Opportunity Acres: Ranch is a special choice

At long last, youths with autism have a place they can call their own: Opportunity Acres.

Located in Shingle Springs, the ranch is a mix of uses that at first glance don’t seem to fit together. For example, what does boarding horses and dressage have to do with rescued horses, goats and a petting zoo? And what does caring for horses have to do with a life/vocational skills program and non-public high school for those with autism?

Yet, all the pieces do fit together, with one activity …

Dental office uses Halloween storefront to send message

Texting and driving kills thousands every year across our globe and has even affected lives of those here in El Dorado County. Dr. Robert Catron, owner of Sierra Dental and Orthodontics at the Cameron Park Safeway complex, and his dental team, have dedicated their storefront Halloween display to help send the message of the dangers […]

Dog talk with Uncle Matty: Happy Halloween versus Hollywood horror

The countdown to Halloween is on, and Halloween means horror movies — a genre driven by the concept of people making bad choices. They make sure that creepy guy with the blank eyes and the bad teeth knows they’re heading for that old cabin in the woods. They move into that foreboding house nobody else […]

Heard over the back fence: Empty Bowls fundraiser coming

ADVICE FROM A BUTTERFLY: John Chapman dropped off the following “Advice from a Butterfly” T-shirt statement: “Let your true colors show * Get out of your cocoon * Take yourself lightly * Look for the sweetness in life * Take time to smell the flowers * Catch a breeze * We can’t all be monarchs!” EMPTY […]

SLT Police seeking information on multiple burglaries

South Lake Tahoe, CA — On Oct. 22 at approximately 11:15 p.m., South Lake Tahoe Police Officers responded to a report of burglary at the Kmart Garden Center. Two suspects smashed the front door glass and attempted to steal the cash registers. The two suspects took an unknown amount of cash and fled the location […]

EDH mourns killed deputy

Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputy Danny Oliver, 47, of El Dorado Hills, was killed in the line of duty while investigating a suspicious occupied vehicle on Oct. 24. Oliver and another deputy approached a suspicious vehicle in the parking lot of a motel in the 2000 block of Arden Way around 10:30 a.m. Friday. A male […]

Spending on local ballot initiatives reaches nearly $606,000

Campaign spending has slowed down for candidates running for the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors but not those advocating for or against certain initiatives, with contributions continuing to flow in, especially on behalf of the “No on M-N-O” campaign. In the race for supervisor, District 4, Howard Penn has raised $78,676 year to date with […]

Feeding the bears, or deer, may do more harm than good

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) wants to remind the public to never feed wildlife, even animals that may be displaced due to wildfires. Last month the King Fire burned nearly 100,000 acres in the El Dorado National Forest, destroying wildlife habitat and forcing animals to flee to safety. However, most wildlife species […]

Flying Samaritans change lives

Once a month, a group of doctors, nurses, medical students and dentists fly to Baja Mexico. They operate a clinic, Alma Luminosa, at San Quintin, on the Rancho Los Pinos, about 200 miles south of the border, and they make a difference in the lives of the people they touch.

They’ve been doing this since 1977 as the Flying Samaritans Mother Lode Chapter, and they don’t plan to stop anytime soon.

Overcrossing dedicated to fallen Marine

With the recent installation of the Sky Mote overcrossing sign at Fair Lane and eastbound Highway 50, a two-year project of the Placerville Friends of the Veterans Monument was at last realized. Staff Sgt. Mote was killed in Afghanistan in August 2012. Mote was awarded the most prestigious honors of the Navy Cross, Purple Heart, […]

Winery Association endorses Ranalli for supervisor

The El Dorado Winery Association voted to endorse Michael Ranalli in the Board of Supervisors District 4 race Oct. 24. “The association serves over 40 vintners who share a mission to promote awareness of El Dorado County’s wine industry, quality wines and tourism opportunities while preserving and protecting the pristine rural beauty of the region,” […]

