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.
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 email@example.com, or Joanne Perez at 209-480-0927 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Sponsorship opportunities are also still available; to purchase or for more information contact LeeAnn Bettencourt at 209-450-8543 or email@example.com, or Lorraine Serpa at 209-648-1154 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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’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.
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.
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.
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.
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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 email@example.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!