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Organizers seek to delay homeless count in Stanislaus County amid COVID-19 surge

in People

The COVID-19 surge caused by the contagious omicron variant has another Northern California county requesting to postpone the date of its "Point-In-Time Count" to address homelessness.

The count is an annual effort led by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to estimate the number of Americans without safe and stable housing.

Stanislaus County is the latest to request a delay in the count by a month, moving it to Feb. 23-24.

The Stanislaus Community System of Care Council voted unanimously Thursday to send a letter to HUD to ask for the date change.

The decision comes a week after Sacramento County announced the same delay. Last Monday, Sacramento Steps Forward announced the count in the county was pushed back to Feb. 23-24 from the original dates of Jan. 26-27.

Continue Reading on KCRA

Turlock home cook cashes in on TikTok

in People

Marco Sanchez has always loved cooking for his family, but he never could have imagined that his at-home hobby would turn into a social media influencing career. Since posting his first video to TikTok in the summer of 2020, the Turlock resident known as Woodfire and Whiskey has amassed nearly 2 million followers on the platform — and he isn’t stopping there.

From giant steaks to lettuce wraps, Sanchez’s high-quality cooking videos feature himself, a variety of different recipes and, as his username suggests, whiskey. The U.S. Army veteran has spent the last 13 years as a cinematographer working mainly in marketing, but was able to quit his job thanks to his large internet following. 

His kitchen has now turned into a video production studio, where Sanchez makes videos viewed by his 1.7 million TikTok followers, 74,000 Instagram followers and 10,500 YouTube subscribers. Thanks to sponsorships and endorsement deals with brands and products he believes in, the full-time content creator now brings home triple the amount he was making at his previous job. 

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

Flora announces he will run for assembly in revamped district

in People

The new boundaries for California State Senate and Assembly district were only submitted to the Secretary of State last week, but one incumbent has already thrown his hat in the ring for the 2022 election.

Assemblyman Heath Flora, D-Ripon, announced his bid for the redrawn 9th Assembly District on Monday.

“California’s Central Valley and Foothill regions continue to share and face many challenges into the future,” Flora said in a media statement.

“Water, wildfires, the economy and crime are among the biggest concerns I hear from constituents,” he said. “While I am sad to lose so many of my old constituents in the Modesto and Turlock areas, we will continue taking the fight forward on these important issues. I know these same issues are important to the many new constituents we hope to build the same relationships and trust with.”

Continue Reading on Lodi News

‘He was like the dad of the 90’s’: Bay Area fans mourn Bob Saget at SF’s ‘Full House’ home

in People

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Bob Saget, best known for his role as Danny Tanner on Full House, has died at the age of 65.

The cause of his death is unknown. Saget's body was found in an Orlando area Ritz-Carlton. Detectives say there were no signs of foul play or drug use.

Full House fans in San Francisco are remembering Bob Saget at a location that has become iconic among fans, the Full House home.

"I want to cry, it's very sad, I just saw it on the news," says Mary Risley of San Francisco.

"It's definitely sad news, he was like the dad of the 90s for everyone," says Emmeline Loyola.

Sunday night, more than than 2,800 miles from where Saget was found dead, Full House and Bob Saget fans showed up to that home in San Francisco.

Continue Reading on ABC 7

How to get $100 free in Turlock. City adds $1 million in COVID relief RAD Card funds

in People

Things are RAD again in Turlock with an infusion of $1 million in COVID-relief money for area shoppers to use the digital gift card app to start the new year.

The RAD Card program was first launched in downtown Modesto during the pandemic to help small businesses and offered shoppers up to $100 matching funds for purchases. It has since expanded to make all Modesto and Stanislaus County businesses eligible, and continues to expand into San Joaquin and Tuolumne counties with money from various federal COVID-19 relief bills.

The Turlock City Council unanimously approved the use of $1 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds at its Dec. 14 meeting. The program has also been expanded to potentially all Turlock businesses, not just those downtown. Officials had hoped to have the funds available before the holidays, but hope the infusion to kick off the new year will help local businesses.

Continue Reading on MSN

Modesto High School seniors launch app to connect volunteers and senior citizens

in People

TURLOCK, Calif. — Two Modesto high school seniors recently created an app that connects seniors with volunteers. 

