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Posted: Wednesday, October 29, 2003 10:00 pm

Lodi councilman's citizen's arrest case forwarded to District Attorney

The Lodi Police Department completed its investigation Tuesday and forwarded to the District Attorney's Office the case involving Councilman Larry Hansen.

On Oct. 17, Hansen allegedly followed a teen driver through the streets of Lodi and physically put him under citizen's arrest.

After chasing him through a residential neighborhood at speeds he estimates at up to 55 mph, Hansen pulled the 17-year-old driver from his car and placed him under citizen's arrest, holding him against Hansen's truck until an officer could arrive.

Attorneys waiting for hearing date to be set

All documents relating to an appeal in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals have been filed, and the city and several businesses and insurance companies are now waiting for a hearing date.

The issue is whether the city, acting as the "People of the State of California," can sue businesses for groundwater contamination.

City Attorney Randy Hays has said it is no different than when the District Attorney's Office prosecutes criminals on behalf of the state.

The state Attorney General's Office has countered that such prosecutions only represent a county, rather than the whole state.

In 2000, the city sued more than a dozen local businesses, including the Lodi News-Sentinel, and their insurance companies in an attempt to get them to clean up contaminated groundwater.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the "People of the State of California," and the Ninth Circuit is now being asked whether that stands.

When taking an issue to the appeals court, numerous documents and briefs are filed with the court before it is ever given a hearing date. All briefs are now filed, so both sides are waiting for a court date, said Michael Donovan, one of the city's outside attorneys hired to work on the case.

Vinewood Dog Park contest winners

The prizes went to the dogs, literally, in last weekend's second-annual dog costume contest held at Vinewood Dog Park.

Monty, a bassett hound owned by Margaret and Steve Morrison, of Lodi, was the overall winner.

Other winners included:

  • Most original: Beauregard, owned by Weldon and Elaine Moss, of Lodi.
  • Scariest: Ivory, owned by Glenn Delherro, residence not provided.
  • Cutest: Lulu, owned by Karl and Robin Grosshans, of Lodi.

Each received $50 cash and a $50 gift certificate.

In all, there were 27 dog participants, and some 200 people attended, organizer Jerry Perrin said.

Judges included Mayor Susan Hitchcock, Scott Davis of the Lodi Parks and Recreation Commission, and Eleanor Machado, of Clements.

Donations were provided by Robinson's Feed, Michael & David Vineyards, Phillips Farms, Denis' Country Kitchen and Movie City.

Perrin would also like to thank the city Parks and Recreation Department for use of the city park.

New group of firefighters heads to Southern California fires

Two buses carrying San Joaquin County firefighters will leave the Ripon Fire Department this morning, headed to help fight the Southern California wildfires.

It will include representatives from Ripon, Manteca-Lathrop, Manteca, Tracy, Stockton, Woodbridge, Clements, Liberty, Farmington and Lodi, said Michael Kirkle, chief of the Woodbridge Rural Fire Protection District.

Woodbridge firefighters Ken Harris, Bob Geiszler, Garrett Luke and Jim Coffey will be heading separately to the Cedar Fire in San Diego, said Kirkle, also the county's mutual-aid coordinator.

Earlier this week, more than 50 firefighters and 13 engines from the same agencies were dispatched from the county. Those firefighters will be picked up by the same buses and brought back today.

The team has been assigned to night operations doing structural protection at the Old fire in San Bernadino, said Lodi Fire Chief Michael Pretz who has received spotty e-mail communication.

The county Office of Emergency Services sent an additional engine to help fight a wildfire in Shasta on Tuesday evening, Kirkle said. The engine came from Stockton Fire Department.

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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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