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Craig Baracco
6 days ago
Amador County Planning Director Susan Grijalva explains a detail in the General Plan. Ledger Dispatch photo by Craig Baracco

A new Amador County General Plan, a document the county has been working on and fighting over for ten years, now stands on the verge of final approval. A narrowly split Amador County Planning Commission voted Tuesday night to recommend approval of the plan to the Amador County Board of Supervisors.

The commission’s recommendation to the board passed on a 3-2 vote. Commissioners Dave Wardall, Ray Lindstrom and Ray Ryan all voted for approval, while commissioners Andy Byrne and Caryl Callsen voted against a positive recommendation....

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Craig Baracco
6 days ago

Personnel matters were the topic of discussion at the Jackson City Council on Monday night, as the council approved a new employee agreement with the city’s police officers and increased the salary of an unfilled wastewater tech position.

The city’s new agreement, called a “Memorandum of Understanding,” with its police officers does not include an increase in base salaries. However, it does increase the city’s contribution to officers’ health insurance and increases the number of plans that officers have to choose from. The new...

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Via Press Release
6 days ago

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the leading cause of death for Americans 15 to 20 years old is motor vehicle collisions. In order to address this alarming trend, the CHP developed a program called Start Smart, which is aimed at helping newly licensed and future licensed teenage drivers understand the critical responsibilities of driving and to understand that accidents do happen, but collisions are almost 100-percent preventable.

To provide teens and their parent/guardians with an interactive safe...

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Via Press Release
6 days ago

The following people have been arrested and booked into the Amador County Jail on the dates and times indicated. All persons are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

August 16

Ione

Joseph Nephi Sutton, 29, Ione; 7:58 p.m. at the Pizza Factory; Battery on a person.

June Katherine Monarrez, 56, Ceres; 7:46 p.m. on Highway 88 at Blue Sky Drive; Spousal Battery.

Jackson

Virginia Loretta Maynard, 56, Stockton; 9:20 a.m. at the Amador County Sheriff’s Office; Violation of probation.

Danyel...

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Via Press Release
6 days ago

The following is taken from dispatch logs created and compiled by the Amador County Sheriff’s Office on the dates and times indicated. This information is part of the public record and is presented here in the interests of public safety.

August 7

10:39 a.m. Suspicious Circumstances on Paine Road in Ione. Someone else's mail, including important tax documents, was found in a driveway. 3:14 p.m. Suspicious Circumstances in Pioneer. The caller states that he confronted his neighbor regarding something he can smell. 8:18 p.m....

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Louis Amestoy
3 days ago
A fire burns in Mountain Ranch on Sunday, Aug. 27. Photo by Bill Lavallie/For the Ledger Dispatch.

Cal Fire firefighters are battling a brush fire in the Mountain Ranch area this afternoon. Cal FIre reported that the fire is now more than 450 acres and is 5 percent contained. Cal Fire public information officer Daniel Berlant tweeted that progress was being made on the fire. The fire was threatening structures and the California Highway Patrol is reporting that Mountain Ranch Road at Willow Creek Road. Other road closures are possible as firefighters arrive to battle the blaze.

Firefighters battling a 300 acre fire off...

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Brent Parsons
6 days ago
ackson Valley was home to mining operations and small family dairy farms in the late 19th and early 20th century. There was copper in the ground and gold in the dirt. According to Hank Willy, the Penn Mine to the south. in Lancha Plana, employed 800 to meet the copper demand during the Civil War. Huge flat boats churned up the Mokelumne to supply the mines and carry the ore. Hank described the landscape under the Penn smelter’s dark cloud as starkly lunar. The EPA funded a cleanup a century later with the deep pockets of EBMUD, which... [Read more]
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John Stettler
6 days ago
Amador Court Appointed Special Advocates are volunteers in an active child advocacy organization that works to establish a solid one-to-one relationship with an abused or neglected child whose parents are under the jurisdiction of the Amador County Dependency Court. CASA volunteers are well-trained and appointed by the court to make sure that the child is receiving the care and attention it needs in order to have a safe and secure environment. CASA workers also report to the court on the best interests of the child and the progress... [Read more]
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Lisa Lucke
6 days ago

In a recent column, which I’ve had a fair share of feedback about, I suggested that a winning restaurant formula is this: offer consistently great food at a fair price. Then, try not to mess up the great food with consistently poor service and you’ll be (and stay) in business. I also said, “Don’t be something you’re not.” If you don’t know how to do BBQ, don’t do BBQ. If you don’t have experience in fine dining, and you can’t find a manager who does, don’t do fine dining.

But there’s one more thing to add to the winning formula:...

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Eric Winslow
6 days ago

California’s groundwater may contain naturally occurring radioactivity. Radioactive minerals occur irregularly in California’s bedrock, and when dissolved in water, radionuclides are colorless, odorless, and tasteless. Unlike community water systems, private wells in California are not routinely regulated or monitored for contaminants like radionuclides. As a result, well owners are responsible for ensuring their drinking water is safe.

In some well water, the concentrations of radionuclides exceed public drinking water standards,...

