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Heard over the back fence: Plant seeds for garden

RECLINERS ARE LOYAL: John Chapman provided the following T-shirt statement: “My recliner and I go way back.” SEED STARTING BASICS: A class titled “Seed Starting Basics” is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 25, from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Cameron Park Community Center, 2502 Country Club Dr. Class will cover seed selection, what to plant when, soil […]

Heard over the back fence: The keys to your success

WHISKEY LOVE: Jewel Blair-Smith provided the following “Puns for Educated Minds” quote: “She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.” TENNIS ANYONE? Do you want to play a little tennis at Lions Park in Placerville? Keys to the tennis courts can be purchased at the Recreation Dept. at 549 Main St., Placerville, for $20. […]

Heard over the back fence: Dance night at Shingle Springs

NEIGHBORLY UNLOVE? My buddy John Chapman gave me the following T-shirt statement: “God Bless Everyone, Except My Neighbors.” DANCE NIGHT FUN! On Feb. 6, from 7 to 9 p.m., you can dance at the Shingle Springs Community Center, 4440 South Shingle Rd. DJ Jamie Faw will provide the music. Light refreshments will be served. A $5 donation […]

City boosts Boys & Girls Club’s new facility

The holding pattern that the Western Slope Boys & Girls Club had been in since October regarding the new 14,567-square-foot facility it is planning to build was finally resolved at the Jan. 13 Placerville City Council meeting. The project stalled out over three conditions of approval adopted by the Placerville Planning Commission in September. One […]

Big rig catches fire

A big rig caught on fire Monday morning after going down an embankment just east of Twin Bridges. South Lake Tahoe CHP was dispatched shortly after 5 a.m., a spokesperson said, to a report of a big rig at the bottom of an embankment off of Highway 50. Reports also indicated the vehicle was on […]

Motorcycle fuel leak causes fire

A motorcycle fuel leak caused a garage fire in El Dorado Hills Sunday evening. Residents of 5060 Screech Owl Creek Road were “working on a project” on a motorcycle in their garage at about 5 p.m., El Dorado Hills Fire Chief Dave Roberts said, when fuel began leaking and caught on fire. “Crews did a […]

Crime family? SLT father, son arrested: Drugs and guns found

A father and son were arrested the evening of Jan. 22 on suspicion of illegal possession of firearms and drug-related charges after a multi-month investigation in South Lake Tahoe. South Lake Tahoe detectives and SWAT were joined by the South Lake El Dorado Narcotics Enforcement Team in a high-risk warrant service in the 800 block […]

City of SLT wins case in federal court

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — South Lake Tahoe’s City Attorney Tom Watson announced that a case in the Federal Court’s Eastern Division presided by the Honorable Garland Burrell resulted in a defense verdict by jury. The case of Patrick Solomon vs. the City of South Lake Tahoe was a complaint of a false arrest when the […]

Three arrested in Tahoe for Roseville robbery

Three men were arrested in South Lake Tahoe in connection with a strong-arm robbery in Roseville. Roseville Police Department were called to the scene of a robbery on Jan. 24, a press release stated. The victim reported he had been beaten and robbed of $30,000 by three suspects. He claimed he was attempting to buy […]

Marshall seeks baby-friendly imprimatur

Looking to add to their credentials, Marshall Medical Center hopes to add the designation of being a Baby-Friendly Hospital next month.

Part of a global Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative sponsored by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund, the designation recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding.

In particular, the initiative focuses on providing new mothers with the information, confidence and skills needed to successfully breastfeed their babies and gives special recognition to hospitals that have done so.

In charge of the program at Marshall is Christine Miguelgorry, who is a …

National Forest to continue winter prescribed burn program

The Eldorado National Forest will continue its winter prescribed burn fire program starting Sunday, Jan. 25 and continuing through the week if conditions allow. Burn operations will take place in the Grizzly Flat, Happy Valley, Baltic Ridge and Flemming Meadow areas. The prescribed burns that are planned will occur in the following Eldorado National Forest […]

Esmeralda Tunnel work on schedule

Work on the Esmeralda tunnel is on schedule to start water flowing through it March 1, project engineer Daryl Noel told the El Dorado Irrigation District board on Jan. 26. Right now the mining crews on the upstream end of the tunnel has 6 feet of debris left to excavate. As described by Noel, the […]

