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Posted: Monday, November 14, 2005 10:00 pm

Lodi Salvation Army women's shelter opens

The long-awaited women and children's portion of the Lodi Salvation Army's Hope Harbor Family Service Center quietly opened Oct. 27.

Major Frank Severs said that the opening was kept secret so that adjustments could be made. Single women and women with children have been staying at the shelter. The women and children's dormitory includes 27 beds, a lounge area and a children's play room.

"So far, everything is going good," Severs said. "We're opening it slowly."

The men's portion of the shelter and the community dining room opened in late May. Since then, the men's shelter has been filled to capacity most of the time.

A grand opening will be held at 11 a.m. on Nov. 29 at the shelter, 622 N. Sacramento St.

Disaster Relief Coalition to meet tonight

The citizens group Lodi Disaster Relief Coalition will conduct elections and discuss a major fund-raising effort to purchase bleach to quite literally clean up Louisiana at 5:30 p.m. today at First United Methodist Church, 200 W. Oak St., Lodi.

Large amounts of bleach are needed because structures in hurricane-ravaged Louisiana and Mississippi are filled with mold and soggy walls, said Randy Rosá, one of the Lodi organization's leaders.

The group will also discuss transporting old trailers for temporary housing in Louisiana.

Former Lodi child molester sentenced to 12 years in new case

A former Lodi resident who spent years in prison for molesting 8-year-old children will spend another decade behind bars for a similar offense.

Larry John Curlee, now 55, was sentenced Wednesday in Santa Cruz County Superior Court to 12 years in state prison. He had pleaded no contest last month to two felony charges of child molestation.

Curlee received 285 days worth of credit for time already spent in jail, then must serve at least 85 percent of the remaining time before he is eligible for parole, according to court records. Under those guidelines, he could be paroled in about 9 1/2 years.

The traveling wine salesman was arrested in March after allegedly befriending an 8-year-old girl and her mother in Santa Cruz County, then molesting the girl at her home.

Curlee had previously served more than nine years in prison after a San Joaquin County jury convicted him in 1992 of molesting 8-year-old Lodi girls between 1989 and 1991.

Though he was sentenced to 16 years in prison for that case, he was released in July 2000, then returned to prison twice for violating his parole. He was then discharged from prison in July 2004, about eight months before he was arrested in Santa Cruz County.

The latest case counts as Curlee's second strike under California's three-strikes law. If charged again, he could spend life in prison.

Lodi council to discuss ambulance service, utilities

At this morning's meeting, the Lodi City Council will discuss the apparent contract between San Joaquin County and the ambulance company American Medical Response to provide exclusive service in the county.

Council members will also hear quarterly reports from the interim director of the Lodi Electric Utility and the city's public works director.

The meeting begins at 7 a.m. today and will be held in Carnegie Forum, 305 W. Pine St.

Greenbelt task force meets tonight

The city's Greenbelt Task Force will meet at 7 p.m. today in the community room of the Lodi Library.

Members of the task force discuss how to create a greenbelt or urban separator between Lodi and Stockton.

Memorial service for Aaron Brooks

The community is invited to a memorial service for Aaron Brooks at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Galt High School gymnasium, 145 N. Lincoln Way.

Brooks, a 15-year-old Galt High student, was found dead on Nov. 5 in 2 feet of water just east of Emerald Vista Park. Salvatore Carmelo Maggio, 19, is charged with Brooks' murder. Maggio is in custody on no bail at Sacramento County Jail.

Rick Keiser, an associate pastor at Family Life Christian Church, will conduct the memorial service. It will include music from the Galt High School choir, a poem and several speakers.

The public will be invited to make brief comments as well.

A spaghetti dinner held last week at Littleton Community Center to benefit the Brooks family attracted an overflow crowd. Up to 700 people showed up at different times throughout the evening and the dinner raised about $15,000, according to Patrice Moreno, who helped organize it.

City Council to recognize Laura Recovery Center

The Galt City Council will consider a proclamation to the Laura Recovery Center, a nonprofit organization from Texas that organized a search effort for the late Aaron Brooks, at tonight's City Council meeting.

In other action tonight, council members are scheduled to:

• Hear a presentation on the Safe Route to Schools Program by Paul Zykofsky of the Local Government Commission.

• Consider a resolution supporting the Route 99 Improvement Guide and Corridor Master Plan prepared by Caltrans and the Great Valley Center.

• Issue certificates to City Council members Tom Malson and Barbara Payne for completing the League of California Cities' Leadership Academy.

Today's council meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 380 Civic Dr.

Future of Galt High, city projects to be discussed

Galt Mayor Darryl Clare and Galt High Superintendent Thomas Gemma will discuss the city's future at Thursday's Galt District Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

Clare will discuss issues facing Galt over the next 20 years including an updated general plan, possible annexations, Highway 99 interchange improvements at C Street and Twin Cities Road, and the possibilities of a Wal-Mart Supercenter and a Del Webb senior complex coming to Galt.

Gemma will discuss the passage of Measure B in last week's special election, including a construction timeline for the construction of Liberty Ranch and the new Estrellita high school campuses.

The chamber luncheon, priced at $10, will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Wholey Ravioli, located in the Galt Plaza shopping center at 1067 C St. For reservations, call 745-2529.

Water board to hear about flooding disasters

A report on the effects of flooding in San Joaquin County will be made at Wednesday's county Advisory Water Commission meeting.

Steve Winkler, the county's deputy public works director, will discuss Delta channels and levees, dam failure and the potential of flooding along rivers and streams in eastern San Joaquin County.

In other action, the water commission will hear an update on the city of Stockton's water supply project and county groundwater data.

Wednesday's meeting, open to the public, will be held at 1 p.m. in the Public Health conference room, 1601 E. Hazelton Ave., Stockton.

Farmers, builders release ideas on agricultural preservation

A committee comprised of builders, farmers and activists has reached a consensus on a series of approaches to preserving agricultural land in San Joaquin County.

Calling itself the 3x3x3 Committee, the group will release its findings at the San Joaquin Board of Supervisors meeting today. Members include John Kautz of Ironstone Vineyards, Jim Panagopolous of the Spanos Company and Trevor Atkinson of the preservation group Campaign for Common Ground.

The committee is calling for a program to preserve one acre of farmland for every acre of development and is seeking its adoption by the county and every city.

Mosquito board meets today

The San Joaquin County Mosquito and Vector Control District will hold its regular meeting at 1 p.m. today

The group meets monthly at its Stockton office, 7759 S. Airport Way. For more information, call 982-4675.

News-Sentinel looking for readers with alternate holiday plans

Celebrating Thanksgiving with your poker buddies at a favorite Chinese restaurant? Avoiding the hassles of travel to kick back for a simple holiday meal with friends instead of the elaborate family tradition?

If so, the News-Sentinel would like to hear about your Thanksgiving plans, contact reporter Andrew Adams at 369-7035 or andrewa@lodinews.com.

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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?

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