July jury trial for Cal’s Mkt owner

Arlene Cal, daughter of Cal’s Market owner Vincent Cal, walked into the El Dorado County Superior Courthouse with a stack of research a foot tall, talking about the Chamber of Commerce-sponsored Occupy Cal’s Market event set for the next day. Her daughter wheeled Arlene’s grandmother into the courtroom as her father entered, expecting deputy district […]

Life saving award presented to EDH youth

Civil Air Patrol Cadet Evan Yanagihara, 17, received an award for saving the life of his friend and fellow cadet, Anthony Smith, at a meeting of a local squadron of CAP on April 26.

Both teens are El Dorado Hills residents.

The award was for a life threatening event that happened on July 28 of last year when Yanagihara and Smith went to a local jumping spot on the American River in Folsom called “China Wall.” To jump from the spot, you need a running start to clear the sloped cliff and then land in the water which is 50 feet below.

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McClintock: Gov’t is the problem

Speaking to an audience of approximately 100 people, Congressman Tom McClintock held a Town Hall meeting in Pollock Pines Monday night. Saying that the government was the problem, McClintock fielded a series of questions from residents who appeared worried and unhappy about the direction of the country and our current economic problems. The problem of […]

CPCSD suspends stipends

Ideas for closing the budget shortfall continue to dominate the meetings of the Cameron Park Community Service District. Board President Shiva Frentzen proposed cutting the budgets for the community center and for parks and recreation by 10 percent because they are in the red. As of the end of March, the community center showed a […]

Where the heck is Cold Springs?

Cold Spring (often Cold Springs) was a short-lived mining community about six miles north of Placerville, upstream from where Cold Springs creek now crosses Cold Springs Road. Its name was derived from a spring of good, cold water located near the edge of Cold Spring creek, in the upper end of the town. Gold was […]

Whistle Stop gets whistle of approval from SEDCorp

SUBHEAD: Shop wins Small Business of the Year The Whistle Stop Yogurt Shop at 58 Main Street in Placerville was awarded Small Business of the Year for 2012 by the Sierra Economic Development Corporation (SEDCorp) on May 2. Each year, in honor of Small Business Week, SEDCorp selects a small business for the award based […]

Q&A: Bay Delta Plan worries EID

I have heard a lot about the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) lately. Can you tell me about it? The BDCP is a habitat conservation plan and natural communities conservation plan under the federal Endangered Species Act and the California Natural Communities Conservation Planning Act, respectively. When completed, the BDCP would provide the basis for […]

Watch for high water

The El Dorado Irrigation District urges a cautious approach to local streams and rivers. As the weather continues to warm up, the snow at higher elevations in the Sierra Nevada is continuing to melt. Even with the reduced snowpack this year, local streams and rivers — including Caples Creek and the South Fork and Silver […]

Heard over the back fence: Big art auction Friday

 The “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” calendar offers the following suggestion: “Have a favorite family charity. Very few activities can bring a family closer than the act of giving.” • • • SCHOLARSHIP FUNDRAISER: 
We just learned that there will be a wine tasting and art auction on Friday, May 4, at 6 […]

Marijuana growing consultant sentenced to 10 years

A “consultant” to marijuana growers in El Dorado and Placer counties has been sentenced to 10 years in prison. Miguel Angel Villa-Contreras, 27, of  Michoacán, Mexico, was sentenced on April 26 to 10 years in prison for conspiring to grow and distribute marijuana, United States Attorney Benjamin R. Wagner announced in a press release. Villa-Contreras, […]


In the article “Sale to offer plants for every garden” that ran in the Monday, April 23 edition of the Mountain Democrat, it was erroneously stated Eve Keener had 30 different types of plants when, she stated, has several hundred different plants in her garden at her Cameron Park residence. The Spring Plant Sale, hosted by Master […]

