A man who has been arrested at least 13 times, mostly on burglary charges, was arrested Tuesday morning in southeast Fresno after a neighbor saw him breaking into a home.
Fresno Police Sgt. Walter Boston said the 20-year-old man pried open the back door of a home in the 600 block of South Chestnut Avenue near Kings Canyon Road about 7 a.m.
Arriving officers took him into custody and found the home had been ransacked, with drawers pulled out and clothing dumped on the floor. The man was booked on charges of burglary and parole violation.
Calvin Crest worker dies in fall at camp
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A Vacaville woman working at Calvin Crest camp in Oakhurst died in a fall Monday evening, the Madera County Sheriff's Department said.
Nadyne Qirreh, 23, was a staff member at the camp. She fell 30 feet through a trap-hatch door while retrieving ropes from the camp's rock-climbing wall, according to sheriff's spokeswoman Erica Stuart. Qirreh reportedly began working at the camp Sept. 2.
No students attending the camp witnessed the fall, according to the camp's website, but those at the camp were taken back to their schools Tuesday morning, "for the privacy and respect of all affected by this tragic event." Students attending the camp were from Webster and Sierra View elementary schools in Madera County.
Clovis police arrest 7 in 24 burglaries
Clovis Police arrested six men and one woman during the past week on suspicion of burglary in connection with 24 cases, spokeswoman Janet Stoll-Lee said.
A 49-year-old man was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of possession of stolen property, including a gun, business checks, tools and other items.
Two men, ages 24 and 20, were arrested on suspicion of thefts from 19 vehicles in Clovis, Fresno, Sanger and Parlier. Police searched one man's home on Saturday and recovered several stolen items, Stoll-Lee said.
Last Wednesday, three men and the woman were arrested on suspicion of burglaries at three Clovis-area homes. Stoll-Lee said neighbors had alerted police to suspicious activity around the homes. Stoll-Lee said investigators are trying to retrieve some stolen items that were pawned.
Janitors spy leg, then police arrest burglar
A man's attempt to burglarize a cellphone store in southeast Fresno late Monday night by breaking in through the ceiling was interrupted by janitors, police said.
The 35-year-old suspect was arrested about midnight after he allegedly climbed on the roof of the Verizon Wireless store at 550 S. Clovis Ave., tore away the air conditioning unit and entered through a crawl space above the ceiling, police said.
Janitors saw a leg hanging though the ceiling. After turning off the alarm, one janitor heard a loud bang and then saw a man falling through the ceiling.
A janitor called 911, and Fresno police arrested the suspect as he was walking away from a stolen van that he had been driving.
Lightning sparks 3 Sequoia forest fires
Lightning storms in the Sequoia National Forest ignited three fires in the Golden Trout Wilderness over the weekend, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
The Round Fire, east of Round Meadow, is being extinguished. The Trout Fire, north of Trout Meadow, is already out. The Golden Fire, south of Grey Meadow, has burned less than an acre and is being monitored.
Officials reopened backcountry areas closed during the Lion Fire, and there are no closures in the Golden Trout Wilderness.
Towns lose phones when Verizon line cut
A contractor working in Sanger on Tuesday afternoon severed a major fiberoptic trunk line that services Verizon, cutting phone service to the city of Lindsay and several Tulare County fire stations, a fire official said.
The incident began about 4:30 p.m. and limited phone service and in some cases cellphone access in Lindsay, Tulare County Fire Battalion Chief Claudia Whitendale said. Also affected were Tulare County fire stations in Lindsay, Strathmore and Alpaugh.
Citizens of Reedley and Corcoran also reported loss of service.
Residents received busy signals when trying to contact safety services in the Lindsay area, Whitendale said.
Phone service was restored just before 7 p.m., Tulare County Fire said.
Cal Fire plans burn project on Saturday
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection will perform an open space vegetation management burn in the Grouse Creek drainage on Saturday.
The vegetation burn is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Cal Fire said.
The project is expected to reduce hazardous vegetation and to increase the water table, as well as to help improve the wildlife habitat in the drainage, Cal Fire said.
Approximately 1,600 acres of land will be burned during the project.
Information: (559) 635- 8206.
Clovis man pleads in mother's killing
A Clovis man has pleaded no contest to first-degree murder in the stabbing death of his 77-year-old mother, LaDonna Tidrick, a year ago.
