Esmeralda Tunnel repairs shaping up

Progress continues in repairing the Esmeralda Tunnel with an update on what’s been accomplished provided to the El Dorado Irrigation District Board of Directors at its Jan. 25 meeting. The tunnel sustained a severe collapse in September 2014 when a section collapsed near the upstream portal due to the timber walls giving way. The collapse resulted in the tunnel being blocked with rock […]

Forest Service offers online vehicle auction

The U.S. Forest Service is offering the public an opportunity to purchase used government vehicles from several national forests at the annual Used Vehicle and Equipment Auction scheduled online Feb. 1-8. A total of 23 items including pickup trucks, SUVs, crew carriers and miscellaneous ATV parts/tires will be sold to the highest bidder through an […]

Assembly hopefuls at Denny’s

The California Republican Assembly, El Dorado County, has invited Assembly District 6 candidates to participate in a candidates forum on Monday, Feb. 1, at Denny’s Restaurant on Fair Lane in Placerville. The 6th District Assembly seat is currently held by Beth Gaines, who terms out at the end of this year. There are several candidates […]

El Dorado Hills Fire contracts for outside review

It took a couple meetings to come to agreement, but the El Dorado Hills Fire Board of Directors approved a contract for a three-part comprehensive review of the district. The contested issue was the selection of a contractor to prepare the district’s community risk assessment, standards of cover and a facilities master plan. On Sept. 15, 2015, […]

Recall dates draw near

Efforts to recall seven elected El Dorado County officials began officially during a Board of Supervisors meeting on Oct. 27 last year. At that time, community activists under the title El Dorado County Total Recall served intent to circulate recall petition notices to District 4 Supervisor Michael Ranalli and District 5’s Sue Novasel. Notices were […]

Heard over the back fence: Sunday breakfast

DON’T GIVE UP: “Never give up no matter what is going on. Never give up. Develop the heart. Too much energy in your country is spent developing the mind instead of the heart.” — His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama. SUNDAY BREAKFAST: Placerville Elks Lodge  No. 1712, 3821 Quest Court, Shingle Springs, will serve breakfast on Sunday, Jan. […]

Wallace appears in court

The man accused of killing his mother and brother on Nov. 11, 2015, appeared briefly in court Monday for a felony in custody arraignment. Milo Wallace, 49, faces two counts of murder for allegedly killing his mother Sandra Wallace, 71, and brother Matthew Wallace, 38, on the family’s Rocky Ridge Road property southeast of Placerville. Prosecutors told […]

Clubhouse taking shape

We may have had a lot of rain lately, but nothing has dampened the spirits of those building the new Boys and Girls Club in Placerville.

Located on Green Valley Road near Mallard Lane, the concrete foundation for the 15,000-square-foot building has been laid and the steel frame is up, showing just how big and impressive the building will be when finished.

Sean McCartney, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of El Dorado County Western Slope, said 95 percent of the rough framing is complete and next week they will start the interior framing.

Dispensary case decision postponed

A preliminary ruling for the Pure Life Marijuana Dispensary case scheduled Monday was delayed until next month. The four defendants involved in the case — Kelly Chiusano, Summer Bradley, Christopher Brown and Whitney Marchand — along with counsel and several supporters, appeared in El Dorado County Superior Court. This is the second time Judge Kenneth Melikian has postponed a decision. In December […]

Source of groundwater contamination near South Tahoe’s ‘Y’ remains a mystery

Adam Jensen SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — An investigation into contaminated groundwater near South Lake Tahoe’s “Y” intersection has been unable to determine the source of a potentially harmful solvent discovered in the area in 2014. In a report released this week, URS Corporation Americas reported five of 42 water samples taken in a nine-block area […]

Man’s ID sought

The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department is asking for the public’s help identifying a theft suspect in El Dorado Hills. The suspect is described as a white male adult; he was seen getting into the passenger side of a white 2003-2007 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 four-door diesel with black fender guards and tires that are larger than stock. […]

