Clovis News

Local briefs: Teen scooter rider badly hurt in Clovis

A 14-year-old boy riding a motor scooter was hit by a car while crossing a street in Clovis on Friday evening, a police spokesman said.

The boy was crossing Clovis Avenue near Gettysburg Avenue about 6:40 p.m. when he was hit by a southbound car, Cpl. Vince Weibert said.

The boy was taken by ambulance to Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno. His injuries were described as major. No other details about his injuries were released. His condition was not known. He was wearing a helmet, Weibert said.

Investigators were working to determine whether the boy or the driver had the right-of-way. Alcohol did not appear to be a factor in the accident.

The identities of the boy and driver were not released.

Drug-ring bust centers on Earlimart

A longtime drug-trafficking ring linking Tulare and Santa Barbara counties was broken up Wednesday after five warrants were served in both areas, the Tulare County Sheriff's Department announced Friday.

The 42-year-old ringleader has homes in both counties and for years has traveled from Earlimart to deliver heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine in Santa Barbara County. He was arrested at a home in Santa Barbara, and nearly eight ounces of drugs were seized along with about $6,000 in cash.

A 37-year-old man described as a co-conspirator was taken into custody on the 800 block of East Terra Bella Way in Pixley.

Nearly nine ounces of cocaine, three ounces of heroin, an ounce of methamphetamine, a handgun and $45,000 in cash were confiscated at a home he was associated with on the 900 block of Olive Road in Earlimart.

Another 37-year-old man was arrested on the 13000 block of Avenue 80 in Earlimart, where deputies found 2.6 pounds of cocaine, 15 pounds of processed marijuana, four firearms and $11,000 in cash.

A 40-year-old woman deputies say was connected to the operation was arrested at another home on the 800 block of Olive Road in Earlimart. All were booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail.

A 35-year-old man remained at large.

Fresno police warn of rise in scams

A rise in scams is prompting a warning from the Fresno Police Department.

Lt. Don Gross says victims in the city are losing thousands of dollars daily to ruses that include work-at-home schemes, lottery fraud, bogus Internet car sales and requests from strangers who pose as relatives and ask that money be wired to them.

Signs that may indicate a scam include:

  • Being asked to wire money for any reason.
  • When a deal appears to be too good to be true.
  • When you receive a check and are asked to wire money back to the sender.

To file an online complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit or call toll-free (877) FTCHELP.

One dead, one hurt in Highway 99 crash

One man was killed and a second suffered major injuries Thursday evening when they were hit by a car while standing near a disabled vehicle on Highway 99 south of Belmont Avenue in Fresno.

The two men were riding in a Chevrolet when a tire blew out about 6:30 p.m., the California Highway Patrol said.

The unidentified victim, 22, and Cesar Padua, 40, both of Fresno, got out of the car – which was on the right shoulder – to check the left-side tire.

As the men were standing next to the Chevrolet, Veronica Cervantes, 31, of Kerman was approaching in a Pontiac in the right lane. The CHP said Cervantes slowed and began to move into the center lane.

At the same time, a Honda driven by Laura Ramirez, 27, of Clovis was approaching the back of the Pontiac. The CHP said Ramirez saw the two men and also tried to shift into the center lane, but then noticed that the Pontiac had slowed. Ramirez tried to avoid the Pontiac and lost control of the Honda.

The right side of the Honda hit the back of the disabled Chevrolet and the front of the Honda hit the two men before colliding with the Pontiac.

Fed charges send Bulldog back to jail

A Bulldog gang member who was arrested and quickly released on a weapons charge in Fresno is back in jail after he was rearrested Thursday on federal charges.

Sgt. Rich Escalante said the 20-year-old man was one of about 30 people fighting near Homan Elementary School in central Fresno on Monday. Arriving officers arrested him after he was found to be carrying a sawed-off shotgun.

He didn't stay in jail long, but after police began an investigation in conjunction with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the U.S. Attorney, he is back in jail.


Smelt case appealed to U.S. Supreme Court

A twice-rejected lawsuit aimed at reversing protections for the threatened delta smelt has been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Pacific Legal Foundation announced Friday in Fresno.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of three San Joaquin Valley farmers who say the smelt protections have led to water-pumping cutbacks and damaged their businesses.

The politically conservative legal group lost the case in U.S. District Court in Fresno two years ago.

Three months ago, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco rejected the case.

Also ...

Miss Mission City is state's top teen

After three nights in Fresno, Jessa Carmack, Miss Mission City, was selected tonight as Miss California's Outstanding Teen 2011 at the Saroyan Theatre.

Carmack, a student at Wilcox High School in Santa Clara, wowed the crowd with her gymnastic abilities, Miss California spokeswoman Jonna Aluisi said.

In the Miss California competition, 20-year-old Jordan Krinke, Miss Yorba Linda, won the preliminary evening wear competition Friday night, Aluisi said. Miss National Orange Nishi Munshi won the preliminary talent competition with her vocal performance.

The Miss California competition concludes at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Saroyan Theatre.

Fundraiser today for horse therapy ranch

Central Valley Talk is hosting a concert today in Clovis to benefit the Heart of the Horse Therapy Ranch.

The event runs from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. at 14335 Academy Oaks Lane. It will feature bounce houses, waterslides, free horse rides, food and live music from The Red Coats, Alexio Cade and more.

Tickets are $7 at the gate; admission is free for children younger than 7. Participants are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets. Alcohol, ice chests and animals are not allowed.

Details: (559) 981-5272 or (559) 704-3323.

Celebration set for new U.S. citizens

Stone Soup Fresno will celebrate recently naturalized Hmong residents today. The event will be held from 10:30 a.m. to noon at Stone Soup's community center at 1345 E. Bulldog Lane in Fresno.

The Hmong adults were students in Stone Soup's English as a second language and civics education classes.