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Posted: Thursday, February 26, 2009 10:00 pm

The Sacramento Kings' chaplain, a "clean" comic and an Army captain who survived the Somalian conflict will be the guests at the sixth annual Stand Together Men's Conference from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday at First Baptist Church, 267 N. Mills Ave., Lodi.

Conference organizers hope to attract 1,200 men to the event, said Rich Manning, men's ministry director at Bear Creek Community Church.

Speakers will include:

  • U.S. Army Ranger Capt. Jeff Struecker will discuss the events leading up to his being cut off from the safety of his unit in Somalia and how his faith protected him on the enemy-filled streets as he made his way back to the safety of the U.S. troops.
  • Bishop S.C. Carthen, senior pastor of Bayside of South Sacramento Church and chaplain to the Sacramento Kings basketball team.
  • "Clean" comic and 2007 Stage Magician of the Year Dana Daniels will bring his psychic parrot, Luigi.
  • A Q&A session with be held with four area pastors.
  • A tri-tip and chili lunch will be served.

The men's conference started with 350 people six years ago and grew in attendance each year, said Paul Wilbur, who attends Temple Baptist Church.

Participating churches include Bear Creek, Temple Baptist, Grace Community Church in Woodbridge, First Baptist, Calvary Bible, Horizon and Century Assembly.

Tickets are $30 online today, but the price goes up to $35 on Saturday. For more information, call 329-1600 or visit www.sjvmm.org.

Pearson Road to be closed at tracks

Armstrong Road east of Pearson Road will be closed from 7 to 9 a.m. Tuesday so that Union Pacific Railroad can make repairs and do asphalt work.

Motorists can use Micke Grove, Eight Mile and Pearson roads as alternate routes, according to a statement from the San Joaquin County Public Works Department.

Lodi man linked to dead body found in Dublin

DUBLIN - After police pulled over a Lodi man for a routine traffic stop, officers later discovered a dead body at his home in this Bay Area city off of Highway 580 west of Livermore.

At around 2:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Dublin police pulled over Douglas Campbell, 53, of Lodi.

Campbell was arrested on the charge of possession of a controlled substance for sale after a "substantial amount" of the drugs gamma hydroxy butyrate (GHB) and methamphetamine were recovered from the vehicle.

Police also arrested Rick Shahan, 53, who lived at the home, in conjunction with the earlier drug offense.

Dublin Police Lt. Glenn Moon said in the course of their investigation officers learned that there was possibly a dead man at Shahan's house.

Moon said officers went to the home and found the body of man who appeared to be in his mid 40s lying near a hot tub in the back yard. There were no preliminary indications of foul play and the man's identity is being withheld until next of kin can be notified.

An autopsy indicated no obvious cause of death and the final cause will be determined after toxicology reports, Moon said.

Anyone with further information about this incident is asked to contact Moon at 925-833-6689.

Chief probation officer named

Patricia Mazzilli, who has served 23 years with the San Joaquin County Probation Department, has been named chief probation officer. She has been assistant chief probation officer the past three years.

Mazzilli was previously group counselor at Mary Graham Children's Shelter in Stockton, a 24-hour center for dependent children.

She will begin her new duties on Monday.

Cogdill introduces high-ticket water bill

With California in the midst of a drought, State Sen. Dave Cogdill, R-Modesto, has introduced a bill to issue nearly $10 billion in general obligation bonds to invest in the state's aging water infrastructure.

"Recent rainfall has been a blessing, but it's just a drop in the bucket when compared to the epic drought the state is currently facing," Cogdill said in a written statement.

The $9.98 billion proposal calls for $3 billion in additional water storage, $1.5 billion for a reliable water supply, $2.4 billion for a sustainable management plan for the Delta and local conveyance projects, $520 million to improve conservation and water use, $950 million to reduce groundwater contamination and treatment of wastewater and stormwater, $1 billion for river restoration and $610 million for other projects including restoration of watersheds devastated by forest fires, removal of fish barriers and ocean projection.

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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?

Total Votes: 37

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