EDSO warns of jury duty scam

The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office is warning citizens of a potential new phone scam. An elderly citizen called EDSO after a caller claimed that the resident and a family member had warrants for missing a jury summons, an EDSO press release stated. The caller demanded that money for bail be paid within 10 minutes or […]

New technology chief will join McNaughton Newspapers

By Tanya Perez McNaughton Newspapers Figuring out the best way to bring news to readers in an online format is a challenge that even the biggest media outlets haven’t yet mastered. But Taylor Buley is planning to do that for McNaughton Newspapers. Beginning in January, Buley will be the chief technologist at McNaughton Newspapers, overseeing […]

Cloud seeding proposal considered by county Water Agency

With interest in finding additional water supplies still on everyone’s mind, the El Dorado Water Agency discussed a proposal to conduct cloud seeding at its Dec. 10 meeting. Not the first time it’s been considered, in August of 2014, Dr. Jeffrey Tilley from the Desert Research Institute (DRI) provided a cloud seeding presentation to the agency’s board. […]

Two house fires Sunday: Girl injured

Two houses caught fire in the early morning hours of Sunday. Multiple agencies were dispatched to a structure fire at 1025 Lydia Lane in Placerville at 1:40 a.m., said Diamond Springs Battalion Chief Ken Earle. As there was a downed power line, it hampered the firefighting effort, Earle said, and they had a “difficult time […]

These legal ladies want you

It’s good to be wanted, especially by women like Sandra Hurley-Nerwinski, Kelli Punturo and Kathryn Cain – all of whom are eager to have you join them. Members of an organization called the El Dorado County Legal Professionals Association, the group is made up of a cross-section of local legal talent including paralegals, legal secretaries, private fiduciaries, notaries, public […]

Dave Barry’s 2014 Year in Review

By Dave Barry It was a year of mysteries. To list some of the more baffling ones: • A huge airliner simply vanished, and to this day nobody has any idea what happened to it, despite literally thousands of hours of intensive speculation on CNN. • Millions of Americans suddenly decided to make videos of […]

Early Care and Education council vacancy

The El Dorado County Early Care and Education Planning Council is accepting applications for board membership to fill three vacancies serving at the discretion of the Board of Supervisors. Successful applicants would be those who are concerned about and/or experienced with child care and early education issues. One vacancy is a designee position which is […]

SLT Fire launching new STAT program

The South Lake Tahoe Fire Department is launching a new program called STAT: South Tahoe Action Teams. This program is for community members to be trained by the South Lake Tahoe Fire Department as responders during times of crisis. Living in the Sierras brings the potential for large scale emergencies from winds, heavy snow, flooding, […]

Tears and hugs highlight last meeting for Santiago and Briggs

The sometimes stodgy and tedious, day-in, day-out management of the people’s business was interrupted for at least a full hour last Tuesday when county supervisors, employees and just folks from the Western Slope and Tahoe sang paeans to Ron Briggs and Norma Santiago. Both the District 4 and District 5 supervisors have completed two terms […]

Cal Fire warns of home heating danger

SACRAMENTO — Cal Fire is reminding residents to take steps to heat their homes safely. While the cooler weather and rain is a welcomed event during a time of severe drought in California, it also means that many will need to turn on home heating sources to keep warm indoors. Cal Fire is encouraging everyone to […]

High school district approves raises for all

Yes, Tiny Tim, there is something in all the Christmas stockings of El Dorado High School District employees — at least for this year. Certificated employees received a pay increase of 5.75 percent and a 0.26 percent increase in the district’s contribution to the Health Plan Cap; classified employees received a pay increase of 5.75 […]

Community service key for retiring mayor

On Dec. 9, 2014, Placerville Mayor Carl Hagen turned over his gavel to Vice Mayor Patty Borelli and walked into a life a little different from the one he has led for the past 10 years as a member of the Placerville City Council.

