Wednesday, April 23, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Supervisor Nutting trial begins

El Dorado County Supervisor Ray Nutting says one thing to the public while doing another in private.

That was the opening statement of the Nutting trial, which began Tuesday, presented by Pete Williams of the state Attorney General’s Office and half of the prosecution.

Nutting, Williams alleges, takes state tax money to improve his own property while speaking out against taxes and the government. He has trouble “abiding by the same laws we all have to follow,” Williams said …

Downtown group coordinates painting, awnings

The Placerville Downtown Association is moving forward to supplement the upcoming Main Street Matters painting project, by Benjamin Moore, scheduled for June. The Placerville Downtown Association (PDA) will host a critical community meeting (No. 3) for interested property and business owners, and community members at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 25, at the Placerville Town […]

No quick fix for California’s highways

A pending infrastructure crisis in the state was described in detail at a recent meeting of the El Dorado County Transportation Commission. Presented by Will Kempton, executive director of an industry based advocacy group called Transportation California, Kempton’s credentials include being the previous director of Caltrans. Kempton said the State Transportation Commission did a study […]

More mountain lion sightings reported

Saying that mountain lion sightings are not unusual for the area, wildlife biologist Shelly Blair said they are nothing to panic about. Blair, who works for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, said two sightings of mountain lions have been reported to her office, not including the one reported last week on Darlington Avenue. […]

Sanford murder case to jury

Richard Swanson would have turned 50 on April 12. Instead, he was killed on Aug. 14, 1980, at the age of 16. “He was barely 16, a nice kid, a good kid … until Andrew Sanford stole that from him,” Trish Kelliher of the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office said during her closing statement […]

Fun-filled Easter events

DSC_4737e DSC_4779e DSC_4727e DSC_4741e DSC_4730e DSC_4766e DSC_4762e DSC_4804e DSC_4807e DSC_4774e DSC_4761e DSC_4744e DSC_4790e Easter3 w Easter4 w Easter2 w Easter6 w Easter1 w Easter5 w

Air quality rating up in the air

After years of study and documentation and plan preparation, El Dorado County has joined with its fellow air districts of the Sacramento Region in seeking to overturn a former failing grade as part of the “Sacramento Federal Nonattainment Area (SFNA).” In its simplest concept, the air used to be pretty bad and now it’s better […]

GDPUD: Budget and GM are top topics

A special board meeting of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District on April 15 was largely informational as President Bonnie McLane and directors Maria Capraun and Norm Krizl tackled three agenda items including the hiring of a new general manager, next year’s budget and finding a replacement CPA and auditor. Directors Ray Griffiths and Kathy […]

Mountain lion seen in Placerville

A mountain lion was sighted last week near Cedar Ravine with the woman who reported it saying others have also seen one recently. Diana Miller of Placerville said she spotted a large one around 3:30 a.m. on Wednesday, April 16, as she was on her way to work. She said she stopped at the stop […]

CTE a pathway to higher wages, higher-demand jobs

Career Technical Education — it’s the new buzz in education, along with Common Core, and there’s a pot of money out there to help.

“There is a lot of CTE stuff happening in our region,” said Christopher Moore, associate superintendent of Educational Services for El Dorado Union High School District. “We belong to a 25-district consortium, along with the El Dorado County Office of Education and Black Oak Mine School District, representing about 80,000 high school students in the Capital region.”

Working with the Capital …

Goodbye LUPPU, hello LRPU

Just when everyone in the county had learned that LUPPU stands for Land Use Policy Programatic Update, they went and changed it to LRPU and then contracted that down to LRP. Long-Range Planning Division Assistant Director Dave Defanti brought that news to the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors’ April 15 meeting. Because LUPPU was […]

Past due state taxes bring arrest

An El Dorado Hills Man was arrested Tuesday morning on charges of tax evasion. A Franchise Tax Board press release stated that Guy Archbold, 62, a CEO for a software company, was charged with alleged tax evasion for failing to file state income tax for 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2012. He also allegedly failed to […]

Charges dropped: DA protester out of prison

A man known for protesting the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office and charged with soliciting the murder of a judge in Nevada was released from prison and his charges dismissed. South Lake Tahoe resident Ty Robben was released last week after Douglas County, Nev., District Attorney Mark Jackson dismissed the solicitation of murder charge, […]

Sanford trial: Prosecution, defense rest

April 15 saw the last of the testimony of the Andrew Sanford murder trial. The day began with an argument over including then-16-year-old victim Richard Swanson’s hat size in evidence, but Judge James R. Wagoner struck down the inclusion due to lack of foundation and relevance. The jury was let in and the judge read […]

Woman, dog back from Oso

He may not look heroic — in fact, with the tug toy hanging from his mouth and his tongue hanging out, this German shepherd looks downright goofy. When his owner, Noreen McClintok, gives him the “search” command, however, the goofy animal is gone, replaced by a focused, intent dog who does not give up.

