Arraignment for teen in fatal crash continued
The arraignment of the Lodi teen charged last month in the fatal vehicle accident in front of Tokay High School did not appear in court Friday morning for arraignment. Instead, attorney Richard Gibson, Jr. was present.
Further arraignment of Jonathan Bianchi has been scheduled for Sept. 17, according to court records.
Bianchi, 19, has been charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter and reckless driving stemming from a March crash that killed Sukhdeep Kaur, 17, a Tokay student.
Many sightings, but still no sign of missing girl
Although many have reported seeing her, 14-year-old Jessica Tecklenburg of Clements was still missing as of Friday evening.
Her family has responded to sightings near the Mokelumne River and at the Lodi movie theater, but have not found the girl, who has been missing since Aug. 28, said her mother, Lisa Tecklenburg.
"It's been like chasing a ghost," she said.
Family and friends set up a $5,000 reward for her safe return, although some have taken their missing persons signs down due to rumors she was found.
Lisa Tecklenburg encourages people to keep calling.
"Anything is better than nothing. One of these times we'll rush out there and it will be her," she said.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff's Department at 468-4400.
Composite of robbery suspect released
Detectives have released a composite sketch of the man suspected of going on a robbery spree Monday night. The suspect used a weapon in all three robberies.
At 9 p.m. Monday, the suspect entered Tokay Market, 2525 S. Hutchins St., and fired a gun.
Sketch of robbery suspect
At 10:39 p.m., detectives believe the same suspect pulled up to a drive-thru window at Weinerschnitzel, 220 S. Cherokee Lane, pointed a gun at a clerk and ordered money to be put in a pillowcase.
Six hours later, detectives believe the same suspect drove to the USA Gas at the corner of Lodi Avenue and Lower Sacramento Road and pointed a gun at an employee and demanded a pillowcase be filled with money.
The suspect was described as a white man in his 20s, 5 feet 6 inches to 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighing between 150 and 170 pounds. He has short brown hair and a thin build.
Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Sierra Brucia at (209) 333-6876. Anonymous callers, who may be eligible for a cash reward, may call Lodi-Area Crime Stoppers at (209) 333-6771.
No Tuesday morning meeting for council
The Lodi City Council's regular Tuesday morning study session has been canceled so members can instead discuss in closed session a potential lawsuit regarding Stockton's sphere of influence amendment.
Meetings should resume at 7 a.m. Sept. 14. They are held weekly in Carnegie Forum, 305 W. Pine St.
Galt Boys and Girls Club requests city funds
The Galt City Council will consider spending up to $15,600 to sanitize computers and office equipment at the Galt Boys and Girls Club building at Tuesday's council meeting.
The club's building at Caroline and Chabolla avenues has been closed since November 2002, when mold was discovered in the structure. Club activities have been held since that time at nearby Fairsite Elementary School.
In other action Tuesday, the City Council will:
• Consider awarding a contract to expand the Carillion Water Treatment Plant and install the River Oaks well pump station and pipeline south of Galt Community Park. Cost estimate is $1.8 million.
• Consider allocating $20,117 in fire impact fees for the Galt Fire Protection District to purchase radios compatible with the city of Galt. Currently, communication between the fire district and police are non-existent because of the non-compatible systems. The fire district is not part of the city government.
• Consider a two-year agreement with California Cash to install an ATM at Galt Market.
• Encourage residents to conduct remembrance services and candlelight vigils on Saturday, the third anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy. Residents will be asked to fly flags at half-staff on Saturday and conduct a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. EDT.
Tuesday's meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at City hall, 380 Civic Drive.
Mokelumne Mounties to have fund-raiser
The Mokelumne Mounties, a junior equestrian drill team for boys and girls ages 8 to 18 years old, are having a three-in-one fund-raiser on Sunday. They will have a rummage and tack sale, bake sale and car wash on Highway 88 in Lockeford.
For information, call Tabby Homorody at 727-0305.
