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Newman native Duran stars in SBMT, ‘On The Town’

Newman native Lindsey Duran is finally getting back onto the theatre stage with company South Bay Musical Theatre in San Jose after a two year intermission due to the COVID-19 pandemic that took the world by storm. She will star as an ensemble role, as well as understudy for the characters Hildy, Dilly, Diana and Dolores in the production of “On The Town.”“On The Town” is a musical with m...

Newman native Lindsey Duran is finally getting back onto the theatre stage with company South Bay Musical Theatre in San Jose after a two year intermission due to the COVID-19 pandemic that took the world by storm. She will star as an ensemble role, as well as understudy for the characters Hildy, Dilly, Diana and Dolores in the production of “On The Town.”

“On The Town” is a musical with music by Leonard Bernstein and book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. The story concerns three American sailors on a 24-hour shore leave in New York City during World War II, 1944. Each of the three sailors meets and quickly connects with a woman.

Before Duran had her small and big roles throughout her years her spark and love for the theatre world started in her little town of Newman from which she grew up from the ages of five to 17.

She shared it all got started from a small school vocal group that former teacher Dennis Soares put together during school that eventually evolved into Newman Performing Arts.

“I started in the fifth grade and Mr. Soares had us audition for a vocal group and I just fell in love with it,” said Duran. “Eventually it turned into Newman Performing Arts where my interest with theatre grew and I started getting main roles and it was history from there.”

Duran would do theatre all the way up until her senior year when she graduated from Cypress Charter High School in Santa Cruz. She continued her dreams of being on stage and received training and degrees in 2012 from Manhattanville College in New York and Cabrillo College.

After a few years of being in productions and putting her training to great use she got her first big break in 2019 with Jewel Theatre as an ensemble role in, “Me and My Girl” where she first started receiving equity points as an actress.

“For myself being in this atmosphere was amazing. It was a tap heavy show and I just felt comfortable there honestly,” said Duran. “I was also receiving my first equity points in a real pro quality show and it was a great experience from the first rehearsal to our last show.”

The two-year hiatus would begin due to the global pandemic and Duran focused on her other career as a preschool teacher, until she was able to come back to the stage this year.

With being back she mentioned she enjoys the amount of new people she is meeting in the company and how everyone is just so kind and supportive of each other in this production of “On The Town.”

With this show being dance heavy Duran and her cast mates are putting in work everyday of the week with blocking, singing, and dancing in preparation for opening night in May.

Beyond the classroom and stage Duran’s ultimate goal is to one day open her own children’s theatre to teach young thespians the love, culture, and techniques of the theatre community.

For any young actor or actress Duran wanted to leave some words of encouragement for them that are thinking about doing theatre.

“Keeping doing it if it’s what you truly love because believe me it’s worth it,” said Duran. “Keep doing what you love and just have fun with it and remember to work hard at it every chance you get.”

To catch Duran in South Bay Musical Theatre’s next production of “On The Town” , the show runs from May 14 through June 4 with Fridays and Saturdays and Thursday, June 2 starting at 8 p.m., along with Sundays and Saturday, June 4 starting at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.SouthBayMT.com or by calling (408) 266-4734.

Patriots RB coach has high praise for Rhamondre Stevenson

hamondre Stevenson has come a long way since the start of his first NFL training camp.The New England Patriots' rookie running back didn't exactly receive a rave review from RB coach Ivan Fears earlier this month. Fears was asked what he liked about Stevenson, and his response sp...

hamondre Stevenson has come a long way since the start of his first NFL training camp.

The New England Patriots' rookie running back didn't exactly receive a rave review from RB coach Ivan Fears earlier this month. Fears was asked what he liked about Stevenson, and his response spoke volumes.

“What do I like about him? He’s here. I like that he’s here,” Fears told reporters on Aug. 4. “Other than that, everything’s got to improve. That’s what we have to get done. He’s got a lot to learn. He’s talented, we’ll see what he can do in the games, but right now, he’s got a lot to learn. A lot to learn.”

The Oklahoma product has since flashed in both of the Patriots' preseason games. Between the two matchups against the Washington Football Team and Philadelphia Eagles, Stevenson tallied 25 carries for 193 yards and three touchdowns.

