In a continuing effort to raise awareness of the importance of school attendance and to increase attendance rates, schools throughout Stanislaus County kicked off a second year of the "Every Day Counts" attendance campaign. After last year's campaign, 17 school districts in Stanislaus County reported improved attendance rates, with six of those attaining a half-percent increase or more.
Did you know ...
This year, students from participating high schools who miss three or fewer days of school have a chance to win a 2007 Pontiac G6 donated by Roberts Auto Sales of Modesto.
Turlock's shelter may stay open later
A cold-weather homeless shelter in Turlock, set to close March 31, could stay open an additional month. The City Council will consider extending the emergency shelter by 30 days today. Extending the shelter to April 30 will cost $32,900. We Care, a nonprofit organization started by the Turlock Community Collaborative, has run the shelter for more than five years. The city purchased the building at 400 B St. and leases it to We Care. Page B-2
Retrial date set in 1986 murders
A man suspected in the 1986 beating deaths of two Atwater girls will head back to court in June. Jury selection for the second trial of double- homicide defendant Robert Thompson is scheduled to begin June 9. The trial opens a new chapter in the deaths of Jodi Ragsdale and Sheila Carter. Their bodies were found bludgeoned to death along a shoulder of Campodonica Road near Cressey on Dec. 13, 1986.
Wheelchairs and walkers needed
The Society for Handicapped Children and Adults is seeking wheelchairs, shower benches, walkers with seats and bedside commodes. Donations can be dropped off at 1129 Eighth St., Modesto. For details, call 524-3536 or log on to www.societyforhandicapped.org.
75 YEARS AGO: A Scotch terrier owned by J.M. Burger, a rancher living off the Golden State Highway three miles south of Merced, gave birth to a puppy with three legs. The animal resembled a tricycle with its front foot in the middle of the body and the two rear legs in their normal position.
25 YEARS AGO: Los Banos' Tiger Stadium was renamed Carlyle Loftin Stadium after action taken by the Los Banos Unified School District's Board of Education. The action was performed in recognition of the many years Loftin had served the Los Banos area. Loftin was inducted into the California High School Hall of Fame and served as coach, principal and district superintendent.
-- Karen Aiello