Group to interview Stockton candidates
Although Morada is not within the Stockton city limits, the Morada Area Association plans to publicly interview Stockton City Council candidates at Tuesday's association meeting.
District 2 candidates will be interviewed about their views on growth for the Morada area at 7:30 p.m., and District 4 candidates will be questioned at 8:30.
The main topics will be the new Stockton General Plan, Morada growth and groundwater issues.
Tuesday's meeting, open to the public, will be held at Free Methodist Church, 4799 E. Foppiano Lane. Candidates for Stockton City Council District 6 will be interviewed at the October meeting of the association.
No supervisors meeting Tuesday
The San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors will not meet Tuesday. Instead, the board will meet again Sept. 14 at 9 a.m., on the seventh floor of the San Joaquin County Courthouse, 222
E. Weber Ave., Stockton.
CHP's 'zero tolerance' to continue through Monday
The California Highway Patrol started a "zero tolerance" traffic-enforcement campaign Friday evening that will continue until Monday night.
Officers will be focusing on the north-south arteries of Interstate 5 and Highway 99 from north of Sacramento to south of Merced. CHP spokesman Don Jones said they will be aggressively looking out for drunk drivers, speeders and people who are not using their seat belts. He said there are no formal sobriety checkpoints planned, but there will be roving patrols watching for signs of drunk driving.
"It's Labor Day, the last week of the summer. A lot of people try to get last-minute events in," said Jones, who noted that driving, arrests and collisions rise during the last holiday of the summer. "What it is, is people just need to have a little more patience, allow more time to get where they're going and make sure their cars are in shape to make the trip."
Grass fires burn outside Lodi, near local marina
Firefighters from Woodbridge Rural Fire District battled a fast-moving grass fire at Lower Sacramento and Peltier roads Friday. With the high wind, smoke wafted over Lodi, turning the blue sky shades of gray.
Firefighter James Bell of the Woodbridge Fire Department douses the remains of a brush fire that occured Friday off Acampo Road. No property was damaged. (Gena Lindsay/News-Sentinel)
They also battled another grass fire at Tower Park Marina in Terminous. It broke out shortly after noon.
Additional details were unavailable.
The grass fire was one of many in the area Friday. Liberty Rural Fire District responded to at least two blazes in the Collier Road area, Thornton firefighters battled at least one on Interstate 5, and a group of San Joaquin County firefighters were sent to help fight a large grass fire in Calaveras County near Burson, just over the county line. An estimated 2,500 acres burned and 10 buildings were destroyed as of 7 p.m. Friday.
In Galt, firefighters battled a grass fire at about 2:30 p.m. south of Kost Road between Lincoln Way and Joy Drive, said Assistant Chief Peter Sakaris. A second fire took place a half-hour later off Highway 99 and Arno Road north of Galt.
Meanwhile, Walnut Grove firefighters battled small grass fires Friday afternoon off Interstate 5 and Twin Cities road.
ACE passengers may see more train delays
Altamont Commuter Express passengers could experience more train delays later this year when a series of rail repair and construction projects take place.
In anticipation of the delays, the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission this week approved a 10-percent discount on its 20-day trip and monthly passes. The discounts will become effective before the projects are scheduled to begin, ACE said.
The discounts will be announced before the work begins, possibly in mid-October, explained Jonathan Garzoli, director of administrative services at ACE.
The planned improvements along the Union Pacific Rail lines include the construction of a 2-mile double-track rail line extension between the Fremont and South Newark, ties replacement between Niles and San Jose, and other improvements near Santa Clara, ACE said.
The new double-track rail line will ease congestion, ACE staff said.
Court to continue with water agency suit
A federal judges denied a request to throw out a suit filed by two San Joaquin County water agencies against a federal agency.
The federal judge reprimanded the lawyers representing the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, saying they were attempting to delay the trial in the $500 million suit, filed by the Stockton East Water District and Central San Joaquin Water Conservation District over water the agencies said was promised but never delivered.