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A merry Christmas for the Brown family

Nick Brown has returned home, nearly four months after the Union Mine High School JV football player suffered major head trauma at the Diamondbacks’ home opener on Aug. 28. Brown had been recovering at Sutter Rehabilitation Institute in Roseville since Nov. 10. He was previously receiving treatment at HealthBridge Children’s Hospital in Orange following his stay at […]

‘We don’t need supervisors,’ State of Jefferson Committee declares

Local State of Jefferson representative Mike Thomas addressed the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors during the Tuesday, Dec. 15, meeting. As supervisors adopted a proclamation recognizing the date as Bill of Rights Day in El Dorado County, Thomas announced that “El Dorado County has enough support to join the State of Jefferson.” Citing the […]

Heard over the back fence: Merry Christmas

MERRY CHRISTMAS! Today is the perfect day to hug, kiss or telephone those you love. Monika and I appreciate the great love given to us from friends, relatives, neighbors and the Mountain Democrat readers. We wish you a Christmas filled with great joy and lots of family and friends. Love is always the best present! CHRISTMAS […]

Christmas closures set

Some offices throughout El Dorado County will be closed Christmas Day, Dec. 25, a state and federal holiday. Here’s a look at what local residents may expect: All schools in El Dorado County will be closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The offices of the police and fire departments will be closed. For emergency calls […]

Placerville’s longtime city clerk reflects on career

If the city of Placerville had placed a “personals” ad in the newspaper to find a new city clerk, it would have looked like this: “Desperately seeking someone like Susan.”

Actually, the city has a new city clerk, hired just this month, a clerk who has had the priceless benefit of training under Susan Zito herself for the past few days.

Kelly Witt probably doesn’t fully understand just how valuable Zito’s words will be as she eases into the post Zito filled for the past 26 years. But that’s because few truly have a grasp on how important Zito has been to the city of Placerville.

Latrobe wreck claims one

A Shingle Springs man died following a three-car wreck in Latrobe Sunday morning, according to California Highway Patrol officials. At approximately 10:55 a.m. on Dec. 20 James Kuehn, 58, was driving his 2001 Toyota MR2 northbound on Latrobe Road, just south of Cothrin Ranch Road. As Kuehn approached the peak of an ascending slope, the Toyota […]

Garden Valley fire chief resigns

The Garden Valley Fire Protection District’s Board of Directors accepted Fire Chief William Dekker’s resignation Tuesday morning, four days after the fire chief was arrested. “The board’s unanimous 5-0 vote was made and we accepted his resignation. We moved so quickly on this because there have been some internal and personal issues,” said Garden Valley […]

Prevent holiday illnesses

Holidays bring families and friends together for celebration. Unfortunately, the holidays can also result in transporting illnesses to travelers and loved ones. Don’t let the holidays be dampened by illness. The Public Health Division of the El Dorado County Health and Human Services Agency recommends taking time now to get vaccinated against influenza. Those who […]

EDH Fire getting overdue money; other funding source threatened

The El Dorado Hills Fire Department will receive the promised $513,302 from El Dorado County. Last Tuesday the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors made a “finding of public benefit” and directed county Auditor-Controller Joe Harn to transfer the funds, which are a portion of property taxes collected over the last two years  — the time frame […]

Drunk and drugged driving ruins the holidays

If you’re enjoying the holidays with a drink, the El Dorado District Attorney’s Office has a message for you: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. Due to the increase in drunk driving related fatalities around the holidays each year, law enforcement agencies across America will be actively searching for and arresting drunk drivers. As part of the national Drive […]

Rain, snow and travel woes

Stormy weather stranded drivers for several hours at Meyers Grade and Echo Summit on Highway 50 and caused a host of other travel and nature-related problems Minor flooding and rock/ice/mudslides were reported, according to information provided by the California Highway Patrol. A Flash Flood Watch was in effect through Tuesday afternoon in the King Fire area. El Dorado County Sheriff’s […]