Fears' comments came shortly after Stevenson returned to camp from the non-football injury list. On Sunday, Fears revealed Stevenson's absence was due to him failing his conditioning test.

“He has improved his status tremendously from where he was,” Fears told reporters. “If you remember, he couldn’t even get started on the right day, he couldn’t quite finish the conditioning test. So he started out in the tank. He has climbed out of there.”

Stevenson's improvement certainly bodes well for a Patriots running back room that's sitting pretty heading into the 2021 campaign. The promising rookie joins a depth chart that also currently consists of Damien Harris, James White, Sony Michel, J.J. Taylor and Brandon Bolden. At least one of the six is likely to be cut when the roster is trimmed to 53.

Stevenson will have one more chance to show off his potential when the Patriots take on the New York Giants in their final preseason game next Sunday.

Our top dance picks this season

San Diego’s movement artists are more than ready to celebrate spring with new performances that express the stirrings of the soul through dance. Classics such as “Swan Lake,” “Giselle” and “Coppélia” are in the lineup, along with creative contemporary dance concerts. (Check websites for updated audience health protocols.)Past and present company dancers celebrate the company’s 50th anniversary with “Rhapsody in Blue,” originally staged by former artistic director, Jean...

San Diego’s movement artists are more than ready to celebrate spring with new performances that express the stirrings of the soul through dance. Classics such as “Swan Lake,” “Giselle” and “Coppélia” are in the lineup, along with creative contemporary dance concerts. (Check websites for updated audience health protocols.)

Past and present company dancers celebrate the company’s 50th anniversary with “Rhapsody in Blue,” originally staged by former artistic director, Jean Isaacs. There also will be works by current artistic director Terry Wilson, guest artist Katie Stevinson-Nollet and last year’s Young Choreographer’s Showcase winner, Odessa Uno. Today. Light Box Theater, 2590 Truxton Road, ARTS district, Liberty Station. (619) 225-1803. sandiegodancetheater.org

The independent, touring company honors the traditional Russian ballet at two venues with a new production showcasing hand-painted sets, bejeweled costumes and dancers from nine different countries, including Ukraine, Japan, Italy, Russia and Poland. March 30. California Center for the Arts, Escondido. 340 N. Escondido Blvd., Escondido. (800) 988-4253. artcenter.org and April 9. Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Ave., San Diego. sandiegotheatres.org

Choreographer Geoffrey Gonzalez created “Rhapsody in Blue” last year for the company’s virtual season and now the riveting production can be seen live along with the jazzy, fast-paced “Danses Concertantes” and the ballet masterpiece “La Bayadere – Kingdom of the Shades.” March 25-26. Balboa Theatre 868 Fourth Ave., San Diego. (858) 272-8663. cityballet.org

Danika Pramik-Holdaway directs the classic ballet of jealousy, friendship and love starring an enchanting world of characters, including doll-maker Dr. Coppéllius, his life-like creation Coppélia, the clever village girl, Swanilda and her suitor, Franz. April 8-10. Casa del Prado Theater, 1650 El Prado, Balboa Park. (619) 233-3060 or sdcyb.org

The modern dance company’s spring show features works inspired by personal histories and cultures, magic and dreams by company artists Marty Dorado, Zaquia Mahler Salinas, Chelsea Zeffiro, and guest artist Anna Brown Massey. Tickets only available online and masks are required for all audience members. April 21-23. City Heights Performance Annex, 3795 Fairmount Ave, San Diego. discoriot.org

The company celebrates its 30th anniversary season with a collection of choreographic works by Faith Jensen-Ismay and Patricia Sandback. The sweeping, athletic dances tell stories inspired by emotional connections in the community. April 30-May 1. The Vine Theater, Mojalet’s Place for the Arts, 12540 Oaks North Drive, San Diego. (858) 243-1402. mojalet.com

The modern dance company has commissioned Mexican, Mexican-American and Chicano choreographers — Angel Arambula, María José Castillo and Alex Escalante — to present work along with renowned Tijuana-based company, Lux Boreal. The dances are accompanied with music by Mariachi Champaña Nevin. April 9. Torrey Pines High School Performing Arts Center, 3710 Del Mar Heights Road, San Diego. litvakdance.org

