EDH man guilty of embezzling

A former El Dorado Hills man was convicted last week of bank and mail fraud by federal jurors. Thomas Tanke, 67, was found guilty of two counts of mail fraud and five counts of bank fraud on Nov. 22. Tanke, while living in El Dorado Hills, was vice president of Rancho Cordova-based Azteca Construction Inc. from […]

Hangman’s buildings likely to stay for now

Late Tuesday, the Mountain Democrat learned that Placervile city officials had met with representatives from the Saunders Co. in an effort to clarify positions on what to do with the buildings at 301 and 305 Main Str. Locally, the structures are known as the Herrick Building and the Hangman’s Tree Building. An article published earlier […]

December 02, 2011 | Posted in News | Tagged | 7 Replies

Suspected rapist linked to Staten Island

An El Dorado Hills man who has spent more than a year on El Dorado County’s “wanted list” is thought to be hiding in a New York borough, according to the U.S. Marshals Service. Pasquale “Patrick” Senatore, 45, is accused of sexually assaulting a minor under the age of 14 over a three-month span in 1998, […]

December 02, 2011 | Posted in News | Tagged | 1 Reply

Trees fall on Pollock Pines homes

POLLOCK PINES — Several Pollock Pines residences were crushed Thursday morning when strong winds uprooted massive tress. At approximately 8:15 a.m., a 30-foot sequoia tree fell on two dwellings at 2656 Sanders Drive in Pollock Pines. El Dorado County Fire Capt. Paul Dutch told the Mountain Democrat that the sequoia was uprooted, crashed down onto […]

December 02, 2011 | Posted in News | Tagged | 1 Reply

Hunter’s Place grows on Grace ranch

Hunter’s Place, the special-needs friendly playground on the Grace Foundation ranch, will get more and better playground equipment over the next couple of weeks, weather permitting, thanks to generous donors and a family brave enough to talk about the tragic accident that took their son a year ago. On a stormy Sunday morning in November […]

Suspicious box forces church evacuation

CAMINO — A Camino church was evacuated Tuesday after a suspicious package was found on church grounds. Staff at the Seventh-day Adventist Church at 3520 Carson Road first noticed the suspicious package at around 11 a.m. Tuesday. The box, which featured no markings and was taped up, was found in front of the church’s office. […]

Water issues heard at the Greenwood confab

GREENWOOD — The Auburn Lake Trails Treatment Plant Retrofit, the Geographic Information System and the resolution of a court case were the three topics discussed at the Greenwood Civic Organization meeting Nov. 22. Hank White, general manager of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District, was the guest speaker. He covered the history of the water […]

Coho salmon numbers on the rise in Sonoma

SANTA ROSA – Field biologists funded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have counted a record number of coho salmon in the downstream portions of the Russian River system in western Sonoma County, offering a glimmer of hope that recovery of the endangered silver salmon is one day possible. Based on surveys led by […]

Heard over the back fence: Have breakfast with Santa Saturday; see him in parade Sunday

 Mr. John Chapman provided the following T-shirt statement: “I’m so busy I don’t know if I found a rope or lost my horse.” • • • BREAKFAST WITH SANTA:
 Tomorrow, Dec. 3, the Pollock Pines-Camino Rotary Club will be hosting “Breakfast with Santa” at the Pollock Pines-Camino Community Center, 2675 Sanders Dr., Pollock Pines, […]

Boy killed by pellet gun

An El Dorado Hills boy was shot Tuesday by a pellet gun and later died at an area hospital. He has been identified as 10-year-old Keegan Swinney. On Wednesday afternoon, El Dorado County sheriff’s Lt. Bryan Golmitz confirmed reports from earlier in the day that identified Keegan as the pellet gun shooting victim. Sheriff’s deputies […]

December 02, 2011 | Posted in News | Tagged | 37 Replies

Local tree to be lighted up Dec. 7 at State Capitol

STATE CAPITOL — Past and present employees from the U.S. Forest Service’s Institute of Forest Genetics will reminisce about the tiny seedling they watched grow into a 60-foot tree when Gov. Brown lights the 80th annual California State Capitol Christmas Tree on Dec. 7 in front of the State Capitol in Sacramento. Part of the […]

