Local briefs: Death penalty sought in 1985 slaying

December 9, 2010 

The Fresno County District Attorney's Office has decided to seek the death penalty against Eddie Ricky Nealy, who is charged with murder and rape in connection with the slaying of a Fresno teenager in 1985.

Nealy, 53, has pleaded not guilty to the charges in Fresno County Superior Court. His attorney, Eric Green, said Thursday a trial date has not be scheduled.

In a hearing in October, Judge Wayne Ellison ordered Nealy to stand trial after a state crime lab expert testified that his DNA matched the DNA found on the swab taken from the body of 14-year-old Jody Lynn Wolfe. An autopsy found that Jody -- whose body was discovered in a southwest Fresno canal Aug. 15, 1985 -- died of blunt-force trauma to her head.

Nealy also is charged with assaulting and raping a 32-year-old woman at knifepoint on Sept. 20, 2001, near the town of Lanare in southwest Fresno County.

Fresno State hosts health conference

Fresno State will host the semiannual Central Valley Health Network Youth Conference today.

The conference brings together nearly 300 high school students to interact with health-care professionals and choose from among nearly two dozen information sessions -- such as a "reality check" session where students evaluate career and personal goals.

$115,000 goes to train employees

The Workforce Investment Board of Tulare County is getting $115,000 to train manufacturing company employees how to use programmable logic controllers in machinery.

For other fields, the money will also cover training in management and leadership skills, industrial painting, written communications, and sanitary procedures for dairy processing.

The money comes from the state Employment Training Panel, a division of the Employment Development Department.

Meetings on mental health act scheduled

Fresno County is holding three Mental Health Service Act planning meetings this month to gather ideas from mental-health patients and their families.

The county receives money from the act, which is a state tax on millionaires that provides funds to counties to improve mental-health services.

The meetings are Monday at the West Fresno Regional Center, 142 W. California Ave.; Thursday at Blue Sky Wellness Center, 1617 E. Saginaw Ave.; and Dec. 22 at the Selma Regional Center, 3800 McCall Ave. The meetings will be from 9 a.m. to noon. Details: Bridget Olsten at (559) 453-8279 or bolsten@co.fresno.ca.us.

University will give turkeys to food bank

Fresno Pacific University will donate 325 turkeys to the Community Food Bank today, matching the number being given by the university to faculty and staff members.

The turkeys are from J&D Distributors.

Three appointed to resources council

The Interior Department on Thursday announced three new appointments and three re-appointments to the Central California Resource Advisory Council, which advises the Bureau of Land Management.

Members re-appointed are Carl Twisselman of McKittrick, representing grazing permittees; Steve Koretoff of Kerman, representing off-highway vehicle users; and Roger Mitchell of Oakhurst, representing the public at large.

New members are commercial rafter George Armstrong of Walnut Creek, representing commercial recreation; Sally Miller of Lee Vining, senior conservation representative for the Wilderness Society, representing environmental organizations; and Kern County Supervisor Jon McQuiston, an elected official.

Schools recognized for high achievement

Two Fresno County schools are among 33 California schools nominated Wednesday for the national Blue Ribbon Schools Program award, officials said.

The schools were recognized for high academic standards while also serving economically disadvantaged students.

Sanger Academy Charter in Sanger and Miramonte Elementary in Clovis were nominated by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell.

University awards 10 honors scholarships

Fresno Pacific University has awarded 10 scholarships that encourage academic achievement and public service.

The Leon S. Peters Foundation Honors Scholarships provide $5,000 each for 10 undergraduate and graduate students. This is the first year of the awards.

Graduate student recipients are Ser Cha, Lee Herr, Amanda Hickingbottom, Susan Ruiz and Maria Lourdes Sanchez, all of Fresno. Undergraduate recipients are Emily Akina, Samantha Domingo, Max McDougal and Michaelynn Whitsitt, all of Fresno, and Landin Mello of Laton.

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