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South County Beat: Police give used Mustang new lease on life

Arroyo Grande has a "new" patrol car. AG Officer Ken Reed spent 8 months converted a 1994 Mustang that had been used as a  DARE car  into a patrol car. Photo by Jayson Mellom  10-7-09
Arroyo Grande has a "new" patrol car. AG Officer Ken Reed spent 8 months converted a 1994 Mustang that had been used as a DARE car into a patrol car. Photo by Jayson Mellom 10-7-09 The Tribune

Arroyo Grande police have added a not-so-common patrol car to their fleet.

With the help of local businesses, the Police Department transformed a 1994 Ford Mustang donated by Mullahey Ford about a decade ago — and used as a prop in the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program at schools — into a fully functional black-and-white patrol unit.

Officer Ken Reed led the effort with the help of South County businesses such as Sierra Body Shop, JC Performance and Eagle Collision Repair, which donated or offered discounted prices for services.

Aside from regular patrol, the car will be used for training, education and events in the community.

— Sona Patel

Blooming in AG

Arroyo Grande won one of eight awards announced earlier this month during the eighth annual America in Bloom Symposium and Awards Program at the Hershey Lodge in Hershey, Pa., according to an announcement from Arroyo Grande in Bloom.

America in Bloom is a national campaign and contest that promotes community beautification. Communities are judged on their efforts on floral displays, tree planting and maintenance, landscaped public areas, tidiness, heritage conservation and environmental awareness.

Judges visited competing communities over the summer.

Arroyo Grande won the organization’s Tidiness Award.

It also won four “blooms” out of five in the heritage category, in which it competed with other cities in the 10,001 to 20,000 population range.

Among those who attended the program from Oct. 1 to 3 were Mayor Tony Ferrara, Mary and Pete Giambalvo, Mary and Paul Hertel and Bob Lund.

Arroyo Grande in Bloom is a volunteer group dedicated to beautifying the city by planting flowers and trees, picking up litter and removing brush, as well as helping maintain local natural resources.

To learn more, visit www.arroyograndeinbloom.org.

— Antonio A. Prado

Clark Center calling all fine artists The Clark Center in Arroyo Grande is accepting applications from fine artists interested in exhibiting their work next year at the performing arts venue.

They can display their works to large audiences, and help raise money to promote the arts in the South County.

Public art is displayed in the lobby and in the salon hallway, and there is sufficient space for large bodies of work, according to the Arroyo Grande Chamber of Commerce.

Artists working with mixed media, oil, watercolors, pastels, pen and ink, sketching and other forms are encouraged to apply. Twenty-four artists will be selected and paired to display their work for two months next year.

The deadline for applying is Nov. 6. Winners will be notified in early December.

Artists selling their works must donate 20 percent of the sale price to the Clark Center Foundation, which funds performing arts scholarships and grants.

For information or an application, send an e-mail to chamber President and CEO Judith Bean at judith@agchamber.com.

— Antonio A. Prado

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