Visalia Times-Delta from Visalia, California on September 18, 2009 · 17
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Visalia Times-Delta from Visalia, California · 17

Visalia, California
Issue Date:
Friday, September 18, 2009
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NEWS ON YOUR PHONE VISALIA lMs-DELTA FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2009 To get local breaking news updates sent to your cell phone, send a text message with "tcnews" to 44636. DELIVERY PROBLEMS ' T Subscribers: If you have not received your paper by 6 a.m., call t (888) 487-9565. Obama administration unveils plan to strengthen marine protection, 4C State news, 2C CALL: 735-3265 FAX: 735-3399 E-MAIL: Lid Highway 198 will be closed 4 nights Staff reports Construction of an overpass at Santa Fe Avenue and Highway 198 will once again close the freeway through Central Visa-lia overnight Monday and Tuesday. Caltrans began posting warning signs along Highway 198 this week to warn motorists about the closure. All eastbound lanes of Highway 198 will be closed from 1 1 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday and Tuesday nights between the Central Visalia offramp and the Ben Mad-dox on-ramp. All westbound lanes will be closed 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday nights between the Ben Maddox offramp and the Central Visalia on-ramp. In addition, a single-lane closure is planned for one eastbound lane between the Central Visalia offramp and the Ben Maddox on-ramp from 8 p.m. to 1 1 p.m. Monday. This closure will include the east-bound on-ramp at Court Street. This is the second time the highway has been closed because of work on the overpass. In May, planned overnight work, took five hours longer than expected, and the freeway was closed until 10 a.m., after workers ran into problems removing the 1930s-era railroad trestle that once bridged the freeway. Morning-commute traffic was backed up for miles east of Visalia and along Mineral King Avenue, which runs parallel to the highway. IN BRIEF Staff reports Reward offered in Visalia bomb case Officials with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service announced Thursday a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people behind a mailed pipe bomb that exploded at aVisalia business last week, injuring an employee and causing property damage. Tips and information called into the Postal Inspection Service will be dispatched to the agency's lead inspector, according to an agency press release. Federal investigators and Visalia police continue to pursue leads in the case, but a spokeswoman for the Postal Inspection Service said she could not provide any details on the investigation's progress. Aaron Mustin, the 31-year-old employee and co-owner of Cal-Air Cooling and Heating at 116 N. Valley Oak Drive was treated at Kaweah Delta Medical Center for burns to his arms and upper torso after the Sept. 8 explosion. He was later released from the hospital. U.S. Postal Inspection Service tipline: 1-877-876-2455. Reference case number 1797512. Callers will remain anonymous. CORRECTIONS The Times-Delta promptly acknowledges and corrects errors. To report an error in a news story, please call the executive editor, 735-3268, or the senior editorlocal news, 735-3276. Mm Farmersville woman was set on fire in her home in 2007 BY DAVID CASTILLO N Rosalba Rico was afraid to again face Severo Gomez, the man who set her afire in August 2007 inside her Farmersville home. But with family and Brooklyn Limas, 6, plays a tune on Fair on Thursday in Tulare. Jake Horner, 9, of Tulare attempts to second day of the Tulare County Fair. m. if h.y Mi- J j I. I . ' - - ' t- ; L'hih si L"iV Local students take part in Physics Day Nearly 650 students from 14 different schools attended the Tulare County Office of Education's Physics Day on Thursday at the Tulare County Fair. This is the fourth yearTCOE has held Physics Day at the fair. Activities were hosted by College of the Sequoias physics classes and Dr. Larry Owens. Students were able to move among booths that include paper-airplane throwing, egg-drop contests, tug-of-war, g-force testing, and gravity experiments. Man accused of fatally shooting Earlimart teen in 2002 pleads guilty Prosecutors: Two people forced to drive suspect to Mexico BY DAVID CASTELLON A man accused of fatally shooting a teenage boy and shooting and wounding a man nearly seven years ago in an Earlimart home pleaded guilty Thursday to counts of murder, attempted murder and other charges. Today, just a day after the plea, Tulare County Superior Court Judge Paul Vortmann will sentence 32- friends beside her, Rico sat Thursday morning in aVisalia courtroom while Tulare County Superior Court Judge Gerald Sevier sentenced Gomez to