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Fires still burn slowly in Yosemite

Firefighters continue to battle or monitor several fires in Yosemite National Park.

The biggest actively burning fire is the Dark Hole Fire. The fire, sparked by lightning in mid-July near the Yosemite Creek Campground, has burned 1,080 acres. It was about 75 percent contained this morning.

 


Rim Fire suspect makes bail

Tuolumne County resident Keith Emerald, accused of accidentally starting last year’s Rim Fire, was released on a $60,000 bail bond Friday.

Emerald was indicted by a federal grand jury on Aug. 7 on four counts for violating a forest order by starting an illegal campfire, letting it escape and burn timber, and then lying about it to investigators. 

 


Law and justice center on docket

PUBLIC MEETING: Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors, 9 a.m. Tuesday, fourth floor, County Administration Center, 2 S. Green St., Sonora.


Multiple major construction projects are up for discussion at Tuesday’s Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors meeting.

The board will be asked to vote on items that would allow the county’s new juvenile hall, Columbia pool repairs and replacement of the Lime Kiln Road bridge over Curtis Creek to move forward. 


Russia embraces Copper man’s biker blues

Copperopolis resident Charlie Brechtel is known in some circles as the “motorcycle ambassador.”

The 57-year-old father of five has spent more than a decade as the frontman for the Charlie Brechtel Band, playing blues songs inspired by the history of American biker culture at motorcycle rallies and events throughout the United States. 

 


Local pools closing

Summer pool hours are coming to an end this week — while the Calaveras High School pool is already closed and the Sonora High School pool is reopened after a vandalism case. 

Sonora High School’s pool was closed Sunday and Monday after a “substantial” amount of fecal matter was discovered in the pool early Sunday morning by pool staff, according to Eric Aitken, Tuolumne County recreation supervisor. 


Sanctuaries see uptick in animal reports

Read more...
Baby fawns gather around Rose Wolf Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center facilities director Nina Resnik as she tells stories about the fawns Thursday at the Rose Wolf facility. Jesse Jones / Union Democrat, Copyright 2014.
Local wildlife rescue organizations say they are receiving more calls from citizens concerned about potentially injured or orphaned animals than in previous years.

Some volunteers believe that the drought is causing a decline in food and water sources at higher elevations and forcing many wild critters into developed areas this summer.


Twain Harte Dam fix planning continues

Work continues to devise a plan to fix leaks at Twain Harte Dam, which forced the closure and draining of Twain Harte Lake early this month.

Employees of the Twain Harte Lake Association, which owns the dam, are placing survey equipment in the area to track movements in a granite dome, known as The Rock, which secures one side of the dam, according to California’s dam safety agency.

 


Changes in store for Union Democrat


Copperopolis fire's cause identified

A 5-acre fire burning near Copperopolis was caused by a man accidentally falling a tree into power lines, according to Cal Fire.

 

The blaze on the 3000 block of Paint Road was 40 percent contained Thursday afternoon. 

 

As of 2:45 p.m., Paint Road was closed to non-residents due to the downed power lines.

 

No structures were threatened, Cal Fire said.


Emerald bail deal on table

The grandmother of Keith Emerald, the Columbia man accused of starting last summer’s Rim Fire, will put up a check for $60,000 to meet Emerald’s bail, rather than Emerald and his mother risking their property for his release from custody. 

Emerald surrendered to U.S. Marshall custody in Fresno on Tuesday before his first appearance in court. He pleaded not guilty to two felonies and two misdemeanors for starting an illegal campfire, letting it escape and then lying about it, as alleged by a federal grand jury one week ago.

 


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