Sanford sentenced to life without parole

“I am absolutely, completely innocent,” Andrew Sanford said at a hearing Monday before being sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. “I was nowhere around when the crime took place.”

Protesting his innocence on a conviction of the 1980 first-degree murder of Richard Swanson, Sanford said he was “appalled” at the District Attorney’s case, refuting supposed conversations he had and claiming he did not encounter witnesses at the time. Witnesses then lied on the stand, he said, at the prosecution’s behest. He claimed he would be …

Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians elects 2015 Tribal Council

PLACERVILLE — The Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians recently elected its 2015 Tribal Council. Four of the seven Tribal Council seats were up for election. Re-elected were Nicholas H. Fonseca, Hermo Olanio and Regina Cuellar. Bernie Gonzales was newly elected. The three other Tribal Council members are Allan Campbell, Veronica Holmes and Malissa Tayaba. […]

Common Core Standards implementation update March 13

The League of Women Voters of El Dorado County, in conjunction with the El Dorado County Office of Education, invite the public to attend a presentation of “An Update on the Implementation of Common Core Standards in El Dorado County” on Friday, March 13. Starting at 4 p.m. and concluding at 6 p.m., the presentation […]

Supes take leadership and governance course

El Dorado County supervisors have been going to school lately. Their major? Leadership and Excellence in Governance. Primary topics: mission, vision and values, the county’s strategic plan. Related subjects: tools to help strengthen collaboration, cooperation and decision-making. Significant goal: improving the efficiency of board meetings. The Jan. 26 special training session included several other elected […]

Collision rolls car, causes minor injury

A two-car collision in Sly Park caused a minor injury on Feb. 19. Joseph Spady, 26, of Placerville, made an unsafe left turn on Sly Park Road south of Highway 50 in a silver 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe, CHP Officer Quinn Cuthbertson said, into the path of a black 1999 Honda Civic, driven by Serena […]

Heard over the back fence: Dealing with limitations

SENIOR LUNCH MENU: Senior lunches are available for adults 60 years and older. Today’s lunch is: Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, Italian Blend Vegetables, Peaches, Juice, Garlic Bread and Milk and Coffee. For more information, call 530-621-6160. HOME DELIVERED MEALS: Homebound adults 60 years or older who are medically or physically disabled may qualify for home delivery of […]

Disaster loans available to farmers, ranchers and small businesses in EDC

The U.S. Department of Agriculture granted a Secretarial disaster designation to El Dorado County on Feb. 4 due to the drought intensity levels experienced for many weeks in the county. Emergency farm loans for up to a maximum of $500,000 are available for both physical and crop production losses as a direct result of the […]

Engineering and environmental work underway on Connector segment

MATHER — The Capital SouthEast Connector Joint Powers Authority has approved a $1.4 million contract with Dokken Engineering for preliminary engineering and environmental documentation for the 5.5-mile segment on White Rock Road from Prairie City Road in Folsom to Latrobe Road in El Dorado Hills. The 35-mile Connector will connect Interstate 5 south of Elk […]

‘Sensible development’ groups join forces

Calling it a final effort to “stop further abuse of discretionary power for the many (development) projects that lie ahead,” a coalition of slow-growth groups held its first organized meeting at El Dorado Hills Fire Station 85 recently to inform and rally the public. The hosts, under the name Citizens for Responsible Development in El […]

Lawsuit lays out contentions against EDH apartments

The Citizens for Sensible Development in El Dorado Hills have two main points of contention in the group’s lawsuit against the proposed apartments in the El Dorado Hills Town Center: That an Environmental Impact Report should have been written and that the proposal is inconsistent with the General Plan. Attorney Marsha Burch of the Law […]

Three arrested in connection to Sand Ridge Road murder

The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office arrested three suspects in connection with the alleged Feb. 3 murder of Pete C. Thomas.

Nalana Omega, 31, of Placerville, and Raul Gonzalez, 22, of El Dorado — a validated Sureno gang member — were arrested on murder warrants at a Green Wing Lane residence, an area known for Sureno activity, in Placerville on Feb. 18, Lt. Tom Murdoch said. Roberto Barrera, 18, of Diamond Springs, also a validated Sureno, was arrested at Grocery Outlet, where he is an employee, the same day on a murder charge.

