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!