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Four arrested in gang sweep

The El Dorado Gang Enforcement Detail arrested four men on May 18 during a gang sweep. The EDGE team, made up of members of the county Sheriff’s Office, Probation, District Attorney’s Office and South Lake Tahoe Police Department, went to an apartment off of Schnell School Road in Placerville at about 1 p.m. to serve […]

The final days of Saigon

In 1975, Hollis Henderson was a 28-year-old USMC Warrant Officer stationed with Maine Light Attack Helicopter 367 in Futenma, Okinawa after three tours of Vietnam. He’d been in the Marines for 10 years. USMC Lance Corporal Ken Crouse was a 19-year-old serving as an Embassy Guard in Saigon in his first tour of duty. They were enjoying their duty stations — Henderson as helicopter crew chief and pilot, serving as the Logs and Records Chief and Crouse, living in the six-story Marine House in Saigon, five blocks from the U.S. Embassy, with 41 other 19-to-23-year-old Marines. “We could have taught fraternities some things,” said Crouse.

VA staff recall service, assist vets and widows left behind

Members of the county Veteran’s Affairs office at the Veteran’s Memorial Building in Placerville shared stories of both their time in the service and their time helping other veterans. Bill Schultz, the interim director of the county Veteran’s Affairs Office and county recorder-clerk, retired from the Navy as an Air Traffic Controller chief petty officer. […]

Fatal collision near White Hall

A collision on Highway 50 east of White Hall on May 21 left one man dead and one man with serious injuries. Gary Fitzgerald, 73, of Grass Valley, was driving a silver 2004 Toyota Tacoma westbound on Highway 50 at about 2:25 p.m., a CHP press release stated. Meanwhile, David Calderon, 78, of Milpitas, was […]

Remembering Dennis

Once upon a time, the Mountain Democrat had a war correspondent — 18-year old USMC Pvt. 1st Class Dennis Kramer, from Camino. His articles, sent to the Mountain Democrat from the jungles of Vietnam, detailed his arrival at Camp Pendleton, his assignment to Vietnam, his arrival in Da Nang, his duties with Bravo Company, third […]

Harn talks budget to Taxpayers group

Frustration seemed the order of the day at the May 11 meeting of the El Dorado Taxpayers Association as the discussion swirled around how to resolve the county’s structural budget deficit and related financial problems. There to talk specifically about his budget was El Dorado County Auditor-Controller Joe Harn. Harn began by saying that when the Board of Supervisors told him […]

Written guidelines direct future budget

El Dorado County has a new set of “budget policies” that may be likened to a roadmap leading to the destination of  “We’re not doing it the way we’ve always done it anymore.” The county’s history regarding fiscal policies may be discerned, in effect, by figuratively reading the document from back to front. For example, […]

Supervisors adopt new ‘budget policy’

The book hasn’t been written yet, but a working title could be “Mik and the Giant County Budget.” Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting once again featured District 1’s Ron Mikulaco taking issue with the soon-to-be-unveiled Recommended Budget prepared by Chief Administrative Officer Pamela Knorr. Agenda Item 31 was simply titled, “The Budget Ad-Hoc Committee recommending […]

Retired colonel helps vets get benefits

A retired colonel is using his old rank to help other veterans get the benefits they are entitled to — even if it means directly ordering the vets to get help.

Col. Ed Swanson, 76, of Cool, retired from the Army and National Guard after 20 years of service. He worked briefly at the Pentagon for the Guard, but applied for a four-year tour. He was sent to Camp Zama, Japan, as …

Woman dies in crash

A 19-year-old woman died May 18 after her sedan struck a tree. At about 4:05 a.m., Cassandra Marks, 19, of Placerville, was driving a purple 1998 Ford Contour northbound on Highway 49 south of Crystal Boulevard in El Dorado, CHP Officer Quinn Cuthbertson said. The car left the roadway for an unknown reason, traveling off […]

EDSO deputy arrested in Nev.

