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High school seniors eagerly anticipating class trips, prom, commencement and so much more in the busy final weeks of their time at Orestimba and Gustine high schools last week found themselves facing the new reality that those special moments may never be experienced.

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50 Years Ago From the Archives of The West Side Index, March 26, 1970

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A group of Girl Scouts were on hand March 10 at the Newman City Council meeting, where a proclamation recognizing Girls Scouts Week was presented.  

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The Gustine Unified School District has launched a free meal program to serve youth under the age of 18 through the closure of local schools. Above, workers distributed meals Friday at Gustine Elementary School. See A2 for story.

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In light of the uncertainty about whether schools will re-open before the end of the school year, a number of seniors at Orestimba High took matters into their own hands last Wednesday by holding their own impromptu graduation ceremony. Wearing caps and gowns left over from their Yolo Middle…

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The growing COVID-19 crisis and increasing restrictions established in an effort to curb the spread of the virus has reshaped everyday life on the West Side and changed the landscape of downtown business districts.

In the last few months I have driven a good part of California, from north to south, on various trips for business and pleasure. I went through part of the Livermore Valley just recently and noticed large swaths of undeveloped ground. This land was idle - it has not yet been developed into h…

As a third-generation farmer and member of Congress for the past 15 years, I work every day to support California agriculture.  Our farmers, ranchers and dairymen and women do an incredible job to create an abundance of the healthiest food produced in the world for America’s dinner tables. A…

Anyone who eats food should care about our farmers. But not enough do. People in Washington can’t see beyond their dinner plate and have no idea where their food comes from. Our farmers deserve respect and support from everyone – especially our elected officials.


A colorful double rainbow arched across the West Side sky Sunday evening as showers moved through the area, with Mother Nature providing a calming respite from crisis.

50 Years Ago From the Archives of The West Side Index, March 19, 1970

Army recruiters visiting the Orestimba High campus recently made their presence known with an impressive truck parked in the school quad. 

On March 7, UC Davis held the first field day in California for the FFA judging teams. Gustine FFA had multiple teams attend the competition, including food science, floral judging, livestock judging, dairy judging and meat judging.

Orestimba High recently held a preview day for visiting Yolo Middle School eighth-graders. OHS senior Robert Shull conducted a demonstration in the school’s welding shop. . 

Kitchen volunteers stayed busy Monday evening at the Al Goman Center as they packaged takeout linguica sandwich meals at a dinner to raise funds for Gustine’s Fourth of July Committee. 

GUSTINE - School board members last week gave the Gustine Unified School District’s financial advisor the green light to explore the feasibility of a November bond measure to fund additional school facilities.


West Side agriculture, in all its many forms, is heading into another year with both the optimism typical of farmers and the challenges that agriculture faces all too many times.

NEWMAN - The city of Newman has started the process of acquiring right-of-way for the eventual expansion of Jensen Road with the $300,000 purchase of a parcel at 219 Jensen.

The spreading COVID-19 pandemic drastically changed life on the West Side with stunning swiftness in recent days, as a handful of cancellations and closures quickly cascaded into a torrent.

50 Years Ago From the Archives of The West Side Index, March 12, 1970

West Side voters joined those across the state in going to the polls for the March 3 presidential primary. Following are unofficial results from selected races as the vote count continued earlier this week.

Gustine Elementary School students took part in a number of activities last week to celebrate Read Across America. A buddy reading session, in which first-graders read to fourth-graders, brought the week to a close Friday.


Gustine FFA’s 93rd annual stock show was held Feb. 29. This tradition is a great practice for our FFA and Westside 4-H Club members to prepare for both the Spring Fair and the Merced County Fair.

Gustine High baseball and softball teams hosted youth clinics Saturday. Above, head baseball coach Jason Oliveira visits with young participants in the dugout during a break from activities.

GUSTINE - In local schools, students are encouraged to regularly and thoroughly wash their hands and more stringent campus cleaning regimens are in place.