EID insurance bill shrinks

Insurance premiums for the El Dorado Irrigation District this year will be nearly $64,000 less than they were last year. Effective Jan. 1 EID got a 9 percent cut in its rates. The insurance coverage includes property/inland marine/crime, general liability, public officials and management liability, automobile and excess liability insurance. General Manager Jim Abercrombie was […]

Awards for innovative EID workers

Awards ranging from $50 to $100 were made to three employees of the El Dorado Irrigation District who invented ways to more safely operate sewer and water plants. Called the H.R. Bounty Safety Awards, they came from the California Water Agencies Joint Powers Insurance Authority for promoting safety in the workplace, and were announced at […]

Heard over the back fence: Chocolate Affair next week

WHY? Jewel Blair-Smith sent the following “Ever Wonder Why” questions: “Why the sun lightens our hair, but darkens our skin?” “Why can’t women put on mascara with their mouth closed?” “Why don’t you ever see the headline ‘Psychic Wins Lottery’?” CHOCOLATE AFFAIR: The “Winter Funtastic” magazine of calendar events notes the following “Chocolate Affair” information: “A Chocolate […]

Two fires contained in National Forest; third fire reported

Two fires were contained over the weekend in the Eldorado National Forest, with a third fire reported. The U.S. Forest Service announced via Twitter on Saturday evening that Cal Fire was assisting with two fires, dubbed the Tanner and McOullah fires, in the national forest. The Cal Fire Twitter feed reported that the Tanner Fire […]

Ranalli picks Pratt as planning commissioner

In a prepared statement Thursday, new District 4 Supervisor Michael Ranalli announced his selection of Dave Pratt to represent the district on the county’s Planning Commission. While more typically the planning commissioner is a resident of the district being represented, Ranalli noted in the statement and in a phone conversation with the Mountain Democrat that […]

New ruling gives hope to dredgers

A new ruling issued on Jan. 12 of this year is giving hope to suction dredgers that they will once again be able to ply their trade on California’s waterways.

Issued by San Bernardino County Judge Gilbert Ochoa, the decision builds on a previous ruling by a state appellate court in the case of People v. Rinehart.

In that case, Brandon Rinehart successfully appealed his conviction for suction dredging without a permit when the Third Court of Appeals for California ruled the trial …

From war to parades: Vet owns ambulance he drove in Vietnam

Not many people have a 1967 Kaiser K275 ambulance in their front yard, but Rob Hughes of Lotus has a history with this particular vehicle. In 1968, a 23-year-old Hughes drove this ambulance from Qui Nhon, Vietnam to pick up post-operation wounded out in the field and bring them back to the 67th Evacuation Hospital […]

Suspect in stolen car arrested in EDH

The pursuit of a stolen vehicle ended in an arrest early Friday morning. According to the Placerville Police Department, the incident began at 1:23 a.m. Friday morning in the 300 block of Placerville Drive. An officer identified a 1998 Subaru Forester as one stolen from Pollock Pines and began a pursuit. The suspect fled to El Dorado Hills […]

Major injury after car hits trees

A Pine Grove resident suffered major injuries after the driver’s car collided with pine trees in Grizzly Flat on Jan. 17. The victim, who CHP Officer Quinn Cuthbertson did not identify, was driving a 2001 Silver Toyota Corolla westbound on Grizzly Flat Road west of String Canyon Road at about 8:45 a.m. when, for an […]

Huntsman’s trial conference set for March

A trial-setting conference for Wayne Allen Huntsman, the man accused of starting the King Fire, was held on Friday, Jan. 23. Huntsman, 37, was indicted on Dec. 15 by a Grand Jury on suspicion of felony arson of forest land, with special allegations of arson with aggravating factors. The King Fire, which started Sept. 13 in Pollock […]

Employment percentages improve in area and locally

The unemployment rate in the Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville MSA was 6.2 percent in December 2014, down from a revised 6.7 percent in November 2014, and below the year-ago estimate of 7.5 percent. This compares with an unadjusted unemployment rate of 6.7 percent for California and 5.4 percent for the nation during the same period. The unemployment rate […]

