Heard over the back fence: Learn about the real dirt in Coloma

FOLLOW YOUR DOG’S ADVICE: John Chapman of Folsom provided the following T-shirt statement: “My therapist has a wet nose.” Our managing editor, Pat Lakey, would agree with this statement. • • • THERE’S DIRT IN THEM TAHR HILLS: A class titled “Composting 101″ will be offered on Saturday, June 11, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. in Coloma. […]

Colver trial: Angels, demons and Witt’s multiple personalities

Confessed killer Tylar Marie Witt apparently wasn’t the only one who needed the adoration of her former boyfriend Steven “Boston” Colver, as the 16-year-old testified Wednesday that supernatural beings living inside of her would have died if she lost her lover. Colver, 21, is charged with the 2009 first-degree murder of Witt’s mother, Joanne. Last […]

Witt admits lying for plea deal

Steven “Boston” Colver’s defense attorney Dain Weiner grilled Tylar Witt during cross-examination Thursday morning. Facetiously referring to her testimony last Sept. 9 as the “time when she was supposed to tell the truth,” Weiner repeatedly asked her if she were telling the truth now. He was trying to ascertain that her testimony regarding her former […]

Garridos sentenced

Terry Probyn stood before a packed courtroom Thursday morning and tearfully addressed the couple that imprisoned her daughter, Jaycee Lee Dugard, for 18 years. “It was you, Nancy Garrido, and it was you, Phillip Garrido, that broke my heart,” an emotional Probyn said. “I hate you both for the torment and the anguish that you […]

Dog talk with Uncle Matty: Rescue 101

An enormous supply of wonderful dogs exists in the hundreds of shelters across the country. Beyond that, and often working in tandem, is a growing army of rescue organizations. They, along with shelters, do the work of angels. One of the most influential rescue groups in the nation is Best Friends Animal Society. Their purpose? […]

Pony Express Reride delayed

Across eight states, the horses and riders pound, bringing letters almost 2,000 miles from St. Joseph, Mo., to Sacramento. But this year, they didn’t want to be the possible carriers of a devastating equine virus, so the National Pony Express Association has postponed the annual re-ride of the Pony Express Trail. The historic re-ride, scheduled […]

Finnon Lake reconstruction project begins Monday

Bulldozers and earthmoving equipment will be begin taking down the Finnon Dam at Finnon Lake Monday morning as the Georgetown Divide Resource Conservation Districts in partnership with the Mosquito Volunteer Fire Association are hosting a groundbreaking event for the restoration and habitat improvement project. The ceremony starts at 9 a.m. at the site, which is […]

Apply now for NRA Foundation grant

Every year, The NRA Foundation allocates funds to go back into the state in which it was raised, where Friends of NRA State Fund Committees decide on programs and projects to fund on the local and state levels. Applications for the 2011-2012 grant cycle will be accepted starting on July 1, 2011. All applications must […]

Study debunks virus connection to chronic fatigue and prostate cancer

SACRAMENTO — A study that includes authors at UC Davis has found that a retrovirus associated with prostate cancer tumors and chronic fatigue syndrome that evolved in laboratory mice less than two decades ago is unlikely to be widespread in humans and the cause of either disease. The study of the retrovirus, xenotropic murine leukemia […]

Heard over the back fence: Ride in the moonlight

LIGHT YOUR OWN FIRE: John Chapman of Folsom dropped off the following “Advice from a Campfire” T-shirt statement: “Bring people together, spark new ideas, kindle strong friendships, radiate warmth, no smoking, be a good storyteller, don’t burn out.” • • • MOONLIGHT HORSEBACK RIDE: The American River Conservancy informs us that a moonlight horseback ride is scheduled […]

Witt takes stand Wednesday

Tylar Marie Witt, the 16-year-old former lover of murder suspect Steven “Boston” Colver, was called by prosecutors Wednesday morning to testify against the man she was once willing to kill for. Witt, who last year pleaded guilty to her mother Joanne Witt’s 2009 murder, stoically recalled the first time she met Colver, now 21, at El […]

