Mosquito Bridge replacement project on track for 2020

You could buy a new Mosquito Road Bridge for a mere $32 million, or maybe it will cost $53 million with approach roads and such. El Dorado County Division of Transportation has a number of alternatives for replacing the current bridge that in one incarnation or another has been in place for over 150 years. […]

GDPUD OKs Prop. 218 process for ALT

Faced with the prospect of fines, loss of grant funding and rising construction costs, the Board of Directors for the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District voted to initiate a Prop. 218 process at a special meeting held April 27. The process will be used to fund the retrofit of the Auburn Lake Trails Water Treatment Plant. […]

Give Where You Live campaign raises $86K

El Dorado County residents once again stepped up to the plate, donating $86,000 to 71 county nonprofit organizations in this year’s Give Where You Live campaign. In its second year, the one day fundraiser held on April 23 was coordinated jointly by the El Dorado Community Foundation and the El Dorado Office of Education. The 71 nonprofits […]

King Fire: Watershed focus of Rubicon tour

An arsonist may be to blame for the scar the King Fire left behind, but the government also played an important role in the fuels that allowed the fire to become the catastrophic event that it was.

Driving into the Rubicon Watershed area, an area that used to harbor 1,000-year-old forest growth, is a devastating experience for those who never knew its beauty before the destruction. It’s especially hard to comprehend for those who have recreated in this area for years.

While 97,000 acres were impacted, the residual effects of the King Fire will be felt for thousands of acres, miles even, throughout the entire state of California. It is difficult to assess the statewide impact of the King Fire, which involves a myriad of agencies, including the U.S. Forest Service …

DMV warns about telephone scams

SACRAMENTO — The California Department of Motor Vehicles reminds customers that it does not call or e-mail asking for personal information and anyone who receives such inquiries should consider them to be a scam. “DMV employees do not call customers to ask for personal or confidential information, such as social security numbers, and anyone who […]

Heard over the back fence: Find a friend

ROOKIE COMPUTER LESSONS: The El Dorado Hills Senior Center, 990 Lassen Lane, is offering, by appointment, free beginning computer lessons for seniors. These three 1-hour lessons are offered to seniors, age 50 and up, who want to learn the basics of computers, including Internet and e-mail. Seniors must have a computer at home to practice skills. […]

BOS renews fire funding ‘patch’ for one year

As approved a year ago, the current El Dorado County Board of Supervisors continued its agreement to supplement five rural fire protection districts in the amount of $815,000. The county gave a similar amount last year to six districts, which at the time, included the Georgetown FPD in addition to the five others. Fallen Leaf […]

Mandatory water restrictions adopted by State Water Board

As expected, on May 5 the State Water Board adopted new regulations to enforce Gov. Jerry Brown’s call for 25 percent conservation. Tuesday’s action followed release of water production figures for March that showed that statewide, the amount of water conserved compared to 2013 was only 3.6 percent for the month. Locally, El Dorado Irrigation District […]

Mailboxes vandalized in Cameron Park

The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office responded to four reports of vandalized mailboxes with possible mail theft on May 5. Deputies responded to the first call at 7:20 a.m. near Tourmaline Way and Spinal Circle in Cameron Park, a press release stated. There, they found the rear doors pried off of a dozen mailboxes. On […]

Outingdale cut off again

Outingdale residents will once again be subject to severe water restrictions this summer as a result of action by the State Water Resources Control Board. According to a press release issued on April 23 by the El Dorado Irrigation District, the State Board notified EID that the existing water supply in the San Joaquin River watershed […]

Inmate hand crews invaluable

Cal Fire Capt. Paul Gaines waved his hand in a zig-zag pattern, following a dirt trail up the side of a hill on Bacchi Ranch in Garden Valley. He was disappointed. The trail, actually a fire break, was supposed to be straight.

Gaines, the division supervisor of the Growlersburg inmate camp in Georgetown, spoke over the sound of chainsaws as Crew 2 continued the line on May 6 as part of a multi-day, statewide training and certification exercise. All 4,300 inmates in 196 crews must pass the tests and be certified to work for Cal Fire.

