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Chico State graduate hired by The Associated Press

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Updated: 12/20/2013 11:38 am

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Scott Smith, a veteran journalist in California's Central Valley, has been appointed correspondent for The Associated Press in Fresno.

A native Californian raised in Manteca, Smith will join the AP on Jan. 6.

"Scott is great source reporter and storyteller who knows the Central Valley and its important issues," said AP West Editor Traci Carl, who oversees news for 13 states. "We are thrilled to have him join our team."

Smith has spent the past decade at The Record of Stockton, reporting on City Hall, crime, courts and prisons. He also has covered gangs and been the paper's lead reporter on the city's continuing bankruptcy saga.

In 2012, Smith's reporting on the so-called "Speed Freak" serial killings led authorities to unearth five victims, including the remains of three women found in an abandoned well outside Linden, Calif. The search came after Smith began corresponding with one of the convicted killers, Wesley Shermantine, who provided information on where to look.

Smith's work earned him second-place awards for breaking news and investigative reporting in the annual California Newspaper Publishers Association contest.

Prior to joining The Record, Smith worked for the Tri-Valley Herald in Pleasanton and the Turlock Journal. He has been an adjunct instructor in journalism at San Joaquin Delta College and was a Peace Corps volunteer in Uzbekistan, where he also ran a nonprofit that trained Uzbek journalists.

Smith has bachelor's and master's degrees from California State University, Chico.

©2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved

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