Monday, October 20, 2014

Winkler trial: Prosecution, defense rest cases

The defense rested its case and the prosecution rested its rebuttal case on Oct. 16 in the Todd Winkler murder trial. Dr. Frank Lossy, a psychiatrist who had interviewed Winkler and diagnosed him with dissociative personality and conversion disorders, said that the night before Winkler killed his wife, Rachel, he had taken a phone call […]

EDUHSD: 5 vie for 3 seats

This November, five candidates are running for three positions on the Board of Trustees for El Dorado Union High School District. Three of the candidates are incumbents and two are first-time candidates. The Mountain Democrat asked each one about why they were running, what qualities a new superintendent to replace outgoing Superintendent Chris Hoffman should […]

New general manager hired by GDPUD

At its Oct. 14 meeting, the board of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District announced it had selected Wendell Wall as its new general manager. According to information provided by GDPUD, Wall comes with 15 years of water management experience in a senior supervisory role including as acting general manager. Previously he worked as a water distribution superintendent […]

Former GDPUD GM gets $67k in settlement

A settlement between the board of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility Commission and former General Manager Hank White cost the district $67,000, according to court documents. White, who went out on family leave in early 2013 under duress from three members of the board of directors, formally left the job in June of 2013 to […]

Child hit by car in EDH

A child was hit by a car on Oct. 17 in El Dorado Hills. Lauren O’Neal, 29, was driving a 2008 Mazda CX9 on Post Street north of Town Center Boulevard at 7:19 p.m. when she allegedly hit a 4-year-old, according to a CHP report. The child’s condition remains unknown.

New Animal Shelter now open

El Dorado County’s new Animal Services shelter facility opened Oct. 16. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to see the new facility project completed,” said Henry Brzezinski, chief of Animal Services. “We want to thank everyone who supported this effort, especially the County Board of Supervisors and the Chief Administrative Office. We are incredibly grateful for […]

McClintock fired up over fire and water

Congressman Tom McClintock got down to real basics in a talk to the El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce Oct. 8 at Red Hawk Casino. Describing two of the four elements, fire and water, McClintock lambasted those who have delayed harvesting of timber killed by the Rim Fire last year and the King Fire most […]

King Fire salvage operations continue

Salvage and restoration efforts in the aftermath of the King Fire are already underway with responsibility divided among the U.S. Forest Service, private landowners and Sierra Pacific Industries. According to Mark Egbert, district manager of El Dorado County and Georgetown Divide Resource Conservation District (GDRCD), of the 97,717 acres burned, 13,893 were the property of private landowners, 20,000 were […]

Camino manhunt ongoing

A manhunt in Camino began Friday morning after a deputy was shot at by a suspect.

Just after 8 a.m., a struggle occurred between a deputy and the suspect while on Cable Road, El Dorado County Sheriff’s Sgt. Chris Felton said. The suspect was able to retrieve a gun and fired a single shot at the deputy.

The deputy reported over the scanner that he had not been harmed; the shot hit his radio.

A manhunt began for the subject in Camino, though schools were only put on soft …

Psychiatrist: Winkler has disorders

Day 11 of the Todd Winkler Trial, Oct. 15, began with Winkler questioned on re-direct by his attorney, David Weiner. “I should have had the strength to disable her” without it being a life or death situation, he said. He said he didn’t have the strength and “never had control of the situation.” He said […]

Motorcycle fatal on Omo Ranch Road

A man was killed Thursday after being ejected from his motorcycle. Randolph Roberts, 30, of Amador City, was riding his 2008 Kawasaki 250 sport bike westbound on Omo Ranch Road east of Fairplay Road at about 8:25 p.m., a California Highway Patrol press release stated. He was traveling at an unknown high rate of speed […]

EDUHSD: Veerkamp attacks White over group membership

It was an uncomfortable meeting for everyone Tuesday night as the El Dorado Union High School District Board of Trustees met to discuss charges that Trustee Todd White had a potential conflict of interest because of his membership in another group. Brought up as an agenda item by Trustee Lori Veerkamp, the board debated whether or not White’s […]

Winkler grilled by prosecution

Todd Winkler continued his testimony Tuesday morning regarding his killing of his wife Rachel — alleged as a murder by the prosecution but self-defense by the defense.

As he had testified on the previous Thursday, he said he got in bed with Rachel in the early morning hours of Feb. 27, 2012. She told him that she wanted full custody of their three children. Winkler added that she would not allow weekend or overnight visits, something that was “out of left field.”

