Friday, September 19, 2014

Signs subject to removal

Signs have been appearing along Highway 50 thanking firefighters and law enforcement for their work on the King Fire since it began. Most, however, have not been approved by the Department of Transportation and are subject to removal. Rosalie Baker saw the idea to put signs where the Christmas trees are displayed along Highway 50, […]

Georgetown smoky but grateful

The handmade signs were everywhere: “We love you firefighters.” “Thank you firefighters.” Found up and down Main Street in Georgetown, they went with the smoke that has hung over the town for the last few days due to the King Fire — a constant reminder of the danger next door. Outside of Georgetown on sections […]

King Fire structural damage confirmed

It’s been confirmed that some homes and other structures have been damaged due to the King Fire, according to a briefing provided to residents on Friday night in Camino and an update by on Sunday.

Located in the White Meadows area of Pollock Pines, fire officials said they are still investigating the damage and would be notifying property owners before releasing any further information. An update on on Sunday afternoon stated, “preliminary reports from the Damage Assessment Team from the White Meadows area indicate that 10 residences and 22 other structures were damaged or destroyed.”

The King Fire, which started in Pollock Pines, was up to …

Accused arsonist pleads not guilty

A not guilty plea was entered in court Friday afternoon for the man accused of setting the King Fire.

Wayne Allen Huntsman, 37, had a plea of not guilty entered for him by Judge Gary Hahn, also denying all special allegations. Huntsman kept his head down as he entered the courtroom and next to his attorney, William Dittmann of the El Dorado County Public Defender’s Office, while a line of media cameras watched …

Suspected arsonist nabbed

A man has been arrested in Placerville on suspicion of arson on forest land in relation to the King Fire. Wayne Allen Huntsman, 37, was arrested in Placerville Wednesday night after an El Dorado County superior court judge signed a warrant for his arrest, said District Attorney Vern Pierson at a press conference Thursday morning. A […]

King Fire briefing in Camino attracts a large crowd

With the King Fire continuing to rage, interest was high at Tuesday night’s fire briefing with an estimated crowd of 400 to 700 people in attendance. Held at the Camino Seventh-day Adventist Church, fire and law enforcement personnel gave out the latest information on the fire as well as fielded questions. Laurence Crabtree, a supervisor with the U.S. Forest Service, noted […]

Arson arrest made in King Fire; Swansboro evacuated

The King Fire exploded to 70,944 acres between Wednesday night and Thursday morning, and a man was arrested on a single charge of arson of forest land Wednesday night.

Wayne Allen Huntsman, 37, was booked into the Placerville jail Wednesday night on a charge of arson of a forest land. His bail was set at $10 million. He is under suspicion as the cause of the fire.

The fire doubled in size overnight, from almost 30,000 acres to nearly 71,000, with no change from the 5 percent containment.

“The fire continued to burn actively throughout the night,” a Thursday morning update …

High school superintendent hired by Elk Grove Unified

El Dorado High School District Superintendent Christopher Hoffman was selected as Elk Grove Unified School District’s new superintendent by the Elk Grove District Board of Trustees at the Sept. 16 meeting. Hoffman is beginning his fourth year as Superintendent of El Dorado Union High School District this year and will be taking up his new position […]

Firefighters and evacuees transform Pollock Pines

Monday was a day of ashes and smoke as the King Fire continued to grow, with the plume of white smoke turning to a dirty brown as the fire found fresh fuel and threatened even more homes.

With its population increased almost overnight, Pollock Pines became home to almost 1,500 firemen from all over the state as they arrived to fight a fire that burned around 200 acres on Saturday but moved on to engulf more than 11,500 acres by Tuesday morning.

One resident said he counted 55 fire trucks in the parking lot of Safeway on Monday morning. Added to that were more fire engines parked elsewhere along with water trucks, a line of bulldozers on flatbed trucks and scores of people watching …

Fire burns CP house

A Cameron Park house was damaged in a fire on Sept. 15. Cameron Park Fire was dispatched to 3309 Fair Way Drive at 5:57 p.m., Engineer Jeremy Johnson said. Engine 88 was first on scene. The fire consumed about 25 percent of the house, and “got in to the attic, burned across the front of […]

Volcanoville man shot

A man was allegedly shot Monday morning in Volcanoville. Deputies were dispatched to a report of a shooting around 11 a.m., a post on the El Dorado County Sheriff’s blog stated. Upon arrival, deputies found a man with what appeared to be a gunshot wound. He was flown to a Roseville hospital for treatment. His […]

King Fire nearing 19,000 acres burned, only 5% contained

The acreage burned by the King Fire has climbed to 18,544 acres as of Wednesday. It remains at 5 percent containment. Two injuries have been reported, and 2,448 structures (1,632 residences) have been threatened, according to an Inciweb update.

