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Modesto Bee, Modesto, CA
Updated: 41 weeks 6 days ago

Expect sparkle, speed from redesign of The Modesto Bee website

Sun, 06/16/2013 - 06:01
On Thursday morning, the next generation of The Modesto Bee debuts: a redesigned modbee.com that will provide a faster, easier and more dynamic user experience.
A preview of the new-look Modbee.com, which debuts on Thursday, June 20, 2013. - Modesto Bee -

Valley Home church organist done after 72 years

Sun, 06/16/2013 - 05:59
As each service draws to a close, pastor Kevin DeHope offers the floor to anyone in St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church who wants to make an announcement. A week ago, Estelle Barnhill stood up and said she was done as the church's regular organist after 72 years.
ED CRISOSTOMO/ecrisostomo@modbee.com Estelle Barnhill plays music at St. John's Lutheran Church on Thursday afternoon (06-13-13) in Escalon, CA. - The Modesto Bee - Ed Crisostomo
ED CRISOSTOMO/ecrisostomo@modbee.com Estelle Barnhill plays music at St. John's Lutheran Church on Thursday afternoon (06-13-13) in Escalon, CA. - The Modesto Bee - Ed Crisostomo

Modesto Junior College tractor team takes third in international competition

Sun, 06/16/2013 - 05:52
A Modesto Junior College team led by agriculture instructor Steve Amador took third place in the International ¼-scale Tractor Student Design Competition last weekend in Peoria, Ill.
COURTESY KATIE MCDONALD PHOTOGRAPHY Josh Medeiros off Modesto Junior College drives in tractor pull, 1,000 pound event, during the 16th International Quarter-Scale Tractor Student Design competition in Peoria, Ill., June 10. MJC finished third overall out of 28 teams and was the only team from a community college. Rest were from public or private universities. They won this particular event, as well as the craftsmanship class. This is promotional from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. No contract needed. Just credit as listed. - - Katie McDonald

'Nuns on Bus' will visit Denham today in Modesto

Sun, 06/16/2013 - 05:48
Catholic sisters on a 6,500-mile, 15-state "Nuns on the Bus" tour are urging lawmakers across the country to support legislation that provides a road map to citizenship for 11 million aspiring Americans, promotes family unity and protects the rights of all immigrant workers.

Modesto City Schools budget up for approval, with deficit spending

Sun, 06/16/2013 - 05:46
At its meeting Monday, the Modesto City Schools board will get an update on efforts to engage the community and develop student leadership. Jorge Perez, director of parent and community involvement, will speak.

Modest crowd celebrates Juneteenth in Modesto

Sun, 06/16/2013 - 05:36
The sound of step dancers' stomping feet on a raised stage filled the air in Mellis Park in Modesto. But looking at the smaller-than-expected crowd, some of the performers at Modesto's Juneteenth celebration on Saturday worried that the holiday's message isn't resonating.
Elias Funez/efunez@modbee.com Salida's Nyisha Bell draws laughter and smiles from her family while dancing to some of the live music on hand during Saturday's (06-15-13) Juneteenth celebration at Mellis Park in Modesto. - Modesto Bee - Elias Funez
Elias Funez/efunez@modbee.com Robbie Hull and Dupree Sanders stand behind Jimmy and Dodo Williams as they sit on a pair of mini-bikes that Sanders has helped repair as a part of Vision Quest, a non-profit group that aims to repair mini-bikes to help bring fathers together with their children, Saturday (06-15-13) at Mellis Park's Juneteenth celebration. - Modesto Bee - Elias Funez

Stanislaus County hopes to lure developer with Crows Landing study

Sun, 06/16/2013 - 05:36
While waiting for the economy to heat up, Stanislaus County will spend $685,000 on an environmental review of its proposal for a 1,524-acre job center near Crows Landing.

Riverbank school district approves $24 million budget

Sun, 06/16/2013 - 05:36
Riverbank Unified School District adopted a nearly balanced 2013-14 budget Saturday, marking a break in deep deficit spending since the recession started.

Lifeguards from Stanislaus County, region refresh summer safety skills

Sun, 06/16/2013 - 00:17
Some 100 certified lifeguards from across Stanislaus County and the region took part in a California Parks and Recreation Society-sponsored intensive training course Friday to kick off the summer swimming season.
Debbie Noda/dnoda@modbee.com Jack Rohwer, of Modesto, practices saving a submerged victim at the district wide lifeguard training class held at the Johansen High School pool, June 14, 2013. - The Modesto Bee - Debbie Noda
Debbie Noda/dnoda@modbee.com Rebekah Groteguth, of Turlock as the passive victim is saved by Matt Wolf, of Modesto at the district wide lifeguard training class held at the Johansen High School pool, June 14, 2013. - The Modesto Bee - Debbie Noda

Accident kills one on Highway 99 in Modesto

Sat, 06/15/2013 - 12:56
One person died early Saturday and another suffered major injuries in a single-vehicle accident on northbound Highway 99 in Modesto, authorities said.

