Operation 9-2-99 volunteers’ latest effort to clean up the Tuolumne River pulled 5 tons of trash, tires and other junk from the riverbed. The good news is that organizers say that as more people use the river for recreation, the dumpers and polluters are moving out.
After trying to stop 24-year-old Christopher Fletcher on his bicycle in December, two Modesto police officers followed him into a downtown parking garage. As he tried to pull out a handgun, they opened fire, killing him. Six months later, his grieving mother and father want to understand why the officers couldn’t try to defuse the situation instead of firing.
Gurpreet Singh, a Modesto physician and investor in long-term care facilities, has not rested since revamping the former City Hospital on 17th Street to create Central Valley Specialty Hospital three years ago.
Homeowners already pay property taxes that fund police, fire and other city services. Should the city begin billing insurers for first-responder medical services by fire department paramedics and EMTs? A district near Sacramento gets $450,000 a year from the fees. Modesto could generate $1 million, fire chief says.
Modesto Mayor Ted Brandvold wants to add as many as 21 police officers, which would give the Police Department its biggest number of officers in six years. This comes as the city’s crime rate remains stubbornly high.
Knights Ferry’s 136-year-old post office closed abruptly in March, leaving residents to drive into Oakdale to do their postal business. But they kept after the Postal Service to re-open it, and got help from Rep. Jeff Denham’s staff. Last Friday, less than a day after 100 townfolk met with a postal official, Knights Ferry’s post office was back in business.
Many prominent intersections have become campaign-sign meccas for candidates trying to get their names known and gain voters’ trust. There’s more behind the scenes when it comes to placing, replacing and displacing them to benefit one candidate over another.
More than a year ago, Oakdale began construction of a catch basin to handle runoff near an old dump site. But sinkholes began to concern the residents who live next to it, both for the safety of kids who played there and also because they had no idea where the water went underground. This week, a crew came into investigate and uncovered a 45-foot-deep brick cistern likely built in the 1880s and used fire protection. A piece of history unearthed.
Once again, the presidential candidates have ignored Modesto. The last time one campaigned here was in June 2007, when John McCain came to town well behind in the polls. A few months later, he was in the lead. Just sayin’ ...
One of the lesser-known laws on the books is the “firefighter’s rule,” which prevents most firefighters and other safety officers from civilly suing for injuries suffered while doing their jobs. The rule says they know the risks going in, and that most are covered by workers’ compensation. But it is never that simple, as a former Tuolumne County firefighter can attest after falling into a mine and shattering his ankle after extinguishing a blaze in 2011.
Remains found near Pinecrest not yet identified and could be weeks before they are, Tuolumne County Sheriff’s officials said. Getting word out helped identify 1971 murder victim during cold case investigation 37 years later.
Modesto is considering raising its water rates by as much as 63 percent over five years to shore up the finances of its water system, which has seen its revenues plummet in the drought, and to pay for infrastructure projects.
A Sierra resident came across and reported finding human remains near Pinecrest last week, leaving many people to wonder whether they will finally know what happened to a loved one. Two missing persons cases go back more than a decade while others are more recent but just as devastating to family members. One family will get answers. The rest, tragically, will be left to keep wondering.
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.