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Local Turlock July 2, 2021_ Ten Pin Fun Center, Concerts in the Park, Community Garden

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Hey everyone! Welcome to another episode of Local Turlock Podcast for the week of July 2nd. I am here to give you some of Turlock’s latest scoops, news & stories, with 2 business highlights for the week. Starting with our first story, after a year hiatus because of the pandemic, Turlock Police plan for return of National Night Out. For those experiencing homelessness, Turlock Gospel Mission has opened a cooling center at its Broadway Street shelter. Moving on to our next story, after making an impact on local high school students with special needs through coffee, Turlock resident Destiny Silva seeks donations for coffee cart with a cause. Finally, after the coronavirus pandemic shut the business, The Ten Pin Fun Center in Turlock is open for business again! Care for some entertainment? The Ceres Concerts in the Park will return after a two-year hiatus this Friday! Get yourself some hobby as Ceres Community Garden is back after pandemic. Beat the summer heat as The City of Ceres’ Aquatics program resumes for first time since the COVID-19 pandemic. Sharing the latest updates bout COVID 19 in Stanislaus County. Also, give your love and support to our local businesses especially during this pandemic as I highlight 2 businesses this week. All that and more for this week's Local Turlock podcast.

Turlock Police plan for return of National Night Out

After a year hiatus because of the pandemic, the Turlock Police Department is putting plans in motion for the annual National Night Out celebration. This year's event is set from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Aug. 3. The police department is currently looking for neighborhoods to register their location and join in on the city-wide festivities. National Night Out is a night when residents lock their doors, turn on outside lights and spend the evening outdoors getting to know their neighbors and local law enforcement. National Night Out is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, generate support for local anticrime efforts, strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships. In previous years Turlock has won awards for the number of neighborhoods participating in the event and it's a trend the department hopes to revive this year. The deadline to register is July 16. As part of this year's National Night Out, the police department is hosting two pop-up events. One event will focus on pedestrian and bicycle safety. There will be contests and the traffic unit and bike team will be out for a helmet giveaway. The second pop-up event will be on animal safety and the dog walker watch program. The animal control unit and K9 team will be on hand to provide tips on dog walking safety in the heat and the Dog Walker Watch program. Times and locations for the pop-up events have not yet been set. To register a neighborhood party or for one of the pop-up events, visit https://ci.turlock.ca.us/policedepartment/getinvolved/nationalnightout.asp.

TGM opens cooling center for area homeless

The Turlock Gospel Mission is offering people experiencing homelessness a reprieve from the summer sun with the opening of their cooling center at 437 S. Broadway. To help those experiencing homelessness survive triple-digit temperatures Turlock Gospel Mission has opened a cooling center at its Broadway Street shelter.  The center is open to anyone seeking relief from the heat from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The cooling shelter is a clean, climate-controlled purpose-built structure open seven days a week for men, women and children. The Mission also offers provision for storage of personal items, with some restrictions. There are also options for comfort and support for the animal companions of unsheltered residents of Turlock and southern Stanislaus County. Temperatures in Turlock will remain in the high 90s for the next week with nighttime lows in the 60s. TGM will be providing meals to those using the cooling center. Breakfast is served at 8 a.m., lunch at 12:30 p.m. and dinner at 6 p.m. Those wanting to help TGM can donate bottled water, hygiene items, pet food, human food and light wearable clothing for use by homeless individuals.  Anyone who wants to help can drop these items off at 437 S. Broadway in Turlock. Everyone who is interested can sign up on the website (https://turlockgospelmission.org/).

Turlock woman seeks donations for coffee cart with a cause

After making an impact on local high school students with special needs through coffee, Turlock resident Destiny Silva is hoping the community will support her endeavor to branch out and employ even more people with disabilities. In the fall of 2018, Silva helped Denair schools start a small pop-up coffee cart that provided Special Education high school students with the chance to earn real life work experience taking orders, making drinks and counting change. The support from the community has grown overwhelmingly in the years since, Silva said, inspiring her to start her own coffee business in Turlock with the same mantra of kindness.  Aptly named Kind Koffee, Silva’s goal is for her forthcoming business to hire community members with developmental disabilities who may otherwise not have a chance to be hired by others. The only catch? She needs the community to buy in. Silva officially unveiled her idea this week and started a fundraising campaign on the website Kickstarter, where independent creators and entrepreneurs can start community-backed projects without the hassle of grant applications or the stress of loans. Silva needs to raise $11,200 in order to start her mobile coffee cart and the website gives users just 60 days to reach their goal. As of Friday afternoon, the community had already raised nearly $2,300 for Silva’s Kind Koffee Kickstarter campaign in just two days. As she anxiously waits to see whether or not enough funds will be raised, she’s stayed busy searching for a cart to host the business and making sure she can secure all of the proper machines to offer drinks and breakfast bites to the community. If all goes according to plan, Silva hopes to open Kind Koffee within the next 10 months. The cart will have a permanent Monday through Friday location in the parking lot of Cen Cal Detailing in downtown Turlock, and Silva also plans on attending pop-up markets and other events.  Eventually she hopes to partner with Turlock Unified School District’s On Track program, where her sister attends school, and offer the same opportunities she’s made a reality for special needs students in Denair to students in Turlock.  To donate to the Kind Koffee project, visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/kindkoffee/kind-koffee

OPEN FOR BUSINESS — AGAIN

The Ten Pin Fun Center in Turlock hadn’t even been open for a year yet when the coronavirus pandemic shut the business down last spring, but on Thursday the bowling alley celebrated its Grand Re-opening complete with a ribbon-cutting ceremony following the removal of COVID restrictions statewide earlier this month. While laser tag is still closed for the time being, the arcade, bowling lanes and food from Deadwood Social are all available to customers. The restaurant space is open for overflow seating on Fridays and Saturdays and will be revamped soon, but Ten Pin is hoping to hire more kitchen staff before fully reopening the eatery. For those looking to visit, the family entertainment center is open 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 4 p.m. to midnight Fridays, 11 a.m. to midnight Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays. 

Concerts in the Park resumes this Friday

The Ceres Concerts in the Park will return after a two-year hiatus now that the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be phasing away. Concerts traditionally were held on Tuesdays but were moved to Friday nights in July from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Whitmore Park in downtown Ceres and are free to the public. The concert series kicks off this Friday with a performance of the Gottschalk Concert Band for patriotic music just in time for the Fourth of July weekend. The fun continues the next five Fridays with the following concerts:

• Friday, July 9 – Los Reales De Norte (Banda music);

• Friday, July 16 – Church music night with Valley Community Center & Big Valley Grace Ceres groups;

• Friday, July 23 – True South (country music);

• Friday, July 30 – MCW Band (playing a variety of classics for the 1980’s).

Those attending are invited to be comfortable by bringing along a lawn chair or blanket as the City Recreation Department presents a fun-filled night of live music, food (for sale), and games. The food offering will be tacos, Mexican hotdogs and fries on July 2 served by Azteca restaurant; on July 9, tacos and quesadillas by Carlos Tacos; July 16 and 23 Mexican food by Azteca; and on July 30 hamburgers barbecued by the Ceres Fire Department.

