MAN ON BICYCLE DIES AFTER COLLISION: A 51-year-old Hughson man was killed while riding his bicycle early Tuesday on Service Road near Crows Landing Road west of Ceres, authorities said. Carlos Torres was pronounced dead because of head and neck injuries at 4:29 a.m. at Doctors Medical Center, according to the Stanislaus County coroner's office. Torres was riding east on Service in the westbound lane and collided with a motorist, the California Highway Patrol reported. About 3:30 a.m., 25-year-old Alexis Andrew Lopez was driving west about 60 mph through light fog in a Hyundai Accent. He braked when he saw Torres, said CHP spokesman Tom Killian, and swerved sharply to the right, but he couldn't avoid the bicyclist. Torres flew off his Roadmaster Mt. Fury and hit the Hyundai's windshield and roof. It remains undetermined whether drugs or alcohol were a factor in the collision, according to the CHP.
AUTO CRASH VICTIM IDENTIFIED: The Stanislaus County coroner's office has identified the 56-year-old Newman man who died in a car wreck Monday night as Jose Banuelos. He died after his car collided head-on with a pickup on South Carpenter Road a few miles east of Patterson, the California Highway Patrol reported. Witnesses told CHP officers that Banuelos' Geo was passing vehicles along the two-lane road about 6:10 p.m. when it collided with a Chevrolet Silverado pickup. CHP officer Gilbert Gomez said Matthew Mendonca, 25, of Modesto was driving the pickup and suffered minor injuries. Banuelos was pronounced dead at the scene at 6:36 p.m. of multiple injuries to his head and chest, the coroner's office reported. The CHP is investigating the crash.
SEX ABUSE CHARGES LEAD TO ARREST: The Merced County Sheriff's Department arrested a 25-year-old Livingston man on suspicion of having had sex with his 17-year-old adopted sister for a decade, authorities reported. His name has been withheld to protect the victim's identity. The man was arrested Feb. 9 after a detective received a report about the abuse, according to deputy Tom MacKenzie. The man is being held on $400,000 bail on suspicion of sex acts and lewd and lascivious acts with a minor. The alleged abuse began in Minnesota, where the family lived before moving to California several years ago. Detectives are investigating if there were other victims or suspects.
SUSPICIOUS FIRES IN FOOTHILLS: Several suspicious fires in Sonora's Tamarron Mobile Home Park have the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Department on alert. Someone has been lighting fires in the park during the past several weeks, Lt. Dan Bressler reported. The most recent fire happened early Sunday, just after midnight. No one has been hurt so far, but authorities believe "there is a serious potential for injury" if the arson continues, he said. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection is investigating the fires with the Sheriff's Department. Anyone with information about the arson is asked to call Detective Neil Evans at 694-2900.
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WOMAN SOUGHT BY SONORA POLICE: The Sonora Police Department is trying to find Kandy Lynn Cameron in connection with possession of methamphetamine and violation of probation, authorities reported. Cameron is 51 with brown hair and blue eyes. She is 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 200 pounds. The Sonora Police Department asks anyone with information about Cameron's location to call 532-8141. For more information, visit www.sonorapd.com.
PAROLE DENIED: A man who was involved in the murder of Phillip and Kathryn Ranzo in June 1978 was found unsuitable for parole late last month at a hearing before the parole board at Solano State Prison in Vacaville, according to a statement from the district attorney's office. Darren Lee, 44, was 16 when he and three other teenagers showed up at the Ranzos' Modesto home, saying they had run out of gas and needed to use the phone. Lee, Marty Speers, Jeffrey Maria and Ronald Anderson held the couple at gunpoint, bound and beat them, then slashed their throats. Kathryn Ranzo was raped, as well. The boys took about $2,200 in cash and property. All four teenagers received life sentences after separate trials. All remain behind bars. Phillip Ranzo's mother, sister, son and nephew attended the hearing to oppose Lee's release. Lee will receive another parole hearing in four years.