Stockton mayor’s race down to wire; shutdown looms as virus cases surge

The Stockton Record
 |  The Record

It’s been a historic week on many fronts, with nail-biter elections and local officials scrambling to avert more shutdowns as California tops more than 1 million confirmed coronavirus cases.

In Stockton, the race for mayor was increasingly looking like it would tip in challenger Kevin Lincoln’s favor, with his lead continuing to grow over incumbent Michael Tubbs. “Of course there still are a lot of votes to be counted and so we’re just respecting the process and taking it one step at a time,” Lincoln said. Tubbs, too, urged patience: “We have a lot of ballots to be counted. We have to be patient because it is vital that every vote is counted.”

As COVID-19 cases surge nationwide, San Joaquin County appeared to be headed straight into harsher COVID-19 restrictions, but officials and business owners mounted a campaign to fighting to keep the county from falling back into the purple tier. “If you want to help these restaurants, these mom-and-pops and the big businesses in our community stay open, take a test,” Verber Salazar said. “That’s the best tool you have to help out your favorite restaurant or church or your kid’s or your grandkid’s schools.” Another critical tool: Get tested. Stockton Unified was among those offering free communitywide virus testing as the district prepares to bring students back.

More: ‘People let down their guard’: San Joaquin County is headed toward harsher COVID-19 restrictions

The shutdown is hitting veterans organizations especially hard, prompting an appeal to Gov. Gavin Newsom to allow them to reopen shuttered veterans’ posts and halls. Stockton’s American Legion Karl Ross Post 16 is among many in dire financial straits and could close by spring without a turnaround. “We lost 90% of our revenue, if not more,” said Army veteran Scott Halsey, Karl Ross Post’s adjutant.

On Thursday, the Diocese of Stockton released an expanded and updated list of priests who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse, adding 27 priests and two religious order brothers who faced credible accusations elsewhere. No one on the updated list currently serves with the Diocese of Stockton.

More: Looking to donate this holiday season? Stockton teacher collects thousands of dollars for Thanksgiving turkeys

Along with the grim headlines there was plenty of good news, too. Amid a “crappy year” with many irked at Facebook and Twitter, one Stockton teacher is using social media to make a difference. Anne Swehla Garcia is in her third year of collecting donations for her yearly Thanksgiving turkey drive, and this year, more than 150 donors have already given nearly $5,000, enough for upwards of 500 turkeys for those in need this holiday season. It’s not too late to give; Swehla Garcia is keeping the donation period open through Monday. “People complain about Facebook, but I think it can change the world. And it changed the world with just a few turkeys.” 


Read More: Stockton mayor’s race down to wire; shutdown looms as virus cases surge

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