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Gas Prices lowest since last January!

*  "We're in a longer-term downtrend with retail gasoline prices"

California drivers are now paying gasoline prices not seen since the end of January, following five weeks of declines at the pump, according to price surveys Friday.

The state average is $3.753 a gallon for regular on Friday - 3.2 cents lower than last week. The national average is now $3.315, which is down 4.5 cents in a week's time.

"The last time averages were this low was at the end of January, although prices are still about 15 to 20 cents higher than they were at the lowest point of the year on Jan. 1," says Jeffrey Spring, a spokesman for the Automobile Club of Southern California.

 "Heading into November and December, there should be more downward pressure on gas prices provided there are no refinery issues or other incidents, because those months see lower fuel demand and the cheaper winter blend of fuel is being sold in California," says Spring.

Laundry bringing 89 jobs to Manteca, CA

Groundbreaking next month 

Crothall Healthcare is conducting groundbreaking ceremonies in early November on a 60,150-square-foot industrial building for a laundry and linen service.

The Philadelphia-based firm plans to hire 89 workers to staff the operation in staggered eight-hour work shifts.

The plans is to hire 14 workers to sort and work the wash isle, 44 workers for the finishing lines, 10 delivery drivers, 12 clerical and management workers and another nine workers to handle maintenance and custodial tasks when the plant is not in production.

Although the Crothall Healthcare site is on land owned by CenterPoint Properties, it is not part of the actual 190-acre CenterPoint Business Park.

Lodi, CA wine the big winner at Silicon Valley "Fastest-Growing" awards dinner

Lodi, CA wine the big winner at Silicon Valley  "Fastest-Growing" awards dinner

Fifty-two firms were honored as the fastest-growing private companies last night at a dinner hosted by the Silicon Valley Business Journal. The San Joaquin Partnership and San Joaquin County shared a sponsorship table featuring Michael David "Earthquake" Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel wines, which were presented to each of the honorees. Pictured ClikcMailMarektingCEO Marco Marinis Harry Mavrogenes, San Joaquin County chief deputy county administrator with

ClickMailMarketing CEO Marco Marin. 

The San Mateo email marketing technology firm saw 80.1 percent growth from 2010 to 2012. Marin says the decision that most influenced  his company's fast growth: Hiring the "A" player and his biggest mistake: Not firing fast enough. Marin's advice for other entrepreneurs: Listen to your gut.

Also honored last night was ECS Refining, one of the nation's

EDA to support North Valley Assessment Project

The Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration has agreed to support the North San Joaquin Valley (NSJV) regional economic assessment project. Announcement of the award was sent just before the federal government shut-down and with matching funds from the University of the Pacific secured, acceptance of the funding was made last week.   

The proposed Economic Development Administration project would develop a regional economic assessment of the North San Joaquin Valley (NSJV). Consisting of three adjoining California counties: San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Merced; the region is about the same size as Connecticut (4,821 square miles). With an abundance of rich farmland and vineyards, it is noted for a large variety of agricultural products. The NSJV is also an intersection of the San Francisco Bay Area, the Sacramento Capital Region, and the South San Joaquin Valley Region.     

Transportation projects get state funding boost

Road and rail projects in San Joaquin County are set to receive about $30 million of the $359 million in transportation funding announced by state officials Wednesday.

For drivers, about $10 million will be used to make improvements to Highway 4 in the Delta west of Stockton. The Bacon Island Rehabilitation Project covers about 12 miles' worth of road, widening and upgrading intersections, adding shoulder and median rumble strips, upgrading drainage and repaving where needed.

For rail passengers, $20.5 million is headed toward building 3.8 miles of double railroad track between Stockton and Escalon. It will improve the on-time performance of Amtrak's San Joaquin routes using the tracks, according to the California Transportation Commission. The route connects Stockton to Sacramento, Oakland and Bakersfield.

San Joaquin USA Solar Outlook Sunny

New farms going up near Lodi, Lockeford

 Two solar power projects are underway in the San Joaquin County countryside south of Lockeford and east of Lodi.

Ecos Energy LLC, a renewable-energy development and service company based in Minneapolis, is building Bear Creek Solar, a 1.5-megawatt project on Jack Tone Road south of Hillside Drive and a 1-megawatt project, Kettlemen Solar, on Kettleman Lane east of Jack Tone.

Chris Little, Ecos' development director, said when completed in about a month, the two projects should produce enough electricity to supply nearly 930 typical California households, each consuming about 6,800 kilowatt-hours of power a year.

And because of the relatively modest size of the projects, their production will feed directly into Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s local distribution grid to be used by utility customers in the immediate area.

Butler’s Pantry hits the streets with good-looking kitchen items

Butler’s Pantry hits the streets with good-looking kitchen items

 Combine one stylish vehicle with the latest in kitchen tools, cookware and accessories, and an enthusiastic owner with a designer flair and what do you get?

A unique and popular retail truck called the Butler’s Pantry.