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Pedestrian dies after being struck by vehicle

Maria Herrera, 70 of Porterville, died Tuesday evening after being struck by a vehicle at the intersection of Olive Avenue and Carmelita Street.

  • icon Posted: March 04

Recent Headlines

Wednesday 03/04/2015
Little snow found at Quaking Aspen
Posted: March 04, 2015

3.25 inches is least measured in 50 years

Even two recent storms could not provide much hope for a good snowpack this year.

On Tuesday, Joshua Courter, zone hydrologist with the Sequoia National Forest, found the least amount of snow at Quaking Aspen in at least 50 years.

CMEA Music Festival starts Thursday
Updated: March 04, 2015 - 9:06 am

Young, seasoned musicians ready to play

Almost every weekend since the new year began, seventh-grader Vada Underwood, a member of the Strathmore Elementary School Band, has been practicing her flute, all in preparation for Thursday — the 2015 California Music Educators Association (CMEA) Music Festival, held each year at the Frank “Buck” Shaffer Theater inside the Porterville Memorial Auditorium.

Water Warrior to be honored by Red Cross
Posted: March 04, 2015

Johnson named a 2015 Real Hero

Porterville’s water warrior, Donna Johnson, will be honored this month by the American Red Cross during its 2015 Real Heroes awards ceremony.

Each year, the Red Cross celebrates community heroes throughout the Central Valley for their heroic efforts during disasters. Johnson has been announced as the Good Samaritan Hero and was chosen for the award over 10 to 12 other nominees.

DPR Secretary will speak to regulatory climate at Citrus Showcase
Posted: March 04, 2015

California is often referred to as a “sue happy State” for good reason. At the 2015 Citrus Showcase growers will hear from Brian Leahy, Director of the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) about the onslaught of lawsuits against DPR by activists attempting to force their agenda upon agriculture by strong-arming the department via the court system.

Forest seeks public comment on OHV grant
Posted: March 04, 2015

The Sequoia National Forest is seeking public comments on a preliminary application for funding from the California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division for the 2014-15 grant cycle.

The public review and comment period for the state’s Grants and Cooperative Agreement Program ends April 6.

The preliminary application can be viewed and comments can be made by visiting and choosing the “Grants” tab.

Forest officials said the application will focus on maintaining off-road vehicle routes, facilities, signage, law enforcement and education.

Transportation Council seeks applicants
Posted: March 04, 2015

Applicants are being sought for three vacancies on the Tulare County Social Services Transportation Advisory Council.

The group reviews requests for unmet transit needs and makes recommendations to the Tulare County Association of Governments.

Boy struck by vehicle
Posted: March 04, 2015

STRATHMORE – An incident where a juvenile riding a bicycle was hit by a car is being investigated as an assault with a deadly weapon.

Tulare County Sheriff’s deputies said the victim, described only as a male juvenile, was riding in the 19700 block of Balfour Drive in Strathmore when he was struck by a gray vehicle at about 2 p.m. Monday.

The juvenile sustained a two-inch abrasion to his right knee and was transported to Sierra View Medical Center by private vehicle for treatment. The driver fled south on Balfour toward Avenue 196.

Dinuba man held in shooting
Posted: March 04, 2015

OROSI – A Dinuba man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted homicide in connection with the shooting of a man outside an Orosi business Sunday.

Adolfo Sanchez, 19, of Dinuba, was found hiding in a shed in the 300 block of J Street in Dinuba at 11:45 p.m. Tuesday after fleeing on foot from sheriff’s investigators and Dinuba police officers.

Son sought for assault
Posted: March 04, 2015

PORTERVILLE – Tulare County Sheriff’s deputies are searching for a Tulare man who struck his father with a wooden stick Monday afternoon in the 20900 block of Avenue 152 near Porterville.

Deputies said Nathan Haywood, 18, is being sought on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon after hitting his head and arm. He also struck his father’s car several times with the stick.

Haywood is described as a black male about 6-feet-2-inches tall and weighing about 198 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Department at 733-6218.

Man tries to rob diner with scissors
Posted: March 04, 2015

CLOVIS – A man armed with scissors called police and claimed he had hostages after attempting to rob a Northern California restaurant.

The Fresno Bee reported Tuesday 36-year-old Eric Ross was arrested Sunday night at a Clovis Denny’s restaurant.

Car thieves target Accords
Posted: March 04, 2015

PORTERVILLE – Monday was a bad day for Honda Accord owners in Porterville.

Three Accord owners awoke Monday morning to find that their cars had been stolen overnight, Porterville police report.