EID lobbyist talks taxes

The El Dorado Irrigation District Board of Directors received a legislative update from Bob Reeb at its Jan. 25 meeting as he discussed numerous proposals being considered to raise taxes. A lobbyist for EID since 2005, Reeb talked in particular about legislation that could affect water agencies. Reeb noted the state is anticipating an extra $3.5 billion […]

Heard over the back fence: Summer Jobs

STUDENTS HONORED: Bailey Ashlyn Eastman, college of arts and sciences and Jennifer Lynn Orr, Louise Herrington School of Nursing have been named to the Dean’s Academic Honor Roll at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Both are from El Dorado Hills. To be named to the dean’s list a student must be an undergraduate with a minimum grade-point […]

GDPUD debates customer refunds

The ghost of the Garden Valley assessment district was back on the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District Board of Directors’ recent agenda. The subject of debate at last month’s meeting as well, the special assessment district was originally established to pay for water related improvements in Garden Valley. A resolution to that effect was adopted by […]

Explorers bring home awards

El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office Explorer Post 457 members fiercely competed at the 18th annual Law Enforcement Explorer Tactical Competition in Chandler, Ariz., earlier this month The Explorers won 3rd place in Officer Down and Sniper Shoot, and 5th place in Hogan’s Alley (building cleaning), Breaching and Hostage Rescue at the event that ran Jan. 15-17. […]

Chase turns into rescue

Two men who fled down a snowy canyon and spent the night outdoors in frigid temperatures “gratefully gave up” when confronted by El Dorado County SWAT members Saturday morning.

Sheriff’s employees, California Highway Patrol officers and U.S. Forest Service officers began searching for Derrick Dionno, 32, and Triston Crossland, 31, Friday morning after the pair reportedly fled on foot when stopped in their vehicle by a California Fish and Wildlife officer near Wrights Lake Road and Highway 50, according to information provided by the Sheriff’s Department.

Suspect on the run caught

PILOT HILL — A manhunt that began in Amador County ended with the arrest of Shannon Lee Henson, 37, in Pilot Hill Thursday afternoon. The Shingle Springs man was caught near Salmon Falls Road after he hid at a vacant property, according to El Dorado County sheriff’s officials. The pursuit started around 4:37 a.m. when Amador […]

Heard over the back fence: Jewel Show

MOVIE DAY: Enjoy popcorn and a movie at the Placerville Senior Center, 937 Spring St., Placerville, every Friday. Movies start after lunch at 1:30 p.m. in the dining room. All-you-can-eat complimentary popcorn is provided. “A Walk in the Woods” is about Bill Bryson, returning home after two decades in England, where he decides to connect with […]

City’s affordable housing options spark protest

Placerville has not identified enough parcels for development of low-cost housing, according to the state, and so the city Planning Commission Tuesday night recommended that the City Council amend the General Plan to begin to meet the state’s wishes. If the city just says no to the state, as was suggested by some in the […]

CHP busts theft suspect at casino

Placerville California Highway Patrol officers arrested a Sacramento man accused of multiple thefts at Red Hawk Casino Monday. David Ferris, 61, was arrested on suspicion of vehicle theft, identity theft, receiving stolen property, robbery and grand theft after CHP officers, who were responding to a stolen vehicle recovery call, reportedly found a stolen vehicle’s ignition […]

On the agenda: El Dorado Irrigation District

The agenda for the El Dorado Irrigation District Board of Directors meeting on Monday, Jan. 25, will be light. Two items are on the agenda: a presentation on annual state legislation by Reeb Government Relations and the board will be asked to take action on a contract amendment with Robertson-Bryan Inc. in the not-to-exceed amount of $44,250 for […]

Staying safe on the slopes

The apparent loss of skier Carson May, who was last seen skiing in an out-of-bounds area at the Sugar Bowl Resort on Jan. 14, has prompted the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department to share skiing and snow sports safety tips.

El Dorado County deputies and Search and Rescue volunteers from Tahoe and Placerville, in conjunction with the Search Management at the Incident Command Post, diligently looked for 23-year-old May for several days before calling off the search.

