Smokers’ Helpline offers free nicotine patches

El Dorado County smokers may, for a limited time, receive free nicotine patches through the California Smokers’ Helpline, 1-800-NO-BUTTS. Eligible smokers who call the helpline and enroll in the free telephone-based program for quitting will receive a free two-week starter kit of patches, while supplies last. “This is certainly a great opportunity for someone who […]

Dog talk with Uncle Matty: Take a bite out of dog theft

McGruff the Crime Dog has been helping kids “take a bite out of crime” for more than 30 years. Now, with the economy in the tank and dog theft on the rise, it’s time to give back. According to recent media reports, dognappings are up by at least 32 percent compared with the same time […]

Murder-suicide victims had gunshot wounds

The bodies of the grown man and young child found last week on a Grizzly Flat property have been positively identified as 49-year-old Mourad “Moni” Samaan and his 2-year-old daughter Madeline Samaan-Fay, the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department announced. The Fair Oaks man and his child were found dead inside his green Toyota 4Runner in […]

Retired fireman takes on the LaCara Challenge

Six months ago, Schnell School Principal Sam LaCara was gunned down in his office. Since that time, the entire family of staff, students and parents of the Placerville Union School District have been healing through positive action — building gardens memorializing the beloved principal and naming the school driveway, “Sam LaCara Way.” In another demonstration […]

Sheriff’s deputies say Shingle Springs man threatens motorist with gun

A Shingle Springs man was arrested last week after allegedly brandishing his firearm and threatening to shoot another motorist. El Dorado County sheriff’s deputies responded to a call for service at Mosquito Road and Rock Creek Road, some dozen miles north of Placerville, on the morning of Aug. 12. The victim informed authorities that he […]

Biz license apps online

According to the El Dorado County Tax Collector, C.L. Raffety, new business owners can now apply for a business license on-line from the comfort of their own home or office. The new service is accessible at Here applicants can click the link “Get a Business License” and the user friendly system walks applicants through […]

Emotion highlights rails-to-trails issue

A three-hour session about the county’s portion of the Sacramento-Placerville Transportation Corridor featured exuberance, pathos, rancor, finger-pointing and a small dose of kumbaya Tuesday. And it wasn’t just the audience. The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors got down and dirty too as the issue of converting rails to trails continued at a slow boil. […]

Cameron indoor pot garden seized

CAMERON PARK — The relative tranquility of a quiet Cameron Park suburb was disturbed early Thursday by the long arm of the law, but locals were more than happy to forgive the ruckus. The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department, led by five of its detectives, raided a home on Pasada Court, putting to rest an […]

Interior Secretary announces nearly $27 million for wetlands grants for migratory birds

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced on June 15  that the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission approved spending more than $3 million from the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund to protect an estimated 1,600 acres of waterfowl habitat on three units of the National Wildlife Refuge System. The commission also approved $23.5 million […]

South Tahoe Public Utility District modernizing

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — The South Tahoe Public Utility District is in the process of modernizing its wastewater treatment system. It is building an $8 million replacement for its headworks plant that was built in 1959. The headworks is where the sewage first arrives and hard trash that winds up in sewer systems is sorted […]

8-24-11 Informational meeting re. “Shades of Ireland” trip

ENJOY SOME IRISH LUCK: The El Dorado Hills Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Collette Visitations, is sponsoring a “Shades of Ireland” trip, scheduled for March 11 through March 20. An informational meeting regarding this trip is scheduled for Monday, August 29, in the Calif. Welcome Center, 2085 Vine St., Suite 105 (in the Town […]

8-24-11 “Mendidng Hearts” meeting at Marshall Community Health Library

HEART PATIENTS ASSISTANCE: “Mending Hearts” is a volunteer organization that provides support, information and education to those living with heart disease, congestive heart failure and to those recovering from a heart attack or heart surgery. The next meeting for “Mending Hearts” is Tuesday, Sept. 13, at 1 p.m. at the Marshall Community Health Library, 681 […]

EID sets up training program for treatment operators

Here’s the problem: There is a real shortage of real jobs now. The ones that are full-time, pay a decent salary and some benefits. Employers, on the other hand, often have trouble finding prospective employees with the right skills. El Dorado Irrigation District was one of those employers. It operates five water treatment plants and […]

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8-24-11 Diabetic class – “Carbohydrates, Food and You” at Midtown Mall

DIABETES DIET DATA: A class titled “Carbohydrates, Food and You” is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 7, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., at Midtown Mall, 681 Main St., Placerville. This class is sponsored by the Marshall Medical Center. Class topics include making carbs work for you, meal planning and managing your weight. The class fee is […]

8-22-11 Republican Women Federated’s lunch meeting

REPUBLICAN WOMEN UNITE: El Dorado West Republican Women Federated will have their luncheon meeting on Monday, Sept. 12, at 11:15 a.m. at Denny’s restaurant, Coach Lane, Cameron Park. There will be a surprise speaker. For more information or to reserve your spot, call 530-676-8380.

