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Top stories on for 2021
Ashlyn Ruder
A story about Turlock Christian graduate Ashlyn Ruder's performance on "American Idol" was one of the top searched stories of 2021 on

The following stories received the most clicks on the Turlock Journal’s website in 2021 (up to Dec. 27). Most of the stories were breaking news in 2021, however, a couple were stories first published in earlier years but still received top hits in 2021.

1.       Green Grub settles in to new Turlock Town Center location (pub. Sept. 28, 2021)

Green Grub helped kick off the health craze in Turlock when its first location opened nearly a decade ago, and now the popular restaurant is beginning a new era with an upgraded space in the Turlock Town Center.

2.       Community mourns Turlock teen (pub. May 3, 2019)

Family, friends, classmates and teammates are mourning the death of a Dutcher Middle School student killed while visiting family in Mexico.

Ivan Magallon, 13, died on April 23, in what has been described as a random act of violence.

Magallon was a student at Dutcher Middle School, where he was remembered for his big smile, love of sports, and his general good humor.

3.       Turlock native to appear on ‘American Idol’ (pub. March 2, 2021)

Growing up, Turlock native Ashlyn Ruder could turn anything into a stage. From her grandmother’s bed where she’d belt out “The Sound of Music” to the tailgate of her dad’s truck performing the songs she had written, music has always served as a way for the 22-year-old to express herself. 

Ruder will sing on one of the world’s biggest stages when she appears on the newest episode of “American Idol” in its 19th season. 

4.       Prominent attorney Frank Carson dies at 66 (pub. Aug. 14, 2020)

Frank Carson, the well-known defense attorney who went from one-time district attorney candidate to murder suspect before being acquitted of all charges, has died at the age of 66. Carson suffered a medical emergency Friday while undergoing dialysis treatment and had been on life support until Wednesday when he was taken off it and passed that night.

5.       Teen stabbed at Turlock High (pub. Nov. 5 2021)

A Turlock High School student was critically injured in a stabbing on campus, carried out by another student, who is now in custody, according to the Turlock Police Department.

The male victim, whose age is unknown, was taken by air ambulance to a trauma center with multiple stab wounds. The injuries were considered life-threatening, according to the police department.

6.       New steakhouse prepares to open in downtown Turlock (pub. May 28, 2021)

Visitors to downtown Turlock will soon have another dining option that aims to bring something new to the area, which has become known for its high-quality restaurants in recent years. 

Jerry Powell and Devin Hill are preparing to open Cuts Steakhouse next month in the location that formerly housed Hauck’s Grill. Powell owns downtown bars The Udder Place and Cru as well as Katana Sushi Bar on the other side of Turlock, and Hill oversees operations at all three establishments. The pair began brainstorming plans for a restaurant as co-owners a couple of years ago, Hill said, and the opportunity to overtake the downtown space came up as Hauck’s fell victim to the pandemic. 

7.       Development continues to thrive in Turlock (pub. Sept. 25, 2021)

While the pandemic may have put many things on halt over the past 19 months, one thing that didn’t stop in Turlock is the development and opening of new businesses in town.

Some businesses were lost in 2020, like Hometown Buffet, the downtown Dust Bowl taproom and In Shape on Geer Road, but the construction of new establishments has occurred on the regular since last March. Turlock celebrated the development of a brand-new Dutch Bros. Coffee shop, Sourdough & Co. and Domino’s Pizza near Stanislaus State, and the other side of town welcomed a Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen to the Turlock Town Center. 

Those are just a few of the businesses that now call Turlock home — a sign of the city’s desirability despite the nationwide economic downturn, according to Deputy Director of Development Services and Planning Manager Katie Quintero.

8.       Turlock band teacher charged with sexually assaulting former student (pub. Nov. 2, 2021)

A Turlock band teacher has been arrested by the Turlock Police Department on allegations he sexually assaulted a student.

Daniel James Baudino, 38, of Turlock was taken into custody on Monday and booked into Stanislaus County Jail on five counts of having unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor and four counts of oral copulation with a minor.

At the time of the alleged sexual assault, Baudino was the band teacher at Turlock High School. He was working as the band teacher at Turlock Junior High School and at Dennis Earl Elementary until Monday when he was arrested. 

9.       Plans for second Dutch Bros spark ire from neighboring café (pub. March 3, 2021)

Dutch Bros Coffee is hoping to open a second Turlock location after submitting plans to the City last month, but not everyone in town is excited. 

Turlock’s first Dutch Bros location opened last September across the street from Stanislaus State and has been busy ever since. Now, the company is looking to add to its Turlock success with a double drive-through location in the Turlock Town Center. When Mundo’s Latin Grill eventually moves to another space within the shopping center, Dutch Bros hopes to take over the restaurant’s building and cater to even more coffee connoisseurs.

10.   Almond blossom ‘snow fall’ underway (pub. March 2, 2021)

The most unique and picturesque time of year has once again hit Stanislaus County, as the area’s numerous almond orchards are in full bloom.

There are plenty of opportunities to stroll next to the white and pink blossoming orchards locally, as almonds are the No. 1 crop in Stanislaus County, with 216,265 harvested acres in 2019 at a value of $1,228,536,000.