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December 4, 2020: Operation Blue Santa, Turlock Dry Cleaners, Pho 7 Anh

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Hey everyone! You are listening to the Local Turlock Podcast for the week of December 4th. Giving you some of latest scoops, news, stories, and business spotlight for the week. Let’s start with our first story, despite the pandemic, the city and community offering Christmas cheer to kick off the Christmas season throughout Turlock this weekend. Next on our list, Gym owner, Alec Schmitt, a Stanislaus State graduate decided to leave his job with the California Department of Food and Agriculture to pursue personal training full time which led him to open XX Functional Fitness in Turlock. More of the latest news, Stanislaus County offering free flu vaccines at drive-thru clinic on Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Johansen High School. Moving on, a can-do attitude among the Turlock Police Department is bringing the jolly ol' elf back to the community as Operation Blue Santa gets the green light in Turlock. Good news, Life-Saving Insulin is now available at free or no cost to people living in Stanislaus and Merced Counties. Wondering where to cut your own Christmas tree or buy one in Northern California? Stay tuned as we give you locations on where to go to cut your own Christmas tree or if you are looking to pick up one in Stanislaus County. This is the best time to show our support to our local businesses especially during this pandemic as I give you 2 business spotlights 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.

Despite pandemic, City and community offering Christmas cheer

The holidays may look and feel different this year, but there are still countless ways to kick off the Christmas season throughout Turlock this weekend.  First, a decades-old tradition will be replaced with a socially-distanced spectacle this Friday as the City of Turlock hosts its first-ever Christmas Cruise at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds. From 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 4, carloads filled with community members will have the chance to drive through “A Night of Lights on Display” — an event that Parks, Recreation and Public Facilities Director Allison Van Guilder hopes will fill the void left behind by the cancellation of Turlock’s annual downtown Christmas parade due to COVID-19.  The Turlock Firefighters Local 2434 is sponsoring the event, which saw the City partner with the fairgrounds in order to provide spaces for participants to decorate in lieu of floats. Rather than organizations and businesses driving through a crowded Main Street as part of a parade, the community will instead drive through their displays on Friday from a safe distance. The firefighters will also be on site collecting unwrapped toys and canned food to donate to Turlock Together.  Turlock Transit will be hosting shuttle tours to cruise through the event while following all COVID health guidelines, and more information on this option can be found at www.turlocktransit.com/cruise.

Gym owner pursues passion in Turlock

Name of business: XX Functional Fitness

Type of business: Gym

Location: 1420 Freitas Park, Turlock

Contact information: 209-447-8885

Specialty: Kettlebell workouts

In October 2019, the stars aligned for Alec Schmitt. The Stanislaus State graduate realized last year that his job with the California Department of Food and Agriculture wasn’t making him happy, and decided he’d like to pursue personal training full time. On the same day that Schmitt turned in the keys to his now-former job, the owner of the Turlock gym where he had helped train people for the past few years called him and said they were looking to sell the business.  Today the location is known as XX Functional Fitness — the name Schmitt gave his first business endeavor when he bought the gym last fall.  He was inspired to chase his dreams after losing a close friend who had done the same. His friend, an artist, had chosen to forgo a “normal” job and fulfill his desire to do what he loved for a living. Schmitt’s friend was just beginning to realize his dream when he passed away unexpectedly, leaving his comrade behind to ponder the meaning of life. Coincidentally, the same day Schmitt turned in his keys and received a call about purchasing the gym was the anniversary of his friend’s death. Now, just over a year later, Schmitt has had to overcome hurdles of his own — from remodeling and marketing to a full-blown pandemic — in order to transform XX Functional Fitness into the gym it is today. The gym has adapted, however, with Schmitt making home visits for one-on-one personal training and even Facetiming clients to ensure they stay up-to-speed while absent.  Those who are still able to make it into Schmitt’s socially-distanced classes find a wide array of equipment to work with, from Olympic weightlifting racks to a massive number of kettlebells. Schmitt is a certified expert with the latter, which offers a unique, full-body workout with one small — but heavy — workout tool. He’s also using his position in the community to give back through the XX Holiday Shoppe, which will feature over 20 small businesses at the gym to provide a holiday shopping destination for the community and collect donated toys from attendees for Westside Ministries. The XX Holiday Shoppe will take place from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 13.

Stanislaus County offering free flu vaccines at drive-thru clinic on Friday

With local hospitals full of COVID-19 patients, Stanislaus County Health Services Agency wants to minimize any additional burden of influenza by offering free drive-thru influenza vaccines on Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Johansen High School. Stanislaus County has had two cases of influenza this fall and nationwide, influenza activity has been minimal, so it is not too late to get immunized. Seasonal influenza usually arrives in the Northern Hemisphere in late fall lasting through spring, and multiple strains of the flu virus can occur in the same season. Influenza infections typically start with abrupt onset of fevers, chills and body aches, with associated congestion, cough or sore throat. These findings are also common with other respiratory viruses, including coronavirus. However, COVID-19 may have a wider spectrum of symptoms, including having no symptoms and the loss of smell and taste, which are rare with influenza. Flu vaccines are recommended for anyone 6 months of age and older, but are especially important for people at high risk for serious complications from the flu including including: infants at least 6 months old and young children, individuals age 65 and older, pregnant women, caregivers of seniors, infants and other high risk individuals, those with underlying chronic medical conditions such as diabetes or a chronic heart, lung, kidney or liver disease or with immunocompromise due to illness or medications, such as chemotherapy. At the drive-thru clinic, free flu shots will be provided to anyone 6 months of age and older on a first-come, first-served basis. No appointment required. Additional information about influenza and flu vaccines can be found at: Stanislaus County website, http://schsa.org/publichealth/pages/flu/ from the California Department of Public Health flu website, at https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/Influenza.aspx and from the CDC at https://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm

Operation Blue Santa gets the green light in Turlock

Between budget constraints, staff shortages and the coronavirus pandemic it seemed all but certain that Blue Santa would have to be shelved for the holiday season, but instead a can-do attitude among the Turlock Police Department is bringing the jolly ol' elf back to the community. Operation Blue Santa started in 2012 with the mission of providing toys and donated items to children and families in need. Key components of the operation were school and home visits by Blue Santa and presentations on crime prevention and safety. It also relied heavily on volunteers to go out on shopping blitzs and gather for gift wrapping sessions. But this year, COVID-19 safety protocols made all of that impossible. The program is operating a bit different this year. Instead of using volunteers to gift wrap, the program purchased gift boxes to put presents in. And instead of the delivering of gifts using overtime, officers will be making deliveries during their normal shifts, as time allows. Blue Santa will be making a few appearances around town, mostly at stores during sponsor drop-off events. Blue Santa will be donning a mask to go with blue uniform. Those who are interested in sponsoring a family can contact Grace at egrace@turlock.ca.us. Those wishing to make a monetary donation either by cash or check can mail them to the police department at 244 N. Broadway, Turlock, CA. 95380. Checks should be made out to the City of Turlock, with Blue Santa in the memo line. Monetary donations can also be dropped off at the police department, but people must call ahead first. Grace can be reached at (209)216-6879 Monday through Thursday. On Friday, people can contact Sgt. Steve Crawford at (209) 668-6503.

Life-Saving Insulin Now Available at Free or No Cost to People Living in Stanislaus and Merced Counties

Thousands of people in Stanislaus and Merced counties can now access free or low-cost insulin through a groundbreaking partnership. Building upon a program created by pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and Company, Legacy Health Endowment and locally owned Boies' Medical Center Pharmacy have teamed up to provide Lilly insulin to any qualifying person who lives within one of 19 eligible zip codes and struggles to afford this life-saving medicine. To receive Lilly insulin through this initiative, patients must have either a high co-pay, no insurance coverage, or be enrolled in Medicare Part D. Patients will pay just $35 for their insulin; if they're unable to afford the $35 co-pay, free insulin is available by enrolling at usfreemeds.org.  Enrolling in the program and accessing insulin is easy. Simply fill your prescription at Boies' Medical Center Pharmacy or have your existing prescription transferred there. This independent pharmacy in Turlock has a long history of providing cost-effective, reliable services to the community. The pharmacy will also provide free diabetes testing supplies to people enrolled in the program. The insulin program is not available outside of Boies' Medical Center Pharmacy. For contant: Jeffrey Lewis jeffrey@legacyhealthendowment.org 209-250-2315.

Where to cut your own Christmas tree or buy one in Northern California

So you’ve had your fill of Thanksgiving leftovers and are ready to venture out to cut your own Christmas tree this year or pick one up from a local farm? Below is a guide for where to go in Northern California, if you're looking for a fresh-cut tree. For those hoping to score a permit to chop down a tree within designated areas of the Eldorado National Forest or Tahoe Basin, you’re out of luck. Permits for the 2020 season are already sold out. Here is where you can find information on where to secure a permit to chop your own tree in other forests:

Here are options on where to buy a tree in Stanislaus County:

  • Hay Family Farms in Modesto is located at 5406 Milnes Road, and has over 4,000 living trees to choose from.
  • Heidi's Fresh Christmas Trees is located at 4220 Dale Road in Modesto and sells fresh cut Noble Fir, Nordman Fir, Grand Fir, and Douglas Fir Christmas Trees.
  • Ron's Amazing Christmas Trees is located at 716 N Daubenberger Road, and sources their trees from Willammette Valley in Oregon.
  • Tracy's Trees in Turlock is located at 1807 Geer Road.

