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Fourth drought year indicated

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California Department of Water Resources / Courtesy photos Frank Gehrke, chief of California Cooperative Snow Surveys, prepares to measure snowpack Thursday at the Phillips snow course near Echo Summit on Highway 50.
A snow survey conducted Thursday by the California Department of Water Resources found the Sierra Nevada snowpack to be far below normal.

The state’s second manual snow survey this winter was conducted Thursday at four locations. Statewide, the snow water equivalent measured by more than 100 sensors was 4 inches, 25 percent of the historic average. The snow water equivalent is the estimated amount of water that would result if the snowpack was melted instantaneously.

 


Columbia adds some late-start classes

Late-start classes at Columbia College begin Monday, replacing some of the courses cut earlier in the month because of low enrollment. 

The administration hopes to make sure such widespread cuts don’t happen again.


County to hold General Plan workshops

Two workshops are scheduled next week to review a draft of a proposed comprehensive update to the county’s General Plan, a constitution for growth and development over the next 20-plus years.

Opinion: Recent scandals put CDF in line of fire

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has a storied and proud history — one closely intertwined with Sierra Nevada communities like Calaveras and Tuolumne counties, where it is the frontline in rural fire defense.

So it’s sad to see this century-old organization’s hard-won credibility squandered. That’s the result of two back-to-back scandals involving unprofessional, and potentially unlawful, conduct by employees and leaders.


Sonora Council to vote on proposed rental rules

The Sonora City Council on Monday is scheduled to consider proposed laws regulating vacations rentals in the city, in addition to three “Vision Sonora” proposals.

City staff has recommended the council approve an ordinance that would regulate short-term vacation rentals for the first time in residential areas.


Opinion: Measles outbreak underscores need to get kids vaccinated

The good news: The California Department of Public Health reported last week that more California children are getting vaccinated before starting kindergarten.

This rise is attributed to a new state law requiring people seeking “personal belief exemptions” to get a doctor’s note before enrolling their kids in school verifying they have gotten counseling about the dangers of foregoing the shots.


Opinion: Calaveras General Plan long overdue

Calaveras County planners over coming weeks will hold a series of public workshops on the county’s new draft of its General Plan.

Three words to describe this occasion: It’s... About... Time.


Opinion: Berryhill, Bigelow bill will protect water supplies

Our local lawmakers State Sen. Tom Berryhill and Assemblyman Frank Bigelow have coauthored a bill that would deflect any future attempts to protect a pristine, 37-mile stretch of the Mokelumne River.

Assembly Bill 142 would require the California Natural Resources Agency to “ensure that all environmental and water supply effects” be weighed before “Wild and Scenic” status could be granted on the Mokelumne. Such a designation would prohibit any future development of dams or pipelines.

 



Climber, 24, dies after Yosemite fall

A Fresno climber died Sunday afternoon in Yosemite National Park when he fell more than 400 feet while descending the Royal Arches, a park ranger said.

Cody Byers Long, 24, and a partner had climbed the regular route on the Arches. They were rappelling when Long fell about 3 p.m., park spokeswoman Kari Cobb said.


Rare Sierra Nevada fox spotted in Yosemite

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A rare Sierra Nevada red fox was photographed by a motion-sensitive camera in Yosemite National Park. National Park Service / Courtesy photo.
 A rare Sierra Nevada red fox recently was caught on motion-sensitive cameras at Yosemite National Park.

Park rangers Wednesday touted two recent sightings in the far north section of the park.


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