Barrera gets prison time

“This is not pleasant for me to do,” said Superior Court Judge Daniel B. Proud, “But based on your conduct and the consequences of your conduct, I’m required to do this.” With that statement, Judge Proud sentenced Mark Steven Barrera to prison for 4 years and 8 months as a result of his pleading guilty to […]

PG&E to pay $30M over fires

The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Thursday that Pacific Gas & Electric Co. has agreed to settle over lawsuits stemming from wildfires in two California national forests. PG&E, along with two tree-trimming subcontractors, agreed to pay just under $30 million in damages to the United States. The 2004 fires were started, the prosecution said, by San […]

Snow a mixed bag for farmers

The big winter storm that rolled in last week was good for some local growers, but not for others.

Ron Mansfield, owner of Goldbud Farms, said the storm negatively affected his stone fruit trees. They are at various stages of blooming right now and the storm will probably result in a smaller crop with lower fruit yields because of the cold as well as the effect it had on pollination.

Normally this is the time of year bees are pollinating the fruit, he said. Luckily before the storm …

Read More…

Shriner sponsors Bray

When Kevin Brown, owner of Breaker Glass, heard that Carly Bray had lost her leg, he knew immediately he had to help. Brown, a Shriner, e-mailed El Dorado High School Principal Matt Barnes. Brown’s son attended the school, as did Bray. When Barnes informed the Bray family that Brown would be submitting an application for […]

Common frog identified as carrier of amphibian deadly disease

SAN FRANCISCO —Known for its distinctive “ribbit” call, the noisy Pacific chorus frog is a potent carrier of a deadly amphibian disease, according to new research published March 12 in the journal PLoS ONE. Just how this common North American frog survives chytridiomycosis may hold clues to protect more vulnerable species from the disease.

Chytrid has wiped out more than 200 frog species across the world and poses the greatest threat to vertebrate biodiversity of any known disease.

In California’s Sierra Nevada mountains, San Francisco State University biologist …

Read More…

House burns to ground on Mosquito Road

A structure was burned to the ground on Sunday on Mosquito Road.

El Dorado County Fire Department responded to a call at 2:01 p.m. at a residence located at 2740 Mosquito Road, which later burned to the ground March 18.

Battalion Chief Tim Cordero called it a “total loss,” saying they faced “heavy fire conditions” upon arrival. The fire caused PG&E power lines to become severed, and while they were live, it made it hard to access one side of the house, Cordero said.

Read More…

D’Agostini featured speaker for Divide Chamber March 30

County Sheriff John D’Agostini will be the featured speaker for the Divide Chamber of Commerce on Friday, March 30 at the Community Conference Room located in the Holiday Market beginning at noon. Every month, the Divide Chamber features a county policy or decision maker for its “On the Spot” program. In an informal setting, Divide […]

Atkinson bail hearing delayed

Donald Phillip Atkinson, the man accused of embezzling money from the Deputy Sheriff’s Association, appeared for a hearing that lasted less than five minutes on March 19. Atkinson was to have a bail hearing, but it was instead continued to June 18 at 8 a.m.

Skier dies in Tahoe

A man died Sunday at Sierra at Tahoe Ski Resort after falling into a deep hole created by an underflow of water. The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office received information that a subject was trapped in the snow in the Castle Creek area, a press release stated. Deputies and volunteers searched an expert ski run […]

Constituents meet with District IV Supervisor Ron Briggs

District 4 Supervisor Ron Briggs met with constituents at the Hindquarter House in Pilot Hill last Monday to address concerns residents might have. Questions ranged from fire department topics to medical marijuana and zoning issues. Many people wanted to understand what had happened with the fire department consolidation. Supervisor Briggs said “that after many months […]

Nearly half of renters can’t afford two-bedroom apartment

The El Dorado County housing market remains unaffordable to nearly half of renters in the area, according to Out of Reach 2012, a nationwide comparison of housing wages (how much a household must earn to afford to rent a modest home). The data was compiled by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, and released locally […]