A 1997 Accord was taken from the area of Olive Avenue and F Street, another 1997 Accord was taken from the 300 block of South G Street, and a 1994 model was stolen from the 800 block of West Mcintire Avenue.

Girl wins National Elementary School Spelling Bee
Posted: March 04, 2015

FRESNO ­— A 9-year-old Fresno girl has won the 14th annual National Elementary School Spelling Bee. Her winning words: “hydrofoil” and “paucity.”

Ananya Vinay outspelled 34 other students in grades three to five to take the top spot at the event in Long Beach. Last year she placed fifth.

The Fresno Bee reported Monday the fourth-grader at Fugman Elementary School took home a $1,000 prize.

The event is modeled after the Scripps National Spelling Bee held annually in Washington, D.C., but is geared toward younger students.

March is Arts Education Month
Posted: March 04, 2015

SACRAMENTO – State senators Jean Fuller, R-Bakersfield, and Ben Allen, D-Santa Monica, this week introduced a Senate resolution declaring March as Arts Education Month.

“As a former educator, I understand the importance of a well-rounded education,” Fuller said, noting the resolution “acknowledges the important role arts curriculum has in the overall education of our children.”

Arts education includes dance, music, theater, literature, design and various visual arts. Studies show that students participating in visual and performing arts receive better grades and are less likely to drop out of school.

Tuesday 03/03/2015
Belleview Elementary holds STEM Expo
Updated: March 03, 2015 - 1:18 pm

Future engineers study hydraulics

Belleview Elementary School students in Trenton Matthiesen’s and Rachel Rodriguez’s fourth- and fifth-grade classes have a new understanding of how hydraulic equipment works.

Cheap gas is a thing of the past
Updated: March 03, 2015 - 1:17 pm

Price jumps nearly $1 per gallon in past month

After breathing a sigh of relief as gas prices fell to near $2 a gallon this winter, local motorists are now breathing a sigh of despair.

Forecast was all wet
Posted: March 03, 2015

Rain may be scarce in coming weeks

While some Northern California ski resorts got more than 2 feet of snow and a flood watch was issued for portions of Ventura County, the Central Valley was mostly spared by this weekend’s storms.

College lecture series continues in March
Updated: March 03, 2015 - 1:20 pm

Porterville College’s Cultural Historical Awareness Program (C.H.A.P.) will continue its spring schedule with three free talks slated for March. The presentations will take place in the theater at Porterville College at 100 E. College Ave.

Unique scholarship awards available
Updated: March 03, 2015 - 1:29 pm

A unique cash-award scholarship, The Anthony Brucia Success Award, is being offered to Central California High School seniors. Seven awards are available at $900 each.

Night of Improvs at PHS on Friday
Updated: March 03, 2015 - 1:30 pm

Just when one thought it was safe to go back to the theater, the Porterville High School Drama Department presents another Night of Improvs, which will be held at 7 p.m. Friday.

Young Author's Faire slated for this week in Visalia
Updated: March 03, 2015 - 1:30 pm

More than 675 elementary and middle school students will display their writing at the 23rd annual Young Authors’ Faire. The free event opened to the public Monday and runs through Friday. 

The students, representing 21 Tulare County schools, worked alone or in groups to produce 325 print and digital books this year which will be on display in the Elderwood Room of the Tulare County Office of Education’s Doe Avenue complex. 

The students write, illustrate and bind traditional stories for the public to read. Students also create digital books utilizing PowerPoint and incorporated hand-drawn and digital photography. Visitors to Young Authors’ Faire will be able to enjoy the digital books utilizing laptops set up around the room. 

During the week of the exhibition, the public is invited to read and comment on the books. 

An evening reception will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday so the public can meet the young authors and celebrate their successes. Students will also have the opportunity to read their books aloud to the audience at the reception. 

“By participating in the Young Authors’ Faire program, students are building their 21st-century learning skills — critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity,” said Tulare County Superintendent of Schools Jim Vidak. “I encourage the public to visit the Faire to read and appreciate these wonderful works.”

The TCOE Doe Avenue complex is located at 7000 Doe Ave. in Visalia., just north of the intersection of North Shirk Road and West Goshen Avenue.

Crime blotter: Feb. 26 through Feb. 28, 2015
Posted: March 03, 2015

Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015

Warrant Arrest/Under the Influence

Officers contacted Ronald Steppe, 42, and Alvin Gibbs, 54, in the area of Oak Avenue and D Street at 3:06 a.m. Steppe was arrested on suspicion of being under the influence of a controlled substance, and Gibbs was arrested for multiple active warrants.

