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Sonora High pool plan going swimmingly

The Sonora Union High School District will begin advertising bids for the first phase of its multi-million-dollar bond projects after a vote by the Board of Trustees Tuesday night.

Yosemite bears: Not-so-bad news

So far this year, bear-related incidents in Yosemite National Park are up 44 percent compared to the same time last year. However, bear incidents — when a bear causes property damage or obtains food — have dropped a dramatic 89 percent since the park began keeping statistics in 1998.


Tuolumne board renews drought dec

Tuolumne County leaders warned Tuesday that the local drought emergency is far from over, despite some area water providers rescinding their mandatory conservation measures last week.

Angels: $2.5 million road seen as solution

The Angels Camp Planning Commission has recommended an estimated $2.5 million road project as a long-term traffic fix for the area surrounding Dogtown Road.

The catalyst for the recommendation, approved last week, is a proposed medical clinic near the intersection of highways 4 and 49. 

Eva Schicke memorial: Gone but not forgotten

Joyce Schicke, of Coarsegold, wipes tears away as she speaks on Friday at the memorial held for her daughter, Eva Schicke, at the Rim of the World on Highway 120. Jesse Jones / Union Democrat, Copyright 2014.
A memorial service was held Friday afternoon for a fallen firefighter at the Rim of the World vista point near Buck Meadows.

Eva Marie Schicke was the first female Cal Fire firefighter killed in the line of duty on Sept. 12, 2004, when her helitack crew was overrun by fire in the Tuolumne River Canyon on the Stanislaus National Forest. 

County backs Forest Service in logging suit

Tuolumne County has joined a coalition of forces formed to combat a recent lawsuit related to the U.S. Forest Service’s plan to allow logging on about 30,000 acres of land that burned in last year’s Rim Fire.

The Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors voted at a closed-door meeting Sept. 9 to intervene in the Center for Biological Diversity’s lawsuit against the Forest Service filed Sept. 4 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California. 

City’s fire rating among top 7%

The Sonora City Council learned Monday that the city’s improved firefighting rating could help homeowners within city limits save up to 5 percent on their fire insurance premiums.

ISO, a national company that evaluates risks, recently upgraded the city’s rating to a 3. The last time the city was evaluated by ISO was in 2003, when the city received a 4 rating.


City to close Stewart Street for sinkhole repair

City of Sonora Public Works crews will conduct maintenance work on Stewart Street Wednesday and Thursday and the road will be closed from Lyons to Theall streets.

The work will begin at 7 a.m. and end by 3 p.m. both days. The road will be closed to through traffic, but cars can still park in the Farmers Market parking lot, said Bill Seldon, manager of Public Works.


Meadow Fire containment at 80 percent

Containment of the Meadow Fire in Yosemite National Park has reached 80 percent.

The acreage burned ticked up to 4,772 as of this morning. 

The fire is burning in Little Yosemite Valley between Half Dome and Mount Starr King on both sides of the Merced River. The north side remains “of concern,” according to the National Park Service. 

Local film figure back in spotlight

Ernest “Ernie” Durham was an influential figure in Tuolumne County’s early filmmaking history. File photo / Union Democrat, Copyright 2014.
The 84-year-old son of the late Ernest “Ernie” Durham, an influential figure in Tuolumne County’s early filmmaking history, received some surprising news last week from a labor union that represents writers in the film and broadcast industries.

Durham, who died in 1991 at the age of 85, was a founding member of the Sonora Motion Picture Association that helped turn the county into a hotspot for Hollywood productions during the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s. He is widely remembered for driving many famous actors and actresses around town when they came up to shoot a film or TV show.

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