Year in Review — June

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Grant Line hydrant crashes lead to roadway closure

It started bad and got worse: A hit-and-run crash damaged a fire hydrant on Grant Line Road near the Gateway Crossing Apartments. Pressurized water shooting out of it collapsed trenches that had been dug under the road for recycled water pipelines. And a section of Grant Line’s eastbound lanes buckled, backing up traffic as Byron Road grew congested with the evening commute.

Workers covered the exposed trenches with large steel plates and added the road repairs to their nightly construction work associated with the recycled water project.

Valley Link planners meet deadline, express optimism

The cross-Altamont agency charged with developing a light rail system connecting to BART in the Tri-Valley area completed a study of the plan’s feasibility this June.

They beat their July 1 deadline by 19 days, approving the study at a meeting at Tracy City Hall.

The light rail line, envisioned as eventually providing 25,000 rides a day, is seen by proponents as an important response to the traffic bottleneck of Interstate 580 over the Altamont and related congestion on other east-west roads.

Essential next steps are an environmental study and fundraising to cover the projected cost of $1.8 billion.

In November, city planners and consultants led a community workshop as the first step in planning for Valley Link trains to stop at the downtown Tracy Transit Station.

Senior planner Scott Claar said they could have development suggestions for the City Council to look at by March.

“We want to plan for it so we can best take advantage of that opportunity, because that train station could be a huge catalyst for revitalizing downtown,” Claar said. “It’s very much a game-changer for the city of Tracy.”

For AgFest competitors, hard work pays

Hundreds of FFA and 4-H exhibitors showed and auctioned off animals they raised, including cattle, sheep, goats and rabbits, at the county fairgrounds in Stockton.

Ryland Saenz, a member of New Jerusalem 4-H, sold his supreme champion market beef steer for $13,310 — $10 a pound. The steer, appropriately, was named Cash.

Live poultry was banned from the competition this year after virulent Newcastle disease was confirmed in a chicken in the San Mateo County area.

Junior Livestock Auction

Rylend Saenz of New Jerusalem 4-H holds Cash, the supreme champion market beef steer, in the auction ring at the San Joaquin AgFest Junior Livestock Auction on Saturday at the fairgrounds in Stockton. The steer sold for $10 a pound, fetching $13,310.

Woman killed; man named as suspect

Andrea Cervantes-Alejandre, 18, was killed in a second-floor apartment at 158 W. Carlton Way.

Roommates found her body June 22 and said she had likely been dead for a few days. The police released no details about the manner or time of her death.

They identified a suspect, 41-year-old Antonio Flores-Cuellar, the following week. He has not been arrested.

Tracy girl killed, two injured in 11th Street crash

A 17-year-old girl was killed when the car she was riding in crossed the double-yellow lines and was hit broadside on 11th Street near Lovely Road east of the city.

Witnesses said the car appeared to lose control for an unknown reason around 11 a.m. June 27.

The driver, an 18-year-old woman from Tracy, was taken to the county hospital with major injuries. A 66-year-old Tracy man driving the other car was also badly injured and taken to the hospital.

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