Firefighting exercise takes over EDH neighborhood

Saturday, June 9 saw a mass of firefighters descend on the Lake Hills community in El Dorado Hills. A total of 18 agencies, from law enforcement to fire districts and animal control, held a massive training exercise, fighting an imaginary fire and evacuating residents. El Dorado Fire Engineer Matt Belleci spent the past year planning […]

Taking the plunge at 81

Being in your 80s usually means slowing down and avoiding unnecessary risks. But not for Placerville resident Eileen Samboceti, who decided to take up skydiving at the age of 81. That decision led to a memorable experience a year ago that had all the elements of an action movie, including heart-stopping drama and a happy […]

Woman’s body found at El Dorado Hills Town Center

El Dorado County sheriff’s deputies converged on El Dorado Hills Town Center Tuesday morning after a woman’s body was found hanging in an enclosed trash area.

“It’s suspicious,” said Sgt. Jim Byers. “It’s out of the ordinary.”

Detectives will treat the case as suspicious unless they find evidence that suggests otherwise, he explained. It’s possible that the woman killed herself.

Byers described the victim as a Caucasian female but no other details about her identity were available.

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This Rose rides for good causes

It’s hard to imagine an El Dorado Rose on a motorcycle, but Rosemary Lewis can remind one that anything is possible. Lewis, 71, of Placerville was nominated by American Legion Post 119, who seems to be blessed by this indefatigable worker and good-hearted woman who always goes beyond the call of duty. “I don’t ride […]

Firm offers free $17,000 business makeover

LiftOff, a division of Sacramento-based Vision Launchers, LLC, is offering area businesses the opportunity to win a $17,000 business makeover package consisting of a custom Website, photo session, video commercial, logo design, marketing consultation and social media training. “Small businesses are vital to our region. In today’s economy, we’ve spoken with a number of small […]

Mahar Artwalk’s featured artist

This month’s featured artist is photographer Ken Mahar at the Third Saturday Artwalk in Placerville. Mahar has been taking photos of building sites and architecture for over 30 years. Since taking a trip to Africa and Costa Rica, he has been particularly captivated by wild animals in their natural habitat; strengthening his goal to observe our […]

BOMUSD talks teacher hires, honors students

The Black Oak Mine Unified School District Board of Trustees honored its schools’ selections for students of the year and teacher retirees at a meeting recently. This year’s honorees for student of the year included valedictorian MaryAnn Haynie of Golden Sierra High; Sara Iversen of Independent Study; Tyler Hudson of Divide High; Erin Belloumini of […]

Are you set to go if wildfire occurs?

Editor’s note: This is Part II of three releases sent to the Mountain Democrat by the Amador-El Dorado Unit of Cal Fire. Part III will print at a later date. Part I ran in Monday’s edition.  Making sure your family and your home is set for an approaching wildfire and a possible evacuation is the […]

Petroski preliminary set

Richard Kenneth Petroski, the man accused of killing his step-father last December, received new hearing dates Monday morning. Petroski, 48, appeared with his attorney, Todd Jones, to receive hearing dates of Aug. 20 at 1 p.m. for pre-preliminary and Aug. 22 at 1 p.m. for a preliminary hearing. The latter is set to last about […]

City OKs EID water rate hike

Following on the heels of a city garbage collection rate increase at the Placerville City Council meeting was El Dorado Irrigation District’s four year increase of the city water rates. The city purchases water from EID and resells it to Placerville city residents. EID recently adopted new retail water rates in accordance with a Cost […]

Ewing set for readiness hearing

Jennifer Ewing appeared before the court briefly Monday morning to schedule a hearing in anticipation of her August trial. Ewing appeared with her attorney, Michael Atwell, to schedule a new hearing for July 2 at 8:30 a.m. The hearing will precede her August 7 trial set to last about 20 days. Ewing, 27, is charged […]

Rafferty’s Candies celebrates one-year anniversary

Life is sweet for Rafferty’s Candies as it celebrated its one year anniversary on June 9. Owned and operated by Lori and Brad Rafferty, the Garden Valley store sells a variety of candies, chocolates and specialty items that will appeal to anyone with a sweet tooth. And as a special offer beginning in June, customers can receive […]

Heard over the back fence: Where to get fresh veggies

If you review the “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” calendar, you will find the following statement: “Our personal headlines (the stories we think about often and share with others often) become so automatic that we don’t even see them. Yet even though we don’t see them, they affect our lives in […]

Are you ready for wildfire?

