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Bret Harte High cleared of lockdown

The Bret Harte High School campus is no longer on lockdown after police swept the campus for a person reported with a gun.

Bret Harte High locked down

The Bret Harte High School campus is on lockdown for a person reported with a gun.

Angels Camp inks new water pact

The Angels Camp City Council entered into a new agreement Tuesday night with the Utica Water and Power Authority — a move that could help keep water rates down. 

Under the agreement, the city would pay $40,000 per year, and the amount of water allocated to the city would jump from 1,600 acre-feet to 3,600 acre-feet annually. 

TUD’s Scesa says less water making it to rivers

Tuolumne Utilities District General Manager Tom Scesa on Tuesday said runoff from rain storms and snowmelt is even lower than expected this historically dry year — a new wrinkle in a complicated drought situation.

Since this is the third year of below-average rain and snow in the region, Scesa said utilities that monitor snow and rain runoff, like hydro-electric power operator Pacific Gas and Electric Co., are finding less of the precipitation is reaching river and streams.

Water sale to county in works

Water levels at New Melones Reservoir are low due to the prolonged drought. Maggie Beck / Union Democrat, Copyright 2014.
The Chicken Ranch Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians formally announced Tuesday it will buy water from the South San Joaquin Irrigation District to help Tuolumne County through the drought. 

Under the landmark agreement, the small Jamestown-area tribe will buy 2,400 acre-feet of water, which will be drawn from New Melones Reservoir.

Third-graders busted for marijuana

Three third-grade students were caught smoking marijuana at Sonora Elementary School.

It was uncertain whether they would be expelled under the district’s “zero tolerance” policy.

Yosemite bolsters economy

Yosemite National Park contributed $378 million to nearby communities, including Groveland, in 2012. File photo / Union Democrat, Copyright 2014.
A new study by the National Park Service estimated that Yosemite National Park visitors contributed over $378 million in communities near the park in 2012.

The “2012 National Park Visitor Spending Effects” report was released last month, concluding that trip-related spending by park visitors “generates and supports a considerable amount of economic activity within park gateway communities.

Hotel complex at ‘Scar’ dropped

A Los Gatos woman has scrapped plans for a $60 million commercial retail and entertainment plaza on a barren 40-acre lot, known to residents as “The Scar,” on Highway 120 in Big Oak Flat.

The Yosemite Gateway Plaza, originally proposed three years ago, would have brought an IMAX theater, bowling alley, gas station, two fast-food restaurants, several retail buildings and two hotels with a combined 350 suites to the small communities of Big Oak Flat and Groveland.

Raggio resigns from AC Council

Stuart Raggio has resigned from the Angels Camp City Council because he no longer lives within the city limits, as required.

Council members are scheduled to formally accept his resignation at Tuesday’s meeting, and discuss how the vacancy will be filled.


Camps return after Rim Fire

Two Yosemite-area summer camps, which draw thousands of tourists yearly to economically hard-hit southern Tuolumne County, are readying to reopen for the season following last year’s destructive Rim Fire.

Camp Tawonga plans to install four or five yurts to make up for two staff cabins that burned in the fire, said Aaron Mandel, assistant director of the Jewish camp which serves children from throughout the state.


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