State

Cogdill a profile in courage

State Sen. Dave Cogdill, R-Modesto, will receive a 2010 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award given by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation as its highest honor for public servants.

Cogdill angered some members of his own party when he worked with Gov. Schwarzenegger and Democrats to produce a budget agreement in 2009, and lost his Senate leadership post as a result.

"I am humbled to receive this great recognition, but my driving motivation last year was always to act in the best interest of the hardworking Californians I serve," Cogdill said in a prepared statement. "With the imminent threat of thousands of jobs lost due to the potential shutdown of construction projects and the state on the brink of issuing IOUs instead of tax refunds, inaction during last year's historic budget gap would have brought our already-weak economy to its knees.

"I did not take the choices before me last year lightly but the budget was truly a compromise. No one got everything they wanted, but we worked together to get Californians back to work, rejuvenate our economy, bring flexibility to direct more funding to the classroom and attempt to permanently fix our broken budget system."

Cogdill represents an area that includes all or part of Fresno, Madera, Mariposa, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Tuolumne counties. He chose not to seek re-election in 2010 and instead is running unopposed to replace retiring Stanislaus County Assessor Doug Harms.

    

The Modesto mother-and- daughter hula dancing team of Shelley and Tiffnie Akiona performed Saturday night at Hunter College's Sylvia & Danny Kay Playhouse in New York City. The Akionas teamed with the Stockton dance group Tupulaga O Samoa for the New York performance with the musical group Hapa. The Akionas also choreographed the show.

They met Hapa lead singer Barry Flanagan when they opened for his group during a show at the State Theatre last year. He asked them to perform again with Hapa in New York. Shelley received a Stanislaus Art Council excellence in arts award in 2009. Tiffnie was featured in a 2009 Bee column after her boyfriend, Daniel Versola, proposed to her on Half Dome and her engagement ring went flying in the excitement. It stopped just short of going over the edge and down the mountain.

    

Modesto's Lisa Minardi of the Michael Boerner Agency has been named Modern Woodmen of America's agent of the year for the Northern California Region. She also attained president cabinet, the highest level achievable.

She has the distinguished honor of earning million dollar Round Table status and will be attending the convention held in Vancouver, British Columbia. She also will attend the organization's national convention in Washington, D.C.

Modern Woodmen of America, founded in 1883, is a tax-exempt fraternal organization that sells life insurance, annuity and investment products to members, their families and their communities and is involved in social, charitable and volunteer activities.

    

Three PMZ Real Estate agents completed specialized training in foreclosure avoidance and short sales. Georgia Bilyeu, Chrissy Day and Julie Rodriquez are now Certified Distressed Property Experts, a designation granted by the Distressed Property Institute in Boca Raton, Fla.

    

Appointments by the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors:

Carmen Morad to the Stanislaus County Equal Rights Commission

Kelly Hayes to the Stanislaus County Animal Advisory Board

Kristi Lynn Ah You to the Stanislaus County Child Abuse Prevention Council

Reappointments of Harold Junker and Nelda Parman to the Stanislaus County Child Abuse Prevention Council

    

Commendations by the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors:

To Edwin Espinosa upon his retirement from the county's Department of Parks and Recreation

To George Gaekle for his representation on the Central Valley Rail Committee.

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