Jeff Jardine

Santa’s cover blown at Orville Wright Elementary

For decades, Bob Conway would walk into the office of Orville Wright Elementary School in Modesto’s Airport Neighborhood and give officials money to buy children Christmas gifts. He, too, grew up in what is one of Modesto’s poorest areas and wanted to give back to the community. He just wanted it to be his little secret. It’s a secret no more.

Jeff Jardine

Ex-Modestan’s company cleared for drone takeoff

Brian Whiteside, a 1988 Downey High grad and now president of VDOS Global, last week was granted an exemption by the FAA that will allow his company to use drones to perform safety inspections on oil and gas facilities in the Gulf of Mexico, along with other hard-to-reach structures.

Jeff Jardine

Work begins to bring fire-damaged hotel back to life

Cleanup is underway at Coulterville’s historic Hotel Jeffery, with crews tearing out debris from the hotel’s burned and smoke-damaged areas, and it turns out a direct descendant of the hotel’s founder, George Jeffery, still lives nearby. Also, a Modestan shares his dream of transforming Modesto’s Dry Creek into a tourist mecca.

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