Law & Order


A grass fire Wednesday morning just west of Highway 99 on Graphics Drive kept Modesto Fire Department crews busy and threatened businesses. But the roughly 12-acre fire was extinguished in about 30 minutes without any damage to structures, said Modesto Fire Battalion Chief Rich Sasser.

The fire, which started about 9:30 a.m. on the north end of the property, threatened Floors Plus and other businesses north of Graphics Drive and Kansas Avenue. Sasser said employees for Floors Plus were evacuated for a short time. He said the cause of the fire is unknown.


Two Modesto police officers will be honored by the Red Cross for their work rescuing a 14-year-old girl from a kidnapping last year.

Officers Dan Phillips and Dave Lewellen are winners of the Stanislaus County American Red Cross chapter's law enforcement heroes award. They'll be honored at a June 3 breakfast at the DoubleTree Hotel in Modesto. On July 5, a 14-year-old Modesto girl was reported missing.

The investigation suggested that 38-year-old Jared Conway, a friend of the girl's family, was a suspect in the disappearance.

Conway was spotted driving by the girl's house several hours after authorities began searching for the girl. Phillips and Lewellen pursued Conway in his car until Conway lost control and collided with another car. Conway fled on foot. Phillips and Lewellen chased Conway and arrested him after a brief struggle. The girl was found alive inside the trunk of Conway's car. Conway was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping and resisting arrest. He is in custody at the Stanislaus County Jail. His trial is scheduled to start in September.

Admission to the Red Cross Heroes Breakfast is $30 per person. To attend, make checks payable to the American Red Cross, Stanislaus County Chapter, 1230 Sixth St., Modesto, 95354. Phone: 523-6451. Payments must be received by Wednesday.


Ripon residents now can receive information about public safety and city government via the Internet, e-mails and cell-phone text messages, according to Ripon police. To get the information, residents must register their names, e-mail addresses and cell-phone numbers at, an online community information service.

The Nixle service is free, simple, and built to provide secure and reliable information, said Dan Brannon, information technology administrator for Ripon police. He said Nixle is offered at no cost to all governments, their agencies and organizations, nongovernmental organizations and consumers.

For now, Ripon residents who register for the service will receive police-related and city government information. Brannon said other types of information are expected to be introduced in the future.