Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Marshall seeks baby-friendly imprimatur

Looking to add to their credentials, Marshall Medical Center hopes to add the designation of being a Baby-Friendly Hospital next month.

Part of a global Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative sponsored by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund, the designation recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding.

In particular, the initiative focuses on providing new mothers with the information, confidence and skills needed to successfully breastfeed their babies and gives special recognition to hospitals that have done so.

In charge of the program at Marshall is Christine Miguelgorry, who is a …

New ruling gives hope to dredgers

A new ruling issued on Jan. 12 of this year is giving hope to suction dredgers that they will once again be able to ply their trade on California’s waterways.

Issued by San Bernardino County Judge Gilbert Ochoa, the decision builds on a previous ruling by a state appellate court in the case of People v. Rinehart.

In that case, Brandon Rinehart successfully appealed his conviction for suction dredging without a permit when the Third Court of Appeals for California ruled the trial …

Fair seeks to ‘de-organ-ize': Rare pipe organ 1 of 2 in CA

She was the first pipe organ in El Dorado County; she might be one of the only two Bergstrom Pipe Organs left in California; she might be the largest surviving Bergstrom and now, this vintage lady of El Dorado County history needs a home as the county fair is asking the Historical Society to move it.

Built by John Eric Bergstrom, a Swedish immigrant who learned the science of organ building in Sweden before coming to the United States in 1850, the Bergstrom pipe organ is the only occupant of the Organ Room at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds. Usually the background for exhibits during the county fair, the organ hasn’t been played for many years.

According to “History of El Dorado County Federated Church,” by Malcom E. Wright, the organ was purchased by the Placerville …

Controversy continues over death of Gen. George S. Patton

Even 70 years later, the death of Gen. George S. Patton remains controversial.

A person connected to the Mountain Democrat offers a different, insider’s perspective on the traffic accident that led to Patton’s death, disputing the controversy.

A brilliant and audacious warrior who was often called “old blood and guts,” Patton’s untimely death at the end of World War II resulted in speculation that he died at an assassin’s hand rather than because of an automobile accident.

It was the subject of several books. One published in 2008 was called “Target Patton,” by journalist Robert Wilcox.

Murder arrests stem from cold case; suspects arraigned

Two of the three men arrested last week in connection with a cold case murder from 2006 were arraigned the afternoon of Jan. 20.

Eric Mehlmauer, accused of murder, was assigned no bail after pleading not guilty; Ronald Garcia was accused of aiding Mehlmauer after the alleged murder was committed and was assigned $50,000 bail.

Garcia, 53, of Sacramento, was arraigned first and entered a not guilty plea to a charge of accessory after the fact, or willfully concealing, harboring or aiding the suspect after a felony — in this case, the alleged murder of Tobias Kaiser on or about Nov. 11, 2006.

White Meadows continues King Fire recovery

Despite the devastating effects of the King Fire, clean up and recovery efforts continue in White Meadows.

That area suffered the most in terms of property damage with 12 homes and at least 57 buildings destroyed.

One of those families whose home burned was Michele and Doug Mudgett, whose ranch, Pacific House Farms, was in the path of the fire.

Their home, barn and much of the timber on their property was lost. They are now living in a small travel trailer on their property along with their …

Stick-up in Cameron Park: Employee’s wallet also taken

A man armed with a pistol robbed a check-cashing store in Cameron Park Tuesday afternoon, fleeing on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash and the assistant manager’s wallet, according to El Dorado County Sheriff’s investigators.

The man, who reportedly was unmasked when he went into the Check Into Cash store at 3440 Palmer Drive, fled northbound following the 3:50 p.m. robbery. He had masked himself later, as he brandished a gun and demanded money, according to sheriff’s detective Jon Densmore, who was …

Candlelight vigil honors Khrista Ibarolle

A vigil was held on Jan. 11 for a woman killed during an alleged carjacking.

The vigil was held at 6 p.m. at 36 Handles in El Dorado Hills, the bar Khrista Ibarolle was leaving when she was allegedly murdered by Anderson Swift, 41, of Oakland, while trying to carjack Ibarolle and her friend Kesha Patrice.

