The former treasurer of a Lodi Boy Scout troop pleaded not guilty Thursday to felony charges of embezzlement and forgery.
Cynthia K. Castle, 48, is accused of taking $25,000 from the account belonging to Troop 291, money the scouts had been saving to attend this year's national jamboree in Virginia.
Castle, of Lockeford, barely spoke at the brief court appearance, other than to acknowledge that her name was correct on court papers. Attorney Frank Kooger entered the plea on her behalf; he was filling in for Castle's privately retained attorney Armando Villapudua.
Castle declined to comment after leaving Lodi court and hugging supporters.
She remains free on $20,000 bail she posted shortly after her Feb. 23 arrest. Attorneys scheduled an April 6 court date, where they could set a future date for a preliminary hearing.
Castle was arrested in February after Boy Scout leaders said they checked their bank account and saw that it was almost entirely depleted. Money had been deposited after fundraisers so five boys could attend the jamboree, which is only held every four years. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts, and it's the last time the jamboree will be held in Virginia.
Since the money turned up missing, a number of local businesses have begun holding fundraisers, with the hope of allowing the boys to get to Virginia.
The latest fundraiser is a tri-tip and spaghetti dinner scheduled for 5 to 8 p.m. today at St. Peter Lutheran Church, 2400 Oxford Way, with a drive-thru option also available. The dinner is being put on by B&T Catering and tickets are $10. For more information call assistant scout master Ken Everitt at 327-0699.
Visit Lodi! seeks recipes for cookbook
Visit Lodi! Conference and Visitors Bureau is asking for recipes from area caterers and restaurants for an upcoming Central Valley Cookbook. The cookbook will feature recipes created with locally-grown products.
Restaurants and catering businesses wanting to participate can submit recipes for appetizers, soups, salads, main courses, sides or desserts.
Recipes should include locally-grown ingredients and reference them in the list of ingredients. Recipes should include a suggested Lodi wine pairing as well. There is no cost to participating restaurants and caterers and all businesses will be referenced in the cookbook. To participate, send recipes, business contact information and Web site information to email@example.com no later than May 24.
For more information, contact Nancy Beckman at the Visit Lodi! Conference and Visitors Bureau at 365-1195.
Suicide attempt on Watson Street
Watson Street was closed Thursday after a man attempted to take his own life in the middle of the street by shooting himself with a small-caliber handgun, said Lodi Police Sgt. Fernando Martinez.
The 45-year-old man was transported shortly after noon by paramedics to a local hospital, where his condition was not known.
Martinez said the suicide attempt was possibly the result of a family dispute. Martinez said he was unaware of any previous calls of domestic disturbances or disputes at the man's residence.
Officers were still interviewing witnesses to the incident and no further information was available, Martinez said. Police did not release the man's name.