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New video targets StemExpress

A small movement is building in El Dorado County to shut down StemExpress after a series of videos were released alleging that Planned Parenthood was illegally selling fetal body parts and tissues to the Placerville biomedical company. Mark E. Smith from Garden Valley demanded that the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors “revoke the firm’s business license” during […]

Search effort expands for missing rider

The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue teams and volunteers continue looking for 45-year-old Edward Cavanaugh, who was last seen on July 17 riding his motorcycle in the Rock Creek trail system near Georgetown. To assist in their efforts, the California National Guard launched a remote piloted aircraft — the MQ-9 Reaper, from March […]

Living Water projects purify the soul

It’s a long way between the multi-million dollar homes of El Dorado Hills and the rural villages of South America.

Helping bridge that gap are volunteers whose mission is to make a difference, one well and one water pump at a time. Operating under a faith-based organization called Living Water International in Houston, Texas, they travel to developing countries all over the world and put in wells and pumps.

The need is acute, with one-eighth of the world’s population not having access to safe water, according to Living Water. Millions suffer illness or die from water related diseases. Many people who have no running water must spend a quarter of their time collecting water for everyday use.

Shooting suspect behind bars

Placerville resident David Stetler was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon after the suspect allegedly shot a 46-year-old man in Mosquito on July 27. Stetler, 35, reportedly called dispatch to report the shooting on the 2900 block of La Paz Road just before 8 p.m., according to an El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department press release. He […]

Bear trouble ‘bruin’ in Pollock neighborhood?

POLLOCK PINES — Neighbors who live around Hazel Street and Granite Trail in Gold Ridge Forest have been scratching their heads lately, wondering who or what has decided to make their garbage cans go bump in the night. Paul Martini decided to find out what was causing his infrared alarm to beep at ungodly hours and […]

Possible ‘peeping’ victims sought

El Dorado County sheriff’s detectives are looking for female victims who were allegedly secretly recorded by “peeping Tom” suspect Andrew Lee. Officials arrested the 49-year-old El Dorado Hills resident on July 14. “After the arrest, a search warrant was executed on Lee’s home and his business,” states a Sheriff’s Department press release. “El Dorado County […]

EID approves water sale

In a unanimous vote, the El Dorado Irrigation District Board of Directors voted 5-0 at its July 27 meeting to sell 3,100 acre-feet of water to the Westlands Water District. The sale is not final until approved by a number of water agencies, according to Gayle Holman, public affairs representative for Westlands Water District. Once approved, it’s […]

Rider still missing

The search for Bay Area teacher Edward Cavanaugh continues in El Dorado County’s Rock Creek area. The 46-year-old man, who has a medical condition, was last seen on July 17 while riding his blue Yamaha YZ 250 in the Rock Creek trail system, according to an El Dorado County sheriff’s press release. He was last seen wearing Fox […]

Fire torches home but not family’s spirit

The first celebration in the Forrest family’s new home ended with horrific results when a fire destroyed everything in the early morning hours of July 5.

A mother, father and their children literally escaped with the clothes on their backs, yet everyone feels lucky to be alive and grateful for the El Dorado Hills community’s support.

Heartbroken couple wants antiques returned

DIAMOND SPRINGS — On July 16 Keith and Beverly Dockter lost a lifetime of memories after burglars targeted their Zandonella Road home. Possibly using a crowbar to break in through the front door, the thieves made their way through the home and loaded up irreplaceable antiques. Among the items stolen — two German antique candles holders given to the Dockters by foreign exchange students […]

Kyburz Fire whips through the woods

WHITEHALL — The Kyburz Fire threatened residents, campers and drivers as flames tore through the wooded landscape on both sides of Highway 50.

The wildfire broke out at about 2 p.m. Thursday with fire crews on the ground and in the air, including the recently featured Super Scooper based out of Lake Tahoe, quickly taking action.

Seventy-five residences/vacation homes were evacuated along with 15 camp sites from the Sand Flat Campground, according to an El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department press release. The Pollock Pines Community Center served as an evacuation center for those displaced. By Friday all mandatory evacuations had been lifted but some voluntary evacuations were still in place. The Sand Flat campground remained closed as of Sunday.

