Do you know this man?

Sheriff’s Dept. looking for suspect The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office is asking the public for help in identifying the man in this photograph. He is a possible suspect in a string of burglaries that occurred at Cameron Park area apartment complexes. Anyone with information about the identity of this person is asked to contact Deputy […]

New Station 84 now in service

EL DORADO HILLS — Station 84 has been redesigned and rebuilt.

The building looks great and, more importantly, it is safer and more efficient.

“Seconds count when you’re called out,” said Capt. Mark Ali, who heads the B shift at the station.

The station is staffed 24 hours a day by a captain, engineer and firefighter/paramedic in shifts A, B and C. Crews are at the station for 48 hours, then 48 hours off.

Teen Court invites new participants

El Dorado County Teen Court in Placerville is recruiting new student participants for the spring program. El Dorado County students in eighth through 12th grade are invited to attend the Teen Court volunteer training on Jan. 20 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the El Dorado County Superior Court, 495 Main St. in Placerville. After completing […]

EID’s water rates go up next month

Despite objections from a large crowd of ratepayers, the El Dorado Irrigation District Board of Directors approved rate increases that go into effect Feb. 1. Voted on at Monday’s meeting was a 5 percent increase in potable and recycled water rates this year; a 5 percent increase in potable, wastewater and recycled water in 2017; a 4 percent increase in […]

Heard over the back fence: Purple Pig Races

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE: Regina Stephens writes in the Placerville Emblem Club, No. 287 “Nugget” president’s message, “I’m starting the New Year with several New Year’s resolutions, the most important one being to actively recruit new members. Please join me on this quest and spread the word that we really need more good people to […]

Missing man: Family fears the worst

The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department and family of Justin Bonderer is asking for the public’s help to locate the man, who went missing last April. Desiree Bonderer, Justin’s mother, told the Mountain Democrat she thinks her son’s disappearance was not by his own doing. “We think it’s a homicide. We heard he was shot,” she […]

Supes start new year with duty changes

El Dorado County supervisors unanimously elected District 1’s Ron “Mik” Mikulaco to handle the gavel for 2016. In its first regular meeting of the new year Tuesday, Jan. 5, the board also approved District 2’s Shiva Frentzen to be vice-chair and District 4’s Michael Ranalli as second vice-chair. Traditionally, the longest-serving supervisors take over the […]

Seasonal firefighters sought

The Eldorado National Forest will hire as many as 35 wildland firefighters for a temporary appointment that will run approximately May through November 2016. The online application for these jobs is open for one week, Jan. 11-15. “Our fire crews are essential to our organization,” said Forest Supervisor Laurence Crabtree. “We need a strong and diverse […]

Priest urges compassion for refugees

Pleading for “illogical mercy,” Father Christoforos Schuff, an Eastern Orthodox Christian priest, described the ongoing European refugee crisis when he spoke at the Cozmic Café on Dec. 30.

Talking to a sympathetic crowd, Schuff detailed his experiences working with refugees on the Greek island of Lesbos as he asked for compassion toward those who have been displaced by wars in the Middle East.

Man pleads guilty to lewd acts

Phillip Scot Sutton, 47, of Placerville, accused of molesting a minor younger than 14 has pleaded guilty to multiple charges and will appear in court in February for open plea and sentencing. Sutton was arrested on suspicion of molestation in July, one day after the victim reported the incident to the Placerville Police Department. “Sutton has […]

Frentzen ready for re-election

Shiva Frentzen has announced her intention to run for re-election as El Dorado County District 2 supervisor, according to a prepared statement received by the Mountain Democrat. The next local election takes place Tuesday, June 7,  and coincides with the general election and the presidential primaries. Frentzen won the District 2 seat in a special […]

PPD welcomes new commander, officers

The Placerville Police Department held a ceremonial swearing in on Tuesday, welcoming three new police officers and Commander Joseph Wren. Commander Wren, formerly working with the Ceres Police Department, started his career in 1996 as a field training officer at the Sutter Creek Police Department in Amador County. He has served numerous special assignments, including SWAT, […]

Skiers flock to Sierra slopes

Dec. 30 was a day of snow, sunshine and lots and lots of skiers at the Sierra at Tahoe Ski Resort. Packed to the gills, the resort was in full swing as young and old took to the hills on near perfect snow in between lounging on the plaza with a beer and a slice of pizza. Thea Hardy, who handles […]

Business workshops scheduled this month

A series of free business planning workshops for eligible businesses with five or fewer employees (including business owners) will begin in El Dorado County starting the week of Jan. 21. “El Dorado County is committed to assisting local business. The learning tools offered through these workshops can be tremendously valuable to any new or existing business,” according […]

Man dies in rainy day wreck

An El Dorado Hills man was killed Wednesday after his vehicle collided with a traffic light pole, according to California Highway Patrol officials.

At about 11:18 a.m. on Jan. 6 James Riley, 68, was driving his maroon 1969 El Camino westbound on White Rock Road when the vehicle, for unknown reasons, drifted to the northwest side of the road and smashed into a traffic light pole head-on at the intersection of White Rock Road and Stonebriar Drive.