Man caught with stolen camper
Updated: March 03, 2015 - 1:20 pm

EXETER — Papion Nieves, 38, of Visalia was arrested on suspicion of home invasion, possession of stolen property and possession of methamphetamine Sunday.

Tulare County Sheriff’s deputies were called to the 30400 block of Sunrise Meadow Drive at 11:57 p.m. to a report of a subject trying to enter a home.

Nieves fled in a vehicle on Highway 98 and was apprehended in the 21600 block of Avenue 296. He was found to be in possession of a stolen camper trailer and other stolen property, deputies said.

Two robbed in milk barn near Visalia
Updated: March 03, 2015 - 1:21 pm

VISALIA — Two men were robbed in a milk barn near Visalia early Monday, according to the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department.

The victims told deputies that two masked men, one armed with an automatic handgun and the other armed with a folding knife, confronted them at 4:08 a.m. and stole $1,050 cash and their cell phones. They also caused $150 damage by flattening the victims’ tires before leaving.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department at 559-733-6218. Information can be given anonymously by e-mail at, or by text or voicemail at 725-4194.

Juvenile male shot multiple times
Updated: March 03, 2015 - 1:21 pm

OROSI — A male juvenile sustained several gunshot wounds after a fight inside a business in the 12800 block of Road 128 near Orosi at about 7 p.m. Sunday.

According to the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department, an investigation revealed that the victim and the suspect argued inside the business, and the suspect retrieved a weapon from his vehicle. The victim was shot while leaving the establishment, deputies said.

The juvenile was transported to a local medical facility for treatment.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Det. Hembree at the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department. Information can also be given anonymously by e-mail at, or by text or voicemail at 725-4194.

Cattle rustlers strike
Updated: March 03, 2015 - 1:22 pm

Four Holstein calves valued at $2,000 were stolen from their pens at the Calftech Ranch in the 14000 block of Avenue 136 in Tipton.

According to the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department, the theft was reported at 9:06 a.m. Sunday. No suspects have been identified.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Department at 800-808-0488. Information can be given anonymously by e-mail at, or by text or voicemail at 725-4194.

Lessons from the Teaching Channel
Posted: March 03, 2015

Sarah B. Wessling, a veteran of a high school English classroom and National Teacher of the Year, is best known for her videos on Teaching Channel. She spoke to a crowded room of educators in Visalia last week as a part of the TCOE Literacy Speakers series.

Monday 03/02/2015
Drought relief for Porterville may clear major hurdle
Posted: March 02, 2015

Items before city council may bring help

Spectacular performers bring down the house
Updated: March 02, 2015 - 8:46 am

Special guest Jack Imel a huge crowd favorite

Storm produces late in Porterville
Posted: March 02, 2015

A late Sunday afternoon shower left 0.14 of an inch of rain, just about all Porterville got out of the weekend storm which arrived Friday and moved out overnight.

Citrus Showcase Thursday in Visalia
Posted: March 02, 2015

California Citrus Mutual’s annual Citrus Showcase will put Tulare County’s No. 2 crop on display.

Tulare County Drug Court graduation ceremony returns
Updated: March 02, 2015 - 8:50 am

Hip-hop singer to speak at Graduation

Winners named in DAR competitions
Posted: March 02, 2015

Eva Maria Orozco from Porterville High School was the 2014-15 overall winner of the Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen award.

The CHP is looking for you
Posted: March 02, 2015

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) will accept applications in March from individuals interested in a career as a CHP officer. The agency will hire cadets from a pool of applicants to fill vacant officer positions throughout the state.

FoodLink board welcomes new members
Posted: March 02, 2015

VISALIA — Tulare County restaurants with the highest food inspection ratings will be recognized on Jan. 27 at the Tulare County Board of Supervisors meeting with the Excellence in Food Safety Awards.

Cesar Chavez birthday celebration set for March 28
Updated: March 02, 2015 - 10:38 am

The Cesar Chavez Celebrating Legacy Committee has announced several events marking the March 31 birth of labor organizer Cesar E. Chavez.

Man assaulted, robbed in driveway
Posted: March 02, 2015

Tulare County Sheriff’s investigators are looking for two suspects who beat, robbed and fired a weapon at a man while he was in his driveway.

Assault with deadly weapon investigated
Posted: March 02, 2015

A man was shot in his lower abdomen during a drive-by shooting in Pixley early Saturday.

