Clovis News

Local briefs: 6 arrested at Fresno DUI checkpoint

Fresno police arrested six people on suspicion of driving under the influence and impounded 31 vehicles at a sobriety and driver's license checkpoint Friday night.

The checkpoint -- held in the eastbound lanes of Gettysburg at Cedar avenues -- also led to the arrest of a 21-year-old Selma man who had a gun in his possession that was traced to a burglary in Clovis.

He was booked into Fresno County Jail on suspicion of possessing stolen property, possession of a stolen firearm and possession of marijuana.

Visalia checkpoint nets 4 DUI arrests

A checkpoint in Visalia that began Friday and ended early Saturday resulted in the arrests of four people on suspicion of driving under the influence.

In all, 98 vehicles were stopped and 12 field sobriety tests were given. Along with the arrests, four citations were given to unlicensed drivers, one for driving on a suspended license and 50 other citations were issued. Five vehicles were towed.

Also ...

Homes get checked for smoke detectors

Off-duty firefighters and volunteers visited about 1,250 homes Saturday to check and install smoke detectors.

Thirty off-duty firefighters and 20 volunteers walked the Tarpey Village area as part of the Fresno County Fire's Early Detection Program, officials said. They installed nearly 150 new smoke detectors. Most of the homes had smoke detectors, but a large number of them needed new batteries.

Fresno County Fire started the program after a fire in Calwa took the lives of Sylvia Escalante's two young daughters in February 2007. The investigation found that the house had no smoke detectors.

Dance patriarch Ernesto Martinez dies

Ernesto Martinez, an emeritus professor and alumnus of Fresno State and a patriarch of Mexican folkloric dancing in the United States, died Thursday at his Fresno home, the university announced Friday. He was 71.

Services are pending for Mr. Martinez, who retired from the university in 2001. He was a founding faculty member of La Raza Studies -- now the Department of Chicano/Latin American Studies -- at Fresno State in 1970.

Mr. Martinez also founded the internationally acclaimed Los Danzantes de Aztlán, the Fresno State-based Mexican folkloric dance group. Danzantes has been a springboard for generations of dancers throughout the central San Joaquin Valley and beyond, campus officials said.

Fresno State President John Welty said Mr. Martinez made tremendous contributions and "nourished a rich cultural environment at the university for many students in the last 40 years and also throughout the community."

District names six scholarship winners

The Westlands Water District has announced the six San Joaquin Valley high school seniors to receive West Side Scholarships.

The recipients are: Ashley Hosman, Coalinga; Kathleen Anderson, Lemoore; Maria Angelica Chavez, Tranquillity; Brenda Guardado, Firebaugh; Cassie Minor, Riverdale; Gabriela Ramirez, Mendota.

The scholarships are offered by Westlands to recognize and reward exceptional academic achievement and leadership by graduates from area high schools.

First 5 plans event

First 5 Kings County is partnering with the Kings Fair to bring the Children's Book Nook to this year's fair July 8 to 11.

English and Spanish storytimes and hands-on activities will be offered. Children will also be given a book for reading at home. All activities are free.

Book readings will be Thursday and Friday at the nook at 5, 6:30 and 8 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday the readings will be at 12:30, 2, 3:30, 5, 6:30 and 8 p.m.

Yosemite officials plan public meetings

Yosemite National Park officials are holding a series of meetings to tell the public about important Merced River features that they would like to protect in a new plan.

The presentations will be in seven locations, ranging from San Ramon to Lee Vining. In Fresno, the meeting will be from 6 to 8 p.m. June 29 in the Fresno County supervisors chambers, 2218 Tulare St., Room 301. An open house will take place between 5 and 6 p.m.

For a full list of public meetings for the new management plan for the river, go to the Yosemite Web site. For further information: (209) 379-1110.

Packers and mules demonstrate skills

Packers and mules from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks demonstrated their skills and took honors at the 41st annual Mule Days Celebration during Memorial Day weekend.

The event, held in Bishop, serves as a kickoff for the outfitter season in the High Sierra.

The Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks pack team, which included Nick Knutson, Dan Baker, D.J. Fiske and Robert Hall, took first place for the Pack Team Scramble and Team Packing Contest.

Knutson was awarded the individual honor of World Champion Packer. Fiske earned second place, and Baker took fifth.Road work

Road work

Ramps on Hwy. 41 in Fresno to close

A ramp-metering project will cause intermittent and full ramp closures along Highway 41 in Fresno beginning Tuesday, California Department of Transportation spokeswoman Gloria Rodriguez said.

The onramps at Ashlan, Shaw and Bullard avenues will be subject to intermittent and full closures from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. each day.

No two ramps will be closed at one time, Rodriguez said.

The right lane of 41 will also be closed at times during the construction.

Noble Avenue work to continue in Visalia

Construction work will continue Monday through Friday along the south side of Noble Avenue in Visalia, Visalia city officials said.

Traffic will continue to run on the north side of Noble Avenue to allow for grading and excavation of the new roadway section. Sidewalks, curbs, gutters, driveways and a storm drain pipe will be installed in the area. Demolition at the south east corner of Ben Maddox Way and Mineral King Avenue will continue.

Lanes and Ben Maddox Way ramps will be closed on Highway 198 in the area starting Wednesday.

Also, traffic controls will be set up around manholes on Houston Avenue, Santa Fe Street and Douglas Avenue for pipeline inspections in the area. Southern California Edison will remove a streetlight blocking the bike ramp on the north side of Houston Avenue.

Demolition on Ben Maddox Way to start

Demolition work on the Ben Maddox Way overcrossing will begin June 14, Visalia city officials said.

The sidewalk and the east side of the bridge deck will be removed. This work will be conducted during evening hours and will require full highway closures.

Demolition along the south side of Noble Avenue between Ben Maddox Way and the main entrance into Mary's Vineyard Shopping Center has been rescheduled to start in late June.