A new life for a mastiff named Moomkin

Picture 150 huge dogs piled in the back of a truck headed for a slaughterhouse in Beijing — the dogs are the meat. Protestors, headed by Camilla Larsson, a Swedish national, throw themselves in front of the truck, refusing to move until the dogs are unloaded and taken in by local rescue groups. Each year, millions of […]

City mulls bridge’s fate

Placerville City Engineer Rebecca Neves cringes whenever she spies a woman pushing her baby in a stroller across Clay Street, in the crosswalk that flanks Main. She fears the mother and child may be struck by a vehicle at the dangerous intersection. “I’m a mother too,” Neves told a crowd of about 60 at a […]

New Year’s chase ends in arrest

A 100 mph vehicle pursuit ended in Cameron Park with an arrest Friday. On Jan. 1 at around 9:20 a.m. the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department contacted the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department about a high-speed chase a Sacramento County was involved in, heading east on Highway 50 by El Dorado Hills. The suspect was described as a white adult […]

Heard over the back fence: Take control

YOUR MIND DETERMINES YOUR FUTURE: At 1 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 26 at the El Dorado Hills Community Center Mountain Democrat columnist Bob Billingsley will be guest speaker. His encouraging remarks suggest the mind, not the body, determines age. Do you have an optimistic or a doomsday attitude about the aging process. It’s possible, but not easy to […]

Heard over the back fence: Poetry Sunday

POETRY READING: Live poetry comes to the Nello Olivo Tasting Room, located at 643 Bee St., Placerville, on Jan. 17 from 2-4 p.m. This is a free event (not including wine). Monthly poetry Sunday Live is presented every third Sunday by Nello Olivo Wines with production help from Lara Gularte. At this month’s open mic, poets are […]

Burglary suspect grabbed in Hawaii

The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office announced that the previously unidentified suspect in two burglaries in Cool and Coloma is in custody. Bay Area resident Tyrone Brennen, was arrested on Dec. 31 upon arriving in Honolulu, Hawaii. In a collaborative investigation with numerous agencies, Brennen was linked to eight separate burglaries throughout the state including incidents […]

Manansala selected as new superintendent

The El Dorado County Board of Education played 20 questions Monday and answered the biggest question — who will be the new superintendent of schools? — with Ed Manansala, Ed.D, the county’s current deputy superintendent for Educational Services.

One of four candidates interviewed for the job of superintendent, after a day of interviewing Manansala ended up ranked No. 1 by all trustees.

Brutal sheep killing reported

What appears to be a ritualistic animal killing El Dorado County was reported on New Year’s Day after Claudia Bolton, an avid horse rider and animal lover in Placerville, found a mutilated, dead sheep on her property. “We discovered one of our sheep had been murdered by someone cutting its body open from the chest down. We also discovered that only […]

Heavenly chairlift closed following incident

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — Officials at Heavenly Mountain Resort have closed one of the ski area’s chairlifts indefinitely following an incident Sunday morning, Jan. 3. A U.S. Forest Service representative who oversees the ski area’s special use permit said a second lift was also shut down as a precautionary measure. According to a press release […]

Grass vandalism burns park officials

Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park’s well-manicured grounds were found littered with tire tracks last week thanks to at least one discourteous driver who used the grass as a driving track. The vandalism inspired harsh words from state park maintenance crew member Billy Freeman, who posted on Facebook, “I’m asking for your help today. Apparently […]

Heart attack victim meets ‘guardian angels’

For some time now, 17-year-old Hannah Fiterre of Diamond Springs has known she wants a medical career “that has something to do with the heart.” Hannah proved she really means it Nov. 6, when she saved a man’s life at Union Mine High School by administering emergency medical techniques that proved nearly miraculous, according to […]

Heard over the back fence: Learn about Technology

iPAD KNOW HOW: Join AT&T and Friends of Seniors for the Technology Training Workshop Introduction to iPads. Intended for beginners, the course teaches the basics of using an iPad. The next class will be conducted at the Cameron Park Library, 2500 Country Club Drive, Wednesday, Jan. 13 from 1:30-3:30 p.m. iPads are provided for a hands-on practice […]

Dave Barry’s 2015 Year in Review

This is the second half of Dave Barry’s column summing up events of 2015. The first half appeared ion the Jan. 1 Mountain Democrat. Speaking of excitement, in … JULY … the New Horizons interplanetary probe, having traveled more than three billion miles over nearly 10 years, finally reaches Pluto and transmits back data proving […]

Capt. Ashworth retires but his impact remains

A prestigious 27-year career in law enforcement came to a close on Dec. 26 for El Dorado County sheriff’s Capt. Bob Ashworth. Ashworth, born and raised in Alabama, started as a military policeman and served in the Army from 1982-85. “I tried the college thing for a little bit and realized I needed to eat, and […]

Board of Supervisors back in business tomorrow

After a three-week holiday hiatus, the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors returns to its regular Tuesday schedule tomorrow, Jan. 5, for its first official meeting of 2016. Traditionally, the board begins its new year with elections for board chairperson, vice chair and second vice chair. District 3 Supervisor Brian Veerkamp held the gavel throughout […]

