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Tracy science teacher named San Joaquin County’s teacher of the year

Tracy science teacher named San Joaquin County’s teacher of the year

Middle school science teacher, Cassandra deWood, of Tom Hawkins Elementary School in Tracy, has been named the 2015-16 San Joaquin County Teacher of the Year, according to the San Joaquin County Office of Education (SJCOE).

She received her award at Thursday night’s Fifth Annual San Joaquin County Classified Employee and Teacher of the  Year Awards Celebration Dinner.

DeWood also received $1,000 from Premier Community Credit Union.

SJCOE said in a press release that deWood received the award because she “sets a high bar for her students and does everything she can to make sure they have what they need to reach those lofty educational goals.”

“Ms. deWood is synonymous with excellence in science education,” said Tom Hawkins Elementary School Principal Christina Orsi.

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Tesla could receive $15 million in California Competes tax credits

Tesla could receive $15 million in California Competes tax credits

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration is proposing a $15 million California Competes tax credit to electric vehicle-maker Tesla Motors, which has manufacturing facilities in Lathrop, Fremont, Palo Alto, and Hawthorne.

FoodPro International, a food industry consulting company in Stockton, and Balanced Books, an accounting firm in Turlock, are also in line for tax credits.

If approved, Tesla would receive $15 million in tax credits for creating 4,426 jobs at an investment of $2.3 million. The tax credits would also help offset the cost of buying manufacturing, research and development equipment, and property... Read More

Financial Center Credit Union ranked 13th in nation

Financial Center Credit Union ranked 13th in nation

STOCKTON — DepositAccounts.com has ranked Stockton-based Financial Center Credit Union as the 13th healthiest credit unions in the United States, the credit union announced Tuesday.

Financial Center Credit Union is one of only 66 credit unions to be ranked in the top 200 two years in a row.

“It’s a true honor to see Financial Center topping this list,” said Financial Center Credit Union President and CEO Michael Duffy. “Our area has seen more than its fair share of difficulties due to fallout from the subprime mortgage crisis, but Financial Center has always stood strong thanks to the sound decisions that were made throughout the 2000s.”

Financial Center was also awarded DepositAccounts.com’s A+ rating. That rating is based on factors that include capitalization, deposit growth, and loan to reserve ratios... Read More

Thomas Downey High School Class of 1985 Reunion

Thomas Downey High School Class of 1985 Reunion

     I think that Summer is the time that many of us reflect on the past and all the good times(even more so than New Years.) In 1985 I graduated from Thomas Downey High School(yes I am a Duck) and for the next 3 months I was Free. At least until college started up. I remember helping paint my friend Phil's 1985 Nash Metropolitan, flames on the hood and going along the side panels and "the Love Machine" on the drivers side rear panel.  We then proceeded to cram way to many people into it so we could cruise McHenry and be a part of Graffiti USA. I remember going to concerts at Dazzles Underground and Oakwood Lake Resort. Hanging out and having fun with the best of friends. 30 Years have past and I am still friends with all th guys who crammed into that sub compact Nash Metro. Over the years I have lost touch with some of the friends I had made at Downey, I had moved away form Modesto like so many others only returning a few years back.

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Summer gas prices could be lowest since 2009

Summer gas prices could be lowest since 2009

MODESTO — Summer travelers can look forward to the lowest gas prices since 2009, AAA said Monday.

Nationally, the gas prices averaged $2.75 a gallon. While that’s the highest of the year so far, experts expect gas prices in the United States to drop soon because crude oil costs are stabilizing and refineries are finishing their season maintenance.

“This could be the year of the summer road trip with lower gas prices motivating millions of people to travel,” said AAA spokesman Avery Ash. “Many drivers are likely to save hundreds of dollars this summer as gas prices remain more affordable than in recent years.”

Local gas prices

In California, the average price of gas was $3.69 for a gallon of regular unleaded.

Modesto drivers saw gas prices drop to $3.38 for a gallon of regular unleaded, down from $3.45 a week ago and way down from $3.99 a year ago... Read More

Triple-digit temperatures prompt reminders about worker safety

Triple-digit temperatures prompt reminders about worker safety

The Central Valley is in for its first heat wave with triple-digit temperatures forecast for Monday and Tuesday.

The state is reminding businesses that have employees working outside to keep watch so workers don’t get sick.

Employers are required to have an effective Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) in place and to provide for drinking water, shade, first aid and emergency response, according to the Department of Industrial Relations. There are also requirements tailored to specific industrial operations.

There is a heat safety tool app that helps workers and supervisors calculate the heat index and to get reminders of safety procedures. The app is available for both iPhone and Android devices and can be downloaded ... Read More

Port of Stockton to double rail capacity

Port of Stockton to double rail capacity

STOCKTON – The Port of Stockton will add more than 22,000 feet of new railroad track over the next year —  more than double its current rail capacity. The $7.4 million project will allow the port to handle up to 12 bulk trains per week, up from its current six.

The improvements will be paid for through a loan from the Federal Railroad Administration’s Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing (RRIF) program.

“This sets the port up for long-range development,” said Senior Deputy Port Director Mark Tollini. “Right now we have seen a lot of businesses opting for rail-based transport.”

Each bulk train that comes into the port can be miles long and made up of hundred of cars. The port managed more than 97,000 rail cars last year... Read More