Thumbs up to ground-breaking women who ran for district attorney in Madera and Merced counties in Tuesday’s primary. In the case of Merced, Kimberly Helms Lewis easily defeated incumbent Larry Morse II by capturing 65 percent of the ballots in unofficial returns. In Madera, Sally Orme Moreno led her race with about 44 percent, ahead of challenger Paul Hornick, who had 33 percent of the votes. Incumbent David Linn received 22 percent and conceded the race Wednesday. Moreno and Hornick will head to a run-off in November.
If Moreno wins in November, she will will join Helms Lewis as the first woman DA in their respective counties. And that would expand the string of female district attorneys in the Valley, giving them the offices from Sacramento to Fresno.
The male incumbents in Madera and Merced had both been accused of harassing subordinates, giving the races a #TimesUp aspect.
Thumbs down to the Federal Correctional Institution in Mendota for black mold found growing underneath a subfloor in a control room, an office used by guards monitoring housing units. The mold can cause respiratory problems, which has happened to some of the staff. Their union president said the mold may be causing “sick building syndrome” and that the warden is not doing enough to get rid of the yucky mess. “The health and safety of staff and inmates at the Federal Correctional Institution Mendota is our highest priority,” the office of Warden B.W. Plumley said in a statement. Even so, the union president had to file a whistleblower complaint to get any attention on the problem.
Thumbs up to retired U.S. Navy Senior Chief William Longworth, a 1998 Sierra High graduate and Auberry native. He is competing this week at the Defense Department’s Warrior Games, a competition for wounded, ill and injured service members. Longworth will compete in shooting, archery and field. Joining him are athletes from the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, Navy. Coast Guard, Special Operations Command and service personnel from Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom.
Thumbs up to Michael Murphy, who is retiring from teaching 5th grade at Gettysburg Elementary in Clovis. Besides 30 years of teaching, Murphy would take groups of students on a trans-Sierra hike that was a highlight of their year. The hike fit in with his emphasis on hard work, perseverance and personal responsibility. According to Luke Pope, whose granddaughter had Murphy as a teacher, about 245 students made the arduous hike over the mountains over the years.
Thumbs up to Fresno, as reflected in the latest survey by the website Apartment List. It measures renters’ satisfaction with the their city. Renters surveyed gave Fresno a B-minus grade overall in the annual survey. The highest-rated factors were quality of schools (B plus) and commute time (B). At the other end of the range, pet friendliness received an F grade. A total of 45,000 renters were surveyed in the national sampling.