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Latest News in Merced, CA
Le Grand ready for a championship rematch against Woodland Christian. ‘We want to play’
Head coach Aaron Martinez and his Le Grand High School football team are preparing for a rematch of last year’s Sac-Joaquin Section Division VII championship game against Woodland Christian on Friday night.“We expect to play on Friday and we want to play,” said Martinez.The game is scheduled for Friday at 7 p.m. at Le Grand High School.The decision on whether the two teams play will likely be made in a Yolo County Superior Court.Woodland Christian (10-1) rode a roller coaster of emotions last wee...
Head coach Aaron Martinez and his Le Grand High School football team are preparing for a rematch of last year’s Sac-Joaquin Section Division VII championship game against Woodland Christian on Friday night.
“We expect to play on Friday and we want to play,” said Martinez.
The game is scheduled for Friday at 7 p.m. at Le Grand High School.
The decision on whether the two teams play will likely be made in a Yolo County Superior Court.
Woodland Christian (10-1) rode a roller coaster of emotions last week as the Cardinals initially had their season ruled over when the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section’s governing office on Tuesday, Nov. 8 ruled the team was ineligible to continue its season because of a paperwork oversight tied to 11 freshmen players.
The following day the decision was upheld by a CIF appeals committee, but on Thursday — on the day of Woodland Christian’s first-round playoff game against Gustine — Yolo Superior Court Judge Samuel T. McAdam granted a temporary restraining order allowing the Cardinals to play.
The No. 3 seed Cardinals defeated No. 6 Gustine 45-8 later that night.
The next hearing for this case is late this week.
The issue stems from the Woodland Christian players not getting all the waivers needed to play varsity as 14-year olds.
“It was a total roller coaster,” Cardinals coach Michael Paschke told The Sacramento Bee after the win over Gustine. “It went from the lowest of the low, figuring we had no chance in the world ... (and) it was just an amazing day. We just had to keep believing and believing and it just happened today.”
All Martinez and Le Grand can do is prepare to play until they are told otherwise.
Martinez says Woodland Christian is a much better team than the Bulldogs (9-2) defeated 35-12 in the section title game last year.
“They’re bigger and they look more athletic,” Martinez said. “They are a dynamic looking team.”
Le Grand has weapons of its own as senior quarterback Julian Bucio has thrown for 1,481 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Senior running back Louie Aguallo returned from a hamstring injury last week and scored three touchdowns in a 49-0 win over No. 7 Delta. Junior Alexis Granados has rushed for 841 yards and 11 touchdowns in Aguallo’s absence.
The Bulldogs also have the receiving trio of Ronnie Ramirez, Reyes Diaz and Carlos Castaneda can all stretch the defense.
“It’s similar to last year in that we’re getting healthy at the right time,” Martinez said. “We’ve been running the ball well and our defense is flying around.”
No. 4 Stone Ridge Christian (9-2) vs No. 1 Ripon Christian (9-2) — These two teams are playing at a neutral site because both schools are facing sanctions from the Sac-Joaquin Section office for their involvement in club football during the pandemic.
This Sac-Joaquin Section Division VII semifinal game will be played at The Corral at Oakdale High School. The winner faces the winner of the Le Grand-Woodland Christian game in the section championship.
Stone Ridge Christian will have to slow down a balanced attack by Ripon Christian. RC quarterback Trey Fasani has thrown for 1,469 yards and 26 touchdowns.
Ripon Christian can pound the ball on the ground with a physical offensive line and running backs Grant Sonke and Derek Van Elderen.
It’s no secret Stone Ridge Christian wants to run the ball with running back Hector Esquivez, who has rushed for 1,759 yards and 15 touchdowns.
No. 3 Dos Palos (7-5) at No. 2 Atascadero (7-4) — The Broncos won in thrilling fashion, stopping a two-point conversion attempt by Morro Bay with just over 1 minute left in the game to hold on to a 28-27 victory in the Central Section Division V playoffs.
Now Dos Palos is a win away from playing for a section championship.
Freshman Andre Flores rushed for 253 yards and two touchdowns last week and the Broncos will again lean on running game again this week.
