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September unempoyment rate dips

The unemployment rate in the Sacramento-Arden Arcade-Roseville MSA was 6.6 percent in September 2014, down from a revised 6.9 percent in August 2014, and below the year-ago estimate of 8.1 percent. This compares with an unadjusted unemployment rate of 6.9 percent for California and 5.7 percent for the nation during the same period. The unemployment […]

Dog talk with Uncle Matty: Homewreckin’ dogs

It’s one thing to battle over who gets the dog once divorce is imminent. It’s another to argue about the dog until divorce is imminent. This is a real problem: poorly behaved dogs that destroy marriages and deflate budding romance. What to do about these homewreckin’ dogs? Heed the following letter from a reader: “My dog […]

Probation Officers endorse Ranalli

The El Dorado County Probation Officers Association announced it is endorsing Michael Ranalli for District 4 county supervisor, stated EDCPOA President Gary S. Romanko. “The EDCPOA believes Mr. Ranalli is highly qualified and would be a great asset as a county supervisor,” Romanko stated. “Mr. Ranalli has been an active and involved member in the […]

McClintock fired up over fire and water

Congressman Tom McClintock got down to real basics in a talk to the El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce Oct. 8 at Red Hawk Casino. Describing two of the four elements, fire and water, McClintock lambasted those who have delayed harvesting of timber killed by the Rim Fire last year and the King Fire most […]

King Fire salvage operations continue

Salvage and restoration efforts in the aftermath of the King Fire are already underway with responsibility divided among the U.S. Forest Service, private landowners and Sierra Pacific Industries. According to Mark Egbert, district manager of El Dorado County and Georgetown Divide Resource Conservation District (GDRCD), of the 97,717 acres burned, 13,893 were the property of private landowners, 20,000 were […]

Camino manhunt ongoing

A manhunt in Camino began Friday morning after a deputy was shot at by a suspect.

Just after 8 a.m., a struggle occurred between a deputy and the suspect while on Cable Road, El Dorado County Sheriff’s Sgt. Chris Felton said. The suspect was able to retrieve a gun and fired a single shot at the deputy.

The deputy reported over the scanner that he had not been harmed; the shot hit his radio.

A manhunt began for the subject in Camino, though schools were only put on soft …

Psychiatrist: Winkler has disorders

Day 11 of the Todd Winkler Trial, Oct. 15, began with Winkler questioned on re-direct by his attorney, David Weiner. “I should have had the strength to disable her” without it being a life or death situation, he said. He said he didn’t have the strength and “never had control of the situation.” He said […]

Motorcycle fatal on Omo Ranch Road

A man was killed Thursday after being ejected from his motorcycle. Randolph Roberts, 30, of Amador City, was riding his 2008 Kawasaki 250 sport bike westbound on Omo Ranch Road east of Fairplay Road at about 8:25 p.m., a California Highway Patrol press release stated. He was traveling at an unknown high rate of speed […]

Planning Commission halts Town Center apartments

On Sept. 11, the El Dorado County Planning Commission denied plans to build a 250-unit luxury apartment complex in Town Center in the project’s current form, yet the commission’s recommendations for revisions were mixed. Stockton-based developer A.G. Spanos Companies requested to increase the maximum residential density allowed in the General Plan from 24 dwelling units […]

Northside Trail opened

Dignitaries from Caltrans, El Dorado County Transportation Division, Black Oak Mine Unified School District and county Board Of Supervisors were on hand Oct, 15 during a blustery ceremony opening the Northside School Bike Path from Auburn Lake Trails’ first gate to Northside School. Although most everyone in attendance was positive about the project, two held […]

Officials warn of jury duty warrant scam

The South Lake Tahoe Police Department and El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department received several phone calls over the weekend from citizens stating they were called by subjects identifying themselves by the names of local law enforcement officers. The citizens were told that the callers have warrants for their arrest for failing to respond to a […]

Heard over the back fence: Arts Council moving to Fausel House

BRING TWO BLANKETS: Paul Chafer provided the following “Church Bulletin” quote: “This evening at 7 p.m. there will be a hymn singing in the park across from the church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.” ART COUNCIL MOVING: The following “moving” announcement is provided: “After five years at 459 Main St., the El Dorado Arts […]

