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Local Turlock May 28, 2021: Structure Fire, Cuts Steakhouse, Red Tier

in News

Hey everyone! Welcome to another episode of Local Turlock Podcast for the week of May 28th. I am here to give you some of Turlock’s latest scoops, news & stories, with 2 business highlights for the week. Starting with our first story, a Turlock firefighter sustained a first degree burn and a dog bite while responding to a vegetation fire Tuesday afternoon. Beautification Committee with volunteers from different sectors do their part in the community by picking up trash throughout Ceres. Moving on the sports news, Pitman High School basketball standout Abbie DiGrazia excels in Turlock and beyond. Looking for high-quality restaurants in the area, a new steakhouse prepares to open in downtown Turlock next month! Next on our list, construction is underway on the new roundabout at El Camino Avenue and Pine/Park streets in Ceres. Give your love and support to our local businesses especially during this pandemic as I highlight 2 businesses this week. Also sharing the latest updates about COVID 19 in Stanislaus County. All that and more today in this week's Local Turlock podcast.

Firefighters rescue dogs in vegetation, structure fire

A Turlock firefighter sustained a first degree burn and a dog bite while responding to a vegetation fire Tuesday afternoon. The fire was reported to the Turlock Fire Department at 3 p.m. Tuesday in the 1200 block of Fifth Street. According to Turlock Fire spokesman Capt. Jason Bernard, the first firefighters to arrive at the scene found flames had raced across about two acres of vegetation and spread to a residential structure. There were no occupants inside the residence, however, three dogs were located inside the home and removed to safety. One firefighter was bitten by one of the dogs while moving it out of the home and sustained a first-degree thermal burn due to radiant heat. The firefighter was quickly assessed and treated by American Medical Response and then returned to the fire ground. None of the dogs incurred injuries or burns during the rescue. While battling the blaze, firefighters noticed electrical wires were arcing between two residences. All emergency personnel were advised through emergency radio traffic and the area was secured to prevent any injuries. The Turlock Police Department provided traffic control and animal services assisted with the dogs and documented the bite the firefighter incurred.

Beautification Committee, others join in park clean-up

Approximately 40 community members, including scouts, Army recruiters, citizens and city officials and workers reported for a two-hour Saturday work detail in Smyrna Park to pick up trash. They’re hoping the community takes notice and does its part by picking up trash throughout Ceres. The event was organized by the city’s Ceres Beautification Committee which began in 2019 as a think tank for ways to reduce blight and improve aesthetics. After months of talking and coming up with ideas, the group decided to roll up their sleeves and pick up trash to draw attention to the problem of blight. You can take it to Turlock and dump it for free. The facility is the Turlock Recycling and Transfer Station at 1100 S. Walnut Road, Turlock. The city still offers the Adopt-A-Park program so that groups can volunteer to pick up trash in Ceres parks. Those efforts help free up city parks staff members who can then work on other maintenance.

Pitman basketball star excels in Turlock and beyond

When it comes to Pitman High School basketball standout Abbie DiGrazia, it’s clear there are several factors responsible for her success in the sport so far: hard work, a positive attitude and an excellent support system behind her.  It was DiGrazia’s grandfather who first put a basketball in her hands, inspiring her to follow in the footsteps of her mother and aunt, who both played college basketball at Chico State, as well as her father, a former collegiate basketball player who also played professionally in the Philippines. The sport is definitely a family affair for DiGrazia, and after her grandpa signed her up for a basketball league in elementary school, the rest was history. When she’s not in the gym at PHS, shooting around at home with her grandpa or getting her homework done, DiGrazia is playing on one of the premier club basketball teams in the area. DiGrazia is a junior at PHS and a team captain for the varsity girls basketball team, which she helped lead to an 8-2 overall record this season and a second-place finish in the Central California Athletic League as the Pride’s shooting guard. At the start of her high school career she was the only freshman on the varsity team, and last year she tied the school record for most three-point field goals in a game with seven. Following this shortened COVID season, DiGrazia was one of the Pride’s top three shooters and averaged 11.1 points per game.  While she obviously excels at the high school level, that’s not all DiGrazia does. She is in her second year with Bay Area-based team West Coast Elite, a premier Amateur Athletic Union Girls Basketball organization, and was recently promoted from the NorCal 17U Regional Team to the National Team.  As part of the National Team, DiGrazia will face much stiffer competition filled with fellow athletes with one thing on their mind: playing basketball in college. With the promotion comes more exposure at larger tournaments with more college scouts watching — something DiGrazia considers an honor after playing with the organization for just a couple of years. While she’s not sure what she wants to major in or where her basketball journey will take her, DiGrazia knows she wants to play at a Division-I or Division-II NCAA university. As a junior, she’s already received interest from multiple schools and her goal is to earn a scholarship, and as a young phenom who’s looking to someday play at the next level in college, her family’s support means everything — especially in a year like this.