Editor’s note: This is Part I of three releases sent to the Mountain Democrat by the Amador-El Dorado Unit of Cal Fire. Part II and III will print at a later date.  Cal Fire Unit Chief Kelly Keenan believes that “everyone living in the Sierra’s has a responsibility that many urban/suburban dwellers do not face. […]

Cowboys share music, poetry as Wagon Train camps at High Hill Ranch

It was an evening of cowboy poetry, music and reminiscing as members of this year’s Wagon Train gathered at High Hill Ranch in Camino on Friday evening. After settling the horses for the evening and chowing down a big steak dinner, everyone relaxed as the Stardust Cowboys played songs like “Beaver Moon” interspersed with poems […]

Coloma Blues rocks Lotus crowd

Coloma Blues Live! played to a nearly full house in Lotus on Saturday. The day was bright and the mood festive. Paid admissions came to about 1,500, up from past years, and a sigh of relief for festival organizers, who know their annual blues blast is always one late-season rainy day from disaster. The solid […]

Supervisors OK preliminary budget

Several days were allocated, if needed, for the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors to review and consider the “recommended” budget for next fiscal year. Sometimes called the preliminary budget, the one prepared by the Chief Administrative Office was approved after only a few minutes of discussion during Tuesday’s board  meeting. A product of the […]

Courthouse proposed at scoping meeting

The Judicial Council of California’s Administrative Office of the Courts held a scoping meeting May 15 where community members fielded questions regarding the impact of the proposed courthouse and what would happen to the historic building. The meeting, required by the California Environmental Quality Act, began with a short presentation by Laura Sainz of the […]

Funds needed to complete historic Pony Express Trail

With the annual Pony Express re-ride coming up June 13, members of the National Pony Express Association (NPEA) once again want to draw attention to their campaign to complete a portion of the historic trail that was destroyed 24 years ago.

The missing link is a bridge that at one time crossed the American River.

Originally built in 1855 by Anthony Brockliss as a crossing for miners, in 1858 it was rebuilt as part of a larger project to construct a road to Carson Valley, Nev. The Pony Express used the bridge from 1860-61 during their rides and is part of that historic trail.

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Traveling tombstone comes home

After close to a hundred years of separation, the remains of a pioneer family and the tombstone that once stood over their remains were reunited at a ceremony on June 2 in Sacramento. The tombstone once memorialized the remains of members of the Asch family who, for a period, were buried in the New Helvetia […]

Heard over the back fence: Wheelbarrow Races ready to roll

 The “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” calendar provided the following suggestion: “If you can’t afford to give money, your family can still come together around giving. Perhaps your church or local shelter needs some help. What you do isn’t as important as doing something.”  WHEELBARROW FUN AND MORE: 
Don’t forget to […]

Traffic Amnesty Program to end June 30

Time is running out to take advantage of the 50 percent reduction on qualifying old unpaid traffic infraction tickets. The program ends June 30, 2012. Superior courts throughout California report that they’ve already resolved thousands of cases and collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid fees and fines. The program began January 1, 2012. […]

1st hand deals $88k jackpot

Red Hawk Casino offers players Northern California’s lowest side bet for a chance to win a table progressive. The $1 side bet is available on Fortune Pai Gow Poker, Let It Ride, Four Card Poker, Three Card Poker and Ultimate Texas Hold’ em. The small side bet resulted in an $88,182 jackpot for Kurt, from […]

