Clovis News

Local briefs: Man dies after driving his pickup into canal

A man was killed Monday afternoon when he drove his pickup off Millerton Road into the Friant-Kern Canal, just east of the town of Friant.

California Highway Patrol officer Scott Jobinger said the accident was reported at 12:30 p.m. Jobinger said that divers from the Fresno County Sheriff's Office found the unidentified man still in the pickup, more than four hours later.

The accident is being investigated.

Searchers believe man reported missing is OK

Rescue workers from the Fresno County Sheriff's Office, local fire departments and the California Highway Patrol have called off the search for a man who reportedly slid down a sandy area into a stretch of the San Joaquin River west of Highway 99.

Officials believe the man, who was not unidentified, walked out of the area.

The man's wife told sheriff's investigators about 5 p.m. Monday that he fell off the cliff, but searchers were unable to find him. The California Highway Patrol helicopter searched the river and both banks. The river is shallow and slow-moving in that area.

A Sheriff's Office spokesman said boats were brought brought in to aid in the search, but no sign of the man was found.

71-year-old motorcyclist struck from behind, dies

A 71-year-old motorcyclist was killed Monday when he was struck from behind east of Terra Bella in Tulare County, the California Highway Patrol said.

The victim, whom the CHP did not identify, was westbound about 8:40 a.m. on Avenue 95 near Road 248 when he stopped to let oncoming traffic pass before turning left into his driveway, the CHP said.

John A. Josephson, 74, driving a pickup west on Avenue 95, failed to see the victim and slammed into the rear of his motorcycle, the CHP said. The motorcyclist was thrown to the roadway and died there. The pickup overturned, and Josephson suffered moderate injuries.

Orosi juvenile wounded in gunshot disturbance

An Orosi juvenile was critically wounded by a gunshot during a disturbance Sunday in Orosi, the Tulare County Sheriff's Department said.

The shooting occurred after several people refused to leave a party at the victim's home on the 12500 block of Whitaker Avenue. The victim and a companion brandished a firearm to persuade them to move on.

The victim was wounded when the gun discharged as he and his friend exchanged the weapon. One round struck the juvenile in the chest.

He was in stable but critical condition at an area hospital. The suspect was booked into the Tulare County Jail.

Phone scam warning issued by Visalia police

Visalia police are warning about reports of a phone scam seeking money in recent weeks.

Some residents have received calls from someone who pretends to be their grandchild and needs money for a traffic accident or arrest, police said. The caller asks for money to be wired from one Wal-Mart store to another.

A few victims have wired the money before discovering the scam, police said.

Anyone with questions or information about this scam can call Visalia police at (559) 713-4240.

Also ...

Clovis West student wins $5,000 scholarship

A Clovis West High School student has earned $5,000 for his first-place finish in the physics and astronomy portion of the International Science and Engineering Fair in Reno, Nev.

Nilesh Tripuraneni, a Clovis West senior, also won a laptop computer and received a $1,000 grant for Clovis West High School.

Tripuraneni, 18, won the category for his project: A Relativistic Generalization of the Navier-Stokes Equations to Quark-Gluon Plasmas.

Valley students honored

Three Valley students were among 252 nationwide who were awarded scholarships through a program sponsored by Coca-Cola.

The three Valley students, Megan Reese and Christopher Itoh, both seniors at Buchanan High School in Clovis, and Molly Lao, a senior at Sunnyside High School in Fresno, all will receive $10,000 scholarships.

The three were chosen from an initial pool of 74,000 applicants representing 23,000 high schools. They were interviewed by a national selection committee last month in Atlanta.

Camping trip planned

Selma police and recreation departments employees will take 40 students from fourth through 12th grades on a camping trip to Bass Lake this weekend. The city says this will be the first camping trip for many students.

The trip is funded by local businesses, the Selma Activities League and the Gal-Grip gang prevention grant. It is part of the Gang Resistance Education and Training Program. For more information about the program, contact officer Dan Barcellos at (559) 896-2525.

Valley students compete in spelling championship

Six fifth- and sixth-grade students from the Valley competed in the California State Elementary Spelling Championship on Saturday at Sonoma State University. To get to the state finals, all placed first or second in county competitions.

The regional competitors were:

* Quinn Camara, 12, sixth-grader, Pioneer Middle School in Kings County, ninth place.

* Gobind Puniani, 10, fifth-grader, Valley Oak School in Fresno County, 32nd.

* Marsh Noeline, 11, sixth-grader, Westside School in Merced County, 40th.

* Kathryn Moore, 12, sixth-grader, Quail Lake Environmental Charter School in Fresno County, 42nd.

* Simran Dulai, 11, fifth-grader, Mark Twain School in Kings County, 52nd.

* T.J. Bangle, 10, fifth-grader, Charleston School in Merced County, 60th.

Valley teachers honored

The San Joaquin Valley Council for the Social Studies will honor four teachers at a banquet at 6 p.m. Thursday in Fresno.

The four teachers are:

* Patrick Delgado, Kings River Elementary School in Kingsburg, elementary teacher of the year.

* Jill Holt, Tehipite Middle School in Fresno, middle school teacher of the year.

* Natasha Esfeaff, Granite Hills High School in Porterville, high school teacher of the year.

* John Berg, Edison High School in Fresno, high school teacher of the year.

The four teachers will be submitted to the California Council for the Social Studies to be considered as 2010 California teachers of the year.