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Man found dead downtown

A man was found dead in downtown Placerville on Sept. 19. Placerville Police Commander Kim Nida said the man was found at the intersection of Clay and Locust streets at about 7 a.m. He was identified as a 59-year-old transient. Nida did not provide a name. There were no signs of foul play.

Woman, child die in collision in Cool

A traffic collision claimed two lives in Cool on Sept. 21. At about 4:14 p.m., Leah Witaschek, 34, of Carmichael, was driving a black 2001 Volvo S60 westbound on Highway 193 west of Cramer Road, a CHP press release stated. Gary Burkett, 67, of Greenwood, was driving a green and silver 1997 Dodge Ram 2500 […]

Signs subject to removal

Signs have been appearing along Highway 50 thanking firefighters and law enforcement for their work on the King Fire since it began. Most, however, have not been approved by the Department of Transportation and are subject to removal. Rosalie Baker saw the idea to put signs where the Christmas trees are displayed along Highway 50, […]

Community shows appreciation to firefighters

How do you say thank you to people who are risking their lives on your behalf? Some people have found their own way to demonstrate their appreciation of the 3,600 firefighters battling the King Fire. Signs saying “Thank you firefighters” beam from businesses, overpasses and street corners and a lot of firefighters can’t buy their own […]

Unique mobile ‘weather profiling system’ aids firefighters

Craig Clements stood in the shadow of a pickup truck on the helicopter landing pad at the Pacific Ranger Station near Fresh Pond on Wednesday afternoon. Smoke billowed up from the King Fire as he and his team watched, with Neil Lareau calling in information about the fire’s weather patterns. Their team had been monitoring […]

Georgetown smoky but grateful

The handmade signs were everywhere: “We love you firefighters.” “Thank you firefighters.” Found up and down Main Street in Georgetown, they went with the smoke that has hung over the town for the last few days due to the King Fire — a constant reminder of the danger next door. Outside of Georgetown on sections […]

SLT Citizens Academy accepting applications

The city of South Lake Tahoe is now accepting applications for the Fall 2014 Citizens Academy. The Academy will be held on consecutive Wednesdays from 5:30 to 8 p.m. beginning Oct. 8 and running through Nov. 12. The Citizens Academy is a free, six-session interactive course designed to provide residents with an in-depth look into […]

Lane closures for interchange construction to resume

The week of Sept. 22, the Transportation Division of El Dorado County’s Community Development Agency will be implementing full, one-directional closures of Highway 50. The closures will facilitate the needed falsework operations for the Silva Valley Overcrossing. Starting Monday night, all eastbound lanes will close at 11 p.m. from Latrobe Road to Bass Lake Road. […]

King Fire structural damage confirmed

It’s been confirmed that some homes and other structures have been damaged due to the King Fire, according to a briefing provided to residents on Friday night in Camino and an update by inciweb.nwcg.gov on Sunday.

Located in the White Meadows area of Pollock Pines, fire officials said they are still investigating the damage and would be notifying property owners before releasing any further information. An update on inciweb.nwcg.gov on Sunday afternoon stated, “preliminary reports from the Damage Assessment Team from the White Meadows area indicate that 10 residences and 22 other structures were damaged or destroyed.”

The King Fire, which started in Pollock Pines, was up to …

Accused arsonist pleads not guilty

A not guilty plea was entered in court Friday afternoon for the man accused of setting the King Fire.

Wayne Allen Huntsman, 37, had a plea of not guilty entered for him by Judge Gary Hahn, also denying all special allegations. Huntsman kept his head down as he entered the courtroom and next to his attorney, William Dittmann of the El Dorado County Public Defender’s Office, while a line of media cameras watched …

Sacramento region continues impressive water-use reductions in August

SACRAMENTO — Customers at 14 Sacramento-area agencies (listed below) reduced water use by 20 percent or more in August compared to the same period last year, according to an analysis by the Regional Water Authority (RWA), which represents water providers in Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado and Yolo counties. The findings come from a review of August […]