Community Garden back after pandemic

It seems fitting that an empty lot in the historic part of Ceres – named for the Roman goddess of agriculture – is yielding produce in great variety thanks to a collective of green thumbs. The 6,500-square-foot Ceres Community Garden was introduced in May 2018 at the southeast corner of Fifth and Lawrence streets thanks to the generosity of owner Shane Parson. Since then, community members who are able to get beds on a first-come, first-served basis have been successfully growing grapes, artichokes, squash, corn, green beans, carrots, turnips, okra and tomatoes. The garden is back this year after COVID-19 stifled activity in 2020. Each person who has given rights to plant a bed is responsible for its upkeep. While it’s too late for anyone to get in on a summer garden, persons can get on the list for a fall bed. The best way to get involved is to message the Ceres Community Garden Facebook page. Those who plan to get a bed will be expected to help do some of the fall preparation, like pulling up the old plants. The garden also has a community library box for reading materials.

Aquatics program resumes for first time since 2019

The summer aquatics program offered by the city of Ceres will resume for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic changed life in the world. The program kicks off last week at the Ceres High School pool. Open swimming is offered Wednesday afternoons from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. through Aug. 4; and Friday afternoons from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. through Aug. 6. Cost is $2 per person. Children 12 and younger must be supervised by an adult. All participants must wear swimming suits only in the pool. Flotation devices are not allowed, however Coast Guard approved life jackets are. A team of Red Cross certified staff members will be offering classes at the Ceres High School pool to teach youngsters six months and up how to swim. Session I swim lessons run from Monday, July 12 to Thursday, July 22 while Session II runs Monday, July 26 to Thursday, August 5. All eight lessons run 30 minutes. Cost is $48 per session and includes eight classes. Preregistration is required. Lessons are for those six months of age and up. Lessons are staged on different levels based on swimming ability. Teen and adult swim lessons are also offered for those 13 and older and meet at the following times: July 12 to 27 from 6:50 to 7:20 p.m. The sessions for July 26 to Aug. meet those same times. Cost is $48 per person. Pre-registration is required. Register online at www.ci.ceres.ca.us, in person at 2701 Fourth Street, or by calling Recreation Coordinator Crystel Aguilar at 538-5682 for more information. The city is offering a host of youth sports classes this summer, including tennis classes, Skyhawks sports camps for basketball, flag football and volleyball as well as gymnastics. In addition, arts and craft classes are offered this summer. All of the city’s recreation and classes may be viewed online at www.ci.ceres.ca.us and clicking on the Recreation button and then going to the Activity Guide. Pre-registration is required for all classes. Register online at www.ci.ceres.ca.us, in person at 2701 Fourth Street, or by calling Recreation Coordinator Crystel Aguilar at 538-5682 for more information.

As Stanislaus County emerges from COVID, don’t forget regular health checkups

After more than a year of Stanislaus County residents enduring sacrifices to keep ourselves and loved ones safe amid the most pressing public health crisis of a generation, our state has finally been able to safely lift most of its COVID-19 restrictions. California’s safe reopening was the hard-earned result of people doing their part to reduce or prevent the transmission of COVID-19 to family members, friends, neighbors, and coworkers. As we all celebrate the full reopening of California’s economy and gradual return to normalcy in time for summer, let’s not forget to schedule regular health care checkups for ourselves and our children. The pandemic created several health care access challenges for Stanislaus County residents. However, as the state reopens, more health care providers are welcoming patients back to catch up on preventive health care services. These services are particularly important for the healthy development of children, who are recommended to receive various scheduled immunizations and screenings to identify diseases and conditions in their most treatable stages from birth through early adulthood. Individuals and families, especially those with young children, are encouraged to schedule a checkup with a health care provider as soon as possible. Throughout Stanislaus County, providers and their practice staff are eager to help.

Business Spotlight

Turlock Dental Care

Turlock Dental Care provides a calm, warm and relaxed dental environment to help you feel as comfortable as possible at their office. They also cater to the needs of our patients by providing virtual consultations, clear aligners and sleep apnea treatment! Their practice has been in the area for over 35 years, working hard to provide the best possible dental care in Turlock, California, and the surrounding areas of Denair, Livingston, Keyes, Ceres, Modesto and Merced, California.

Location: 990 Delbon Ave. Turlock Ca

Tel. No. 209-667-7889

Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Dean’s Pizza

Dean’s Pizza likes to think that parents who care, won’t settle for just the cheapest pizza. They’ll consider the value of fresh ingredients, the benefits of great taste, and the pleasure in giving their kids something satisfying. We also know—kids may not care about such things as freshness and quality—but of course, that’s what mom’s and dads are for. Parents can feel good about serving their family Dean’s Pizza. Order a specialty pizza for the adults and a traditional favorite for the kids. Kids’ll love the taste, you’ll love the quality and everyone’s happy.

Location: 2390 W. Monte Vista Turlock, CA 

Tel. No. (209) 668-0800

Hours:  Sunday - Thursday: 11am - 8pm
             Friday - Saturday: 11am - 9pm

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

Local Turlock 20210401 Transit for free, vaccines, Recreational activities are Returning, restaurant expanding

in Podcast

Hey everyone! Welcome to another episode of Local Turlock Podcast for the week of April 2nd. I am here to give you some of Turlock’s latest scoops, news & stories, with 2 business highlights for the week. Let’s begin with our first story, Turlock Transit offers free service for residents to and from coronavirus vaccination sites for free starting Thursday. More to this episode, recreational activities set to return in Turlock following a year of facility closures due to the pandemic. Next on our list, more housing could soon be available in Turlock once M. Sandhu Development, Inc. submitted plans on constructing a 36-unit apartment complex to the City of Turlock be approved. Moving on, Turlock’s first indoor cannabis site will soon be up and running in the City’s industrial zone. Next, popular Modesto restaurant, Rancho Fresco expanding is expanding in Modesto and opening another location in Turlock. For sports update, Turlock football continues dominance in historic Modesto rivalry with a blowout victory, 74-13 against Modesto High. Give some love and show our support to our local businesses especially during this pandemic as I give you 2 business highlights this week. Also sharing the latest updates on COVID 19 in Stanislaus County. All that and more today in this week's Local Turlock podcast. 

Need a ride to get a COVID vaccine? Turlock Transit offers free service for residents

Turlock residents can ride city buses to and from coronavirus vaccination sites for free starting Thursday thanks to a new program. All residents eligible for the vaccine qualify for the reservation-based Turlock Transit program designed to make vaccinations more accessible, the city said in a press release Tuesday. Dial-a-Ride bus drivers will transport residents in Turlock and Denair service areas to and from vaccination sites located in Turlock. The city encourages people to request reservations for this free service at least one day in advance, but resources may allow staff to accommodate same-day requests. Dial-a-Ride runs Monday to Friday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and normally charges a general public passenger $4 for a one-way trip. The service will transport both people getting vaccinated and their personal care attendant, the city said in the release. The city asks passengers with a vaccine appointment to tell staff the scheduled time when requesting a ride. Turlock Transit will limit vaccination rides to one household at a time,  Some of Turlock Transit’s other coronavirus safety measures include requiring everyone wear a face mask while on buses and waiting at bus stops. All buses have air filtration devices installed and staff also sanitize frequently-touched surfaces on buses throughout the day. The start of this program coincides with Stanislaus County opening up eligibility for its public vaccination clinics to residents age 16 and up Thursday. To request reservations for this free Turlock Transit service, call (209) 668-5600.