Business Spotlight:

Turlock Dry Cleaners

Providing professional service over 20 years In Turlock and surrounding cities, Turlock Dry Cleaners is focusing on quality and customer service and that’s their number one goal always Now even better with the additional services that they provide including:

  • Professional dry-cleaning laundry and spot clean.
  • Starch and shirts or jeans per customer request.
  • Wedding gowns clean and preservation.
  • All size comforters bed sets and blankets.
  • All size area rugs.
  • Hats of any type.
  • Professional alteration hemming, sizing, fixing.
  • And now adding free pick-up and delivery within 30 miles from Turlock.

Location: 1581 Geer Rd Turlock, CA 95380

Contact Number: (209) 669-0244 

Operational Hours: Monday to Friday (7am to 6pm) Saturday 8am to 2pm Sun Closed

Pho 7 Anh

If you are in the mood for some pho, the place to be is Pho 7 Anh. This place is a gem! Don’t let the name fool you. They serve authentic Vietnamese, Thai, and Lao dishes. Plus, the food is consistently delicious and always comes out in a timely manner.  Pho 7 Anh is the real deal! 

Location: 503 N Golden State Blvd Turlock, CA 95380

Phone Number (209) 620-8022

Operational Hours: Monday to Sunday 10 am to 9pm

Coronavirus update, Dec. 3: Hospital patients reach 215 in Stanislaus; 225 new cases

Hospitals in Stanislaus County had another jump in COVID-19 patients Wednesday, to a level not seen since the midsummer surge. Meanwhile, the county reported 225 new positive tests, more than five times the level that would help loosen restrictions on business and gatherings. The death toll rose to 430 with the two announced Wednesday by the county Health Services Agency. The county has 22,624 people who have tested positive, 228,763 who tested negative and 20,234 who are presumed recovered. The state reported a 16.27% positivity rate in Stanislaus on Tuesday, based on 1,481 tests. That figure is released a day later than the county agency’s data. The rolling seven-day average was 11.91%. The 14-day average was 12.24%. The state requires a positivity rate of under 8 percent to advance to the next less restrictive tier in its system. That means an average of 40 or fewer new cases in Stanislaus. A total of 215 people were hospitalized Wednesday with confirmed cases of COVID-19, up from 198 on Tuesday. The number topped 220 at times during summer but hovered around 40 earlier this fall.  Geographically: Modesto has 8,121 positive cases, Turlock has 3,090 and Ceres has 2,520.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!

November 27, 2020: Pandemic Black Friday, Holiday Parades, Carinvore’s BBQ and Quickly Turlock

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Hey everyone! You are listening to the Local Turlock Podcast for the week of November 27th. Giving you some of latest scoops, news, stories, and business spotlight for the week. Let’s start with our first story, Hickory Farms, famous for its handcrafted cheese and summer sausage, now pops up in Turlock. Next on our list, Covenant Care Home and Hospice partnered to pilot a Meals on Wheels and Well Check Calls program open to needy seniors in Stanislaus County. Moving on, what will pandemic Black Friday look like? Take a look at when the major retailers will open on Black Friday, Nov. 27! Next, what are your holiday plans this pandemic? Let’s discover some of the events planned for the holiday season. Following the app roadmap titled “PARENTS – What You Wish You Knew: A Quick Guide to the Basics of Social Media (and the Potential Risks for Children and Teens)”, an updated version of the guide was released to provide new information to help parents oversee social media screen time during pandemic. . It’s time to show our support to our local businesses especially during this pandemic as I give you 2 business spotlights 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.

Hickory Farms pops up in Turlock

Turlockers are in for a savory treat this holiday season as Hickory Farms has forgone its annual Modesto mall location for a seasonal storefront in Monte Vista Crossings.  Hickory Farms, famous for its handcrafted cheese and summer sausage, is a longtime gift choice for many food lovers and will operate its seasonal location in Turlock until the end of December. The shop offers customers a taste of nostalgia and their products bring people the love and comfort from when they were a child. It brings back memories of sitting around with our families on Christmas and eating the traditional items that we’re all used to. From gift boxes and platters to cheese balls and spreads, Hickory Farms has a variety of products synonymous with Christmas celebration. Hickory Farms also has other treats to choose from aside from meats and cheeses, like wine gifts, chocolates, appetizers and more. Local Christmas shoppers are used to finding Hickory Farms gifts inside of Vintage Faire Mall, but with COVID risks, the business wanted to open their seasonal shops in storefronts which would allow for easy online or call-in ordering and curbside pickup to keep customers safe.  They are located at 2727 Countryside Dr., Turlock with Operational Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Black Friday. You may also contact them at 209-279-5643.

New program to provide meals, check-ins for area seniors

A program providing free meals and daily check-in calls to some of the most at-risk and isolated residents of Stanislaus County and northern Merced County is now open to the public. Seniors are facing the most severe risks and complications from the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of stay-at-home recommendations, many have limited interaction with their neighbors and families and often can’t get groceries on their own. In response, Legacy Health Endowment and Covenant Care Home and Hospice partnered to pilot a Meals on Wheels and Well Check Calls program. The program is now open to other needy seniors in the area. This program provides free meals Monday through Friday and a daily wellness phone call. If a senior cannot be reached, or is having an emergency, Covenant Care staff is prepared to step in to get them the help they need. Meals are prepared by the United Samaritan’s Foundation, which has a long history of providing fresh and balanced meals for hundreds of seniors each week through their existing senior feeding programs. Access to the program will not require a prior hospital stay, but slots are limited. To see if you or a loved one is eligible to apply by calling (209) 250-5200 and choosing option 5, “Wellness Check.” The program is only open to the following zip codes: 95301, 95303, 95307, 95313, 95315, 95316, 95322, 95324, 95326, 95328, 95334, 95358, 95360, 95363, 95374, 95380, 95381, 95382, and 95388.

What will a pandemic Black Friday look like? And when will stores open in Modesto?

The traditional start of the holiday shopping season, and a boatload of bargains, will look a lot different in 2020 because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Most major retailers will stay closed on Thanksgiving Day, bucking years of trends that saw scores of people rush to finish or delay their family dinners in order to shop sales on the holiday day itself. This year most big box retailers will reopen the day after Thanksgiving, known as Black Friday because as consumer legend tells it that was when stores finally turned a profit on sales for the year. In the valley, that means shoppers might tuck in to bed a little sooner — no doubt also due in part to a hefty and delicious dose of Tryptophan — to find the best deals as stores open early Friday morning. Online Black Friday sales have already begun in earnest, and are also being offered as a safer alternative. Curbside pickup, which many retailers are offering, is another option. Online shopping, in addition to being contact-free, does not require a mask or social distancing. Though still wash your hands because that’s just good hygiene.  Here’s a look at when the major retailers will open on Black Friday, Nov. 27.

  • Bass Pro Shop: Open 8 a.m.-6. p.m. Thanksgiving, 5 a.m. Friday
  • Big Lots: Open 7 a.m.-1 p.m. Thanksgiving, 6 a.m. Friday
  • Best Buy: Open at 5 a.m. Friday
  • Burlington: Opens 7 a.m. Friday
  • Costco: Open 9 a.m. Friday
  • GameStop: Open 7 a.m. Friday
  • Harbor Freight Tools: Open 7 a.m. Friday
  • Home Depot: Open 6 a.m. Friday
  • Kohl’s: Open at 5 a.m. Friday
  • Lowe’s: Open 6 a.m. Friday
  • Michael’s: Open 7 a.m. Friday
  • Office Depot/OfficeMax: Open 9 a.m. Friday
  • Old Navy: Open midnight Thanksgiving through Friday
  • Staples: Open 9 a.m. Friday
  • Target: Open at 7 a.m. Friday
  • Vintage Fair Mall: Open 6 a.m. Friday
  • Walmart: Open 5 a.m. Friday

And remember, wherever you go out to shop this holiday season, wear a mask. They protect you (they really do), they protect others, and they’re a way to show the no-doubt exhausted store staff that you care about their safety as well.

Here’s your planner for Modesto-area holiday parades, events, and how to enjoy them

Several communities and groups still plan to bring some holiday spirit to the region at the end of what’s been a festive-challenged year. Many of the traditional Christmas events in the Modesto and Mother Lode regions have been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. But others will go on with modifications, downsizing and virtual options. Among the larger events canceled in Modesto are the Dickens Faire and Mod Shop Indie Crafters Market. But the city will hold a Christmas parade, with a twist: Onlookers will drive past stationary yuletide displays. The following is a look at some of the events planned for the holidays season. Note that they could be canceled or adjusted depending on county and state pandemic guidelines.

COWBOY CHRISTMAS – Nov. 28: Oakdale Cowboy Museum outdoor holiday market. COVID-19 guidelines will be enforced. 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. The Cowboy Museum, 355 E. F St., Oakdale. www.thecowboymuseum.org/santa-.

GUSTINE’S OLD FASHIONED CHRISTMAS – Nov. 28: There will be a drive-through breakfast with Santa at GPS Hall from 8 to 11 a.m. A Christmas market will be held downtown, with social distancing in place, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Children can see Santa and take home craft bags, also from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Cornerstone Dance on Fifth Street. There will be a live virtual tree lighting on the city’s Facebook page at 6 p.m. 209-587-0810.

