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Sheriff, CHP to address crime at Groveland town hall meet

Crime will be the focus of a town hall meeting in Groveland scheduled for early next month. 

Columbia State Park Lamplight tours set

Columbia State Historic Park and Friends of Columbia has announced the theme of this year’s Lamplight Tour, “The Thing That Saved Columbia.” 

Vets Corner: Vietnam Cavalry veterans sought

On Nov. 21, 1966, C Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, fought a deadly battle at Ph Athena, Cambodia. The company sustained 33 killed in action in a short time.

Bret Harte eyes 4th victory vs. Riverbank

Last week, Bret Harte fumbled the ball four times vs. Amador en route to a 34-7 defeat in Angels Camp.

Wildcats go for 2nd straight MLL title vs. Buffs

The Sonora Wildcats had fun Wednesday at football practice. There were smiles, jokes and laughter.

Preuss to make varsity debut

Calaveras’ Noah Preuss carries the ball in practice Tuesday in San Andreas. Guy Dossi / Union Democrat, Copyright 2015.
 The Trojans had a horse.

President Roosevelt and Truman had the Manhattan Project. 

And the Calaveras Redskins have Noah Preuss. 

Fulkerson returns, to play QB for Bears

Summerville’s Eli McLaurin makes a recpetion Wednesday during practice in Tuolumne. McLaurin has caught more passes than any receiver in the area. Maggie Beck / Union Democrat, Copyright 2015.
 Jake Fulkerson has led the Summerville Bears onto the field the last four Friday nights. While his teammates were dressed in their battle gear, Fulkerson wore a No. 16 jersey, a Summerville hat and shorts.

New church organ has classic sounds

Tom Sharpe and Larry Kram stand together in front of the new organ inside St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Sonora. Lydia Browning / Union Democrat, Copyright 2015.
 St. Matthew Lutheran Church in East Sonora has replaced its 30 year-old organ with a new digital pipe organ. 

House OKs McClintock default prevention bill

The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed legislation by Mother Lode Congressman Tom McClintock, R-Roseville, intended to avert the nation’s first-ever default on debt payments.

Kids learn about health, emergency responders

Paramedics demonstrate how a gurney and ambulance work to a group of Copperopolis Elementary School kindergartners. Maggie Beck / Union Democrat, Copyright 2015.
 A visit to the emergency room can be a scary trip for young children.

Large turnout anticipated for hearing on controversial discount store proposal

About 200 people, most in opposition, attend an earlier forum on the proposed Dollar General store in Columbia. Courtesy photo.
 A proposed Dollar General store in Columbia continues to court controversy.

Soulsbyville Elementary School cafeteria going green

Soulsbyville Elementary School fourth graders eat lunch Thursday from new green trays. The students are (front to back): left row — Mckayla Marenco, Gabrielle Andrews (obscured) and Ashley Keith; right row — Cloyie Richie, Nevaeh Moonan and Destini Petts. Sean Carson / Union Democrat, Copyright 2015.
 Soulsbyville Elementary School student Dean Trimeloni has a new job on the “green line,” an environmentally friendly addition to the school cafeteria launched this month. 

Poverty in the foothills: About 12,600 residents in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties affected

Sonora might be one of the “Richest Small Towns in America,” but thousands of Mother Lode residents are living in poverty.  


Gov. Brown signs off on Moke River Wild and Scenic study

The Mokelumne River flows Thursday under the Middle Bar Bridge. Gov. Jerry Brown Oct. 9 signed the Mokelumne Wild and Scenic River study bill. Maggie Beck / Union Democrat, Copyright 2015.
 Between Calaveras and Amador counties, beyond a winding stretch of highway along steep hillsides, lies a river within a canyon.

Resource officers were once part of school life

Lt. Neil Evans of the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office talks about his years being a school resource officer at the Jamestown and Columbia elementary school districts. Maggie Beck / Union Democrat, copyright 2015
Since the arrests of four students in connection with a shooting plot at Summerville High School this month, schools have called law enforcement on a weekly basis.

But, the calls could have been answered by officers already stationed on campus, a much needed resource cut from Tuolumne County schools over the past decade, Lt. Neil Evans of the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office said.

Officials say shooting was pot related

Read more... Two men were arrested Tuesday evening in connection with a triple homicide that took place on the 1400 block of South Railroad Flat Road, directly across the street from Doe Road between Rail Road Flat and Mountain Ranch.

The men were shot to death on a piece of property that Calaveras County Sheriff Gary Kuntz called a fairly large yet legal medical marijuana grow.


Details limited on court hearings for Summerville High students

The Tuolumne County District Attorney’s office will not release any more information on court proceedings involving four teens accused of threatening to shoot teachers and students at Summerville High School earlier this month.

All parties involved are minors and, as such, any information beyond the date and location of hearings will not be released to the public, according to an email sent to employees in the District Attorney’s Office this week.

Courthouse Square giant sequoia to come down

A now-dead giant sequoia planted in Sonora’s Courthouse Square in 1936 is on the city’s chopping block. Maggie Beck / Union Democrat, copyright 2015
Another tree at Courthouse Square in downtown Sonora is on the chopping block — a dead giant sequoia.    

In January, the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors approved a $40,000 maintenance project that involved removing seven of the 18 trees that were planted at the historic park when it was established in 1936.

Holiday flavored coffees wrapped up with calories, sugar

Holiday flavored drinks are here, and with them come oodles of extra sugar and calories to start the season’s weight gain.

Pumpkin spice, peppermint and maple are just some of the common flavors that can be added to coffee drinks or hot chocolate that increases sugar content and calories.

Expert says hormone replacement therapy generally safe

Dr. Chrystal Bradley talks about benefits and risks of menopausal hormone replacement therapy Thursday at the Sonora Elks Lodge. Lacey Peterson / Union Democrat, copyright 2015
The risks of hormone replacement therapy for menopausal symptoms has been sensationalized in recent years, said Dr. Chrystal Bradley, an obstetrics and gynecology specialist at Sonora Regional Medical Center’s Sierra OB/GYN practice.

The absolute increase in possible negative effects is relatively low, and the hormones appear to be protective against other health issues.

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