Suspected arsonist nabbed

A man has been arrested in Placerville on suspicion of arson on forest land in relation to the King Fire. Wayne Allen Huntsman, 37, was arrested in Placerville Wednesday night after an El Dorado County superior court judge signed a warrant for his arrest, said District Attorney Vern Pierson at a press conference Thursday morning. A […]

G’town residents briefed on fire

GERORGETOWN — It was standing room only at the Georgetown Elementary School where a special meeting was held at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 17, to brief Divide residents about the status of the King Fire. The King Fire started on Sept. 13, at just  about 20 acres and rapidly spread to 70,994 with only 5 percent containment […]

King Fire briefing in Camino attracts a large crowd

With the King Fire continuing to rage, interest was high at Tuesday night’s fire briefing with an estimated crowd of 400 to 700 people in attendance. Held at the Camino Seventh-day Adventist Church, fire and law enforcement personnel gave out the latest information on the fire as well as fielded questions. Laurence Crabtree, a supervisor with the U.S. Forest Service, noted […]

Arson arrest made in King Fire; Swansboro evacuated

The King Fire exploded to 70,944 acres between Wednesday night and Thursday morning, and a man was arrested on a single charge of arson of forest land Wednesday night.

Wayne Allen Huntsman, 37, was booked into the Placerville jail Wednesday night on a charge of arson of a forest land. His bail was set at $10 million. He is under suspicion as the cause of the fire.

The fire doubled in size overnight, from almost 30,000 acres to nearly 71,000, with no change from the 5 percent containment.

“The fire continued to burn actively throughout the night,” a Thursday morning update …

High school superintendent hired by Elk Grove Unified

El Dorado High School District Superintendent Christopher Hoffman was selected as Elk Grove Unified School District’s new superintendent by the Elk Grove District Board of Trustees at the Sept. 16 meeting. Hoffman is beginning his fourth year as Superintendent of El Dorado Union High School District this year and will be taking up his new position […]

Volunteers sheltering animal evacuees

Animal evacuees need the same things that human evacuees need: food, shelter and someone to make sure they are all right. It’s just that some of them take up a lot more space. There are more than 2,000 human evacuees from the King Fire, ranging from Pollock Pines to Swansboro, to Volcano and Quintette. Shelters […]

Help offered for dislocated workers

El Dorado County Connections–One Stop has programs and services to help individuals return to work. Through the Dislocated Worker Program, unemployed and underemployed residents who are unlikely to return to their previous industry or occupation can receive assistance. Displaced homemakers and self-employed individuals may also qualify. Applicants do not need to be low income to […]

GDPUD considers forming ag committee

Agricultural water use was on the Aug. 9 agenda of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District board as it explored the idea of forming a committee of raw water users. Suggested by Director Kathy Otermat in light of the drought, the district currently provides raw water to approximately 390 users who make up about 10 percent of all the district’s […]

County releases wildfire smoke advisory

The King Fire is creating smoky conditions in some areas of El Dorado County, prompting the County Air Quality Management District (AQMD) and Health and Human Services Agency–Public Health Division to issue an advisory. Officials expect that El Dorado County may continue to be affected on an intermittent basis for quite some time. Smoke conditions […]

Pollock Pines School District reopens Sept. 18

The Pollock Pines School District will reopen all school sites for class Thursday, Sept. 18, after closing Monday through Wednesday due to the King Fire. The district is following all safety protocols and the reopening comes under the advisement of the Emergency Operations Center and incident command, who established that it is safe to reopen […]

Scheduled breakfasts cancelled

The Community Breakfast scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 20, at the Pollock Pines Community Center has been cancelled due to the fire conditions in Pollock Pines. The breakfast is sponsored by the Sierra Ridge Interact Club the second Saturday each month (except September). The next breakfast will be held Saturday, Oct. 11, from 8:30 to 10:30 […]

Sept. 23 is National Voter Registration Day

At 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 23, the El Dorado County Elections Department will host a National Voter Registration Day 2014 event at 330 Fair Lane, Building A at the county Government Center as part of a massive 50-state effort to register thousands of voters before Election Day, Nov. 4. The theme for this year’s […]

