Local Turlock 2020-09-11: Ceres Drive-In, Dutch Brothers, COVID-19 & Wildfires

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This is the Local Turlock Podcast for the week of September 11, 2020. For this week’s stories and updates, air quality unhealthy as wildfires continues to burn throughout the state. Talking about sports, Ceres High grad Nicole “Sis” Bates ranked sixth on Softball America’s list of the top 100 college players for the 2021 season. Something exciting we are all looking forward is the come-back of Ceres Drive-In! While local senior citizens may not be able to gather together for a midday meal due to the coronavirus, the Stanislaus County Area Agency on Aging is offering weekly frozen meal boxes to senior citizens throughout the county. Wondering what’s coming to new construction projects underway in Modesto? The highly anticipated opening of Dutch Bros Coffee, and the latest news bout COVID 19 in Stanislaus County. All that and more today in this week's Local Turlock podcast.

The heatwave may have broken but the horrible air conditions and wind are still driving people indoors and continuing the wildfire danger. The Creek Fire and other wildfires burning around California are causing smoke impacts to all counties of the Valley. The District anticipates unhealthy air quality to affect various parts of the Valley through the week and into the weekend and warns residents to stay indoors. Anyone experiencing poor air quality due to wildfire smoke should move indoors, to a filtered, air-conditioned environment with windows closed. This year, wildfires have now burned over 2.2 million acres across all fire jurisdictions. This is a record for the number of acres burned in California. 

Softball America released its list of the top 100 college players for the 2021 season. Ceres High School grad/University of Washington shortstop Nicole “Sis” Bates landed in the No. 6 spot. Nates has developed into one of the top players in NCAA Division-I softball history. She was also voted best shortstop on ESPN’s Greatest All-Time Softball Team via a fan poll on June 9. She didn’t commit a single error during the 2020 COVID-19 shortened spring season. A first-team All-American two times and the Pac-12’s Defensive Player of the Year as a junior and sophomore, Bates has made just 11 errors during her career. She committed just two the past two seasons.  She’s helped lead Washington to three trips to the NCAA Division-I Women’s College World Series, including a finals appearance in 2018. Bates will return for a fifth and final season with the Huskies in 2021

This is exciting news as Ceres drive-In is finally making a comeback. With the advent of the VHS tape, DVD, and now internet streaming for movies, the drive-in slowly disappeared. But with COVID-19 and social distancing, drive-in movies are making a comeback. Mark Stotzer of Lucky Shoe Productions – a promotor of large-scale concert venues who restored the classic Golden State Theater in Monterey – is hoping his investment of time and money to resurrect the Ceres Drive-In will pay off in the era of TikTok. The Ripon resident and his crew of 16 are excited to open the Ceres Drive-In the weekend of Sept. 25-27. So make plans for that hot date or family night out.  Plans are to run movies Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and charge $30 per carload. A special priced “boxed seating” covered area will be designated closest to the screen so that people can view from chairs out of their car and socially distanced. The Ceres Drive-In is located at 1651 E Whitmore Ave. Ceres, CA. right off of Highway 99.

The Stanislaus County Area Agency on Aging is offering weekly frozen meal boxes to senior citizens throughout the county. Each of the frozen meal boxes includes five entrees with vegetables, fruit juice or cup, sliced wheat bread and a dessert, and area available for pickup or delivery. Reservations are required at least one day prior to wanting a box to ensure an adequate number of meals will be available. A voluntary contribution of $3 per meal is requested. Any amount helps fund more meals and no eligible person will be denied meals due to inability to contribute. Distribution sites across the county are Donnelly Park parking lot in Turlock from 11 a.m. to noon on Fridays starting Sept. 11 and at the Hughson Senior Center, 2307 4th St., on Wednesdays. Fresh lunches will also be available for daily pickup Monday through Friday at the Turlock Salvation Army, 893 Lander Ave.

Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, work continues on planned retail projects across the city. New construction is underway on a handful of commercial developments in Modesto. In north Modesto, across from the Kaiser Permanente hospital on Dale Road, crews have been busy on several developments in the city’s planned Kiernan Business Park, which has been under development for years. The new construction includes The Brass Tap, a national chain of brewpubs, which will open its first Northern San Joaquin Valley location later this year. Also in the Kiernan Business Park, construction work continues on a 22-unit luxury apartment complex . Permits have also been approved, but not pulled yet, for another 6,846 square-foot retail complex across the street from The Brass Tap that could include another gas station and another restaurant. Staying in northwest Modesto, on Pelandale Avenue work is nearly complete on a planned another Starbucks coffee shop in front of the new Valley Children’s outpatient clinic

Dutch Bros Coffee opened its highly-anticipated Turlock location over the weekend, bringing java, jubilation and traffic jams to the corner of Monte Vista Avenue and Crowell Road. It is known for its massive menu of drinks, which includes everything from coffee and smoothies to teas and sodas. There are over 10,000 drink combinations to choose from, but owner, Isaac Schaaf noted that the Rebel Energy drinks and the seasonal crème brûlée pumpkin cold brew are among the shop’s best sellers. The future Modesto location is scheduled for an October opening.

Let’s talk about COVID 19 Updates: Stanislaus County reported four more deaths to the virus Tuesday but also had its lowest daily infection rate since June. A total of 299 residents have died according to Health Services Agency but details were not provided on the four most recent deaths. Wednesday brought just 50 new positive tests, raising the total to 15,685. As of now, there are 2,052 positive cases in Turlock, Modesto has 5,609 positive cases, 1,916 are in Ceres, 767 are in Riverbank, 744 are in Patterson, 331 are in Oakdale, 313 are in Newman, 218 are in Waterford, and 138 are in Hughson. The county remained in the lowest purple tier, part of Gov. Newsom’s new grading system that will go toward measuring the ability to begin fully reopening businesses.

That’s all we got for now. Thank you for listening to our local Turlock podcast. You can find us on Facebook at facebook.com/localturlock and leave some comments and stay up to date on your local news. Our website is localturlock.com where you can see some interesting news stories, and you can always email me at turlock@localturlock.com. We'll see you next week. Have a great weekend!