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 […]

EID eyes domestic irrigation accounts

El Dorado Irrigation District General Manager Jim Abercrombie reported May 23 on the status of the cost-of-services study committee and the domestic irrigation customer class. Abercrombie reported that the committee concluded its meetings on May 6 and discussed the next steps in the process, which includes presenting findings to the board in a public workshop […]

Sewer lifts, canal work OK’d

The El Dorado Irrigation District has approved a capital improvement funding request of $111,000 for continued design work for improvements to be made to three sewer lift stations in El Dorado Hills: Business Park 1, Summit 1, and Timberline. Construction is expected to begin this fall. More information will be provided in public outreach meetings […]

Pollock water plant to replace chlorine

Reservoir 1 will be upgraded and taken off chlorine in favor of a safer replacement disinfectant. The El Dorado Irrigation District Board of Directors awarded a construction contract to Lodi-based TTS Construction for funding of a disinfection process conversion project for the Reservoir 1 water treatment plant in Pollock Pines in the amount of $742,771. […]

EID Q1 report looks good

Mark Price, El Dorado Irrigation District finance director, provided the board with a financial report for the first quarter, including Jan. 1 through March 31. The report given May 23 shows the district has booked 15.5 percent of total projected 2011 revenues, as compared to 13.3 percent for the same period of 2010, Price said. […]

Water main break affects East Broadway in Placerville

A water main break occurred at approximately 8:30 a.m. Tuesday in Placerville, according to Nathan Stong, city engineer with the city of Placerville. The break was located near Boeger Winery in Placerville and affected customers on Schnell School Road, Upper Broadway (to the Stadium Club), Wiltse Road and Lane Court. City officials were alerted to […]

Gravestones to be removed; process unclear

Racially offensive grave markers that have been in place since 1954 will be removed from the Mormon Island Relocation Cemetery at the west end of El Dorado County. Who will do the work, when it will be done and how the ugly chapter in history will be closed are questions yet to be answered. The […]

Forest dirt roads open up again

Designated dirt roads and trails in the Eldorado National Forest have reopened to motorized use, ending the wet weather seasonal closure that began in November 2010, announced Forest Supervisor Ramiro Villalvazo. The Forest Service closed these routes to protect water quality, prevent erosion and reduce damage to roads and trails. “I’m allowing the seasonal closure to come to an end,” […]

Fuelwood permits for Tahoe Basin on sale June 1

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — The U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit will begin the sale of fuelwood permits on Wednesday, June 1. Permits cost $20 per cord with a 2-cord minimum purchase. There is a 10-cord per household limit. Permits have specific conditions and full information is provided when the permit is issued. Maps to designated cutting […]

Parolee busted after car chase, collision

An armed parolee was arrested early Sunday morning after leading an El Dorado County sheriff’s deputy on a high-speed chase through Pollock Pines. Kenneth Richard Dubrel, 41, was spotted by deputies at 12:30 a.m. Sunday driving in the area of Pony Express Trail and Manzanita Drive. Dubrel had outstanding warrants for his arrest and was […]

Marine vet recalls Korean War, part 1

Editor’s note — Dick Grinnell of El Dorado Hills enlisted in the Marines in 1952 with a fake birth certificate. Part 1, below, of his story takes the marine through two Purple Hearts in Korea. Part 2 will tell the story of his Silver Star. It’s been 58 years since El Dorado Hills Korean war […]

Major Gen. Stone to speak on Memorial Day

Retired United States Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Douglas M. Stone has been tabbed as the guest speaker for next week’s Memorial Day observance, hosted by the El Dorado County Friends of the Veterans Monument. “The Friends of the Veterans Monument were honored that Major General Douglas M. Stone agreed to give the 2011 Memorial Day […]

Colver trial: Inside Room 2204

Shortly after Joanne Witt’s brutal, violent killing in June 2009, Steven “Boston” Colver and his then-girlfriend, Tylar Marie Witt, checked into a San Francisco Holiday Inn for one final hurrah before killing themselves. At least, that was the plan. But the self-styled star-crossed lovers failed in their suicide attempt and were arrested by San Bruno […]

Criminal Annals, Part 119: Tough times on the trail

The Sept. 17, 1852, edition of the Sacramento “Daily Union” opens up with an article called “Much Ado About Nothing,” covering a series of subjects including the arrival of milk cows, the newly formed Sacramento Valley Railroad and sad news about the familiar Mr. Thomas Collins. “MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING. “VALUABLE IMPORTATION. On yesterday afternoon, […]