City Ballet closes the season with the lavish, full-length ballet, complete with opulent costumes and moving windmills. The production is choreographed by Elizabeth Wistrich and based on Miguel de Cervantes’ epic novel that tells of the adventures of the errant knight, Don Quixote and his squire, Sancho Panza, who journey to find the dreamy Dulcinea. May 7-8. California Center for the Arts, Escondido, 340 N. Escondido Blvd., Escondido. (800) 988-4253. artcenter.org

The Chicago-based Joffrey Ballet offers a program that includes Liam Scarlett’s abstract “Vespertine” and Joffrey ballet master Nicolas Blanc’s poignant “Under the Trees’ Voices.” The company also integrates a variety of dance styles in choreographer Justin Peck’s lively “The Times Are Racing.” May 14. San Diego Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Ave., San Diego. (858) 459-3728. ljms.org

The setting of this classic production gets a new twist. It takes place in the pueblos and ranchos of Spanish Colonial California, where a simple peasant girl falls in love with the nobleman who betrays her. May 21-22. Balboa Theatre, 868 Fourth Ave., downtown. (619) 294-7378. sandiegoballet.org

Luttrell is a freelance writer.

Merced County Board of Supervisors names new county CEO

The Merced County Board of Supervisors is replacing the retiring County Executive Officer with someone who has served in a similar position from neighboring Stanislaus County.County Executive Officer James L. Brown is retiring in early 2022 after nearly 32 years of service to the employees and community of Merced County. The Board of Supervisors appointed Raul Lomeli Mendez as his replacement during Tuesday’s meeting.Mendez currently serves as the Assistant County Executive Officer for Stanislaus County. He was the top ca...

The Merced County Board of Supervisors is replacing the retiring County Executive Officer with someone who has served in a similar position from neighboring Stanislaus County.

County Executive Officer James L. Brown is retiring in early 2022 after nearly 32 years of service to the employees and community of Merced County. The Board of Supervisors appointed Raul Lomeli Mendez as his replacement during Tuesday’s meeting.

Mendez currently serves as the Assistant County Executive Officer for Stanislaus County. He was the top candidate following an extensive recruitment process.

As part of Tuesday’s Board agenda item, the Board approved appointing Mendez as CEO effective Feb. 28, 2022. Mendez will begin on Jan. 10, 2022 and will work with Brown until his retirement on Feb. 27, 2022. This transitional period will enable a more seamless transfer of knowledge and duties while also providing continuity of County services to the community.

Mendez’ career spans several sectors of public service. He began his career in 1996 with the City of San Jose in the City Manager’s Office, and eventually the Department of Housing. In 2001, he was hired by Stanislaus County as a Senior Management Consultant with the CEO’s Office. In 2013, he left Stanislaus County after accepting the position of City Manager in the City of Hughson, where he focused on maintaining a strong fiscal position for the City, improving water and road infrastructure, and advancing collaborative relationships with key community and governmental partners. He returned to Stanislaus County as an Assistant County Executive Officer in 2020.

Mendez has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems from Stanislaus State as well as a Master’s in Public Policy from the University of Michigan.

“Appointing a County Executive Officer is one of the most important decisions this Board can make,” said Chairman Daron McDaniel of the Merced County Board of Supervisors. “We had several qualified applicants, so the choice was not an easy one. We have the utmost confidence in Mr. Mendez’ abilities to continue leading Merced County in a positive direction. The Board would also like to express its heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to our current CEO, James L. Brown, who positioned Merced County for success now and well into the future. We wish him well in retirement.”

Mendez becomes Merced County’s seventh CEO.

Pasta 209 set to open in Gustine

When restauranter Jason Buktenica opens the door to his new eatery Pasta 209, it will be because he had a really great bowl of Italian fare more than two decades ago.Buktenica, who also goes by “Chef Buck,” is bringing authentic Italian cuisine to the area with the opening of Pasta 209 at 495 5th St. in Gustine. The grand opening celebration is set for 4:30 p.m. Friday. The ribbon cutting will be at 4:30 p.m. and then guests are invited to stay for dinner from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. There will be giveaways and free desserts to m...

When restauranter Jason Buktenica opens the door to his new eatery Pasta 209, it will be because he had a really great bowl of Italian fare more than two decades ago.

