2014 - A Year in Pictures

2014 - A Year in Pictures
2014 - A Year in Pictures
2014 - A Year in Pictures
2014 - A Year in Pictures
download 2014 - A Year in Pictures

of 4

  • date post

    07-Apr-2016
  • Category

    Documents

  • view

    216
  • download

    1

Embed Size (px)

description

The Merced County Times issue of the the top stories of 2014.

Transcript of 2014 - A Year in Pictures

  • FR E E TI M E SWEEKLY ENTERTAINMENT GUIDE THE TIMES WEEK OF JANUARY 1, 2015

    2014 A YEAR INPICTURES

    HERE'S A LOOK BACK AT THE PAST YEAR THROUGH THE LENSES OF TIMES PHOTOGRAPHERS,INCLUDING LYNDA BROMMAGE, JOHN MILLER AND JONATHAN WHITAKER.

    Vern Warnke

    celebrates as

    November election

    night results

    come in to reveal

    he will become

    the next Merced

    County Sheriff.

    TIMES PHOTO BYJONATHAN WHITAKER

    TIMES PHOTO BY JOHN MILLERThe first Central Valley Honor Flight to originate at Castle Airport in Atwater returns in late October with great fanfare to honor a group of local World War II

    veterans who had a chance to visit Washington, D.C. and their war memorials on display there. SEE MORE PHOTOS ON PAGE B2

    TIMES PHOTO BY LYNDA BROMMAGEJamie Hooraert, the first woman to reach the finish line at the first-ever MERCO

    Half Marathon in June. Time in at 1:35:19.

    TIMES PHOTO BY JONATHAN WHITAKERMing Luke, the new interim conductor of the Merced Symphony, makes his debut

    at the Merced Theatre in early November.

    THE TOP 14 STORIES OF 2014We hesitate to rank by num-

    ber the top stories that we cov-

    ered in Merced County this past

    year, but we'd like to take a mo-

    ment to remember the ones that

    immediately stick out in our

    minds as we also celebrate the

    promise of the New Year 2015.

    Water

    Well at least we're talking

    about it. The lack of water, or

    drought, if you will, brought the

    U.S. president to a Los Banos

    farm, and prompted emergency

    measures from Sacramento.

    Farmers complained, some got

    into the well drilling business,

    the Merced Irrigation District up-

    dated policies, and the county

    starting thinking of an ordinance

    to stop water exports. Politicians

    like Congressman Jim Costa

    had his hands full as debate

    swirled, and State Senator An-

    thony Cannella and Assembly-

    man Adam Gray buddied up and

    pushed a bipartisan state water

    bill that includes plans for more

    storage. They all won re-election

    despite some criticism that this

    sort of action to protect the Cen-

    tral Valley during dry years

    should have happened years

    ago.

    New Sheriff

    A new era of public safety di-

    rection for the entire county is

    starting after a void was left in

    2014 with the sudden resignation

    of Sheriff Mark Pazin for a job at

    the statewide level. The race for

    a new sheriff that ensued was

    ripe with competition and debate

    on tough local issues including

    gang and drug violence, an un-

    acceptable homicide rate, county

    jail woes, and gun rights. For the

    grand finale, it was Pat Lunney,

    a very experienced lawman and

    administrator, versus Vern

    Warnke, the down-to-earth,

    hands-on retired Sheriff's ser-

    geant. Warnke appeared to have

    stronger support in the county's

    rural areas and won the coveted

    position to become the county's

    top law enforcement official.

    See Review, Page B4

  • B2 THURSDAY, JANUARY 1, 2015 THE TIMES

    2014 A YEAR IN PICTURES

    TIMES PHOTO BY JOHN MILLERDespite the struggling local economy and the need for community donations, the commu-

    nity of Atwater pulled off one of its biggest Fourth of July celebrations in 2014 with a big

    parade, party in the park and a grand finale fireworks demonstration at the Castle Com-

    merce Center and Airport.

    TIMES PHOTO BY LYNDA BROMMAGEA riveting dance performance in August by students

    of MCOE with disabilities. Morgan Boyle with cere-

    bral palsy, center stage, brought tears to the eyes of

    the audience.

    TIMES PHOTO BY JOHN MILLERLe Grand hosted its 86th annual Community Day during the Memorial Day week-

    end of late May. The theme was 'History Tells the Story,' celebrating 100 years of

    Freedom from the beginning of WWI in 1914 to present day.

    TIMES PHOTO BY LYNDA BROMMAGEA happy baby is snuggled in a blanket during the

    Breast Feeding Lactation Graduation in August.

    TIMES PHOTO BY JOHN MILLERThis wild action shot was taken at the bull riding demonstra-

    tion during the Merced Couinty Fair in June.

    HILMAR TIMES PHOTO BY STEWART SCHULZEHilmar native Dave Ramos and his mighty machine takes off under a cloudy sky during the 14th annual Hilmar Tractor Pull in July.

