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Medal of Honor recipient Cavaiani dies

Columbia resident and celebrated Vietnam War veteran Jon Cavaiani died Tuesday at a Stanford hospital. He was 70.

Cavaiani was a recipient of the Medal of Honor — the nation’s highest military honor — for his service as a platoon leader in Vietnam in 1971. He was awarded the medal by former president Gerald Ford.

 


Yosemite fire grows to 3,900 acres

The El Portal fire grew another 400 acres on Wednesday, but Big Oak Flat Road was reopened to allow Highway 120 drivers to enter Yosemite Valley without detour. 

The fire reached 3,900 acres and remained at 34 percent containment as of this morning. Of those acres, 967 are in Yosemite National Park and the rest are in the Stanislaus National Forest. 

 


Lucero pleads not guilty

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Cheryl Lucero, 45, of Twain Harte, was in court Wednesday afternoon for her arraignment in the Rick Roberts murder trial. Maggie Beck / Union Democrat, Copyright 2014.
A Twain Harte woman accused of killing Sonora’s Ricky Roberts pleaded not guilty to a first-degree murder charge at a court appearance Wednesday.

Cheryl Lynn Lucero, 45, was arraigned in Tuolumne County Superior Court.


Mayo named new Visitors Bureau chief; Sikes retiring

The Tuolumne County Visitors Bureau board of directors Tuesday night announced Lisa Mayo will be the bureau’s new executive director.

Mayo will replace 26-year executive director Nanci Sikes, who announced her retirement in June. Sikes will remain in the position through October.

 


Supervisors uphold Moke River stance

The Calaveras County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday night to reaffirm its February support of state “Wild and Scenic” protection for the Mokelumne River.

Nearly 50 people, including numerous elected leaders from neighboring Amador County, spoke before the board during Tuesday’s standing-room-only meeting. The emotional back-and-forth public testimony included passionate arguments on both sides of the issue.

 


Monsoon booms through Mother Lode

A brief summer storm brought lightning and light rain to the foothills Tuesday night.

The storm was the result of monsoonal moisture creeping into the Sierra, which is expected to weaken by this afternoon.

 


El Portal Fire Day 5: Containment at 34 percent

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Tourists stop at a turnout off Highway 41 just past Wawona Tunnel in Yosemite National Park to catch a view of the El Portal Fire Tuesday afternoon. Maggie Beck / Union Democrat
Firefighters are getting a handle on the El Portal Fire burning in Yosemite National Park and evacuations for the cabin community of Old El Portal have been lifted.

The fire grew another 500 acres on Tuesday, putting the total acreage burned now at 3,545, according to a National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service update this morning. 


Sonora Regional confirms Anthem pact

Sonora Regional Medical Center on Monday sent out a reminder to the community and patients that it has an agreement with Anthem Blue Cross for people who enrolled in the Covered California Exchange.

The agreement was effective July 1 and will retroactively cover disputed claims filed since Jan. 1.

 


Dollar store has big plans in Tuolumne

A new Dollar General store is set to open in the coming months in Jamestown, and the Tennessee-based retailer is already eyeing two more locations in Tuolumne County.

Work is nearing completion on an approximately 7,200-square-foot store on Highway 108 in Jamestown and, according to Dollar General corporate headquarters, the company is targeting late September for its grand opening.


Samaritan helps man saddled with massive bill

A 67-year-old retiree saddled with a massive water bill last month is receiving some help from a mystery samaritan.

Bud Regelin, of Twain Harte, received a $6,000 bill from Tuolumne Utilities District in June after discovering an underground water leak at his Middle Camp Road home. The TUD board voted on June 24 to reduce the amount he owed to $2,905, which Regelin plans to pay in installments of $100, on top of his normal bimonthly water bill from the district.

 


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