Buktenica, who also goes by “Chef Buck,” is bringing authentic Italian cuisine to the area with the opening of Pasta 209 at 495 5th St. in Gustine. The grand opening celebration is set for 4:30 p.m. Friday. The ribbon cutting will be at 4:30 p.m. and then guests are invited to stay for dinner from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. There will be giveaways and free desserts to mark the occasion.

Buktencia comes to the restaurant business through an unusual path, in that his professional background was in running a court reporting agency in San Francisco. But it was there in the city that Buktencia popped into Chiaroscuro for lunch one day and had a spaghetti carbonara that was so good, he spent the next year relentlessly hounding Chef Alessandro Campitelli for a lesson on how to prepare it. The chef, who now serves as Buktencia’s mentor, eventually relented and taught Buktencia how to make pasta, sauces and more, all while Buktencia worked as his line cook.

“What made me fall in love with it was the simplicity,” Buktencia said in a previous interview. “He had the ability to take three or four or five ingredients and make a fantastic dish. Technique is everything in Italian food. There is an art to it, and a beautiful history behind it.”

As much as Buktencia loved the experience of cooking in the restaurant and learning the techniques of Italian cuisine, his legal business was demanding more of his attention and he opted to leave the culinary world behind. Or so he thought.

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck the state in early 2020, Buktenica was sitting at his home office watching his court reporting business of 10 years disappear overnight.

“I had to figure out how to survive through it and earn an income,” Buktenica said. “I started looking at the things that I was really passionate about in life, and the things that I have wanted to do but have not pursued for many different reasons.

“I saw this as an opportunity and knew I had to take a hold of it. My passion for food and creating was my overall calling for this town.”

Pasta 209 began last July as a home delivery of freshly prepared Italian dishes like fettuccini Alfredo, spaghetti with meat sauce, lasagna, and of course, the spaghetti carbonara that started it all. Meals were delivered in Gustine, Newman, Patterson, Crows Landing, Stevinson and the surrounding areas and in the process Chef Buck started amassing fans of his fare. Pasta 209 was proving so well-received that Buktencia began looking for a storefront.

He said he chose Gustine as his location because he loved the downtown feel and look of it, along with wanting to provide the area with a healthy choice of food items.

“The look of Gustine downtown and the community people are just amazing here and are so supportive of me,” Buktenica said. “I also noticed that there wasn’t a lot of healthy food choices here in the area and I wanted to provide that for the community.”

Everything that Buktenica makes is handmade and made fresh at the start of every day.

Pasta 209 will have tables and seating but Buktencia’s concept for his eatery is more than just a sit-down establishment. For one thing, there will be an emphasis on speed.

“One of the drawbacks of a traditional restaurant is the time from kitchen to table once an order is received,” Buktencia explained. “We have engineered a process and equipment line that allows us to have all of this beautiful food hot and ready for you the moment you walk in. Need a quick meal on your lunch break? Want to pick-up something quick for the family for dinner on the way home? This is what we are designed for.”

The menu for Pasta 209 will have various options of pasta, bread, organic vegetables, deli salads, and desserts. The dishes will come in individual, family and combo sizes.

As for his out-of-town customers, he will provide a 10- to 12-mile radius delivery service, though this option is still in the works.

Pasta 209 will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Sunday and Monday the restaurant will be closed.

Pasta 209 can be contacted through their website pasta209.com, their social medias on Facebook and Instagram under their restaurant name, or by calling (209) 600-4200.

Stanford Invite 2022: Tournament Recap (Men’s)

Washington solidifies their case as the best team in the West, while Cal continues strong spring season.Our coverage of the 2022 college season is presented by Spin Ultimate. You can get 15% off all college uniforms and swag right now at Spin Ultimate!STEVINSON, CA — At the end of a dominant weekend, the #4 Washington Sundodgers took down...

Washington solidifies their case as the best team in the West, while Cal continues strong spring season.

Our coverage of the 2022 college season is presented by Spin Ultimate. You can get 15% off all college uniforms and swag right now at Spin Ultimate!

STEVINSON, CA — At the end of a dominant weekend, the #4 Washington Sundodgers took down #10 California Ursa Major 13-8 in a game in which UW was in full control from start to finish. There were lots of exciting games along the way across the division, as a gusty wind that built during the day challenged both throws and catches.

