Woman says men saved her family’s lives

Two local men are being credited with saving the lives of a sleeping family whose roof caught fire in the wee hours Thursday morning in Placerville. “Those two young men saved my family’s lives,” said Susan Read, 46, who lived with her 21-year-old son Starr and daughter Sunee, 7, at 1634 Broadway in Placerville, the […]

Holocaust survivor tells harrowing tale

As a teenage girl, Renee Tully survived the horrors of Auschwitz, the infamous Nazi concentration camp. Approximately 6 million European Jews were killed in Nazi Germany’s mass genocide during World War II, but Tully and her mother were two of the lucky ones. Now, in her mid-80s, she can somehow look back and laugh. “You […]

DOT tackles latest storm

In between coordinating cleanup crews, removing downed tree limbs, taking phone calls and listening to scanner chatter, Don Spear, highway superintendent with the Department of Transportation, barely has time to breathe. “We’re going to have our hands full today,” he said with a chuckle on Friday as a major storm moved into El Dorado County. […]

‘Other Side of Fifty’ debuts Monday

The Other Side of Fifty, a new special section in the Mountain Democrat, makes its debut today. The new publication will focus on issues facing those 50 and older with columns, informative articles and profiles of El Dorado County residents. The Other Side of Fifty will publish in February, April, June, August, October and December […]

Bank robber pleads guilty

A Sacramento man pleaded guilty Thursday to robbing several banks throughout the region, including two in El Dorado County. John Raymond Porter, 43, pleaded guilty to serial bank robbery as part of a plea agreement with the Department of Justice. According to court documents, Porter pleaded guilty to nine bank robberies in total between 2008 and 2009. […]

Class of 1961 EDHS class reunion **7-10-11

CLASS OF EDHS – 1961: The Reunion Committee for the 50th class reunion of El Dorado Union High School has scheduled the reunion for Saturday, Sept. 10, 4 p.m. to whenever the fun is over, at Sogno Winery, 3046 Ponderosa Rd., Shingle Springs. The cost is $50 per person. On the following day, Sept. 11, […]

Sheriff asks residents to be community’s eyes, ears

EL DORADO HILLS — It’s like he never stopped campaigning. With a loud voice and a clear message, recently elected Sheriff John D’Agostini, who outlasted a field of seven strong candidates in a grueling 2010 campaign filled with both accusations and promises to reform a department with acknowledged “culture” problems, reaffirmed his priorities with his West […]

Heard over the back fence: Two groups helping aging vets

CATS RULE: A plaque from John Chapman of Folsom reads, “It’s really the cat’s house.” • • • TAKE HEART: On Thursday, March 3, from 11 a.m. to noon in the El Dorado Hills Library Dr. Shawn Hayes will speak about cardiovascular needs and exercise and other heart related subjects. • • • NEW LIBRARY HOURS: The […]

Grants available to help elderly, disabled

SACRAMENTO — Caltrans has announced that applications are being accepted for $25 million in federal transit grant funds aimed at providing transportation services to persons with special needs. The Federal Transit Administration Section 5310 Elderly and Disabled Specialized Transit Program was established to meet the transportation needs of elderly persons and persons with disabilities in areas where public transportation services […]

Two school districts share superintendent

Predating all the talk about school district consolidation, two districts in El Dorado County have been pooling one of their resources for years. Dick Williams, superintendent of Pioneer Union School District since 1997, has also been the superintendent of  Gold Oak Union School District for the past six years. “When the Gold Oak superintendent retired, […]

On the spot: Carolyn Love

Age: 73 Residence: Palo Alto, also owns property in Camino Hometown: Gilroy Occupation: Retired teacher/bookkeeper Hobbies: Sailing, hiking and family Favorite movie: “Cheaper by the Dozen” Favorite book: Anything by Louis L’Amour Favorite vacation spot: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and Camino Best quality: “I provide very good food for my family.”

Allard points to experience

Ask Roseville City Councilman John Allard what’s wrong with the state Assembly, and he’ll tell you the problem is easily explained: There’s simply too much politics in the Legislature. “They spend way too much time playing games, running for higher office, fundraising, trying to get their pictures in the paper or in the news instead […]

Heard over the back fence: Pondo party tonight at Sequoia

PESSIMIST CREED: John Chapman of Folsom gave me the following T-shirt statement: “I’m not complaining . . . just explaining.” • • • STRAIGHTEN OUT YOUR GENES: Family goodies and more: The El Dorado Hills Genealogical Society has scheduled their next genealogy mentor session for 3-1-11 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the children’s section of the […]

City Council reviews mid-year budget

When you can’t say something good, say something vague. City of Placerville Finance Director Dave Warren was specific in identifying city budget challenges and the city’s strategies to meet them during his mid-year budget presentation at Tuesday’s Placerville City Council meeting, but there wasn’t a lot of  good news on the horizon. The budget began […]