New steakhouse prepares to open in downtown Turlock

Visitors to downtown Turlock will soon have another dining option that aims to bring something new to the area, which has become known for its high-quality restaurants in recent years. Jerry Powell and Devin Hill are preparing to open Cuts Steakhouse next month in the location that formerly housed Hauck’s Grill. Powell owns downtown bars The Udder Place and Cru as well as Katana Sushi Bar on the other side of Turlock, and Hill oversees operations at all three establishments. The pair began brainstorming plans for a restaurant as co-owners a couple of years ago, Hill said, and the opportunity to overtake the downtown space came up as Hauck’s fell victim to the pandemic. With a wide variety of restaurants already operating along Main Street, Powell and Hill wanted to open an establishment that would bring an entirely different cuisine to the scene that will soon also welcome Commonwealth across the street and Rancho Fresco Mexican Grill in the newly remodeled Enterprise Building. With a menu featuring nothing but fresh ingredients and a specialty cocktail selection sure to impress, Cuts is set to open in June. Crews have been hard at work transforming the historic Hauck’s Building on the corner of Main Street and Broadway, which once housed Hauck’s Pharmacy, so memories of the former barbecue joint can make way for a new customer experience. The outdoor seating area is expanding and towering wooden doors will welcome customers into the new space, complete with theater-style lighting throughout. Booth seating featuring six-foot tall backrests will provide plenty of privacy for diners, whether they’re stopping by for a special occasion or taking advantage of the restaurant's quick and affordable lunch menu on their work break. 

Pine Street roundabout work starts

Construction is underway on the new roundabout at El Camino Avenue and Pine/Park streets. City of Ceres Public Works Director Jeremy Damas said the new roundabout at the eastern portion of the Pine Street Overpass will provide traffic calming measures while improving traffic flow. It will also help, he said, in the detours once the city and Caltrans begin building the new Service/Mitchell/ Highway 99 interchange. Construction is expected to last through to the end of summer. The project consists of constructing a roundabout at the intersection and includes concrete curb, sidewalks, medians, hot mix asphalt surfacing, pavement marking and striping, roadway signs, landscaping and street lighting. The new roundabout will bring the city’s total roundabout count to five. In 2019 the city finished a roundabout at Morgan Road and Aristocrat Drive. One was built on the west side of the Pine Street overpass at Central and Industrial avenues. Two exist in downtown. 

Business Highlights:

Humble Beginnings Barbershop

Established in 2016, Humble Beginnings Barbershop is bringing the old school barbering back. A group of professional licensed barbers cater to people of all ages and genders. Hair cut price starts at $30. Come to Humble Beginnings Barbershop if you are looking for the best haircut experience of your life.

Location: 1203 Bittern Way Turlock

Tel No.:  (209) 427-2020

Operational Hours:  Monday & Sunday (Closed) 

  • Tues-Thurs (10am – 6pm) 
  • Fri (9am – 6pm)
  • Sat (9am – 4pm)

David’z Tacos

If you are looking for the most satisfying and delicious Tacos around Turlock, David’z Tacos is the way to go. This little hidden gem sells one of the best Queso Tacos in town. Tacos served are extremely crunchy, packed with flavors, and will leave craving for more. 

Location: 1030 East Ave Turlock

Tel No.:  (209) 626-0654

Operational Hours: 

  • Monday – Friday (10 am to 7pm)
  • Saturday (8 am to 5pm)
  • Sunday (Closed)

Stanislaus likely in red tier until June 15

The chances that Stanislaus County will move into the less restrictive orange tier for COVID-19 are diminishing. As of Tuesday, Stanislaus County was at 7.8 percent new case rate per day per 100,000 residents, which was adjusted to 7.6 percent for tier assignment. The testing positivity was at 3.1 percent and 4.6 percent for underserved communities. The orange tier requires that counties meet a daily case rate between 2 to 5.9 percent and a testing positive rate of 2 to 4.9 percent. Stanislaus County is now one of eight counties in the state that remain in the red tier, which signifies COVID-19 is still substantial in the community. Thirty-five counties are in the orange tier and 15 are in the yellow tier. Starting on June 15, California residents who are fully vaccinated can remove their masks in any setting and businesses won't have to have capacity limits or enforce social distancing. On Tuesday the Stanislaus County Health Services Agency reported the county has recorded 56,043 positive COVID-19 cases and 1,066 deaths. For vaccine locations in Stanislaus County visit http://schsa.org/coronavirus/vaccine/.

