MERCED - The Merced National Wildlife Refuge encompasses 10,258 acres of wetlands, native grasslands, vernal pools, and riparian areas. It was established in 1951 under the Lea Act to attract wintering waterfowl away from adjacent farmland where foraging ducks and geese were causing extensive damage to crops.
MEFRCE - The San Luis National Wildlife Refuge encompasses over 26,600 acres of wetlands, riparian forests, native grasslands and vernal pools. A thriving population of tule elk is showcased by one of three auto tour routes. The refuge is host to significant assemblages of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects and plants; some of which, such as the tiger salamander and San Joaquin kit fox, are endangered species.
COLUMBIA - Glorious songs, a moving story of love and redemption and a robust, seaside setting have kept Carousel among the most beloved American musicals ever created.
JACKSON – Enjoy some of the greatest hits from the swinging sixties through today when Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort presents The Righteous Brothers' Bill Medley and Paul Revere & the Raiders on Friday, July 13.
MODESTO – The Modesto Junior College Foundation will offer "A Hair Raising Good Time" at this year's Summer Sonata which is slated for Thursday, July 19 at the Gallo Center for the Arts in downtown Modesto.
STOCKTON - Country superstar Alan Jackson takes his tour to the Stockton Arena in Stockton on Friday, July 27.
JACKSON – The all new Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort is celebrating the opening of new restaurants and new gaming areas with a summer series of great concerts including country star Sara Evans on Sunday, July 1.
OAKDALE – There are some museums that dig way back into the history of a given area.
Nurses are doing it. Administrative managers are doing it. Even a former chief of police is doing it. In fact, it's a modern-day phenomenon that's kicking up a storm.
MODESTO - One of the most unique museums in the 209 - the Hillier Air Museum - is located in Hangar 7 at the Modesto Airport.
The Manteca Historical Museum offers plenty of things for visitors to discover.
LODI – The past lives on at the old Calaveras School at Micke Grove Regional Park.
STOCKTON – Whether it's artwork or artifacts, the Haggin museum has a little bit of it all.
TURLOCK - Turlock's history is being kept alive at the Historical Society Museum in downtown Turlock. The evolution of the Valley city is available for all to see through a number of displays and memorabilia that represent over a hundred years of history.
STOCKTON – Jose's Western Wear has been around for about 40 years.
Although it is corporately owned by a company boasting 166 stores in 26 states, Boot Barn in Turlock does not seem that way, as store manager Brooke Carey strives to provide a one-on-one shopping experience more likened to a small business.
OAKDALE – The "Cowboy Capital of the World" is Stephenville, Texas.
Bass Pro Shops in Manteca is an outlet for avid outdoors people. But its wide range of male and female apparel lends itself to those who are into the western – that is, cowboy and cowgirl – outfit look. Those choices range from Bass Pro Shops' own line of Redhead boots to a wide selection of accessories such as leather belts and even jewelry that go a long way toward achieving the desired rugged-type look.
As manager of Krier's Cards and Comics, John Krier does not just view his store as a place to secure comics books and related merchandise, but as a social hub for friends to gather in a casual gaming environment.
The east wall in the parking lot of Athen's Burgers on West Yosemite Avenue in Manteca is a gigantic mural depicting a bucolic, rustic scene aptly titled "Cow-munity."
They call them the "Power 9."
By VINCE REMBULAT
STOCKTON – It's tough living life with a secret.
TURLOCK – Both Hanna Renning's and Dieter Renning's love for books sparked at a young age.
LATHROP – Books were everywhere for Lathrop librarian Suzanne Sutterfield.
MANTECA – The story of Ruthanne Bassett's career journey is a simile of sorts. It turned out to be like a shopping trip to the mall. You go there with a specific item in mind to purchase. But other things grab your attention while you are browsing, and end up settling down on something totally different from what you initially had in mind to buy and go home with that.
RIPON – Dorothy "Dot" Veltkamp always has a couple of books on her night stand – a woman with a passion for reading since her childhood – has completed more than 25 years as a librarian mostly in Ripon.
TURLOCK – In an area filled with seemingly endless burger joints for hungry customers to choose from, it may be a difficult task for a mom-and-pop restaurant to stand out. However, AJ's Café and Grill has managed to do just that with their locally and freshly made burgers.
RIPON – It's a classic burger at the downtown Ripon Roadhouse sure to leave egg yolk running down your fingers and hands with the first bite.