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Reaching for the stars: ‘American Idol’ contestant is not sheepish

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Sheep Ranch resident Gary Souza, 22, plays “Hey Drinka,” a song he wrote and performed in his “American Idol” audition. Maggie Beck / Union Democrat, Copyright 2014.
As a senior at Calaveras High School, Gary Souza was voted “Most Likely to be a Rock Star.”

At 22, he looks the part: wearing ripped jeans and a shark’s tooth necklace — a good-luck charm that once belonged to his grandfather.


Summerville stadium pricetag grows by $1M

The Summerville Union High School District’s bond-funded stadium project could cost $1 million more than projected, and may not be completed before the start of football season, district board members were told Wednesday.

The board met in a specially arranged meeting with contractor Robert Boyer and a representative of the architecture firm BCA. Boyer updated the board on initial bids for specific parts of the stadium project, which includes a new football/soccer field, track and bleachers. 


Tenants get more time in sewer flap

The Jamestown Sanitary District board prevented dozens of people from becoming homeless later this month by giving their landlord until May to pay a large, outstanding sewer bill.

Jamestown landlord Stewart Hatler still must pay about $38,000 in past-due bills on 15 low-income units around Seventh Street, Ninth Avenue and Maple Alley, or else the district will disconnect those properties from the sewer. 


Angels agrees to charge for grazing

The City of Angels Camp is now accepting proposals from ranchers who would pay to graze their animals on city-owned land.

The land — about 200 acres on the city’s southern edge — includes 60 acres irrigated with the city’s treated wastewater. 


Water measures likely expensive

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Water levels at New Melones Reservoir are exceptionally low due to the prolonged drought. Maggie Beck / Union Democrat, Copyright 2014.
Upcoming measures to provide Tuolumne County residents with water could prove costly, officials said Tuesday.

The Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors and Sonora City Council both received an update on the likely realities the community will face for the coming months with a tight water supply. 


Schools plow into FFA week

Future Farmers of America students will publicly promote their organization this week for national FFA week.

The recognition is considered particularly important this year because a long-standing state agriculture grant is not included in next year’s state budget. Students are hoping to help get it restored.

 


Little dogs bound for Boise

Fifteen Chihuahuas boarded an airplane Monday morning in San Andreas, headed for adoption in Boise, Idaho.

The dogs were rescued a few weeks ago from a house in Glencoe.


Family, friends mourn Roberts

Read more...Rick Roberts wore his faith on his sleeve, but he wore it on his car as well.

Somewhat of a local celebrity for his decades in the area’s demolition derby circuit before being killed Sunday, his recognizable “U2” car also often had another message.


Drought update slated Tuesday

PUBLIC MEETING: Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors, 9 a.m. Tuesday, County Administration Building, 2 S. Green St., Sonora. 

Tuolumne County leaders will discuss the ongoing drought and its local implications Tuesday.

The county Board of Supervisors is scheduled to receive an update on the water supply situation from representatives with local water districts.



New plan for Yosemite management unveiled

The final draft of a controversial 15-year plan to manage Yosemite Valley and the Merced River corridor in Yosemite National Park received a mixed reaction when it was released Friday.

Business advocates who initially opposed an earlier draft of the plan — which called for removing some popular amenities and an historic bridge along the Merced River — praised the changes included in the National Park Service’s latest version.


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