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Posted: Monday, March 5, 2007 10:00 pm

Man accused of trying to run down pedestrian

A Lodi man accused of trying to run down a pedestrian was arrested Monday after fleeing the scene and being spotted by a helicopter looking for speeders on a nearby highway.

Iram Villa, 25, allegedly got into an argument with a 45-year-old man in the 1600 block of South Church Street mid-Monday morning, then tried to run over the man, Lodi Police Sgt. Tod Patterson said. The vehicle only brushed the victim, who declined medical treatment, and a witness followed the vehicle east until losing it near Highway 99.

In the meantime, a California Highway Patrol helicopter was monitoring the highway to look for reckless drivers and saw Villa's car speeding, Patterson said. CHP and Lodi police officers connected the incidents and stopped the vehicle on Harney Lane near Curry Road.

Villa was arrested on suspicion of assault with a vehicle, as well as several warrants, Patterson said. A female passenger in the vehicle was not arrested.


Chris Nichols

New reporter joins News-Sentinel

Reporter Chris Nichols joined the Lodi News-Sentinel Monday and will be covering growth, natural resources, agriculture and wine for the newspaper.

Nichols comes to Lodi following more than two years at Sonora's Union Democrat, where he wrote about growth and county government in Calaveras and Tuolumne counties.

Nichols was born and raised in San Diego but has spent much of the past decade in Northern California.

You can reach him in the News-Sentinel newsroom at 369-7035 or chrisn@lodinews.com.

Reimche named 'Woman of the Year'

Former Lodi City Clerk Alice Reimche was named the 10th Assembly District's Woman of the Year by Assemblyman Alan Nakanishi.

Reimche, who lives in Lodi, was honored on the Assembly floor Monday along with her counterparts in each of the state's 80 Assembly districts.

Reimche retired as city clerk in 2000 after a 27-year career at City Hall. She served on numerous advisory boards for such organizations as the Boy Scouts, Lodi Police Explorers, United Way and Salvation Army.

"Alice has given so much of her time and effort to the residents of Lodi and San Joaquin County throughout the years," Nakanishi said in a prepared statement.

Reimche will also be inducted into the Lodi Community Hall of Fame in a separate ceremony later this year.

Supervisor, sheriff to have town-hall meeting

New San Joaquin County Supervisor Ken Vogel and Sheriff Steve Moore will conduct a town-hall meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Lodi Elks Lodge, 19071 N. Lower Sacramento Road, Woodbridge.

WID will discuss fish screens, subdivision

Woodbridge Irrigation District board members will consider seeking bids for a new fish screen near Woodbridge Dam at Thursday's board meeting.

The board will also hear a proposal for a pipeline in the proposed Empire Ranch subdivision proposal in southern Morada, and hear a report on the Mokelumne River Water Forum.

Thursday's meeting will begin at 9 a.m. at the district office, 18777 N. Lower Sacramento Road, Woodbridge.

Linden man selling 'Holy Drinking Water'

LINDEN - A Stockton-area businessman is peddling blessed bottled water.

The half-liter bottles of Holy Drinking Water distributed by Wayne Enterprises Inc., of Linden, only carries the blessings of Catholic and Anglican priests, but company president Brian Germann said he plans to expand to other faiths.

He said he thought of the concept on June 6, 2006, or "666," and has sold about 3,000 bottles since January at a Linden market and on the Internet.

The bottles, filled with plain, purified water, carry a label that warns sinners who drink the water that they may experience burning, intense heat, sweating and skin irritations.

"This has some potential and is a lot of fun," said the Rev. Mark Smith, who blessed a batch in February. "Most people will pass it off. But some may have a moment."

Holy Drinking Water has led to positive conversations about religion and what it means to be a sinner, but it should not be used as a substitute for attending church, Germann said.

First published: Tuesday, March 6, 2007

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Should graduations return to the Grape Bowl?

Lodi Unified leaders are moving Lodi and Tokay high school graduations from the Grape Bowl to the Spanos Center at UOP in Stockton. They cite limited seating, costs and unpredictable weather at the Grape Bowl. But others say graduations at the Grape Bowl are an important Lodi tradition, and one reason many supported renovating the stadium. What do you think?

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