Outro:

Thank you for tuning in to this week’s episode. Don’t forget to visit our website, localturlock.com, to stay up-to-date on our local news. You can always email me at turlock@localturlock.com and visit our Facebook at Facebook.com/localturlock and leave us some comments! Stay tuned for next week’s exciting episode! Have a great weekend and always stay safe!

Local Turlock Podcast April 30, 2021: Mosquitos, Vaccines & National Day of Prayer

in News

Hey everyone! Welcome to another episode of Local Turlock Podcast for the week of April 30th, giving you some of Turlock’s latest scoops, news & stories, with 2 business highlights for the week. For our first story, Emanuel Cancer Center hosting virtual Monkey Business groups to provide emotional support and a safe place for children with a loved one diagnosed with cancer. Up next, as drought conditions persist throughout California, local legislators call for statewide drought emergency. Moving on to our next story, residents are urged to eliminate places where mosquito breed. Follow some of the tips to prevent the spread of mosquitoes. Next on our list, Stanislaus County will be phasing out mass COVID vaccine clinics – let’s learn why! Ceres Police Department and city officials are preparing to open the City Hall for public business beginning on Monday, May 3. Mark your calendar and join as Ceres church hosts National Day of Prayer event on May 6. Give some love and show our support to our local businesses especially during this pandemic as I give the spotlight two 2 businesses this week. Also sharing the latest updates about COVID 19 in Stanislaus County. All that and more today in this week's Local Turlock podcast.

Emanuel Cancer Center hosting virtual Monkey Business groups

Cancer can be scary, especially for children. Emanuel Cancer Center is here to provide emotional support and a safe place for children with a loved one diagnosed with cancer. Emanuel Cancer Center offers Monkey Business for children and teens, ages 5-17. Through meaningful and therapeutic activities, expressive art, games and stories, Monkey Business provides support and coping skills for children and their families. Monkey Business – led by trained volunteers and staff – is free and open to any child in the community, regardless of where the patient received treatment. Due to COVID-19, groups are currently being held virtually via zoom. Upcoming Monkey Business Dates: April 29, May 13 and May 27. All groups take place from 3-4 p.m. For more information or to register, call (209) 664-5044. Pre-registration is required.

Local legislators call for statewide drought emergency

 As dry conditions persist locally and throughout California for a second straight year, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday declared a drought emergency — but only in two of the state’s counties. Though Newsom has yet to declare a drought statewide, the emergency declaration for Sonoma and Mendocino counties also orders state agencies to work with local districts across California to address drought conditions through conservation, funding for water supply improvements and assistance monitoring drinking water wells.  According to the governor’s office, these steps will bolster drought resilience and prepare for impacts on communities, businesses and ecosystems should dry conditions extend to a third year.  State Senator Andreas Borgeas, who represents Turlock and is the Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman, said Newsom’s regional drought declaration for the two Northern California counties overlooks the Central Valley.  Borgeas and other lawmakers had previously sent the governor two requests asking for a statewide declaration of emergency, with the second noting U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack’s similar letter to Newsom which alerted him of 50 California counties, including Stanislaus, that had been designated by the Biden Administration as primary natural disaster areas due to drought.  Congressman Jim Costa has also gone on the record urging Newsom to declare a water emergency, while Congressman Josh Harder stated the Central Valley needs a voice in the fight and advocated for federally-supported infrastructure investments. The U.S. Drought Monitor currently shows that 100% of the state is experiencing at least abnormally dry conditions, compared to just over 58% one year ago. Nearly 97% of the state is currently in at least what is defined as a moderate drought and 85% are classified as experiencing at least severe drought conditions. Just under 50% of California is experiencing extreme to exceptional drought conditions. For information on current water conditions at the state's largest reservoirs and weather stations, visit https://cdec.water.ca.gov/snow_rain.html

Residents urged to eliminate places where mosquito breed

 As the temperatures increase, so do the number of mosquitoes which are responsible for spreading diseases such as West Nile Virus and Saint Louis encephalitis virus. The Turlock Mosquito Abatement District – which includes Ceres – reminds residents to take steps to prevent mosquitoes and mosquito‐borne diseases. During 2020, mosquitoes were responsible for causing 231 human cases and 20 horse cases of West Nile Virus in California. In Stanislaus County, there were 36 human WNV cases along with three horse cases during 2020. There was also one human case of St. Louis encephalitis virus. The district urges residents to “Dump and Drain” standing water around their properties. Residents are urged to look around their property and dump and drain any items with standing water that may allow mosquitoes to breed. In cases of larger amounts of standing water such as neglected swimming pools, ponds, water troughs, or ornamental ponds, the district encourages residents to place mosquitofish in them. Residents may contact the Turlock or Eastside Mosquito Abatement Offices to arrange for mosquitofish pickup or delivery.