The well-attended candlelight vigil was organized by nearby Rolling Hills Church. Member Crystal Wilson read a message from Ibarolle’s family off of her phone. Lori, Khrista’s mother, wrote, “No one will miss her more than her family, who now have a Khrista-shaped hole in our hearts.”

Friends remember Khrista Ibarolle

Khrista Ibarolle was a people person.

“She was the kindest person, she would do anything for others,” said Marina Texeira, owner of the Torch Club in Sacramento, where Ibarolle frequented. “That’s the irony.”

Ibarolle was allegedly killed during a carjacking just after midnight on Jan. 7 in the parking lot of the 36 Handles Pub in El Dorado Hills by Anderson Swift, 41, of Oakland. Texeira said the act was “disgusting, quite honestly.”

The 31-year-old El Dorado …

Victim ID’d in El Dorado Hills homicide, carjacking

A woman died after an apparent robbery gone wrong outside an El Dorado Hills restaurant shortly after midnight on Jan. 7.

El Dorado County sheriff’s officials said shooting suspect Anderson Swift, 41, of Oakland, is in custody. Swift allegedly tried to rob two women who were leaving 36 Handles Irish Pub in the Montano de El Dorado shopping center off White Rock Road.

The pub had just closed, said Lt. Tom Murdoch, and two women were walking to their cars. “The suspect demanded cash and keys from the two females. The female patrons ran from the suspect,” a sheriff’s press release stated. They made it “close to the front door,” Murdoch said. One of the females, identified by Murdoch as Khrista Ibarolle, 31, of El Dorado Hills, was then shot and killed by the suspect. The suspect took Ibarolle’s keys, stole her vehicle and headed northbound on Silva Valley Parkway.

Lions fix up Diamond Springs hall

The Clara Scheiber building, on the corner of Pleasant Valley and Missouri Flat roads, has been around since 1948, but the freezing temperatures of December 2013 took their toll on its 66-year-old trusses.

Mother Lode Lions Club has owned the building since 1959 and this February, right after the their crab feed, the Lions noticed something amiss. “The roofline was bulging out right over the entrance,” said Jerry Didlot, club president.

A roofing company called out to inspect the problem discovered cracks two to six inches wide in the trusses supporting the roof in the main hall. “We figured …”

Standoff with SWAT ends with house fire

A standoff over a warrant service ended Thursday night after a fire broke out at 2237 Cold Springs Road.

The standoff began at about 11:30 a.m. on Jan. 1, a press release from the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office stated. A male living at the residence, whom EDSO had not identified as of press time, had a warrant related to felony domestic violence.

The male refused to exit the residence when deputies contacted him. However, he …

Dry snow in season’s first survey

A small blizzard and sub freezing temperatures greeted Frank Gehrke as he conducted the first snow survey on Dec. 30 at Phillips Station.

Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Survey for the California Department of Water Resources, measured the depth of the snow at 21.3 inches. But with a water content of just 4 inches, Gehrke noted it was only 33 percent of average.

“While there is more snow than last year,” he said, “the amount of water in the snow is far below average for this time of year and location. But we’re doing slightly better than last year at this location when it was only 2.3 inches of water content.

40 years: 40 objects celebrate Historical Museum

With this year being the 40th anniversary of the El Dorado County Historical Museum, what better way to celebrate than by highlighting 40 objects that best tell the story of the county and the museum.

The brainchild of museum Director Mary Cory, she said the inspiration came from a book she read about the history of the Civil War that was told through 50 objects.

“Quite a few books tell a story through objects,” she said.

Arranged chronologically or by theme, the first of 40 objects …

A Christmas gift from Abby

Abby McGloughlin, 9, is a little bummed that she won’t be seeing the family elf, Lillypippa, again until next year, but Abby has been mostly good. This year, she took to heart a sentence her mother put on the family home-school chalkboard: “Instead of asking what you’re getting for Christmas, ask what you can give.”

