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Egyptian festival begins today

St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church in Ripon holds its annual Egyptian festival this weekend, beginning today. Tours of the church are available, as well as items for sale -- handcrafted Egyptian and Coptic art and jewelry, Egyptian food, pastries, music and more. Admission is free. The church is at 315 S. Orange Ave., Ripon. Festival times are 4 to 8 p.m. today, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call 599-3310.

Deadlines approach for November vote

If you want to vote in the Nov. 6 election and need to register, you need to do it by Monday. Registration-by-mail forms are available at many locations throughout Stanislaus County, including city halls, post offices, fire stations, libraries and county buildings. Residents also can pick up registration forms at the Elections Office at 1021 I St., Modesto. Telephone requests for registration forms can be made using the Elections Office Information number at 525-5200 (English) and 525-5230 (Spanish). Registered voters who would like to obtain an absentee ballot must send a written request containing the voter's name, residence address, address to which the ballot is to be mailed and the voter's signature. To have one-time absentee status, the voter must apply by mail at least seven days before an election or in person by 8 p.m. election day.

We're looking for good ghost stories

Is your home haunted? The Bee is collecting ghost stories, the kind that make the little hairs on your neck stand up. The stories can be old or new, but please keep them local, within the Bee's boundaries of Stanislaus, Merced, Tuolumne, Calaveras, Mariposa and San Joaquin counties. Send your submissions of 150 words or less to: Roger Hoskins,

P.O. Box 5256, Modesto 95352; or e-mail them to rhoskins@modbee.com. Include your name and a daytime phone number where you can be reached.

Yesteryears

50 YEARS AGO: E.T. Mape, Modesto cattle raiser and builder, offered free land for the site of the proposed state college for Stanislaus County. The Mape offer involved a choice of three parcels west of Modesto and amounted to 160 acres or more.

25 YEARS AGO: Dave Kistler, a California Highway Patrol officer assigned to the Los Banos office, was presented with a commendation plaque by Assemblyman Sam Farr. Kistler was given the legislative commendation for his actions while off duty at the scene of an accident on Hecker Pass. He was commended for stopping at the scene of a fatal accident, giving emergency aid, controlling the scene, notifying authorities and taking an injured man to a hospital. -- Karen Aiello

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