Weather’s effect on local crops is ‘not bad’ to ‘iffy’

What feels like unseasonable weather in the foothills is not unheard of and not even all that unusual. The Old Farmer’s Almanac predicted it, and some farmers, such as Ron Briggs of Placerville, heeded the OFA forecast. Briggs, an El Dorado County supervisor, responded by e-mail to several questions regarding the weather’s impact on his […]

Video outlines forestry strategies

AUBURN, Placer Co. — The Sierra Nevada Conservancy has produced a video about its efforts to help local communities find sustainable solutions for managing public lands in overgrown forests. The video highlights issues faced by Sierra communities such as the threat of fire, the need for watershed protection and the opportunity for job creation. It […]

Forest workshop for private landowners set

PIONEER, Amador Co. — Landowners who have pines and other conifers on their property are invited to attend a five day workshop in Amador County that will address forest management practices, harvesting, water quality, fuel management, fire safety, pests and diseases, road maintenance, regulations, technical and financial assistance and many other topics. The workshop is […]

6-3-11 Twilight Dance in Pollock Pines

DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY: The next Twilight Dance will be on Sunday, June 5, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Pollock Pines/Camino Community Center, 2675 Sanders Drive, Pollock Pines, across from the Umpqua Bank. Tickets are $6, including appetizers. Singles are welcome! King Music Services will provide music from the Swing era. For more […]

Community College prof to retire

If you’re from around here, and you have a degree in Human Services, Psychology, Sociology or any related field, there’s a good chance you studied under and were inspired by Dr. Sarah Pender. By now, an integral part of the fabric and history of Folsom Lake College, and Cosumnes River and American River Colleges before […]

LSD Gummy Bears part of drug bust

By Adam Jensen SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — LSD laden Gummy Bears were part of a South Lake El Dorado Narcotics Enforcement Team bust in mid-May that included psilocybin mushrooms and more than 90 pounds of marijuana. Law enforcement officers arrested John Morrissey, 29, May 19 after receiving complaints about a marijuana growing operation at two […]

CHP to hold car seat event

The California Highway Patrol is set to hold a child car safety seat event on Saturday, June 4. Personnel from both the Placerville area and Valley division CHP offices will be on hand from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Placerville Kmart at 3968 Missouri Flat Road to demonstrate how child safety seats should […]

Criminal annals, part 120: Man whipped for petting a squirrel

Continuing with the Sept. 17, 1852, edition of the Sacramento “Daily Union,” there is a column devoted to the actions of the Recorder’s Court in Sacramento. The Recorder’s Court, which is equivalent to our former Justice courts, handled minor and major crimes, passing the latter on to the Superior Court if warranted. The County Recorder […]

Witt to testify Wednesday

Another day, another delay. The murder trial of 21-year-old Steven “Boston” Colver was postponed yet again Tuesday morning. This most recent decision to delay came on the heels of Thursday’s abbreviated hearing, during which the testimony of Colver’s former lover, 16-year-old Tylar Marie Witt, was continued before she ever took the witness stand because of […]

Douglas County favors TRPA termination

MINDEN, Nev. — Douglas County commissioners voted unanimously Friday to support a Senate bill to withdraw Nevada from the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.  The board supported the bill in April, but met in a special meeting Friday to add its endorsement to an amendment. “There was an additional minor amendment to allow the federal government more […]

Couple arrested after robbery

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — A Rocklin couple is in custody after the pair allegedly robbed a South Lake Tahoe woman late Monday night. Kathryn Mundt and Michael Barnett were arrested a short time after the 10:30 p.m. robbery. Police said the 18-year-old victim was walking alone in a residential neighborhood when a man jumped out […]