Recreational activities set to return in Turlock

The City of Turlock’s recreational offerings are on track to return following a year of facility closures due to the pandemic.  During the Turlock City Council meeting on March 23, Parks, Recreation and Public Facilities Director Allison Van Guilder shared an update on the status of reopening the City’s various amenities, including Pedretti Park, the Turlock Regional Sports Complex and swimming sites. Stanislaus County is currently in the red tier of California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, meaning that a majority of outdoor activities are permitted under public health guidelines. The City’s parks and their amenities have been open since last September, with the exception of large, multi-table picnic areas, but families will soon be able to enjoy the pools at Turlock and Pitman high schools once again while Columbia Pool awaits its highly-anticipated remodel. The City recently received verbal approval for use of both high school swimming pools once again beginning this June. There is a catch, however, with Van Guilder explaining to the Council that the pandemic has reduced the amount of training available for lifeguards. Van Guilder added that the City has reached out to past staff in order to try and fill the positions and all lifeguards will be responsible for securing their own training course. The softball and baseball fields at Pedretti Park are close to reopening as well, as are the soccer pitches at the Turlock Regional Sports Complex. While all three sports can be played in the red tier, guidelines prohibit any tournament play consisting of more than two teams. Adult softball leagues are expected to return, however, as are hourly rentals. COVID-compliant procedures are currently under review by legal counsel, Van Guilder said, and registration for City programs is being updated. In addition, Soderquist Field is open for Little League-approved activities only and the City’s joint use agreement with Turlock Unified School District for each other’s facilities is undergoing the process of updating the waiver language to include pandemic-related information. The same is being done for the City’s other rental facilities, and Van Guilder said they will be ready to rent once larger indoor gatherings are permitted.  Not only are the City’s parks open, but they’ll once again be able to be at their best thanks to the City’s Adopt-A-Park program, which will soon be up and running again following volunteer guidance released by the state. Van Guilder said that once waiver language for the program is approved, community members can volunteer to spruce up the parks. To stay up to date with the reopening of Turlock’s facilities, follow the Parks, Recreation and Public Facilities Department on Facebook or Instagram.

More apartments in the works for Turlock

More housing could soon be available in Turlock, should a recent application to build apartments in the center of town be approved. Ceres resident Manjit Sandhu of M. Sandhu Development, Inc. submitted plans to the City of Turlock last month to construct a 36-unit apartment complex at 145 20th Century Blvd. The project would extend through the 1.92-acre vacant lot behind Walgreen’s, spanning from 20th Century Boulevard across to Hawkeye Avenue with entrances on both sides.  According to Sandhu, he was interested in building apartments in Turlock because there is a lack of affordable housing in the area. It will be the first apartment complex his development company builds, as they typically construct single-family residential homes. The apartment complex would consist of five two-story buildings approximately 27 feet in height. Each unit will include a patio for first-floor apartments, or a balcony area for those on the second story. The project aligns with the City’s goal of developing infill projects, rather than expanding Turlock’s city limits with new construction outwards. The City is making progress, recently completing the second phase of the Avena Bella affordable housing project and an additional 36-unit apartment complex located on a 1.53-acre property at 1841 Geer Rd. It’s Sandhu’s goal to construct more renter-friendly options for Turlockers following this project, which he anticipates to be completed by summer 2022 should it be approved by the City.

Turlock’s first indoor cannabis grow moving forward

Turlock’s first indoor cannabis cultivation site will soon be up and running in the City’s industrial zone, completing a years-long process for its owner with Turlock roots.  The 20,000-plant grow operation will be the vertically-integrated cannabis hub for JDI Farms, Inc., owned by Darron Silva of Turlock. Silva’s company already operates a smaller greenhouse grow in Patterson as well as dispensaries in Patterson, Oakdale, Empire and soon, Modesto. In the forthcoming 98,770 square-foot operation located at 600 D St. in Turlock, JDI Farms will grow, process, package and distribute cannabis products for their retail locations located in other towns. It’s been a long time coming for the JDI Farms cultivation site in Turlock, which will provide financial support to the City through a Development Agreement approved in 2019. Under the agreement, JDI Farms will pay the City a monthly public benefit amount of $10 per square foot each for cultivation and manufacturing, and 2.5 percent of gross receipts for distribution. The 20,000 cannabis plants will require about 20,000 gallons of water per day, Silva said, noting that JDI Farms utilizes a drip system to conserve water and will even use recycled water from condensation on the site’s air conditioning and dehumidifier systems. It’s estimated that JDI Farms will employ about 40 people for the new operation, which will be vertically integrated, meaning Silva controls the supply chain from seed-to-sale, distributing to not only the company’s local dispensaries, but to other retail locations statewide. It’s Silva’s hope that should the City decide to eventually allow a fifth retail dispensary, the Turlock native’s business would be chosen. 

Popular Modesto restaurant expanding at home, opening another location in Turlock

When Rancho Fresco restaurant opened its first Modesto location a decade ago, it was a trek to get their fresh-made tortillas and Mexican food. Still many found the spot way out on Crows Landing Road, and it became so popular that owner and founder Ismael Covarrubias opened a larger flagship site on J Street in downtown Modesto. People just couldn’t get enough of the restaurant’s tortillas, made fresh in front of each customer on a large, always-on grill. Now, once again, he’s making moves and moving closer to some of his customers with a new location set for downtown Turlock. The prime Turlock location on West Main Street in the city’s historic Enterprise Building will add to the growing Rancho Fresco restaurant family. While he has since sold his original Crows Landing Road site, Covarrubias opened a second Rancho Fresco Mexican Grill on on Las Palmas Avenue in Patterson last May. He is also expanding his Modesto site, as previously announced, and taking over the adjacent former Monsoon Indian restaurant space on 10th Street.  Like most restaurant owners, Covarrubias said the COVID-19 pandemic has been tough on business. But, it has also created opportunities. With people walking away from businesses and leases, he has been able to negotiate good, long-term deals on his new spaces. He also said his more casual style of Mexican restaurant that also catered to a late-night crowd would be a good fit for downtown Turlock. Plus his 10-year track record with Rancho Fresco should reassure his new community that he is in it for the long haul.For more on Rancho Fresco Mexican Grill call 209-526-5210 in Modesto, 209-894-2197 in Patterson or visit ranchofrescomexicangrill.com.

Turlock football continues dominance in historic Modesto rivalry

The Turlock High varsity football team defeated longtime rival Modesto High on Friday night in a blowout victory, 74-13. The Week 2 matchup between the Bulldogs and the Panthers was the 122nd time the two Central California Athletic League competitors have faced off on the gridiron — a rivalry which was renewed in 2018. Both Turlock and Modesto were charter members of the California Central Conference back in 1957 and played against each other until the 2003 season, when the following year it was announced that Modesto would join other schools in its city to form the Modesto Metro Conference. With the 2018 season’s Sac-Joaquin Section realignment, the former rivals were reunited in the CCAL. Since then, the Bulldogs have outscored the Panthers 157-26 in league play. On Friday, Turlock led 62-7 by halftime. Now 2-0 on the season, Turlock will take on Enochs High (2-0) from Joe Debely Stadium at 7 p.m. this Friday. 

Business Highlights:

TeaSsert

Location: 3102 Geer Rd Turlock

Phone Number: (209) 250-1732

Operational Hours: Monday to Sat (11:00 AM - 9:00 PM) Sunday (11:00 AM - 8:00 PM)

Build and Customize Your Boba Tea! Today! This is the Best Boba Tea In Turlock! This isn’t your traditional Boba Tea place. So many flavors and options to choose from.