All three were arraigned on Feb. 20, each pleading not guilty. The three remain in custody with no bail due to the murder charges. They are being held in separate facilities — only Barrera is in Placerville — to prevent communication between them, Lt. Jeff Dreher said.

Visiting Judge Gary Hahn set the next hearing date as Feb. 24 at 1 p.m. in Department 7.

Grizzly Flat man sentenced for child porn

A Grizzly Flat man was sentenced in federal court Thursday to 12 1/2 years in prison for possession of child pornography. Nicholas Robert Bowen, 63, and a female companion were arrested by Davis Police Officers after the woman exposed herself to 10-to-12-year-old boys in a park while Bowen filmed the boys’ reactions using cameras in […]

Special Monday meeting highlights county health survey

El Dorado County supervisors will see an 83-page slide presentation on the overall health of their constituents during a special Monday meeting on Feb. 23 at 2 p.m. Data from the county’s Health and Human Services Agency, Marshall Medical, Barton Memorial Hospital at South Lake Tahoe, the Shingle Springs Tribal Clinic and the Community Health […]

General Plan’s biological element back on the agenda

Everything from Oak Woodlands Management to Priority Conservation Areas and the county’s general conservation strategies are on a special supervisors meeting agenda Monday at 9 a.m. Continuing the update of the General Plan’s biological and natural resources element, county staff and consultants from Dudek and Associates are scheduled for three hours to bring the board […]

Gold Oak put on lockdown

A parolee running from law enforcement on Feb. 20 in the area of Gold Oak Elementary in Pleasant Valley caused the school to shelter in place. The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office asked school officials to shelter in place at about 12:20 p.m. as they were searching for parolee Jesse King, 35, who ran from a […]

Man drives into lake at Brown’s Ravine

A man committed suicide at Brown’s Ravine Marina on Feb. 17, despite efforts from marina employees to save him. As employees of Folsom Lake arrived for work, they saw a man sitting inside a vehicle, an El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office press release stated. It was parked on a boat ramp, facing the water. Shortly […]

Heard over the back fence: Apple Hill photo contest under way

DO TREES TALK? John Chapman gave me the following “Advice from a Tree” T-shirt statement: “Stand tall and proud * Sink your roots into the earth * Be content with your natural beauty * Go out on a limb * Drink plenty of water * Remember your roots * Enjoy the view!” FACEBOOK PHOTO CONTEST: Robyn Delfino provided […]

Accolades for retiring editor

Michael Raffety, who is retiring as of Feb. 23, leaves behind a wake of good will and respect for his time as editor. Described by bosses, colleagues and those he wrote about as honest, fair and intelligent — with a bit of good-humored quirkiness thrown in — Raffety is a man who put all his talents at the […]

Longtime editor of the Mountain Democrat retiring

After almost 37 years at the Mountain Democrat — virtually all of it as an editor — Mike Raffety is retiring as of Feb. 23.

A fixture at the paper for more than a generation, Raffety has served in multiple capacities — reporter, editor, photographer, columnist and opinion shaper. He’s also been a steadfast champion of the community, celebrating its accomplishments while unsparing when criticizing those who fall short when it comes to looking out for its welfare.

Something of a renaissance man, Raffety was born in Berlin, Germany, and later adopted by an American military couple who moved back to the United States, eventually settling in California.

Squirrel rehabbing class set

Sierra Wildlife Rescue’s February class for prospective rehabbers will be on “Rehabbing Squirrels,” and will be held on Feb. 28, from 1-3 p.m. Squirrels are ubiquitous in El Dorado County, which has the added benefit of being home to six different species. Learn all about these fascinating, intelligent, playful wildlife neighbors, and the basics on rehabilitating […]

State of Jefferson confab planned next week

If you have been curious about the State of Jefferson signs that have been popping up along county roadways, you now have the opportunity to learn more, at a town hall meeting 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 28 at the American Legion Hall, 4561 Greenstone Road, Placerville. Forming a 51st state has been a growing effort […]

