By unanimous vote, Stanislaus County supervisors Tuesday:
Suspended the basic law enforcement academy at the Ray Simon Training Center. Few agencies are hiring rookie officers because recession layoffs have glutted the market with experienced officers. Sheriff Adam Christianson, whose office runs the center, said courses for veterans will continue. "This is only temporary," the sheriff said Tuesday. "I believe we'll be back in business hopefully in one or two fiscal cycles." The Sheriff's Department will save money by not paying instructors' salaries. However, a sergeant, a lieutenant, a clerk and three deputies will keep their jobs by transferring to vacant patrol positions.
Appointed Supervisor Jeff Grover as chairman of the board this year, replacing Jim DeMartini in the annual rotation. Dick Monteith was voted vice chairman. Grover will not seek re-election this year after eight years on the board. Terry Withrow and Bill Lyons have announced their intent to run for Grover's seat.
Agreed to seek $1.25 million in state teen pregnancy prevention grants over the next five years
Hired a Sacramento firm to design the first phase of a new 60-bed juvenile hall. Lionakis, which also has a Modesto office, will be paid $1.87 million. Subsequent phases are expected to cost a total of $24 million, assuming the county comes up with a $6 million contribution.
Using eminent domain, seized five additional properties needed to widen Kiernan Avenue. Supervisors in recent weeks voted to take strips from 17 others along Kiernan from Dale Road to McHenry Avenue in Modesto. Meanwhile, crews continue first-phase construction from Highway 99 to Dale. Taken this week is land controlled by Carl Boyett, Helder Garcia, Oscar Rudolph Wedegaetner, Raman Essa and the Modesto Irrigation District, all of whom contest the county's purchase offers.
Paid Manuel Romero $20,400 for his 0.1-acre strip of land at the southwest corner of Las Palmas and Sycamore avenues in Patterson. Crews will install a traffic signal, widen shoulders and add turn lanes in a project costing $800,000.
— Garth Stapley