TIRES SLASHED IN CERES: Vandals made it hard for many Ceres residents to get to work this morning. Owners of as many as 30 vehicles found that at least two of their tires had been slashed, Ceres police reported. Sgt. Chris Perry said there were 22 people whose cars were hit in the vicinity of Sun Meadow and Skybright drives. The neighborhood is just south of Whitmore Avenue and west of Morgan Road. Perry said some victims had multiple cars damaged and some of the vehicles had all four tires slashed. All of the driver's side tires were affected. "We were very busy this morning, and it impacted a lot of people trying to go to work," said Perry. Police believe juveniles vandalized the cars from 4:30 to 6 a.m. Perry said police were seeking leads to identify the culprits and asked that anyone with information contact the investigations division of the Ceres police at 538-5727.
$50,000 REWARD IN MERCED KILLING: The governor's office has issued a $50,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of the person who killed a Merced man at a grocery store. The reward for the 2005 killing of Michael Mitchell is one of six new rewards offered under the Governor's Reward program for unsolved homicides in California. The reward was requested by Merced Police Chief Russ Thomas, according to information released Thursday by the governor's office. Mitchell, 50, was killed Sept. 17, 2005, after he was assaulted during a trip to the Food Center on Martin Luther King Jr. Way, according to Merced police. During the assault, Mitchell fell backward and struck his head on the pavement in the grocery store parking lot. Witnesses said he was kicked once in the chest.