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BRENDA MALDONADO and her mentor Paula Burkhart share a laugh. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

A mentoring story: Brenda and Paula, together for life

When Brenda Maldonado, then a fourth-grader, arrived in Sonoma as “the new kid in class” at Sassarini Elementary School, she was shy, a little unsure of herself and ready to reach out for someone who would help her, even if she didn’t completely understand why.

This is why they search your house

Demonstrating a certain failure to grasp the meaning of searchable probation, yet another probationer was utterly unprepared for a visit from the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office when deputies dropped in unannounced on Jan. 16.

State appeals Hwy. 12 ruling

As expected, the state’s Department of Finance has appealed the court ruling that both the county’s Highway 12 sidewalks project and the Roseland shopping plaza in Santa Rosa were enforceable obligations.

FIVE-YEAR-OLD MARISOL MEZQUITA, of Sonoma, tries out one of three pediatric dental chairs that equip St. Joseph Health’s new 40-foot-long mobile dental clinic.

Todd Trust feted for dental van donation

In celebration of a $100,000 challenge grant that helped St. Joseph Health sustain and expand mobile dental care in Sonoma Valley and other areas in Sonoma County, representatives of St. Joseph Health, Wednesday, hosted a gathering at Burbank Housing’s Springs Village apartments to thank representatives of the Hazel and Roland Todd Trust for helping to fund St. Joseph’s new, upgraded mobile dental clinic.

JIM BERKLAND, a geologist famous for predicting the Loma Prieta earthquake, returned to Glen Ellen after his retirement. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

Ready for the Big One

The headline in the Gilroy Dispatch on Oct. 13, 1989, was alarming enough: “Is World Series Quake Coming?”

Sheriff to discuss law enforcement and public safety

Sonoma Valley residents will have the opportunity to discuss public safety and law enforcement issues with Sonoma County Sheriff Steve Freitas at a community meeting from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11, at the Sonoma Valley Grange Hall.

AT DEPOT PARK, City of Sonoma worker Blake Burlington fills a water bag at the base of a young tree for slow-rate watering. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

Drought alters watering methods

Alternative watering methods may increase in importance as the California drought continues and the push to conserve grows.

THE TRANSCENDENCE THEATRE COMPANY won four Broadway World San Francisco Awards for “Theatre of the Year,” as well as “Best Special Theater Event,” “Best Production for Youth” and “Best Choreographer.” Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

Transcendence Theatre Company wins four Broadway World San Francisco awards

Transcendence Theatre Company, producer of the “Broadway Under the Stars in Jack London State Park” concert series, has won the Broadway World San Francisco Award for “Theater of the Year,” as well as “Best Special Theater Event,” “Best Production for Youth” and “Best Choreographer” for their 2013 season.

Pool group closing in on sites

The group of Sonoma residents, pushing for a community pool, is closing in on a location and looking to make an offer around springtime.

On Saturday members of Impact 100, the Kiwanis and Becoming Independent – about 20 in all – gathered behind the Becoming Independent building in Sonoma to build four new garden forms, making four boxes total. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

Building garden boxes

On Saturday members of Impact 100, the Kiwanis and Becoming Independent – about 20 in all – gathered behind the Becoming Independent building in Sonoma to build four new garden forms, making four boxes total. As soon as the weather allows, the group will gather again to plant a variety of vegetables, fruits and herbs.

A WOMAN AND HER CHILD walk by one of the trees on Highway 12 that is marked for removal. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

Hwy. 12 trees get one-week reprieve

As part of the preparation for the Highway 12 sidewalk and streetlight project that’s expected to go out to bid the first part of March, a sizeable number of trees are going to be felled.

Walkers raise $12K for stomach cancer

More than 350 people turned out to support a one-of-a-kind fundraiser at Sonoma Raceway on Saturday, Jan. 18, at the third annual John’s March Against Stomach Cancer.

WORKERS DIG UP the front of what will be the new home of Redwood Credit Union. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

Shops shifting at Valley Mart Shopping Center

The stores at Valley Mart Shopping Center at the intersection of Fifth Street West and West Napa Street will face some changes over the next few months, with some moving out of the center completely and one closing down.