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Posted: Wednesday, September 14, 2005 10:00 pm

January trial set in old Lodi homicide

A man charged with murder in a drive-by Lodi shooting nearly five years ago is currently scheduled to stand trial in January.

Mario Angulo, 25, remains jailed without bail, charged in the Oct. 24, 2000, slaying of Johnny Angel Moreno, 20.

Moreno was gunned down in the 500 block of South Washington Street, and Ruben Martin Santana Jr. pleaded guilty to murder in 2002. Angulo was identified at the time as a second suspect, and Lodi Police detectives believe he fled to Mexico shortly after the shooting.

When police got word that Angulo may have returned to the area, they tracked him to North Stockton. Angulo was arrested Jan. 27.

Angulo, who has had two different defense attorneys, appeared in court Monday with a court-appointed attorney, according to San Joaquin County court records. He is scheduled to next appear in court Dec. 5.

Recycling center assault suspect pleads guilty

A recycling center employee who assaulted a customer and was then arrested when a retired Lodi police officer saw him changing clothes in Mervyn’s pleaded guilty to charges Tuesday.

Gabriel Casanova, 22, of Stockton, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of assault and was fined $251, according to San Joaquin County Court records. He was also sentenced to 45 days in jail, placed on three years of probation and ordered to stay away from the victim, 43-year-old Felipe Perales, of Lodi.

Casanova was arrested July 29 after getting into an altercation with Perales, who accused Casanova of short-changing him at the Kettleman Lane recycling center. Casanova assaulted Perales with a knife, police said at the time, but no medical attention was needed.

After the incident, Casanova ran across the parking lot, bought clothes in Mervyn’s and asked to change in the fitting room so he could get to a job interview, according to police.

Officers looking for him were alerted by retired Lodi Police Lt. Frank Grenko, who happened to be in Mervyn’s when Casanova entered.

Trial scheduled for convicted child molester

A former man who spent more than nine years in prison for molesting Lodi children will stand trial on new Santa Cruz County charges in October.

Larry John Curlee, 54, is jailed on $1 million bail and is scheduled to return to court Sept. 23, with a trial starting Oct. 3, according to Santa Cruz County court records.

A San Joaquin County jury in 1992 convicted Curlee of molesting Lodi children who were all around the age of 8. In the new case, Curlee allegedly befriended an 8-year-old girl and her mother, then molested the girl in her home, according to Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s officials.

Curlee had been sentenced to 16 years in prison for the Lodi case but was paroled in 2000. After twice violating the terms of his parole and returning to prison for months at a time, Curlee’s sentence was finished in July 2004.

He moved to Redding, but traveled due to his wine selling business, Sheriff’s officials said.

Because of his prior conviction, Curlee could now spend life in prison if convicted of all charges.

Lower Sacramento to have further contruction

Lower Sacramento Road will be closed from Kettleman and Harney lanes through Oct. 21 as part of San Joaquin County’s $7 million project to upgrade storm drainage and water systems in the area.

The Lower Sacramento Road-Harney Lane intersection is also closed.

Several streets will be closed to through traffic, but open to local traffic. They are:

Lower Sacramento Road from Armstrong Road north to Harney Lane.

Harney Lane between West Lane and Davis Road.

Additionally, northbound traffic on Lower Sacramento Road will be detoured at Armstrong Road to West Lane.

The drainage and water projects are one stage of a project that will realign the Lower Sacramento Road-Harney Lane intersection.

Lodi Unified will seek McNair landscaper

Claiming landscape work at the McNair High School construction site was not proceeding satisfactorily, Lodi Unified officials agreed Tuesday night to seek a new vendor for the job.

The decision came during a special meeting, where board members listened to the owner of Emert Construction, a Stockton-based company, defend the claim of non-performance.

On Wednesday, Lodi Unified Superintendent Bill Huyett said owner Glen Emert cited weather for work delays, but declined to comment further in case of possible future litigation.

Huyett said officials were advised by legal counsel that they were acting in a correct and legal manner.

Lodi Unified will now seek another landscaper for the high school, and is not obligated to request multiple bids for the project.

PacifiCare pairs with Sutter Lodi, adds local doctors to its ranks

Members of healthcare provider PacifiCare have teamed with Sutter Gould Medical Group, allowing patients access to as many as 16 local primary care physicians in the Lodi area.

News of the partnership came less than a week after reports that the two healthcare companies had not reached an agreement — and that some patients would be denied access to doctors who affiliated with Sutter.

