Thumbs up to Pat Hill, former football coach for Fresno State, on his new gig as color commentator for 940 ESPN’s Bulldogs football coverage starting Sept. 3. He will join play-by-play announcer Paul Loeffler on the microphones. Cameron Worrell, former Fresno State and NFL player, will report from the sidelines.
Thumbs down to the dumb-dumb drivers who think they are more powerful than a locomotive. Train-auto collisions happen every year in the Valley, yet still people think it’s a good idea to race the train. Union Pacific Railroad police teamed up with Fresno police this week to crack down on these motorists, issuing 35 citations in one day to drivers at crossings at Shaw, McKinley and Olive avenues through the morning and early afternoon. Trespassing citations also were issued. Five people reportedly trespassing on the tracks were killed last year in Fresno County.
Thumbs up to Brooke Poore, a Sierra High School senior for spearheading the Empty Bowls fund-raising event for her senior project. Brooke organized this local event along with Richard Cain, a Auberry Intermountain Rotary mentor; Nancy Gaseor, a Sierra Unified art teacher; and the Poore family. The event raised more than $2,400, which will go to the food bank at Sierra Lutheran Church, the Sierra Oaks Senior Center and Sierra High School art department. The foothill communities of Prather, Auberry and Tollhouse stepped up to help their young philanthropist, donating 25 kettles of soup, salad, rolls and supplies. Brooke enjoys creating ceramics and made bowls during the summer and school year for this event. With the help of fellow Sierra Unified students, 190 ceramic bowls were created as parting gifts for the guests. The empty ceramic bowls are designed to serve as reminders that 1 in 3 children and 1 in 4 adults go to bed hungry.
Thumbs up to Tony Miranda of Habitat for Humanity Fresno County for his 17 years of service and his part in the construction of nearly 100 homes for low-income families in his unexpected career as the nonprofit homebuilder’s executive director. Unfortunately for Fresno, Miranda is leaving to take the top job at Habitat’s Bakersfield office, an affiliate that “is ready to grow and expand.” Miranda takes with him the best wishes of a grateful community and many happy homeowners.
Thumbs up to Sanger for dedicating its new 6.6 acre solar power farm, expected to provide more than 85% of the electricity used at the city’s waste water treatment plant. About $4.4 million was invested in 3,800 individual solar photovoltaic panels. The farm can produce about 1.2 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 1,000 homes. “This is government gone right,” Mayor Joshua Mitchell said, noting that Sanger was able to build the farm at no cost to residents and save money to fill other needs. “We’re going to save so much money and not have to pass those costs on to our constituents.” Way to look to the future, Sanger.
Thumbs up to Fresno Survivors of Suicide Loss, a counseling and awareness group, for landing a $7,000 grant to host its annual Youth Forum on Suicide Prevention May 2 in Clovis. The grant was given by New York Life Insurance Co. The event, which will feature workshops and presentations aimed at educating young adults about warning signs and resources for suicide prevention, will be held at the Center for Advanced Research and Technology at 2555 Clovis Ave. from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Thumbs up to Delbert Cederquist, Fresno County Board of Education member, who was honored this week for 62 years of service. Cederquist, an Easton-area grape grower, is the longest-serving school trustee in the nation. Congratulations for a unique tenure and dedication to generations of children in the county.
Thumbs up to Visalian Ariana Goulbourne for winning $25,854 in cash and prizes on Monday’s edition of “Wheel of Fortune.” Included in her winnings is a trip to the Dominican Republic. The big winner, who auditioned at a Wheelmobile recruiting event in Fresno, is a site director for the Fairview Elementary Heart program. With that money, she can buy all the vowels she wants!
Thumbs up to volunteers helping out at Tehipite Middle School today for Comcast Cares Day. They will be planting shrubs, repairing benches, weeding and landscaping. The locals are part of an army of 4,000 Comcast employees statewide expected to help out, and about 95,000 nationwide. We’re sure they will get a good reception wherever they go. To join them, register at comcastinthecommunity.com
Thumbs up to Danay Ferguson, 8, of Reading Heart, and to Fresno City Waste Management for collecting more than 9,000 books to Valley Children’s Hospital and other local charities. Danay delivered 4,000 books to the hospital Monday, helping patients choose books from her charming reading cart. Waste Management has a Books for Buddies Drive, which promotes literacy efforts through the Valley. That campaign, a collaboration with elementary schools, collected more than 5,000 books, which will be donated.