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A Salinas man has pleaded guilty to two counts of murder for his role in two 2010 shootings, including one that killed a 6-year-old boy. Prosecutors said Edmundo Pulido, 23, was the driver of a car in which another gang member shot at rival gang members, but missed.


There is a tender and succulent heart at the center of each specimen, but getting past its armor of prickly leaves can be daunting. How tough are those leaves? In my innocent younger years, I once tried to pulverize some artichoke leaves in my kitchen sink disposal and ended up destroying the machine in the process.


Debates highlight candidates' differences Clear policy differences between candidates for Monterey County Supervisor, Dist. 2 Check out this story on thecalifornian.com: http://bit.ly/1ssbiOq U.S. Rep. Sam Farr, D-Carmel, and Ronald Paul Kabat congratulate each other after the General Election Forum on Wednesday at the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas.


Highway 156 toll proposal studied Castroville and Prunedale residents, predominantly, have opposed the toll project. Check out this story on thecalifornian.com: http://bit.ly/1sqP8MF In under five minutes Wednesday morning, the Transportation Agency for Monterey County breezed through discussion of a proposed toll on Highway 156 to support the long-delayed expansion project.


MONTEREY >> A critical preliminary water source agreement for the Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency's groundwater replenishment project earned its first official thumbs-up on Monday. By a unanimous vote, the Monterey County Water Resources Agency board of directors recommended approval by the Board of Supervisors of a memorandum of understanding setting a framework for a final agreement on source water for the groundwater replenishment project and distribution of recycled water.


SALINAS >> Three years after Jose Cisneros' death and a week-long trial, the jury found Alberto Cortez guilty of first-degree murder and active participation in the Norteno gang Friday, according to the Monterey County District Attorney's Office. A convicted murderer, Cortez faces a minimum sentence of 50 years-to-life in prison for pulling the trigger on Cisneros in May, 2011, which led to his death.


MONTEREY >> After months of negotiation, the Monterey Peninsula and Salinas Valley may finally have a workable preliminary deal for a water source for the proposed groundwater replenishment project. At the end of a two-hour meeting on Friday between Peninsula water officials, Salinas Valley growers and others, two agricultural industry representatives indicated they were "comfortable" with most of the details of a proposed deal.


A small business owner in Castroville robbed at gunpoint puts his life in danger and fights back. The suspect is captured on surveillance video walking into Sam's Smoke Shop & Fishing Supply on Thursday morning.


A Castroville man has been found guilty of first-degree murder for the shooting death of another man in May 2011. Jurors also found Alberto Cortez, 22, guilty of active participation in a gang and of several enhancements, including use of a firearm.


WATSONVILLE >> One of three suspects involved in a Watsonville armed robbery was arrested Tuesday when he left the CSU Monterey Bay campus, where police believe he was living with his girlfriend. The 17-year-old is suspected of participating in an armed robbery with another male juvenile, 17, from Coachella and Crecencio Ramirez, 20, of Castroville.


One nice thing about being a botanist is that there is always something to talk about at the dinner table, even if you are a total carnivore; after all, where does meat come from? This week's edible Mystery Plant fits the bill quite nicely and offers another slant on the wonderful sunflower family. This is the cultivated artichoke or 'globe artichoke' as it is sometimes called - so there's not much mystery there.


Castroville sidewalk project has begun The Rico Street Sidewalk Improvement Project should be completed by the end of October. Check out this story on thecalifornian.com: http://bit.ly/1tHZq6Y The Monterey County Resource Management Agency - Public Works has begun construction work for the Rico Street Sidewalk Improvement Project between Merritt Street and McDougall Street.


SALINAS >> The judge presiding over the trial of Alberto Cortez and Fernando Miranda in the 2011 shooting death of Jose Cisneros of Castroville allowed for a hefty amount of graphic images and videos to be shown during the first day of trial Thursday morning. A total of 15 jurors - 10 women and 5 men - were present Thursday for opening statements.


Work will be done between Merritt Street and McDougall Street. The project consists of curb, gutter, sidewalk, drainage, driveways, relocation of signs, handicap ramps and roadway improvements.


Meals on Wheels needs volunteers Volunteer drivers needed in Salinas and in South County, especially Greenfield. Check out this story on thecalifornian.com: http://bit.ly/1orcZoc Meals on Wheels of the Salinas Valley needs volunteers to help with meal distribution.


Jury trial begins in 2011 Castroville murder Conflicts of interest and frequent attorney reassignments have held-up the case for years. Check out this story on thecalifornian.com: http://bit.ly/1rTVi7O After five previous attempts at trial, jury selection began Monday for Alberto Sanchez Cortez and Fernando Robledo Miranda, who are accused in a now three-year-old murder case out of Castroville.


SALINAS >> The murder trial in the 2011 shooting death of Jose Calderon Cisneros is set to start Monday and the alleged shooter said Friday he will no longer be representing himself. Alberto Cortez addressed the court Wednesday to announce he would be representing himself during trial, but on Friday he reconsidered and chose Bud Landreth for his defense.

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