Heard over the back fence: Volunteer to be a Gold Bug

 Editor Mike Raffety provided the “Springs of Greek Wisdom” book, which offered the following observation: “Men are not worried by things, but by their ideas about things. When we meet with difficulties, become anxious or troubled, let us not blame others, but rather ourselves, that is: our ideas about things.” — Epictetus […]

Day two of trial looks at technical details

“Murder cases are never pretty,” deputy district attorney Joe Alexander told El Dorado County Judge James R. Wagoner at the start of the second day of the John Luebbers murder trial Thursday. Alexander was arguing for the use in the case of an autopsy photograph of Louisiana Schnell School Principal Sam LaCara’s heart, with a […]

County picks animal shelter project manager

On a project beset by fits and starts, the El Dorado County Animal Shelter now has someone at the helm who is expected to stay there till the cows come home, as it were. Brent Collins was hired by the Board of Supervisors recently to be the project manager who will oversee, lead and complete […]

Donations sought after loss of K-9 unit

In the wake of the loss of Asko, one of the El Dorado Sheriff’s K-9 units, the El Dorado County Canine Association is seeking donations for their next crime-fighting dogs. The dogs not only provide safety for deputies and citizens, a press release said, but they are also involved in numerous felony arrests. Canines trained […]

Diamond Springs Ace Hardware quitting business

Ace Hardware in Diamond Springs, formerly known as Coast to Coast Hardware, has decided to quit business after 28 years. The business is currently selling off its entire inventory. Owners Ken and Cathy Stark said they’ve appreciated the business over the years and will miss the local clientele.

Spring Native Plant Sale Saturday

The El Dorado Chapter of the California Native Plant Society will hold its Spring Native Plant Sale on April 21 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the El Dorado Government Center, 360 Fair Lane in Placerville. The sale will be located in the breezeway between Buildings A and B at the Center, located across […]

CA ranks 23rd in the nation for Pre-K access

It’s not the best mix for quality, according to a new report: More children are making their way into state-funded pre-kindergarten classrooms, but a lot less money to support early education. Dr. Steve Barnett directs the non-partisan National Institute for Early Education Research, and his group says national per-child spending dropped by $145 last year, […]

Large animal evacuation confab Saturday

Sclar, Large Animal Emergency Evacuation of El Dorado County, invites the public to attend their general meeting 10 a.m. April 21 at the Hangtown Grange Hall,  2020 Smith Flat Rd., Placerville. Operating under the authority of Animal Services, Sclar is called upon to evacuate and relocate large animals in the event of a disaster. The […]

Parkinson’s Awareness Walk on Saturday

On Saturday, April 21, Joanie Evans and friends will  be walking to raise money for stem cell research. Evans,57, was diagnosed two years ago with Parkinson’s disease and stem cell implants have been shown to be effective in treating the disease. Walkers joining Evans on the 5K walk from the Golden Center Health Care Plaza […]

Union Mine High School holds Bee Week

It started with a poster of a cartoon bee made by Sara Slate, a senior at Union Mine High School and a member of Safe Schools Ambassadors. “I just made the posters to try to emphasize the positive, ” said Slate, “and put the little bee on them, laminated them and put them up.” Safe […]

Police, deputies nab bad shoppers

Don’t ripoff the Grocery Outlet. Two males loaded up a full cart and rolled it out of the store about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. An employee who followed the suspected felons outside was assaulted, which turned the bad shoppers into strong-arm robbery suspects. They made a getaway in a gray Ford Ranger pickup. With Ford Rangers […]

Failed protest moves GDPUD plant retrofit ahead

At a special meeting of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District on Wednesday, the board accepted the results of the Proposition 218 hearing held on April 11. The hearing failed to generate the requisite number of protest letters which means the district can now move ahead with its planned retrofit of the Auburn Lake Trails […]

Secretary, police testify in Luebbers trial

Editor’s note: This is Part II of a two-part story about the first day of the Luebbers trial. Part I can be found here. Louisiana Schnell School Principal Sam LaCara had a routine he went through each day. He arrived at his office around 7:30 a.m. An hour later, he stood out in front of […]

Heard over the back fence: Food Bank food drive Sunday

 Editor Mike Raffety provided the book, “Springs of Greek Wisdom,” which offered the following advice: “One must not tie a ship to a single anchor, nor life to a single hope.” — Epictetus • • • FOOD BANK BLITZ:
 On Sunday, April 22, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., approximately 200 youngsters and adult […]

Luebbers trial begins with admission of killing but not guilt

David Cramer, John Harold Luebbers’ attorney, began his opening statement of the trial by admitting that his client shot and killed Louisiana Schnell School Principal Sam LaCara on Feb. 2, 2011.

“There’s no disputing that fact at all,” Cramer said, noting he was not surprised at the charges brought against his client. “It could be murder, but looks can be deceiving. This case is about one thing — was there malice and forethought?”

Cramer claimed that the killing of LaCara was an act of passion over a “sudden quarrel.”

