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San Joaquin County receives disaster declaration

San Joaquin County receives disaster declaration

SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY - California Emergency Management Agency Acting Secretary Mike Dayton Thursday announced San Joaquin County has been declared a disaster by the Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture due to production losses caused by freezing temperatures that occurred on Nov. 25-26, 2010.

Cal EMA transmitted a letter to USDA Secretary Thomas Vilsack on behalf of Governor Jerry Brown on Feb. 2, 2011 requesting the disaster designation after local officials were able to detail their losses. The resulting declaration by Vilsack helps farm operators in San Joaquin County, and contiguous counties, recover from these impacts through assistance from the Farm Service Agency.

"We worked closely with those impacted to compile a comprehensive Loss Assessment Report that would accurately reflect the significant damage to the region's crops," said Dayton.

Sutter Tracy Community Hospital presents $200,000 in Community Access to Care Grants

Sutter Tracy Community Hospital presents $200,000 in Community Access to Care Grants

TRACY – Sutter Tracy Community Hospital recently endorsed and helped secure $200,000 in grant funding for two local medical clinics: Tracy Family Practice and Tracy Free Clinic. The checks will be presented on Tuesday, March 15 at 3:30 p.m. in the Emergency Department waiting room at Sutter Tracy Community Hospital, 1420 North Tracy Boulevard.

The Tracy Free Clinic is a free healthcare clinic, committed to providing services to the uninsured, under-insured and the displaced. The grant will be used to expand clinic space, allowing for increased patient visits and services. It is projected that with the grant funding, the clinic will have the capacity to serve over 900 patients by the end of 2011. 

Tracy Family Practice provides necessary medical care to improve the health and quality of life for members of the community. The grant will help increase patient access to chronic disease management, education and support.

Frustration of the middle class

Blog entry by Tracy City Manager Leon Churchill:

The frustration of the middle class is bubbling up in familiar and unfamiliar places.  We can see the frustration of public employees in Wisconsin. Yes, public employees are part of the middle class and this fact, is one of the considerations when downsizing public organizations. Layoffs in these groups create considerable reductions in local spending power.  In fact, here in Tracy, downtown merchants can see the daytime sales drops on the city’s furlough and alternate Friday’s off. In addition to financial frustrations, there are other emotions at work in public demonstrations aimed at public employees. You see, Wisconsin isn’t the only state where public employees are the subject of debate. It’s a PR showdown in every state, across the nation.   

Public employees are keen

Family of Sandra Cantu marks her 10th birthday

TRACY, CA - The family of murder victim Sandra Cantu hosted free activities all over the city on what would have been the little girl's 10th birthday.

Cantu was kidnapped and murdered by neighbor Melissa Huckaby in March of 2009. Huckaby plead guilty and was sentenced to life in prison.

Bowling, gymnastics, and yoga were just a few of the activities made available to Tracy children Tuesday.

"A lot of people come up to me, in tears and wanted to hug me.," Sandra's aunt Angie Chavez said. "They associate [Sandra's] name with what happened to her. Our goal is to focus on her life, rather than her death."

The family hopes to make the event known as "Celebrating Tracy's Children" an annual one.

By tdaly@news10.net

"Rango" angers anti-smoking groups

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Anti-smoking advocates are calling the animated PG movie Rango a public health hazard for its numerous depictions of smoking.

The film, which opened Friday and topped the weekend box office with a gross of $38 million, includes at least 60 instances of characters smoking, said Kori Titus, CEO of the Sacramento-based non-profit Breathe California.

One of Breathe California's projects is "Thumbs Up! Thumbs Down!" - in which trained young people and adults analyze films' tobacco content. Each time a character is seen smoking is counted as one instance, Titus said, adding she was taken aback when she received an e-mail Sunday about the frequency of smoking in Rango. The only other animated film on par with that, she said, was 101 Dalmatians, with about 60 instances of Cruella De Vil smoking.

Because there are so many scenes in which characters smoke, she said, her group might not be able to get a definitive count until Rango comes out on DVD.

Tracy celebrates Sandra Cantu's birthday

TRACY, CA - The family of murder victim, Sandra Cantu, is hosting a day-long celebration of her life Tuesday which would have been her 10th birthday.

Eight local vendors volunteered to host free family activities, in remembrance of Sandra and in celebration of childhood innocence.

"I am so humbled that I barely had to ask for help, " said Janet Anderson, Sandra's cousin and the event coordinator. "So many businesses and organizations were so eager to participate. It is really touching to see the community come together over this tragedy."

The event, dubbed "Tracy's Children," is a tribute to all of the city's children and a remembrance of how people should preserve childhood, said Anderson.

"Sandra would have loved all of these events. She always had a smile on her face and she really embraced life," said Anderson.

Enjoy the sunshine; rain returns Saturday

Enjoy the sunshine; rain returns Saturday

A real feel of Spring is in the air to wrap up the work and school week. Friday will be mostly sunny with highs in the upper 60s by the afternoon, according to News10 meteorologist Monica Woods.

The nice weather will not last as another storm sweeps in from the Pacific by late Saturday and Sunday.

This next storm will bring more rain showers to the Valley by about 9 p.m. and it will also bring very high snow levels for the Sierra. By Sunday snow levels may be as high as 7000 feet...although there will likely be rain in a good portion of the Sierra major flooding is NOT expected at this time.

The snowpack is capable of absorbing several inches of rain before flooding would become a threat, and several inches of rain are not in the weekend forecast.

Woods said rain will linger in the forecast through Monday.

Want to know where the cheapest gas is in Ripon?

Take a look at this map to find out where the cheapest gas station is in your area:

Manteca husband accused of driving with wife on hood says he did it

MANTECA, CA - Christopher Carroll, who's accused of being behind the wheel of a minivan and driving 40 miles with his wife on the hood, told a Manteca judge he's guilty as charged.

Carroll appeared in court Thursday afternoon, and immediately told a public defender he refused her help.  He then told San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Ron Northup, "I want to have a speedy trial and plead guilty."

As Northup tried to explain to Carroll what was happening, the accused interrupted and said, "I did all that to my wife.  I did all of that to my wife."

Carroll was arrested last weekend after his wife told police she'd tried to stop him from driving their van, and after climbing on the hood, he drove her all the way to Pleasanton.

Free computer classes at Mountain House library

Free computer classes at Mountain House library

MOUNTAIN HOUSE - Let the library help you with computers and technology! The Mountain House Branch Library will be offering the following, free computer classes:

* Monday, March 7 at 11 a.m. - Computer Basics 
* Tuesday, March 8 at 5:30 p.m. - Social Networking for Beginners 
* Wednesday, March 9 at 4 p.m. - How to use Microsoft PowerPoint 
* Saturday, March 19 at 11 a.m. - How to make a Simple Flyer

These classes are designed to help new computer users get comfortable with technology. We welcome patrons who have little or no computer/technology experience. At the end of each class, the trainer will answer other computer-related questions. All classes are drop in -- no reservations are required.

This free program is provided through the generosity of the LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act).

The library is located at 579 Wicklund Crossing in Mountain House.