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Manteca doctor accused of billing for unapproved drugs to pay $550,000

A Manteca doctor has agreed to pay $550,000 in response to allegations that he billed Medicare, Tricare and Medicaid for chemotherapy drugs not approved for use in the U.S.

The U.S. attorney said Monday in a press release that Dr. Prabhjit S. Purewal was accused of prescribing drugs that had not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and that were sold by a company that did not have a license to distribute the drugs in the U.S. The U.S. Attorney's office said Dr. Purewal then sought and received reimbursement for the drugs from Medicare and other public insurers.

Driver killed in big rig accident on Highway 120

A driver was killed in a collision involving a big rig and car on Highway 120, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The driver who died was a 57-year-old man from Oakdale; his name has not been released.

The accident occurred on Highway 120 near Von Glahn Road between Manteca and Escalon around 7:00 a.m. CHP said the man was driving a car that crossed into oncoming traffic and collided head on with a truck carrying lumber. Officers said the driver of the Kia was pronounced dead at the scene.

The truck caught fire as a result of the crash. Officers said speeds were estimated to be about 55 miles per hour.

Special ed teacher protests being removed from school


A special education teacher for 16 years is protesting the move by Manteca school officials that has him on paid leave, barred from being near children.

Leo Bennett-Cauchon said he was simply doing what was best for an 8-year-old boy with severe autism when he made contact with the child in early February.

"I've been trained, if a student asks for a hug, you give a hug. I admit completely that I hugged him and let him sit in my lap when he said 'sit.' I picked him up when he said 'up.' This is a child that needs that physical contact," Bennett-Cauchon said.

University of the Pacific names new vice president for external relations

University of the Pacific names new vice president for external relations

Stacy McAfee, an academic leader with broad experience in higher education, has been appointed associate vice president for external relations at University of the Pacific. She will split her time among the university’s campuses in Stockton, Sacramento and San Francisco.

“I am so pleased to welcome Stacy to the Pacific family,” said Pacific President Pamela A. Eibeck. “She understands how important it is for us to demonstrate shared values and responsibility to stakeholders within our communities. Her background, skills and passion will help to strengthen the support and engagement we will need as we develop into a more vibrant three-city university.”

McAfee will facilitate and strengthen ties between university leaders and corporate and community leaders and elected officials in the three cities, helping to ensure that the university understands and is a constructive member of each region.

Manteca soldier shows sign of improvement

A Manteca soldier who was in coma after being hit by a drunk driver was breathing on his own as of Thursday morning.

Army Specialist Fourth Class, Nick Cargill, 24, has been at Doctor's Medical Center in Modesto since New Year 's Day. Manteca police said Cargill was trapped in his car after being broadsided by a pickup truck when the driver ran a stop sign.

On Tuesday, Cargill was on life-support and listed in serious condition. Thursday morning, Cargill's mother Denise Cargill said he was taken off the ventilator and able to breath without help. The hospital listed Nick Cargill in serious condition as of Thursday afternoon.

"I'm just hoping he comes out of it. I don't care how he comes out of it and as long as he comes out of it," Denise Cargill said Tuesday.

Police: Manteca soldier hit by drunk driver

A Manteca soldier, who was home on leave in between deployments, was hit by an alleged drunk driver on New Year's Day and is now in a coma.

Army Specialist Fourth Class, Nick Cargill, 24, surprised his family with a two-week visit for Christmas. Cargill served two tours in Iraq and was prepping for a third in Afghanistan.

"He found his niche. He loves the army," his mother Denise Cargill explained. "It is what he wants to do. It is where he feels safe and that is all that really matters as long as he comes home."

Denise Cargill said she felt relieved when her son returned home on Dec. 20. Like many military mothers, she lived in fear every time her son was deployed.

2014 rankings: University of the Pacific is diverse, smart and cool

2014 rankings: University of the Pacific is diverse, smart and cool

University of the Pacific awards more doctoral degrees to Asian American students than any other college in the country. Pacific alumni have the sixth-highest salaries among recent graduates who earned diplomas at West Coast colleges. And the university counts among the 15 most popular, 50 most beautiful, 50 smartest and 100 “coolest” campuses in the nation.

Those are just some of the rankings Pacific chalked up this year in assessments from popular magazines and websites, including Diverse Issues in Higher Education, Payscale.com, PolicyMic.com, Lumosity, Sierra Magazine and more.

“It’s wonderful when these rankings emphasize what we already know about Pacific,” said Provost Maria Pallavicini. “Pacific is a special place that prepares students for success through rigorous academics and superior teaching. While no ranking should be taken too seriously, we appreciate being recognized in so many areas.”

Diverse students