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Supes neuter two proposed animal shelter sites

A 10-acre parcel near the El Dorado Y is no longer being considered for the future site of the western slope animal shelter. The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors decided Tuesday to scrap long-standing plans to build a new facility on the property generally known as the Shinn Ranch or Shinn property. Estimated at […]

Psychotherapy horse training coming to Placerville April 18-20

Crazed horses with teeth bared, charging at everyone in their path; a misunderstood equine lounging on a sofa pouring out tales of a troubled childhood or relationship problems with an owner; both are the kinds of mental images the average person has when they first hear of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy. “We spend quite a bit […]

Applications for Grand Jury positions being accepted

The annual opportunity for citizens to take part in the 2012-2013 El Dorado County Grand Jury by submitting their names for possible nomination has arrived. The Grand Jury is an excellent vehicle for committed men and women to keep government accountable to all of the county’s citizens. Applicants must be Untied States citizens, at least […]

Silver Fork School gets face-lift

Students, parents and teachers of the tiny Silver Fork School are looking forward to summer — but not just because school will be out. Silver Fork, built in the 1950s, will be getting a long-needed face-lift. There are about 18 students from kindergarten to eighth grade at the school tucked underneath Sugarloaf in Kyburz. The […]

Grand Jury recruitment is under way

Applications for the county’s 2012-2013 Grand Jury are available now. The annual opportunity for citizens to take part in the El Dorado County Grand Jury  has arrived, reads an announcement from the El Dorado County Chief Administrative Office. County officials are currently accepting applications for the 2012-2013 Grand Jury session. The Grand Jury is an […]

Hands4Hope to hold fashion show to help foster girls

Ponderosa High School Hands4Hope Club Committee of six set out to make a difference in the lives of 40 foster girls in Sacramento Area. A “See Your Name In Lights” lunch and fashion show will be held 11:30 a.m. April 28 at the Hampton Inn and Suites in Folsom and will feature clothing from Runway […]

Spillway near 14-Mile Tunnel to be abandoned

The spillway nearest the entrance to 14-Mile Tunnel will be abandoned and the next one east of that will be replaced and automated. The 14-Mile Tunnel is nearly the last leg before a short section of canal empties into Forebay Reservoir in Pollock Pines. The mitigated negative declaration — 3/4-inch thick —won unanimous backing from […]

GDPUD counts protests; vote fails

GARDEN VALLEY — Protest votes allowed under Proposition 218 came close to overturning the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District’s proposed $7 surcharge on water bills to pay for upgrading the Auburn Lake Water Treatment Plant. In the end the protest fell 651 votes short. Golden Sierra High School was the location for the final meeting […]

Pereira begs for death penalty at sentencing

The somber atmosphere of Jonathan David Pereira’s sentencing hearing took a turn to the absurd when the defendant pleaded with the court to grant him the death penalty.

Pereira, who was found guilty on six counts relating to child molestation and possession of child pornography by a jury in March, was first determined by Judge Daniel B. Proud to not be eligible for probation. After declaring this, Judge Proud opened the floor to the counsel.

Dain Weiner, Pereira’s attorney, noted that Pereira was being judged over a single incident that took place over a few minutes in Pereira’s home. He believed that the sentence of three terms of 15 years-to-life should be served concurrently.

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Author to speak downtown Saturday

Award-winning journalist Scott Thomas Anderson will be at the Placerville News Co. on Main Street on April 21 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. to talk about the relationship between meth addiction and crime in rural areas. Anderson will discuss the 18 months he spent as an embedded reporter with law enforcement agencies, including the El […]

Marshall honors lab teams during National Lab Professionals Week

During National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week, April 22-28, Marshall Medical Center specially recognizes its laboratory professionals and celebrates their dedication as a crucial member of the health care team, collaborating together to improve patient care and outcomes. From small practices in rural towns to metropolitan hospitals, more than 300,000 medical laboratory professionals deliver accurate test […]

C. diff — Marshall Hospital responds

Marshall Hospital said while it couldn’t comment on Cierra Baumunk’s case due to patient privacy laws, it could describe the protocols doctors follow regarding the issues she raised. Antibiotics prior to surgery “There are many reasons why doctors prescribe antibiotics prior to surgery. The primary reason is to prevent an infection in the wound after surgery. […]

Winkler hearing continued to May

Todd Winkler had a short court appearance Monday morning. Winkler, who is accused of killing his wife, Rachel, in their Cameron Airpark home on Feb. 27, was escorted into the courtroom to sit among other inmates for about five minutes, just long enough for his hearing to be continued. After briefly conferring at the bench […]

Fecal microbiota transplant: Getting back the good bugs

The human body contains millions, if not billions, of different types of bacteria. Among other things, they help break down and digest food. The good bacteria also help ward off and kill the bad bacteria. Clostridium difficile, or C. diff, is one of the bad ones that is often found in the intestines of many […]

