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Landmark restaurant opens with new owners

    Two Tuolumne County men re-opened the former Kelly’s Kitchen in Sugar Pine earlier this month planning to capture the family atmosphere and customer service offered there since the 1950s.
    The restaurant, on Highway 108, is now called Kelly’s Mountain House Restaurant and Alpine Tavern.
    The new owners are Dan Vaughn and Johnny Robben. Vaughn and his sisters own and operate Pinecrest Store, which was opened more than 40 years ago by their father.

Angels Camp introduces Wi-Fi

    The historic district of Angels Camp introduced free Wi-Fi Friday for visitors and residents. The hotspot is the latest project of the Angels Camp Brand Leadership Team in their effort to make the historic downtown more resident and visitor-friendly, said BLT President Anne Forrest.
    HStar, Inc., a Calaveras County-based communications consulting company owned by Tim Hildebrand, was awarded the contract to set up and manage the system once the plan received approval from the Angels Camp Planning Commission, Forrest said.

Business notes for July 13, 2011

Apple ranch to open this fall

    A 160-acre organic hard apple cider tasting room, ciderworks, apple ranch and distillery in Sonora’s Apple Hill is slated to open this fall.
    Indigeny Reserve owners Jay and Judy Watson and their son, Joe, operate the verdant 20,000-apple-tree ranch that boasts 53 varieties, including 10,000 organic Honeycrisp apple trees, along with Granny Smith, Golden Delicious and Red Roam apples.
    The ranch was certified organic in 2008 and is a supporter of the Slow Foods movement.

Fourth annual Farm and Ranch Tour set for July 30

    Everything from cattle to bonsai trees will be featured during the fourth annual Farms of Tuolumne County Farm and Ranch Tour on Saturday, July 30.
    Event organizers invite visitors to spend the day going from one venue to the next at their leisure between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on the self-guided tour.
    Tickets are $8 in advance or $10 on the day of the event. Those 18 and younger are admitted for free. Those attending are encouraged to wear comfortable shoes and bring a cooler for perishable purchases. For more information, e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 928-3775.
    The event will have on-site demonstrations as well as tours, and cameras are encouraged.

County begins work on Greenley

    Work crews are busy laying the infrastructure for land that will be the future home of a $70 million, 48-acre law and justice center in Sonora.
    San Francisco-based Sierra Mountain Construction was awarded a $2.4 million contract to build road improvements and connect the site to city utilities, according to Tanya Allen, assistant resident engineer for Tuolumne County.

Business notes for July 6, 2011

Chicken Ranch Casino gets a facelift

    After 26 years, Chicken Ranch Casino in Jamestown is in the midst of its first major renovation.
    The size of the building will remain the same, but it will have a whole new look, inside and out, Tribal Chairman Lloyd Mathiesen said. The theme will be historic with an Old West flavor.
    He said the Chicken Ranch Band of Me-Wuk Indians, which owns the casino, listened to customers in designing the renovation.
    A state-of-the-art ventilation system will greatly reduce the smell of smoke, which customers wanted, and a new restaurant will replace the snack bar.

Long, harsh winter conditions are costly for PG&E

    PG&E’s automatic refunds for people who lost power for days at a stretch during this epic weather year earned public relations points.
    The utility ended up giving refunds to almost 7,300 customers in Tuolumne County alone, and 26,000 refunds throughout Northern California.
    “I don’t have the total cost,” said Nicole Liebelt of PG&E, “but it was substantial.”

Ag note for June 22, 2011

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