ANGELS CAMP HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE – Nov. 28: Merchants will participate in a community open house with raffles, shopping and dining. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Citywide in Angels Camp. www.angelscampbusiness.com/event/small-business-saturday.

HOME FOR CHRISTMAS LIGHT EXPERIENCE – Dec. 1-24: Shelter Cove Community Church offers a drive-through Santa’s village, Christmas tree lane and white Christmas, as well as a live-action nativity scene. There will be a drive-through, 150,000-light show with Christmas music. The event runs 6 to 9 p.m. nightly at Shelter Cove, 4242 Coffee Road, Modesto. The event is free, but it’s recommended to RSVP for Fridays and Saturdays. 209-567-3200. sheltercovelive.com/christmas.

LATHROP VIRTUAL TREE LIGHTING AND SHOEBOX PARADE – Dec. 1 and Dec. 12: A virtual tree lighting will be shown on the city’s website and Facebook page Dec. 1 at 6 p.m. A parade Dec. 12 will feature small floats videotaped and shown on the city’s website and Facebook page beginning at 10 a.m. It will remain up through Christmas. www.ci.lathrop.ca.us/parksrec/page/christmas-shoebox-parade.

TURLOCK CHRISTMAS PARADE – Dec. 4: A Christmas Cruise will be held at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds. People will stay in their cars and drive past the decorated lights and displays. 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the fairgrounds, 900 N. Broadway.

MODESTO CELEBRATION OF LIGHTS – Dec. 5: A Downtown Drive-Through Holiday Cruise will feature displays of lights and decorations on stationary floats, as well as storefront decorations and Rockin’ Holidays displays and tree lighting on Tenth Street Plaza. The parade begins at 17th and I streets, turns on 10th Street and ends along Tenth Street Plaza. 5:30-8:30 p.m. www.modestogov.com/553/Holiday-Parade

CHRISTMAS TREE LANE – Dec. 5 through Christmas: Neighbors off Moffett Road across from Smyrna Park will put up their annual lavish holiday lights display for people to drive through. The city stresses social distancing for those who choose to walk. 209-538-5628.

OUTDOOR CHRISTMAS FAIRE – Dec. 5: Modesto Free Methodist Church will have vendors selling crafts and homemade items. They will sell tri-tip, $25, and half chickens, $6. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Modesto Free Methodist Church, 1520 Rose Ave. www.modestofm.org.

ESCALON CHRISTMAS ON MAIN PARADE OF LIGHTS – Dec. 12: A drive-through parade of lights will feature stationary floats along Main Street as well as decorated storefronts and sidewalks. There will be a one-way flow of traffic for onlookers to follow. 5:30 p.m. 209-838-2793.

Guide aims to help parents oversee social screen time during pandemic

Although Legacy Health Endowment first released its social media guide for parents over a year ago, the need for families to understand technology continues as the pandemic wears on. LHE, a nonprofit healthcare grantmaking foundation, originally produced and promoted the app roadmap titled “PARENTS – What You Wish You Knew: A Quick Guide to the Basics of Social Media (and the Potential Risks for Children and Teens)” in October 2019. The guide was well-received and provided families with statistics, instructions and solutions which ensured their Internet-savvy kids are safe while using popular cell phone apps like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. An updated version of the guide was released by LHE this month, providing new information for these fast-changing times. As the pandemic keeps children and teens from socializing in person, Lewis believes the guide can be even more helpful now as kids seem to be glued to devices day in and day out. The pandemic is challenging for families in so many ways, but LHE President and CEO, Jeffrey Lewis hopes the social media guide can help parents navigate at least one facet of everyday life which has been changed by COVID. The guide is available for download and viewing at www.legacy health endowment.org.

Business Spotlight:

Carnivore's BBQ Sandwich Shop
Carnivore's BBQ Sandwich Shop serves up an affordable alternative to fast food with locally sourced meats and produce.  It is a California based style of BBQ that originated in Santa Maria, just south of San Luis Obispo. It's based on using the freshest locally sourced Tri-Tip cuts of beef, good ole- California Red Oak with the bark, and a technique of smoking that combines direct and indirect heat. 

Location: University Plaza 2685 Geer Rd Turlock, CA 95382

Phone Number: (209) 250-1175

Operational Hours: Monday-Friday 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM Sat 11:00 AM - 8:00 PM Sun 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Quickly Turlock

If you are looking for the best boba place of all time, Quickly Turlock is the place to be. Their add ons and milk tea flavors are always amazing. And the pearls are always cooked perfectly. Quality hasn't gone down at all even with the troubles of pandemic and offers curb side delivery with fast service. If you’re looking for a flavorful tea or smoothie visit Quickly Turlock.

Location: 2014 W Monte Vista Ave Turlock, CA 95382

Telephone Number: (209) 250-2026

Operational Hours: Monday to Saturday 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM Sunday 12:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Coronavirus update, Nov. 26: Stanislaus has 343 new cases, 167 patients in hospitals

New cases of the virus hit another three-month high in Stanislaus County, as hospital counts continue to rise, too. The state reported 343 positive tests in the county Tuesday, the most since the 365 on Aug. 26. The number needs to average 40 or fewer to start reversing the limits on gatherings that tightened earlier this month. The county’s positivity shot up to 23.65% on Tuesday, based on 1,450 tests. The rolling seven-day average was 12.62%. The 14-day average was 11.96%. The state requires a positivity rate of under 8 percent to advance to the next less restrictive tier in its system. Two more residents have died of COVID-19, for a total of 422 as of Wednesday. The county has 21,145 people who have tested positive, 215,999 who tested negative and 19,023 who are presumed recovered. Geographically: Modesto has 7,481 positive cases, Turlock has 2,862 and Ceres has 2,332

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!

November 20, 2020: Back to Purple Tier, Christmas Fundraiser, Homeless Storage

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Hey everyone! You are listening to the Local Turlock Podcast for the week of November 20th, giving you some of latest scoops, news, stories, and business spotlight for the week. Buckle up and let’s begin with our first story – Rather than cancel the event because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Annual Christmas fundraiser gets creative to give back during pandemic. Just as local businesses got used to the idea of having customers inside of their establishments once more, Stanislaus County was pushed back into the purple tier and Turlock businesses try to stay afloat under this restrictive tier. Moving on, Turlock’s homeless individuals will soon have a place to securely store their belongings, following the City Council’s approval of a loan to the Turlock Gospel Mission to purchase property for the purpose of a storage facility. As the holidays are around the corner, the City of Turlock has come up with yet another way for residents to spread holiday cheer despite these dismal times. Next on our list, celebrating kindness with blanket drive - a group of Pitman High School students celebrated World Kindness Day by spreading goodwill — and warmth — to the homeless community. Let us show our support to our local businesses especially during this pandemic as I give you 2 businesses on the spotlight this week. Also sharing the latest updates about COVID 19 in Stanislaus County. All that and more for this week’s Local Turlock podcast.

Annual Christmas fundraiser gets creative to give back during pandemic

For nearly 40 years, the city’s local base of real estate agents has come together to host their annual breakfast that benefits Turlock families who are most in need. Rather than cancel the event because of the coronavirus pandemic, the typical morning filled with food and charity will look a bit different this year — but still reinforce the spirit of giving. This year, the Turlock branch of the Central Valley Association of Realtors put their heads together to make sure they could host their annual CanTree event in a safe manner. Instead of hosting an indoor breakfast with the rising sun as was the norm in years past, the event will be held “Under the Stars.” Christmas CanTree Under the Stars will feature an outdoor, drive-in movie, tri-tip dinner and auctions in a fun-filled evening that seeks to help Turlock Together and the Turlock Salvation Army fight holiday hunger. Those who purchase tickets to Christmas CanTree Under the Stars will be treated to a tri-tip dinner beginning at 5 p.m. Dec. 2 at the Go Drive-Up theater in Turlock. As they eat, guests can bid on several silent auction items or take place in a live auction, both of which will last until 6:30 p.m. Then, the drive-in theater will play a showing of the 1994 holiday classic, “The Santa Clause.” Tickets to Christmas CanTree Under the Stars can be purchased for $20 by contacting Yagi at 209-605-3102 or sheri@bhhsdrysdale.com, or Joanne Perez at 209-480-0927 or joanne@ambeckmortgage.com. Sponsorship opportunities are also still available; to purchase or for more information contact LeeAnn Bettencourt at 209-450-8543 or leeann@bhhsdrysdale.com, or Lorraine Serpa at 209-648-1154 or lorraine@aspirehm.com.

Turlock businesses try to stay afloat under restrictive tier

Just as local businesses got used to the idea of having customers inside of their establishments once more, Stanislaus County was pushed back into the purple, more restrictive tier of reopening on Monday — and patrons were pushed back outside.  For a few weeks, the Turlock economy showed signs of resurgence and normalcy as Stanislaus County remained in the red tier, with diners enjoying meals indoors and gym goers returning to the treadmills at gyms as the temperature outdoors steadily dropped. As COVID-19 cases surge both locally and statewide, however, Monday saw Newsom place 41 counties back into the purple tier, Stanislaus County included. Now, gyms and fitness centers can operate outside only and restaurants must return to serving patrons in an outdoor setting. Retailers must operate at 25% capacity (back down from 50% in the red tier) and churches must close their pews off to the public once again. The announcement wasn’t a complete shock, as Stanislaus County was placed in the purple tier by the state last week but had appealed the decision. Monday saw those hopes come to an end.