Good news, bad news at Water Agency meeting

The El Dorado County Water Agency (EDCWA) Board of Directors got some good news and bad news at its meeting on Oct. 8. The good news is the county is expected to receive $3.87 million in drought-response funding from the state. The money will be used towards projects at four different public agencies. The city of Placerville will […]

Update on drought given by Water Agency GM

The drought in California continues to exact a toll, according to a report by El Dorado County Water Agency (EDCWA) General Manager Dave Eggerton. In a report to EDCWA’s board on Oct. 8, he noted that currently 82 percent of the entire state is experiencing extreme to exceptional drought conditions. In addition, more than 58 percent […]

Lane closures due Hwy 50 in EDH

Beginning Tuesday night, Oct. 28, the Transportation Division of El Dorado County’s Community Development Agency  will be implementing full one-directional closures of Highway 50. The closures will facilitate the needed falsework operations for the Silva Valley Overcrossing. Oct. 28-29: • Westbound lanes from Bass Lake Road to El Dorado Hills Boulevard will be closed from […]

Confab aims at conserving water

Innovative water technologies that help conserve and protect California’s water resources was the main topic at a conference held Oct. 15 in Folsom. Sponsored by the Mountain Counties Water Resources Association (MCWRA) and underwritten by Parjana Inc., a long list of speakers covered diverse topics, including groundwater management, climate change, small-scale hydropower opportunities and conjunctive water use. Volatile rainfall […]

Closing arguments present new possible story in Winkler case

The jury was sent to deliberation in the Todd Winkler murder trial 10 minutes before the court closed down on Oct. 21, essentially to begin deliberation on Oct. 22. Prosecutor Lisette Suder began her closing arguments by calling Winkler a “mastermind, a manipulator, a murderer.” He walked into his wife Rachel’s room “with the intent […]

Water rights pursuit on the bubble

El Dorado County supervisors sent their Water Agency staff back to a drawing board of sorts at their Oct. 14 meeting. The county has been pursuing a project to increase its access to local water for several years. The project is managed by the El Dorado Water and Power Authority whose executive director, Dave Eggerton, […]

Kinkade’s hometown gallery closing

Neon pink and green signs fill the window of 262 Main Street in Placerville — “Store closing. Everything must go!” While a group of about 20 people waited outside on Thursday, Oct. 23, people inside, like Elsie Katich, the gallery’s curator for almost 18 years, are preparing for the liquidation of 2,000 Thomas Kinkade paintings […]

EID: Water saving gets personal

As the summer irrigation season comes to an end, El Dorado Irrigation District General Manager Jim Abercrombie reported Oct. 14 that district customers had reduced potable water conservation 27 percent for the week, 20 percent since Feb. 5 and 17 percent since Jan. 1. The lower figure for January was a consequence of two things: […]

Camino shooting suspect sketched

The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department is asking the public for help in identifying the subject of a manhunt on Oct. 17. As seen in the accompanying sketch, the man was described as a white male, approximately 6 feet 1 to 6 feet 2 inches tall, weighing approximately 200-250 pounds, with a shaved head and […]

EDH Fire Board: Incumbents say experience matters

El Dorado Hills Fire Board Directors Greg Durante, Wallace Fullerton and Barbara Winn face three challengers this November. All three incumbents are endorsed by the El Dorado Hills Firefighters’ Association. Greg Durante has served on the Fire Board for more than six years. His service on the board began as an appointee after Moni Gilmore […]

Winkler convicted of first-degree murder

A jury found Todd Winkler guilty of the first-degree murder of his wife, Rachel, on Wednesday afternoon.

The verdict from the jury of seven men and five women was read at 2:20 p.m., almost exactly 22 hours after deliberation began. Jurors also found that he used a deadly weapon — scissors — adding a year on to his potential sentence.

