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Fireworks laws differ in Tuolumne, Calaveras counties

While fireworks are illegal throughout Tuolumne County, they are permitted in most of Calaveras County despite historically dry conditions and a recent string of grassfires. 

Rules vary because it’s up to each individual county or city to decide whether or not to permit fireworks. 

 


TUD grants relief to man hit with $6,000 bill

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Bud Regelin, of Twain Harte, holds a bill from the Tuolumne Utilities District for more than $6,000. Maggie Beck / Union Democrat, Copyright 2014.
Think your last water bill from Tuolumne Utilities District was bad? Try getting one for $6,000. 

That’s how much Bud Regelin, of Twain Harte, originally owed the district for the months of April and May.


Fires blacken Mother Lode

Firefighters remained busy in Calaveras and Tuolumne counties Monday, fighting a series of blazes fed by warm, historically dry conditions.

Activity included a brief but intense firefight in the Rawhide Road area of Jamestown, where a vegetation fire threatened several homes, plus continuing efforts to extinguish the Oak and Reed fires in Calaveras County.

 


Ratto Ranch deal signed

The historic Ratto Ranch near Sonora will be protected from development in perpetuity thanks to the current property owners and a local preservation group.

The Tuolumne County Land Trust announced the signing of a conservation easement for the 238-acre ranch, nestled against Table Mountain west of Sonora’s Racetrack Road neighborhood.

 


Home, sweet home: Jamestown woman buys first house at age 91

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At the age of 91, Vera Bigham, of Jamestown, has purchased her first home. Maggie Beck / Union Democrat, Copyright 2014.
At 91, Vera Bigham finally has gotten what many consider the American Dream.

On May 6 — her birthday — she and daughter Gaile moved into her newly purchased, three-bedroom home in Mill Villa Estates. It was her first.


Lake activities receding

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Water levels at New Melones Reservoir are dropping by about a half-foot per day. Jesse Jones / Union Democrat, Copyright 2014.
A serious drought is putting a crimp on recreational activities at area reservoirs.

At popular boating and fishing spots — like New Melones, Don Pedro and Beardsley reservoirs — lowered lake levels mean some boat launches have been decommissioned, some events have been canceled and anglers are seeing benefits and drawbacks.

On the plus side, some natural and historic features not evident since the last drought in 1992 are becoming visible with dropping lake levels. 


Murder suspect arraigned

A Twain Harte woman was arraigned Friday in Tuolumne County Superior Court on a felony murder charge in the killing of Ricky Roberts.

Cheryl Lynn Lucero, 45, appeared briefly in court at 2:45 p.m. Her arraignment was continued and she didn’t enter a plea. 

 


Weekend brushfires burn 210 acres

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The Reed fire burned more than 100 acres south of San Andreas over the weekend. Jesse Jones / Union Democrat, Copyright 2014.
Firefighters this morning continued to battle a fire between Angels Camp and Copperopolis, one of two weekend brush fires that kept crews busy and forced evacuations in Calaveras County.

As of 8 a.m. today, the Oak Fire had burned 90 acres and was 75 percent contained, according to Cal Fire officials. The fire was burning in a remote location near Oak Valley and Pool Station roads, forcing a temporary closure of Pool Station Road at Highway 4 and tying up traffic Sunday afternoon.


Yosemite plans 150th birthday festivities

The National Park Service will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Yosemite Grant Act on June 30 with a day full of special guests, events and activities.

On June 30, 1864, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Yosemite Grant Act to preserve Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias.

 


Fire on Rawhide Road

Firefighters are working to extinguish a vegetation fire on the 19700 block of Rawhide Road.

The fire started about 11 a.m. and has burned about 2 acres. It was burning near a residence, according to Battalion Chief Jeff Sanders, of Cal Fire.

Sanders said about noon the forward spread of the fire slowed down and was almost stopped, they cannot yet call it contained.

The fire jumped into a drainage ditch, Sanders said.

Cal Fire and Tuolumne County Fire units are on scene as well as resources from Columbia Air Attack.

A Cal Fire investigator was in route to the scene and the cause of the fire was not yet determined.


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