Monday, September 1, 2014

County moves to privatize mental health facility operations

El Dorado County Supervisors, Aug. 26, voted unanimously to authorize staff to negotiate a contract with Telecare Corporation thereby intending to privatize most of the operations of the county’s Psychiatric Health Facility. Usually referred to as the PHF, El Dorado is one of only 16 counties statewide that has its own acute psychiatric hospital and […]

City Council: Candidate forced to change statement

Kirk Callan Smith, one of the six candidates for the Placerville City Council, received a certified letter from the City Clerk that his ballot statement, turned in on Aug. 8, was unacceptable as written. Smith’s petition to the court stated that the City Clerk had sent him a certified letter informing him that his ballot […]

Initiative put off: Motion passes for 2016 election

El Dorado County supervisors completed their review of the “Reinstate Measure Y’s Original Intent — No More Paper Roads” initiative at the Aug. 26 Board of Supervisors meeting, and in accordance with the California Elections Code, they assigned the measure to the June 2016 statewide election. The motion passed unanimously by the four sitting supervisors […]

‘Cody just vanished’: Parents of missing man still hopeful

On June 6, Vernon “Cody” Matthews disappeared from his parents’ vacation home in Pollock Pines. But his parents have not given up hope — and if anyone would be able to survive two months in the wilderness, it would be Cody.

Cody’s father, Vern, spent about a dozen years in Civil Air Patrol Search and Rescue and was a team leader trainee when he stepped down. He spent 20 years in fire service in Southern California, and was a captain when he left due to injury. He had extensive Red Cross and emergency medical training, often doing wilderness rescues. Before age and injury caught …

Supreme Court denies Nutting

The California Supreme Court denied a petition of a former county supervisor regarding his removal from office. On Aug. 27, the Supreme Court of California denied the petition for review and application for the stay of former Supervisor Ray Nutting on his removal from office. Nutting was removed when his position was vacated by Buckley […]

EDH veterans memorial gets land: Fundraising ready to begin

Veterans and their supporters have waited years for the opportunity to build a Veterans Memorial Park in El Dorado Hills. On Aug. 14 the El Dorado Hills Community Services District’s Board of Directors unanimously approved the long-awaited maintenance and ground lease agreement of CSD-owned land for the project. The location is a 1.2-acre site south […]

Sand Fire Benefit one big success

Pulling off probably one of the most quickly organized and most successful community fund-raising events ever held, the Sand Fire Benefit has exceeded everyone’s expectations having raised in excess of $78,000 for victims of last month’s devastating fire. “It’s at $78,000 now and we think it will end up at $80,000,” said Bill Roby, who is […]

Camp 2 Bridge deconstructed

Since Aug. 1 contractor Excavating Engineers Inc. out of San Diego County has been working on the Camp 2 Bridge reconstruction project for the El Dorado Irrigation District.

The first order of business was deconstructing the rickety Erector Set-like bridge and its wooden bridge deck. The remains are stacked in the marshaling yard a short walk before the bridge abutment. Other pieces are on the east abutment where they will serve as a protection for the stacked rock abutment in case a rock falls on it.

To lift out the old superstructure and its timber …

Nutting petitions state Supreme Court

A former county supervisor has petitioned the Supreme Court of California after the Third District Appellate Court upheld a trial court judge’s decision to vacate the position. Attorney David Weiner filed the petition on behalf of Ray Nutting in an attempt to overturn Judge Timothy Buckley’s decision to vacate the District 2 position. A special […]

Car show Thursday: Classics cruise to Main Street

A car just like Gary and Shirley Day’s beautiful Plymouth broke the land-speed record at Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats in 1956, reaching 149 mph. The Mt. Aukum couple’s gorgeous Fury won’t be hitting any record-setting speeds Thursday, Aug. 28, when it cruises into Placerville for the popular Hangtown Evening Car Show, but even at 5 mph it’s a sight that takes the breath away.

The Days are happy to bring their baby to the annual car show, which each summer fills Main Street with breathtaking vehicles and appreciative …

Two fires in EDH

Two fires burned 7.5 acres in El Dorado Hills on the afternoon of Aug. 22. The fire began around 2 p.m. on the south side of Green Valley Road, west of Mormon Island Drive, said El Dorado County Fire Acting Battalion Chief Russ Hasemeier. It was contained to 5.4 acres of wild land. The fire […]

Ft. Jim area: Fire causes heavy damage

A fire heavily damaged a house in Placerville on Aug. 24. The fire was reported at 9:52 p.m., said El Dorado County Fire Division Chief Tim Cordero. The first engine to arrive found a single-family residence on Alca Road, off of Fort Jim Road, well involved. “Initially the crews were in a defensive/exterior fire attack,” […]

Greenstone residents ask Prada to resign

Angry residents showed up at Monday’s board meeting of the El Dorado Irrigation District to demand that Director Greg Prada resign or be censured after Prada accused them of gaming EID’s small farm rate. Prada, who has made an issue of what he calls hobby farmers receiving the small farm water rate, wrote an editorial […]

Murderer up for parole for seventh time

A family is trying to keep a man in prison after he fatally shot his stepson and injured his wife and other stepson 29 years ago.