Stanton new CPCSD president

The end of the year board meeting of the Cameron Park Community Services District came with few surprises. New officers were elected on Dec. 16 with Greg Stanton taking over as president and Margaret Mohr as vice president. Board members also received an update on the redesign of the district’s website. The company designing the […]

Heard over the back fence: Senior Help Numbers

 The Placerville Library needs volunteers to help stack and sell used books on the first Saturday of each month. If interested in volunteering, call Barbara Parmenter at (530) 621-2439. SENIOR HELP NUMBERS:
 The following area code 530 information numbers are helpful: -
Information & Assistance, 621-6369 -
Legal Assistance, 621-6154 -Long Term Care Ombudsman, […]

Planning update officially done … for now

El Dorado County supervisors adopted most of the project known as the Targeted General Plan Amendment and Zoning Ordinance Update on Dec. 15. Prepared with help and support from the Community Economic Development Advisory Committee, chambers of commerce, business and agriculture interests, and despite robust opposition from a number of organizations and individuals, the action […]

Brown makes bail

The man accused in the accidental fatal shooting of Joslynn Ledezma Sovenski at a September party has made his $100,000 bail and was recently released from the Sacramento County Jail. Kenyatta Brown, 22, is charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with 18-year-old Sovenski’s death. According to Sacramento County sheriff’s officials, the El Dorado Hills teen was shot […]

GDPUD board wraps up the year but not water rate discussions

The Georgetown Divide Public Utility District’s Board of Directors closed out 2015 with another discussion about water rate increases at is December meeting. General Manager Wendell Wall said the district plans to contract out a cost of service study next summer. The study could be partially funded by a grant from the El Dorado County Water Agency, Wall […]

Garden Valley fire chief arrested

Garden Valley Fire Chief William Dekker was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence Friday afternoon. El Dorado County sheriff’s deputies made contact with Dekker, 60, on Hoboken Creek Road in Greenwood at 1:49 p.m., according to sheriff’s reports. His arrest comes four years after the Garden Valley Fire Protection District Board of Directors paid $3,400 for […]

EDH man gets prison time for embezzlement

Jeffrey Lamson, 51, of El Dorado Hills, was sentenced on Dec. 15 to two years and six months in prison for wire fraud in connection with a plot to misappropriate money from his former employer, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. Lamson plead guilty to wire fraud in August. Lamson was sentenced by United […]

Second chance likely for Oak Ridge principal

Oak Ridge High School students, parents and staff packed the El Dorado Union High School District boardroom in Placerville last Thursday afternoon to continue a campaign to save Principal Paul Burke’s job.

During the public comment period parents and head football coach Eric Cavaliere spoke about the positive things Burke adds to the El Dorado Hills high school. After the speakers the El Dorado Union High School District Superintendent Stephen Wehr and the Board of Trustees went into a three-hour closed session.

When they came back president David Del Rio said, “The board gives direction to the superintendent to make use of outside resources to identify issues and solutions at Oak Ridge High School.”

Shoppers have a ball

Before the sun came up Saturday the El Dorado Hills Target was filled with the sounds of laughter and chatter as shoppers filled their carts. This wasn’t a doorbuster Christmas sale. It was this year’s Big Brothers Big Sisters of El Dorado County Snowball shopping event benefitting 150 local children, who, thanks to generous donors […]

EID pay hikes spark debate

Proposed pay increases for the El Dorado Irrigation District’s top two administrators inspired raucous debate at the Dec. 14 board meeting, after which directors approved the salary boosts on a split vote. Up for approval was a 5 percent merit increase and a 5 percent market/equity increase for General Manager Jim Abercrombie, which puts his new annual salary at $196,931. In addition, Abercrombie will receive approximately $24,736 […]

StemExpress threatened

A Washington man was arrested Dec. 8 and charged in a federal court after he reportedly threatened local StemExpress employees. Scott Anthony Orton, 57, a self-proclaimed “word smith,” allegedly posted on Fox Nation, “The management of StemExpress should be taken by force and killed in the streets today.” “I’m taking care of (victim’s name) myself; I am going […]

Inmates build Christmas wishes

As you drive up to the intimidating 1,200-acre Folsom Prison facility, you can’t help think of the late Johnny Cash and the famous live album The Man in Black recorded there on Jan. 13, 1968. Fast-forward to Tuesday, when Folsom Prison transformed from a legendary concert venue to a place where Christmas wishes came true.