An El Dorado County Sheriff’s deputy was arrested in Nevada on drug-related charges on May 19. Douglas County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a 911 hangup at a residence in Minden, Nev., an EDSO press release stated. Deputies discovered what they believed to be drug paraphernalia. Suspecting drug activity, they launched an investigation, detaining the occupants, […]

Info released on found body

The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office released information regarding the body found in Placerville on May 17. Deputies responded to a report of a dead body near Weber Creek, a press release stated. The body was found near Helmrich Drive, in a rocky area with many trees and bushes. Two juveniles found the body, as […]

Body found in Placerville

An 11-year-old boy, his friend and the friend’s father found the body of a young woman in Placerville the afternoon of May 17. Yvette Taylor of Diamond Springs told the Mountain Democrat that her 11-year-old son was at a friend’s house in Placerville. He, the friend and the friend’s father were near the house, “hanging […]

King Fire: Blodgett Forest researchers share findings

A tour of the Blodgett Forest on May 15, 12 miles east of Georgetown, showed the devastation of the King Fire in the area — and how to prevent such a catastrophe from happening again. It also showed other tests and research conducted in the forest.

The tour was led by Blodgett Forest Manager Rob York and Bill Keye, both registered professional foresters. Where living seed trees stood before the fire, they said, brush will now take over — if the forest is left unmanaged.

Public comment: What is, what isn’t?

Public comment by any other name is still public comment. Whether background documents, arcane treatments, heartfelt letters, copies of textbook chapters or full volumes of data from other jurisdictions, under the California Environmental Quality Act, anything submitted by the public must be viewed and responded to when it relates to an Environmental Impact Report. Currently […]

General Plan amendment process draws fire from public and two supes

Supervisors Ron Mikulaco and Shiva Frentzen joined several members of the public in a general staff-bashing session during the May 12 El Dorado County Board of Supervisors meeting. At issue was a staff request for increased funding for additional services by the consulting firm ICF Jones & Stokes, Inc. The company specializes in environmental planning […]

Counterfeit bill arrest made

A man was arrested May 8 after a string of incidents involving counterfeit bills. The first incident occurred on April 7, when El Dorado County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the Safeway off of Missouri Flat Road at about 7 a.m. for a report of a Hispanic male adult allegedly attempting to make a purchase with […]

GDPUD sets irrigation limits: ALT decision put off

With a water shortage looming, the Georgetown Divide Public Utility Board of Directors voted to cut off water to irrigation customers once the level of water in Stumpy Meadows Reservoir declines to 9,000 acre-feet. The vote was 3-2 with Directors Norm Krizl, Lon Uso and Jesse Hanschild voting yes; Carl Hoelscher voting no; and Maria […]

Bank robbery suspect caught in Lincoln

A man suspected of robbing the El Dorado Savings Bank in Cameron Park on May 14 was caught by the Lincoln Police Department on May 16 after allegedly robbing a U.S. bank in Lincoln. Mark Spier, 19, of South Sacramento, had an active arrest warrant issued by the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office after allegedly […]

Farm Day fun

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EID adopts state water regulations

Following on the heels of the State Water Board issuing new water conservation regulations, at its May 11 meeting the El Dorado Irrigation District Board of Directors approved incorporating the new regulations into its drought action plan. Included in the vote was adoption of a conservation target of 28 percent. The board also considered adding […]

Victim recounts being shot by son-in-law

Prosecutor Dale Gomes tried to call Paul Hinds, Sr. to the stand on May 14, but as it was nearly 4:30 p.m., the witness was gone. Instead, he called David Klinker to the stand, telling Judge Dylan Sullivan that David was eager to tell his story. David, father-in-law to defendant Joseph Hinds, said he had […]

Arraignment set after shooter’s wife testifies

Cindy Hinds and her husband Joseph bickered like any other married couple. Except that bickering was downplayed by Cindy — and eventually led to Joe shooting Cindy’s father David Klinker.

