A documented Lodi gang member and parolee was arrested early Thursday morning after allegedly confronting and punching someone he thought belonged to a rival gang.
Police then searched his home and allegedly found a stolen handgun, which led to the arrest of another alleged gang member.
Joel Millan, 25, of Lodi, was arrested on suspicion of assault causing serious bodily injury after confronting someone outside Stooges, 105 W. Pine St., said Lodi Police Sgt. Bill Alexander. Millan allegedly asked the victim if he was a gang member, then punched him in the face around 1 a.m.
Millan, who has a lengthy criminal record, is currently on parole and is a documented Norteno gang member, Alexander said. Most parolees are subject to searches, so police went to Millan's home in the 700 block of South Garfield Street.
There they allegedly found a stolen large-caliber handgun and ammunition.
Kendra Rachelle Nunes, 20, was arrested at the home on allegations ranging from gang activity to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Lodi Unified School District declares impasse with teachers union
The Lodi Unified School District has declared an impasse with the teachers' union. Union members denied a tentative labor contract last month that included furlough days for the current school year and next, as well as salary cuts.
Despite continued closed-door meetings with the union's bargaining team, including one on Wednesday, the district determined Thursday it could not come to a new agreement. A third-party mediator will have to be called in, but the process could take weeks.
In a letter sent to union members, president Sue Kenmotsu said the Lodi Education Association had no plans to declare impasse. "We believe a settlement is possible without mediation," she said.
Neither she nor a district representative could be reached for further comment Thursday afternoon.
In impasse, the Public Employee Relations Board assigns a mediator who provides advice; neither side has to act on the recommendations. If an agreement still cannot be made, the process continues and can ultimately end in a strike. In her e-mail, Kenmotsu warned that the matter will likely extend into the summer.
Meanwhile, the school board scheduled a public meeting for Monday to take a final vote to issue 440 teacher layoff notices. It will be held at 7 p.m. at the James Arieda Education Support Center, 1305 E. Vine St.
The layoffs are being made to close a $30 million district budget shortfall and are not directly related to the labor contract issue. However, administrators have said fewer would lose their jobs in a contract was approved.
Lodi Memorial Hospital to hold public tours of new wing
Lodi Memorial Hospital's new wing will be open for the public to see it Saturday.
The $158 million wing opened in December to little fanfare, due to a flu scare. Visitors were strictly limited to avoid the spread of H1N1, so officials are finally holding a public event to display parts of the hospital expansion.
A health fair, including screenings for people as well as children's teddy bears, will be free of charge in the new outside healing garden. Free screenings test cholesterol, glucose, body fat, oxygen-saturation and blood pressure.
Young and old alike are welcome — pediatricians will even perform wellness checks on dolls and teddy bears. Pedometers will be given to the first 500 people who want them. Tours will also be given.
The event is being held in conjunction with the annual "Walk for the Health of It," a run and walk that raises money for the hospital. The race starts at 9 a.m., with awards at the end.
The official south wing dedication will start around 10:15 a.m., or at the end of the walk awards. The health fair lasts from 10:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
The event is held at the hospital, 975 S. Fairmont Ave. For more information, go to lodihealth.org.
The run/walk features a 5K (3.1-mile) walk, 5K timed run, a 5K poker walk and a one-mile walk. All events start and end in the hospital parking lot. Registration includes a T-shirt and costs $20 per person or $30 per family with three shirts. For more information, go to lmhfoundation.org or call 339-7582.
Fusion Friday season begins at Borra Vineyards
Tonight at Borra Vineyards, the winery will host its first "Fusion Friday" event of the season. Live music, food and wine will be available to participants. Angelina's Spaghetti House will be offering dinners available for purchase. Complimentary appetizers will be available as well. RB/X 50's & 60's Doo Wop Band will be performing.
Borra Vineyards is located at 1301 E. Armstrong Rd and the event runs from 5 to 7:30 p.m. The cost to attend is $12 and includes a crystal Borra Vineyards logo wine glass and a glass of wine.
For more information, call 368-2446.
Award-winning wineries pouring at tasting event
Seventeen wineries that garnered awards at the Consumer Wine Awards in March will be pouring tastings tonight at Hutchins Street Square starting at 6 p.m. The winning wineries come from a variety of states, including California. Jefferson Vineyards, located on Thomas Jefferson's original Monticello vineyard site in Virginia, will be one of the wineries offering tastings.
Tickets to the event are $30 at the door, but advance tickets can be purchased for $25 by calling Kelly Brown at 329-7712. Appetizers from Tin Roof BBQ, Pietro's and Alebrijes Mexican Bistro will be available as well.
The Consumer Wine Awards was hosted by the Lodi-Tokay Rotary Club and open to wines from every region and varietal from around the world.
Prankster in custody after school bomb scare
A McCaffrey Middle School student was taken into custody by Galt Police on Thursday after admitting to allegedly making a prank call concerning a bomb on campus.
Personnel in the school office retrieved a voicemail message communicating that a bomb would be placed at the school, according to a press release issued by the elementary district.
The nature of the voicemail left the school and district office administration with the initial impression that the threat was a student prank. The Galt Police Department responded and concurred with administration.
However, board policies and emergency procedures compelled the school to utilize all resources to act in the interest of safety of the students and faculty.
Students were evacuated and escorted by faculty to the field. At that time, search teams of police officers entered the classrooms and other school areas to conduct a search but nothing was found.
Students were escorted back to class and parents were notified and given the option to check students out of school.
A student, whose name was not released, came forward and admitted the prank call was made from home just before leaving for school. The student was taken into custody by police.
Aspire schools to receive multi million-dollar grant
The Gates and Schwab Foundations announced Thursday they will back a California charter school network's efforts to secure $93 million in tax-exempt bonds to help them expand and serve more than 4,000 new students.
Both the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation have provided $8 million in unfunded guarantees to Aspire Public Schools to back the charter organization's bond financing for new school buildings.
The nonprofit charter school network operates 25 schools educating more than 7,600 students in grades K-12 in six California communities, including a campus in North Stockton. It is part of the Lodi Unified School District.
By 2020, the organization hopes to have more than 60 public schools in its network.
Aspire was founded in 1998 and focuses on communities with a large percentage of low-income and minority students. In state test scores, Aspire schools went up 30 points on average this past year, the charter organization said. California's growth target for Aspire students is 3 points a year.
Aspire is one of five California-based charter management organizations that worked as a team to win a $60 million grant from the Gates Foundation for a new teacher training initiative.
Last year, Don Shalvey, co-founder and CEO of Aspire Public Schools, accepted an offer to join the foundation's education team.
— Staff and news services