Hagen, 69, who has been mayor twice, was appointed from a pool of nine candidates to replace Councilman Robert Salazar, who died during his term in 2004. In 2006, Hagen was elected to his first full term on City Council and to his second in 2010.

“There was a public …”

Teen killed by fallen tree

The body of a missing 14-year-old was found under a large pine tree in the backyard of a vacant South Lake Tahoe residence on Dec. 13. Dejon Smith left home on Dec. 11, telling his parents that he would be out for the evening as school the next day had been cancelled due to the […]

Heard over the back fence: Learn to play bridge

Editor’s note — Bob Billingsley will return today, Jan. 5. While Bob is preparing columns for the new year, Ken Deibert will continue holding up the Back Fence this week. A MIGHTY ARMY: “Skill and confidence are an unconquered army.” — George Herbert LEARN TO PLAY BRIDGE: A program titled “Bridge – Lessons and/or Play” is described […]

Heard over the back fence: Learn East Coast swing dancing

Editor’s note — Bob Billingsley will return Jan. 5. In the meantime Ken Deibert is pinch-hitting for him. Happy New Year from Ken and Bob. Please continue to send your items to our mailing address, drop them off at the office. E-mail items and your jokes and quotes to Michael Raffety, mraffety@mtdemocrat.net. Use the subject […]

Local unemployment up slightly in November

The unemployment rate in the Sacramento-Arden Arcade-Roseville MSA was 6.7 percent in November 2014, up from a revised 6.6 percent in October 2014, and below the year-ago estimate of 7.9 percent. This compares with an unadjusted unemployment rate of 7.1 percent for California and 5.5 percent for the nation during the same period. The unemployment […]

Water rights law celebrates its 100th anniversary

By Tim Moran State Water Resoucrces Control Board In the long and contentious history of water rights in California, one date stands out: Dec. 19, 1914, exactly 100 years ago. That year brought order and structure to California’s previously often chaotic and litigious water rights landscape. It also marks a dividing line in the hierarchy of […]

Heard over the back fence: Try a little poetry

Editor’s note — Bob Billingsley will return Jan. 5. In the meantime Ken Deibert is pinch-hitting for him. Please continue to send your items to our mailing address, drop them off at the office. E-mail items and your jokes and quotes to Michael Raffety, mraffety@mtdemocrat.net. Use the subject lines “back fence item.” SECRETS OF SUCCESS: […]

Heard over the back fence: Work off the turkey gravy

Editor’s note — Bob Billingsley will return Jan. 5. In the meantime Ken Deibert is pinch-hitting for him. Please continue to send your items to our mailing address, drop them off at the office. E-mail items and your jokes and quotes to Michael Raffety, mraffety@mtdemocrat.net. Use the subject lines “back fence item.”  CALL THE REAL […]

Heard over the back fence: After the holidays time to lose weight

Editor’s note — Bob Billingsley will return Jan. 5. In the meantime Ken Deibert is pinch-hitting for him. Merry Christmas from Ken and Enid Deibert and Bob and Monika Billingsley. Please continue to send your items to our mailing address, drop them off at the office. E-mail items and your jokes and quotes to Michael […]

EID honored for transparency by Leadership Foundation

El Dorado Irrigation District was notified Dec. 11 that it received the District Transparency Certificate of Excellence by the Special District Leadership Foundation (SDLF) in recognition of its outstanding efforts to promote transparency and good governance. “This award is a testament to EID’s commitment to open government,” said EID General Manager Jim Abercrombie. “The entire […]

Heard over the back fence: Help sponsor the Food Bank

Editor’s note — Bob Billingsley will return Jan. 5. In the meantime Ken Deibert is pinch-hitting for him. Please continue to send your items to our mailing address, drop them off at the office. E-mail items and your jokes and quotes to Michael Raffety, mraffety@mtdemocrat.net. Use the subject lines “back fence item.”  THE VANISHING BRAIN: Jewel […]