    TIMES PHOTO BY LYNDA BROMMAGEJules Comeyne, a Vietnam War veteran, volunteered

    his time showing visitors into the famed B-52 at the

    Castle Air Museum during the month of May.

    Merced

    leaders

    celebrate

    the 125th

    anniversary

    of the city's

    incorporation

    with a cake

    in the form

    of the

    historic

    Merced

    Theatre.

    TIMES PHOTOBY JONATHANWHITAKER

    SEE MORE PHOTOS ON B3

  • THURSDAY, JANUARY 1, 2015 B3THE TIMES

    BUSINESS DIRECTORYAIRCONDITIONING

    SEE YOURAD HERE

    Call 358-5311

    2014 A YEAR IN PICTURES

    TIMES PHOTO BY JONATHAN WHITAKERJacquelain Jackie Cole, a 72-year-old woman strug-gling with homelessness and living with her belongingsin a downtown Merced alley, came to community atten-tion as the cold days of winter approached in 2014. Whileshe has some Social Security benefits, she says its notenough to get into housing. Reportedly, an anonymousdonor was helping Jackie get into a small apartment forthe new year.

    TIMES PHOTO BY JONATHAN WHITAKERLocal government leaders break ground on the $52 million "Phase 1A" of the Atwater-Merced Expressway project. The project, which involves the wideningof the San Joaquin Valley's busiest highway, will provide motorists with a safer route to and from Castle Airport Development Center and the University of Cal-ifornia, Merced. Phase 1A of the project will involve construction of the first section of the AME from SR-99 to Green Sands Avenue. It's scheduled to be com-pleted by February 2016.

    TIMES PHOTO BY LYNDA BROMMAGEA little girl from the Denisa's School of Dance is thrilled to perform for the audience durning Art Hop thispast summer.

    SEE MORE PHOTOS ON B4

  • Major Expressway

    It seems bigger for Atwater, asMerced is still trying to get a vi-able Campus Parkway plan offthe table. But the Atwater-Merced Expressway (AME) con-struction is really big for theentire region. It will widen High-way 99 and eventually providemotorists with a quick, directroute to and from the CastleCommerce Center and maybeeven U.C. Merced. The $52 mil-lion "Phase 1A" of the projectstarted in 2014 and will extendfrom 99 to Green Sands Avenue.It's scheduled to be completed inFebruary 2016.

    Improved Gateway

    The Bradley Overpass inMerced was finally opened inMerced after a few, long years ofCaltrans construction. Also, theHighway 99 expansion near Ar-boleda was also completed. Bothfeature significant traffic andsafety improvements.

    District Elections

    Merced's city elections havemade lots of news in the past,but not for the process itself. Ittook the threat of a lawsuit from aLatino civil rights group to get theattention of everybody as the hotsummer started. The MALDEFgroup, and local sympathizers,targeted Merced's "at-large" vot-

    ing system for the absence ofLatinos and South Merced resi-dents on the council, especiallyconsidering Latinos make up halfthe population of the city. A set-tlement included a city spon-sored ballot measure to draw up"by-district" elections. Voters ap-proved. Look for the process tomake headlines in 2015.

    Main Street Unity

    Fed up may be strong words,but something had to be done,they say. The Merced MainStreet Association formed thisyear to help improve the busi-ness climate in downtownMerced. It's a grassroots organi-zation made up entirely of down-town merchants who are willingto volunteer their time and effortto improve the business climateon and around Main Street. Anytime now, members say, they willcontract with the city to managea big chunk of the "double tax"money downtown merchantspay. They are looking to improvepublic safety, maintain services,and attract shoppers with specialevents.

    Parsons Plan

    It's a road expansion ideathat's more than 50 years old andit won't go away despite the factthat many residents living alongthe route don't want it. Little by lit-tle, city planners want to continueon with right-of-way access andtargeting grant money for an-other "north-south corridor" on

    Parsons Avenue through town.Well this year, the Merced CityCouncil finally held a specialpublic meeting on the project,and before a packed audience ofpassionate opinions, leaders de-cided to keep the plan on thebooks, albeit with a lower priority.They still have to work on Cam-pus Parkway, you see.

    125th Anniversary

    It was a great party idea fromCity Councilman Mike Murphy,and then former Council memberMary-Michal Rawling joined in.The year 2014 marked the 125thAnniversary of the founding (orincorporation) of the City ofMerced. Leaders, volunteers andresidents came together in for ayear's worth of celebrations in-cluding a birthday cake cere-mony at the Merced Theatre,concerts at Courthouse Park, ahistory exhibit at the CourthouseMuseum, and the return of MercyGulch Days on Main Street.

    Homeless Camps

    They're still around. In fact,last year's Homeless Countrecorded an increase in theMerced area. In Los Banos, thenew city manager spent a greatdeal of time last spring working tofind housing for the residents ofa camp on a site destined to bemade into a state courthouse. InMerced, the camp near the AutoPlaza at the railroad tracks near16th Street and Highway 99 wasfinally cleared. But another one