Stockton Diocese finances strained in the wake of abuse lawsuits, bishop says

Sat, 06/15/2013 - 07:37
It will be 20 years next month since Oliver O'Grady last served as a priest in the Stockton Diocese. Yet Bishop Stephen Blaire says the impact of the pedophile's 22 years at five parishes remains huge — on victims and the diocese's finances.
Bishop Stephen Blaire prepares to serve communion during Mass at Stockton's Cathedral of the Annunciation on Sunday 4/3/05. Earlier in the service, Blaire recalled his meetings with the late Pope John Paul II, saying he would most remember the pontiff as a man of prayer and forgiveness. Ted Benson/The Modesto Bee - Modesto Bee - Ted Benson 4/3/05
Bishop Stephen Blaire is pictured on Friday afternoon (10-13-06) in an interview at The Stockton Diocese in Stockton. Modesto Bee/ Joan Barnett Lee - Modesto Bee - Joan Barnett Lee

Stanislaus County Auto Theft Suspects (6/15/2013)

Sat, 06/15/2013 - 05:34
Five people were arrested on suspicion of auto theft in Stanislaus County from June 7 through Wednesday.
Lynda Burgess, 42, Merced, auto theft suspect - Modesto Police Dept. - unknown
Cristian Rodriguez, auto theft suspect, 27, Riverbank. - Riverbank Police Dept - unknown

Latest Stanislaus County homeless count is tricky

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 06:38
A one-day count designed to provide a snapshot of homelessness in Stanislaus County turned up the lowest number in several years, but these snapshots don't always take in the full picture of those who call the streets, riverbanks and emergency shelters home.
ELIAS FUNEZ/efunez@modbee.com Modesto's Kelly Nix (right) pets her cat Harry Houdini while her partner Art Valencia (left) wakes up from under a makeshift encampment on the Tuolumnne River near the 7th Street Bridge Thursday morning (01-31-13). The couple have been living in makeshift near the river here now for over a year and were recently counted for the homeless count conducted every two years Thursday morning (01-31-13). - The Modesto Bee - Elias Funez

Ripon charter school sees first class graduate

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 06:31
California Connections Academy @ Ripon, an online K-12 public charter school, celebrated its first graduating class. The school opened in August 2012 and draws students from eight counties.

Modesto community garden takes root

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 06:29
The empty lot seemed so easy to tame. Gather a few neighbors, plant a few seeds and reap the rewards of a community garden. But because this was Modesto-owned property, there were city requirements to navigate, donations to solicit for startup costs and, of course, the management, maintenance and participation of the garden itself.
ED CRISOSTOMO/ecrisostomo@modbee.com Dawn Ramsey, left to right, Byron Rossberg, Stephanie Edge, Ryan Richards, and Joel Richards walk through their Modesto neighborhood community garden on Wednesday evening (06-12-13) in Modesto, CA. - Modesto Bee - Ed Crisostomo
ED CRISOSTOMO/ecrisostomo@modbee.com Ryan Richards, left to right, Dawn Ramsey, Byron Rossberg, Stephanie Edge, and Joel Richards show vegetables and fruits growing in their Modesto neighborhood community garden on Wednesday evening (06-12-13) in Modesto, CA. - Modesto Bee - Ed Crisostomo

Aspire's startup academy sends off its first graduates

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 06:23
Six graduates took their ceremonial walk as the first graduating class of Aspire Vanguard College Preparatory Academy, requiring barely one chorus of "Pomp & Circumstance" to enter the hall and take their single row of seats.
Debbie Noda/dnoda@modbee.com Principal Wesley Frakes, and Lucas Evensen pose for a photo. The first graduation of Aspire Vanguard College Preparatory Academy in Modesto, June 12, 2013 took place at the Martin Petersen Center. - The Modesto Bee - Debbie Noda
Nan Austin/naustin@modbee.com First graduating class of Aspire Vanguard College Preparatory Academy, left to right: Paul Eldridge III, Cathy Sanchez, Emily Johnson, Alycia Guerrero, Jennifer Corriente-Ruiz and Lucas Evensen, taken at the Petersen Event Center in Modesto on Wednesday, June 12, 2013. - Modesto Bee - Nan Austin

Plenty of fun ahead at Columbia park

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 06:13
Columbia State Historic Park has a variety of activities planned for the next couple of months.
DARRYL BUSH/dbush@modbee.com The entrance sign to City Hotel in Columbia State Historic Park in Columbia, Calif., Thursday, June 3, 2010. - Modesto Bee - DARRYL BUSH

Modesto child rapist denied parole

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 06:08
Authorities have denied parole for a Modesto man who abducted a 12-year-old girl in 1996 and raped her in a remote orchard, according to the Stanislaus County district attorney's office.

No parole for violent Newman man

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 06:05
A Newman man sentenced to serve eight years to life in prison for trying to strangle his elderly mother with his belt has been denied parole, according to the Stanislaus County district attorney's office.