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Citizen survey: Library great, governance not

Called “fine work for a very small investment” by District 3 Supervisor Brian Veerkamp, the recently completed Citizen Engagement Survey received high marks from El Dorado County supervisors. Sherman Fox, trainer and organizational specialist in the Chief Administrative Office, described the survey as “a way to find out what 187,000 residents want … and to […]

Mik running for Assembly

El Dorado County Board of Supervisors Chairman and District 1 representative Ron “Mik” Mikulaco has officially declared his candidacy for the California State Assembly District 6 seat. Mikulaco hopes to replace termed-out Assemblywoman Beth Gaines, who moved to El Dorado Hills last year and is running for Mikulaco’s District 1 supervisor seat. “The challenges we face as […]

Camino district proposes bond

Camino Union School District has all the charm of a rural school district but at more than 60 years old it’s showing its age.

Hence the push by its school board and staff to get approval from residents this June for a bond issue to fund needed improvements.

Superintendent/Principal Matthew Smith, who oversees Camino School and Camino Science and Natural Resources Charter School on the Snows Road campus, took the Mountain Democrat on a tour, pointing out the site’s many deficiencies.

CAO contract details questioned

El Dorado County Interim Chief Administrative Officer Larry Combs’ contract is getting a closer look after county Auditor-Controller Joe Harn questioned whether its language follows California Public Employees Retirement System requirements. “Based on my limited review of PERS law and limited review of the CAO’s contract, it appears that the county has been violating PERS law,” Harn […]

El Niño delivers but state says keep conserving

El Niño continues to deliver more snow and rain but that won’t change the statewide conservation mandate set by Gov. Jerry Brown last year.

At Tuesday’s State Water Resources Control Board meeting, board members voted to extend the mandate through October of this year, although the amount of water to be conserved will be somewhat more flexible.

George Kostyrko, director of the SWRCB office of Public Affairs, said there is no specific conservation target.

Have a game plan for Super Bowl 50

The Placerville Police Department plans saturation patrols for Super Bowl Sunday. The Super Bowl is America’s most watched national sporting event. On Super Bowl 50 Sunday, Feb. 7, there will be lots of game day socializing that may include drinking. That’s why the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the California Office of Traffic Safety and […]

EDH property serves as fiery training ground

Dubbed the “Joerger Incident,” the El Dorado Hills Fire Department, along with Cameron Park/Cal Fire, Folsom and Rescue fire departments, career and volunteer firefighters and explorers, EDH Fire Board directors, the Mountain Democrat and District 2 Supervisor Shiva Frentzen successfully burned a building to the ground (on purpose) at the hands-on training event Jan. 28-30. EDH Fire Chief […]

Oak Ridge theft inspires giving spirit

Authorities have arrested two men suspected of stealing tens of thousands of dollars in equipment at Oak Ridge High School on Jan. 17. Three suspects remain at large. On Jan. 29 El Dorado County sheriff’s officials announced the arrests of 51-year-old Mike Zivkovich of Sacramento and 35-year-old Matthew Fleeman of El Dorado Hills. Searches of their homes led […]

One dead after Tahoe shooting

A 40-year-old Amador County resident was killed Saturday, Jan. 30, after being shot in the chest during a suspected drug deal gone wrong at a South Lake Tahoe hotel. Police were called to the Beverly Lodge, located at 3480 Lake Tahoe Blvd., around 7:42 p.m. Saturday and found Dennis Michael Wright Jr. on the ground […]

Tribes fight over name, land

The tribal chief of the Indigenous Miwoks of El Dorado County has legally challenged the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians using its trademark name. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Pasadena heard the case and granted Cesar Caballero ownership of the trademark in November 2015. According to media outlets, “The district court previously […]

Water warning near El Dorado Trail

Stormwater pH tests conducted by El Dorado County Community Development Agency officials in the area of El Dorado Trail near the end of Stage Court in Placerville have indicated high alkaline levels of up to 12.8. Due to these results a warning sign and temporary caution tape have been posted at the site. The county has […]

Boy dies in Thursday wreck

A 3-year-old boy died after a two car-collision in Somerset Thursday afternoon, California Highway Patrol officials reported At approximately 4:06 p.m on Jan. 28, Jacob Jimenez, 43, of Somerset, was driving a 1994 gold Lexus southbound on Mt. Aukum Road, north of Outingdale Road, when for unknown reasons the vehicle swerved into the northbound traffic […]

Sheriff makes pitch for new facility

El Dorado County residents learned more about the sheriff’s facility needs at community meetings last week as El Dorado County Sheriff’ John D’Agostini took his pitch for a new, multi-million-dollar building on the road.