Fails Donut Factory

Location: 334 N Center St Turlock

Phone Number: (209) 632-130

Operational Hours: Monday to Sunday (4:00 AM - 5:00 PM) Sunday (4:00 AM - 2:00 PM) 

Fail's Donut Factory offers plenty fresh, unique and custom donut for any special occasion.  They make sure to serve fresh bake donut and unique donut designs for eye candy.  Truly the best of the best donuts in town. 

Coronavirus update, April 1: Stanislaus reaches 1,000 deaths. It’s way more than flu

Stanislaus County reached 1,000 deaths to COVID-19 on Wednesday, 355 days after the first was reported. The county Health Services Agency said three more residents have died of the virus. The first ever reported was on April 10, 2020, about a month after the county’s first positive case. The 1,000th death came as Stanislaus is making progress on reopening businesses, schools and other sectors. But it still is in the state’s red tier, the third most restrictive in the four-tier system. The 77 new cases brought the total to 52,621. Stanislaus also has 508,868 negative test results and 51,130 people who are presumed recovered. According to the Los Angeles Times daily tracker showed, the county is 13th among the 58 counties when it comes to new cases over the past seven days. It ranks 11th in deaths over the past seven days. he county’s five hospitals had 99 patients with confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, up from 91 on Tuesday. It was the highest count since March 17. Staffed intensive care beds available to adults remained at 12. Geographically: Modesto has 19,612 positive cases, Turlock has 7,120, Ceres has 5,356.Thank you for tuning in to this week’s episode. Don’t forget to visit our website, localturlock.com, to stay up-to-date on our local news. You can always email me at turlock@localturlock.com and visit our Facebook at Facebook.com/localturlock and leave us some comments! Stay tuned for next week’s exciting episode! Have a great weekend and always stay safe!

Local Turlock Podcast March 26, 2021

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Hey everyone! Welcome to another episode of Local Turlock Podcast for the week of March 26th, giving you some of Turlock’s latest scoops, news & stories, with 2 business highlights for the week. Let’s start with our first story, Stanislaus County was finally given the green light on Tuesday to move into red tier. Moving on, most Stanislaus County libraries will open for browsing and checking on Monday with limited capacities, in keeping with California’s current guidance for opening. Next on our list, new downtown shop makes edible art accessible as Turlock resident Amy Navarra celebrates grand opening of Savor’s on March 27th! For sports update, the Turlock High School Bulldogs bulldozed Downey High School’s Knights in season opener with a dominant 56-24 victory. Give some love and show our support to our local businesses especially during this pandemic as I give the spotlight two 2 businesses this week. Also sharing the latest updates bout COVID 19 in Stanislaus County. All that and more today in this week's Local Turlock podcast.

Stanislaus County finally moves into red tier

Stanislaus County was finally given the green light on Tuesday to move into the less restrictive red tier as part of the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Stanislaus County’s daily case rate average was still higher than the metric for the red tier, but the continued low test positivity rate allowed for the move. The California Department of Public Health allows for a county to move down when the testing positivity rate meets the metrics of two tiers down, which in this case would be the orange tier. Moving into the red tier allows for:

  • Restaurants, movie theaters, zoos, museums, higher education indoor lectures can resume at 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is less.
  • Retail stores and shopping centers can operate at 50% capacity. Grocery stores can operate at full capacity.
  • Gym and fitness center indoor capacity is limited to 10%.

Public Health asks community members to continue following safety guidelines such as getting tested because it remains a vital surveillance tool in reducing the spread of COVID-19 and helps advance to the next tier and wearing a mask when in public or around those who are not a part of your household to help stop the spread. Let’s keep the entire community safe and protected from COVID-19.

Libraries to open for browsing, checkout at limited capacities

Most Stanislaus County libraries will open for browsing and checkout of materials starting Monday. Capacities will be limited, in keeping with California’s current guidance for opening. Masks and social distancing will be required. In order to maintain capacity limits, libraries are not equipped for group or extended visits at this time. Libraries in Modesto and Salida will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. These two branches will be closed on Fridays and Sundays. Book returns, which have remained closed in Modesto and Salida, will also reopen on Monday. Library branches in Ceres, Denair, Empire, Hughson, Keyes, Newman, Oakdale, Patterson, Riverbank and Waterford will be open from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday. These branches will be closed Saturday and Sunday. Libraries in Denair and Keyes will continue to offer no-contact pick-up of materials only. The Turlock Library remains closed for expansion and renovation, which is expected to be completed sometime this spring. Library programs such as Story Time and book discussions will continue to be offered in a virtual format at this time. For more information, please see the library website, www.stanislauslibrary.org or call your library branch.

New downtown shop makes edible art accessible

Name of business: Savor

Type of business: Gourmet grazing shop

Location: 138 S. Center St. in Turlock

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday

Contact information: 209-638-2763, savor@savorcharcuterie.com

Specialty: Charcuterie boards and boxes, grocery items, pantry staples and home goods

When Turlock resident Amy Navarra hosted a backyard charcuterie party in 2018, it was to simply gauge the community’s interest in the artistically-arranged appetizer. She couldn’t have imagined that just three years later, her business endeavor would grow from the confines of a small, commercial kitchen to a one-stop grazing shop in the heart of her home’s downtown.  Navarra celebrated the soft opening of Savor’s brand-new brick-and-mortar storefront last March 16, and with its doors opened a world of opportunity for Turlockers to either assemble their own grazing boards or order one from the experts behind the counter.  When the pandemic hit, Navarra was forced to pivot her business model and scale down the operation. She began offering to-go charcuterie boxes in different sizes for individuals and families, and even got creative by offering handheld charcuterie “cones.” Rather than experiencing great loss due to COVID, as has been the case with so many kitchen-based businesses, Savor was met with an outpouring of support and Navarra decided to expand the business last May. It’s Navarra’s goal to cultivate “togetherness” through charcuterie and her new storefront will give customers a tasty, simple way to do so. As Navarra prepares to celebrate Savor’s grand opening on March 27, she’s overwhelmed with gratitude for the opportunity to operate a business in historic downtown Turlock.

Bulldogs bulldoze Knights in season opener

The Turlock High School Bulldogs made their highly-anticipated return to Joe Debely Stadium Friday night, kicking off the shortened COVID season with a dominant 56-24 victory over Downey High School.  The team came out strong with an eight-play scoring drive on their first possession, capped by a seven-yard touchdown from senior running back Josiah Gonzales to give the Bulldogs an early 7-0 lead. Following a punt by the Knights and an ensuing interception by Turlock quarterback Cole Gilbert, Downey answered back with a touchdown of their own to tie the game 7-7. The referees called a tight game and Turlock’s lack of practice led to 10 penalties called on the Bulldogs in the first half.  The second half saw the Bulldogs come out firing, forcing a Knights punt to get the ball back in their hands and let Gonzales rush in for a 50-yard touchdown to make it 35-17. At the end of the third quarter and into the fourth, Turlock tacked on three more scores on three consecutive possessions — a six-yard pass from Cole Gilbert to wide receiver Logan Smith, a five-yard rushing touchdown by Foreman and a four-yard touchdown run by Gilbert.  While Downey was able to notch a touchdown with just two minutes left in the game, the Bulldogs had already pounded the nail into the coffin against the Central California Athletic League rival. Cole Gilbert finished the game with 217 passing yards, two passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown. His QB counterpart Evans also had two passing touchdowns on the night. Gonzales also dazzled on Friday, contributing on defense, special teams and offense with 98 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns, including his exciting 50-yard touchdown run. For the entire team, the win was the cherry on top of the real prize: playing football again. Next week, they’ll be away against Modesto High School. Turlock will next travel to take on Modesto High at Gregori High on March 26.

