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Lodi police said a flare gun converted to shoot shotgun shells and heroin was confiscated from a 20-year-old Lodi man.

A 20-year-old Lodi man was stopped while riding his bicycle on Tuesday on the 200 block of E. Vine Street and discovered to be carrying drugs and a modified firearm, according to a Facebook post by the Lodi Police Department.

After officers searched Diego Estrada of Lodi, they said he was in possession of heroin, ammunition and a flare pistol that had been modified to fire .410-gauge shotgun shells. Estrada was booked on a number of drug and firearm violations.

— David Witte

Blood donors get chance to go to Super Bowl

LODI — The American Red Cross currently has a critical need for blood donors of all blood types and platelet donors to make an appointment now to give and help replenish the blood supply after the holiday weeks.

Donors of all blood types, especially type O, are urged to make an appointment to donate using the Blood Donor App, at or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass online health history questionnaire are encouraged to help reduce the time it takes to donate.

Those interested in hosting a blood drive can learn more and sign up to sponsor a drive this summer by visiting

To help tackle the critical need the Red Cross and NFL have teamed up to offer one winner two tickets to Super Bowl LIV, entry to the official NFL Tailgate, tickets to Super Bowl Experience at the Miami Beach Convention Center, round-trip airfare to Miami, three-night hotel accommodations at The Alexander oceanfront resort (Jan. 31 to Feb. 3), and a $500 gift card for expenses.

Blood donations will be collected from 12:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Hutchins Square Community Center, 125 S. Hutchins in Lodi on the following dates: Today and Jan. 15, 22 and 29.

— Oula Miqbel

 S.J. agency to hold Girls Coding Collaboration

STOCKTON — The San Joaquin County Office of Education will hold its Girls Coding Collaboration today from 4 to 6:30 p.m., at the San Joaquin County Office of Education Career Technical Education Center, 2911 Transworld Drive, Stockton.

The county office of education is hosting the coding collaboration to help close the gender gap in technology by providing more computer science opportunities to elementary, middle, and high school girls in San Joaquin County.

The event is part of a growing movement to encourage girls’ interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and prepare them to succeed in traditionally male-dominated careers by creating clear pathways and strong support networks.

The students will participate in engaging coding activities focusing on video game development in the FabLab, the SJCOE’s high-tech makerspace, and STEM education center.

They will also hear from keynote speakers, Connie Liu, a mechanical engineer and founder of Project Invent; and Jackie Xu, Facebook software engineer.

— Oula Miqbel

NAMI in S.J. to host Family-to-Family class

STOCKTON — NAMI San Joaquin County, the local affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, will sponsor its NAMI Family-to-Family education program starting Jan. 18.

Family-to-Family is designed to help family members, friends, and significant others understand and support their loved ones while maintaining their wellness. The program is taught by trained facilitators who are also family members of someone with mental health challenges.

The class will be held over 12 Saturday sessions, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., with a break for lunch, at San Joaquin County Behavioral Health Services, Conference Room C, 1212 N. California St., Stockton.

The class begins on Jan. 18 and runs until April 4. Classes are free and open to the public.

To register for the class, sign up online at, or call the NAMI San Joaquin office at 209-468-3755 or email info@namisan

— Oula Miqbel


Lodi resident Myrna Wetzel and her dog Blessing picketed in front of Candy Cane Park for 64 weeks. This information was incorrect on page 8 of the Jan. 2, News-Sentinel.

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