Close calls spark public safety alert

EL DORADO HILLS — Firefighters responded to two cold-weather related incidents last week, prompting a public safety message from the El Dorado Hills Fire Department. At 7:07 p.m. on Dec. 29 crews responded to a chimney fire call on Monte Verde Drive. “Firefighters arrived to find the house charged with smoke due to the chimney flue […]

Try to keep up with teen Tifany Wong

She seems kind of young to be so accomplished. Tifany Wong was a competitive figure skater, plays on the Oak Ridge girls golf squad, plays piano and has passed the Certificate of Merit Advanced Level 10. She’s been playing at senior residential homes for five years or so and currently studies under Professor Richard Cionco […]

Bicyclists — don’t daydream in 2016 — new laws on the books

If you’re used to dawdling while riding your bicycle on public roadways, heedless of the cars, trucks and other vehicles stacking up behind you — you’re in for a rude awakening come Jan. 1. The New Year brings with it some changes to existing California roadway laws, and the Legislature has decided that bicyclists must […]

Illegal marijuana farms threaten fishers

The relatively rare, forest-dwelling fisher is increasingly becoming the innocent victim of illegal marijuana farms in forested lands in California. According to a recently published study in the journal PLOS One, researchers found that the annual rate of poisoning deaths of fishers (Pekania pennant) rose 233 percent compared to a study in 2012. The toxicants […]

Dave Barry’s 2015 Year in Review

Sometimes we are accused — believe it or not — of being overly negative in our annual Year in Review. Critics say we ignore the many positive events in a given year and focus instead on the stupid, the tragic, the evil, the disgusting, the Kardashians. OK, critics: We have heard you. This year, instead […]

3. Murder in El Dorado Hills

A popular El Dorado Hills restaurant became the scene of a shocking crime when an Oakland man murdered an El Dorado Hills woman there on Jan. 7. Anderson Swift was later sentenced to life in prison without parole for the murder of Khrista Ibarolle and other crimes related to a spree that began with a […]

2. Union Mine drug scandal

The collapse of two JV football players at a Union Mine High School football game in August launched a drug investigation by El Dorado County sheriff’s and District Attorney officials and ended with a student’s arrest. The incident was a wake-up call for parents, school staff and the community. On Aug. 31 El Dorado County sheriff’s deputies arrested a […]

4. StemExpress finds itself in national spotlight

As the presidential election has heated up, and Congressional budget fights raged, it’s significant to remember that Placerville’s biotech firm StemExpress has been in and out of the same national spotlight that has shined on Planned Parenthood for the past six months. Accused by name in the undercover, anti-abortion videos that surfaced last summer, the […]

5. Teen accused of murdering family in Greenwood

Nolan Buchanan, 16, of Benicia was arrested on Oct. 1 in his hometown and charged with murder for allegedly killing his family — his father Adam Buchanan, 38; Adam’s fiancée Molly McAfee, 37; and their son Gavin Buchanan, 8. The arrest came after a Sept. 13 10-acre wildland fire burned the Buchanan family cabin in Greenwood. Three burned bodies […]

Snowpack promising in first survey

The new water year was off to a good start as measurements at Phillips Station on Wednesday showed an average snow depth of 54.7 inches.

Of more importance, though, was its water content, which at 16.3 inches was 136 percent of the long-term average.

Last year at this time the snow depth was less than half that amount and the water content was only 4 inches.

1. Jeremy Meyers resigns after two DUIs

Two DUIs in five months sealed the fate of former El Dorado County Superintendent of Schools Jeremy Meyers. It started when Meyers was booked into the El Dorado County Jail in August for a driving under the influence charge, stemming from a June incident. His blood-alcohol content was reportedly .15 percent at the time of arrest, nearly twice the […]

Mishaps keep Search and Rescue busy

El Dorado County Search and Rescue volunteers were busy in December, most recently rescuing three people trapped in a vehicle in the snowy Iron Mountain area and earlier last month rescuing a stray and lost snowboarder at Heavenly Valley. In the more recent incident, sheriff’s deputies responded Dec. 20 to the Iron Mountain area south […]

2016 declared the Year of Foster Youth in El Dorado County

Both the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors and the Placerville City Council issued and presented proclamations proclaiming 2016 as the Year of Foster Youth. South Lake Tahoe is anticipated to do so as well. After a number of years of planning and preparing by Foster Awareness Network, in collaboration with a group of foster youth service providers […]

Water rate protest letters trickle in

Despite vociferous complaints from ratepayers at the last El Dorado Irrigation District meeting, so far the district has received only a handful of letters protesting rate increases proposed to go into effect this year. According to Jesse Saich, EID’s public information officer, as of Dec. 23 the district received 226 letters protesting the proposed water rate increases; 34 letters protesting the proposed recycled water […]

Heard over the back fence: Be happy

TWICE THE HAPPINESS: “When someone does something good applaud. You will make two people happy.” — Samuel Goldwyn HONOR ROLL STUDENTS: Oregon State University announced the following local students made the honor roll for the fall term with a GPA of 3.5 or better. From Cameron Park: Holly A. Clauson, junior, digital communications arts; Hannah G. […]