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Modesto Fire Department offers free CERT training

Modesto Fire Department offers free CERT training

MODESTO - The Modesto Fire Department will host two Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training classes in February and March. CERT is a program for community-minded citizens who desire to learn how to make a difference during times of natural disasters or emergencies.

CERT members can assist their neighbors during times of need by being able to start the process of mitigating emergencies before emergency services arrive. During large scale emergencies, CERT members could be on hand to assist the fire department with non- life threatening support such as crowd control or assisting citizens affected by the emergency.

The 20-hour hands-on course covers emergency preparedness, fire safety, disaster medical operations, light search and rescue operations, disaster psychology and more.

Modesto awarded funds to improve foreclosed homes

MODESTO - The City of Modesto was recently awarded $2,951,549 in funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), to acquire, redevelop or demolish foreclosed properties. The grant represents a third round of funding through HUD's Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

A draft substantial amendment outlining the proposed use of the funds, will be published on the city's website begining Jan. 21. A public comment period will also be opened that day. The Citizens Housing and Community Development Committee will receive comments on the draft at their Jan. 26 meeting. Comments will also be received on Feb. 8 at the Modesto City Council meeting, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at 1010 Tenth Street. This will conclude the public comment period.

Copies of the draft will be available on Jan.

'Love Modesto' organizes community service day

'Love Modesto' organizes community service day

MODESTO - Local organization "Love Modesto" will hold a community-wide day of service on Saturday, April 2. Organizers encourage residents to come together to better the lives of those destitute and disadvantaged. Volunteers will gather in downtown Modesto in front of the Gallo Center to branch out and help those in need.

Since 2009, the group has created projects for volunteers to participate inthat help the forgotten citizens of Modesto and surrounding cities.

Valley Air District: Share holiday cheer, not smoke

SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY - Valley Air District officials urged residents to consider their health and that of their neighbors when planning to use household fireplaces during the holiday season.

"Share the good cheer of the holidays, not wood smoke," said Seyed Sadredin, Air District director. "The fires that seem so cozy and inviting can actually cause your neighbors distress."

Residential wood burning can produce up to 24 tons per day of harmful particulate matter (PM) across the valley on a winter day. PM is made up of soot, ash, tiny droplets of liquid and other material.