Abby is the girl with the hair, golden brown hair that ends just above her knees. She loves her hair; her parents love her hair. But on Dec. 22, Abby and her mother, Bre, went to the Gold Country Hair Salon and Rose Laird cut 14 inches of it off to be donated to Children With Hair Loss.

“We researched different Websites because Abby wanted her hair to go to children,” said Bre. “Children With Hair Loss makes wigs for children without any cost to their parents.”

This is not the first time Abby has donated her hair. At age 3 and again at age 5, she …

Cal Fire gives toys to New Morning Shelter

On Dec. 22, as a culmination of a fundraising effort, Cal Fire presented the kids of New Morning Shelter with toys and gifts cards.

Engineer John Reis, who took the reins of the fundraiser this year, presented Mary Tyler, the shelter manager, with 58 gifts and a dozen gift cards. “It’s our way of giving back,” he told the assembled kids and shelter staff.

Tyler expressed thanks, noting that there was not much that could be done for the holidays without the donations. “Kids come with no shoes, no underwear.” When that …

Cameron Park vet survived Battle of the Hurtgen Forest

As one of eight survivors of a platoon of 48; a Silver Star awardee from an encounter in the Hurtgen Forest where Allies were surrounded for 21 hard winter days; being wounded three times; a participant in the battle of the bridge at Remagen; successful in the career he loved and the husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather of large and loving family; Tom Vano considers himself to be a lucky man.

Vano, 88, of Cameron Park, gave his Silver Star to a family member, but he really didn’t want it to begin with. It was a symbol of things he wanted to forget and reminder of brave men who died.

He grew up in Astoria, Long Island, and was friends, classmates and bandmates with the singer Tony Bennett, whose family had come from the same part of Italy, Calabria, as Vano’s parents.

Community service key for retiring mayor

On Dec. 9, 2014, Placerville Mayor Carl Hagen turned over his gavel to Vice Mayor Patty Borelli and walked into a life a little different from the one he has led for the past 10 years as a member of the Placerville City Council.

Hagen, 69, who has been mayor twice, was appointed from a pool of nine candidates to replace Councilman Robert Salazar, who died during his term in 2004. In 2006, Hagen was elected to his first full term on City Council and to his second in 2010.

“There was a public …”

Downtown upbeat about Christmas

The holiday season is usually a retail bonanza for merchants. This November, national retail sales were up by 4-5 percent, with the National Retail Federation predicting a whopping $616.9 billion in sales for this holiday season.

Downtown Placerville merchants have seen steady sales and some of them are hoping for the late season surge they experienced last year.

“Last year, there was a big surge about four days before Christmas,” said Danielle Thorne, owner of Ecological, 320 Main Street, which specializes in fair-trade items.

Stormproofing the watershed after King Fire

With last Thursday’s storm threatening more damage, U.S. Forest Service and Sacramento Municipal Utility District staff were out in force doing what they could to protect a watershed left scarred by the King Fire.

On Wednesday, crews were hurriedly putting in berms, placing risers over culverts, laying rocks and log barriers and taking other measures to protect the hillsides, roads, powerhouses and other structures before the storm hit.

Up and down Forebay Road, dump trucks rumbled by with tons of crushed rock. At the bottom of one gully, a front-end loader graded the area while rock was placed above to control the water flow and to keep the gully from turning into a small canyon. Meanwhile, what looked like a hydro excavator truck waited on …

Storm causes minor flooding, fallen trees, power outages

The storm that hit California late last week dumped rain and snow in El Dorado County, causing power outages, floods and downed trees.

For the previous 48 hours at 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 12, the storm rained between 1 and 4 inches of water, with Placerville having the highest at 4.22 inches, according to the National Weather Service’s …

Behind the lines in WWII

“I was working at the Kaiser Shipyard in Richmond and I got drafted by the Army,” said Ray Haagen. Since shipfitters making Liberty ships (military cargo ships) had a deferred occupation, Haagen had thought he might not be drafted, but he was.