Undersheriff talks budget, culture shift

El Dorado County Undersheriff Randy Peshon fielded questions from the county Taxpayer’s Association on March 23, mostly related to the budget and the shifts in the training and culture of the department. In the two months since being promoted — following former Undersheriff Rich Williams retiring in the wake of his wife retiring — Peshon […]

Electronic assessments help support student success

Students throughout El Dorado County have begun the new computerized assessments known as Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium exams. The assessments are new, computer-based tests that measure student knowledge of California’s English language arts and mathematics standards. These assessments replace the former paper-based, multiple-choice assessments for students in grades 3-8 and 11. Educators — from K-12 […]

Heard over the back fence: Listen to your cow

ELECTRONIC WASTE DROP-OFF: 
A free electronic waste drop-off is scheduled for Saturday, May 9 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Raley’s parking lot, Placerville Drive in Placerville. Pre-collection drop-off may be available. Call Cathy Clarke-Amos 530-748-5917. The following items will be accepted: monitors, televisions, desktop and notebook PCs, VCRs, stereo equipment, CDs, speakers, keyboards, mice, PDAs, digital […]

Shooter sentenced to five years

By Isaac Brambila The defendant in a case from a shooting last year was sentenced to five years in state prison after an El Dorado County Judge denied a motion to withdraw his plea. Angelo Fitzgerald Anderson, who was 22 at the time of the incident, was sentenced to two years for assault with a […]

Eldorado National Forest preparing for busy season

Forest personnel are busy hiring and training new summer employees. Each year, the Eldorado National Forest employs over 100 summer employees — primarily on fire engines, fire hand crews, helitack and lookouts, as well as in recreation, wilderness, trails and natural resources. This year, the Eldorado is bringing in additional personnel and contractors to help […]

Shotgun assault: Miwok chairman’s daughter arrested

El Dorado County Sheriff’s deputies arrested two people — including Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians Chairman Nicholas Fonseca’s daughter — on April 4 on Miwok land in connection to an alleged assault with a deadly weapon and a marijuana grow. Deputies responded to the 5100 block of Little Brush Ridge Road in Shingle Springs […]

‘Sufficient evidence’ to arraign murder suspect Swift

After a preliminary hearing lasting the entire morning of May 5, Judge James R. Wagoner concluded there was sufficient evidence to arraign murder suspect Anderson Swift.

Deputy Seth Culver, lead crime scene investigator on the alleged murder of Khrista Ibarolle, 31, on Jan. 7, described the different scenes. He was called to the parking lot in front of 36 Handles on White Rock Road in El Dorado Hills just after midnight. Spent shell casings and the body of Ibarolle were at that scene.

On Highway 50 near Latrobe Road, about a half-mile away, a Honda coupe with significant damage was the second scene.

The final scene in El Dorado County was a house on …

Forest Service project aims to eliminate invasive plants at Lake Tahoe

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — The U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit will continue a project to eradicate, control and contain known infestations of invasive plants in the Lake Tahoe Basin using chemical treatment.  Work will occur at approximately 70 infestation sites beginning May 15 and continuing through September 2015. Current project areas include […]

Conviction for ’97 sex crimes

A man was convicted on April 30 of multiple counts of sexual misconduct dating from 1997. Benjamin Jerry Burmley, 72, was convicted on three counts of lewd acts with minors with allegations of substantial sexual conduct for each count, according to prosecutor Jamie Verwayen. There were also multiple victim enhancements for each count. He was […]

Heroin found during G’town arrest

Heroin and other drugs were found during a warrant arrest in Georgetown on May 3. Deputies served a felony arrest warrant in the 5000 block of Reservoir Road at about 9:10 a.m., an El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office press release stated. The subject was Lainey Porter, 28, believed to be a flight risk if contacted. […]

Cal Fire warns of upcoming fire season

Kicking off Wildfire Awareness Week, a joint conference headed by Cal Fire and the U.S. Forest Service promoted fire safety and how wild land fires will be fought in light of the drought. After a brief welcome by USFS Eldorado National Forest Supervisor Laurence Crabtree, Cal Fire Amador-El Dorado Unit Chief Mike Kaslin took the […]

