After several slow years, the small community of Coulterville in northern Mariposa County is in the midst of a renaissance, with at least nine businesses either opening in the past few months or about to open.
“I think it all started with our John Muir Festival in the park last year,” said Joy Kitchel, office manager of the Coulterville Visitor Center.
She said several people were talking at that event about how they needed more local businesses, and now it’s happening.
Deborah Foreman and her daughter, Magnum Godfrey, opened Coulterville General Store at 5006 Main St. about two weeks ago.
“All of a sudden, lots of people are opening businesses,” Foreman said. “It’s mostly people who own their buildings and can afford to survive the winter when business is slow.”
Pounds shed by Black Oak Casino staff in a weight-loss challenge modeled after the TV show “The Biggest Loser” translated to a pallet of food and $1,000 for the ATCAA Food Bank in Jamestown.
Casino staff on Monday presented a check and a forklift full of food to Food Bank staff and recognized winners of the “Winning with Wellness 2011 Weight Loss Challenge.”
“Thank you so much. It’s greatly appreciated,” said Conner Gerhart, ATCAA Food Bank events coordinator. “You’re helping 10,000 individuals.”
Calaveras County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee amateur wine judging results have been announced.
All wines entered were produced from Sierra foothill grapes grown in Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Mariposa, Nevada, Placer, Sierra, Tuolumne or Yuba counties.
A large group of judges sampled all of the entries and judged the amateur wines based on appearance, aroma, taste and other considerations.
A Danish system of judging was employed, meaning the wines were judged against a standard rather than against each other. Private blind tasting was used, and gold, silver and bronze medallions were awarded by class.
Some Ironstone wines are now being bottled in Napa County as part of a deal signed with Sonoma Wine Co. late last year.
Ironstone owner John Kautz said Monday that the deal is the reason behind several large tanks being removed from the Ironstone Vineyards property on Six Mile Road in Murphys about a month ago.
Kautz said the tanks’ removal or the sour grapes mutterings of disgruntled employees are the only reasons he can think of behind rumors the winery may be closing.
“There’s no way. We’re not even thinking about it. Not even a possibility,” Kautz said. “We don’t want that kind of thing spreading around because it’s completely untrue. Not when we have a great concert series coming up like we do.”
By MOLLY TOWNSEND
The Union Democrat
Some Tuolumne County businesses are rolling out the red carpet for their common guests in an effort to build on excitement over a possible Yosemite visit by Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Peggy Mosley, owner of the Groveland Hotel on Highway 120, said her hotel will be offering a royal-themed package for couples and honeymooners through the month of July, riffing on the possible visit.
The “Royal Romantic Retreat” will include a night in an elegant suite, plus champagne and strawberries, chocolates, a bubble bath package for an in-room spa tub, and $50 dinner voucher for a total of $499.
Work crews are putting the finishing touches on the much-anticipated SPI Standard Mill retrofit that is expected to bring 130 new jobs to Sonora.
Sierra Pacific Industries announced last year a plan to upgrade and reopen the lumber mill in mid-June. Workers were laid off after the plant closed in 2009, when the specific types of lumber processed at the mill became in short supply.
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