My focus shifted to the shiny kids’ bikes — 160 in total— all rebuilt and refurbished by inmates for local children who would otherwise go without this childhood staple.

Folsom State Prison Community Resources Manager Timothy Polasik said this year-round operation really makes a difference — for the kids and the inmates.

Tribe’s project under review

Environmental review continues for a proposed gas station on the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians’ property south of Highway 50, with the possibility construction could start next spring. Tamara Murray-Guerrero, chairperson of the tribe’s Business Development Corporation Board of Directors, confirmed the tribe is moving forward with plans to develop the land at the intersection of Shingle Springs […]

County counsel takes top job for Sacramento County

El Dorado County Counsel Robyn Drivon has resigned the position she has held since last fall. The Board of Supervisors officially and unanimously accepted her letter of resignation at 5 p.m. during a closed session following this week’s regular Tuesday board meeting. The action takes effect Jan. 8. One minute later, supervisors voted unanimously to […]

Recycling kiosk brings up homeless debate

A request for a conditional use permit to install a recycling kiosk on property occupied by Creek View Mini Mart on Broadway in Placerville turned into a debate over the homeless problem, with nearby neighbors telling the city’s Planning Commission they have had enough. “We live literally just past the liquor store (Creek View mart),” […]

Heard over the back fence: Bunco and Soup

 The El Dorado Western Railroad train rides are scheduled for Sundays from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Last ride is by 2:30 p.m. Call (530) 409-8473 to confirm departure times. The Dec. 27 ride will be at the Shingle Springs Depot, 4241 Mother Lode Drive. A $7 donation for ages 9 and up is […]

Fundraiser to help Sierra Nevada House

The Random Strangers, once billed as the New Year’s Eve headliner at the Sierra Nevada House, will host a fundraiser for employees now out of work and for the business that burned earlier this week. The fundraiser will be held at the Gold Trail Grange, 319 Highway 49 in Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park in Coloma, from 9 […]

Heard over the back fence: Deal the Cards

Play bridge Mondays and Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. in the social room of the Cameron Park Community Center at 2502 Country Club Drive. For more information call (530) 677-2231 or visit cameronpark.org. TENNIS PLAYERS UNITE:
 Recently 32 tennis players united for a holiday Toys for Tots tournament organized by Bill […]

Flames destroy Sierra Nevada House

COLOMA — The Sierra Nevada House caught fire Monday afternoon with flames destroying much of the historical landmark.

This is the third time the building, which served as a way station for miners and tradesmen during the Gold Rush, has burned, according to owners Keith Merson and Kristi Warren. Fire destroyed the original building in 1902 and the Sierra Nevada House burned again in 1925, the popular restaurant and bar’s website states.

Mik responds to recall notice

District 1 Supervisor Ron Mikulaco responded to the Notice of Intention to Circulate Recall Petition he was served with Nov. 17. A group calling themselves El Dorado County Total Recall announced its efforts to do a “clean sweep” of all five supervisors via recall earlier this fall. The primary complaint filed by recall proponents states, “The voters […]

Suspected murderer’s arraignment continued

The man accused of killing his brother and mother on Nov. 11 appeared in court Monday morning. Milo Wallace, 49, faces two counts of murder for allegedly killing both his mother Sandra Wallace, 71, and brother Matthew Wallace, 38, on the family’s Rocky Ridge Road property southeast of Placerville. Authorities found Sandra Wallace and Matthew Wallace dead, one […]

Roundabout idea dead: Now what?