Saturday 02/28/2015
JMA ready to transition
Posted: February 28, 2015

Parent meeting set for March 3

Founded 13 years ago and named after a local educational, sports and political icon, Jim Maples Academy is taking another huge step toward the future. It all begins this autumn as JMA transitions into a full kindergarten-through sixth-grade campus.

Feds to farmers: No water again
Posted: February 28, 2015

Area growers face dire situation

California’s unprecedented drought continues to hit farmers hard.

As expected, the federal Bureau of Reclamation announced Friday it would not deliver water for most farmers in the San Joaquin Valley, including those along the Friant Kern Canal that runs through Tulare County.

Obamacare impacting PUSD
Posted: February 28, 2015

Medical plan turned upside down

The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is causing the Porterville Unified School District concerns, reported Ken Gibbs, PUSD assistant superintendent, business services, Thursday evening during a regular scheduled meeting of the PUSD Governing Board of Trustees.

Board backs union over county in wage dispute
Posted: February 28, 2015

The Public Employees Relations Board (PERB) has ruled in favor of SEIU Local 521 members in Tulare County ordering the county to “make whole” workers who were denied the promotions and merit step increases that had been expressly promised them in a labor contract, the union announced Friday. 

Chopper crashes in orchard
Posted: February 28, 2015


Friday 02/27/2015
Sweet sweep for Porterville
Posted: February 27, 2015

Tulare County Spelling Bee Champion Sameera Hussain said she didn’t have a lot of time to study her spelling words — but when she did, she studied hard.

Finance and Thrift merging with L.A. bank
Posted: February 27, 2015

Merger should not affect local office

Lindsay preparing for another dry year
Posted: February 27, 2015

When the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announces today its initial water allocations for this summer, no one is expecting to get any water.

Storms take aim at state
Posted: February 27, 2015

Rain could hit Porterville Friday night

As much as three-quarters of an inch of rain could fall in Porterville by the time two storm systems have passed over the next five days.

Scott Borgioli with WeatherAg reported the first system will arrive today and bring showers by Friday night. It will be a cold storm with snow levels possibly below 4,000 feet in elevation.

That storm will move on Sunday, to be followed by a second system on Monday that will bring rain through Tuesday.

When all is said and done, Borgioli said Porterville could get a third to three-quarters of an inch, but some forecasts are predicting less.

The first storm will bring isolated showers developing late this afternoon, then scattered showers with isolated thunderstorms Saturday, and just isolated showers on Sunday morning. 

There is also a chance of thunderstorms with this system. A thunderstorm Monday dropped nearly an inch of rain at the Porterville Municipal Airport, while downtown got less than a tenth of an inch of rain that day.

Borgioli said residents could see hail, funnel clouds or even a brief tornado on Saturday, but the chances of a tornado are small. Should a thunderstorm occur, rainfall under it would be heavy.

Snow amounts will range from a dusting to 3 inches below 5,000 feet and 3-8 inches above 6,000 feet, he said.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for the mountains above Porterville and a Hazardous Weather Outlook for the Valley. It lists the chance of rain tonight and Saturday at 60 percent.

The second system comes in later Monday through Tuesday evening. Borgioli said it will not contain as much moisture and said it is possible the Valley will see less than a tenth of an inch and the mountains just 1-6 inches of new snow.

Daytime temperatures will cool into the mid-50s and low-60s for the weekend and nighttime lows could dip into in the upper-30s.

With just 4.47 inches of rain so far in this weather year, which began July 1, any rain will help.

On the bad side, Borgioli said there does not appear to be another chance for rain for several days once the systems pass.

Home sales slow in Porterville
Posted: February 27, 2015

Median price up 20 percent

Ten fewer homes sold in Porterville during January than December as the sale of homes continues to lag compared to the rest of the state.

Jan. 23 fatal fire was accidental
Updated: February 27, 2015 - 11:17 am

The Porterville Fire department has ruled that the Jan. 23 fire where a man died was accidental.

On Friday, the department issued a press release stating its findings.


Man sought in slaying of 9-year-old released
Posted: February 27, 2015

Fresno police say a man wanted in the shooting death of a 9-year-old girl turned himself into police, and then was released a short time later.

The Fresno Bee says further investigation determined that more evidence was needed to support an arrest of 21-year-old Donte Hawkins. Lt. Mark Salazar said Wednesday the case remains under investigation.

Hawkins was believed to have been at the scene of the shooting Jan. 18 that killed Janessa Ramirez, who was standing with her mother in front of a self-service laundry.

Three people were arrested shortly after the shooting, but one was later released pending further investigation.

Chief Jerry Dyer said last month that the incident involved alleged gang members who were shooting at each other.

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