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Posted: Sunday, December 18, 2005 10:00 pm

Seeking Christmas family traditions

Do you have a unique family tradition for Christmas? Lodi Living wants to hear from you.

For example, does your family prepare a special dish, drive somewhere together or read aloud a Christmas story? We're specifically looking for upbeat or unusual traditions. Cultural or ethnic traditions are also welcomed.

Please contact Lodi Living editor Tricia Tomiyoshi at 369-7035 or e-mail her at triciat@lodinews.com by 5 p.m. today.

Woman hurt after being broadsided on I-5

A 19-year-old Sacramento woman suffered a possible fractured pelvis after being broadsided at 12:18 p.m. Sunday on rain-slickened Interstate 5, the California Highway Patrol said.

Mindy Smith was in stable condition Sunday night at San Joaquin General Hospital in French Camp, a hospital nurse said. Driving a Dodge Neon north on I-5, just south of Highway 12, Smith may have spun out in the rainy weather, a CHP report said. She was broadsided by a Dodge Durango, an SUV driven by Travis Wyatt, 24, of Livingston, the report said.

Two passengers in Smith's car, Chris Hardiman of Rancho Cordova and a 13-year-old girl whose name was not disclosed, complained of pain and were taken to Lodi Memorial Hospital, the CHP said.

Wyatt's SUV has two passengers as well. They complained of pain, but they weren't hospitalized, the report said.

The accident is under investigation.

Police raises, skatepark improvements proposed

The Galt City Council will consider on Tuesday allocating a 5 percent salary increase for Police Chief Doug Matthews and Lts. Ken Erickson and Jim Uptegrove, effective Jan. 1.

In other action Tuesday, the council will consider:

• Renovations to the Chabolla Skatepark, including temporary fencing and the removal of four picnic tables and barbecue fence.

• Changing the skatepark hours to 2:30 to 5 p.m. weekdays and from noon to 5 p.m. on weekends from Jan. 1 through April 30.

• Adopting Galt Youth Committee bylaws.

• Allocating federally funded transit expenditures.

• An agreement with the Sacramento County Department of Human Assistance to use Chabolla Community Center for its senior nutrition program from July 1, 2005, through June 30, 2008.

Tuesday's City Council meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 380 Civic Drive.

Blood bank, Red Cross ask for blood donations

Delta Blood Bank and two local chapters of the American Red Cross are urging people to donate blood during the holiday season, when fewer donors show up and the need for blood spikes.

For the last two weeks, blood donation has run low as schedules gets busy when the holidays approach. The blood bank received only 157 pints on Wednesday, said Jacqui Davy, community outreach director, and it needs 250 pints of blood a day to keep up with the demand in the four counties it serves - San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Calaveras and Tuolumne.

Early Friday, when a Turlock police officer underwent emergency surgery after being shot, the blood bank needed to provide several pints of blood. That was just one patient served by the blood bank that day.

The drop in blood donation around Christmas is a national trend, but things can get worse in the Central Valley when there are fog-related accidents. The number of attempted suicides can also increase this time of year.

Donated blood can be stored for 42 days before it goes bad, Davy said.

"If the trend continues, we won't have blood on the shelf and all the blood types," she said.

That's why the San Joaquin and Stanislaus chapters of the American Red Cross will throw their weight behind a year-end blood drive, which started Friday, continues today and Fridays and Saturdays through Dec. 31.

Liza Cruz, volunteer director of the San Joaquin County Red Cross, said she has sent e-mails to more than 600 people about the blood drive.

To highlight the urgency of boosting the blood supply, Jean Gleason, head of the San Joaquin County American Red Cross chapter, gave blood Thursday afternoon.

"Once we make the community know blood donation is low, the community will step up to the plate," Cruz said.

Donors will be entered in a drawing to win one of two pairs of premier tickets for a January home game of the Stockton Thunder hockey team at the new Stockton Arena.

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