Eric Tidrick, 50, also admitted Monday in Fresno County Superior Court that he had a prior murder adjudication as a juvenile. Prosecutors say he was involved in the killing of 19-year-old Larry Eugene Smith, a McLane High graduate, whose bludgeoned body was discovered near Millerton Lake in March 1978. Tidrick was 16 at the time Smith was killed.
With his plea, Tidrick faces as much as 51 years to life in prison when he is sentenced in Fresno County Superior Court on Oct. 27, District Attorney Elizabeth Egan said in a news release.
Police said Tidrick called 911 during the early hours of Sept. 2, 2010, and told officers to come to his mother's apartment on Barstow Avenue near Villa Avenue in Clovis. "I just killed my mother," Tidrick said in the 911 call.
Whooping cough clinic planned
A free whooping cough vaccine-clinic for seventh- through 12th-grade students will be offered today at 11 a.m. at Sanger High School, 1045 Bethel Ave.
Anthem Blue Cross has partnered with Assembly Member Henry T. Perea, D-Fresno, to sponsor the clinic. The free vaccine clinic is intended for students 12 to 17 years old. Children receiving the vaccine are not required to be insured by Anthem Blue Cross, and there is no fee for the shot.
For a child to receive the vaccine, a parent or guardian must be present to complete consent forms.
West Nile virus found in more mosquitoes
The Kings Mosquito Abatement District is finding more mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile virus.
As of this week, 44 samples were positive with mosquitoes that could transmit the virus to people.
So far this year, 67 people statewide have become infected. In the Valley, Fresno and Tulare counties each have reported five cases and Madera County has had one case, according to state records. Kings County has had no human cases.
West Nile virus is spread to humans and animals through mosquito bites. The risk of serious illness to most people is low, but in about 1% of cases the virus can cause serious neurologic illnesses, such as encephalitis or meningitis.
People should take precautions to protect themselves from mosquito bites and eliminate standing sources of water where mosquitoes can breed, the officials said.
400 FUSD students remain unvaccinated
Fresno Unified officials said only 400 unvaccinated students will remain sequestered from their classes today.
The district's deadline was last week to get all middle and high school students a booster shot for whooping cough. Since Monday, students who still have not been vaccinated – or had a parent come to school to sign a refusal for the immunization – have been isolated from other students until they turn in their paperwork.
About 150 sequestered students have been cleared to return to class since the program started on Monday.
Students compete in Bill of Rights contest
High school teachers and students from across the U.S. are competing in the Bill of Rights Institute's sixth annual Being an American Essay Contest.
Students from grades 9 to 12 are asked to write an essay on the question, "How does the Constitution establish and maintain a culture of liberty?"
The best essay in each of five regions earns a top prize of $1,000. The deadline is Dec. 17.
Winners will be announced in February 2012.
CSUF center sets anti-violence event
Fresno State's Women's Resource Center and Women's Alliance will host the 32nd annual Take Back the Night event on Oct. 19 starting at 5 p.m.
The free event will take place in the free speech area at Fresno State.
Take Back the Night is an international movement to raise the awareness of domestic and sexual violence, Fresno State's Center for Women and Culture said.
The program will run from 6 to 9 p.m. Information: (559) 278-4435.
Levine gives reading as poet laureate
Philip Levine, professor emeritus of English at California State University, Fresno, will give his first reading as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 17.
Levine's reading kicks off the library's 2011-12 literary season.
Levine is the author of 20 collections of poetry, including "The Simple Truth," for which he won a Pulitzer Prize in 1995.
Aid sought for teens leaving foster care
PODS Moving and Storage of Fresno and 98.9 Soft Rock Radio are partnering for Aspiranet, a transitional foster-care program, to host a donation drive on Saturday to benefit teens transitioning out of foster care.
People can drop off donated items from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 21 E. Shaw Ave.
Suggested donations include new or gently used sofas, chairs, dining sets, desks, small appliances, dishes, kitchen items and other household items. New bedding, pillows, baby cribs, mattresses, strollers, high-chairs and car seats and new or gently used clothing for interviews or the workplace (suits, slacks, ties, shirts, blouses, skirts, dresses, shoes).
PODS® will collect, store and deliver items to be given to Aspiranet youth transitioning from foster care to independence.
Blood drive planned at Visalia farm site
Vossler Farms Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze will host a blood drive in Visalia in October with the Central California Blood Center.
The drive will be held from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 8 and 9 at 26772 S. Mooney Blvd.
All donors will receive a free T-shirt and a coupon for a free trip through the corn maze. Donors must be in good health, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and be at least 17 years old.
Information: (559) 389- 5433.