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TEEN ARRESTED AFTER TWO-COUNTY CHASE: Authorities chased a stolen vehicle from south Modesto for about a half-hour Tuesday afternoon until the driver and passenger were apprehended on Santa Fe Drive just north of Ballico, the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department reported. Sheriff's deputies arrested the driver, a 15-year-old boy, on suspicion of grand theft auto and felony evading a peace officer, said deputy Royjindar Singh, a Sheriff's Department spokesman. Sheriff's officials did not release the driver's name, because he is a minor. Authorities detained the passenger, Gilbert Legideno, 19, but he was released later. The chase started at 2:22 p.m. when a deputy spotted a 1995 gold Acura Integra reported stolen from Patterson. Singh said the deputy tried to stop the car on Whitmore Avenue, but the Acura sped off north on Crows Landing Road. The deputy reported seeing the car travel on the wrong side of the road and reach speeds of 55 mph before it got on Highway 99 and sped south at up to 100 mph into Merced County. By then, California Highway Patrol and Merced County sheriff's patrol units and a sheriff's helicopter had joined the chase. During the chase, one of the sheriff's deputies had to drop out when his car overheated. In the Delhi area, the Acura headed east to Santa Fe Drive and then turned back north. At 2:51 p.m., the Acura stopped at North Pepper Street and the driver ran, but authorities quickly caught him, Singh said. The passenger, Legideno, stayed in the Acura.

LOCAL LAWYER HONORED: An attorney who works with California Rural Legal Assistance in Modesto was among seven lawyers or law firms honored last week by the State Bar of California for giving free legal services to low-income clients. Carlo Pedrioli was honored because he donated more than 700 hours of his time to help the CRLA's senior law project, where he represented people who faced homelessness because of pending eviction proceedings or other problems with creditors. The American Bar Association recommends 50 hours of pro bono work each year, because lawyers are paid well for their services. Pedrioli, a graduate of the McGeorge School of Law at University of the Pacific, said he began volunteering in February 2006, because he had not found a job in his field, and was hired by CRLA this spring. He received the award at the bar association's annual conference in Anaheim.

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