No LED lights for scenic corridor

Placerville City Council upheld a Placerville Planning Commission decision at Tuesday’s meeting to deny the use of LED lights for a Propel fuel station sign at the Shell Station on the corner of Spring and Main streets. The signage is part of a remodeling package for the Shell station that includes the conversion of the […]

Winter storm warning issued

A winter storm warning will be in effect from Thursday afternoon through Saturday morning for El Dorado County as snowfall is expected at unusually low elevations. The National Weather Service predicts 1 to 3 inches of snowfall in elevations as low as 1,000 feet, 4 to 8 inches in elevations of 2,000 feet and a […]

DWR officials hope underwater light, sound show will keep salmon in safer waters

SACRAMENTO – Officials with the state Department of Water Resources hope that underwater strobe lights and offensive electronic sounds contained within a curtain of bubbles will keep migrating salmon on the straight-and-narrow in the Delta. The “bubble barrier” is intended to deter ocean-bound Chinook salmon from leaving the main channel of the Sacramento River near Walnut […]

Applications being accepted for special turkey hunts

The state Department of Fish and Game is accepting applications for spring wild turkey hunts, including several for youth hunters and mobility impaired hunters. Three such weekends of hunting are being offered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Lake Mendocino, in cooperation with the DFG’s Northern Region and Game Bird Heritage Program. Several […]

Get a head start on defensible space safety

The Amador-El Dorado-Sacramento-Alpine Unit of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) is reminding local residents that wildfires occur year-round in California. The episode of warm weather in early February coupled with a lack of precipitation has created very dry vegetation (fuels). Recently there have been several small wildland fires locally because […]

Broadway Save Mart turns 50

Save Mart’s store at 1270 Broadway will celebrate 50 years of service to the Placerville community March 1. The original store was built by the parents of Adele Peirce, landlord and loyal shopper. They built the store and then leased it over the years to several different companies; Save Mart leased it in 2007. The […]

Appeals court brushes off Diamond Fire

In one brief sentence, on Feb. 9 the Third Appellate District Court of Appeal dismissed Diamond Springs-El Dorado Fire Protection District’s attempt to invalidate the contract for fire protection between El Dorado Fire Protection District  and the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians. Citing four California cases dating from 1869 to 2007, acting Justice P.J. […]

2nd yellow starthistle workshop set

Due to popular demand, a second yellow starthistle control workshop has been scheduled for March 11 from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at the El Dorado County Administrative Building C (Planning Commission room), 2850 Fairlane Court in Placerville. Landowners and managers will learn about mechanical, cultural and chemical control methods to control yellow starthistle plus plant […]

Column tag line

Send your jokes and event items for the Heard over the Back Fence column to Bob Billingsley at the Mountain Democrat, PO Box 1088, Placerville 95667, or call him Monday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 530-344-5036. Please submit all requests three weeks in advance to […]

South Tahoe man faces Vermont drug charges

By Adam Jensen A South Lake Tahoe man was arrested on suspicion of marijuana trafficking last week after members of the Vermont Drug Task Force allegedly found him and another man in a home with 112 pounds of marijuana, $154,820 in cash and 600 Oxycodone pills. Task force members arrested Ryan Coleman, 30, about 12:30 […]

Supes to challenge state on new IHSS law

El Dorado County Supervisors last week directed county counsel to explore a legal way to defy new state regulations affecting the In-Home Supportive Services program. As summarized in the board’s agenda packet, “Recently enacted legislation allows IHSS recipients to employ care providers who have been convicted of certain criminal offenses that would otherwise be cause […]

Changes begin in Sheriff’s Dept.

Two months on the job, and Sheriff John D’Agostini is already making good on his campaign promises. D’Agostini, who was elected as the county’s top cop in November 2010, pledged to instill a customer service-style of leadership within the Sheriff’s Department during the highly contested race. In taking steps towards a more customer service-oriented department, […]

Tea Party Patriots in El Dorado Hills hear Assembly candidates

EL DORADO HILLS — Wednesday night six of eight candidates who are running for the 4th Assembly District seat introduced themselves at a Tea Party Patriots meeting at the Holiday Inn in El Dorado Hill’s Town Center. On March 8 there will be an election for the Assembly in the 4th District, which includes Alpine, El […]

New exec at Big Bros & Sisters

In early January, the former executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters, Deborah Jones, gave up her position in order to retire. The new woman in charge is Janna Genovese. She’s been working with the organization for three-and-a-half years now. “I applied for this job because I really care about children’s lives and I want […]

