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Nurse, educator Dean dies at age 78

Patricia Dean, a longtime figure in the healthcare and educational fields in Tuolumne County, died of cancer on Sunday. She was 78. 

Dean was a former head of nursing at both Tuolumne General and Sonora Community hospitals before teaching nursing at Sonora High School and Columbia College. 

Prisoners serve soft time: Hardworking firefighters lead campus-like life at SCC

Baseline Conservation Camp is a state lockup located near Sierra Conservation Center outside Jamestown. Maggie Beck / Union Democrat, Cpyright 2014.
Baseline Camp, a part of Sierra Conservation Center, the state lockup outside Jamestown, is to prison life what the Saint Francis Hotel is to a motor lodge.

There, on any given day, inmates, when not working, are free to roam yards complete with a koi-inhabited pond and barbecue pits, are fed three home-style meals a day and have access to a variety of activities like woodshop, badminton and handball. 

Range boosters say foes off target

The fate of a shooting range located off La Grange Road near Don Pedro Road is set to be decided next month by the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors.

About 200 people attended Wednesday night’s Tuolumne County Planning Commission meeting for a public hearing on a request by the range’s owners, who are seeking the necessary permits from the county to continue operating the business. Most who attended were in favor of allowing the range to continue, but a few who live close to it expressed concerns over safety and noise.

Jackson Fire update

A wildfire burning near Highway 120 and Jacksonville Road has grown to more than 60 acres.

The Jackson Fire was reported at 11:50 a.m. and has burned mostly grasslands near Lake Don Pedro’s Moccasin Marina.

An air-attack, several engines and five strike-teams are battling the blaze.

The fire was 15 percent contained as of 3:15 p.m. 

Fire quickly spreading

A grass fire has burned 25-plus acres near Highway 120 and Jacksonville Road and is headed over a ridge into the Moccasin area.


Tuolumne Road wreck injures two

Two people were injured in a three-car accident today on Tuolumne Road.

The wreck occurred about 3:30 p.m, just west of Morris Road. A Suzuki Samurai stopped to make a left turn into a driverway on Tuolumne Road when a Chevy Colorado pickup, going about 50 mph, rear-ended the Suzuki and pushed it into an oncoming Kia SUV, California Highway Patrol said.

The driver of the Suzuki was seriously injured and flown by helicopter to Sonora Regional Medical Center.

A second person, a passanger in the Chevy, suffered minor injuries and was taken by ambulance to Sonora Regional.

No other injuries were reported.  

Both lanes of Tuolumne Road were closed. By 4:30, one lane reopened.

Calaveras candidates night set in Murphys

An informal “Meet the Candidates” event is scheduled for later this month at Murphys Community Park. 

The function — to be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 28 — is being organized by the Murphys Community Club and the Murphys Business Association.


Tuolumne County arts funding restored

The Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors approved a final budget Tuesday that restores funding to a local arts organization which was cut from an earlier plan.

The Tuolumne County Arts Alliance will receive $45,000 from the county this year out of the final $168 million fiscal plan that’s good through June 30, 2015. The total amount is about $5 million more than the recommended budget adopted by the board on June 17. 

Murphys ‘Hotel Hell’ episode will air Sept. 9

“Hotel Hell” will finally check into Murphys next week.

After filming at the Murphys Hotel more than a year ago, the Fox reality show will put Calaveras County in the national spotlight at 9 p.m. Tuesday when the show airs its season finale centered around the historic inn. 

Multiple vehicle accidents reported

Ambulances are on the scene of two Tuolumne County vehicle accidents.

Medical aid was dispatched at 1 p.m. to a three-car accident on Highway 49 just past the Arco gas station, according to California Highway Patrol spokesman Jaime Pullen.

A head-on collision between a motorcycle and a pickup truck was reported at 12:49 p.m. on Highway 108 near Old Strawberry Road and immediate medical assistance requested, Pullen said.

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