Last Tuesday night’s event at the American Legion Hall in Placerville was attended by interested residents, politicians, including District 3 Supervisor Brian Veerkamp and Assemblymen Frank Bigelow and law enforcement officers.

Ponderosa coach arrested

Ponderosa water polo Coach Shane O’Rourke, 22, of El Dorado Hills was arrested on suspicion of having sexual relations with high school students, El Dorado County sheriff’s officials announced last week. The criminal investigation was launched after the school resource officer received information on Jan. 26 that O’Rourke was possibly having an improper relationship with a student […]

Alleged sex ring busted

The South Lake El Dorado Narcotics Enforcement Team, along with the El Dorado County sheriff’s officials, recently arrested several individuals in connection with alleged prostitution and sex trafficking in the South Lake Tahoe Basin. SLEDNET investigators looking into grievances involving prostitution reportedly discovered individuals using advertisements for escort services such as “Backpage.com” to conduct human trafficking, […]

Psych eval for murder suspect

During a preliminary hearing for murder suspect Dennis Renk Tuesday, the defendant’s attorney asked El Dorado County Superior Court Judge Nelson Brooks for a psychological evaluation of her client. According to Renk’s family, he has had “a lot of health problems,” including two strokes. The psychological evaluation requested by counsel Terri Monterosso may include clinical interviews and psychological tests to […]

Poor Red’s reopens this spring

The highly anticipated reopening of one of El Dorado County’s landmark watering holes is just a couple months away. Poor Red’s regulars and guests could be at the bar ordering famous Gold Cadillacs in early April. New owners Jeff Genovese, Mike Genovese and Mike Hountalas, along with contractor Bruce Wirtanen, continue to work on the building […]

Esmeralda Tunnel repairs shaping up

Progress continues in repairing the Esmeralda Tunnel with an update on what’s been accomplished provided to the El Dorado Irrigation District Board of Directors at its Jan. 25 meeting. The tunnel sustained a severe collapse in September 2014 when a section collapsed near the upstream portal due to the timber walls giving way. The collapse resulted in the tunnel being blocked with rock […]

Recall dates draw near

Efforts to recall seven elected El Dorado County officials began officially during a Board of Supervisors meeting on Oct. 27 last year. At that time, community activists under the title El Dorado County Total Recall served intent to circulate recall petition notices to District 4 Supervisor Michael Ranalli and District 5’s Sue Novasel. Notices were […]

Clubhouse taking shape

We may have had a lot of rain lately, but nothing has dampened the spirits of those building the new Boys and Girls Club in Placerville.

Located on Green Valley Road near Mallard Lane, the concrete foundation for the 15,000-square-foot building has been laid and the steel frame is up, showing just how big and impressive the building will be when finished.

Sean McCartney, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of El Dorado County Western Slope, said 95 percent of the rough framing is complete and next week they will start the interior framing.

Dispensary case decision postponed

A preliminary ruling for the Pure Life Marijuana Dispensary case scheduled Monday was delayed until next month. The four defendants involved in the case — Kelly Chiusano, Summer Bradley, Christopher Brown and Whitney Marchand — along with counsel and several supporters, appeared in El Dorado County Superior Court. This is the second time Judge Kenneth Melikian has postponed a decision. In December […]

Source of groundwater contamination near South Tahoe’s ‘Y’ remains a mystery

Adam Jensen SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — An investigation into contaminated groundwater near South Lake Tahoe’s “Y” intersection has been unable to determine the source of a potentially harmful solvent discovered in the area in 2014. In a report released this week, URS Corporation Americas reported five of 42 water samples taken in a nine-block area […]

Man’s ID sought

The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department is asking for the public’s help identifying a theft suspect in El Dorado Hills. The suspect is described as a white male adult; he was seen getting into the passenger side of a white 2003-2007 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 four-door diesel with black fender guards and tires that are larger than stock. […]

