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March 22, 2023

Local Scene: Poetry Out Loud

Samuel Kirkland, a Hollister resident majoring in Aircraft Systems, was named to the Fall 2022 Dean’s List at LeTourneau University. 

Poetry Out Loud competition returns

The San Benito County Arts Council invites the community to Poetry Out Loud, a national poetry recitation contest, on Feb. 16 at 6pm at Anzar High School. 

This competition, presented in partnership with San Benito High School, Aromas San Juan Unified School District, and the San Benito County Office of Education, is part of a national program that encourages high school students to learn about poetry through memorization, performance and competition.

Since 2005, Poetry Out Loud has reached more than 3.8 million students and 60,000 teachers from 16,000 schools nationwide. This January, Poetry Out Loud will take place in San Benito County for the fifth time with support from the California Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Poetry Foundation.

The winner of this competition will advance to the California State Poetry Out Loud contest in Sacramento in March. The California State champion will advance to the Poetry Out Loud National Finals in Washington, DC, where $50,000 in awards and school stipends will be distributed.

Attendance is free and open to the public, although seating is limited. For information, contact the San Benito County Arts Council at 831.636.2787 or [email protected]

Mobile Covid-19 testing sites close Feb. 5

San Benito County Public Health officials announced that as of Feb. 5, all OptumServe mobile Covid-19 testing sites that serve local residents will close. The California Department of Public Health, which has funded the testing sites, is closing the facilities due to declining Covid-19 rates and a decrease in use, says a press release from San Benito County. 

The following Covid-19 testing sites will no longer be available starting Feb. 5: Brigantino Park in Hollister; San Juan School soccer field in San Juan Bautista; and Immaculate Conception Church in Tres Pinos. 

Covid-19 testing and treatment through OptumServe will still be available in San Benito County, at no cost, at 930 Sunset Drive, Suite 3, in Hollister. The site is open 7am-3pm by appointment only, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, says the press release. 

To make an appointment for Covid-19 testing or care, visit or call 888.634.1123.

For more information on other Covid-19 testing sites, visit Free at-home test kit ordering is available for each household through the test website. To order at-home test kits, visit or call 1.800.232.0233. Additionally, Medicare and Medi-Cal allow pickup of free test kits at pharmacies, and private health insurance covers up to eight at-home tests per month per covered member, says the county’s press release.

Free Covid-19 treatment is available for people age 12 and older, and is highly recommended to high-risk individuals in order to prevent severe illness or hospitalization, the press release continues. 

For Covid-19 and Flu vaccination appointments at San Benito County Public Health, visit or call 1.833.422.4255.

Kirkland named to Dean’s List

Samuel Kirkland, a Hollister resident majoring in Aircraft Systems, was named to the Fall 2022 Dean’s List at LeTourneau University. 

The Dean’s List recognizes students who have achieved a grade point average between 3.50 and 3.99 for the semester.

LeTourneau University President Dr. Steven D. Mason said being named to the Dean’s List is a significant academic achievement and honor.

“As the comprehensive Christian polytechnic institution in the country, LeTourneau University attracts students who are among our nation’s best,” Mason said. “I’m especially impressed with these honor roll students, and I expect them to have a significant impact on our future.”

Cagnacci named to Dean’s List

Claire Cagnacci, of Hollister, was named to The University of Alabama Dean’s List for the Fall 2022 semester.

Students enrolled at The University of Alabama were named to the dean’s list if they had an academic record of 3.5 (or above). The UA dean’s and president’s lists recognize full-time undergraduate students. 

Paine graduates from Freed-Hardeman University

Danielle Paine, of Hollister, graduated from Freed-Hardeman University in December with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management degree. Paine was one of about 121 December graduates at Freed-Hardeman, which is located in Henderson, Tenn. 

Legislation tackles corporate pollution

State lawmakers will consider a package of legislation this spring intended to increase transparency about corporate pollution and to protect state residents from the economic fallout of climate change. 

Sens. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, Lena Gonzalez, D-Long Beach, and Henry Stern, D-Los Angeles, announced Jan. 30 that they have introduced a legislative package that will, among other things, require major companies to publicly report their greenhouse gas emission levels and end pension investments into fossil fuel companies. 

The three legislators argued that major corporations will be integral to the state’s efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution.

A 2017 report from the environmental nonprofit CDP and the Climate Accountability Institute found that roughly 71% of the world’s greenhouse gasses since 1988 had been emitted by just 100 companies, four of which include oil and gas industry titans like ExxonMobil, Shell, BP and Chevron. 

Wiener’s bill, SB 253, would require companies with annual revenues of at least $1 billion to publicly disclose each year the amount of greenhouse gas they emit, including emissions due to corporate supply chains.

Copyright © 2023 Bay City News, Inc.

Staff Report
A staff member edited this provided article.

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