October 9, 2020: Pumpkin Stand on Highway 132, Ceres Schools Re-Open

in Podcast

Ceres schools may reopen next month

Ceres Unified School District has a plan in place to re-open its elementary campuses for in-person learning. Teachers, staff and families were notified last Friday by Superintendent Scott Siegel. To allow for social distancing, a hybrid schedule will be used to minimize the number of students on campus at a time, beginning when elementary schools reopen. Summer vacation ended for CUSD students on Aug. 12 as the 2020-21 school year opened with remote learning due to state imposed coronavirus restrictions. All public schools in Stanislaus County were closed from March 19 through the 2019-20 spring academic year to help minimize the spread of COVID-19.

You can once again wait for an Amtrak train inside the Modesto station

Enhanced cleaning, more space for physical distancing, travel flexibility and a contact-free travel experience are Amtrak's new standard of travel during coronavirus pandemic, says Amtrak Medical Director Dr. Ann Kuhnen. Amtrak is reopening station interiors in Modesto and three other cities as of Monday, Oct. 5. Passengers will again be able to check baggage and purchase tickets at the four stations, but cash will not be accepted out of concern for virus transmission. Online reservations are urged, face coverings and social distancing are required in the stations and on the platforms. The reopened stations have these hours seven days a week:

Modesto: 7:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. | Merced: 10:15 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. | Fresno: 5:45 a.m. to 6:15 p.m.| Hanford: 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
The other 14 stations on the route have remained open. They include Turlock/Denair, which has a platform but no building.

Air quality impacts sports schedule for Bulldogs, Hawks

Central Valley and Ceres High canceled conditioning workouts last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday because of poor air quality. Athletic directors Greg Magni and John Bussard made the joint decision to cancel conditioning workouts for sports teams from Central Valley and Ceres High, respectively, last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday due to poor air quality as a result of smoke from wildfires in California.None of Central Valley’s sports teams practice on Fridays at this point of the school year. Extracurricular activities, including sports, had been suspended until further notice on July 13 due to a spike in COVID-19 cases in Stanislaus County.

County provides alternatives to mailing in ballots

A number of satellite offices, drop-off boxes and drive-thru options are popping up in Turlock throughout the course of October and into November to ensure that every ballot is counted come election day. For the first time ever, all registered voters in Stanislaus County will receive their ballot in the mail for the upcoming election on Nov. 3 following legislation signed in June by Gov. Gavin Newsom. While every registered voter in Stanislaus County will receive a postage-paid ballot in their mailboxes this year, they do not have to turn it in by using the postal system. There will be one voting center for every 10,000 voters where those who don’t want to send in their ballots can drop them off. Voters can also receive device or language assistance at these locations, or replace a misplaced ballot.

Satellite office locations in Turlock include the Assyrian American Civic Club, Stanislaus County Fairgrounds, Ten Pin Fun Center and Turlock CSA Epic Center and will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. beginning Oct. 31 through Nov. 2, and from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 3.

The County has also worked with a variety of locations to allow for indoor, outdoor and curbside drop boxes where ballots can also be placed. It will be located at Turlock City Hall (, Turlock CSA South County Service Center, Save Mart and FoodMaxx. Curbside ballot drop off locations in Turlock are located at Stanislaus State and the Turlock Silvercrest Senior Residence. Indoor ballot drop box locations are open beginning Oct. 5. Curbside ballot drop-off locations will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 2 and from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 3. For more information on satellite office and drop box locations, visit StanVote.com. To track your ballot once it has been mailed or dropped off, visit California BallotTrax.

Want to get Halloween pumpkins and help first responders?

The Bogetti family has set up a pumpkin stand along Highway 132 where all of the proceeds will go to first responders. Dad, James Bogetti is the manager at Mapes Ranch and he and his wife Coren do some farming of their own but this is the first year they’ve grown pumpkins. It all started out as a little college fund for their son, George but with all the good work of our first responders, they felt that it was their Good Samaritan work to help out those that keep us all safe, especially in this day and age. The family set up the stand on a friend’s property next to the Twin River Saloon on Highway 132 and Hart Road. It is open 24/7 on a merit based system with envelopes supplied to drop cash directly into the stand. They put up the stand on Oct. 1 and already have generated $1,000, mostly from friends and family in the area but they hope to earn much more before Halloween. In addition to the Sheriff’s Department, Bogetti said funds will go the Woodland Avenue Fire Department and healthcare workers.

Coronavirus Update as of October 8

Stanislaus County added 37 cases of the virus Wednesday, a day after its best performance on this measure since early June. The county Health Services Agency also announced two more deaths to COVID-19, bringing the total to 379. Stanislaus now has 16,804 positive tests, 91,605 negative tests and 16,230 people who are presumed recovered. Wednesday’s positive rate of 6.83% followed 1.73% on Tuesday, the lowest since the 1.21% on June 1.The county’s five hospitals had 38 confirmed COVID-19 cases Wednesday, up from 35 on Tuesday. Though they make up 47 percent of the population, Latinos represented 64 percent of the positive cases. Geographically: Modesto has 6,255 positive cases, Turlock has 2,253. Ceres has 2,098. Stanislaus County has finally met both criteria for leaving the most restrictive tier of California coronavirus reopening program.