Heritage students clean streets for a good cause
As many as 600 Heritage Elementary School students will take to the streets this afternoon, armed with brooms, dustbins and buckets.
The event, called "Clean A Curb Day," is a chance for students to learn that dirty streets, curbs and sidewalks can harm the runoff that flows through storm drains and into the Mokelumne River.
In addition to their cleaning efforts, the students will distribute hand-colored door hangings to nearby residents displaying wildlife native to the Mokelumne River.
Since students will be working near open streets, motorists are advised to take extra safety precautions when driving through the area.
Clean-A-Curb day is a partnership between Heritage School, the city of Lodi and the Lodi Public Works Department.
Home robbery suspect gets four-year sentence
A Lodi man who pleaded guilty to first-degree residential robbery is now spending four years in state prison.
Nicholas James Richard Sr., 25, was arrested in July, accused of being one of two men who broke into a Robert Street home and wielding a gun. One of the residents was beaten with a mallet until it broke.
The suspects fled after a teen-age resident emerged from a back room with a gun. In their flight, the suspects left behind identification and a vehicle.
Richard pleaded guilty in August, but the case was postponed while he tried to withdraw the original plea. A judge denied that Oct. 20, and sentenced Richard to four years in prison, according to San Joaquin County court records.
Drug suspect sent to long treatment program
Though he was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison for making a meth lab in a Lodi motel room and for endangering a child in another case, Ronald Magin is getting a second chance through an intense drug rehabilitation program.
Magin, 42, of Stockton, pleaded guilty Oct. 17 to possession with intent to sell methamphetamine in connection with a March case.
In March, the Lodi Police Department's SWAT team forced open a Cherokee Lane hotel room and found the remains of a drug lab inside. They arrested Magin at the scene.
He had also been wanted on a $400,000 warrant, stemming from an incident in which he led Stockton police officers on a high-speed pursuit. He then abandoned the vehicle and left behind drugs and a child, Lodi police said at the time of his arrest.
In that case, Magin pleaded guilty to manufacturing methamphetamine and possessing drug chemicals, according to San Joaquin County records.
On Oct. 28, a judge sentenced Magin to a total of more than 12 years in prison.
The judge then suspended the sentence, allowing Magin to attend the Delancey Street program in San Francisco.
The program, which has a lengthy waiting list, treats drug offenders for a minimum of two years. Attendees live at the center, go through intense counseling and often work in several of the foundation's businesses as part of rehabilitation.
Leaf-removal season begins
The city of Lodi began its annual leaf removal program today and is seeking residential cooperation for a successful program.
Residents are asked to rake leaves beyond the toe of the gutter to keep the water flow unobstructed.
The city will not pick up leaf piles that contain prunings, lawn clippings or flowers. And, plastic bags can not be recycled so the city is asking residents not place the bags in the street.
Cars parked on the street impair the clean-up efforts since the sweepers have difficulty maneuvering around cars and crews cannot get to the leaves. Do not park your cars on the streets scheduled for collection until clean-up crews pass.
The sweeper starts at 4 a.m. and collection crews follow at 6:30 a.m. The city will not collect piles placed in the street after collection crews pass.
For more information, visit the city's Web site at http://www.lodi.gov.
This item was updated at 5:15 p.m. Nov. 9, 2005, to correct the day the leaf-removal program begins.
Maggio arraigned on murder charge
A 19-year-old Wilton man was formally charged with the murder of Galt High School student Aaron Brooks during an arraignment Tuesday afternoon in Sacramento County Superior Court.
Salvatore Carmelo Maggio remains in Sacramento County Jail on no bail, according to Deputy District Attorney Lana Wyant.
Maggio was arrested late Saturday night at his residence. Brooks' body was found in 2 feet of water near Emerald Vista Park at about 9 a.m. Saturday, according to Galt police.
Maggio's next court date is Dec. 8.
Benefit dinner in memory of Aaron Brooks
A spaghetti dinner in memory of Galt High student Aaron Brooks will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. today at Littleton Community Center, 420 Civic Dr., Galt.
Adults will be admitted for $6, senior citizens and children 10 and under will be $4. Cash donations to the family will be accepted at Stockman's Bank in Galt, Trust Fund No. 203036421.
For more information, call Stephanie at (916) 524-9471 or the Galt District Chamber of Commerce, 745-2529.
County teams up to fight Indian casino near Ione
San Joaquin County supervisors hate the idea of a casino that serves alcohol right across the county line in Amador County.
Tuesday, they agreed to let their employees meet with their counterparts in Amador County, who also oppose the Indian casino, to come up with a plan to block it.
The Buena Vista Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians in Amador County is currently trying to get a 245,400-square foot casino built in the unincorporated town of Buena Vista near Ione.
"The possibilities to stop this casino from being built are very limited," County Counsel Terry Dermody said. "We need to sit down with (Amador officials) and discuss what role we should play in this issue."
San Joaquin officials said they oppose the casino for three major reasons. They say an estimated 54 percent of the traffic that would go to and from the Flying Cloud Gaming and Entertainment Center would come through San Joaquin County. That would put a strain on the roads, for which the Indian tribe has proposed no compensation to the county. And because the casino would serve alcohol, some of those drivers could also be drunk.
"These individuals will have an impact on the roadways; they will have accidents," county administrator Manuel Lopez said.
Supervisor Jack Sieglock, who said he wants to "derail" the casino, expressed his concern more openly:
"You are going to get drunken driving deaths here in this county," he said.
But perhaps the biggest concern for both Amador and San Joaquin counties is that the Indian tribe does not want to help pay for road repairs or doing something else to help the counties.
Amador County has asked the governor's office to block the casino and Sieglock said he would like to join that opposition quickly as possible. Dermody said it was best to wait until after representatives from the two counties met.
So Sieglock proposed another strategy: objecting to the casino's liquor license application until the Indian tribe decides to work with the county governments. In any event, he said, San Joaquin County needs to plan for all possible outcomes, and be ready to meet road repair and police needs in case the casino is built.
Lopez, who said he wants to get a meeting set up with Amador County, agreed.
"The quicker we can make this happen the better," he said.
Pombo's resolution passes House
Washington, D.C. - The House of Representatives Tuesday passed Congressman Richard W. Pombo's resolution, H.R. 302, honoring National Guard service men and women and their employers.
"The support employers all over our nation have given to our guard and reservists is unprecedented and inspirational. Our troops, their families, and many dedicated employers make sacrifices daily for the greater good of spreading democracy and freedom abroad," Pombo, R-Tracy, said in a press release issued by his office.
This resolution recognizes those employers who accommodate the 1.1 million members of the National Guard and other reserve components. It acknowledges all employers - from the small-town family business to the public sector - that have provided a stable job to more than 460,000 members of the National Guard and Reserves who have been called to duty since Sept. 11.
The resolution has received strong support from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Legion of California, Lodi Chamber of Commerce, Manteca Chamber of Commerce and SBC Communications, Inc., according to the press release.