More info on lockdown

After two schools were put on lockdown Tuesday morning, additional information about the suspect was released by the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office. Union Mine High School and Charles Brown Education Center were both put on lockdown at about 8:10 a.m., after the UMHS school resource officer was informed of a report of a theft suspect, possibly […]

Caltrans praised for King Fire Hwy 50 work

The U.S. Forest Service held a small party to thank the members of Caltrans that assisted along the Highway 50 corridor during the King Fire. “It’s just our way of saying thanks,” Eldorado National Forest Supervisor Laurence Crabtree said. “They’re people we can count on to keep the roads open. We don’t always acknowledge them.” […]

Man walks into traffic, hit by car

A man sustained severe injuries after he walked into traffic on Missouri Flat Road Wednesday evening. Alan Duffany, 49, of Davis, stepped into traffic on Missouri Flat Road north of Pleasant Valley Road at about 5:30 p.m., CHP Officer Quinn Cuthbertson said. He was struck by a 2003 Mini Cooper driven southbound by Jeffrey Jackson, […]

Taking a chance on Logan

It’s not unusual for a sophomore in high school to have a part-time job, but Logan Wright is a little different. He’s a gold medalist, part of the leadership class at El Dorado High School, an avid hunter and fisherman, and he has Down’s syndrome, a genetic chromosomal disorder which causes lifelong intellectual disability and […]

No deal on EID censure plan: Election shift eyed

Despite a detailed presentation on the legal basis for censuring someone, the board of the El Dorado Irrigation District was unable to reach a consensus at its Dec. 8 meeting when it came to adopting a new policy that laid out specific procedures for doing so. The need for the policy arose in September after Director George Osborne asked EID’s General Counsel Tom Cumpston what procedures […]

False tax returns: Prison, fine for P’ville man

A Placerville man was sentenced in federal court Thursday for filing false tax returns. Thomas W. Stringfellow, 55, was sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay $687,182 in restitution by U.S. District Judge Morrison C. England Jr., a press release from U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. From 2006 through 2010, Stringfellow, […]

Downtown upbeat about Christmas

The holiday season is usually a retail bonanza for merchants. This November, national retail sales were up by 4-5 percent, with the National Retail Federation predicting a whopping $616.9 billion in sales for this holiday season.

Downtown Placerville merchants have seen steady sales and some of them are hoping for the late season surge they experienced last year.

“Last year, there was a big surge about four days before Christmas,” said Danielle Thorne, owner of Ecological, 320 Main Street, which specializes in fair-trade items.

Most offices closed for Christmas

Some offices throughout El Dorado County will be closed on Thursday, Dec. 25, due to Christmas, a state and federal holiday. Here’s a look at what local residents may expect: All schools in El Dorado County will be closed. The offices of the Placerville Police and El Dorado County Sheriff  will be closed on both […]

Heard over the back fence: Salmon expert featured at trout confab

Editor’s note — Bob Billingsley will return Jan. 5. In the meantime Ken Deibert is pinch-hitting for him. Please continue to send your items to our mailing address, drop them off at the office. E-mail items and your jokes and quotes to Michael Raffety, mraffety@mtdemocrat.net. Use the subject lines “back fence item.”  CALL THE REAL […]

EDUHSD board members sworn in

Kevin Brown, Tim Carey and Todd White were sworn in as El Dorado Union High School District Board of Trustees members at the Dec. 9 board meeting. All three were re-elected during General Elections this November. EDUHSD Superintendent Steve Wehr noted, “I am looking forward to continuing to collaborate with this team and providing the […]

School boundary complaints voiced at board meeting

Parents and students attended last Tuesday’s El Dorado Union High School District board meeting to express their continued concerns with school boundaries. Since the boundaries were redrawn in 2005, a small number of El Dorado Hills students change schools at every level instead of going to recognized feeder schools in their neighborhoods. Some of the […]

