Methamphetamine apparently fueled a Fresno mother's murder of her children, cousin and self, local law professors and students open a free law clinic at the Mexican consulate in Fresno, Fresno County workers plan a three-day strike to protest wage cuts and the developer of the Hotel Fresno project wants to renegotiate a court-ordered deal with the city.
Here are the top stories of the past week, along with selected comments posted by readers at fresnobee.com.
What happened: A woman who police say had been smoking methamphetamine killed her two young children and her common-law husband's cousin during a stunning spree of violence early last Sunday morning at an apartment complex in southeast Fresno. Police said Aide Mendez, 23, also shot and stabbed her husband before turning the gun on herself and committing suicide.
What it means: Police said many questions, including Mendez's motive, remain unanswered. Police identified the three murdered victims as Aliyah Echeverria, 17 months old, Isaiah Echeverria, 3, and Paul Medina, 27. Mendez's husband and the children's father, Eduardo Lopez, 33, was in serious condition at Community Regional Medical Center. He had been shot in the throat and stabbed.
What readers said:
"This should be a wake up call to everyone who believes that drugs are a victimless crime. Tell that to these two small children and the shooter's cousin."
"This is a sick commentary on America. Enabling people to steep to the lowest level and then blow away a couple of children without any thought. Animals have more respect for their offspring."
Law clinic opens
What happened: Professors and students at San Joaquin College of Law open a free immigration law clinic at the Mexican Consulate in Fresno.
What it means: The New American Legal Clinic will offer free assistance to legal immigrants who qualify for citizenship, legal residency or a change of visa. Law students and professors will help legal immigrants get family visas or work permits, and victims of domestic violence who may be here illegally but qualify for a special visa to stay in the country. The clinic will train students in immigration law and fill a need in the Valley, which experts say has been overrun by immigration-service frauds.
What readers said:
"this is one of the best news items in a long time. im glad these students are helping people become citizens. and i think ripping them off for trying to do the right thing is one of the lowest scum of society you can be."
"The issue of illegals will never be resolved in this country until upper mgmt does a total amnesty program and baptises anyone who comes here however they get here with citizenship. ... These college students are not helping the situation...if immigrants want help they should return to their country of origin and start there."
"The racists who bash immigrants always use the excuse that they want it done "the right way". When immigrants attempt to do it the "right way", they still complain. So one can only surmise that these whiners and complainers have issue with the color of the immigrants' skin color and not how they got here."
What happened: Fresno County's largest labor union gave notice Wednesday that it will strike in protest of recent pay cuts, setting the stage for some 4,100 workers to walk off the job for three days starting Monday.
What it means: The move, which follows months of acrimony between county management and the Service Employees International Union, threatens to disrupt many public services. County managers say they have a contingency plan in place to assure that essential services, including public safety, would be maintained.
What readers said:
"if they walk out, i say eliminate the positions permanently: if you can get by without them for three days, you don't need them at all."
"If these jobs are so sweet, why haven't you all applied? They are hiring office assistants, $10.50 an hour. Overpaid SOBs. Of course you can expect another 9% cut in june, while the $100,000 club will take only 2%."
What happened: The Hotel Fresno project developer needs a $200,000 loan to keep the project moving forward, but a court-approved deal with the city of Fresno is hurting Romi Baghgegian's chances to get the financing. The loan would help pay off debts, including $538.30 for city utilities.
What it means: Council Member Lee Brand, concerned that voiding the agreement could take away the city's ability to force the developer to either improve or tear down the historic hotel, wants to bring Baghgegian's request to this week's council meeting.
What readers said: "the city should pay my utility bill too!! the investment partners can't find $500+ dollars between them of their own money to pay this bill?? Not a good sign."
"Just tear the building down. ... Downtown Fresno hasn't been special in decades. Certainly not since my youth. No amount of redevelopment is going to restore what once was. Its a waste of time, resources and money."
Catching Up is compiled by Bee editors. Go to fresnobee.com/catchingup/ to comment or learn more about these stories.