Heard over the back fence: Fall festival at library Sept. 27

ADVICE FROM AN APPLE: John Chapman dropped off the following “Advice from an Apple” T-shirt statement: “Be well rounded. Let your plans ripen. Hold on to core values. Savor variety. Eat healthy. Know when to let go. Take a bite out of life.” FALL HARVEST CARNIVAL: The “Fall Harvest Carnival” will be in the parking lot of […]

Looting report just a rumor

A report of possible looting in Pollock Pines turned out to be false, according to the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office. Sgt. Jeff Leikauf said they received a report of suspicious activity in the Forebay area Tuesday night. But after sending in deputies, they cleared the report. The Sheriff’s Office said they have deputies specifically assigned […]

Gala Wine and Roses fundraiser

WINE AND ROSES FUNDRAISER: Marshall Hospital Auxiliary is sponsoring their 9th annual “Gala Wine and Roses” fundraiser on Sept. 20 from 7 to 9 p.m. at 681 Main St., Placerville. This event includes a wonderful silent auction, door prizes and live music. Ticket prices are $25 for one or $37.50 for two. Tickets may be purchased […]

Firefighters and evacuees transform Pollock Pines

Monday was a day of ashes and smoke as the King Fire continued to grow, with the plume of white smoke turning to a dirty brown as the fire found fresh fuel and threatened even more homes.

With its population increased almost overnight, Pollock Pines became home to almost 1,500 firemen from all over the state as they arrived to fight a fire that burned around 200 acres on Saturday but moved on to engulf more than 11,500 acres by Tuesday morning.

One resident said he counted 55 fire trucks in the parking lot of Safeway on Monday morning. Added to that were more fire engines parked elsewhere along with water trucks, a line of bulldozers on flatbed trucks and scores of people watching …

Pollock Pines Elementary School District reopens for class Wednesday

The Pollock Pines Elementary School District will reopen all school sites for class tomorrow – Wednesday, Sept. 17, after closing Monday and Tuesday due to the King Fire. The district is following all safety protocols and the reopening comes under the advisement of the incident command Team 5, who established that it is safe to […]

‘Fire in Sierra Nevada Forest’ topic at Forest Forum

PIONEER — Photographs, narratives, and research confirm that the structure of Sierra Nevada forests and woodlands has changed dramatically since the mid-1800s. Fire suppression has allowed a massive increase in vegetation, resulting in fuel buildup and the heightened risk of severe wildfire, the loss wildlife habitat, impaired scenic quality, a declining water yield and a […]

Base camp a place of support and logistics

Fighting the King Fire that, as of Tuesday morning, was 11,570 acres, is a staggering task. But just as important as the actual fire suppression effort is the support behind the firefighters. A multitude of agencies, from the unified command of Cal Fire and the U.S. Forest Service to fire agencies from Los Angeles, Oregon […]

Fire burns CP house

A Cameron Park house was damaged in a fire on Sept. 15. Cameron Park Fire was dispatched to 3309 Fair Way Drive at 5:57 p.m., Engineer Jeremy Johnson said. Engine 88 was first on scene. The fire consumed about 25 percent of the house, and “got in to the attic, burned across the front of […]

Volcanoville man shot

A man was allegedly shot Monday morning in Volcanoville. Deputies were dispatched to a report of a shooting around 11 a.m., a post on the El Dorado County Sheriff’s blog stated. Upon arrival, deputies found a man with what appeared to be a gunshot wound. He was flown to a Roseville hospital for treatment. His […]

Be disaster aware, take action to prepare

September is National Preparedness Month. “Do 1 Thing” to be ready. Being prepared can make it easier to respond to and recover from an emergency or disaster. During National Preparedness Month, El Dorado County Health and Human Services Agency–Public Health Division encourages residents and businesses of El Dorado County to prepare for local threats, such […]

Disaster preparedness presentation Sept. 23

Are you prepared for the next disaster? From extreme weather to wildland fire, El Dorado County faces numerous potential risks. On Tuesday, Sept. 23, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Northside Elementary School, El Dorado County Health and Human Services Agency, Animal Services and Public Health Preparedness and Response staff, along with the El Dorado […]