Not too late for flu vaccination

The Public Health Division of the El Dorado County Health and Human Services Agency has wrapped up its community flu vaccination clinics for the season, and is now offering the flu vaccine by appointment. The seasonal influenza vaccine is available through Public Health for only $10 per vaccination. No one will be turned away due […]

Sanford adds attorney

A man convicted of a 1980 murder attempted to replace his attorney but instead simply had one added in a hearing Friday morning. Andrew Sanford appeared with his attorney, Erik Schlueter, for a short hearing. It began with a Marsden Motion, a California-specific motion in which a defendant can attempt to fire their court-appointed attorney […]

Giant Hanukkah menorah lit in Placerville

Have you seen the giant Hanukkah Menorah near the Welcome to Placerville sign on Highway 50? Every year members of Temple Kol Shalom — of the Western Foothills — place it there to commemorate Hanukkah, a Jewish holiday also known as the Festival of Lights. Jewish people worldwide will observe Hanukkah, beginning on the evening […]

Grand Jury: King Fire suspect indicted

The man accused of intentionally causing the King Fire was indicted by the El Dorado County Grand Jury and arraigned on Monday. During the Monday hearing, Grand Jury transcripts were given to prosecutor Jim Clinchard and defense attorney Bob Banning regarding the Dec. 3 indictment of Wayne Allen Huntsman. Banning had difficulty opening discovery files, […]

Harris’ murder trial pushed back

The trial of a woman who allegedly killed her husband was pushed back a week in a Monday hearing. After lengthy meetings in chambers regarding jury summons, prosecutor Joe Alexander suggested a new hearing date of Jan. 12, 2015, at 1:30 p.m. in Department 2 for the Colleen Harris trial’s in limine motions. Defense attorney […]

Stormproofing the watershed after King Fire

With last Thursday’s storm threatening more damage, U.S. Forest Service and Sacramento Municipal Utility District staff were out in force doing what they could to protect a watershed left scarred by the King Fire.

On Wednesday, crews were hurriedly putting in berms, placing risers over culverts, laying rocks and log barriers and taking other measures to protect the hillsides, roads, powerhouses and other structures before the storm hit.

Up and down Forebay Road, dump trucks rumbled by with tons of crushed rock. At the bottom of one gully, a front-end loader graded the area while rock was placed above to control the water flow and to keep the gully from turning into a small canyon. Meanwhile, what looked like a hydro excavator truck waited on …

Law enforcement cracking down on holiday drunk driving

This time of year, with all the holiday office parties and festive occasions with friends and families, many partygoers will be drinking. If you’re celebrating with alcohol this holiday season, Placerville Police Department has a message for you: “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.” Due to the increase in drunk-driving-related fatalities around the holidays each […]

UMHS briefly locked down

Union Mine High School was briefly put on lockdown Tuesday morning due to police activity in the area. Just after 8 a.m., UMHS was put on lockdown due to a robbery suspect in the area. A search was conducted for a white Toyota Solara convertible based on a report out of Sacramento County, according to […]

GDPUD: Proposition 218-related workshop next week

New board members were sworn in and new officers elected at the Dec. 9 meeting of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District. Carl Hoelscher, Lon Uso and Jesse Hanschild swapped seats with outgoing board members Ray Griffiths and Bonnie McLane. Outgoing board member Kathy Otermat wasn’t present. The new board went on to elect Director Norm Krizl as […]

Fire destroys tenant’s home on Nutting property

A fire Thursday morning destroyed a mobile home on a former supervisor’s property. Pioneer Fire units responded to a report of a fire at 9:06 a.m., with units not arriving to the fire until 9:32 a.m. due to distance from the fire station. The fire was reported at 8161 Happy Valley Road in Somerset, part […]

Storm causes minor flooding, fallen trees, power outages

The storm that hit California late last week dumped rain and snow in El Dorado County, causing power outages, floods and downed trees.

For the previous 48 hours at 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 12, the storm rained between 1 and 4 inches of water, with Placerville having the highest at 4.22 inches, according to the National Weather Service’s …