County health officer urges travelers take precautions against Zika virus

Tulare County Health Officer Dr. Karen Haught urges community members who are traveling to Mexico and Central and South
American countries to take precautions against mosquito bites to prevent contracting the Zika virus. Pregnant women and women considering becoming pregnant are encouraged not to travel at this time to countries where the Zika virus is widespread.

“It is important for community members to consider the implications of traveling to countries where the Zika virus is spreading rapidly and they could contract the disease,” said County Health Officer Dr. Karen Haught. “All community members, especially pregnant women if they have to travel, should take precautions against mosquito bites by using insect repellant and removing standing water where mosquitoes typically breed.”
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As metallic balloon outages soar, SCE urges customers to secure them this Valentine’s Day

Records might be made to be broken, but Southern California Edison just experienced one that it never wants to come close to again.

SCE saw an all-time high 924 power outages caused by free-floating metallic balloons last year, far surpassing its previous high of 714 in 2012.

With Valentine’s Day near, SCE strongly urges its customers to make sure their balloons are always tied to a weight — as required by California law — and to never release them outdoors because of the thousands of customers left without power when the metallic balloons float into power lines and other electrical equipment.

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First 5 releases request for proposals for capital projects, planning grants

The First 5 Tulare County Commission is seeking proposals on one-time capital projects totaling $600,000.

Direct services will not be funded under this program. Sole proprietors are not eligible to apply.

A Question and Answer Forum for applicants will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 17, in the Cedar Room of the Wyndham Hotel, 9000 W. Airport Dr. Visalia. The forum is not mandatory.

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West Tulare ALTURA has grand opening

ALTURA Centers for Health (formerly known as Tulare Community Health Clinic) opened its’ eighth clinical location on February 1.

The new location is located at 1500 W Tulare Drive in Tulare. The new clinic provides services such as Pediatrics, Family Practice/Internal Medicine, Dental, Health Education and Media-Cal and Covered California Enrollment.

The clinic has a keyless entry system in place, activated by specified employees. All patient records are on the electronic database using and Electronic Medical Records/Dental Records like all of its facilities.

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Tulare man found guilty 5 counts of child molestation

A jury found Thomas Martinez Medina, age 76, of Tulare, guilty of five felony counts of lewd acts on a child under the age of fourteen.

The jury also found that some of the crimes were committed with Thomas Medinasubstantial sexual conduct. Medina committed the sexual assaults against a single victim and occurred on two different occasions between 2006 and 2014 in Tulare County.

Sentencing is set for March 9. The substantial sexual conduct findings mandate a state prison sentence. Medina faces 16 years in state prison and will be required to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life.

The case was prosecuted by Senior Deputy District Attorney Stacy Plantier of the Crimes against Children Division. It was investigated by Detectives Rosa Moreno and Tony Espinosa of the Tulare Police Department and Investigator Khoua Lopez of the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigations.

City will receive more refuse cans

The BPU approved the purchase of an additional 1,590 refuse cans from Cascade Cart Solutions.

The city will receive 1,060 96-gallon brown, 270 96-gallon green and 260 96-gallon blue automated cans. The purchase is part of an ongoing process to replace old and worn out refuse cans. The cans from Cascade Cart Solutions are continually repaired with interchangeable spare parts but after a certain number of years the cans need to be replaced completely.

BPU recommends revisal of outdoor water use

By Chelsea Stelly
Tulare Voice ~

The city’s water infrastructure has struggled to meet pressure demands during peak consumption hours under Stage 3 water restrictions.

In October the BPU discussed revising the allotted outdoor watering times to decrease the demand on the system. The city reviewed a few potential time revisions and ultimately voted on recommending a new schedule to the City Council.

The new schedule would add a third irrigation day and change the times to 10 p.m. through 4 a.m. and then from 9 a.m. through 11 a.m. on days that outdoor irrigation is allowed.

The additional day and revised times allows eight hours of water over a three day period for a total of 24 hours per week as allowed per the state regulations.

The vote for recommendation was split 2-2. The revision and split vote will be presented to the City Council for a decision on whether to change outdoor watering times.

BPU reviews the city’s solid waste roll off service

The Solid Waste Roll Off division was asked to complete an in-house rate survey and comparison to other local public and private sector roll off services.

The Board of Public Utilities asked for the rate survey comprising of a financial report, tonnage report and comparison of other roll off services after seeing the division had lost a significant amount of money in years past. The question was brought up if it was financially responsible to remain in the roll off business if the division had lost money in multiple years and had quite a bit of public sector competition.

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Valley Pump & Dairy Systems recognized for efforts

By Chelsea Stelly
Tulare Voice ~

The City of Tulare presented a plaque to Bill and Nick Wilson of Valley Pump & Dairy Systems in appreciation for all their efforts to the city and its citizens.

Valley Pump & Dairy Systems was hired to approve the efficiency and increase the overall capacity of six wells this year. They were successfully able to increase production in each well.

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New financier available to property owners for renewable energy products

Renew Financial is the newest provider of financing for permanently installed renewable projects for Tulare.

Through the Property Assessed Clean Energy program, Renew Financial provides residential and commercial owners the opportunity to finance renewable energy, energy efficiency, water efficiency, seismic strengthening and electric vehicle charging infrastructure as a voluntary property tax assessment.

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