Clovis News

Local briefs: Clovis police arrest suspect in burglaries

Clovis police arrested a well-known local MMA fighter Wednesday in a string of burglaries at new and foreclosed homes in Clovis and Fresno.

John Reedy, 29, reportedly struck empty homes and stole appliances, furniture and fixtures. Clovis police served search warrants at several sites during the past week to recover some of the stolen merchandise.

Police said Reedy is believed to have taken several appliances on June 1 from a home in a new subdivision near Highland and Shepherd avenues, then returned on June 9 to take the replacement appliances.

Reedy, who goes by the name "Wild Child" when fighting, is free on $125,000 bail.

22-year-old arrested in Fresno shooting

Fresno police served several search warrants Tuesday and arrested a 22-year-old man in connection with a shooting earlier in the day at a southeast Fresno apartment complex.

The suspect reportedly walked up to two brothers as they stood on the upstairs landing of their apartment in the 400 block of South Chestnut Avenue at about 11 a.m. Tuesday. He fired several shots at the men, but neither was hurt.

Investigators said the shooting followed an earlier disagreement. The victims knew the shooter.

Plainclothes detectives arrested the man about 41/2 hours later near Winery and Leisure avenues. The search warrants turned up one gun that was not related to the shooting.

Corcoran man held in child sex abuse

A 25-year-old Corcoran man was arrested by police Wednesday for allegedly sexually molesting a girl over the course of several years.

The arrest happened in the 2100 block of Letts Avenue in Corcoran. The man was booked into the Kings County Jail for suspicion of forcible lewd acts with a child, forcible sexual penetration and continuous sexual abuse of a child. His bail was set at $1 million.

Corcoran police reported that the suspect is an acquaintance of the victim's family.

Inmates, deputies involved in altercation

Four Tulare County inmates were involved in an altercation with two Tulare County sheriff's deputies during a Thursday morning transport.

The inmates were being taken from Tulare County Main Jail to a Visalia court when they started the altercation with two deputies, said Tulare County sheriff's spokeswoman Chris Douglass.

The deputies sustained minor injuries, but were cleared to return to work Thursday afternoon, she said.

The incident caused the delay of the Christopher Cheary trial. Cheary was involved in the altercation, Douglass said.

Courts

Reedley man, 83, gets prison for killing

An 83-year-old Reedley man was sentenced Thursday to 70 years to life in prison for killing a man.

Family members said Ronald "Ron" Whisenant, 73, of Fresno was murdered in retaliation for telling police that Ernest Perez had molested a child.

Perez also was sentenced for child molestation.

Whisenant was shot to death Aug. 18, 2009, at the Antiques & Things store in Dinuba that he owned. Perez, the landlord, pleaded guilty last month to first-degree murder and three counts of child molestation involving three victims.

Politics

3 counties to receive federal compensation

Fresno, Kings and Kern counties will receive more than $4.5 million from the U.S. Department of the Interior to compensate for lost property tax revenue because of nontaxable federal lands.

The payments are made through the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program.

"County governments in the Valley lose out on property tax revenue because federal lands are not taxed. These payments help make up for that inequity," said Congressman Jim Costa, D-Fresno. "Particularly during this time of record budget cuts, Valley counties can use these funds to help repair aging transportation infrastructure and to keep law enforcement officers on the streets."

The counties will receive grants in the following amounts: Fresno, $2,106,009; Kern, $2,428,633; and Kings, $18,560.

Fire

Yosemite fire season declared under way

Yosemite National Park declared the start of the 2011 fire season Wednesday after it was delayed by late snowpack runoff.

The park has staffed its stations, and its resources, including four wildland engines, one helicopter and one hand crew, will be available to battle fires seven days a week, a parks official said. Fire crews have begun fire prevention inspections within all park communities.

Homeowners in the area are asked to complete their defensible space clearing efforts. All pile burning is discontinued until further notice. For more information, visit http://www.nps.gov/yose/parkmgmt/current_fire.htm.

Health

Fresno health plan to expand services

Fresno-based Avante Behavioral Health Plan has been granted a license to provide an expanded Employee Assistance Program to businesses.

The license from the California Department of Managed Health Care allows Avante to provide more services for mental-health and substance abuse problems through employer assistance programs. For example, such programs typically allow three counseling visits per six months, but under expanded programs, six to 10 visits per year are allowed.

Road work

Construction on highways 41, 180

Construction today and Saturday requires closure of connector ramps at Highway 41 and Highway 180.

The following connectors will be closed from from 8 p.m. Friday until 8 a.m. Saturday: northbound Highway 41 at Tulare Avenue; northbound Highway 41 to eastbound Highway 180; and northbound Highway 41 to westbound 180.

Southbound Highway 41 to westbound Highway 180 will be closed from 10:30 p.m. Friday until 8 a.m. Saturday.

The following connectors will be closed from 8 p.m. Saturday until 8 a.m. Sunday: eastbound Highway 180 to northbound Highway 41; eastbound 180 to southbound Highway 41.

Also ...

Malfunctioning jet lands OK in Fresno

A SkyWest Airliner landed safely at Fresno Yosemite International Airport after experiencing an engine malfunction Thursday afternoon.

Airport spokeswoman Vikki Calderon said there were no passengers on the plane, which was undergoing maintenance with a crew of two aboard when the malfunction occurred.

Firefighters and emergency workers stood by during the incident.

Tulare Co. closes Kings to recreation

The Kings River in Tulare County has been closed for at least two weeks to swimming, boating and recreation due to fast water and potentially dangerous conditions.

The Army Corps of Engineers is releasing water from Pine Flat Dam, which flows into the Kings River and travels through Fresno and Tulare counties.

Currently, the flow at the Kings River is 5,000 cubic feet per second and is anticipated to reach 6,500 cubic feet per second by Saturday.

Tulare County officials closed its portion of the Kings River in early April, when peak flow exceeded 4,000 cubic feet per second.

The rapid flow could last two to three weeks. Warning signs are being posted, and the Tulare County Sheriff's Department will enforce the closure.

Half Dome season will open Wednesday

The cables allowing access for hikers to the summit of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park will be in place and open for the season on Wednesday.

The trail to Half Dome from Yosemite Valley covers more than 17 miles. Hikers gain 4,800 feet of elevation along the trail that passes highlights such as Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall, before reaching the cables on Half Dome's steep granite shoulder.

Metal cables and wooden planks are placed along the steep shoulder of the dome to assist hikers to the summit.

Visitors are required to have a permit to ascend the Half Dome cables. Permits can be reserved three months in advance. For more information on permits and availability, please visit www.recreation.gov.

Visitors hiking the trail leading up to the base of the Half Dome cables do not need a permit.

Learning centers win service awards

Cesar Chavez Foundation Si Se Puede Learning Centers were one of nine programs awarded a national Service Impact Award by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

The learning centers are in 30 communities, including Fresno. During the after-school and summer programs, children from kindergarten to 6th grade attend classes and participate in group activities to build academic skills.

CHP hosts older driver workshops

The California Highway Patrol will hold a workshop for older drivers June 28 in Visalia.

The workshop featuring CHP officer Scott Harris will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Quail Park Retirement Village, 4520 W. Cypress Ave. It will cover such topics as when to stop driving and getting around without driving.

For additional information or to RSVP, call (559) 624-3500, ext. 13.

Fresno Co. Library discussion planned

Fresno County Librarian Laurel Prysiazny will lead a public discussion of the county's library system June 25.

The discussion is scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon at the Clovis Fire Department headquarters, 1233 Fifth St., Clovis. For more information, call 299-9531 or 488-3185.

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