Clovis News

Local briefs: Grandmother accused of injuring toddler

A Mendota woman suspected of throwing her 18-month-old grandson has been arrested by the Fresno County Sheriff's Office on suspicion of child abuse, battery with serious injury and resisting arrest, Sheriff Margaret Mims said Monday.

Mims said the 48-year-old woman threw the toddler about 6:30 p.m. Sunday during an argument with the child's mother in the front yard of a home on Inez Street, near Divisadero Street.

Investigators say the woman took the toddler out of his mother's arms, swung him by his arms then and let him go. The child flew about 6 feet before landing on his head, causing severe swelling to his face and a cut around his mouth.

The grandmother fought with deputies in the backyard of the home before she was taken into custody, the Sheriff's Office said. She is being held at the Fresno County Jail.

The child is expected to make a complete recovery.

Man died in car accident

A body originally thought to be the victim of a homicide is instead the victim of a car accident, the Fresno County Sheriff's Office said.

On Sunday, firefighters found the body near the intersection of 3rd Street and Newmark Avenue near Parlier.

Officials at first reported that the unidentified man had been killed in a homicide.

An autopsy performed Monday revealed that the man actually died after a car accident.

The California Highway Patrol has taken over the investigation.

Man dies in I-5 accident

One man was killed and a woman was injured Monday in an accident on Interstate 5 near Phelps Avenue north of Kettleman City.

The California Highway Patrol said the accident was reported about 9 a.m. Monday.

Few details were available on the accident, which apparently involved a single car that left the freeway and struck a tree. Neither the dead man nor the injured woman were identified.

The CHP is investigating.

Passenger dies in crash

A San Joaquin man was arrested Sunday on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and felony drunken driving after a fatal collision near Tranquillity in western Fresno County.

The California Highway Patrol arrested Jose Juarez, 23. The CHP said Juarez was northbound on Colorado Avenue north of Morton Avenue just before 9:30 p.m. when he came upon a slower vehicle. He applied his brakes, lost control and slid into the oncoming lane, the CHP said.

The right side of Juarez's 1999 GMC was struck by a 1994 Ford driven by Eduardo Arredondo, 32, of Tranquillity. Juarez and two passengers were pinned in the pickup. All three were airlifted to Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno, where one passenger died. The Fresno County coroner has not released the victim's identity. The other passenger was not identified.

Arredondo and a 3-year-old girl suffered minor injuries. Another of Arredondo's passengers, Claudia Arrigua, 23, was taken to Community Regional Medical Center with moderate injuries.

2 held in fatal stabbing

Two Orosi men were arrested on suspicion of murder Sunday in the stabbing of a man, the Tulare County Sheriff's Department said.

Hermenegildo Manzanarez and David Manzanarez were booked into the Tulare County Jail in the slaying early Sunday of Antonio Salazar Escobar, 21, of Cutler, on the 40500 block of Road 124. The two men are being held without bail.

Visalia woman, 21, killed

The California Highway Patrol has released the names of the people involved in a fatal car crash Sunday on Highway 41. Ashleigh Vermillion, 21, of Visalia was killed when the Honda Civic she was driving was hit head-on by a VW Passat driven by Masson Blow, 19, of Lompoc.

Infant Jenna Vermillion received major injuries. The other passenger in the Civic, David Treen Jr., 30, also received major injuries.

Blow was driving too fast on Highway 41 two miles south of the San Luis Obispo/Kern county line just before 6 p.m. Sunday when he lost control of his car and crossed into the oncoming lane, the CHP reported. He hit Vermillion's 2006 burgundy Honda head-on, causing both cars to veer off the side of the road.


Fresno High evacuated

Fresno High School was evacuated temporarily Monday morning after a suspicious fire broke out in the school's gymnasium.

Officials said combustible material in several lockers was the source of the fire, which is under investigation. The fire was reported at 7:42 a.m.

Fresno Fire Department spokesman Ken Shockley said damage was estimated at $2,000 and the students were out of class for about 30 minutes. There were no injuries.


2 sentenced in VA scam

Hanford resident Rodolfo Pagsanjan, 65, was sentenced Monday to one year in federal prison, three years on probation and a fine of $10,000 for a bribery and kickback scheme involving renovations at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Fresno.

U.S. District Judge Oliver W. Wanger also sentenced Masoud Mirhadi, 67, of Clovis to three years on probation and a $2,500 fine for his involvement in the same scheme.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Carolyn Delaney and Marlon Cobar said that between 2000 and 2005, Pagsanjan was employed by the Fresno VA Medical Center as an engineering technician.

Mirhadi was owner and president of Construction Design Unlimited Inc., which won two competitively bid contracts on a construction project at the medical center. A third defendant, Trent Miller, 41, of Fresno, was owner of United Air Technologies Inc., a subcontractor.

During both of the contracts, Pagsanjan solicited bribes from Mirhadi and Miller totaling at least $5,000. On April 6, Wanger sentenced Miller to five years probation and a $2,000 fine.

Also …

Social Security relocating

The Social Security Administration will relocate May 18 to a new location at 340 W. Locust Ave. in Fresno. The offices are currently on West Avenue.

The new location has free parking and is served by bus routes 45 and 26.

Office hours will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, call (800) 772-1213, or visit Social Security on the Web at