Final Results

Smooth Offense, Intense Defense Make for Comfortable Win For Washington

The Washington O-line, led by the “Twin Towers” © of Manny Eckert and Jasper Dean behind the disc, threw a no-hitter (er, no-turner) and didn’t give Ursa Major even a whiff at a break in the final. With able assistance behind the disc from Gabe Port and Assaf Golan, they sliced easily through a Cal zone that had given the rest of the division fits all weekend. On the other side of the disc, tight handler defense led by Tony Venneri, Jacob Cohen, and Isaac Woldemariam pressured the usually unperturbable Cal backfield, making for some tough resets.

On the first point, Washington’s Stanley Birdsong skied a pile in the end zone on defense, then grabbed another block after a Venneri huck was just out of reach. This time, Venneri’s crossfield scoober found a wide-open Martin Le for an opening break. Washington broke again on the next point after a Cal handler miscommunication. Cal floated an offhand backhand and just like that, they were down 3-0.

The Ursa Major offense finally settled down and the teams traded holds until 6-3, when Eckert crossed over to help try to break for half. Washington got their chance, converting after a deep hammer from Eckert to Chackgarin Brown got them within range of the end zone, where Dean dished to a hopping Eckert, closing out half 7-4.

It was more of the same in the second half, as the teams held until 9-5, when a harried Andrew Roy couldn’t hold onto an upline dish. Venneri immediately put up a high floater to Le all alone at the goal line. A couple swings later, Souma Yabuki lasered against the grain for a break, 11-5 Sundodgers. Holds the rest of the way gave us the 13-8 final score.

Much has been made of the Sundodgers experience. A seventh-year himself, Eckert called out the addition of sixth-year CUT-alum Birdsong as providing a calming veteran presence as well as great versatility on both sides of the disc. Expect him to have a bigger impact as he ramps fully up to speed in the Sundodger system. Washington is looking forward to getting even stronger with the anticipated return of 2020 OPOTY runner-up Lucas Chen, former SLO mainstay Justin Ting, and big target Peter Johnson. It’s hard to criticize much after such a dominant weekend, but Eckert noted that sometimes they made it too easy for their opponents with open side unders.

For Cal’s part, head coach Daniel Silverstein’s response to the game was brief and to the point: “They’re good. No turns.”

Oregon Provided Biggest Challenge to Washington, while Tufts Stalled by Cal

The one team to get up a break on the Sundodgers all weekend was #15 Oregon Ego. Washington made it easy for them right off, with a turf by Eckert following the centering throw on the opening point of the semifinal. Two around break throws later, Oregon were up 1-0. They had plenty more chances the rest of the way, including three throws later when Marco Muralles got a block on an underthrown crossfield look from Brown. Oregon got lucky as they picked up a deflection off the first throw, but a dead drop gave it right back to Washington. Another turnover made it three turns in six throws for UW. A nice upwind huck got Oregon close, but Golan picked off a stab for the end zone and hucked to Michael Buyco for an easy goal after getting it back from Eckert. The chaos continued, as Oregon popped up a swing, and Woldemariam threw into a poach. Ke’ali McCarter skied a pile on a Max Arquilevich floater to make it 2-1 Oregon. At last, a one-throw hold from Eckert to Brown provided the first clean point of the game, and Oregon returned the favor with a nice toe-in by Arquilevich at the back corner.

The next few points were much the same, with turns aplenty on both sides, but no breaks. Finally, after a couple of clean holds, Washington crossed over Eckert, Brown, Buyco, and Golan at 6-6, and a drop by Oregon provided the payoff. A laser from Eckert to Buyco, then a little blade to Brown sealed the break and half for Washington, 7-6.

Washington cleaned things up a bit in the second half. On the first point, McCarter put too much edge on a swing, and a nice OI backhand from Brown to Le made it 8-6. After trades to 10-8, a layout block by Dana Cameron Baker started the break train for Washington, as he gathered in the bookends from Golan. A one-throw huck from Venneri to Le got the next, and Washington closed it out 13-9.

Despite dropping the third-place game to Tufts, Oregon made the point they most needed to make: that they could hang with regional rival Washington. This youthful team continues to build skills and cohesion. As a young team, their goal is to build trust and love in developing over the course of the season. One key strength for the team is the versatile O-line cutter corps – McCarter, Adam McNichols, and Chander Boyd-Fliegel — who can all dominate deep or cut under and huck for the score. On the other side of the disc, the bodies were flying to get blocks, and Itay Chang running the show is what makes it all happen on a turn. In Stevinson, Ego really missed having Cylas Schooley to run the offense; in his absence, the rest of the team will have to make better decisions and sharpen their execution if they want to compete with teams like Washington when the Sundodgers are not feeling as generous.