Carbon monoxide poisoning is real household danger

It was anything but a happy new year in Los Angeles where one woman mourned the loss of her mother and grandmother — both of whom died from carbon monoxide given off by a gas oven door they’d left open to stay warm. A week later, 11 students in Vermont were hospitalized for carbon monoxide […]

Christmas tree safety tips offered by Cal Fire

Christmas trees cause approximately 240 house fires each year in this country, resulting in $16.7 million in direct property loss. Although these types of fires are not common, when they occur they are costly and often deadly, according to Unit Chief Kelly Keenan of the Amador-El Dorado Unit of Cal Fire. “Electrical problems caused one-third of these […]

State AG reports on charitable solicitations

SACRAMENTO — Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Nov. 30 released data showing that commercial fundraisers in California raised $362.9 million in 2010, of which charitable organizations received less than 45 percent. This represents an increase from the 2009 total of less than 43 percent. The data are included in the California Department of Justice’s Annual […]

Boy dies after being shot with pellet gun

EL DORADO HILLS — A boy who was shot with a pellet gun late Tuesday afternoon by a friend while playing at a home on Waterman Court here died as a result, according to the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department. The ages of the two boys involved were not available, but preliminary information indicated the […]

Learn about anatomy of wildlife

Sierra Wildlife Rescue’s December class, “Anatomy and Physiology,” is helpful to those rehabbing wildlife, or planning to rehab, and is also open to the general public.  The class, taught by SWR volunteer Norman Smith, Ph.D, who has had a long career in teaching college-level zoology and biology, will provide fascinating information about the physical make-up […]

Help for problem gambling

The holidays are a time of celebration and joy for many people. However, for those who are struggling with problem gambling, the holidays may be especially challenging. “People with gambling issues may use the season’s demands for extra cash as a reason to increase gambling,” said Christy White,supervising Health Education coordinator with the Public Health […]

City wants to keep hanged man ‘twisting in the wind’

Despite acknowledging concerns that the Hangtown Dummy may be “grotesque and macabre,” Placerville City officials have recommended that the iconic symbol remain in its aerie at 301/305 Main St. A prepared statement issued Monday morning noted that the City Council recognizes the inherent challenge in the issue: “How do we embrace ALL aspects of our […]

November 30, 2011 | Posted in News | Tagged | 10 Replies

PG&E reminds public to stay safe during holidays

As customers decorate homes and trees this holiday season, PG&E encourages them to keep safety and energy efficiency in mind. Holiday lights bring joy to the season, but they can also bring hazards and added costs to your energy bill. PG&E offers the following holiday lighting tips: • Purchase energy-efficient LED (light-emitting diode) holiday lights. […]

Angie Lara selected as BLM California associate state director

Bureau of Land Management California State Director Jim Kenna announced the selection of Angie Lara as BLM California’s new associate state director. Lara has served as the district manager for BLM’s Colorado River District in Arizona for almost two years. Previous to that, she served as the associate district manager in the Southern Nevada District in […]

Church evacuated after ‘suspicious’ package found

UPDATE — The package was opened shortly after 1 p.m. and was found to be full of books. CAMINO — People inside a building at Carson Road and Carson Court here were evacuated shortly after 11 a.m. Tuesday after a “suspicious” package was found there. The building, thought to be a Seventh-day Adventist Church, was […]

Criminal annals, part 132: An important convention

“MINER’S CONVENTION. “This convention, which assembled at Jamestown, Tuolumne county, on the 18th inst., recommended the holding of a State Convention of miners at Sacramento, on the 10th of November next, to memorialize Congress for the adoption of such measures as will protect native and citizen miners against foreign emigration, and also for a general […]