Follow these tips to prevent the spread of mosquitoes and mosquito‐borne viruses:

• Apply insect repellent containing EPA‐registered active ingredients, including DEET, picaradin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535, according to label instructions. Repellents keep mosquitoes from biting;

• Avoid spending time outdoors when mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk;

• Install screens on windows and doors and keep them in good repair; 

• Eliminate all sources of standing water on your property, including in flowerpots, old tires, buckets, pet dishes and trash cans;

• Repair leaking faucets and broken sprinklers;

• Clean rain gutters clogged with leaves

• Report neglected swimming pools to the Turlock Mosquito Abatement District at turlockmosquito.org or call (209) 634‐1234.

Stanislaus County will be phasing out mass COVID vaccine clinics. Here’s when and why

Health officials believe about half the adult population age 50 to 64 in Stanislaus County is at least partially vaccinated against COVID-19. Vaccine providers need to stick needles in more arms to raise the level of vaccination against the coronavirus illness, which has killed 1,035 county residents.As the turnout declines at stationary vaccine clinics, the county plans to phase out the large clinics in Modesto, Turlock and other cities and take a more targeted approach with vaccination efforts. The county will start closing down the clinics in mid-May and use mobile clinics and targeted events to continue vaccinating people who may be hesitant or can’t get out to stationary clinics. The county hopes to get more people fully inoculated before the state reopens the economy June 15 and removes restrictions from businesses and public activities.

City Hall to open Monday for first time since COVID

City officials are preparing to reopen City Hall and the Ceres Police Department for public business beginning on Monday, May 3 – the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions were enacted by the state in March 2020. City Manager Tom Westbrook said that in-person attendance at the Ceres Community Center will still be limited by the state because of assembly use requirements. The city has been installing partitions in preparation for an eventual reopening. He suggested reopening to allow the public to come in and make utility payments and attend to other business like building permits. Westbrook believes that many people will continue to pay their utility bills online or over the phone which is what many have been doing the past 13 months.

Since the state-imposed restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, persons have had the ability to make appointments to conduct business in City Hall but the doors have been locked to prevent people from freely walking in. The Ceres Police Department lobby will also open up starting Monday for folks needing to do business, such as deal with detectives, obtain copies of traffic accident reports or pay lien releases on towed vehicles. The Community Center will still fall under health guidelines limiting physical attendance to 25 percent capacity. Some recreation classes have resumed, said Westbrook, however, the city will still be limiting the numbers of people who rent rooms at the center. The Ceres Rotary Club is back to using the center for meetings. Big Valley Grace Church has also been holding worship services in the large assembly room at the center.

Ceres church hosts National Day of Prayer event

Thursday, May 6 is the National Day of Prayer and the Ceres Seventh-day Adventist Church will host a courtyard gathering beginning at 10 a.m. at their campus, 1633 N Central Avenue, Ceres. This year’s National Day of Prayer is themed, “Lord, Pour Out Your Love, Live, and Liberty.” Pastor Mark Howard, the associate pastor of the Sunnyvale SDA Church will be the guest speaker. Music will be coordinated by Pam Carter. The community is invited but the church requests those wanting to attend should RSVP by calling the Church at 538-1024. The service will also be viewable online by going to the Ceres Seventh-day Adventist Church YouTube channel. Prayer requests may be sent via email or text to: ceresprayer@yahoo.com

Business Highlights:

Addy’s Bowtique (Handmade children’s bows)

Location: 1645 Countryside Drive starting May 1

Contact information: 209-648-9138 @addys.bowtique on Instagram

From small two-inch bows to large nine-inch bows, Turlock resident Lindsay Wheeler makes it all. She can put bows on headbands for infants or on alligator clips for toddlers, and has even completed custom orders for dog collars featuring bows. They’re available in a variety of prints and sizes, with Wheeler creating themed bows for holidays and events months ahead of time, which she then posts on Instagram to advertise to her customers. 

Sole Saver Boot & Shoe Repair (Shoe and leather repair)

Location: Richland Shopping Center, 2531 E. Whitmore Ave., Ceres, Suite T

Hours: 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays; closed Sundays and Mondays.

Contact information: (209) 531-1649.

Sole Saver was honored in February 2016 by the Ceres Chamber of Commerce with the “Downtown Business of the Year” award. Skilled at repairing purses, baseball gloves, belts and handbags, and even gets house slippers for repairs. 

