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Enrollment grows at UC Merced

The student body at the University of California at Merced grew nearly one-third larger in the past year, officials said Wednesday. Overall enrollment grew by 31 percent, compared with September 2006, and the freshman class jumped from 398 in fall semester 2006 to 669 incoming freshmen this year, officials said. Attracting students has been a challenge for UC Merced, which had 875 students when the school opened in fall 2005. The total student body now stands at 1,871 students, including the 669 freshmen, 116 transfer students and 52 graduate students.

Sutter Medical set to go smoke-free

Sutter Medical Center in Sacramento is changing its smoking policy at its two hospitals, psychiatric center and skilled nursing facility. Sutter soon will force employees, visitors and patients into cars, onto sidewalks or other off-campus venues if they want to light up. Memorial Medical Center in Modesto, a Sutter affiliate, is studying whether to do the same thing. Page B-3

Housing for older adults on agenda

The community is invited to attend a free meeting today on housing alternatives for older adults. The meeting will be at the Modesto Senior Center, 211 Bodem St. from 1 to 3 p.m. The presenter, Bonnie Betts, will provide a thorough overview of the reverse mortgage process. Professionals from public and private sectors will be on hand to answer questions. Door prizes and refreshments will be provided. For more information, e-mail sparker@modestogov.com or call 491-5944.

Tuolumne says SF water plan all wet

Tuolumne County supervisors don't go along with San Francisco's plan to divert as much as 25 million gallons a day or more from the Tuolumne River by 2030. The plan was panned by Tuolumne County supervisors. Page B-2

Yesteryears

50 YEARS AGO: A $256,283 contract for building the new 5,000 foot runway at the Modesto City-County Airport was awarded by the Modesto City Council to W.H. Darrough & Sons, Yuba City. The firm submitted the lowest of the 18 bids.

25 YEARS AGO: The Carnation Co.'s metal can plant located in Riverbank won high praises from Pacific Gas & Electric Co. for a conservation project that reduced the plant's natural gas use to one-third. Bob Martin, PG&E Stockton division manager, presented Jerome T. Lutterman, Carnation's plant manager, with a PG&E energy conservation achievement award. Martin said he doubted any industrial plant in California could match the Riverbank plant's reduction in gas consumption, as the plant had reduced its overall energy use by 35 percent. -- Karen Aiello

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