Outingdale man suffers life-threatening injuries

OUTINGDALE — A Somerset man suffered life-threatening injuries Sunday after he was reportedtly attacked by unknown assailants. El Dorado County sheriff’s deputies responded Sunday afternoon to the 6000 block of Outingdale Lane near Somerset after receiving reports of an assault with a deadly weapon, said sheriff’s Lt. Bryan Golmitz. Deputies arrived and found Ricky Laybourne […]

November 30, 2011 | Posted in News | Tagged | 7 Replies

Heard over the back fence: Weekend festivities planned in El Dorado

 John “Appleseed” Chapman provided the following T-shirt statement: “The hardest thing about riding is the ground.” • • • HOLIDAY FUN IN EL DORADO:
 On Saturday, Dec. 3, in the town of El Dorado, there will be train and stagecoach rides from noon to 4 p.m. Also, you can enjoy tasty soup and bread, […]

Dog talk with Uncle Matty: Predicting puppy

With any new puppy come certain predictable realities. There may not be blood, but there will be challenges: 1. There will be chewing. Puppies, like babies, teethe. It’s a painful process that most of us have zapped from our bank of childhood memories. But in search of relief from the intense pressure of new teeth […]

Machado arraigned, pleads not guilty

Placerville City Council member Dave Machado was arraigned Monday morning in an El Dorado County Superior Courtroom — three months after he was first arrested. Machado, 53, was the city’s mayor when he was arrested in August on charges of felony perjury and felony criminal conspiracy in connection with properties he owns that fall within […]

November 30, 2011 | Posted in News | Tagged | 10 Replies

United Way gives $163k here

SACRAMENTO — United Way California Capital Region will make grants totaling $163,781 to the Boys and Girls Clubs of El Dorado County Western Slope and New Morning Youth and Family Services in Placerville over the next year, United Way president and CEO Steve Heath announced Nov. 23. Both organizations are funded partners in United Way’s […]

Dec. 12 is property tax deadline

C. L. Raffety, El Dorado County treasurer-tax collector, reminds the public that the first installment of the secured property tax is now due and will be delinquent if not paid on or before midnight Dec. 12. This year, because Dec. 10 falls on a weekend, the law allows payments postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service […]

November 30, 2011 | Posted in News | Tagged | 1 Reply

Tree farms busy on Green Friday

After enjoying a day of turkey and football, El Dorado County residents celebrated Friday with another time-honored tradition: finding the perfect Christmas tree. And many knew exactly where to look. On a crisp and clear Friday morning, Camino’s McGee Christmas Tree Farm had already seen dozens of families complete the annual search. “Today is the […]

Residents enjoy Black Friday shopping

Ryan and Karrie Fieri encountered their first Black Friday together — and why not do it with immediate and extended family members? The Fieri clan were some of many people who shopped at Target inside Town Center in El Dorado Hills. The family left the department store spending more than $200 in gifts for nephews […]

November 28, 2011 | Posted in News | Tagged | 1 Reply

Family fights to keep abusive man behind bars

The last time Susan Hamlin saw her now ex-husband Richard Hamlin a free man was just before his February 2004 arrest. The criminal defense attorney from El Dorado Hills had called police to report a threat on his life, but it was he who ended up in handcuffs after an investigation revealed he had abused […]

November 28, 2011 | Posted in News | Tagged | 11 Replies

Big turnout for Community Thanksgiving Dinner

Nancy Bible and Ron Bowen were two of hundreds of people who sat down to a turkey dinner with all the trimmings at the 14th annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner held at St. Patrick Catholic Church’s hall in Placerville on Thanksgiving Day on Thursday. When asked how many times she and Bowen, a Placerville resident, and […]

CHP officers honored

Officers with the Placerville area California Highway Patrol took home top marks in a recent competition, besting departments from across the state. El Dorado County’s local CHP office was awarded first place in the commands with 38 to 50 officers category of the California Law Enforcement Challenge. Members of the local office, including Placerville area […]

CHP toy drive under way

With the holiday season upon us, the Placerville area California Highway Patrol is doing its part to ensure all El Dorado County children have a 2011 to remember. The Placerville area CHP’s annual “CHiP’s for Kids” toy drive has begun. The drive, which ends Dec. 21, was originally started to help children from needy families. […]