Heard over the back fence: Watch for flying pancakes at Placerville Airport

VOLLY FOLLY: John Chapman sent the following T-shirt statement: “Prepare to be annoyed.” My tennis game has been described as “annoying.”  • • • FREE FLIGHTS AND A $5 BREAKFAST: 
A $5 pancake breakfast is scheduled for Aug. 20 and Oct. 1, from 8 to 11 a.m. at the Placerville Airport. Pancakes, eggs and sausage will be […]

Rails to trails remains a hot issue

Having kicked the can down the track three times since March 28, El Dorado County supervisors on Tuesday, reissued their support for the Shingle Plan also known as the Shingle Compromise. After several hours of testimony and debate, Supervisors Ray Nutting, John Knight, Ron Briggs and Jack Sweeney voted to press the effort to continue […]

Resigning Trustee Rodger Musso honored

GEORGETOWN — Cake and a break Aug. 11 followed the Black Oak Mine Unified School District board’s recognition of Rodger Musso for his nearly 28 years of dedicated service. All the current board members, starting with Jeff Shurtz, thanked Musso for his years of “level-headed” service and his dedication to the community. Board member Steve […]

Uniforms ordered for Golden Sierra Marching Band

GARDEN VALLEY — For the first time in the school’s 31-year history, Golden Sierra High School Marching Band students will stride with pride in handsome new uniforms thanks to the recent fundraising drive of the Divide Schools Music Program. “We are so proud of these young musicians, and equally proud that the community has stepped […]

Ex-EID employee pleads to embezzlement

The former high-ranking El Dorado Irrigation District official accused of embezzling tens of thousands of dollars by way of company credit cards reached a deal with prosecutors last week, pleading no contest to one of 22 counts. Mark William Korkowski, the one-time co-head of hydro operations for EID, pleaded no contest to one count of […]

Woman arraigned in death of EDHS teen

More than four months after El Dorado High School student Timothy Mulholland was killed in a high-speed car accident, the vehicle’s driver was formally charged and arraigned this week. Previous Story: Teen killed in Newtown wreck  Mulholland, 17, was killed on March 27 when the vehicle in which he was a passenger crashed into oak trees […]

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Aggressive, non-native smallmouth bass just discovered in Tahoe

RENO, Nev. — A new invasive species has been identified at Lake Tahoe, and it’s likely to be the most aggressive fish to ply the waters of the mile-high lake. “In our work to remove warm-water fish from Lake Tahoe, we’ve discovered smallmouth bass, a much more ferocious predator than other species known to have […]

Obesity education grants available to local youth

CONCORD — Children and youth across Northern California once again have the opportunity to become “Health Heroes” by learning about childhood obesity, designing programs to address it and implementing the programs in their communities. Kicking off the fourth year, Youth Service America and UnitedHealthcare are calling all “Health Heroes” to apply for 2012 UnitedHealth Heroes […]

2 governors recommit to Lake Tahoe

LAKE TAHOE – In an historic joint appearance at the 2011 Tahoe Summit, Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. and Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval announced a renewed commitment to updating the Regional Plan for Lake Tahoe and enhancing the role of the two states in cooperating with the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. “Lake Tahoe is a […]

EDH Manager Skeel to defend himself to board

EL DORADO HILLS — El Dorado Hills Community Services District’s embattled General Manager John Skeel will get a chance to defend himself in front of the CSD’s Board of Directors and the public at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 23. Earlier this month the board delivered a formal “statement of charges” to Skeel, alleging that he […]

Criminal annals, part 126: Female defendants and foreigners

Moving on to the Sept. 24, 1852, edition of the Sacramento “Daily Union,” we find a couple of interesting cases in Sacramento’s Recorder’s Court, County Recorder and Judge, W. H. McGrew, presiding. “Recorder’s Court — Before Judge McGrew. September 23, 1852. “Assault and Battery. — Achoon in this case was the defendant, Choon-Foke plaintiff. The […]

Sign up now for Citizens Academy

Sheriff John D’Agostini and members of the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department would like to invite the people of El Dorado County to participate in the next El Dorado County Sheriff’s Citizens Academy. This academy is designed to familiarize county residents with many aspects of law enforcement and educate them on the role the Sheriff’s Department […]

School consolidation advances to the final four

The movement to consolidate elementary school districts came down to the final four Monday evening as the four school boards simultaneously convened special sessions at the El Dorado County Office of Education. By the end of the evening Aug. 15 almost two hours later there was a general nodding of heads when El Dorado County […]