On April 8, Cai and McClintok, 63, returned from helping search for victims of the mudslide in Oso, Wash., as part of a California Rescue Dog Association (CARDA) team.

“Washington FEMA put out a call for cadaver dogs, “said McClintok, who lives in El Dorado Hills, “and CARDA responded right away.” McClintok said the search in Oso had changed from rescue to recovery within a day or two of the slide. “I can’t imagine what those first responders were confronted with. In 50 feet of mud, how do you start to look?”

“Our CARDA team had seven dogs and we drove up to Washington as a caravan. Two members of the team came all the way from San Bernardino,” said McClintok. “We got there on Thursday, April 2, and …”

EDH Fire Dept. annexing Latrobe

The El Dorado Hills Fire Department’s annexation of the Latrobe Fire Protection District continues to progress, with the process now in the hands of El Dorado County’s Local Agency Formation Commission. Earlier this year, the El Dorado Hills and Latrobe fire boards voted to proceed with annexation. If all goes as planned, El Dorado Hills would […]

Motorcycle fatality in Greenwood

A collision between a car and a motorcycle in Greenwood resulted in the death of a man on April 11. Franklin Jensen, 39, of Greenwood, was turning left onto Ricci Road from Greenwood Road at about 7:05 p.m. in his 1982 Toyota pickup, said CHP Officer Quinn Cuthbertson. Meanwhile, Garry Renner, 29, of Garden Valley, […]

Greenwood School being restored

The Georgetown Divide Recreation District, Native Sons of the Golden West and Greenwood Civic Organization are teaming up to make urgently needed improvements to the Greenwood Schoolhouse on Greenwood Road, but they also are calling on the help of community members. The historical building is badly in need of repairs, and although the Native Sons of the Golden West, Georgetown Parlor No. 91 has taken the task to its Grand Parlor and the Historical Preservation Fund for help, grant money provided will only cover the first phase of a two-phase restoration project.

“The Native Sons are dedicated to the preservation of California’s history,” said …

EID restricts watering days

Following dueling motions and another tirade against Small Farm customers by Director Greg Prada, the El Dorado Irrigation District board voted 4-1 to follow Board President Alan Day’s recommended watering regime. It took three hours to reach that vote. Day’s watering regime, outlined in an April 3 e-mail to General Manager Jim Abercrombie, calls for […]

Lover’s Leap fall injures man

STRAWBERRY — A 20-year-old man was rescued and flown to the hospital for medical care Friday after falling 50 to 60 feet off the east side of Lover’s Leap, a popular climbing spot in Eldorado National Forest. The man’s hiking partner reported the incident to authorities at about 9 a.m. Lake Valley Fire Protection District, […]

Water rights detailed for EDWPA board

Members of the El Dorado Water and Power Authority listened to a short history on state water rights at their meeting on April 9. Related to current efforts by EDWPA to pursue an additional 40,000 acre-feet of water rights from the State Water Quality Control Board, the presentation, called ”Water Rights 101,” was made by attorney […]

Supes pick 1% growth forecast

Accepting the recommendation of its Long-Range Planning Division, the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors on April 8 adopted a new set of projections for how and where future growth will occur. The board approved “Scenario 3,” which combines the “historical growth rate with growth distribution that is consistent with the county’s General Plan.” Such […]

Sanford trial keys off chain of evidence

More Department of Justice witnesses made up the bulk of day 11 of the Andrew Sanford murder trial on April 9. The day began with a demonstration, out of the presence of the jury, by defense attorney Erik Schlueter. He wrapped a styrofoam head in duct tape, as 16-year-old victim Richard Swanson might have been […]

Georgetown calls stage 2 drought

After a long meeting Tuesday night that included extensive audience input, the board of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District voted unanimously to declare a Stage 2 drought emergency. That decision was based on the water level in Stumpy Meadows Reservoir being 15,617 acre-feet when measured on April 7. Normally the 20,000 acre-foot reservoir would be […]

70th anniversary: Jeep ready for D-Day

June 6 of this year marks the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landing and the Battle of Normandy. It’s an event that will bring hundreds of thousands of people to France for commemorations and festivities including parades, parachute drops, the setting up of military camps, and concerts.

And joining them on the beach will be an old World War II Jeep that was recently restored by Diamond Springs resident Jimmy Strauss and a team of local craftsmen who’ve remade the vehicle in time for the upcoming event.

