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UPUD proposes rate hike in Murphys

Water bills for Murphys-area residents could increase this fall under a proposal by the Union Public Utility District. 

The district is proposing to increase its monthly base rate of $38 for up to 1,000 cubic feet of water to $41 starting Nov. 1. 


TUD: Water limits may recede

The Tuolumne Utilities District Board of Directors will vote Tuesday on changing TUD’s water-use reduction goal to 25 percent, along with proposed connection-fee increases, an expensive water-main replacement project and a previously delayed emergency water sale to Del Oro Water Co.

Overall customer water usage was down 51 percent last month from June 2013, TUD General Manager Tom Scesa said in a memo to the board. 


Jeler has longtime family ties to Murphys community

Suzanne Jeler, of Vallecito, holds a picture of her grandparents in downtown Murphys in 1968. Maggie Beck / Union Democrat, copyright 2014
 When Suzanne Jeler moved to the Murphys area nearly five years ago, it felt like home. 

Since she was a baby, her family had camped at Boards Crossing near Dorrington in “a cabin without walls,” as she puts it. 


Groveland weighs rate increases

Water and sewer bills for Groveland Community Services District customers could be going up — or down — depending on how much they conserve.

The GCSD Board of Directors will hold a public hearing at 10 a.m. Monday, to give the public a chance to weigh in on proposed emergency rate increases that are related to the current statewide drought. 


Animal Control target of grand jury

Tuolumne County’s Animal Control Department is understaffed and underfunded, according to the Tuolumne County Grand Jury report released this week.

In the 2013-14 report, made public on Tuesday, the jury details the ways in which Animal Control is becoming less effective and hindering other departments due to systematic budget cuts dating back years.


TUD: Water expert to visit

There will be two opportunities in Tuolumne County early next week for the public to hear from the leader of a statewide association that represents 450 California water agencies, Tuolumne Utilities District announced Thursday.

Tim Quinn, executive director of the Association of California Water Agencies, will be in town to meet with TUD and other regional water agencies to discuss drought-related issues affecting communities in the Sierra foothills. 


Rapper rolls with life

Josh Regalado, of Sonora, has found his passion in life — “spitting rhymes.” He goes by the stage name Oscar Goldman.
Joshua Regalado doesn’t want to be labeled.

Regalado, 26, of Sonora, is known on stage as Oscar Goldman. He’s a professional rapper, but he’d prefer simply to be called a musician.  

He also has dealt with physical difficulties since birth, but doesn’t want to be labeled in that way, either.

Report finds loggers busy, farmers ailing

Despite reported growth in Tuolumne County’s agriculture industry, farmers and ranchers continue to face challenges presented by last year’s Rim Fire and the ongoing drought.

County Agricultural Commissioner Vicki Helmar on Tuesday released the county’s annual crop and livestock report, which tracks production values annually reported by farmers, ranchers and loggers. 

Election hopefuls start filing papers

Those seeking positions on various local water, school and fire boards have filed candidacy paperwork ahead of this fall’s general election. 

The filing period for the Nov. 4 election opened Monday and will last until Aug. 8, with a five-day extension granted if an incumbent doesn’t file.

Jamestown sidewalk a step ahead

A project to install sidewalks near downtown Jamestown that celebrate Tuolumne County’s Hollywood heritage could begin by late summer.

The Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously voted to seek bids on an effort estimated to cost almost $1 million to install sidewalks on Seco, Willow and Ninth streets. 


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