The 94-year-old Pleasant Valley resident hadn’t really talked about his experiences during WWII in the “Thunderbolt Division” — the 83rd Infantry Division, until he received a bottle of 1939 Chateau Lauretan wine in the mail from the son of a former Army buddy.

The unopened bottle had been signed by Haagen and a dozen others in Normandy in 1945 and labeled “Do not open until 1955.” Haagen didn’t remember signing the bottle, but he remembered working with supply sergeant Ben Young, who had held on to the bottle until his death in 2002.

“I was attached to Regimental Headquarters because I had taken typing in high school,” said Haagen. “I rode all over…”

George Peabody dies at 96

George W. Peabody, one of the foremost historians of El Dorado County, died on Saturday, Dec. 6 at a neighbor’s home that he helped build on the top of Lent’s Hill. He had recently celebrated his 96th birthday, but the holy tamales which Peabody attributed to having extended his health by seven months could only do so much against colon cancer.

Born Oct. 23, 1918, Peabody grew up in Southern California and attended South Pasadena College. He married Patricia Cecilia Davies on June 13, 1942, went to work for the Lockheed Corp. as an aircraft …

Winkler sentenced 26-years-to-life

A man found guilty of murdering his wife was sentenced to 26-years-to-life in state prison on Monday.

“I’m ready for a big dose of karma,” Katelynn White, a member of the audience, said as Todd Winkler, now dressed in an orange prison jumpsuit instead of a suit, was led into the courtroom. “That outfit fits him better.” White would have been the stepdaughter of Rachel Winkler had she not been murdered by Todd on Feb. 27, 2012. He was convicted on Oct. 22.

Before the sentence was decided, Judge Kenneth J. Melikian allowed members of the audience to give victim impact statements. The first was by Don Hatfield, Rachel’s father.

Nugget Markets gives Cameron Park store a lift

CAMERON PARK — Food 4 Less shoppers have seen their local grocery store transform before their eyes over the last several months and earlier this week Nugget Markets unveiled the store’s new name — Fork Lift — and kicked off a week-long celebration.

“It’s really a hybrid of Food 4 Less and Nugget,” said assistant store director Jazzmen Sinns. “It’s the best of both worlds.”

In addition to offering products shoppers have added to their carts since Food 4 Less opened in July 2002, Fork Lift has more than 20,000 new items, Sinns said, pointing out the …

Eyewitness to history — Pearl Harbor: Dec. 7, 1941

With the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor coming up this Sunday, the event still manages to evoke strong memories in those who lived through that event, even after 73 years.

One of those is Shingle Springs resident Bob Clarke, whose family lived in Hawaii at the time and who was an eyewitness to history.

Living in a home at the top of a hill overlooking Pearl Harbor, the Clarke family watched as the ships and nearby military bases were bombarded by the Japanese.

Clarke, who was 15 at the time, said he, his parents and two younger brothers were living in an area called Aiea, which was once an old plantation town.

Taxpayer group tackles water rights

In what was largely a reprise of the last meeting of the El Dorado County Water Agency, members of the Taxpayers Association of El Dorado County debated the pros and cons of pursuing additional water rights at their Dec. 1 meeting.

With Dave Eggerton, the outgoing general manager of the El Dorado County Water Agency providing an overview, the audience peppered him and each other with questions about the project.

At present the Water Agency, in conjunction with El Dorado County and the El Dorado Irrigation District, make up a joint powers authority called the El Dorado Water & Power Authority or EDWPA.

Together the three agencies are splitting the cost of an application to the State Water Board for an additional 40,000 acre-feet of water rights. The expected cost of the application is between $8.1 million to $11.7 million, with the big-ticket items being an environmental impact report, consultants and legal help.

After Thanksgiving: Christmas tree farms busy

Geri Hyder, armed with a walking stick, radioed down to her son-in-law, Rich Rumbaugh, to tell him that more cars were coming in to Indian Rock Tree Farm. Helpers in red shirts and hats scurry around, providing a full service of cutting, hauling, netting and putting trees on top of cars.

