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Posted: Wednesday, January 17, 2007 10:00 pm

Drug abuse meeting tonight at Lodi High

At 6:30 this evening at the south gymnasium, Lodi High School administrators are holding a meeting about substance abuse and plans for curbing the problem.

School officials say the rampant rise in drug use among students has touched students of all academic abilities and income levels, and they want parents to "have the information (they) need to ensure (their) children don't become part of the problem."

Lodi Police Department School Resource Officer Shad Canestrino will present information about drugs, and police and school administrators and counselors will answer parents' questions.

For more information, call during school hours: 331-7819, 331-7695, 331-7676, or 331-7650.

Some, not all, schools to receive after school funds

The Lodi Unified School District announced Tuesday that 19 elementary schools, five middle schools, the K-8 Houston School, Henderson Community Day School and Joe Serna Charter School would receive state funding for after school programs.

The district applied for $4.8 million in November. It was awarded $3.19 million. Not all schools were included because funding went to sites with more low-income families, Superintendent Bill Huyett said earlier Tuesday.

Each school is to receive $112,500 except Heritage Primary, which will receive $2,700.

Starting Feb. 6, the district will start looking at staffing and the appropriate school district offices to work with this new program.

When the after-school activities will start isn't yet known but they will operate until at least 6 p.m. each school day and provide children with a nutritious snack and one hour each of physical education, English and language arts or literacy, and "enrichment."

Trustees also agreed to open a bidding period for renovations at Live Oak Elementary. The work includes replacing floors in the kitchen and multi-purpose rooms, upgrading signal and communication systems, and installing a heating and cooling system in the kitchen.

The project is budgeted at $320,000: about $190,000 from state money authorized in 2001 for modernization projects, the state's emergency repair fund and Measure K bond sales.

The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 30 at 7 p.m. at the James Areida Education Support Center, 1305 E. Vine St.

Stockton adding more surveillance cameras

STOCKTON - The city of Stockton is adding a dozen more surveillance cameras to monitor crime at parks and intersections, expanding a program that has helped reduce crime downtown, police said.

The City Council approved $1.6 million in funds for additional cameras Tuesday, adding to the 32 installed in 2005. The cameras are part of Mayor Ed Chavez's $114 million initiative to rebuild roads, parks and civic centers.

Retired police officers will monitor video 12 hours a day during peak crime periods. The officers are not looking for petty crimes such as parking violations or littering, officials said.

The American Civil Liberties Union has complained that the cameras violate privacy and questioned whether they offer much protection, but no lawsuits have been filed against the program.

McNerney announces energy, climate caucus

Jerry McNerney, Lodi's newley elected U.S. Congressman, announced Wednesday that he has created a bipartisan working group for freshman members of Congress to discuss ways to promote American energy independence.

"Our nation's dependence on foreign oil threatens our economic and national security, while global warming threatens our quality of life and puts our families' health at risk," McNerney said in a statement released Wednesday.

McNerney has invited other freshman members of Congress to join the group and expects to schedule meetings soon.

First published: Thursday, January 18, 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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