State warns farmers to prepare for dry summer

Despite some recent rainfall, state officials issued bleak warnings to farmers this week which caution them to prepare for water shortages this summer. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, nearly 91% of California is currently experiencing moderate to exceptional drought. While some may have been hoping for a “March miracle” to bring some much-needed rainfall, there wasn’t nearly enough precipitation this month to make a difference. As of March 10, the state’s snowpack was only 58% of average. Reservoir and groundwater levels throughout California are significantly below average; Don Pedro Reservoir currently has about 250,000 fewer acre feet in storage than it did last year at this time.  Though a drought has not officially been announced by Gov. Gavin Newsom (former Gov. Jerry Brown declared an end to the most recent drought in 2017), U.S. Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack designated 50 California counties, including Stanislaus, as primary natural disaster areas earlier this month due to the drought. This gives farmers the next eight months to apply for assistance through the Farm Service Agency, including emergency loans. Your early efforts can help minimize the potential impact of water management actions on businesses, homes, farms, and California’s public trust resources. Start planning now for potential water supply shortages later this year and identify practical actions you can take to increase drought resilience, such as increasing water conservation measures, reducing irrigated acreage, managing herd size, using innovative irrigation and monitoring technologies, or diversifying your water supply portfolio.” For more information on the current drought statistics, visit https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/CurrentMap/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?CA

Business Highlights:

Hands On Spa & Salon

Location: 2857 Geer Rd Ste D Turlock

Phone Number: (209) 656-9916

Operational Hours:  Monday & Sunday (Closed) Tuesday – Saturday (10am-6pm)

Indulge and escape to an upscale, professional and friendly day spa and salon, discreetly nestled in the heart of Turlock. Established in 2003, Hands On Spa and Salon is a cozy elegant setting. The "Hands On" approach that blends casual elegance and style with refreshing warmth and sincerity is what they are known for. 

Cotta's Kitchen

Location: 833 E Main St Turlock

Phone Number: (209) 664-2004

Operational Hours:  Monday, Saturday & Sunday (Closed) Tuesday – Friday (11am-3pm)

Cotta's Kitchen is a restaurant focusing on homemade family recipes using fresh, seasonal ingredients. Get your fill of their salmon salads, salmon tacos (these pair great with an ice cold beer!) & salmon sandwiches, as well as our carved baked ham & cheese paninis, root beer floats, and lemony white chocolate delights…their limited time seasonal cookie! 

For COVID 19 Updates, contact the business for more information about recent service changes.

Coronavirus update, March 25: Stanislaus adds 3 deaths, 44 cases on 1st red tier day

Stanislaus County announced three deaths to COVID-19 and 44 new cases Wednesday, as a relaxed set of rules took effect. The death toll now stands at 985 residents since the first was reported on April 10, 2020, the Health Services Agency said. The new positive tests raised the total to 52,241. Stanislaus also has 495,932 negative tests results and 50,716 people who are presumed recovered. The county emerged Wednesday from the state’s purple tier, the most restrictive of the four for business and gatherings. It is now in red, with fewer limits but still concern about the state of the virus. According to the Los Angeles Times daily tracker showed, the county is 14th among the 58 counties when it comes to new cases over the past seven days. It ranks 26th in deaths over the past seven days. Geographically: Modesto has 19,428 positive cases, Turlock has 7,071, Ceres has 5,355.

Outro:

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

Local Turlock February 26, 2021: COVID-19 Progress, Bike for Easton, Quad Squad

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Hey everyone! You are listening to the Local Turlock Podcast for the week of February 25th. I am here to give you some of Turlock’s latest scoops, news & stories, with 2 business highlights for the week. Let’s begin with our first story, baby comes home – Baby Samuel Villanueva, one of the “Quad Squad” had gotten doctor’s approval to go home after being in the NICU for specialized care since Dec 31, 2020. You can make a wish come true and be the reason for the smile of a local Turlock boy, Easton Geissler, born with special needs, by voting or donating to his family’s fundraising campaign. Moving on, a 12 yr old Turlock girl wakes her family to escape house fire on Sunday. Good news, the county is seeing progress in COVID-19 fight as vaccination efforts in Stanislaus County are growing and COVID-19 cases are decreasing. Watch out for this, walnut growers invited to board’s first-ever industry conference on March 2 and 3. Give some love and 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. 

Baby comes home

Samuel Villanueva became the first of the “Quad Squad” to leave Doctors Medical Center and come home to Denair. Samuel is one of four boys born to Rene and Tania Villanueva on Dec. 31, 2020. All four have been in the NICU for specialized care, until recently when Samuel was given the doctor’s approval to go home. His brothers, Andrew, Julian and Robert are doing well and making progress towards following his lead.

A bike for Easton

Getting a new bicycle is a milestone in many children’s lives and now the Turlock community and beyond has an opportunity to make that wish come true for one local boy. Easton Geissler is a Turlock resident who has dealt with several challenges over his five years of life. He has cerebral palsy, hypertonia, is blind and is on the autism spectrum. He loves listening to his music, going swimming and swinging high into the air. But if there’s one thing that really tickles his fancy, it’s going fast. Easton’s family wants to give him that feeling of the wind blowing through his air and that swift motion by getting him an adaptive bicycle. The family is able to take Easton out for bike rides now through the use of a trailer attached to the back of a bike, and it is an activity he adores. But Easton is a growing child and is quickly outgrowing the trailer. The family would like to get Easton a duet wheelchair tandem cycle. The family has turned to the Great Bike Giveaway as a path towards achieving that goal. The Great Bike Giveaway is a platform for children with disabilities to win a bicycle that has been adapted to their unique needs. It’s organized by the Friendship Circle, which is a non-profit organization that provides programs and support to the families of individuals with special needs. The platform offers three options for getting an adaptive bicycle. The first in through votes. The child who gets the most votes for their particular type of adaptive bicycle will win the bike. The next option is through a random drawing. Each child who gets at least 50 votes will be entered into a random drawing to win their bike of choice. The final option is through fundraising. Typically, the duet bike the Geissler family is seeking costs around $5,300, but through the Friendship Circle it has been discounted to $4,600. People can help Easton get a bicycle by going to https://www.greatbikegiveaway.com/EastonGeissler and voting and/or donating to his fundraiser.

Turlock girl wakes family to escape house fire

A 12-year-old girl’s quick actions helped her and her mother escape a house fire on Sunday in Turlock. The fire was at a two-story home in the 4000 block of Fosberg Road. The fire ignited around midnight in the garage and spread up to the second floor, said Turlock Fire Department spokesperson Capt. Jason Bernard. The young girl heard the sound from the crackling flames and smelled the smoke and quickly woke her mother and the two were able to get out of the home as the smoke alarm started going off, Bernard said. The first firefighters to arrive found the attached garage fully engulfed in flames and spreading to the second floor. The fire was also encroaching on the house next door. Firefighters found and rescued two of the family’s four cats, Bernard said. Crews extinguished the remaining fire, checked for extension, and salvaged multiple personal belongings inside the home. The cause of the fire was not immediately known because of the extent of the damage, Bernard said. The family was displaced from the home and were being assisted by Red Cross and family members.

