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Posted: Friday, March 16, 2007 10:00 pm

Three masked men, one armed with a shotgun, robbed KFC on Thursday night and got away with cash.

The men entered the eatery, located at 224 W. Kettleman Lane, at 8:13 p.m. and "intimidated" the employees and customers, said Lodi Police Sgt. Tod Patterson.

Nobody was injured but the men threatened the manager and managed to get into the safe, where they stole an undisclosed amount of cash.

They were not able to get into a Brinks-secured safe and then left the building on foot, Patterson said.

The men ran past Mar Y Tierra, a nearby Mexican restaurant, and possibly got into a car on Church Street.

Officers collected fingerprints and were still investigating the robbery Friday, but there were no arrests, Patterson said. He had no description of the men, other than that they were believed to be black and all wore dark clothing and masks.

The robbery happened near well-traveled intersection of Church Street and Kettleman Lane, and KFC is part of a shopping center that is generally busy at that time of night, Patterson said. The shopping center is home to a 99-cent store as well as Ross and a Laundromat.

Lodian appointed to Park and Rec panel

A Lodi woman has been appointed to the State Park and Recreation Commission, according to a Friday announcement from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's office.

Gail Kautz, 70, Kautz is involved in John Kautz Farms, a family farming operation in Lodi, and is vice president of Ironstone Winery in Murphys.

She served as a member of the California Exposition and State Fair Board from 1987 to 1995, is a former member of the Board of Regents of the University of the Pacific, Women for Agriculture and is past-president of the California 4-H Foundation.

Kautz, a Republican, will be paid $100 per day and must first be confirmed by the state Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem.

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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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