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Today's headlines (May 8, 2014)


Jumping for joy

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Kim Hollinshead, of San Andreas (left), and Linsey Dowell, of Avery, jump a frog at the Calaveras County Government Center frog jump Tuesday afternoon. Maggie Beck / Union Democrat, Copyright 2014.
Calaveras County employees and elected leaders got a jump start on the upcoming county fair by having their own frog jump Tuesday afternoon in San Andreas.

Held on the lawn at the county’s Government Center off Mountain Ranch Road, the annual event precedes the Calaveras County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee, held May 15 to 18 at the county fairgrounds in Angels Camp.


Cops: Burglar falls asleep in middle of theft

A suspected burglar high on heroin was arrested after ransacking a Sonora accounting office and then nodding off, having eaten a meal first, police said.

Jesse Craver Newton, 22, of Jamestown, was arrested at 6 a.m. Monday at an accounting firm on the first block of South Forest Road. He was later booked into Tuolumne County Jail on felony charges of burglary and receiving stolen property.


Rim Fire closures panned by board

Tuolumne County leaders and top Stanislaus National Forest officials discussed Rim Fire recovery efforts and other post-fire policies Tuesday at a meeting that included barbs about the Forest Service’s handling of grazing allotments and forest closures in the burn area.

The comments came during Forest Supervisor Susan Skalski’s annual state-of-the-forest presentation to the Board of Supervisors. While Skalski and other speakers covered several topics — like this year’s high fire danger, local-federal cooperation and long-term logging policies — last summer’s devastating Rim Fire dominated the conversation.


Pertussis outbreak growing

The Tuolumne County Public Health Department on Tuesday warned of the further spread of pertussis — or whooping cough — among the school population.

Health Officer Dr. Todd Stolp said several cases were confirmed Monday and Tuesday and there have been many more suspected cases recently.


Twain Harte hammered by drought

PUBLIC MEETING: Twain Harte Community Services District 9 a.m. , Thursday, THCSD conference room, 22933 Twain Harte Drive.


Tuolumne County residents are being urged to drastically cut their water use this year due to the extreme drought, but the community in the most dire situation right now is Twain Harte.

The Twain Harte Community Services District — which gets its water from Tuolumne Utilities District — is telling its roughly 1,600 customers they must halve their water usage or potentially run dry this summer.

 


Gold finders watch for court ruling

A San Bernardino County Superior Court judge is expected to rule within the next 90 days on a lawsuit over a statewide ban on motorized suction dredging by gold prospectors.

The decision could affect hobbyists throughout the state, including dozens of people who work small claims in the Mother Lode.

 


Noonan is Sonora Fire’s interim chief

The Sonora City Council on Monday approved a contract with former California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection chief Michael Noonan to serve as the city’s interim fire chief.

Noonan, who lives in Curtis Creek, begins his stretch with the city today and will take over for Mike Barrows when the chief leaves later this month.


GCSD project would ensure water next year

The Groveland Community Services District board received an update from GCSD staff Monday on efforts to secure nearly $2 million for constructing a new filtration plant that’s urgently needed to ensure Groveland-area residents have potable water into next year.

GCSD currently purchases water stored in Hetch Hetchy Reservoir under a 1967 agreement with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. The water from the reservoir serves 3,300 Groveland-area residents, as well as roughly 2.4 million Bay Area residents.


Three people injured in highway accidents

Three people were injured in a pair of unrelated highway accidents Monday.

About 1:30 p.m., California Highway Patrol responded to a pickup truck overturned off of Highway 108, east of Kennedy Meadows Road. 


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