It fell from the sky

The excitement of the last two weeks in response to the explosion of a meteor traveling approximately 34,000 mph overhead wasn’t the first time that a meteor caused some excitement in El Dorado County. But before exploring that subject, let’s review some basics about meteors and meteorites. In simple terms, meteors are pieces of natural […]

Clinic aims to save dogs

The Hangtown Kennel Club of Placerville is sponsoring its sixth annual Rattlesnake Avoidance Clinic to take place on June 23 and 24 in the Placerville area. Since rattlesnakes have a unique smell, a distinct look and a very distinguishable sound, training a dog to recognize it in each of these senses gives the dog triple […]

Chef shares message for going vegan

Savory aromas came from the kitchen, but it wasn’t meat cooking, it was an all vegan meal crafted by Celebrity Chef Mark Anthony. Here to demonstrate how anyone can live longer and healthier by going vegan, Anthony was in El Dorado County at the invitation of local resident Diana Adams to demonstrate vegan cooking at five […]

Diabetes no hindrance for the adventurous

Rich Humphreys strolled into Placerville on April 25 on the way to trekking across the country by foot. He stayed long enough to tell a story during open mike night at the Cozmic Cafe and then was on his way. Humphreys, 69 and a type 1 diabetic, started his cross-country trek at the Golden Gate […]

Local trauma survivor trying to save kids

Pollock Pines resident Michael Misch is talking to kids about distracted driving. The fact that he is talking at all is a miracle of sorts because Misch was involved in a horrific car crash in 2007 that left one person dead and himself confined to a wheelchair with brain and motor function injuries. The accident […]

Wine stolen from storage unit

On April 20, El Dorado County Sheriff’s deputies received a report of grand theft of wine from a storage unit. The storage unit, located on Stagecoach Court in Diamond Springs, was found to be missing 770 bottles of wine, Sgt. Phil Chovanec said. The estimated value to the wine is $65,000. The victim, a 57-year-old […]

Signature leads to warrant

A simple signature on an ordinary fix-it ticket led to a warrant for the arrest of a Fairfax man. Two months ago, Sierra Tunafish George Salin — also known as Sierra Salin, George Saladin Salin, Lothar George Salin, Bush Sucks and Love Heals! and some other variations — was pulled over for a speeding ticket, said […]

Sue Taylor wants to switch roles

Camino resident Sue Taylor is ready to change from being a gadfly at the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors to sitting in one of the seats of the people she frequently criticizes. Taylor, 53, is a near-permanent fixture at Tuesday board meetings and almost always has something to say. With A.A. Degrees in Accounting […]

Heard over the back fence: Cub Scouts sponsor pet clinic

 A low-cost pet vaccine clinic is being hosted by Cub Scout Pack 460. The clinic will be held on Sunday, May 6, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Diamond Springs Fire Station. Rabies shots are $10. K9/feline distemper shots are $15. Cash only, please. All pets must be properly restrained, and […]

Red Hawk Casino awards a Lexus convertible to a EDH woman

A lucky Rewards Club member from  El Dorado Hills was the first Lexus winner in Red Hawk Casino’s $3 Million Fortune’s Treasures Giveaway. Janel, a regular player at Red Hawk, was at the casino Friday, April 20, for the Lexus Giveaway Friday drawings. Janel couldn’t believe it when she heard her name announced to appear […]

SCATV celebrates second anniversary

Sierra Community Access Television celebrated its second anniversary of being back on “the air” at the Iron Willow Gallery at the Third Saturday, Placerville Art Walk, on April 21. The celebration also warranted the release of Channel 2’s Prime Time Wine: Placerville Zinfandel, Coloma Cabernet, and El Dorado Hills Divinity. Proceeds from the wine sale […]

EID honors Albert Hazbun

The El Dorado Irrigation District Board of Directors April 23 presented Albert E. Hazbun a board resolution in recognition of his more than 25 years and thousands of hours of exemplary volunteer service to the district. The resolution recognized Hazbun for his tireless dedication, commitment, inspiration, motivation and ongoing support of the district, which contributed […]