Merced College sets plans to double capacity for nursing program students
Officials at Merced College say the school is teaming up with regional clinical partners to double the number of slots available for students in its nursing program.The move is expected to help address nursing shortage that has been especially acute in California’s Central Valley.The college, which already has a longstanding partnership with Mercy Medical Center in Merced, is resuming a previous partnership with Emanuel Medical Center that will provide more opportunities for the college’s nursing students to find th...
Officials at Merced College say the school is teaming up with regional clinical partners to double the number of slots available for students in its nursing program.
The move is expected to help address nursing shortage that has been especially acute in California’s Central Valley.
The college, which already has a longstanding partnership with Mercy Medical Center in Merced, is resuming a previous partnership with Emanuel Medical Center that will provide more opportunities for the college’s nursing students to find the clinical training they need to become professional nurses or to advance in their careers.
According to a Merced College news release, the partnership with Mercy Medical Center enables the training of 30 students per semester. The partnership with Emanuel is expected to increase that number to 60 per semester, resulting in 120 graduates per year.
“As a community college, our success, and that of our students, requires strong partnerships with businesses, organizations and health care providers to create new opportunities for students and address community needs,” Merced College President Chris Vitelli said in the news release.
“We are proud of our partnership with Mercy, and our renewed partnership with Emanuel will benefit our students, our hospitals, and all local residents who are in need of care.”
Merced College provides entry points for three levels of nursing students: Certified Nurse Assistants (CNA), Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVN), and Registered Nurses (RN), the release said.
Each level has its own governing body and scope of practice from basic bedside nursing care to complex responsibilities.
This increase in the annual number of RN graduates will be accomplished through a gradual increase in student intake starting in spring 2023.
To begin this expansion, the college is expecting to add 30 seats for current LVNs to enter the LVN to RN bridge program next year, pending approval by the California Board of Registered Nursing.
The Merced College LVN to RN Pathway Program is now accepting applications for the Spring 2023 semester. The application window will close Dec. 16.
“We are so grateful to our hospital partners for the opportunities they provide to our students,” said Merced College Registered Nursing Director Lauren Marson.
“When we are all aligned and working toward the common goal of improving health care in our region, there is nothing we cannot accomplish together.”The COVID-19 pandemic made it even more difficult to train nursing students, with hospitals trying to limit exposure to the virus among their staff and students alike.
Merced College nursing faculty continued to provide both classroom and clinical experiences for students, based on their collaborative efforts with all of the college’s clinical partners in the community.
Both Merced College and Emanuel Medical Center recognize the importance of recruiting and growing new nurses from within the region.
“Training nurses locally and then hiring them to stay in the area is so important for healthcare in Turlock and our surrounding communities,” Kathy Van Meter, Chief Nursing Officer at Emanuel Medical Center, said in the release.
“To do so, it is essential that we have a long-term strategy in place that includes supporting nursing students from the beginning of their scholastic journey through graduation, and then as a new nurse. Emanuel’s collaboration with Merced College is another example of our commitment to making sure our patients receive the high-quality, compassionate care they deserve.”
For more information visit www.mccd.edu/academics/alliedhealth/nurse-registered/lvn-to-rn-pathway.html
UC Merced Gains Prestigious UC Agricultural Experiment Station Designation
UCs Merced and Santa Cruz became the newest campuses in the system to be named an agricultural experiment stations (AES), UC President Michael Drake announced at today’s Regents’ meeting.They are the first campuses in more than 50 years to earn the designation.“With the AES designation, Santa Cruz and Merced have the potential additional funding from the University’s budget for (agricultural) research, and they will be able to make a...
UCs Merced and Santa Cruz became the newest campuses in the system to be named an agricultural experiment stations (AES), UC President Michael Drake announced at today’s Regents’ meeting.
They are the first campuses in more than 50 years to earn the designation.
“With the AES designation, Santa Cruz and Merced have the potential additional funding from the University’s budget for (agricultural) research, and they will be able to make a stronger case for competitive grants in the larger research area,” Drake said. “Congratulations to these two new campuses on this wonderful milestone.”
An AES is a place-based scientific research center at a land-grant university that explores challenges and develops improvements to different aspects of the agricultural endeavor by working with farmers, ranchers, suppliers, processors and others involved in food production and agriculture.