Former EDH man guilty of fraud

SACRAMENTO — Gregory J. Chmielewski, 46, of West Bend, Wisc., and formerly of El Dorado Hills, pleaded guilty to two counts of mail fraud for a scheme where he transferred business funds to his own personal use, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced earlier this month. According to his plea agreement, Chmielewski set up a professional […]

Planners send projects back to the drawing board

The El Dorado County Planning Commission held hearings earlier this month on a number projects, all of which were either continued or will be revised and brought back for review. A hearing to consider an appeal of the design review of a proposed Dollar General store in Georgetown was back on the agenda. A previous hearing in December had to be […]

CHP explorers wanted

The California Highway Patrol, Placerville area, Explorer Program is a unique and challenging opportunity that allows young men and women (ages 15-21) to be an integral part of the department’s operations and experience what a career in law enforcement would be like. Explorers are trained in many aspects of law enforcement and they work with officers in […]

Placerville man sworn in as CHP officer

WEST SACRAMENTO — Oscar Jose Rodriguez of Placerville has successfully completed the 27-week cadet-training course at the California Highway Patrol Academy. He is assigned to duty at the CHP’s Garberville office. Officer Rodriguez is a 2012 graduate of Union Mine High School in El Dorado. He also studied criminal justice at Folsom Lake College in […]

Fee fight could reach courts

El Dorado County might sue Auditor-Controller Joe Harn over a delayed payment to the Diamond Springs-El Dorado Fire Protection District. On Dec. 8 the Board of Supervisors directed County Counsel to initiate litigation against Harn, who has hired his own attorney to handle the potential court fight. Both Harn and interim County Counsel Mike Ciccozzi have […]

State Water Board adopts diverter regulations

SACRAMENTO – The State Water Resources Control Board recently adopted regulations requiring all surface water right holders and claimants to report their diversions. Those who divert more than 10 acre-feet of water per year must also measure their diversions. The regulations, which apply to about 12,000 water right holders and claimants, require annual reporting of […]

Tahoe agencies tackle transportation plans, projects

LAKE TAHOE — Improving transportation options for bicyclists and pedestrians is one of the most effective strategies to conserve and restore Lake Tahoe’s environment, revitalize the economy, enhance recreation opportunities and improve public health, according to Tahoe Regional Planning Agency officials. In its capacity as the Tahoe Metropolitan Planning Organization, TRPA this week released a […]

Heard over the back fence: Crab Feed

A CHOCOLATE AFFAIR: A Chocolate Affair will be presented Saturday, Feb. 13 by Soroptimist International of Cameron Park/El Dorado Hills and Soroptimist International of Placerville at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds, 100 Placerville Drive in Placerville. For additional information call (530) 344-1476. CRAB FEED: The El Dorado Hills Rotary’s 23rd annual Crab and Tri-tip Feed is on Saturday, Jan. 30 from […]

Prepared … should terrorists strike: County has resources to keep people safe

Terrorism — a looming dark shadow over the United States. A terrorist can strike anywhere — an office Christmas party, a college campus, a community event … even El Dorado County. Though the county has been spared a tragedy thus far, the Mountain Democrat asked local law enforcement, fire agencies and school officials “what if?” […]

Cal Fire highlights the importance of trees

SACRAMENTO — Trees are an essential part of California’s climate and are vital to improving air quality and conserving water. To help educate Californians on the value that trees provide to building successful, healthy cities and neighborhoods, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and California ReLeaf are announcing the annual statewide Arbor Week […]

Marshall executive gets regional position

SACRAMENTO – The Hospital Council of Northern and Central California has named an experienced hospital director and government relations executive as the new regional vice president for the North Bay, Northern Sierra and Redwood Coast sections. William T Abraham, who goes by “T,” is a founding member of the El Dorado Hills Government Relations Committee […]

Water plan in the works

A contract for preparation of a countywide water use efficiency strategic plan was approved by the El Dorado County Water Agency Board of Directors at its Jan. 13 meeting. The plan will address a number of topics but in particular will evaluate programs and projects that target reduction of agricultural irrigation and per capita water use […]

