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Amador asks CCWD for Moke River $

Amador Water Agency officials are asking Calaveras County Water District leaders to consider contributing to the costs AWA incurred to “defend regional water interests from the potential impacts of the Mokelumne River Wild and Scenic designation legislation,” CCWD staff said. 

Although no formal cost-sharing agreement was in place, AWA is asking agencies that it partnered with to help cover its costs of more than $130,000. Using a suggested amount of 28 percent, CCWD’s portion is estimated at $36,686. 

Claims against church pile up

The Diocese of Stockton received 34 new claims of alleged sexual abuse by clergy members in advance of last month’s deadline for filing such claims in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. 

In a statement Tuesday, the diocese said that all information about the claims is confidential by court order. Diocese spokeswoman Sister Terry Davis said, “The court has required confidentiality about the claims, so we really are not allowed to speak about anything.”

Common Core rollout: Mother Lode schools embrace new standards

Columbia Elementary School students (from left) Trenton Gray, 5, Brodie Rodriguez, 5, and Natalie Okelsrud, 4, use iPads to learn math Thursday. Jesse Jones / Union Democrat. Copyright 2014.
California this fall finalized the roll out of its new “Common Core” content standards for public school instruction and, despite some bumps and lingering criticisms, Mother Lode school officials say the initiative has thus far gone well. 

The goal of the new language arts and math standards are college and career readiness, and were implemented nationwide with pressure from the federal government —  a sore point with some groups.

King Fire smokes settles over foothills

An air quality health alert has been issued through Saturday for Tuolumne and Calaveras counties due to smoke from the King Fire in El Dorado County.

There are no fires in the immediate area, however air quality levels in the area are expected to be unhealthy for sensitive groups, according to Dr. Todd Stolp, Tuolumne County health officer. Children, elderly, and people with health conditions are more susceptible to the smoke.

The smoke may worsen and is expected to last “at least” through Saturday, Stolp said.


Crystal Falls fire

Firefighters are on scene of a house fire in Crystal Falls.

The fire was reported at 4:18 p.m. on the 21000 block of Hyde St.

Cal Fire dispatchers didn't have details on the nature or extent of the fire damage, however, it didn't appear anyone was injured.



Vallecito board calls for Gordon’s resignation

The Vallecito Union School District Board of Trustees on Wednesday voted to censure and call for the resignation of one of its members, due to ongoing complaints of inappropriate behavior. 

Carol Gordon, a longtime teacher in the district before running for a board seat, previously refused to tender her own resignation, despite her antics leading to one of the district’s principals filing a restraining order against her. 

How will well regs affect Sierra?

Most counties in the Mother Lode are not targeted by the state’s new rules to manage groundwater, but some area leaders say they’re concerned that may change after the laws take effect next year.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed three landmark bills Tuesday targeting certain areas for regulation, mostly in the Central Valley, where overdrafting will deplete groundwater basins by 2040. The legislation requires local agencies in the affected areas to form groundwater management plans over the next five years, and authorizes the Department of Water Resources to intervene if necessary.

Rim Fire logging to begin Friday

Logging in a major portion of the area burned by last year’s Rim Fire is set to begin Friday after a federal judge this week denied a request to halt work on the project.

Senior U.S. District Judge Garland Burrell Jr. on Tuesday denied a temporary restraining order filing made by the Arizona-based Center for Biological Diversity and Berkeley-based Earth Island Institute, who together are suing the U.S. Forest Service over its plan to allow logging on about 30,000 acres in the 257,000-acre Rim Fire burn area.


A hole lot of trouble

City of Sonora Public Works crews on Wednesday dig to uncover the cause of a sinkhole on Stewart Street between Lyons and Theall streets. Jesse Jones / Union Democrat, Copyright 2014.
City of Sonora Public Works crews Wednesday were trying to get to the bottom of a downtown sinkhole — in more than one way.

The hole, which opened up last week on Stewart Street near Lyons Street is being excavated by city employees who were, as of Wednesday, still uncertain what caused it.

Man stabbed in Jamestown

A Sonora man was stabbed on Wednesday in Jamestown.

The 19-year-old victim, whose name has not been released, was flown out to a Modesto trauma center.


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Sun, 21 Dec 2014 10:08:32 -0800