A Sanger woman is sought in connection with a hot-prowl burglary last week, the Fresno County Sheriff's Office says.
Roxanne Escutia, 25, is accused of entering a home in the 6000 block of South McCall Avenue near Fowler on Sept. 5. Sheriff's spokesman Chris Curtice said the burglary was interrupted by children in the house.
Escutia is described as Hispanic, 5-foot, 3-inches and 160 pounds with brown hair and eyes. Anyone with information is asked to contact the department at (559) 488-3111.
Man killed in jump onto Highway 99
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A man died Wednesday after jumping from a Fresno highway overpass onto Highway 99 where he was struck by a big rig, officials said Wednesday.
The unidentified man jumped from the Church Avenue overpass about 4:20 p.m. in what law enforcement officials describe as an apparent suicide.
Fresno police Lt. Jon Papaleo said the man, who appeared to be in his 40s or 50s, was dead at the scene.
Madera Co. sheriff warns of new scam
A new variation of a scam that targets victims by convincing them they have won a cash prize is being investigated by the Madera County Sheriff's Department.
Someone told a senior citizen she had won $600,000, and just needed to wire $3,000 to an overseas address to collect the prize.
When she never received the $600,000, she contacted the department and learned she had been victimized.
Lightning causes mountain fires
Fire crews on Wednesday fought lightning fires in the Hume Lake Ranger District of the Sequoia National Forest east of Fresno.
Five fires took place in the McKenzie Ridge area and one in Converse Basin, said Forest Service Battalion Chief Paul Leusch. Most are single-tree fires, and none are larger than one acre, he said. Wet ground from rain kept fires from spreading greatly, he said.
Crews return home from Texas fire
Five on-call fire crews from Porterville sent to Texas last week to fight the Bastrop fires were released Wednesday and are returning to California. Each crew has 20 people and are hired by Sequoia National Forest.
Two additional on-call crews from Porterville will stay in Texas until next week, coordinator Robert Benik in Porterville said.
Fire damages Visalia medical office
A fire on Wednesday caused $650,000 damage to the structure and contents of a Visalia medical office, the Visalia Fire Department said.
Fire crews found smoke rising from the corners of Advanced Body and Laser Center in the 100 block of north Akers Street about 8 a.m., Visalia Fire Battalion Chief Danny Wristen said.
Firefighters quickly extinguished a small fire in one of the treatment rooms but discovered extensive charring and damage in the attic, Wristen said.
Wristen said that the fire was caused by a malfunctioning electrical waterfall feature in one of the treatment rooms. No injuries were reported.
Advanced Body and Laser Center said it is working to reschedule appointments and hopes to reopen within a few days. Anyone needing to contact the center can call (559) 636-0808 and leave a message.
Federal jury convicts Fresnan in drug case
A California man who was caught in Missouri with cocaine and more than $1.4 million in cash has been convicted on federal drug charges.
The U.S. Attorney's office says 42-year-old Fresno resident Efrain Orozco was convicted Tuesday.
A jury in Springfield found him guilty on one count each of possessing cocaine and crack cocaine with intent to distribute.
Orozco was a passenger in a tractor-trailer driven by Fernando Gutierrez-Ponce, of Farmington, N.M., when the Missouri Highway Patrol stopped the vehicle on Interstate 44 near Springfield in March 2010.
Authorities said a search of the truck turned up nearly three kilos of cocaine, more than 55 grams of crack and 62 bundles of cash totaling more than $1.4 million.
Gutierrez-Ponce pleaded guilty earlier this month to possessing cocaine with intent to distribute.
Suspect in Sanger killing OKs delay
The 47-year-old transient suspected of killing 100-year-old Joe Fischer of Sanger last month waived his right to a speedy preliminary hearing Wednesday in Fresno County Superior Court to give his lawyer more time to study the case.
David Anthony Romero told Judge D. Tyler Tharpe that he agreed to delay the hearing on the advice of his attorney, Jennifer Dana, of the Public Defender's Office. Dana said the office might have a conflict in representing Romero. She did not elaborate.
Tharpe scheduled a Sept. 21 hearing on the issue.
A criminal complaint charges Romero with murder in the Aug. 8 beating death of Fischer during an attempted robbery and attempted burglary inside Fischer's home.
Tulare Co. man gets 109 years for abuse
A Tulare County man who molested two children under 14 was sentenced on Wednesday to 109 years to life in state prison.
John Joseph Guajardo, 58, of Strathmore, was convicted last month of 12 counts of child molestation; one count of contact with a minor for a sexual offense; and one count of showing harmful matter to a minor, the Tulare County District Attorney's Office said.
Each count is considered a violent felony and a "strike" under the state's "Three Strikes" law.
Guajardo was also ordered to pay $10,000 restitution.
8 Valley students are Merit semifinalists
Eight Valley students were named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists Wednesday.
Students from Buchanan and Clovis highs in Clovis, Clovis West and Edison highs in Fresno, Lemoore Union and El Diamante high in Visalia were named to the list of semifinalists, joining 16,000 students across the nation, Eileen Artemakis of National Merit Scholarship said.
The eight students were: Phillip Clayman, Kavana Gowda and Lisa Huang of Buchanan High, Jason Dickie of Clovis High, Lucas Karahadian of Clovis West High, Adrian Jimenez of Edison High, Connor Denney of Lemoore Union and Darcy Thompson of El Diamante High School.
The eight students will be evaluated to advance to finalist level, she said. Finalists will compete for more than $34 million in scholarships.
Service planned for Springville soldier
A memorial service for Army Pfc. Douglas Jeffries Jr. will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in Springville, said Pastor Chris Ferrell of Lighthouse Chapel in Springville.
The service will be held at the Veterans Memorial Building, 35944 Highway 190.
Jeffries, 20, was killed in action last week when his unit encountered an improvised explosive device in Kandahar, Afghanistan. The 2009 graduate of Porterville High School joined the Army in November 2009.
Flags are flying at half-staff on public buildings in Springville and on all Tulare County government buildings.
Soldier with Valley ties is killed
An Army staff sergeant with Valley ties died in Afghanistan on Saturday after his unit was attacked, the Department of Defense said.
Staff Sgt. Daniel A. Quintana, 30, of Huntington Park died after his unit was attacked by insurgents in the Paktika province, the Defense Department said in a release. Quintana was a member of the 2nd Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, 172nd Infantry Brigade of the Army. According to several local news outlets, Quintana attended Fresno high schools before joining the armed forces.
32 to take citizen's oath at Yosemite
Thirty-two people will become naturalized United States citizens at Glacier Point, Yosemite's famous overlook, on Friday, officials said.
The special ceremony commemorates Citizenship Day and Constitution Week, which honors the many contributions of naturalized citizens.
The ceremony will feature high-level Department of Homeland Security officials from Washington, D.C., providing remarks and administering the Oath of Allegiance to the new citizens. The newly naturalized citizens hail from around the world, including the countries of Mexico, Fiji, Cambodia, Russia, Guatemala, and many others.
The new citizens will be joined by their family and friends as they celebrate the end of their journey of becoming American citizens.
The event starts at 11 a.m. at the Glacier Point Amphitheatre.