Thumbs up to Fresno City Councilmember Esmeralda Soria for leading the charge for a breastfeeding family-friendly room at Fresno City Hall. The little-used space at City Hall was was redesigned to accommodate family needs and accommodate nursing mothers. She noticed that people who arrived at the chamber to observe or speak to the council often brought their children. First 5 of Fresno County put up $12,000 and joined forces with Soria to make it happen. Comcast sponsored the installation of cable TV so the folks in the room can watch proceedings while wrangling the little ones. Soria gives credit to Erica Franco Cabrera for highlighting the need. Also bathrooms for both men and women will soon include changing tables. Other organizations can apply to First 5 to earn grants ranging from $2,500 to $10,000 to improve their nursing rooms.
Thumbs up to the Cat House on the Kings for its successful year of caring for animals. This year, the group reports 1,631 rescues, 1,383 adopted and 7,000 spays. Those are impressive numbers. Find out more on Facebook or their website cathouseonthekings.com.
Thumbs down to Khamala Phaboriuboun of Fresno and all the other Valley knuckleheads who started off 2016 by firing shots into the air. This guy found himself celebrating the new year in the Fresno County jail, thanks to sharp police work. On New Year’s Eve, the Fresno Police Department was kept busy responding to calls of gunfire all over the city. Phaboriuboun is one of the alleged jerks who was seized and arrested by officers after they heard shots being fired from a corner house near Thomas and Thesta avenues. They saw him run into an alley, then into a backyard. Officers found a spent shell casing from a large caliber rifle in the driveway. When officers called out to Phaboriuboun, he ran into a garage, then reappeared. The officers detained him and, with his permission, searched the house, where they found live rifle ammo and an SKS rifle with several magazines. The rifle was seized by police and Phaboriuboun was arrested and booked into Fresno County jail for reckless discharge of a firearm and possession of an assault rifle.
Thumbs up to Lawrence Salinas, a Fresno State graduate with 30 years of political and public affairs experience, for being named Fresno State’s new executive director of governmental relations. He will serve in the Cabinet of Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro beginning Feb. 1. Salinas, 54, was lured away from a post where he coordinated advocacy efforts and served as a liaison between the University of California’s Office of the President, the 10 campuses, alumni affairs, Academic Senate and the Board of Regents. At Fresno State, Salinas’ primary role will be to develop the university’s strategies on public policy. In a statement released by Fresno State, Salinas said his decision to leave his current job with “one of the premier university systems in the world is a result of my regard for Fresno State and the incredible promise it holds to make an even more significant impact on the thousands of people it serves.” Castro is described as “ecstatic.” We do love our boomerangers.
Thumbs up to Fresno Police K9 Officer Jim Young and his four-legged partner, K9 Gunner, for making what police say is probably the easiest arrest ever on a domestic violence suspect. In a Facebook posting, officers reported it this way: On Dec. 30 at 9:30 p.m., officers were dispatched to 102 N. Glenn Ave. in search of Robert Meginness, 28. He was suspected of violating a restraining order for domestic violence. Officers say they saw Meginness climbing out of the rear window and fleeing the scene. Officers Young and K9 Gunner were in hot pursuit, when Meginness climbed over a fence and fled onto Glenn Avenue. Meginness ran directly to Young’s patrol car, climbed up on the hood with his hands up and peacefully surrendered to a very surprised police team. According to police, Meginness told Young that he knew Gunner would catch him, so he decided to simply give up. Meginness was arrested for violation of a domestic violence restraining order and violation of probation, police said.