Foresthill PUD Measure C overturns Measure B

The saga of Foresthill Public Utilities District reached another breathtaking moment. On the precipice of extinction as a public utilities district, Foresthill was saved by a positive vote in the primary election on June 5. General Manager Leo Havener had stated loud and clear that if the district-sponsored Measure C did not pass, Foresthill PUD […]

Palmer’s employment status called into question

Donna Palmer, the nurse who is accused of elder abuse that led to the death of Johnnie Esco, appeared in court to find out if she would need supervision in hands-off nursing positions. Palmer, who appeared with her attorney, Patrick Hanly, and attorney Guy Louie, who was representing co-defendant Rebecca Smith, has been employed in a […]

Marker to be placed at the Fausel House

On Thursday, June 14, 2012, the El Dorado Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, under the direction of Regent Betty Zurlinden, will celebrate the placement of a marker on the Fausel House at 672 Pacific Street in Placerville. Chapter members will unveil the marker in a short ceremony at 2 p.m., to be […]

Stracener, Hoffman in runoff

Two of the three El Dorado County Superior Court judicial candidates held parties on election night; one candidate was brimming with energy and excitement while the other was subdued as early returns on votes were posted. “I have no idea how I’m doing,” candidate Jospeh Hoffman said just before the first results came in at 8 […]

Landslide for Ray

Incumbent Supervisor Ray Nutting ran out of champagne for all of his supporters at his election party Tuesday night before he gave a toast to his campaign before about 40 people, including Louis Mansour and Sheriff John D’Agostini in the back room of Crepe Town in Burke Junction in Cameron Park. The party was jointly […]

Firefighters to practice in EDH

On Saturday, June 9, at 8 a.m., a burning blaze will sweep up from Folsom Lake into the Lake Hills community in El Dorado Hills. The conflagration will burn through houses and vegetation, fueled by multiple fuel types, whipped by wind from the lake and funneled through small roads. That’s the scenario that will be […]

Mik spent 5 grand to Knight’s 21k

Ron “Mik” Mikulaco spent a little more than $5,000 to run for and win the El Dorado County District 1 seat in Tuesday’s election, while incumbent Supervisor John Knight spent $21,000. According to the county’s “Semi-Official Election Night Final Report,” Mikulaco was leading incumbent John Knight by a margin of 53 percent to approximately 46.5 […]

Apparent drowning victim identified

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — A 31-year-old Antioch man apparently drowned near Camp Richardson Saturday after jumping off a boat and being unable to make it to shore. About 1: 30 p.m. Asish Janardhan got out of a boat he was driving near the pier in front of the Beacon Bar & Grill and entered the […]

Enjoy Wagon Train events today: Flapjacks and cowboy poetry

The 63rd annual Highway 50 Wagon Train rolled out from Zephyr Cove, Nev. on June 3 and will roll into Placerville on Saturday, June 9. The towns of Pollock Pines and Camino are planning a day-long welcome on Friday, June 8. Community Economic Development Association of Pollock Pines is sponsoring  the annual Wagons in the Pines […]

Wagon Train to light up Broadway Saturday

When the 63rd annual Highway 50 Association Wagon Train rolls into Placerville on Saturday, June 9, the first stop for the long day and evening of celebration will be on Broadway. With 15 wagons and more than 100 outriders, this year’s Wagon Train is bound to be an impressive arrival.

Beginning at 9 a.m. and continuing until 3 p.m., the Broadway Village Association is sponsoring a Wagon Train celebration and welcome at the Mountain Democrat parking lot, 1360 Broadway, in Placerville.

