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Violent crime up in Sacramento and Stockton

SACRAMENTO, CA- Violent crime in Sacramento and Stockton saw a modest increase in the first six months of 2010.

FBI crime statistics showed the number of violent crimes in Sacramento for the period stood at 2,157 incidents, up by 112 from the first 6 months of 2009.

In Stockton, there were 1,941 violent crimes for the period, compared to 1,864 during the same time in 2009, an increase of 77.

Most other major cities in California saw drops in violent crime. It was not immediately clear why.

"We did see an increase from 2009 and 2010. It was very minimal, and we are very fortunate for that," said Sacramento Police Department spokeswoman Officer Laura Peck.

Lockeford bank robbery, bomb threat suspect arrested

LOCKEFORD, CA - San Joaquin County sheriff's investigators used bank surveillance camera photos to identify and arrest a bank robbery suspect the same day as the crime.

Robert Daniel Mehrten, 52, was arrested Thursday night while leaving his Lockeford/Clements-area home Thursday night, said sheriff's spokesman Deputy Les Garcia.

Mehrten is suspected of walking into Bank of the West on the the 13200 blocks of E. Highway 88 in Lockeford about 9:30 Thursday morning and informing a teller he had a bomb in the purse he carried as he handed over a note demanding money, Garcia said. Mehrten was given some money and he left on foot.

The alleged bomb threat triggered an evacuation of the bank and several nearby businesses as well as the closure of the highway through that part of town. A sheriff's bomb squad robot detonated the purse which did not hold an explosive device.

Mehrten was booked into custody on suspicion of robbery and making false bomb reports.

Stockton embezzler of nearly $500,000 sent to prison

STOCKTON, CA - A 59-year-old San Joaquin County woman is headed to state prison after being sentenced for embezzling about a half million dollars from the helicopter repair company where she worked.

Brenda Kemper was a long-time employee, board president, and bookkeeper for Big Valley Aviation, located at the Stockton airport.

She pleaded guilty to taking much of that money from coworkers' retirement funds.  Employees had to take furloughs at one point to help the company through its financial difficulties.

Because Kemper has numerous health problems, and had a clean criminal record, her attorney was hoping she'd be sentenced to probation, not prison.  That triggered an angry series of comments from a former co worker.

UOP to hold financial aid workshops for minority students

STOCKTON - University of the Pacific will hold two financial aid workshops on Sunday, Jan. 30 and Saturday, Feb. 5, aimed at boosting the number of underrepresented students on college campuses. The free workshops, geared toward Latino and African American high school students, will be held on UOP’s Stockton campus and are open to the public, regardless of race or ethnicity.

Weston Ranch library hosts Teen Video Game days

STOCKTON - The Weston Ranch Branch Library will host Teen Video Gaming Day on the second Friday of each month beginning Jan. 14.

Join other teens for an afternoon of video game fun in the community room, located at 1453 West French Camp Road. Bring along a friend and compete or form teams to challenge each other.

The free program is provided through the generosity of the Friends of the Stockton Public Library. The Weston Ranch Branch Library is a part of the Stockton-San Joaquin County Public Library. For more information, call (209) 937-8221 or visit www.stockton.lib.ca.us.

Stockton to hold 19th Annual HIREvent

STOCKTON - Jumpstart the new year with a new career at the 19th Annual HIREvent on Tuesday, Jan. 25 from 12 p.m. - 5p.m. at the Lexington Plaza Waterfront Hotel, 110 West Fremont.

Job seekers will find an impressive lineup of employers eager to fill positions in a variety of fields. They'll be able to personally meet dozens of representatives from private and public organizations.

The event is free and those interested in attending should dress to impress as free resume reviews will be offered by local business experts.

For more information, visit www.JobJournal.com or call 1-888-THE-JOBS.

Free dental health clinic offered to low-income children

Free dental health clinic offered to low-income children

STOCKTON - A free "Give Kids a Smile" dental clinic for disadvantaged children will be held on Saturday, Feb. 5 from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m at University of the Pacific's Chan Family Health Sciences Learning Center, located at 757 Brookside Road (north of the Calaveras River).

The event, hosted by the San Joaquin Dental Society and UOP, will offer dental screenings, cleanings, fluoride treatments, x-rays and emergency treatments for children up to age 17. All services will be free and children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. The event is on a first-come, first-serve basis.

"According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly one in four childen, aged 2 to 11 have untreated cavities in their baby teeth," said Dr. Edward Graham, a Stockton dentist. "This is no surprise to most area dentists.

UOP presents 'Foreclosure, USA' exhibit

UOP presents 'Foreclosure, USA' exhibit

STOCKTON - University of the Pacific's Reynolds Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of San Francisco-Bay Area photographer Kirk Crippen's Foreclosure, USA series about the housing foreclosure crisis here in Stockton. The exhibit runs from Jan. 18 - Feb. 18, with an opening reception on Jan. 21 from 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Crippens will give an "Artist's Talk" on Jan. 21 at 6 p.m. in the lecture hall adjacent to Reynolds Gallery, in the Jeannette Powell Art Center, Room 29.

The artist said he chose Stockton as the subject of his foreclosure series in 2009 when it became a center of the housing crisis in America.

"In the first quarter of 2009, one in every 27 housing units in the area received a foreclosure notice, against a national rate of about one in 159," said Crippens.

San Joaquin Building Futures Academy hosts open house


STOCKTON - The brand new San Joaquin Building Futures Academy (SJBFA) will host an open house and ribbon cutting on Wednesday, Jan. 12 at 11 a.m. at 3100 Mt. Diablo in Stockton.

The event, in conjunction with the Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce, will give the community a chance to learn how SJBFA is creating a foundation for future success by providing its students with a non-traditional approach to education by focusing on developing construction and leadership skills. The academy offers hands-on construction training for young adults in need of a high school diploma or General Education Development (GED).

For more information about San Joaquin Building Futures Academy, visit www.sjcoe.org.

Congressman Cardoza closes, relocates Stockton office

Congressman Cardoza closes, relocates Stockton office


STOCKTON - Congressman Dennis Cardoza, CA-18, announced Monday he will be moving his Stockton District office, currently located at 137 East Weber Avenue, into a government-owned building in order to better provide better service and a higher level of security to constituents. The Stockton office will temporarily close during the transition.

Cardoza didn't disclose the address of the new location just yet.

Constituents who need assistance from the congressman can still call the Stockton office at (209) 946-0361 or visit his Modesto office located at 1010 10th Street, Suite 5800, from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

"Relocating to a government building will provide better security for Central Valley residents visiting my office of assistance," said Cardoza. "Over the past few years, I have moved both my Merced and Modesto offices to government buildings.