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Posted: Monday, June 26, 2006 10:00 pm

Man not expected to survive beating injuries

A man who was beaten with a baseball bat early Saturday morning is not expected to survive his injuries, Lodi Police said Monday.

Mychal Angelo Lewis, 28, of Stockton, remains hospitalized in critical condition and police on Monday released his alleged assailant's photo and vehicle description.


Pharoah Brooks

Investigators obtained an arrest warrant for Pharaoh Brooks, 26, also of Stockton. Police believe he is driving a maroon 2001 Toyota Sienna van, with a license plate of 4RKX050, Lt. Bill Barry said.

Lewis was in a residence in the 700 block of North School Street on Saturday when Brooks, armed with a baseball bat, alleged walked into the home at 2:13 a.m., police said. Brooks allegedly hit the victim several times in the head and body, then fled the scene.

Two females in the home were not injured and one dialed 9-1-1. Rescue crews found Lewis unconscious on the floor, and he was taken by ambulance to Lodi Memorial Hospital. He was then flown by medical helicopter to another hospital.

Barry declined to say where Lewis was taken because hospital workers had such strong safety concerns that they listed Lewis under a different name.

Detective Nick Welton, who worked most of the weekend on the case, said he was still following leads and rumors Monday and has not yet determined a motive.

Anyone with information may contact Welton at 333-6879. Anonymous callers may be eligible for a cash reward by calling Lodi Area Crimestoppers at 333-6771.

Freeway jumper identified, will live

Police have identified a woman who jumped off an overpass onto Highway 99 late Friday night but declined to release her name because of mental health issues.

The woman, who lives in the Lodi area, is expected to recover from her injuries, Lodi Police Lt. Bill Barry said.

She leaped from the Turner Road overpass onto the northbound lanes around 11:30 p.m., landing on the busy freeway below, Barry said.

Sgt. Dale Miller, who arrived at the overpass, grabbed a flare from his car and managed to throw it down to the roadway in just the right place so oncoming traffic could avoid hitting the woman, Barry said. No vehicles struck the woman, who was taken by ambulance to Lodi Memorial Hospital and the then flown by medical helicopter to another hospital.

The woman has a history of mental problems, Barry said.

Galt City Council to review new budget

The Galt City Council will conduct a study session tonight to a review a proposed $7.8 million general fund budget for the 2006-07 fiscal year and an $8.2 million budget for the following year. The budget will not be adopted tonight.

City Manager Ted Anderson's budget proposal includes seven new employees the City Council approved during the past fiscal year - five police officers, a police community services officer and an assistant city manager. Anderson also recommends two full-time park maintenance positions for each of the next two fiscal years.

The budget also calls for almost $700,000 for water system improvements next year and $2.5 million for the following year.

City Councilman Tom Malson says the big discussion tonight may be whether the city can afford employee salary increases based on a recently completed salary survey of other cities.

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

Galt Fire to decide on merger with Elk Grove

The Galt Fire Protection District board is scheduled to vote on Wednesday whether to pursue a merger with the Elk Grove Community Services District. The Elk Grove board, which oversees fire service in that community, adopted a resolution to merge last week.

If the Galt board approves the merger resolution, an application will be sent to Sacramento County's Local Agency Formation Commission, which makes decisions on boundary changes.

The Galt board will also consider a preliminary budget for the 2006-07 fiscal year and a memorandum of understanding with the Sacramento Area Firefighters Union, which includes Galt firefighters.

Wednesday's meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at the main fire station, 225 Fifth St.

S.J. Fair officials report attendance drop

Attendance for the San Joaquin Fair dropped 15 percent this year, most likely because of soaring temperatures, local entertainment competition and the Ferris Wheel accident, said Forrest White, CEO for the fair.

Average daily attendance was 14,500, and total attendance was 160,935.

White said the biggest reason for the drop in attendance was the heat - this year, for seven out of the 11 days the fair was open, the temperature topped 100 degrees.

"The heat was unbearable," White said. "We have to be here, 'cause we work here. But the average person isn't going to come out in that kind of weather; that's just the bottom line."

This year, the Stockton Ports played at home for the duration of the fair, which White thinks contributed to the decrease in attendance.

But another contributing factor could be the accident on June 11, when a 6-year-old Stockton boy died after falling 90 feet from the Ferris Wheel.

"It got a lot of publicity," White said. "I think it had an affect."

For next year, fair officials will consider changing the fair's hours and days open.

West Nile Virus found in bird near Tracy

The West Nile virus was found in a bird near Tracy, officials reported Monday, the first discovery in San Joaquin County this year.

"With evidence of WNV activity appearing in Northern California, West Nile virus is hear to stay," Aaron Devencenzi, spokesman for the county's Mosquito and Vector Control District, said in a press release.

The district wants residents to call the state health department at 877-968-2473 when dead birds are found so they can be tested for the virus.

People are encouraged to take proper steps to prevent contracting the disease, such as eliminating standing water on property where bugs can breed, and to avoid the outdoors during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.

In 2005, the virus infected 36 people, 19 horses and six flocks of sentinel chickens tested by the district.

First published: Tuesday, June 27, 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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