MOCCASIN – A quickly spreading wildfire forced evacuations from several communities near Highway 49 Thursday afternoon.
The “Moc Fire” was reported near the area of Highway 120 and Highway 49 shortly before 1:00pm. Initially, arriving fire crews reported the incident to be about three acres in size. By 7:45pm authorities reported the fire to have spread to about 1,700 acres.
The quick moving flames jumped Highway 49, consuming entire hillsides and forcing road closures and evacuations. At 3:41pm fire officials reported the fire to be moving East at critical speeds.
Mandatory evacuation orders were issued for several areas including Groveland and Pine Mountain Lake. An evacuation center was set up at the Mariposa Fairgrounds. By nightfall, caravans of vehicles towing trailers and RV’s could be seen fleeing the Coulterville area through Highway 132. Some vehicles were packed with belongings.
Authorities with the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office urged residents to not wait if they felt unsafe. Westbound Highway 120 was opened for evacuees, and the Sheriff’s Office said to exit the area through Yosemite National Park if people had to.
There was no word on containment of the fire early Friday morning.
Ceres Shooting Claims Life of Motorist
CERES – A shooting Thursday night killed a motorist, becoming the city’s second homicide investigation in two weeks.
At about 6:28pm officers responded to the area of Kay and Magnolia Streets for a vehicle collision where the motorist appeared shot. Arriving officers found the driver shot inside the vehicle, which had collided into a parked car just west of the intersection.
Officers pulled the driver out of the vehicle and began life-saving measures until medics arrived. He was transported to a hospital where he died. Authorities identified him as 26 year old Alexis Perez of Ceres.
Detectives responded to examine the scene and gather evidence. The vehicle, a white Honda Accord, had front end collision damage and airbags deployed.
Sergeant Vince Hooper with the Ceres Police Department said investigators were looking for any witnesses or anyone who may have noticed anything suspicious in the area. Sergeant Hooper said they had no information on a suspect Thursday night.
Investigators were working to determine if there may be any relation to last week’s shooting on Malik Avenue.
Anyone with information regarding this case can contact Detective Matthew Berlier at (209) 538-5616.
Armed Suspect Captured After Pursuit, Crash
STOCKTON – A pursuit involving an armed suspect ended in a collision Monday evening.
At about 6:33pm an officer tried to pull over a vehicle and recognized the motorist as someone who was on post release community supervision for gun charges. The driver did not stop and led the officer on a pursuit.
The suspect vehicle collided into a pole near the intersection of East Miner Avenue and North Pilgrim Street. The Stockton Police vehicle behind the suspect collided into the duplex on the corner.
The officer in the vehicle and one occupant of the home were taken to a hospital to be treated for minor injuries.
Police say the suspect was apprehended and found with a firearm in his possession. Their identity was not available Monday night.
Stanislaus State University Warns Students And Staff about Positive COVID-19 Cases Present on Campus
TURLOCK – Safety and Risk Management with the Stanislaus State University Campus in Turlock said two persons who tested positive for COVID-19 were present on campus and warned students and staff about potential exposure.
The university said via an email that on January 15th they received notice two persons previously on campus had tested positive for COVID-19.
The first person was on campus from Monday, January 11th to the 13th from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on the second floor of the Demergasso-Bava Hall which houses the departments of business, communications, cognitive studies, liberal studies, education and computer science. The campus newspaper, The Signal and the radio station, KCSS are located at the Demergasso-Bava Hall as well.
Stanislaus State said in the email sent out to students and faculty that the person was present at the restrooms and mailroom on the second floor of the hall.
The second person was on campus Wednesday, January 13th at the shipping and receiving warehouse between 8:00am and 5:00pm, the warehouse restrooms near the break rooms, and the Mary Stuart Rogers Building shipping and receiving elevator at about 3:30pm.
The university also mentioned that students or faculty who were at the same locations may or may not have been exposed to the virus. They mentioned no action was required for those who felt they were not exposed and that an exposure investigation was underway. Those who were considered to be in close contact were told they would receive an additional notification.
Anyone who possibly came into contact with the persons infected on campus was asked to complete the Stan State COVID -19 Reporting Form and can contact the Stan State COVID-19 Response Team by email at email@example.com or by phone at (209) 664-6500.
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