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Sierra Views: Burns is Rocky Hill ‘spookswoman’

Denise Burns, of Murphys, stands in her elaborately decorated kitchen as she talks of the fun she has celebrating Halloween. Maggie Beck / Union Democrat, Copyright 2014.
What started out as some pumpkin carving and cornstalks two decades ago has evolved into an elaborate Halloween tradition for the Rocky Hill neighborhood in Murphys.

And right there at the skeleton core of it all has been Denise Burns. 

Bone-chilling Halloween forecast

Mountain communities in the Central Sierra are expected to get cold rain and snow this weekend, as a Pacific cold front moves through the region.

The National Weather Service has issued a “winter storm warning” for elevations above 5,000 feet, warning drivers of potentially hazardous conditions.

Sonora man dies in rollover Jeep accident

A 92-year-old Sonora man was killed and two people injured Tuesday night in a suspected DUI auto accident in Jamestown. 

The wreck happened at 7:05 p.m. on Campo Seco Road, just east of Railway Lane, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Nick Norton.  

Calaveras school district eyes tax

Cash-strapped Calaveras Unified School District may consider establishing a special district in the west county to charge landowners an extra property tax in order to keep three small schools from closing. 

The proposal was discussed at a Tuesday night district board meeting.

Search on for new TUD chief

The Tuolumne Utilities District board Tuesday voted 4-1 to hire a consulting firm to begin searching for a new district general manager.

West Sacramento-based Neher & Associates will be paid up to $15,000 to find candidates to replace General Manager Tom Scesa, who will retire in May 2015.


Why are mountain lion, bear sightings up?

Reports of mountain lion and bear sightings in the foothills seem to be up this year, but not for the reasons many think, according to California Department of Fish and Wildlife officials.

Marc Kenyon, a senior environmental scientist with the agency, said the apparent spike is likely the result of the increased use of cell phone cameras and social media, Kenyon said. What used to be a relatively isolated report becomes widely shared and discussed, he said.

Tulloch body identified

Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office detectives stand along the shore of Lake Tulloch near where a body was found Tuesday afternoon. Maggie Beck / Union Democrat, Copyright 2014.
A body pulled from the waters of Lake Tulloch on Tuesday has been identified as Riverbank resident William Ray Jaspar.


Jaspar, 58, was found dead in the water about 4 p.m. Tuesday about 10 feet from the shoreline on the Tuolumne County side of the reservoir, said Sgt. Scott Johnson, spokesman for the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office.


Body found at Lake Tulloch

A man’s body was found Tuesday afternoon at Lake Tulloch.

A driver on the Lake Tulloch bridge at about 4 p.m. saw what appeared to be a body floating in the water on the Tuolumne County side of the bridge, according to Scott Johnson, spokesman for Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office.


Fish benefit from controversial ‘pulse flows’ now underway

Despite an ongoing drought and uncertain weather outlook, pulse flow releases are underway from New Melones Reservoir. 

The releases are intended to stimulate salmon and trout in the Stanislaus River, and the flows are expected to total 23,000 acre-feet by Nov. 11, according to the federal Bureau of Reclamation.

Forecasters call for rainy Halloween

A “winter-like” storm predicted to hit Northern California this weekend may bring some much-needed precipitation to the Central Sierra, according to the National Weather Service.

The service issued a weather advisory Monday warning of a potential storm that could affect the north state between Halloween (Friday) and Saturday.

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Tue, 27 Jan 2015 06:28:51 -0800