Uncle matty: Clearing up humane confusion

One of the most rewarding things a person can do is go down to the local animal shelter and adopt a homeless dog or cat. Local shelters, local humane societies and local societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals (SPCAs) are notoriously understaffed, underfunded and overpopulated with animals just waiting for a good home. Emphasis on local. […]

Tahoe DUI patrols planned through Labor Day

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — The Avoid the 6 El Dorado County DUI Task Force has announced it will join nearly 10,000 other law enforcement agencies nationwide in support of an intensive crackdown on impaired driving from Aug. 19 to Sept. 5, known as “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.” Drunken driving checkpoints, DUI task force deployments […]

Murder-suicide likely in Grizzly Flat deaths

Authorities continued Monday to investigate the deaths of a Fair Oaks man and his young daughter, nearly 48 hours after their bodies were discovered on a Grizzly Flat property. El Dorado County sheriff’s deputies found Madeline Samaan-Fay, 2, and Mourad “Moni” Samaan, 49, dead inside his green Toyota 4Runner in rural Grizzly Flat Saturday night. […]

GDPUD scopes out GIS mapping

GEORGETOWN — GIS mapping of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District’s pipelines, meters, lift stations and other facilities attracted seven bidders with a wide price range. The lowest bid was $65,000 and the highest was $344,000, General Manager Hank White told the Board of Directors during a meeting earlier this month. “We’re working up a […]

Unpaid utility bills head for tax rolls

Unpaid water or wastewater service bills from the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District are heading for the El Dorado County tax rolls as a lien against the property. The list of 71 unpaid bills ranges from $13.10 to $1,312. Three are more than $700. Thirteen are higher that $250. Seven are higher than $109. “This […]

GDPUD in line for hydro bucks

The Georgetown Divide Public Utility District may be in line for some free hydro power income. The Board of Directors heard a presentation from NLine Energy chief executive officer Matthew Swindle Aug. 8 when he told them his firm could generate 1 megawatt per year from three siphons in the GDPUD water system. NLine came […]

Heard over the back fence: It’s a pirate’s life at EDH Library

  John Chapman sent the following accurate T-shirt statement: “Old age comes at an inconvenient time.” • • • PIRATES PLAYTIME:
 A “Pirates” fundraiser for the El Dorado Hills Library will be held at the library 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20,  at 7455 Silva Valley Parkway. A suggested donation of $1 at the door is […]

Report details deputy DA’s DUI arrest

Before being arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, El Dorado County deputy district attorney Gloria Mas registered a blood-alcohol level of .12 percent and failed a series of sobriety tests, according to the California Highway Patrol’s arrest report. The report, obtained by the Mountain Democrat through a Public Record Act request, […]

McClintock rep here Aug. 16

Congressman Tom McClintock’s El Dorado County Field Representative Ross Branch will be available to meet with constituents Tuesday, Aug. 16. He will be at the El Dorado County Government Center 330 Fair Lane Placerville, from 10 a.m.-noon.

Franchise Tax Board auditing ‘Head of Household’

SACRAMENTO — The Franchise Tax Board announced mailing more than 135,000 audit letters to taxpayers to verify their “Head of Household” (HOH) filing status on their 2010 state tax return. Taxpayers who do not qualify will have their tax reassessed at either a single or married-filing-separate filing status. Nearly 34,000 taxpayers who used this status […]

Donner Party hike takes participants in footsteps of early pioneers

TRUCKEE — Hikers can experience the early emigrants’ journey across the Sierra Nevada Oct. 8-9 by participanting in the 19th annual Donner Party Hike. The Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce is hosting this popular event that unites two passions – love for the Sierra Nevada wilderness and fascinating emigrant history. Participants can choose from six different […]

3rd annual Great Sierra River Cleanup volunteer registration now online

Online registration is now available for the third annual Great Sierra River Cleanup, taking place Sept. 17, from 9 a.m. to noon, along rivers, lakes and streams throughout the Sierra Nevada, the Sierra Nevada Conservancy announced Aug. 15. “This is a great opportunity to be good stewards of the region of the state that provides water […]

Quagga mussel researcher praises boat inspections at Tahoe

RENO, Nev. – “It could be a sign of more things to come,” Sudeep Chandra, quagga mussel researcher at the University of Nevada, Reno, said about the boat found earlier this month infested with dozens of quagga mussels. “It’s fortunate that this boat was caught, and shows the importance of the boat inspections to protect […]

Supervisors get General Plan amendment update

The process of amending El Dorado County’s General Plan is a complicated exercise in local governance. It is heavily reliant on the county’s bureaucracy, local residents, special interest groups and flexible timelines. Beginning in early April, the Board of Supervisors initiated a project that ultimately will propose significant changes to the General Plan. Practical as […]