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Gilroy, CA
Thursday, December 14, 2017

Know your Past Lives

The idea of having lived a past life may seem unbelievable, but for local resident Ann C. Barham, it’s a reality, and a career.
A 28-year-old Hollister man died in an accident Sunday afternoon on Highway 101 north of East Dunne Avenue, and the California Highway Patrol suspects alcohol was a factor.
MORGAN HILL—Gavilan College broke ground Friday on a major expansion that will bring thousands of students to a new campus in San Jose’s Coyote Valley and focus heavily on law enforcement and public safety training classes.State Sen. Bill Monning and Morgan Hill Mayor Steve Tate helped cut the ribbon on the 55-acre parcel purchased for $18 million.Phase One of the project, to be completed within the coming year, is the construction of five modular buildings and a parking lot. This phase has an estimated cost of $21 million, of which about half will come from Measure E funds. The college has contracted Gilbane Building Company for the first phase. The new campus’s location, on Bailey Avenue in Coyote Valley, is convenient for students commuting from Morgan Hill or South San Jose.The expansion will provide a public safety training facility for individuals studying to become police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and 911 dispatchers.“Ten percent of Gavilan’s enrollment is public safety,” college spokeswoman Jan Bernstein-Chargin said. “Enrollment is about 5,600 right now.”The South Bay Regional Training Public Safety Consortium has been headquartered at Evergreen Community College since its founding in 1994. It’s composed of 10 colleges spanning from San Mateo County to Monterey County, partnering with regional law enforcement agencies to train students. Gavilan’s new campus is the latest instance of pulling together resources between colleges.Gavilan plans to have classes scheduled for fall 2016, with general education classes, selected based on student demand, held in the evening for students who work during the day. The Gavilan board anticipates that a future increase in enrollment at the campus—projected to be as high as 10,000 in 30 years—may prompt the Coyote Valley campus to become its own college.Gavilan president Steve Kinsella said he had been unsure whether he would be able to see the Coyote Valley campus begin within his lifetime. Kinsella, retires in June after 13 years as college president.The land Gavilan purchased in San Benito County will be also be used for expansion of the college. That project is currently in habitat-mitigation, a phase of expansion that also delayed the Coyote Valley campus.Gavilan currently has campuses in Morgan Hill and Hollister, both of which serve about 300 students. Like the Coyote Valley campus, the future San Benito County campus may eventually become its own college.

Metered U.S. 101 on-ramps to be activated in October

GILROY—U.S. 101 on-ramp meters in Gilroy and Morgan Hill installed earlier this year will be activated in mid-October, according to officials with the California Department of Transportation. It’s part of an $18 million effort to manage traffic bottlenecks on freeways throughout the region during peak commuting hours.

Gilroy girl honors uncle with Walk for Multiple Sclerosis

GILROY—After watching multiple sclerosis strip her uncle of his independence, going from walking and driving alone to using a wheelchair and being bedridden, Gilroy High School junior Allison Jordan is raising money to cure the disease.

Blue pig shot at Morgan Hill ranch

Exactly what caused a wild pig harvested in Morgan Hill to turn bright blue on the inside remains a mystery, but two state experts have a consistent and convincing theory.A reddit.com user by the name of “GlendilTEK” posted the discovery on the social media site Sept. 8, with a link to photos of the unusual pig. The user said his or her in-laws shot the wild pig on their ranch in Morgan Hill. The in-laws cut open the pig and found its fat was a fluorescent blue color throughout its body. The animal’s muscle and organs did not appear to be discolored, GlendilTEK noted.The reddit user has been seeking input from the online community as to how the pig turned blue on the inside, and even sent a sample to University California, Davis for research.A spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said experts have “occasionally” seen previous cases of wild pigs exhibiting a similar discoloration of their insides. In those cases, it was determined the affected animals had likely consumed chemicals that contained a blue dye.“Pigs eat pesticides and rodenticides, and it stains the fat of the pig,” said Fish and Wildlife spokesman Andrew Hughan. “We recommend not eating the animal, and you should try to dispose of it so it doesn’t get back into the environment.”Robert Poppenga, a veterinary toxicologist with the California Animal Health and Food Safety at UC Davis, agreed the pig might have been exposed to an “anticoagulant rodenticide.”“These things have happened in the past,” Poppenga said.He added that the dye itself is probably not harmful to surviving pigs. But he doesn’t recommend letting scavengers get into an affected pig’s carcass.“I would probably dispose of the carcass if possible, where it’s not left out for other animals to feed on,” Poppenga said.Neither Poppenga nor Hughan are familiar with the specific details of the case of Morgan Hill’s blue pig.If the UC Davis lab receives a sample of the pig tissue from the Morgan Hill rancher, researchers could examine the item to determine a specific cause.Hughan added that Fish and Wildlife would like to speak to the rancher who discovered the discolored pig in order to obtain a sample that department staff can test on their own.This newspaper attempted to contact GlendilTEK for more information including the exact location of the blue pig, but has not heard back from the reddit user. 

Accused YMCA molester pleads guilty

MORGAN HILL—Accused Morgan Hill child molester Nicolas Lhermine agreed to a 60-year prison sentence for sexually assaulting four young female victims at a YMCA daycare center at Paradise Valley Elementary School.

CHP seeks witnesses to Aug. 26 sexual assault

SOUTH COUNTY—Authorities are seeking witnesses to a late-night sexual assault that took place Wednesday off of U.S. 101 in southern Santa Clara County.

Family of Loyd victim files claim against MHUSD

A complaint filed by attorneys for one of John Loyd’s child victims alleges the former Paradise Valley Elementary School teacher was allowed by school district and campus staff to violate education laws that are designed to keep children safe.

Low water level forces closure of Anderson Lake

Recreational boaters hoping to get on the local waterways one more time this summer got an unexpected and unwanted surprise this week as Anderson Lake County Park was officially closed to all vessels.“Due to the projected lowering water levels, Anderson Reservoir will be closed to all vessels effective Monday, August 17,” reads the announcement on the Santa Clara County Parks & Recreation Department website. That notice was posted Wednesday, Aug. 12.A ruptured water pipe near Casa de Fruta on Aug. 1 caused the shutdown of a pipeline from San Luis Reservoir, the county’s main water supply to its water treatment plants, according to Santa Clara Valley Water District spokesman Marty Grimes.“We’ve been using Anderson Reservoir to feed our treatment plans at a much earlier time than we thought we were going to,” Grimes said.County parks had hoped to keep the reservoir open for recreational boat use through Labor Day, but the water was dropping so fast and boats could not be launched based on the water level projections, Grimes added.If the water level reaches around 40,000 acre feet, then boats can’t be safely launched.Before rupturing, the pipe had been transporting water from San Luis Reservoir to the county’s three water treatment plants. When it was shut down earlier this month, the water district began using water from Anderson instead.Repairs to the busted pipe are expected to be complete by Sept 3, Grimes said.Lexington Reservoir in Los Gatos is also closed due to low water level, according to the county parks site.

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