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Posted: Wednesday, January 24, 2007 10:00 pm

Tickets available for Lodi chamber dinner

Tickets are available for Tuesday's Lodi Chamber of Commerce awards dinner set for Tuesday.

The chamber will honor Outstanding Citizen of the Year Dennis Lewis and the agribusiness, volunteer and Street Faire volunteer of the year.

A no-host bar will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in Kirst Hall at Hutchins Street Square, 125 S. Hutchins St. The dinner and program will be from 6:30 to 9 p.m.

Tickets are $35. For more information, call 367-7840 or purchase tickets online at http://www.lodichamber.com.

Council votes to fight privatized water ruling

STOCKTON - The city will appeal a court ruling that found a $600 million deal to privatize Stockton's water and sewer operations was illegal because it failed to study the overall environmental impacts.

The City Council voted 4-3 Tuesday to fight a San Joaquin County Superior Court judge's ruling that Stockton officials failed to do a required environmental review of the 20-year privatization deal.

The city has long claimed it was only required to review individual construction projects.

Councilman Clem Lee said the decision to appeal was "100 percent responsible and appropriate."

"I will sleep well tonight," Lee said.

In November, Judge Elizabeth Humphreys gave the city six months to take over management of utilities from OMI-Thames Water Stockton Inc., a joint venture of American and British firms.

Several environmental groups sued, claiming the company's poorly maintained facilities were causing sewage spills.

The judge's ruling did not consider the issues that come with getting out of the OMI-Thames Water contract, said Mayor Ed Chavez.

"The contact with OMI has saved millions of dollars," he said. "The city has a vital interest in maintaining that contract."

Woman pleads not guilty to embezzlement

TRACY - A woman pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges that she embezzled more than $200,000 from the Tracy Hospital Foundation.

The U.S. Attorney's office is prosecuting Diane Glazier, 44, on seven counts of mail fraud and three counts of computer fraud. Investigators from the FBI and San Joaquin County District Attorney's office believe that Glazier, a former accountant and executive assistant for the Tracy Hospital Foundation, used foundation credit cards to buy computers, electronics, furniture, groceries and vacations.

Investigators say she used blank checks signed by former foundation director Dan Bilbrey, also the city's former mayor, to pay credit card bills and made false entries in account books to make it look like the credit card had been used to make charitable grants.

Her next court date is a status conference Feb. 9, with U.S. District Court Judge Edward S. Garcia.

First published: Thursday, January 25, 2007

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