Runner to hold telephone townhall for restaurant owners

SACRAMENTO — Board of Equalization Member George Runner will host a telephone townhall for restaurant owners on Wednesday, Oct. 29 at 10 a.m. The event, co-hosted by the California Restaurant Association, will provide specific information on tax issues important to the dining and beverage industry. “Restaurants play a vital role in California’s economy, providing more […]

EDUHSD: Veerkamp attacks White over group membership

It was an uncomfortable meeting for everyone Tuesday night as the El Dorado Union High School District Board of Trustees met to discuss charges that Trustee Todd White had a potential conflict of interest because of his membership in another group. Brought up as an agenda item by Trustee Lori Veerkamp, the board debated whether or not White’s […]

Notice of vacancy for the Early Care and Education Planning Council

The El Dorado County Early Care and Education Planning Council is accepting applications for board membership to fill two vacancies serving at the discretion of the Board of Supervisors. Successful applicants would be those who are concerned about and/or experienced with child care and early education issues. One vacancy is a designee position, which is […]

Ted, Beth Gaines endorse Todd White

State Assemblywoman Beth Gaines and State Senator Ted Gaines have both endorsed Todd White for re-election to the El Dorado Union High School District Board of Trustees. In her endorsement Assemblywoman Beth Gaines stated, “Todd has proven that is a hardworking, positive advocate for quality public education, and he has my full endorsement for re-election […]

Deputy Sheriff’s Association opposes Measures M, N and O

The Deputy Sheriffs’ Association of El Dorado County is opposing measures M, N and O on the November ballot — joining a coalition of local business, labor, agriculture, education, water and transportation experts who also oppose these measures. “Measures M, N and O will increase traffic on rural roads, slowing emergency response times for fire, […]

Winkler grilled by prosecution

Todd Winkler continued his testimony Tuesday morning regarding his killing of his wife Rachel — alleged as a murder by the prosecution but self-defense by the defense.

As he had testified on the previous Thursday, he said he got in bed with Rachel in the early morning hours of Feb. 27, 2012. She told him that she wanted full custody of their three children. Winkler added that she would not allow weekend or overnight visits, something that was “out of left field.”

She also threatened him. “She told me she would have James (White) come over and get rid of me.” Rachel and White had been having an affair, with Rachel intending to divorce Todd and continue her relationship with White.

Penn endorsed for District 4 by Local 2881

SACRAMENTO — Cal Fire Local 2881, the largest fire department in California and the third largest fire department in the United States, representing more than 6,500 firefighters, announced its support for Howard Penn for supervisor of El Dorado County, District 4. “In El Dorado County each fire department is dependent on its neighbor department, and […]

Cal Fire Local 2881 endorses Novasel

SACRAMENTO — Cal Fire Local 2881, the largest fire department in California and the third largest fire department in the United States, representing more than 6,500 men and women firefighters, announced its support for Sue Novasel for supervisor of El Dorado County District 5. “Sue understands how the recent King Fire has brought our record […]

Raindance raises nearly $10k for King Fire victims

As the containment figure for the King Fire reached 100 percent, Lauren Murphy and Mike Owen, organizers of the Raindance community celebration and fundraiser announced that the effort they organized was a runaway success. “Almost $10,000 was raised during the Raindance event and donations are still being provided by neighbors near and far,” said Crystal […]

No ice, no dice

Last year’s big hit, the Hangtown Holiday Ice Rink, will take a pass this year. “It boils down to money,” said Peter McQuillen, secretary for the Placerville Drive Business Association, which brought the ice rink to the El Dorado County Fairgrounds last December. “It’s quite expensive to rent all the equipment and pay people to operate the […]

Swansboro grape growers worry about smoke

The King Fire will have repercussions that last for many years: charred land, structures that need to be rebuilt, forests that need to be reforested. Some things will recover sooner, like the vineyards in  Swansboro, but the effects are being felt by wineries now. Swansboro, in the path of the King fire, was evacuated, but […]