Church makes dresses for Mexico

The young women from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints made dresses to send to Mexico. These dresses will be going to the women and girls living in the poorest neighborhood in the center of Tijuana. Hundreds of families have built their shelters in the area of the old dump. The majority of these […]

Community center celebrates 20 years of Bingo

Bingo started in May of 1992 and has generated the only sustainable form of income to help keep the Pollock Pines-Camino Community Center open and operating for the last 20 years. The recreational activity is run by volunteers and is popular with adults of all ages. To celebrate Bingo’s 20th Anniversary, a special evening is […]

Robbery suspect arrested after struggle

A man wanted for robbery was arrested on April 18 following a struggle with El Dorado County sheriff’s deputies. Albert Scheive, 28, of Cameron Park, was wanted on suspicion of robbery by Placerville Police Department, Sheriff’s Sgt. Phil Chovanec said. PPD requested that sheriff’s deputies search the area where Scheieve was known to reside. Deputies […]

Hamilton serves seniors

El Dorado County native and longtime resident Al Hamilton has thrown his hat in the ring with five other candidates for District 3 Supervisor. Gearing up for June’s election, Hamilton visited the Mountain Democrat offices recently to share his concerns and visions for the county. With the exception of two years in the Army and […]

Write the Legislature about abusive ADA lawsuits

Changes need to be made to both federal and state Americans with Disabilities Act legislation in order to stop abusive lawsuits and provide access to buildings, businesses and services for all. And it’s up to the public to make it happen. But changing state access legislation is an uphill battle. California legislators have turned down […]

Town Hall ADA workshop packed

Business and property owners from Placerville and beyond filled Town Hall on Tuesday. The 7 a.m. start time of the workshop on “How to Avoid or Resolve ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) Lawsuits,” sponsored by state Sen. Ted Gaines and Assemblywoman Beth Gaines. Every seat was filled as David Peters, CEO of Lawyers Against Lawsuit […]

Jail hot water situation not so hot

Small but significant dramas played out at the El Dorado County Jail earlier last month. One of the facility’s two industrial-size hot water heaters went inoperable for as yet unknown reasons. April 3, the other, limping along with leaks and only one operating burner “malfunctioned causing a small fire.” The fire was quickly contained but […]

Meteor hunters swoop into Lotus

In the aftermath of the meteor that streaked across the sky Sunday morning and then exploded into thousands of pieces, meteor hunters and scientists from NASA descended on Lotus this week looking for whatever fragments they could find.

The loud boom from the meteor sounded around 8 a.m. last Sunday, and was heard on both sides of the Sierra Nevada as the meteor crossed from east to west and then exploded. Police in Nevada and California received calls from worried residents as some actually witnessed the streaking fireball while others were startled as it exploded midair.

NASA estimates the meteoroid was about the size of a minivan, weighed around 70 metric tons…

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Woman arrested in Spokane after fleeing state with child

An El Dorado County woman has been arrested for fleeing the state with her young son. The El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office requested the help of Spokane County Sheriff’s Office in Washington state in December 2011 in locating Jennifer C. Kendall, 32, a press release from the DA’s office stated. Kendell had reportedly fled […]

EDH firefighters battle water in training

El Dorado Hills firefighters spent some time on the South Fork’s Troublemaker rapids last week but the real trouble came when they invited this writer on a boat ride. Ever heard the phrase “taco shelling a boat?” The related dousing I received was all in the name of training as local firefighters teamed up with […]

Cal Fire holds training and qualification for inmates

A line of juvenile delinquents — “wards” — marched up a hill at Bacchi Ranch in Garden Valley in full firefighting gear on April 25. After a pep talk and instructions from their non-inmate captain, the two chainsaws of Pine Grove Fire Crew Two roared to life and vegetation was soon being cleared by chainsaw, axe and rake. The line of young men began digging a trench, the captain and two proctors observing and evaluating.

The crew, one of 14 that went through training over two days and the only juvenile crew, was being tested to see if it had what it takes to be a part of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, commonly known as Cal Fire.