County seeing progress in COVID-19 fight

Vaccination efforts in Stanislaus County are growing and COVID-19 cases are decreasing, giving some room to hope that the area will be able to move into a less restrictive tier by mid-March. As of Monday, Stanislaus County expanded the vaccination efforts to Phase 1B, which is for people 50 years and older who work in education and childcare, emergency services and food and agriculture sectors. For this week the County was allocated about 9,000 vaccines, up from the 5,800 from the previous week. The County also is seeing COVID-19 cases drop recently. Since Feb. 8, Stanislaus County has seen cases dropping at a small but steady rate, according to the Stanislaus County Health Services Agency data. On Monday Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the state is partnering with OptumServe and local counties to open up to 11 vaccination sites within the next week to serve some of the hardest-hit or most at-risk communities in the Central Valley. While the County is working on vaccinating as many residents as possible, it is still critical that all residents continue to follow the recommendations to wear a mask, avoid gatherings, wash hands often, stay 6 feet from others whenever in public places and get tested if exposed or experiencing symptoms. These steps, along with vaccines, are essential in ending the pandemic by stopping the spread of COVID‐ 19 and protecting the community, according to health officials.

Walnut growers invited to board’s first-ever industry conference

Although the California Walnut Board and Commission’s first-ever industry conference will be held virtually next month, the event will still provide walnut growers with plenty of valuable information — just from a distance. The CWB & CWC Industry Conference will span two half days during the first week of March, providing a virtual experience which will include speaking sessions and panels for growers, handlers and industry partners, various educational discussions and informational sessions with top speakers and panelists. In the most recent Stanislaus County crop report, which shows data from 2019, walnuts were the seventh-ranked commodity in the county with a value of $122,549,000.  While various walnut industry sectors were impacted in 2020 by the coronavirus pandemic, others saw sales pick up. This was just one of many ways the board and commission have helped growers and handlers during the pandemic and in years past. Attendees can learn about food safety, trade and marketing data, and CWB/CWC Executive Director and CEO Michelle Connelly will deliver a state of the industry address. The CWB & CWC Industry Conference will be held from 8 a.m. to noon on March 2-3. 

Business Highlights:

Lisa's Cookie Jar

Location: 115 S Broadway Ave Turlock

Phone Number: (209) 656-9745

Operational Hours: Mon to Sat (8:00 am to 5:30 pm) Sunday (Closed)

Lisa’s Cookie Jar make the best customized decorated shortbread cookies for your special occasion! Lisa’s cookies make great favors for weddings, showers, birthdays and all types of events. Their specialty flavor is vanilla shortbread cookie decorated using royal icing. They also offer variety of flavors including lemon, maple, chocolate, mint, almond and more. Just perfect gift for your loved ones!

Alison’s Cafe House

Location: 219 W Canal Dr Turlock

Phone Number: (209) 656-9002

Operational Hours: Mon to Sat (6:00 am to 7:00 pm) Sun (7:00 am to 6:00 pm)

If you are looking for a great menu selection, nice presentation, and overall vibes, Alison’s Café House in Turlock is the place to be. They offer Coffee, Smoothies, Energy Drinks, Pastry, Sandwiches, and more!

Coronavirus update, Feb. 25: Stanislaus County surpasses 50,000 cases in less than year

Just 15 days short of one year since its first reported positive coronavirus case, Stanislaus County surpassed its 50,000th on Wednesday, according to data from the Health Service Agency. The county reported 105 more positive test results, bringing to 50,075 the number of cases since it announced its first on March. 11. The county also reported four more deaths, which puts the number of reported fatalities at 941 since April. On a positive note, the county’s health care facilities reported 96 patients with confirmed COVID-19 cases, the first time that number has dropped below 100 since Nov. 15. However, its available staffed adult intensive care unit beds fell from 16 to 10. It took 44 days to get from 40,000 to 50,000 cases, just 14 days less than it took to get from 20,000 to 40,000 cases during the winter surge. Overall, while the county surpassed 50,000 positive tests, it has 444,013 negative test results and 48,059 people who are presumed recovered. As of Tuesday, the county remained in the highest widespread purple tier, along with 47 of the state’s counties. It had 20.8 adjusted positive cases per 100,000 residents. Nine counties are in the red, or second-highest-graded substantial tier, while two are in the orange, or “moderate” tier. Geographically: Modesto has 18,418 positive cases, Turlock has 6,765 and Ceres has 5,115.

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

Local Turlock – February 19, 2021: Valentines Grams, Mathnasium Tutoring, Safe Schools 7-12 Reopening Plan, Emergency Rental Assistance

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Hey everyone! Welcome to another episode of Local Turlock Podcast for the week of February 19th. I am here to give you some of Turlock’s latest scoops, news & stories, with 2 business highlights for the week. First story, Turlock florist spreads love with her Valentine Grams project which delivered over 400 floral arrangements to the senior community. Next story we have here, Mathnasium tutoring in Turlock provides mental exercise for students. Moving on, Turlock Unified School District eyes mid-March return for secondary students. Good news, Stanislaus County and the City of Modesto are pleased to announce that an Emergency Rental Assistance program supported by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. You can make a difference in the life of a foster child in Stanislaus County. Join Every Child Matters, a virtual event on Feb 27! Give some love and 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. 

Turlock florist spreads love to senior community

Valentine Grams project delivers over 400 floral arrangements

Source:

Valentine’s Day is a holiday all about spreading love, and one Turlock florist did just that on Sunday by delivering flower grams to the local senior community.  Heidi Sisco of Heidi Hearts Flowers has made it a point to boost the spirits of those living in skilled nursing facilities and senior living homes throughout the pandemic, delivering beautiful floral grams with well wishes to remind them they haven’t been forgotten during this time of isolation. The idea began first with bouquets last year, then with poinsettias for Christmas when she delivered 500 of the beautiful flowers to the area’s elderly in December. It took a team effort to create over 400 Valentine Grams, with over 30 volunteers dedicating their time to the effort starting on Thursday. People traveled from as far as Sacramento to help with the project, Sisco said, and the Denair High School floral class was on hand every day to assist in creating the floral arrangements. Roses, carnations, anemones, ranunculus and more were purchased by the thousands from the San Francisco Flower Market and Dutch Roots Farms in Ripon to be used in the bouquets, and no arrangement was the same thanks to the wide variety of volunteers. For Mother’s Day, Sisco plans on making floral grams available for purchase on her website for those who want to deliver the gift of flowers this spring.

Mathnasium tutoring provides mental exercise for students

Name of business: Mathnasium

Type of business: Tutoring center

Location: 2842 Geer Road in Turlock

Hours: 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday

Contact information: 209-348-6284

Specialty: One-on-one math help for students

After Mathnasium’s original plans to open last year were put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, Turlock’s newest tutoring center is now serving the community during a time when students may need services the most. Mathnasium has over 1,000 locations nationwide, and owner Ramona Eshagh wanted to add another in Turlock in order to provide more science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, opportunities for local students. The Turlock resident had originally hoped to have the new tutoring center up and running by April 2020, but COVID made it difficult to obtain permits in a timely manner. While Mathnasium solely offers math tutoring at the moment, Eshagh originally wanted to open the center in order to provide STEM opportunities like coding camps, chess clubs and robotics classes to students. The pandemic has put a hold on those plans for now, but she believes that more chances to host STEM-related activities will arise as conditions change for the better. Tutors at Mathnasium include seasoned tutors from other franchise locations, as well as math majors from the University of California, Merced, and Stanislaus State. Safety measures in place at Mathnasium include mask wearing, plexiglass barriers, air purifiers and more. All new students receive a free assessment in order to determine their grade level and package pricing and options are then provided to prospective families.

