Leaf removal begins Monday
The city of Lodi will begin its annual leaf removal program on Monday. Lodi is divided into 10 districts for leaf pickup, and it requires about 10 days to cover a complete cycle of all the districts.
Residents are asked to rake their leaves beyond the toe of the gutter, keeping the water flow unobstructed. The city will not pick up leaf piles that contain prunings, lawn clippings or flowers.
Workers will also not pick up any leaves that are in plastic bags.
Street sweeper machines have difficulty maneuvering around vehicles, so the city asks that residents park their cars off the street in areas scheduled for cleanup.
Sweeping starts at 4 a.m. and collection crews follow at 6:30 a.m. The city will not collect piles placed in the street after collection crews pass.
The Lodi News-Sentinel will publish a leaf pickup schedule every Saturday until the season ends, usually by mid-January.
Childcare fraud case getting closer to trial
Nearly two years after a woman was arrested on accusations that she defrauded San Joaquin County out of more than $93,000 worth of childcare, a preliminary hearing has finally concluded.
After the hearing, which was postponed numerous times since Tepleakhena Elizabeth Peang's Dec. 14, 2004, arrest, a judge on Oct. 23 ordered her to stand trial on all 13 felony counts of welfare fraud, grand theft and perjury, according to court records.
Peang, 30, formerly of Lodi and now of Stockton, worked for years at the county's Family Resource and Referral Center, which helps single or needy parents with childcare. While employed there, Peang allegedly said she was a single mother of four children, and she received childcare funding for six years.
But investigators alleged that Peang was actually living with the father of her children, that she bought a two-story house in north Stockton and that she added a $35,000 pool to the home.
Peang, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges, remains out of custody and is scheduled to be arraigned in court Nov. 20.
Forgery charge added in elder abuse case
A man accused of stealing his mother's veterans checks has been ordered to stand trial, and after the preliminary hearing in the case, the judge even added another charge.
John Ley, 50, was ordered Oct. 30 to stand trial on three felony counts of elder abuse, and a Lodi judge added a felony count of forgery, according to San Joaquin County Superior Court records.
Ley was first charged in August with elder abuse after his 79-year-old mother learned he was taking her deceased husband's checks and telling her the government was simply lagging, Lodi Police said at the time.
Ley will be arraigned in court Nov. 14.
CHP: Friday night crash was caused by speeder
A crash that tied up traffic Friday night on Highway 99 was triggered by a motorist traveling about 80 to 90 mph, the California Highway Patrol said Monday.
The 5:47 p.m. collision happened south of the Lodi Avenue overcrossing when the speeding Stockton driver of a 2002 Chevrolet Cavalier changed lanes behind a 1996 Chevrolet Tahoe, Officer Adrian Quintero said.
The speeding driver, Jean D. Patterson, 65, of Stockton, tried to change lanes to avoid crashing into the Tahoe but clipped the vehicle, Quintero said.
Patterson's car ended up in the ditch on the west side of the freeway and he was not injured.
The Tahoe, driven by Larry Winter, 46, of Roseville, collided with the center divide and passenger Sherry Winter went to the hospital with neck pain, Quintero said.
The 5:47 p.m. collision tied up evening commuter traffic for about an hour.
Man arrested with loaded shotgun in Galt
Two days after he appeared in court on a vehicle theft charge, a man was arrested in another stolen vehicle - this time while allegedly parked in a Galt man's driveway with a loaded shotgun across his lap.
Daniel Gutierrez, 21, of Sacramento, was detained after being Tasered, police said, and he is being held in the Sacramento County Jail on $70,000 bail. The arrest marks his seventh drug, weapons or vehicle theft case in Sacramento County in less than two years.
Police were called at 7:30 a.m. Saturday to the 100 block of Sterling Grove Drive, where the resident had found an unfamiliar Dodge Durango in his driveway, according to Galt Police Sgt. Ed Arlt. A man, whom the resident did not know, was sleeping in the vehicle and had a sawed-off shotgun lying across his lap.
Officers ordered Gutierrez out of the vehicle, and he was Tasered when he resisted arrest, Arlt said. He was then taken into custody without further incident.
The vehicle had been stolen in Sacramento, and inside it officers found shotgun shells and methamphetamine, in addition to the gun.
Gutierrez was arrested on suspicion of possession of narcotics, possession of a deadly weapon, vehicle theft, possession of ammunition and committing a crime while out on bail.
Two days earlier, he had appeared in court on charges of vehicle theft and possessing stolen property, in connection with an October arrest.
Sacramento County court records also show that Gutierrez is expected to appear in court Dec. 1 for an unrelated felony drug charge.
He is also on probation for several convictions including carrying an unregistered firearm, possession of a controlled substance and reckless driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.10 percent, more than California's legal 0.08 limit.
Rural Galt home destroyed by fire
Fire officials are investigating a two-alarm fire that destroyed a Galt home and displaced a family early Sunday morning, according to the Elk Grove Community Services District. The blaze caused an estimated $500,000 damage.
The fire was reported at 12:40 a.m. in the 13000 block of Christensen Road, in a rural area west of Galt. Thirty-two firefighters from Galt, Elk Grove, Herald, Walnut Grove, Sacramento and Wilton responded.
The fire was extinguished within 16 minutes of arrival.
The homeowner and his family were sleeping at the time of the fire, according to district spokeswoman Kristyn Staby. The homeowner reported being awakened by the smell of smoke, woke the rest of the family and helped them escape from the house. No injuries were reported.
Fire investigators ruled out arson, but the cause remained undetermined late Monday afternoon. With criminal wrongdoing eliminated as a cause, fire investigators will turn over their findings to the homeowner's insurance company to complete the investigation, Staby said.
Large amounts of flames and smoke were found in the roof and front windows of the single-story, wood-framed house when firefighters arrived seven minutes after they were dispatched, Staby said.
A second alarm was called at 12:48 a.m. to add water and personnel. Firefighters entered the building to search and fight the fire. No one was found inside.
Sewer plant discharge permit to be discussed
Woodbridge Sanitary District directors will meet Wednesday to discuss the district's state sewer discharge permit.
The board will also discuss hiring a consultant to analyze customer rates, prepare a district master plan and the feasibility of creating a district Web site.
Wednesday's meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at the Woodbridge fire station classroom, 400 E. Augusta St.
First published: Tuesday, November 7, 2006