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Board to seek funds after fire closed schools

The Calaveras Unified School District Tuesday will try to prevent a loss of more than $1 million dollars in state funding as a result of school closures during the Butte Fire. 

New Melones pulse flows begin today

More than 7 billion gallons of water is scheduled to be released from New Melones Reservoir beginning today to ensure flows in the Stanislaus River will keep temperatures cool enough for adult salmon migrating up the river to spawn this fall.

Weather wetter on mountain passes

Emily and Brad Arnold, of Walnut Creek, visit Ebbetts Pass Saturday.Guy McCarthy / Union Democrat, Copyright 2015.
 The trip to the mountains starts with coffee in darkness. There are miles to go before the sun rises. At 4:30 a.m., it’s drizzling in Jamestown and there are two hours before any hint of dawn.

Tour Against Trafficking: Biking for awareness

“Tour Against Trafficking” participants include (from left) Craig Bernthal, Chuck Kiel, of Sonora, Larry Rice, Joe Silva, of Sonora, Michael Fagans, and Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin Bishop David Rice. Riders departed Monday morning from the Red Church in Sonora.Maggie Beck / Union Democrat, Copyright 2015.
 Several riders from Tuolumne County joined a bicycle tour Monday morning intended to raise awareness about the crime of human trafficking.

Saturday news roundup

Minor flooding, vehicle fire reported by authorities

A mountain lake, cabin owners and visitors

After a busy summer, the future of Pinecrest Lake is considered  


For the past 40 summers, Allen Green has escaped the hustle and bustle of Sacramento by retreating to his vacation cabin beside Pinecrest Reservoir in Tuolumne County.

Green, 81, lovingly refers to the area as his “heaven in the hills.” However, he’s never had to share it with as many people as the past couple summers.

Tuolumne County's attention turns to health

The Tuolumne County Health Fair opens Tuesday at the Mother Lode Fairgrounds and continues through Wednesday, offering low-cost health screenings and health-related information.

About 5,000 people are expected to attend.

Downtown Sonora bar wants a street party

The Sonora City Council on Monday will consider a possible street closure for the grand opening of a new bar and hear a presentation from Tuolumne Utilities District about proposed water and sewer rate increases.

Sonora woman trial set in co-worker stabbing

A Nov. 18 trial date has been set for a Sonora woman accused of stabbing her coworker in May.

Man robbed after casino win

Authorities are seeking a man and a woman in connection with an armed robbery that left a casino winner out of thousands of dollars Thursday on Highway 49 near Chinese Camp.

According to a Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office press release, a man reported he won $9,000 Thursday afternoon at Chicken Ranch Casino.

Report blasts jail building

A new report slams a number of California counties for prioritizing jail expansion and construction projects over alternatives to incarceration.


Californians United for a Responsible Budget, a coalition against prison and jail expansion, released its annual “decarceration” report card Thursday that gave several counties a failing grade. Tuolumne County was listed as “in danger of failing” for seeking a costly project to build a new jail.


“Counties are signing up for decades of debt, and that just includes construction costs,” said Lizzie Buchen, state coordinator for CURB. “That doesn’t include operating costs.”

Sierra Pacific worker dies in logging accident

A Sierra Pacific Industries truck driver died Thursday as logs were being unloaded, said Mike Pawlicki, a company spokesman.


Drought reveals Stanislaus River rapids

Whenever Mark Dubois revisits the site of New Melones Reservoir — a place that he derived significant joy from decades ago — he views it a shadow of its former self.

He sees a war zone — barren and desolate.

Though four years of considerable drought have caused water levels at the New Melones Reservoir to drop — exposing much of the land from years before it was filled in 1982 and reviving rapids of the Stanislaus River — little remains of what made the site a sentimental memory for Dubois.

Sonora High to seek new bids for construction

The Sonora Union High School Board of Trustees worked quickly Thursday to fix a mistake that may not have been theirs to correct.

The board will find all new contractors to complete the second phase of a $23 million bond measure after nearly signing off on a set of potential illegal contracts last week.

Mountain businesses begin packing

Way out Highway 108 beyond Donnells Vista, Clark Fork Road and Brightman Flat Campground, Dardanelle Resort and Kennedy Meadows Pack Station are already closed for winter.

Calendar for Oct. 15, 2015

News Notes for Oct. 15, 2015

Shooting suspect makes court appearance

A Sonora man accused of attempting to kill another man during an alleged brawl earlier this month appeared in Tuolumne County Superior Court Wednesday for an arraignment hearing, but did not enter a plea.

Hurst launches new exhibit, ‘The French Connection’

Leslie Hurst’s painting of bright poppies below the Luberon in southern France is included in the new “French Connection” exhibit. Courtesy photo.
 Jamestown artist Leslie Hurst spent the month of May painting in France. Her new exhibit, “The French Connection,” showcases her experience in 26 paintings — from the cafe scenes of Paris to the lavender and wildflowers of the French countryside. 

Water polo: Veteran ’Cats top upstart ’Frogs

Sonora’s Robert Van Noord takes aim Wednesday night while playing against Bret Harte in Angels Camp. Amber Pappé / Union Democrat, Copyright 2015.
 All too often, experience trumps determination. Such was the case Wednesday night in Angels Camp when the Sonora boys’ and girls’ water polo teams defeated Bret Harte and its upstart program. 

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