Five candidates vie for three Placerville City Council seats

There are five candidates vying for three Placerville City Council seats in the November elections. Incumbent Patty Borelli has been a Council member since 2006. She was born and raised in Placerville and is a long-time business owner. Currently she is vice-mayor of Placerville and represents the city on the El Dorado Transportation Commission, the […]

Heard over the back fence: Take a ride on the Wiser Line

RESPECT YOUR PARENTS: Paul Chafer dropped off the following quotation: “Respect your parents . . . They passed school without Google.” FREE STAGECOACH RIDES! On Sept. 20, from noon to 3 p.m., Davey “Doc” Wiser and Friends will offer free stagecoach rides at Fresh Pond. Enjoy your fun trip to our past. RAFTING: Join Foothill Conservancy Sunday, […]

Italy on Wheels a hidden gem

FOLSOM — The Mountain Democrat’s own Ken Deibert perhaps said it best when he described the third annual Italy on Wheels car, motorcycle, scooter and bicycle show at the Murer House Museum in Folsom as a “hidden gem.” An estimated 300-400 people of all ages filled the parking lot and park along with Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Maseratis, […]

Volunteer driver ‘Meet and Greet’ at Senior Center

Interested in volunteering but not sure how to get started? You are invited to a volunteer drivers “Meet and Greet” to talk about the volunteer driver opportunities for the Senior Nutrition and the Senior Shuttle programs. The Senior Nutrition Program volunteer drivers provide home delivered meals to home bound seniors one day a week between […]

King Fire nearing 19,000 acres burned, only 5% contained

The acreage burned by the King Fire has climbed to 18,544 acres as of Wednesday. It remains at 5 percent containment. Two injuries have been reported, and 2,448 structures (1,632 residences) have been threatened, according to an Inciweb update.

The California Highway Patrol Facebook page originally stated the fire had crossed over Highway 50 near Sly Park, but scanner reports and the CHP Facebook page later reported the fire “burns up to north side of U.S. 50 east of Sly Park,” but not across it Tuesday night.

Fairgrounds Park n’ Ride temporarily closed

PLACERVILLE — The El Dorado County Fairgrounds Park n’ Ride is closed temporarily while being used as a staging area for fire crews. Please use the Central Park n’ Ride on Commerce Way for alternate parking. For more information call El Dorado Transit at 530-642-5383 or visit the Website at eldoradotransit.com.

SLT Citizens Academy graduates

The fourth session of the City of South Lake Tahoe’s Citizens Academy graduated during the June 10 South Lake Tahoe City Council meeting. The spring 2014 academy was held from April 9 to May 21 and consisted of 13 attendees including: Douglas Bolton, Tom Burkart, Ian Caruth, Tobias Devor, Janill Gilbert, Misty Johansen, Jen Menzel, […]

King Fire grows to more than 2,000 acres

A fire quickly spreading east of Pollock Pines forced El Dorado County families to evacuate their homes on Sunday.

Mandatory evacuations of about 100 began about 11:30 a.m. Sunday, according to Matthew Marques, a volunteer at the evacuation center at the Pollock Pines Community Center.

The King Fire, off of King of the Mountain Road, began at 4:32 p.m. on Sept. 13 and spread to more than 2,000 acres by 4:20 p.m. on Sept. 14, according to the latest update available from Cal Fire as of press time. It was originally listed as 100 acres, with 10 percent containment, but updated later in the afternoon. It was located in the canyon of South Fork American River, northeast of Pollock …

Dead animal disposal policy updated

The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors has updated county policy related to dead animal disposal. County Policy G-3 provides guidance for residents regarding removal and disposal of dead animals on state highways, city and county roads and private property. The policy updates were reviewed and approved at the July 22 board meeting. The following […]

Sanford seeking new trial

At an Aug. 29 hearing, a man found guilty of murder intended to file a motion for a new trial. Andrew Sanford, found guilty of the 1980 murder of Richard Swanson by a jury on April 23, was to file a motion requesting a new trial, defense attorney Eric Davenport, standing in for Erik Schlueter, said. A […]

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