From the beginning of the other semifinal, the Cal zone bogged down the offense of #14 Tufts. The E-Men remained patient, but progress was often slow, and they gave up a few early turns. However, the Cal D-line offense was not so patient and squandered their first few chances. Tufts actually got the first break to go up 2-1. At four all, Cal stacked a D-line to get back on serve. Evan Magsig got big for a layout block, and Andrew Roy found Trevor Aquino who did a nice break dance celebration. The next point was pivotal. Reminiscent (to me at least) of that infamous Stanford Superfly – Dartmouth Daybreak semifinal at 2018 Nationals, Tufts possessed the disc for what seemed like 100 throws, sometimes moving forward, sometimes back, only to eventually give up the disc. However, after the first few Tufts turns, a much less patient Cal D-line offense gave it back, starting the process over again. Finally, more than 20 minutes later on their fourth chance, Cal punched in a break. Another stacked D-line confidently converted their upwind break opportunity to take half 7-4, and from there, Cal closed it out 10-7.

The key to Ursa Major’s success was the reliable backfield play of Andrew Roy and Evan Magsig. They’ve made tremendous progress as a team with 14 rookies that fell well short of qualifying for 2021 Fall nationals, losing to UCSB in pool play and getting knocked out in backdoor quarters by UCLA. An important part of that development is the addition of freshman Dexter Clyburn. He was particularly impressive as an intimidating deep in Cal’s zone, making up huge ground horizontally or vertically for blocks, then captaining the D-line offense with sharp throws and slashing cuts. With the experience and patience to pass up narrow windows and make the extra pass instead, he’ll be a force for years to come.

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Colby Stevenson, his life saved in 2016, leads first U.S. Olympic freestyle skiing qualifiers

The first set of freestyle skiers to meet U.S. Winter Olympic team qualifying criteria includes one of the incredible comeback stories in sports today.Colby Stevenson, left fighting for his life five years ago after a skull-shattering car crash, became the first American slopestyle skier to meet Olympic qualifying criteria via his No. 2 world ranking in ...

The first set of freestyle skiers to meet U.S. Winter Olympic team qualifying criteria includes one of the incredible comeback stories in sports today.

Colby Stevenson, left fighting for his life five years ago after a skull-shattering car crash, became the first American slopestyle skier to meet Olympic qualifying criteria via his No. 2 world ranking in a list published Tuesday.

Also meeting Olympic qualifying criteria this week via world rankings: fellow slopestyle skier Mac Forehand, aerials skiers Megan Nick, Winter Vinecki (an all-continents marathoner set to become the first Winter Olympian named “Winter”), Chris Lillis and Justin Schoenefeld and moguls skiers Jaelin Kauf and Hannah Soar.

LIST: Team USA athletes qualified for 2022 Winter Olympics

Stevenson earned his place with accolades including a 2020 X Games Aspen title and 2021 World Championships silver medal.

But none of that seemed possible after what happened on Mother’s Day 2016.

Stevenson fell asleep at the wheel while driving a friend’s truck, it rolled over several times, the roof collapsed, and he suffered a traumatic brain injury. Stevenson shattered his skull in 30 places, his neck was “crushed like an accordion,” along with a broken eye socket and ribs. He was placed in a medically-induced coma for three days.

“I’m in the one percent of people that have this type of skull fracture and no brain damage,” Stevenson said in a My New Favorite Olympian podcast episode to be published just before the Olympics start in February. “My brain swelled eight millimeters, and at nine millimeters is when brain damage starts.”

He spent two weeks in a hospital, then another month bedridden at home, living “painkiller to painkiller” every four hours. His mom fed him a side of oatmeal with the 4 a.m. dose. Memory loss and decision-making problems persisted. He said earlier this year that he’s still not as sharp as he once was and feels lingering neck pain.

“It was not looking good for me, but I never once thought in my head that there was another option for my life,” than skiing, he said. “I didn’t have a back-up plan other than to be a professional skier.”

