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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.

Official say prison reform programs working, but funding uncertain

Law and justice officials in Tuolumne County are seeing success from programs intended to reintegrate high-risk offenders released from prison back into society, but there is some concern over whether the state will provide enough funding to sustain them in the coming years.

Meghan Boldemann, probation services analyst for the Tuolumne County Probation Department, told the Board of Supervisors at Tuesday’s meeting that the county’s trust fund for programs related to Assembly Bill 109 is set to run out within about two or three years unless annual funding is increased 25 to 30 percent.


Arrests made in Railroad Flat shooting

Two men were arrested Tuesday in connection with the shooting deaths of three men near Rail Road Flat.


Land Transfers for Oct. 21, 2015

Merced woman arrested in Angels Camp

A woman from Merced was arrested Saturday night after a traffic stop in Angels Camp. 

Two arrested after traffic stop

Two men were arrested Thursday morning on Appaloosa Road in Angels Camp. 

Wildcat volleyers move one step closer to MLL title

Sonora’s Riley Carpenter (7) goes on the attack Tuesday against Summerville at Bud Castle Gym. Guy Dossi / Union Democrat, Copyright 2015.
 The Sonora Wildcats stayed perfect in the Mother Lode League Tuesday with a 3-0 (25-10, 25-4, 25-8) volley victory over Tuolumne County neighbor Summerville in Bud Castle Gym.

Summerville shuts out Sonora

Summerville’s Ethan McLaurin heads away a Sonora corner kick Tuesday in the second half at Dunlavy Field. Guy Dossi / Union Democrat, Copyright 2015.
 Any time the Sonora Wildcats and the Summerville Bears play each other, team records are meaningless. Stats are meaningless. Individual achievements are meaningless. The only thing that matters is the score after 80 minutes. With that, the Bears could smile following the final whistle Tuesday night, shutting out their cross county rivals 3-0 at Dunlavy Field.

Sonora’s Bourbon Barrel opens this weekend

Downtown Sonora’s newest purveyor of spirits will hold its official grand opening this weekend.

Sonora woman weaves business out of beads

Stacey Elliott, of Sonora, began making animals and other creatures out of beads about six years ago after seeing similar creations at a craft fair in the Bay Area. Lacey Peterson / Union Democrat, Copyright 2015.
 It was at a craft show in the Bay Area that Stacey Elliott was inspired to make animals and creatures out of beads at prices anyone could afford. 

Health Fair underway

Health Fair attendees browse booths Tuesday at the Mother Lode Fairgrounds. Maggie Beck / Union Democrat, Copyright 2015.
 The Tuolumne County Health Fair opened Tuesday at the Mother Lode Fairgrounds in Sonora, and continues today. Fair hours are from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. The annual event offers low-cost health screenings and health-related information.

Friend vouches for Big Creek Fire suspect

A woman accused of sparking the Big Creek Fire near Groveland in July has a history of failing to extinguish campfires, according to Cal Fire investigation and arrest reports obtained by The Union Democrat, but a close friend of hers says she was always careful.

Sonora High pool lawsuit dead in the water

Settlement in yearlong case reached this week 

A settlement between the Sonora Union High School District and Citizens Against School Bond Abuse marks the end of a yearlong battle over constructing a new pool at Sonora High School. 

Ag industry growth continues in Tuolumne County

Tuolumne County’s agricultural industry saw a fifth consecutive year of growth in 2014. File photo / Union Democrat.
 Tuolumne County’s agricultural industry saw a fifth consecutive year of growth in 2014, according to a newly released report, but farmers and ranchers are still dealing with challenges from the four-year drought and aftermath of the Rim Fire.

Total losses unknown in Butte Fire

Debris removal workers clear metal scraps and other waste Monday at a property on Jesus Maria Road outside Mokelumne Hill in the Butte Fire burn area. Guy McCarthy / Union Democrat, Copyright 2015.
 Six weeks after the Butte Fire broke out and three weeks after the blaze was declared contained, no local, state or federal agencies have estimated a dollar amount for how much property was lost.

Three dead in Rail Road Flat shooting

Calaveras County Sheriff’s personnel investigate a crime scene Tuesday off of Railroad Flat and Doe roads. Jason Cowan / Union Democrat, Copyright 2015.
 Three people were killed Tuesday deep inside rural Calaveras County, beyond the Butte Fire burn zone in a pocket of vegetation, where houses can be found between the vast meadows, tucked into a hillside.

Calendar for Oct. 21, 2015

3 dead in shooting

UPDATE: Neighbors said they heard three gunshots around 6 a.m. Ten minutes later they heard three more and an hour after that they heard three more gunshots. They said they did not think anything of it because many people do target practice in the area.


Three people are dead after a shooting in the Railroad Flat area Tuesday, according to the Calaveras County Sheriff's Office.

Calendar for Oct. 20, 2015

Jr. Cats prevail

The Sonora Jr. Cats celebrate after beating the Tuolumne Bears. Guy Dossi / Union Democrat, Copyright 2015.
 The Sonora Jr. Cats varsity youth football team defeated the Tuolumne Bears 40-16 Saturday at Thorsted Field. The Jr. Cats (4-1) finished tied for first in the Motherlode division of the Motherlode Valley Football League while the Bears (2-3) placed fourth.

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