Bigelow supports fire tax repeal

Assembly candidate Frank Bigelow announced full support of Assembly Bill 1506, to repeal the newly-imposed fire tax. “As a fourth generation cattle rancher and volunteer firefighter, I have seen constant attacks by the Legislature on rural Californians, and the fire tax is no different,” Bigelow said. “The state’s new fire tax doubles the payment required […]

Workshop set to improve broadband service

The Sierra Economic Development Corp. was awarded a one-year, $150,000 grant to launch a public-private partnership aimed at increasing digital access and use in Nevada, Placer, El Dorado, Sierra and eastern Alpine counties. The new partnership, the Gold Country Broadband Consortium, is one of 14 regional consortia in the state funded by the California Advanced […] Announces major funding and new service expansion

SHINGLE SPRINGS — Inc., an Internet Service Provider based is now offering high-quality fixed-wireless Internet service in El Dorado County, and hass received major private funding enabling accelerated distribution of the service throughout the area. After the conclusion of a highly-successful pilot program under way since September in the Lotus/Coloma area, is now launching […]

Placerville resident joins United Way board

SACRAMENTO — Annette Bachmeier of Placerville has been elected to the board of directors for United Way California Capital Region. She is director of global outsourcing business operations in sales and marketing at Intel. “We already have witnessed Annette’s exceptional leadership in Intel’s Community Giving Campaign, which has raised well over $1 million for our […]

BOMUSD votes to put 22 teachers on notice

The Black Oak Mine Unified School District Board of Trustees meeting March 8 was the time at which a decision had to be voted on for a reduction in the local teaching force. The chart provided in the board packet showed that there would be reductions of 19.9 full-time equivalent teachers. Board President Steve DePue, […]

Court lets Red Hawk appeal without bond

A March 7 ruling by El Dorado Superior Court Judge Nelson Brooks approved the motion by the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians for not having to pay a bond to appeal an earlier court decision in a higher court. According to a press release from the tribe, owners of Red Hawk Casino, attorneys from […]

McClintock challenges audience to ‘rediscover founding principles’

“I’m here to talk about what we can do to save our country,” said Congressman Tom McClintock at a political forum held in El Dorado Hills on March 16. Speaking to a group of supporters who, at times, challenged him, McClintock said that the country was in its current state because when the Republicans were […]

Sign applicant makes offer to local groups

Is prospective sign owner, attorney John David Pereira, trying to boost his chances of having his billboard signs approved by offering free advertising to local organizations? On Feb. 9, the El Dorado County Planning Commission turned down two signs Pereira wanted to erect along Highway 50 in Shingle Springs. A proposed sign for  Cameron Park […]

Abusive lawsuit meeting well-attended

Approximately 140 residents, business and property owners from El Dorado County crowded into the Pollock Pines-Camino Community Center Thursday evening. Jeanne Harper, director of the Community Economic Development Association of Pollock Pines (CEDAPP), organized the meeting as a result of a series of lawsuits filed by attorney Scott Johnson against business and property owners in […]

El Dorado woman new deputy director in Department of Consumer Affairs

“I’m brand spanking new” laughs Tracy Rhine, 39, the newly appointed deputy director of Legislative and Policy Review for the California Department of Consumer Affairs. Appointed by Gov. Brown to the position on March 2, the El Dorado resident may be new to the position but she is not new to government. Rhine previously served as […]

Closing arguments paint Cairns as either liar or just rude

The closing arguments of deputy district attorney Dale Gomes and defense attorney Steve Tapson for Kevin Cairns backed up to the jury’s deliberation and lunch break in the trial that saw Cairns charged with five counts, including assault, exhibiting a deadly weapon and disturbing the peace. One side sees him as a liar and manipulator, […]

Compassionate communication puppet show offered

The Center for Violence-Free Relationships is offering a puppet show “Hampton Gets New Glasses” for families of children of all ages 6 p.m. March 26  at the center’s office, 344 Placerville Dr., Suite 11, Placerville.. The story focuses on Hampton, a piglet who has a conflict with a friend who broke his new sunglasses. Different […]

