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Sonora teens booked on rape charges

Two Sonora High School students were arrested on rape charges Thursday, following a weeks-long investigation by the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office.

The students — ages 16 and 18 — were arrested about 11:45 a.m. after being escorted from the school by Calaveras County Sheriff’s detectives.


Survey: Red Hills roach fish not extinct

A tiny fish known to exist only in the Red Hills area of Tuolumne County could be on the brink of extinction due to the current drought, according to scientists from the University of California, Davis.

The findings come from a project by the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences surveying about 70 streams and rivers across Northern and Central California to evaluate habitat conditions this summer and document the drought’s effect on fish populations.

 


SF Tuolumne diversions irk farmers, environmentalists

A Fresno nonprofit group is suing the National Park Service in federal court over the city and county of San Francisco’s diversions from the Hetch Hetchy water project.

The Center for Environmental Science, Accuracy and Reliability, or CESAR, filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for Washington, D.C., alleging NPS-approved freshwater diversions from the Tuolumne River are harmful to endangered and threatened salmon, smelt and sturgeon in the San Joaquin River and Sacramento Delta, where the water would naturally flow if it wasn’t being stored behind O’Shaughnessy Dam in Hetch Hetchy Reservoir.


More drought in 2015?

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Houseboats float on New Melones Reservoir, which is far below the normal water level. Maggie Beck / Union Democrat, Copyright 2014.
Several long-range forecasts suggest Californians should brace for another dry fall and winter, following three consecutive years of drought that have already taken a heavy toll on the state’s water supplies and amplified wildfire conditions.

Any rainfall from an anticipated weak El Niño weather pattern likely will not be enough to break the current drought’s grip on the state, according to AccuWeather, a Pennsylvania-based weather prediction company. 


Canadian firm to buy Bear Valley

A Canadian ski resort developer has entered into an agreement to buy Bear Valley Mountain Resort.

The agreement, announced Wednesday, comes after several weeks of discussions between Toronto-based developer Skyline International Development Inc., Bear Valley’s current owners and representatives with the Bear Valley Mountain Cooperative — a group of homeowners and others interested in purchasing the resort.


Angels man’s photo in Smithsonian

Dave Bunnell, an Angels Camp man who specializes in cave photography, will have one of his photographs featured in an upcoming Smithsonian exhibit.

His photograph of Fossil Cave, in a remote area of Northern California’s Lava Beds Wilderness, will be displayed as part of a new exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. 


Summer over, thousands return to school

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C.T. Ratliff, 10 (left) and Harry Bergman, 7, get a welcome back hug from the Jamestown Elementary School panther. Maggie Beck / Union Democrat, Copyright 2014.
About 10,000 students were in class as of Wednesday — the first day of school for most Mother Lode schools — and Sonora Elementary upper-grade teachers enjoyed their newly renovated classrooms.

All of Tuolumne County’s state-funded public schools started Wednesday and so did eastern Calaveras County students, following western Calaveras Unified School District’s opening in late July. 

 

 

 


Lack of water brings early fall

Fall has arrived about a month earlier than usual because of the 2014 drought and the Mother Lode area is spotted with colors as trees go dormant to survive. 

Tuolumne and Calaveras counties experienced an all-around “shift in the seasons,” according to Martin MacKenzie, forest pathologist for Stanislaus National Forest.


Calaveras delays vote on cutbacks

The Calaveras Unified School District Board of Trustees did not choose Tuesday to close schools or eliminate sports and music districtwide, but those drastic cuts are still on the table when the board votes again Saturday. 

More than 300 people attended the board meeting of Calaveras County’s largest school district, many speaking passionately about the need for sports and music and some threatening to transfer their students if the cuts go through.


TUD wrestles with shortfall

The Tuolumne Utilities District Finance Committee would like to cover a projected revenue shortfall using money originally set aside to pay back the district’s Sewer Fund.

Finance Committee members Mike Sarno and Delbert Rotelli, who both serve on the TUD board, directed district staff at a meeting Tuesday to determine whether some of the lost revenue could be made up using a portion of about $1.6 million for sewer labor during the current fiscal year that lasts through June 30, 2015.

 


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Sat, 22 Nov 2014 08:38:20 -0800