Cameron Park man named IT chief for state corrections

Russell Nichols, a resident of Cameron Park, was recently appointed director of the division of enterprise information services at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation by Gov. Jerry Brown. Nichols, 47, has been acting director of the division since 2015 and has been with CDCR for five years, working primarily on the department’s Strategic Offender […]

Roth prelim hearing delayed

The preliminary hearing for a man accused of killing his wife was delayed due to discovery on May 4. Defense attorney Susan Gellman told Judge Kenneth J. Melikian that she had not received necessary documents for a preliminary hearing for her client, Roy Roth, 51, and would be in “much better position on June 8.” […]

Cal Fire encourages wildfire preparedness and prevention during drought

SACRAMENTO — As drought conditions continue to significantly elevate California’s fire danger, Gov. Edmund G. Brown, Jr. has declared May 3-9 as “Wildfire Awareness Week.” During Wildfire Awareness Week, Cal Fire is reminding all Californians of the role they play in preparing for and preventing wildfires. “With a record dry and warm winter Californian’s fire […]

Heard over the back fence: Mother’s Day Breakfast

SPRING CLEANING FUNDRAISER:
 A fundraiser for the Bipolar Insights Education Center is scheduled for Saturday, May 9 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at Raley’s parking lot, Placerville Drive, Placerville. Pre-collection drop off may be available. Call Cathy Clarke-Amos at 530-748-5917. To determine what items are not accepted, call 530-642-0859. Microwaves can be accepted, but a $5 […]

Counterfeit credit card suspects arrested

Five suspects involved in a counterfeit credit card ring were arrested last week, according to a press release from the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office. On April 30, around 1 p.m., deputies responded to Red Hawk Casino for fraudulent use of a credit card. Red Hawk Casino security reported two people inside the casino attempted […]

Making a match: County native donates stem cells

Cross altruism with scientific curiosity and you get Michael Duhain, 19, stem cell donor. Born and raised in El Dorado County where his parents still live, he’s now a second-year student at Montana State University where he’s majoring in cell biology and neuroscience. Already planning to go to medical school and possibly into medical research, in February of […]

Map contest again wows BOS

Former District 5 El Dorado County Supervisor Norma Santiago always ranked it “high on her cha-cha scale” and called the annual event one of the board’s favorite meetings. This year’s Student Map Contest at the April 28 Board of Supervisors meeting was no slouch by comparison. Sponsored by the El Dorado County S.A.G.E. association of surveyors, architects, geologists and engineers, the map contest has grown in popularity over its 21-year history.

More than 700 school kids participated from 31 public, private and charter schools on the county’s western slope, and as it has throughout the history of the contest, Latrobe School dominated with 19 winning ribbons. Edwin Markham Middle School took …

Snow survey cancelled: No snow to measure May 1

A snow survey scheduled for May 1 at Phillips Station was cancelled as there was nothing to measure. The last snow survey of this water year, a press release from the Department of Water Resources deemed it “moot.” “We can’t count on the Sierra snowpack to replenish our water supplies,” said DWR Director Mark Cowin. “Major reservoirs […]

In Dyer straits: Swansboro board votes to fill lake

To fill or not to fill. That is the question, especially during a drought. Such is the position members of the Swansboro Country Property Owners Association find themselves in after their board voted on April 16 to fill Dyer Lake. Used for boating, swimming and catch-and-release fishing, the three-acre lake is down 3 to 4 feet because […]

New details emerge on Hus arrest

New details emerged on the arrest of El Dorado Hills Fire Board Director Doug Hus in an El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office press release. At about 6 p.m. on April 28, deputies were dispatched to a battery in progress in the 3400 block of Tah Nee Way in El Dorado Hills. One man was seriously […]

PHS students learn tough lesson with Every 15 Minutes

As Daniel Brennan was being questioned by CHP Officer Ian Hoey for probable DUI on April 29, Nathan Uhlmeyer sat slumped against Brennan’s silver Toyota Prius — or what was left of it — while firefighters administered aid to Uhlmeyer’s collapsed lung. Both the Prius and Uhlmeyer’s green Toyota Camry were mangled messes, the front ends […]