And that creation led to an award from U.S. Representative and Turlock resident Josh Harder. 

Modesto High School seniors Divya Katyal and Rana Banankhah created the 'Community Connections' app, which was recently recognized as the 2021 Congressional App Challenge winner. The competition was launched by Harder's office.

The two said the app is designed to bridge communication gaps between isolated seniors and folks who would like to volunteer a human connection with them.

“During this COVID-19 pandemic, one of the most severely impacted groups has also been our society’s most precious group, our elders," the teens wrote in their initial application to Harder's competition. "Not only are they much more susceptible to having severe side-effects of this virus, but they have also been the most isolated over the course of this quarantine.”

Continue Reading on ABC 10

Turlock school board cancels meeting over after ‘some participants’ refuse to wear mask

in People

TURLOCK, Calif. — Turlock Unified School District Board of Trustees canceled their first meeting of 2022 before it was even called to order after calls for people to mask up were ignored.

 District spokesperson Marie Russell told ABC10 some in-person attendees didn't want to mask up or switch to Zoom, so the meeting was canceled "due to a failure to adhere to the California Department of Public Health requirements."

The spokesperson did, however, say Turlock Unified is working with legal counsel to find options moving forward allowing them to "conduct school business while meeting all requirements from the (California Department of Public Health)."

Continue Reading on ABC 10

Turlocker’s artistic side shines through new charcuterie business

in People

Turlock resident Madeline Keesey has always had a flair for all things visual, so it’s no surprise that she now creates art that you can eat. 

The Turlock High School alumna is now head of her own business, Cheesey Keesey Charcuterie, where she designs colorful boxes, boards and tables filled with eye-catching cheese, meats, fruits and veggies for a variety of events. Whether it’s a grand grazing table at a wedding or a personal cone filled with goodies to go, Keesey has utilized her unique set of skills to create food almost too pretty to eat. 

“It’s been pretty exciting to see it all fall into place because it kind of happened by accident,” Keesey said. 

In less than a year, Keesey has already amassed nearly 1,500 followers on Instagram — an account she made just to post her charcuterie at first. As more and more followers began to inquire about services, Keesey decided to turn it into a full-fledged business. 

Charcuterie features food thoughtfully placed on surfaces in an artistic way, and Keesey credits her talents to several factors. It’s in her blood, as her dad is an architect and her mother was an art major, and Keesey went to school for interior design where she studied subjects like color theory. 

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

Meet Bridgette Dean who is coordinating Sacramento’s efforts to fix the homeless crisis

in People

SACRAMENTO, Calif — Homeless issues continue to be a major problem facing Sacramento. Sacramento County's Point and Time homeless count indicates more than 5,000 people experience homelessness on any given night. 

In July 2020, Sacramento created the Department of Community Response to reduce reliance on police in responding to many situations including homelessness and mental health situations.

Bridgette Dean spearheads the department as its director. 

Dean is a licensed clinical social worker. Before joining DCR she created the first social services unit in law enforcement in the Sacramento area. Dean previously oversaw the Sacramento Police Department’s Mental Health, Impact Team, and Hospital units.

"I'm in my position to respond differently to homelessness and a lot of the issues that are around that. All of that social work experience for me has -- really paid off [because] we have to have a system change to how we respond to the needs of our community," Dean told ABC10. 

Continue Reading on ABC 10

DOCTORS HOSPITAL CEO SAYS STAFF ‘BRINGS HEART TO WORK’

in People

It arguably has been the most trying time in the 59-year history of Manteca’s original modern-day hospital.

Doctors Hospital of Manteca’s 500 plus workers from housekeeping and engineering to nurses, doctors, pharmacists, and therapists have faithfully and without failure manned the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

That is the lesson Dr. Murali Naidu will take with him when he departs the chief executive officer post on Jan. 3 he assumed a month before the pandemic started in March 2020 to take on a similar job at Turlock’s Emmanuel Medical Center.

“It’s really the commitment and resilience people have,” Naidu said of the hospital staff. “In the hospital community we’re all together in our desire to help people . . . They dealt with physical and emotional fatigue in the face of the unknown at great risks to themselves.”

Continue Reading on Manteca/Ripon Bullentin

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