She also threatened him. “She told me she would have James (White) come over and get rid of me.” Rachel and White had been having an affair, with Rachel intending to divorce Todd and continue her relationship with White.

No ice, no dice

Last year’s big hit, the Hangtown Holiday Ice Rink, will take a pass this year. “It boils down to money,” said Peter McQuillen, secretary for the Placerville Drive Business Association, which brought the ice rink to the El Dorado County Fairgrounds last December. “It’s quite expensive to rent all the equipment and pay people to operate the […]

Swansboro grape growers worry about smoke

The King Fire will have repercussions that last for many years: charred land, structures that need to be rebuilt, forests that need to be reforested. Some things will recover sooner, like the vineyards in  Swansboro, but the effects are being felt by wineries now. Swansboro, in the path of the King fire, was evacuated, but […]

Ballot goof misses BOMUSD

The El Dorado County Election Department has discovered an error in the current vote by mail ballot affecting 3,072 voters in the Black Oak Mine Unified School District, announced Recorder-Clerk-Registrar Bill Schultz. The problem is that the Black Oak Mine Unified School District contest was omitted from the ballot for these vote by mail voters. […]

Tunnel repair to take 5 months

March 1, 2015, is the target date for completion of the Esmeralda Tunnel rehab. The 1,000-foot-long tunnel built in 1930 had a partial cave-in 150 feet in from the upstream entrance. The collapsed section of the timber-lined portion of the tunnel set off an alarm for the El Dorado Irrigation District’s hydro crew and automatically […]

Truck collides with multiple vehicles

Traffic was delayed on westbound U.S. Highway 50 west of Mosquito Road on Monday afternoon due to a non-injury traffic collision involving 11 vehicles. Occurring at 2:56 p.m., James Kimmel, 64, of Pollock Pines, lost control of his gray Chevy pickup truck. Unable to stop, he split the traffic, driving between the number one and two lanes […]

Drug bust made during King Fire

A large amount of marijuana was recovered during the King Fire as it was on its way out of town. According to the California Highway Patrol, on Sept. 16, around 9:04 p.m., a rental truck was stopped by California Highway Patrol Valley Division K-9 Officer Rodgers and Special Enforcement Unit Officer Schneider at a checkpoint on […]

Murder defendant takes the stand

Murder defendant Todd Winkler testified on Oct. 9 to deny many of the incidents connected to him that made his wife, Rachel, fear for her life before her death, attempting to discredit many of the claims made by previous testimonies of others during the trial, while also recalling the details of how the death of Rachel ultimately came to be.

Steve Clifford, the defense’s investigator, took to the stand for a quick testimony before Winkler. Clifford said that Rachel was a member of online dating sites Adult Friend Finder and Ashley Madison, joining in November of 2011 — a few months before her death. However, under the …

New state EpiPen law has EDH roots

The school EpiPen bill Governor Brown signed into law recently may not have happened had an El Dorado Hills woman not first pitched the idea to the senator who authored it. Senate Bill 1266 requires K-12 public schools to stock epinephrine auto-injectors (EpiPens) and train at least one staff member at each campus to use […]

Victims identified in fatal collision

The CHP released the official report of a fatal head-on collision on Oct. 11. Officer Quinn Cuthbertson said the collision happened on Mormon Emigrant Trail just east of Bonnetti Road at 12:14 p.m. A 1999 Black Toyota Avalon, driven westbound by Krista Jackson, 34, of Jackson, drifted over the double yellow lines into the path […]

Flurry of witnesses begin murder defense’s case

Defense attorney David Weiner’s opening statement Oct. 8 revealed very little new information about the Todd Winkler murder trial, serving mostly to tell the jury that his defense intended to refute the claims made by the prosecution. Weiner began by describing Winkler growing up on a farm in Iowa, joining the Air Force Academy after […]

Kelly family hit by cancer again

Just days after 2 1/2-year-old Mason Kelly of Shingle Springs survived a stem cell transplant at University of California San Francisco Children’s Hospital, his father, 48-year-old Brian Kelly, was diagnosed with a rare form of acute leukemia. “I am in a state of shock,” said Thi Kelly, mother of Mason, and Brian’s wife. “I feel saddened, overwhelmed […]

BAER Team prepares triage report

With the King Fire near 100 percent contained at the time and initial efforts made to repair some of the damage, the second phase of rehabilitating the fire area began on Oct. 1 with the arrival of what’s called a BAER team.

BAER, which stands for Burned Area Emergency Response, is a team of U.S. Forest Service specialists whose job is to identify any imminent post-wildfire threats to people and property as well as natural and cultural resources.

