Senior volunteers needed at Police Dept.

The Placerville Police Department is now accepting applications for SHIELD (Seniors Helping In Enforcement Like Duties) volunteers. Those interested may pick up an application at the Police Department’s front desk Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. To be a SHIELD volunteer, you must be at least 50 years old, possess a valid […]

University of Nevada, Reno engineers simulate large quake on curved bridge

RENO, Nev. – Six full-size pickup trucks took a wild ride on a 16-foot-high steel bridge when it shook violently in a series of never-before-conducted experiments to investigate the seismic behavior of a curved bridge with vehicles in place. The 145-foot-long, 162-ton steel and concrete bridge was built atop four large, 14-foot-by-14-foot, hydraulic shake tables […]

Mittelman murder trial: Ex-wife’s autopsy results revealed

A litany of health problems threatened a premature end to the life of Valerie Rita Mittelman. But it was a single gunshot wound to the head that ultimately killed the 63-year-old El Dorado Hills woman on June 17, 2010. El Dorado County jurors Tuesday learned that Valerie Mittelman suffered only one injury on the evening […]

Fall Chinook restrictions to go into effect in parts of Klamath

Klamath River sport anglers have nearly reached the 3,950 quota of adult fall-run Chinook salmon, triggering a size restriction on the lower river as of Thursday, Sept. 22. As of Thursday, anglers along the river’s lower 40 miles may no longer keep adult fall-run Chinook that are 22 inches or more in length. “We’re encouraged […]

El Dorado Hills Business Park’s DST expands mailing services

A mail tray takes quite the journey in DST Mailing Services, going up, down and twisting around the power roller conveyors inside before heading off to its final destination. On the busiest month nearly 42 million pieces of sorted mail flow through the facility in the El Dorado Hills Business Park, according to Mury Salls, senior […]

Help Cal Fire ‘Fill the Boot’ at High Hill Ranch

CAMINO –  The Amador-El Dorado Unit of Cal Fire will be holding a “Fill the Boot” fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association at High Hill Ranch in Camino on Saturday, Oct. 8, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. “Please stop by and help Cal Fire firefighters raise funds for the MDA and enjoy a beautiful […]

‘Innovators of the year': Mountain Democrat Website gets top honors

The redesigned Website based on an open architecture won “Innovators of the Year” honors for the digital publishing team serving the Mountain Democrat and the three other major newspapers owned by McNaughton Newspapers. “Judges from the Suburban Newspaper Association praised the use of open-source software to produce both the newspaper and the Website and described […]

Parole process a heart-breaker for victims’ families

Sept. 26 was going to be a day of joy for Garden Valley residents Mike and Lynn Tracy. Their granddaughter Leslie was expecting her first child and their first great-grandchild on that day. Then they received the letter from the Department of Corrections informing them that the murderer of their only daughter, Toni Marie Johnson […]

Directors OK fire fee increases

CAMERON PARK — To increase fire prevention fees or not by the Cameron Park Fire Department was the question asked Wednesday night during the Cameron Park Community Service District’s Board of Directors meeting. The answer was a unanimous 5-0 vote in favor of increases in 50 categories. The meeting was the second hearing to allow […]

September is Wine and Wine Grape Month

September 2011 in El Dorado County shall forever be known as “Wine and Wine Grape Month.” Honoring the county’s recent coup in the world of winemaking, the El Dorado  County Board of Supervisors recently bestowed that appellation on the county. Supervisor John Knight had recommended that the board make such a proclamation and arranged for local […]

Supes order new air conditioning for computers

Operating at 4G speed, El Dorado County supervisors declared a state of emergency and authorized purchase of three new air conditioning systems for the county’s Information Technology department. The emergency classification allows the county “to dispense with competitive bidding in order to replace the HVAC system, the Uninterruptible Power Supply and Power Distribution Unit along […]