The Hyder family is everywhere — Larry, the patriarch, greeting customers and chatting. Granddaughter Aubrie Wallin and her cousins wrapped trees in nets a few feet away.

Meanwhile, the Hitchcock family of Sacramento was there to get their Christmas tree.

Turkey in the straw becomes dinner on the holiday table

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, it’s natural to think of turkey.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than 45 million turkeys will be cooked and eaten this Thanksgiving. That’s one-sixth of all turkeys sold in the U.S. each year, with turkey also popular at Christmas and Easter.

A type of pheasant, turkeys are the only poultry native to the Western Hemisphere.

Available in many varieties, heritage domestic turkeys are the result of cross-breeding between domesticated European varieties and the wild turkeys of North America…

Plane crash kills Cameron physician

Dr. Doug Pleatman, 59, was killed Friday morning in the crash of his 1961 PA-24 Piper Comanche airplane near Garberville. The local weather at the time of the crash was fog and rain. Witnesses said they did not hear an engine and that a wing clipped a tree and the aircraft cartwheeled to the ground […]

Rock of ages: Diamonds in meteorite

A continuing source of “scientific gold,” the Sutter’s Mill meteorite that fell in El Dorado County is back in the news again.

This time it’s because researchers have found diamonds and other “treasures” in recovered parts of the meteorite that fell in the …

Marina School: State award for Rescue counselor

Her office is constantly filled with students coming and going, but that’s the way Myrna Harp likes it. “This is the comfort room, the safe place, and they know that,” said Harp. “There’s never a dull moment around here.”

Providing that comfort and safety in the perilous world of puberty is why Harp was selected by the California Association of School Counselors to receive the Donald G. Hays Award as Outstanding School Counselor of the Year for 2014. This is not a local or regional award — Harp was selected from out of all of the school counselors in California to represent the state.

Harp, 58, has been the counselor at Marina Village Middle School for 11 years. In that time she has been chosen as “Educator of the Year” for Rescue Union School District, the first time a counselor had been given that award and was the recipient of El Dorado County Child Abuse Prevention Council’s Champion for Children Award and was selected as a top 10 finalist for the American School …

Fire station sports rooftop garden

People driving past fire station No. 25 in Placerville might have thought they were seeing things as four towers of fresh greens seemed to be sprouting from the rooftop.

But no, it wasn’t their imaginations.

The latest idea in growing food in unlikely spaces, the project is the brainchild of the Casemade Garden Foundation in cooperation with the El Dorado County Fire Protection District.

Called “Sprout it from the Rooftops,” the project aims to “green” rooftops by turning …

Capital Southeast Connector called vital

SACRAMENTO — A realistic look at the connection between housing and jobs in southeast Sacramento County and El Dorado County was presented by Region Builders Inc. at the Sutter Club in Sacramento on Oct. 17. The focus was the Capital Southeast Connector project.

Region Builders Inc. was founded in 2012 as a …

Herrick Bldg. scaffolding gone

George, the Hangman’s dummy, newly restored and with all of his fingers, is swaying in the breeze; the exterior is painted and the scaffolding is gone — progress is being made on the renovation of the Herrick and Hangman’s buildings at 301 and 305 Main Street.

From snail-pace slow to all-in-a-rush, the renovation happens in fits and starts, but renovating 2-century-old buildings with a common roof and wall is an unknown, said Sue Taylor, who owns the buildings with her husband, Tim. “It’s not a typical remodel job. We’re doing a lot of research with this and it’s not something that can be plotted out and all the contractors scheduled.”

The Taylors have owned the …

Bear attack in Camino

On Monday, Oct. 27, Bart Emry of Camino let his dog Daisy, outside to do her business. It was two o’clock in the morning and Emry assumed Daisy’s nudge had meant the 11-year-old collie/lab mix needed to go.

But instead of heading out into the yard, Daisy froze on the porch. “I kept telling her to go, go, but she was staring at something,” said Emry, 55. He started to open the back door wider, but Daisy suddenly jumped backwards and Emry caught sight of why: 25 feet directly in front of them, a huge black bear was foraging in a bag of trash he dragged from a pile by the side of the house. The bear saw Daisy and charged.

