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Posted: Tuesday, March 23, 2004 10:00 pm

Fight between four men leads to stabbing, arrests

Four men were involved in a fight Tuesday on Garfield Street in Lodi that left one man stabbed and resulted in the arrests of three others, Sgt. Bill Barry of the Lodi Police Department said.

Mathew Turner, 26, of Lockeford was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. Dennis Lee Martens, 29, of Lodi was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. Jacob Eugene Timmerman of Lodi was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.

The fight began between two of the men in the morning, possibly over an automobile, Barry said. The fight continued later between the pairs of Turner and Martens against Timmerman and Norman Guillot, 56, of Lodi.

During the fight, a knife and wooden stick were used. Guillot was stabbed sometime during the confrontation.

Guillot was taken to Lodi Memorial Hospital with a stab wound. He was in serious condition Tuesday evening, a nursing supervisor said.

Paramedics transport the alleged stabbing victim to Lodi Memorial Hospital on Tuesday. (Casey Freeman/News-Sentinel)

Galt fire board to discuss homeland security grants

Galt Fire Protection District directors will consider a supplemental application for a homeland security grant awarded to emergency service providers based on population at Thursday's board meeting.

The fire district stands to receive two grants for up to $30,000 in federal homeland security funds, said Assistant Fire Chief Peter Sakaris. The grant money is to be used for items that meet the community's needs, but items purchased from the grant must also be able to mitigate terrorist acts, Sakaris said.

In one grant, the fire district will apply for portable lights and generators designed to illuminate a large area in the event of a major blackout. Fire officials have yet to decide what to request from the second grant, Sakaris said.

Thursday's board meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at Station 45, located at 229 Fifth St.

San Joaquin County soldiers die from wounds suffered in Iraq

STOCKTON - Two San Joaquin County soldiers died after injuries suffered while on duty in Iraq, the U.S. Army reported.

The Defense Department announced Monday that California Army National Guard 1st Lt. Michael W. Vega, 41, of Lathrop, died Saturday at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington of injuries he suffered in Iraq on March 11, when his vehicle rolled over near the city of Diwaniyah, about 100 miles south of Baghdad.

Vega had been in Iraq about one month.

"He was a soldier at heart," said Marisol Vazquez, Vega's girlfriend of several years. "He believed in defending this country, especially after 9-11."

Further north in the valley, a Stockton family grieved the death of their son, an Army surgeon killed Saturday in a rocket attack in Iraq.

The Department of Defense reported Monday that Maj. Mark D. Taylor, 41, a general surgeon in the 82nd Airborne Division, was one of two soldiers killed in an attack on Army quarters near the city of Fallujah, west of Baghdad.

Taylor died as he had lived, his father, Doug Taylor, said. He said his son was outside the Army building that could have protected him, helping others get inside, when he died, Taylor said.

Mark Taylor is survived by a 6-year-old son, his parents said.

Stockton soldier receives Purple Heart

Spc. Peter Sprenger, 20, of Stockton, was among 89 soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division's 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment given Purple Hearts at an awards ceremony at Fort Campbell, Ky. on Tuesday. The soldiers were wounded during the unit's year in Kuwait and Iraq.

Of the 89, more than 40 of the injured, including Sprenger, received their wounds from a suicide bomber whose arsenal exploded when he was shot trying to breach the unit's headquarters area in Talafar, Iraq in December. Sprenger wears dark sunglasses because he is blind in one eye from flying glass in the suicide attack.

The battalion had 67 engagements with the enemy during its deployment, and three of its soldiers were killed.

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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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