Schedule set for ineffective counsel motion

Morris Anthony Greenberg, the man found guilty of the murder of Anthony Dumont, appeared in court for less than 10 minutes on Friday to determine a schedule regarding his ineffective counsel motion. Greenberg, who appeared with attorney James Clark, who was representing an absent Dain Weiner, filed a motion to show that his previous attorney, […]

4-2-12 Front Yard Nursery gardening tips

APRIL GARDEN RECOMMENDATIONS: The Front Yard Nursery newsletter offers the following April gardening tips: – April 15th is the estimated last frost date for the Placerville area; El Dorado Hills estimated date is April l; and Pollock Pines is May 1. – Sow annual flowers and warm season vegetables outdoors after the last frost. – […]

Land-use policy changes under way

Assistant Chief Administrative Officer Kim Kerr, backed by a team of county managers and planners, has been explaining a wide-reaching package of land-use policy updates, first unveiled last month in El Dorado Hills. The “policy program update” package features a long-awaited overhaul to the county zoning ordinance, aligning zoning with land-uses specified in the General […]

Customers come first at the Front Yard Nursery

Front Yard Nursery is celebrating 20 years in business and to mark the occasion will have a big sale on March 24 and 26. Customers will get 15 percent off all purchases and be treated to popcorn, lemonade and raffle prizes. With the arrival of spring, the sale comes at the perfect time to get […]

Cairns not guilty of felonies, guilty of lesser charges

At 4:35 p.m. on Thursday, March 15, the verdict came back on the Kevin Cairns trial.

Ten minutes later, the verdict was read to a courtroom with only a few friends of the Cairns’ in attendance.

Kevin Michael Cairns was found not guilty on the first and third counts, assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury, but was found guilty of a lesser, misdemeanor charges of assault.

On the second count, vandalism in excess of $400, Cairns was found not guilty, but was found guilty of vandalism less than $400.

He was found guilty on the fifth count, exhibiting a deadly weapon, a misdemeanor charge.

Read More…

Heard over the back fence: Reading can be for the dogs

 Editor Mike Raffety provided the following life lesson from the book titled “Springs of Greek Wisdom:” “One must not tie a ship to a single anchor, nor life to a single hope.” —Epictetus • • • READING TO THE DOGS: 
The “Paws for Reading” program allows youngsters to practice their reading skills with four-legged […]

Grand Jury applications now being accepted

The application process for El Dorado County citizens to become part of the county’s Grand Jury has begun. A press release by county spokesman Mike Applegarth called the opportunity “an excellent vehicle for committed men and women to keep government close to and responsible to all of our county’s citizens.” The 19 members of the […]

The LP makes a comeback at Hangtown Antiques

On Nov. 1, 2011, James Roehr was set to open a shop unlike any other on Placerville’s Main Street — a record shop and antique shop combo. Hangtown Antiques is like other antique shops in that it sells items both contemporary and from bygone eras, from a slapstick, what circus clowns used to chase people […]

Acrimony over upgrade at Georgetown Divide PUD meeting

After a lengthy and often contentious meeting of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District (GDPUD), the board decided to continue moving forward with plans to retrofit the Auburn Lake Trails Water Treatment Plant. The district is making the retrofit to comply with state changes to water processing requirements. The  cost of the $8 million dollar retrofit […]

Inmate-on-inmate assault charge dropped

An inmate charged with the assault of another inmate at the Placerville Jail has had his charge dismissed. Michael A. Price, 32, was allegedly involved in an altercation with another 32-year-old inmate on Feb. 19, who was later taken Marshall Hospital and had to have stitches in his upper lip, according to a daily report […]

March 16, 2012 | Posted in News | Tagged | 3 Replies

El Dorado County connection helps children in Romania

After earning her registered nurse certification last June, 22 year old Pollock Pines resident Krista Ballew wanted to do something helpful. “I didn’t have a job yet and I had always planned to do volunteer work, so this seemed like the right time,” said Ballew. She explored a number of different programs both within and […]

