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  • Shafter council approves feasibility study for former prison

    Jamie Stewart, The Shafter Press|Updated Jun 23, 2024

    The Shafter City Council approved a feasibility study to consider options for the use of the Modified Medium Correctional Facility that has been closed down for years. City Manager Gabriel Gonzalez said that discussions with a sporting company resulted in an idea of turning the facility into a building for recreational use. Pickleball was mentioned as an alternative. Mayor Chad Givens said that pickleball has grown in popularity by 600 percent the past three years. Gonzalez...

  • Center offers relief during extreme heat

    Veronica Jacuinde, Wasco Tribune|Updated Jun 23, 2024

    When temperatures hit 105 and above, the City of Wasco provides a haven for residents with a cooling center complete with free wi-fi, cold water and snacks. There also is complimentary transportation to and from the center between 1 and 7 p.m. when it is open. Public Works Director Luis Villa, who helps oversee the center at the Old Court House, said, "Everyone is welcome. Bring board games or books to read and enjoy some cool air." He added that the center is a benefit to...

  • Joe Blanchard recognized for 30 years at WHS

    Veronica Jacuinde, Wasco Tribune|Updated Jun 23, 2024

    Joe Blanchard recently earned recognition for his 30 years of dedicated service. as a teacher at Wasco High School. Throughout his time at WHS, he has taught physics, chemistry, earth and physical science, and math. "Wasco High School is a good place to teach at. I know many teachers that have taught for 30 years, but they've gone from one school to another, so they haven't taught the whole time at one school, but Wasco High has always been an excellent school to work at, and...

  • 2024 WHS Scholarships/Recognitions

    Wasco Tribune|Updated Jun 23, 2024

    Awarded by the Wasco Community Scholarship Association: High School to a 4-Year College: Emily Alba, Amber Newby, Armando Saldana, Diego Gomez, Isaac Ocampo, Andy Santana, Esteban Hernandez, Zayda Orpineda Herrera, Maria de Jesus Soto Bravo, Benito Juarez, Karly Perez, Hope Valdivia, Isabella Moreno and Briseida Ruiz High School to a 2-Year College: Diego Acosta, Julian Alvarez, Estevan Nieto, Irais Aguero, Branden Green and Xitlaly Rivera Wonderful Education Program Participation: Dulce Aceves Gonzalez, Jonatan Cruz Perez,...

  • Local PEO chapter opening doors with scholarships

    BARBARA WARE, For PEO Chapter J.T.|Updated Jun 23, 2024

    One of the most rewarding projects of PEO, Philanthropic Education Organization, is to award scholarships to young women throughout the world. Local chapter J.T. has the unique pleasure of offering $500 scholarships to high school seniors from Wasco and Shafter high schools who have been accepted to four-year colleges. This year, three outstanding young women, Brisedia Ruiz, Airam Sotelo, and Yolanda Bailey, were selected based on their academic achievements, extracurricular...

  • Generals seeing history on trip East

    Jamie Stewart, The Shafter Press|Updated Jun 23, 2024

    The Shafter High Generals football team has been making history, from the first Valley Championship in over 70 years to playing in Shafter's first State Championship game. For a change of pace, Coach Jerald Pierucci, some staff and 22 players set out on a cross-country trip to see some of the country's earliest history. The group have been saving and fundraising for the past two years, with each player responsible for their own bill for the trip. The group started in Boston...

  • Farmer's Market brings hundreds to downtown

    Jamie Stewart, The Shafter Press|Updated Jun 23, 2024

    On the heels of Shafter's first First Friday event of the year, the city held its first Farmer's Market of the year last Saturday. The event drew more than double the crowd from last, estimated at 200, with options from fresh vegetables to honey and snacks and seasonings. There also was prepared food available, giving the crowd a variety of snacks and drinks. One of the vendors was local celebrity Jenny Holtermann, also known as Almond Girl Jenny. Also for sale was a variety...

  • Shafter Recreation executes a Takeover

    Jamie Stewart, The Shafter Press|Updated Jun 23, 2024

    The Shafter Recreation Department executed a "Park Takeover" last week, invading Shafter's Community Park at Gossamer Grove and turning it into a place of fun and games. According to Shafter Recreation District Manager Phillip Jimenez, the Park Takeovers will take place all summer long, bringing a lot of activities to a different park in Shafter each week. The event takes place on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of each week. At Community Park, there were a lot of activities to...