TUSD eyes mid-March return for secondary students

As Turlock Unified School District presented its plan to bring secondary students back to campus in the coming weeks to the Board of Trustees on Tuesday evening, a group of parents, students and other community members gathered outside of the meeting to say the proposal doesn’t meet their expectations. The district’s “Safe Schools 7-12 Reopening Plan” would see junior high and high school students return to school for two half days per week. In order for secondary schools in Turlock to open under the plan, Stanislaus County must be in the red tier of California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy for at least five consecutive days.  The instruction plan for secondary schools is described as a blended learning model with synchronous instruction and would see students at each school split into two groups. Group A would attend half of the school day on campus on Mondays and Thursdays, while Group B would attend half of the school day on Tuesdays and Fridays. All students would participate in distance learning on Wednesdays, as well as the remaining half of the day when they spend the morning on campus. Patterson and about 80 others convened outside of the Board meeting on Tuesday for a peaceful protest, calling for the full — or more large scale — reopening of secondary schools. The full secondary reopening plan, including other safety measures which will be put in place to protect students and staff, can be viewed on the TUSD website, www.turlock.k12.ca.us. TUSD is currently targeting mid-March as the reopening date under the presented plan, and will host a staff forum Q&A and parent forum Q&A on Feb. 17 and 18, respectively. A communication and commitment survey will be sent to parents on Feb. 19 and TUSD will host a COVID-19 staff and parent/student training and submit a health and safety agreement the week of Feb. 22. 

Emergency Rental Assistance Program

Stanislaus County and the City of Modesto are pleased to announce that soon funding will be made available through an Emergency Rental Assistance program supported by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The Emergency Rental Assistance program makes available $25 billion to assist households unable to pay rent and utilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds are provided directly to States, U.S. Territories, local governments, and Indian tribes. Government agencies must use these funds to provide assistance to eligible households through rental assistance programs. A minimum of 90 percent of awarded funds must be used for direct financial assistance, including rent, utilities and home energy costs, as well as other expenses related to housing. Remaining funds are available for housing stability services, including case management and other services intended to keep households stablely housed, and administrative costs. Many of the specifics regarding a timeline of funding availability is unknown at this time. In the next few weeks, the federal government is expected to release detailed guidelines on the use of these funds, at which time information will be released to the community regarding application instructions and eligibility details. For program information currently available, please see the following link: https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/cares/emergency-rental-assistance-program

Every Child Matters

You can make a difference in the life of a foster child in Stanislaus County. Become a resource parent. To learn more, please join Every Child Matters, a virtual event on February 27, 2021 from 9 am to 11 am. The event will feature a panel of former foster youth sharing their foster care experiences and stories of inspiration. Resource parents (formerly referred to as foster parents) are individuals, couples, or families who act as caregivers providing out-of-home care for children in foster care. To learn more about the annual Every Child Matters event and how you can become a resource parent, please register by going to LoveAllOurKids.com/every-child-matters In partnership with the Stanislaus County Community Services Agency, the event is sponsored by Love All Our Kids, a community organization that helps find resource parents for foster youth.

Lander Auto Service

Location: 1328 Lander Ave Turlock, CA 95380

Phone Number: (209) 664-9900
Operational Hours: 7:30 AM - 5:00 PM (Monday – Friday) Sat & Sun (Closed)

Lander Auto Service is a Turlock, California family owned auto repair shop company. Since 2009 Lander Auto Service has established an auto repair shop division, offered car mechanic and developed a brake repair service service for its Turlock clients in Stanislaus County. Lander Auto Service has become Turlock local auto repair shop favorite!

Willie's Pizza & Wings

Location: 2050 E Canal Dr Turlock, CA 95380

Phone Number: (209) 667-9455

Operational Hours: 11:00 AM - 10:00 PM (Mon-Sat) 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM (Mon-Sun)

After seven years of serving burgers, fries, and ice cream to the finest community a restaurant could ask for, Lulu's has decided to expand their business to include Willie's Pizza & Wings. Their goal is to provide a fun and rewarding work place, great food, and customer service so that everyone who leaves Willie's does so feeling better than when they arrived.

Coronavirus update, Feb. 18: Stanislaus hospital cases go back down. Deaths at 910

Stanislaus County reported five more deaths to COVID-19 on Wednesday as total cases approached 50,000. The county Health Services Agency put deaths at 910 since the pandemic arrived last spring. Stanislaus added 138 cases Wednesday, for a total of 49,266. The county also has 429,062 negative test results and 46,808 people who are presumed recovered. According to the Los Angeles Times COVID-19 tracker, Stanislaus County has the eighth-highest rate of infection per 100,000 residents in the last week among the state’s 58 counties. Its rate of death if 15th highest. Since the pandemic’s start, its infection rate is 15th highest and death rate fourth highest. The county’s five hospitals reported 158 patients with confirmed coronavirus cases Wednesday, down from 167 on Tuesday. The count has stayed under 200 for 12 straight days and was over 300 in early January.  As of Wednesday, 55,550 doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been allocated to Stanislaus County, unchanged for several days. This includes 26,625 doses to health care providers and 28,925 to public health. Information regarding vaccinations in Stanislaus County is on the county dashboard at http://schsa.org/coronavirus/vaccine/. Geographically: Modesto has 18,126 positive cases, Turlock has 6,652 and Ceres has 5,057

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!

February 5, 2021: Rental Scams, Mental Health, COVID Vaccines, Delivery Apps

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Hey everyone! You are listening to the Local Turlock Podcast for the week of February 5th. I am here to give you some of Turlock’s latest scoops, news & stories, with 2 business highlights for the week. Let’s start with our first story, Ceres school employees honored for ‘Making a Difference’ by Stanislaus County Office of Education during a recent virtual event. Watch out for a free zoom webinar to offer hope for those struggling with their mental health hosted by The National Alliance on Mental Illness Stanislaus chapter today! Next on our list, Turlock Police Department has issued a warning for residents about a rental scam that has been making the rounds online in January. Good news for Storer Coachways employees of Modesto, the company finds a way to save 400 jobs after COVID-19 shut down their tour buses. Moving on, let’s find out why Modesto is capping delivery apps charge restaurants during COVID. Give some love and 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 bout COVID 19 in Stanislaus County. All that and more today in this week's Local Turlock podcast. 

Ceres school employees honored for ‘Making a Difference’

Ceres Unified School District classified employees Liz Cooper, Ruben Silva and Austin Pimentel were among the 24 people honored by Stanislaus County Office of Education during a recent virtual event. The “Employees Making a Difference” program awards ceremony was staged on Jan. 21. Five of the 24 honorees were selected to represent Stanislaus County in the California Department of Education’s statewide recognition program. The five from across the county who were selected to represent Stanislaus County in the California Department of Education’s statewide recognition program are: Leada Allahwerdi of Turlock Adult School; Travis Mazorra of Hughes Elementary School in the Empire District; Adria Sanders of Mark Twain Jr. High School in Modesto; Michael Jacobs of Beyer High School in Modesto; and Isela Rosales of Chatom Union School District. According to State Senator, Anna Caballero who congratulated award recipients, “It is so important to recognize our outstanding education employees for going above and beyond especially during these difficult times.” “The work our classified employees perform on a daily basis is the glue that keeps our schools running and greatly contributes to the quality of education for our students.”