Butcher knife, struggle, arrest

A young man was arrested after he was allegedly found to be concealing a large butcher knife on March 7. Isaiah Vigil, 19, was contacted by El Dorado County Sheriff’s deputies around 2:05 a.m. on Pony Express Trail in Cedar Grove. He was found to be concealing a large butcher knife. After a brief struggle […]

March 16, 2012 | Posted in News | Tagged | 3 Replies

Cairns testifies in assault and vandalism trial

The penultimate day of the Kevin Cairns trial concluded after seeing Deputy Simon Brown, Joyce Alderete and finally Cairns himself take to the stand. Deputy Brown, in his second appearance as a witness in the trial, explained that he had investigated the “Cone Incident,” also referred to as the “Taco Bell Barf Bag Incident.” He […]

Dog talk with Uncle Matty: Matty’s hero

According to, about 230 children die every year in “backover” or “frontover” accidents: accidents in which they are run over by a car, usually driven by a family member or close friend, and often in their own driveway. Imagine what that number is for dogs and cats. Then imagine what the aftermath looks like. […]

County to distribute $800,000 in loans to first-time homebuyers

El Dorado County has been approved to help first-time homebuyers by providing low-interest rate deferred payment loans to eligible homebuyers. The El Dorado County Health and Human Service Agency’s Housing Program recently received approval for $800,000 from the state’s Home Investment Partnership Program to help with the purchase of homes in unincorporated areas, a press […]

Heard over the back fence: Free medical care Saturday

Jim and Carlyn White provided the following Bob Hope quotation regarding going to heaven: “I’ve done benefits for all religions. I’d hate to blow the hereafter on a technicality.” • • • FREE MEDICAL CARE:
 The “In Jesus Name Medical Ministry” is offering free medical care for people with no health insurance coverage. All […]

Day switches vote on sewer plant

Director Alan Day changed from a no vote to a yes vote Monday following a detailed presentation by wastewater engineer Elizabeth Wells. Last month Day, representing El Dorado Hills, voted against renewing the permit to operate the El Dorado Hills Wastewater Treatment Plant. The permit, issued by the State Water Quality Control Board on behalf […]

FBI seeks armed, dangerous ‘AK-47 Bandit’ in Northern California

SACRAMENTO – The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) asks the public to help identify an armed bank robber suspected in a bank robbery in Vacaville, California and attempt to access a bank for the purpose of robbery in Sacramento, California. The individual is also believed to be connected to a robbery in Chino, California in […]

Cal Fire reminds public to protect your family from house fires

Every year in California firefighters respond to residential structure fires that take lives and inflict millions of dollars in damage. Cal Fire points out simple steps they can take to help protect their family from fires. “Too many lives are lost in home fires in California,” said Cal Fire Director Chief Ken Pimlott.. “Everyone should take steps to help prevent […]

Character witnesses defend restaurateur Cairns

The trial of Kevin Cairns, owner of now-closed restaurant Dante’s On the River, continued Tuesday morning with William Terry being called as a witness. Terry, a former police officer, police chief and investigator for a district attorney, frequented Dante’s with his wife and other guests. He explained that Cairns and his wife, Nancy, would come […]

Rare plant hunter to speak

Rare plant hunter Danny Slakey will be the featured speaker at the March meeting of the El Dorado Chapter of the California Native Plant Society (CNPS), to be held Tuesday, March 20 at 6:30 PM at the El Dorado County Library, 345 Fair Lane, Placerville. Slakey is the project coordinator for the statewide CNPS Rare […]

EDC GOP Central Comm. backs Bigelow

California rancher Frank Bigelow earned a valuable pre-primary endorsement March 12 from the El Dorado County Republican Central Committee. Bigelow is running for California’s 5th State Assembly District. “I am grateful to have the El Dorado County Republican Central Committee put their trust and support behind my conservative record,” Bigelow said. “I am humbled to […]