Criminal annals, part 129: Clampers emerge

Moving to the Sept. 28, 1852, edition of the Sacramento “Daily Union,” we find a note regarding a new, but curious, organization in town, one that exists to this day. “‘E. CLAMPUS VITUS.’ — Some of the San Francisco editors are puzzling their heads, to know what can be the objects or aim of a […]

Supes, sheriff may both be right, per Gov’t Code

The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors and the county sheriff may well be able to share the victor’s spoils after the great battle of the helicopter. But, as it does so often, it may come down to the lawyers. County Counsel Louis B. Green responded via e-mail to a request from the Mountain Democrat […]

Marshall Medical not affected by nursing strikes

  Marshall Medical Center, headquartered in Placerville, is not and will not be affected by the current nursing strike affecting at least 34 Kaiser and Sutter locations state-wide. Marshall officials said they would like to recognize the exceptional nursing and clinical staff working at Marshall, who they said provide patients compassionate care day and night. […]

Heard over the back fence: Renee Bernard to sign book Saturday

MIND OVER MATTER:
 My pal John Chapman forwarded the following T-shirt statement: “I didn’t do it! (I thought about it though).” • • • MEET THE AUTHOR: 
Author Renee Bernard of Placerville will be at her first book signing of her newest release, “Ecstasy Wears Emeralds.” The book signing will be on Saturday, Sept. 24, from 3 […]

Mittelman trial: Jury sees squad car videotape

While handcuffed and detained in the back of a patrol car parked outside of his El Dorado Hills apartment, Steven Howard Mittelman watched El Dorado County sheriff’s deputies investigate the reported suicide of his ex-wife on the evening of June 17, 2010. It was earlier that night when Mittelman dialed 911 and frantically told an […]

If you love home-grown tomatoes, come to Promise Land

CAMINO — Three months ago, an acre of land stood idle on Observatory Drive off Hassler Road and was a haven for gophers. Hundreds of pine trees surround this property owned by Judy Flannery, as she hoped for planting vegetables that would yield a harvest. Then last spring Lynn Hoag, who along with Flannery is […]

Details released in crash of police car

The California Highway Patrol’s Placerville office has completed an investigation into the Sept. 4 crash of a city Police Department patrol car that left the driver injured and the vehicle badly damaged. Driving the Ford Crown Victoria was officer Michael Elledge, who had the lights and siren activated as he drove northbound on Ray Lawyer […]

Helicopter at center of budget dust-up

There was no shootout, but there was a standoff between the El Dorado County sheriff and the county Board of Supervisors Tuesday morning. Undersheriff Rich Williams, standing in for Sheriff John D’Agostini, told the board that his boss has the authority, by policy, to order his new helicopter into the air on sheriff’s business. Supervisor […]

Thousands of volunteers clean up Sierra rivers

AUBURN, Placer Co.  — About 2,000 volunteers collected approximately 36,000 pounds of trash, appliances, car parts and other debris during the third annual Great Sierra River Cleanup Sept. 17. The event, which was sponsored by the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, includes a growing list of 50 partner organizations throughout the Sierra Nevada.  (A full listing can […]

9-23-11 Ladies pictured at the “Walk for the Cure”

The ladies pictured above recently walked in the Susan Komen “Walk for the Cure” (Cancer). The stalwart ladies pictured in the photo are (left to right) Jeanine Hitt of Placerville, Pam Bechtold of Rescue, Alexa Donovan-Bowers of Rancho Cordova, Tara Larson of Orangevale, and Robyn Beaber of Roseville. Kneeling are Kim Peth of Roseville, Norma […]

EID board visits capital project sites; staff to propose $55 million CIP reduction

During a recent special public meeting, the El Dorado Irrigation Board of Directors had the opportunity to visit two planned Capital Improvement Program project sites, as well as one already in progress. The directors walked a portion of the Project 184 canal system leading to Spillway 47C (SW47C) in Pollock Pines. The 58-year-old structure is riddled with wood […]