Jury duty scam makes the rounds

El Dorado County sheriff’s officials warn that scammers posing as local law enforcement have attempted to collect cash on false pretenses from several El Dorado County residents. It appears the con artists are not local to the area and use internet based phones, allowing them to select local area codes, according to an El Dorado Sheriff’s […]

County updating General Plan’s biological policies

Public hearings will be set El Dorado County’s 2006 Oak Woodlands Management Plan, newly re-christened as the Oak Resources Management Plan, is once again getting a makeover. Developed by the Long Range Planning Division of the Community Development Agency, the biological policy update project’s new resolution of intention was presented by Principal Planner Shawna Purvines at the […]

Bombardier a flying firefighter

Although it would be quite a treat to see the U.S. Forest Service’s giant CL 415 “Super Scooper” flying through the skies over Placerville, the sight would be a mixed blessing — it would mean there’s a wildfire nearby.

But it would also mean that the chances of containing the blaze quickly would be greatly increased, as the CL 415 Bombardier is a champion warrior assigned to the front lines of battle.

The USFS Tuesday proudly showed off its latest weapon in its firefighting arsenal, a huge CL 415 Aeroflite 260 Bombardier that will be stationed at the Lake Tahoe Airport for the next seven months as fire season hits critical mass. The aircraft, affectionately known as the Super Scooper, is the only such plane currently flying in the United States — and Tahoe forestry officials are thrilled to have it here for the season.

Holy Trinity to host its first ordination

“I feel called to be a witness to Christ’s love in the African world,” Deacon Paul Reilly says of his decision to be ordained a Catholic priest this Saturday at Holy Trinity parish in El Dorado Hills. The ordination will mark the first time in Holy Trinity’s 23-year history the sacrament of Holy Orders has […]

StemExpress responds to backlash

Between last week’s and this week’s “video revelations” about the sale of aborted fetal body parts by Planned Parenthood, Placerville’s StemExpress founder and CEO Cate Dyer forwarded her company’s prepared statement on the issue to the Mountain Democrat. Dyer prefaced the statement by noting that, “StemExpress has never worked with Deborah Nucatola or the Planned […]

Do you recognize these suspects?

The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office asks the public for help identifying two male suspects who allegedly attempted a commercial burglary of the Sutter Center Market on Highway 49in Coloma during the morning hours of June 10. If you have any information regarding the attempted burglary, contact Det. John Robertson at (530) 642-4722.

Bringing criminals to justice

Investigators who have the daunting task of trying to find closure to seemingly unsolvable, horrible crimes — cold case homicides — dig deep to find any shred of evidence to serve justice.

Justice — that’s just what the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office seeks as its investigators try to solve more than 60 cold case homicides.

“The loss of a family member to a violent crime is likely the most traumatic thing a human can go through in their lifetime, making it worse when the perpetrator is not held accountable for their actions,” said District Attorney Vern Pierson.

Hungry beetles kill Cal Fire trees

CAMINO — The Amador-El Dorado Unit Offices of Cal Fire recently removed two trees killed by the western pine bark beetle on its property and warn that more of El Dorado County’s drought-suffering trees could fall victim. A bark beetle is a small (about one-fourth of an inch) beetle that bores into the protective outer layer of a tree […]

Property owners getting a say on GDPUD plan

Amid a flurry of questions about how votes will be counted, the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District Board of Directors at its July 14 meeting approved a Proposition 218 process to fund the Auburn Lake Trails Water Treatment Plant retrofit. Prop. 218, approved by California voters in 1996, requires voter approval prior to imposition or increase […]

GDPUD gets merger request

Worried about being left high and dry, Quintette Service Corporation board members made a consolidation pitch to the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District Board of Directors at its July 14 meeting. A small community located 12 miles east of Georgetown, Quintette is a mix of part-time and full-time residents served by a mutual water company that was founded in […]

Vets invited to Auburn

Military veterans in and around the Yuba/Sutter and Gold Country areas are invited to a special service session at Richard H. Townsend American Legion Post 84 at the Auburn Memorial Hall, 100 E. St. National and state teams from The American Legion will be in town to discuss veteran’s benefits and service to the community. Membership and veteran information […]

Local searchers help in Shasta County case

El Dorado County Search and Rescue volunteers recently assisted in the search for 6-month-old Ember Skye Graham in Redding. On July 10 El Dorado County Office of Emergency Services was contacted by Cal OES to assists in the search for the missing baby, whose father was shot and killed by officers on July 13. Matthew Graham, 23, was […]

