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Tree removal pricetag growing

A controversial county project that involves removing seven of the 18 trees at Courthouse Square in downtown Sonora is expected to run about $23,000 over budget, according to a revised estimate released by the county Tuesday.


Water emergency plan on board docket

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McClure Reservoir, managed by the Merced Irrigation District, is one of the emptiest reservoirs in the state.
An emergency response plan for people who rely on water from McClure Reservoir will be discussed at a special meeting Wednesday of the Lake Don Pedro Community Services District Board of Directors.

 


Sonora to raise cost of building permits

Unable to recoup the cost of reviewing construction plans and issuing building permits under the current fee structure, the Sonora City Council on Monday unanimously adopted some new and slightly higher rates.


Drought: Weekend storms did little

Wet spells from Friday to Monday brought less than a half-inch of rain to Sonora and a few inches of snow to the mountains — totals that did little to alter the region’s drought outlook.


Calaveras board meeting canceled

The Calaveras County Board of Supervisors special meeting scheduled for 9 a.m. today was canceled.

Hospital co-founder Ben Boice dies at 93

Dr. Ben Boice, a founder of Sonora Community Hospital, died Tuesday at his home in Idaho. He was 93.

Boice was a well-known doctor in Tuolumne County and often rode his horse to the high country to attend emergencies. He was an instrumental figure in the creation of the Adventist complex on Forest Road in Sonora that housed the church, school and hospital. 


Home fire insurance tops board agenda

Compensation for county employees and rising fire insurance costs are two issues the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to discuss at Tuesday’s meeting.

The board will consider entering an agreement with an independent firm to conduct a comprehensive study of the wages and benefits for 341 county positions.


Bark beetles killing trees

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Columbia College students (from left) Christian Grazioli, Jamie Akins and Cynthia Coleman examine a beetle-killed tree during an introduction to forestry class. Tom Hofstra / Courtesy photo.
Tree-killing bark beetles are poised to multiply in the next few months, and their increasing numbers could add to an already dire situation for drought-stressed Central Sierra Nevada forests.

Concern is rising among local loggers, foresters and environmentalists. But there is little that can be done short-term to stem tree deaths resulting from the infestation, according to Stanislaus National Forest pathologist Martin MacKenzie, who studies bark beetles.

 


Anti-Bullying Summit: Seminars focus on education, compassion, conflict resolution

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Liam Croston, 12 (left), and Jonah Webster, 12, both of Sonora, try to talk with marshmallows in their mouths during the “Just Like You” seminar at the third annual Anti-Bullying Summit held Friday at Columbia College. The goal of the exercise was to show the challenges people with Down syndrome have with speech. Jesse Jones / Union Democrat, Copyright 2015.
 If you think talking with a marshmallow in your mouth would be difficult, you’d be right.

About 100 public school students on Friday tried it. The result: frustrated efforts on their end, and a barely intelligible conversation on the listeners’.


Woman with local ties to appear tonight on "Extra"

Former Sonora resident Nichole MacDonald will appear tonight on the television show “Extra.”

 


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