Senior Day Care centers accepting new members

El Dorado County Senior Day Care Services is now accepting new members for both of its sites in Placerville and El Dorado Hills. The centers offer quality care and activities for adults needing supervision during the day. “This is a great service for people struggling to find quality and affordable care for an aging parent […]

Highway 50: 2 collisions within 15 minutes Wednesday

Two traffic collisions on Highway 50 happened within a few miles of each other within 15 minutes on Feb. 18. The first occurred at Highway 50 and Carson Road in Camino, next to Mountain Pizza, at 4:20 p.m., CHP Officer Quinn Cuthbertson said. Barbara Brown, 76, of Pollock Pines, was turning from Carson Road onto […]

Garden Valley fire station to be replaced

Construction is set to begin on a new Cal Fire station in Garden Valley. The Kaler/Dobler Construction Company is set to begin destruction of the old fire station at 5061 Marshall Road sometime in March in anticipation of constructing a new station, Cal Fire Battalion Chief Mark Brunton said. The contractor, out of Rancho Cordova, primarily does […]

Supervisor Shiva Frentzen appointed to state LAFCO association’s board

At its Jan. 28 meeting the El Dorado Local Agency Formation Commission nominated Shiva Frentzen to be appointed to the board of directors of the California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions (CALAFCO). The CALAFCO board is expected to formally appoint Shiva at its next meeting, which is scheduled for May 8. She will serve […]

New trail segments slated to open next month

The El Dorado County Transportation Commission coughed up an additional $87,000 to complete two segments of the El Dorado Trail: one segment between Clay Street and Bedford Avenue and the other segment between Lower Main Street and Forni Road to Ray Lawyer Drive. The two segments of a Class I Bike Path are under a […]

Missing teen info sought

Ashley VanTassel’s parents know the general area of where she is. After disappearing on Dec. 4, 2014, Erin and Eddie Knight, of Placerville, believe their 17-year-old daughter went to the Bay Area. But leads have been running dry and VanTassel’s friends are no longer returning calls and texts to the Knights. They have clues to […]

Sen. Gaines introduces legislation to provide state fire tax relief

SACRAMENTO — In his continued efforts to fight against the illegal fire tax, Sen. Ted Gaines (R-Roseville) today introduced legislation that would lengthen the time homeowners have to pay or protest the annual $150 fee. “Problems with timely mail delivery can be an issue in mountain and rural areas of my Senate District,” said Senator […]

Heard over the back fence: Crab feed in Pleasant Valley

BE WELL ROUNDED: My pal John Chapman sent the following T-shirt quote: “Advice from an Apple: Be well rounded * Let your plans ripen * Hold on to core values * Savor variety * Eat healthy * Know when to let go * Take a bite out of life!” GRANGE CRAB FEED: The Pleasant Valley Grange Crab […]

Pedestrian struck in SLT: Man dies after being hit by vehicle

Isaac Brambila Tahoe Tribune A South Lake Tahoe man was killed after he was stuck by an SUV Friday evening on Ski Run Boulevard near the intersection of Larch Avenue. The 44-year-old man was declared dead at the scene after paramedics performed life-saving efforts without success, South Lake Tahoe Police Department Lt. David Stevenson said. […]

Drought workshop proposed for Georgetown Divide PUD

The drought was on everyone’s mind at the Feb. 10 board meeting of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District. According to General Manager Wendell Wall, the current water storage in Stumpy Meadows Reservoir is at 10,790 acre-feet or 54 percent of capacity. He said that is the lowest storage level in the lake in the past 49 […]

Local couple wins wildfire mitigation award

Logtown residents Ken and Nancy Hasse recently learned they are among only 21 individuals and organizations nationwide to be honored with a 2015 Wildfire Mitigation Award. The first year they are being given out, the awards are jointly sponsored by the National Association of State Foresters, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the National Fire Protection Association and the U.S. Forest […]

Making EDC fire safe

El Dorado County residents got a sharp reminder of the need to make their properties as fire safe as possible after last year’s Sand and King fires. Local organizations that have been helping in this effort for years are the county’s fire safe councils (FSC). Grassroots organizations, they exist to make California’s communities less vulnerable to catastrophic wildfire […]

