Community Briefing

COGDILL WINS AWARD: State Sen. Dave Cogdill, R-Modesto, was named Californian of the Year by the Outdoor Writers Association of California for his efforts to reform California's fish stocking program through the passage of Assembly Bill 7. The bill, in the 2005-06 legislative session, dedicated one-third of fishing license revenue to fishing-related programs at the Department of Fish and Game to ensure that the fees paid by anglers were being used for the programs that would benefit fishing and support fisheries. The award is given to individuals who exemplify the spirit of the outdoors through contributions above and beyond the call of duty. In Cogdill's case, his fishery legislation was of benefit to those who enjoy the outdoors. Cogdill is to receive the award at a ceremony at Ironstone Vineyards in Murphys on Sunday during the semiannual OWAC conference hosted by Calaveras County.

BIKE RACE COMMITTEE NAMED: Committee members for February's Modesto stage of the Amgen Tour of California cycling race were named Tuesday. Headed by Mayor Jim Ridenour, the committee will be co-chaired by Jennifer Mullen and James E. Niskanen. Mullen is executive director of the Modesto Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Niskanen is director of Modesto's Parks, Recreation and Neighborhoods Department. Other committee members include: Bob Quintella, Chris Ricci and Dave Cooperider, technical directors; Mary Lou Howell, operations; Ken McCall, media/public relations; David Boring, marketing; Chris Murphy, public outreach; Rod Olsen, Armando Flores and Andy Johnson, sales/sponsorship; Louis Levin and Susan Dion, volunteer directors; Don Bean and Vicki Rice, VIP/hospitality; Jeremiah Williams, John Sanders and Greg Cunningham, ancillary events/lifestyle festival; and John Ervin and Mary Ann Sanders, schools/community involvement. In July, Modesto was chosen as the Stage 3 start host city for the 700-mile statewide race Feb. 17-24. One of 12 cities to participate, Modesto will host the race on Feb. 20. A spot on one committee -- leading the Breakaway from Cancer campaign -- remains open. If interested in that position, call Julie Hannon at 577-5417. To volunteer, call 577-5346 or e-mail atocmodesto@modestogov.com.

OFFICE OF EDUCATION AWARDS DIPLOMAS: The Stanislaus County Office of Education will award high school diplomas to qualifying U.S. veterans and Japanese-American citizens through the Operation Recognition program. County residents whose high school education was interrupted during World War II, the Korean or Vietnam wars because of military service and-or internment are eligible to apply and receive a belated high school diploma. Residents are encouraged to request diplomas on behalf of themselves or qualifying family members, including people who are deceased. Deadline to submit applications is Oct. 15. High school diplomas will be presented during the Office of Education's county board meeting on Nov. 13 at 9 a.m. in SCOE's boardroom, 1100 H St., Modesto. Operation Recognition applications for high school diplomas are available at the Stanislaus County Office of Education and online at www.stancoe.org, or by calling Judy Leitz at 238-1709. Applications also are available from the Stanislaus County Veterans Service Office at 121 Downey Ave., Suite 102, Modesto.

FUND-RAISER FOR WOUNDED MEDIC: The family of wounded Navy medic Christopher Braley is holding a benefit dinner Friday in his honor. Braley, 22, lost his eye Sept. 16 in Iraq when an explosive device sent shrapnel into his eye and brain. He is being treated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Tickets for the benefit are $30 and are on sale at Tammy's Baby Shoppe in Manteca. The dinner will be at Chez Shari restaurant,

350 N. Union Road in Manteca. It starts with hors d'oeuvres and a no-host bar at 6:30 p.m. followed by dinner at 7:30 and then dancing. The event includes an auction and raffle. Donations can be made to the Christopher Braley Fund at the Bank of Stockton.