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Lucy Hackett
6 days ago
Water flowing through the Amador Transmission Pipeline now generates electricity to power the AWA Treatment Plant and offices. Amador Ledger Dispatch file photo

The Amador Water Agency Board of Directors, Amador County Supervisors, PG&E NLine officials and members of the Amador community gathered Thursday morning, at AWA headquarters, on Ridge Road, east of Sutter Creek, to dedicate the AWA’s Tanner Hydroelectric Generation Plant. Small turbines inside the 30-inch Amador Transmission Pipeline now capture otherwise-wasted energy, for a reliable, local and renewable source of electricity.

The turbine uses water flow inside the Amador Transmission Pipeline, and excess pressure at the water...

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Guest Commentator
6 days ago
Dead trees near Pine Grove are striking fear into those who live near them. Amador Ledger Dispatch photo by Sarah Spinetta

Due to four years of intense and destructive drought, the forests of California have been overrun with tiny bark beetles that are taking down trees by the millions.

Well-known for their aggressive, tree-killing behavior, the Western Pine Beetle (WPB), the Red Turpentine beetle (RTB) and the Pine Engraver Beetle (PEB) are the bark beetles most frequently found killing Ponderosa, Coulter Pines and larger cedar trees in California. There are many factors contributing to tree stress, making it more likely that a tree will be killed...

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Craig Baracco
6 days ago
Miss Amador 2016, Sydney Julien, and members of her court Angie Kay Lyman and Bailey Mitchell, thank the Board of Supervisors for their support of the Amador County Fair. Ledger Dispatch photo by Craig Baracco
On Tuesday morning, the Amador Board of Supervisors approved its official response to the 2015-16 Grand Jury Special Report, which was highly critical of the county’s handling of a lease agreement for the county’s Health and Human Services Building. The supervisors’ response, approved on a 4-1 vote, offers a point-by-point reply to the Grand Jury report’s 19 findings and nine recommendations. While the board does agree with some of the items in whole or in part, for the most part the county response rejects most of the Grand Jury’s... [Read more]
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Guest Commentator
6 days ago

Amador County deserves politics that are as good as its people.

I am responding to the unfortunate personal attack levied on me by former District 4 Supervisor Candidate Gwen Clayton in last week’s paper. I was saddened and dismayed to see Ms. Clayton bring to Amador County the worst kind of political rhetoric we are seeing in the presidential race today. Instead of focusing on what we can do together to make our county prosper or explain why she prefers the incumbent in the election, she chose to attack me.

I think we...

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Craig Baracco
5 days ago
Former Amador County School District Official Elizabeth Chapin-Pinotti had her first day in court on Thursday, where she was arraigned on ten felony charges including conflict of interest, perjury and forgery in Amador Superior Court. Chapin-Pinotti is alleged to have fraudulently arranged for the School District to purchase textbooks and other material she herself had authored and had a financial interest in. Judge J.S. Hermanson presided and read off the ten individual charges. Chapin-Pinotti indicated that she understood the... [Read more]
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Greta McElroy
6 days ago

Editor’s note: Until 2016 election results are in, this spot will be devoted to voters’ questions, with answers provided by Greta McElroy, Chief Deputy Registrar of Voters, Amador County Elections Department, (209) 223-6270, gmcelroy@amadorgov.org.

Who is on your ballot for this election?

In the November General Election, all voters receive the same ballot, no matter what political party you are registered with (or if you have no party preference). Your home address where you are registered to vote determines which contests...

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Eric Winslow
6 days ago
Supervisors Oneto and Forster. Photo by Craig Baracco

On June 22, 2016, a special Grand Jury Report, which investigated dozens of questions and problems with the County Board of Supervisors in its alleged mismanagement of the Amador Health and Human Services Building, was released to the public. Last Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors made an official statement, formulated by a special ad hoc committee, called "Response by the Amador County Board of Supervisors 2015-2016 Grand Jury Special Investigation – Health and Human Services Building Lease" (see link to document, below).

The...

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Louis Amestoy
6 days ago

As I was leaving The Bakersfield Californian a few weeks ago, I was bombarded with people thanking me, telling me that I couldn’t be replaced and that things wouldn’t be the same.

It was incredibly nice to hear and read all of the comments, but it also struck me as unfair to those who were staying there and for those who had worked so hard before I even got there in 2012.

It’s not about me, but about the people who are a part of your team. Much of what I accomplished in my career couldn’t have been done without the assistance...

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Guest Commentator
2 weeks ago

Please join us by helping Amador County to be a special place to live. Sutter Creek Woman’s Club was established in 1909, by a small group of ladies, as an “Improvement Club.” The purpose of this new club was “to improve the cemetery, the school, our streets, and to beautify Sutter Creek in general.”

Throughout the years, our purpose has expanded to include philanthropic, civic, educational and social endeavors within Amador County. So, all ladies are invited to join to be a part of this growing organization, to help make us stand...

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Via Press Release
2 weeks ago
Foothill Conservancy invites everyone to join them for the 2016 Mokelumne River cleanup on Saturday, September 17, from 8:30 a.m. until noon. Whether you have volunteered for the Mokelumne River cleanup before, or are coming for the first time, your efforts will help improve the water quality of this local treasure. Participants will get first-hand experience in identifying harmful impacts to the river, and learn about the importance of the Mokelumne’s watershed for recreation and fish and wildlife habitats – all while having fun!... [Read more]
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