Thieves drive off with Oak Ridge High School trailer, tools

EL DORADO HILLS — At 4:30 a.m. Sunday four unidentified suspects broke into Oak Ridge High School’s manufacturing workshop and stole five welders and two plasma cutters, and the thieves took off with the ORHS football trailer, which contained a camera system, headsets, medical bags and other items, according to El Dorado County sheriff’s officials. The suspects […]

New city clerk on the job

A 13-year veteran of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District is the new City Clerk/Human Resources officer for the city of Placerville. Kelly Witt trained with Susan Zito, who retired in December after serving the city for more than 26 years. Although city officials say they will miss Zito, City Manager Cleve Morris said he is looking forward […]

Placerville man suing 49ers

Placerville resident James Robert Hilburn is suing the San Francisco 49ers in federal court after Levi Stadium staff allegedly refused to allow him to bring his service dog into a football game in November 2015. Hilburn claims that the actions taken by the police and security guards that day violates the U.S. Americans with Disabilities Act and […]

Heard over the back fence: Soothing Music

WAKAMATSU HISTORICAL TOURS: Docents are giving a tour from 10 a.m.-noon on Saturday, Jan. 23 of this historical farm that boasts a rich tapestry of wildlife habitat, diverse cultural history, productive farming soils and educational opportunities. The Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Colony Farm is on the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors can visit Okei San’s […]

Burglary suspects caught; new theft warnings issued

El Dorado County sheriff’s officials announced over the weekend that two suspected residential burglars were arrested. Elizabeth Millstine, 32, had a felony warrant out for her arrest and is suspected of breaking into several homes in the greater Placerville area, according to information provided by the Sheriff’s Department. The details of Millstine’s arrest were not available at press time. She […]

EID board approves cost-sharing projects

The El Dorado Irrigation District Board of Directors has voted to share the cost of three projects with the El Dorado County Water Agency. One of those projects an engineering feasibility study costing $50,000. EID will pay for half of the study and a grant from EDCWA will pay for the rest. The study is in preparation of installing […]

Cancer patient takes road less traveled

People diagnosed with cancer have difficult choices to make as they come face to face with their own mortality. Do they go with the standard chemo and radiation treatments or do they gamble on a different approach, not knowing if it will work? This dilemma confronted Placerville resident Jody Mello, 29, who was diagnosed early in 2015 with a rare form of skin cancer. Not sold on traditional […]

Development approved: Dixon Ranch gets the go-ahead

After a four-hour hearing the El Dorado County Planning Commission approved the Dixon Ranch residential development at its Jan. 14 meeting.

Located in El Dorado Hills, the development proposes 604 new single-family homes on 280 acres on the south side of Green Valley Road near Malcolm Dixon Road. A 5-acre lot is carved out to accommodate an existing residence in the area.

As part of approving the project, the commissioners changed the property’s zoning with some of it zoned high-density residential and other parts medium-density residential. The commission also expanded the amount of zoned open space from 1.28 acres to approximately 68 acres.

Supes take aim at human trafficking

El Dorado County’s Board of Supervisors approved a proclamation establishing January 2016 as Human Trafficking Awareness Month during its Jan. 12 meeting. Defined as a form of modern-day slavery, U.S. federal law cites three categories of victims in this country — minors younger than 18 who are victims of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC); adults older than 18 […]

Sheriff takes headquarters project on the road

El Dorado County Sheriff John D’Agostini has scheduled town hall meetings in each of the supervisorial districts to discuss the new Sheriff’s Office facility. Sheriff D’Agostini will discuss details of the building — progress and location — and a representative from the local architectural firm Arch Nexus will also be present. The sheriff is asking for the public’s feedback […]

Former chief arrested again

Resigned Garden Valley Fire Chief William Dekker was arrested on suspicion of battery Wednesday morning, according to the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department. The charge is a misdemeanor. Dekker, 60, reportedly ingested prescription medications and attempted to drive away from his Greenwood home. “(The victim) physically restrained him to prevent him from leaving,” Sgt. Dan Johnson told […]