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Positive behavior support pays off

Positive behavior and character reinforcing programs are gaining popularity — and apparent results — in Mother Lode schools. 

Most schools in Tuolumne County and some in Calaveras County have adopted some form of positive behavior reinforcement program, in which staff don’t just take disciplinary action, they take reward action for kids who follow the rules and exemplify positive behavior. 


Hiking and biking in full swing as temperatures remain springlike

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Vehicles file through the Yosemite Valley underneath the iconic Half Dome. Unseasonably warm and dry weather in the high country make for springlike conditions in the park. Chris Caskey / Union Democrat, Copyright 2014.
Heading up to Yosemite National Park over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend is usually a bit of an arduous task for the O’Connells. 

The San Luis Obispo-area family would typically have to pack winter gear, deal with the tire chains on their RV and leave the bikes at home.


Mark Twain school to benefit from sidewalks

PUBLIC MEETING: Angels Camp City Council, 6 p.m. Tuesday, 1404 Vallecito Road, Angels Camp. 

Angels Camp could be one step closer this week to new sidewalks near Mark Twain Elementary School.

The city was awarded state funds from the Safe Route to School program to construct sidewalks on Stanislaus and San Joaquin avenues near the school.


State awards county jail $$

Tuolumne County last week was awarded a $20 million state grant to build a new jail.

The California Board of State and Community Corrections formally approved the funding at a Thursday meeting.


Gov. declares drought, conservation urged

Tuolumne Utilities District ramped up voluntary water conservation efforts Friday, the same day Gov. Jerry Brown confirmed what lawmakers and water managers have been saying for weeks — California is facing a critical water shortage in what’s projected to be the driest year in state history.

Brown proclaimed a state of emergency Friday due to the ongoing dry conditions across California that have caused water supplies to dip to alarmingly low levels. The TUD board voted Friday afternoon to enter “Phase II” water conservation, which launches a public awareness campaign calling on customers to voluntarily cut down on water use.


Elections take shape in counties

Candidates continue to pull election paperwork in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties.

Several key posts in county government, along with state and district offices, will be voted on in the June 3 primary election. 


Dems field House hopeful

A Democrat has filed the required paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission to run for the U.S. House of Representatives in California’s 4th Congressional District, which encompasses both Tuolumne and Calaveras counties.

Kris Johnson, of Granite Bay, will challenge Republican incumbent Congressman Tom McClintock, who maintains an office in Granite Bay and resides outside of the district in Elk Grove.


Jerry Snyder: A storied career

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Jerry Snyder, of Sonora, talks about the clip of himself that was used in the movie “Fahrenheit 9/11” while he worked for the Federal Aviation Administration. Jesse Jones / Union Democrat, Copyright 2014.
Jerry Snyder says his career has been crisis management from the start.

During nearly three decades with the U.S. Coast Guard, he rescued stranded boats, assisted with an oil spill in the San Francisco Bay and helped coordinate the return of  a whale named J.J. to the Pacific Ocean.


Dry weather dominates forecasts

Recent weather forecasts suggest it’s unlikely the Central Sierra will receive any form of precipitation through early next week — at least.

Higher than normal temperatures and mostly clear skies are predicted for the area through Tuesday. 


TUD board calls for water conservation

As dry weather lingers across California, the Tuolumne Utilities District could decide to join a number of other water agencies in the state that are calling for customers to curb their use of the increasingly scarce resource.

The TUD board will hold a special meeting Friday afternoon to consider implementing “Phase II” water conservation measures, with an eye toward mandatory conservation by the end of the month.


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