Folsom player wins $1,033,328 at Red Hawk Casino

A lucky Red Hawk Rewards Club member won $1,033,328 while playing Rocket Gaming Systems’ $1 Imperial Gold slot machine at Red Hawk Casino in the early morning of April 14. Rosalie Loyola, of Folsom, came to Red Hawk Casino on Friday night for the Fortune’s Treasures Giveaway Lexus Drawing. Loyola is a regular at Red […]

Unique procedure saves Placerville woman from debilitating infection

“I’m a very lucky lady,” said Cierra Baumunk. “What I had has killed a lot of people and I almost died of it myself.” Surrounded by a house full of children, pets, and her husband, Baumunk tells how she unraveled the mystery of a disease that almost killed her and of the unconventional therapy she […]

Kreps named Exalted Ruler

On March 31, David Kreps was installed as the Exalted Ruler of the Placerville Elks Lodge. David has been a lodge member for six years. David is married to Marty and they will be celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary in June. They have two adult children. David and Marty have been El Dorado County residents […]

Heard over the back fence: Top musicians at library

 Favorite bumper sticker for April: “My driving skills are scary.” • • • MUSIC AT THE LIBRARY: 
The Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra is offering the following free music programs at the Placerville Main Library, 345 Fair Lane:
 Thursday, April 19 at 4 p.m. – Elizabeth Coronata: Flute.
Tuesday, April 24 at 4 p.m. – Susan Lamb Cook, assistant […]

Women’s Fund announces a new scholarship

The Women’s Fund El Dorado is proud to announce the first year of an annual scholarship, the Wickline Scholar Award. The creation of this award began in 2009 when Marian Wickline left a legacy gift to the El Dorado Community Foundation. When the foundation learned of Wickline’s pride of graduating from Mills College in 1934 and […]

DFG successfully returns yearling bears back to wild

The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) has completed its 2012 yearling bear release program by returning six orphaned cubs to the wild where they were born. The cubs were found in various locations around the state in the summer months of 2011 and were rehabilitated at a licensed care facility in Lake Tahoe prior […]

City frees up 56 parking spaces

Placerville City Council approved changes to the city’s parking program at Tuesday’s City Council meeting that will open up about 56 spaces for public parking but retain the two-hour free parking limit. City Manager Cleve Morris presented the recommendations from the city’s Parking Committee , which has been reviewing the program since November. “Our goal […]

City to recoup $400k

Placerville City Council took two actions at the April 10 meeting that it hopes will allow the city to recover more than $400,000 spent to create a redevelopment plan. When Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to eliminate redevelopment agencies was approved by the state Legislature in 2011, the city of Placerville was in the midst of […]

New statewide septic tank policies on the table; county confident little changed

After 12 years, two lawsuits, and a lot of mucking about, new statewide policies governing on-site wastewater treatment systems, i.e. septic systems, are close to being finalized. The push for the new policies followed passage of Assembly Bill 885 that was signed into law in 2000. The policies will establish minimal statewide requirements for the […]

Autistics expert plans ranch therapy

Probably one of the most heartbreaking diagnoses that parents can ever receive, is learning that their child is autistic.

A condition that still remains something of a mystery, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 88 American children have autism, with males five times more likely than females to be afflicted.

Autism is characterized by impaired social interactions, communication difficulties, a lack of empathy, and repetitive behavior patterns that are sometimes self-destructive.

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Coloma-Lotus Chamber seeks sign designs

The Coloma Lotus Chamber of Commerce is looking for skilled artists or craftsmen to submit their design ideas for several proposed gateway signs welcoming visitors to the Coloma-Lotus Valley. Entries should include a design sketch and cost estimate, including labor. Sign must be durable, maintenance free, non-illuminated (not requiring power). The sign must be clearly […]

View stolen stuff Wednesday

The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Deparemtn will conduct a public viewing of recovered stolen property on April 18. The viewing will be between 9 a.m. and noon at Gold Key Storage facility, located at 4040 Stage Court in Diamond Springs. Originally, about $50,000 of items had been recovered. The recovered property includes “Thomas Kinkade paintings, numerous generators, […]

Western Slope Health Center

Ten months ago an El Dorado County care facility got a new lease on life. Now Western Slope Health Center Administrator Doug Hawkins wants everyone to see Placerville’s new and improved skilled nursing facility and rehabilitation center. “We have highly qualified professionals that work with residents in a family environment,” said Hawkins, who is also […]

Esmeralda Creek flume to be rehabbed

Among a long list of historical water rights the El Dorado Irrigation District obtained when it acquired Project 184 are 10 cubic feet per second of water from Esmeralda Creek. Project 184 is the series of four alpine reservoirs in three counties, 22 miles of tunnels, flumes and canals, Forebay Reservoir, a penstock and 21-megawatt […]

Barb self-employed

District 3 supervisor candidate Richard Barb says his decades of experience in business have qualified him to run for the office of county supervisor. As a kid growing up in Southern California, he lived on an extended “family compound” that included parents, grandparents and a family owned grain milling plant. He learned about supply, demand, […]