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Auto students to help at Sonora gas pump

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Second-year Columbia College automotive student Gabe Orvis, 21, paints a sign for Monday’s service project. Maggie Beck / Union Democrat, Copyright 2015.
 Mother Lode drivers can expect a little something extra week at the gas pump. 


New details emerge in Sostock case

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Lori Sostock. Courtesy photo.
 New details have surfaced in the case of a Sonora family doctor and her office manager accused of improperly prescribing controlled substances to their patients.


Stay cool at the pool

Boys (from left) Parker Moore, 8, of Sonora, Andrew Foster, 11, of Columbia, Bronson Obyen, 11, of Columbia, Matthew Foster, 13, of Columbia, Axel Olson-Holm, 12, of Columbia, and Caleb Ambler, 13, of Sonora, jump into the Columbia pool Thursday. Maggie Beck / Courtesy photo, Copyright 2015.
 Kids beat the heat at local pools, which will close soon as summer winds down and Tuolumne and Calaveras county schools resume in coming weeks.


Crews battle heat to contain Big Creek Fire

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Firefighter Justin Melendez, of Cal Fire’s San Andreas Station, eases down a slope Thursday next to Sprague Road East during mop-up operations on day two of the Big Creek Fire east of Groveland. Guy McCarthy / Union Democrat, Copyright 2015.
 Firefighters worked in temperatures 90 degrees and hotter Thursday to contain the smokey Big Creek Fire that broke out Wednesday east of Groveland, scorching more than 200 acres of forest and prompting voluntary evacuations in the Hells Hollow Road area.


Mono Way debris fire contained

A debris fire on Mono Way in Sonora has been contained. 

Four engines and a water tender from Cal Fire's Tuolumne-Calaveras unit responded to the blaze, said Cal Fire spokeswoman Nancy Longmore.

When asked about the fire’s size, she said “it was just a pile of debris.”


Big Creek Fire downsized to 204 acres

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Guy McCarthy/Union Democrat, copyright 2015
Firefighters worked in temperatures 90 degrees and hotter today to contain the smokey Big Creek Fire that broke out Wednesday east of Groveland, scorching more than 200 acres of forest and prompting voluntary evacuations in the Hells Hollow Road area.


The burn area was estimated at 204 acres as of this afternoon, down from 265 acres mapped earlier today, and it was considered 5 percent contained, according to Cal Fire and the Forest Service.



Suspects sought in alleged assault

Two men are being sought in connection to an assault alleged to have occurred Wednesday night. 


The Sonora Police Department was notified about 9:25 p.m. of two young men allegedly assaulting an older man, stated a press release. Officers responded to the intersection of South Washington and Linoberg streets, where they found Thomas Fulton, 57, on the sidewalk bleeding from the face and head.

 



 


Big Creek fire to 265 acres & 5 percent containment

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Courtesy photo / Suzanne Moore
Voluntary evacuations remained in effect today for the Hells Hollow Road area due to the Big Creek Fire that broke out Wednesday afternoon east of Groveland, according to the Forest Service.


The burn area was mapped at 265 acres this morning, Nancy Longmore of Cal Fire’s Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit said in a phone interview. Incident commanders estimate the fire was 5 percent contained.


Calendar for July 30, 2015


Pucker up

Kaleb Clark, of Soulsbyville moves the puck down the floor. Guy Dossi / Union Democrat, Copyright 2015.
 High Country Sports Arena hosts a weekly pick-up roller hockey game. Players on Wednesday evening ranged from 17 to 55 years old. 


Hotlines a helpful alternative for lonely older adults

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Toll-free friendship lines are available to older adults in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties. Thinkstock.
 There are thousands of senior citizens in the Mother Lode, many of whom are lonely with few friends or family nearby.


Retired Summerville High teacher dies after 37 years of service

Read more... Longtime Summerville High School home economics teacher Marsha Husman died Saturday at her home in Sonora. She was 61. 


Laura Bush attends ceremony in Yosemite

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Jerry Edelbrock, vice president of Yosemite Conservancy (left), Laura Bush, former First Lady and co-chair of National Park Service Centennial, and Yosemite National Park Superintendent Don Neubacher participate in the Tioga Road rededication ceremony. Al Golub, Yosemite Conservancy / Courtesy photo.
 Former First Lady Laura Bush, wife of 43rd president George W. Bush, attended a ceremony Tuesday in Yosemite National Park commemorating the 100th anniversary since the original dedication of Tioga Road.


Mother Lode schools used to low enrollment

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Union Democrat, Copyright 2015.
 District officials say Mother Lode schools have adapted to lower enrollment as this year’s head-count began this week in Calaveras County.


Rim Fire remnants at root of Rosasco fire

Pine needles and other dead, woody fuels still smoldering from the 2013 Rim Fire are the apparent cause of a smokey, 3- to 4-acre fire first reported Tuesday west of Cherry Lake and north of Woods Ridge in the Groveland Ranger District, Forest Service officials said Wednesday.


Sierra Views: Darlene Mathews, animal rescuer

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Darlene Mathews, 55, of Sonora, founded Friends of the Animal Community in 2001. The organization has re-homed 4,000 animals in that time. Maggie Beck / Union Democrat, Copyright 2015.
 A trip to Animal Control in 2001 to save a neighborhood stray turned into a 15-year mission for Darlene Mathews to save as many animals as she could.


Mother Lode Christian School gets $250K makeover

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Volunteer foreman Stephen Johnson stands on a newly paved parking lot at Mother Lode Christian School. Sean Carson / Union Democrat, Copyright 2015.
 High schoolers in Tuolumne used to board a two-hour train bound for Sonora to attend class, until a school built in 1912 on Gardner Avenue saved them the trip.


Big Creek Fire burns 150 acres, prompts evacuations

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A fire reported off Highway 120 east of Groveland grew to 150 acres as of 8 p.m. Wednesday and people were being evacuated in the Hells Hollow Road area. Suzanne Moore / Courtesy photo.
A fire reported off Highway 120 east of Groveland grew to 150 acres as of 8 p.m. Wednesday and people were being evacuated in the Hells Hollow Road area, Cal Fire and Forest Service representatives said.


UPDATE: Evacuations center to open for fire east of Groveland

A fire reported this afternoon off Highway 120 east of Groveland grew to 150 acres as of 8 p.m. and people were being evacuated in the Hells Hollow Road area, Cal Fire and Forest Service representatives said.


Person injured in Sonora fire

One person sustained burn injuries Wednesday evening in a fire that broke out near Peaceful Oak Road and Mono Way in Sonora, a Cal Fire spokeswoman said.


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