Clovis Baptiste, the manager of the Big Kmart on Cherokee Lane who grew up in Haiti and hasn't heard from his family since the massive January earthquake, left his wife and two children in Stockton this weekend to search for his family in his homeland.
Baptiste has 10 siblings and both parents still living in the impoverished nation. He is carrying a satellite phone so he can report back to his family and his employers about his progress.
The News-Sentinel will track his progress and report on his mission as information becomes available.
Double-fine zones continue on Highway 12
Highway 12 speeders and reckless drivers will continue facing twice the usual fines.
The double-fine zone from Interstate 5 west to Interstate 80 in Fairfield was renewed Thursday by the state Department of Transportation, State Sen. Lois Wolk said in a press release.
Wolk sponsored legislation for the double-fine zone established in 2008 following a rash of head-on collisions and deaths. The law requires Caltrans and the California Highway Patrol every two years to determine if the highway continues meeting state criteria for the fine zone. One measure is whether a road has 50 percent more collisions over a three-year period than similar state roads.
Caltrans late last year sought and got endorsements from the Fairfield, Suisun City and Rio Vista city councils to keep the higher fines in place.
The double fine affects only the base fine of a ticket, not the fines that go to courts and other agencies. A fine of $138 would rise to $180, with $70 representing the doubled base fine.
Stretches of Highway 12 are now construction zones as Caltrans works to widen shoulders and smooth out hills. The speed limit in those areas is 45 mph.
— Fairfield Daily Republic
Cal Grant application deadline approaches
March 2 is the deadline to apply for Cal Grants, a need-based financial aid program intended to make college more affordable.
Eligible students receive grants for tuition and fees at California State University and University of California campuses. Awards are also given to community college students and those entering private California colleges, including technical education programs.
Students must apply for a Cal Grant by submitting a Federal Student Aid form and a Cal Grant Grade Point Average verification form, according to Assemblywoman Alyson Huber's office. Changes in the law guarantee that every eligible student will get a Cal Grant award of up to $9,708 a year, depending on the cost of their college or university, their financial need and the type of grant. Cal Grants do not have to be repaid.
For more information on the Cal Grant Program, high school students may contact their counselor, call the California Student Aid Commission at 888-224-7268 or visit www.csac.ca.gov.
Information is also available at asm.ca.gov/huber or 916-319-2010.
Small business workshop next week
Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, will hold a Small Business and Economic Development Workshop in Stockton on Monday.
The workshop will feature speakers from the Small Business Administration, Department of Commerce and other organizations. It will also provide information on business training and access to capital.
Confirmed speakers include:
- Jim O'Neal, district director, Small Business Administration's Sacramento office.
- Gillian Murphy, director, Small Business Development Center.
- Mike Locke, CEO, San Joaquin Partnership.
- Mark Plovnik, economic development director, University of the Pacific.
- Raymond Yeong, senior consultant, Northern California Minority Business Enterprise Center of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The workshop will be held from 1:30 to 4 p.m. at the University of the Pacific's DeRosa Center, 3601 Pacific Ave., Stockton. Registration will begin at 1 p.m.
For more information, contact McNerney's Stockton office at 476-8552.