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Rain, snow forecast through weekend

Mountain communities in the Central Sierra are expected to see the return of wet weather as three separate systems move across Northern California over the next few days.

After receiving just under a half-inch of rainfall late last week, the National Weather Service on Tuesday was predicting a 30 percent chance that another storm would bring light rains to the area today.

Teens accused of beating homeless

Two teens were arrested Tuesday night in Sonora as suspects in a string of severe beatings of homeless people since October.

New Melones body ID’d as man presumed drowned for 20 years

The body of a man found last month in New Melones Reservoir was identified, after nearly 20 years, thanks to his artificial hip. 

Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Sgt. Scott Johnson said officials traced the unique serial number on Wayne Morris Fry’s hip-replacement parts to a Bay Area hospital, and records positively identified them as his. 

Snowmobile use in forests under scrutiny

Alpine Snowmobile Center manager Sean Darby stands in a second-story storage area, where many snowmobiles are kept until heavy snow arrives. Guy McCarthy / Union Democrat, Copyright 2014.
The Forest Service plans to begin scrutinizing snowmobile use in the Stanislaus National Forest, and concern is rising among snowmobilers in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties.

Activists with lawyers are forcing the Forest Service into conducting a National Environmental Policy Act analysis of snowmobile trails in the Stanislaus National Forest, and also the Eldorado, Tahoe, Plumas and Lassen national forests. The plans have local snowmobilers worried about the potential for reduced or more restricted access in the future.

Food, toy drives underway as holidays approach

Jesseca Button and her daughter, Alyson Evans-Button, 4, both of Sonora, set out paper bags that will be filled with food for distribution by the ATCAA Food Bank. Maggie Beck / Union Democrat, Copyright 2014.
Thousands of Mother Lode families will have a Thanksgiving dinner next week and presents under the Christmas tree next month thanks to the work now being done by area food banks and other organizations. 

The Amador-Tuolumne Community Action Agency Food Bank is preparing to distribute food to about 2,000 families Friday. The food bank is in Jamestown, and the food is distributed at an East Sonora church. 

San Andreas boy faces charges after faked kidnapping

Sergio Vazquez, 14, of San Andreas, was cited on charges of falsifying a police report.
As investigators continued to sort through information today, the Calaveras County Sheriff had a strong warning for the boy who faked his own kidnapping. 

“I am angry and will seek restitution for any and all monies lost from Sergio Vazquez, and whoever else I find out was involved,” said Sheriff Gary Kuntz.

Calaveras students compete in Lego robot sumo battles


Alex Woodside, 15, and Taben Randall, 11, of Mountain Oaks, test their robot before competition. Jesse Jones/The Union Democrat
Groups of Calaveras County students battled it out this weekend in Lego robot sumo wrestling.

Alleged kidnapping victim found

The Calaveras County Sheriffs Office reports that a 14-year-old boy allegedly abducted from a San Andreas gas station has been found.

Sergio Vazquez was found at 6:20 p.m. and is safe, the Sheriffs Office said. He is being interviewed by the authorities.

Man files TUD claim over koi losses

A Big Hill man who says koi in one of his ponds were killed by chlorinated drinking water in October recently filed a claim for damages against Tuolumne Utilities District, which the TUD Board of Directors voted to reject Thursday night.

Stanley Killion, who lives on Northridge Road, said in his claim he noticed his lower pond needed water on Oct. 22, so he put a hose in the pond and turned the water on slowly and turned it off about two hours later.

Calaveras voters opt for new leadership

The Calaveras County Elections Office released official results Friday from the Nov. 4 election, confirming previously announced winners.

Of Calaveras County’s 27,069 registered voters, 16,101 ballots were cast, making voter turnout nearly 60 percent.

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Fri, 30 Jan 2015 09:20:08 -0800