On Aug. 17, 1985, Robert Kaser entered the Placerville home of Priscilla Dixon. The married couple was estranged, and Kaser was there to pick up some belongings.

“He went to the bedroom. At the time, I didn’t know a gun was there,” Dixon said. She knew the .45 caliber handgun was in the house, likely in the bedroom, but it wasn’t something she thought about.

Her two sons, Ehren Dixon, 14, and Myles Dixon, 12, were in their bedroom, putting shoes on to help Kaser, “laughing, doing what kids do.” Priscilla was …

Tea Party claims Common Core dumbs down education

A review of new national educational standards, called Common Core, was the topic at the Aug. 20 meeting of the Tea Party Patriots of El Dorado Hills. Facilitated by Tea Party board member Bob Summers, the audience watched a video titled “Building the Machine” that was produced by the Home School Legal Defense Association. Afterwards, Summers […]

BOS creates Facilities Financing Team Committee

Unsure whether to build, rent or otherwise obtain a new El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department Administrative center, county supervisors July 29 opted to create a new board standing committee whose task is to find the best, quickest and most cost effective method to finance the project. District 1 Supervisor Ron Mikulaco described the current administration […]

Two hurt in suspected DUI rollover

Two men sustained major injuries in a rollover collision Friday morning. Jason Shaughnessy, 21, of El Dorado Hills, was driving a 2000 Suburu Outback southbound on Salmon Falls Road north of Falcon Crest at approximately 8:26 a.m., when he lost control of the vehicle, a CHP press release stated. The vehicle traveled off the east […]

Sand Fire benefit tonight

In a show of can-do volunteerism, after just three short weeks of planning and organizing, everything is a go for the big Sand Fire Benefit tonight. Sponsored by local business people, service clubs, government agencies and community volunteers to help those who lost their homes in the recent Sand Fire, the benefit has something for everyone including […]

Bicycle plans given OK: Mo Flat pedestrian bridge OK’d

At its Aug. 7 meeting, the El Dorado County Transportation Commission approved funding several projects that will improve pedestrian and bicycle facilities in the county. The commission approved spending $90,000 for a grant application that was previously submitted to the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG). It will be combined with $47,000 in county funds as part of […]

County Counsel retires next week

After 21 years in the department, including the past nearly two years as County Counsel, Ed Knapp is hanging up his “neologisms” and closing his “Brown Act for Dummies” book. Knapp spends hours every week sitting at the County Counsel’s table in the Board of Supervisors chambers answering or being ready to answer any legal questions a supervisor or staff member may put to him. And sometimes, completely unlawyer-like, he even says, “I don’t know.”

He does, however, know “Knapp’s law of public meetings — The hot air expands to fill the time allotted.”

Knapp laughs telling about moving from New Hampshire in 1971 in an old beater. “Wherever the car dies is where we’ll stay,” he recalled. The car made it all the way to San Francisco, so that became …

Patrol car hit in collision

A deputy was involved in a collision in Shingle Springs on Aug. 16 after another car failed to yield. The deputy was traveling Code 3 — full lights and sirens — northbound on South Shingle Road, CHP Officer Quinn Cuthbertson said. As the deputy was crossing the intersection at about 20 mph on a red […]

Murder-suicide? Elderly couple found dead

An elderly couple was found dead of gunshot wounds on Aug. 19 in Placerville. El Dorado County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the 3300 block of Gold Nugget Court for a possible assault with a deadly weapon and possible suicide, a press release stated. Upon arrival, an elderly man and elderly woman were found deceased in […]

Sacto board OKs Mather’s 20-year plan

SACRAMENTO — Despite hundreds of formal complaints that Mather Airport’s nighttime air cargo operations are noisy enough as is, the Sacramento Board of Supervisors voted 3-1 Aug. 12 to beef them up when they approved a 20-year-development plan and revised Environmental Impact Report. The master plan includes lengthening runways and upgrading the airport’s navigation aid, […]