Coronavirus update, April 29: Stanislaus County’s positivity rate continues to climb

Stanislaus County’s COVID-19 infection rate continued its rise this week, according to data released by the state. For the third time in the last five days, the county saw an above-6% positivity rate, and its 14-day rate rose above 3% for the first time in several days. A total of 1,042 residents have died from the virus since April 2020, the Health Services Agency said. The 54 new positive tests brought the total to 54,623. Stanislaus also has 567,429 negative test results and 53,092 people who are presumed recovered. The county got word Tuesday that it would remain in the red tier of the state’s pandemic response plan for a fifth straight week. It is the third most restrictive of the four tiers for business and other activities. As of Wednesday, 259,580 doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been allocated to Stanislaus County, unchanged since April 16. This includes 115,369 doses to health care providers and 144,211 to public health. It’s important to note that if you’ve had part or full vaccination, wearing a mask and keeping with all the safety precautions like social distancing is still recommended by the Centers for Disease for Control and Prevention. Also, those who have had COVID-19 still need to be vaccinated. Geographically: Modesto has 20,523 positive cases, Turlock has 7,389 and Ceres has 5,532

Thank you for tuning in to this week’s episode. Don’t forget to visit our website, localturlock.com, to stay up-to-date on our local news. You can always email me at turlock@localturlock.com and visit our Facebook at Facebook.com/localturlock and leave us some comments! Stay tuned for next week’s exciting episode! Have a great weekend and always stay safe!

Business gives back through quarantine craft

in business

When 22-year-old Sammie Wilkinson was sent home from school at the University of California, Irvine, due to the coronavirus pandemic, she took up a hobby that has now become a small business with a purpose.

The Turlock native is now the founder and owner of Resin with Reason — an internet shop offering handmade coasters, jewelry boxes, keychains and more, all made with resin. Resin has become a popular craft option during the pandemic, allowing users to pour the resin into molds which then form a hardened, final product. 

With two parents who are graphic designers and a school career which started out with the visual and performing arts magnet at Walnut Elementary School years ago, it’s no wonder the psychology major eventually found a way to let her artistic side show.

“I was just bored in quarantine and decided to try it out. It’s really fun and something relaxing to distract myself from all the craziness going on,” Wilkinson said. “When family members started asking me if they could buy stuff from me, I thought maybe this could be something and it’s been growing ever since.”

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

Pitman, Turlock ready to break Harvest Bowl tie

in Sports

As the Sac-Joaquin Section heads into its final week of high school football, Denair is looking to end the season on a positive note while the crosstown rivalry between Turlock and Pitman heats up ahead of the first Harvest Bowl to take place in the spring. 

The Bulldogs (4-0) continued their undefeated season last Friday night with a 35-13 victory over Gregori, which head coach James Peterson said was a tougher game than the scoreboard showed. Turlock tallied 355 total offensive yards during the game, while Gregori was right behind them with 338.

“Defensively, we gave up quite a few yards but were able to keep them off the board. It felt like a tougher game than what we were used to this season,” Peterson said. “The offense came out and did their thing and put the points up we needed to win the game.”

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

Why COVID Hit Women Harder in Stanislaus County, Calif.

in Health

Gaby Martinez had been working for the Stanislaus Public Library for years, and she loved her job in the youth services division. She got to connect with students and parents, promote early literacy and even work with the maximum security wing of a juvenile detention center to give books to incarcerated young adults. 

But when the COVID-19 pandemic brought life to a grinding halt last spring, the library shut down. Martinez, a single mother of three who also lives with her elderly mother, suddenly lost her part-time job and her family's only source of income. 

She filed for unemployment, but due to departmental backlogs and difficulties, could only access benefits in June, months after she lost her job. Martinez, who lives in Turlock, worried about paying bills and having to dip into her savings. 

"There were times where I had late fees and I had to question, 'What am I going to pay? What am I not going to pay?'" Martinez said.

Continue Reading on Goverment Tech

Feds’ Boogaloo Indictment Details Inside of Northern California Extremist Group

in crime

TURLOCK (CBS13) – A Turlock man is accused of founding a militia-style group connected to the killing of two officers in 2020.

The so-called “California Grizzly Scouts” was part of the “Boogaloo” movement based in Northern California. Newly unsealed court documents take us inside a radical organization, one that trained for combat, and ultimately led to the alleged killing of two officers.

Hawaiian shirts and heavy tactical gear are the signature uniforms of so-called “Boogaloo” groups. They are an anti-government and anti-law enforcement movement. A Northern California Boogaloo group is tied to the shootings of a federal officer and a sheriff deputy over a one-week span in 2020.

Former Travis Air Force Base airman Steven Carillo is charged with the killings.

Continue Reading on CBS Local

COVID-19 vaccines in California: Everything you need to know

in Around California

Developments are fast-moving as California and other states work to ramp up the COVID-19 vaccination effort. The state has said it aims to vaccinate most Californians by the summer of 2021 and eligibility is soon opening up to everyone.

People ages 50 and older became eligible for COVID-19 vaccines on April 1 and everyone ages 16 or older in the state will be eligible on April 15. Some counties and health providers are moving on a faster timetable.