Volunteer AARP tax counselors sought

Volunteer Tax-Aide counselors are needed for the 2011 tax season to provide free personal income tax assistance in El Dorado County, for the elderly and low-income residents, under the AARP Tax-Aide program. The program will operate Feb. 1 through April 15, 2012. Volunteers are asked to work a minimum of four hours per week. Self-study […]

Dead man identified

A man who died of unknown causes and who was the subject of a photograph in Monday’s Mountain Democrat has been identified as 60-year-old Greg Wheale of El Dorado. El Dorado County sheriff’s officers are saying the death does not appear suspicious, with no outward signs of trauma. Wheale was found lying in a dry […]

Cal’s Market trial postponed

Vincent Cal of Greenwood appeared in court before Judge James Wagoner on Friday, Sept. 16, to continue his ongoing fight with El Dorado County to keep Cal’s Market from being shut down. He previously was in court before Judge Thomas A. Smith on Sept. 2, when he was arraigned and released by Judge Smith on […]

Trial begins for El Dorado Hills man in ex-wife’s death

Steven Howard Mittelman, according to prosecutors, had too many women in his life. In addition to sharing a small El Dorado Hills apartment with his wife, Gale Mittelman, 56, also lived with his ex-wife, 63-year-old Valerie Rita Mittelman. But Mittelman also had a blossoming relationship with a third woman — one prosecutors say he kept […]

Kokanee salmon volunteers still needed at Taylor Creek

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — The U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit is looking for volunteers to assist Forest Service staff during the annual kokanee salmon activities in October. Prospective volunteers can submit a resume and learn more at an informative session on Wednesday, Sept. 21, at 6:30 p.m. at the Forest Supervisor’s Office in […]

Forest Service, other agencies respond to Taylor Creek spill

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — The U. S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit and other local agencies are continuing investigation and clean-up of a small spill of an unknown substance into Taylor Creek near the Forest Service Visitor Center on Highway 89.  The Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board obtained water samples from the area this […]

Group seeks parcel fee for Pioneer Fire Protection District

Most people shiver to the core of their bones when they read or hear the following two words — tax increases. But those words could be music to the ears to some 3,600 residents looking to save the Pioneer Fire Protection District. On Tuesday, Nov. 8, residents in the southern end of El Dorado County will […]

State wants Gold Trail school district to cough up $300,000

Gold Trail Union School District Superintendent Joe Murchison informed the Board of Trustees recently on the status of a class size reduction appeal that has the state of California seeking $300,000 — and Gold Trail officials don’t think the district needs to give it up. “Under the Class Size Reduction Act, the state pays an […]

Oprah to show safe opening

By Adam Jensen SOUTH LAKE TAHOE. — A hidden safe that was discovered during the renovation of the former Bill’s Lake Tahoe Casino building last month has been opened, but the Oprah Winfrey Network has the right to release what was found. A Douglas County Sheriff’s Office investigator was present at the opening of the safe […]

ID pending for boy killed in house fire

The 4-year-old child who was killed when a Pleasant Valley manufactured home caught fire earlier this month has not yet been positively identified, officials confirmed. El Dorado County Fire Protection District Capt. Mike Pott told the Mountain Democrat Monday that county officials are still waiting on DNA evidence from the state Department of Justice before confirming the […]

Machado arraignment continued 1 month

The arraignment of deposed mayor Dave Machado was continued Monday afternoon, less than 24 hours before he was scheduled to appear in an El Dorado County Superior Court for the first time since his arrest. Placerville’s former mayor, Machado, 53, was arrested last month on suspicion of felony perjury and felony criminal conspiracy in connection […]

DST Mailing Services extends presort services to Sacramento area businesses

EL DORADO HILLS — DST Mailing Services recently extended its comprehensive suite of presort services to businesses in the greater Sacramento Region as well as other nearby counties. Each year DST Mailing Services (an affiliate of DST Output) presorts more than 300 million pieces of mail for some of the nation’s most prominent companies at its facilities in the […]

