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Turlock Fire Department ‘bleeding’ personnel, says union

in Job/People

The ranks within the Turlock Fire Department continue to dwindle with three firefighters leaving last week for new positions at other departments.

The recent departures follow the retirement announcement of Interim Fire Chief Gary Carlson and bring the number of firefighters to leave the department to 13 in three years and 23 in the last 10 years.

“We need to stop the bleeding,” said Turlock Firefighters Local #2434 President Chad Hackett about the recent personnel losses.

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Students bring a unique perspective to Sept. 11

in Community/People

This weekend marks the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. While most adults have vivid memories of that infamous day, students today were not alive when those events took place and their understanding of the tragic events vary. In Turlock schools, the weeks leading up to the day will be used as an opportunity for remembrance and for students to learn more about the historic event.

9/11 is currently not part of TUSD curriculum, but it does cover the history of first responders and have discussions regarding the day.

“With the 20th anniversary approaching, students are likely to see images or videos on social media and across multiple media sources.  That means children are likely to come to school and want to talk about what they’ve seen. 9/11 is not specifically part of the curriculum, especially for our youngest learners.  They do cover communities and community helpers (fire, police, etc.),” said Chief Communication Coordinator at TUSD Marie Russell.

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Mask mandate returns for Stanislaus County

in Community/Health/News/People

People will again have to wear masks indoors in Stanislaus County as COVID-19 cases surge and the local healthcare systems strain under increased hospitalizations.

The order requires all people to wear face coverings when indoors in workplaces and public settings, with limited exemptions, and recommends that businesses make face coverings available to individuals entering their businesses. This order will take effect Saturday.

“The decision to go forward with a masking mandate is based on the need to protect our healthcare system. There is a concerning rise in hospitalizations that is threatening hospital capacity,” said Dr. Julie Vaishampayan, Public Health Officer for Stanislaus County. “Masking is an essential tool that limits the transmission of the Delta variant as we continue to vaccinate the people who live, work and learn in Stanislaus County.”

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Turlock carwash fiasco leads to vandalism charge for Ceres man

in People

A Ceres man caused quite a bit of damage after trying to make a U-turn inside a carwash in Turlock.

The misstep resulted in vandalism charges for Byron Zappelli, 44, of Ceres after he fled the scene of his destruction, the Turlock Police Department reported.

Just after 1 p.m. Sunday, Zappelli pulled into the Chevron gas station at 100 E Glenwood Avenue and pulled into the carwash, ignoring the barricades posted at the entrance.

“Staff at the gas station attempted to get the driver to stop several times, and even offered to help reverse his vehicle out of the carwash for him,” said Turlock Police spokesperson Deandra Wiley.

Zappelli declined the offer of help and decided that he could get out of the carwash by making a U-turn. As a result, he crashed his black Ford Expedition into several poles, a gas box attached to the building and on one occasion into the building itself, Wiley said.

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

City turns focus from homeless encampments to long-term planning

in Community/News/People

After clearing out major homeless encampments throughout the city in recent months, the Turlock City Council on Tuesday approved the next steps in addressing the local unhoused crisis.

The Council unanimously voted Tuesday night to terminate a previously ratified local emergency proclamation, which focused on encampments and ratified a new local emergency focusing on unsheltered homeless and re-appropriates unspent funding from the first proclamation to be used for the issue moving forward.

Interim Chief of Police Steven Williams provided the Council with an update Tuesday on the City’s local emergency in response to its Unsheltered Homeless and Encampment Crisis, which was ratified on March 16. Since then, City staff has partnered with county resources and local shelters to make contact with unhoused individuals living in notable encampments throughout Turlock, connecting them with available resources before clearing out the camps.

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Family rejoices as mother recovers from months-long COVID illness

in Health/People

It had been more than nine months since Yolanda Salinas had been inside her own home, but on Monday she got to take the step that at times over the last year seemed like it might never happen.

Salinas, 64, and a former Turlock resident who now resides in Chowchilla, was diagnosed with COVID-19 in September 2020. Over the course of her illness, she was a patient in three different hospitals and care facilities. She was in a medically induced coma and was given a tracheotomy. She has suffered partial paralysis and developed a resistant form of pneumonia. But, after all that she has finally made enough strides and improvements that on Monday she was released from the hospital and got to come home.

“We were worried she would be overwhelmed, but she held it together and was able to spend hours with a few of her brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, children and grandchildren,” said her son Omar Salinas, a Turlock resident. “It was a great day indeed.”

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

Rotary Foundation awards scholarships to outstanding seniors, 2020 graduates

in Education/People

The Ceres Rotary Club Foundation honored outstanding graduating seniors and first-year college students on May 21 with a first or second of two-year educational scholarships.

The club’s scholarship program is unique in that the scholarships are paid over two years with four annual awards at $2,500 or $1,250 a year, and the Lew Family Scholarship, at $4,000 or $2,000 a year. Additionally, the awards offer applicants a variety of college and vocational training options.

Two Central Valley High School seniors were given scholarships. Paola Campos was awarded the $4,000 Lew Family Scholarship and Virginia Moore was gifted the $2,500 General Education/Social Services Scholarship.

Continue Reading on Ceres Courier

Turlock’s HR manager takes helm as Acting City Manager

in People

The City of Turlock’s current Human Resource Manager Sarah Eddy was appointed as Acting City Manager on Friday, becoming the fifth person to assume the role in the last two years.

Eddy has worked for the City since 1988 and earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Stanislaus State in Turlock. The City Council unanimously appointed her to the position during a Special Meeting on Friday afternoon. She will take the place of Gary Hampton, whose last day is Thursday, as the retired public employee’s time as City Manager was only temporary. 

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Turlock man breaks weightlifting world record

in People/Sports

Turlock resident Ryan Clay has put in plenty of hard work over the years to go from what he described as a “skinny” kid in his youth to now holding a world record for heaviest deadlift in adulthood. 

As a powerlifter competing in the World Association of Bench Pressers and Dead Lifters, Clay broke the 242-pound class deadlift world record in the men’s RAW division (drug tested with no equipment) after completing a 706-pound lift on May 15. The prior record was held by Cephas McTizic of Arkansas at 705.2 pounds, which was achieved in February 2020. 

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Turlock educator recognized as one of best in county

in Education/People

The last nine months have been a school year like no other, from distance learning at home to a campus return filled with COVID-19 safety protocols. Despite these challenges, Crowell Elementary School teacher Ronald Putnam had no difficulty navigating the “new normal” and was recently named a finalist in the Stanislaus County Teachers of the Year awards. 

The Modesto Rotary Club and the Stanislaus County Office of Education named four Teacher of the Year winners from TK-3, 4-6, junior high and high school divisions, recognizing a total of 12 finalists. Each division honored three finalists, who had been nominated by their site principal, from a total of 74 nominations. Of those received, Putnam was selected to represent Crowell in the TK-3 category. 

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