EID backs state water bond

With the prospect of some Proposition 1 money coming their way the directors of the El Dorado Irrigation District unanimously voted Oct. 14 to endorse the state water bond on the Nov. 4 ballot. EID’s lobbyist, Rob Reeb, highlighted some beneficial aspects of the state water bond for the EID board. Reeb not only worked on […]

Deferred Compensation Committee meeting Oct. 31

A meeting of the El Dorado County Deferred Compensation Committee will be held on ​Friday​, Oct. 31​ at ​1:30 ​p.m. in the El Dorado County Emergency Services Meeting Room, 330 Fair Lane, Building A downstairs, in Placerville. Questions regarding the meeting may be directed to the Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Office at 530-621-5811.

Alliance for Responsible Planning forms to support slow growth in El Dorado County

CAMINO — A coalition of El Dorado County residents, ranchers, growers and other business owners announced this week that they have formed a new organization, Alliance for Responsible Planning. “We have concluded that there is a leadership and information gap on land-use matters and other issues of concern in El Dorado County,” said Maryann Argyres, […]

Ballot goof misses BOMUSD

The El Dorado County Election Department has discovered an error in the current vote by mail ballot affecting 3,072 voters in the Black Oak Mine Unified School District, announced Recorder-Clerk-Registrar Bill Schultz. The problem is that the Black Oak Mine Unified School District contest was omitted from the ballot for these vote by mail voters. […]

Esmeralda Tunnel repair to take 5 months

March 1, 2015, is the target date for completion of the Esmeralda Tunnel rehab. The 1,000-foot-long tunnel built in 1930 had a partial cave-in 150 feet in from the upstream entrance. The collapsed section of the timber-lined portion of the tunnel set off an alarm for the El Dorado Irrigation District’s hydro crew and automatically […]

Truck collides with multiple vehicles

Traffic was delayed on westbound U.S. Highway 50 west of Mosquito Road on Monday afternoon due to a non-injury traffic collision involving 11 vehicles. Occurring at 2:56 p.m., James Kimmel, 64, of Pollock Pines, lost control of his gray Chevy pickup truck. Unable to stop, he split the traffic, driving between the number one and two lanes […]

Drug bust made during King Fire

A large amount of marijuana was recovered during the King Fire as it was on its way out of town. According to the California Highway Patrol, on Sept. 16, around 9:04 p.m., a rental truck was stopped by California Highway Patrol Valley Division K-9 Officer Rodgers and Special Enforcement Unit Officer Schneider at a checkpoint on […]

Murder defendant takes the stand

Murder defendant Todd Winkler testified on Oct. 9 to deny many of the incidents connected to him that made his wife, Rachel, fear for her life before her death, attempting to discredit many of the claims made by previous testimonies of others during the trial, while also recalling the details of how the death of Rachel ultimately came to be.

Steve Clifford, the defense’s investigator, took to the stand for a quick testimony before Winkler. Clifford said that Rachel was a member of online dating sites Adult Friend Finder and Ashley Madison, joining in November of 2011 — a few months before her death. However, under the …

New state EpiPen law has EDH roots

The school EpiPen bill Governor Brown signed into law recently may not have happened had an El Dorado Hills woman not first pitched the idea to the senator who authored it. Senate Bill 1266 requires K-12 public schools to stock epinephrine auto-injectors (EpiPens) and train at least one staff member at each campus to use […]

Victims identified in fatal collision

The CHP released the official report of a fatal head-on collision on Oct. 11. Officer Quinn Cuthbertson said the collision happened on Mormon Emigrant Trail just east of Bonnetti Road at 12:14 p.m. A 1999 Black Toyota Avalon, driven westbound by Krista Jackson, 34, of Jackson, drifted over the double yellow lines into the path […]

Transition Fair offers special needs students options

What resources for employment and living are available for special needs students after high school graduation? At Transition Fair 2014, parents and students can find out exactly what kind of resources are offered and who offers them. On Oct. 16, more than 25 organizations representing resources and services for special needs individuals will be available to […]

