Community News for 2/20/14 edition of the Sierra Star

February 18, 2014 

Three-part series on gambling Feb. 27

Although casinos, including Central Valley tribal casinos, provide fun and entertainment to hundreds of thousands of people on a daily basis, there is a downside. Just like people who are addicted to alcohol, cigarettes, and shopping, a small percentage of those who visit area casinos, have ruined relationships, and have lost houses, businesses, and financial stability due to an obsession with gambling.

To coincide with National Problem Gambling Awareness Month in March, Sierra Star reporter Morgan Voorhis examines the issue in a three-part series "Risking it All," with the first part being published Feb. 27.

The series will include the history of gambling, compelling stories and characteristics of obsessive gamblers, an interview with a certified gambling therapist, and responsible gambling guidelines.

Adventist Health

Adventist Health, which will take over the operation of Urgent Care June 1, has launched a webpage with information about the medical center transition. Community members are invited to visit to read questions and answers, and can also send questions and suggestions through the comment form posted on the page.

Mountain Area Literacy Council meeting

The Mountain Area Literacy Council will host an event to promote literacy at 1:30 p.m., Thursday, March 13, at the Oakhurst Library Community Room located at 49044 Civic Circle, Oakhurst.

Details: Terry Newland (559) 642-6298

Parcels auction

On Feb. 5, the County of Madera Office of the Treasurer/Tax Collector sold nine parcels that had unpaid property taxes for five or more years. Treasurer/Tax Collector Tracy Kennedy-Desmond credited her dedicated staff, Gina Brumley and Dan Garcia, who committed to hundreds of hours in order to meet all the legal requirements for conducting this tax sale.

"We would rather not have to have a public auction and sell these parcels, but if taxpayers fail to pay their taxes, it is my statutory duty to hold a tax sale," Kennedy-Desmond said.

"Sometimes, if we have very good luck contacting the owners of record, and they bring their taxes current, we may not have to have a tax sale, but if they can't pay or do not want to pay, we have to conduct a public auction.

The next tax sale is scheduled for April 29, at which time 17 parcels will be available for purchase. The taxpayers will have until close of business the preceding day (April 28) to redeem their parcels.

Details: Gina Brumley, (559) 675-7713.

Wrestling at Elk's Lodge Saturday, Feb. 22

Lucha Xtreme Pro Wrestling matches will be held at 7 p.m., this Saturday at the Oakhurst Elks Lodge, 42484 Highway 41.

Tickets are available at the Hitching Post in Ahwahnee, The Produce Place, and the Elk's Lodge.

Details: (888) 989-4448,

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