“Our campus has been working toward this designation for several years and it really enhances the UC’s already considerable and potentially world-changing research,” UC Merced Chancellor Juan Sánchez Muñoz said. “It also helps fulfill the promise of the campus being located in Merced because so much of our research in agriculture is directly applicable to the communities of the San Joaquin Valley and many of our researchers at UC Merced are active in helping develop pathways to high-paying, skilled jobs in agriculture.”
Three other campuses — UCs Berkeley, Davis and Riverside — already hold the AES designation and bring their individual expertise to bear on California’s agriculture industry.
UC Merced adds an engineering perspective through its focus on precision agriculture, including robotics to improve the food-water-energy nexus. Researchers also look at agriculture through the lens of management of complex systems by examining water, climate and wildfire challenges; examine opportunities in soil health, air quality and the reuse of agricultural byproducts; and delve into social justice by investigating the labor force and agriculture’s effects on the communities of the San Joaquin Valley— including public health impacts and disparities.
“California faces climate resiliency and sustainable agriculture challenges on a statewide scale. Ensuring food, water and energy resiliency and a well-trained workforce in the future will require sustained, coordinated and committed multi-campus efforts,” Vice Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Economic Development Gillian Wilson said.
“The San Joaquin and Salinas valleys are critical agricultural regions in California, where both UC Santa Cruz and UC Merced have long conducted research on agricultural issues. Having these two campuses receive this AES designation expands the UC’s agricultural research portfolio, which will help us develop the solutions needed for the many challenges California faces,” said UC Vice President for ANR Glenda Humiston.
Researchers also work across disciplines and with their counterparts at other campuses.
“The AES designation will allow us to expand our existing collaborations with Riverside, Davis and Berkeley, and strengthen our ties with Santa Cruz, especially through its expertise in agroecology,” said Professor Joshua Viers, who has served on the ANR Governing Council for several years and co-leads UC Merced’s new smart farm, which will become the campus’s AES facility. “The UC is a leader in sustainable ag practices and it is important that the emerging strengths and location of Merced be part of a climate resilient food future.”
UC Merced has already begun to be recognized for those emerging strengths by recent awards such as:
· $65 million from the federal Build Back Better Program to help develop the Fresno-Merced Future of Food Innovation (F3) Coalition to boost economic recovery after the pandemic. The funding will help launch a state-of-the-art agricultural technology hub that will serve and connect farmers across the San Joaquin Valley to industry and spark a new, more advanced era in agriculture-based technology in an effort to boost productivity, create jobs and build capacity for regional sustainability;
· $26 million from the National Science Foundation for an Engineering Research Center on the Internet of Things for Precision Agriculture;
· $20 million from the NSF and USDA for AgAID: AI Institute for Transforming Workforce & Decision Support, with Washington State and Oregon State universities;
· $6.5 million from the Irvine Foundation for the Central Valley Worker Collaborative, led by the Labor and Automation in California Agriculture (LACA) collaboration directed by Merced.
“Our designation as an agricultural experiment station is a major milestone for UC Merced. We are striving to bring fresh perspectives to agriculture by working at the intersection of agricultural technology, safe and equitable farm work and environmental sustainability,” said Professor Tom Harmon, faculty director of the Sierra Nevada Research Institute and co-leader of the smart farm. “A great example is the UC Merced-led multicampus initiative LACA. It's inspiring to see our hard work validated by this designation.”
Thousands on strike across University of California schools, including UC Merced
The Fresno Beehttps://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/education-lab/article268740842.html
Dozens of UC Merced academic workers took to picket lines Monday, joining thousands of their colleagues across the University of California’s 10-campus system to strike for better pay and benefits.The unionized workers started striking at the Central Valley campus at 8 a.m., UC Merced spokesperson Desiree Lopez told The Bee’s Education Lab in a text message.“Currently, we are not sure how many are participating,” Lopez said, “but we expect more than 800 to possibly strike.”...
Dozens of UC Merced academic workers took to picket lines Monday, joining thousands of their colleagues across the University of California’s 10-campus system to strike for better pay and benefits.
The unionized workers started striking at the Central Valley campus at 8 a.m., UC Merced spokesperson Desiree Lopez told The Bee’s Education Lab in a text message.
“Currently, we are not sure how many are participating,” Lopez said, “but we expect more than 800 to possibly strike.”
As many as 48,000 employees represented by the United Auto Workers (or UAW) were expected to participate in the strike across the state, according to a news release.
