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Posted: Wednesday, March 8, 2006 10:00 pm

Driver will be cited in collision with student

A motorist who struck a Lodi High sophomore while she was crossing the street will be cited for violating a pedestrian's right of way, police said Wednesday.

The driver, identified as a 69-year-old Acampo resident, was driving 27 mph when he struck the 15-year-old girl in a crosswalk on Lodi Avenue at Virginia Street Tuesday afternoon.

That was just two miles over the speed limit for the area, which is posted at 25 mph when children are present.

Police report that the victim was held overnight at San Joaquin County General Hospital on Tuesday for observation and was released the following morning.

Meanwhile, an investigation of the incident determined the driver was not under the influence of any substance and that there was no gross negligence on his part, according to Officer Dale Eubanks.

The man had not been cited by police as of Wednesday afternoon.

His car, a blue Honda Civic is being held in an impound for further inspection to ensure no mechanical defects were involved in the accident.

Suspect arrested again for meth possession

Two years after the Lodi SWAT team searched the home of a man who'd been arrested for carrying a loaded gun, drugs and $2,000 cash, he was again arrested Tuesday night on new drug allegations.

In his car, police found a certificate indicating that he had completed a drug treatment program.

Detectives arrested Serjenio Sosa, 26, during a traffic stop around 11 p.m. and found a small amount of methamphetamine in his possession, Sgt. Chris Piombo said. He had almost $4,500 in cash bundles in his pockets, which was seized during the investigation, Piombo said.

In January 2004, Lodi police had stopped Sosa for a seat belt violation and soon discovered that he had a loaded handgun in his waistband, was wearing a bulletproof vest and had $2,000 in cash along with marijuana and methamphetamine, Piombo said at the time. The SWAT team then served a search warrant at his Woodbridge home on North Orange Street.

Two weeks later, Sosa accepted a deal with San Joaquin County prosecutors. He pleaded no contest to possession of a controlled substance for sale and was sentenced to a year in jail. He was also fined $881, placed on five years of probation and ordered to register as a narcotics offender.

By Wednesday evening Sosa had bailed out of jail on the new charges, according to Lodi jail records.

LUSD to consider student expulsion

Members of the Lodi Unified School Board will discuss a student expulsion in a closed session meeting today at 6 p.m.

The content of the discussion will not be disclosed to the public, but if trustees take any action, that action will be reported publicly after the meeting.

Members of the public will be allowed to speak in a public comment on the matter before the board withdraws to go to its closed meeting.

The meeting will be held in the James Areida Education Support Center, 1305 E. Vine St.

City will give new employees drug tests

The Galt City Council voted Tuesday to administer drug tests to people offered a job with the city.

The council also considered random testing of current employees, but City Attorney Tom Gibson warned the council that testing current employees could spur lawsuits against the city, according to Councilwoman Barbara Payne.

Council drops interchange option

The Galt City Council has dropped one of the three options the council will consider for a new Central Galt interchange over Highway 99.

The proposal would have resulted in the bulldozing of several businesses at Galt Plaza and Valley Oaks shopping centers on C Street.

The two remaining options for a new interchange call for separate crossings on A and C streets. Construction for the new, wider overpass is scheduled between June 2009 and December 2010.

Mobile home park's water has chloroform

Residents at Lockeford Mobile Home Park on Jack Tone Road had to consume bottled water for one day last week after San Joaquin County officials detected chloroform in the water.

However, county environmental health officials and park manager Roy Wales dispelled rumors that fecal matter was found in the water.

However, the water system was shut down because the water system was being chlorinated, according to Adrienne Ellsaesser, a county environmental health specialist. The system failed because a pressurized water-cleaning device didn't work, Ellsaesser said.

"Total chloroform" does not violate state bacteriological laws, she added.

The county Environmental Health Department is till investigating the situation, Ellsaesser said.

Famed Russian quartet comes to Lockeford

Russia's Rimsky-Korsakov Quartet and critically acclaimed mezzo-soprano Sally Porter Munro from England perform this weekend at the historic Harmony Grove Church in Lockeford.

Both programs will include a classical repertoire. The Saturday show will include the world premiere of British composer Peter Dyson's "Amoretti: Part One" for string quartet and mezzo-soprano.

The show is 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $25 and jackets are required. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 759-3139.

Input sought on new county weed ordinance

The San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors will consider adopting a new ordinance Tuesday to change the current weed abatement process.

Since its inception in 1981, weed abatement has been performed under the guidelines of the State of California, Health and Safety Code. The current process involves sending numerous notices to potential violators as well as those actually having hazardous weeds.

The program also was conducted during the month of June in preparation of the Fourth of July holiday.

Under the new ordinance:

• Weed and rubbish abatement will be a year-round program administered by the Fire Warden and the Community Development Department.

• Notices will only be sent to property owners who possess hazards.

• Abatement will occur when all resources to get the property owner to comply have been exhausted.

• There will be a recommended contractor list for the public to use for abatement of weeds and rubbish.

The board will discuss adopting this ordinance at 9 a.m. at Tuesday's meeting at 222 E. Weber St., 7th Floor, in Stockton.

Pombo's bill would end off-reservation gaming

Washington, D.C. - After more than a year of Congressional hearings and public input, House Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo, R-Tracy, officially introduced legislation to stop the spread of off-reservation Indian gaming Tuesday evening.

Off-reservation gaming is the practice of exploiting a loophole in the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. Some tribes attempt to acquire lands outside the borders of their reservation to establish a casino, typically close to large urban areas or tourist destinations. H.R. 4893 amends Section 20 of IGRA, to close this loophole and give local communities control over new casino proposals from newly recognized or landless tribes.

"By working openly with Indian Country and the American public over the last year, I believe I have crafted the strongest bill possible," Pombo said in a press release issued by his office. "This will put local communities in control and encourage economic opportunities for tribes at the same time."

Pombo held three hearings on off-reservation gaming last year, including one field hearing in California where more than 10 local officials and tribal leaders testified on the effects of off-reservation gaming. The state ranks at the top of the nation's list with as many as 40 proposals to establish off-reservation casinos.

Feds arrest man for flashing fake DEA badge

MANTECA - Federal authorities arrested a Manteca man earlier this week for impersonating a Drug Enforcement Administration agent by flashing a phony badge as he entered a courtroom.

John D. Cohen, 37, picked the wrong courthouse security officer to try to dupe Monday - a retired DEA special agent. The court security officer told the U.S. Marshal's Service the badge looked suspicious.

Federal agents who raided Cohen's home found guns, DEA apparel, an Oakland Police Department uniform, clothing emblazoned with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement logo, handcuffs, two ballistic vests, forged law enforcement training certificates, and "several small baggies of suspected marijuana," said Gordon D. Taylor, the assistant special agent in charge of DEA in Sacramento.

If convicted of impersonating an agent, Cohen could face three years in prison. Cohen also allegedly made false statements to federal authorities, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, Taylor said.

First published: Thursday, March 9, 2006

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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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