Testifying during a preliminary hearing in Department 7 on May 14, Cindy, 31, explained she married Joe, 33, in …

Reported kidnapping leads to firearm arrest

A suspect allegedly armed with a gun was involved in a reported kidnapping by force on May 8, but later arrested for carrying a concealed firearm instead, according to a press release from the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office. At 7:18 p.m. on May 8, sheriff’s deputies responded to the Fairplay Road, Mount Aukum area […]

Suspect identified in Cameron Park bank robbery

A man robbed and fled from a Cameron Park bank the afternoon of May 14. El Dorado County Sheriff’s dispatch received a call from the El Dorado Savings Bank on Coach Lane in Cameron Park at about 12:52 p.m. stating that the bank had just been robbed, a press release stated. The suspect was identified […]

Councilwoman gets text threat: Former commissioner sends in Latin

“Good luck in the future. Do your homework. Vengeance required. Ass is grass.” These texts were sent, in Latin, to Placerville City Councilwoman Wendy Thomas by former Placerville Planning Commissioner Michael Drobesh on May 6, the day after interviews were held to fill three open Planning Commission seats. Drobesh was not selected for a second term on the […]

EID votes to continue water rights fight

The El Dorado Irrigation District board gave a thumbs up to pursuing additional water rights at its May 11 meeting.

However approval was by a narrow margin with Directors Bill George, George Osborne and Dr. Dale Coco voting for and Greg Prada and Alan Day voting against.

At issue is a project EID is a partner to, along with El Dorado County and the El …

HHSA director talks budget, services

Don Ashton, director of the El Dorado County Health and Human Services Agency, spoke before the Taxpayers Association on April 20, answering questions about his agency’s budget and services. Employed by the county since 2011, Ashton said HHSA utilizes a “super agency model” in which several departments are combined under one umbrella. In his case, he oversees […]

Hold on two: City water restrictions listed in bill

The May water bills will have a little notice that Placerville residents should pay attention to: Mandatory watering restrictions will hold at two days a week through November. In the past two years of drought, watering in the city and in the county has been restricted to one day a week from November to April, bumping up […]

Structure fire contained to second floor

A structure fire in Pollock Pines was contained to the second floor of the residence Tuesday morning. El Dorado County Fire was dispatched at 5:26 a.m. to 5340 Pony Express Trail, Division Chief Paul McVay said. There was “heavy fire on the second floor,” McVay said, with exposure to the main residence on the first […]

$3.1M related to drugs seized

In a busy year, the Western Slope El Dorado Narcotics Enforcement Team seized more than $3.1 million in drug-related currency in 2014, with the South Lake team seizing an additional $90,000. Seizures were not limited to cash, with WENET taking in more than 5,200 pounds of processed marijuana, with a street value of more than […]

Anti-secession group forms to stop State of Jefferson

With its headquarters in Redding, the political action committee, “Keep It California” is branching out to other northern California counties in a counter move to the proposed establishment of an independent state to be known as Jefferson. As envisioned, Jefferson would secede from California to become the nation’s 51st state. It would be assembled from […]

Bus driver earns Northern California CHP award

CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow awarded a local bus driver the Northern California Bus Driver of the Year award on May 8 for her quick thinking during a collision on Aug. 14, 2014.

Jennifer Shields was driving a school bus to Union Mine High School on Grizzly Flat Road near Mahaney Ranch Road at 6:50 a.m. when another car drifted into her lane, CHP Officer Quinn Cuthbertson said at the time of the incident. As the Mountain Democrat reported, she turned the bus hard to the left in attempt to avoid a head-on collision. The right front sides of both vehicles hit.

“Though a collision still occurred, thanks to Jennifer’s evasive maneuvers, she undoubtedly saved her young passengers from serious injury,” the Placerville CHP Office posted on Facebook.

2014 Sheriff’s Report: Crime slightly increases, but EDSO under budget

The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office report for 2014 revealed crime rates slightly rose from the previous year. Part I crimes, the most serious the county faces, trended upward. Murders remained the same — two — but were down from 2012, where the county faced five murders. Rape increased 27 percent, from 26 to 33, […]

Diamond Springs rape halted

A rape was interrupted on May 9 in Diamond Springs. The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office received a report that an adult woman was forced into a vehicle in a parking lot on Mother Lode Drive at about 5:53 a.m., according to the EDSO media log. A third person interrupted the crime and the suspect […]

On the road for PTSD

When Ken Brenner returned from Somalia, his wife said he wasn’t the same person. “She always said that I went over there, but I never came back,” said Brenner. The Somalian deployment was a humanitarian mission that turned into a combat mission, and the 21-year-old Marine witnessed many traumatic events as well as many Somalian […]

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. […]

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