Rising from the ashes: Local man recalls Eureka rescue

All firefighters have stories. Firefighters go in when most of us come out. Sometimes the stories have  happy endings and sometimes you just wish they did. The story that began for retired Diamond Springs Fire Chief, Jim Christian, on April 5, 1991, continued on April 17, 2011, and the end  is still unknown. It is […]

Splasherville Express Car Wash and Lube back in business

If keeping your car, truck or SUV clean is a problem for you, Splasherville Express is the quick and easy answer. Splasherville is open seven days a week at 1361 Broadway in Placerville. Express means fast. The car wash will take five minutes or less. With two lube bays, a lube job will be done […]

Man arrested on gun charge

The El Dorado County sheriff’s SWAT team was called into action last week to arrest a man alleged to have more than 20 guns and a possible methamphetamine lab at his residence in Pleasant Valley. William Bisbee, 58, was arrested May 24 at his residence on Thorson Drive after sheriff’s detectives learned he was possibly […]

Heard over the back fence: Outdoor film fest at Main Library

THANK YOU FOR YOUR GENEROSITY: My buddy John Chapman of Folsom sent me the following T-shirt statement: “You know that Social Security they keep taking out of your paycheck? Well, it’s going to me.” • • • OUTDOOR MOVIES: The Filmfare Festival continues to show outdoor projector movies “on the grass” at the county Main Library, 345 […]

6-6-11 Clean up Daffodil Hill

BEAUTIFYING DAFFODIL HILL: On Tuesday, June 21, at 9:30 a.m., the Dogwood Garden Club will be doing their annual clean up at Daffodil Hill (the area at Sly Park Road and Pony Express junction in Pollock Pines). The club needs some help from local residents. Bring tools for trimming and popping weeds out from the […]

6-6-11 Veterans breakfast on Sundays

BISCUITS AND GRAVY NEWS: Our veterans continue to offer a tasty breakfast, including biscuits and gravy on the first, second and third Sunday of each month from 7 to 11 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial Building, off Placerville Drive next to the El Dorado County Fairgrounds. Adults pay $5 and kids pay $2. All proceeds […]

Korean War hero earns, then loses, Silver Star

Editor’s note — Last week we met 75-year-old former U.S. Marine Dick Grinnell of El Dorado Hills, who used a fake birth certificate to enlist at age 16 in 1952, during the Korean War. We followed his progress right up to the rescue mission that would define his unusual career. Part 2 of his story […]

City garbage rates increase

The  garbage rate increase for Placerville residents isn’t a huge one — only about 44 cents for a 32 gallon container — but with garbage service mandatory for Placerville city residents, it’s still an arguably significant hit. “Our residents don’t have the luxury of shopping rates,” said Placerville City Councilwoman Wendy Mattson. “In these economic […]

Cell phone tower OK sparks concern

At Wednesday’s meeting before a packed audience, the Placerville Union School District Board of Trustees approved the lease of district property to At&T to build a mono tree wireless cell phone tower. The apparently difficult decision came down to the proven benefits of instructional technology for students compared with conflicting results of studies showing possible […]

Heartless burglars take beloved pet

SHINGLE SPRINGS — She’s only 11 months old, but Olive, the little miniature Chihuahua-Yorkie mix, is a treasured member of Chris Whitaker’s household. Tuesday morning, Olive disappeared from her Shingle Springs home, abducted by unknown scoundrels who took her along with other valuables in a daylight burglary. The villain or villains entered the home through […]

6-3-11 USO basketball fundraiser at UMHS

FUNDRAISER FOR USO OF NORTHERN CALIF.: A basketball fundraiser pitting El Dorado County Law Enforcement against the Golden State Road Warriors is scheduled for Saturday, July 9. The Golden State Road Warriors is the official wheelchair basketball team of the Golden State Warriors. This event will be at Union Mine High School, 6530 Koki Lane, […]

Heard over the back fence: Legionaires move to Greenstone Road

I KNOW THE ANSWER: John Chapman of Folsom dropped off the following T-shirt statement: “Opinion Donor. • • • OPEN HOUSE: On June 5, at noon, the new American Legion Hall will host an open house at 4561 Greenstone Rd. here will also be a barbecue and sodas. Donations will be accepted. For more information, call Bill […]