  • First Fridays return to Shafter downtown

    Jamie Stewart, The Shafter Press|Updated Jun 23, 2024

    Shafter held its first First Friday event of the year on June 14, filling downtown with plenty for the entire family to do. Started last year, the First Friday events are put on to draw people to the downtown area of Shafter, as well as giving families in town a place to go on a Friday night, without having to go out of town to spend their dollars. The event had numerous food vendors, including Semper Fries, barbecue and homemade baked goods, as well as agua fresca and other...

  • Shafter pool now set to open by end of year

    Jamie Stewart, The Shafter Press|Updated Jun 17, 2024

    The Shafter Aquatic Center looks like it will re-open by the end of the year after a series of delays. The project was supposed to be completed by July 2024, giving the residents a summer of swimming. But the project needed more time for planning and design, according to city Public Works Director Michael James. The project is being funded through a $6-million grant to the city to resurface the pool, repair the heater and tile work. There also will be improvements to the...

  • Congratulations to '24 Palm Avenue grads

    Courtesy Palm Avenue School|Updated Jun 17, 2024

    Dayana Aceves Gonzalez Elias Acosta Estevan Acosta Khloe Adams Josue Aguilar Contreras Luis Almaraz Crystal Alvarado Aiden Alvarez Israel Alvarez Victoria Alvarez Cristian Anaya Nahuatt Jonathan Aninion Hugo Archuleta Isabella Arredondo Zachary Avila Ivan Aviles Ramirez Brianna Barrera Jayden Barrios Anyelin Beltran Molina Michael Benavides Dominic Castillo Mia Castro Yerelin Cepeda Rivas Juan Cervantes MyKaela Chavez Giovanni Chavez Alfaro Ximena Cisneros Julissa Contreras Ethan Cortes Anthony Cortez Dulce Cortez Angel...

  • Mario Uresti: A passionate WHS educator

    Veronica Jacuinde, Wasco Tribune|Updated Jun 17, 2024

    Dr. Mario Uresti is the coordinator of special education services for Wasco High School. He is an educator who pours his heart and soul into his profssion and is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of the children he serves. He also loves Wasco and moved to the town after falling in love with what he calls "a magical place." "I monitor the special education department, which includes the special ed teachers and instructional aids, and work with other administrators...

  • Jennifer Aufforth named WUSD Teacher of the Year

    Veronica Jacuinde, Wasco Tribune|Updated Jun 17, 2024

    Jennifer Aufforth has almost two decades of experience as an educator at Wasco High School. This year, she is the recipient of the Wasco Union High School District's Teacher of the Year award for her creativity, hard work, contagious spirit, innovative teaching skills and extraordinary commitment and unwavering passion for her students. A WHS alumnus, she said her students have kept her teaching English at her alma mater for so many years. "I love what I do. I'm teaching a...

  • First Fridays are back in downtown Shafter

    Jamie Stewart, The Shafter Press|Updated Jun 17, 2024

    Shafter's First Fridays return to downtown on June 14, from 5 to 9 p.m. The event will include live music, a variety of food vendors, games, activities and shopping. The First Friday events were started last year, the brainchild of Mayor Chad Givens and a committee charged with improving and attracting business downtown. Despite a lukewarm reception from some in the city, Givens told the members of the cCity Council and the committee that the events would attract entire...

  • Shafter council hears options for railway, gets feedback on Shafter Press decision

    Jamie Stewart, The Shafter Press|Updated Jun 17, 2024

    The Shafter City Council heard a couple of different options for their Shafter Railway at their meeting last week. The first option was to be purchased by BNSF, which is used to connect to their main line. The second option was to be used by third party transporters for their products, including connecting the two coasts. [Wonderful Company also has an interest in the railway. See separate story on Page 1.] There will be further discussion on the topic, with both options...

  • Mystery History - June 13, 2024

    Wasco Tribune|Updated Jun 17, 2024

    Here's this week's challenge, courtesy of the Wasco Historical Society. If you know the location, circumstances, exact or rough date and/or people in the photo, send your educated (or semieducated) guess to the Tribune, 455 Kern St., Suite E, Shafter, CA 93263, or e-mail it to [email protected]. Winners will be revealed here next week. LAST WEEK: Wasco High School letterman sweater from 1931....

