Success & Service — MID duo commended for fast action at fire

Jason Hardy and Max Sherwood set out to install an electricity meter but ended up saving a woman and her dogs from a house fire.

Their efforts during the Feb. 3 blaze on Tully Road earned them a commendation Tuesday from the Modesto Irrigation District board of directors.

Hardy said he and Sherwood, who work in the MID's service maintenance department, saw smoke upon arriving at the home.

Sherwood turned a fire extinguisher on the flames at the rear. Hardy called 911 and banged on a door to alert the resident, who got out safely as half a dozen firetrucks responded.

"These employees, due to their quick thinking and response, were able to save the resident of the home and risked their own lives to clear the home," a resolution from the board said.

Karen Kopecki Lozano of Modesto received a True Sport Award from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and Discovery Education. Her winning proposal outlined the Teens Run Modesto program, which challenges and encourages area junior high and high school youth to experience the benefits of goal-setting, character development, adult mentoring and improved physical fitness through a structured training program culminating in running and completing the Modesto Marathon.

Members of the Sonora Police Department's Explorer Post Chapter 391 took two first-, two second- and three third-place trophies at last weekend's Mother Lode Gold Explorer Challenge. Aaron Moran won in physical agility and Russell Perry won in pistol shooting. Matt Roberts and Quentin Perry teamed to take second place in high-risk traffic stops and Jessie Lewis, Moran and Kayla Gladysz took second in traffic stops/field interviews. Third-place awards went to Samantha McKinney, Russell Perry and Robby Roberts in bomb threat response, Ryan Joy and Daniel Persson in crime scene investigation, and Matt Roberts and Quentin Perry in traffic accident investigation.

The University of California at Merced recently named Mark Matsumoto its interim dean of engineering. His began his new job April 1. Matsumoto comes from UC Riverside, where he is an environmental engineering professor and associate dean of the Bourns College of Engineering. He'll take a year's leave of absence from Riverside to serve at UC Merced during the school's search for a permanent dean of engineering.

Ash Gokli is the new chief medical officer for Sutter Health's Central Valley region. Gokli previously served as vice president and chief medical officer for St. Mary's Mercy Hospital in Livonia, Mich.

Modesto Junior College's speech and debate team took home the debate sweepstakes gold medal at the Rho Pi National Tournament, the team's final competition for the academic year, last week in New Orleans. MJC claimed the top debate award after winning the gold and silver medals in parliamentary team debate and the silver in the individual National Forensics Association Lincoln/Douglas Debate.

James Birlew and Christopher Yerzy beat MJC teammates and brothers Richard and Robert Birlew for the gold in parliamentary team debate. They took the silver. Richard Birlew also won the silver in NFA Lincoln-Douglas, repeating his 2009 finish.

Robert Birlew took a bronze in extemporaneous speaking, and teammate Josh Ward did the same in impromptu speaking. Columbia College's Danielle Carmack took the silver in impromptu speaking.

MJC will hold its 14th annual Americans with Disabilities Act Committee Awards at 3 p.m. Wednesday in the Fireside Lounge of the student center on the east campus. The group will honor Kim Jordan and Carol La Rosa, who work in the school's Disabled Students, Programs and Services office. John Martinez, MJC's dean of special programs, will receive a years of service award. Community members Susan Christensen and John Ervin also will be recognized.

Other award winners: Barbara Jensen, Bruce Anders, Joe Zermeno, Larry Scheg, Noelle Bellino, Ruth Waymire, Sergei Samborski, Yolonde Petersen, MJC Allied Health instructors, Barbara Jorge, Barbara Wall, Brandi Eastman, Brian Sanders, Brittany Jones, Bruce Anders, Catherine Greene, Cecilia Vera, Cheryl Finley, Cheryl Garcia, Chris Briggs, Chris Rodriguez, Christine Serrano, David Carrillo, Dimitri Keriotis, Donna Yarnal, Dorothy Scully, Elzbieta Jarrett, Erik Armstrong, Frances Alvernaz, Glen Stovall, Greg Perry, Heidi Meyers, James Curl, Janelle Gray, Jaymes Michelena, Joyce Mitchell, Kim Gyuran, Leticia Cavazos, Lillian Vallee, Lynn Spidell, Martha Robles, Monica Lopez, Pirates Bookstore, Rex Israel, Rita Alvarez, Robin Frazier, RoseLee Hurst, Sarah Curl, Shelly Circle, Shelly Stevens, Stephanie Franks, Steven Stroud, Suzanne Hulsey, the math drop-in center, the writing center, Theresa Stovall, Tina Giron and Tomasia Drummond.

Never Boring Design Associates of Modesto received 2009 International Davey Awards, which honor the work of small firms, agencies and companies worldwide. Never Boring, a graphic design, marketing, film and commercial sign company, was recognized for its work on business systems for Kolody Orthodontics and Patton Amusements and for its Camp Sylvester Web site design.

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