Stumpy Meadows: Bathymetric survey plumbs reservoir

Two small spending projects were approved by the board of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District at its Jan. 13 meeting. A contract with Andregg Geomatics was approved for $17,960. The contract will pay to conduct a bathymetric survey of the Stumpy Meadows Reservoir. Because of damage to the Pilot Creek Watershed following the King Fire, […]

Board approves General Plan amendments

El Dorado County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to enact two amendments to the county’s General Plan at its Jan. 13 meeting. The process required a two-stage set of actions. First, the board had to approve requests for the changes on each of two development projects. Next, supervisors had to adopt a resolution approving the […]

Barber Jon’s museum and barber shop burglarized

A museum of old and rare barber shop items was stolen from World Famous Barber Jon’s in El Dorado Hills on Jan. 21. “They broke in through the front window,” Jon Rivera, better known as “Barber Jon,” said. He believes the burglary occurred between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. Barber memorabilia including straight-edge razors dating […]

A new ‘chair-iff’ in town

Supervisor Brian Veerkamp was elected chairman for 2015 at the Board of Supervisors’ first meeting on Jan. 6. At that time he made a few opening remarks. “Thanks for your confidence in me,” and turning to new Supervisors Sue Novasel and Michael Ranalli, he said, “Welcome to our world.” Asking the “indulgence” of board and […]

Serrano ‘finger’ residents get a choice

During the second portion of the meeting Tuesday in the Oak Ridge Multipurpose room, students living in “the finger” and the attendance path that would best serve them were discussed. The eastern Serrano neighborhood got its nickname when boundaries were redrawn in 2005 and their neighborhood, still under construction, jutted out farther to the east […]

School choice wins in boundary fight

Oak Ridge High School’s multipurpose room was filled during a special board meeting of the El Dorado Union High School district Tuesday night. During the four-hour public workshop, school attendance boundaries in the Blackstone region and an eastern Serrano neighborhood nicknamed “the finger” were discussed and different scenarios proposed. Though no formal action could be […]

Water savings continue as expenses mount

El Dorado Irrigation District customers continue to save water, aided by nearly 3 inches of rain in November and nearly 9 inches in December. General Manager Jim Abercrombie reported at the Jan. 12 meeting that district customers had reduced potable water consumption 24 percent between Dec. 24 and Dec. 31; 17 percent between Jan. 1, […]

Reward for shooter info

The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office is offering a reward of $25,000 for information that leads to the arrest of a man accused of shooting at a deputy on Oct. 17, 2014. At about 8 a.m. that morning, a deputy on patrol investigated a truck in a turnout near Cable Road and White Mountain Ranch […]

Fair seeks to ‘de-organ-ize': Rare pipe organ 1 of 2 in CA

She was the first pipe organ in El Dorado County; she might be one of the only two Bergstrom Pipe Organs left in California; she might be the largest surviving Bergstrom and now, this vintage lady of El Dorado County history needs a home as the county fair is asking the Historical Society to move it.

Built by John Eric Bergstrom, a Swedish immigrant who learned the science of organ building in Sweden before coming to the United States in 1850, the Bergstrom pipe organ is the only occupant of the Organ Room at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds. Usually the background for exhibits during the county fair, the organ hasn’t been played for many years.

According to “History of El Dorado County Federated Church,” by Malcom E. Wright, the organ was purchased by the Placerville …

Wanted: Gold Bug Park volunteers; big rewards promised

A “wanted” poster was recently tacked to the door at Placerville’s Gold Bug Park & Mine. It’s not bank robbers or horse thieves city officials are looking for. They’re hoping to capture a few new volunteers for the upcoming school tour and summer tourist season at the historic park. “We had a tremendous visitor season […]

Eldorado National Forest to hire seasonal workers Jan. 27

The Eldorado National Forest plans to fill approximately 35 seasonal wildland firefighter positions for a temporary appointment that will run approximately May through November. The online application for these jobs will only be open for one week from Jan. 27 through Feb. 2. The various positions opening this year are located in Georgetown, Grizzly Flat, […]

Heard over the back fence: Car info for women

TELL MY WHY: Jewel Blair-Smith sent me the following “Susan Grote” quotes: “Why do banks leave vault doors open and then chain the pen to the counter?” and “Why do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in our driveway and junk in the garage?” WAFFLES AND FLAT TIRES:
 The annual “Women, Wheels, and Waffles” event […]

Controversy continues over death of Gen. George S. Patton

Even 70 years later, the death of Gen. George S. Patton remains controversial.