Composed of knowledge experts from different fields, the first people to arrive were soil scientists, geologists, hydrologists, engineers and a geographic system specialist brought in to help with mapping.

Todd Ellsworth, a Watershed Program Manager and Forest BAER coordinator, said other specialists would join them later including botanists, biologists and archaeologists.

Describing the role of the BAER team, Ellsworth said the fire crews had engaged in the first …

King Fire contained

After a month of burning, the King Fire was 100 percent contained at 97,717 acres as of Oct. 9. “Thank you to our partners and the local community for their support during the King Fire,” said Eldorado National Forest Supervisor Laurence Crabtree in a press release announcing the containment. “This unprecedented event has tested our […]

Rachel Winkler’s father takes stand in murder trial

The lover of Rachel Winkler continued his account on Tuesday morning of their affair and her fear of her husband, Todd Winkler, who stands trial for her murder.

Under cross-examination by defense attorney David Weiner, James White again relayed the version of the 1999 events …

Penn wants to be a big-picture guy as Dist. 4 supervisor

Running for the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors, District 4, is Howard Penn, a 20-year resident of El Dorado County and a self-described “big-picture guy.” An entrepreneur who started his first business while still in college, Penn has worked in the fields of tourism, finance and software. He also purchased the historic Sierra Nevada House […]

Ranalli brings business background to Dist. 4 supervisor spot

Running for the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors in District 4 is Mike Ranalli, a 30-year resident of the county. Currently retired but a “gentleman farmer” with a vineyard in Lotus, Ranalli’s background includes 40 years of business experience including 22 years with Intel Corporation. His volunteer work includes being a board member of the Taxpayers Association of El Dorado […]

Community activist Curtzwiler running for District 5 supervisor

Running for the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors, District 5, is Kenny Curtzwiler. A man whose motto is “think globally and act locally,” he has lived and worked in South Lake Tahoe for 37 years. Owner of a tree service and roofing company and something of a jack of all trades, Curtzwiler said he […]

School board member Novasel in bid for Dist. 5 spot

Running for a spot on the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors, District 5, is Sue Novasel. A resident of Meyers, Novasel owns a wedding and event planning business and has lived in the Tahoe area for almost 35 years. Active in the community, she currently serves on the board of the Lake Tahoe Unified […]

Split vote highlights board uncertainty on spending

El Dorado County Supervisors Ron Mikulaco and Shiva Frentzen again split two votes during the board’s Sept. 30 meeting. A few minutes into the Sept. 30 session, the District 1 and 2 supervisors voted “no” to adopt the county’s annual budget as they had indicated they would last week. However, Board Chairwoman Norma Santiago, District […]

King Fire damage assessed

With containment of the King Fire still expected by Wednesday, Oct. 8, attention has shifted to the U.S. Forest Service BAER Team and their report. BAER stands for Burned Area Emergency Response. The team was brought in to assess the post-fire threats to life, safety, property and critical natural and cultural resources on the National Forest. Based […]

October 08, 2014 | Posted in News | Tagged ,

Rachel Winkler’s lover testifies

The Todd Winkler murder trial Oct. 2 featured a doctor with a specialty of allergies explaining anaphylaxis, a Department of Justice criminalist examining blood on clothing and the lover of Rachel Winkler coming face to face with the man who admitted to killing her.

Before the first witness testified, a stipulation was entered by the prosecution and defense from Georgia Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Mike Roberts. If called to testify, the stipulation read, Roberts would say that, after the car wreck that claimed Cathy Winkler’s life, Todd Winkler had injuries to his left knee and left hand, a torn jacket, a scrape and bruise on …

EID among regional projects backed by state

The Department of Water Resources is proposing to allocate $9.7 million in state grants to the Regional Water Authority (RWA) for 17 projects designed to expand the ability to recharge, store, extract and move groundwater around the community to help reduce the region’s reliance on Folsom Reservoir, it was announced Oct. 2. Among those projects […]

Siblings of Winkler’s wives testify

“My philosophy is keep your friends close and your enemies closer,” Christine Carlisle told the jury from the stand of the Todd Winkler murder trial Oct. 1.

Winkler is on trial for the alleged murder of his third wife, Rachel. However, the prosecution has also taken time to look at the 1999 death of his second wife and Carlisle’s sister, Cathy.

Mop up continues on King Fire

With the King Fire still at 98 percent containment as of Sunday morning, the date for full containment of the fire has been pushed to Wednesday, Oct. 8 according to the latest information provided by Initially the fire was expected to be contained by Saturday, but steep terrain in the Rubicon River Valley on […]