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Annual awards dinner held Fri.


    The Sonora High School FFA chapter held its annual awards banquet Friday night at the Sheriff’s Posse Grounds in Jamestown and installed the officers for 2011-2012 school year.
    Students who organized the event and slideshow, decorated in blue and yellow flowers and streamers with photos arranged on the tables. Students and agriculture boosters helped cook the tri-tip dinner, FFA members said.
    Students enrolled in the FFA (formerly Future Farmers of America) program at Sonora High School receive awards for accomplishments they’ve made during the year, the new officers are installed and community members are honored for their support, said FFA secretary and sophomore Bailey Orpurt, 15.
  

Copperopolis Town Square welcomes two businesses

    Copperopolis Town Square has announced two upcoming store openings.
    Opening in late May or June, Chloe & Zoey’s Pet Boutique will offer high-quality dog and cat products including all-natural, holistic food and treats as well as clothing, costumes and accessories.
    In addition, it plans to host dog adoptions and vaccination clinics throughout the year. A self-serve dog wash will also be on-site.
    Offering a pet-friendly atmosphere, Copperopolis Town Square hosts two “Dog Day Afternoon” events each year, benefiting the Calaveras Humane Society. Chloe & Zoey’s Pet Boutique owner Danny Do resides in Stockton and worked in the pet supply industry for more than 18 years.
    Griff’s BBQ n’ Grill will offer a casual dining experience with historical decorations of the Gold Rush era, including artifacts, mining carts and original lumber from the mid-1800s.
    The menu will include smoked ribs and chicken, steaks, pulled pork and tri-tip sandwiches, gourmet burgers and fresh salads. Prime rib and lamb specials will also be available. Griff’s BBQ n’ Grill is slated to open early this summer.
    In addition, Fancy Pans kitchen and gifts specialty shop in the Town Square is under new ownership since February. The store offers new product lines, cake decorating classes and supplies.
    The new owners are Jon and Leslie Watkins, of Copperopolis.
    To find out more or to visit their new online store, go to www.fancypanskitchen.com.


Tours tell Angels’ oldest tales


    A new business in the historic downtown district of Angels Camp takes patrons back to the days when the quiet town bustled with the Gold Rush boom.
    Don Gifford, a sixth-generation Californian whose own 49er roots can be traced back to a Monterey-San Francisco trade route, leads Angels Tours in the city center.
    On Monday, Gifford led about 40 gathered for the Angels Camp Business Association from the Angels Mercantile down into old Chinatown and back up to the site of the former Calaveras Hotel (now the Calaveras Visitors Bureau).
    He came to Angels two years ago to pastor Family Community Church and also plunged deep into reading and listening to the city’s stories. He credits local historian Judith Marvin and county archivist Shannon Van Zant with filling him full of material.
   

Black Oak Casino looks forward to future growth


    Black Oak Casino celebrates its 10th anniversary this Sunday, and is already looking ahead to several years’ worth of future growth that could include a hotel and a golf course.
    The casino will celebrate its birthday with fireworks and music over the weekend. But it’s behind the scenes where many of the flashier developments have been occurring.
    Lester Lingo, development director for the Me-Wuk’s Tuolumne Economic Development Authority, who oversees the casino operation, said the tribe hopes to break ground this summer on a hotel project on the casino grounds.
    “We are really pushing to make that happen,” he said.
   

Business notes for May 11, 2011


‘Fresh Fridays’ begin June 3 in Angels Camp

    “Fresh Fridays,” the Angels Camp certified farmers market, will run each Friday evening in Utica Park from June 3 to Sept. 16. The market begins at 5 p.m. and closes at dusk.
    Utica Park is in the historic downtown district of Angels Camp just off South Main Street.
    Locally grown fresh certified produce with a variety of seasonal fruits, vegetables and nuts will be offered. Gardeners can peruse local nursery selections and vendors will sell seeds and starters packs to take home.
  

Summerville business team heading to nationals


    Summerville High School freshman Jonathan Horak will compete in June at the national Future Business Leaders of America conference after winning the word processing competition at the state contest in April.
    The Future Business Leaders of America 2011 National Leadership Conference will be held in Orlando, Fla., and will include 1,500 to 2,000 students from all over the United States.
    Horak, 15, of Twain Harte, will compete in the Word Processing I section, where students must format word documents and write letters.
   

Sonora man shrinks ‘footprint’

BY MOLLY TOWNSEND
The Union Democrat

    Sonora native Charles Segerstrom, manager of three energy centers focused on integrated demand side management for PG&E in Northern California, has been lessening his carbon footprint for the past three decades.
    On March 30, he was awarded the 2011 Affordable Comfort Inc. Leadership Award at the National Home Performance Conference in San Francisco.
    ACI Leadership Award winners provide vision and mentorship within the home performance and weatherization industry. They boast an unparalleled passion for improving the energy efficiency, durability, comfort, health and safety of homes, the award said.
  

Local bank receives $90K grant to aid first-time homebuyers

By MOLLY TOWNSEND
The Union Democrat

    Mother Lode Bank received a $90,000 grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank to provide down-payment matching funds for home buyers participating in the County of Tuolumne’s First-Time Homebuyer Programs.
    The Federal Home Loan Bank is a nationwide consortium of community banks, of which Mother Lode Bank is a member, said Sheila Shanahan, housing program coordinator for the County of Tuolumne.
    The grant falls under Federal Home Loan Bank’s Workforce Initiative Subsidy for Homeowners Program, and 10 percent of their combined net earnings from all member banks are set aside and used for affordable housing and economic development loan and grant programs, according to a press release.
   

Nature reigns at Country School


    Gold Rush Charter’s Country School campus on the former Sullivan Creek School property is looking more like a farm every day.
    Students spent last week participating in a plethora of Earth Week (and farm) themed activities including a plant sale, butter making and creek clean-up.
    The 90-student school is focused on environmental sustainability and has a flourishing farm and garden program, said teacher Cheryl Divine-Jonas.
    “We have a much bigger campus here. All the teachers are on board with farm and garden and sustainability,” Divine-Jonas said.
  

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