Heard over the back fence: Hey, girls, it’s your night out

WELL, WELL: Johnny Appleseed Chapman of Folsom provided the following T-shirt thought: “I’m sure you mean well. But I’m not sure you are well.” • • • GIRLS (WOMEN) RULE: When is the last time you enjoyed a night out with just the girls? Friday, Feb. 25, is “Girls Night Out” from 6 to 9 p.m. on […]

YANA **3-23-11

YANA: Daily contact for older adults: The You Are Not Alone program offers a free service for older adults to find comfort and security with the knowledge that someone will be checking in on them by telephone, on a daily basis, to make sure they are OK. If there is a problem, family or friends […]

Assessor announces online Business Property Statement filing service

El Dorado County Assessor Karl Weiland has announced a new service that will make it easier for business owners to file Business Property Statements (571-L) with the assessor. Annually most businesses are required to file a property statement with the assessor. This year El Dorado County is participating in a statewide cooperative program that provides […]

New El Dorado County Transportation Commission chair, vice chair named

The El Dorado County Transportation Commission elected Patty Borelli, representative from the city of Placerville, to serve as chair for 2011. The commission elected Jack Sweeney, representative from El Dorado County, to serve as vice chair. The Transportation Commission consists of seven members. Four members are appointed by the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors […]

Citizens Academy a labor of love

It’s no great mystery why the Citizens Law Enforcement Academy is so popular. Just ask sheriff’s detective Jeff Leikauf. “It gives the public an inside look at the inner workings of the department,” he said. “I’ve never had a single person come to this academy and tell me it was a waste of time.” The […]

More Sierra Wildlife Rescue classes to be held in March

Sierra Wildlife Rescue will continue its spring classes for rehabbers and the general public in March. Classes scheduled are: Basic First Aid for Song Birds, March 8, from 7 to 9 p.m.; Rehabbing Fawns, March 10, 7 to 9 p.m.; Rehabbing Rabbits, March 12, 1 to 3 p.m.; and Introduction to Local Wildlife (repeat), March […]

Mammography screening unit coming to Placerville

Women can conveniently receive a mammography screening at the Safeway store at 3955 Missouri Flat Road, Placerville, on Saturday, Feb. 26. Mammograms are provided by St. Joseph’s Medical Center through an innovative program that brings mammography services to patients who may not otherwise have access to these resources. Mammograms will be available for $80. Women […]

Mail ballots go out for March 8 election

The El Dorado County Elections Department has mailed out Vote by Mail ballots to those voters who have requested them and also to mail ballot precinct voters. A Voter Information Pamphlet is included in the envelope. This saves on mailing costs, and is easily referenced when voters open the envelope. Some South Lake Tahoe voters […]

Loader man suspected in squad car attack

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — A South Lake Tahoe man is in custody after allegedly attacking officers with a front-end loader tractor, authorities said. At around 9 p.m. Sunday, witnesses reported seeing an allegedly intoxicated Steve Beattie, 55, driving a tractor at an apartment complex on Ski Run Boulevard. Beattie had been conducting snow removal operations […]

Dog talk with Uncle Matty: The benefits of home alone

Recently, while I was out training a client’s dog, I became involved in an incident with another dog. It was as preventable as the deaths by car I covered in my last column. I don’t say that to place blame. I say it to inform, to hopefully prevent it from happening again. While I was […]

Dog talk with Uncle Matty: A dog’s worst enemy — the car

“My well-mannered German shepherd passed away in July, so I adopted Wile E, a Husky mix, from a shelter. His in-home behavior is perfect. He is well behaved in the house with no exceptions. He does not give kisses to anyone, but he shows affection in other ways. “The problem with this dog is on […]

CAO offers gloom with a slight glimmer

It’s going to get worse before it gets better, Chief Administrative Officer Terri Daly told the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors late Tuesday afternoon. During the final agenda item of the board’s weekly meeting, Daly presented a two-page summary of her recommendations regarding the county’s “strategic direction” and plans for the future. “We’ve had […]

Cameron Park opens the door to cuts in fire

CAMERON PARK — Faced with lower property tax intake this year and a grim prediction for next, Cameron Park has formally paved the way toward reducing the number of firefighters standing post in the community. In its monthly meeting last week, the board voted unanimously in favor of giving Cal Fire the required 120 days […]

El Dorado County Supervisor John Knight – ‘I’d go fishing’

“What you see is what you get,” was John Knight’s answer when asked if he had anything he wanted people to know about him — or not to know about him. No  wacky tattoos and no secrets. El Dorado County’s District 1 supervisor admitted, however, that he does enjoy a good cigar and a shot […]

Vern woofs it up at retirement party: But dog faces eviction

As he nibbled dog treats and shared a peanut butter cake with well-wishers at his retirement party at the El Dorado Center for the Visually Impaired, Vern the Guide Dog looked like he didn’t have a care in the world. But he does. Vern lives with his owner, Randy Cummings, in the Cameron Park Mobile […]