District 4 and 5: Biggest spenders weren’t the winners

A final tally of what Board of Supervisors candidates for Districts 4 and 5 raised and spent during the primary is in. In the District 4 contest, the two top vote getters were Mike Ranalli and Howard Penn with Ranalli edging out Penn by a slender 56 votes. They will face off against each other in November. In order of […]

Plane crash victim ID’d

An update from the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office revealed the name of the San Jose man who died in a plane crash in Mosquito on Aug. 16. Perry Nieland, 52, died in the accident that also injured his brother, Richard, 55, both of San Jose. It is unknown who was piloting the biplane. It […]

Marilyn Ferguson — a city jewel

Marilyn Ferguson is a not-so-hidden jewel in the city of Placerville. You just have to know where to look — at the Fountain Tallman Museum, 524 Main St. Ferguson has been the manager of the museum for the past seven years, but her contributions in preserving the history of Placerville go back much further.

The 83-year-old is quick-witted and slightly irreverent, with a wry sense of humor, and she knows more about Placerville than just about anyone. Her years of historical research and involvement in historical organizations have made Ferguson the go-to person when anyone has a question about Placerville history, but when she and her late husband moved to Placerville from San Diego in 1967 to raise their children in a less crowded environment, she was a housewife, not a historian. “What got me were the backs of the buildings you could see from the highway, before they were cleaned up like they are now,” said Ferguson.

Ferguson met a mother while volunteering at her children’s …

Missing man found drowned

The body of a missing man was found in the South Fork of the American River Monday afternoon. El Dorado County sheriff’s deputies and Coroner personnel recovered the body of Raymond Nacon, 32, of Folsom, after Nacon had gone missing around 9 p.m. Aug. 16. About 6:30 a.m. the next day, a resident along the […]

Body found by Hwy 50

The body of a woman was found Sunday in the Placerville vicinity. The body was found in an open field at the intersection of Highway 50 and Missouri Flat Road, a press release from the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office stated. A passerby saw the body and reported it to deputies at about 4:30 p.m. Upon […]

Head Start: Teachers protest pay cuts

At about 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 14, about 20 people were lined up on Green Valley Road outside of the El Dorado County Office of Education.

“EDCOE not honoring contract,” read one sign. “We won’t just quit, we’re teachers and role models,” read another. Teachers, classroom assistants and speech therapists had gathered from multiple districts to protest a new contract forced on Head Start teachers.

“We’re not really protesting,” preschool teacher Luann Carlson said. They were, instead, giving out information.

The new contract was “affecting teachers and families” in …

Amaral cites a different skill set: District 2 candidate

Saying his campaign may yet surprise people is Chris Amaral, another candidate for the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors, District 2. Asked why he’s running so soon after losing in the primary to Bill Schultz for the job of Recorder-Clerk, Amaral said he’s a big proponent of public service and has a unique skill set […]

City Council nixes rehab facility

Agreeing with residents that Coloma Street already has its share of treatment facilities, a conditional use permit for a 10-bed residential treatment facility at 2986 Coloma Street was denied at the Aug. 12 meeting of the Placerville City Council. Owned by Tim and Ellen Page, the home is currently being used as a sober living […]

1 dies in plane crash

A biplane crashed on a residential street less than half mile east of the Swansboro Airport Saturday, according to Mosquito Fire Protection District Battalion Chief Chris Johns. One of two on the airplane died, according to the Sheriff’s Department, and a second was transported by Calstar to Sutter Hospital in Roseville, Johns said. The Sheriff’s […]

Homicide: Nov. trial for Harris

A Friday morning hearing for a woman accused of murdering her husband confirmed a November trial. Deputy District Attorney Joe Alexander confirmed with Judge Kenneth J. Melikian that the Colleen Harris trial will begin on Nov. 4. In the interim, Alexander said, he and defense attorney David Weiner would develop a schedule for pre-trial motions. […]

Supervisors say no to charter changes

El Dorado County Board of Supervisors, at the Aug. 12 meeting, opted to close the issue of reducing the number of elected county officials. Responding to a recommendation by the Grand Jury to put the matter to the voters of the county, the board voted unanimously not to implement the recommendation. Supervisors could have designed […]

School bus hit head-on, five suffer minor injuries

A collision involving a school bus bound for Union Mine High School resulted in minor injuries and an arrest on Thursday.

The CHP responded to Grizzly Flat Road near Mahaney Ranch Road at 6:50 a.m. on a report of a collision involving a school bus, CHP Officer Quinn Cuthbertson said. Two passenger vehicles were involved.

The bus had been traveling westbound towards town, Cuthbertson said, when Steven Gruber, 24, who was heading eastbound, drove into the oncoming lane. The bus driver, Jennifer Shields …