Turlock homeless storage facility project moves forward

Turlock’s homeless individuals will soon have a place to securely store their belongings, following the City Council’s approval of a loan to the Turlock Gospel Mission to purchase property for the purpose of a storage facility. This project first came before the City Council in December 2019 as part of a list of Homeless Emergency Aid Program projects. H.E.A.P. was signed into law by then Gov. Jerry Brown in June 2018 and opens up a $500 million block grant to provide direct assistance to cities and counties to help with homelessness. Following concerns voiced from City Council-elect Rebecka Monez, the Council voted to approve the loan with stipulations that in the event that the gospel mission decides to no longer run a storage facility program for the homeless at that site, that they must notify the City and a lien on the loan amount could be called in. The idea of personal storage is to allow people to store their belongings. It helps to reduce the hoarding and the need for shopping carts to hold their belongings.

Community-wide lights tour aims to spread Christmas cheer

As the community copes with the cancellation of its annual downtown Christmas parade, the City of Turlock has come up with yet another way for residents to spread holiday cheer despite these dismal times. Homes, neighborhoods and businesses can share their Christmas spirit with passersby this winter by registering to be a part of the 1st Annual Turlock Holiday Lights Tour. City Council member Nicole Larson said that as she saw nearby communities promoting their own home decorating contest during Halloween, she thought the idea could be executed here in Turlock during the holidays and give the community something safe and fun to look forward to during the coronavirus pandemic. The concept is simple: participants register their holiday-decorated home, neighborhood or organization under the correct category at www.cityofturlock.org/holidaylightstour ... The tour will officially begin on Dec. 1, and the community will be able to access a map on the City’s webpage that will identify the participating locations. The City is accepting 25 addresses per category and community members can register now through Nov.27. Addresses must be within Turlock city limits and between Dec. 14 and 16, judges will choose winners for three categories: Best Use of Lights, Best Use of Holiday Decor and Best Overall. Winners will be announced Dec. 18 on the City of Turlock website and on social media. Turlock Firefighters Local 2434 is sponsoring the Christmas Cruise and will be collecting canned goods and new toys for Turlock Together at the event. The City is encouraging community members to stop by the fairgrounds and then continue their evening with the Holiday Lights Tour. For additional event details, follow the City of Turlock Parks, Recreation & Public Facilities Department page on Facebook and Instagram.

Pitman students celebrate kindness with blanket drive

A group of Pitman High School students celebrated World Kindness Day by spreading goodwill — and warmth — to the homeless community. The PHS Associated Student Body Juniors were able to collect 68 blankets to donate to the Turlock Salvation Army, which will distribute them to those in need during their weekly breakfast on Sunday. According to Pitman student Kiran Soomal, who serves on the junior cabinet, the group came up with the idea during their meeting on Nov. 4 and were able to promote the blanket drive on social media. In just over a week, the group had nearly 70 brand-new blankets on their hands. Soomal said this seemed like a fool-proof way to give back from a distance during the pandemic and adhere to state guidelines for school groups. In addition to homeless community members, the blankets will also likely go to families who may need them at home but are unable to afford their own, Maunakea added. The blanket drive also served as a way for students to feel connected even though they’re studying at home. Soomal encouraged others who are feeling lonely, sad or even bored during the pandemic to organize an act of kindness.

Coronavirus update, Nov. 19: New cases, hospital stays increase in Stanislaus

Stanislaus County once again had a large increase in COVID-19 cases and in hospital admissions. The state reported 133 positive tests on Tuesday in Stanislaus, up from 105 the previous day. The numbers far surpass the daily average of 40 that could have prevented this week’s tightening of rules. Meanwhile, the county reported late Wednesday afternoon an additional 148 positive test results. Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday ordered Stanislaus and 40 other counties back to the purple tier. It is the strictest of the four for business and public gatherings. The county Health Services Agency announced that deaths to the virus remained at 413 on Wednesday. It reported that 19,658 residents have tested positive, 113,623 have tested negative, and 18,166 are presumed recovered. Geographically: Modesto has 7,322 positive cases Turlock has 2,795 and Ceres has 2,395.

Business Spotlight:

Francisco's Towing $45 Intown

Services: TowingRoadside Assistance

Francisco's Towing was created with the customer in mind. We have all been there with the struggle of being stranded and their goal is to be a quick, reliable, and courteous tow service at a great price. They specialize in high end and show quality vehicles of any sort whether its lifted or lowered. Francisco’s Towing is also the most reasonably priced in any vehicle towing needs!

Phone Number: (209) 450-0023

Location: Serving Turlock Area

Operational Hours: Monday to Saturday 8:00 am to 7:00 pm Sunday Closed

Dynamic Handyman Solutions

Dynamic Handyman Solutions strives to be the #1 handyman service in the greater Turlock area by providing excellent service, reliability, showing up on time, and having a great attitude.  Services offered are: Appliance Installation, Commercial Services, Door Repair, Picture & Mirror Hanging, Caulking, Door Installation, Furniture Assembly, Plumbing Services

Phone Number: (209) 678-9050

Location: Serving Turlock Area

Operational Hours: Monday to Friday 7:00 am to 7:00 pm Saturday 6:00 am to 8:00 pm Sunday Closed

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!

November 13, 2020: Grandma’s Treasures, Jessica’s House, Pasta 209

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Hey everyone! You are listening to the Local Turlock Podcast for the week of November 13th giving you some of the latest scoops, news, stories, and business spotlight for the week. Let’s start with our first story, looking for a spot for gifts, home decor and furniture? Grandma’s Treasures in Denair is the place to be. Next one on our list, Jessica’s House is coordinating a virtual recognition to honor grieving children by inviting the community to color ‘HOPE the Butterfly’. Moving on, Bulldogs of Ceres High School’s football program are 100 percent committed to wanting to get better as they continue the grind this past week. Meanwhile, let’s take a look at what's the status of Modesto-area holiday parades. Next, craving for Italian dishes? Pasta 209 offers home delivery of freshly-cooked traditional Italian dishes. In another story, let’s get to know how former inmates are getting a fresh start on life through the Stan State program. Now, it’s time to show our support to our local businesses especially during this pandemic as I give you 2 business spotlights 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.

Home decor treasures to be found at Denair shop

Since acquiring the quaint downtown business from his sister just over two years ago, James Shehan and his partner Junniver Shehan have transformed Grandma’s Treasures in Denair from a small consignment shop into a home decor destination. They are just a spot for gifts, home decor and furniture. The store has seen a boost in sales since The Coffee House opened up inside, with coffee lovers stopping by to grab coffee then staying to shop. Currently, Grandma’s Treasures is featuring “Everything Christmas” and recently hosted their Christmas Open House to show off all of the holiday decor.

Location: 4616 Main St., Denair Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday Contact information: 209-656-8778

Community invited to color in blue to honor grieving children

Jessica’s House is leading local efforts to recognize a national awareness campaign to educate, equip and honor grieving children and their loved ones who have died. Children’s Grief Awareness Day will be observed across the country on Nov. 19. Locally, Jessica’s House is coordinating a virtual recognition by inviting the community to color ‘HOPE the Butterfly’ and wear blue on the nationally designated day.  In observation of Children’s Grief Awareness Day, the community is invited to show their support by coloring and sharing ‘HOPE the Butterfly.’ This complimentary coloring page can be downloaded at https://www.jessicashouse.org/events. The coloring page can be dedicated in memory of a person who died or in honor of a child or adult who is grieving.  Individuals are also encouraged to join Jessica’s House staff and others across the country in wearing blue on Nov. 19. “Then post a photo of you in blue and tag @JessicasHouse with the hashtag #ChildGriefDay.” To learn more about grief support for children, teens, young adults and their families, visit jessicashouse.org.

Bulldogs striving to be better

The grind continued for members of Ceres High School’s football program this past week. Verlis Smith and the Bulldogs dedicated time to weight training, conditioning and football-specific skills on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. They also ran offensive plays. Smith and Co. are 100 percent committed to wanting to get better.  They worked out, from 6-8 a.m., last Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Student-athletes from Ceres Unified School District’s two public high schools were given the green light to resume conditioning workouts on campus on Sept. 21. Extracurricular activities, including sports, had been suspended until further notice on July 13 due to a spike in COVID-19 cases in Stanislaus County. The start of the 2019 high school football campaign was moved from Aug. 21 to Jan. 8 due to the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19 benchmarks must be met prior to the season getting underway. Social distancing is being practiced to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Bulldog players sanitize weight-room equipment before and after use.

