Jeff Jardine

Jeff Jardine

A new plea to the governor, times two, to keep killers in 1979 Modesto case locked up

In 2015, members of the Ranzo family and others went to the state Capitol to ask Gov. Brown to overturn the parole of Jeffrey Maria, one of four men convicted in the brutal murders of Modesto residents Phil and Kathy Ranzo in 1979. Their efforts worked, and Brown kept Maria in prison. With Maria again recommended for freedom, and crime ringleader Marty Don Spears as well, will their tactic work again? They went to the Capitol again to plead their case to keep both killers behind bars, and now await Brown’s verdict.

Jeff Jardine

Rumors of ICE roundup, checkpoint in Stanislaus County denied

Rumors of a checkpoint to round up undocumented immigrants last week in south Modesto and other points in Stanislaus County simply were not true, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman said. Any arrests targeted those with criminal records and those who posed a threat to the community – not merely being undocumented.

Jeff Jardine

UC Merced, other attacks ‘underreported’? Nothing a Google search won’t refute

When a UC Merced student stabbed four people before being shot to death by a campus police officer, the media reported it in depth and detail. Then news outlets continued to follow the story as each new piece of information – including the FBI’s report that the attacker was “self-radicalized and inspired by, but not connected to, the Islamic State” – became available. Yet President Donald Trump claims that incident and 77 others were “underreported” as he tries to push immigration ban.

Jeff Jardine

When government lawyers up, flow of public information slows down

Officials lawyer up and then claim attorney-client privilege to deny an information request which, in turn, denies the public the right to information it ultimately finances as taxpayers. Or officials find other reasons to withhold information. It’s a form of legal dodgeball used mostly in cases involving personnel investigations, which generally should be public information once they are completed, whether they involve the city manager or a lower-level employee.

Jeff Jardine

Shortage means BYOP (bring your own pilots) is a reality for landing airline in Modesto

When The Bee’s Kevin Valine first began reporting that Modesto is among the three cities being considered for expansion by the small regional airline, the BYOP (bring your own pilots) element seemed pretty hokey. But the lack of pilots who meet the Federal Aviation Administration’s qualifications is very real and problematic for small regional airlines trying to link small markets to the bigger ones.

Jeff Jardine

Abstract art play structure, Beard Brook Park worth saving, restoring

As Modesto changed, so did Beard Brook Park. The all-but-forgotten abstract structure merely represents another piece of a decaying park that likely is the last place parents would take their children to play in Modesto. Liability concerns long ago changed the designs and materials used in modern-day play structures. The city needs to save both, and the Modesto Art Museum is willing to help with the art piece.

Videos

Turlock's Almond Tree Restaurant goes up in flames

Turlock Fire Department firefighters battle flames at the Almond Tree Restaurant on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2107. (Joe Cortez/jcortez@modbee.com)
Turlock's Almond Tree Restaurant goes up in flames 0:50

Turlock's Almond Tree Restaurant goes up in flames

High above Modesto's Dry Creek at Tuolumne River 0:50

High above Modesto's Dry Creek at Tuolumne River

Fifth-wheel rescued from floodwaters 1:28

Fifth-wheel rescued from floodwaters

Tuolumne River Regional Park Flooding 1:06

Tuolumne River Regional Park Flooding