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Cash is king as home sales rise

    Money talks, as the saying goes.
    And its voice has been particularly loud in the Tuolumne County housing market, where cash sales have accounted for more than a third of all homes bought in the past several months.
    Roughly 38 percent of homes sold in February were purchased with cash, according to Ann Ritchie, executive officer with the Tuolumne County Association of Realtors. This is a significant increase over the same month in 2009, when cash home sales accounted for 27 percent of the local market.

Bret Harte students attend conference, receive FFA degrees

    Bret Harte High School FFA students attended the FFA Central Region Conference March 17 at San Joaquin Delta College and 15 received State FFA degrees.
    The State FFA Degree is the highest state award an FFA member can achieve, said Roy Beck, Bret Harte High agriculture teacher.
    “It’s a pretty big honor, Beck said.
    Students who earned the award included juniors Caitlin Ramorini, Shannon Tower, Amanda French, Krystin Peirano, Kelsey Lowe, Lauren Young, Laura Chraft, Stephen Molina, Austin Whittle, Justice Rasmussen, Heather Kirkendall, Bradley Pappageorge and Dylan Cano; and seniors Jordyn Rohrabaugh and Danielle Kumanchik.
  Angels Camp agriculture supporter Darrin Mills was also awarded the “Hometown Hero Award,” Beck said.

Lungren talks biz, ag legislation

    Congressman Dan Lungren fielded questions on health care reform, water supply, energy and interstate commerce last week at a “listening session” at Ironstone Vineyards in Murphys.
    Lungren, (R-Fair Oaks), became the co-chairman of the Congressional Wine Caucus as the 112th Congress opened Jan. 3, part of the prompting for the gathering which attracted about 50 people, including those from the wine, health care, tourism and business communities.

Bears’ Business Team heads to state contest

    Summerville High School students proved their mettle at the regional Future Business Leaders of America conference and will compete in the state contest in April.
    The Summerville High team competed at the California Future Business Leaders of America Central Section Leadership Conference March 5 at James Enochs High School in Modesto and all seven members qualified to compete in the state contest to be held April 14 to 17 in Santa Clara.

TUD says no to developer financing proposal

    Tuolumne Utilities District directors declined by a split vote to participate in a statewide program to provide up-front cash for developer impact fees.
    The program’s purpose, states a staff report to the TUD board, is to spark growth and investment in the local economy. Financing would be provided to a developer through the formation of an assessment district and the issuance of tax exempt bonds which would be paid back by property tax assessments over time — up to 30 years.

Businesses open, expand, move and close

    Some shifting is underway in Sonora’s downtown business community.
    A leather clothing retailer is set to close by mid-April, an expansion is under way at Grocery Outlet, a new specialized landscaping store has opened downtown and the owner of Sonora’s taco truck has grown operations.
    In addition, a longtime auto shop — Wright’s Tire Services — once near Sonora’s Subway restaurant has moved across the street. The shop is now located at 694 S. Washington St.

Angels Camp Prompt Care makes its debut

    Sonora Regional Medical Center on Tuesday hosted a ribbon-cutting for its latest health clinic, Angels Camp Prompt Care.
    The public open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony at 23 N. Main St., brought together business leaders from the Calaveras County Chamber of Commerce and Sonora Regional Medical Center administrators, physicians and staff took part in the ceremony.
    The Angels Camp Prompt Care becomes the third Prompt Care service operating under the Sonora Regional Medical Center Adventist Health brand.
    As with the established Indian Rock and Forest Road Prompt Cares in Sonora, the Angels Camp Prompt Care will be staffed by physicians from the Sierra Emergency Medical Group, who also staff the emergency department at Sonora Regional Medical Center.
    The initial center, Indian Rock Prompt Care in East Sonora, opened in 1992 and Forest Road Prompt Care opened in 2007 in response to the closure of the county hospital in Sonora.
    For additional information, call 536-5020.

TuCARE dinner draws big crowd; locals given awards

    More than 340 people attended the main fundraiser of the year sponsored by Tuolumne County Alliance for Resources and Environment on March 12.
    About $8,200 was raised for the group’s Tour for Kids Program and other funding needs.
    Several awards were handed out during the evening.
    Mike Olenchalk, of Sierra Outdoor School, was given the Excellence in Education award for his work with the Forestry Institute for Teachers.
    Conservationist of the Year award went to Dave Horak, of the U.S. Forest Service for his commitment to working with the public and their lands using best management practices.

Supervisors support Mother Lode Job Training with letter

    A request for support from a local job assistance agency last week spawned a larger discussion of federal budget deficit by the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors.
    Mother Lode Job Training officials asked supervisors to send a letter to members of Congress urging them to oppose proposed cuts in the House’s version of a federal budget bill.
    The cuts, job training officials say, could shut down local employment centers. The all-encompassing bill — House Resolution 1 — proposes cuts to many programs.

Segerstrom moves to the digital world

    The world of interior design is abuzz about Sonora designer Shiree Segerstrom.
    Segerstrom was featured recently on the influential Thestylesaloniste.com blog of best-selling author and designer Diane Dorrans Saeks and will soon be featured in C magazine, a publication that celebrates California’s unique style.
    Segerstrom, 52, formerly operated a design store, S.S. Home, in downtown Sonora but in recent years went to the Web for her base as the economy declined. She has done most of her work in the Sonora and Sacramento areas with the occasional venture into San Francisco or Los Angeles.

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