Taking nine months to complete at a cost of over $70,000 …

Sheriff gets OK for new offices

El Dorado County Sheriff John D’Agostini got the go-ahead Tuesday to pursue three possible sites for a future new sheriff’s headquarters. D’Agostini began his presentation April 8 by thanking the Board of Supervisors for recognizing and prioritizing his department’s need for a new headquarters facility. Acknowledging the county’s many other “competing needs,” D’Agostini cited “leadership […]

Cancer center: Supes deadlock on funding

Back-to-back votes by four out of five El Dorado County supervisors failed to pass a motion Tuesday, April 8 to provide supplemental funding for Marshall Medical’s cancer treatment center in Cameron Park. As originally proposed by Supervisor Ron Briggs, the county would have “considered” a contribution of about $800,000 toward the hospital’s approximately $6 million […]

Schwartzler gets life, maybe parole

The family of a man who pleaded to attempted murder filled one side of a courtroom during the man’s judgment and sentencing hearing April 4. Judge Daniel B. Proud announced that the court had received 13 character letters supporting Austin Schwartzler, who pleaded no contest to willful, deliberate and premeditated attempted murder on Feb. 28. […]

Duct tape pieced together

The 10th day of the Andrew Sanford trial concerning the murder of Richard Swanson in South Lake Tahoe in 1980 opened with a jewelry theft and closed Tuesday with trying to match pieces of duct tape together. The final witness of the day was Ricci Cooksey. Cooksey, a senior criminologist with the state Department of […]

Mercy Way Rescue protests homeless ordinances

They lined both sides of Main Street near Town Hall. Some held signs with “Jesus was homeless” on them; others flourished photographs of trash-filled campsites near Smith Flat and Broadway. For two hours before the April 8 Placerville City Council meeting, Mercy Way Rescue Church organized a peaceful demonstration to ask for a 90-day moratorium against one of two new city ordinances that affect the homeless.

Also demonstrating were neighbors who support the ordinance and applaud city police for enforcing it.

The ordinance in question went into effect on Feb. 13 and authorizes police and the city to enforce regulations against illegal camping in the city.

“With Hangtown Haven closed, the nomadic shelters closed …”

Fields get a water-wise makeover

Heads turned last week as the north and south fields at the El Dorado Hills Community Services District’s Community Park turned completely brown, but they’ll be greener and more vibrant than ever after they undergo irrigation infrastructure and turf renovations. “Irrigation technologies have come a long way and it’s increasingly important for the EDHCSD to […]

Tax schemes? EDH pair indicted

SACRAMENTO — A federal grand jury returned a 28-count indictment against Barbara Antonucci, 49, and Sherry Taggart, 54, both residents of El Dorado Hills, charging them with conspiracy to file false claims, filing false claims and aggravated identity theft, U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. According to court documents, beginning in March 2008 and continuing […]

Small farmers attacked by EID duo

For the second time, El Dorado Irrigation Director Greg Prada attacked those on the Small Farm rate, but this time he was joined by Board President Alan Day. At the March 24 meeting, Prada claimed the Small Farm rate was a violation of Proposition 218. Proposition 218 says, “…the amount of the fee or charge […]

Gold Bug volunteers: Characters need apply

Have a hankering to relive the history of the gold rush with thousands of visitors from all over the world?

Then become a volunteer at the Gold Bug Park and join such notables as Black Bart, John Studebaker and Duffy the crazy Irishman.

Part of a crew of 25 volunteers, they are more than just history buffs. Some must have show biz in their blood as they have adopted a character of their own from the past — real or imagined — that they play when conducting tours complete with clothing, props and …

‘Drive Clean’ aims to incentivize use of electrics and HOV lanes

Federal, state and local governments are putting up money as incentives for residents to buy and drive “zero or ultra-low emission vehicles.” El Dorado County’s Board of Supervisors approved a package of grant-based clean air projects including a Drive Clean Incentive program during its April 1 meeting. Locally, the El Dorado County Air Quality Management […]

County backs range of grant projects promoting air quality

El Dorado County Supervisors voted 4-1 to approve six proposals recommended by the county’s Air Quality Management District. The April 1 action supports projects ranging from continuing the County Fair Shuttle to Electric Vehicle Infrastructure development in the city of Placerville and a “Stay and Play Shuttle” program sponsored by the El Dorado County Chamber […]

DNA evidence ‘could not exclude’ defendant

Days eight and nine of the Andrew Sanford murder trial focused on DNA evidence — of which Sanford could not be excluded as a contributor.

Jenna Weller continued her testimony from the previous day by describing Sanford as “curious, calm” while they had a conversation on whether God forgives murderers — possibly alluding to the 1980 murder of 16-year-old Richard Swanson at the South Y Shell gas station …

State officials detail drought grants

Key state officials appeared in Placerville on April 4 to give area water purveyors the keys to the drought grant kingdom. The event was sponsored by the Mountain Counties Water Resources Association and took place in the large downstairs meeting room of the El Dorado Irrigation District headquarters on Mosquito Road. After the morning meeting […]