The California Highway Patrol Facebook page originally stated the fire had crossed over Highway 50 near Sly Park, but scanner reports and the CHP Facebook page later reported the fire “burns up to north side of U.S. 50 east of Sly Park,” but not across it Tuesday night.

King Fire grows to more than 2,000 acres

A fire quickly spreading east of Pollock Pines forced El Dorado County families to evacuate their homes on Sunday.

Mandatory evacuations of about 100 began about 11:30 a.m. Sunday, according to Matthew Marques, a volunteer at the evacuation center at the Pollock Pines Community Center.

The King Fire, off of King of the Mountain Road, began at 4:32 p.m. on Sept. 13 and spread to more than 2,000 acres by 4:20 p.m. on Sept. 14, according to the latest update available from Cal Fire as of press time. It was originally listed as 100 acres, with 10 percent containment, but updated later in the afternoon. It was located in the canyon of South Fork American River, northeast of Pollock …

Sheriff’s headquarters: Supes OK land offer

El Dorado County Supervisors voted unanimously Sept. 9 to move forward with the purchase of 30.73 acres of land for a new sheriff’s headquarters facility. Located partly in the Diamond Springs area business Park West and adjoining property, the two parcels were part of the former Diamond-Caldor mill and became the “preferred” option of the […]

County takes first step on future of the courthouse

One day, perhaps as soon as 2020, the old courthouse on Main Street in Placerville will be vacated by the Superior Court of El Dorado County. When that day comes, county and city leaders want “something” ready and able to move right in. The “something” will be the subject of a joint city-county “blue ribbon […]

Frentzen to be sworn in Monday

With the results of the special election certified on Friday, Sept. 12, it was announced that the winner, Shiva Frentzen, will be sworn in on Monday, Sept. 15, as the newest member of the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors, representing District 2. El Dorado County Recorder-Clerk and Registrar of Voters Bill Schultz will present the certified results […]

District 4 supervisor candidates speak to qualifications, issues

Both candidates for the District 4 El Dorado County Board of Supervisors seat — Michael Ranalli and Howard Penn — spoke at the meeting of the Rural Communities Coalition on Sept. 4. The meeting was held at the Garden Valley Fire Station 51 and was well attended by local residents. Prior to introducing the candidates, […]

Sheriff’s Office to star in reality series on Fox 40

El Dorado County Sheriff John D’Agostini and his office will star in a new reality series premiering Saturday, Sept. 20 on Fox 40.

“Sheriffs … El Dorado County” is “not your typical ‘COPS,’” D’Agostini said at a press conference, “where you only see the crazy stuff,” such as only chasing criminals. “You see the true operation of the Sheriff’s Office.” In a press release, D’Agostini added that he wants “to encourage all citizens of …”

Frentzen wins Dist. 2 supervisor race

In a rout of the other five candidates running for the job, Shiva Frentzen handily won in Tuesday’s election for the District 2 spot on the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors. Although the results won’t be official until certified by the county Elections Department, Frentzen had the lead with almost 31 percent of the […]

County of El Dorado Special Supervisorial District 2 Election

County of El Dorado Special Supervisorial District II Election Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014 Semi Official Election Night Final Report Registered Voters: 22,341                     Cards Cast: 7,677                     34.36% Num. Report Precinct 14               […]

Blue ribbon committee for courthouse

At the Sept. 9 meeting, the Placerville City Council voted unanimously to coordinate with El Dorado County to form a blue ribbon committee of city and county stakeholders to explore potential uses for the historic courthouse on Main Street. The makeup of the committee has not yet been determined, but city and county leaders will […]

EID board gives nod to future bonds

On a 3-2 vote Monday the El Dorado Irrigation District board paved the way to a future discussion of specific bonds two years from now. Approving a “resolution of intention” put the maximum possible bonding for water system improvements at $41.6 million. The biggest project that would seek funding in 2016 is Forebay Dam, now […]

Placerville Police Dept. offers phone app

The Placerville Police Department announced its newly released mobile device app. This is a free app which can be downloaded from your app store. The app offers several modules to include: • Crime mapping • Anonymous crime reporting • Sex offender mapping • School resource officer • Commend police personnel • Volunteer information • Links […]

Schultz: ‘Not guilty’

A man accused of growing marijuana pleaded not guilty in court on Sept. 9. Justen David Schultz appeared with attorney Dain Weiner in a short hearing Tuesday morning. After pleading not guilty, Judge Douglas C. Phimister gave a new court date of Oct. 14 at 8 a.m. in Department 7. Schultz faces charges related to allegedly […]

Capital Airshow: Amazing thrills, skills and no spills

After producing nine airshows, Darcy Brewer, the executive director of the California Capital Airshow, outdid herself this year as was appreciated by the 60,000 spectators on the flight line who were up close and personal to the incredible spectrum of flying machines that participated.

