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Posted: Tuesday, February 27, 2007 10:00 pm

McNerney, Cardoza decry lack of transportation funding

In a joint statement Tuesday, Reps. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, and Dennis Cardoza, D-Merced, criticized the California Transportation Commission staff for opposing transportation projects in San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties.

In a letter to the commission, McNerney and Cardoza pointed to needed improvements to Highway 99, Interstates 5 and 205, and Marrow Road.

One reason the lawmakers say these projects should be funded by the state is that San Joaquin and Stanislaus county voters overwhelmingly supported Proposition 1B, the state transportation bond, and Measure K, the half-percent sales tax dedicated to transportation projects in San Joaquin County.

"As final allocations in the Corridor Mobility Improvement Account are considered for projects throughout California, we strongly urge you to make it a priority to provide San Joaquin County with additional resources to alleviate congestion and increase safety," McNerney and Cardoza said in their letter.

Stockton gang member gets life for killing teen

STOCKTON - A Stockton teenager was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for killing a 15-year-old and injuring three others at a party in an apparent gang turf dispute.

David Lewis, 17, was sentenced in San Joaquin County Superior Court on Monday, after a jury convicted him as an adult of first-degree murder in the 2004 death of Eric Castillo. Lewis also was found guilty on three counts of attempted murder and belonging to a criminal street gang.

Castillo was killed at a party when Lewis and three other members of the Northside Gangster Crips gang shot into a crowd of people, prosecutors said.

Two of the injured - the party host and his daughter - suffered minor but permanent mobility problems, said District Attorney Michael Mulvihill. A third victim has since recovered.

Another shooter, Jimmy Lee Benson, 19, was convicted as an adult on three counts of attempted murder and will be sentenced next week, Mulvihill said.

Jesse Zamora, 20, was sentenced to 39 years in prison after pleading guilty to three counts of attempted murder and belonging to a gang. He testified against Benson and Lewis.

A fourth Crip, Andrew Thompson, 21, pleaded guilty to being in a gang. He was sentenced to 16 months in prison.

First published: Wednesday, February 28, 2007

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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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