Heard over the back fence: Enjoy Christmas Parade Sunday

My pal John Chapman gave me the following T-shirt statement: “How do you make a Small Fortune With Horses? Start with a LARGE Fortune.” • • • CHRISTMAS PARADE TIME! 
Don’t forget to bring the kids to the annual McIntire family Christmas Parade on Sunday, Dec. 4, at 1 p.m., on Main St., […]

Forest Service urges proper disposal of woodstove and fireplace ashes

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — The U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit is cautioning local residents to follow proper procedures for discarding woodstove and fireplace ashes, after responding to two wildfires caused by disposal of woodstove ashes on National Forest System lands. In two separate incidents in communities off Pioneer Trail on Lake Tahoe’s […]

Red Hats bring bushels of bears

The Red Hat Society has struck again. Last week several members of the Flashie Lassies, a local branch of the Red Hat Society, made a surprise appearance at the Placerville area California Highway Patrol office, bringing with them teddy bears. Lots and lots of teddy bears. Dubbed “Joannie’s Joy” in honor of Joann Coffin, the […]

State Dept., CIA vets wow audience for charity

John and Patricia Garon were the guest speakers at the American Association of University Women’s fundraising event on Nov. 10. The AAUW provides scholarships for local young women who have been living in foster care, turn 18 and want to attend college. The group also supports a summer math and science camp at UCD for […]

November 25, 2011 | Posted in News | Tagged | 5 Replies

Sequoia Restaurant tree cut

The Sequoia Restaurant’s trademark coast redwood is getting a makeover. The redwood, which has long served as a symbol of Placerville’s Bee-Bennett House that is home to the Sequoia, was trimmed Monday — the first step in its long-awaited touch-up. Sequoia owner Nello Olivo told the Mountain Democrat that the tree, an estimated 190 feet […]

November 25, 2011 | Posted in News | Tagged | 2 Replies

Free walking presentation coming to Sacramento

SACRAMENTO — The Sacramento Walking Sticks Volkssport Club would like to invite people to an inspirational presentation from Ken and Marcia Powers on Thursday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m. We will meet at the Conference Center of the SMUDHeadquarters Building, 6201 S Street, Sacramento 95817. This event is free to the public. When people retire, […]

EID beefs up its computer system

Following a presentation and tour of the computer server room, the El Dorado Irrigation District Board of Directors unanimously approved $305,000 in the first of three phases of computer upgrades at its Nov. 14 meeting. The six-month project by Information Technology Manager Tim Ranstrom will expand the backup capacity in the system by adding a […]

EID recognized for electrical savings

The El Droado Irrigation Districtg received a PG&E Golden Spotlight Award for the district’s 2010 efforts in excelling in power conservation by participating in PG&E’s voluntary demand response program’s peak day pricing events. This is the fifth consecutive year that EID has received this award for its efforts in power curtailment for the El Dorado […]

EID shifts 50-50 plan

On a 4-1 vote, the El Dorado Irrigation District board adopted the cost recovery allocation methodology of collecting 50 percent of revenue from fixed charges and 50 percent of revenue from variable commodity charges for water, wastewater and recycled water, returning it to the cost recovery methodology used by the district prior to 2008. Voting […]

Nearly flat budget for EID

At its Nov. 14 meeting, the El Dorado Irrigation District Board of Directors adopted the 2012 mid-cycle operating budget in the amount of $42.970 million. In accordance with board policy, the board adopts a two-year budget and conducts a mid-cycle review to determine any changes that may be needed in the second year of the […]

November 25, 2011 | Posted in News | Tagged | 1 Reply

DWR announces initial water delivery estimate for 2012

 The Department of Water Resources has announced an initial allocation of 60 percent of requested deliveries to State Water Project contractors for 2012.  The initial allocation – or water delivery estimate – is always conservative because it is made before the major winter storms that supply reservoir storage. Today’s initial 60 percent allocation is relatively […]