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Posted: Thursday, November 2, 2006 10:00 pm

Councilman Beckman accepts job in Lathrop

Lodi City Councilman John Beckman's time in politics is coming to a close. The one-term councilman has accepted a job as the Economic Development Director for the City of Lathrop.

After he ran in the primary for San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors and lost, Beckman decided not to run for reelection to City Council. He said he has put his political ambitions on hold for the moment.

"I will be very content being the Economic Development Director for a long time," he said. "I am excited to have the ability to help the City of Lathrop grow and prosper."

Beckman, who works for the Building Industry Association of the Delta as Director of Government Affairs, will start in Lathrop on Nov. 27. His last council meeting will be Dec. 5.

Local leaders play 'Principal for a Day'

At least two dozen local business and government professionals are stepping back into classrooms throughout Lodi Unified School District this week.

The "Principal for a Day" program was designed to foster partnerships between businesses, schools and government. But schoolchildren get a kick out of seeing their local leaders up close and personal.

The "principals" will learn firsthand what it takes to run a school and will visit classrooms, handle recess duty, and generally observe how schools operate.

The guest principals include Blair King, Lodi city manager; Tim Martinez, San Joaquin County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce board member; Raul Rodriguez, San Joaquin Delta College president; and Barry Rondinella, Stockton Airport director.

Residents wondering what happened to mail

Residents in Woodbridge's Windwood neighborhood were baffled this week when they didn't get their mail Monday and Tuesday.

The problem stems from the Woodbridge Post Office consolidating its routes from three carriers to two, according to postal spokesman Gus Ruiz from the San Jose office.

Windwood residents Ron Rader and Mike Bange said they were told that mail wouldn't be delivered once it got dark in the evening. Woodbridge postal officials declined to comment, but Ruiz said failing to deliver all the mail is against post office policy and that he will investigate the situation. Residents finally caught up with their mail on Wednesday.

Windwood residents, who previously received their mail in midday, began getting mail between 4 and 6 p.m. after their route was eliminated about two weeks ago and absorbed by one of the other carriers.

St. Christopher's to discuss police relations

Members of St. Christopher's Catholic Church have invited Galt police and other city officials to discuss ways to improve relations between police officers and the Hispanic community on Sunday.

A packed sanctuary heard Spanish-speaking church members describe what they considered to be racial profiling by police officers. New priest Robert Copsey, former St. Christopher's priest Jerry Ryle and Cruz Reynoso, former associate justice of the California Supreme Court, are expected to attend. Reynoso lives in Herald.

The meeting will begin at 3 p.m. at the church, 950 S. Lincoln Way, Galt.

Plane with former Tracy couple aboard missing

American bush pilots have been searching the Baja Peninsula of Mexico and the Gulf of California for the past week for a single-engine plane carrying former Tracy residents Gary and Peggy Toste Thomas of Escalon.

But so far, there has been no sign of the Bonanza that is believed to have taken off from the airport at Cabo San Lucas on Oct. 23 in the face of Hurricane Paul.

The air search for the plane is being carried out by four American pilots who earlier had flown to Mulege, about a third of the way down the 600-mile-long Baja Peninsula, Toste said. Don Johnson, owner of a hotel near where the Thomases have a vacation home in Mulege, is organizing the search, he reported.

Toste said he last heard from his daughter Oct. 23. She told him the plane had taken off from the landing strip at Mulege to head home. The couple had flown there three days earlier to deliver food and water to locals following an earlier hurricane.

Apparently, the plane stayed on the ground for only several hours, however, before taking off again and heading north, the Tostes have learned.

First published: Friday, November 3, 2006

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