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  • Wasco Task Force takes action with cleanup

    Veronica Jacuinde, The Shafter Press|Updated Jul 22, 2024

    The Wasco Task Force, led by Mayor Pro Tem Valentin Medina and Councilmember Eddie Saldaña, alongside dedicated community members Ruby Gutierrez, John Pallares and Orquidea Ocampo, is on a mission to engage the community on matters that are important to residents. "One of them is keeping Wasco clean, including keeping the streets free of tagging and any other issues that might be important to community members. We welcome all community members to attend our monthly meetings...

  • Elks to host a night of games and giving

    Veronica Jacuinde, Wasco Tribune and The Shafter Press|Updated Jul 22, 2024

    On Saturday, Sept. 7, the Elks Lodge 2419 will present its first Casino Night, an exclusive 21-and-over event. "We are hosting this annual Casino Night and opening our doors to the Wasco-Shafter communities to raise money to support our local veterans, seniors, community youth and scholars. The Elks Lodge is a proud supporter of our local youth sports programs, FFA and 4H, and with the help of those who attend this event, we will take the money raised and use it to contribute...

  • Hector Avila appointed Grand Knight

    Veronica Jacuinde, Wasco Tribune|Updated Jul 22, 2024

    Hector Avila has been named Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus, St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church Council. He was previously a deputy Grand Knight and a family committee leader. He has been a member since 2020. He also sings with the church choir. "I love music. I love to sing and practice my piano and my saxophone. Whenever there is no choir, or the choir director is not there, I sing a cappella and lead the congregation in the hymns for the Mass." Avila said...

  • Wonderful $1 million grant application window open

    Veronica Jacuinde, Wasco Tribune and The Shafter Press|Updated Jul 22, 2024

    The application period for The Wonderful Company's $1 million Wonderful Central Valley Community Grants is now live. Over the last nine years, the company and its co-owners, Lynda and Stewart Resnick, through their foundation, have awarded nearly $7 million in grants to more than 122 nonprofits and 165 schools in the San Joaquin Valley. Expanding on Wonderful's enduring dedication to aiding local organizations and schools in California's Central Valley, these grants will...

  • Wasco's downtown transformation on track

    Veronica Jacuinde, Wasco Tribune|Updated Jul 22, 2024

    The Wasco City Council received an update regarding the Downtown Wasco Streetscape Project, which is to be completed by early fall 2024. They also decided to repair a clock tower, place it in the plaza and install a mini water tower replica in the center of a roundabout. "It's exciting to see staff working diligently to finish the downtown beautification project. There have been many delays, from covid to the weather, but I'm confident its completion will be well worth the...

  • Council OKs N. Shafter improvements

    Jamie Stewart, The Shafter Press|Updated Jul 22, 2024

    The Shafter City Council Tuesday night approved a service agreement with Diversified Product Services International to complete the North Shafter Improvement Project, at a cost of no more than $400,000. The entire project has a budget of $1.2 million, a grant from the state. This leaves $800,000 for the remainder of the project, which includes putting in a bike lane on Highway 43 on the southbound side of the road. It also includes shoulder improvements and a sidewalk....

  • Shafter cuts ribbon for reopening park

    Jamie Stewart, The Shafter Press|Updated Jul 22, 2024

    Shafter celebrated the reopening of Stringham Park with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday evening. The event marked the completion of a major renovation on the park. Stringham Park now has all-new playground equipment, as well as new grass and restrooms. The park is now at the Regional Transit bus stop. The stop was formerly located at the intersection of Pacific and Central Valley Highway, where the Shafter City Hall building is located. There is also a new parking lot at...

  • Shafter Children's Summer Theater presents Cinderella

    Jamie Stewart, The Shafter Press|Updated Jul 22, 2024

    It's summertime again, and that means the Shafter Children's Summer Theater program is putting on another production at the Shafter Ford Theater. For this year's musical, love is certainly in the air, as they have been working on Roger and Hammerstein's "Cinderella." The "Cinderella" cast is sure to both tug on your heart strings and have you folding over with laughter. They have been working tirelessly since April, and they are finally ready to present it. Although...

