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Legends set to reopen after burglary

Coins were stolen from Sonora resident Frans Jepsen’s collection during a Monday break-in at Legends Books, Antiques and Old Fashioned Soda Fountain in downtown Sonora. Jesse Jones / Union Democrat, Copyright 2015.
The owner of Legends Books, Antiques and Old Fashioned Soda Fountain in downtown Sonora planned to reopen today after a Monday night burglary. 

“Come in and see our St. Patrick’s Day decorations,” said store employee Cat Rodriguez. “We are making it happy in here.” 

Sierra Views: Linda Monahan, busy as a bee

Beekeeper Linda Monahan, of Groveland, works next to an almond grove near Turlock. Guy McCarthy / Union Democrat, Copyright 2015.
Beekeeper Linda Monahan, of Groveland, covers a lot of ground to keep her colonies healthy and profitable.

She winters her bees at the coast near San Jose, contracts to fertilize almond orchards near Turlock, spends time in the Sierra foothills and near Porterville to make orange honey, and she takes them to the eastern Sierra to forage for alfalfa and sage.

ACLU suing Calaveras County

The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California filed a lawsuit Wednesday challenging a resolution passed last year by the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors to honor the work of a pro-life Christian organization.

According to an ACLU news release, the lawsuit was filed in Calaveras County Superior Court on behalf of nine area residents with various religious beliefs. The complaint claims that the resolution in support of Calaveras Door of Hope, a pregnancy resource center, is unconstitutional because it promotes one particular set of religious beliefs.

Council OKs low-income building breaks

The Angels Camp City Council approved a new policy Tuesday to give builders breaks on providing housing to low-income people and discussed fines for owners of property with unabated fire hazards. 

The board unanimously approved a set of ordinances to give breaks to builders who offer some low-cost housing to the poor, disabled and senior citizens. 

Tuolumne County has new top health official

Retiring Public Health Officer Todd Stolp (left) receives a commendation from Tuolumne County Supervisors John Gray (center) and Karl Rodefer at Tuesday’s board meeting. Alex MacLean / Union Democrat, Copyright 2015.
Tuolumne County has a new advocate for public health to replace longtime County Health Officer Dr. Todd Stolp, who retires later this month and will soon be heading to West Africa to fight Ebola.

Dr. Liza Ortiz was appointed by the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors at Tuesday’s meeting to serve as the county’s new health officer starting in early April. She currently lives in Chicago, where she has worked as a primary care physician since 2012. 

Webb named 2014’s top cop

Read more... A Sonora police officer’s bravery in the line of fire has earned him the distinction as the city’s top cop for 2014.

Sonora Police Officer Ryan Webb was shot and injured by an armed assailant during a Nov. 22 shootout in downtown Sonora. The suspect, Bruce Snyder, 29, was killed a short time later in a second gun battle with police, but no one else lost their life.



West Point man injured in possible DUI wreck

A West Point man sustained major injuries in an alleged DUI crash Tuesday night in San Andreas. 

Sean Michael Dunnam, 23, was arrested about 8 p.m. on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. He was transported and released to Sutter Amador Hospital for treatment of his injuries, according to a California Highway Patrol report. 

Sonora police look for rape suspect

Sonora police are looking for a man who on Monday night reportedly kidnapped and sexually assaulted a woman at knifepoint.

Study: Stanislaus Forest trees denser, smaller

A study conducted in the Stanislaus National Forest shows logging and fire suppression helped change the size and quantity of dead wood over time, reducing wildlife habitat and setting up conditions for monster blazes such as the 2013 Rim Fire.

The study, “Long-term dead wood changes in a Sierra Nevada mixed conifer forest: Habitat and fire hazard implications,” was conducted by Eric Knapp of the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Research Station in Redding. It was conducted at locations near Pinecrest using data and observations from 1929, 2007, 2008 and 2012.

Adult helmet law floated

Clavey Wood, 11 (left), and his father, Gabe Wood, ride their bikes through their Columbia neighborhood Monday morning. Maggie Beck / Union Democrat, Copyright 2015.
A state Senate bill introduced Wednesday could make California the first state to require adults riding bicycles to wear helmets. 

SB 192, by Sen. Carol Liu, D-La Cañada Flintridge, would amend a section of the California Vehicle Code that already requires minors to wear bicycle helmets. That 1994 state law allows police to cite unhelmeted riders, which carries a $25 fine.

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