LODI — As Lodi and the surrounding area ease toward reopening, the Lodi Police Department is encouraging residents to be celebrate responsibly this Memorial Day weekend, including listening to advice from public health officials.

The Lodi Police Department will have officers on patrol over the Memorial Day weekend looking for drivers suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

“If you plan on drinking, stay at home,” Sgt. Andre Belaski said.

Remember, a DUI does not just mean alcohol: some prescription medications or over-the-counter drugs may interfere with driving. Always follow directions for use and read warning labels about driving or “operating heavy machinery,” which includes driving a car. While medicinal and recreational marijuana are legal, driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal.

While the state is relaxing stay-at-home orders, the Lodi Police Department advises the public to avoid large gatherings for Memorial Day weekend and to stay at least six feet away from anyone not in their immediate household.

— Special to the News-Sentinel

Summer Swim League canceled for 2020

LODI — The City of Lodi Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services will not host a Summer Swim League this year, as aquatic facilities remain closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

PRCS provides the program each year for up to 500 children and was planning and preparing for the program with the hopes swimming pools would be permitted to reopen soon. But with the program’s traditional start less than two weeks away, a reliance on non-city facilities, and without a clear date to reopen, PRCS made the decision to cancel.

PRCS staff plans to bring the popular program back in spring of 2021.

— Special to the News-Sentinel

Changing Faces gala fundraiser moved to December

LODI — Due to the uncertainty over when California will allow large gatherings again, Changing Faces Theater Company has postponed its murder mystery gala, “In Lieu of Flowers, Send Wine,” until Dec. 11, 12 and 13.

“We are trying to be super safe regarding a larger show in the space, plus the show is set around Christmas, so it works beautifully,” said Mike Bartram, the theater company’s founder and artistic director.

In the meantime, Changing Faces is putting together other plans to begin performing again, as well as to offer classes for children once Lodi is able to lift more restrictions on gatherings. To stay informed, email mbartram.cftc@comcast.net or visit www.changingfacestheater.org.

— K. Cathey

CHP to step up patrols for holiday weekend

SACRAMENTO — As the Memorial Day weekend approaches, the California Highway Patrol will continue to encourage essential travel only and physical distancing for all residents. However, the agency said those who do plan to travel should contact the county or state of their destination for information on any local restrictions or directions that may exist for those outside the area.

In addition, with the potential of holiday travel, the CHP will conduct its annual Memorial Day Maximum Enforcement Period, which focuses on seat belt usage and runs from 6 p.m. Friday to 11:59 p.m. Monday.

According to CHP statistics, 34 people died in traffic collisions in California during the 2019 Memorial Day weekend. Of the 21 vehicle occupants killed, 10 were not wearing seat belts. Officers also arrested 1,099 motorists for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the CHP said.

Motorists are reminded to use age-appropriate child safety seats, whether a safety seat or booster seat. The law requires that children younger than 8 ride in the back seat and that children younger than 2 be secured in a rear-facing child passenger safety seat.

— Wes Bowers

San Joaquin County Superior Court picks new commissioner

STOCKTON — The San Joaquin County Superior Court on Thursday announced the selection of Michael J. Rasmussen as the newest Superior Court Commissioner, filling a vacancy created by the appointment of Judge Jayne C. Lee.

Rasmussen joined the San Joaquin District Attorney’s Office in 1998 and has more than 22 years experience as a prosecution attorney. For the past five years, Rasmussen supervised the Homicides and Quality of Life Unit in the District Attorney’s Office.

Rasmussen earned his Juris Doctorate from Lincoln Law School and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from San Jose State.

“After 22 years of serving as a Deputy District Attorney for San Joaquin County, I am honored to have been appointed Commissioner by the Superior Court of this County,” Rasmussen said. “I look forward to the new challenge and the opportunity to serve the citizens of this county now as Court Commissioner.”

— Wes Bowers

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