An Atwater police detective facing misdemeanor DUI and hit-and-run charges has been on paid administrative leave for more than a year, the Merced Sun-Star has learned, costing taxpayers in the cash-strapped city nearly $110,000 for the salary of an inactive employee.
The unemployment rate in Merced County was 12.3 percent in November, up from a revised 10.4 percent from the previous month, according to numbers released Friday from the Employment Development Department.
The rehabilitation of a house delayed by the Merced City Council earlier this month will go forward after a vote this week, but the project has also triggered a request for an audit of the city’s Housing Department.
Heading into the final weekend before Christmas, area stores and package shippers are expecting a big final push for what has been a successful month. Mom-and-pop and big-box stores in Merced reported good sales starting on Black Friday and continuing through December.
A planning change approved 5-1 this week by the Merced City Council will make room for a new car wash on G Street, just north of Park Avenue. The site, which is just under an acre, was to be a restaurant until the council voted Monday to make the planning change.
Merced County will not consider developing an “emergency moratorium” to temporarily stop groundwater exports and new well construction while staff works on the county’s permanent groundwater ordinance, a divided Board of Supervisors decided Tuesday.
Planada’s annual Christmas party gathered about 200 families at Planada Elementary School. The event, led by the Planada Christmas Cherish Memories group and the California Highway Patrol, treated families to a morning of toys, photos with Santa and hot chocolate.
Law enforcement authorities warned last-minute Christmas shoppers in Merced County to take basic safety precautions and all residents to be mindful of scammers looking to take advantage of the generous holiday spirit.
This winter, Yurok tribe forestry crews will be four-wheeling down muddy fire roads, hiking through steep, slippery brush and trekking across more than 20,000 acres of forest to count and measure trees.