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Settlement reached in bullying lawsuit

A 16-year-old Summerville High School student on Friday was awarded a settlement from the district stemming from a lawsuit that claimed school officials failed to stop other students from bullying him.

Beto Dieste, 16, accepted a $12,000 settlement approved by Judge Kate Powell Segerstrom in Dept. 3 of the Tuolumne County Superior Court.

State hatcheries to stock smaller fish

The Moccasin Creek Trout Hatchery will release quarter-pound fish, instead of half-pound fish, due to budget cuts next year. Maggie Beck / Union Democrat, Copyright 2014.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has announced plans to plant smaller trout next year in the state’s rivers, streams and lakes due to a lack of money for normal fish production, raising concern from Tuolumne County leaders about the move’s potential effect on tourism in the area.

Fish and Wildlife officials say the department intends to produce the same number of rainbow trout as always — about 8 million — though 50 percent of the fish next year will be released earlier weighing only a quarter-pound, instead of the normal half-pound weight. The change is intended to save money on feed and other operational expenses at the state’s 21 hatcheries.

Sonora wins State championship

The Sonora Wildcats stormed the court on Saturday after winning the title match of the Division IV CIF State Volleyball Championships at Santiago Canyon College in Orange. Frank Perez / For The Union Democrat, Copyright 2014.
ORANGE — Sonora High School volleyball coach Kim Evans admits her team has gone through the entire season flying under the radar.

In fact, the Wildcats apparently are so far under the radar, no one really knows where they’re from. During opening introductions for the Division 4 CIF State Volleyball Championships title match against Alta Loma, they were introduced as hailing from “Sonoma.”

Calaveras County General Plan due this month

Calaveras County’s planning chief said he hopes to release the county’s long-awaited draft General Plan by Christmas. 

The delayed document — which will outline the county’s land-development patterns — will feature eight “elements,” including public safety, noise, transportation, housing and the designation of open-space areas.

City looks at taxing vacation home usage

PUBLIC MEETING: Sonora Planning Commission, 5:30 p.m. Monday, City Hall, 94 N. Washington St.


A proposed ordinance would require Sonora property owners who rent out their homes or spare bedrooms to vacationers through increasingly popular “peer-to-peer” rental websites like Airbnb to obtain a permit and pay the same taxes as any other lodging business in the city.

The Sonora Planning Commission is scheduled to hold a public hearing at a meeting Monday to discuss an ordinance to regulate the use of residential property within the city for vacation rentals or brief visits. It would also expand where other “transient occupancies,” such as bed-and-breakfast facilities, are allowed.

Jamestown School's long-lost bell found

Jamestown Elementary School Superintendent Brenda Chapman stands with the old Jamestown School bell, which was located Wednesday after a months-long search. The bell was last seen in 1929. Jesse Jones / Union Democrat, Copyright 2014.
The Jamestown Elementary School bell has been recovered. 

Earlier this year, Superintendent Brenda Chapman was tasked by the school board to find the bell, which had been lost for decades.

Patrol cars released after examination

A Sonora Police car was damaged by bullets after a shootout last month in downtown Sonora. Jesse Jones / Union Democrat, Copyright 2014.
Two of three patrol cars involved in a deadly downtown Sonora shootout were released for repairs Thursday after investigators finished examining them for evidence.  

The gun battle occurred about 10 p.m. on Nov. 22 on South Washington Street. Bruce Snyder, 29, of Jamestown, was shot and killed after he opened fire on a Sonora police officer and two Tuolumne County Sheriff’s deputies. 

Sierra Views: Folendorf follows her ambitions

Amanda Folendorf, of Angels Camp, is an advocate for the deaf community and will start serving on the Angels Camp City Council next month. Maggie Beck / Union Democrat, Copyright 2014.
When Amanda Folendorf was born, doctors couldn’t find a heartbeat. 

“They couldn’t figure out why I was alive,” she said.

More rain forecast in Mother Lode

Rainfall is expected to continue across the Mother Lode today, Friday and perhaps into Saturday, with snow at higher elevations as this week’s warm storm system moves slowly across the central Sierra Nevada.

As of 7 a.m. Thursday, Sonora had received 1.43 inches in the previous 24 hours, and 1.92 in the previous 48 hours, according to local readings. Bear Valley Ski Resort reported 5 inches of snow overnight in addition to 4 inches on Wednesday, and Dodge Ridge Ski Resort reported 2 inches of snow in the previous 24 hours.

All aboard the Polar Express

Santa Claus leads Sarah and Angela Stovall, both of Jamestown, past the Polar Express train Wednesday at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park in Jamestown. Jesse Jones / Union Democrat, Copyright 2014.
A group of 90 lucky children from Tuolumne County boarded the “Polar Express” at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park in Jamestown Wednesday night for a test ride sponsored by the Sonora Area Foundation.

The “Polar Express” holiday train rides at Railtown, which run for the next three weekends, are based on the popular children’s book and 2004 movie starring Tom Hanks. It serves as a fundraiser for the California State Railroad Museum, the Jamestown park’s nonprofit partner.


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Tue, 03 Mar 2015 00:59:02 -0800