two life sentences, along with an additional three years for attempted murder and aggravated mayhem. A jury convicted Gomez of the charges last month. Gomez was sentenced on separate charges. But 2009 TULARE COUNTY FAIR Rock and rope 4 vv- X 'a the guitar in the Musical Instrument rope a steer in the AgVentures! area year-old Angel Medrano to a 50-year-to-life sentence. The judge can't impose any other sentence on the charges, prosecutors said. Those charges include two counts of kidnapping, as prosecutors say Medrano forced two people one of them an accomplice to the murder at gunpoint to drive him to Mexico. Medrano let them go but was arrested in March 2004 by Mexican police who recognized him in Ensanada from wanted posters Tulare County sheriff's investigators had distributed in because both convictions resulted from the same crime, only one of the life sentences can be imposed, prosecutors said. Sevier also sentenced Gomez to eight, years for arson and 16 months for child endangerment, of which he also was convicted. Gomez, 42, was accused of pouring a flammable liquid on Rico, his girl tit " . ' - J - 7 -J ' Petting Zoo area during Day Two of the "'4s A I'M,.' 2009 FAIR INFORMATION The Tulare County Fair runs through Sunday. See Choices m for the complete events. COMING TODAY Look for video online at www. VisaliaTimesDelta.comvideo. NOW ONLINE See a gallery of photos online at www. VisalioTimesDeka. comphotos. STEVE R.FUJIMO110 Thursday, the the area, Assistant District Attorney Shani Jenkins said. In a 2005 preliminary hearing, Tulare County sheriff's investigators recounted witness statements that Medrano entered a home in the 600 block of North Market Road with three accomplices, attempted to rob the people inside and shot at some. Sgt. Michael Rubalcava testified that Medrano, of Earlimart, put a gun to the back of 16-year-old Henry See SHOOTING, 3C friend, and setting her on fire after cornering her in her bedroom on Aug. 7, 2007. Family members put out the flames, but not before the fire had damaged much of Rico's body. She was in a coma for three months after the incident and has undergone several surgeries to treat the burns. In the courtroom, burns to Rico's hands and arms 7 city v i f It 'I Ji Tulare County schedule of UUsli Hanfnnf Carmel Plaza HanfordMaH UA9. IWnimita fdfti, lAeyorw. 559-732-5905 559-583-8393 ' ii!iUV v -- : I i-'.-n-w';'.i, were visible while burns to her chest, neck and the lower part of her face were partially covered by a blouse and scarf. . . Her thick hair hid what was left of her left ear, which was badly burned by the flames. v.'.-. Rico, 54, is a former packinghouse worker who no longer can work because See SENTENCE, 3C Candidates discuss g rowth BY VALERIE GIBBONS Bringing more stores to Mooney Boulevard, keeping downtown vibrant and managing future growth were the key issues Thursday morning as seven candidates for the Visalia City Council squared off at a breakfast forum. Incumbents Jesus Gamboa and Greg Collins and candidates Warren Gubler, Steve Nelsen, Mike Lane, Paul Fry and Dominic Prado are all vying for three at-large seats on the council in the November election. About 60 people attended the event, which was a joint effort of the Visalia Chamber of Commerce and the Tulare County Hispanic Roundtable and cost $20 to $40 per person. This was the first in what is promised to be several election panels scheduled throughout the city du ing the next month. The mostly congenial session found several areas of agreement. All of the candidates agreed that the city should explore ways to develop mixed-use commercial and residential projects along Mooney Boulevard. Each candidate pledged to do his best to keep downtown vibrant and increase Visalia's presence statewide. All said the city needs to take a conservative approach to its budget process in order to weather the economic downturn. "We need to encourage more tourism and send the message that Visalia is back See FORUM, 3C Plaque honors POW RON HOLAMN Today is National POWMIA Recognition Day. The "Freedom Tree" plaque at the base of an olive tree . reads "Dedicated in honor of Air Force Captain Terry Lee Boyer, prisoner of war in North Vietnam, 1967-1973, and to all other prisoners of war and men missing in action. This olive tree, a symbol of peace, will be a living memorial to these men who gave of their freedom so we might continue to enjoy ours." The tree is just south of the tennis courts at Plaza Park in Visalia. Per send itnrice U our top priority! Hearinq detricesjvr ttmy butytt. PartttrVrtl Putnam - ViHa Pro Compiax 7391 N Pafcn foil. I ...n.iuuwirm. 559-784-0662 559-244-6060 0. II tt1 L.a. ' .... a. a. .t t. ,A-',--,'-'-''A'--A''---A---,---J-''JT'11-"-Tfll

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