Rachel had been having an affair with James White, intending to divorce Todd and marry White instead. Prosecutor Lisette Suder posited that Todd found the computer she had used to calculate child support and alimony, leading him to stab her while she slept. Believing she …

EDH Fire Board: Bryan Elkins is done sitting on the sidelines

Bryan Elkins knows how to work hard and get results. The 1988 Mr. California hits the home gym every day and on the job as a private investigator, he’s used to digging deep to get answers. Using that work ethic to serve the public only seemed right and so Elkins is running for one of three seats […]

EDH Fire Board: Matt Fillmore wants to ensure the department’s success

Involvement in Boy Scouts and church programs taught Matt Fillmore the value of community service, something he hopes to continue as a member of the El Dorado Hills Fire Board. “I’ve always been a service-oriented individual,” Fillmore said. “I think El Dorado Hills has an amazing fire department and my goal would be to keep it […]

EDH Fire Board: Doug Hus wants to do the right thing

El Dorado Hills Fire Board candidate Doug Hus is comfortable in everything from overalls to a suit and tie. But no matter what dress code the job requires, his goal is to do what’s best for the community and that’s why he said he’s running for one of three available seats. “It just feels like […]

Purple petition qualifies for 2016 ballot

The El Dorado County Elections Department announced the “purple petition” was certified as of Tuesday, Oct. 21 as having enough signatures to qualify for the ballot. Called “Retain El Dorado County’s Current Zoning,” the initiative directs the Board of Supervisors to look at land-use changes based on compatibility rather than favoritism, which, according to the initiative’s proponents, provides […]

Award for Jewish teens

Know a socially-minded teen with a passion for repairing the world? The Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards is seeking nominations of Jewish teens with exceptional community service/social change projects that embody the value of tikkun olam, repairing the world. Nominations for the awards present an opportunity for educators, civic leaders and teen mentors to acknowledge […]

Winkler trial: Prosecution, defense rest cases

The defense rested its case and the prosecution rested its rebuttal case on Oct. 16 in the Todd Winkler murder trial. Dr. Frank Lossy, a psychiatrist who had interviewed Winkler and diagnosed him with dissociative personality and conversion disorders, said that the night before Winkler killed his wife, Rachel, he had taken a phone call […]

Cal Fire union endorses three for CPCSD board

In a press release dated Oct. 17, Cal Fire Local 2881 announced its support for Holly Morrison, Gerald Lillpop and Barbara Rogers for positions with the Cameron Park Community Service District. Lillpop is running to fill a two-year term. Rogers and Morrison are each running to fill four-year terms. “These folks truly understand the needs […]

EDUHSD: 5 vie for 3 seats

This November, five candidates are running for three positions on the Board of Trustees for El Dorado Union High School District. Three of the candidates are incumbents and two are first-time candidates. The Mountain Democrat asked each one about why they were running, what qualities a new superintendent to replace outgoing Superintendent Chris Hoffman should […]

New general manager hired by GDPUD

At its Oct. 14 meeting, the board of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District announced it had selected Wendell Wall as its new general manager. According to information provided by GDPUD, Wall comes with 15 years of water management experience in a senior supervisory role including as acting general manager. Previously he worked as a water distribution superintendent […]

Former GDPUD GM gets $67k in settlement

A settlement between the board of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility Commission and former General Manager Hank White cost the district $67,000, according to court documents. White, who went out on family leave in early 2013 under duress from three members of the board of directors, formally left the job in June of 2013 to […]

Child hit by car in EDH

A child was hit by a car on Oct. 17 in El Dorado Hills. Lauren O’Neal, 29, was driving a 2008 Mazda CX9 on Post Street north of Town Center Boulevard at 7:19 p.m. when she allegedly hit a 4-year-old, according to a CHP report. The child’s condition remains unknown.

New Animal Shelter now open

El Dorado County’s new Animal Services shelter facility opened Oct. 16.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to see the new facility project completed,” said Henry Brzezinski, chief of Animal Services. “We want to thank everyone who supported this effort, especially the County Board of Supervisors and the Chief Administrative Office. We are incredibly grateful for the generosity of our community members and animal welfare partners. The new facility will be a great place to proudly serve our residents and to care for animals in need in our county.”

