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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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Car Crash Causes Chain Reaction of Power Outages, Fires

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MODESTO – A vehicle that collided into a utility pole Thursday afternoon caused a chain reaction of power outages and fires in a West Modesto neighborhood.

The incident happened Thursday shortly before 12:30pm. A vehicle collision near Rouse and Roselawn Avenues involving a utility pole caused power lines to snap mid-block to the west. The energized lines collapsed and sparked a fire that quickly engulfed at least one outbuilding. The fire began to spread south consuming vegetation and jumping fences into neighboring properties.

Several fire crews responded from various agencies, including Turlock City and Manteca. Firefighters were able to control the forward spread of the fire mid-block on Colorado Avenue. Some neighbors used garden hoses to defend their properties as best as they could.

Emergency crews were on scene for several hours. Utility crews de-energized the damaged lines for repair. Several residents in the area were without power for some time while repairs were made.

The driver of the involved car that crashed into a utility pole was not located. Police officers responded to investigate. There was an apparent auto theft nearby roughly around the same time, but authorities weren’t sure if the incidents were connected.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636 where callers can remain anonymous.

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Shooting Claims Man’s Life, Injures Another

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STOCKTON – Police investigated a shooting that fatally wounded a man and injured another Tuesday night.

Police officers responded to the 1800 block of South San Joaquin at about 9:42pm for a report of a shooting. Arriving officers found two men suffering from gunshot wounds.

One victim, a 33 year old man, died from his injuries at the scene. The second victim, a 41 year old man, was transported to a hospital for treatment and is expected to survive.

A witness in the area who wished to remain anonymous said they heard a disturbance down the street shortly before the gunfire. They described what appeared to be someone running away, but couldn’t make out a description.

The intersection of San Joaquin and Fourth Strets were closed off by police. The crime scene extended to South Sutter Street. Detectives responded to investigate the shooting, however no motive or suspect description was available for release Wednesday.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers at (209) 946-0600 where callers can remain anonymous.

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Deputies Investigate Report of Shooting Near Mobile Home Park

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MODESTO – Deputies investigated a report of a shooting near a South Modesto mobile home park Sunday night.

The incident was reported shortly before midnight near the Modesto Mobile Village on South Seventh Street. Arriving deputies located one person with an injury. An ambulance responded to the scene to treat the injured person but it appeared they did not require hospitalization.

Several people appeared to be detained by deputies nearby during the investigation. An area west of an entrance to the mobile home park was taped off as a crime scene.

No further details were available at time of publication.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636 where callers can remain anonymous.

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