EID lobbyist talks taxes

The El Dorado Irrigation District Board of Directors received a legislative update from Bob Reeb at its Jan. 25 meeting as he discussed numerous proposals being considered to raise taxes. A lobbyist for EID since 2005, Reeb talked in particular about legislation that could affect water agencies. Reeb noted the state is anticipating an extra $3.5 billion […]

GDPUD debates customer refunds

The ghost of the Garden Valley assessment district was back on the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District Board of Directors’ recent agenda. The subject of debate at last month’s meeting as well, the special assessment district was originally established to pay for water related improvements in Garden Valley. A resolution to that effect was adopted by […]

Explorers bring home awards

El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office Explorer Post 457 members fiercely competed at the 18th annual Law Enforcement Explorer Tactical Competition in Chandler, Ariz., earlier this month The Explorers won 3rd place in Officer Down and Sniper Shoot, and 5th place in Hogan’s Alley (building cleaning), Breaching and Hostage Rescue at the event that ran Jan. 15-17. […]

Chase turns into rescue

Two men who fled down a snowy canyon and spent the night outdoors in frigid temperatures “gratefully gave up” when confronted by El Dorado County SWAT members Saturday morning.

Sheriff’s employees, California Highway Patrol officers and U.S. Forest Service officers began searching for Derrick Dionno, 32, and Triston Crossland, 31, Friday morning after the pair reportedly fled on foot when stopped in their vehicle by a California Fish and Wildlife officer near Wrights Lake Road and Highway 50, according to information provided by the Sheriff’s Department.

Suspect on the run caught

PILOT HILL — A manhunt that began in Amador County ended with the arrest of Shannon Lee Henson, 37, in Pilot Hill Thursday afternoon. The Shingle Springs man was caught near Salmon Falls Road after he hid at a vacant property, according to El Dorado County sheriff’s officials. The pursuit started around 4:37 a.m. when Amador […]

Gold Discovery Day

IMG_0141 Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park celebrated Gold Discovery Day Saturday, an event that features docents dressed in period clothing throughout the park to discuss the 1850s and give demonstrations. Above, Richard Williams of Sacramento, center, shares the story of the Monroe family in the Mormon cabin while Carol Tullis of Folsom knits and […]

City’s affordable housing options spark protest

Placerville has not identified enough parcels for development of low-cost housing, according to the state, and so the city Planning Commission Tuesday night recommended that the City Council amend the General Plan to begin to meet the state’s wishes. If the city just says no to the state, as was suggested by some in the […]

CHP busts theft suspect at casino

Placerville California Highway Patrol officers arrested a Sacramento man accused of multiple thefts at Red Hawk Casino Monday. David Ferris, 61, was arrested on suspicion of vehicle theft, identity theft, receiving stolen property, robbery and grand theft after CHP officers, who were responding to a stolen vehicle recovery call, reportedly found a stolen vehicle’s ignition […]

Staying safe on the slopes

The apparent loss of skier Carson May, who was last seen skiing in an out-of-bounds area at the Sugar Bowl Resort on Jan. 14, has prompted the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department to share skiing and snow sports safety tips.

El Dorado County deputies and Search and Rescue volunteers from Tahoe and Placerville, in conjunction with the Search Management at the Incident Command Post, diligently looked for 23-year-old May for several days before calling off the search.

Planners send projects back to the drawing board

The El Dorado County Planning Commission held hearings earlier this month on a number projects, all of which were either continued or will be revised and brought back for review. A hearing to consider an appeal of the design review of a proposed Dollar General store in Georgetown was back on the agenda. A previous hearing in December had to be […]

Fee fight could reach courts

El Dorado County might sue Auditor-Controller Joe Harn over a delayed payment to the Diamond Springs-El Dorado Fire Protection District. On Dec. 8 the Board of Supervisors directed County Counsel to initiate litigation against Harn, who has hired his own attorney to handle the potential court fight. Both Harn and interim County Counsel Mike Ciccozzi have […]

Prepared … should terrorists strike: County has resources to keep people safe

Terrorism — a looming dark shadow over the United States. A terrorist can strike anywhere — an office Christmas party, a college campus, a community event … even El Dorado County. Though the county has been spared a tragedy thus far, the Mountain Democrat asked local law enforcement, fire agencies and school officials “what if?” […]

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