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Rim Fire trial moving forward

The Columbia man accused of starting last year’s Rim Fire is scheduled to appear in federal court next week.

Defense attorneys for Keith Emerald and prosecutors will hold a status conference to update the judge on the case’s progress Oct. 14 at the U.S. District Court in Fresno.

Law limits school discipline measures

A new law will deny school districts the ability to expel any students in grades K-12 for disrupting class or defying school authority. 

Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB 420 into law in late September. In addition to limiting the range of offenses for which a student may be expelled, the law also denies the ability to suspend students in grades K-3 for defiance. 

Threat of enterovirus low, caution still urged

Local public health officials say the danger of Enterovirus D68 is low but urge residents to take precautions like hand washing and good hygiene practices. 

No cases of Enterovirus D68 have been reported in Tuolumne or Calaveras counties. 

Board will weigh gun range permits

The Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will consider issuing the necessary permits to allow a firearms training school to continue operating on Diestel Turkey ranch property near Jamestown.

A public hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Board of Supervisors chambers on the fourth floor of the county administrative building, at 2 S. Green St. in Sonora, for a request by property owners Timothy and Joan Diestel, on behalf of the school’s owners, John and Tami Popke.


New Sonora parking regs debated

PUBLIC MEETING: Sonora City Council, 5 p.m., Monday, City Hall, 94 N. Washington St.


The Sonora City Council on Monday is set to consider proposed parking and traffic rules that have rankled several people because of restrictions on long-term street parking and the posting of “for sale” signs on cars.

Council members and city staff have received a number of emails and letters from citizens protesting the ordinances that were formally introduced at the council’s Sept. 22 meeting.

Angels clinic road controversy returns Tuesday

PUBLIC MEETING: Angels Camp City Council, 6 p.m. Tuesday, Angels Fire House, 1404 Vallecito Road, Angels Camp.

Mark Twain Health Care District’s plans to build a medical clinic near the intersection of highways 4 and 49 will return Tuesday before the Angels Camp City Council.

A public hearing will be held on whether to change the city’s land-use designation at the site from “medium-density residential” to “community commercial.”

Columbia College crime low, report says

Columbia College had no serious crimes to report for the first time last year, according to an annual college report.

The report is mostly for serious felony crimes, but smaller crimes are down, too, according to Greg Elam, security supervisor.

Public helps planners settle on ‘vision’ for Sonora

Tuolumne County residents (from left) Joanne Edwards, of Sonora, Chuck Edwards, of Sonora, and Brian Kermeen, of Columbia, talk with Sonora City Administrator Tim Miller about proposed projects under the “Vision Sonora” plan during a meeting Thursday at Sonora City Hall. Alex MacLean / Union Democrat, Copyright 2014.
More than 30 people attended a meeting Thursday afternoon to provide input on the projects and programs that will be part of the city’s “Vision Sonora” community beautification plan.

Displays featuring 16 proposed projects and eight programs were set up in the City Council Chambers. Attendees, using stickers, ranked which they thought should be considered a short-term, mid-term or long-term priority. 

New Melones water releases blasted

The water level at New Melones Marina has dropped significantly because of the three-year drought. Jesse Jones / Union Democrat, Copyright 2014.
Area leaders are outraged over the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s plans to move forward sometime later this month with required “pulse flows” for fish, which will drain about 35,000 acre-feet of water out of New Melones Reservoir by November as the three-year drought persists.

More than 23,000 acre-feet of water are planned to be released from the reservoir into the Stanislaus River to benefit fall-run Chinook salmon between October and November. An additional 12,000 acre-feet will be released over the same period to maintain minimum flow requirements in the river.


Two-car accident on Highway 108

A person suffered minor injuries in an auto accident this morning on Highway 108.

The two-car collision was reported about 9:15 a.m. in the Sierra Village area, according to a California Highway Patrol.

The injured person was taken to a hospital by ambulance, according to the CHP

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Sun, 23 Nov 2014 19:14:55 -0800