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Sonora’s Russell won’t run

Sonora Mayor Hank Russell will wrap up his tenure on the City Council at the end of the year.

Russell confirmed on Monday that he will not seek a fourth term on the council, leaving at least one of two seats open in the June primary without an incumbent.


Sonora lounge details offered

The City of Sonora has released some new information about why the city’s Fire Museum and Senior Lounge remain closed to the public, adding there is no sure timeline for reopening.

In a prepared statement Monday, City Administrator Tim Miller said the city opted to temporarily lock up the 125 N. Washington St. building because of a civil dispute between family members that led to on-site incidents and involved the police.


Drought, fire could rattle wildlife

State Fish and Wildlife officials are anticipating a possible increase in animal sightings this spring around drought-stricken foothill communities, near the massive 402-square-mile area burned by last year’s Rim Fire.

Scientists say animal behavior has remained normal thus far, despite the historic dry conditions and Rim Fire’s destruction of more than 257,000 acres of habitat. Fish and Wildlife biologists are expecting that to change, however, especially if the area doesn’t receive more rain this winter.


Accident causes delays in Angels Camp


The California Highway Patrol reported an injury accident this morning in the Angels Camp area.

A truck hit a utility pole about 7:45 a.m. and rolled over, landing in a ditch on Highway 49 at Gun Club Road.

The pole and lines were down and an ambulance was dispatched to the scene.

One lane was closed and CHP estimated two hours for clean-up and lane reopening.

CHP suggested taking Parrotts Ferry Road as an alternate route.

Columbia trustees set goals for school

The Columbia Elementary School Board of Trustees discussed opening its pool, playing fields and performing arts complex to more community use in the latest of a series of goal-setting meetings on Saturday. 

The district also continues to make technology upgrades, particularly to meet the needs of the new state Common Core standards. 

 


Hundreds gather to honor slain demolition car driver

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Jessica Castro, of Sonora (left), speaks at the candlelight vigil held for her brother, Rick Roberts, Sunday. Jesse Jones / Union Democrat, Copyright 2014.
With songs, stories and chants of “Ricky,” friends and family members of lifelong Sonora resident Rick Roberts remembered him Sunday night in front of his Mono Way garage.

Hundreds gathered for a candlelight vigil one week after the 49-year-old man was killed in his auto shop. The somber affair included words of faith and family, with those close to him also keeping alive the call for catching those responsible.


TUD rate hike back on agenda

PUBLIC MEETING: Tuolumne Utilities District Board of Directors,  Tuesday, 5:30 p.m., 18885 Nugget Blvd., Sonora.


The Tuolumne Utilities District board will vote Tuesday on enacting a previously stalled 2.78 percent increase on monthly water-service rates, in the first of several such increases slated for consideration this year.

The increase, originally scheduled to go into effect July 1, 2013, was suspended by the TUD board at a meeting the previous March. However, the prolonged drought has forced the board to reconsider that decision.


Bear homeowners want to buy resort

A movement to have Bear Valley Mountain Resort run as a cooperative is gaining momentum.

After a prospective buyer of the ski resort backed out last year, a Bear Valley homeowner pitched the co-op idea at a homeowners association meeting in the fall.

 

 

 


Rainy skies next week?

Rain and high-elevation snow could return to the Central Sierra and Northern California next week, the National Weather Service forecasts.

Cloudy skies Wednesday will signal a breakdown in the high pressure ridge parked off the California coast, which is bringing springlike temperatures to the region. Daytime highs this weekend are expected to be in the high 60s in foothill locations like Sonora and Angels Camp, and in the high 50s at higher elevations like Pinecrest, the Weather Service predicts.


Drought: Fish to hit road

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Fish are moved out of a tube at Moccasin Fish Hatchery Thursday. Jesse Jones / Union Democrat, Copyright 2014.
Drought conditions could impact trout planting in Tuolumne County streams, rivers and lakes later this year.

Low flows and water levels would prevent stocking in some area reservoirs and sections of the Stanislaus and Tuolumne rivers at the start of open-fishing season April 26, according to Justin Kroeze, assistant manager of the Moccasin Creek Trout Hatchery. 

 


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