Emry reacted by heaving the dog into the laundry room behind him. “I was bent over picking her up and I tried to kick the door shut, but the bear was on top of us and swiped my foot with his claw. I stood up and he stopped long enough for me to slam the door in his snout, which was only about six inches from my face.”

The wound on Emry’s left …

Ranalli, Novasel win county supervisor races

Although the election results are not yet final with 8,000 to 10,000 votes still to be counted, it looks like the two new members of the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors will be Sue Novasel and Mike Ranalli.

Leading by 550 votes in the 4th District supervisorial race is Mike Ranalli with 52.7 percent of the vote. Ranalli’s opponent, Howard Penn, garnered 47 percent.

On the day after the election, Ranalli and his wife were out early picking up campaign signs. “I’m relieved it’s over and grateful for the opportunity to serve the county,” he said.

Asked why he believes he placed first, Ranalli narrowed it down to two main things. “Howard …”

Huge turnout for Deputy Oliver’s memorial service

ROSEVILLE — At least 5,000 law enforcement personnel, friends, family members and elected officials attended the memorial service for slain Sacramento County Sheriff Deputy Danny P. Oliver on Monday, Nov. 3.

Oliver, 47, a resident of El Dorado County, was shot and killed Oct. 24 during a murder spree that began in Sacramento and ended in Placer County. Placer County Detective Michael Davis Jr. was also killed during the incident and three other people were wounded.

EDH reflects on loss of deputy

One day after Jenny Oliver’s sixth grade friends met with grief counselors at Marina Village Middle School, they banded together to paint the rocks for Jenny’s dad, Danny Oliver, the deputy who’d been with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s department for 15 years when he was shot and killed Oct. 24 approaching a suspicious vehicle.

While the news made …

Poor Red’s sold to brothers

The sale of El Dorado’s iconic restaurant closed during the week of Oct. 20-24 said Team Commercial Realtor Ann McQuillen. The restaurant — along with four other buildings including a barn, a beauty salon, a parking structure and a liquor store — sold for $777,500.

“It took a whole year to sell it, with all the liens that were on it,” said McQuillen, “and the kitchen was so far out of compliance with the health codes that whoever bought it had to be prepared to put a lot of money into it to bring the …”

Opportunity Acres: Ranch is a special choice

At long last, youths with autism have a place they can call their own: Opportunity Acres.

Located in Shingle Springs, the ranch is a mix of uses that at first glance don’t seem to fit together. For example, what does boarding horses and dressage have to do with rescued horses, goats and a petting zoo? And what does caring for horses have to do with a life/vocational skills program and non-public high school for those with autism?

Yet, all the pieces do fit together, with one activity …

Flying Samaritans change lives

Once a month, a group of doctors, nurses, medical students and dentists fly to Baja Mexico. They operate a clinic, Alma Luminosa, at San Quintin, on the Rancho Los Pinos, about 200 miles south of the border, and they make a difference in the lives of the people they touch.

They’ve been doing this since 1977 as the Flying Samaritans Mother Lode Chapter, and they don’t plan to stop anytime soon.

Winkler convicted of first-degree murder

A jury found Todd Winkler guilty of the first-degree murder of his wife, Rachel, on Wednesday afternoon.

The verdict from the jury of seven men and five women was read at 2:20 p.m., almost exactly 22 hours after deliberation began. Jurors also found that he used a deadly weapon — scissors — adding a year on to his potential sentence.

Rachel had been having an affair with James White, intending to divorce Todd and marry White instead. Prosecutor Lisette Suder posited that Todd found the computer she had used to calculate child support and alimony, leading him to stab her while she slept. Believing she …

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 the generosity of our community members and animal welfare partners. The new facility will be a great place to proudly serve our residents and to care for animals in need in our county.”

The new facility, located at 6435 Capitol Ave., Diamond Springs, will 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays and 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturdays.

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 …