Now PacifiCare is allowing Lodi patients to re-link to their former primary care physicians retroactively to Sept. 1 if they have not had services.

Patients who have received care from their newly assigned doctors will have to go through the normal primary care physician change guidelines.

For more information on recent changes or the partnership, call Sutter’s Modesto office at 524-1211 or (800) 470-0071.

Galt High District bond gets a designation

After nearly a year of discussion at the district level, Galt High School District trustees have a name for the $29 million federal obligation bond they will float before voters in a November election.

If passed, funds from Measure B will go toward the completion of a second major high school in the Galt area.

The high school, being planned for a 52-acre plot of land northeast of Galt’s city limits, has been estimated to cost around $71 million dollars.

To bridge the gap, the district can scale back its plans or look for other cost-saving measures, Superintendent Thomas Gemma has told Galt residents.

To pass, Measure B needs to garner a two-thirds majority of votes cast.

Galt High trustees look to fill new positions

Members of the Galt Joint Union School Board approved two new personnel matters Tuesday night and agreed to postpone a contract with architects for their second high school.

Trustees voted for another full-time assistant principal’s position at Galt High School, in addition to two full-time and two part-time positions already on the campus.

The additional staff will help meet the needs of an increased student population and will allow the district to assign administration to its second high school, being planned for as early as 2009, said Superintendent Thomas Gemma.

Officials also welcomed a new transportation director, hired by Galt Elementary School District to serve both agencies. Bruce Becker will replace long-time director Sheri Glaser, who recently retired from the department.

Trustees suspended a decision on a contract with California architect Heiser and Associates for work at the new school.

The group, hired by former Superintendent Christine Hoffman, reportedly drew plans for the campus at a reported cost of about $4 million, which drew criticism from some residents.

On Wednesday, Gemma said the matter involves possible litigation, declining to comment further.

Workshop on Del Webb development scheduled

A workshop on the controversial Del Webb age-restricted housing proposal on Twin Cities Road will be held at 7 p.m. Sept. 26 at Galt City Hall, 380 Civic Drive.

Del Webb proposes a 2,600-home, 887-acre project on Twin Cities Road, west of Christensen Road and the Galt sewer treatment plant. If approved by the City Council, the development will include a nine-hole golf course, open space, recreation center and some commercial areas.

The city is considering whether to seek annexation of the Del Webb property as it deliberates its new general plan.

For more information about the general plan, call Principal Planner Sandra Kiriu at 366-7230, send an e-mail to Planning@ci.galt.ca.us or see the city’s Web site, http://www.ci.galt.ca.us and click on the orange general plan icon.

Lockeford MAC meeting canceled

The Lockeford Municipal Advisory Council meeting scheduled for tonight has been canceled. The next meeting will be held on Oct. 20.

Fire board candidates to speak

The six candidates for the Thornton Rural Fire Protection District board have been invited to speak at Tuesday’s Neighborhood Watch meeting.

Candidates are incumbents Clayton Henke and Frank Yoka Jr., and challengers Lance Casqueiro, Walter Chumbley, Jacob Doushy and Karen Honer.

The meeting, open to the community, will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the New Hope School cafeteria, 26675 N. Sacramento Blvd.

Recorder’s office switch from microfilm to digital

Anyone wanting to scan through documents at the county’s Assessor-Recorder-County Clerk’s Office will soon not have to worry about dizziness while scrolling through a reel of microfilm.

The Board of Supervisors authorized the county to transfer all of the office’s records from microfilm to a digital image format. The transfer will cost $212,892, and will be performed by Cerritos-based with Lason Systems, Inc.

“Currently, if you wanted to come in and look at a deed from 1985, we would have to look up the reel, wind it through, make the copies,” Assistant Assessor-Recorder David Leonard said. “It’s a labor-intensive operation.”

But by early next year, people will be able to search for records on several public computers in the office. Because of several restrictions on records, internet searches will not be done outside of the office.

The project is being undertaken for several reasons, county officials said. Foremost, microfilm deteriorates, and takes up too much space. The transfer will also free up staff hours, because every time someone wants to see a record on microfilm, an employee has to search for it and set up a machine.

“This is a huge benefit for the public,” Leonard said.

The Assessor-Recorder-County Clerk’s Office keeps all records of deeds of trust, birth, death and marriage certificates, and more.

The project is supposed to take about six months.

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