“We’ll have a big picnic tent with tables so people can bring their own picnic lunches …

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Heard over the back fence: Health fest Sunday at High Hill

A free healthy festival titled “Moovin and Groovin to a Healthier You” is scheduled for Sunday, June 10, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at High Hill Ranch in Camino. This festival will feature interactive demos, informative workshops, nutritious and delicious food, Eco friendly arts and crafts, and other fun activities. For more […]

Sen. Gaines ready for runoff

By Ted Gaines ROCKLIN – Republican Sen. Ted Gaines swept to victory in the 1st Senate District Primary Election, winning over 48 percent of the vote in the four-person open primary race. Gaines will advance to the November general election where he will face Democrat Julie Griffith-Flatter. “I am humbled and grateful for the overwhelming […]

Unsafe gear a fire danger

Clearing dead grass and brush 100 feet from homes is a critical step in preparing for fire season. As the fire danger increases, the unsafe use of power equipment can actually start new fires. “The spark from the metal blade of a lawn mower against a rock can easily ignite a wildfire,” said Chief Ken […]

Assistance League of Sierra Foothills named chapter

The Assistance League of Sierra Foothills officially became a chapter on June 6, as members of the Assistant League’s national organization stopped by the Cielo Estate Winery in Shingle Springs to welcome the El Dorado County volunteer group to the team. The promotion made the once local guild the 120th Chapter of the National Assistance League. […]

Mikulaco unseats Knight

The results are in. Hard work, enthusiasm, a firm handshake and a broad smile all won Tuesday. Hours on the side of the road waving signs, miles walked, doors knocked and hands shaken in dozens of neighborhoods paid off for victorious District 1 supervisor candidate Ron Mikulaco. Very early Wednesday morning the groggy victor pulled […]

Crime log

June 1 12:15 a.m. Red Hawk security reported an allegedly intoxicated female leaving the casino in a vehicle onto westbound Highway 50. EDSO located the vehicle, which fled from officers but ultimately yielded. The driver, Florentine Abbot, 46, was arrested. 10:17 a.m. A male subject reported a vehicle theft from Red Hawk Casino in Shingle […]

Gun drawn at Whiskey Dick’s

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — A South Lake Tahoe man was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder Sunday morning after allegedly firing a gun inside Whiskey Dick’s bar. Scott Enerson, 48, allegedly pulled a loaded handgun from his waistband and held it to the head of a 31-year-old South Lake Tahoe man about 1:45 a.m., according to […]

Wagons comin’ ’round the mountain

Neither rain, nor snow, nor a tired horse stopped the 63rd annual Highway 50 Association Wagon Train as it began its trek this week from Nevada to California.

Members of the Wagon Train gathered last Saturday at Zephyr Cove, Nev., to assemble for the ride. On Sunday, they went from Stateline, Nev., to Amacker Ranch in Meyers. On Monday they started the 1,000-foot climb to Echo Summit, traveling an average of 3 mph.

Originally they were due at the summit around 11 a.m. but one of their horses …

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Deadliest gunfight of 1854 recalled

A couple of months ago a copy of the January issue of the Veterans of Foreign Wars magazine was dropped off at the newspaper. In it was a story titled, “Mexican War Vet Wages Deadliest Gun Fight in American History.”  It is a story that seems a bit of a tall tale which probably bears […]

Newspaper patriarch dies

Dean McNaughton, the patriarch of the McNaughton family who acquired the family’s newspaper holdings in California died peacefully June 3, 2012, with his family by his side. He was 89 years old. Dean was born in Bicknell, Ind., on March 6, 1923. He attended high school in Pekin, Ill., where he quarterbacked the football team. […]

EID to make solids improvement

Gathering solid wastes for disposal just got a little easier for the El Dorado Irrigation District after directors agreed to allocate Capital Improvement Plan funding for water treatment plant drying bed construction. On Tuesday, during a meeting of the EID board, EID Engineer Bob Rice told directors that drying beds located at the Reservior A […]

Hardesty, Churches given new date

Joseph Leonard Hardesty and Richard David Churches, co-defendants in the case of the alleged illegal operation of Big Cut Mine, appeared in court on Monday to receive new court dates. After William Brewer and Clint Peterson, Hardesty and Churches’ attorneys, respectively, approached El Dorado County Judge Douglas C. Phimister with Deputy District Attorney Michael Pizzuti, […]