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Two new judges

Gov. Schwarzenegger on Wednesday announced new judges in Merced and San Joaquin counties. Marc A. Garcia, 39, of Merced will take the bench in Merced County Superior Court. Antonino J. Agbayani, 51, of Manteca, was appointed in San Joaquin County. Garcia, a Democrat, has been in private practice since 2004. Previously, he was a partner in the law firm Morse, Pfeiff & Garcia and a deputy district attorney for Merced County. Agbayani, a Republican, has served as a commissioner for San Joaquin County Superior Court since 2006. He previously served as a trial attorney with the Agbayani Law Office and as a deputy district attorney for San Joaquin County.

Humane Society sets first meeting

The first board meeting of the Humane Society of Stanislaus County is set from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, 1813 Oakdale Road, Modesto. The meeting is open to the public. For more information, call 345-5967 or e-mail tjennings@mutt-minders.com.

Hotel tax on 2008 ballot in Oakdale

Out-of-towners may find it a bit more expensive to stay in Oakdale next year. Oakdale voters will decide in the February 2008 election whether guests staying at hotels in town should pay a 9 percent tax on their bill, an increase over the current 7 percent. The increase would add about $65,700 a year to the city's general fund. Almost two-thirds of that fund goes toward safety services. "We have people staying at our hotels and requiring tax-funded services, like police protection, but they aren't contributing enough in taxes to pay for those services," Finance Director Albert Avila said. City Council members decided this week to put the issue on the February ballot. Three years ago, voters rejected increasing the tax to 10 percent.

Yesteryears

75 YEARS AGO: After 12 years of service as bus driver for the Ceres Grammar School, H.O. Evans, pioneer Ceres resident, voluntarily resigned his position and sold his school bus and contract to John Newkirk. Evans prided himself on his record as a bus driver: In 12 years of driving, he never had an accident.

50 YEARS AGO: The Stanislaus County Heart Association moved into new headquarters at 1519 H St. William G. Allayaud, association executive director, said the board of directors obtained the new headquarters in a convenient location so the association could do a better job serving the public.

-- Karen Aiello

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