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Family Loses Home in Canyon Fire

Carlos Rodriguez

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DEL PUERTO CANYON – The SCU Lightning Complex Fire in Del Puerto Canyon has consumed several structures, including the home of a family of eight.

Dale and Angela Holbert, along with their six children, received the news that they had lost their home to the fire on August 18th. The family just recently welcomed a baby girl three months ago.

The family was away from home at the time, so thankfully no one was harmed. A GoFundMe campaign was set up for the family to help get them on their feet.

“I find it ironic that I am sitting here staring at the campfire trying to gather my thoughts about losing our house (we just put so much work in to finish the inside of before the baby came) to a fire just today,” Angela Holbert said in a Facebook post linked to the GoFundMe page. “We appreciate the prayers and encouragement and kind offers for help that have come to us”

As of Saturday morning, the SCU Lightning Complex in Del Puerto Canyon and neighboring regions burned nearly 292,000 acres. The fire affected at least five counties including Stanislaus, Alameda and Santa Clara among others and was only ten percent contained. Smoke from the fire drifted across the region, blanketing the skies with unhealthy particulate matter. The fire ranked the third largest in the history of the state.

While news of the loss was difficult for the Holbert family, they tried to remain positive and optimistic. “God is good all the time and this time is no different. We are safe and we have our hope in Christ who gives us strength. Material things can be replaced. Our salvation in Christ cannot be taken away We are together and our kids are safe. That is what is most important.”

If you would like to donate to the Holbert Family via GoFundMe, you can do so by CLICKING HERE.

Carlos Rodriguez is an Emmy Award winning photojournalist specializing in public safety and natural disasters. His passion for local news stems from a deep commitment to his community, with a selfless mission to inform the citizens of the valley. As he worked on assignment for 19 days at the devastating Camp Fire in Paradise, California, he spent most of his time helping survivors contact their loved ones to let them know they were ok. Carlos is a veteran of Univision, FOX, and Telemundo TV stations and a native of Modesto, California.

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Passengers Walk Away From Plane Crash in Lodi

Gaby Muro

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Photo: San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office

LODI – Two passengers of an airplane that crashed during a training flight walked away without injuries Wednesday afternoon.

The San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office received calls to their dispatch center at about 12:30pm reporting the plane crash. The incident happened near the 16000 block of North Fox Road in Lodi.

Authorities said a Cessna 150 with two occupants took off from Lodi Wednesday morning and were headed to the Linden area for training. At about 3,000 feet the plane began experiencing mechanical issues, resulting in a hard landing.

Authorities say the investigation into the crash is ongoing.

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High School Teacher Arrested

Gaby Muro

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MODESTO – A high school teacher was arrested Monday after a police investigation revealed he had an inappropriate relationship with a student.

Patrick Mester was charged with annoying or molesting a child under the age of 18. He was arrested by Modesto Police Special Victims Unit Detectives.

Mester was employed with the Modesto City Schools District since the 2003-2004 school year. He taught music and band at Enochs High School since the 2007-2008 school year.

Mester’s ability to visit school grounds and have contact with students was revoked by the district, authorities said.

Police are asking anyone with information regarding this case to contact Detective Garza at garzaj@modestopd.com or (209) 572-9564.

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Police Investigate Early Evening Shooting

Gaby Muro

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STOCKTON – Two victims with gunshot wounds arrived at a local hospital early Monday evening prompting an investigation.

At about 7:30pm, authorities received a report of gunfire on the 300 block of East Oak Street, between North San Joaquin and North Sutter Streets. Early indications suggest the victims arrived by private vehicle at a hospital.

Shortly before 8:00pm, a report was made of another victim arriving at a hospital.

Police responded to the area to gather evidence and investigate. No further details were available at time of publication.

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