  • GROW pulls mayor from graduation keynote

    Jamie Stewart, The Shafter Press|Updated Jun 17, 2024

    Shafter Mayor Chad Givens was disinvited as GROW Academy's keynote graduation speaker last week, after he said he refused to remove a Bible reference from his remarks. Despite being listed in the program for Thursday night's graduation, school officials announced at the event that Givens was "unable to attend."School officials had asked to see Givens' speech before the ceremony took place, the mayor said. The speech, according to Givens, contained a scripture from the Bible....

  • GROW Academy bids farewell to 8th grade class

    Jamie Stewart, The Shafter Press|Updated Jun 17, 2024

    The GROW Academy of Shafter held its Promotion Ceremony at the Fred Starrh Performing Arts Center at Shafter High School on Thursday, bidding farewell to its eighth grade class. This was the third such ceremony in GROW's history. opening its doors in 2017. Principal Lacie Harris welcomed a standing room only crowd to the event, celebrating the promotion of their children to the high school level in their educational careers. With the majority of the class moving on to attend...

  • Wonderful planning inland rail terminal, bringing 40,000 new jobs

    Jamie Stewart, The Shafter Press|Updated Jun 17, 2024

    If the Wonderful Company has its way, over the next few years Shafter will become a major hub of industry between northern and southern California – even the east and west coasts – and will provide 40,000 new jobs in a vast inland railway terminal center, expanding its current industrial park at the southern edge of town. In an interview this week, John Guinn, manager of the project for the agriculture and industrial giant Wonderful and a former city manager who spe...

  • Wasco Community Scholarship Association awards $117k

    Veronica Jacuinde, Wasco Tribune|Updated Jun 17, 2024

    For the third consecutive year, the Wasco Community Scholarship Association has awarded over $100,000 to graduating seniors and alums of Wasco High School. In 2022, WCSA gave $100,000 for the first time. The following year, the award total was $107,000. This year, 32 scholarships were provided for a total of $117,000. "I am thrilled for the Wasco High students who continue to benefit from WCSA scholarships," Wasco High Superintendent and WCSA Director Kevin Tallon said. "The...

  • A special opening night for the Wasco PD

    Veronica Jacuinde, Wasco Tribune|Updated Jun 11, 2024

    The community came together last Thursday night for the grand opening ceremony of the new Wasco Police Department, marking a new chapter in the community's safety. There was food, music and speakers recognizing key stakeholders, including the chief of police, Charles Fivecoat, the city manager, Scott Hurlbert, and Councilmember Gilberto Reyna, who played significant roles in establishing the police department. "Tonight was extremely humbling," Chief Fivecoat said. "I truly...

  • GROW pulls Shafter mayor from graduation keynote

    Jamie Stewart, The Shafter Press|Updated Jun 10, 2024

    Shafter Mayor Chad Givens was disinvited as GROW Academy's keynote graduation speaker last week, after he said he refused to remove a Bible reference from his remarks. Despite being listed in the program for Thursday night's graduation, school officials announced at the event that Givens was "unable to attend."School officials had asked to see Givens' speech before the ceremony took place, the mayor said. The speech, according to Givens, contained a scripture from the Bible....

  • Generals celebrate a new chapter at graduation

    Jamie Stewart, The Shafter Press|Updated Jun 9, 2024

    The Shafter High football stadium was the site for a celebration as students walked across the stage as seniors and stepped down as graduates. There were 410 graduates this year, one of the largest classes in Shafter High history. It also was memorable because they were freshmen that began their high school careers by studying online, the first class that was hampered by required distance learning, due to the covid-19 pandemic. The class didn't even get to gather in person...

  • Trojans become Generals at graduation

    Jamie Stewart, The Shafter Press|Updated Jun 9, 2024

    Over 250 Richland Junior High students celebrated their last night as Trojans last Thursday night, preparing themselves for four years as Shafter High Generals. This achievement is no small feat, and the rewards for the hard work were a diploma and a big welcome by Shafter High Principal Russell Shipley, who congratulated all of the graduates and said that he looked forward to meeting every one of them. There were two student speakers at the event, the valedictorian and the...

  • Shafter Library and Learning Center ready for summer

    Jamie Stewart, The Shafter Press|Updated Jun 9, 2024

    The Shafter Learning Center and Library will be undergoing some renovations during June, so attention will move to the annual Reading Challenge that will be held from Monday, June 3, to Thursday, July 18. There will be work being done inside the building on a couple of new classrooms, giving the programs more room for the growing numbers that the Library and Learning Center have been attracting. The Reading Challenge will reward those readers who complete 20 books and a book...

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