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San Joaquin almond farmers: Cold, fewer bees delay pollination

MANTECA, CA - Almond farmers in San Joaquin Valley have a one-week window to get their orchards pollinated before a weekend storm brings in freezing temperatures.

"We're in full bloom right now, so next week we're done," Travaille & Phippen Inc. co-owner Dave Phippen said.

In the Valley, bee hives are brought into the orchards the first week of February. The trees start to blossom on Valentine's Day and the bees set out to pollinate. This year, however, several cold snaps and rain storms set the bees back several days.

"If the trees aren't pollinated, then they can't produce almonds," Phippen said. "The average farmer needs to produce 2,000 pounds of almond meats per acre to break even with operation costs."

Phippen said the average farmer in California yielded just a little over that mark last year.

Police speculate how they missed van with Manteca woman on top

MANTECA, CA - Manteca police said it was possible police were just in the wrong place at the wrong time as they attempted to locate a minivan with a woman on the hood as it traveled from Manteca to Pleasanton.

It was late last Friday when a Manteca woman said she tried to stop her drugged-out husband from driving off in their minivan. She got on the hood, thinking the vehicle wouldn't be moved. Instead, her husband drove her all the way to the Bay Area before taking an exit in Pleasanton. That was when she jumped off, suffering minor injuries.

Although witnesses called police to report the bizarre situation, Manteca police spokesman Rex Osborn said it was possible by the time officers were in position to see the minivan, they may have already been out of position.

13th Annual Women's Conference to be held March 25

TRACY - "Building a Better You" is the theme of the upcoming 13th Annual Women’s Conference hosted by the Tracy Women’s Forum Association on Friday, March 25 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

This year, we are proud to present Mary Foley as our Keynote Speaker. She is an international speaker, co-host of the ‘Girl We Gotta Talk’ radio show, and the author of three books including “Live Like Your Nail Color”. She will offer women practical, fresh, fun advice to empower their lives, thrive on change and live bodaciously! Also this year we will have an interactive panel discussion with experts on finance, health and fitness, as well as a continental breakfast, networking sessions, Exhibitors booths and a catered lunch.

The conference is a powerful event that brings together the many diverse and dynamic women of Tracy and surrounding communities.

Register now for Tracy's citywide garage sale April 16

Register now for Tracy's citywide garage sale April 16

TRACY - The City of Tracy is pleased to announce the open registration period for the Citywide Garage Sale on Saturday, April 16 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The spring garage sale is for households located on the east side of Tracy Boulevard.

Residents are encouraged to take advantage of this event which promotes the reuse and recycling of furniture, appliances, electronics, and other household items that normally are disposed of into the landfill. This free event features garage sales throughout the east side of Tracy and gives residents the opportunity to sell their items rather than throwing them away.

Households within the city limits who wish to participate must complete a registration form with the Public Works Department by March 25.

New pet photo: Tahoe

New pet photo: Tahoe

Conne Barding, who lives in Tracy, says her cute companion Tahoe, is the cutest of all!

Think you're pet is even cuter? Send us a photo and the name of your community to writer@news10.net and we'll feature your furry friend.

Tracy food supplier recalls chicken, pork products

TRACY, CA. (AP) - A Northern California food supplier is recalling 64,000 pounds of chicken and pork products because some broccoli in the products was found to be contaminated with listeria.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Tuesday that Taylor Farms Pacific of Tracy is recalling several premade dishes after routine testing discovered the contamination.

The USDA said each item bears the establishment number "P-34013" or "EST. 34013" inside the department's mark of inspection.

The products were produced between Feb. 6, 2011, and Feb. 23, 2011, and shipped to Arizona, California, Colorado and Wyoming.

The agency said it has not received reports of anyone sickened as a result of the contamination.

Listeria infections can cause severe and sometimes fatal illnesses in young children, the elderly and those with frail immune systems.

Civic engagement, why more and why now?

Civic engagement, why more and why now?

Blog entry by Leon Churchill, City of Tracy City Manager

The public sector nationwide is in a state of uncertainty both economically and professionally. Not a day goes by without hearing a story at the top of the news involving local or state government, which is why as a City Manager, I have decided to regularly blog about current affairs and their impact on local government. I am grateful for the opportunity to offer my voice and hear from the community on the issues before Tracy now and in the future.

You’re most likely wondering, “Why in the world would a public official put him/herself in front of the community at this time? Public disdain is elevated, and distrust in government is at an all-time high. In reality, the question is also the answer, which is precisely why, I feel civic engagement is needed now more than ever before. If you do not hear from the decision-makers, how will you know why proposals are made or events interpreted?

Tracy High School team wins San Joaquin County Mock Trial

Tracy High School team wins San Joaquin County Mock Trial

STOCKTON - The verdict is in - Tracy High School was victorious over Venture Academy Family of Schools in the Championship Round of the San Joaquin County Mock Trial Monday and will move on to compete in the California State competition March 25-27. Both teams’ prosecution and defense teams went head to head to earn the prized spot in Riverside, CA.

The final championship round of the San Joaquin County Mock Trial competition took place Feb.

Defendant in Tracy teen's torture gets life in prison

STOCKTON, CA - The sole defendant to go to trial in a Tracy teen's torture and abuse was sentenced to life in prison in a Stockton courtroom Monday morning.

A San Joaquin County Superior Court convicted Anthony Waiters, 31, last November of nine counts of torture, false imprisonment, kidnapping and aggravated mayhem of the youth who escaped in December 2008, wearing only boxer shorts and a shackle.

The 16-year-old victim, known as Kyle, testified that Waiters cut him, lit his pants on fire and beat him unconscious between 2007 and 2008.

Waiters was a neighbor. Kyle's legal guardian and the couple in the house where he was tortured previously accepted plea deals ranging from 30 to 34 years in prison.

As for Waiters, prosecutor Angele Hayes said he would serve at least 18 years, 8 months before he was eligible for parole.

Cutest Pet in Tracy

Cutest Pet in Tracy

Cutest pet in Tracy is Cereena Quiles Villarreal. Photo courtesy of Connie Villarreal