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!