Clovis News

Local briefs: Educators to be honored at regional banquet

Nine educators in the Central Valley have been nominated to receive the California League of High Schools Educator of the Year award, officials said.

The award is given to educators representing 11 regions throughout California, said Camilla Sutherland, Fresno County Office of Education school improvement coordinator. One educator from nine nominees in the Central Valley will be selected to represent Region 7 for the 2010 award.

The nominees are: Jeanne Escalera, Center for Advanced Research and Technology; Jeff Williams, Clovis West High School; Erica Pennington, Sanger High School; Tim Warden, Riverdale High School; Carol Shanahan, Clovis North Educational Center; Janie Greaves, Central High School West; Jason McFarlin, Coalinga High School; Russell Mitchell, Selma High School; and Matt Carroll, Bullard High School.

The Educator of the Year Dinner will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at University Piccadilly at 4961 N. Cedar Ave. Tickets are $30 per person, and tables of 10 can be purchased for $300.

Details: Nicole Harrison at

Herndon Avenue underpass closed

Herndon Avenue below the Highway 99 overcrossing will be closed beginning Tuesday as part of the Highway 99 widening project.

The closure will last each night from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. through Friday.

Detours will be in place during the closure.

Construction on Highway 145 in Kerman will cause lane closures beginning Monday.

The project will repave about one mile of the roadway and is expected to last 30 working days. Work will take place during the daytime and evening hours.

Rotary Playland season ends Sunday

Rotary Playland will end its 55th operating season Sunday.

Storyland and Playland have spent the last five seasons redefining and improving the guest experience at both parks, said president and CEO Barry Falke.

Storyland will remain open on the weekends from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. throughout the winter. Both parks will be open through Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Playland will reopen the first weekend in February.

In the past year the train station at Playland received a complete makeover, a Mother Goose In California exhibit was added to Storyland, the pirate ship was remodeled and Alice's Courtyard was renovated.

Reedley College team wins challenge

Four Reedley College students took first place at the Central California Engineering Design Challenge, beating 60 other teams.

The them for this year's event was "Gone with the Wind," which challenged teams to design a vehicle that used wind generated from a fan to travel the farthest and straightest.

Team members were Julio Zepeda, Anthony Reyna, Derek Perez and Harmeet Ahaliwal.

Fresno veterans museum gets gift

The Fresno Legion of Valor Veterans Museum has received a $1,000 donation from a local business, Connected!

Producer Michelle Ennis gave the check to museum director Arthur Hill.

Connected! is a music program that presents to audiences who are coping with some form of physical, emotional or mental disability.

Visalia food bank prepares for holidays

Local Service Employees International Union members and their families will be at FoodLink in Visalia today from 8 a.m. to noon to help the food bank prepare for the holiday season.

FoodLink is located at 7427 Sunnyview Ave. in Visalia.

Woodlake salutes the troops

The second annual Salute to the Troops Festival Military Appreciation Day will start at 11 a.m. today at Twilight Park in Woodlake. The event will include displays of airplanes and military equipment and a party, spokesman Bill Dietzel said. Details: (559) 285-8270.

Valley philanthropy honored

A Valley resident and a local business are among those who will be honored Tuesday at the 2010 National Philanthropy Day Awards for their volunteer work.

The Central Valley Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals will honor the late Rev. Karl Avakian as this year's outstanding philanthropist. Avakian, who died in May, was a member of Fresno Pacific University's board of trustees, where he established and funded a scholarship.

Avakian's son, David, will accept the award on his father's behalf.

Kaiser Permanente will receive the Outstanding Philanthropic Organization award. The organization recently expanded its community benefit support and invested more than $2.3 million in local organizations. Kaiser's employees have also donated thousands of hours to local organizations.

United Health gets donation

The United Health Centers in the San Joaquin Valley will receive a $10,000 donation Monday, officials said.

The donation, coming from EHS Medical Group, is intended to improve health information technology by adding electronic prescriptions, lab ordering and medical records, spokesman David Phillips said.

1,000 make a difference on Tulare County workday

More than 1,000 Tulare County residents worked together in 18 separate events on Oct. 23 for Make a Difference Day. Projects included home improvement for senior citizens, electronic waste recycling, immunization for pets and free trash collection, Community Services Employment Training spokeswoman Raquel Gomez said.

The effort, organized by youths, collected 47 tons of trash, 31,000 pounds of electronic waste and 2,300 pounds of scrap metal, Gomez said.

Make a Difference Day is an annual event on the fourth Saturday of October.