What’s the status of Modesto-area holiday parades? Here’s a look

Holiday parades in at least two Modesto region cities will go on this year, but with a twist due to the coronavirus pandemic. Modesto and Turlock will hold what could be called reverse parades, with the public doing the driving. The city of Modesto announced on its parks and recreation department Facebook page that the annual Celebration of Lights will be a Downtown Drive-Through Holiday Cruise this year. Set for Saturday, Dec. 5, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., the event will feature displays of lights and decorations on stationary floats set up along the route, as well as storefront displays and Rockin’ Holidays on Tenth Street Plaza.The Rockin’ Holidays portion of the event will have cars cruising along the street through Tenth Street Plaza, where decorations, manufactured snow and a tree lighting are planned. People can drive past the festive displays beginning on I Street, turning on 10th Street and ending along Tenth Street Plaza, according to the Facebook post. The page does warn that the event is subject to COVID-19 restrictions, precautions and potential cancellation. Turlock will hold a similar event, but at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds rather than along city streets, according to its parks and recreation Facebook page. The event is Friday, Dec. 4, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the fairgrounds, 900 N. Broadway, Turlock. Meanwhile, in the Mother Lode city of Sonora, the public holiday parade has been canceled this year. But the city will offer residents only a chance to see a few decorated vehicles from their homes. A handful of decorated vehicles will drive through Sonora neighborhoods, including one with Santa on board. The event on Nov. 27 is not for people to attend, she said, and a route has not been finalized. Riverbank’s parade, normally held with its annual Christmas Festival, has been canceled, according to a call to the city.

Pasta 209 delivering authentic Italian fare

When the coronavirus pandemic shut down his court reporter agency almost overnight earlier this year, Newman resident Jason Buktenica parlayed his passion for food - authentic Italian dishes, in particular - into his new livelihood.  Buktenica, who goes by “Chef Buck,” rolled out Pasta 209 in July to offer home delivery of freshly-cooked traditional Italian dishes. Pasta 209 serves up a variety of Italian fare, freshly prepared from scratch in a shared commercial kitchen in Turlock and delivered weekdays to the doorsteps of patrons in Gustine, Newman, Patterson, Crows Landing, Stevinson and the surrounding areas just in time for dinner. Four traditional dishes can always be found on the menu - lasagna, spaghetti carbonara, spaghetti with meat sauce and fettuccini Alfredo. Special dishes are also offered to add variety to the menu. Meals, which include a pasta dish, fresh bread and house salad for four, start at $49. Soups and desserts are also available. Orders may be placed on the Pasta 209 website. Patrons may also text Buktenica at (209) 600-4200. Orders should be placed at least one day in advance. Same-day orders placed by early afternoon will be subject to the availability of the dishes requested. The dinner-only service is offered Monday through Friday, with customers stipulating either a 5:30-6:15 p.m. or 6:15-7 p.m. delivery window. Pasta 209 also caters large special events on weekends.

How former inmates are getting a fresh start on life through Stan State program

A series of burglaries landed Henry Romero in prison for three years, at an age when many people are going to college. Eight years later, the Turlock resident has redirected his life with help from a program at California State University, Stanislaus. Project Rebound works with current and former inmates seeking to earn degrees. Coordinator Danica Bravo helps them assemble transcripts, apply for financial aid and take other steps toward success. The 29-year-old enrolled this fall as a junior majoring in communications with a concentration in mass media, following two years at Modesto Junior College. He is a full-time student and has not decided on a career. Project Rebound operates at 14 of the 23 campuses in the CSU system. It began at San Francisco State University in 1967 and reached Stan State just last year. Stan State launched its version with a $113,000 grant from the CSU Consortium of Project Rebound.  The application deadline is Dec. 1 for people hoping to be part of Project Rebound in fall 2021. Project Rebound connects ex-felons with internships and volunteer work that can help them explore careers. It points them to the Warrior Food Pantry and other help for students short of cash. They also can get help with addiction and other mental health issues. More information about Project Rebound is at 209-667-3039 or www.csustan.edu/project-rebound.

Business Spotlight:

Turlock Recycling


Turlock Recycling Company offers three-can-automated pickup services. It specializes in the recycling of various commodities, such as aluminum cans, scrap containers, nonferrous metals, glasses, plastic bottles, newspapers, magazines, cardboards and radiators. The company offers weighing, separating, processing and shipping services throughout California.

Location: 1020 S Walnut Rd Turlock, CA 95380

Phone Number: (209) 668-6060

Operational Hours: Monday-Friday 9am to 5pm Saturday 8 am to 1 pm Sunday: Closed

Downtown Mobile

Downtown Mobile is a mobile phone shop, striving for customers’ satisfaction!! They sell phone accessories, speakers, and much more. They also do mobile phone repair, new line activations, unlock phone service and much more. You are guaranteed that you will be pleased with their low prices.

Location: 520 E Main St Ste B Turlock, CA 95380

Phone Number: (209) 585-1104

Operational Hours: Monday to Friday 10am to 6pm Sat 12pm to 4pm Sunday Closed

Coronavirus update, Nov.12: Daily case count blows past desired level for Stanislaus

Stanislaus County’s latest daily case count is nearly triple the level that officials say is needed to avoid another business contraction. The state reported 110 new COVID-19 cases in the county Tuesday, blowing past the goal of no more than 40 on an average day. Stanislaus runs the risk of slipping back into the purple tier, the most restrictive of the four on the state rating system. It advanced last month to red, which eased rules on dining, worship and other activities. The state, which offers fuller data on the number of total tests, reported that the single-day infection rate was 12.35%, based on 890 tests. That was by far the highest rate over the past three weeks. The county Health Services Agency reports that 18,711 residents have tested positive as of Wednesday. Another 109,340 tested negative, and 17,689 are presumed recovered. Deaths in the county increased by one to 410 on Wednesday. Geographically: Modesto has 6,906 positive cases, Turlock has 2,613 and Ceres has 2,301.

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!

2020-10-23: New Salon, Firefighter Fundraising, Lulu’s Ice Cream Parlor

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From serving only 10 customers in each day in its first year to now over 150 per day, Coyotes Cup of Kindness still serving through pandemic. Upcoming event, The City of Turlock is offering a free paper shredding event from 8 a.m. to noon on Nov. 7.

Up next, by the early months of 2021, the Center for Human Services will have a new facility to better serve homeless teens and young adults. Modesto’s Gallo looks to wine country to launch its new premium brandy tasting room.

And finally, After 13 and a half years of planning, environmental studies, countless public hearings, numerous legal challenges and court hearings, the Mitchell Ranch Shopping Center and its anchor tenant of a Walmart Supercenter passed its final hurdle at Monday Ceres City Council Meeting. Show some 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.

Coyotes Cup of Kindness still serving through pandemic

After two successful years serving coffee, tea and more to the Denair Unified School District campus community and beyond, the 2020-2021 school year looks a little bit different for Coyotes Cup of Kindness. While the students in the DHS Project Life program are able to come to campus for class in small cohorts, safety measures in place due to the coronavirus pandemic have kept them from working at the cart — something they’ve done for the past two years, which has provided them with invaluable social skills and job experience they can use in the real world after graduating.

That means Silva, the owner, has been busy, since Coyotes Cup of Kindness has grown from serving just 10 customers each day in its first year to now over 150 per day. The kindness of the students working the cart, who normally sell drinks during the week and at most home sporting events, have created a brand for Cup of Kindness that sees customers travel from Turlock, Hughson, Los Banos and even Stockton to support the cause. Students from the DHS intervention class, who may be experiencing behavioral problems or slipping grades, also are able to work at the cart and learn valuable life lessons. All proceeds from coffee sold at Coyotes Cup of Kindness are used to replenish supplies for the cart and to support the Project Life program.

  • Location: 3460 Lester Rd, Denair
  • Open 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday

Free paper shred event

The City of Turlock is offering a free paper shredding event from 8 a.m. to noon Nov. 7 at the Water Quality Control Plant, 901 S. Walnut Rd., Turlock. This is a contactless service event for the safety of staff and the shredding company. Customers are to place their own paper in provided shredding totes. Masks are required. Residents can bring up to five grocery bags or small boxes of material to be shredded. No businesses or binders will be allowed.

This event is open to residents of Turlock and unincorporated areas of Stanislaus County. For more information contact Municipal Services at (209) 668-5590 or HHW (209) 525-6700 or visit the City of Turlock website at: www.CityofTurlock.org.

Center for Human Services to reach, help more homeless youth in Stanislaus County

By the early months of 2021, the Center for Human Services will have a new facility to better serve homeless teens and young adults. The Center for Human Services is building a Youth Navigation Center that will engage, stabilize and prepare homeless youth in Stanislaus County. The Youth Navigation Center will house several programs and resources under one roof. The 2019 Stanislaus County Point-In-Time count showed that 387 youth and young adults (ages 0 – 24) were homeless and of those, 118 were unsheltered. The Center will be located in a 14,300 square foot site located next door to the Center for Human Services at 2000 W. Briggsmore Ave., in Modesto. The Center is launching a capital campaign to raise $1.5 million to support the buildout cost. The campaign is structured so that the community can contribute to one or more specific target areas of their choice through naming and recognition opportunities. To donate visit the Center for Human Services.

Modesto’s Gallo looks to wine country to launch its new premium brandy tasting room

You already know this Modesto-based company as the largest wine seller in the world, but now Gallo has its sights on conquering luxury brandy.

E.&J. Gallo Winery is set to open the California Brandy House, a tasting room for the company’s premium artisan brands of the wine-based spirit made in the state. The new tasting room will be opened in downtown Napa on Nov. 6. The new tasting room is opening in First Street Napa, a shopping complex with high-end retail and dining on First Street in downtown Napa.