In addition to auto workers, four separate bargaining units of the UAW represent a mix of full- and part-time graduate student instructors, academic researchers, tutors, and other employees in the UC system. Together, the UAW says these workers do “the majority of teaching and research at UC.”
Despite the strike, UC Merced still operated business as usual, Lopez said, with classes meeting and exams being administered as scheduled.
The UAW’s demands include higher pay, expanded childcare support, public transit passes, and expanded support for both international employees and those with disabilities.
Specifically, the unionized employees proposed a $54,000 minimum salary for all graduate-level workers and a $70,000 salary for postdoctoral scholars, as well as 14% raises for academic researchers and annual cost of living adjustments for all in a potential multiyear contract.
Graduate student researchers currently have the lowest minimum salary of the UAW-represented academic workers at $22,005. Teaching assistants and fellows don’t make much more than that with a salary range of $23,246 to $28,871, although the UC said both these classes of employees typically work 20 hours or fewer per week.
Postdoctoral scholars make anywhere from $55,632 to $66,600, while academic researchers’ salaries swing widely between $49,000 and $242,900 — both positions being full-time.
The UC administration has counter-offered with anywhere from a 4% raise for full-time academic researchers to 9-10% raises for typically part-time graduate student researchers in year one of the proposed contract, plus smaller percentage increases in subsequent years. These proposals would put academic workers’ pay near the top for public research universities and on par with private universities like Harvard, the UC said.
Workers say the UC proposals fail to keep up with inflation.
“What we’re asking for seems like a lot,” said Ricardo Robles, a teaching assistant who participated in the strike at UC Merced, “but ... in today’s economy — especially with inflation as outrageous as it is and the price of living going up — we’re all just asking for a wage that takes us out of poverty and doesn’t leave us (living) paycheck to paycheck.”
The UAW has also accused the UC system of breaking the law several times since contract negotiations began in the spring of 2021. Specific allegations include that the UC system bypassed the bargaining process by instituting new policies and withheld relevant information from bargaining team members.
The University categorically denied the allegations, which are being adjudicated by the Public Employee Relations Board.
“Throughout the negotiations, UC has listened carefully to the union’s concerns and bargained in good faith, as illustrated by the many tentative agreements reached thus far including on topics underlying the UAW’s allegations,” a statement from the UC said. “Despite these claims, UC remains committed to continuing its good faith efforts to reach agreements with UAW as quickly as possible.”
The UAW says the strike will continue until either the UC system “corrects its bad faith conduct” or the union votes to end it.
In another news release late Monday afternoon, the UC said it has proposed the use of a third-party mediator as “the best path to an agreement” with the UAW.
This story was originally published November 14, 2022 1:18 PM.
Dole Sunshine Company Continues its Fight Against Food Insecurity -- Expands Nutrition Access Program to Merced, CA
Dole Sunshine Companyhttps://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/dole-sunshine-company-continues-its-fight-against-food-insecurity----expands-nutrition-access-program-to-merced-ca-301668503.html
Dole Sunshine Company continues to drive impact in underserved communities by bringing its Sunshine For All® Cities Program to Central California, partnering with local leaders and organizations to educate and provide access to healthier food options WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., Nov. 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- As Dole Sunshine Company (DSC) ...
Dole Sunshine Company continues to drive impact in underserved communities by bringing its Sunshine For All® Cities Program to Central California, partnering with local leaders and organizations to educate and provide access to healthier food options
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., Nov. 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- As Dole Sunshine Company (DSC) continues to deliver on the Dole Promise to bring sustainable nutrition to all, today it announced the launch of the Dole Sunshine For All® Cities Program in Merced, CA – the third community to host this impactful initiative designed to bring nutrition access to those in need. To commemorate the beginning of the Sunshine For All® Cities program, Mayor Matthew Serratto has proclaimed today, November 3rd, as Sunshine for All® Day in Merced.
Merced is located within the San Joaquin Valley in California, a region known for its rich farmland and fresh crop production. While the area is responsible for producing much of the state's agricultural bounty, Merced County's child food insecurity rate is more than 27% – meaning more than 1 in 4 children in the area are experiencing hunger1.
