Fresno County supervisors take the first step toward an outright ban of marijuana farming, Fresno State's standout quarterback is dissed by the Heisman voters, and a water tank driver's disappearance and reappearance has investigators looking for three armed kidnappers.
Here are the top stories of the past week, along with selected comments posted by readers at fresnobee.com.
Supes nix pot farms
What happened: Fresno County supervisors on Tuesday took the first step toward banning marijuana growing countywide, a move that angered medicinal pot users but thrilled Squaw Valley residents who said such farms were taking over the foothill hamlet.
What it means: If given final approval in January, the ordinance will take effect the following month. Violations will be deemed a public nuisance and carry a misdemeanor charge and $1,000 fines per plant along with additional $100 fines per plant, per day, past a designated removal date.
What readers said:
"I really don't think that the voters expected growers to cultivate hundreds of acres in the foothills and endanger those who live nearby when the people who don't cultivate on behalf of dispensaries try to steal the crop. This is the situation people in Squaw Valley face. So, the right to 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness' trumps the right of marijuana users. That being said, it is unfortunate that the Board did not authorize cultivation at enclosed locations that must be guarded at all times by armed security. As a result I suspect that those who use marijuana will now feel compelled to place a ballot measure on the 2014 ballot that allows anyone so inclined to raise enough plants to meet their own needs, and allow the Government to engage in the sale of seeds."
— David Paul Davenport
"If the county subsidized dispensaries and got a piece of the pie the county would be able to build another new jail within a year."
— Michael Kobata
"The people should at least be able to grow for their own use in the meantime. Growing fields of it is another matter."
— Dave Smethers
" 'It is for your own good!' Said by every tyrant, everywhere."
— Mark Calladus
No Heisman for Carr
What happened: Despite leading Fresno State's football team to a near-perfect season and the Mountain West championship — and being named the conference's top offensive player for the second year in a row — quarterback Derek Carr was not a Heisman Trophy finalist.
What it means: Although he's not in the running for the Heisman, Carr likely will be tapped in the first round of the National Football League draft in May.
What readers said:
"Isn't there a hex on Heismann winners in that most tank in the NFL? So maybe this is for the good."
— Fran Lones Blackney
"Strength of schedule plays a big part. The MW is in the BCS hinterland.there will never be a heisman or national title coming from a non BCS conference. Nothing against Carr, the draft will recognize his talents. its just the BCS won't."
— Reynold Brown
"The only issue that I have with all of this is that Johnny Mizel got invited again. Come on Man! He is a great player, no doubt, but he already got his hardware and attention last year and did not play anywhere near as good this year, with average numbers and several losses. That makes NO sense. Where the real rubber meets the road will be the NFL draft. How many Heisman QBs haven't even been drafted, much less been a star?"
— Michael Stewart
Missing man found
What happened: Family members of Ryan Gabriel Rodriquez, who disappeared Dec. 6 while driving a water truck in rural Fresno County, offered a $20,000 reward for information about the missing man. The reward was soon raised to $100,000, and his father and mother pleaded for help at a Tuesday morning news conference called by the Fresno County Sheriff's Office.
What it means: Rodriquez was found alive near Kerman on Wednesday night, just as his family walked Fresno's Christmas Tree Lane handing out fliers asking for help to find him. Few details have been released about his disappearance, but investigators are searching for three Hispanic men who they say were armed when they kidnapped Rodriquez.
What readers said:
"This is a curious story. The reward had gotten up to $100,000, which is unprecedented. I'm happy there was a positive ending."
— John Wallace
"This is pretty much totally bizarre, they are asking for help but they aren't really giving any details, I mean 3 Hispanic males, here in the valley, boy they should be easy to find! this whole thing sounds pretty fishy, he was held for 5 days by some apparent gang members and is in good health and released for no apparent reason to wander around Kerman? All the guy can give them is 3 Hispanic males and maybe 2 cars?"
— Scott Rader
"don't you just love social media... everyone has an opinion! Just be glad Ryan was found, unharmed. That's it. Peace now to the family."
— Jennie Sanchez
Catching Up is compiled by Bee editors. Go to fresnobee.com/ catchingup/ to comment or learn more about these stories.