Customers can try guided tasting flights, and sample limited and single-barrel offerings not available at other locations. To experience the tasting room and to allow for proper social distancing, reservations are strongly recommended in advance. The tasting room will have a gift shop where the full line of Germain-Robin and Argonaut brandies, as well as exclusive releases, will be available for purchase. California Brandy House is located at 1300 First St., Suite 309, in downtown Napa.

Supercenter clears last hurdle

After 13 and a half years of planning, environmental studies, countless public hearings, numerous legal challenges and court hearings, the Mitchell Ranch Shopping Center and its anchor tenant of a Walmart Supercenter passed its final hurdle with quiet approval of a consent agenda item at Monday’s Ceres City Council meeting. Walmart is now free to start construction.

It’s unknown if there will be a groundbreaking ceremony. The Mitchell Ranch Shopping Center project has taken the longest to develop in the city’s history, largely in part to an organized effort to halt its development using the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The shopping center includes plans for 10 other retail shops totaling 114,162 square feet, including three other major tenants and four smaller shops as well as a stand-alone retail building and two to three new restaurants.

It’s believed that the new store will incorporate its new store design which was inspired by airport wayfinding systems to direct large groups of people through the store more quickly. The new layout is supposed to be more efficient for shopping and emphasizes the use of a smartphone and the Walmart app to make the experience more streamlined.

Coronavirus update, Oct. 29: Stanislaus posts worst daily positive rate in 5 weeks

Stanislaus County had its highest daily positive rate in five weeks Wednesday, an unwelcome number at a time when business owners hope for looser rules. The county also reported another death, bringing the total to 399 residents since the pandemic began. Wednesday’s positive rate of 14.47% was the highest since the Sept. 22 figure of 15.02%. And it more than tripled the 4.34% on Tuesday.

The 46 new cases Wednesday brought the county’s total to 17,760, according to its Health Services Agency. It reported that 102,194 residents have tested negative and 17,033 are presumed recovered. Tuesday’s weekly update on how Stanislaus is meeting state measures for reopening brought mixed news. The county barely met the criteria for staying in the red tier, rather than slipping back into purple, the most restrictive.

The county must stay in the red tier for at least two more weeks. Geographically: Modesto has 6,461 positive cases, Turlock has 2,322 and Ceres with 2,160 cases

Business Spotlight: Crostini Restaurant

A Brand New Restaurant! Crostini is an Italian Restaurant in Turlock serving Peet's coffee, baked goods, and authentic Italian dishes. They have a full service Bar and extensive menu and that perfect summer time aesthetic. Looking for a pick-me-up? Crostini proudly pours Peet's Coffee at our full service Barista Bar. Visit them today.

  • Location: 811 W Hawkeye Ave, Turlock, CA 95382
  • Phone Number: (209) 632-3665
  • Operational Hours: Open Fri thru Sat 7:00AM - 12:00AM Midnight
  • Sun thru Thurs 7:00AM - 10:00PM

Business Spotlight: Village Donuts

Great customer and the drive to provide delicious daily-made donuts are the two specialties of Village Donuts. Always trying to achieve a greater level of perfection with their donuts, from the little donut hole to more popular apple fritter. All while making sure the customers are greeted with a friendly smile and readily helped.

  • Location: 343 S Golden State Blvd, Turlock
  • Phone Number: (209) 634-9262
  • Operational Hours: Monday to Saturday 4:30 AM - 5:00 PM Sunday 4:30 am to 2:00 pm

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.

October 16, 2020: Trick-or-Treating and Election Ballot Boxes

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Stanislaus County moves into Red Tier

Stanislaus County has been given the approval by the California Department of Public Health to move down one tier in the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, clearing the path for businesses to expand operations or in some instances reopen their doors. The primary changes allowed under the state order as Stanislaus moves into this tier include: Mall, outdoor malls, and other retail establishments opening indoors at 50% capacity; Museums, Zoos, Aquariums, Restaurants, Movie Theaters, and Places of Worship opening indoors at 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer; Gyms, Fitness Centers, Hotels and Lodging opening indoors with 10% capacity; and Personal care services opening indoors with modifications. Stanislaus County Public Health encourages the community to continue following recommendations and to get tested if they have been exposed to a person with COVID-19, have symptoms, or have gathered with others outside of their household. Free testing is available in Stanislaus County through partnerships with Optum Serve and Project Baseline.

Trick-or-treating ‘strongly discouraged’ in California this Halloween

Trick-or-treating and Halloween parties are “strongly discouraged” in California this year because they present a high risk of spreading COVID-19, according to California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly on Tuesday. The new California Halloween guidance suggests that families find safer ways to celebrate. It suggests meeting up for a distanced outdoor meal with up to two other households, online costume contests and drive-in scary movies. Californians are asked to keep gatherings with people from other households relatively small – just three households at a time. The state also asks people to stay six feet apart, to hold gatherings outside and to limit them to two hours.

Fall heat wave bringing California more fire danger

California's siege of wildfires has significantly quieted but forecasters warned Tuesday that a fall heat wave will bring back high fire danger this week. According to the National Weather Service, red flag warnings were to go into effect in much of Northern California before dawn Wednesday due to high pressure producing hot and dry conditions with offshore gusts. The foremost concern is the likely development of critical fire weather conditions by Wednesday morning, and then becoming even more extreme Wednesday night into Thursday. It is likely some circuits will be turned off starting Wednesday evening to try to prevent fires from being started by damaged power lines. An estimated 50,000 customers in parts of 21 northern counties would be affected. Scientists say climate change has made California much drier, meaning trees and other plants are more flammable.

This is how you can help Stanislaus restaurants, churches and more reopen faster

We finally went from purple to red. Life isn’t back to pre-COVID normal — it may never be — but we’re making progress here in Stanislaus County. Stanislaus’ infection numbers dipped enough for the Tuesday announcement everyone had been waiting for, allowing us to slip from purple to red. Now that we’re finally in the red — remember, that’s a good thing in this context — but what must we do to stay there? Or even to progress to “moderate” orange status, which would allow 50% seating in restaurants? Actually, there is something just about all of us can do: get tested. So, if you want to do your part to help increase restaurant capacity or help schools reopen for in-class instruction rather than distance learning, increase capacity for gyms, stores, movie theaters, places of worship: get yourself tested. Proactive testing is a new way we can support our community. The more testing we do, the easier it is to pinpoint the disease and stop it. That’s our main goal. To schedule a quick, free, self-administered test in west Modesto, Salida or Turlock, go to schsa.org/corona-virus/testing/. Some pharmacies and commercial labs offer testing as well.

Stanislaus County elections office issues alert about unofficial ballot drop boxes

Stanislaus County election officials are alerting the public about unofficial ballot boxes and has issued warnings about use of the unauthorized boxes. Donna Linder, county registrar of voters said on Wednesday that three unauthorized ballot boxes have been reported to the election office. Her office sent the code section and information from the Secretary of State to three churches that were using unofficial boxes to collect ballots. In an Oct. 11 memo to county election offices, Secretary of State, Alex Padilla said only county election officials have authority to establish the location and hours for ballot drop boxes. Stanislaus County currently has 16 authorized indoor drop boxes and two outdoor ones for collecting ballots for the vote-by-mail election in progress. The locations are listed at Stanvote.com. The official boxes that voters are supposed to use bear the Stanislaus County logo and the words “official ballot box”, with instructions translated in different languages

Business Highlight: Turlock Dry Cleaners

If you are looking for professional dry-cleaning laundry and spot clean for your shirts, jeans, gowns, comforters, blankets, all size area rugs, hats of any type, you should check out Turlock Dry Cleaners. They have been providing dry cleaning professional service over 20 yrs in Turlock and other surrounding cities. They even do professional alteration hemming, sizing, and fixing. And now they add free pick up and delivery within 30 miles from Turlock.

  • Located at: 1581 Geer Rd, Turlock, California
  • Phone Number: 209 669 0244 / edvinfarhad@yahoo.com
  • Operation Hours: 7:00 am – 6:00 pm

Call them to sign up and get a $10 coupon on your first pickup/delivery order!

Business Highlight: Cory's Computer Repair

Having some technical issues with your computer? Cory’s Computer Repair is at your service. Cory makes sure to deliver excellent service to all his customers with any issues for pcs, printer, even your wifi. A certified tech savy and expert on what he does, he can fix your computer issues efficiently and thoroughly. He is a home based business so he caters virtual consultations and in person visits if necessary.

  • Operation Hours: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
  • Phone Number: 209 573 0134

Coronavirus update, Oct. 15

Stanislaus County has now gone 30 straight days with at least one report of a COVID-19 death. The total stands at 388 residents with the death announced Wednesday by the Health Services Agency. Stanislaus added 43 positive tests for a total of 17,130 since the pandemic began. The county has 94,883 people who tested negative and 16,508 who are presumed recovered. Geographically: Modesto has 6,461 positive cases, Turlock with 2,322 cases, and Ceres has 2,160. The county moved Tuesday from the purple to the red tier in the state ranking system, indicating that COVID-19 is no longer widespread but still a serious concern. Businesses and other activities have relaxed rules.

