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Success & Service: Stewardship council invests in youth, nature

The Tuolumne River Preservation Trust is among the 10 organizations sharing $227,000 in grants from the Pacific Forest and Watershed Lands Stewardship Council. The trust will receive $20,000 for its Stanislaus County Youth Ambassador Program for 80 Stanislaus County youths to enjoy activities including hiking, canoeing, fishing and geocaching. They will be exposed to the natural, cultural and historic richness of the county.

The stewardship council was formed in 2004 to protect and enhance more than 140,000 acres of watershed lands and invest in efforts to improve the lives of young Californians through a connection with the outdoors.

Matthew Andrews of Modesto will be part of a five-member peace delegation traveling to northern Iraq from Oct. 14-27. The trip is sponsored by Christian Peacemaker Teams. The group will be based in Suleimaniyah in the Kurdish Regional Government area of Iraq.

Christian Peacemaker Teams is an initiative of the Mennonites, Church of the Brethren and Quakers, with support and participation from the Catholic Church and a number of Protestant denominations.

The Kurds of northern Iraq faced discrimination, terror and death under the regime of Saddam Hussein. As the security situation has deteriorated in southern and central Iraq, thousands of displaced people have fled to the Kurdish area. The area exercises tight control over these internal refugees, foreigners and its residents. In recent years, northern border villages have been the site of military attacks by neighboring Turkey and Iran.

Andrews graduated from California State University, Stanislaus, in 2007. He is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes and edits for numerous publications and businesses in the Central Valley.

Sierra Vista Child & Family Services recently honored individuals and partners for their outstanding dedication and service to children and families in need during a recent event at the SOS Club. The Bridge Resource Center, Center for Human Services, Hughson Family Resource Center and Parent Resource Center were honored as community partners of the year. The Disney Store was honored as volunteers of the year. Joan Cardoza was honored as angel of the year. Awards were given to each during Sierra Vista's Champions for Children awards dinner.

Peter J. Kampa of the Tuolumne Utilities District has been named the statewide general manager of the year by the California Special District Association during its recent conference in Newport Beach. The annual award is given to the general manager who has exhibited exceptional experience, effectiveness and leadership in his or her district. Kampa is credited with guiding the district in the acquisition of more than $4 million in grant funding over the past two years. The TUD serves more than 44,000 Tuolumne County residents. The district owns and operates 15 water treatment plants, 70 treated water storage tanks, two waste-water treatment plants, about 57 miles of open ditches and 296 miles of treated water pipeline.

More than 40 employees from Valley Wellness Center, Central Valley Pain Management and Valley Surgery Center in Modesto wore powder-blue shirts Friday to promote the work of Haven Women's Center, a domestic violence shelter for women and children in Modesto. The employees wore the shirts to honor October as Abuse Awareness Month.

Sonora police officers John Mager, Jaemie Boeding, Ryan Webb and Andrew Theodore will receive the department's lifesaving commendation during Monday's City Council meeting at 5 p.m.. Each of the officers used lifesaving skills that, combined, prevented three deaths during the past 18 months. The council chamber is at 94 N. Washington St.

Oak Valley Hospital's rural community clinics have been awarded the Avatar Award for Most Improved-Loyalty and Endorsement-Physician Office. The Oak Valley Hospital rural health clinics that participated in the survey were the Oakdale, Riverbank and Escalon primary care centers, as well as women's health and prenatal services and the Occupational Health Clinic in Oakdale.

Modesto's Sandie Shapiro was elected director for Region 7 of Civitan International. The nonprofit community service organization has roughly 40,000 members in 32 countries. She will represent Civitan clubs in California, Arizona, Idaho, Montana and Nevada. Shapiro has been a Civitan member for 12 years and has been governor of the California district. In addition, she has held several offices in Southern California.

Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors actions:

Appointed George Schmidt as a director on the Westside Community Health Care District board, since no other candidates filed to run for the seat in the Nov. 2 election.

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