Placer, Stanislaus and Butte counties have opened vaccines to those 16 and over, while Amador, Sutter and Yuba counties are now offering the vaccine to people 18 and over.

UC Davis Health said that anyone ages 16 and older can sign up online for a vaccine, including people who are not already patients.

Here are answers to common questions about the vaccine that we have found from our coverage — all in one place.

Continue Reading on KCRA

Natomas Unified, Several Other Districts Return To Classroom Full-Time On Monday

in Education

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Many students across the greater Sacramento region are returning to the classroom full-time on Monday.

As part of the agreement, all Natomas Unified elementary schools will end 15 minutes earlier and one recess will be 10 minutes longer to allow more safe and fun play.

Families can choose between in-person instruction and distance learning.

As of Monday morning, Natomas Unified says about half of its students are opting to return to the classroom.

Turlock, Lodi and Dry Creek will also have students on campus five days a week starting Monday. Washington Unified in West Sacramento is also starting in-person classes four days a week.

Continue Reading on CBS 13

Local Turlock Podcast April 09, 2021: California Reopening, Portable Picnics, Habit Burger, Carnegie Arts Center

in News

Hey everyone! You are listening to the Local Turlock Podcast for the week of April 9th. I am here to give you some of Turlock’s latest scoops, news & stories, with 2 business highlights for the week. Let’s begin with some great news - the entire state of California would be able to re-open without many of the COVID-19 restrictions by mid-June as announced by Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Tuesday. Looking for an Instagram worthy get-together set-up? Turlock business, Perez Picnics & Platters offers a luxurious spin on the age-old picnic. Watch out for this, dairy producers begin search for royalty young women wishing to compete for the District 6 Dairy Princess crown! Ceres folks, Habit Burger chain is coming to Ceres as they began their construction at the Whitmore Plaza Shopping Center.  Run for a cause and let’s support Cristian Palafox, a Ceres native runs to promote autism awareness. As many businesses are now back in operation, art in Stanislaus County can be viewed live again. Stay tuned to know where to go and what exhibits they are showing. Give some love and show our support to our local businesses especially during this pandemic as I give you 2 business highlights this week. Also sharing the latest updates about COVID 19 in Stanislaus County. All that and more today in this week's Local Turlock podcast. 

California could re-open by June 15

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Tuesday that the entire state would be able to re-open without many of the COVID-19 restrictions by mid-June, as long as the vaccine supply is sufficient and the hospital rate remains low. A statewide mask mandate would likely remain, but other restrictions detailed in the Blueprint for a Safer Economy would likely come to an end by June 15. The announcement came as the California Department of Public Health announced that a total of 4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to Californians in some of the state's hardest-hit communities, increasing immunity where the state's transmission rates and disease burden have been the highest during the pandemic. Stanislaus County was able to remain in the red tier because the case rate has remained fairly stable at 12.5 new cases per day per 100,000 residents and the positivity rate was at 4.8 percent. Stanislaus was able to previously move into the red tier because the testing positivity rate has been in that tier's metric for several weeks. Businesses would still be expected to take “common-sense risk reduction measures” such as wearing masks and encouraging vaccinations. Most capacity limits for businesses and recreational activities will be lifted, although larger indoor events, such as conventions, will be allowed only with testing or vaccination verification requirements. As of Tuesday, Stanislaus County has recorded 53,140 COVID-19 cases and 1,007 deaths from the virus.

Portable picnic company offers luxurious lunches

Name of business: Perez Picnics & Platters

Type of business: Mobile picnic catering

Location: Turlock and surrounding Central Valley; @perezpicnics on Instagram

Hours: By appointment

Contact information: 209-252-1606; perezpicnics@gmail.com

Specialty: Stress-free luxury

Influencers and entertainers in search of an Instagram worthy get-together need look no further than a Turlock business that’s putting a luxurious spin on the age-old picnic.  Perez Picnics & Platters can turn any setting from drab to fab, whether it's a park in town or your own backyard. Turlock resident and Pitman High School graduate Viviana Padilla recently launched her new business endeavor at the beginning of March, offering sophisticated ground-level parties for up to 20 people. Themed picnics are available for any occasion, from birthday parties and baby showers to anniversaries and bridal celebrations. Padilla has even seen customers throw a picnic just for fun. Picnic participants are always welcome to bring any additional food or drink they’d like to add to the already-provided options, and Perez Picnics & Platters prides itself on affordable prices.  The business is currently offering a special for the month of May: the “Mommy & Me Package,” which costs $160 for up to four people and includes a two-hour picnic with setup and breakdown, a teepee with cushions, a tea set, a donut wall, games, water, juice and fruit. Additional attendees can be added for $10 per person up to six people. Padilla enjoys providing a place for the community to not only have fun with loved ones, but to get outside during a year which has seen many spending more time indoors.