  • Renovated skate park opens in Shafter

    Jamie Stewart, The Shafter Press|Updated Jul 22, 2024

    The city celebrated its new skate park with an opening on Friday evening, welcoming a large group of skaters who couldn't wait to try out the new complex. There had been a skate park at the location, on East Euclid Avenue, that was created in 2015. The facility closed in 2020 when the equipment was vandalized. Thanks to several concerned residents, including Councilmember Gilbert Alvarado and former Councilman Cesar Lopez, the new park is now a reality. The facility has brand...

  • Unveiling Wasco's newest jewel: Central Avenue Park

    Veronica Jacuinde, Wasco Tribune|Updated Jul 17, 2024

    A public ribbon-cutting for Central Avenue Park is set for Friday, July 19, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. This new park is the result of years of planning and months of construction. Many organizations and individuals contributed to the project, and this celebration allows recognition of all the hard work. The park provides a new recreation facility for the southwest part of town and connects the existing walking paths on Central Avenue and Filburn Avenue. The park's numerous trees...

  • Teaching through 3 generations

    Veronica Jacuinde, Wasco Tribune|Updated Jul 17, 2024

    Bradley Parrott, approaching his fourth year of teaching at John L. Prueitt Elementary School this August, continues a family tradition that spans three generations. Like his grandfather and father before him, he has committed to educating the children of Wasco. Patriarch Arthur Parrott taught Spanish at Wasco High School. He was hired in 1948 and taught there until 1967, working in different capacities as an educator. When he left WHS, he was a secondary coordinator for...

  • Beautification project a step toward a vibrant city center

    Veronica Jacuinde, Wasco Tribune|Updated Jul 17, 2024

    The City of Wasco Historic Downtown Business District Transformation initiative is nearing completion. The beautification project intends to revitalize the streetscape and public spaces along 7th Street from G Street to D Street. "The current project is nearing completion pending final art installations, the installation of a swing in the plaza, the completion of items in Veterans Park and other minor contractor punch list items," Community Development Director Keri Cobb...

  • Dr. Wendy Castañeda-Leal: Semitropic's new superintendent

    Veronica Jacuinde, Wasco Tribune|Updated Jul 17, 2024

    Dr. Wendy Castañeda-Leal is the new superintendent of Semitropic Elementary School and is poised to lead with a deep commitment to equity and inclusivity. Her appointment promises a focus on student-centered policies, community engagement and a nurturing environment where every child can thrive. She said she is very excited about her new role. "Working with brown and Black students has always been a passion of mine. That is what I have focused on throughout my career;...

  • Coach Moreno heading to North High

    Veronica Jacuinde, Wasco Tribune|Updated Jul 17, 2024

    After four decades of teaching and coaching at Wasco Union High School, Edward Moreno has accepted a position as the athletic director at North High in Bakersfield. This is a personal milestone for Moreno and a significant chance for North High to benefit from his proven leadership and commitment to student success. Moreno's tenure at his alma mater has been marked by many achievemenst. As a golf coach, he accomplished four undefeated SSL Championships, one Sectional...

  • Shafter shelter has cats and a wish list for dogs, too

    Jamie Stewart, The Shafter Press|Updated Jul 17, 2024

    Though it places most of its dogs with rescue organizations, the Shafter Animal Shelter is looking for good homes for their feline residents needing a loving home. Animal Control Officer Nick Riddick said that the shelter has some loveable cats who would make a great additions to welcoming homes. "Cats are great family members and can be as loyal and loving as a dog." Riddick also wanted to let the public know that the shelter does have dogs for adoption as well. If they know...

  • Shafter sky lit up at July 3 celebration

    Jamie Stewart, The Shafter Press|Updated Jul 17, 2024

    The Shafter Chamber of Commerce held its annual July 3 Fireworks Celebration last Wedensday, lighting up the night sky with a spectacular show. The event was much more than a fireworks show, with a lot of fun things for the kids to do while waiting for the sun to go down. There was plenty of food at the event, with tacos and burritos, as well as fair food such as funnel cakes and corn dogs. There was also the mainstay kettle corn, and a variety of flavors of shaved ices,...

  • Marcona Preserve to add 1,200 homes

    Jamie Stewart, The Shafter Press|Updated Jul 17, 2024

    Gossamer Grove is not the only development bringing homes, parks and future retail development to the city. The Marcona Preserve Development, also to be built by Lennar Homes, is beginning a construction phase that will bring about 400 new residences to the city, right down Seventh Standard Road from Gossamer between the Friant-Kern Canal and the Calloway Canal. The area will include single-family residential development, a middle school, recreation amenities that include...