UM principal gets promotion

Union Mine High School Principal Tony DeVille is moving on up — to the  El Dorado Union High School District Office. After the end of this school year, DeVille will become associate superintendent in Human Services for EDUHSD. It’s a move both exciting and a little sad for DeVille. “There are some really exciting things on […]

Local pilot lands on Highway 20

A Cameron Park man was forced to land his single-engine plane on Highway 20 in Grass Valley on Feb. 1. Robert Irwin, 90, of Cameron Park, flew his plane from Willows back to his home in Cameron Park when the navigation systems malfunctioned, a CHP press release stated. Irwin, disoriented and eventually running out of […]

Free hiring event Feb. 19

El Dorado County Connections—One Stop is hosting a free Employer Forum and Hiring Event on Thursday, Feb. 19 at 10:30 a.m. at the El Dorado County Child Support Services Building located at 3883 Ponderosa Road in Shingle Springs. During the event, a representative from Ponté Palmero, an assisted living community in Cameron Park, will share […]

Placerville among 50 Best Small Downtowns in America

A January 2015 Best Choices Review of the 50 Best Small Downtowns in America ranked Placerville as No. 28. Extolled in Placerville’s virtues are the monthly stagecoach rides, the 160-year-old Belltower and the Placerville Hardware Store, as well as Placerville’s Gold Rush history and being the late artist Thomas Kinkade’s home town.

Teen drives down embankment

A teenager lost control of his car in El Dorado Hills in the early morning hours of Feb. 16, driving down an embankment. The 16-year-old male, of El Dorado Hills, was driving a 2006 silver Land Rover Range Rover eastbound on Appian Way west of Sangiovese Drive at about 4:30 a.m., CHP Officer Quinn Cuthbertson said. […]

Couple rescued in Pilot Hill

A couple hiking in Pilot Hill became lost Sunday, spending the night in the wilderness before being escorted out by Search and Rescue volunteers. The couple, a man in his 40s, from Roseville, and a woman in her 50s, from Folsom, were day hiking the American River area near Salmon Falls Bridge when they became […]

Tough two-span bridge still usable after severe shaking in quake engineering test

RENO, Nev. – Engineers have demonstrated that, even after a strong earthquake or hurricane, bridges built with innovative materials and designs are not only still standing, but usable in the aftermath of a disaster. In a large-scale experiment that ended Feb. 6 at the University of Nevada, Reno’s world-renowned Earthquake Engineering Laboratory, a bridge withstood […]

Heard over the back fence: Railroad history speaker in EDH

I KNOW THIS PERSON: John Chapman provided the following T-shirt statement: “Cleverly Disguised as a Responsible Person.” RAILROAD HISTORY SPEAKER: On Wednesday, Feb. 25, at 6:30 p.m., Jim Harville, president of the Placerville and Sacramento Valley Railroad Association, will speak on the past and present history of the oldest railroad built west of the Mississippi River. The […]

Caltrans restoring Bridal Veil Falls culvert

Caltrans has begun its project to restore the culvert at Bridal Veil Falls. The culvert was damaged during the King Fire, said Caltrans spokesperson Steve Nelson. The culvert itself goes under the highway, and is big enough to allow workers to go inside and fix it. Depending on the weather, Nelson said, the project should […]

Lines drawn at MLUSD

The lines were clearly drawn at the Feb. 11 Mother Lode Union School District Board meeting: parents and teachers stepped forward to tell board members to step down if they weren’t willing to do their job in the best interest for the children of the district; they presented a declaration of no confidence in MLUSD […]

Board OK’s CIP, TIM Fee update schedules

El Dorado County is now into the fourth year of a Major Five-Year Update on its transportation network. Next January, the Board of Supervisors is expected to adopt final recommendations for that “update” of its Capital Improvement Program and its Traffic Impact Mitigation Fee scale. Supervisors approved both the scope of work and the schedule […]

Interim GM to leave water agency

The El Dorado County Water Agency will be losing another staff member as it was announced by the board at its Feb. 11 meeting that Interim General Manager Tracey Eden-Bishop would be resigning at the end of the month to take a job with the El Dorado Irrigation District. Eden-Bishop has been serving as interim general manager […]