Five months after the crash, Stevenson returned to training in a preseason camp in New Zealand. He did his favorite trick on the first day, a double cork 1080 grabbing the tails of his skis.

“When I landed that, I knew I was going to come back,” he said.

Stevenson won in his first World Cup event post-crash, but his 2018 Olympic dreams were dashed by a torn rotator cuff in late 2017.

Stevenson, who grew up in the 2002 Olympic skiing venue of Park City, Utah, came back to win the biggest annual prize in the sport — the X Games — in 2020. Then in a 15-day stretch last March, he all but secured a 2022 Olympic berth by placing second at the world championships and winning a pair of World Cups.

Any doubt was erased this week. U.S. Ski and Snowboard criteria states that its top two freestyle skiers per gender in a number of disciplines in world rankings as of Dec. 22, provided they are top six overall, will be nominated to the Olympic team.

The International Ski Federation updates its rankings in most disciplines every two weeks or so — this week and then again the first week of January. Therefore, the list published earlier this week will still be in place on Dec. 22 for aerials, moguls and slopestyle.

Slopestyle skiers can also compete in the new Olympic event of ski big air.

U.S. Ski and Snowboard will not name its full teams until next month. Athletes must be approved by the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

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Turlock considers hiring former Stanislaus CEO—who resigned amid scandal—as city manager

Former Stanislaus County CEO Reagan Wilson, who resigned in 2003 after concealing business ties, could begin working as Turlock’s city manager on Wednesday.The Turlock City Council is scheduled to vote on hiring Wilson Tuesday, per the agenda packet, more than a year after officials started going without a permanent city manager.Wilson served as county CEO from January 1993 to July 2003, when he resigned after failing...

Former Stanislaus County CEO Reagan Wilson, who resigned in 2003 after concealing business ties, could begin working as Turlock’s city manager on Wednesday.

The Turlock City Council is scheduled to vote on hiring Wilson Tuesday, per the agenda packet, more than a year after officials started going without a permanent city manager.

Wilson served as county CEO from January 1993 to July 2003, when he resigned after failing to publicly disclose his private business relationship with a consultant, The Bee previously reported. Wilson apologized to the Board of Supervisors before resigning but said the advice of his friend, the consultant R. Lee Torrens, saved county taxpayers more than $12 million.

After he resigned, the county deducted about $20,000 from his last paycheck because Wilson used his county credit card for invalid purchases. A 2003 Bee investigation of county records found Wilson once paid for a $220 massage at a New York City hotel with the government credit card.

Wilson stands to make a base annual salary of $197,640 as Turlock’s next city manager, per the pending employment agreement. The annual salary is about $20,000 less than what Turlock paid former City Manager Toby Wells, who separated from the city in May 2021.

The council voted 3-2 to put Wells on investigatory leave in January 2021 and has filled the city manager position on an interim basis since then. In the council staff report, Interim City Manager Sarah Eddy said Wilson is the leading candidate for Turlock’s top management position.

“Mr. Wilson was quite forthright about his errors in judgment surrounding his departure as County CEO,” Eddy said in an email to The Bee Monday. “I think his directness about what he learned from the experience approximately 19 years ago was refreshing. I don’t expect it will adversely affect his tenure as Turlock City Manager.”

Wilson has not worked a government job since resigning from the county in 2003, Eddy said. The agenda report does not list Wilson’s current job, nor any of his work history other than referencing a 30-year career in various leadership positions.

Reached by phone, Wilson said he is retired and works as a farmer at a walnut ranch located between Stevinson and Hilmar. He lives in Stevinson.

“I’m looking forward to the council making a decision,” Wilson said.

His other previous jobs include running both Alternative Energy Group Inc. and Phoenix Rising Development Inc. as president, per his LinkedIn profile. Both companies are closed, Wilson said Monday. The companies dealt with reducing air pollution and developing solar energy facilities, per his profile.

Turlock’s city manager position has a high turnover rate. Since 2015, eight people have served as Turlock’s city manager on a permanent or temporary basis. Some worked the role multiple times in separate stints.

Since 2015, the position has been filled by Roy Wasden, Michael Cooke, Gary Hampton, Robert Talloni, Robert Lawton, Toby Wells, Dan Madden and Sarah Eddy.

This story was originally published February 7, 2022 12:33 PM.

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