Clovis News

Local briefs: 5 arrested in Fresno chop shop

Fresno police arrested five suspects Wednesday evening in a chop shop operation in east-central Fresno, authorities said.

Officers had been conducting surveillance of the operation, which was located on the 1300 block of North Bailey Avenue, leading to the arrests and the recovery of several stolen vehicles, said Sgt. Tim Tietjen of Fresno's HEAT Auto Theft Task Force. Police also found drugs at the location.

The suspects had been dismantling the vehicles and taking the parts, Tietjen said.

All five men, two of whom are gang members, are in custody.

Sheriff seeks 2 men who robbed store

The Fresno County Sheriff's Office is seeking the public's help in finding two men wanted in connection with the robbery of a liquor store Dec. 18.

One of the men fired a handgun during the robbery on the 3000 block of West McKinley Avenue, wounding an employee. The wound was not life-threatening, sheriff's spokesman Lt. Phil Caporale said.

The men are described as black, in their 20s, tall with slim to medium builds. They were wearing dark-colored clothing. They drove away in a blue Ford Taurus.

Anyone with information about the suspects can call the Sheriff's Office at (559) 488-3111 or CrimeStoppers at (559) 498-STOP.


Visalian sentenced for killing girlfriend

A 46-year-old Visalia man was sentenced Tuesday to 26 years to life in prison for stabbing his girlfriend to death.

Rodolfo Martinez killed Avelina Parreira after she told him to move out, authorities said. They had been together for about 11 years.

In November, a jury found Martinez, a truck driver, guilty of first-degree murder. He stabbed Parreira, 44, with a hunting knife.

She died in the bathtub of their apartment on South Lovers Lane, said Tulare County prosecutor Greg Peinado.

Martinez drove to the Police Department and turned himself in about a half-hour later, but by the time rescuers got to the apartment, Parreira had died.

Also ...

Flu vaccines will be offered next week

The Fresno County Department of Public Health will offer both seasonal flu and H1N1 vaccines at various locations Wednesday and Jan. 14.

The first shots will be available at the Orange Cove Senior Center, 699 Sixth St., from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday. Flu shots will also be available at the Reedley Senior Center, 100 N. East Ave., from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Flu shots will be available Jan. 14 at the Selma Senior Center, 2301 Selma St., from noon to 2:30 p.m.

The H1N1 vaccine is free of charge, and the cost for the seasonal flu vaccine is $4. For more information, call (888) 993-3003 or visit

Food will be given in Coalinga, Mendota

The Community Food Bank will distribute food in Coalinga from 8 a.m. to noon Friday at the Swim Club parking lot, 1201 Falcon Lane, and in Mendota at Rojas Pierce Park, 241 Smoot Ave., from 8 a.m. Saturday until the food runs out.

Individuals picking up food need to show proof of residency and certify that they are affected by the drought.

The next food distribution in Coalinga is Jan. 22. The next Mendota distribution is Jan. 23.

Workshop helps groups seek grants

A nonprofit foundation is planning a Fresno workshop Wednesday aimed at helping groups obtain grants to encourage more youth access to the Sierra Nevada.

The meeting will be from 3 to 4 p.m. at the Boys and Girls Club, 1621 S. Cedar Ave. An additional discussion will be from 4:15 to 5 p.m.

The Pacific Forest and Watershed Lands Stewardship Council will grant $2 million to parks and programs in 22 counties.

Details: (650) 401-2155.

Governor appoints locals to boards

Clovis resident Jeff Eben has been appointed to the California State Rehabilitation Council, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced Wednesday.

In addition, Schwarzenegger appointed Ronald Barsamian, 56, of Fresno, to the Big Fresno Fair Board and reappointed Larry Serpa, 57, to the same board. Both are Republicans.