With another great lineup of the best of the best airshow pilots, plus two military demonstration teams, it doesn’t get any better. And the proof was that most of the 60,000-plus fans that were on the flight line for the two exciting days were standing most of the time.

While the flight …

Developmental disabilities don’t slow volunteer’s community efforts

Proving that disabilities limit us only as much as we let them is Shingle Springs resident James McCamy, 72. Born with developmental disabilities that gave him memory problems, which kept him from learning how to read or write, McCamy hasn’t allowed that to limit him. Nor has a life spent partly in a state hospital and foster care. […]

Fire and water highlight special meeting

“Smoke-free so far,” Eldorado National Forest Supervisor Laurence Crabtree told the Mountain Democrat recently when asked about the conditions of the forest. Later during a county Board of Supervisors special meeting Aug. 25, he said, “I thought the forest looked pretty good. It’s intact and that’s good.” Crabtree aimed kudos at forest management and an […]

City to fund police reserves

Hoping to attract a new cadre of reserve police officers, the Placerville City Council approved funding a Police Reserve Program at its Aug. 12 meeting. The program will augment current basic police services and assist the department in dealing with staff shortages. It is also expected to help in the recruitment of full-time sworn officers when openings become […]

Marshall’s hyperbaric chamber one of few in NorCal

The only thing “beamed up” were the faces of four ladies of the Marshall Hospital Auxiliary as they recently checked out a space-age clear acrylic “body chamber” that looks like something Capt. Kirk would have loved.

No wonder the women were beaming, as funds from the auxiliary played a big part in purchasing two of the hyperbaric chambers, an acquisition that sends …

Bucks Bar shooting: Man arrested on murder charge

A man was allegedly killed by a gunshot wound on Bucks Bar Road in Placerville at about 9:30 p.m. on Sept. 3.

Deputies were dispatched to a verbal disturbance on Bucks Bar Road, which was quickly upgraded to a report of an assault with a deadly weapon with shots fired, an El Dorado County Sheriff’s press release stated. When deputies arrived, they found a man unconscious, having sustained a gunshot wound.

The man was transported to …

McClintock: Bad policies cause problems

Returning to a common theme that America’s problems are largely the result of bad public policy, Congressman Tom McClintock discussed everything from water to war when he visited the offices of the Mountain Democrat on Aug. 25. Beginning with water, McClintock said Congress is currently working on a water bill, although he declined to give any details as it’s still […]

Prosecution paints dark picture of Winkler

An Aug. 25 pre-trial hearing concerning a man who allegedly killed his wife in self-defense introduced evidence concerning a prior wife and her death. Although defense attorney David Weiner voiced concerns about introducing the evidence and selecting an impartial jury for the upcoming Todd Winkler trial, Judge Kenneth J. Melikian had no such concerns and […]

EDSO identifies body found in field

The body of a woman found in a field off of Missouri Flat Road and U.S. Highway 50 has been identified as 52-year-old Penny Juergenson, according to a press release from the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office. On Aug. 17, deputies responded to the field for a report of human remains. A passerby saw the […]

EID board puts off bond resolution for capital projects

A resolution indicating the district’s intention to issue new tax-exempt obligations to finance additional capital improvements was taken off the table after objections were raised by Directors Greg Prada and Alan Day at last Monday’s board meeting of the El Dorado Irrigation District. Prada said he wanted more public notice and input before the issue was voted on while Day […]

September 03, 2014 | Posted in News | Tagged ,

GDPUD shortens irrigation season

Irrigation season will be shortened by a week as a result of a special board meeting of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District held on Aug. 28. The board’s decision means irrigation season will end Sept. 23. Normally the season ends Oct. 1. Interim General Manager George Sanders said the decision was made in order to save water since it’s unknown what kind […]

Boy hit by ricochet

A 7-year-old boy was injured while at a target range with a youth rifle on Aug. 30 in Georgetown. The family, from the Bay Area, was visiting its Georgetown property, where members had constructed a shooting range, a Sheriff’s Office press release stated. Two people were using the range at the time, with more family […]

Wine grape harvest begins

A large metal machine was quietly pressing grapes on the afternoon of Aug. 28. The grapes were some of the first harvest collected by Lava Cap Vineyards.

Behind the tasting room, Charlie Jones, vineyard manager, watched as winemaker Joe Norman, in a white lab coat, worked the machine. It was 6 tons of sauvignon blanc grapes, Jones said, and a small one. Only one press load, where a normal day of harvest will see two, between 10 and 12 tons of grapes processed per day. It was the first week harvest began in earnest, and would likely pick up the next week and stay consistent. Sept. 1 is a “typical start date,” Jones said, so they are just about on schedule.

Harvest came slightly early …