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Council recognizes outstanding citizens, two and four-legged

In the absence of any votable items on their Tuesday night agenda, the Shafter City Council presented proclamations to outstanding individuals, both two and four-legged, for their representation of the city.

Mayor Chad Givens presented an award to David Espinoza, an 11-year-old student at Maple School, who recently represented Shafter in the All American Bowl in Florida. Espinoza is a 4.9 GPA student who plans on making football his career, looking to be the future quarterback for the Shafter Generals, as well as the Ohio State Buckeyes.

He was invited to the bowl game after being named the Camp MVP at the Offense/Defense Football Camp in Carlsbad. Espinoza competed in three games during his week in Florida, as well as participating in two quarterback clinics. He trains with a personal quarterbacks coach twice a week, in addition to traveling with an Elite Traveling Football Team, when he is not competing with the Shafter Commanders. Espinoza also received certificates from representatives from the offices of state Sen. Melissa Hurtado, as well as a presentation by County Supervisor David Couch.

The council also recognized a four-legged hero in Shafter. Ecko, who has served in the Shafter Police Department's K-9 Unit for over four years, was honored for his years of service. Ecko was unable to continue his duties with the department and had to retire his position. Ecko was honored because of his bravery and service that included detecting illegal substances, as well as finding numerous weapons, caches, and items that protected the community from a variety of illegal activity. Ecko will now be retired and live out his life with his human partner, Officer Luca Graves, who has worked with him for the past two years.

Terry Knight, public relations manager for the Kern Mosquito and Vector Control agency, made a presentation to the council about the upcoming year and the impact that the wet winter will have on the amount of mosquitoes in the county we could expect this year.

Knight said that the year saw Kern County receive its wettest winter in 40 years, and some much needed rain, but it will also mean a long year when it comes to the mosquito population in Kern County.

Knight said that residents can make a difference in the fight against mosquitoes, especially the ades aegypti, or "ankle biter,'' variety of mosquito, with some precautions.

He said that the mosquito can lay thousands of eggs in just a capful of water in a soda bottle lid, or a small saucer used for potted plants. "These mosquitoes are very aggressive and will bite a human several times in one attack. They attack especially in the daytime, belying the myth that mosquitoes only bite at dark or dusk.

Knight said that cleaning potted plant containers regularly, preferably with bleach, as well as making sure not to keep any small containers with any water in them at all will go a long way in deterring a problem.


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