Cal Fire, in cooperation with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, has 4,300 inmates spread out …

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PAC backs Stracener, Nutting, Barb

The National Tax Limitation Committee PAC (NTLC PAC), in its continued mission to support legislation and candidates that fight for taxpayers, has endorsed three candidates in El Dorado County: Judge Warren Stracener for Superior Court Judge, Supervisor Ray Nutting in District 2 and small-business owner Richard Barb for County Supervisor in District 3. “We need […]

UMHS yearbook earns first

The American Scholastic Press Association awarded the 2010-2011 Union Mine High School Yearbook, The Rattler, a First Place Award in its annual, nation-wide yearbook competition. The association said, “Your yearbook shows excellence in the fields of writing, photography and page design. Congratulations to the editors, writers, photographers, layout/graphics designers, staff and advisor who have made […]

McClintock to hold town hall meeting

Congressman Tom McClintock will hold a town hall meeting on Monday, April 30, in Pollock Pines. The meeting will be held at the Pollock Pines-Camino Community Center, 2675 Sanders Drive, Pollock Pines. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m.

Forest Forum honors Ron Cunnington

Ron Cunnington is retired as a forester. But the Placerville resident says it was a good life. He fell into the work naturally. In the 1860s his grandfather hauled trees with mules and horses. His father was born in 1900 in a sawmill camp near Elk, Wash., 40 miles north of Spokane. Cunnington was licensed […]

Heard over the back fence: Watch for flying flapjacks at airport

 A glance at the “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” calendar reveals the following recommendation: “When you select a favorite family charity, if you are sending money, let your children see you write the check. Maybe they can put the check in the envelope, or the envelope in the mailbox. Share with them where […]

Amaro wants accountability

Editor’s note — Six candidates are seeking election for the District 3 Supervisor seat. Three, in alphabetical order, are profiled today. On his first day in office as District 3 supervisor, Allen Amaro said he would go looking for “accountability.” Running for the second time in nine years, Amaro shared his concerns and ideas with […]

Local business honored

VARNA Products, a business based in Cameron Park, recently was presented with the United States Department of Commerce, U.S. Commercial Service, “Export Achievement Certificate” for recent accomplishments in the global marketplace. The award was presented by The Honorable E. Anthony Wayne, U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, during a recent forum for The California Chamber of Commerce Council […]

Distracted Driving Awareness Month brings zero-tolerance enforcement

The second annual California Distracted Driving Awareness Month sees South Lake Tahoe law enforcement joining in statewide zero-tolerance enforcement efforts. The goal is to crack down on illegal cell phone use and texting while driving, with a first violation resulting in a $159 fine and subsequent violations costing $279, a press release said. “Our officers […]

Alcohol suspected in Francisco Drive rollover

That loud crashing that Marina residents heard on Saturday night was Liza Lombardi rolling her 1995 Nissan Pathfinder off Francisco Drive near Marina Park Drive in El Dorado Hills, according to information from the California Highway Patrol. The 20-year-old woman was driving south on Francisco Drive when she reportedly failed to negotiate a curve near […]

Forklift used in break-in of Pleasant Valley market

El Dorado County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a 911 call on April 16 concerning suspicious circumstances at Holiday Market in Pleasant Valley. The call, which came in at about 3:30 a.m., was from a passerby who observed the market’s front doors “completely destroyed” with glass covering the ground, a press release stated. Deputies found a […]

Luebbers guilty of murder

After a little over two hours of deliberation, the jury of the John Harold Luebbers murder case returned a verdict of guilty in the charge of murder in the first degree April 24, and found all three special allegations true.

The trial began earlier that day with both prosecution and defense resting.

After submitting additional evidence for the jury’s use that had already been used in testimony, Deputy District Attorney Joe Alexander rested his case against Luebbers. David Cramer, Luebbers’ attorney, rested his case immediately after, calling no witnesses and offering no further evidence.

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