City Council backs school district bond

More than half the students in the Placerville Union School District qualify for free or reduced-cost meals. Fully one-third of them go home to a household where no computer access exists. Those sobering statistics delivered Tuesday evening to the Placerville City Council helped to convince the four members present to vote unanimously to endorse bond Measure […]

Jeepers Jamboree: Generations keep tradition alive

Rock music blared as cases of soda, water and beer were placed on ice. High Hill Ranch in Camino was abuzz with activity on June 28 as Jeepers Jamboree set up for the Jeepers Jamboree Volunteer Appreciation Picnic.

Three generations of Jeepers and off-road enthusiasts have carried the Jeepers Jamboree — the first, biggest and the toughest of U.S. off-road events — into the new millennium and a fourth generation is already learning the ropes. The current seven directors all have long-time ties with Jeepers, either as family members of the founding directors or as participants, or both.

“All of our Board of Directors were Rock Rollers, mechanics and work party crew for years before becoming directors,” said Mike Gerondakis, 61, who has been a Jeepers board member for three years and a participant in the jamboree since 1979. He is in charge of the work party crews who set up the camp for participants.

Fire burns 100 acres near Coloma

COLOMA — A vegetation fire broke out near Highway 49 north of Marshall Grade, prompting the road’s closure Thursday afternoon. The Adventure Fire scorched 100 acres in the community north of Placerville. It was declared 100 percent contained on Friday, July 17, after firefighters worked through the night, according to the Cal Fire incident page. Crews used […]

16 county employees retire early

The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors approved a proposal that allows 16 employees to take an “early separation incentive” to leave county service earlier than they might have otherwise. The early separation program, similar to those in other jurisdictions, was devised by the Chief Administrative Office, Risk Management Division, and County Counsel as a […]

More golden days lie ahead

With an eye on reminding the world of El Dorado County’s prominent place in Gold Rush history, organizers of next year’s World Gold Panning Championship in Placerville will head to Spain next month …

EDH Taz celebrates 50 years

For 50 years El Dorado Hills youth have competed on the Taz swim team. What began as an immigrant’s dream with only 20 swimmers on its roster is a powerhouse today, boasting nearly 500 swimmers strong. Any local kid from any generation will say the same thing: The friendships and memories made kept them coming […]

Man suspected of peeping

EL DORADO HILLS — El Dorado County sheriff’s deputies arrested 49-year-old Andrew Lee on suspicion of annoying children and peeping following an investigation, according to an El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department press release. Lee was taken into custody on Tuesday, July 14, at around 11:40 a.m. at a residence in the 800 block of Royal Troon Drive in El […]

Sheriff’s warning: Watch out for shoulder surfers

Suspected “shoulder surfers” were spotted lurking near the Bank of America on Missouri Flat Road earlier this month, according to an El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department press release. At around 12:45 p.m. on July 6 deputies responded to a report that two African-American adults, one man and one woman, were “shoulder surfing” ATM customers. “Shoulder […]

StemExpress takes heat from video

Local biotech firm StemExpress based in Placerville is at the center of a firestorm since the release of allegations that it and similar research companies have been buying aborted fetal body parts from Planned Parenthood affiliates. The charges were publicized by an undercover video allegedly showing a luncheon conversation between Planned Parenthood Head of Medical […]

Children removed from suspected drug house

EL DORADO — El Dorado County sheriff’s deputies arrested five people after reportedly finding narcotics and drug paraphernalia in a home where children lived.

Mid-morning on July 5 deputies conducted a probation search at a residence on the 5300 block of Union Mine Road in El Dorado, an El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department press release states. Outside the residence, they met Holly Moore, 47, of Fair Oaks and Benjamin Patterson, 32, and, the release states, it appeared Patterson was in possession of heroin, a hypodermic needle and syringe.

Ponds get a reprieve

Some El Dorado County ponds won’t go dry just yet, the El Dorado Irrigation District Board of Directors decided at its July 13 meeting. As the board has sought to meet state regulations that call for a 28 percent reduction in water use, in May the directors approved revisions to EID’s Drought Action Plan that included suspending potable water […]

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