A person connected to the Mountain Democrat offers a different, insider’s perspective on the traffic accident that led to Patton’s death, disputing the controversy.

A brilliant and audacious warrior who was often called “old blood and guts,” Patton’s untimely death at the end of World War II resulted in speculation that he died at an assassin’s hand rather than because of an automobile accident.

It was the subject of several books. One published in 2008 was called “Target Patton,” by journalist Robert Wilcox.

Murder arrests stem from cold case; suspects arraigned

Two of the three men arrested last week in connection with a cold case murder from 2006 were arraigned the afternoon of Jan. 20.

Eric Mehlmauer, accused of murder, was assigned no bail after pleading not guilty; Ronald Garcia was accused of aiding Mehlmauer after the alleged murder was committed and was assigned $50,000 bail.

Garcia, 53, of Sacramento, was arraigned first and entered a not guilty plea to a charge of accessory after the fact, or willfully concealing, harboring or aiding the suspect after a felony — in this case, the alleged murder of Tobias Kaiser on or about Nov. 11, 2006.

Salmon expert eyes Cosumnes River

The El Dorado Chapter of Trout Unlimited got some good news about fish restoration efforts at its Jan. 15 meeting. There to talk about efforts to improve the passage of fish up the Cosumnes River so they can spawn was Donnie Ratcliff, who is the assistant program manager of the anadromous fish restoration program of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife […]

90 horses: Hearing officer backs seizure

A hearing officer has decided there was reasonable cause for El Dorado County Animal Services to believe 90 horses and other livestock at the former Grace Foundation facility were abandoned and that it was necessary to retrieve the animals to provide for their care and feeding.  Citing Penal Code section 597.1 and Civil Code 1815(d), the […]

Wildlife conservation group plans inaugural event

Plans are well underway for the first ever fundraising banquet event by the Mother Lode Chapter of the California Deer Association in Placerville. The fundraising banquet will be held at the American Legion Hall, 4561 Greenstone Road in Placerville on Feb. 7. The group was founded in 1996 but hasn’t previously had a chapter in […]

Kirkwood Meadows PUD strengthens infrastructure for reliability and environmental benefits

Kirkwood — On Nov. 1, 2014 the Kirkwood Meadows Public Utility District, which serves the Kirkwood community and Vail’s Kirkwood Mountain Resort, commissioned and energized a 10-megawatt, 28-mile electrical transmission line connecting the area to the Western electric grid at Pacific Gas & Electric’s Salt Springs substation. This substantially completes a 9-year capital project that […]

Animal Outreach hosts cat trapping clinic

DIAMOND SPRINGS, CA – In an effort to help curb the population of local feral cats, Animal Outreach of the Mother Lode will host a Cat Trapping Clinic Saturday, Jan. 31, at its Diamond Springs’ shelter, 6101 Enterprise Dr. The trapping clinic will be held from 11 a.m. until noon, and is free and open to […]

California State Parks 2015 Annual Pass Program offered

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—On Dec. 23, California State Parks is launching the Annual Park Pass Program, bringing back the popular “Golden Poppy” and introducing a new Tahoe area regional pass. The Annual Park Pass Program consists of four different passes with a variety of admissions to parks statewide, and price points designed to meet visitor’s individual needs. […]

Heard over the back fence: ‘I hear the train a-coming’

LEARN TO LISTEN: My pal John Chapman sent the following T-shirt statement: “My wife says I never listen to her. At least that’s what I think she said.” ALL ABOARD! The El Dorado Western Railroad runs on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Feb. 1 train will be at the El Dorado Station located next […]

White Meadows continues King Fire recovery

Despite the devastating effects of the King Fire, clean up and recovery efforts continue in White Meadows.

That area suffered the most in terms of property damage with 12 homes and at least 57 buildings destroyed.

One of those families whose home burned was Michele and Doug Mudgett, whose ranch, Pacific House Farms, was in the path of the fire.

Their home, barn and much of the timber on their property was lost. They are now living in a small travel trailer on their property along with their …

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