  • New economic development director looking to the future

    Jamie Stewart, The Shafter Press|Updated Jul 5, 2024

    Shafter has a new economic development director, and he is ready to take Shafter into a bright future. Fernando Guerra comes to the city after more than two decades working in the economic development field in some of the largest markets in the world. Guerra has worked for the Los Angeles Economic Development Agency, as well as a city agency in New York City and a stint in Chicago. Guerra is a graduate of USC and received his masters in economics and international business...

  • Wasco's Shirley Huffman celebrates a century

    Veronica Jacuinde, Wasco Tribune|Updated Jul 5, 2024

    Wasconian Shirley Huffman celebrated her 100th birthday on June 23, surrounded by friends and family. She has witnessed many significant milestones over the century of her life. "The things she has noticed the most is the mode of transportation changing and how it has evolved," Daughter Cynthia Huffman said. "The way cars and airplanes have changed, and the fact that we actually made it to the moon." Her family came from Ohio, and is one of eight children. Her grandfather...

  • Shafter Theater shines in 'Matilda'

    Jamie Stewart, The Shafter Press|Updated Jul 5, 2024

    The Shafter Theater put on its production of "Matilda" last weekend and drew large crowds for every performance. The play was directed by Lauren Givens and Chad Givens, director of the Shafter Theater. This is the first production for the company, which is a nonprofit that, according to Givens, is faith-based and is working to entertain the city in a positive way. The cast was headed by 8-year-old Esttella Marie Loaiza, a veteran of three shows so far in her career. Loaiza...

  • Council OKs 2-year labor pact with police union

    Veronica Jacuinde, Wasco Tribune|Updated Jul 5, 2024

    The city has come to a labor agreement with the Wasco Police Officers Association for the next two years, including 4% wage increases this year and in 2025. The agreement also includes bilingual pay, POST certificate, education, and other pay incentives, along with details on holiday pay. In addition to the WPOA-covered employees, the same benefit provisions are extended to Police Department employees outside the bargaining unit who are not on an employment contract. The...

  • Red, White and Boom Festival combines community, patriotism

    Veronica Jacuinde, Wasco Tribune|Updated Jul 5, 2024

    On Saturday, the Wasco Recreation and Park District's Red, White and Boom Fireworks Festival, celebrating the Fourth of July, was a day of patriotic fun and community spirit. An engaging line-up of activities and a grand finale lit up the sky. The evening started with a flag ceremony led by Boy Scouts Troop 950, which set the tone for the event and reminded everyone of the holiday's significance. Next followed the bike parade, in which entrants adorned their bikes, trikes,...

  • Rescues make Shafter's animal shelter bare

    Jamie Stewart, The Shafter Press|Updated Jul 5, 2024

    The Shafter Animal Shelter has a unique situation when it comes to city animal shelters – they have a shortage of adoptable dogs at the site. In the past six months, the shelter has not put any pets available for adoption on their website. This is due to the rescue partners that the city deals with, accounting for all of their available dogs. There are some cats available, however, as they are not rescued. Recently, the shelter had a dozen dogs in the shelter, but all but o...

  • Frank Russell closes after nearly 85 years

    Jamie Stewart, The Shafter Press|Updated Jul 5, 2024

    Shafter lost another icon this week when Frank Russell, Inc. closed its doors on Tuesday. Opened in 1939, the shop has been serving the community, meeting fabricating and steel needs for almost 85 years. Owner and operator Andy Russell said that it was time to do it, and said that he will miss his loyal customers. "It was a family decision. I just decided that it was the right time. I am 73 years old and am ready to spend more time with family." Andy's father, Frank Russell,...

  • Shafter youth treated to a joyful Christmas Eve

    Jamie Stewart, The Shafter Press|Updated Jan 1, 2024

    Christmas came a day early for the youth of Shafter, presented with toys from the Toys for Tots organization, thanks to the support of the community. "The Shafter Lions Club used their nonprofit status to get the Toys for Tots organization here, and we secured the building," said Shafter Councilman Gilbert Alvarado, who is also a Lion. The giveaway event was held on Christmas Eve at the Shafter Veterans Hall. Every child who attended received at least two toys to take home,...

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