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Scout camp milestone reached

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Campers have fun on the Adventure Tower at Camp Sugar Pine in Dorrington. Mike Morris / Union Democrat, Copyright 2014.
This summer marks a major milestone for a Girl Scouts camp in Dorrington that’s home to one of the world’s largest sugar pine trees.

Camp Sugar Pine — off upper Highway 4 near Calaveras Big Trees State Park — is celebrating its 75th anniversary.

 

 


Hotter temps, lightning forecast

Triple-digit temperatures will park over the Tuolumne and Calaveras county foothills this weekend, while warm moist air in the high country could bring balmy conditions and more lightning, according to the National Weather Service.

The latest forecast from the National Weather Service calls for mostly sunny skies and temperatures ranging from 97 to 101 in the lower-elevation communities like Sonora, Angels Camp and Copperopolis today, with those same locations expected to see highs between 99 and 103 Saturday and between 96 and 99 Sunday.

 


LA man dies at Rainbow Pool

A 30-year-old Southern California man drowned Tuesday at a popular Groveland-area swimming hole.

Enkhchuluun Demberel, of Torrance, Los Angeles County, was swimming about noon at Rainbow Pool, a day-use area on the Stanislaus National Forest’s Groveland Ranger District.

“Basically, he had limited swimming ability,” said Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Sgt. Scott Johnson. “He went in water over his head and started to struggle.”


THCSD eases drought cutback

About 1,600 Twain Harte residents will no longer be required to cut their water usage in half, a ripple effect from the Tuolumne Utilities District board’s decision this week to lower TUD’s water-use reduction goal from 50 to 25 percent.

The Twain Harte Community Services District Board of Directors voted unanimously Wednesday morning to match TUD and lower its reduction goal to 25 percent as well. THCSD General Manager Tom Trott praised the community for conservation efforts that he said helped to improve the district’s water supply outlook, at least for the rest of the summer.

 


Yosemite visitors generate millions for businesses

A new National Park Service report estimates nearly 3.7 million people visited Yosemite National Park last year and spent more than $373 million in communities surrounding the park. 

Visitation was actually down from about 4 million in 2012 due to a variety of factors. Those include everything from last year’s massive Rim Fire and federal government shutdown to rising gas prices and the state’s lingering drought, said park spokeswoman Kari Cobb.

 


Sonora antique in spotlight

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Bob Brennan (left), the Smithsonian Institution’s Paul Gardullo (center) and Gerald Howard discuss the stitching pony that will be featured in a Smithsonian exhibit. Maggie Beck / Union Democrat, Copyright 2014.
A Sonora artifact is going to be the center display piece in one of the founding exhibits at the Smithsonian Institution’s newest museum. 

A Smithsonian museum curator, Paul Gardullo, has been gathering the history of African Americans in the Mother Lode this week for the National Museum of African American History and Culture — under construction right now in Washington, D.C. 


AutoZone OK’d by supervisors

Following a lengthy appeal process, the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors gave its approval Tuesday to a proposed auto parts store in Valley Springs.

The 4-1 vote, with Supervisor Merita Callaway dissenting, came after hours of discussion regarding the planning process and highway access issues with Caltrans. 


Sonora High trustees vote to save football season

Crisis was seemingly averted Tuesday night when the Sonora Union High School District Board of Trustees approved an amended bond construction schedule that won’t destroy the home football season and isn’t expected to incur much greater cost. 

The timeline still hinges on the approval of the California Environmental Quality Act initial study for the $16.7 million upcoming projects — three building renovations, track and field resurfacing and a new aquatic center.

 


TUD lowers water-use reduction goal to 25 percent

The Tuolumne Utilities District Board of Directors was able to relax some of TUD’s Phase III water restrictions Tuesday, following recent support from the state and months of diligent conservation by customers.

The board voted 5-0 to lower the district’s water-use reduction goal from 50 to 25 percent. However, customers still face a $500 fine and potential service restrictions if they don’t reduce their usage by at least 25 percent.


Mono Way widening: Full road closure looms

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Businesses along the road construction site on Mono Way remain open for business despite traffic snarls. Maggie Beck / Union Democrat, Copyrght 2014.
Mono Way widening work continues this week, and city officials are informing drivers that a full, two-week closure starting Monday will complicate travel on the busy road.

According to the City of Sonora, a short stretch of Mono Way will be shut down from July 28 through Aug. 8 while crews replace a culvert that allows drainage under the road. The closure will occur between Roselyn Lane and Rogers Road, with no through traffic allowed until the culvert is completed.


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