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Feds, water districts spar over fish flows

Local elected leaders are backing two Central Valley irrigation districts that have defied a federal order to release more water this month from New Melones Reservoir for endangered fish in the Stanislaus River.

Oakdale Irrigation and South San Joaquin Irrigation districts received a notice from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation calling for the release of 16,000 acre-feet of water starting at 1 a.m. Tuesday, which federal regulators say is needed to adjust river temperatures downstream for protected fish.

Rattlesnake season arrives early

A Northern Pacific Rattlesnake. Jesse Jones / Union Democrat, Copyright 2015.
 Early spring and record warm spells in March and February have already brought out early wildflowers, early grasses — and early rattlesnakes.

Ranch people, rural residents and at least one U.S. Forest Service employee have reported rattlesnake bites and sightings in different parts of Tuolumne and Calaveras counties.  

Spring storm causes havoc

Haylie Silva, 8, walks with her family (from right) Krystal Silva, Scott Silva and Jason Silva, 13 (obscured), through the snow along Twain Harte Drive Tuesday. The Silvas parked their two-wheel drive truck along the road because they were unable to drive home in the snow. Maggie Beck / Union Democrat, Copyright 2015.
 Cool, damp weather is expected to continue this morning with clearing possible by afternoon, as one of the coldest, snowiest storms of a record-dry winter season makes its exit from the Mother Lode and Central Sierras.

Showers may continue through noon today with daytime highs in the 50s in the Sonora area. Clear skies are expected by tonight and clear, dry weather is expected to continue through this weekend, said National Weather Service forecaster Karl Swanberg.

Probation chief Arnold to retire

Read more...Tuolumne County Probation Department chief Adele Arnold announced today that she intends to retire in December.

Accident on Highway 4 reported

The California Highway Patrol and fire personnel are responding to a report of a multi-vehicle accident this morning on Highway 4 near Copperopolis.

Food by Jude: Inexpensive corn takes center stage

I have always been fascinated by food and art.  

Recently, I came across a painting called “Summer” by 16th century artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo. This portrait of a young man was completely made of produce! He had grapes for hair, a zucchini for his nose, a split open pea pod for his teeth, and, you guessed it — an “ear” of corn.

Middle College to begin enrollment for 2015-16

Sonora High School will hold an informational meeting this Thursday explaining a program placing high school students in the college classroom. 

The Middle College Program, in partnership with Columbia College, allows juniors and seniors to enroll in college courses while completing their high school education.  




County offers amnesty for tires

Tuolumne County residents can drop off tires for free disposal at two locations starting next week.

The Tuolumne County Solid Waste Division will offer “Tire Amnesty Days” April 15 through April 30 at the Groveland Transfer Station and Cal Sierra Transfer Station in East Sonora.

Calendar for April 7, 2015

Pathway upgrades along Highway 49 top of Angels Camp City Council agenda

The Angels Camp City Council tonight will vote on more than $1 million for planning and environmental review of bicycle and pedestrian-focused pathway improvements along Highway 49.

The improvements primarily include installation of sidewalks to fill gaps along Highway 49 throughout the city, an ongoing
effort by the city over the past several years, according to David Hanham, director of planning and building.

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