Citywide Easterfest today
Century Assembly will have a citywide Easterfest from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at the church, 550 W. Century Blvd., Lodi.
Three egg hunts will be held at noon. Hunts will be celebrated by grade: Preschool, K-3 and 4-6. There will also be train rides, inflatables, bounce houses, game booths, ministry booths, prizes, food court, live music and a celebration word.
For more information, call 334-3225.
Hotel meth lab suspect jailed on $600K bail
A man who was arrested last weekend after the Lodi Police SWAT team forced open his hotel room door was arraigned this week and is jailed on $600,000 bail.
Ronald Magin Jr., 41, pleaded innocent Tuesday to seven charges, including felony drug possession and intent to sell, according to San Joaquin County Court records.
Magin then appeared in court again Wednesday, where he pleaded innocent to charges related to a drug incident last year. In that case, Lodi Police said, Magin allegedly ran from Stockton police officers, then abandoned his vehicle and fled -- leaving behind a child and drugs.
Last Friday, Lodi officers received a tip that Magin was staying at a Cherokee Lane motel, but he refused to answer the door, Detective Dale Eubanks said at the time.
The SWAT team then forced open the door and allegedly found what appeared to be the remnants of a drug lab, police said.
Magin is scheduled to appear in court again Tuesday.
Forgery suspects plead innocent
Two Lodi residents accused of forging checks have pleaded innocent to the charges and remain out of jail.
Jason Hosking, 22, and Jennifer Pierstorff, 23, were arrested March 10 when Lodi Police detectives arrived at their home to conduct a probation search on Hosking.
Inside the home, police allegedly found counterfeit money and numerous printers believed to be used for forgery, Sgt. Steven Price said at the time.
Hosking pleaded innocent Tuesday to felony charges of altering a fictitious check, forging a driver's license, forgery and manufacturing government identification, as well as a misdemeanor count of making fake license plates, according to court records.
Pierstorff pleaded innocent to one count of altering a fictitious check. Both will return to court April 13.
Book discussion to be held at library
A family discussion on the novel Because of Winn Dixie has been scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 16 in the Bud Sullivan Room of the Lodi Public Library.
Those wishing to be part of the discussion can pick up a copy of the book and reading guide at the library.
During the discussion in April, Friends of the Lodi Public Library will provide refreshments. The event is a part of National Library Week. The library is located at 201 W. Locust St.
Council, Wal-Mart reach indemnity agreement
Lodi City Council members agreed to an indemnity agreement with Wal-Mart in regards to the lawsuit filed Stockton Attorney Steven Herum on behest of the private citizens' group Lodi First that is opposed to the new Wal-Mart.
The action came during a closed session meeting of the council held Friday morning.
The group's suit contends that the city's environmental impact report on Wal-Mart's 226,866 square foot development is flawed. Herum has argued the report does not adequately reflect the affect of the proposed Supercenter on other businesses in Lodi. By challenging the report, Lodi First and Herum are attempting to halt construction of the new Wal-Mart.
Lodi's indemnity agreement with Wal-Mart means that the city is not liable for any costs of the law suit and that Wal-Mart is paying for legal counsel to represent the city and will pay for attorney costs if there is a ruling against the city and Wal-Mart, said City Manager Blair King.
King said he expects the agreement will go back before the council during an open session for its formal approval.
In addition to the Wal-Mart case, the council also discussed the city's ongoing lawsuit against Attorney Michael C. Donovan and his Envision Law Group. The council decided to fire Donovan in January 2004 for his alleged mismanagement to overbill the city for millions in its groundwater pollution case. The council only discussed that case and had nothing to announce at the end of the meeting.
No council meeting Tuesday morning
The Lodi City Council will not hold an informal meeting Tuesday as it usually does because three council members will be attending a San Joaquin Partnership breakfast in Stockton.
San Joaquin Partnership is a nonprofit organization that works to assist businesses in relocating to San Joaquin County.
The City Council usually holds a meeting at 7 a.m. Tuesday's during which it discusses issues but takes no formal action.
Easter Fun Run
A 5K run will be held at Lodi Lake today to raise money for the Salvation Army. Entry is $27 for adults, $10 for kids 12 and under. The event kicks off at 8 a.m. For more information, call 369-2202.
City marks completion of street reconstruction
Galt city officials celebrated a modern-looking Lincoln Way north of Galt High School at a special ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday.
The $9 million project includes new sidewalks, bike lanes, street lights and a center turn lane along Lincoln Way.
The pavement was resurfaced, and electrical, telephone and TV cable lines were placed underground. New water, wastewater and storm drain lines were installed.
A new traffic signal was installed at the Amador Avenue-Lincoln Way intersection and was interconnected with a new Lincoln Way railroad crossing.
Roadwork could cause delays next week
Motorists in the greater Lodi area should expect delays due to a variety of roadwork next week. Caltrans will be working on projects in the following areas:
• On southbound Interstate 5, between Peltier Road and Turner Road to construct a guardrail. Delays of up to five minutes are scheduled on Wednesday and Thursday. The No. 2 lane will be closed.
• Northbound Interstate 5 between Highway 12 and Peltier Road on the same days, for the same reason.
• Highway 12 (Kettleman Lane) between Lower Sacramento Road and South Ham Lane in Lodi for road widening. The No. 1 lane in both directions will be restricted by workers Monday through Friday.
Wells, septic tanks flood east of Lodi
Rural areas east of Lodi were flooded during storms earlier this week, threatening to overflow drainage ditches, wells and septic tanks.
Some residents reported that they avoided flushing toilets or washing their clothes.
Al Olsen, program manager for the San Joaquin County Environmental Health Department, said Friday that such problems are typical of living in the country during heavy rain.
Those with water filling wells and septic tanks should wait for them to dry out before using them again, Olsen said. He couldn't say how long it takes for septic tanks and wells to dry because it depends on several factors, such as soil, how warm the weather is, if it's windy and how good the drainage is.
"It's pretty site specific," Olsen said.
Two missing feared dead after van found in river
TRACY -- A search for two people who had been reported missing this week turned tragic Thursday when the van they were last seen in was found in Old River.
The van was pulled out of the water around 8:30 p.m., with two bodies inside. California Highway Patrol would not release the names until family members made positive identification, but officers confirmed that the missing van belonged to Thomas Padilla, 47, of Stockton.
Family and friends had been looking since Monday evening for Padilla and Terri Jo Granath, 34, both part of a close-knit community that gathers at the Heinbockel Inn on Finck Road just off Tracy Boulevard.
Granath's aunt, Nancy Hagen, said she saw the two Monday evening when she gave Padilla a ride to the American Legion Hall on Tracy Boulevard. She said that he and Granath showed up later at the Heinbockel Inn north of Tracy.
Folks at the bar told Hagen that the couple left at about 10:30 p.m. in Padilla's 1994 Chevrolet Lumina van.
The next day, the families of the two said they were worried that something had happened. Padilla didn't show up to work at the San Francisco Housing Authority, where he has been a custodian for the past 22 years.
Granath didn't pick up her 7-year-old son, Austin, from school on Tuesday, part of her joint custody agreement with the boy's father.
"Something's wrong," Sharon Hewitt, Granath's mother, said earlier Thursday. "She never misses picking him up."
Family members described them both as loving parents and responsible people -- Granath with her son and daughter, and Padilla with his wife and a teenage daughter and son.