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Turlock Homelessness Emergency, Cleanup Planned For Thursday

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TURLOCK – A cleanup was planned for Thursday morning at a West Main Street property where a large homeless encampment established itself near several businesses.

City officials were at the camp Wednesday afternoon handing out notices to people staying there. The camp sits on property on the south side of West Main Street in between South Tully and South Soderquist Road. By Wednesday afternoon several of the campers were already packing up their belongings, and those with vehicles were working to get them roadworthy.

“None of us know where we are going to go,” said Dawn Ross, who temporarily found herself camping at the location for the last week after her vehicle broke down. Ross said she became homeless off and on after losing her job 11 years ago during the great recession.

“I tried to get the part for it, but we got the wrong one,” she said of her car. “Hopefully we can get the car fixed by tomorrow.”

Turlock Mayor Amy Bublak said in a video statement that the city is working toward a solution.

“No one should live like that, no one should have their businesses harmed or the residents harmed by all that’s going on,” the mayor said. “It’s a health and safety hazard for everyone involved.”

Back at the camp, Ross explained that in an ideal situation, no one wanted to be camped at the property. She feels that the cleanups are not a long term solution to the problem.

“I wish Turlock could do something like what Modesto did,” she said. Ross referred to the Modesto Outdoor Emergency Shelter that was implemented in 2019.

“Just designate a space for these people. Somewhere out of sight and out of mind.”

Ross acknowledged that some people experiencing homelessness traditionally have problems that require rehabilitation, but feels there is a lack of services provided in the Turlock area for them.

“This is going to push people into alleyways, into the doorsteps of businesses and parks,” Ross explained. “At least everyone was confined right here.”

Advocates visited the camp Wednesday to offer what little outreach they could to the population there. Some explained that people experiencing homelessness have a hard time transitioning to a shelter due to rules and curfews set at facilities.

“They’re not animals, they’re human beings,” Ross said. “People need to have compassion. We’re all just a few steps away from homelessness, it can happen to anybody.”

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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Officer Involved Shooting Investigated in Tracy

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Officers examine a corner of Mosswood Court Friday afternoon where an officer involved shooting took place.

TRACY – One person who was said to be armed with a knife was rushed to a hospital Friday afternoon after being shot by a police officer.

Shortly before 2:00pm officers were called to the area of Mosswood Court for a report of a person with a knife chasing another. During the encounter an arriving officer fired his gun at the person said to be armed with a knife.

Officials at the scene said the person shot was rushed to a hospital in unknown condition. They had identified that person but were holding that information for a proper time.

The neighborhood was closed off while investigators responded to determine what took place.

No other injuries were reported.

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Aircraft Emergency Investigation Closes Mitchell Bridge

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Emergency personnel examine a crashed airplane near the Mitchel Road Bridge Wednesday afternoon.

MODESTO – An investigation into an aircraft emergency closed the northbound lanes of the Mitchell Road Bridge Wednesday afternoon.

At about 1:00pm emergency crews were dispatched to the fields east of the Mitchell Road Bridge north of the Tuolumne River for a report of a plane crash.

Arriving rescuers found a plane crashed face down into the ground near a group of trees. One person was deceased in the aircraft according to an official at the scene.

One witness at the scene said he was driving down Hatch Road when he noticed the plane at an awkward angle, but thought nothing of it at first.

No cause of the crash or estimated time of opening for Mitchell Road was available at time of publication.

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Double Homicide Investigated in Merced County, Warrant Issued For Suspect

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HILMAR – Authorities with the Merced County Sheriff’s Office are searching for a 40 year old man in connection to a double homicide that happened Tuesday night.

Authorities responded to the 19000 block of American Avenue regarding a possible homicide Tuesday night. Arriving deputies located two adult victims deceased.

Wednesday authorities identified 40 year old Victor Bazan as a suspect and issued a warrant for his arrest. Officials believe he is related to one of the victims, and he is known to be transient to the Modesto, Ceres and Turlock areas.

Relatives of one of the victims reaching out said a white stolen vehicle Bazan may have been traveling in was found abandoned in Bakersfield.

Anyone with information regarding Bazan’s whereabouts is encouraged to contact law enforcement immediately. He should not be approached.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact (209) 651-2852 where callers can remain anonymous.

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