Heard over the back fence: Painting with oils

PAINTING WITH OILS:
 Beginners and advanced beginners are welcome to the Painting with Oils class. Students will learn about types of canvas and paints to use. Please bring a photo to class. The class will be held at the El Dorado Hills Senior Center, 990 Lassen Lane. Required supply list available upon registration. Only odorless/non […]

Mikulaco blasts budget process

Supervisor Ron Mikulaco expanded on the frustration he had expressed to Chief Administrative Officer Pamela Knorr during the April 28 Board of Supervisors meeting over the county’s budget process. In a phone call with the Mountain Democrat Thursday morning, Mikulaco  reiterated that both he and District 2 Supervisor Shiva Frentzen had voted not to adopt […]

CAO pulls rank on budget preparation

With only two members of the public remaining in the Board of Supervisors chambers a little after 5 p.m., the April 28 board meeting continued unexpectedly. Chief Administrative Officer Pamela Knorr opened her laptop and read a section of the El Dorado County Charter that clearly states that it is the duty of the CAO […]

‘Renegade chicken farmers’ state case in Placerville

Three “renegade chicken farmers” in Placerville spoke up at the April 28 Placerville City Council meeting, hoping to get a city ordinance changed to allow the keeping of egg-laying hens within city limits. David and Sue Cooper started the egg rolling in October when they came to the city with their request to keep their two […]

State Water Board issues final draft regulations

After some minor tweaking, on Tuesday the State Water Board issued a final set of water conservation regulations. The regulations are expected to be adopted at a public hearing next week. Designed to implement Gov. Jerry Brown’s call for a 25 percent cut in water use statewide, the regulations have undergone few changes since the last draft was […]

El Dorado County man in Nepal quake

Bud and Jeannie Earnshaw have been glued to CNN since April 25, the day of the 7.8 earthquake in Nepal. Their son, Chris Earnshaw, 42, was hiking his way up to the Mount Everest Base Camp at 17,000 feet when the quake happened.

After a couple of anxious days with no word about Chris or the friend he was climbing Mount Everest with, Bud was contacted by representatives of Bio Bio Expeditions Travel Medicine Trek, with the news that his son was OK and so was his friend, Chris Pereira. The two, although not doctors themselves, were part of a medical expedition studying treatment for …

EDH Fire Board director arrested

El Dorado Hills Fire Board Director Doug Hus was arrested on suspicion of felony battery with serious bodily injury Tuesday night. Hus, 54, reportedly hit a 51-year-old man multiple times in the face during an argument on Mariposa Springs Drive. The victim has not been identified. Hus is currently in the El Dorado County Jail. […]

Rabid skunk identified in Pleasant Valley area

El Dorado County Animal Services is reporting that a rabid skunk was found in the Pleasant Valley area on Pleasant Valley Road, near Grindstone Road and White Rose Lane. An Animal Services officer was called to the scene around noon on April 24 after a member of the public observed the skunk showing signs of […]

Parker Development, CSD agree on new sports park in EDH

The Area Planning Advisory Committee will vote on whether to approve or deny plans for a public 11.5-acre sports park in Village J5 at its next meeting May 13. This should be welcome news to El Dorado Hills recreational sports enthusiasts who have pleaded for more fields as the population has grown. An agreement with […]

Concord man sentenced to 5 years for DUI

A man was sentenced on April 27 to five years in prison after being found guilty of driving under the influence and driving with a suspended license. Judge Kenneth Melikian sentenced Michael Charles Ramirez, 45, of Concord, after a jury found him guilty of DUI and driving on a suspended license on Feb. 26, with […]

Abandoned car found off Hwy. 49

An abandoned car was found down an embankment off of Highway 49 in the Sand Ridge Road area April 25. The CHP received a report of a vehicle off the side of SR-49 at about 10:06 a.m., CHP Officer Quinn Cuthbertson said. As there were no occupants in the silver 2002 Lexus ES300, the incident […]

BMX rider hits car

A 13-year-old male suffered minor injuries after his bicycle hit a car in Cameron Park on April 23. The teenager was riding his BMX bike at about 2 p.m. eastbound on Greenwood Road when he turned left onto Knollwood Drive, traveling north in the southbound lane, CHP Officer Quinn Cuthbertson told the Mountain Democrat. As […]