Heard over the back fence: Elks to offer breakfast deal

CHURCH BULLETIN SMILES: Paul Chafer forwarded the following “Church Bulletin Announcement:” “For those of you who have children and don’t know it, we have a nursery downstairs.” BISCUITS, GRAVY AND MORE: The Placerville Elks’ Breakfast is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 26, from 9:30 a.m. to noon at the Elks Lodge, 3821 Quest Court, Shingle Springs. The cost […]

Inroductory “Talk and Tour” at EDH Sr. Center

KNOW YOUR SENIOR CENTER: On the first Wednesday of each month at 9:30 a.m., you can enjoy a continental breakfast and have an introductory “Talk and Tour” at the El Dorado Hills Senior Center, 990 Lassen Lane. If you are new to the area or have never visited the senior center, this presentation will be helpful. […]

EID receives $1M grant to pipe Main Ditch

In late September, El Dorado Irrigation District learned that it was successful in its application for a $1 million grant to help fund a project to pipe the Main Ditch. The project is estimated to cost $6.5 million. The funding comes from the Proposition 84 funds allocated by the California Department of Water Resources through […]

HICAP offers assistance during Medicare open enrollment

The El Dorado County Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) is offering free assistance to all Medicare beneficiaries in El Dorado County during Medicare’s Annual Election Period that starts Oct. 15 and ends Dec. 7. During the Annual Election Period (AEP), also called Open Enrollment, people with Medicare can join, dis-enroll from, or change […]

Heard over the back fence: A gem of a rock show this weekend

WHY WORRY? Jewel Blair-Smith sent the following “Good Thoughts” quote: “Worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles; it takes away today’s peace.” ROCK AND GEM SHOWTIME! The El Dorado County Mineral and Gem Society will present its annual “Rock and Gem Show” on Oct. 18 and 19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at thge El Droado […]

Rock and Gem show

ROCK AND GEM SHOWTIME! The El Dorado County Mineral and Gem Society will present their annual “Rock and Gem Show” on Oct. 18 and 19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., both days. Admission price is $4. One dollar off admission price if you bring a gently used coat for children. There will be lots of […]

National Paper Clover Campaign continues support of 4-H youth

El Dorado County 4-H has announced the launch of the fall 2014 4-H Paper Clover Campaign in partnership with Tractor Supply Co. This event marks the second year of collaboration locally between TSC and El Dorado County 4-H in-store fundraiser. “4-H camp at Echo Lake would not have happened without support from the Paper Clover […]

Flurry of witnesses begin murder defense’s case

Defense attorney David Weiner’s opening statement Oct. 8 revealed very little new information about the Todd Winkler murder trial, serving mostly to tell the jury that his defense intended to refute the claims made by the prosecution. Weiner began by describing Winkler growing up on a farm in Iowa, joining the Air Force Academy after […]

Kelly family hit by cancer again

Just days after 2 1/2-year-old Mason Kelly of Shingle Springs survived a stem cell transplant at University of California San Francisco Children’s Hospital, his father, 48-year-old Brian Kelly, was diagnosed with a rare form of acute leukemia. “I am in a state of shock,” said Thi Kelly, mother of Mason, and Brian’s wife. “I feel saddened, overwhelmed […]

BAER Team prepares triage report

With the King Fire near 100 percent contained at the time and initial efforts made to repair some of the damage, the second phase of rehabilitating the fire area began on Oct. 1 with the arrival of what’s called a BAER team.

BAER, which stands for Burned Area Emergency Response, is a team of U.S. Forest Service specialists whose job is to identify any imminent post-wildfire threats to people and property as well as natural and cultural resources.

Composed of knowledge experts from different fields, the first people to arrive were soil scientists, geologists, hydrologists, engineers and a geographic system specialist brought in to help with mapping.

Todd Ellsworth, a Watershed Program Manager and Forest BAER coordinator, said other specialists would join them later including botanists, biologists and archaeologists.

Describing the role of the BAER team, Ellsworth said the fire crews had engaged in the first …

King Fire contained

After a month of burning, the King Fire was 100 percent contained at 97,717 acres as of Oct. 9. “Thank you to our partners and the local community for their support during the King Fire,” said Eldorado National Forest Supervisor Laurence Crabtree in a press release announcing the containment. “This unprecedented event has tested our […]

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