'Community Conversations' on students, Christmas and sweet potato vodka

Holiday safety, charter school students and the high-end vodka produced by an Atwater sweet potato grower are some of this week’s topics on “Community Conversations,” a public service program on KYOS.

The hour-long show focuses on community, education and government news affecting residents throughout Merced County. It airs on KYOS, 1480 AM, at 7 p.m. Saturday and at 3 p.m. Sunday.

This weekend’s lineup: Lori Gattuso with the Merced County Office of Education discusses Scholar's Charter School and how it is enrolling 6th- through 12th-grade students; Merced County Fire Marshall Hank Moore talks about carbon monoxide dangers, the proper use of heaters and the state law requiring carbon monoxide detectors in the home; Sandra Leon-Alfaro talks about Merced's Catholic Charities and the organization's needs and activities; Retired Police Chief Richard Hawthorne talks about the Kops/Fire for Kids toy drives that are ongoing in Atwater; and Merced and David John Souza, sweet potato grower and master distiller of High Roller Premium Vodka, talks about how he got into the vodka business while raising sweet potatoes.

The show’s host is Nathan Quevedo, and Steve Colvard from KYOS is the engineer. The show is produced by Quevedo, public information officer for the Merced County Office of Education, Mike Conway, public information officer at the city of Merced, Roger Wood, and Scott Hernandez-Jason of UC Merced, in association with the county of Merced and Merced College.

Go to www.mercedcommunityconversations.com for past episodes of “Community Conversations.”