 Free mental health presentation to offer hope for those struggling

Isolation, unemployment and loss of life are three symptoms of the coronavirus pandemic which have been brought to the forefront of the news cycle over the past 10 months, but one local organization is looking to help community members who may be suffering from mental health issues during this time — a pandemic of its own which they say has only grown worse in the wake of COVID. The National Alliance on Mental Illness Stanislaus chapter is hosting a free Zoom webinar on Feb. 4 titled “In Our Own Voice,” a monthly presentation in which two trained speakers, along with a video, will share their compelling personal stories of living with mental health challenges and how they achieved recovery. NAMI Stanislaus used to provide the presentations only to college classes, organizations and clubs, but in October began offering the webinars to the general public — each time seeing an increase in participants.  Speakers typically share what their life was like before recovery: their symptoms, thought processes, behaviors and more. Then, they go into detail about what they had to do to get to where they are today, how they plan to stay there and what their hope for the future is.  NAMI Stanislaus has seen an increased interest in programs like their Family-to-Family program, a free, eight-week session for family, friends and significant others of those with mental health conditions, as well as other offerings. Some programs that were previously only offered twice a month are now offered weekly in order to keep up with demand. NAMI offers a variety of support and education options for the community, including the In Our Own Voice presentations and the Family-to-Family program.  The next In Our Own Voice presentation will take place at 6 p.m. on Feb. 4 via Zoom, Meeting ID 815 0048 3795, password I00V. If you have questions or would like to book a presentation, call 209-672-5273 or email pelcoord@namistanislaus.org.

Rental scams reported in Turlock

The Turlock Police Department has issued a warning for residents about a rental scam that has been making the rounds online in January. Over the course of the month the police department took five reports of rental fraud that were eventually linked by an investigator to one individual, who lives outside the United States. The scammer was posting local properties on social media and other third-party rental websites as being for rent, but in reality, the properties were already occupied and/or not for rent, according to the police department. At least with the five cases reported to the police department, the victims lost significant amounts of money to the scammer. The Turlock Police Department wants to remind everyone to be cautious when sending money over the internet, through third party apps or websites. Anyone who has been the victim of an online fraud the police department recommends letting the website know of the fraudulent post by flagging it and to make a police report either online here: https://ci.turlock.ca.us/policedepartment/crime/reportacrime/ or by calling Dispatch at (209) 668-1200 for non-emergencies and 9-1-1 for emergencies.

Modesto company finds a way to save 400 jobs after COVID-19 shut down its tour buses

Storer Coachways of Modesto had to cut about 400 of its employees when COVID-19 idled the tour bus business last spring. No problem. They are back at work in a new venture at the company — mobile testing and vaccinations against this very same virus.  Donald and daughter Sarah Storer created the mobile health service, which they named BusTest Express. They had planned to offer just COVID-19 testing at first, but the rapid approval of the vaccines changed that. The Storers hope to stay in the mobile clinic business long after COVID-19 comes under control. They envision a permanent fleet that provides vaccines against other diseases, and checkups and treatments that need not be in a doctor's office. Storer is converting some of its 1,000 or so buses to provide these services around California. Thirteen counties so far have a bus in service following the December launch. They are leased and staffed by public and private health care providers. It began with a single bus for students in Stanislaus County's brand new special-education system. It took 13 physically disabled children to the long-gone Washington School. Transporting people for 69 years, it began with a single bus for students in Stanislaus County's brand new special-education system. It took 13 physically disabled children to the long-gone Washington School. From that grew a company that today has contracts to operate several public bus systems, including Turlock Transit and Stanislaus Regional Transit. Storer runs the dial-a-ride portion of Modesto Area Express. The founders of BusTest Express set no limit on how large it might become. And they like the idea of helping with both the physical and economic health of the state and nation.

Why Modesto is capping what delivery apps charge restaurants during COVID

Modesto is temporarily capping how much Grubhub, DoorDash and other delivery services can charge restaurants to help them survive in the new coronavirus pandemic. The City Council voted 6-1 on Tuesday night for an urgency ordinance capping the fees delivery services can charge restaurants at 15% for each order. The cap applies to delivery as well as takeout orders the restaurants’ customers make using the delivery service’s apps. The ordinance takes effect immediately, but the City Council can revisit and modify it if council members believe that becomes necessary. The council is expected to rescind the ordinance once the pandemic is over. The delivery services have become a big part of many restaurants’ business because of the pandemic’s public health restrictions, which have limited how restaurants can operate. Under the current restrictions, restaurants in Stanislaus County can offer outdoor dining and takeout and delivery. Indoor dining is banned.

Business Spotlight:

Precision Home Improvement

Location: Serving Turlock Area

Phone Number: (209) 667-0733

Operational Hours:  Mon to Fri (8:00 AM - 5:00 PM) Sat & Sun (Closed)

Precision Home Improvement is a family-owned and operated local small business that established in 2004. They have over 40 years of experience with the mission to provide quality service with honesty and integrity. Precision Home Improvement provides services such as: Plumbing, electrical, heating and air conditioning (service and installation by our NATE certified technicians), painting, tile and flooring, fences and gates, remodels, gutters and downspouts (cleaning and installation), and general repairs. No job too small, one call does it all! 

The Creperie

Location: 1668 Countryside Dr., Turlock, CA

Phone Number: (209) 850-9258

Operational Hours: Mon to Sat (9:00 AM - 8:00 PM) Sunday (9:00 AM - 6:00 PM)

The Creperie is a family owned business who works extremely hard to deliver quality and care in every product. The Creperie hopes they can satisfy your craving for a delicious, fast and easy meal. They are specializing in sweet and savory crepes. They also offer homemade Soups & Salads. Bringing a taste of France to Turlock.

Coronavirus update, Feb. 4: Stanislaus hospitals ease again. 

Another six Stanislaus County residents have died of COVID-19, raising the total to 848 as of Wednesday. The county Health Services Agency added 284 new cases, for a total of 46,749. Stanislaus also has 396,588 negative test results and 43,434 people who are presumed recovered from the virus. The county’s five hospitals had 218 confirmed COVID-19 patients Wednesday, down from 222 on Tuesday and continuing a steady decline from well over 300 a month ago.  Over the last seven days, Stanislaus County’s infection rate per 100,000 residents ranks 13th highest among the state’s 58 counties and rate of death is 16th, according to the Los Angeles Times COVID-19 tracker. Its overall death rate per 100,000 residents remains fourth in the state. Its infection rate per 100,000 residents is 16th. As of Wednesday, 41,200 doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been allocated to Stanislaus County, unchanged for several days. This includes 19,660 doses to health care providers and 21,540 to public health. The numbers do not include federal allocations to staff and residents at nursing care facilities and some provided directly to hospital systems. Information regarding vaccinations in Stanislaus County is on the county dashboard at http://schsa.org/coronavirus/vaccine/. Geographically: Modesto has 17,115 positive cases, Turlock has 6,251, and Ceres has 4,870.

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!

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!

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