Authorities seek assistance identifying body found in canal

Merced County sheriff’s investigators earlier this week continued their efforts to identify a male whose body was discovered Feb. 12 in the Delta-Mendota Canal north of Butts Road.

Deputy Daryl Allen, public information officer, said the body was discovered floating in the water by workers checking the canal bank.

There was no sign of foul play, Allen told Mattos Newspapers.

He said Tuesday that the decedent appeared to be 20-30 years of age, 5-10 in height and 170-175 pounds with black hair. Authorities as of Tuesday had not been able to identify the deceased, Allen said.

He asked anyone who may have information on the case to contact the sheriff’s department at 385-7445.

Newman Fire

Personnel from the Newman Fire Department and West Stanislaus Fire Protection District’s Newman station responded to 11 calls for service from Feb. 17-23.

Fire Chief Keith Bowen said the calls included six medical aid responses, two public assists, one motor vehicle accident and two potential structure fires.

One of the structure fires occurred Feb. 19 in the 1000 block of Balsam Drive. Bowen said the public had extinguished the fire before the arrival of firefighters. He said the fire was caused by the malfunction of temporary solar panels. The damage was estimated at $2,000.

The other potential structure fire, which occurred Feb. 20 in the 1100 block of Duck Blind Circle, involved an overheating oven, Bowen reported. Damage was estimated at under $1,000.

Gustine appointments

The Gustine City Council made a number of appointments to the city’s Airport Commission and Planning Commission at its Feb. 18 meeting.

Planning Commission members Mike Gandy, Sherri Marsigli and Tom Gomes were reappointed to that body for full four-year terms. Blake Giles was appointed to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Marcus Vierra. That term expires in December 2021.

Airport Commission members Doug Lucas and Robert Villalobos were re-appointed to two year terms, and Zachery Ramos was appointed to a vacant seat for a two-year term. The Airport Commission has one remaining vacancy, according to city staff.

West Side weather

Newman resident Marge Carvalho, an observer for the National Weather Service, reported the following high/low temperatures for the past week. Readings are taken at 5 p.m. daily for the previous 24 hours.

Monday, Feb. 17: 74/42

Tuesday, Feb. 18: 75/44

Wednesday, Feb. 19: 75/36

Thursday, Feb. 20: 76/37

Friday ,Feb. 21: 72/38

Saturday, Feb. 22: 76/36

Sunday, Feb. 23: 73/39