Dairy producers begin search for royalty

The local dairy industry is searching for young women wishing to compete for the District 6 Dairy Princess crown. The winner will represent the dairy industry in District 6 as a spokesperson and will also represent the California dairy industry in appearances with various audiences. The newly selected Dairy Princess and Alternates will participate in a mandatory professional development and educational training July 6 – 8.  The contest is sponsored by the District 6 Dairy Princess Committee and the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB). Alyce Silva of Turlock will relinquish her crown  to the winner who will represent the dairy industry in Alameda, Mariposa, Merced, Monterey, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Stanislaus and Tuolumne counties during the 2021-2022  program year. Scholarships will be awarded. Questions regarding the program and contest can be directed to committee chair, Linda Teixeira at 209.402.8305, online at https://www.californiadairypressroom.com/ca-dairy-princesses, or by contacting CMAB Dairy Princess Coordinator, Tiffany Nielsen, at dairyprincess@cmab.net The deadline is May 7.

Habit Burger starts construction

Work has begun on the new Habit Burger at the Whitmore Plaza Shopping Center. A construction fence was placed around the site and work has commenced on the undergrounding that must take place before the foundation and slab are poured. Last September the Ceres Planning Commission unanimously approved a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to build the 3,114-square-foot restaurant with a 658-square-foot patio dining area. The building will occupy the vacant pad directly north of Bob’s Coffee Shop and farthest west of the Taco Bell on Whitmore Avenue. The Habit Burger is a national burger chain that opened in recent years in Modesto and Turlock. Habit Burger was founded in Santa Barbara in 1969. The California-based restaurant company is known for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame, signature sandwiches and fresh-cut salads. The open flame sears a distinctive smoky flavor into their Charburgers, fresh marinated chicken, sushi-grade Ahi tuna and USDA choice tri-tip steaks. This burger chain also features fresh made-to-order salads and a selection of sides, shakes and malts. The Habit Burger Grill was recently named in Thrillist’s list of “Underrated Burger Chains that need to be in Every State!” 

Ceres man runs to promote autism awareness

Cristian Palafox was drenched in sweat when he completed his mile-run around the city block surrounding Smyrna Park and Carroll Fowler Elementary School last Wednesday afternoon.  Every hour on the hour during from 7 a.m. on March 31 to midnight, the 20-year-old Ceres man ran around the park to help promote public awareness of autism – a condition that his family knows all too well with his cousin Lucas Guillory, 18, of Ceres. Lucas was diagnosed with autism and among the family members who supported Cristian’s effort by keeping him company and displaying signs on their cars, was Jesse Guillory, who is Lucas’ father. Lucas’ parents will be in court next month to take legal guardianship of their disabled son since he is legally an adult. Despite the severity of autism, Jesse said his son can watch a movie one time and memorize it. Palafox, a 2018 graduate of Ceres High School who is now attending San Jose State University to become a physical therapist, used to participate in the Autism Walk with about 50 family members. Autism is a developmental disorder characterized by difficulties with social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior. There’s no single cause for it, and symptoms can be very mild or very severe. Cristian said that his cousin has little desire for socialization. During the run there were honks of support. Several parents with autistic children stopped by to thank him for drawing awareness to the issue. Typically a child with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has a hard time interacting with others. Problems with social skills are some of the most common signs. They might want to have close relationships but not know how. Palafox also appealed for public donations through social media to benefit Autism Speaks Inc., the largest autism advocacy organization in the United States. It sponsors autism research and conducts awareness and outreach activities aimed at families, governments, and the public. The public can still contribute by visiting autismspeaks.org

Art in Stanislaus County can be viewed live again. Where to go, what exhibits are showing

Add two of the region’s larger art galleries to the list of places that have reopened now that Stanislaus County has returned to the red tier in the state coronavirus plan. The Carnegie Arts Center in Turlock has opened its main gallery with an exhibit chronicling the lives of contemporary migrant farmworkers, according to a press release. “In the Fields of the North/En los Campos del Norte” features photojournalist David Bacon’s photographs with oral narratives from his subjects. The exhibit is planned to be up through May 23. Bacon will offer an online talk Thursday, April 15, at 7 p.m. A Zoom link will be posted on the Carnegie website and Facebook page. With the red tier capacity limit at 25 percent, the gallery can hold 100 people, but it has decided to limit visitors to 40 to ensure maximum social distancing, Carnegie Director Lisa McDermott said. In the Lobby Gallery is the exhibit “Surfaces,” through April 25. The show features four female artists from Northern and Central California, a press release said: Kate Jackson from Merced, Dana Mano-Flank, San Carlos, Denise Oyama Miller, Fremont, and Michelle Park, Turlock. Carnegie hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sundays. The center is at 250 N. Broadway in Turlock. Admission is $7 general, $5 for seniors and students. For more info, see www.carnegieartsturlock.org