October 9, 2020: Pumpkin Stand on Highway 132, Ceres Schools Re-Open

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Ceres schools may reopen next month

Ceres Unified School District has a plan in place to re-open its elementary campuses for in-person learning. Teachers, staff and families were notified last Friday by Superintendent Scott Siegel. To allow for social distancing, a hybrid schedule will be used to minimize the number of students on campus at a time, beginning when elementary schools reopen. Summer vacation ended for CUSD students on Aug. 12 as the 2020-21 school year opened with remote learning due to state imposed coronavirus restrictions. All public schools in Stanislaus County were closed from March 19 through the 2019-20 spring academic year to help minimize the spread of COVID-19.

You can once again wait for an Amtrak train inside the Modesto station

Enhanced cleaning, more space for physical distancing, travel flexibility and a contact-free travel experience are Amtrak's new standard of travel during coronavirus pandemic, says Amtrak Medical Director Dr. Ann Kuhnen. Amtrak is reopening station interiors in Modesto and three other cities as of Monday, Oct. 5. Passengers will again be able to check baggage and purchase tickets at the four stations, but cash will not be accepted out of concern for virus transmission. Online reservations are urged, face coverings and social distancing are required in the stations and on the platforms. The reopened stations have these hours seven days a week:

Modesto: 7:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. | Merced: 10:15 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. | Fresno: 5:45 a.m. to 6:15 p.m.| Hanford: 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
The other 14 stations on the route have remained open. They include Turlock/Denair, which has a platform but no building.

Air quality impacts sports schedule for Bulldogs, Hawks

Central Valley and Ceres High canceled conditioning workouts last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday because of poor air quality. Athletic directors Greg Magni and John Bussard made the joint decision to cancel conditioning workouts for sports teams from Central Valley and Ceres High, respectively, last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday due to poor air quality as a result of smoke from wildfires in California.None of Central Valley’s sports teams practice on Fridays at this point of the school year. Extracurricular activities, including sports, had been suspended until further notice on July 13 due to a spike in COVID-19 cases in Stanislaus County.

County provides alternatives to mailing in ballots

A number of satellite offices, drop-off boxes and drive-thru options are popping up in Turlock throughout the course of October and into November to ensure that every ballot is counted come election day. For the first time ever, all registered voters in Stanislaus County will receive their ballot in the mail for the upcoming election on Nov. 3 following legislation signed in June by Gov. Gavin Newsom. While every registered voter in Stanislaus County will receive a postage-paid ballot in their mailboxes this year, they do not have to turn it in by using the postal system. There will be one voting center for every 10,000 voters where those who don’t want to send in their ballots can drop them off. Voters can also receive device or language assistance at these locations, or replace a misplaced ballot.

Satellite office locations in Turlock include the Assyrian American Civic Club, Stanislaus County Fairgrounds, Ten Pin Fun Center and Turlock CSA Epic Center and will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. beginning Oct. 31 through Nov. 2, and from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 3.

The County has also worked with a variety of locations to allow for indoor, outdoor and curbside drop boxes where ballots can also be placed. It will be located at Turlock City Hall (, Turlock CSA South County Service Center, Save Mart and FoodMaxx. Curbside ballot drop off locations in Turlock are located at Stanislaus State and the Turlock Silvercrest Senior Residence. Indoor ballot drop box locations are open beginning Oct. 5. Curbside ballot drop-off locations will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 2 and from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 3. For more information on satellite office and drop box locations, visit StanVote.com. To track your ballot once it has been mailed or dropped off, visit California BallotTrax.

Want to get Halloween pumpkins and help first responders?

The Bogetti family has set up a pumpkin stand along Highway 132 where all of the proceeds will go to first responders. Dad, James Bogetti is the manager at Mapes Ranch and he and his wife Coren do some farming of their own but this is the first year they’ve grown pumpkins. It all started out as a little college fund for their son, George but with all the good work of our first responders, they felt that it was their Good Samaritan work to help out those that keep us all safe, especially in this day and age. The family set up the stand on a friend’s property next to the Twin River Saloon on Highway 132 and Hart Road. It is open 24/7 on a merit based system with envelopes supplied to drop cash directly into the stand. They put up the stand on Oct. 1 and already have generated $1,000, mostly from friends and family in the area but they hope to earn much more before Halloween. In addition to the Sheriff’s Department, Bogetti said funds will go the Woodland Avenue Fire Department and healthcare workers.

Coronavirus Update as of October 8

Stanislaus County added 37 cases of the virus Wednesday, a day after its best performance on this measure since early June. The county Health Services Agency also announced two more deaths to COVID-19, bringing the total to 379. Stanislaus now has 16,804 positive tests, 91,605 negative tests and 16,230 people who are presumed recovered. Wednesday’s positive rate of 6.83% followed 1.73% on Tuesday, the lowest since the 1.21% on June 1.The county’s five hospitals had 38 confirmed COVID-19 cases Wednesday, up from 35 on Tuesday. Though they make up 47 percent of the population, Latinos represented 64 percent of the positive cases. Geographically: Modesto has 6,255 positive cases, Turlock has 2,253. Ceres has 2,098. Stanislaus County has finally met both criteria for leaving the most restrictive tier of California coronavirus reopening program.

October 2, 2020: Fair food & schools reopen

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Welcome to Local Turlock Podcast! Buckle up for another episode as this podcast gives you some of the interesting scoops, news, and stories for the week of October 2nd! And oh, it’s already the 2nd of October, 2020 going by so quickly. Hope you guys are all safe and tuning in to our podcast this week. Let’s start with a very inspiring story – a local Turlock retiree and Red Cross volunteer for the past 22 yrs makes his free time worthwhile as he helped those affected by the onslaught of fires in the northern half of the state. Good news to those who are missing the outdoors, the California Department of Public Health has given the greenlight for parks and playgrounds to reopen statewide, and speaking of going outdoor, here’s a fun one - GO Drive-Up Turlock, a drive-in movie theater located at the Turlock fairgrounds, has opened its doors to the public! A bit of a bad news - A fire at a Turlock home Wednesday morning displaced 10 residents in the 400 block of Julian Street. Moving on, wondering when to get the Fair food in October? Stanislaus County Fair food will make an October appearance the next two weekends in Stanislaus County Fairgrounds. the latest updates about COVID 19 in Stanislaus County. All that and more today in this week's Local Turlock podcast!

Turlock retiree makes free time count with Red Cross

Being a volunteer with the American Red Cross for the past 22 years, Turlock resident Dan Hardesty thought he had seen it all — from helping those affected by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to making sure team members could communicate with one another in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. That was the case until this year, when he was called upon last month to help those affected by the onslaught of fires which had engulfed the northern half of the state. While Hardesty was no stranger to providing aid during a crisis, this was the first time he had to do so during a global pandemic.  He was asked to accept a position as Disaster Services Technology Chief. The position would be part of a Rapid Response Team and Hardesty’s job was to ensure that up to 450 Red Cross staff could communicate with each other and Red Cross Headquarters.  After 17 days on the job, Hardesty was relieved by a fellow Red Cross volunteer. He’s already helping out with fires again, however, filling in for a staff member in Fresno and driving down to help every other day. While most retire from their day jobs to relax, Hardesty doesn’t mind dedicating his free time to such a worthy cause.

Parks reopen as Stanislaus County remains in widespread COVID-19 tier

The California Department of Public Health has given the greenlight for parks and playgrounds to reopen statewide, regardless of what tier the counties are in currently. The authorization was granted Monday and is only for outdoor parks and playgrounds. It also comes with a lengthy list of rules designed to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Playgrounds that are allowed to open must be fully outdoors, free to enter and use, and publicly accessible. Stanislaus County is making progress towards moving to the next tier down in California's Blueprint for a Safer Economy, but currently remains in the widespread purple tier. Under the purple tier most non-essential indoor business operations have to remain closed or make modifications to operate outdoors, like restaurants, or decrease capacity. In order to move out of the purple widespread tier and into the red substantial tier, the county must meet both metrics and sustain that level for two consecutive weeks. Under the red tier, some non-essential indoor business operations can open and/or increase capacity.

Turlock's Ultimate Drive-In Movie Theater Experience

GO Drive-Up Turlock, a drive-in movie theater located at the Turlock fairgrounds, has opened its doors to the public! Movies being shown at the drive-in include family friendly favorites such as “Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse,” “The Fast and the Furious,” “The Lion King” and “La Bamba,” among many others.  The organizers of the drive-in theater have set up three shipping containers on top of each other to create a larger screen. You can enjoy the movie while having blankets and pillows in the back of your car, you can set chairs outside within your slot, or you stay inside your car. No matter which way you choose to watch, the screen is big enough to support any method of watching. To make the experience of the drive-in more enjoyable, there are also concession stands offering classic theater and fairground foods that have been set up for customers to buy from. Customers are encouraged to not take outside food or drinks but instead to purchase food from their concession stands helping them to stay in business. The theater is open weekly at 6 p.m. from Thursday to Sunday. For more information, head to their https://godriveup.com/

Fire displaces 10 from Turlock home

A fire at a Turlock home Wednesday morning displaced 10 residents in the 400 block of Julian Street. Ten residents were displaced from the home because of the significant fire damage. The first crews from the Turlock Fire Department to arrive at the scene found a significant amount of smoke and flames coming from the single-story home. According to the fire department, the residents were outside of their home and confirmed that everyone had gotten out but three family dogs were missing and presumed to still be in the home. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Displaced resident are now being assisted by American Red Cross for immediate shelter needs.

