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CSU urged to give priority to local students

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- California State University campuses are being urged to give priority to students seeking admission to local schools.

Cal State students have long counted on priority admission to their local campus. But this year, San Diego State became the first of 22 CSU campuses to turn away qualified local students in favor of brighter, more qualified applicants.

There are fears that policy may spread.

The state Legislative Analyst's Office on Monday urged the lawmakers to take steps to guarantee the right of all qualified students to enroll in their local CSU campus.

The San Francisco Chronicle says the Legislative Analyst's Office urges a state law or amendment to the advisory Master Plan for Higher Education to make sure students aren't turned away from local campuses.

Valentine's Day murder-suicide shooting leaves couple dead

Valentine's Day murder-suicide shooting leaves couple dead

TURLOCK - A murder-suicide shooting left a man and woman dead inside their car Monday afternoon near the Turlock Sports Complex.

Turlock police spokesman Sgt. Nino Amirfar said the shooting was reported around 5:30 p.m. on Valentine's Day. Officers responded to the 2900 block of Grand Oak Court where they found a small SUV with a 33-year-old woman and 34-year-old man inside. Amirfar said the couple had already died when officers arrived.

Investigators determined the couple had been in a relationship, but didn't live together, and the shooting was a murder-suicide. However, it is still unclear who shot the weapon first. Amirfar said a handgun was recovered at the scene.

The woman was from Turlock and the man from Keyes, but their names have not been released.

Anyone with information about the fatal shooting is encouraged to call Detective Jason Tosta with the Turlock Police Department at (209) 668-5550 ext. 6624.

CSU Stanislaus presents 'Vines' event March 3

CSU Stanislaus presents 'Vines' event March 3

TURLOCK - Outstanding wines, beer, cheese, appetizers, and desserts prepared by top regional restaurants and wineries will highlight the March 3 "Vines" event at CSU Stanislaus. Vines is the Office of Alumni Affairs’ signature fundraising event, presented this year by E.&J Gallo Winery and Sharon Naraghi Farms. The event will take place from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the CSU Stanislaus Main Dining Hall, and feature a live jazz quartet and silent auction sponsored by Liberty Property Management and Paul Gregory and Ramsin Ganji of Merrill Lynch. All proceeds of the silent auction benefit the Alumni Scholarship Fund.

Vines is open to the public, 21 years and older. Tickets are limited and may be purchased by calling (209) 667-3131. Tickets cost $50 and include a keepsake tasting glass and tasting journal.

Body matching Juliani Cardenas' kidnapper found in Delta-Mendota Canal

STANISLAUS COUNTY, CA - A body matching the description of Jose Rodriguez was found in the Delta-Mendota Canal Saturday around 8:30 a.m., said the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department.

Rodriguez is suspected of kidnapping 4-year-old Juliani Cardenas from his grandmother's home last month, then driving into the canal, said Sheriff Adam Christianson.

The recovered body is of a Hispanic man, who's physical description and clothes match Rodriguez.

"We knew this was going to end tragically," said Christianson. "Often times, when you're trying to hold out hope and you want to bring that to the family, the harsh reality was that we had to let the community know that we believed this was where we were going with this investigation."

Joe Nichols and Heidi Newfield at Stanislaus County Fair

Joe Nichols and Heidi Newfield at Stanislaus County Fair

The bewitching baritone Joe Nichols and the beautiful blond Heidi Newfield will be taking the stage for an energetic night of country music at the 2011 Stanislaus County Fair. 

Joe Nichols, with opener Heidi Newfield, will perform on Saturday, July 23, 2011, at the Stanislaus County Fair. They will appear on the Budweiser Variety Free Stage at 8:30 p.m. The concert is hosted by KAT COUNTRY 103.3 and is free with the price of Fair admission.

“Heidi and Joe both have great toe-tapping tunes,” said Adrenna Alkhas, spokesperson for the Stanislaus County Fair. “Separately these are two amazing artists to have at our Fair, so the fact that we get to host them both in the same night makes for one spectacular show.”