The new facility, located at 6435 Capitol Ave., Diamond Springs, will 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays and 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturdays.

8 vie for Cameron Park CSD

Four positions on the board of the Cameron Park Community Services District will be filled by voters in November. Three of the spots are for four-year terms and one is to fill a two-year spot. Running to fill the two-year term are Amy Blackmon and Gerald Lillpop. Lillpop said the reason he wants to serve on the […]

Heard over the back fence: Spooky time at the EDH Library

CHURCH BULLETIN BLOOPERS: Paul Chafer forwarded the following “Church Bulletin Blooper:” “The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday.” SPOOKY LIBRARY: On Thursday, Oct. 30, the El Dorado Hills Library, 7455 Silva Valley Parkway, will be haunted from 5 to 7 p.m. […]

Trick-or-treat … drink-or-drive

Halloween is quickly approaching, which for many people means celebrating with alcohol. As you carve your pumpkin or pick out a costume this year, keep in mind that one of the best choices you can make is to drive sober or designate a sober driver to get you home safely. Placerville Police Department is reminding […]

September unempoyment rate dips

The unemployment rate in the Sacramento-Arden Arcade-Roseville MSA was 6.6 percent in September 2014, down from a revised 6.9 percent in August 2014, and below the year-ago estimate of 8.1 percent. This compares with an unadjusted unemployment rate of 6.9 percent for California and 5.7 percent for the nation during the same period. The unemployment […]

Dog talk with Uncle Matty: Homewreckin’ dogs

It’s one thing to battle over who gets the dog once divorce is imminent. It’s another to argue about the dog until divorce is imminent. This is a real problem: poorly behaved dogs that destroy marriages and deflate budding romance. What to do about these homewreckin’ dogs? Heed the following letter from a reader: “My dog […]

Probation Officers endorse Ranalli

The El Dorado County Probation Officers Association announced it is endorsing Michael Ranalli for District 4 county supervisor, stated EDCPOA President Gary S. Romanko. “The EDCPOA believes Mr. Ranalli is highly qualified and would be a great asset as a county supervisor,” Romanko stated. “Mr. Ranalli has been an active and involved member in the […]

McClintock fired up over fire and water

Congressman Tom McClintock got down to real basics in a talk to the El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce Oct. 8 at Red Hawk Casino. Describing two of the four elements, fire and water, McClintock lambasted those who have delayed harvesting of timber killed by the Rim Fire last year and the King Fire most […]

King Fire salvage operations continue

Salvage and restoration efforts in the aftermath of the King Fire are already underway with responsibility divided among the U.S. Forest Service, private landowners and Sierra Pacific Industries. According to Mark Egbert, district manager of El Dorado County and Georgetown Divide Resource Conservation District (GDRCD), of the 97,717 acres burned, 13,893 were the property of private landowners, 20,000 were […]

Camino manhunt ongoing

A manhunt in Camino began Friday morning after a deputy was shot at by a suspect.

Just after 8 a.m., a struggle occurred between a deputy and the suspect while on Cable Road, El Dorado County Sheriff’s Sgt. Chris Felton said. The suspect was able to retrieve a gun and fired a single shot at the deputy.

The deputy reported over the scanner that he had not been harmed; the shot hit his radio.

A manhunt began for the subject in Camino, though schools were only put on soft …

Psychiatrist: Winkler has disorders

Day 11 of the Todd Winkler Trial, Oct. 15, began with Winkler questioned on re-direct by his attorney, David Weiner. “I should have had the strength to disable her” without it being a life or death situation, he said. He said he didn’t have the strength and “never had control of the situation.” He said […]

Motorcycle fatal on Omo Ranch Road

A man was killed Thursday after being ejected from his motorcycle. Randolph Roberts, 30, of Amador City, was riding his 2008 Kawasaki 250 sport bike westbound on Omo Ranch Road east of Fairplay Road at about 8:25 p.m., a California Highway Patrol press release stated. He was traveling at an unknown high rate of speed […]