Narcotics team arrests 2 in Tahoe heroin bust

By Adam Jensen SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — South Lake El Dorado Narcotics Enforcement Team members arrested two people earlier this month after discovering more than 2 ounces of heroin at an Al Tahoe neighborhood home. After receiving information about drug activity at 3113 Fresno Ave., narcotics team members served a search warrant at the home […]

EID sets redistricting public meetings

El Dorado Irrigation District is in the process of drawing new EID board division lines in the wake of the 2010 census. District staff will conduct four public outreach meetings over the coming months to review the committee’s work-in-progress and solicit input. The meetings will be held from 6:30-8 p.m. as follows: • Monday, June 6 — […]

DMV offers vet plates online

SACRAMENTO — The California Veteran special interest license plates can now be easily ordered through the DMV’s online services with a click of a mouse. Proceeds of these popular specialty plates go to the Veterans Service Office Fund and are used to expand important veteran services statewide. “We are pleased to now offer the sale […]

Area unemployment rate drops

The unemployment rate in the Sacramento-Arden Arcade-Roseville MSA was 12.0 percent in April, down from a revised 12.7 percent in March, and below the year-ago estimate of 12.3 percent.  This compares with an unadjusted unemployment rate of 11.7 percent for California and 8.7 percent for the nation during the same period.  The unemployment rate was 12.4 percent […]

Countywide Memorial Day weekend DUI crackdown planned

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — The Avoid the 6 DUI Campaign will be deploying officers this holiday weekend at DUI/Drivers License Checkpoints and DUI Saturation Patrols countywide to arrest impaired drivers who still don’t get the message. The Memorial Day weekend is witness to the kick-off of summertime recreation and holiday travel, along with many college […]

McClintock talks with local forestry folks

U.S. Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Granite Bay, has been on a tear about the U.S. Forest Service. He has collected a “growing volume of complaints” from constituents in District 4 “protesting the increasingly exclusionary and elitist policies of this agency.” Congressional District 4 includes all or part of nine counties from El Dorado north to the […]

ED Hills, Tahoe offer redistricting challenges

The redistricting process must adjust the boundaries of El Dorado County’s five supervisorial districts to equalize populations, all the while respecting its ever evolving but loosely defined “communities of interest.” County attorney Ed Knapp, who’s helping oversee the process, contends that two things are certain: It won’t be easy, and someone’s not going to like […]

Hwy 50 reopens

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — Highway 50 at Echo Summit reopened Saturday, five days before the roadway construction by C. C. Meyers was expected to end. The road was fully closed since May 11 to replace the old rock wall barrier with a modern barrier that meets current safety standards and preserves the natural beauty. Caltrans […]

Local high schools at capacity for 2011-12

The four comprehensive high schools in El Dorado Union High School District are projected to be over capacity during the 2011-12 academic year. Union Mine High School is expected to be the only comprehensive high school under capacity in 2012-13. The district’s Demographic Study and Master Plan was accepted by the Board of Trustees at […]

Fred Winn, gentle warrior, dies

Fred Winn of Placerville died May 9. He will be heartily missed by local Democrats, and he should be missed by their Republican and Independent brethren as well. For while Fred was an old-time, dyed-in-the-wool Democrat, he was so kind and open-minded that surely no one could oppose him — his politics maybe, but not […]

Road Warriors to tackle county’s finest

The men and women of El Dorado County law enforcement are no strangers to courts. But when they take the floor on July 9 against the two-time National Wheelchair Basketball Association champions, the county’s finest might find themselves in a whole new ballgame. To benefit the United Services Organization, local law enforcement accepted the challenge […]

Criminal Annals, Part 118: Murder near the City by the Bay

Continuing with the Sept. 16, 1852, edition of the Sacramento “Daily Union,” we first find an article regarding an altercation in a small area of San Francisco called Pleasant Valley, one of the most common town names in early California. “A brutal murder was committed in this city yesterday, in a place known as Pleasant […]

Teen accident victim remains on life support

The Union Mine High School student was was severely injured in a head-on collision Tuesday afternoon remained on life support Friday afternoon. Placerville area California Highway Patrol officer Dan Stark told the Mountain Democrat that, as of press time, there had been no change in the condition of Scott Santana, 17. “As far as we […]

Murder case: Strained family dynamic focus of trial

Life inside of Joanne Witt’s El Dorado Hills house might have appeared normal to outside observers, but testimony from the first week of Steven “Boston” Colver’s murder trial revealed Witt’s daughter felt her relationship with her mother was far from idyllic. Tylar Witt, 16, pleaded guilty to murdering Joanne Witt in September 2010 as part […]