A woman accused of forging 15 checks six months after an elderly Lodi woman's home was burglarized pleaded not guilty Wednesday to felony forgery charges.
Prosecutors charged Frances Blaylock, 38, of Thornton, with two counts of false impersonation of another - one each for the 83-year-old victim and the victim's daughter, whose name was also on the checks.
Blaylock is also charged with four counts each of forgery, one for each of the four days she allegedly wrote checks at grocery and retail stores throughout Lodi and Stockton.
Judge Robert F. Baysinger appointed Deputy Public Defender Matthew Kowalski to represent Blaylock and set bail at $25,000. Kowalski had argued that Blaylock be released from custody, citing her lack of a criminal record and the fact that she has three children ages 12, 13 and 16.
Blaylock, her brown hair in two braids, asked that Baysinger release her on her own recognizance. When the judge refused, she began crying quietly.
She will return to court next Wednesday, and a preliminary hearing is tentatively set for July 25.
Though police had arrested Blaylock on 15 counts of forgery, Deputy Public Defender Janet Williams said she filed six counts to make the case simpler until it gets to trial.
Kautz, Lockeford Oaks development on agenda
The Lockeford Community Services District board will review a letter from San Joaquin County's Local Agency Formation Commission about a subdivision proposed by Jack Kautz and continue a discussion about the Lockeford Oaks project at today's meeting of the Lockeford Community Services District board.
Today's meeting will begin at 9 a.m. at the Lockeford Community Center's McDonald Building, 19456 N. Jack Tone Road.
First human case of West Nile virus detected
A 79-year-old man living in central San Joaquin County has tested positive for West Nile Virus while donating blood, according to the county's West Nile Virus Task Force.
The man, whose name was not disclosed by the county Health Services Department for privacy reasons, marks the first human case this year.
He has not shown any symptoms of the virus, according to San Joaquin County spokeswoman Karen McConnell.
With the recent warm weather, there has been a rapid increase in mosquitoes in the county spreading West Nile Virus, according to a news release from McConnell and Aaron Devencenzi of the county's Mosquito and Vector Control District.
About one in five people infected with West Nile virus will develop a fever, said county Health Officer Karen Furst. Symptoms include a headache, fever and fatigue. Fatigue could last several weeks to a few months.
About one in 150 people infected will develop more severe symptoms such as neck stiffness, confusion, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, numbness and paralysis.
For more information, call 469-8200 or visit http://www.sjgov.org/oes, report mosquito problems by calling 982-4675 and report all dead birds and tree squirrels at (877) 968-2473 or visit http://www.westnile.ca.gov.
Heat kills thousands of valley turkeys
FRESNO - A summer heat wave killed off tens of thousands of turkeys for the second year in a row, creating fears of a public health threat from the birds' undisposed carcasses.
About 100,000 birds died in the central San Joaquin Valley after temperatures climbed last week, reaching 111 degrees in Fresno. A significant number of deaths occurred on poultry farms associated with Fresno-based Zacky Farms Inc.
Officials in Fresno County, where more than 50,000 turkeys died, declared a local emergency and opened a county landfill to bury about 100 tons of turkey carcasses - a practice usually outlawed because of health risks.
Authorities said they saw no alternative after the farm's owner, Richard Zacky, called to say he had no place to dispose of 20 truckloads of dead turkeys.