Thumbs up to Margaret and Andy Medellin of Madera, who may be the first mother and son to be mayor of the same city in California. Making history is nothing new for this family. In April 1982, Margaret Medellin also became the first Latina mayor in California. Still, Margaret is a mama. “If you folks are hearing a boom, boom, boom,” Margaret said to the audience at her son’s swearing-in ceremony, “it’s nothing dangerous. It’s my heart.”
Thumbs down to Kumar Sharma, owner and operator of the Hotel California, which illegally functions as an apartment complex, near Roeding Park. Tenants have been without heat for more than one year, and their units suffer from mice, cockroaches and mold. Sharma told The Bee’s Andrea Castillo that he only recently received complaints that there was no heat in the rooms. Sorry, Mr. Sharma, we don’t believe you.
Thumbs up to Thomas Hanna, a 74-year-old from Clovis, for winning the largest California Lottery Fantasy 5 prize ever claimed: $762,087 before taxes. The previous record payout for Fantasy 5 was $729,505, set in 1992. He bought his winning ticket for $1 at the 7-Eleven at 1170 N. Clovis Ave. in Clovis. Hanna’s a lucky guy, grabbing his second win in the state Lottery. Two years ago, the retiree won $10,000 in the Second Chance game.
When asked what he would do with the winnings, he laughingly replied he would “invest in houses and lots of whiskey.” What a great idea! Here are some houses definitely worth investing in: Poverello House, Evangel Home, Habitat for Humanity homes and Marjaree Mason Center.
Thumbs up to Kaweah Delta Hospice for delivering fresh turkeys and holiday fixings to 101 families of hospice patients – the most families ever to receive the annual gift. The Visalia Breakfast Lions Club provides the fresh turkeys and Kaweah Delta Hospice staff, along with other district staff and community organizations including the Tulare County Deputy Sheriff’s Association, provide the fixings.
Thumbs up to Atwater janitor Chris Carrera, 54, for being a one-man public safety team recently. He doused a fire burning at City Hall, then chased an arson suspect for half a mile and detained him for the police. Atwater police said a man approached City Hall just before 10:30 a.m., doused the front of the building with gasoline and set it ablaze.
Carrera was in the hallway when he spotted the flames. He used a portable extinguisher to put the fire out. “I saw him walking away,” he told the Merced Sun-Star, “and I yelled out to see if maybe he’d seen who started it or something, but then he took off running and I thought, ‘Well, that looks pretty guilty.’ I chased after him a couple blocks, down the street to Osborn Park. We both got tired and he gave up.”
Thumbs up to Kingsburg City Manager Alex Henderson for nominating the city for the online web series “Small Business Revolution,” starring Robert Herjavec from “Shark Tank” and Deluxe Corp.’s Amanda Brinkman. The series’ goal is to kick-start a small town’s revival by sharing $500,000 among six of its small businesses.
Kingsburg is one of eight national semifinalists out of 14,000 nominations. The review panel will visit Kingsburg in December. Voting for a winning city will take place online from Feb. 9 to 16 at SmallBusinessRevolution.org. The Deluxe team will visit each semifinalist and then narrow the list to a group of finalists. The public will vote for the winner, which will be announced Feb. 22. The winning city will be featured in episodes of the web series in the second season of the show.
Kingsburg has a charming movie set downtown so it should do very well. OK, Kingsburg, be on your best behavior when you go to town – and pick up your trash. Company’s coming!
Thumbs up to UC Merced for its TUEgether fundraiser on #GivingTuesday Nov. 29. Through contributions from students, staff, faculty, alumni, family and friends, UC Merced raised over $700,000 in one day – exceeding the original fundraising goal by more than $200,000. More than 800 gifts, and a 3-to-1 match for fellowships and scholarships, was provided by Wells Fargo and Foster Poultry Farms. The campaign more than doubled the $316,000 raised in 2015. Congratulations, donors!