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Freeze advisory issued for Lode

Freezing temperatures can cause even the strongest pipes to break. File photo / Union Democrat, copyright 2014
 Cold, gusting winds expected to peak this afternoon may knock down trees and power lines, leading to power outages in some mountain areas, with freezing or near-freezing overnight temperatures likely to continue New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

In the Mother Lode, that could mean sustained winds today of 20 to 35 mph and gusts to up to 50 mph, according to the National Weather Service. Stronger winds are expected at higher elevations, including Strawberry.


"The Interview" draws hundreds

A movie theater in Angels Camp is among a few hundred throughout the United States to begin screening the controversial new film “The Interview,” following a bizarre international saga that unfolded in the weeks leading up to motion picture’s Christmas Day release. 

“The Interview,” a Sony Pictures comedy starring James Franco and Seth Rogen as a pair of bumbling entertainment journalists recruited by the U.S. government to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, opened as originally scheduled on Christmas at Angels 6 Theatres in downtown Angels Camp, as well as 11 other venues in California and Idaho operated by the small, Petaluma-based theater chain Cinema West.


CHP gets new plate readers

Cameras that can help the California Highway Patrol locate stolen cars are placed on one of the vehicles. Jesse Jones / Union Democrat, copyright 2014
 The California Highway Patrol office in Jamestown will be the first in the area to use a new technology that allows mass collection and processing of license plate data.

A single patrol car was equipped last week with a “Licence Plate Reader” — a camera and computer system that scans the plates of passing cars and runs them through a database, freeing officers from having to tail cars to manually collect plate information. The machine can read thousands of license plates in a given day.


No shortage of snow and ice play in nearby mountains and resorts

Dodge Ridge Ski Instructor Michelle Pryschuk uses a hula-hoop to help teach Kyle Jacoby, 5, of Valencia, how to ski at Dodge Ridge Ski Resort on Saturday. Jesse Jones / Union Democrat, copyright 2014
 With another week of winter break for most schools, what winter activities are available for kids and families in the Mother Lode?

Thanks to recent snow and chilly temperatures, the outdoors is a good bet.


Man arrested after high-speed chase

Two men were arrested Christmas Eve after leading California Highway Patrol officers on a high-speed pursuit from Tuolumne to Calaveras county. 

Leslie Hay, 24, of Sonora, was in custody this morning at the Tuolumne County Jail. He was booked about 5 p.m. Wednesday night on felony charges of possession of stolen property, evading police, vehicle theft and misdemeanor theft, driving under the influence of drugs, vandalism and resisting arrest after an arrest at the Angels Camp Veterans Memorial Hall on Raspberry Street.

Sierra Views: Columbia couple back for more Santa and Mrs. Claus work

Santa and Mrs. Claus (portrayed by Robert and Paula Linssen) visited the Out of Hand store Saturday in Sonora. Jesse Jones / Union Democrat, Copyright 2014.
No doubt Robert and Paula Linssen of Columbia are resting their feet today — the pair were busy playing Santa and Mrs. Claus for the City of Sonora in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

From Dec. 12 through Christmas Eve, the retired couple spent hours each day meeting, greeting and finding out what Tuolumne County boys and girls wanted for Christmas. 

USFS permit completes Bear Valley resort sale

The sale of Bear Valley Mountain Resort to a Canadian company is now complete following the approval of a U.S. Forest Service permit. 

Toronto-based Skyline International Development Inc., announced in August plans to purchase the 1,700-acre ski area, which includes nine chair lifts, a 2,000-space parking lot and a 40,000 square-foot lodge. 

Recycling opportunities for Xmas trash

The Cal Sierra Transfer Station in Sonora made room Wednesday for after-Christmas garbage. Jesse Jones / Union Democrat, Copyright 2014.
Now that Christmas is over, landfills and trash pickup operations will be busy cleaning up the mess.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans typically generate an extra 1 million tons of trash between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. The 2.6 billion holiday cards sold each year in the United States alone is enough to fill a football field 10 stories high, and the 38,000 miles of ribbon that gets thrown away is enough to tie a bow around the earth.

Third suspect arrested in Columbia stabbing; court date set for Friday

Three people arrested in connection with an attempted murder last month in Columbia are set to appear at 8:30 a.m. Friday in Department 4 of Tuolumne County Superior Court for a preliminary hearing. 

Michael Anthony Gilbert, 22, and Sarah Katherine Impink, 19, both transients, were arrested Dec. 10 on suspicion of attempted murder, robbery, burglary and assault with a deadly weapon, according to a Sheriff’s Office report. 

Groveland CSD looks at 10-year budget analysis

Members of the Groveland Community Services District finance committee looked at a draft 10-year budget analysis Tuesday and discussed undertaking their first rate study since 2008.

The communities of Groveland, Big Oak Flat and Pine Mountain Lake are currently paying Phase III drought water and sewer rates implemented by the district in August. Phase III drought emergency restrictions in the district call for mandatory 20 percent reductions in water use.

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Fri, 30 Jan 2015 23:20:15 -0800