Roundabout. What will the city of Placerville do without a roundabout at the intersection of Cedar Ravine, Clay and Main streets? Let city officials know what you would like to see happen at the intersection by attending a special community meeting Jan. 6 at Town Hall, 550 Main St. in Placerville. Now that the roundabout […]

El Niño disaster plan gets a workout

Anticipating heavy rainfall this year, an exercise to test a disaster plan related to El Niño was held Dec. 9 by the FEMA Region 9 office in Oakland. During the exercise, a task force made up of experts from the FEMA Region 9 office, as well as other federal, state, local, tribal and community partners, was asked to evaluate the core […]

Heard over the back fence: Enjoy the Movie

Placerville Fellowship and Newcomers Club welcomes the public to its December Christmas Affair with singing, fine food and good cheer on Thursday, Dec. 17 at 11 a.m. at Cold Springs Golf and Country Club, 6500 Country Club Drive, Placerville. If interested in joining in the fun, please call for reservation […]

Food Bank helping families provide a holiday feast

The holiday season is here. It’s a joyous time of the year that most people look forward to but it can be a time of sadness and depression for some of our neighbors who struggle to make ends meet. Many local residents are asking themselves right now, “How am I going to provide a holiday meal, gifts […]

Acuna back on council

Former Placerville City Council member and mayor Mark Acuna has been selected to fill out the council term left vacant when Carol Patton moved outside city limits in October. Acuna was sworn in Dec. 8 with the next election for his seat in November 2016. Acuna, 59, said he looks forward to returning to the […]

Supes ponder fees, road work

Traffic Impact Mitigation fees and the county’s Capital Improvement Program took center stage during last week’s special El Dorado County Board of Supervisors meeting. Staff from the Long Range Planning Division of the Community Development Agency, bolstered by an array of consultants, laid out a comprehensive update of this “highest priority project.” The project is part of a […]

Democrat publisher handed the gavel

Reflecting on the astonishing changes in the world over the past couple of centuries, including the changing face of the communication industry from word-of-mouth to newspapers to today’s social media that delivers information in a flash, Mountain Democrat Publisher Richard Esposito was sworn in last week as president of the El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce.

Car wreck kills one in Camino

A Pollock Pines man died after his vehicle hit a tree early Friday morning, according to the California Highway Patrol. On Dec. 11 at approximately 5:15 a.m., Logan Terpening, 28, was driving his white Honda Civic westbound on Highway 50 near 8 Mile Road when, for unknown reasons, he lost control and his vehicle veered off the right shoulder […]

Placerville takes first in National Night Out

Placerville ranked first for California and third in the United States for this summer’s National Night Out event in the cities less than 15,000 population category, the Placerville Police Department announced. The city hosted 20 city-wide parties with approximately 3,000 people in attendance during National Night Out on Aug. 4 In September a scrapbook of the event, which included a […]

Community backs Burke

Hundreds of supporters attended the El Dorado Union High School District’s monthly board meeting Tuesday night to show solidarity for Oak Ridge Principal Paul Burke, who has been on paid leave since Nov. 2 for undisclosed personnel reasons. Many spoke on behalf of Burke in hopes of seeing him back on the job. No decisions […]

Cahill gets new contract

The contract for Cameron Park Community Services District General Manager Mary Cahill has been renewed for another year. Her new salary will be $95,666 effective Oct. 1, an increase of $3,866 over her previous salary. In April 2016 her performance will be evaluated, at which time she could be eligible for another 3 percent merit increase. Included in […]

City Council gives fond farewell to clerk, recognizes longtime employees

It’s not every Placerville City Council meeting where the mayor gets visibly choked with emotion. But then it’s not every council meeting where a woman who has served the city for more than 26 years says good-bye. Mayor Patty Borelli wasn’t the only one with tears threatening Tuesday evening as longtime City Clerk Susan Zito […]

Rasmussen’s gift keeps giving

Darol Rasmussen died five years ago but the gift he left behind continues to change El Dorado County residents’ lives.

The retired dentist, rancher, humanitarian and Rotarian from Cameron Park was a generous donor of time and money his entire life. For years Rasmussen, along with others, provided funding for the Rotary Club of Cameron Parks’ many college scholarship programs and in 2008 he started a new fund just for those pursuing a vocational career.

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