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Oliveira, Kearney ahead in race for two supervisor seats

Calaveras County Board of Supervisors District 3 candidate Michael Oliveira, of Arnold, held a razor-thin lead over five-term incumbent Merita Callaway in Tuesday’s election, preliminary results late Tuesday night showed.

Oliveira led with 1,591 votes, compared to Callaway’s 1,517 votes, according to an 11:40 p.m. report from the Calaveras County Elections Office.

Assessor-Recorder: Voters pick Whitman over Dambacher

Kaenan Whitman held an advantage of more than 600 votes over Mike Dambacher Tuesday night in a hotly contested race for Tuolumne County assessor-recorder.

Whitman, an appraiser in the county Assessor-Recorder’s Office, and Dambacher, who owns an appraisal business in Sonora, were vying for a four-year term to replace longtime Assessor-Recorder Ken Caetano, who is retiring at the end of the year.

Kopf, Grinnell, Ringen tops in race for TUD board

Tuolumne Utilities District candidates Jim Grinnell, Ron Ringen and Ron Kopf were leading in races for three seats on the TUD board late Tuesday, preliminary election results showed.

As of 11 p.m., Grinnell had collected 3,941 votes and Ringen 3,910, to lead a field of six running for two four-year seats. Trailing were David Harris with 3,592 votes, two-term incumbent Delbert Rotelli with 3,320, David Axelrod with 2,002, and Patrick Congdon with 2,000.

McClintock sails to win over Moore in Congressional race

Republican Congressman Tom McClintock was hanging onto a decisive lead Tuesday night over challenger Art Moore, R-Roseville, in a one-party race that gained widespread attention throughout the state.

McClintock was in the lead shortly after midnight with 84,212 votes (60.2 percent), while Moore had 55,676 votes (39.8 percent). 

Calaveras County court seat races led by Barrett, Healy

Calaveras County Superior Court judge candidates Tim Healy and Grant Barrett were headed to victory in Tuesday night’s election after a hard-fought race for a pair of seats on the bench.

Late Tuesday, Barrett, the current court commissioner, led the race for Department 1 with 6,482 votes, or 52.8 percent of the total. Challenger Dana Pfeil trailed with 5,745, or 46.8 percent.

Early election results Nov. 4, 2014

These are the results of key races in Tuesday's election. The results are as of 10:30 p.m. in Tuolumne County, with absentee ballots counted and 71 of 73 voting places reporting, and 10:24 p.m. in Calaveras County, with absentee ballots counted plus ballots logged from 27 of 30 voting places.

See complete results in Wednesday's Union Democrat.


Automated robots will battle at Bret Harte

Advisers of Bret Harte’s Cybullfrogs Club Timothy Randall (left) and Ken Baldwin hold up robots made using Lego electronic kits. Courtesy photo.
Bret Harte High School in Angels Camp will host a Lego robot sumo wrestling competition this month, open to any elementary, high school or homeschool students in the Mother Lode.

The competition will pit automated robots against each other in three-minute battles to push each other out of a ring. 

Mountain passes to reopen shortly

Ebbetts Pass reopened Monday morning and crews are working to open the Sonora and Tioga passes within the next week. 

With warmer weather forecast, several mountain passes that closed over the weekend are expected to reopen within the next few days.

Volunteers are key to election process

Elections office volunteer Mary Freer, of Jamestown (left), and auditor-controller’s office employee Lori Krein count Tuolumne County mail-in ballots Monday. Alex MacLean / Union Democrat, Copyright 2014.
Hundreds of patriotic volunteers and part-time poll workers in both Tuolumne and Calaveras counties are a major part of the effort happening behind the scenes to ensure Election Day goes off without a hitch.

About 250 people will work through the day and most of the night at polling places and elections offices in both counties to assist voters and process thousands of mail-in ballots, with little-to-no pay. 

Ski areas welcome snow

Bear Valley Mountain Resort along upper Highway 4 plans to open for the season on Nov. 29. Maggie Beck / Union Democrat. Copyright 2014.
Central Sierra ski resorts are hopeful last week’s snowfall is a good sign of things to come for the 2014-15 ski season. 

Bear Valley Mountain Resort, along upper Highway 4 just east of Calaveras County, has announced plans to open for the season on Nov. 29.

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Mon, 22 Dec 2014 15:36:16 -0800