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Prescribed burn planned

A prescribed burn is planned Thursday near the south entrance of Yosemite National Park in the Wawona area off Highway 41. Firefighters are planning to burn a first segment of 60 acres and they hope to burn a total of 533 acres in suitable weather conditions by March 30, park officials said in an announcement.

Arnold man missing

Calaveras County Sheriff’s deputies are searching for a missing 83-year-old man last seen Tuesday afternoon.

Jim Lantry, of Arnold, left his residence in the Blue Lake Springs area, off Elizabeth Drive, on foot at about 4 p.m. and had not returned as of this morning.

Mother Lode schools celebrate FFA

Summerville High School students (from left) sophomore Zach Marquez, 15, junior Cole Campbell, 17, junior Jake Noonan, 17, and senior Madison Malaia, 17, drink chocolate milk from a goat bottle Monday during an FFA Week lunchtime activity. Maggie Beck / Union Democrat, Copyright 2015.
High school students this week will participate in a series of activities celebrating National FFA Week.

Participating Mother Lode high schools, including Bret Harte, Calaveras, Sonora and Summerville, will promote FFA throughout the week. Members are encouraged to bring greater awareness and involvement to their local chapters. 

Student is finalist in photo contest

Read more... A Sonora High School student is a finalist in an international photography contest and will have her photo printed this year in a magazine and hardcover book. Sarah Kidd, a senior, submitted her photo last school year to the 35th annual College and High School Photography Contest of Photographer’s Forum magazine. She recently learned she was selected as a finalist from among 17,000 entrants.

Courthouse Square tree trimming begins

Grover Landscape Services Inc. employees Daniel O’Riley cuts branches from trees Monday morning in Courthouse Square. Maggie Beck / Union Democrat, Copyright 2015.
A project that involves trimming and removing trees from Courthouse Square in downtown Sonora will cause some traffic impacts starting this week.

The project is part of a maintenance plan approved in January by the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors to clean up the landscaping at the park, which includes removing seven trees and trimming the remaining 11, replacing the shrubs and hedges and planting grass. 

Winter weather on the way

The Mother Lode and Central Sierra could finally get some winter weather this week, the National Weather Service said.

Forecasts show wet and cold weather could arrive overnight Thursday or Friday morning and last through the weekend, bringing much needed rain to the foothills and snow to elevations as low as 3,500 feet.

Four booked on assault charges after Sonora fight

Four people were arrested Sunday after a scuffle at a Sonora apartment complex.

Jason Clyde Arnold, 32, of Columbia; James Odell Franks, 25, of Sonora; Cheryl Ann Howell, 57, of Soulsbyville; and Amy Joyce Hughes, 27, of Sonora, were all booked on suspicion of felony assault after an arrest on the 400 block of Greenley Road, according to Tuolumne County Jail booking logs.

Sonora man paroled after 25 years

A Sonora man on Thursday was approved for parole after serving 25 years in prison for the 1989 attempted murder of a woman at an East Sonora restaurant.

Chalen Selvian, 42, was declared suitable to re-enter society despite “vehement” opposition from Tuolumne County District Attorney Laura Krieg. 

Sonora teen makes first solo flight over the weekend

Tanner Diehl, 16, of Sonora, gives a thumbs up before taking off on a flight Saturday at Columbia Airport.
Tanner Diehl spent his 16th birthday Saturday making his first solo airplane flight at Columbia Airport, the next step in following his dream to become a pilot.

The Sonora teen’s birthday was the first day he could qualify for his solo pilots license, and came a week before he’ll get his drivers license. 


Funding for dry rentals disputed

Dozens of Tuolumne County homeowners have been provided water through a state-funded program meant to assist people whose private wells have gone dry during the current drought.

However, county leaders are at odds with the California Office of Emergency Services over whether rental properties should qualify to receive full financial assistance.

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