disburse the funds. Shirvani said his intention is to target local students who have the greatest need. "We want to attract as many students from the Central Valley as possible and keep them in this area," he said. "We want to offer them more attractive (financial aid) packages than other universities." Shirvani spent several months with the Turlock resident hammering out details of the gift. He said he hopes the donor's confidence in the university inspires others to give.
Residential burn season begins
The fifth "Check Before You Burn" residential wood-burning season begins today, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District said. Officials remind residents to check their county's wood-burning status daily before lighting a fireplace or stove that burns wood, pellets or manufactured logs. The program, which runs through February, helps reduce wintertime air pollution by either discouraging or prohibiting the use of wood fireplaces, wood-burning stoves and pellet stoves when air quality is expected to be unhealthy. The status is issued daily on a county-by-county basis and is in effect from midnight to midnight. It is available toll-free at 800-SMOG-INFO (766-4463) or online at www.valleyair.org.
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Troops head home from south state
Soldiers from the National Guard's 1-184 Infantry Battalion with units from Oakdale, Modesto and Turlock should be homeward bound after helping fight the wildfires in Southern California, Lt. Col. John Siepmann said Wednesday. Many troops had remained on standby for several days after their active missions were completed. He said that was because of the uncertainty of the Santa Ana winds and the great expense that would occur if troops were sent home and then had to be recalled for another emergency. "We're balancing the mission versus the needs of the individual soldiers," said Siepmann. Local guardsmen helped with evacuation of residents and in maintaining order in abandoned areas during the firestorms. He said the decision to hold soldiers on standby was made in conjunction with the state Office of Emergency Services, local law enforcement and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
50 YEARS AGO: Thirty-five Modesto firefighters addressed a letter to City Manager Ross Miller, declaring they had acted to form a Modesto local of the American Federation of Labor's International Association of Fire Fighters. -- Karen Aiello