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Yosemite seeks entry fee hike

Entrance fees at Yosemite National Park could increase from $20 to $30 in early 2015. File photo / Union Democrat. Copyright 2014.
Yosemite National Park is proposing a 50 percent entrance fee increase, park officials announced Monday. 

The single-vehicle entrance fee, currently $20 for a seven-day pass, is proposed to jump to $30. Meanwhile, the park’s annual pass would increase from $40 to $60. 

Arson threats land man in jail

A Valley Springs man was arrested Saturday after he allegedly threatened to burn his family’s home down. 

Daniel Brian Thompson, 33, of the 7200 block of Baldwin Street, was arrested after three hours of negotiation, according to a Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office report. 

New forest supervisor talks water, industry

The Stanislaus National Forest’s new supervisor believes watershed management is key to helping people understand why forest restoration and recovery from the Rim Fire are essential to communities in Tuolumne County and farther downstream.

“The Stanislaus provides sources of water for many municipalities, and that’s important,” said Jeanne Higgins, a Forest Service veteran who started her new job Sept. 4. 

Layoff notices loom in Calaveras

PUBLIC MEETING: Calaveras Unified School District Board of Trustees, 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, district office, 3304 Highway 12, IMC training room.

Calaveras Unified School District will begin its deep, mandatory cuts on Tuesday with the layoff notices to 20 employees.

The district this year was ordered by the Calaveras County Office of Education to begin making about $2 million in cuts to its deficit-spending budget over the next two years to avoid state takeover.

Health officer Stolp retiring

PUBLIC MEETING: Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors, 9 a.m., Tuesday, on the fourth floor of the county administrative building, at 2 S. Green St., Sonora.


After looking out for the health of Tuolumne County residents for more than a decade, Dr. Todd Stolp will retire as the county’s health officer in February.

The Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will be asked to approve an updated job description for Stolp’s position so that county staff can begin the process of recruiting his replacement. 

Crews complete Pinecrest shore improvements

Alluvial sand was used to create a smoother beach surface at Pinecrest Reservoir. Jay Power / Courtesy photo.
A project to make the beaches and lake bed smoother at Pinecrest Reservoir was completed ahead of schedule Friday, and the improvements have already garnered positive reviews.

“It looks beautiful,” said Laurie Cashman, general manager of Pinecrest Lake Resort. “They’ve done a wonderful job … We are very pleased with it.”

Man killed in car accident in San Andreas

A 20-year-old man was killed in an car accident Sunday morning in San Andreas.

Trenton Bumpus, of San Andreas, was not wearing his seatbelt when the single-vehicle accident occurred about 5 a.m., according to the California Highway Patrol.

Bumpus was driving a 1994 Jeep Cherokee north on Gold Strike Road when, for an unknown reason, he lost control of the vehicle, according to the CHP report.

The car crossed the center lines and Bumpus overcorrected, causing the Jeep to overturn several times and land on its roof on the side of the road, the report said.

Bumpus was ejected from the vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene, the report said.

Drugs or alcohol are being investigated as possible causes of the accident, the report said. Toxicology reports could take up to a week, according to CHP Officer Rebecca Meyers.

Intersection may be first ‘Vision’ task

PUBLIC MEETING: Sonora City Council, 5 p.m. Monday, City Hall, 94 N. Washington St.


Improvements to the intersection at South Washington Street and Stockton Road in downtown Sonora could become the first project to move forward under the city’s 10-year “Vision Sonora” plan.

The Sonora City Council on Monday will be asked to allow City Administrator Tim Miller to begin soliciting bids from contractors for planning and design work on the project, which is intended to improve traffic flow, pedestrian safety and aesthetics at the intersection.

AT&T clarifies cause of outage

AT&T is blaming miscommunication between field crews and the company’s Bay Area press office for an inaccurate statement that identified a fallen tree as the cause of Tuesday night’s mass telephone and Internet outage, which affected thousands in the Mother Lode.

Alex Carey, a spokesman for AT&T based in San Francisco, said the misinformation stems from initial reports that field crews had to trim part of a tree in order to repair a damaged fiber-optic line near Sonora.

Four vie for two seats on Calaveras County bench

The race for a pair of seats on the Calaveras County Superior Court is becoming one of the most hotly contested elections in town as accusations of deception fly in the final days.

Seeking one seat on the bench in Department 1 are Calaveras County Deputy District Attorney Dana Pfeil and Calaveras County Court Commissioner Grant Barrett.

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Tue, 25 Nov 2014 20:38:10 -0800