LODI — Pastor Mike Allison at Bethel Open Bible Church said he and his congregation disagree with Cross Culture Christian Center’s decision to continue holding services at the 760 S. Ham Lane location, which Bethel leases to Cross Culture.

In an email to the News-Sentinel, Allison said his church believes shutting down gatherings and restricting access to the buildings was critical for the safety of his congregation and their families.

Bethel canceled all public services on March 15, and transitioned to an online format the following week, he said.

“We love our community here in Lodi, we want to demonstrate that love by caring enough to lay down our rights for the benefit of others,” he said. “We will be innovative to stay connected and continue to practice our faith at home until it is safe to gather again.”

The preschool being operated at the church is a childcare service with a state-approved COVID-19 plan to care for the children of first responders and employees classified as essential according to the governor’s shelter in place orders, Allison said.  

— Wes Bowers

LUSD board to  hold special meeting

LODI — The Lodi Unified School District Board of Education will hold a special meeting remotely at 6 p.m. today. The board will discuss labor negotiations with various employee groups; as well as appointing a high school vice principal, an interim continuation high school principal; and the discipline of an employee.

To join the meeting, visit https://attendee.goto

webinar.com/register/ 7005667385173162252.

— Wes Bowers

State launches hotline for older Californians

SACRAMENTO — The State of California has launched a new hotline to deliver services and help for older Californians, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Tuesday.

The hotline number is 833-544-2374. It is working with local 211 systems, which already can help older Californians arrange for grocery delivery and medication delivery to their homes.

The state is also working with the AARP to send a mailer to older residents.

Newsom urged Californians to check on their older relatives, friends and neighbors.

— K. Cathey

Man robs Galt store of $6,000 in merchandise

GALT — On March 30 at 4:41 p.m., a Galt Police Department officer was flagged down by an employee of the Cricket Wireless Store in the 1000 block of C Street.

The employee told the officer that the store was being robbed, and he fled the store after locking the robber inside, police said.

Officers surrounded the business and detained the robber as he was stacking stolen merchandise near a dumpster behind the business, police said.

A pellet gun was recovered during a search, as well as nearly $6,000 in merchandise from the store, police said.

Officers arrested 30-year-old Ronald Costa of Wilton on suspicion of robbery and booked him into Sacramento County Jail, police said.

— Wes Bowers

Pacific researcher gets $1.15 million NIH grant

STOCKTON — Melanie A. Felmlee, an assistant professor of pharmaceutics and medicinal chemistry at University of the Pacific’s Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy, has received a four-year $1.15 million grant for research that focuses on the differences in the way males and females process GHB.

The grant is from the National Institutes of Health Support of Competitive Research Program.

— Wes Bowers

McGeorge School of Law seeks food assistance

SACRAMENTO — The Diversity Committee of the McGeorge School of Law is holding a fundraiser to provide students in need with grocery store gift cards during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Due to school closures and stay-at-home orders, many of the law students have lost part-time jobs or had hours reduced and are struggling.

So far, the fund has raised $6,241 for the virtual food pantry. It’s one of eight fundraisers University of the Pacific — which runs the McGeorge School of Law — has kicked off to support students in need.

For more information, visit pacific.scalefunder. com/cfund/project/20516.

— K. Cathey

Ione Band of Miwok acquires Amador  land

PLYMOUTH — The Ione Band of Miwok Indians  announced that the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs has acquired over 220 acres of land into federal trust for the Tribe in Amador County.

“Our tribe has worked tirelessly for over nearly two decades to achieve this milestone,” chairwoman Sara Dutschke said. “This acquisition is a critical step in establishing economic self-sufficiency and prosperity for our people. We look forward to continuing to strengthen our relationship with Amador County and the local community.”

The acreage is located in Plymouth adjacent to State Highway 49, and is on the ancestral land of the Ione Band of Miwok Indians. The federally recognized tribe has more than 750 members, most of whom live in Amador and Sacramento counties, and is governed by a 5-member elected tribal council.

— Special to the

News-Sentinel

Some New Melones areas temporarily closed

SACRAMENTO — The Bureau of Reclamation will temporarily close additional facilities at New Melones Lake due to health and safety concerns, the agency announced Monday.

In support of the recommended guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local conditions, all campgrounds at New Melones Lake will temporarily close in both Calaveras and Tuolumne counties until further notice.

In addition, the Bureau of Reclamation will temporarily close all day-use and boat launching facilities in Calaveras County. These areas include Glory Hole, Natural Bridges and Camp Nine recreation areas.

In Tuolumne County, day-use and boat launch facilities including Tuttletown Recreation Area, Peoria Wildlife Area, French Flat and Table Mountain Area remain open at this time. Entrance gates will be closed at 10 p.m.

Marina customers should contact the marina for additional information at 209-785-3300.

— K. Cathey

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