McClintock gives opening statement for field hearing

Opening Statement, Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands Sacramento, Sept. 19: Gifford Pinchot, the founder of the U.S. Forest Service, gave a series of lectures at the Yale School of Forestry from 1910 to 1915, in which he propounded maxims for the (quote) “Behavior of Foresters in Public Office.” Among them: • A public official […]

Heard over the back fence: Check out the Saturday farmers market

PAROLE OFFICER’S ADVICE:
 John Chapman sent me the following T-shirt statement: “Bad Decisions Make Good Stories.” There are a lot of bad-decisions stories in newspapers. • • • PLACERVILLE FRESH:
The Farmer’s Market continues to operate on Saturday mornings from 8 a.m. to noon on Main Street at the Ivy House parking lot, Placerville. Items available include fresh […]

National forests in California provide benefit to local economies

Outdoor recreation activities in California’s national forests contributed $2 billion dollars to local economies and helped sustain an estimated 38,000 jobs in 2010. The U.S. Forest Service’s National Visitor Use Monitoring report released last month shows that national forests attracted 170.8 million recreational visitors nationwide and sustained approximately 223,000 jobs in rural communities across the […]

Community health center serves all

If you’re sick and you only speak (Farsi) or (Hmong) or (Other), help is just a phone call away. In fact, if you don’t speak English, the El Dorado County Community Health Center can help you with telephonic interpreting services in 17 languages. Many of the center’s staff are bilingual as well — from Spanish […]

County API scores: Mostly good

It’s mostly good news with regard to El Dorado County schools’ 2011 Academic Performance Index  scores. While 10 schools did not meet their academic growth target, the majority did, despite some of them showing a drop in scores from the previous year. API scores are calculated using the spring STAR testing. Schools are compared to schools […]

Hunting instructor named Californian of the Year

Bill Adams estimates he has taught hunter education to more than 2,500 people since 1972. Out of that number, one student feels that the 70-year-old Adams should be awarded for the countless volunteer hours in and out of the classroom. That honor has now been bestowed on Adams. Adams is this year’s winner of the Outdoor […]

Supes study development agreement for retail center

El Dorado County supervisors voted unanimously last week to “consider” entering into a development agreement with Granite Grado Ventures, developer of the proposed Diamond Dorado Retail Center. Technically known as GGV Missouri Flat LLC, the development company has requested a Development Agreement with the county in order to enhance its efforts to attract investors and […]

Flu clinics announced

The El Dorado County Health Services Department, Public Health Division, will begin its annual series of low-cost community flu clinics on Sept. 27, with additional clinics offered through the beginning of November. The vaccine to protect against seasonal influenza will be available in both nasal mist and flu shot forms at the flu clinics. “It […]

9-23-11 “Train Your Brain” class at EDH Sr. Center

TRAIN YOUR BRAIN: A new class titled “Train our Brain” is being offered on the 3rd Friday of each month at the El Dorado Hills Senior Center, 990 Lassen Lane, El Dorado Hills, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. The drop-in fee is $5. Judy Bakke is the facilitator. You will learn the latest research in […]

9-21-11 Knit and Crochet group meets at EDH Sr. Center

HAPPY NEEDLES: The Knit and Crochet group meets on Tuesdays from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the El Dorado Hills Senior Center, 990 Lassen Lane, El Dorado Hills. It doesn’t matter if you are a brand new knitter or a seasoned veteran. Stop by and meet some very nice people. Instructors are on hand to […]

Heard over the back fence: Vision van coming to Lions Hall

A POLITICAL COMMENT:
 John Chapman provided the following T-shirt statement: “Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.” Above this statement was a picture of the U.S. Capitol Building.  • • • RESCUE YOUR EYES!
 The annual Vision Fair is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 8, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Mother Lode […]