Clovis News

Local briefs: Los Banos officer dies in Friant crash

A 32-year-old off-duty Los Banos police officer died Monday when the motorcycle he was riding crossed into oncoming traffic and collided head-on with a pickup near Friant, the California Highway Patrol said.

He was identified as Jesse Freeman Jr. of Fresno. Freeman was northbound on Sky Harbour Drive north of Millerton Road about 5:30 p.m. when his motorcycle struck a southbound 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche, the CHP said.

Freeman was thrown from the motorcycle and died at the scene.

The truck's driver, a 60-year-old Friant woman, suffered minor injuries. Her passenger, a 60-year-old man also from Friant, was not injured.

Dinuba man, 20, dies in crash

A 20-year-old Dinuba man died early Tuesday when the car he was driving drifted off a road in northern Tulare County and overturned, the California Highway Patrol said.

The man, whom the Tulare County Sheriff's Department identified as Manuel Martinez, was alone in the 2004 Nissan Altima as he drove east on Avenue 384 near Road 184 shortly after midnight, when the car left the road and overturned as it came to a curve.

Martinez, who was not wearing a seat belt, was thrown from the car, the CHP said. He died at the scene.

Skateboarder hit, killed in Porterville

A 25-year-old man riding a skateboard died Monday night when he was hit by a vehicle in Porterville, police said.

The unidentified skateboarder, who is from the Oceanside area, was traveling south on Jaye Street and crossing Highway 190 when he was struck by an eastbound vehicle about 10 p.m.

The skateboarder also may have been hit by a second vehicle, police said.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Porterville police at (559) 782-7400.

Woman hit by train in Kingsburg is ID'd

A woman struck and killed by a train Sunday night in Kingsburg has been identified.

Abbeylynn Diaz, 54, died about 8 p.m. Sunday, the Fresno County Coroner's Office said.

Her hometown was not known.

Yosemite scales back hunt for hiker

Yosemite National Park has scaled back the search for a 30-year-old Hawthorne man who went missing Friday while hiking with members of his church in the Upper Yosemite Falls trail, officials said Tuesday.

George Penca is described as 5-foot-10, 240 pounds and has dark-brown hair, blue eyes and a stocky build.

He was last seen wearing gray sweatpants with white stripes, a black T-shirt that reads "D&B" and gray-blue running shoes.

Authorities ask that anyone with information about Penca's whereabouts call park dispatch at (209) 379-1992.


Blaze burns 7 acres near Fresno school

A grass fire burned seven acres Tuesday in northeast Fresno, the Fresno County Fire Department said.

The blaze started around 4:25 p.m. on Alluvial Avenue between Maple and Chestnut avenues near Mountain View Elementary School, fire spokesman John Dominguez said.

Homes to the west and a business were threatened, but were not damaged.

The cause is under investigation.

No one was injured.


Ex-SCICON intern sentenced for porn

A former intern at a science camp for youth in Tulare County has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for receiving child pornography on his laptop computer.

Matthew Jones, 19, of Wales, United Kingdom, was sentenced last week by U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence O'Neill.

Jones pleaded guilty in April. He must register as a sex offender upon his return to the United Kingdom.

Jones, a college student, was arrested Feb. 3 at the Outdoor School of Science and Conservation, or SCICON, near Springville.


Miss California gets under way in Fresno

The Miss California competition began Tuesday and will continue through Saturday at the Fresno Convention Center.

Lauren Smolka, 21, won the preliminary evening wear competition, and Jordan Krinke, 20, won the preliminary talent competition for her dance performance.

The finals will take place 7 p.m. Saturday at the William Saroyan Theatre.

The California's Outstanding Teen Competition also began Tuesday and will have its final competition Friday.

Adrienne Berry, 17, won the preliminary California's Outstanding Teen evening wear competition, and Jeffa Carmack, 17, won the talent competition for her tumbling gymnastics performance.

Also ...

Clovis official named Tulare Co. HR chief

The Tulare County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday appointed Jeff Cardell of Fresno as the county's human resources and development director.

Cardell has served as risk management manager in Clovis at the general services department, and has more than 25 years of human resources experience in the public sector, an announcement said. He replaces Tim Huntley, who retired last year.

Cardell will start on July 18 and earn $126,000 annually. He has a degree in Business Administration from California State University, Fresno, and a Masters of Public Administration from National University.