Dole Sunshine Company believes that in order to improve access to food in a way that creates a lasting effect on the community, the challenge needs to be met with comprehensive solutions. To bring Sunshine For All® Cities to fruition in Merced, DSC is partnering with the Boys & Girls Club of Merced County to serve as the program hub.
"We're thrilled to partner with DSC to bring this program to our families," said See Lee, CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Merced County. "Having spent many years working with disenfranchised youth in the area, I've seen firsthand how hunger can impact the wellbeing in the short and long term. I'm excited to see the positive effect the program will have on our club and beyond."
Mitchell Vanagten, longtime food access advocate and Executive Chef of Catering at UC Merced, will lead the kids' culinary and nutrition education program. "Education around good nutrition as well as shopping and preparing healthy meals on a budget is a critical component to creating systemic, lasting change," said Vanagten. "I look forward to getting in the kitchen with the Boys & Girls Club kids to instill knowledge and passion for cooking, using local ingredients paired with Dole's wide portfolio of good-for-you packaged fruits and juices."
As part of the initiative, the Dole Kids Cooking Camp will equip kids to navigate the challenges of food insecurity and nutrition education, with classes covering basic cooking skills, healthy recipe preparation, smart grocery shopping and meal planning tips. Beyond cooking classes, the program will eventually grow to include pop-up farmers' markets and Good Stuff Kiosks, a system of free-standing refrigerated food kiosks to be placed at Boys & Girls Clubs throughout the country that were announced at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health in September.
"Leveraging our resources and partnerships to support places like Merced is at the heart of our efforts to increase access to sustainable nutrition to 1 billion people by 2025," shared Orzse Hodi, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Americas, Dole Packaged Foods, LLC. "We look forward to seeing the program's continued and lasting impact on communities like Merced, Baltimore and Jackson."
The program, first introduced in Jackson, MS in 2020 followed by Baltimore, MD in 2022, has served over 30,000 families to-date with support from partners including GE Appliances, Bumble Bee Seafoods, Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation and more.
To learn more about the Dole Sunshine For All® Cities Program and its impact in Merced and beyond, visit dolesunshine.com.
About Dole Sunshine Company
The name Dole Sunshine Company is used to represent the global interests and combined efforts of Dole Asia Holdings, Dole Worldwide Packaged Foods and Dole Asia Fresh. Dole Sunshine Company is not an actual business entity and does not operate as such in any country or region. For more information on Dole Sunshine Company, please visit dolesunshine.com.
About the Dole Promise
In June 2020 Dole Asia Holdings announced The Dole Promise, with its three pillars around nutrition, sustainability, and the creation of shared value.
Better for People: Access to sustainable nutrition for 1 billion people by 2025, moving towards zero processed sugar in all Dole Packaged Foods products by 2025.
Better for Planet: Working towards zero fruit loss from Dole farms to markets by 2025, aiming for zero fossil-based plastic packaging by 2025. Working towards net zero carbon emissions in Dole operations by 2030.
Better for all Stakeholders: Dole will continue to positively impact all farmers, communities and people working for Dole – through its commitment to equal opportunity, living wages, and an ever-increasing level of safety, nutrition, and wellbeing. The company also seeks to advance human rights within the direct operations and supply chains by building a culture of transparency and accountability. The company also aims for a 50% increase in the value of its business by 2025.
About Boys & Girls Clubs Merced
The Boys & Girls Club of Merced County is part of one the largest and most impactful community organizations across America. We set out to serve youth, their families, and communities through evidence-based youth development programs. We are a non-profit organization that is working hard to fill in the gaps for our youth and it is our goal that every child graduates high school ready for opportunities in the workforce, vocational trade, post-secondary education, and/or the military.
About Chef Mitchell Vanagten
Chef Mitchell Vanagten began his culinary career in the Bay Area as an ACF apprentice at the prestigious Menlo Circus Club, where he worked his way up to sous chef. He then further refined his skills at Sharon Heights Country Club in Palo Alto, and eventually took on his first Executive Chef role at ALZA Pharmaceuticals. He has been the Executive Chef Lakeside Catering at UC Merced since 2005. With an extensive knowledge of international cuisine, and 'farm to table' cooking, Chef Mitch is often called on for his expertise and volunteers for philanthropic causes both on campus and in the Merced community. The main focus of his efforts are hunger relief, healthy eating education, and local sustainable agriculture.
SOURCE Dole Sunshine Company