There was smoke, but no fire at MJC
The firetrucks and ambulances on Tully Road at the Modesto Junior College stadium were real Wednesday and Thursday. So was the smoke. But the emergency wasn't. It was a drill for the Modesto Fire Department. The other thing that was real was the training and experience firefighters received during the drills, one in the morning and another in the afternoon. More teams will go through the training today, and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of next week, Modesto Fire Capt. Ed Osborne said. The scenario firefighters are acting through begins when a person who sees two painters on a rooftop hears an explosion and then doesn't see the painters anymore, but does see smoke. Firefighters practice rescuing the painters and battling fire.
Lip syncers rock starting tonight
The 21st annual High School Principals Spanish Lip Sync Contest gets under way tonight at Modesto Centre Plaza. The competition begins at 8. Over the years, the event has raised more than $800,000 for scholarships. Each competing school receives $1,000 in scholarship money. The winner gets $2,500, second place gets $2,000 and the third place finisher gets $1,500. The top three schools go on to the state championships March 29 at Modesto Centre Plaza. Admission is $10. Tickets are available at the box office.
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Turlock's legal adviser retiring
Turlock City Attorney Dick Burton will retire effective June 30. Burton has been with the city 14 years, advising on all issues from growth and planning to Wal-Mart and open meeting laws. The City Council will discuss how to replace Burton at its regular Tuesday meeting. "I have great personal feelings for Dick," Mayor John Lazar said Thursday. "He's been a great city attorney and personal friend of mine. The city is going to miss him very much."
War on terrorism: Has it touched you?
On March 19, the Iraq war marks its fifth anniversary. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have resulted in the deaths of nearly 4,500 members of the military. How much have the wars personally affected you? Please e-mail responses to firstname.lastname@example.org. Some respondents will be asked to share their stories on video. Please include a daytime phone number where you can be reached.
75 YEARS AGO: The directors of the Hilmar Fair Association voted to donate $50 to assist in a community project to improve Shoreen Park on Lander Avenue.
25 YEARS AGO: Winemaker Mitch Cosentino of Modesto, founder and owner of Cosentino Wine Co./Crystal Valley Cellars, was invited to be a judge in the 1983 Orange County Fair, regarded as the nation's most prestigious wine competition. -- Karen Aiello