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 Lodi Fire Department firefighters earned a promotion Wednesday. They are, from left to right, Anthony Moore, Joseph Collins, Jason Jordan and Steve Bender.

Lodi Fire Department promoted five of its employees Tuesday during a badge-pinning ceremony at Carnegie Forum. Those promoted were Stephen Bender to Fire Captain, and Joseph Collins, Kris Graves, Jason Jordan and Anthony Moore to Fire Engineer.

Bender, 48, graduated from Lodi High School and attended various local colleges. He was a member of the Woodbridge Fire District before coming to Lodi Fire Department in 2001.

Collins, 30, is a native of Modesto and graduated from Escalon High School. He earned an Associate’s degree in Fire Science from Modesto Junior College, and worked for Cal Fire before joining Lodi in 2016.

Graves, 42, is a Santa Rosa native who earned an Associate’s degree in Criminal Justice from Santa Rosa Junior College, and obtained his bachelor’s degree in fire science and a graduate’s degree in public administration with n emphasis in emergency management from Anna Maria College in Massachusetts. He volunteered for the Geyserville Fire Protection District for three years, before joining Lodi in 2008.

Jordan, 38, is a native of Walnut Creek who attended Woodland Fire Academy. Over the past 13 years, he has worked for various state, county, and city fire departments.

Moore, 32, is a Stockton native who graduated from Lodi High School and studied Fire Science at San Joaquin Delta College. He previously worked for the Mokelumne and Waterloo-Morada fire districts before joining Lodi in 2016.

— Wes Bowers

Stockton venue to hold two-day Martin Luther King event

STOCKTON — Ministers and Community United Inc. will host a two-day Martin Luther King Jr. celebration beginning Sunday at 6 p.m. at the Stockton Memorial Civic Auditorium, 525 N. Center St., Stockton.

The event will include a keynote speech by Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, as well as a unity march beginning at 10 a.m. and youth program at 11 a.m.

To learn more about this event contact Ministers and Community United at 209-210-2951, or visit their website at https://www.

— Oula Miqbel

Lodi Parks department to teach professional lifeguard course

LODI — The City of Lodi-Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services Department will host a professional lifeguard course for individuals interested in working as a lifeguard. The training classes will begin on March 16 at the Lodi High School pool.

Registration can be completed in person at the Parks & Rec Guest Services Office, 230 W. Elm St., or at Hutchins Street Square Guest Services Desk, 125 S. Hutchins St. or online at

A legal consent waiver of liability form will need to be filled out and signed in person by a parent or guardian, for any minors taking the course.

Completion of the lifeguard course will earn participants a 2-year certificate in lifeguarding, which includes first aid certification, professional-level cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and automated external defibrillator certificate.

— Oula Miqbel

Stockton’s Lincoln Center jewelry store burglarized

STOCKTON — On Sunday at about 3:45 p.m., a man used a four-pound hammer to smash the front window of Devon’s Jewelers in Lincoln Center, then took several watches estimated to be worth more than $35,000, the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday.

Another person waited for the burglar in a white Audi A4 with black rims, and the pair fled westbound on Benjamin Holt Drive.

The burglar was described as a black man in his early 20s, wearing all black clothing and a mask, standing about 5 feet, 10 inches tall, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Anyone with information is asked to call 209-468-4425. You can also remain anonymous by calling Stockton Crime Stoppers at 209-946-0600. Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of as much as $10,000 for any information that will lead to arrests.

— Wes Bowers

Rose pruning class to be Saturday at Stockton garden

STOCKTON — The fourth annual rose pruning demonstration will take place Saturday, Jan. 18 from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the University Park World Peace Rose Garden, 599 E. Magnolia Street, Stockton.

Participants will learn how to prune the most popular of rose varieties such as hybrid teas, grandiflora, floribunda and more. Topics will include pruners, gloves, sharpening pruners, pruning saws, dormant sprays, composting beds and when to fertilize.

TJ David, Co-Creator of International World Peace Rose Gardens, will share knowledge on all aspects of rose growing. He has been working on the projects since 1984, and prunes about a 1,000 roses annually in various gardens.

Light refreshments will be served. The demonstration and admission to the University Park World Peace Rose Garden are free.

For more information, please contact Mandi Dumlao at 209-473-6167or visit the University Park World Peace Rose Garden website at www.universitypark .com/rose-garden.

— Oula Miqbel

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