Economists said the higher unemployment rates, oddly, reflect continued improvement in the economy in June. Thousands of Californians, including in Merced County, flooded into the job market, in part because of the end of the school year but also because of optimism. Employers were hiring, but not in sufficient numbers to accommodate everyone.
The “Pokémon Go” mobile phone game craze is alive in Merced and Atwater as much as anywhere else, and players said they noticed the parks needed a little help. They organized a cleanup at Applegate Park in Merced on Wednesday and Ralston Park in Atwater on Thursday.
The environmental impact report is available for viewing at City Hall or online, according to Bill King, the city’s principal planner. He said the city will take comments in writing on the 77-acre Merced Gateway, a project that includes more than 600,000 square feet of retail space toward the eastern edge of town.
The California Department of Transportation will close the right lane of southbound Highway 99 from 16th Street to Franklin Road from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday. Crews will also close the southbound onramp from 16th Street to Highway 99 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday.
The Merced Sunrise Rotary announced an effort earlier this year to change the name of M Street permanently to Veterans Boulevard but decided recently to make it an honorary name to ease residents’ minds, according to Kim Espinosa, Merced’s planning manager.
Merced leaders are looking to spur a retail and housing project downtown, which would come on the heels of investment in the same area from UC Merced. Leaders this week announced the Downtown Commons project, which would have retail space on the first floor and housing or offices on the two stories above that, saying it’s an opportunity to appeal to students and downtown workers.
Playhouse Merced and Merced Theatre are teaming once again, this time to present a musical rendition of America’s fight for independence. The dual-powered performance of “1776” premieres 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 8, at Merced Theatre, 301 W. Main St. The show repeats at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 9, and 2 p.m. Sunday, July 10.
The Yosemite Music Festival kicks off at 3 p.m. Friday, July 8, at the Mariposa Fairgrounds. The two-day music festival is in its 15th year, and 14 performances ranging from bluegrass and Americana to reggae and psychedelic rock are set to take the stage, according to organizers.