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Monarch waystations offer respite to travelers from afar

Hundreds of millions of travelers migrate annually from Canada and the Northern U.S. to warmer over-winter sites in Mexico and Southern California.  


They arrive by fall, covering buildings and trees like a beautiful orange, black, and white cloud.


Union Democrat publisher Piech to retire after 31 years

Retiring Publisher Gary Piech stands in front of the building where he has worked for more than three decades. Maggie Beck / Union Democrat, copyright 2015
 When Gary Piech arrived at The Union Democrat in March 1984, he was hired to sell ads, his first job in the newspaper business.


When he walks out on Sept. 4, he will be ending a 31-year career, during which he filled about every job in the advertising department before being named publisher three years ago.


No plea entered at Serpa hearing

A man accused of ramming his car into a pregnant Sonora woman and her 10-year-old daughter and then fleeing the scene earlier this month did not enter a plea at an arraignment that was continued Friday morning in Tuolumne County Superior Court.


Shortly before 10 a.m., a large group of people followed by David Joseph Serpa Jr. and his defense attorney, Clint Parish, entered the small first-floor courtroom at the historic Tuolumne County Courthouse on Yaney Avenue.


Reporter’s Notebook: The Lucero Murder Trial

As more than 20 witnesses testified for the prosecution and a four-hour videotape of police interrogation of Cheryl Lucero began to roll, there was plenty of activity in the courtroom of Judge James Boscoe in the Historic Tuolumne County Courthouse this week. 


Lucero is charged with murder in the death of Sonora Police volunteer Rick Roberts.


Rim Fire recovery, progress two years later

Rancher Stuart Crook on Wednesday stands next to the excavation site for a foundation to replace an historic cabin that burned in the 2013 Rim Fire on his family’s Meyers Ranch property. Guy McCarthy / Union Democrat, copyright 2015
 In the two years since the Rim Fire broke out deep in a canyon in Tuolumne County, new flowers, shrubs and trees have sprouted in 400 square miles of mountain watersheds burned by what became the largest blaze in the recorded history of the Sierra Nevada range.


Woodpeckers, squirrels, deer and other wildlife have returned to some parts of the massive burn, which stretches from the narrow creek bottoms of the Clavey River, and the North Fork, Middle Fork and South Fork Tuolumne River, to ridge after ridge, from Jawbone to Buck Meadows to Yosemite National Park.


Religion: Events for Aug. 21, 2015

Religion: Outreach for Aug. 21, 2015

Card Games for Aug. 21, 2015

Vets' Corner: MIAs identified, returned home for burial

The bodies of several United States servicemen declared missing in action have been recovered and will be buried with full military honors.

Veterans honored at special ceremony

Five men who served their country were honored Sunday in a ceremony hosted by the Commemorative Committee of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 12118 of Copperopolis and Angels Camp.

Museum seeks photos of train to Angels Camp

Many local residents took part in the last runs of the Angels Branch of the Sierra Railroad in 1935.

Couple celebrates decades of family work, travel, memories

Martha and Lloyd Kramer sit together at a party held in celebration of their 70th anniversary at Skyline Place Senior Living in Sonora. Courtesy photo.
 Enjoying shared interests is what Lloyd and Martha Kramer credit for their long marriage.

Summerville Soccer: Working to repeat

The defending Mother Lode League and Sac-Joaquin Section Division VI Champion Summerville Bears boys’ soccer team is back to work. The Bears practiced Wednesday and Thursday at Standard Park and will begin their title defense Tuesday, Sept. 1, at Thorsted Field against Modesto.

Calendar for Aug. 21, 2015

Yosemite entrance free for Founders’ Day

Entrance fees will be waived and special events will be held at Yosemite National Park on Tuesday as the park celebrates Founders’ Day on the 99th birthday of the National Park Service.

Former Sonora resident denied parole

Albert Sydney Ward, 70, formerly of Sonora, was denied parole at a hearing Wednesday of the State Board of Parole Hearings, reported Tuolumne County District Attorney Laura Krieg. 

Victims in fatal wreck identified

The identities of three people who died in a car accident Saturday afternoon have been released. 

Board sells bond, tackles school safety

The Sonora Union High School Board of Trustees Thursday announced the sale of a second bond for facility improvements and the first meeting of a school safety committee, two subjects discussed frequently over the summer.

Body of Columbia woman found

Read more... Jeane Ileen Presson loved to sew and to garden and usually stopped to chat with neighbors as she walked around the mobile home park in Columbia where she lived with her husband.

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