Fair food in October? When to get it at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds

Stanislaus County Fair food will make an October appearance the next two weekends. “Sit tight, Fair bites” will have a fall return at the fairgrounds in Turlock, according to a press release. Drive-thru options only are available. On Friday-Sunday, Oct. 2-4, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., the VFW 5059 Auxiliary Booth’s Famous Fair Hamburgers and Warrior Fries will be offered along with Yonan’s fresh hand-dipped corn dogs and curly fries, as well as offerings from Funnel Cakes Express. On Friday-Saturday, Oct. 9-10, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., the VFW hamburgers and fries and funnel cakes will be available. Staff will practice safety guidelines set by the county and customers must stay inside their cars. The Stanislaus County Fairgrounds is at 900 N. Broadway, Turlock; call 209-668-1333.

Coronavirus update, Oct. 1: Stanislaus adds 3 deaths; September numbers lower

The COVID-19 caseload continued to grow slowly in Stanislaus County on Wednesday. It also announced three more deaths, for a total of 362. The 16 new positive tests bring the total to 16,512, according to Health Services Agency . There were 102 deaths in September, down from 148 in August. In July, the county reported 60 deaths. The county remains in the lowest, or purple, tier in the state rating system that decides how much restaurants and other businesses can loosen its coronavirus restrictions. The county’s five hospitals had 45 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, up from 39 on Tuesday. As of now, Modesto has 6,135 positive cases, Turlock has 2,227, and Ceres has 2,068 cases.

Thank you for sticking with me until the end of this episode. Make sure 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.

 

September 25th: DRIVE-IN’s Open in Turlock!

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This is the Local Turlock Podcast for the week of September 25, 2020. I am bringing you fresh news and interesting stories in Turlock and nearby towns. Let’s begin with Little Red Door as they are opening their secondhand boutique in Downtown Turlock. Next, California Animal Welfare Funders Collaborative has doled out $20,000 grant to Turlock Animal Services to help reduce the number of cats that have to be euthanized each year. To help you ward off the quarantine cabin fever, pack your family into the car as Central Valley drive-ins opens in Stanislaus County and the surrounding area in the next few weeks. Don’t miss the activities and alternative forms of entertainment to stay socially sane during quarantine. On a more serious note, expect for the air quality to worsen as the week progresses due to the ongoing wildfire across California, and the latest news about COVID 19 in Stanislaus County. All that and more today in this week's Local Turlock podcast.

Secondhand boutique moving into permanent downtown home

After just under a year of providing the community with an affordable option when it comes to clothing, consignment boutique Little Red Door is preparing to open its own brick-and-mortar location in 340 E. Main St., Turlock

Little Red Door opened last fall as just a small space inside of downtown shop Rustic Roots. Sisters and boutique owners Marissa Miranda and Isabella Cisneros are now preparing to welcome customers to their new space on the corner of East Main and Thor which will open sometime next month. It will open inside of the former Geiger’s Fine Jewelry building. This second hand boutique aims to give discard fashion a second chance through a selection of up-cycled clothing hand-picked by the duo.

Grant helps Turlock Animal Service wrangle cat population

Turlock Animal Services recently received a $20,000 grant to reduce the number of cat and kitten deaths by at least 250 in one year via a spay/neuter/release program. The grant is from the California Animal Welfare Funders Collaborative, which has doled out $200,000 to animal shelters across the state.

CAWFC is a unique model of funders pulling their dollars together and includes the Annenberg Foundation with support from Wallis Annenberg PetSpace, Best Friends Animal Society, Maddie’s Fund and Michelson Found Animals Foundation.

Turlock’s program is open to cats and kittens trapped within the city limits. The hope is that the grant will help reduce the number of cats that have to be euthanized each year in Turlock and eventually get the shelter to a no kill designation. The program is run on appointment only on Mondays and Wednesdays.For information about appointments call 656-3140.

Air quality expected to worsen this week

While the Valley experienced several days of relief from the thick cover of wildfire smoke, air quality is expected to deteriorate again over the coming days and the District warns residents to stay indoors to reduce their exposure to particulate matter emissions. The District anticipates air quality to be unhealthy in a number of regions in the Valley and to worsen as the week progresses and will remains as the week approaches eventually impacting the entire San Joaquin Valley which includes San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare counties and the valley portion of Kern County.  Anyone experiencing poor air quality due to wildfire smoke should move indoors, to a filtered, air-conditioned environment with windows closed.  For information about any current and recently past wildfires affecting the Valley, check the District’s wildfire page at www.valleyair.org/wildfires. You can also follow air quality conditions by downloading the free “Valley Air” app on your mobile device.

What’s showing? At Central Valley drive-ins opened because of coronavirus

In coming weekends alone you can catch movies in Modesto, Ceres, Los Banos and Turlock as pop-up (and permanent) drive-ins proliferate with major movie theaters still closed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Besides showing movies, some are also showing concerts and other special events.

 So pack your family into the car and see what else is showing in Stanislaus County and the surrounding area in the next few weeks.

Ceres Drive-In, 1651 E Whitmore Ave.
“Frozen” — 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25
“American Graffiti” — 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26
“Avengers: Endgame” — 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 27

All tickets $30 per carload; visit www.cerescruisein.com

Frogtown Drive-In, Calaveras County Fairgrounds, 2465 Gun Club Road, Angels Camp
“Frozen II” — 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 27
Tickets $25 per car ($20 in advance); visit www.frogtown.org.

State Theatre, John Thurman Field, 601 Neece Dr, Modesto
“The Goonies” — 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17
“42” — 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17
Tickets $30 per car; visit thestate.org.

The Nightlight, Los Banos Fairgrounds, 563 C St.
“Possessor” — 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9

Online tickets $10 first person, $5 for each passenger; gate tickets $15 for the first person, $5 each passenger; visit www.nightlighttheater.com.

Go Drive-Up Entertainment, Stanislaus County Fairgrounds, 900 N Broadway, Turlock
“Boys of Summer Live” (live Eagles tribute band concert) — 7:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 25
“Beetlejuice” — gates 6 p.m., show sunset, Thursday, Oct. 1
“Annabelle” — gates 6 p.m., show sunset, Friday, Oct. 2
“Mean Girls” — gates 6 p.m., show sunset, Saturday, Oct. 3
“The Conjuring” — gates 6 p.m., show sunset, Sunday, Oct. 4
Tickets $25 per car for movies, $50 for live concert; visit godriveup.com

How to Stay Socially Sane in Quarantine

Although business is not going on as usual, it is still going on in a new way. Turlock and the surrounding area have alternative forms of entertainment to offer as a way for us to ward off the quarantine cabin fever.  Here are some ways to stay social and entertained during the on-going pandemic: For the rest of September, Turlock has Farmers' Markets every Saturday from 8-1 p.m., Oakdale has them every Wednesday from 5-8 p.m., and Modesto has them every Thursday from 8-1 p.m. One of the notable absences of this pandemic has been movie theaters. As the return of movie theaters looms near, there is at least one theater nearby that’s currently available! The Regal Theatre in Sonora is open for business and adhering to COVID safety guidelines. With the absence of movie theaters, pop up drive-ins have become a recent occurrence. There is currently a drive-in at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds that has been receiving some attention. You can check them out on their Facebook page, GO Drive-up Turlock. the next drive-in set to show the film “The Greatest Showman” for free on September 19. Billiards is a safe social distancing activity. Such is the case at Diamond Billiards and CR2 Bar & Billiards in Modesto, both of which are currently open. Turlock is offering salsa dance classes every Monday from 6:15-7 p.m. for a fee of $15. Classes are held at Alegria Ballroom Dance Academy. Only six people are allowed to pre-register into each session and temperature checks are enforced, so COVID safety guidelines are clearly being followed. You can check the details of the event at https://www.heyturlock.com/event/salsa-with-xavier. A perfect social distancing sport, many golf courses have remained up and running. More recently, the TopGolf in Rocklin is open again! There are also virtual events ready to entertain, such as online classes in activities such as cartooning and pottery with the city of Ceres, and live performances being streamed by the city of Modesto’s Prospect Theater Project.

Coronavirus update, Sept. 24: Stanislaus County numbers continue to stabilize

Three more county residents have died of the virus, for a total of 342, the Health Services Agency reported Wednesday. The county had 27 new positives tests, for a total of 16,425. Another 85,227 residents have tested negative, and 15,758 are presumed recovered. The county’s five hospitals had 63 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, the same as Tuesday.

Wednesday’s positive rate of 6.75% was down from 15.02% the day before.  The county had 27 new positives tests, for a total of 16,425. Another 85,227 residents have tested negative, and 15,758 are presumed recovered.

Stanislaus County remains in the lowest, or purple tier, in the state rating system that decides how much restaurants and other businesses can loosen its coronavirus restrictions.

Geographically, Modesto has 6,037 positive cases, Turlock has 2,207, and Ceres with 2,042.

That’s all we have for this week. Thank you for listening to our local Turlock podcast. Make sure 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! Have a great weekend & always be safe! See you next week!

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