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Library Talk Shines Spotlight On Grand Jury

OAKHURST – Everything you always wanted to know about Grand Juries will be revealed on Saturday, Oct. 18 at the Oakhurst Branch Library in the common room.

Organizers plan to host local judges, the current District Attorney for Madera County, and other experts, for a presentation entitled, “What is the Grand Jury?”

The program is scheduled to take place starting at 10:30 a.m. in the Community Room, is open to all residents of Madera County, and includes special guest speakers.

The library has invited Judges Ernest LiCalsi and Dale Blea to speak about the role of the Grand Jury in our judicial system. They will be accompanied by District Attorney Michael Keitz who will talk about the relationship his office maintains with the Grand Jury of Madera County.

Among the topics for consideration are, “what makes California Grand Juries unique and what kind of cases do Grand Juries hear?” Also on the agenda are questions including, “what ability does the Grand Jury have to protect whistleblowers and how are jurors selected to sit on the Grand Jury?” Experts will further explain the public’s role in the Grand Jury’s function?

Grand Jury RoomAlso speaking are Linda Pennington and Jim Haze, prior members of the Grand Jury who will talk about their experience serving on the panel. The current Foreman of the Grand Jury, Leanne Thomson, will be present, along with Jeannie Turpenen, President of the Madera Chapter of the California Grand Jury Association. Both women will be available to answer questions by the public.

All residents in our foothills will be especially interested in hearing about the Grand Jury report on Ground Water Issues in Madera County.

County personnel will be on-hand to answer questions and help individuals with enrolling to serve on the panel.

If you have any questions about this special presentation, please call the Library at 559-683-4838 or visit

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