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Supervisors to hear from public on chickens

Tuolumne County residents who want to raise chickens in their backyard may finally get their wish Tuesday.

The county Board of Supervisors is scheduled to hold a public hearing in the afternoon to consider a proposal that would allow chicken-keeping in certain residential areas of the county where the practice is currently illegal.

Stronger, wetter storm on way

Sonora and Columbia received an estimated 0.84 inch of rain and New Melones Reservoir got 0.76 over the holiday weekend, and a stronger, wetter storm system is expected for Tuesday and Wednesday.

The rainfall estimates for Sonora, Columbia and New Melones Dam were for Friday afternoon through Monday morning, said Tom Dang, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sacramento.


Bristow recalls night raids of World War II

Sonora resident John Bristow moved to Tuolumne County from the Bay Area in 2002. Lacey Peterson / Union Democrat, copyright 2014
 Save New Yorkers during Sept. 11 and Hawaiians at Pearl Harbor, few Americans have experienced the fear and uncertainty of living through an attack on their home soil.

England native and Sonora resident John Bristow clearly recalls the night of the Coventry Blitz on Nov. 14, 1940, when 515 German bombers attacked his city, destroying the industrial region’s factories and infrastructure that took out the city’s water supply, electricity network and telephone and gas mains. 


Calaveras votes to send flood letter to FEMA

Frustrated with a lack of progress in correcting inaccurate flood zone maps, the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to send a letter asking the Federal Emergency Management Agency to address the issue.

The letter states more than 7,000 county residents “remain negatively affected by the erroneous maps.”


County not liable for tear gas damage

A house that was tear-gassed by Tuolumne County Sheriff’s deputies in 2011 has since been foreclosed upon and is currently for sale. Alex MacLean / Union Democrat, copyright 2014
 A state appellate court ruled this week that Tuolumne County was not responsible for damage to a residence on the 15900 block of Hidden Valley Lane, caused by the use of tear gas canisters during a Sheriff’s Office raid in 2011.

George Conway filed a lawsuit against the county in September 2011 claiming that tear gas unleashed four months prior in his Hidden Valley Lane home had caused irreparable damage to the house and cost him thousands of dollars.


Wet weather forecast for weekend

Black Friday weather is expected to remain clear through sundown, but rain and snow are possible across the Central Sierra Nevada starting tonight, and Sonora could receive rain amounts of a half-inch or more by Sunday.


The Friday high for Sonora is expected to be near 70, with the chance for rain increasing after sundown. Overnight lows will be in the 40s.


The heaviest spells of rain and snow are possible late today through Saturday, decreasing Saturday night and returning Sunday, according to forecasters with the National Weather Service in Sacramento.


Up the hill from Sonora, 4 to 8 inches of snow are possible by Sunday on mountain roads including highway 120,108 and 4, especially at elevations near and above 6,000 feet.


The Weather Service is urging motorists to keep track of developments through the holiday weekend. Another weather system, wetter and warmer with higher snow levels, is forecast Tuesday night through Wednesday night.

Area school administrators’ pay keeps growing

Pay for Tuolumne County’s top-level school administration grew by more than $80,000 this year to just under $1.3 million, nearly double Calaveras County.

Tuolumne County paid its superintendents $1,273,602 this year, while Calaveras County paid $669,655, an increase of only $2,000 from last year. Adding benefits, those numbers climb at least an additional $100,000 in Tuolumne County and $60,000 in Calaveras County.

Date set in Fowler murder trial

A date has finally been set for the trial of a 14-year-old boy accused of killing his younger sister in Valley Springs in spring 2013. 

The boy is charged with second degree murder for allegedly stabbing his 8-year-old sister, Leila Fowler, to death when he was 12 in April 2013 at the family’s Rippon Road home. 

Man found dead near train tracks

Read more...A man was found dead Monday next to railroad tracks on Tuolumne Road below The Junction shopping center in East Sonora, according to the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office.

Personnel from the Sheriff’s Office and California Highway Patrol had part of the road blocked and a crime scene taped off for several hours as they investigated the death.

Community Thanksgiving meals planned in Mother Lode

Courtney Divine, of Sonora, carries a tray of pies Tuesday at Christian Heights Church that will be served at a Thanksgiving dinner today. Jesse Jones / Union Democrat, Copyright 2014.
Several community Thanksgiving dinners are planned this week throughout the Mother Lode. They include:

• Christian Heights Church and the Heart Rock Cafe will host the annual Thanksgiving With Friends, a free community dinner, at 5:30 p.m. today at the Heart Rock Cafe, 1 S. Washington St., Sonora. Christian Heights Church has sponsored the meal for the public since 2000. • Mother Lode Christian School in Tuolumne and Chapel in the Pines Church in Twain Harte will host a free Community Thanksgiving Dinner from noon to 6 p.m. today at the Tuolumne Veterans Memorial Hall in Tuolumne. Home delivery is available in the Tuolumne area. For more information or to help with donations, call Kerry Semsen at 352-1537 or the school thrift store at 928-4337.

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Fri, 27 Feb 2015 03:55:32 -0800