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New memorial tree planted

Two boys confessed Monday to tearing out a tree in White Pines Park that was a memorial to an Arnold man killed in the war in Afghanistan, according to the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Anthony Eberhardt said the youths, both age 12, were cited for vandalism and released to their parents.

 


Drought to impact 2014 fairs

The statewide drought is impacting two of the season’s most popular local events — the Mother Lode Roundup and the Calaveras County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee.

Roundup organizers are working with Tuolumne Utilities District to find alternative water sources to dampen the arena for the event’s signature rodeo, said Mother Lode Fairgrounds manager Forrest White.


Pertussis warning sent to parents

Tuolumne County Public Health officials have warned parents of possible whooping cough exposure at two area schools.

Acting Tuolumne County Public Health Officer Dr. Charles Mosher, who is filling in temporarily for Dr. Todd Stolp, sent letters to parents of children attending all Tuolumne County schools. 


Grad rates higher than state

Nearly 20 percent of Tuolumne County high school seniors, and 10 percent of Calaveras County seniors, failed to graduate last year, state education officials reported Monday.

The figures are down slightly from last year but are still better than the state average of 80.2 percent, and the national average of 80 percent, which both set records this year. 


Calaveras transit study on docket

PUBLIC MEETING: Calaveras County Board of Supervisors, 6 p.m. Tuesday, Board Chambers, 891 Mountain Ranch Road, San Andreas.


The Calaveras County Board of Supervisors will discuss a variety of topics, including a public transit study and an update on the Williamson Act, during a special meeting Tuesday evening.

The board occasionally holds evening meetings in an effort to encourage participation from people who can’t attend the board’s regular daytime meetings.


Sonora Elementary buildings burned in Nov. fire get fixed

The Sonora School District Board of Trustees last week accepted a $1.3 million bid to renovate a pair of buildings badly damaged in a Nov. 23 fire. 

The renovation of buildings D and E is slated to begin in May and end in August.


Frogs, toad get federal protections

Three species of Sierra Nevada amphibians have been approved for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Friday.

The mountain yellow-legged frog and Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog will be listed as endangered, while the Yosemite toad will be listed as threatened. A separate decision is due early next year on whether to designate 2 million acres in the Sierra Nevada as critical habitat for the native amphibians to recover. The designation would include about one-third of Tuolumne County’s total acreage.


Marijuana dispensary rules differ in counties

The lobby of Little Trees Wellness Collective in Arnold resembles a typical waiting room, complete with photographs of Yosemite National Park hung on the walls. 

But in a back room, a glass case full of marijuana, with names such as “Girl Scout Cookies,” can be purchased alongside edible cannabis products, including raw vegan chocolate, lavender honey and coconut butter. 


More keen on voting by mail

Absentee voting continues to grow in popularity statewide, and the same is true in the Mother Lode.

In Tuolumne County, about 73 percent of the 29,779 registered voters will receive a vote-by-mail ballot for the June 3 primary election. In Calaveras County, the number is a bit lower at 61 percent of 27,108. But in both cases, the share of absentees increases every election.


What gives with Lyons Reservoir overflow?

Each day, since mid-April, enough water to supply up to 80 households for a year has been pouring over the lip of Lyons Dam — a main source of drinking water for Tuolumne County.

This apparent waste is expected to continue until late-May — a painful irony given this year’s record-book drought.


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