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Arson causes Stockton non-profit fireworks stand to burn down

STOCKTON, CA - A non-profit fireworks stand was burned down Saturday around 6 a.m.

Stockton Deputy Fire Chief Paul Willette said the cause of the fire was arson; however, no suspects are in custody.

Phantom Fireworks stand is operated by a local non-profit group Parents by Choice, which provides foster kids with homes in the area.

"Although we were extremely disheartened by the fire, it's nothing compared to the plight of what some of our foster kids face every day," Parents by Choice Executive Director Tony Yadon said. "This is the only fundraiser we do all year, and you can imagine how disheartening it was. But we were determined to rise from the ashes."

"Our Fire Prevention Unit was working closely with the Wholesaler, in this case, Phantom Fireworks, to get them up and running within a few hours," Willette said.

There were no fireworks in the stand at the time of the fire.

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Boaters head to Delta fireworks show

STOCKTON, CA - The 4th of July may be a few days away, but boaters are already gathered near Venice Island for the holiday Hilton fireworks show.

Barron Hilton (son of Conrad and grandfather of Paris) began the tradition of Delta fireworks innocently enough, 25 years ago, when he simply entertained his children.

But so many boaters coming near Venice Island saw the tiny show, it grew through the years and now attracts thousands of boaters.

Though boaters get the best view by floating near the Hilton compound on that island, people on land can watch as well.

The best spot to see the Hilton show is at the end of Eight Mile Road, just northwest of Stockton.

By Tim Daly, tdaly@news10.net

Sunny and HOT temps ahead for July 4th weekend

Sunny and HOT temps ahead for July 4th weekend

Get ready for a hot, three-day weekend! The heat will continue into Saturday as high pressure continues to strengthen, said News10 Meteorologist Darla Givens. Highs will be in the upper 90s with 100-degree weather in some areas. Givens said air quality will become unhealthy for sensitive groups and will remain in that range during this heatwave.

On Sunday, sunny and hot conditions will linger in the Valley with highs around 100. Monday, Fourth of July, will remain steamy with temperatures in the low 100s.

Have fun and keep cool!

UOP building earns LEED Gold

UOP building earns LEED Gold

STOCKTON - University of the Pacific’s John T. Chambers Technology Center was granted a LEED Gold certificate this week, the second highest level issued for sustainable buildings, a press release announced Friday. This is the first building at University of the Pacific and only the fifth project in San Joaquin County to receive a gold rating. Only 10 projects in the county have received LEED certification.

The LEED Green Building Rating System is a third-party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. The program was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

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San Joaquin judge blasts state budget

STOCKTON, CA - Court officials in Stockton are anticipating serious cuts in service, following the apparent settlement of a state budget.

Presiding Judge Robin Appel said her court will have to cut $4.2 million from the budget, that's about a 12 percent cut.

"It's no secret San Joaquin County has been underfunded," Appel said. "Always, when we are required to take our equal share of the cut, it's even worse for a court like ours. We have done everything. We have no fluff in our budget. If anyone can find it, we'll get rid of it."

Appel said the likely cuts will be the closure of the Tracy court facility, while Lodi would likely lose one of it's courtrooms. 

She also said people using the court system can expect delays in hearings, and papers being filed.

By Tim Daly, tdaly@news10.net

City of Stockton lays off 36 firefighters

STOCKTON, CA - The City of Stockton has laid off 36 firefighters due to budget constraints.

Stockton Fire Department Deputy Chief Paul Willette said 48 positions will be cut Friday at 8 a.m.

Before city and fire union negotiations became deadlocked Thursday night, seven fire fighters opted for early retirement and several others agreed to take demotions over layoffs.

The lay offs will reduce staffing of all engine companies from four to three and drops staffing on trucks from three to two; 19 fewer firefighters will be on duty.

Engine Company 1 will be closed by Friday.

"Simply, the city can no longer afford the level of fire service it previously could afford," Stockton Interim Fire Chief Dave Rudat said.

Scott Harper elected president of YMCA

Scott Harper elected president of YMCA

STOCKTON - The YMCA of San Joaquin County is pleased to announce that Scott Harper has been elected President of the Board of Directors. Harper is an attorney at Brown, Hall, Shore & McKinley. He has been a dedicated supporter of the Y.

“I would like to personally thank our recent President Ken Levy for his vision and leadership and the direct impact it had on the Y's grow in 2010-2011. We are excited to continue and expand programs to meet the needs of our community” shared Harper.