Joe Nichols is a distinctive country artist who has been creating his own staying power.

CSU Stanislaus, Modesto JC to create Turlock Educational Center

CSU Stanislaus, Modesto JC to create Turlock Educational Center

TURLOCK - CSU Stanislaus President Hamid Shirvani and Modesto Junior College (MJC) President Gaither Loewenstein formally announced a joint venture to create the Turlock Educational Center on the CSU Stanislaus campus. The center will play an important role in preparing students to succeed in university-level classes and compete for early-career opportunities.

“This is a historic moment for CSU Stanislaus, as we partner with Modesto Junior College to offer Turlock and the surrounding community vocational and English as a Second Language courses not currently available at the university” said Shirvani.

CSU Stanislaus sets information meeting for Ed.D. program

TURLOCK - Educational professionals and others who may be interested in pursuing a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership are encouraged to attend an informational meeting at California State University, Stanislaus on Wednesday evening, February 9. The meeting will take place at 5 p.m. in Demergasso-Bava Hall, Room 302 for anyone interested in more information about the next Ed.D. cohort set to start on the Turlock campus this June.

The program, which began with 28 students in September 2008, is designed to meet the need for highly trained educational leaders in the Central Valley. Two specializations are offered -- one in leadership for preschool to grade 12 schools and the other for community college leadership. The unique, cohort-driven program is offered by the CSU Stanislaus College of Education, and leads to the Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) degree.

Turlock man convicted of robbery, assault

Stanislaus County District Attorney Birgit Fladager announced that 28-year-old Kenneth Allen Davis, of Turlock, was convicted on Jan. 24, 2011 of robbery in the first degree and assault.

On March 27, 2010 around midnight, the male victim received a phone call in which Davis and his co-defendant apologized for an ongoing dispute regarding money that Davis and the co-defendant owed to the victim. Davis then invited the victim over to share a few beers together and repay him. The man then drove to the co-defendant’s house in the area of Ray Court and Hartvickson Drive in Turlock. As soon as he walked into the house, Davis and the co-defendant started to hit and kick him, breaking his nose and causing severe cuts to his head.

Davis then took the man’s wallet before dragging him outside and placing him in the trunk of his own car. While still in the trunk, the victim called 911 because he felt he was going to be killed.

Register for Transition from Student to Teacher conference at CSU Stanislaus

TURLOCK - On Saturday, Feb. 26, California State University, Stanislaus and its educational partners will present the 15th annual Transition from Student to Teacher Conference. In the past five years alone, more than 400 future and prospective teachers have attended the conference, which has become the largest and most-attended Teacher Conference at CSU Stanislaus.

The conference, which will take place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., will focus on real issues that confront and affect new teachers. Guest presenters and conference facilitators include CSU Stanislaus faculty, staff, education specialists, and regional educators.

To register, contact CSU Stanislaus Student Support Services at (209) 667-3220 or download a registration form online. Registration deadline is Friday, Feb, 18.

Man arrested for shooting at Ceres police officer

Man arrested for shooting at Ceres police officer

TURLOCK - A man wanted for shooting a Ceres police officer Wednesday morning, surrendered to authorities Friday after a brief shooutout during a standoff situation.

Stanislaus County Sheriff's deputy Royjindar Singh said Jorge Mendoza, 25, was identified as the person responsible for shooting at police in Ceres Wednesday and fleeing the scene, leading police on an all-day manhunt.

On Friday, investigators went to Mendoza's house in the 5500 block of Geer Road in nearby Keyes, where they believed he was hiding. When officers approached the home, Mendoza came out shooting at officers. Multiple officers from different agencies returned gunfire, hitting Mendoza an unknown number of times, said Singh. Mendoza retreated back into the house then a short time later, called 911 to say he wanted to surrender to officers. Singh said after he surrendered, Mendoza was transported to a local hospital in Modesto for treatment.