Cameron Park seeks crafters for fireworks day

Cameron Park Community Services District is seeking crafters and artists for its July 2 Summer Spectacular fireworks display. For the past 11 years the district has provided the “must see” family fireworks event. Last year it was estimated that over 10,000 people enjoyed an evening filled with great entertainment, food and a world-class fireworks show. […]

Sierra Nevada Conservancy to meet in Sacramento

AUBURN — The Sierra Nevada Conservancy will hold its quarterly governing board meeting in Sacramento June 2. The board will review the latest draft of the SNC’s strategic plan update and will provide guidance on how the agency should award its remaining bond grant dollars. The strategic plan, which will guide the SNC’s activities for […]

Group plans excursion trains

The sun is shining, the El Dorado Hills are still green and there are cows taking a morning constitutional on them. Looking to the left out the front window of the Skagit, a restored rail motor car from 1936, riders on the Placerville & Sacramento Valley Railroad (P&SVRR) can see a landscape unchanged since the […]

Georgetown woman killed in motorcycle accident

Georgetown resident Tracie Murchie, 39, was killed last week when the motorcycle her husband was driving collided with a pickup truck. Tracie and husband Steve, also 39, were riding a 2000 Kawasaki motorcycle westbound on Wentworth Springs Road, east of Hotchkiss Hill Road, on Tuesday when the bike’s driver lost control trying to avoid a […]

Whose rails are they? Question clouds future

El Dorado County supervisors directed their staff to determine the “feasibility and legality” of removing the rails from the Sacramento-Placerville Transportation Corridor several weeks ago. Tuesday, however, the issue seemed to become murkier than it was before. After nearly two hours of testimony and deliberation, the board voted unanimously to direct county staff to create […]

Colver trial postponed

What had been the most anticipated day of the Steven “Boston” Colver murder trial took an unexpected turn Thursday when testimony was postponed for unspecified reasons. Colver, 21, is accused of stabbing the mother of 16-year-old Tylar Marie Witt, his former girlfriend, in June 2009. Last year, Tylar Witt pleaded guilty to her mother’s first-degree […]

Memorial Day closures set

Some offices throughout El Dorado County will be closed, Monday, May 30, due to Memorial Day, a national holiday. Here’s a look at what local residents may expect: All schools in El Dorado County will be closed. The offices of the police and fire departments will be closed on Monday, May 30, for the holiday. […]

Miss El Dorado canceled

The scholarship money will be unspent. There won’t be any little apprentice princesses to watch adoringly as the 2011 Miss El Dorado is crowned. Royal courts from previous years will have to pick up the duties of opening the fair, singing the National Anthem and judging the children’s contests, because this year, after 57 years, […]

Native Sons dedicate Zentgraf House

The Native Sons of the Golden West recentedly dedicated the Zentgraf House in Rescue as a historical site. The ceremony was overseen by NSGW Grand President Jim Shadle of Garden Valley. Jacob Zengraf was a native of Germany (1821-1911) and settled on Sweetwater Creek in 1854, seeing the potential in the wine business. Prior to […]

Heard over the back fence: Vineyard stargazing planned

MASTER GARDENER MOTTO: John Chapman of Folsom sent the following T-shirt statement: “Gardening – Cheaper than therapy.” • • • WINE UNDER THE STARS: The American River Conservancy has partnered with the David Girard Vineyards and the Starforge Astronomy Group for a great night of wine tasting and star gazing on Friday, June 3, from 8:30 to […]

Colver trial: Tense dinner recalled

The father of suspected killer Steven “Boston” Colver was called by prosecutors Wednesday morning to testify about his son’s decision to move into the El Dorado Hills home of Joanne Witt several months before she was found stabbed to death in her bed. Richard Colver told jurors that his son approached him with the idea […]