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State Farm Bureau president urges political action

    California Farm Bureau Federation President Paul Wenger urged local members to political action in his guest speech  Saturday at the annual Tuolumne County Farm Bureau dinner.
    Wenger told about 100 people in attendance at the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Posse Grounds in Jamestown that farmers and ranchers must vote and donate to agriculture-affiliated political action committees to preserve the future of the industry in California.

Ski resort celebrates 6 decades of snow fun

    Dodge Ridge Ski Resort celebrates its 60th anniversary this year with a nod to its past as it prepares for the significant changes in store for the future.
    The resort opened in 1950 under the direction of owner Earl Purdy.
    At the time, the resort had fewer than 50 seasonal employees, a single lodge, chair lift and rope tow, according to a release by Marketing Manager Amber Jenquin.
    The current owners, Frank and Sally Helm, bought Dodge Ridge in 1976.

Gas sales return to Harte

    Twain Harte’s only gas station will soon be back in operation.
    Wayne Smith, who owns the former Wayne’s Twain Harte Shell with his wife, Lori, said the State Water Resources Control Board called last week to say his request for a grant to pay for state-mandated improvements was approved.

Yard sales can be serious business

   The amount of stuff people can accumulate over the course of a lifetime can be mind-boggling.

    A trip to a yard sale can unearth inspirational books left unread, paraphernalia of hobbies that never took off, the well-meant but ultimately useless gifts that gather dust in the corner — all the things people don’t notice until it’s time to move to a new home, or go to store the latest acquisition and realize they’re out of room.

Growers: High quality grapes possible

    This year’s grape harvest is off to a late, but very promising start, according to local growers.
    Steve Collum, founder of Vineyard Concepts, a consultation company specializing in the design and installation of trellis systems, is also the manager of Indian Rock Vineyards in Murphys.

Obama signs Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 bill

    President Barack Obama signed into law Monday a bill that extends and expands tax breaks and other benefits to small businesses in an effort to encourage businesses to invest and grow.
    The bill, called the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, immediately extends certain provisions of the Small Business Administration Recovery Act, including lending to small businesses and eight additional tax cuts meant to spur investment.

Mine’s success written in stone

    Limestone has many uses. Just ask Carey Haughy, president of Blue Mountain Minerals, a limestone mining outfit north of Columbia.
    Anywhere from 500,000 to 1 million tons of the stuff are extracted from the surface mine annually.
    The limestone shipped out of Blue Mountain Minerals is a primary ingredient in glass manufacturing; it serves as a calcium supplement for cattle and chicken feed; it’s used in coal-burning power plants to reduce acid rain; and it’s placed on embattled farm soil in the Central Valley to restore its PH level.

More concessions open at Columbia State Historic Park

    Columbia State Historic Park is almost back to normal after being in an economic funk for the past year or so.
    The latest business to reopen in town is the What Cheer Saloon in the City Hotel. It opened about two weeks ago. The City Hotel Restaurant, known for fine dining and festive events, is slated to open by Oct. 1, said Jackie Briggs, who with her husband, Jeff, took over seven separate venues in March.
    The town has been especially hurting since June 2009, when a former concessionaire pulled out of those venues — City Hotel, City Hotel restaurant, Fallon Hotel, Fallon Ice Cream Parlor, Jenny Lind restaurant (now Bart’s Black Skillet), What Cheer Saloon and Fallon Theater.

Golden St. customers enjoy more features

    Golden State Cellular customers can now use top-of-the-line smart phone features — including picture messaging and Web browsing — throughout the country.
    Golden State, with stores in Angels Camp and Sonora, announced this month that it reached a reciprocal data-roaming agreement with Verizon Wireless that allows for the expanded service.
    In addition, Verizon customers will now be able to access the same data features while on Golden State’s network in the Mother Lode, according to a news release from the local provider.

Ag report: Housing market wilts plant, lumber sales

    The down housing market’s economic effects are even being felt by farmers, according to the latest Tuolumne County crop report.
    A lack of demand for development has, in turn, reduced the demand for landscaping plants, according to county Agricultural Commissioner Vicki Helmar, who compiled the report.

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