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Lake McClure still struggling

A photo taken Dec. 11 shows low water levels near Barret Cove at Lake McClure in northern Mariposa County. Randy Gilgo / Courtesy photo.
At least one water district in the area is still struggling to keep the taps flowing despite recent rains that have bolstered reservoir storage elsewhere in the state.

The Lake Don Pedro Community Services District on Dec. 3 enacted mandatory conservation measures requiring customers to slash their usage by 30 percent each month over last year, District General Manager Pete Kampa told the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors at Tuesday’s meeting.

Angels Camp girl reported missing

Crystal Houle was reported missing Wednesday night in Angels Camp.
Police are looking for a 16-year-old Angels Camp girl.

Portion of South Stewart Street to close Thursday

A portion of South Stewart Street will be closed for hazard tree removal Thursday, according to Sonora city officials.

The trunk of a large redwood tree in the 400 block of Stewart Street will be removed. The upper portion of the tree was blown down in a Dec. 12 windstorm and damaged a business and neighboring garage. South Stewart Street will be closed from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. to traffic in both directions.

Former area teacher accused of sex with minor

A former Don Pedro High School teacher was arrested on suspicion of having sex with a minor during the time he taught at the school in 2013. 

Jeremy Monn, 31, of Paso Robles, was arrested by the Merced Police Department Friday at his home on a warrant for 20 counts of sexual acts with a minor. 

Fire insurance rates examined by supervisors

Tuolumne County officials are hoping to gather more information from area residents about any trouble they’ve had in obtaining affordable fire insurance for their homes.

The Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday heard a presentation from County Administrator Craig Pedro and local fire chiefs regarding the growing issue of county residents being unable to find affordable fire coverage, if any at all.

Lucero murder trial date scheduled

Cheryl Lucero is led into the Tuolumne County Courthouse in shackles Tuesday. Maggie Beck / Union Democrat, Copyright 2014.
A trial date was set Tuesday afternoon for a woman accused of killing 49-year-old Sonora resident Rick Roberts earlier this year. 

Cheryl Lynn Lucero, 45, appeared in court about 3 p.m. with her attorney, Clay Bedford, in Tuolumne County Superior Court Department 2. Deputy District Attorney Eric Hovatter appeared for the prosecution.

Dodge Ridge opens today, after recent storms bring much-needed snow

Dodge Ridge Winter Sports Area Marketing Director Sean Waterman (left) and Mountain Manager Jason Smith make a final run down one of the slopes on Tuesday in preparation for today’s opening. Jesse Jones / Union Democrat, Copyright 2014.
Employees at Dodge Ridge Winter Sports Area plan to open today and have a half-dozen lifts ready by 9 a.m. for skiers and snowboarders to access at least 27 groomed runs, resort officials said.

Since Thursday the Dodge Ridge area has received more than a foot of new snow, including 19 inches at the 8,200-foot summit, according to Valerie Whetzel, marketing director at Dodge Ridge. An additional 8 inches of snow was possible by Wednesday afternoon.

Letters to Santa

Letters to Santa will appear in Thursday’s Union Democrat, incorrect information appeared in today’s paper.

Area CHP officer Norton deployed to Oakland riots

Read more...A Sonora California Highway Patrol officer last week went to the heart of the Oakland riots as part of a newly formed squad.

Officer Nick Norton, of Jamestown, patrolled Oakland streets and freeways from Tuesday through Thursday with the Central Division Special Response team, formed last summer. The team includes about 80 officers from Kern, Kings, Fresno, Mariposa, Merced, Stanislaus and Tulare counties. Norton was the only officer from Tuolumne County.

Ebbetts Pass Elves: Santa’s helpers

The Ebbetts Pass Elves include Mike Brown (left) and Bill Cleveland, who work on handmade wooden toys Monday at Brown’s Arnold shop. Mike Morris / Union Democrat, Copyright 2014.
A group of hard-working retirees — dubbed the Ebbetts Pass Elves — are making Arnold a bit more like the North Pole. 

While Arnold might not have reindeer or the snowfall totals of the North Pole, the elves have no shortage of Christmas spirit. In fact, they work throughout the year hand-making wooden toys that are given to children at Christmastime. 

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Sat, 31 Jan 2015 11:14:49 -0800