Lights flashing, sirens blaring, a giant red fire engine in your rear-view mirror; it’s enough to make some drivers panic. They stop in the middle of the street, pull over in the wrong direction and run red lights to get out of the way. The crews at Modesto Fire Station No. 5 at McHenry and Briggsmore avenues responded to 4,200 calls last year and have seen it all. So I asked them for some reminders about yielding to emergency vehicles.
The mid-1970s sale of McClure Ranch to the city of Modesto came with big plans, but no money or follow through. More than 100 pieces of furniture and other items deeded from the McClures were stored in John Muir School, and three-fourths were lost in the 2007 blaze. If you want to see any of the collection on display now, you need to visit McHenry Mansion, not the McClure place.
The recent video posted online in which some Central Catholic students made death threats against an African American student jolted the community. Members of the local clergy council, meanwhile, were equally alarmed by an incident involving a pot-smoking but unarmed young man and an off-duty Ripon police officer they believe could have turned tragic in a flash.
Before Scott Peterson, Cary Stayner or any of the other more high-profile defendants from the Valley went to prison, Modesto experienced Elbert Lee Easley. In fact, Easley’s 1979 murder trial was outsourced to Monterey County because the case drew so much media attention in Modesto. Despite rumors to the contrary, he’s still alive and in state prison.
A lawsuit filed recently by a local government watchdog demands that Modesto Irrigation District stop using residential electricity revenues to subsidize farm-water rates, but it really calls attention to board members’ ability to cast votes that benefit them directly and financially.
Stanislaus County’s Office of Emergency Services, on behalf of the Sheriff’s Department, is buying a specialized vehicle prepared to respond in the worst disasters – chemical, biological, nuclear and explosive.
Convicted of fraud in a federal case, Aruna Chopra of Modesto was ordered to pay $4.2 million in restitution. The property where she wanted to build a theater complex, hotel, shopping center and condominiums is for sale, and when it sells, the victims – who include the city of Modesto and lenders – will be made whole or close to it. That is rare in the world of restitution.
The Modesto Police Department and X-Fest promoter Chris Ricci may have solved the department’s safety concerns about the musical festival, which annually draws about 15,000 people downtown on one day in August.
When you tour the downtown Modesto gem that is the McHenry Mansion, any one of the docents can tell you its story, its history and all about the lifestyles of the rich and locally famous McHenry family.
Modesto Junior College auto body staff, students and others step up to help Empire’s Anthony De La Garza, a severely disabled man whose van was damaged by a hit-and-run driver in December. Awaiting remade wheelchair-lift parts, it soon will be as good as new, and he got his first look during an emotional unveiling Friday at the school.
During a panel discussion about a documentary film depicting Scott Peterson as a victim deserving a new trial, his trial attorney, Mark Geragos, claimed he dropped an F-bomb on Judge Alfred Delucchi. Perhaps the F-word here should be “fail” and directed at the lawyer himself.
After knocking down a fire threatening a structure on West Main Street in Turlock, Calif., on May 2, 2016, Turlock Fire Department firefighters rescued four kittens and eventually returned them safely to their mother, who returned to the scene as firefighters were cleaning up. (Turlock Fire Department)