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Mono Way paving work delayed

Paving on Mono Way scheduled for between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m., tonight through Tuesday morning, has been called off due to anticipated rain after midnight, according to Sonora City Engineer Gerard Fuccillo.

Man, 20, jailed on sex charges

Trevon Leemont Davis was booked into Tuolumne County Jail Friday. Courtesy photo.
 A 20-year-old Columbia man was arrested and booked into jail Friday on charges of sexually assaulting a minor and told police he believed it was “all right” because she was his girlfriend, according to the Sonora Police Department. 


Final stages of Mono Way construction in progress

Read more...Watch out for flaggers who will be directing traffic today and next week in Sonora for construction along Mono Way. 

Traffic controls at Mono Way and Greenley Road have been in effect since 7 a.m. Thursday morning and are scheduled to remain in place through today, according to city officials. 

Calaveras General Plan workshops set

A series of community workshops scheduled throughout the next month aim to inform the public about Calaveras County’s General Plan.

County staffers and the county’s Sonora-based consultant will be available to answer questions on the draft land-use plan and review a draft map. They also anticipate helping residents find the use designations for their properties. 

Area reservoirs have more water than 2014

Despite January being bone-dry, high-country reservoirs actually have more water now than at this time last year.

“Both Lyons and Pinecrest are much fuller than they were last year,” said Tom Trott of the Twain Harte Community Services District. “It’s a good place to start this year, even though there’s been no rain for a month, or snow.”

Cow rescued from mineshaft

Veterinarian Wes Wittman (left) oversees the rescue of Molly, a Brahma cow who fell down a mineshaft on Monday. Jesse Jones / Union Democrat, Copyright 2015.
After nearly four days in a Tuttletown mineshaft, a Brahma cow named Molly was rescued Thursday afternoon by a team of veterinarians, animal control officers and tow truck operators.

The 9-year-old white cow, owned by Tuttletown residents Antoinette and Bill Nichols, was saved from the 35-foot deep mine shaft on the Nichols’ property by the University of California, Davis, Veterinary Emergency Response Team. 

Vision Sonora plan to go before council

Three projects proposed under the city’s “Vision Sonora” community beautification plan will go to the Sonora City Council for consideration in the coming weeks.

A public restroom on Stewart Street, permanent closure of Linoberg Street and a makeover of the Stockton Road corridor between Green Street and the fairgrounds are three proposals the council will be asked to greenlight in the near future, most likely at meetings in February or early March.

Study: State forests denser, more vulnerable to wildfire

Dense tree growth in the Stanislaus National Forest can be seen along Highway 108. Jesse Jones / Union Democrat, Copyright 2015.
 A study released Tuesday found that California forests over the past 70 years have become more dense and more vulnerable to wildfire.

Firefighting tactics, timber harvest practices and drought all have helped shape the state’s forests, leading to this vulnerability.

New Moke River bill introduced

New legislation calling for a study of the Mokelumne River before it can receive “Wild and Scenic” protection has been introduced by a pair of Mother Lode lawmakers. 

Assemblyman Frank Bigelow, R-O’Neals, and Sen. Tom Berryhill, R-Twain Harte, introduced Assembly Bill 142 last week. It directs the secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency to conduct a study to “ensure that all environmental and water supply effects are taken into account” before Wild and Scenic status can be granted. 

Sierra Views: Blacksmith is living history

Shaws Flat area resident Zane Orr ran a stagecoach business at Columbia State Historic Park for a number of years. Guy McCarthy / Union Democrat, Copyright 2015.
 A 91-year-old former blacksmith, wheelwright, lumber plant worker and World War II Navy veteran lives in the Shaws Flat area. 

Zane Orr is retired and spends part of his days at coffee shops like the Heart Rock Cafe in Sonora. He gets around fine on his own, and he is known as a sharp wit with storytelling skills. He says he once shod 16 horses in eight hours for the pack station at Kennedy Meadows.

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