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Water rates to increase as drought persists

Water rates for Tuolumne Utilities District customers will go up a little over $1 per month starting July 1, but current drought-related restrictions on water use will remain the same for the time being, the Board of Directors decided Tuesday night.

During a tense meeting that lasted more than three hours, the board voted 4-1 to keep the current water-use reduction goal at 50 percent. The board also voted 3-2 for a previously approved 2.78 percent rate increase to take effect on July 1.

 


Close call in Jamestown

A vegetation fire in Jamestown burned about 2 acres of grass and threatened a structure on Tuesday. The fire was reported about 1 p.m. and threatened a warehouse behind Golden State Cellular on the 17200 block of Highway 108, near Chicken Ranch Road. Employees were evacuated and told to move their cars. The fire was fully extinguished by 8:30 p.m. Five engines, two hand crews and two water tenders responded. The fire’s cause is under investigation. 


Calaveras fair draws higher numbers

The herd grew this year at the Calaveras County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee.

This year’s fair, with a theme of “Fun for the Whole Herd,” roped in 38,000 to 40,000 people. The four-day event was held May 15 to 18 at the Calaveras County Fairgrounds in Angels Camp.


Lawsuit spurs OHV trail closures

The U.S. Forest Service has temporarily closed 18 miles of trails for off-highway vehicles in the Stanislaus National Forest as part of a settlement in a 2010 lawsuit filed by three environmental groups.

A written statement from the Forest Service said the trail segments were closed Friday until an analysis could be completed on the potential environmental damage caused by off-highway vehicles. 


Services honor the fallen

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Bret Harte High School senior Brice Gilpan sings the national anthem Monday during a Memorial Day ceremony in Murphys. Chris Caskey / Union Democrat, Copyright 2014.
Crowds gathered across the Mother Lode over the weekend to honor military service members who paid the ultimate price.

Veterans groups and community members organized myriad events in Columbia, Groveland, Twain Harte, Sonora, Murphys and elsewhere on Sunday and Monday. They hosted prayers, speakers and other opportunities to take a moment out of the holiday revelry to remember the fallen.


Today's headlines (May 27, 2014)


Rim Fire log salvage plan opposed by Ariz. group

An Arizona-based environmental advocacy group is objecting to the U.S. Forest Service’s recent Rim Fire “salvage logging” proposal that would allow loggers to remove up to 660 million board-feet-worth of fire damaged trees from the Stanislaus National Forest.

The Center for Biological Diversity, based in Tucson, Ariz., in a written statement earlier this week slammed the “preferred” action in the Forest Service’s draft environmental impact statement for the proposed multi-year Rim Fire Recovery project, which is intended to address a portion of the 402-square-miles that burned in last year’s blaze.


Sunny weekend weather forecast

Clear skies and warmer temperatures are forecast for this Memorial Day weekend, bringing open mountain passes and dry campsites, as well as higher fire dangers.

The National Weather Service expects high temperatures of 87 today and Saturday,  91 on Sunday and 88 on Monday in the foothill communities of Sonora and Angels Camp.


Weekend Memorial Day remembrances planned

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A banner hangs over Angels Camp’s Main Street ahead of the Memorial Day weekend. Mike Morris / Union Democrat, Copyright, 2014.
Memorial Day signals the beginning of summer revelry to many.

But veterans groups and local leaders in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties will work over the next few days to keep reverence in the weekend.


Ownership change to speed Bear sale?

Bear Valley Mountain Resort announced Wednesday a change among the partners that own and operate the resort, which could help streamline the sale of the ski area. 

Following a “restructuring,” San Jose-based developer Toeniskoetter, Breeding & Halgrimson is no longer a partner, said resort spokeswoman Rosie Sundell. 

 


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