Clovis News

Local Briefs: Boy riding bicycle flees robbers

A boy on a bicycle escaped armed robbers Monday night near southeast Fresno, sheriff's deputies said.

The boy, whose age was not disclosed, was riding south on Willow Avenue from Jensen Avenue about 7:30 p.m. when a car with four men in it blocked his path, Fresno County sheriff's Lt. Bob Miller said.

One man pointed a handgun at the boy and ordered him off the bicycle. Instead, the boy rode to the parking lot of a nearby business and called deputies. The men sped away in the car.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (559) 498-STOP.

Fire

1 hurt in east-central apartment blaze

A person was injured in a fire Tuesday night at a two-story apartment building in east-central Fresno, the Fresno Fire Department said.

The blaze started about 6:36 p.m. in a closet of the first-floor apartment on the 1000 block of North Backer, said fire investigator Chad Brisendine. Firefighters arrived within 2 minutes and contained the fire to a bathroom and the closet.

The injured person was taken to Community Regional Medical Center for first- and second-degree burns to the legs and hands.

The cause of the fire is undetermined.

Road work

Highway 180 forum today in Kerman

The California Department of Transportation is hosting a forum today in Kerman to discuss a new segment of Highway 180.

The proposed segment would stretch from Interstate 5 to the end of the freeway portion of Highway 180 near Valentine Avenue in Fresno, spokeswoman Gloria Rodriguez said.

A report of the potential environmental effects will be available for public comment. Caltrans staff will be available to take questions.

The forum will be from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Kerman Community Center at 15101 W. Kearney Blvd. To learn more, visit www.dot.ca.gov/dist6/

Education

Reedley College president to retire

Reedley College President Barbara Hioco will retire July 1 after leading the college for more than a decade.

Hioco announced her retirement Monday, signaling the end of a 35-year career in higher education. She was appointed president of Reedley College in 2004 and became the first female president in the school's 85-year history.

Reedley, southeast of Fresno, is part of the State Center Community College District.

Throughout her tenure, Hioco oversaw major construction projects on campus that included a new residence hall, student center and classroom complex, according to the college. She is credited with improving technology, fostering more dialogue between students and faculty and leading the school through a successful reaccreditation process in 2005.

Hioco's career started in teaching in Boulder, Colo., and led to a number of administrative and teaching positions at community colleges in the Central Valley, according to the college. She served as president of West Hills Community College, Lemoore, before going to work in Reedley.

A nationwide search for her replacement is under way.

Percussion, color guard teams win

Local high school teams took top honors at the San Joaquin Valley Color Guard and Percussion Review championships Friday and Saturday at Clovis North High.

First-place high school winners in the color guard championships Friday included Clovis East, Golden West and Madera South.

In the percussion championships Saturday, the first-place high school winners included Edison, Sanger, Clovis North and Clovis East.

Fresno State lecturer gets 'tough love' nod

Fresno State lecturer Cheryl Copeland has earned a reputation as one of the most demanding yet respected teachers on campus.

Copeland was named one of the nation's top-10 "Tough Love Professors" by MyEdu, a company that collects and reviews college data.

Copeland, a lecturer in the Accountancy Department, received a 4.5 out of five stars based on student ratings, but it's not because her class is a breeze. The grade-point average for Copeland's students is 2.26, according to MyEdu.

Anonymous student reviews collected by MyEdu said Copeland "loves the subject and makes it so that you understand" but that her class is "a lot of work."

To qualify as a "Tough Love Professor," teachers must historically give below a C average but be well-liked by students.

MyEdu looked at 777 colleges and universities across the nation, and Copeland was the only Californian to make the list.

Madera High opens aquatic complex

Madera High School opened its renovated McAlister Aquatic Complex on Tuesday with a ceremony, followed by a swimming and diving event between Madera High and Yosemite High, officials said.

The $3.2 million renovation began in February 2010 and was funded by a school bond approved in November 2006.

The facility is named in honor of Bill McAlister, a swimming and diving coach at Madera High from 1958 to 1989.

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