The Mistlin Gallery in downtown Modesto will continue to have limited hours despite the move to the red tier. The gallery’s gift shop remained open as a retail space under the most restrictive purple tier. On exhibit through April 30 at the Mistlin are “Yosemite Tapestries” and “Preserving Our Wilderness.” “Yosemite Tapestries” features nine large panels by Miriam McNitt (1917-2002). The “tapestries” are yarn paintings that were originally commissioned by Yosemite National Park, according to a press release. “Preserving Our Wilderness” includes about 60 pieces by regional artists on wildlife, wilderness, environmentalism and the conservation of national parks. The Mistlin Gallery is open 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursdays-Fridays, noon-4 p.m. Saturdays at 1015 J St. in Modesto. While museums also can reopen, the McHenry Mansion and the McHenry Museum in Modesto remain closed. The city is working on a plan to reopen, but no timeline has been set.

Business Highlights

Haul Done

Location: All around Turlock

Telephone Number: (209) 968-4285

Operational Hours:  Monday to Sunday 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM

No junk hauling trash removal estate cleanout job too small for Haul Done. Haul Done tries to keep as much salvageable junk out of the landfill as possible. They make sure to clean up the area after removing your junk or trash.  Haul Done takes pride in being a Green & Clean Company. If you've got junk, Haul Done can clean the funk! Just remember, the job’s not done until it's Haul Done!

Big Vic's BBQ

Location: 842 N Golden State Blvd Turlock

Telephone Number: (209) 596-2131

Operational Hours:  Wednesday-Saturday 11am-3pm

From casual outdoor bbq's to upscale plated wedding dinners, Big Vic's BBQ specializes in great food and service. They grew from using a $100 smoker from Lowe's to a respected company complete with a food truck trailer, commercial smokers, and 4 catering delivery trucks. Big Vic's BBQ love what they do & it shows in the quality of food they provide - Beef brisket, whole hog, beef ribs, pork ribs, lamb shoulders, pork belly, tri-tip, chicken, sausage, you name it. Large or small, Big Vic’s BBQ takes each job with attentive care!

Coronavirus update, April 8: Stanislaus deaths reach 1,009. Cases stand at 53,194

Stanislaus County deaths to COVID-19 reached 1,009 with the two reported Wednesday by the Health Services Agency. The county added 54 cases, for a total of 53,194 since March of last year. Stanislaus also has 524,396 negative test results and 51,679 people who are presumed recovered. The county remains in the red tier, the third most restrictive in the state’s four-tier response plan. Officials said they hope conditions will improve enough to meet Gov. Gavin Newsom’s new goal of fully reopening the economy in mid-June. They continue to urge residents to get vaccinated, wear masks in public and keep at least 6 feet from people not in their households. According to the Los Angeles Times daily tracker showed, the county is fourth among the 58 counties when it comes to new cases over the past seven days. It ranks 14th in deaths over the past seven days. As of Wednesday, 176,870 doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been allocated to Stanislaus County, unchanged since March 26. This includes 85,429 doses to health care providers and 91,441 to public health. Geographically: Modesto has 19,876 positive cases, Turlock has 7,182, and Ceres has 5,393.

Thank you for tuning in to this week’s episode. Don’t forget to visit our website, localturlock.com, to stay up-to-date on our local news. You can always email me at turlock@localturlock.com and visit our Facebook at Facebook.com/localturlock and leave us some comments! Stay tuned for next week’s exciting episode! Have a great weekend and always stay safe!

California could re-open by June 15

in business

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Tuesday that the entire state would be able to re-open without many of the COVID-19 restrictions by mid-June, as long as the vaccine supply is sufficient and the hospital rate remains low.

A statewide mask mandate would likely remain, but other restrictions detailed in the Blueprint for a Safer Economy would likely come to an end by June 15.

“We can confidently say by June 15 that we can start to open up as business as usual, subject to ongoing mask-wearing and ongoing vigilance,” Newsom said. “So, this is a big day."

The announcement came as the California Department of Public Health announced that a total of 4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to Californians in some of the state's hardest-hit communities, increasing immunity where the state's transmission rates and disease burden have been the highest during the pandemic.

"California is making great progress in administering COVID-19 vaccine doses," said Dr. Mark Ghaly, Secretary of California's Health and Human Services Agency. "We must continue to do our best to vaccinate Californians as safely and quickly as possible. Our vaccine equity focus remains the right thing to do and ensures we are having the greatest impact in reducing transmission, protecting our health care delivery system and saving lives."

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